Archive for November, 2003


Sunday, November 30th, 2003

Just noticed the date was off on my last few posts. My boss’ boss’ home computer is set four days ahead for some reason. Weird. I think I fixed all my recent entries — sorry if it caused any inconvenience for anyone.


Sunday, November 30th, 2003

Started yesterday with a sore throat, culminated in a stuffed-up head last night, now completely miserable. Took Nyquil before bed, Dayquil when I woke up and just now again. Still feeling awful. Bleah.

But we had guests over last night, which was nice. Songwriting friends. They were very good and lively conversationalists, which seems increasingly rare.

Anyway, I guess I’ll spend the day watching movies or something, see if I can get over this bug, whatever it is, before tomorrow. No way out of work tomorrow, or for the next few weeks for that matter. 12/31 is looming menacingly on the horizon. I have some choice words for the genius who thought that would be a sensible day to launch an Alpha test of a product. Sheesh.

I’m being censored. It’s really weird.

Thursday, November 27th, 2003

I’m posting from my boss’ boss’ house, where I’m housesitting and dogsitting, and she obviously has a “net nanny”-type filter set up on this computer. I’ve never used a computer that had that running before, at least not to my knowledge, but I know this one does because I can’t get to any of the links in the -related feeds. When I try to access the word % - - - - - - - ” is invisible (had to put the hyphens in there so it doesn’t remove the word from my posting) as if it doesn’t even appear on the page. I tried to access - - - - and it redirected me to the National Wildlife Organization or whatever. (Interestingly, the filter leaves the word % ” but doesn’t like % - - - - “)

I’m so weirded out by this. I know it’s common, but I’ve never personally experienced it before.

Musing about discipline

Thursday, November 27th, 2003

Musing about discipline this morning. I’ve always thought of myself as lacking in discipline in many areas, yet this morning I realized I’ve become more disciplined about nearly every facet of my life. I’ve developed more discipline about how I manage my money, about how hard I work, about the kinds of food I eat, about the level of fitness I’m able to achieve, and so on. Some of those things were already somewhat in place, but the past few years of hardship seem to have cemented my discipline across the board — especially where work and money are concerned. So if those areas of discipline are in place mostly out of a fear-based reaction to hardship, well, is that what discipline is? Aren’t there people who are just born with an ability to work hard, delay gratification, put their heads down, and/or just do whatever it takes to get a thing done? How do they do it? And the rest of us who learn discipline as we grow, are we all reacting to some insight of what lack of discipline in any given area could bring? Is discipline for us generally linked with fear?



Wednesday, November 26th, 2003

Oh! Almost forgot.

My coworker called after he left the office to tell me that one of the units in the duplex across the street from his house is going to be available for rent soon. For less than what we pay now. In a very cool part of town.

My fingers are crossed, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up.


Wednesday, November 26th, 2003

and I went to the place where the LiveJournal meetup was supposed to be tonight and didn’t see anyone. We stayed for a little while, then came home and packed to go housesit and dogsit at my boss’ boss’ house.

Got over there around 9:30 pm and discovered that she left the wrong key for us. We tried it in the front door and the back door; we looked at the garage to see if it fit there; we tried to think of everything. No dice.

So I called her cell phone and left a message — she’s probably still en route to Florida — and now we’re back home waiting to hear from her.

Poor dogs are probably crossing their legs, whining to be let outside.

And there’s the small matter that I’ve been up since 5 am and I’d really like to go to sleep. Anytime now. Please?


Monday, November 24th, 2003

It’s 9:30, and it’s just now 33 degrees. I ran from just before 6 until around 6:30 when I couldn’t take the cold and wind anymore.

If I wanted weather like this I could have stayed in Chicago.

I had no idea…

Sunday, November 23rd, 2003

Garry Trudeau had chosen “Gröpenfuhrer” as his nickname for Arnold, and a big hand as the symbol. This is my first time seeing him referenced in a Doonesbury strip.

