Saturday, January 31, 2004

Progress sucks.

I left my computer to defrag its hard drives at 11pm while I went to watch Stargate SG-1. Then The Outer Limits was on, so I stayed downstairs to watch that, too. Now it's 1pm, and I've returned to my computer to find only 20% of the C Drive defragmented, and the D Drive untouched. And it's not even like I can watch it, either. That's what was so great about my Gateway Pentium 120: defragging the hard drive took maybe an hour, and you could watch all those packets of data get shuffled around, like a mesmerizing screensaver. I understand that a 25Gb hard drive will take longer to defrag than a 1Gb drive, but the Celeron processor is faster, too, and I would certainly expect it to defrag in less than ten hours. And with Windows XP, I don't even get the nice display; just a couple of stripey bars that are not any fun to watch.

Scott, I concur wholeheartedly. Remind me to look at that deck and see if it's not marked.

"Beware a scheming Joe, a beastly creature who will not hesitate to engage in deception when it will further his long-term goals."
-Chinese fortune cookie (really!)

*sigh* I'm going to bed.

Oh, and make that four.

Old Comments (2)

Friday, January 30, 2004

Not Average!

"As to the first point, that of money. Well most guys know that women dig guys with money. Would Donald Trump be [copulating with] models if he wasn't rich? That question is rhetorical. Now I don't even believe this is wrong, I think it is just nature. But I also think women who are this way (and it is almost all of you) should be honest and admit that they are basically [prostitutes], and stop saying bad things about the so-called 'actual [prostitutes]' who are just trying to earn an honest living.

"Most women read this and say something like, 'Well I'm not the average woman because..blah...blah...not true...blah boyfriend/lover/husband/masseuse was poor...blah...blah.'

"If you thought something like this you are very likely the average woman. If you read it and went 'Hmmm...' and then you went back to doing physics, then you have a case."

-The Ladder Theory

In other news, I got an email from Isaku today. I knew he'd been working in DC, but I didn't know where. Turns out he'd been working in the Embassy of Japan (until Tuesday). Monday he was entering into a database the scores assigned to JET Program applicants, and he came across my application. He said he couldn't be sure, but it looked like my score was high enough to get me an interview.

This makes me happy and anxious. I (try to) have a practice, in such matters, of envisioning the best-case scenario while I still have something to do about it (for instance, while I'm filling out the application), and then assuming the worst-case once it's out of my hands, to minimize disappointment. This was something I forgot to do when I was visiting colleges, and for two years I was bitter about being stuck in Syracuse, cos Mount Holyoke had some crazy way of figuring out our household income which prevented me from getting all the financial aid I needed. Yeah, maybe I still am a little bitter....

I fear, though, that I have told too many people about this Japan possibility. Like, when Mom was pregnant in 1998, I really wanted to tell people that I was going to have a little brother or sister, but I didn't because I knew Mom and Kreg kinda wanted to keep it on the DL, at least for a few months. After the miscarriage, I was glad I hadn't told anyone, cos there was no one I had to untell.
Or when John and I first started going out, in that case I did tell the whole world, practically. Then ten weeks later, I was like, "Oh, crap."

So, come what may, I will command my senses to be content.

Thursday, January 29, 2004


Make that three.


I have got to start remembering to check the shipping and handling information on an item before I bid on it.

Still, I think I got a good deal. It's hard to find sale-price clothes in my size.

In other news, I have sent out two resumes this week. Which is less than five, but more than zero.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Who'da thunk it?

I probably would've been the last person to have guessed, but it turns out I am exactly as nerdy as Scott.

26.19047619047619% of me is a huge nerd! How about you?


Monday, January 26, 2004

Next stop, OMCL Labs.

Glad you made it aboard, Joe. The bandwagon was about to leave without you.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

WTF?? or How I Began My Career in Bathroom Forensics

Can someone please explain to me why I just went downstairs to use the bathroom, and stepped in a puddle of piss in front of the toilet?


