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Saturday, November 30

Mmm... turkey sandwiches.

Friday, November 29

Stuffed with stuffing. And turkey. And pumpkin pie.

It was strange to have Thanksgiving without the whole family there last night. My younger brother moved to El Paso to live with my sister last month, and we missed them both from our celebrations. But the addition of friends to the table, and the excellent food, eased our lonely hearts.

And we got all the dishes done in half an hour!

I was sad to see at least three different accidents on the road yesterday as I drove down to be with the family, all involving SUVs that were either on their sides, or completely upside-down. There was another in which a pickup truck had plowed into the back of a semi. I'm not sure how that one happened, as it was on a relatively uncrowded stretch of freeway. And as I got to San Luis Obispo, I had to get off the freeway altogether and take an alternate route home, as the traffic came to a complete stop, which I could only imagine was the result of yet another accident.

How was your Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 28

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27

It would appear that the recession is hitting everyone pretty hard: the Salvation Army has already maxed out the number of families it can help this season (something that doesn't usually happen till just before Christmas), and they only have 2 bears to show as donation efforts so far.

In case you were thinking, "I'd love to give, but I don't have enough whatever-it-takes-for-me-to-feel-safe-giving-to-others", I was just at IKEA last night, and there were lots of stuffed animals and gifts for less than $10. It's worth a try anyway.

-- The Salvation Army, (415) 415-575-4849

-- San Francisco Food Bank, (415) 282-1900

-- Family Giving Tree, (408) 946-3111

-- Samaritan House, holiday coordinator, (650) 341-4081, Ext. 15

-- Second Harvest, (408) 266-8866


[Article via HelenJane]

And any bad-dayness I was experiencing earlier (no back-up from my co-workers, people calling me during my lunch to tell me they had sent me email *sigh*) is all turned around with the announcement that I can leave early today!!!

A co-worker just referred to this as a "fetal-position" day, and I heartily agree. I would very much like to go back to bed, please.

I've slipped into the unconscious trap: if I stay out enough, I don't have to unpack!

I really have to stay home tonight and at least clear a walking space through my living room.

Tuesday, November 26

Setup:

I drove to work yesterday, because I had an 8 p.m. appointment in Mountain View with my (now) old landlady. Generally, I leave work at 5 and it takes me roughly 2 hours to get there, whether I drive or take mass transit - what does that tell you? In any case, this would leave me one hour to take out all the trash and recycling, pack up the remaining "valuables," and wipe surfaces down, vacuum in the dark, and hand over the keys. That's if I got there in two hours.

The experience:

I can never find the 880 South offramp from 80 West. I have tried before and failed, why did I think it would work last night? I always end up on the toll plaza, wondering how the hell that happened. So, I got off at the last random stop before the point of no return, hoping against hope that if I drove around long enough under the freeways (it's called The Maze for a reason), I'd eventually find what I was looking for.

Contrary to everything you're probably thinking at this point, that is if you got this far in the first place, I did find the onramp I was looking for, after driving for only about 10 minutes. Naturally, I was in the wrong lane to make the turn, and had to travel another mile up the road to an increasingly deserted and bad-looking place to turn around.

So I pull up to the light, and sit there, waiting waiting waiting and studiously avoiding looking at any of the semis or beat-up cars gathered around me (can you imagine how innocent and victim-like I appear?), when I hear the door on the semi stopped way too close to my passenger side door slam shut. I turn to look, thinking that he's checking some wires, maybe the tread on his tires, or something equally innocuous, but no. No, he's standing there with his back to me at the spot where the cab joins with the trailer part in that stance that you just know means that he's taking a leak.

Nice.

The rest of the story is rather anticlimactic, although the look on his face as I pulled away was priceless, as he had just lost any semblance of cover he had. Later, I was stressed from a weekend of relocating and organizing people and stuff, I was frustrated at not being able to reschedule this meeting to a more convenient time, and now I was stuck in traffic with too little time to do what I needed to do. It took me an hour to reach the southern bit of Oakland, and another hour to get back to my (now) old apartment. Needless to say, I was feeling very put-upon and put-out and unhappy and frustrated and and and...

And I cried. And then I felt better.

Now it's all over and hopefully I will never have to find the 880 South offramp from 80 West again.

