Monday, August 30, 2004

Life09:17 AM - Busy bee

Saturday was filled with lots of running around. We deposited J's first paycheck (yea!), and got him added to my savings account, finally. Then we managed to find a place open Saturdays to safety inspect J's Sable, which passed. If you're looking for someone to do an inspection, and you need it on a Saturday, look up one of your local Dobbs places -- they do 'em, and they're open till 5pm Saturdays. Granted, don't wait till 4pm to show up and ask them to do an inspection, particularly at the end of the month, but since they don't close at noon they can get a lot more cars in. Anyway, we now have it both safety and emissions inspected, so today I'll be taking those papers, a copy of the insurance card, and the checkbook to the DMV after work to get the stickers.

Of course, it was bright, sunny, and hot when we were doing all this, and while J was mowing the lawn and we were waiting to get a call saying his car was done. By the time we picked up his car and wanted to use the pool (well, J was going to vacuum it first), the clouds had started rolling in. :( We got into suits anyway, and prepared to use the pool in spite of that. Of course, once J got the long hose attached to the pump and run down to the sewer access, and was ready to vacuum (it vacuums best on backflush, which makes it suck harder and also ensures that the really fine stuff that gets sucked up doesn't get pulled through the filter and redeposited into the pool), it starts raining. First it sprinkled, then stopped. Then, right after J started vacuuming, it started pouring. I mean, tons and tons of big water droplets from the sky. J just kept right on vacuuming, not really able to see the bottom but able to keep track of where he'd been. I went under the small overhang of the house and picked rocks out of the dirt in the little mini-terraced area. It rained the entire time he vacuumed, I think slowing and then quitting about when he was done. After that, he sent me in to get some dish soap to drizzle on the deck, then got this little wannabe pushbroom thing (it has a name, don't know it, that's what it looks like), and scrubbed the worst parts of the deck so they look 100% better. Then, he jumped in the pool anyway, even though it was very overcast and not all that warm outside, and I sat on the side with my legs in. After a few minutes we gave up & pulled the cover over it and went inside.

I should mention, J mowed the front and back yards, and vacuumed the pool, all while coming down with a cold. (I offered to mow, but he insisted on doing it, so I let him.) He did still have the usual, now Saturday instead of Sunday, crew over, and he managed alright. By the end of the night he was pretty miserable though. We watched a very, very disturbing movie at the end: Wicked, with Julia Stiles. I don't want to spoil anything, but let's just say that by the end of the movie, it would seem there's not a sane person left, certainly not in that family. Wow.

Sunday we took it a lot easier, especially because J couldn't sleep well and was totally wiped out because of his cold. I went and grabbed us some lunch, and he vegged & watched Olympics, etc. Then I needed a shower 'cause it was getting to be late afternoon and I was going to be headed to my parents' house for dinner with them, my grandfather, my cousin Andy, and my aunt & uncle in town. With my uncle coming, who's in a hospice program already for terminal cancer ( :( ) we agreed J shouldn't be there so he wouldn't get sick, and besides that he wasn't feeling that well anyway. It turns out my uncle was feeling ill enough that he and my aunt stayed home, so it was just the five of us. I called J and asked if he'd like to come after all, since the rest of us are healthy enough to withstand a potential cold, but he needed rest and was going to sleep most of the evening.

Dinner was good, both in terms of food and company. My cousin and his wife opened a store down in Honduras where they've been living, selling long distance calls to the States (and elsewhere, but most calls are to the US), for 30 cents a minute -- 40% lower than everyone else. He uses a switchboard and such, but instead of regular lines the calls end up going through VoIP, which makes the calls a lot higher in quality. He's hoping it'll do very well, and I can imagine it will. He had a couple pictures of it, one of the switchboard and a few clocks on the wall showing different times (LA, NY, London, and local), and another of the sign they had out front.

Bleh, I think I'm done rambling for now. It's Monday morning, and I'd so much rather be in bed than here at work. And driving in thick fog sucks.

whining no longer being accepted

Web Quizzes08:53 AM - Tarot Card quiz making the rounds again

I took the tarot card quiz again, since it's making another round on LJ, and got the same results as the last time I took it (Moon). Guess I'm consistent, anyway.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Web Quizzes02:26 PM - Astrology & relationship memes

The astrology one is likely bunk; I admit I haven't had time to read it 'cause it's so damn long. However, I've never placed any stock whatsoever in astrology, so I'd imagine anything it happens to get right about me is purely coincidental.

However, the relationship one is a little more accurate, since it actually asked more than 10 questions, and they were more pertinent than the usual MemeGen questions that have trivial questions with silly, trite answers. ;) However, it still gets some stuff wrong, in that I am more involved in romantic relationships rather than nonromantic ones. I probably am a people pleaser though. But I don't cry often at movies.

I've put the relationship one first, since it's shorter and makes more sense.

20 Questions to a Better Relationship

You are a RSIG -- Reserved Sentimental Intellectual Giver. This makes you a People-Pleaser.

Oh, RSIG! You are the most complicated and dynamic of any type. You are brilliant, tender, romantic and a joy to be with. You're the favorite of many of your friends. It's just not a party until you get there. You are bursting with feeling and sentiment and insight but you very rarely express it -- it's not how you want to present yourself to the world. Although you are always studying your non-romantic relationships -- you turn a blind eye to romantic relationships.

You're highly adaptable, and you conform to your circumstances (maybe you're a youngest child?). You would probably be content with almost anyone, and almost anyone would be blissfully happy to have you. But just because you're content doesn't mean you're happy. Don't settle!

You'd rather ignore your problems than rock the boat by creating conflict. Please understand that in the long run ignoring conflict will make you unhappy and your partner exhausted. Try picking a fight just to see how it goes. You'll find out that solving problems is so satisfying for you that it makes conflict worth it.

