(sighing) Well, at least you're entertained, mister or miss google.com.ph. I'm tempted to ban the IP, but on the other hand, I do put information on the Web and don't particularly feel on the moral high ground about blocking people whose particular information of interest bothers me. Fuck, at this point, they're probably doing it just to get a rise out of me (rolling eyes).
I suppose I should also write something of a Minneapolis update, as long as I'm at it. We flew in rather late on Tuesday evening, so we didn't really do much until (far too early) this morning when Brandon and I headed down to register for the conference and start listening to people talk. There's an incredibly few number of people here, a fraction of the number that showed up to STC in May. Amusingly, the UW has sent a impressive contingent—our eight people comprise by far the largest group from any single institution, including the host one. I didn't know that this many of us would be here (and I'm not thrilled at a few of the faces), so it's been weird to walk around and recognize people right and left.
The conference itself has been fantastic so far as presentation quality, at least in comparison to STC (where I was less than thrilled at any of the sessions except for ours, hehe). I've only been bored a few times, and entertained or informed quite enough to make my time worthwhile. Mary's presentation this morning excited people to come to our presentation tomorrow, and so I'm hoping the audience will be less the "we-hate-you-omg-you-infidels" usability freaks and more researchers interested in the possibilities our group is offering to the field as a whole. Reminder to self: talk more sometime about the... calling I'm starting to feel about driving a revolution in technical communication Web research.
But now I gotta finish up this presentation tweaking and hie myself to bed... showtime is at 10:30 in the morning.
Omfg I'm official again. I'm almost hoping that my voice does give out (the throat is doing badness) just so I won't have to talk, but I'll probably have no such luck. I avoided thinking about this one for farrrrr too long, and so am now having the delayed-reaction-panic. Flying out tomorrow, quite possibly nothing posted here until I get home on Saturday, we'll see. Off to Minneapolis for me...
Unrelated, but I'm fucking ecstatic that the gradient I added to the site got complimented today. I was of course happy with the way it looked, because after all, it was my idea (heh). But it'd not been noticed for better or worse by anyone else, so far as I could tell... having Craig, of all people, randomly bust out with appreciation for it completely made my day.
Whew. This was one hell of a weekend. My liver thinks perhaps a little too hell of a weekend, but eh, it's a weenie. Kelly took me out and about on Saturday night for a lot of vodka and a bit of "Teh Scene." We were out until 4ish, and despite not doing nearly enough dancing for my tastes, it was quite fun. I wussed out on Dressing Up, hehe... baby steps, I guess. Next time... next time.
There's a huge amount that I could say about the shopping trip yesterday and the night out, not to mention other things, but I'm just too worn to do so.
Bad scheduling on my part—I totally forgot that we were supposed to go down to a function at Granddad's tonight, and I made other plans. Timing timing timing damnit; there's to be no one in my house tonight, including me, as I will be out and about with Kelly. Why couldn't things have landed on different evenings?
Took me long enough, but I finally got around to posting up the pictures from Dan and Jennifer's wedding. I was hoping to use these pictures to prove to Brandon that I have in fact worn girly sandals, but I realized as I put them up that there's none that show a full-body shot... they might as well be someone else's feet. Boo!
w00t! Fabulous evening in basically every particular: my posse is a good one. Solutions to some aspects are brewing in my brain, but for now, I'm just in all sorts of a good mood, and I will take that and appreciate it, damnit! The only thing truly unawesome about tonight is the mysterious (and fucking huge) bruise that is developing on my right forearm. I don't remember anyone yanking me around, so its source is a bit of a mystery. But if that's really the only thing I can say bad about the day... things are A-OK.
Monika is playing with her webcam tonight. It's really rather bizarre—Zach has occasionally flashed me messages on his, but we're playing with the integration into Messenger at the moment, and that's just a bit different. I've kind of ignored the whole webcam thing, but just in the last little bit here, I've seen some ridiculous potential; the layer of... thereness... that it lends to the conversation is jarring, yes, but that's mostly because I'm not used to it, I think. I'm intrigued.
