Archive for October, 2003

Change of plans

Friday, October 31st, 2003

Karsten and I huddled and decided to skip the bar and the street party. We’re going to have a private pizza-and-movie party instead, possibly with alcoholic beverages purchased for far less money than would be required in a bar. After further evaluation, we both decided that said bar was seeming less and less like a place where we’d actually have a fun Halloween, and if we weren’t particularly going to be having fun, we’d rather be home with a pizza and a movie.

If you can follow that logic.

Shaktiqueen made me do it.

Friday, October 31st, 2003

Oh, and I just had to use this orange-y user icon. It’s the most Halloweeny one I have.

1. What are you wearing right this minute?

Baggy orange sweater, long baggy black skirt, tall fitted black boots. Very Halloweeny.

2. What are you doing tonight?

Going to see some friends play and maybe out to a street party, but it’s $15 per person and I doubt it’ll be worth it.

3. What is your costume?

Naughty school girl: white button-down shirt unbuttoned enough to reveal a purple push-up bra, and tied at the waist; black-and-white plaid pleated skirt; and either barely-there strappy red heels (which look hot, if a bit sophisticated for a school girl) or white thigh-hi stockings and shoes to be determined. I can’t decide. Oh, and pigtails, of course.

(Yeah, I know, Bay Area bifolk have seen this outfit before. So sue me. I’m in a different part of the country — I can recycle my costumes. :-) )

4. When did you stop Trick or Treating?

I don’t remember for sure. I know I was still doing it in college, but we were starting to get nasty looks from people. Still got candy though.

5. Do you or have you ever believed in the Great Pumpkin?

What’s not to believe in?

I’m not a religious or even a spiritual person…

Friday, October 31st, 2003

but this email from my sister choked me up.

I hope this e-mail finds all well and enjoying life!! Dad is to complete his radiation next week. So far he has done very well. No horrible effects, other than skin irritations and exhaustion. His spirits are good and he is trying to look at this as an attack on the cancer that he has to assist with strength and endurance.
Last night he and my mom went to a book signing of Bishop Jake’s book. My mom asked for a personalized signing for my dad and told the Bishop that he was battling cancer and she wanted to give him positive reinforcement, but a personalized book signing was denied by the Bishop’s assistant. My mom went over to my dad who was sitting in a chair off to the side and gave him the book and was talking to him when the Bishop stopped signing and came over to meet my dad. He introduced himself and offered his best wishes. A lady standing nearby asked if he would pray for my father. He put his hands on my father and began to pray. The bookstore was mobbed with people and immediately they all began to pray for my dad. My mom said it was the most moving experience she had participated in. After that my mom met another author that was at the bookstore - the author of “True Vines”. She asked if he would personally sign his book for my father. He was very eager to and also came over to my father and prayed with him. They called us last night so uplifted and excited. I asked if dad was trying to get my mom to treat him special since he seemed to be blessed. She said he was trying to milk the moment.
We will hope for some good news after the treatment is finished and the tests begin again.
I hope all is well with you and your family. You are in our prayers!
peace, love, and prayers to you from us!
[sister's name]

klwalton! A propos of our recent discussion…

Friday, October 31st, 2003

Metro Madden mad
By Craig Boerner,
October 31, 2003

More than 500 football video game junkies, ages 13 and up, are loosening up their fingers and thumbs to take the Madden Challenge 9 a.m. Saturday at Opry Mills Shopping Center.

More here

Happy Halloween, and Happy Birthday to therealjae!

Friday, October 31st, 2003

*hugs* and *kisses* to Ms. J. I’m glad I got to see you so close to your birthday!

Halloween. Hmm. I’m wearing an orange sweater and long black skirt, but no costume to work. I didn’t think the naughty school girl look would be considered professional. ;-)

I think I dodged a bullet at work. Yesterday I was worried about losing my job, but now I’m thinking I’m safe. We’ll see. Today should prove interesting. Well, up until this afternoon. I have to attend a class at work called “Communicating and Listening.” *yawn* It’s required for all the employees in my department. As if we really have four hours to spare.

And then I’m out for the evening! Two singer-songwriter friends of ours are performing in a round tonight, dressed up as each other and playing each other’s songs. Should be amusing. And there will be me in my school girl getup and in his country-western hockey player garb. Yeah, it’ll be an interesting evening. ;-)

Rambling essay-type-thing

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

I scribbled out a little essay-type-thing while I was waiting in the airport in Charlottesville. It’s not elegantly written, but I can’t bring myself to revise it. It’s just first-draft raw writing, and that feels somehow right.

I am in a tiny airport on the East Coast of the United States, and I am reminded of my father. The man to my right, whom I can only see from the back, is graying and dressed like a veteran businessman on a casual day — in other words, not very casually. He is regaling the man to his right with stories of engineering errors — miscalculations in the design of aircraft — not the sort of chit-chat most travellers would find entertaining before boarding a plane. But this man clearly enjoys the absurdity and darkness of telling these stories in this circumstance.

And that reminds me of my father.

“Sadistic,” my mother always shakes her head and says. “Your father has a sadistic sense of humor.” And it’s true, he laughs at movie pratfalls, situation comedies that pit a hapless character against insurmountable odds — and then make him suffer every imaginable cruelty before allowing him, inevitably, to triumph in the end. My dad loves this style of humor.

