Sunday, November 30, 2008

So that was November

With this entry I have successfully posted every day in November. Whoo hoo.

I was thinking I should write a Thanksgiving post where I enumerate the multitude of things for which I'm thankful, but I keep putting it off. The truth is I'd rather just try to remember to be grateful all the time, instead of saving it up for an annual list. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

For example, just today I am grateful for spaghetti and spending time with my husband, even if most of it was quality time in a video game. I expect some significant culture shock tomorrow after spending 4 days in Horde territory... the office just won't feel right.

I forced myself to look outside and the fog on Elliott Bay was something. I still can't see the downtown lights behind that gray blanket, but earlier, there was a lone fisherman in front of a barge, and all of it was shrouded in mist. Eerie, beautiful. I considered getting my camera but decided to wait until the d700 arrives and then I'll start taking pictures again. I just wanted to get it right or not do it at all.

So now the image is trapped up here (pretend you can see me jabbing at my forehead.)

And that ends November. I hope December brings good news.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I am just posting this under the wire. 11:30pm is not quite midnight. This totally counts as day 29.

Today was the third day straight of WoW playing. My brain is mushy. I have not been getting enough sleep.

Tomorrow I don't even know. I managed to shower today, cook two meals, and empty the dishwasher in addition to playing, so I'm feeling pretty good about that. Also, I made it a point to look outside. It was gray. I don't think I missed anything.

Oh, the other thing I did was call my credit card company and confirm there are no fraudulent charges on my card. Apparently when you do all of your Christmas shopping in a day and then buy yourself a camera, it looks a little strange. Apparently.

I close my eyes and see little yellow circles. That's where the mines are. Or names floating over people's heads. My pet is hungry. Draw aggro. Mark the target! These are the shortest three days I've spent in a long time. The only way I know time is continuing is a random thirst and muscle tightness in my shoulders from sitting hunched over for 6 hours at a time.


Friday, November 28, 2008

hello and goodbye, friday

I probably should keep this to myself, but I've been playing WoW since 9:30am. It's 7:30pm now. Also, I played until 2am this morning when I finally passed out. And that's why I quit playing for 2 years...

But in the spirit of finishing out this month with all of the daily blog posting, I have wrenched myself away from the game for a few minutes -- or maybe a whole hour. I'm level 18, which is kind of crazy and I've taken up jewelcrafting, mining, fishing, and cooking. It's also kind of crazy how the memories of how to play came back so easily. Not much has really changed in 2 years.

I did not even bother to look outside today. I couldn't tell you if the sun came up or if it rained all day long.

There's not much else to say. I will leave you to your judging of me.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Back in WoW

Before Jeremy left for work last night, after I got him to let me buy the camera, he stood in the doorway and asked for two things. One was for me to vacuum the carpet by the shredder, and the other was to start playing World of Warcraft again.

I complied.

I have not played for about two years -- I stopped because I am sometimes an all or nothin' sort of gal, and with WoW it was All.

A few weeks ago Blizzard sent me an email about a 10-day free trial for the Burning Crusade expansion. So last night, I upgraded to Burning Crusade. I installed all the patches. It took about five hours. And then this morning I surprised Jer with what I had done.

He is very excited.

After our very nice Thanksgiving dinner at Salty's we logged into the Elune server and have been playing ever since. I have a female Blood Elf Hunter who is about to reach level 10. And yeah, it's pretty fun.

I will try not to let it take over my life again and only play when Jer is around. I guess it's sort of silly to continually deny myself something that I enjoy doing, but I am wary and I'll take it slow.

Jer just made coffee and I'm going back in. I hope you had a terrific holiday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

commence with the hyperventilating

omg. i just ordered a nikon d700 camera body.

holy crap!

for those who don't keep nikon brochures in their back pocket, let's just say... this is a very fancy camera. super fancy.

i am going from a 6.1 megapixel camera to a 12.1 megapixel camera, which if you just look at how one number is bigger than the other, you can see that's kind of a big deal.