So after I rinsed my foot off in the sink for two minutes, I decided I didn't really have to go that bad. I hope my dad comes home before Dave cleans up the evidence, cos frankly I'd love to give Dad one more reason to kick Dave out. I mean, it's not so bad that maybe his aim was a little off (though there's probably a good five fluid ounces down there), and he probably has some prostate issues, but the fact that he hasn't bothered to clean it up? I mean, it was cold when I stepped in it.

Now, wait, some of you may be thinking, how do you know it was Dave who urinated on the bathroom floor? I'm glad you asked. My first clue is the fact that my dad left the house at about 7:30 tonight, and he took a shower an hour before then. He would have noticed then if there'd been pee on the floor, and my dad would not have left the house without making sure that mess was cleaned up. Also, it wasn't either of the animals that live at our house: Buddy stays in his cage in the garage all the time, unless Dave lets him outside, and then he spends hours leashed to Dave's van. And cat pee has a very distinctive ammonia smell--you can't walk into a small room and not know that a cat has peed on the floor--so it wasn't Buffy. And it certainly wasn't me. But the real clincher? I smelled it. I tried to smell it when it was on my foot, but all I could smell was foot. So when I'd cleaned myself off, I bent down and gave the puddle a sniff. Dave's urine has a particular smell. I know, I know, I sound like a total creep for knowing how his urine smells, but his toilet habits include not flushing until the water has turned a deep ochre produced by subsequent visits. I often visit the bathroom only to find tinctured toilet water. (My dad doesn't do this, and has expressed his distaste for the practice in the past.) Depending on how long the seat has been up, the bathroom can have a certain 'air' about it.

Dave's urine must be like, 20 proof. I can't imagine his liver is able to metabolize all he drinks. I don't really know how much that is, but he always smells of alcohol. A few months ago his doctor prescribed some anti-depression drug. And earlier this month, the doctor doubled his medication. The double dosage mixed with alcohol makes for one very stumblesome Dave. Earlier this month, before Tuck went back to school, he told me that he was watching TV, and Dave walked from his room to the kitchen, and promptly slipped on the floor and fell. When he picked himself up, he mumbled, "Tell your grandmother to stop waxing the kitchen floor." (When I mentioned this incident to Sol and Joe, Sol said, "Why is your life so funny?" "Hah!" I replied. "How 'bout if Dave moves in with you guys, and then your life can be one comedic moment after another!")

I suppose I should be glad that he's not a violent drunk, but I still can't stand the man. From time to time he gets it into his head that he's some kind of authority figure in my life, and gives me orders like I'm a ten-year old. He works an average of two hours a day, and I'm the lazy one. But the fact is that he's here by my dad's good graces, same as I am. And Dave's not even family, even though my dad kind of sees him that way. I don't know why; they're roommates in the strictest sense of the term, and it's not like Dave saved his life or anything. But they were probably going through their respective divorces at about the same time; I imagine that can be a bonding experience.

The only good thing about Dave is that he's given me a greater appreciation for my father. Like, Dad's a pretty rational guy, compared to Dave. Dad's thinking about moving out to Colorado in the next couple of years. "I've been thinking," he said recently, "if I move to Colorado, you could stay here at the house while I'm gone."
"Only if Dave moves out," I said immediately.
"Oh, Dave's not that bad, is he?"
"Dad, you're the only buffer I've got between me and him. He'd have to go, or no deal."
And the sooner he moves out, the happier I'll be. Except I don't know if that'll ever happen. Two days ago he left a note for my dad on the kitchen counter:
The depresion [
sic] will last
for one year.

My first reaction when I read that was, What, is he trying to buy more time? If he's depressed, yeah that's too bad, and I understand that depression can be debilitating. But how can you predict how long it will last? I thought it was one of those things you had to 'play by ear.'

Ah, good, Dad's home. I gotta pee.

Old Comments (1)

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Aww, you wuvvy wittle guy, you.

Scott is so adorable. He just can't bring himself to say that he cares. But it's okay, Scotty. I love you, too.

Some things I found online this, um, morning.