Your sex life could be fantastic if you could stop worrying about everything so much (did I wash my hands? how do I look? what do I need to do tomorrow?). You need a sweet, expressive lover who makes you feel at ease and never puts pressure on you. If you feel secure with your partner outside the bedroom, it will make all the difference.

You cry at movies. A lot.

Of the 8455 people who have taken this quiz, 7% are this type.


Astrology Meme

Silly (not so) little astrology chart that went with this.

Name: playfulkitten
August 14 1977
7:27 PM Time Zone is CDT
St. Louis, MO

Rising Sign is in 13 Degrees Aquarius

You like new ideas and concepts, but you prefer to discover them by yourself -- it is not easy for others to convert you to anything. You form your own opinions, but once you do form them, you then want to convince everyone else that they are correct. Try to be more tolerant of the opinions of others. You have a deep and abiding interest in science, mathematics, and the great social problems of the day. Very sympathetic toward the downtrodden, equality is your battle cry! You demand that those in authority be fair to all. You are an intellectual -- emotions and emotional people are difficult for you to understand. You are known for being calm, cool, detached and objective.

Sun is in 22 Degrees Leo.

More than a bit of a showoff, you love to be the center of attention! But others do not usually mind because they tend to enjoy your genuine warmth and affection. Very spirited and willful, proud and self-important at times, you demand your own way. You are quite honest, however, and the respect of others is very important to you. You never compromise yourself and you pursue your goals with persistence and dedication. Your regal presence and demeanor draws you to positions of leadership and authority. But beware of being overly hardheaded, domineering, ostentatious or patronizing or you will lose the goodwill and admiration that you enjoy. Very theatrical, you live life on a grand scale wherever and whenever possible. Your strength and energy vitalizes those who come in contact with you.

Moon is in 23 Degrees Leo.

You always want to be proud of yourself and will never do anything that will make yourself look bad. You need the respect and admiration of others and enjoy attracting attention to yourself. Everything you do tends to be self-emphasized and self-exaggerated. Very stubborn, willful and independent yourself, be sure to allow others who are close to you the similar right to "be themselves." Your need for love, affection and reassurance, and your tendency toward vanity, allow you to have your head easily turned by flattery. The more insecure you are, the more you tend to be a showoff. You love games and sports as a matter of fact, you would usually rather play than work. Be careful of a tendency to be snobbish and uppity -- it does not become you.

Mercury is in 18 Degrees Virgo.

Very thorough and efficient, you pay attention to the minor but important details of any project. You are a careful thinker who can learn complicated, intricate techniques. You are attracted to practical, useful skills and are probably good at working with your hands. You are very critical of yourself and others, sometimes too much so, and you get the reputation of being a nag or of being nit-picky. Your first reaction to any situation is to try to organize, classify and analyze everything!

Venus is in 14 Degrees Cancer.

You like to be very close to other people. You need emotional support yourself and are willing to give it to others. When you feel unloved and insecure, you can be very jealous and possessive. You are not interested in casual or superficial relationships -- only deep emotional involvements interest you. Your faithful devotion is one of your greatest gifts, but be careful not to become too dependent on others. Learn to stand on your own two feet and demand your own rights once in a while.

Mars is in 19 Degrees Gemini.

Your energies get turned on quickly whenever anything interests you. But you have a very short attention span and it is difficult for you to complete tasks because something else more interesting always seems to be beckoning. You love to debate and argue, usually in a spirit of friendly disagreement. But watch out that you do not get too overly aggressive or antagonistic or others will be quick to take offense where none may have really been intended. You need to be in constant physical motion -- sports or daily exercise is a must for you if you are to feel fit and healthy.

Jupiter is in 29 Degrees Gemini.

You have a logical, detached, objective view of most things. Your interests are wide-ranging and you are an avid student, with expertise in many different areas. You love to work things out in your mind -- everything you do is reduced to an exercise in logic and reason. You have the ability to grasp abstractions and to deal successfully with the larger issues of life. Your overemphasis on developing your powerful intellect can cause your emotional and intuitive abilities to atrophy unless you consciously choose to exercise them.

Saturn is in 20 Degrees Leo.

Extremely self-reliant, you set very high standards of conduct and decorum for yourself, and you expect others with whom you associate to be that way, too. It is important that you had a strong father figure or role model early in life to mold your life course and direction. When you feel that those around you are unworthy or behaving badly, you withdraw, preferring solitude rather than associating with those who might besmirch your reputation.

Uranus is in 08 Degrees Scorpio.

You, and your peer group, demand to confront life at its deepest and most meaningful levels. Very compulsive and obsessive in your approach to everything, you will avoid anything that is casual or superficial, especially when it comes to relationships. You will seek out and explore new methods of healing as well as different ways to deal with deep-seated emotional problems.

Neptune is in 13 Degrees Sagittarius.

You, and your entire generation, are heavily involved in investigating and idealizing foreign and exotic intellectual systems and religious philosophies. The most extreme ideals will be pursued with gusto. You will be at the forefront of humanitarian attempts to improve the lot of those who are in need of assistance. You will be comfortable with the concept of the "global village."

-- Editor's note: okay, this one popped out while I was formatting this... what a load of crap. Way to generalize about a whole fucking generation. *rolls eyes*

Pluto is in 12 Degrees Libra.

For your entire generation, this is a time of radical changes in society's attitude toward marriage and interpersonal relationships. There is a general fear and awe at the power inherent in making emotional or contractual commitments -- they will not be entered into lightly.