Despite the many examples I witness on a regular basis, I am still amazed at the generosity of the people around me. Wow.

Another trembler oh-so-early this morning, and another wake-up 30 seconds before it happened (although I slept right through the aftershock 10 minutes later). I'm glad no one called me to talk about it this morning. I had a hard enough time getting up in time for work.

Monday, November 25

Busy busy busy ... like a little bee.

Today's Word of the Day:

Indolent. 1. Lazy, lethargic, averse to exertion.

Well, I'm certainly feeling lazy and lethargic and averse to exertion. Not that I can act on it (or not act, as the case may be), but that's how it is.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: I have the best friends in the world.

I moved on Saturday, and I made a dumb mistake: I didn't arrange for a UHaul truck early enough. I'm not sure what early enough is, but I'm sure it's sometime preceeding the night before you'd like to move.

In any case, I happen to know 3 other people with trucks, and many others who sacrificed a Saturday to my cause, and I managed to get everything but the condiments in the fridge and my plants up in one day. It took two trips and I'm sure everyone else hurts as much as I do, from the lifting and the climbing required. If I ever move out of here, perhaps I will rig something up to lower everything out of one of the windows.

Thanks so much to Jish and Jessa and Apollo and Min Jung and RJ and Sarah and Kristy and most especially my mom and dad, who drove 200 miles to help me out, just to drive back that evening.

And thanks again to Jish and Jessa for helping me clean out my storage area yesterday, and Jessa for taking all my Goodwill crap.

Tonight I have to race back down to the South bay to clean out the rest of the fridge, throw out the trash, vacuum, wipe down the counters, and give the keys back to the landlady, who will not reschedule this meeting for a more reasonable time on Saturday.

New motto: Just because I own a truck, it doesn't mean I'll help you move. But I will anyway because I owe it to the universe.

Sunday, November 24

Anyone else awakened by the earthquake this morning?

I woke up about 30 seconds before, as I usually do, and then fell back asleep immediately. After all, I didn't hear anything fall over, there were no sirens ... what's to worry about? No, it was the call half an hour later to ask me if I'd felt it and so on that woke me up from my first night's sleep in my new place (thanks!).

I love the earthquake expert's comments later on on the news: We expect an earthquake of some magnitude to happen at some time on one of the faults in California.

Like we weren't perfectly aware of that already.

Saturday, November 23

Packing update: I am exhausted. Going to bed now. Will be up again in a few hours.

People keep asking if I'm excited to be moving (why?). All I feel at the moment is anxiety and that I want it to be over. Does that count as excitement?

Friday, November 22

Heh. Followed Maggie's link to see her new coat, and got a surprise fashion review of the color blue and coats/capes.
.... This cape is in great condition. I have modeled it for you but I'm sure you will look much more fashionable than I do in it, leaping about in my kitchen like a blueberry superhero. I'm 5'3" so that will give you a sense of the length. Blue is such a cool color too. The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. According to the science of color psychology, it causes the opposite reaction as red: Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. Blue represents good influences and mental, physical and spiritual health. A person wearing blue is at peace with themselves and the world. How can you go wrong with a colour like that? Wool coats and capes are TRES in vogue this season, with the hippie / hippy and eskimo look, and this is just the thing to complete your winter clothes hunt. If you haven't decided whether you want a jacket or coat, why not split the difference and get this swing-y cape! ... Sorry, tiki mug collection in background it not for sale : )

Not sure if this is related to the previous post, but today's lesson is that there is a limit to everything. And when you exceed that limit, you may lose everything.

This may be exciting to some. To others (like me!) it's a little dismaying.

Good morning. May I present myself as living proof that 5 hours of sleep is not enough.

Thursday, November 21

Ok. This has been the longest frickin' hour EVER. And it's only half over.

What does this bode for the rest of the day?

I tried to upload pictures from Ernie's birthday party this weekend, but dialup + big pictures = takes too long. So a few of them are up. Have fun trying to figure out which ones Dreamweaver managed to upload before I was late for work today ...

Oh, and the pictures are big, because I wanted to try that out. Sorry to others who also live in the world o' dialup.

Aaaand, I'll get the rest of the pictures uploaded tonight ... after a birthday dinner ... after a massage (everyone should get one of these) ... during my packing ... You know, in my copious spare time.

