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The last few days have been very hard on my system. But I got enough done in the last few days, combined with a lucky testing schedule, to allow me to take today off to rest and nurse the cold that's been coming on since Wednesday. There was no real sleeping in, considering the construction on my building, but I've been able to simply sit and watch stuff Tivo recorded for me (I bought one of the wee 40 GB ones this week) and pet the cats and stare at the walls. I've got no energy to speak of, however... today, I match the weather.

Tonight, a red-haired man told himself that he was a leaf on the wind, and I told myself that I loved him. Oh, I am black tonight, oh yes.



It's 5:20 am and I've been completely wide awake for the half an hour since the kittens woke me up. I'm wired, about work of all things, and sans a smartcard reader, I'm leaning towards just saying "screw it" and getting up to go to work now. I promise myself that if I do so I will A) get my damn reader today and B) go home very early.

I'm exhausted, and while the productivity soared today, my stress levels are still sky high and several emails just about made me sob. Two weeks of the dual craziness, and then I can start being normal at my job or something. But hey, I have a Tivo of my very own incubating at my parents' place as I write... at least there's that!




I've missed you, she said.
I'm sorry I didn't come home earlier, he replied sadly.

Jeffie was a dear and made me a monster vodka cran, so I'm feeling generally bleary and sleepy rather than how I felt earlier, which is a blessing, believe it or not. I could go on and on about the rot and bile in my mind, but perhaps I will just exhale, and draw my wee little felines close for comfort, and concentrate on well wishes out into the void (okay, more directional than that). That's much more comforting than continuing to rage around the storerooms of my mind looking for the one box that might glow a gentle green.

Think   1 Thought


Well. Today went about as shitty as it possibly could have.

I don't know what to say, so I think I will just drink my fourth beer and shut the fuck up.




I spent a goodly portion of today with my mother: we microchipped my kitties (they're now part of the collective), gabbed, ate, and watched the first two Firefly episodes (she loves it). I'm still pissy, though. Comics and kittens for me, damn it.




(kicking something hard)





The family shit that started to drop last week finally slammed down on my shoulders the last day and a half, and thus things were ungood for quite a little while in there. But my friends at work stepped up admirably, and Craig made sure I had dinner last night, and I'm off work today handling items here and there, and so things are filtering more towards neutral than utterly shitty. I want to say something long and involved about social networks, or parents, or... or... something, but I'm finding that my powers of concentration have been too shot to allow any meaningful... anything.

I identify so:

It is a huge struggle tonight to treat myself like a beloved relative.

I went to a therapist earlier this year. It was the first time I'd seen a counselor since I pronounced the whole thing bollocks my freshman year of college. But things were so insane this late winter and early spring, with Monika threatening to kill me and the love of my life withered to shards of glass in my heart and having to move and being broke and school's support net being slipped ever so delicately out from under me, that I simply had to give it another shot. For so many years I'd managed to keep myself packaged together and functioning capabably, but I suddenly found that I just couldn't do it. I was lying in bed and crying all day long, something which I'd been very proud to not have succumbed to since I'd realized how to pick up my shit and process it away. I needed someone else to talk to, someone who could affirm that yes, things were crazy and that was okay. I stopped seeing the therapist when my free visits under my insurance ran out, because things were so bad at that point that I had less than $200 to my name at any given point and that money was for immediate mental health, not long-term sorts of projects. But one thing that she said to me has stuck:

"Jen," she said, "You have great capacity for empathy, yet you don't seem to recognize that you are as deserving of your care and support as anyone else is." She made a small cradling motion with her arms, sitting there across the room from me. "If there's anything you should turn your mind to in the coming months, it should be learning to care for, take care of, that which is within you as well as outside."

I have to hope, at times like this, that it at least counts that I remember that she said it.



Thank god that today ceased sucking horribly at around 6pm. I'm not sure I would have been able to stand it if it hadn't... but S was my hero at work, and I got to spend the whole evening, a good five hours, with my dear dear Brandon who I'd not seen for over a month. The below mentioned anxiety dreams have not abated in days and I've been stressed out at work (Craig says, with complete veracity, I am sure, that I have unrealistic perceptions of the expectations upon me, but knowing that doesn't seem to really make it better), not to mention there's now family crap thrown in the mix... things are hard in my head at the moment for reasons that it just isn't seemly to write about, and so I'm thankful for an email dug up from February, and a birthday present, and a lovely Thai dinner with one of my best friends, and a ride home, and a few hours spent on the couch laughing and watching movies and petting kittens and being together. The things like that are nothing grand in the larger perspective, but on a local, day to day basis? They're more than the genesis of run-on "sentences"—they're the most precious experiences there are.