N. Node is in 16 Degrees Libra.

You find it very difficult to be comfortable being alone -- you would much prefer to be in an environment where many people are working together toward common goals. Your charming and sincere approach to others assures your popularity -- you have the gift of being able to ease tensions just by your mere presence. You're the perfect "team player" willing to sacrifice your own importance so that the group goal can be accomplished. Be careful, however, not to become overly dependent on your interactions with others -- you have personal private needs that should not be neglected.

whining no longer being accepted

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Web Quizzes07:39 AM - Pirate Quest meme

Very... odd, to say the least.

Your LJ Pirate Quest by rachelthedemon
Username
Favorite Color
Age
Your First Matecatharsiscomic
Your Cabin Boy/Girlhelmite
Your Bodyguardblakhawc
The Bad Guy/Girlal_nino00
Your Obligatory Love Interestceraunnos
The Fanservicey Onelupabitch
Your Coveted TreasureGold...Lots and lots of gold
Number of people you kill to get it5,355
Number of times you get laid afterward257
Quiz created with MemeGen!

I should probably mention that to do this one you have to have an LiveJournal">LJ account, and all the usernames they fill the answers in with are pulled from your friends list. Really, I should quit posting these here, and just confine 'em to LJ, but since I forgot and already posted this one, I may as well leave it.

whining no longer being accepted

Monday, August 23, 2004

Life08:37 AM - Why does my brain have to sabotage me on occasion?

It's amazing how an interesting, random, weird, but otherwise unbothersome dream, can become a wakefulness-inducing nightmare in the blink of an eye. I was in one of those action dreams that usually starts out like it's me watching a TV show or movie or something, and this guy in some other country in, I dunno, Africa or the middle east somewhere (I couldn't tell, but it was kinda like when Indiana Jones is in Egypt but a lot more modernized). He was some sort of programmer-cum-secret agent, and had just done some programming or something and had it on some form of data storage and was trying to get it to the good guys before the bad guys caught him. We as viewers, so to speak, get to see that the bad guys are in some sort of truck or whatever and they're looking for him. He knows it, and sees their truck thing a block away in an alley. So he crosses this fenced in empty lot thing (overgrown & all that), and goes through the fence in a spot he has to be careful with 'cause it's just a sort of tear in the fence but part of it is being touched by some live, exposed wire and he has to not touch that side of the fence or he'll get electrocuted.

So, after all that, he gets through and gives the data storage thingy to the good guys, then goes back to another part of the city where it's a rundown sort of grouping of huts & stuff with lots of people. The bad guys catch up with him and grab him anyway, hoping to question him. He figures at this point they've got him, no point in running, and he's not going to talk anyway and has already done his job, so he doesn't fight.

So this is the point in the dream where suddenly I'm the protagonist. It's not this guy anymore, but it's me. (This is what usually happens in these dreams: I eventually am part of the "movie" I was watching.) Only it turns out there were two of us good guys: J and me. And we're both captured by the rather good natured bad guys. They were perfectly friendly in escorting us, their captives, to this one hut, and telling us how we were going to spend the night in it, with it pitch black, and bugs all over the place. Basically, they were quite jovial in explaining to us how they were going to scare the everliving shit out of us. But since some of these bugs were poisonous, and evidently heat-sensing, they were going to let us cover ourselves in mud so we wouldn't die.

We're standing in the hut talking about how we were going to be treated, with me facing towards J and standing a few feet back from him, when he steps to his right a bit. Behind where his head was, were two quarter-sized (or maybe half-dollar sized) wolf spiders, hanging out in a web. (That would just never happen -- not only would you not get two fullsized wolf spiders hanging out together, they don't hang out in webs. They use their silk for two things: moving around, and wrapping up their prey they've just pounced on.) AAAAAAAGHH! I instantly break into a panic, trying to back away, eyes all wide, gasping incoherently with a few bits of "no!" and/or "omigod" or whatever. J kinda laughs about it a little bit, 'cause I guess IRL he does chide me a little over being a wuss because I'm so irrationally afraid of spiders. Of course, up till that point I'd figured the bad guys wouldn't be able to scare me all that much just by making me cover myself in mud and sleep in a pitch dark room with other bugs, 'cause I hadn't thought any spiders would be involved. But now, the bad guy saw how utterly frightened I was and started grinning. He then reached up and grabbed one and started slowly walking towards me, saying, "Oh, you're scared of these, huh?" and then making like he was going to put it on me.

Then I woke up.

My eyelids were still heavy with sleep & wanting to sleep, but I kept forcing them wide open to stare about the room. Looked at the clock: 5:09am. Damn, it's gonna suck trying to get back to sleep after that! I was so freaked. I kept trying to pull my mind back from thinking about it, forcing myself to picture Pele being cute: washing, cuddling, playing, meowing, etc. My mind kept wanting to return to the dream anyway, specifically that part of it, picturing the spiders again.

I know I fell asleep finally, but I've no idea how long it took. My alarm sure went off pretty fast, it seemed. I think I was finally falling fully back asleep when it went off.

Why does my brain have to do that to me every now and then? I mean, I already wasn't going to get enough sleep anyway, but does it really have to shortchange me even more? And in such a nasty fashion? Really, if it wanted me up prematurely all it had to do was the usual "wake up for no reason". Seriously, that would've been just fine compared to this. I would've been happy to lie there knowing I only had x minutes before my alarm going off, unable to sleep because I was anticipating the alarm going off. But nooo, it had to go and scare the hell out of me to wake me up, making me unable to sleep because I was agonizing over the stupid bloody dream.

At least I've had my quota of nightmares for the next month or two, I guess. Bleh. Why'd it have to be spiders?

whining no longer being accepted

Friday, August 20, 2004

Web Quizzes09:47 AM - Geekiness (another meme)

Honestly, I thought I was more geeky than that. Then again, we're not talking about a comprehensive quiz here, so :p .