In other news, today went awesome (having gotten sleep helped quite a bit). I sat in on a bit of some workshops, had lunch with the fool, felt all knowledgeable and shit at a function with David, and the staff training week barbecue went off swimmingly. Except without any swimming (Lake Washington is COLD). I got to hang out with my friends and eat tasty grilled meat and Ben and Brandon and crew singing and playing guitars was sweet (although Ben's rendition of Only Gay Eskimo definitely stole the entire show).
And okay, that's fucking IT. Will whoever it is that keeps on using google.com.ph to search zoggins for crazy shit out of my past please cut it the fuck OUT?. I swear to god, I've not got anything hidden away that you've not already hunted up, and what you've found hasn't been all that interesting. Quit it already!
I was tempted to just go to sleep tonight, but my bizarre sense of completeness forbade me from doing so without writing. I had an excuse last night, at least: raging insomniac depression. I tried reading and I tried crying and finally numbed my brain into submission around 3:00 am with the flickering light of the TV. And then of course I woke up at 5 am on the couch with a crick in my neck. Sweet.
I have a couple things I could say, but I'm tired, and so I won't (haha), other than the fact that I can't even describe how happy and proud I felt to have three people today compliment me on my little brother, or to watch him joking around naturally with my co-workers, or to have him come out on an even footing drinking with my friends (except for the whole part about where he won't drink beer, but whatever). I was driven to hug him out of nowhere in front of people, I was so pleased, and that was long before I started drinking (at which point my hugs are slightly more freely doled out, hehe). So yes: proud of Bryce, and two or three point something hours of sleep are killing me, so enough. Crap, last thing: Tyler, who I already approved of, has achieved the two thumbs up ranking that is the highest I can give to anyone in his classification. He may soon move into another mental box, at which point I will apply superlatives. I do love me some superlatives.
I'm torn whether to start with the good paragraph or the bad paragraph. Random Kelly choice says to start with the latter, however, and so I shall. After an exhausting and annoying frantic (both physical and mental) day, I slumped in my door and Jim tells me that he's quitting his job. Yep. It's been in the works mentally for weeks, but for some reason I'd had the impression that he was going to line up another one first. Sigh. I'm trying to make the best of it internally, because, well, fuck, it's him that's having the shitty time at work and has been desperately unhappy there for months and is finally going to be able to get out of a horrible situation. If it makes him happier, life will crawl out of a pit it's been clawing at lately. On the other hand, the future now officially terrifies me; in selfish terms, this is really not what I would have picked to have drop into the collective lap right as I'm going in to a week of suck, followed by another week of suck, followed by an entire quarter of suck. I was already stressed out, so I suppose I need to pick another word to bandy about for a while. Adverbs just get tacky after a while, you see.
I can't remember the last time I so longed for it to be Friday when it was still only Monday.
So let's move on to the good paragraph, shall we? Thinking about the whole can of worms associated with the bad paragraph is upsetting the shit out of me, so let's distract us, Jen. I wore my new boots for the first time today, and am happy. There's an aspect of armoring myself against the world that is completed when I lace up boots to my shins, and I can feel the difference in everything I do when I wear them. Most of it probably isn't noticeable to others (although I feel like I definitely do walk differently... I feel as if I tend to... stride rather than walk), but the change is infinitely important to my self esteem and mental outlook. I walked over to WaMu this evening to fix my ATM PIN issue, and as I walked alone through Red Square on my way back, the breeze was cool and the clouds were beautiful and my chin was up and my step was long and I was the queen of the fucking world.
And it was a good feeling.
The good news on my media drive is that so far as we can tell, the data is still there and doing fine. The bad news being that the master file table appears to have gotten hosed. Yay. Time to start checking out data recovery options. Not having my music to listen to isn't all sadness, however; I've been listening to C89 tonight, which I don't listen to on Sunday nights often enough (I usually listen in my car, or when I lived in the apartment with Brandon I listened on the stereo in my bedroom that's now in the kitchen, but tonight I'm streaming it).
I've been excavating old parts of zoggins tonight and cleaning them up. It's a nice feeling to have the modernization progress, but even more fun is finding gems that I still love three years after writing them. Some of me has changed since I wrote that in a torrent of Graffiti on my Visor while riding the bus in Hokkaido, but some of it never will. (giggling) "I judge that 75% of my time spent verbalizing is devoted to complaining about something, which makes it a continuing surprise to me that anyone bothers to listen to me after knowing me for more than an hour." "I accumulate guilt like lint and therefore spend a lot of my time, when not complaining, apologizing about something. I get very tiresome." So TRUE!