UPDATE: the pictures are up and the massage was great and lots has been packed and I'll have the pics from tonight's bday party up sometime really really soon.

Ha! Laundry thoughts. I could use a laundromat like any one of those suggested. Go on, read Laundry thoughts, part II while you're at it.

Wednesday, November 20

My car has been making me nervous lately, so I took half the day off today to take her to the mechanic.

Some of the comments that he made about her good condition made me inordinately proud, considering that my caretaking is indifferent at best. But her tires need rotating and balancing, and that damn differential is striking again, in the form of a leaky seal that needs to be replaced to the tune of $100-$200.

Ah well. You don't have a car for 10 years and 135,000 miles without needing a bit more maintenance than has been needed thus far.

In the meantime, the three boxes I dug out of my closet from the last move has grown to many many boxes (thank you soooo much Jane and Jessa!) that almost take up one whole wall with the stack I've made from packing last night and today. I hope there are no earthquakes, or all those boxes will make quite a mess. Good thing it's just books, cds, and kitchen stuff.

4 hours later ... how mundane is that? Someone just commented that half a day can be harder than a whole one, and I heartily agree. I'm exhausted. Although I did spend half a day packing and carrying boxes, which may have something to do with it.

Happy Hump Day.

Tuesday, November 19

Brave: Possessing or displaying courage; valiant.

Stupid: Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.

Which one do you apply to women who apply eye makeup (mascara and eyeliner in particular) on the BART, while the train is in motion?!?

"The only difference between bravery and stupidity is the outcome" - Anonymous

Monday, November 18

Saturday night. Lot's o' fun. I have more pictures, but since Jesse got his online first, I thought I'd steal this one for my collection.

For those of you who, like me, subscribe to both Cooking Light and Real Simple, when you update your account information with one of them online, the other is automatically updated. I knew they were affiliated somehow, since I keep getting promos from each one to try the other. If they're that connected, however, you'd think they'd already know that I am a subscriber to both, and they wouldn't waste the paper on the effort. *sigh* Such a long way to go.

I was a little out of touch this weekend, what with spending Saturday trying to get all the stuff done that you can't get done on Sundays or before 7 a.m. and after 6 p.m. on weekdays, and then being near a super-duper computer that had lost its internet connection most of the day Sunday.

Naturally, this also meant that I didn't get anything packed in anticipation of moving next Saturday. I think this means I'll be a little out of touch for the next week as well.

Nothing like outright panic to get my ass in gear.

Oh, and starting next year, parking at my bart station is going to cost $2/day. This means I'll either have to take a bus, walk, ride a bike, or more likely, I'll drive to the Daly City bart station instead.

And were you aware that the 2002 Chevy Blazer's gas mileage is 2 mpg less than it was in 1985?!?!?! That in 17 years, it has stepped backwards from 20 mpg to 18 mpg? Amazing. Truly, fucking amazing. [via TechReview]

Direct quote from the article:
"... with no mandate from Washinton or outcry from the public, the auto industry has little motivation to change."
Happy Monday.

Friday, November 15

Remember the bit aboot getting out of the US? Well, maybe a country that can come up with a commercial like this isn't so bad. [courtesy of Brad, and also available at AdCritic]

Someone just found my site by searching for a fool-proof chastity belt.

Um, I just ran out. Sorry.

Chat excerpt:

Her: I didn't think you could be that stupid and still remember to breathe.

Gift ideas [via Life Uncommon]

Gorgeous.

November 15, 2002

1) It's Friday.

2) It's payday

3) It's the first day I get to take leasership of my new apartment.

Why is today a good day for you?

Thursday, November 14

Mmmm .... suuuushiiiii.

Tired of the blind patriotism of the US? Tired of having someone alternately dubbed (unintential pun, I assure you) Shrub and The Monkey as the leader of your nation? Tired of watching one freedom after be another get taken away in the name of security?

Then why don't you get the hell out? (mirror site) [via Kevin]

I always thought the statement "so-and-so laughes too much" was more of a compliment than a criticism. I've been proven wrong.

Right up there with asking women with generous proportions when they're due, asking someone who's not white where they came from is dumb.

Ignorance: it's the silent killer.

Wednesday, November 13

Flu shots.