You are 35% geek

You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.
You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!
Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!
You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com

Web Quizzes07:23 AM - Which angel are you? (meme)

I'm not really sure if this suits me, but...

You're Righteous

You're the Righteous Angel. You're a moral person with very strong ethics. You're a defender of the weak and oppressed. I real super-hero wannabe. You won't judge an action until you know all the facts though, so you constantly try to find closure for unfortunate incidents. The biggest difference between you and the Vengeful Angel is that you want to fight other people's battles as well as your own. You're very open-minded and you want life to be fair. It's not fair is a big phrase in your vocabulary. As soon as you find yourself thinking that, you're off on another mission to make the world a just place. It's great that you want to help, but some people don't want help fighting their battles. Stop getting involved unless you're asked to.

*~*Which Angel Are You? THIRTEEN Results. ANIME PICTURES and (fairly) long results! *~*
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Life09:20 PM - Well, darn

Of all the books Will's lent us, I had it in my head that book #4, Temple of the Winds, of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series was one of them. No idea why, but it isn't. Ah well, the third book had enough closure that I don't feel stopped short, and according to some who've read his stuff he gets more and more preachy the further into that series one gets. Still, I wanted to see what happens to Jagang after all his plans are shattered, and if there's anything to the old witch woman's warning to them not to have any children. I kinda figured the fourth book would probably start getting to that stuff. *pouts*

I'll be fine. I have the first two books of yet another series, the Riftware Saga, by Raymond Feist. I'll just have to see how those are instead, since I'm still in a fantasy series kind of mood. Then I'll get to King's Song of Susanna, book #6 in the Dark Tower, so I've finished it before the final book comes out this fall/winter. After that, a couple singleton fantasy books, then likely back to the Saga of Recluce series by Modesitt with a break in it whenever we get the last DT book.

Wow, my reading schedule's all booked up. All those books requesting to be on my list will have to make an appointment. ;) (I.e. I'll try to keep my "next reading list" up to date.)

Life03:46 PM - Another site to help animals

This one doesn't require any donations, just a click so their sponsors will donate more food: The Animal Rescue Site. There's a "feed animal for free" link on it in purple. Watch out though, it did try a popup on me (got Firefox stopping 'em, and an extension to tell me if a site tries to send one and if so, how many, and it tried one). So go with a browser that blocks popups if you can, unless you don't mind hitting alt-f4 on it.

whining no longer being accepted

Life10:26 AM - A little closer to home for a change (i.e. MEGA UPDATE)

It occurs to me, my last several posts haven't really said anything about what's going on here. With me, around home, etc. And there's been plenty to talk about, but for some reason I just haven't been in a posting mood when it's happened. No idea why, just... I haven't.

Let me see. Well, my birthday was Saturday. My husband really surprised me Friday, with lots of very sweet ideas & even flowers. :) He called me rather distressed around 3 or so, telling me that he'd been planning on surprising me but he may as well tell me because he couldn't find what he'd wanted to surprise me with: a new Samsung 17" flat panel monitor. Eee! He'd been to the Circuit City where we bought his, and they didn't have one. So they called around to some of the other stores in the St. Louis area and couldn't find any either. It being the first day of the tax holiday, it wasn't surprising for a lot of their good stuff to be sold out. So, I called the 800 number on the front page of their website and asked if they'd honor the tax free holiday if we ordered it between then and Sunday. He said they could, but only if they had it in stock in their warehouse. They didn't. However, not to be vanquished, he checked his computer to see if any of the stores in the area had any. He found one in IL and one in south county St. Louis. He said that with a CC number he could put a hold on the one in south county for us, so we could pick it up. Before he had the chance to reserve it, it was sold.

However, that's not the end of the story. :) He checked the computers again, just to see if anything popped up or he'd missed anything, and a new entry popped up for the store J had just been to an hour before! He said they could've just gotten their truck, or gotten to some stuff they hadn't inventoried yet, etc. So while it was bad they couldn't have found it an hour earlier, it was still good 'cause we had the chance to reserve it this time. Eee! So I went ahead, and we got to pick it up that night. I was IMing J the whole time, and he felt bad that I'd had to "do all the work" for my own gift. But ya know what? He was super sweet for even looking, especially having them call around and all that. And I'd told him it was too much $$$ for a birthday present, what with the MN trip and new car payments. But he figured since he'd just gotten hired there shouldn't be any problem affording it, so he looked anyway.

Even so, I came home after work, walked into the kitchen & set my stuff down, and looked up to see two dozen beautiful red roses in a vase on the kitchen counter for me. Yea!!! Huge surprise there. And they were the most beautiful, wonderful smelling red roses I'd ever seen -- they weren't the typical closed up no-fragrance ones you usually find at a florist. Absolutely great. :D They only last night started to droop, and only this morning did I wake up to see them downturned. They still smell nice even that way. Ooh, and he gave me an absolutely wonderful card, too -- I nearly cried from the sweetness and love written in that card. And he was worried.

Okay, I guess enough gushing. I also picked up a video card that night, since mine being a budget card was starting to get woefully out of date. Picked up a GeForce FX 5900 SE for $200. Much better card, still nVidia (so I don't have to deal with AMD + ATI Radeon bickering), and not super expensive like the latest stuff. Installed it Sunday, then hooked up the monitor. Nice. :) Haven't really played anything yet that puts it to the test though. However, the weird, super loud, intermittent buzzing has stopped. Fan on the old card must've gotten flaky.