But I think part of what he loves is the security of knowing that the good guy -will- triumph in the end, against all odds. He can guiltlessly enjoy laughing at the misery in between.

So it shouldn’t have been surprising that during these dark hours of my dad’s battle against cancer, he is still able to laugh and joke about his hallucinations, about his kidney failure, about all the details of his suffering. Nor should it have been surprising that, until recently, he expected to triumph in the end, against all odds.

It broke my heart the first time I heard him acknowledge that there was no guaranteed victory here. “I don’t think this is going to be a short-term thing,” he said miserably.

How do you watch someone make that transition without losing your will to laugh? How can anything be lighthearted anymore when death is leaning on the doorway, coolly having a smoke before coming in to claim his due?

You find a way. You find a way because life is short, death is certain, and in between, humor keeps us sane.

Here in this tiny airport, the businessman to my right has just made a joke about the plane we’re about to board. It’s dark humor, to be sure. But you have to laugh. Don’t you?

Why is it I’m not independently wealthy yet so I can forget about this whole job thing?

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

Ugh. Things at work took a turn for the ugly this morning.

The search developer came to me with a question about the license for the search software. Somehow, we managed not to license three components that are absolutely vital to the project as we’ve designed it. Between staff turnover and vendor slipperiness, it’s really no wonder that we lost sight of this, but it’s extremely bad timing: our manager just spent the remaining budget on extra server hardware and we’re fresh out of capital.

So now we have to find a creative solution to either getting the vendor to upgrade our license for free or making the licensed product work as closely as possible to how we’ve designed the system. Neither of which will be easy, I can assure you.

I just hope my head doesn’t roll. It’s a nice head. I like it just where it is.

I love this.

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

From the AP - Long before his days as billionaire premier, Silvio Berlusconi used to croon on a cruise ship. Now, Italy’s leader is coming out with an album of love songs.

My favorite part is the lyrical excerpt:

“One verse penned by the premier goes: ‘With my heart in my mouth/Because your love is everything to me/I know you may make me suffer/But I’ll never let you go/Even if I have to fight/I will love you until the end.’ ”

Gee, he should write boy band songs.

I’m a wreck!

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

Running in Charlottesville this weekend did me in, I think — all those hills.

Of course, one of my locker room buddies teased me with “Well, if you’ll ever leave the park, you’ll find that Nashville is a hilly place too.”

I have left the park, thank you very much — I ran up and down hilly Music Row, and it was tough on my knees. I don’t think I’m ready for intensive hillwork yet.

So anyway, yesterday morning, it felt like I was running through water. And this morning, I felt like a limp rag doll, even though I was taking it very easy on my first mile. Finally had to give up and go inside. Quite frustrating.

I’m hoping my muscles will be fully recovered by tomorrow morning and I can put in at least four miles, maybe five.

And running isn’t the only thing affected by my trip to C’ville — I can’t seem to focus on work since I’ve been back. Could’t have anything to do with signing back up on LiveJournal, could it?

Protected: Can you tell when you’re having a nervous breakdown?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

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I’m such a good little wife

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

I left the office at lunch to work from home the rest of the day, and while we were eating lunch, Karsten mentioned that he had a craving for sweet corn muffins. So I made them. Vegan ones. They were not very sweet, though, so maybe I’m not such an ideal wife, unless it really is the thought that counts.

Hokey Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

Last week, our friend Lair invited us to a Halloween party. Yesterday he told us he’d canceled it and that he’d be playing a writers’ round that night, and that everyone would be in costume anyway. Good thing, too, since already got his costume together and I’d hate to see it go to waste. He’s going as a “country & western hockey player.” Hey, absurd is his middle name. Well, actually, it’s Ocelot, but it should have been Absurd.

Me, I’m going as a naughty school girl. Yeah, I know, it’s so Britney and so done, but according to my sources, these kinds of things are still shocking in Nashville and I can’t resist something with that kind of shock value.

One more test of the email gateway…

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

to see if the minimum security setting (friends only, don’tcha know) took hold. Thanks to computerchix for pointing out the option (and to semperfiona for setting the precedent). Here’s hoping it works!

It appears that the email gateway works, but…

Tuesday, October 28th, 2003

I don’t see where you can set the audience for the posting. So for public posts, this is a dandy idea. Which may still be pretty helpful.

Testing out the email gateway

Tuesday, October 28th, 2003

Because this is a seriously cool feature and well worth the $5 I just handed over if it actually works.

Plans for the weekend already

Tuesday, October 28th, 2003

My boss’ boss just asked if and I could house-sit for her this weekend. Um, yeah? She lives in Belle Meade, which is the toniest section of Nashville, in a gi-normous house with an unbelievable master bedroom and bathroom suite. Including a jacuzzi.

The catch? She has two incredibly hyper, needy dogs that we have to walk every few hours. But that’s not such a big catch, really. The walking is fine, of course, and the dogs settle down eventually. Sort of.

And she said she just bought a case of wine and the freezer is stocked with food. Looks like a little party for me and my love. :-)

Protected: Piccies from the mini-boink…

Tuesday, October 28th, 2003

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I’m back!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2003

On an experimental basis, at least. The Charlottesville mini-boink made me all nostalgic for LJ, so I’m going to try it again. Maybe with the right Palm or Windows client I can make it fit into my workday.

I also managed to convince Karsten (alias ) to try it, though I think he’s still sniffing it suspiciously.