You ever think to yourself, Gee, I wonder if there are any mentally-ill people out there with their own websites?
Your search is over.

An excerpt:
When I was in Junior High school I was picked out by Mr. Right the Vice Principal to be made an example of as a non conformist. Of course I was the all good persona of the Creator who never made a mistake only knew the truth, everything I did was right and everything I ever said was true.

Admittedly, this isolated quote doesn't demonstrate mental illness, but a typical teenage belief of self-infallibility. Consider, however, Exhibit B:

Chris Hartmetz was the one who told me that there was two major groups of scientists at NASA which didn't interact with each other very much. They sat in separate areas of the cafeteria and didn't talk to each other. He said they were the "Macintosh Computer People" and the "IBM Computer People" and that they had disdain for each other and both groups thought that their ways were right and the others ways were bad. He proudly stated that he was an IBM type Windows Person himself. I noticed that the only thing he was doing with his computer at the time was polishing his resume and spending hours every day playing games.

Um, actually, this is fairly insightful as well. Hmm.... Oh, this:

Reasonably early on I met a woman named pam. At the time I would speak the truth into a tape recorder and when played it would come back edited like in the bible with poor grammar and sentence structure. I thought I came that way as a clue. It wasn't easy but I managed to get her to pay attention to me for five minutes which is all the time I needed wielding magic to convince anyone that I was God. She heard me talking and then heard the playback. I pointed out to her that everything I had said had perfect grammar and sentence structure and that he never could do me very well and what he said was never quite the same as what I said. I walked over to her and got face to face and quietly said "Shhh listen, that's not what I said. What I said had perfect grammar and sentence structure. That's not what I just said. He always gets it wrong". I also showed her a couple of other impossible things and she left in shock.

Pay dirt, baby.

This is as funny as it is long. And it is long.

And it seems that Merriam-Webster Online has changed their decor. Everybody together now: "Ooo...."

Holy crap. This grade school costs more than Syracuse University, when you consider that these kids don't live on campus. I don't care how nice their fancy flash intro is, I don't care that they've been around for over 100 years; Nottingham wasn't exactly... wait, my bad....
Nottingham wasn't... crap.
Okay, Nottingham... oh lord, that's pitiful.
Well who cares if some eliter-than-thou grade school actually has a functioning website? When I was at Nottingham, we lived on the land. We wrote on carpeted walls, not on those new-fangled "chalkboards." We put our energies into programming our graphing calculators, not designing webpages. We walked a quarter mile to our lockers in the GW, and we thought we were lucky... and we were.
So Nottingham wasn't exactly the foie gras of high schools, but then who eats that stuff anyway?

Edit February 1, 2004: It seems that since this post, my alma mater has gotten its act together and posted an actual web page. Congratulations.

Friday, January 23, 2004

aw, poo...

I tried tonight to play one of the greatest games available online, and for some reason I get this error message, even though I already have the most recent installation of Shockwave Player.
I suppose this is God's way of saying, "GO TO BED."

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Goliath v. David

I'll say a little prayer for you tonight, Mike.
(see also this article)

Old Comments

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today Mom is 49. (I love you, too!)

As much as I enjoyed the mint hot chocolate they had at Starbucks during the holidays, I get the same effect by putting on mint lip balm and drinking regular hot chocolate, sans 55 cents.

Joe and I worked on a huge crossword puzzle today. One of the clues (actually, the same clue listed twice for two different words) was "Confabulate." At the time, neither of us had any idea what it meant, and I said, "Isn't that what they do on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?"

Also, last night I made my first contribution to I think it's quote #213151. Let me know when you see it up there.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

My life is so difficult.

Mmm... rocky road ice cream... again....
A couple weeks ago Dad got two boxes of ice cream at the request of Tucker and myself. The next day, there were two more boxes of rocky road ice cream, which presumably came from Grammy. She goes on ice cream binges every now and then where she'll buy two or three boxes of ice cream at once, and proceed to eat half a box in one sitting. But she only spends two or three days a week at Dad's house, so the rest of the ice cream is community property. Dad tried the rocky road and didn't like it, and Tuck's back at college, so I'm left to finish off the ice cream.