Saturday was a wacky day. Friday my car started howling when I accelerated, particularly in between the 25-30mph range, and louder the harder I accelerated. Since we had dinner (birthday dinner, yea!) at my parents' house that evening I went over a little early so my dad could hear it. He said it had to be some drive thing, either the differential or the CV joint. Uh-oh. If it was the CV joint, that was bad 'cause it could end up costing a few hundred $. If it was the differential, that meant I was going to be billing Jiffy Lube since I'd just spent money for them to service it ("dealer suggested service"). So he offered to look at it Friday while I was out shopping with Mom.

J made me realize Saturday that my license expired. That day. They switched 'em to birthdays whenever they went from 3 to 6 year licenses, I guess to make it easier to remember or something. Well, if it still had to be renewed July 3 I probably would have remembered; as it stands, I remembered about a week before that and then forgot with all the busyness of the month. I was already running late to leave, 'cause I wanted to cash 2 birthday checks at the bank to take with me, and I wanted to get to my parents' house around 11am. I went ahead to the bank, while J kept trying to call my mom to tell her about the license thing (it was busy), and then came back. It was still busy when I got back, so I just went on over. I told her, and she said she'd take me to the license place so I could renew. They close at noon, so that's the first thing we did.

One problem. Well, two, sort of. I realized when we got there I didn't have anything on me with our new address. So she left to get my insurance card out of my car (which it turns out I hadn't put back when I got my plates renewed, big oops). Immediately after that, I walked in and couldn't figure out why there was a loooooong line for plates & such, but no one waiting for a license. Finally, I saw one of the umpteen signs (including one on the front door) stating their machine had broken and they weren't doing licenses. Damn! So I had to kill some time until Mom could get back. She and my dad both looked in my car for that insurance card, and couldn't find the current one anywhere. I bought a $3 cute necklace at a jewelry store in the same plaza, and then I told her the bad news when she got back. Of course, by that point it was so close to noon we didn't have time to make another licensing place before they closed, so we went on to go shopping.

Shopping was a blast. We started at Dillard's Tea Room on the top floor, and their soup was clam chowder, which I'm happy to say has become good again (it wasn't for a while, several years ago). Then we got down to the money spending. Mom bought me 3 things in Dillards -- a pair of Levis to replace the jeans that had the seams give, a nice but casual short sleeved top, and a neat over-the-head blue yarn shawl. After that, we went downstairs to shoes and purses. Mom's looking for a casual but reasonably nice, smallish red purse, and I've been looking for dress shoes I can cram my orthotics into without my heels sliding right out when I walk. I picked 5 pairs to try, and they only had 4 in my sizes (seven an a half to eight). One style finally worked, and they were $40 shoes, so I bought a pair in black leather and a pair in a dark brown crocodile pattern leather with some of the birthday money.

We went on into the mall and ended up in Express, where I never thought I'd see anything I like because of the total and utter crap they've been carrying the last few years. However, mom bought a pair of nice slacks for me I just love. I might go back to buy another pair in a different shade, even. They're really comfortable, fit very well (they had "short" sized pants that are *gasp* actually short!), and even make my ass look great if I do say so myself. :) And only $58, which for the quite good quality and even better fit, is well worth it for a nice pair of pants. They're a charcoal grey, and I'm considering going back for a light grey or one of the pin stripes.

Then, with the rest of my money, I bought shelf-bra tank tops. Well, technically 3 of them were "cami"s. But they actually somewhat fit, and I only have to lose a little off my middle to make them look decent rather than having to wait until I lose all 35 pounds. The other was a grey casual tank. Got one for $15 since they had a "buy a pair of pants, get a cami for $15" going.

They were also having a mall-wide offer, that if you ended up spending $200 on cotton items, you could get a $25 gift certificate good towards blue jeans at any store in the mall. Everything but the slacks and the shawl was cotton, so we were already fairly close. So, I began thinking of stuff I might already want or need that was cotton. We initially went to American Eagle, which was a good choice. I found some khaki stretchy jeans that fit very nicely. Then, we were less than $40 away from the total we needed, and I remembered I'd been meaning to buy some Victoria Secret low rise cotton undies, since they were on sale 5 for $20 and I had enough low rise pants to need more undies that didn't show out the top. Turns out they didn't have the ones I really wanted, the low rise string bikini, but they did have regular low rise bikinis. So I bought 10 pair. :) That put us over, so we went and got the jeans certificate. Yea!

Now, the next up-down in the day: my car. We got back around 4:30 or so, and my dad was gone, with my car up on jackstands in the front. That was good, because it probably meant he was off to an auto parts store, which meant whatever was wrong wasn't something I had to take to a mechanic. He was back after a short while, and I went out to ask him the verdict. Turns out Jiffy Lube is most definitely not meticulous in their work: they'd left the drain plug for the differential out. As in, never put it in. I'd been driving around with no fluid in the car for 3 weeks. Three. Whole. Weeks. So, he picked up a couple quarts of transmission fluid (differential takes this as well as the actual transmission), and a $2 part -- the drain plug. Then it was just a matter of putting it in and filling 'er up.

The good? No big expensive repairs. The bad? Stupid fucking Jiffy Lube screwed up again. Not only did they potentially fuck up my car, but they also wayyy overfilled the actual transmission fluid when they serviced it, and 7 or so months before when they'd rotated my tires, they didn't put one of the hubcaps in all the way and I lost it within 2 days. (My theory on the transmission fluid? They poured transmission fluid into the transmission twice, instead of once there and once in the differential. So there was no way of noticing the drain plug wasn't in, 'cause there wasn't any fluid running back out again, 'cause they poured it in the wrong place. Jackasses!) The other, much more minor bad? While I was sitting on the side of the hill by the driveway, on the decorative flat stones they had there, a bird pooped on my leg.