That’s just, wow. I was stunned. Still am, I guess.

Random countdown & countup

Sunday, November 23rd, 2003

Milestones upcoming and past. This helps me stay aware of what a given period of time feels like.

  • Just under a month until I see my dad, maybe for the last time.
  • One month exactly until I turn 30.
  • Two months (when the music executives are all back in their offices after the holidays) until we can really get back to trying to pitch our songs.
  • Three months, maybe four, until I can pay off the heaviest credit card I now carry.
  • Four months until the system I work on is widely released.
  • Five months until the Country Music Marathon.
  • Two years until I pay off my credit cards under the new, more aggressive payment plan.
  • Two years and four months until we can buy a house.
  • Two years and eight months since we left California.
  • Almost two years since I stopped dating other people.
  • A year and ten months since we left Portland.
  • Nine months since we came to Nashville.

Weird dreams.

Sunday, November 23rd, 2003

In the first one, I was just out of high school and dating this guy Todd, who was supposed to be still in high school, but who in reality was my next-door neighbor until my family moved when I was in high school, and although we did date eventually, it wasn’t until two summers after we graduated. And although he was a year behind me, in the dream he was the same age and grade as I was. Anyway, I stood there with him alone in this classroom as he installed a compact fluorescent light bulb above the teacher’s desk; it was meant to be a practical joke. When the teacher arrived, he was visibly upset, but he took the opportunity to make a learning experience out of it, and taught Todd how to install it at a better angle, or something. I don’t remember the details, but I remember being impressed.

And then in the second one, I still had this teacher theme going — in fact, it seems to have been just an extension of the first one. I was telling Michele, who was our real-life real estate agent in Portland and who incidentally is bisexual, but who in this dream apparently was a teacher, about the first dream. Can’t remember if I was aware it was a dream or not. Anyway, she proposed that she and I and her husband have sex together sometime. (Isn’t that what you do when someone tells you about a non-erotic dream of which you’re not a part?) I told her that it’s not within the agreed-upon boundaries of my relationship at present, but thanks for asking. And guess who her husband turned out to be? None other than the ubiquitous joedecker. My, but you do get around, Mr. Decker. ;-)

Palmistry, anyone?

Friday, November 21st, 2003

Borrowed from wispfox, the original link is here.

You have a good imagination, and often exhibit sensitivity to others.

You have so many interests that you may have trouble deciding which ones to pursue.

You are a warm hearted person, with much love to give. You probably like children, and exhibit many playful characteristics. Sometimes you feel jealous, and must avoid becoming overly possessive in your relationships.

Sometimes you feel jealous, and must avoid becoming overly possessive in your relationships. [Ed. note: They even said it twice. Weird.]

There may be times in your life when you give in to feelings of sadness or depression. [Ed. note: This certainly isn’t true as a rule, but if it’s a prediction, I guess we’ll see.

You are likely to make decisions based on intuition or feelings rather than intellect.

Although you have ambition, you do not always exert the energy necessary to be successful.

You have a basically strong constitution, and should enjoy good health most of the time.

A major illness or setback is predicted near mid-life. You have the ability to recover from this.

There is a strong intuitive side to your nature, which may border on psychic or mystical ability.

Paid for by hard work

Friday, November 21st, 2003

My coworker K is having major remodeling done to his house. I’m trying to pay down my debts. We’re both contractors working on a project with unrealistic deadlines, and we have been given the freedom to bill as many hours as we need to in order to “get it done.”

We’re a little punchy from being overworked, but we’re also making frequent jokes about how he should put signs up throughout his house that say things like “this high-end showerhead brought to you by the Human Resources portion of the intranet content migration.”

I rock!

Thursday, November 20th, 2003

Just got back from meeting with the department that is publishing their content during the pre-Alpha ramp-up period, i.e., now. It was terrifying starting out because all they wanted to tell me was how painful a process it had been for them so far and why none of my tools I’d designed to help them were working.