Recipe for Frito salad:
1 head iceberg lettuce
black olives
Miracle Whip
2 cans tuna, drained
1 bag Frito corn chips

Prepare veggies as you would a tossed salad. Add remaining ingredients. Mayonnaise should not be substituted for Miracle Whip. I know, I hate Miracle Whip, too, but it makes this salad work. You should use enough Miracle Whip to lightly coat the salad, as you would with, say, ranch dressing. If you are preparing this salad a few hours before it is to be consumed, do not add the Frito chips until immediately before serving. There is nothing worse than soggy Frito salad; not famine, not pestilence, nothing. If you wish to substitute generic corn chips for Frito corn chips, proceed with caution--it's hit-and-miss. And be sure not to cut yourself while slicing the carrots; I'm still nursing a severed thumb. (That's a joke, Mom--everything's reattached, and the doctor says I'll be back to playing GameCube in four weeks, tops. In the meantime, I don't use my left thumb to type, so it's all good.)

Monday, January 19, 2004

Things that make you go Hmm...

I had two dreams this morning. In the first, I was watching a new Stargate movie. It was okay, but kind of sucky insofar as it wasn't much different from the TV show. Then there was a scene where some people were singing off camera, and one of them sounded like my grandfather. I said to my brother, "Wouldn't it be cool if Poppa were in a Stargate movie?" Then several people filed out of a building wearing tuxedos, and there was my grandfather. I was so excited, I ran up to him and gave him a hug. "Why didn't you tell me you were in a Stargate movie?!"

In the second dream, Joe told me I should try out for The Real World, and I made it. I was hanging out with everyone else, trying to decide who I should room with. Some of them spoke French sometimes, and I realized that there was one guy who spoke it all the time. "Parlez-vous anglais?" I said. He didn't, so I assumed he was Canadian (an assumption that cracks me up now). Then we were out walking in front of a hardware store, and this guy who looked like Morgan Freeman threw a hammer at me, missing the top of my head by less than two inches. I was furious, and fetched the hammer and went back inside to call the police. The interesting thing is that last night I watched Bruce Almighty, and Morgan Freeman plays God.

Mmm... Macintosh...

My room smells like Beak & Skiff.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Oh, oh, oh, oh, stayin' awake, stayin' awake.

There's something about the Sunday afternoon that makes me lethargic. It wasn't always this way--I used to work on Sundays after church until 9pm, and I couldn't afford to be lethargic. But ever since I left Wegmans (two years ago!) I feel really sleepy after church. It doesn't help that I filled my belly at Applebees at lunchtime. But I'm trying not to fall asleep, because I want to stay up, watch Stargate SG-1 at 9, and then go to bed, so I'll wake up at a reasonable hour tomorrow morning. If I let myself fall asleep now, I'll sleep until 9, then watch Stargate, then stay up until 4am, then fall asleep again, and I won't wake up tomorrow until 11. I know this from experience.

I told my dad yesterday that I saw Mona Lisa Smile. "Oh yeah, I saw that too," he said.
"Really? With who?"
"Um," he thought, "oh yeah, I saw it with Mom."
"Oh, Grammy? Did she like it?"
"No, not really."
"What, she didn't like them making fun of that era? She was probably like, "Oh, those were the good old days.'"
"No, just the opposite. She said, 'It wasn't as bad as all that. They exaggerated everything. Except the husbands cheating on their wives; that happened all the time.'"
"Are you kidding me?" I laughed.
"No! I couldn't believe she said it."
But then, you have to know Grammy to know just how funny it is that she said that. I guess being married to my grandfather was a hellish experience. I never met him: he died of a massive heart attack before my parents got married. She'd divorced him before that, though: she went back to school for elementary education; the same day she got her certification, she stopped to put down a deposit on an apartment, came home, picked up Beth (who was five at the time), and moved out. My grandfather never did get over his surprise.
A couple of years ago, after dinner at her house, she said to me, out of the blue, "I'm so glad I'm not married anymore." I laughed. That's so great.