After that, I ran home to change, and then J and I went back to my parents' so we could drive out to J's grandma's. She offered to have us for dinner for my birthday, and when we got there, not only did Fritter (her super friendly, lovey cat) greet us, but J's parents and baby sister were there too! Also, his cousin Kevin's in town for a week and just came in earlier that day (J picked him up at the airport), so he rode with us out there, and it was a nice big friendly dinner. Lots of good food and good company. Not to mention, the gift in the card from J's parents covered most of what I spent over the amount I'd had with me shopping earlier that day. ;)


Monday I had an appointment with my doctor to get a new Zyrtec scrip approved, 'cause I'd run out of refills and I hadn't been in recently enough so he cut me off again. :( However, he made good at least a little bit. He gave me a Zyrtec scrip with 12 refills on it, which is much better than the standard 4 and having him have to approve it with the pharmacy a couple times, then cutting me off. Also, he gave me a free bottle of Flonase to help out more with symptoms (and better prevent them), and a scrip for it should I want one, plus a coupon to get the first fill of the scrip free. The first couple nights I used it I really didn't notice any difference; I was still my typical slightly itchy and nose-blowy in the morning. However, this morning I actually didn't sneeze or have to blow my nose at all. If it continues to help, I may just fill that scrip.


Tuesday night was fun. J's aunt Connie got a bunch of tickets to the Cardinal baseball game that night, and J and I got to go. Also, she called the night before to ask if my mom wanted to go, since they had an extra ticket. She said yes, so the three of us went downtown on the MetroLink after I got back from my Depo appointment. They were pretty decent seats, I must say. Very nice. And one of my coworkers was there with her boyfriend too, closer down in our section, so I said hello for a little bit before the game started. At the end of the 7th inning, we decided it was time to go. It was about 9:45pm or so, and we were losing 2 to 1 and it'd been a little disappointing because there had been some sloppy fielding on the Cardinals' part. So we left, figuring we wouldn't have to wait as long for a Metrolink train to get back. While we were waiting, my mom was listening on her headphones to the rest of the game. The Cardinals had their big inning then, with first two hits the second of which scored the tying run, followed by two more getting on base followed by a walk to go ahead, followed by Larry Walker's first grand slam with the Cardinals to put us up 7 to 2. We could hear the crowd at the stadium go totally apeshit during all of this, especially during the grand slam. Bummer we missed it, but it really was getting late, and if we'd stayed even that long and left before the 9th started, we would've been a lot later getting back. It was neat hearing the crowd and waiting for my mom to tell us what happened. :)

And that brings us up to present day. Parkway North started classes today, so it's J's first day teaching. He'd been able to get the first two days planned, plus a semester syllabus and a rules sheet worked up, and seating charts for each of his 5 classes made out. Hopefully things go well for him today. I know he's a little nervous, but I think he'll settle in OK after today & tomorrow.

whining no longer being accepted

Life08:46 AM - Help donate to new animal rescue organization: RPAW

A fellow forumite is trying to raise funds for a pet rescue organization (RPAW: Rescued Pets Are Wonderful) she and a couple others from another rescue place are starting together. For details, go to the thread she started.

If you would like to donate, you can go to the donation section of their website. Also, if you can't donate via Paypal, which the "Make a Donation" button goes to, they also provide an address to send checks & money orders (and cash, but I'm always leery of sending cash in the mail). One forumite even sent a PetSmart gift card for them, which also helps. You can also see several pictures of animals they are currently working with and fostering at the top level of their site.

She does a lot to help animals and wants to continue to do so to the best of her ability. (The reason for the split and new organization, is essentially (my impression from what I've read in her LJ, etc., due to politics of the women running the other one, which was getting in the way of their purpose, particularly for those who weren't "favorites" of said women. Which I find ridiculous -- those women are there to rescue animals, not any of the other junk.) I really want this place to get a good start; I certainly believe in what they're doing. I've already donated, and am going to consider donating once every month, if I can.

Just trying to get this out there, even though I know mine isn't a gigantic attention-generating site.

whining no longer being accepted

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Life08:50 AM - Yeesh

If you feel you've been missing your monthly, perhaps even quarterly, dose of drama in your life, you can top it up for the rest of the year by reading this forum thread.

Criminy. At 50 posts per page it's still 13 pages long. That would put the default at 25 or 26 pages. I think I've gotten a monthly dose of drama just from reading a sum total of about 5 pages between a little yesterday and a little today. While I enjoy a good forum catfight on occasion, usually perused from the Graveyard (non-postable area stuff like this often gets moved to in a heartbeat), there was no way I was reading that whole thread.

Not gonna summarize, but the only meaningful end result is that apparently the domain we're using, pvpforums.com, is going to be transferred over to Scott Kurtz (see the first few pages of the thread on the history of pvpforums if you'd like to know why) on January 1, 2005. It will, I gather, still point to us for a little while so people going there who missed the announcement ahead of time will see to adjust their bookmarks to whatever new domain name we choose. In the meantime, that domain name will have to be chosen. Several other threads (most of them Graveyarded) have already put forth some viable suggestions.

Personally, I think with all the drama (indeed, our mascot right now is Drama Llama...), we should register www.OMGLOLWTFBBQ.com or something. Too bad nonalphanumeric characters other than hyphens and underscores can't be used, otherwise I'd suggest www.OMGLOLWTFBBQ!!!!111@.com instead.

whining no longer being accepted

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Life02:14 PM - Wow, am I really that close?

I've been working on theming a phpBB2 replacement for the Bruno message board, and I'm apparently closer at getting it done than I thought (assuming I don't bother theming the admin area, which will remain a copy of the aallixSilver theme that I originally loaded as an example). I just finished the PM box area, and I can't find another directly reachable area left to redo the template on. All that's left is the various temporary confirmation boxes ("Your message has been sent/posted/whatever..."). I'm rather nonplussed. I thought I had most of it left to do.