A d700 is a full-frame digital SLR, which means its image sensor is the same size as a 35mm film frame. trust me when i say that's awesome.

flashback: i wrote about acquiring my d70 back in march 2005. i still love it but it's past time to upgrade.

for technical folks: most of my lenses will work great, but i do have one DX lens -- unfortunately it's my 10.5mm fisheye -- so that's the only downside to going with the d700. (a DX lens only uses a portion of the d700 camera's sensor, so you lose functionality -- 5.1 megapixels with a DX lens)

anywho, i am having a hard time not defaulting to jargon. basically i fell in love with the d700 on my trip to japan and ever since have been scheming to buy one. today i noticed the price had fallen again and i went for it. i've been feeling unmotivated about photography lately, and this should give me just the kick in the butt i need.

jeepers. i'm a d700 owner!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

a very long day

I got home from work about two minutes ago. If you are playing the home game, that puts me at work from 8:45am to 10:30pm.

If it weren't for this national blog posting month, I would have passed out already. I promise you that.

The work thing we were doing was successful, it was just one of those things that has to happen after hours. Tomorrow I plan to only work a half day, surprising no one -- although the evening did include a couple of righteous games of foosball.

Since I am practically falling asleep sitting here, I better give it up. Happy pre-turkey day to you and you and you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Work Anecdotes

Today was mostly about patience and then performing. I jumped through hoops.

When I drink, sometimes I reflect mid-sentence: will this embarrass me tomorrow? At that point I either say, yay or nay, continue or desist. Tonight I told the Viggo Mortenson story, which mostly involves rubbing elbows with the man himself at a ballet (literally), and the John Cleese story, which mostly involves the man hearing me pee. Neither of those men would remember me if pressed, but I remember them, oh yes. And I invoke their names to break the tension.

As I told the V. Mortenson story, I realized that the whole room hushed and was listening to me. At that point I generally lose the thread and ramble, but tonight I think I did okay.

Now I ... Jer just called. We are all caught up. Tomorrow my work day will be roughly a gazillion hours long or 13, whichever comes first. So off to bed I go!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

On What Excel Has To Do With Christmas

I'm just about done with Christmas shopping. See I have this system and it is all very methodical. Every month all year long I contribute to a "Santa Saver" account and then in November I open my Excel spreadsheet and go to town. The spreadsheet is full of formulas and names and items and as a result I can pretty much tell you what I got for whom since 2004.

Some might say it takes the fun out of it, but I would strongly disagree. I love my system.

Also, when the alternative is gunfire at the mall, my system sounds even better.

It was another big movie weekend for us. First we watched Brendan Fraser in "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (2008) then Bela Lugosi in "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1932) and finally Jackie Chan and Jet Li in "The Forbidden Kingdom" (2008).

Here I observe that the primary differences between movies made for children and horror flicks are 1) the background music and 2) in horror flicks, the flowers can and will usually eat you.

This conclusion is based on my recent viewing of "The Ruins," the first few minutes of "The Strangers," and then comparing those two against "Journey to the Center of the Earth."

You will just have to trust me.

Tomorrow is not a day I'm looking forward to, but I have fancy new work clothes to steel myself against the stress. And once the day is over, then I will only have to work approximately 12 hours on Tuesday to help get a new release out and then I will aim to work a half day on Wednesday and then there are two glorious days off.

So please. Wake me when it's Wednesday?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shots at Southcenter

There was a shooting tonight at Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, and I know this because I was there.

Jeremy and I had split up. He needed something from the Apple Store and Gamestop and I needed work clothes. I was just finishing in the dressing room when a woman came in. "There's been a shooting. I'm staying in here."

"But my husband is out there," I said to no one in particular.

I couldn't get a hold of Jer at first. Bad reception. Then I noticed the store was in lock down.

Finally Jer got through to my phone and his voice sounded garbled. He was all right but had been upstairs from where it happened. He heard the shots. He told me to stay put.

When the shots fired, people ran. It was a holiday shopping weekend at the mall; there were a lot of people.

I went to the cash register and paid for my clothes and tried to decide if I should go wait in the car. After another brief call with Jer, I headed out to wait. The parking lot was full of people in cars, trying to leave. No one was moving.

I tried to call Courtney to see if the news had picked up the story yet. We didn't know if the shooter had been caught or how many dead/injured. And I was still waiting for Jer.

He showed up and we decided to walk over to Barnes and Noble for awhile. Wait out the traffic. Courtney called back and told me it hadn't made the news ticker yet.

Later I sat in a comfy chair at Barnes and Noble, across from a woman and her young daughter. They'd been very close to the shooting but hadn't seen it. The woman watched her daughter thumb through children's books. The mother smiled nervously, sadly.