I walked them through what they could do differently, showed them the publishing and site administration features of the new portal, and I dare say by the time I walked out of there, they were looking forward to getting back to their content migration.

I so totally rock.


Thursday, November 20th, 2003

Skipped my run again this morning. (I didn’t run yesterday morning either.) Yesterday, I skipped because my knees felt like they could use a break. This morning, I skipped because my back is really hurting. I think part of it is due to my period, but I’m aware that I may be overtraining.

I’ve read and heard over and over that runners injure themselves when they freak about skipping a day, worried that they’ll lose fitness. And I definitely know what that feels like: I’m definitely fighting back the sensation that I’ll lose ground in my training by skipping a few days. But I also know that they say you don’t lose any fitness for a week or two, and if you’re injured, you need to rest. So I’m trying to be smart about it.

But I better be able to get out there tomorrow. I always look forward to my Friday morning run.


Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

(Obviously, I’m not working as hard as I should be. So shoot me.)

I just found this tip on the Country Music Marathon web site:

Weigh In Daily
Step out of bed every morning and onto the scale. If you’re anywhere from 1% to 3% lighter than yesterday, re-hydrate by drinking 8 ounces of fluid for each pound lost before training again. Between 3% and 6% lighter, re-hydrate and back off that day’s training intensity. Over 7%, get to the doctor.

So that day when I was 5 pounds lighter than the day before (which is about a 3.5% loss for my weight), it probably was just water weight loss from dehydration. I’m sure I was drinking a lot of water the day before, but it must not have been enough. Good to know for future reference.


Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

I’m working late, and my boss gave me permission to order some food and expense it. So I got some Chinese delivery and invited Karsten to bring his portable keyboard and stuff and come have some food too, as he sometimes does when I stay late at the office.

So anyway, I just ate two platefuls of greasy, delicious broccoli with spicy garlic sauce, and I mean it really was good, but I feel gross! I can’t remember the last time I ate that much grease in one sitting. Yeesh.

But did I mention how good it was?

OK. Back to work. (But bleah! But mmm!)


Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

This just in: severe thunderstorm warning for Davidson County. No duh. I can hear it loud and clear at my desk.

The warning says to stay away from outside walls and windows. I sit facing away from a wall of windows. Heh. Maybe since I’m not looking at them, they’re not really there.

Sometimes it’s not about what’s logical

Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

I’m supposed to be working on a proposal that will go before the Governance committee to get them to determine what the access cutoff date on the legacy system will be once we replace it with the new system. The basis of the proposal is how overallocated the portal team is — specifically the business analysts (of which I am one) — and how we simply won’t be able to accomplish the insane arbitrary deadline that’s been set (March 26, 2004).

It should be motivating, because I’m writing something that could save me a lot of frustration. But for some reason, it’s just demoralizing. I feel put upon having to spend time writing up detailed analysis of something anyone with half a brain could understand if I explained it for five minutes.

And the whole point of the proposal is that I have too much to do. So I find it absurd, in that inimitable corporate way, to spend so much time on something that has nothing to do with building the new system. Just sayin’.

Ooh! Nice.

Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

These are some lovely pictures of Nashville. Check these out:

  • The Parthenon. I run around this every morning. Here’s another picture from the other end, and one from the side. And here’s the Athena statue inside of the Parthenon, although I can’t see that when I run. :-)
  • Also part of my morning run path is the lake in Centennial Park. You can see building 2 of the HCA campus in the background. I work in building 1, which would be in the picture’s right side, but is hidden by trees. You can also see the running path all the way on the right of the picture alongside the lake. I love it!

And now that I’m on this kick, I went to Mapquest and pulled up this map of my park, and this aerial photo. Cool huh?

I don’t want to jinx it, but…

Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

My relationship with money seems to be moving into a growth phase. :-)

I billed 66.75 hours last week, and it looks like this week will be in excess of 60 hours as well. That’ll make a nice, plump overtime paycheck next month.