It's kind of nice, because it means I can install that "sign up a bunch of users" plugin, sign up a few of our members (at least on a trial run but using an email address of mine instead of theirs) and see if that and the import from the old board both work. Then it's just a matter of wiping the database, signing everybody up for real, moving everything over, and it'll be done. Sweet. :)

whining no longer being accepted

Life10:26 AM - The laws of Newton and how they effect our motivations (or, "She's rambling again...")

You know, I never really fully gave this idea thought until I was overanalyzing it while talking to my friend Will. Of course, my thinking about such things is always a dangerous thing, so you've been warned. ;)

Basically, you can at least somewhat apply Newton's First Law of Motion, the Law of Inertia*, to being able to get things done. Did you ever notice that the longer you think about doing something, and spend time putting it off, the harder it is to actually make yourself do it? "Objects at rest tend to stay at rest." You have to be sufficiently motivated, i.e. you have to have enough mental force acting on your state of at-rest not-doing-anything, to get doing whatever it is. However, have you also noticed that once you get in the groove doing something, you tend to stay with it fairly easily? "Objects in motion tend to stay in motion." Once you exert enough motivational force on yourself, it tends to propel itself.

However, there is one caveat for those who are easily distracted: no matter what groove you're in, something can come up and totally blow it out of the water and put you right back in that state of rest (regarding that particular project). The thing about that, isn't so much that it breaks Newton's First Law. It's just that, for some people at least, there's a lot of counteracting force associated with rather simple distractions.

My conclusion, is that Newton's First Law is very apropos to gaining and maintaining the necessary motivation to get something done. Also, it would seem that it takes more motivation to gain enough force to move that object at rest, than it takes a distraction to stop the motion. So, in a way, as I said to Will, "one unit" of motivation contains less force than "one unit" of distraction.

Yes, I realize I'm a mental case. Yes, I realize I overanalyze things and let my imagination roam over really odd stuff. All I can say in my defense is that I have a very vivid and curious imagination which constantly seeks to amuse itself, and that I am lacking sleep.

Oddly enough, while he remarked on the oddness of the conversation, it didn't seem to frighten him. Does that make us both nerds, or something? :p

* Newton's First Law of Motion:
I. Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

Friday, August 13, 2004

News Links08:32 AM - Missouri Tax Holiday info

Since the holiday starts today, and goes through Sunday, I thought I'd post the info for any Missourians who don't already know the details.

According to this page, the following items fall under the tax holiday, limited to the dollar amounts listed:

  • Clothing – any article having a taxable value of $100 or less
  • School supplies – not to exceed $50 per perchase
  • Computer software – taxable value of $200 or less per purchase
  • Personal computers – not to exceed $2000
  • Computer peripheral devices – not to exceed $2000

Check the link for clarification of what is to be considered clothing, school supplies, and personal computers (i.e. you can't buy jewelry tax free under the clothing heading).

Also, there's a rather large caveat: There is a rather long list of both cities and counties who have chosen not to participate. In other words, the 4.2% state sales tax will not be charged in these cities or counties, but their local taxes (typically between 2-3%, roughly) will still be applied. So the lion's share of sales tax on goods won't happen, but you will still be taxed. To see the list of cities not participating, go here. To see the list of counties not participating (St. Louis county isn't among them, for example, because there is no county sales tax that I'm aware of), go here.

I'm definitely going to have to see if I can buy some computer equipment. I know I just replaced my video card with a GeForce Ti 4200, but it was kind of a budget card at the time (paid $120 quite some time ago now) and if I could find a good initial price on a much better one (not talking latest & greatest here), now would be a good time to buy it.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Life09:17 PM - Whoa

My husband is definitely having effects from playing Doom 3.

He had a wicked weird dream last night. He was home, and a bunch of zombies showed up, and he had to bash their heads in with his fists. (This, prob'ly because he got a "berserk" thingy in Doom 3 that made him switch to fists and spawned a bunch of zombies that he could kill with 1 punch.) Then, he saw me & thought at first I was a zombie, but then I told him I just woke up and he didn't bash my head in after all. Then his parents called. Apparently no zombies there, so after he talked to them he decided they must be after him & left. He fought more zombies here, there & wherever (you know how dreams are). My dad was there, in his comm headset and giggling whenever he almost got hurt by a zombie but killed it. It was like he was enjoying the thrill, or something. And then J saw my sister and she was a super zombie who could shoot fireballs from her eyes. He ran from her.

My mom wasn't in it at all, and neither were our cats. Not at all. I think Jeremy needs to lay off the D3 at least an hour before bedtime. :)


In other news, one of the 2 staples I put in my pants ripped out. Any other material would've been fine, but blue jean material, once it starts to fray, will keep on unknitting itself. So... that pair is done.


In still other news... I'm drunk as a loon. We went to Cancun (restaurant, not place in Mexico) for dinner, and I got a Jumbo blueberry margarita since they were the daily drink special for $6 instead of the usual $8 or whatever it is, and I'd thought since the work happy hour (when I couldn't drink 'cause of that TMI stuff) that blueberry sounded neat for a margarita. So I had their jumbo, which is their 2nd smallest margarita -- it goes small -> jumbo -> monster -> whatever biggest size I can't remember 'cause I didn't look. So I got that, and jeez... I asked J if I was a lightweight or if it was extra strong (since he tried it), and he essentially indicated the "a little from column A, a little from column B". Wow. Fuck. Halfway through I was buzzing rather heavily, and after the rest it's a wonder I can find the backspace key to fix all my typos, and that I'm still completely aware of all my typos. Must be muscle memory.