Perhaps I shall declare today to be official Ancient Good Stuff Day. I offer up a collection of quotes from my Statistical Mechanics professor and another quote collection, these about my friend (and zoggins host) Chris. And how about some poetry that cheered me on a sad summer day five long years ago?
Finally! I've been trying to noodle out an image for the page o' scholastic progress for weeks, and I finally found the font that clicked everything into place. I feel accomplished, and will therefore go to bed after mocking my adorable fat kitty (who's watching his brother stalk something in the backyard in this picture, the silly beast).
(doubling over in laughter) Oh, the irony! When Brian set up the /tht/ syn on LJ, he apparently opted (quite reasonably) to not allow anonymous posting. Which means (giggling) I can't currently respond to comments on my own feed (laughing). It's too rich! I wonder if the LJ powers that be would change that aspect of a syn account... hehe.
Well, other than going out for Kate's birthday, today has sucked, royally. I'm looking at the loss of basically my entire music collection due to a hard drive toasting. Blah. I have a lot of it backed up in various places, and we were able to get my collection of videos off, but it's still beyond a little frustrating to have seven years of work go *poof*. We still have some things to try, but seriously, between Lars last week and this and a few other things, my belief in karma is twitching. Damnit.
Events really rather out of the realm of what I would have pegged for tonight, but not exactly surprising. Funny, really, in that "interesting" rather than "hah hah" sort of way. And other parts were good, and the day itself was good, and thus I am content with my day. Except for the fact that I'm fucking FREEZING.
A long day at work today, but mitigated by a meeting with Jan, Indian food for lunch courtesy Brandon, Craig getting a house a block away, dinner with Monika, and general companionship with Kelly for many hours. I'd be in a better mood except for the fact that I'm pissed off. Funny, that. Bah humbug and to bed.
A Mariners game and conversation and stuff getting done slowly and possibly surely... a good day. And damn. I got Livejournaled! Two different people linked to stuff of mine (lyrics and an image) and BOOM ~350 more hits than normal today.
On my short walk home, I amused myself when I noticed reality sagging around me like a mirage, a shroud draping objects and defining their shapes and properties. With it heavy on my shoulders, I twitched, and trees rippled and lightposts corkscrewed and the street shuddered, and I shifted things. And I smiled, as I walked and the shroud stretched behind me like a train, leaving eddies of my momentary tweaks swirling in my wake. It's nice to flex every now and again.
Jeffie is my absolute hero! I need to pick a good day to spring his genius upon the world, however. It shall take careful and delicate planning so as to provoke maximum effect on certain individuals without getting in trouble (giggling).
I'm utterly exhausted, and not enough got done today (and I'm sad that I totally misplaced my ballot and then was busy all day), but I still feel... good... about it. I got up and was showered by 7 am when Jeff picked me up to go around Greenlake. We only walked today, to save my heel, and so I was able to head into work directly afterwards and was at my desk, sipping coffee, by 8:45. I spent an hour or so finishing up some work on the CSS curriculum, and was able to spend a while downstairs with Kelly fighting with the video camera before heading out on an expedition with her and Greg to Cap Hill for Dicks and STW stuff. The early afternoon was spent helping Vanessa interview some excellent SPS candidates, and the late afternoon spent marking off slices of video with Kelly. An evening spent with friends eating at the Outback and gaming, and all in all, things are... good.
Excellent day except for the whole part about how I didn't get half the stuff done I meant to. Sigh. But Kelly and I have a pact to meet at 9 am tomorrow, and so it should be a good full day then. Well, a full day at least. But it's 1:42 am right now and I'm getting up to go around the lake in the morn... so toodles to the night for me and mojo to whom mojo should go.
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday, dear meeeeeeee... happy birthday to me!