And the sale of went through this morning, so that’s some extra dough in my checking account. Actually, it’ll go right toward paying off the heaviest credit card.

Which, speaking of, I now believe will easily be paid off by the end of March ‘04.

And there’s little things, too, like a $25 credit on the phone bill just for renewing our contract. And $80 to housesit and dog-sit for my boss’ boss over Thanksgiving.

It’s all adding up, and I’m really starting to see the light at the end of this tunnel. I feel like I’m starting to be able to breathe more deeply. Is it possible I’ve been living with low-level anxiety for the past few years and have just gotten used to it? That’s what it feels like. Because even though things are still pretty rough in some ways (work is hard and I’m worried about my dad, for example), the money issue has been pretty overwhelming for a long time. And it’s really starting to look a whole lot better.

We’ve got to stick with the extremely frugal lifestyle, of course, and that’s not always easy, but knowing that we’re getting somewhere because of it certainly helps.

So, can I just? Well, here: *long, deep inhale* *hold it* *slow, satisfying exhale*

There. That feels much better.

Seemingly random musing which is actually driven by real-world happenings

Tuesday, November 18th, 2003

I would much rather succeed because I’m generous and kind than because I’m ruthless, and if I’m going to have to fail, I want it to be for the same reasons.

I choose cooperation over competition, forgiveness over justice.

Can anyone tell me how “The Ladykillers” ends?

Monday, November 17th, 2003

Updated: Never mind! I found this and learned the ending myself. :-)

We checked out a DVD of “The Ladykillers” from the library yesterday and were really enjoying it — and it stopped playing during the climax. Aaaah!

Can someone tell me how it ends?

Of course, this means there may be spoilers in my comments, so DON’T READ MY COMMENTS ON THIS TOPIC IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW HOW “THE LADYKILLERS” ENDS! I’m just sayin’.


We got as far as where the Peter Sellers character has drawn the short match and is standing in front of the doorway to the sitting room with his tie in his hands as if he’s going to strangle her.

But that’s where the DVD stopped, and no amount of cajoling or restarting would make it play.

How does it end?

Chocolate chocolate chocolate…

Monday, November 17th, 2003

Why am I craving chocolate so much? I mean, it’s crazy! I just finished eating a bowl of the sweet potato soup I made yesterday, and right away I’m jonesing hard for chocolate. I might just have a good enough excuse to walk over to the drug store on the other side of the park and buy some, because I’m thinking I’d like to get some ice packs to keep in the freezer here anyway. (My knees often feel like they could use ice when I finish my run in the morning.) There’s a snack shop here in my building, too, but at least if I walk to the other side of the park I can feel like I’ve sorta balanced out the calories. ;-)
Of course, I’m wearing teeter-y high heel boots, so perhaps walking across the park when my knees are already feeling stressed would be ill-advised.

Right. Snack shop it is, I’m afraid.


Sunday, November 16th, 2003

I did a whole mess of grocery shopping before lunch. Ate lunch, prepped veggies, and concocted three different soups:

  • a brothy veggie-bean soup with TVP and Old Bay Seasoning, so it has a somewhat seafood-y quality about it
  • split pea soup with carrots and imitation beef flavoring
  • sweet potato and carrot soup with peanuts and black beans, blended until not quite smooth

I’m excited! This means I can eat soup for lunch for the rest of the week and still have leftovers in the freezer. Yay!

“Without Limits”

Sunday, November 16th, 2003

We watched “Without Limits” about Steve Prefontaine last night, and I found it very moving. It was not a particularly well-made movie — the flaws in direction alone were enough to be distracting — but his story is so compelling that it towers over inferior filmmaking.

And one thing that struck me was just how far the sport of running has come in the past few decades. And yet how much it’s the same as it ever was. Technology is interesting that way.