"She already knows it was a gunshot," she said.

"I hope only bad people got killed," said the little girl.

So ends day 22.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Forget the Year

Hello Friday! I've missed you. You are teh awesome.

Weather has shifted cold and I treated myself to French toast for dinner. Maple syrup and crispy bacon, you complete me.

Jer and I will watch a movie soon and I will curl up on the couch with my afghan and I will do my darnedest not to think about anything related to the day job... even though I packed two manuals in my lunch bag to read sometime this weekend. But for now! There is nothing but afghans and the flickering laptop screen.

In class last night I learned that in Japan they have "Forgetting the Year" parties in the month of December? I hope that's true. I like the idea of parties that let you leave the year behind in an alcoholic haze. Not everything, you understand, some of it I'd like to keep.

If it's possible to selectively kill my brain cells, then I am all in.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 20 is when I give up on titles

I struggle with using the right words in speech, flirting with the line between overly precise and vague. My emails come out terse and my speech tends to ramble. I know that success is a dance of managing perception, yet I wonder how I can express myself in a succinct, folksy way that does not come across as either emotional or brusque or condescending.

This is one of many questions that punctuate my sleeping time.

How do I get through? What are the magic words? Court jester or fool?

Sure. I am guilty of self-doubt. But I am also guilty of hubris. It's the contradiction that rattles me.

Sometimes when I sense it is an especially important moment, my mind blanks. I lose the thread. I focus to the point of forgetting. So I've started taking notes to compensate for drift.

I should be better at turning things around. Asking questions. Listening. If you are the one asking the questions then you need never lose the thread.

Maybe it's time to brush up on my Dale Carnegie.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I can has holiday?

I'm exhausted. The last few nights I woke at 3 or 4am, stared at the ceiling for an hour or two, and tried to think calm thoughts. But all thoughts led back to work and the work I wasn't doing and the work I could have planned better and the resources I was wasting.

I know myself well enough to understand that the sort of anxiety that overtakes me in the dead of night is irrational and all consuming. The only hope is to breathe and wait for sleep because the harder I try to control it, the worse it gets. I am already doing my best and worrying about it won't change a thing.

I hesitate to share but it's what's for dinner. Warts and all.

Speaking to a co-worker today I said, "Hey, it's only work." I am guilty of not following my own advice.

Next week will not be easier. Next week I will basically interview to keep my job, whether it is explicitly stated that way or not, I know the score. And I will do my best and expect the worst, but damn, I wish this part was over.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The last of the pumpkin beer

I had pumpkin beer tonight with a friend who always helps put things in perspective. I am very lucky to have all the friends I have -- Web wise, past wise, and now wise -- you are all awesome.

I am on the tail end of the beer high listening to Tom Waits "Innocent When You Dream" and a variety of Dar Williams. It makes me feel optimistic, which lately is the opposite of what I feel when I wake up. It is an epic journey to rise, feed the cats, shower, board the bus, walk to work, and press the elevator button. The closer I get, the slower the world. I trick myself, stop for coffee, maybe a latte, take a later bus, whatever it takes.

Melodramatic, much?

It is not so bad. I am obviously a giant baby.

This is day 18.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bloggers and Booze

Hi. So tonight after work I went to Blogsgiving in Capitol Hill as the date of CeRo, and we chatted and I wore a name sticker and nursed my Nightwatch Dark Amber Ale. (The beer was excellent.)

I'm not all that clear on the origin of Blogsgiving, but I believe it involves a pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and Geocities. Or Arpanet.

Geocities/CollegePark FTW.

I kept getting asked who I write for. Mm. Me? But that is not really in vogue right now.

I had a very fine time meeting many nice people and seeing others again I haven't seen since the last event like this with the open bar of which I imbibed much, and subsequently suffered from a monumental hangover. Tonight, however, I only had the one beer and that was just fine.

Also, West Seattle represents!

P.S. CeRo is super fantastic. I told her I would say that.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fried chicken and irritating unwed mothers

Jer left for work about fifteen minutes ago and Vash is giving me stink-eye because I pushed him off my chair. He's relocated directly across from me at eye-level on the open shelf above Jer's desk. He wants me to know he is not pleased.

I have some chicken breasts sitting in buttermilk that I plan to coat in flour and fry soon. But I had a big breakfast and hunger is not motivating me to proceed. Maybe I will brew some coffee.