Forty six minutes into my birthday, and I'm hanging out with drunk Jim and drunk Nate and drunk Nate's friend, working on a third beer and wishing I was more in the mood to get trashed. The talk is of porn and goofy music (Mike is reading Playboy in the center of the room, and Jim just tried to rally a vote to take me to the Vu for my birthday, hehe)... all in all, a rather silly start to being 25.
I'm worried sick. No one's seen Lars since I did on late Friday night. He's just not the sort of cat to wander off and not come back and get fed for two days... he's occasionally disappeared for a day, but two is pushing it. I just got back from wandering around the neighborhood looking for him; no dice, and none of the neighbors I talked to had seen him. He hasn't shown up at the vet's or with Animal Control, either. He'll probably turn up, but damnit, even if Jim doesn't want them to wear collars and tags, this time I'm putting my foot down and we are going to get them microchipped.
Oh thank god, Lars came home. We think that he was probably stuck in someone's garage who was away for the weekend; he showed up at around midnight and ate for twenty minutes straight. Jim and I were out searching the neighborhood at the time (we were out for at least half an hour and Liam followed us the whole time, the sweetheart), but when I got home, I just sat and stroked his back as he ate, a smile on my face. Having him come home safe was the best present I got today.
Other than worrying about Lars, this evening was lovely. My parents took me and Jim and Bryce and Jenya out to dinner at the Metropolitan Grill downtown and bought me flowers. Dinner was delicious (oh oh oh, chateaubriand, how I love you so), and the waiters were perfect. It was a media birthday—Bryce got me some movies and the new Beastie Boys album, and Jim bought me a sampling of music I'd been loving lately (the Ocean's Eleven soundtrack, the Wicker Park soundtrack with Snow Patrol, Postal Service, and Death Cab, and the new Presidents album). Mom's taking me shopping for new boots tomorrow evening, so the presents are rounded out nicely.
But most of all, my baby came home safe and sound.
Every time I think about it, I regret not getting to know Matt better even more. Such a missed opportunity.
A paragraph of random bits: Our Lady Peace makes me tear up and think of Brian. Bjork had a fascinating quote in Rolling Stone about how she didn't want her unborn child to listen to too much of her music—"Sometimes it's just good to kind of get to know somebody before you listen to all their records, right?" I have an unopened starter set of L5R cards on my desk that Jase brought me back from Gen-con; I'm torn between wanting to leave them pristine and wanting to rip them open and riffle them, smelling my life of many years ago rising off of the new card stock. Cutting whole milk with water to thin it out reminds me of Japan, and there's no tastier thing that I can think of right now to be eating than the leftovers of the salisbury steak Jim made a few nights ago.
Posty-posty-posty. My schedule for fall doesn't look all THAT bad. Or it wouldn't if I didn't need time outside class to do homework and readings... Whee! And people say I'm not ambitious. Pfft.
Restless... so very restless. I'm tempted to scream and run out the front door and tear around the block, arms pumping and hair flying and feet pounding... just because. Distracted... so very distracted. I can't concentrate on a task for more than a few minutes before I flip, irritable, to something else, and so it goes and has gone for hours. If I were in Japan, this would be a prime candidate for a night to go clubbing...
But I'm not in Japan, I'm in Seattle, and in Seattle I am a responsible, quiet girl who does not go out and get drunk and dance nearly as often as she wishes she would.
Cleaning out code, and I found something I'd nearly forgotten I'd written about an anti-abortion exhibit in Red Square, five years ago. It's not particularly well written, but it's just interesting to dig up old writing samples and try to put myself back where I was when I wrote them.
Just back from Kevin's birthday party... t-minus 8 minutes or so until I turn old.
Home late; Jim's asleep and someone (I'm not quite sure who, it was dark) is crashed out on the new couch in the basement. The cats are scattered about on my desk and Jim's chair, Nate's either talking to Katie on the phone or she's in bed with him... the door's closed. The walls in the office are bare, stark and white. Several hours ago I was distinctly off; while I'm in a far better mood than I was at five pm, I'm still not quite... aligned. And so I'll listen to Amon Tobin and pet Lars and look at my white, white walls, and contemplate the possibility of sleep.
I hear it's good for me.