My grandmother is a remarkable woman. I just wish she weren't schizophrenic.

not all my posts will be this long, i swear

Mmm... rocky road ice cream....

I went to see "Mona Lisa Smile" today with a, um, friend? Yeah, I guess we're kind of friends, though sometimes I also refer to her as a "girl I know." I've let my definition of friendship grow a bit more lax in recent years. I think it was Dr. Joyce Brothers who said that a relationship has moved into the realm of friendship when the involved parties begin to share their problems with each other. Not that I take all of Dr. Brothers' advice to heart... not that I pay much attention to her at all... but I happened to hear and remember this.

Initiate Flashback Sequence

I dunno. I used to think about the whole "friendship" thing a lot more before I had good friends. Up through third grade, I pretty much hung out with the same bunch of girls. There were only six of us in our grade: Cady, Becky, Linda, Candace, Laura, and myself; but even so some of us were more popular than others. We were all friends, though, for the most part. Then my parents separated, and I changed schools, and no one I knew was there. In fourth grade I still managed to find a "best friend," Aileen. The only reason I knew we were best friends was cos I asked her. "Do you think we're friends?"
"Yes," she said.
"Do you think we're best friends?"
She thought. "Yeah, we're best friends."
Which set my heart at ease: I had a best friend.
We also had two rivals: Susan and Jenny. We were kinda friends with them, too (since we were probably the four least-popular girls in our class). We'd play with them sometimes at recess, but we were also just as likely to not be on speaking terms. Once we moved Jenny's reading book from her desk to her cubby, and it took her a good ten minutes to find it--ten minutes Aileen and I spent stiffling our laughter. I don't think she ever found out it was us; she seemed awfully puzzled to think that she didn't remember putting her reading book in her cubby. So to Jenny, if you're reading this (and you're probably not), I've 'fessed up.

I also hung around with Karl. He was a cool kid, though I never really considered him a friend, probably because he was a boy. Other kids said we were romantically involved--except kids never say "romantically involved," they say stuff like, "Karl and Emily sittin' in a tree...." Truth be told I never had those kinds of feelings for him, and though I didn't like other kids teasing me, in the long run it didn't prevent me from talking to him. We had our very own math lessons together, where we learned about exponents before anyone else did. I didn't realize it then, but we were probably the two smartest kids in the class (and while I can't speak to the effect that may have had on my popularity, I suspect my personality had more to do with it). We had an argument once about whether the table, which squeaked when we rubbed our hands across the surface, was clean. He said that, because it squeaked, it wasn't clean. "No," I said, "if something squeaks, then it's clean. That's why they say 'squeaky clean.'" He didn't buy it.

And there was another kid, Tom I think his name was. He more than anyone seemed to take an especial delight in making my life miserable, as I was frequently the object of his scorn. "He probably likes you," my mom tried to reassure me when I told her, but I was less convinced. Why would he like me? I'm not the kind of girl that someone would like--and I wondered why Mom didn't understand that.

Fifth grade was another matter altogether. I switched schools again--this time because the school district's elementary schools ended at 4th grade, and 5th grade meant middle school. I went to Wellwood, while Aileen, Susan, and Jenny went to Eagle Hill. So I was left to start all over again.

Excuse me while I wipe my sneeze off the screen.

Oh, this post is turning out to be a long one, and my stamina is low. Suffice it to say that moving out of the "preppier-than-thou" white upper-middle class culture that is Fayetteville-Manlius and into the city school district helped a lot by largely putting an end to the teasing--though it's only been in recent years that I've been able to walk into the Gap without feeling like I don't belong there. Throughout my public education career, I had one or two friends here and there (8th grade was good), but they either moved or transfered schools. And I've never been good at making new friends. 9th grade was miserable, cos Sarah, who was my only friend at Nottingham at the time, didn't have any classes with me, though we did often eat lunch together. High school got progressively better, as my acquaintance list remained fairly stable, and the people who had known me for several years began to discover that I wasn't a total dweeb. And then my freshman year of college sucked the big one. I went to SU, but had to live at home for financial reasons, and I hated it. I felt like a child. And everyone else pretty much made friends with their roommates and other people on their floor. It wasn't until the end of my sophomore year that I felt like I was making some friends, and things have once again been getting progressively better.