After Indiana Jones last night we watched Juno... and I wasn't impressed. I'd heard it applauded for its use of language, but the moment a character said, "Honest to blog," I hurled a little. I guess as a previously precocious young adult with a large vocabulary I expected the film to resonate with me. But in the end I was only irritated and spent most of the film wishing someone would just smack her all ready. Which I guess if you consider that when I was 16 everyone around me wanted to smack me too, then the film was technically a success.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

lazy saturday

We finally watched Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull and it was pretty much what I expected. It wasn't sure if it wanted to be a movie, a video game, or the newest ride at Disneyland.

There are worse ways to pass an evening.

It's getting dark early now. At 6:30 I glanced at the clock expecting it to be 8:30pm, but well, it wasn't. Good story, huh?

It's been a lazy Saturday. Jer finished watching Torchwood -- I watched the last two episodes without him -- as I practiced writing ya/yo/yu repeatedly in my notebook, with a dash of wa/o/n. I can't go back to playing "My Japanese Coach" on the DS until I know those hiragana cold and learn the vowels in katakana. That little game expects a lot.

For years I've wanted to study another language or languages, but it was one of those things that would happen someday. Never now. I'm excited it's finally happening and hope to be able to study other languages as well. I just wish I could roll my r's.

Friday, November 14, 2008

eTrade is kind of shady

My toe is purple. One of them in the middle there. I stepped into the corner of the couch before work, in the dark, in a hurry and thought, "That hurts." Later that night, I peeled off my socks to reveal a dark rainbow of bruising and thought, "That sure looks like it hurts." And you know what? It did. Or rather does.

Doesn't seem to be broken though.

My eyes are dried out. It's cold outside, but colder last night. Jer and I went to dinner and I had my first Hot Toddy. It tasted like Tylenol Cold and Flu with a Nyquil punch.

I probably won't order it again.

After dinner we each bought a cupcake then browsed the used section of the CD store.

And now we're home. I am now going to say good night to computer land because it is Friday and I deserve a break today.

Also, I got an interesting letter form eTrade today. They were notifying me that there had been no activity on my money market account for the last 18 months and my account was considered inactive. If it stays that way "[eTrade] may be required by law to turn over any funds in your account(s) to the state." The thing is... I use my eTrade brokerage account every month and I keep just enough money in this "inactive" account to avoid the quarterly $40 brokerage fee.

There is a method to my madness.

Seems awfully shady that they can just take my money away like that. And I wouldn't consider it an insignificant amount either.

I am not a fan of this business practice.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Potatoes in my breakfast burrito...

Another fitful night. I woke up around 2am and said hello to Jer. Hopped on the computer. Checked my email for no good reason. I had a story idea in there somewhere that I've since forgotten. And that's what happens when I don't write them down.

Driving into Bellevue tonight, the moon hung low and yellow and full over their downtown. I crossed the floating bridge sandwiched between red brake lights and cruised behind a weaving driver.

Every week I look forward to my class, not just because it's great because it is, but because of the college cafeteria. I love cafeterias. Tonight I opted for the salad bar -- you pay per pound -- and I loaded spinach greens and all sorts of vegetables (including baby corn!) in my plastic takeaway container, drizzled Ranch and cottage cheese and crumbled egg, pickled green beans and beets, olives, sunflower seeds, and a few croutons. Not the healthiest salad, but oh so tasty.

My favorite foods are generally things I can mix together; I prefer to taste every flavor at once. Chili with angelhair pasta... mashed potatoes on chicken strips... egg yolks on hashbrowns... French fries on cheeseburgers. I especially like foods that are meant to be eaten together, like Shepherd's Pie. Casseroles are a big hit in my book.

Anyway. Japanese class is good. Only a few more weeks at this level and then I plan to enroll in the next class. Work is still work. I go. They let me sit at a desk. Sometimes I play foosball.

Let me be the first to wish you a Happy Friday. Happy. Friday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mid-week blues

Work is intense. I'm facing many and varied sudden and impatient deadlines.

I can't get a grip on what's going to happen. So I maintain and I push. I spent a restless night with my pillow, filled with malformed dreams and a vague anxiety. Words and numbers on a loop, floating on the surface like soap scum, and then it was morning. Time to do it again.