I'm gonna stop rambling now. I'm gonna be drunk for a little while yet, and it's only quarter after 9. Shit. Won't be hung over for work tomorrow, but damn, I guess I'll sleep well, or something.

Whoa.

And I can't believe I remembered to both fire up MovableType and Semagic to post on my site and LJ, and it scares me that just simply thinking "and" in a stronger way in my head led me to type the em HTML element so y'all'd see the emphasis in it. I shouldn't think in HTML. That's fucked. But I've done it for so long I guess I can't help it. Guess it's the same as being able to know from finger/muscle memory that I made a typo (or several) and hitting backspace without really thinking about it. Huh.

Edit: And except for this part labeled "Edit:", I typed that all in one shot. I must be a grammar & spelling Nazi to the core.

Life01:54 PM - I'm so ashamed!

...

I just stapled my pants.

 

I looked down during our weekly staff meeting and realized an inch of seam of my blue jeans at my upper inner thigh had separated. Actually, the seam itself hasn't separated -- everything there is fine. The material itself ripped just along the seam.

I've no idea how long I'd been exposing bare thigh at work today, but as soon as the meeting was over I grabbed my stapler. It didn't work trying to staple it from the outside 'cause I was trying to staple too much, so I spirited away to the bathroom, waited for a while so no one in there would hear stapling, then stapled it from the inside.

I guess it's time to retire these jeans. :(

Monday, August 09, 2004

Games & Gaming01:45 PM - Trashcan basketball

Found a neat game posted on the forums. Rather addicting, and more than a little frustrating. You have to catch the balled up paper, then control the guy's arm to pitch it into the trash can. Each time you make one, someone else appears & moves the trash can to a different spot closer or farther away.

Have fun. *evil grin* :D

whining no longer being accepted

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Life03:35 PM - UMSL bureaucracy is teh stupid

None of their offices give students all the information they need.

Some of their offices don't bother even to do their jobs on a consistent basis.

Fingerpointing is an Olympic Sport.

whining no longer being accepted

Life11:08 AM - HE GOT IT!!!

They want Jeremy at Parkway North. Eeeeeeeee!

All that's left is an interview with the superintendent, but that's pretty much just a formality.

The position is to teach both chemistry and physics. He's qualified for both, due to the unified science certificate with chem endorsement, and the physics he just needs to brush up on from all he had when getting his engineering degree at UMR. I still have my physics materials from the two engineering physics classes we both had to take, so he can use those as a start for that.

Technically, J reminded me that because they're hiring so late, it's only a one year position and then he has to compete all over again because they reopen it, but he'd have a severe advantage over any other candidates if he did well in the position during that year. (Even when they hire someone at the normal time, the person is still under a probationary period for a year, and if they didn't like you during that year they can let you go.)

I'm so happy! I stayed home today 'cause I maybe got 3 hours of sleep from blowing my nose and sneezing, but hearing this made even me feel better. So, so, soooo happy!

(I also have one helluva story about going to vote yesterday, but that can wait.)

whining no longer being accepted

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Life10:23 AM - No pity. No shame. No silence.

No pity. No shame. No silence.

I do not post this link because I've been a victim. I post it because I feel it is necessary. Rape is not a subject to be discussed only behind closed doors and in whispered tones. Rape victims are not to blame. Rape victims can be anyone: male, female, child, adult, virgin, not a virgin, single, dating, married, divorced, widowed.

Thank you, Misia, for posting this. Thank you, lupabitch, for linking to it*, and spreading the awareness.

*It is a friends-only post, so don't be surprised if you go there and do not see the post I'm referring to.

whining no longer being accepted

Monday, August 02, 2004

Life06:12 PM - Kitty hat pics

I wanted to take a pic of me in the kitty hat, and after trying rather unsuccessfully to come up with a decent one by myself, I finally had J take a few, and this is the result.

Thanks fishfish!!

Edit: Thanks to llizard for spotting my incorrect link. It's now fixed. :)

Life10:36 AM - *crosses fingers*

... realizing it's hard to type with crossed fingers, I'm only crossing them in spirit. :p

J just called me. His interview at Parkway North for a chemistry & physics position was this morning, and he thinks it went fairly well. He has the impression it's between him and 2 other people. Also, we'll know one way or the other in 3 days, because new teacher orientation starts Thursday, so they have to decide before then. Whoa. (If he gets this, I really hope they're not too pissed off to find out he'll miss Friday... being that we already have plane tickets to be in MN Thursday night to go to a wedding.)

I think we're both going to be all tense wondering how this is going to pan out. I really, really hope he gets it. It'd be a nice district to for him to work in, I think.


In other news, we got to hang out a bit with Ria and pyrokinesis last night. They got in town latish Saturday evening, so they came over for a bit last night. Went out to Malone's to meet up with J's crew since they'd left not too long ago and I was hungry (was so nice of 'em to not mind going, even though a birthday party'd left them plenty full), then they decided they had to watch the movie the crew was gonna watch: Snatch. So we did that, and then it was rather late and both they & I had to catch some ZZZs. Once they get settled a bit more we're gonna have to hang out more often, perhaps even on non-Sundays when J's gang isn't all over.

Web Quizzes09:22 AM - Memememememeeeeeeme!

3 memes... snipped so they don't take over the front page.

What Flavour Are You? I taste like Beef.I taste like Beef.

I taste like beef. I'm probably made of beef. You are what you eat, they say, and if the title didn't mean something else, I would be a beefeater. I think red meat is good for you. Puts hair on your chest. What Flavour Are You?

Totally me. I love read meat. :D Though I spend a lot of meals eating chicken, 'cause it's usually the healthiest edible choice on any given fast food menu.


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