Well, if my sheets had to come out of the wash mildly spotted by a six year old flannel pillowcase, at least they also came out smelling unexpectedly wonderful. I don't think that Jeff and I have different detergent than before, so who knows why they suddenly smell so lovely, but I'm not complaining. That, combined with the fact that my vacuum purchase today was a resounding success, is making my day.

Now, if only I could get to sleep with no nightmares or anxiety dreams for the first time in days, I'd be set.



I have never had any urge at all to ever be in a band. I've never wanted to play, or sing. But something about going out tonight to watch my friends Brandon and Ben play with Ruby Shuz made me understand, a little bit, why some people do. Anyway, they rocked my socks off but good, Ben stole the show hands down at every opportunity, and old friend Dylan showed up and laughed at my <tits> </tits> shirt. T'was a good night, which makes two in a row (last night was spent going out to a new pub with Jeff and Craig followed by watching Firefly until late... ah, nerd Fridays, YAY!) and oso appreciated.



Way too sleepy to talk about misfire morale event or gaming or anything. So nothing except Jasper stinks and I need a vacuum. To vacuum with.



Let's start with an addendum to yesterday: Craig was an utter sweetheart and organized a night out at Finn's with a metric fuckton of my friends (equal to apparently approximately twenty friends of Jen). Some, I knew were coming, but several I was surprised by. I was incredibly pleased, in particular, that Andrew showed up and did tequila shots with me (beaming). Now if I could just convince him to start liking the white girls... heh. Anyway, much was had to drink and I got to talk to people I hadn't seen in forever, and even though Peter wasn't there it was still nice to be at Finn's. Yay.

I drove home in deepening dark tonight with the sunroof open to the freeway air rushing by. I rocked out to Metallica and screamed "I'm working for fucking Microsoft!!!" to the sky. I don't expect anyone to understand.



Happy birthday to me, celebrated by a brand spankin' new job, complete with public embarrassment! I ask you to imagine the following: imagine a room full of over a hundred new, sleepy Microsoft employees confronted with an energetic HR guy, whose third or so comment begins with "and there's one person here today, I hear, that is starting their Microsoft story in a very special way... is Jennifer Barrick out there?" Imagine me looking confused and my hand rising. "Jennifer's recruiter tells me that it's her birthday today, is that true?" Imagine my face going scarlet as I nod. "Well, happy birthday to you, Jennifer, and welcome to Microsoft!!!" (There may have been more than three exclamation points). Imagine everyone in the room wide awake and looking at me, laughing and clapping. I suppose it was nice in that it was an instant ice breaker for people to talk to me—I had at least four people come up to tell me happy birthday and ask me about where I was going to be working (suspiciously, although the ratio of women to men in the room was roughly equal, only one person who came up to talk was female... hrmmm... heh).

All in all, the first day of new employee orientation was less boring than I'd feared, and I did get to meet the other new hire in my team. But my butt is still a little numb, and I was glad that the last hour and a half was optional (I'll go to the company store another time). Home early for some kitten downtime before going out for birthday beers... good stuff.



Nothing written for a few days... the weekends have not been kind to /tht/ lately. I could explain around the why, but I figure it's about time to get another one of the oft-referred-to "Things" out of the way for once and for all. I have been dating a very nice boy for the last few months. There, I've said it! Why have I not said it before, here? Most anyone who's talked to me in person knows and has known for some time, after all. The reason is unflattering: I've been embarrassed. We began dating too soon for propriety, and that's the simple truth. So, much as I concealed the truth about Jim and me breaking up the second time for six months, I've talked around dating Craig for a long long time, and that's not to my credit. So there it is.

(flesh wriggle) SO. So much easier to discuss my weekends now! Anyway, the reason that I didn't write anything on Friday doesn't have anything to do with Craig but rather with S, heh. I was at work until quite late, past nine. When I finished up with what I was doing, S was also still at work, and so I offered to do some repaying of my HSC debt by buying him a couple beers and dinner. We recharged, talked, and ended up deciding to go out dancing. It was good times, but I didn't get home until quite quite late, so thus there was no writing of the thoughts when I fell into bed.

Saturday I spent hauling Craig around on errands and seeing The Brothers Grimm. I was entertained (particularly by Heath Ledger, who I utterly failed to recognize), but I wouldn't necessarily say that it was really good, heh. Worth my money, but not a whole lot more. Much more successful, I must say, was the purchase of a cat tree slightly taller than me. My kittens think it's the best thing since the famed Green Tinsel Ball. Maybe... better.