It sounds awful when I put it like that. But the truth is I'm having more fun than I've had in awhile. I am busy and I see the consequences of my actions immediately.

I'll miss it if it goes away.

I initiated a direct rollover to Vanguard today. That's right, I'm finally opening a Vanguard account instead of just paying Fidelity exorbitant fees to buy Vanguard funds. (w00t) My 403(b) is flirting with the line where they usually force you to take a distribution or other action, so I made the call. The representative asked, "How long has it been since you worked for that employer?" I thought for a moment and said, "Six years?"

Man, I've had a lot of jobs.

I just listed them out but it was too depressing. I'm choosing not to share.

I'm struggling to find words tonight. At the moment I'm much more comfortable staring straight ahead. But that's what day 12'll do for ya.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

I met friends and we toasted the economy, the darkness, each other. These are not good times. Except when they are.

And that is why I'm fond of absurdity. Things are but they aren't. The inverse is usually true, except when it isn't. And a beer is still a beer is a beer. The world spins and you spin with it.

It's not spinning, if you're wondering. My kidneys got off easy tonight.

There's a chance this month won't end well. To be or not to be, says my paycheck. And I stick with it because I've always wanted to be the Chesire Cat who speaks in riddles and grins a radioactive bank of stone pearl teeth, never saying what it means and never meaning what it says.

I am going to eat a tuna fish sandwich now. Don't try and stop me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Veterans' Day

I stopped at Mitchelli's in Pioneer Square on the way to the bus. I brought a thick book on formulary strategy that I sort of read at the counter, and ordered off the happy hour menu.

I love that place.

Some places just feel right, whether it's cozy or comfortable or welcoming, it has a something. Warmth, maybe. An orange oasis in the chill blue dark.

This past weekend I caught up with Doctor Who and Torchwood. Since I finished Death Note the previous weekend, I guess that just leaves Northern Exposure and Dexter, and maybe Bones and House. My responsibilities are neverending.

Hello, Falcor. (As in the story, that is neverending.)

I received double the normal hits to my photo blog today. Everyone was searching for the WWII nurse kissing the sailor, of which I have a picture of the statue version here.

Just thought that was interesting. I never expected it to be a popular one. Note the blue sky. That is winter in San Diego.

Tom Waits is the soundtrack to this entry. He sings about November... I didn't realize "Downtown Train" was his song and that Rod Stewart only covered it, until just now. Literally, 1 minute ago. This pleases me, because as I was listening to the Tom Waits' version I was thinking, "Damn, I really like this song, but I don't like Rod Stewart." So I looked it up on wikipedia and now you're caught up.

I feel like watching "Amelie" again.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Proponent of Maximalism

Since I am abysmal at keeping up with housekeeping, I've been assigning myself one small project each weekend. The theory is completing one small project is better than wallowing in absolute filth.

This is how I define compromise.

Last weekend we replaced the lights in the kitchen, which was a project at least 1 year in the making. The previous weekend I waded through the shred pile, which consisted of a two-year backlog. Took me a week, 15 minutes to half hour each night, to complete. And the previous, previous weekend, since it is show-and-tell time, I vacuumed the carpets and washed the linens.

Today I start to tackle the monument to scrap paper in which I have enshrined my desk. Apparently it is preferable, in my mind, to create numerous fire hazards around the apartment rather than just dealing with it.

I have this irrational guilt thing about throwing stuff away and filling up the landfills and personally destroying the planet, and when you combine that ambiguous guilt with persistent procrastination you get... well, me. I am not a hoarder but you wouldn't know it by my lack of minimalism.

Is maximalism a design aesthetic?

As a kid, I remember my parents forcing me to stay in my room until it was clean. It wasn't cruel or unusual punishment, but I remember fighting it with every fiber of my being. Sitting there, staring at the floor, doing everything EXCEPT facing the out of place toys and the piles of schoolwork. Man, I HATED that.

And yet, paradoxically, in college, my first job was on the housekeeping staff. For some reason, I didn't mind the mindless work as long as I was getting paid slightly above minimum wage to do it. Give me $5 an hour and I will clean stuff all day long.

Even now? This entire blog entry has been brought to you by procrastination -- though technically I was going to do it anyway.

Cleaning is like my own personal fountain of youth. When I contemplate it I'm instantly transported back to that old house with the yellow-ish carpet, green shelves and curtains, wishing with all my heart that the mess would magically disappear.