Wow. We managed to survive an invasion of our house by nearly twenty people (we'd been expecting around ten) tonight with flying colors. We had enough food for everyone (and my god was it good) and managed to fit everyone down in the basement for Apprentice with only a few people on the floor and even those with an excellent view. Everyone was joking that they were too intimidated to follow Jim as host, heh. And the best part is that we have nearly no mess outside of dishes. Now, of course, the dishes are horrendous, but we could have been picking up our entire house after a party hurricane had swept through, and I for one am ecstatic that I only had to pick up one empty beer bottle.
But man, am I glad that's over. I ate dinner downstairs, alone but for Lars on the couch next to me, hiding from the ruckus upstairs, and was reminded why I like to keep my social life out of my house.
(Zoggins was down for a bit, thus the backdate)
Exhausted, exhausted, but Lars has decided that he likes to sleep on the new couch even when people invade it, and so I am thankful for an hour or two of West Wing spent with my baby snuggled up next to my thigh. I need to do some cleaning, but I think I'm just going to go to bed and get up and do it in the morning before work; I just can't quite face the idea of vacuuming right now. Perhaps not eating all day was less than wise. I did get to go see Hairspray at the 5th Ave with Mama tonight (best line: "You two are going to have to put up with a whole lot of ugly from a whole parade of stupid"), but I just about started crying in the middle for no apparent reason, and so perhaps I'm just a wee bit overstimulated on too little fuel today.
So very very tired today, with the tiredness just barely edged out by the soreness. GodDAMN I hate my fucking useless body. It doesn't matter what I do, whether it's run three times a week or haul heavy equipment around for work or do exercises every night—I never seem to get better at any of it. My lungs don't stop aching and being unable to pull in air, and my muscles, while not particularly weak, don't get any stronger. Add in an unhealthy dose of allergies and stir in some chemical-inbalance-caused fatigue (and let's not even GO into the mental arena), and I seem to have gotten a body that is distinctly defective. What, I ask of my genes, the fuck?!?
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, dear Brandon, happy birthday to you! Funny that I should be writing that from your bedroom, or rather, what was your bedroom until the first.
We totally rearranged several rooms in the house today. We decided to turn Brandon's vacant bedroom into an office, so all three of us now have our desks and computers in here. I'm a little ambivalent about the whole idea—ever since I've had my own computer, it's been in my room with me (dorm room or bedroom, depending). This configuration will allow the three of us to be a bit more social, to be true, but damnit, I rather liked having my desk in my room. I've got some plans to turn the corner that formerly housed my desk into a study area, but it's still a bit odd. I was tempted to only have the boys move, because only their desks out in the den were interfering with our grand plans, but I caved to not being the sole antisocial person still down in the basement. We're going to HAVE to do something about Nate's power supply, however. That sound will drive me insane. I'm spoiled, I know, considering that Atsuko's case is quiet as a whisper and Jim's got Edwina cocooned in her +5 box of silence, but still.
Grand plans, you ask? We now have two couches in the basement, facing Nate's huge TV in the corner. The den had been a good one before, but now it is nigh unto kickass. If only it weren't past midnight... I may still go snuggle onto the new couch and appreciate the new layout anyway. If we could finally get cable upstairs (we don't get much reception without it), the house would be basically perfect.
Except that Brandon's not here. :( Poo on his little brother for moving out here and stealing my Brandon away.
Quickie from Winlock: I have Gmail invites; any of my friends want them? Email me...
I'd been wondering lately if I'd grown out of the alcohol-makes-me-wake-up-early thing, and been rather sad about the possibility. The blaze-eyed alertness at 7 am was going to be missed. But oh no, it wasn't gone, I just hadn't been drinking enough lately, as I learned when I bolted out of bed at 6 am this morning, unable to stand being still in bed any longer. I did nap for a bit between 9 and 10 am, out on the couch, but that's fine... it was cold and I was snuggled in my winter bathrobe into a corner of the couch watching TV—there's really no better time to take a nap, when you think about it.
Oh heavens, up way too late again for what time I should be getting up. Although really, who would have expected different? Productive day, mostly, and randomly seeing Ursula (the last time I saw her was when we graduated, two years ago) and getting to chat with her about her two years as an ALT in Japan was an unexpected bonus. But I think I really will try to go to sleep now.