In any case...

I have a friend who ate lunch with a homeless fellow she met in LA. The two of them talked for, oh, an hour? and in doing so they "became good friends." And I think, That's not what constitutes a good friendship. So I can only assume she was speaking loosely. It makes me wonder what other people mean when they describe someone they know as a "friend."

Like the girl I went to the movies with today. It wouldn't be so difficult to define our relationship if I enjoyed hanging out with her more. As far as Dr. Brothers' definition is concerned, she shares her problems--and much more--with me, but I don't do much talking at all. Not that I don't like to talk, but interjecting a comment into her monologue is like threading a needle with a bottle rocket. Maybe it's because my dad coached me for so long on distilling my thoughts before talking to him ("In two sentences or less, tell me how you liked the movie."), but that kind of behaviour drives me nuts. She's a nice person and all, but whenever we hang out, I invariably return home with a headache.

I'm gonna go take an Advil.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

marginally erroneous

I need to start writing these things earlier in the day. Less temptation to stay up later than I should.

Got a letter in the mail today. ACS Education Services kindly reminds me that my first quarterly payment of $287.29 will be due May 1, 2004. This is the last of the loans to end its grace period, so by this summer I'll be paying an average of about $300/month in school loan repayments (and that's not including the credit card--goodness). I don't make much more than that in any given month, so finding a new job will be a prerequisite for moving out of Dad's house.

I keep getting these letters (and sometimes phone calls) from companies who want me to reconsolidate my loans. I was mildly interested a year ago when one fellow called, so I asked him to send me the information. "Okay," he said, "I'll just need your address," which I gave him. "And I'll need your Social Security Number."
"I don't feel comfortable giving that out over the phone," I said.
"Well, then I won't be able to send you the information."
"Wait, you have to have my Social Security Number, just to send me the information?"
"Yes, ma'am."
"Well," I said, "I guess I don't want that information."
He gave me the company name and his employee number, and told me I could check it out and find out that they're good folks, and said he'd call me back in one week. "Okay," I said, just to end the conversation.
So a few days later, I went to the Financial Aid Office, and asked about loan reconsolidations. The woman I spoke with there told me that the best thing to do is to talk to the bank with whom I have my loans, because oftentimes when you reconsolidate, you aren't able to defer your payments again if you decide to go back to school. I told her about the phone call, and she shook her head. "That sounds like no good. Definitely try your bank."
So ever since then, these solicitations have kind of creeped me out.

Dad thinks I should go grad school, since I don't have a 'real' job yet. Part of me would kind of like to go back to school, but I never disciplined myself properly as an undergrad, and I don't think that's going to change in the near future. Besides, my grades probably aren't good enough to get into any decent graduate school.

Just browsing some job listings online, I found a link to KS&R Inc. where one can use their margin of error calculator. Can someone explain this thing to me? I'd been under the impression that if your sample size is exactly as large as the population the sample represents, then your margin of error should be roughly zero. Not so, according to this tool: If you've sampled 10,000 people (or marshmallows, or whatever) out of your whole company (or stash) of 10,000, your margin of error will be ±98,000.98%.
Now if I'm right, and this calculator is screwy, then maybe I don't want to work for this company. And if I'm wrong, and this calculator is correct, then maybe I have no business applying for a job there. But I will consult this calculator again when I am not so sleepy and can think straight.

Friday, January 16, 2004


I have a blog.
I have a blog.

So this is what I'll be doing for the next several months instead of getting a good night's sleep.
Already, I can feel myself beginning to agonize over how to make my entries witty and/or pithy.
And already, I will apologize for what I believe will be a serious lack of profundity. After all, if you're taking the time to read this blog, I should provide you with something worthwhile, yes?
But we shall see.