In the intervening years I never found a magic cure. But I got REALLY good at ignoring the mess.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

those pants better come with jet packs

I get a gold star for leaving the house today. Got the haircut, finally went inside H&M, browsed Shoe Pavilion and Nordstrom, picked up lunch and went home.

Every store I entered or walked past seemed to be having huge sales. I felt caught up in some kind of unholy shopping frenzy. Suddenly I NEEDED everything.

I tried on a pair of wool trousers and a white blouse at Nordstrom, but decided that I'd rather spend $250 on almost anything else. Like, say, groceries. Then I fondled a beautiful red leather purse, but for $150 it had better have a hard drive built into it. I ended up only buying a couple of small items I actually needed.

Hello, Paul Mitchell Tea Tree shampoo. I hear you are an invigorating cleanser!

Well-made clothes are just nice-to-have right now. Even if it would be so nice to have them.

The plan for the evening is fluid like the bottle of Oban we just bought. (Jer bought it so it doesn't count against the grocery budget.) I anticipate a viewing of the fine art film, "Baby Mama," and possibly some eating of pumpkin bread.

So ends Day 8.

Friday, November 07, 2008

I'll take it

I write entries in my head but then I forget them. They are brilliant and glittering and distinguished by unusual mental keenness and just for me. They would be for you too if you were telepathic.

Maybe you should get on that.

Another week, huh? Feels like the calendar pulled a fast one. But I'll take it.

I have a hair cut appointment tomorrow. I think I will say, "Can you cut it in a way that conveys authority? I want my hair to command respect."

Or maybe I just want authority over my hair. It tells me to do things.

That is a lie.

I am feeling exceptionally silly because it is Friday night and I survived another week of feeling out of my element. I did it. And now I get to spend time with that guy I married and those cats I feed everyday.

We just ate hamburgers at a dimly lit table overlooking the downtown Seattle skyline. The fries were seasoned and crispy and the burger was cheesy. A series of birds swam by, I think they were Canada Geese, and the city lights glittered in Elliott Bay. And that's how it was.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I will probably get kicked out

In Japanese class we had to fill in blank speech bubbles based on an exchange between characters in a drawing. A woman was trying to buy a camera -- the red one, no the blue one -- and the shopkeeper was accomodating.

I couldn't just say what was expected. Oh no.

First I suggested the shopkeeper hand her the camera and say, "Here (Dozo), baby." But no one would tell me how to say baby.

In the next frame the woman holds the red camera and looks confused, a blank speech bubble above her head. In the following frame she asks to see the black camera instead.

At first, we thought, maybe the red camera is too expensive?

"But wouldn't it be better," I postured, "if there was something *wrong* with the red camera?"

"Like what?" asked my unsuspecting partner.

"I know," I said. "Can anyone tell me how to say 'This camera smells like death'?"

We all agreed that no one would want to buy a camera that smelled like death. Not even if it was very very cheap.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Day 5 of NaBloPoMo (Not that I'm Counting)

I went back and reread my voting experience in 2004. Pretty much the same story, only this time there was a happy ending.

When I opened the door this morning I was greeted by a cheery Wall Street Journal, proclaiming President-Elect Obama. I won't lie to you; I teared up a little bit.

After watching the Kerry/Bush debates four years ago I wrote here, "I turned to BF at the mid-point and said, 'When Bush wins, can we riot in the streets? Set cars on fire? ... To paraphrase the immortal Limp Bizkit, I'll need to break shit.'"

Good to see I haven't changed. For the record, I did not riot, but I was very disappointed. I rioted on the inside.

Phew. So that's done. Let's talk about something else now.

I feel like I should write something with a plot and characters and dialogue. I dunno. Like a story with a lot of pages. And a cover. And words. Definitely words. For sure I'll need words.

If I went with pictures I wouldn't need as many words.

But I can't draw.

Then words it is!

(Welcome to my inner monologue.)

For lunch I went to McDonald's and ordered a Big Mac and I'm not sorry. I know it is not real food. Burgers aren't supposed to look like that, but it satisfies the fast food itch like nobody's business.