How do you feel about them? I've never had one and I've never missed it. But I know other people have them, and they're offering them here at work in a few days, and I'm wondering if they really work, or is it just an unnecessary bit of unpleasantness followed by a cold?

How could the man who wrote a masterpiece like Trinity follow it up with a piece of crap like Redemption? Maybe he felt his masterpiece needed a companion crapperpiece?

Ok, that was dumb, but if it wasn't for the fact that this has become my commuting book (for reasons purely physical), I would have thrown it out long ago. I need to find a library in my soon-to-be-new town and find some commuting-friendly pieces of literature.

Tuesday, November 12

SXSW blog is back! Are you going? (note: you need to sign up in order to contribute and say whether you're going or not)

I don't eat from boredom. I don't eat from low self-esteem. No, I eat from frustration.

I'm really frustrated right now. Yay for chocolate chip cookies.

True entertainment is putting a big black fly, a big screen tv, a black and white movie, and a director who liked to get lots of closeups in a room together to see what happens.

Monday, November 11

Drawbacks to getting dressed at 5:30 a.m.:

1) if your clothes don't fit very well, you are much less likely to notice at that hour due to your sleepiness and/or the poor lighting and/or rushing (or in some cases, all three).
2) The weather at 5:30 a.m. is hardly a reliable indicator of conditions later in the day, so you have only a 20% chance of wearing appropriate clothing, even if it does fit.

Example: Today I'm wearing a pair of pants that really don't fit very well, and a sweater that's way too warm.

My mom was calling to her dog last night and thought of me. I know it sounds strange, but that made me smile.

Enough residents think the libraries are either too expensive, unnecessary or a violation of their basic rights that supporters of the library district are clearly worried.
Stevens County tax revolt targets libraries
Violates their basic rights? WTF?!? Libraries are generally considered a cornerstone to a free society, ensuring that everyone has free and equal access to information and education. Our tax dollars get handled in many ways that we have no control over, by much less qualified people than those who make decisions about books. Go after them, and leave the libraries to the people who use them. [link via Harrumph's comments]

Happy Monday!

My latest Mirror Project submission, Silly Hats.

Sunday, November 10

I was supposed to get Watcher in the Woods for Halloween, but it didn't work out that way, so I watched it tonight. I need to read something funny or lighthearted now, before I go to bed. I also need to have someone around to watch these with me next time.

I have a policy against watching horror flicks, but there are a few I like, such as Lady in White, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and this one. Funny enough, they're all made by Disney, but they're scary enough for me. And I think they'd be scary enough for you too, if you gave it a chance.

A nice way to end a day spent grocery shopping and baking. I made pancakes for lunch (missed breakfast because I had to go out for eggs. A farmer's market, CostCo and a supermarket and $50 later ....), chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies, and my mother's macaroni and cheese from scratch ... my apartment smells really good.

Boycott Nestle. I'm fully behind this, in principle, at least. Hard to do when they're so ubiquitous. At least in my life they are. I just invested in a 5 lb bag of chocolate chips in preparation for the holiday baking season. But I'll keep trying.

Saturday, November 9

I just finished watching The Incredible Adventures of Wallace & Gromit , and now I understand so many more cultural references, like this one.

You know it's good when it has you laughing out loud when you're by yourself.

I can't tell you how great it is to have a friend you can not-see for 11 months, and when you do finally sit down over coffee cake and scrambled eggs, it's like you were never apart.

Friday, November 8

Gosh, put a few little red leaves in your ficus plant, and people are accusing you of being all Martha Stewart and shit.

I have never had someone tell me I was Martha Stewart-like. I'm not sure it's good to start now.

Given that last post, here's a good thought for a rainy Friday when nothing seems to be going right:
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
-Viktor Frankl, author, neurologist and psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor (1905-1997)

How can the day be so bad so early in the morning??

Thursday, November 7

"I can't even imagine what must be happening... to computers... when you, like, type weird shit. You know, wrong shit, and it's trying to figure it out. It must just be anarchy inside."
--a guy in the CS lab
[Courtesy of In Passing]

One way to get past spam filters: Assured Ge-n er-ic Vi-a-gra .

Bastards.