Today was spent largely sleeping, playing Civilization, and watching Stargate with Craig. The stuff that weekends are made of, yea verily. I'm both looking forward and not to tmorrow. On the not side, I think my day full of Borg implantation will be incredibly boring (and I think I'll need some analgesic cream). On the looking forward side, I'm going to be a Microsoft employee starting tomorrow and that's ridiculously exciting.



Oh, argh on the being so sleepy. I'd have entertaining stories to tell except that I can't keep my eyes propped open.



(yawn) Went out for early birthday dinner with family tonight. I'm stuffed and Bryce and I gossiped until way past when the restaurant was supposed to close, so I'm t-i-r-e-d and that spells going to bed now.



I have theorized for some time now that there was at least one black hole of kitten toys in this condo. Witness: I have supplied my kittens with no fewer than ten toys over the few months I've had them, yet at any given time, there only ever seems to be one around. If that. I had exhausted the possibilities for hiding spots; under the sofa or love seat, under the chest-cum-coffee-table, in the nooks between bookshelves and walls, in the rats' nest of cables under my desk. Parts of the toys have been eaten (don't ask how I know, ook), and at least one, the purple mouse, I interred in the trash close enough to taking it outside that they did not have a chance to recover it (the poor blue mouse, on the other hand, has been thrown away in vain at least three times... that I know of). But tonight, part of the mystery was solved when I noticed that the oven did not in fact extend down to the floor but rather was propped up on three quarter of an inch high stands. Some fishing produced, voila! The green mouse! I'm betting at least one tinsel ball is under there.

As satisfying as the find was, the magic of my home was reduced by approximately one green mouse and three quarters of an inch tonight.

In other news, I was at work for 11.5 hours today. I can't help it if I'm more productive between 8 am and 10 am and 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm than I am at any other times of the day, although my nerves will surely soon wish that I could.



I went to Music Werks today and splurged on five CDs (plus a free one, yay!). Melotron and Wolfsheim and A23, oh my!

I would write more, but it's gotten sorely late and Micahbucket (brother to Jasper the Nicknameless and Miss Aggie) is kneading my arm in a plea for me to come to sleep. Jasper keeps purring and licking my nose; I'm certain in kittenspeak that is him casting his vote as well. And speaking of kittens, I have more recent pictures of them to show off. In usual form, if you really only want to click on a few, I recommend these:

And that's my kitten preening for the week.



Insomnia again. Really, with how often I have problems sleeping, I should start just keeping track of nights where I fall asleep easy and wake up feeling refreshed... it'd be easier. I can likely lay the blame on the fact that I did basically nothing today except play Civ (ahhhhhh). Sure, I watched Primer (excellent time travel movie, with a cute Bradley-Cooper-reminiscent boy as icing) and Atlantis from the other week, hence the "basically" above. But really, those did very little for the expending of energy. I feel like my kittens must when they've slept all day and then I expect them to sleep through the night with me.

Of course, the real rub is that I'm in a "I shouldn't have to be going to bed at midnight on a weekend night" sort of cranky mood, but there's not really anything to be done about that one, trust me.



I went to a Husky football game today, for the second time; considering that I was only about five the first time, I don't remember it very well, so really, today was more like going to my first one ever. (Technically I've apparently been to several, I learned today, but as I was a baby in a sling for several of them, I think they don't really count.) My mother randomly got ahold of tickets to the season opening game, Huskies versus the Air Force Falcons at Qwest Field, so the whole family went down to watch the Huskies play in person. For the first time in my history of watching football, I was instructed on the down system, so the game actually made sense for once... too bad we had to lose (heh).



Back home, glasses still firmly on my face. The kittens were happy to see me, after a token "we hate you for being gone" hour, and the home is unburnt down. The people that I know in Louisiana are safe, if a little screwed in non-life-and-limb ways, and so things are (with one glaring exception that's not mine to share) good. There are a few pictures from vacation to take a gander at, but if one were to only look at one, you might look at my BOOBS (giggling). Okay, if you actually want to see a picture from my vacation, here's the most relaxing view I've had in months.

Think   1 Thought


I have been laughed at, these last few days, for coming into the "wilderness" only to read and play games on my computer ceaselessly. Yet I cannot think of anything I would rather do on my vacation than such things; when I'm at home I'm always too busy, too connected, to be able to take time for my preferred leisure activities. Who are these people, to mock me for doing what I love to do? If I loved to waterski or hike or such things, I'd do them, just as I've swum and sunbathed and read and read and read. Vacation is wonderful.