I wonder who nobody is and what business it is of his to care so much. He always seems to weigh in on issues such as this one.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Avoiding the news

Yes, I voted. I'm a permanent absentee voter and I dropped my ballot off at the King County Administration Building yesterday, slipped it right into the lock box out front. Jeremy and I sat on the couch Sunday, surrounded by printed materials, and an online voting guide from Planned Parenthood and weighed all of the options. We filled out our little ovals with dark ink and stayed mostly in the lines.

So there ya go.

After the last couple of elections I'm not as excited to see the result, but I did my duty. I exercised my privilege.

I left work early today and walked up to 2nd and Madison to catch the 37 bus. The wind was chilly as it whipped my hair around, so I stood behind the arches of the former Burke Building, remnants from 1895. Across the way, the sky reflected so brightly in the mirrored windows of a skyscraper that all I could think was "Electric Blue," which led to quietly humming Debbie Gibson's 80's hits "Out of the Blue" and "Electric Youth."

Skyscraper is a perfect word.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Success Reversed

Bad news. The TV fizzled to death again. Apparently it was only mildly impressed with our efforts to replace the fuse and lasted a day.

But oh, what a glorious day.

Hello laptop on the coffee table with mythtv installed, welcome back to my routine.

I was in meetings today from 10am to 5pm with a 45 minute break for lunch. I'm not saying this to brag -- because I'm sure you must be very jealous -- but because I am AMAZED that this is my life now. 6 weeks ago, this was not my life. I was content to sit in my little cubicle cave and surf the Internet. Sometimes I wrote things that were generally not read. Expectations were low. It's hard to disappoint anyone when they forget you're there half the time.

I went from being an afterthought on the CC line to being a direct recipient on the To line.

One of the skills I have not yet mastered is the ability to convince people my way is the right way. I spend a lot of time in my head coming up with the best solution and I sort of expect to show Them the result of all that thinking and hear Them say, "Ah yes, I see. There is no need to explain because this is CLEARLY the best possibility in all of the possible possibilities. And oh, take this fifty dollars; Awesome pays dividends."

The truth is that what comes out of my mouth is more like, "Here." And they say, "What?" And I say, "Look it." And they go, "Huh?" And then I get frustrated and yell, "So's your face!" And hide in the bathroom.

Okay I exaggerate, but debating is still not one of my better skills. I loathe justifying something that seems really really obvious. But hey, that just means I have something to write down for my 4th quarter goals, right? A weakness to highlight in a job interview? Hi, my name is Christy and you should take everything I say at face value and never question me. What a selling point!

Good grief. Is it only Monday?

Sunday, November 02, 2008


As mentioned previously, our TV has been kaput since September 21. Last night, while searching for local TV repairmen, we found a site that suggested the problem was a blown fuse. So we did what any good nerds would do: moved the TV to the floor and unscrewed the back.

It is, of course, dangerous to root around in the back of your TV and I wouldn't recommend it. But we exercised caution and lived to tell the tale.

The fuse is very small and located near the plug, after you get the back off it is on a large circuit board. It looked okay. The wire was intact -- no scorch marks -- but since fuses are about $6 for a pack of two, I decided to buy a replacement.

After a quick trip to Home Depot this morning, Jeremy inserted the new fuse, we replaced the back, and voila, the TV turned on. This was an exciting development and I hope the fuse doesn't blow again because that sucker is heavy.

Troubleshooting is most fun when it ends in success.

Also at Home Depot, I bought 4 more fluourescent tubes for the kitchen -- there are something like 10 in there altogether and now they're all functioning. It is bright as daylight, which causes me to constantly squint upon entry and highlights the dirty counters.

So now we have to clean the counters.


But hey, we fixed the television! How awesome is that?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Day 1

Morning started late. I wandered out to the living room to enjoy the view but was greeted by about 9 emergency vehicles flashing their lights and blocking traffic. Weekends don't usually bring more than scuba divers to the patch of water in front of our apartment, so this was a new development.

I checked West Seattle Blog later and found out there'd been a diver reported missing, then a rescue, then a trip to the hospital.

Jer woke up eventually and I made breakfast while he brewed coffee. We decided to replace the fluorescent tube lights in the kitchen, and were mostly successful. I spent the last half hour researching where we can recycle the tubes and came up with this list of disposal sites. Then I started wondering about where to take my rechargeable toothbrush -- they sure don't make that thing easy to dismantle -- and found the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation, which lists a number of locations.

The weather is drizzly and gray, just the way I like it. Happy Saturday.