Which first, today or yesterday? I suppose yesterday, although it does break the continuity of /tht/ in general. There were two things to discuss in the yesterday bucket:
One: a Starbucks is going in across the street from the Roma. I have mixed feelings about this, really. On the one hand, the audacity of going in directly across from a small business (the Roma is a chain, but with only eight or so stores in the US, it's definitely small) and a block away from an independent store really annoys me, not to mention that part of the space they're taking used to belong to a comic shop. It's not like they don't already have a storefront several blocks further up the Ave.
On the other hand, I can't feel too bad about it given two things that have been bugging me for a while. First, the empty storefronts around the Ave have been creeping me the fuck out. Stores have rearranged from their previous configurations, but that building is now full rather than having a gaping hole in the front of it. The second item is split into three sub-items: the comic shop, the Roma, and Solstice.
I find myself unable to be sympathetic at all about the comic store. For one reason or another, the owner has rubbed me wrong for a long long time. Having basically grown up in a comic shop, I'm not inclined to be charitable at ones that don't customer-face very well. The Roma... that's a knotty beast now, isn't it? For a long, long time, the Roma has been "my" place on the Ave. I have a lot of affection for it, simply for its place in the annals of my memory. HOWEVER. The baristas that once made the place what it was have left, taking their music and their senses of humor and their grace with clients with them. They have been replaced largely by one guy. This one guy is an ass. He may be a very fine person for all I know, but his customer service is crap, and his taste in music not so much on the awesome end of the spectrum. There's a couple others, but they're largely in the same vein. Without the people to anchor the place's culture, the not-so-delicious coffee and tendency to attract Ave rats and bums became the dominant features. And thus I have become saddened with them (and not coincidentally, my reading of The Stranger has gone way down). Solstice, I'm not worried about. That place'll be fine. They've done all the work that needed to be done to run the Roma into the ground—all the hipster cool kids that used to come in for the music and chat at the Roma switched their allegiances over the last few years, and they'd never be caught dead in a Starbucks. The Starbucks is really just hammering the final nails in on a coffin that Solstice began constructing a while ago after the Roma shot itself.
Number two in the yesterday queue (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it...?) is that I went to see Hero last night with Jim and the Jason/Seth crew. So very very gorgeous... there isn't a word in the thesaurus that's enough to encompass just how pretty it was. Very interesting, though, that all of the boys had expected it to be an action movie. I didn't see any of the previews or commercials they played here in the States, but the Japanese previews that I remember played up both the action and the talking. Thankfully the boys all liked it. How could they NOT? It's the most goddamn beautiful movie ever made!
And now, for today's news.
(aside) I feel shades of Japan... I'm a chatty bitch today.
And now, really for today's news. Hrm. Gar? Groo? Long, long, exhausting day, full of exasperating people unable to wrap their minds around someone else's viewpoint for a single, goddamn minute. However, I'm mostly over that annoyance now, and would like to move in to the insight of the day, thank you very much.
I've been aware for a very long time that I'm very different things to different people. They orbit a single central point, of course, but there's still a wide variety of behavioral masks I don. It was quite obvious in the peer review things we did during the staff retreat today, but I expected that. What I got blindsided by was the huge energy drain that keeping a full lead, manager, and director complement of the masks up and rotating for six straight hours. I try to control my interactions as much as possible to limit the number of... personas is a bit too strong of a word for the change, but I'll use it for the moment, that I need to manage at any one time. Having to maintain, what, twenty-fourish? different relationships simultaneously was, looking back at it, doable, but boy did it blow a circuit in my brain.
I knew I'd just spiral down into being depressed (instead of just drained) if I went home by myself, so I called Jeffie and invited myself to Warhammer with the understanding I would sit in the corner with the laptop and not be part of the group per se. I just needed to be around positive people without having to interact for a while... thank god, thank god, for my friends.
(rubbing eyes) Finally getting sleepy (took long enough, I've been awake since 7 am and it's around 3 am now). Spent the last several hours chatting with Kelly and wandering online, and feel ever so much better than I did the rest of the day... I am extremely relieved not to be going to bed in one of the day's earlier moods (the dreams have been ungood lately). Hooray for emotional tweaking!