So I too woke up last night with a racing heart, but I guess that's what happens when you're about to kiss someone who is alternately Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford. Hey, it was a dream. It can happen!

It was also nice to wake up to the rain. I kinda wish it wasn't at 2:30 a.m., but there are things it's perhaps better not to be able to choose.

Wednesday, November 6

It's a sad evening when you realize that the common element in any of 5 lanes of slow traffic is you.

Other cause for sorrow: coming home to find that the only ready-made dinner option you have is ice cream.

Ok, that last part wasn't so sad, but I would have liked to have had a real dinner before indulging tonight. Poor me.

Click for Cans. Sound too good to be true? Apparently, it's not. Go ahead and click away (even if you don't like football).

I was extremely dismayed to hear that new cars are headed in reverse on fuel usage. All in a tizzy about that, I decided to get some information on hybrid cars and discovered a side-by-side comparison of the three big ones: the Honda Civic Hybrid, the Honda Insight, and the Toyota Prius.

Not being entirely altruistic, aesthetics are still a priority to me, as well as the ability to carry stuff (why have a trunk if you can't carry anything in it?). I was pleased to find that they are all about the same price (although three times as expensive as my truck when I bought it brand new in 1992). In any case, I'm leaning towards the Civic. It's cute, it looks normal (something the other two are severely lacking in) and it can get up to 60 miles per gallon. Yippee.

Not that I'm buying a new car anytime soon. No way, Jose. In the midst of car repairs, moving, and *gasp* Christmas coming up, there's simply no money around, much less any left for car payments. At least I know what I can dream about having, though. And that's comforting.

[News link via Jay]

I discovered the pineapple guava fruit today. Yum.

As for the note in the linked site that the tree only produces fruit in a greenhouse conditions, I am told that the one I tried was brought in by a co-worker, who got it from a friend of a friend's neighbor's tree ... got that? ... the branches of which were hanging their fruit over the fence between their yards.

Tuesday, November 5

Like the world needs another kitten flash animation thingy, but this is just too damn funny. [via BlueShoeDiaries]

The Sexiest Sentence Alive. [via Enigmatic Mermaid]

The runners-up are also worth reading.

Recently heard: "It's a good thing God gave us two orifices through which to breathe."

Get your mind out of the gutter. We were talking about colds and sinus congestion.

This morning brought another one of those times when it's a really good thing that I stared at a particular email for a day and a half trying to figure out what the author was trying to say, since I started out thinking one thing, and it turns out he was saying something completely different. Embarrassment would not have conveyed the shame of responding to what I thought he was trying to say. Whew! Close call.

I'll blame it on cultural differences.

Monday, November 4

Having fun with the Product Management Department, by Dinah:
Wow. PMDland! All the kids want to go ride the fun rides in PMDland (except the Internationalization Rollercoaster which is too scary for the little ones). My favorite is the Whirling Web Proxy Management Teacups.

And remember, communism was just a red herring.

Unsalted peanuts are no fun.

Saturday, November 2

Two things:
When I tell people where I will be living, I mention being close to Seton Medical Center. Without fail, every one of them has said, "Oh, close to Krispy Kreme and In-N-Out?" Every. Single. Time.

My parents forgot to change the clock in the bedroom I use when I come Home. Imagine my surprise, after being up for an hour, at finding out it was only 7:30 in the morning. I guess I didn't get to sleep in as much as I'd thought.

Friday, November 1

Given that I turned in my notice to my current landlord today, it is extremely heartening to have just received a call from my future landlord telling me that I have the apartment!

Stress is being new to a job, doing a new task that involves customer interaction, and having everyone within a two cube radius take off for lunch.

Argh.

Putting a brown cupcake liner on a bran muffin is just evil. Especially when the browns match perfectly. I don't need that much fiber.

Yesterday I discovered what an ill-advised cup of tea at 9 p.m., combined with a bladder that has not yet adjusted to the time change, can do to a body. Yesterday was Sleepy Day.

Today, I found great relief in the fact that, although I thought I was running terribly late, my boss got on the same bus to work that I did. Also, I turned in my 30-days notice to my landlords. There's no turning back now, folks.

Tomorrow, I expect to discover the joy a new stereo and properly-wired speakers can bring to one who drives a hell of a lot.

And the day after that, my friend comes home.

Happy Friday!!