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half a thought

I'm leaning up against a baseball glove.

We had our first company softball game on Friday, and while I had believed I had brought my old glove when I moved out here, searching the apartment did not yield it up, so I bought a new one the night of and my pinky could tell it hadn't been broken in yet.

Since our next game is next Friday, and I'm waiting for an order of neatsfoot oil to come in, I'm just trying to break it in any way I can, which at this moment means leaning against it while sitting on the couch. It seem to be helping.

We one our game. 25 to one in fact. But for most of us not having played in a decade, and the team as a whole having never practiced together minus playing catch about half an hour before the game, I think we did decently enough!

I also got the last component back on my bike so I can resume riding it. I had taken the cable off to put a cable stop on, made a silly mistake in trying to trim the housing without having first removed the cable, and needed to get a new cable afterwards. But now it's in, I think it's more or less in the right adjustment; I just need to ride harden it.

I have been daydreaming more and more often about moving out to a little farmstead in Europe. Probably due to sunneschii's photographs and articles like this.

I finally visited the podiatrist last week. The visit made me quite embarrassed, because the doctor didn't tell me anything I didn't know already... But maybe it was being so embarrassed that made me actually start taking more drastic measures. For instance, going to work wearing my running shoes (podiatrist looked at them and gave me a look that said 'if you're wearing these, wtf are you still having trouble?'), and tying half of a pair of orthotic inserts I'd purchased after seeing my GP several months ago (then never used, because they didn't seem any different from the ones already in my running shoes) to the foot with the heel pain. After one weekend, it feels incredibly different. That and the cortisone shot.

also been doing some coloring in a wonderful fantastic coloring bookCollapse )

Busy Weekend

So, after a week with a SodaStream, I finally found out that the buzz you're supposed to use to gauge how much carbonation you've injected via your SodaStream is actually more of a loud BELCH than the droning cicadas that I heard up until that point. Now the stuff I have been making actually has some bite to it!

I want to get some vodka and start distilling essences of different things (herbs, fruit, nuts) to make something similar to the fruity but tasteless soda waters you can buy in stores (la Croix, san Pellegrino, et al)

I also did a lot of work on bikes, both mine, and the one I'm fixing up for my boyfriend. I've still been riding mine to work twice a month or so, and took it on the main drag for the first time last week. It wasn't too bad; there's a lane reserved for parking, but it's not allowed until after 6pm, so at the time I rode (right at 6) there wasn't anyone in it, and most cars avoid it anyway.

I fixed a couple of problems with my saddle and pedals; the saddle was squeaking whenever my weight would come down hard on it, and my pedals were clicking every time they went around. The saddle thing I fixed by loosening the bolt keeping the leather taut, putting some leather grease down around the metal/leather junctions, then retensioning the leather a little less tight than it had been.

The pedals were two issues: first thing was they needed to be overhauled. I took them apart and repacked them with new bearings. The second thing was the kickstand was just in the way of the left pedal. I had to put it on myself originally, and I wasn't really sure where exactly it went. I spent about an hour on some poor people's sidewalk trying different alignments until I got it just right.

Here"s a picture of my bikeCollapse )

For his, the one I had gotten for him was way too big; I could barely get on it myself. I found a smaller frame on eBay and I started cleaning it up. Since it had cranks, I figured this would be a good low-risk opportunity to learn how to overhaul bottom brackets that take cottered cranks. These are infamous in the vintage bike enthusiast community because they're very easy to do if you have the expensive tool, and very difficult to do if you do not have the expensive tool. Of course I don't have a cotter press, but the local bike co-op does! It turned out so easy that I went back today and did the ones on my bike.

Of course, today the main trip wasn't to the co-op, but to see some paintings someone had listed on craigslist. I like to browse the art listings when I'm bored sometimes to see if there's anything outrageous or cool.
The guy only asked $20 for this, but I still feel like I ripped him off...Collapse )
That painting is about 3' by 2', so it just barely fits in our apartment... really need to save up for a house! but can't buy paintings or bike parts if I do that... maybe just quit eating out so much :}

We even went to the farmer's market yesterday and got some delicious plums and a beautiful lavender plant (the flowers of which are fated to become soda, I'm afraid)


soda water, not stirred

We been talking about getting a sodastream machine to alleviate the pain and ordeal of buying a couple of $2/lit bottles of carbonated water. Hold on, let me explain.

I got involved with this whole carbonation thing relatively recently. In January, I bought Wii Fit U and proceeded to change my life by doing regular weigh-ins and exercises. That caused a whole slew of issues, namely hauling my fat ass around on my already-ailing left foot and left hand. But the more relevant effect was that I needed a lot of water on hand while I exercised.

Back when I would use the apartment complex's gym, I would just refill my daily water bottle from the water fountain in there. It didn't taste particularly great, but it was cold and wet, so it did the job. However, Wii Fit constrains me to the living room, which means I'm dealing with the Brita filter. My parents' refrigerator has this magic chill water dispenser which in retrospect, seems just completely like magic now that I have moved out into the demesnes of landlord-managed refrigeration.

The Brita filter holds maybe a gallon of water, which is plenty for working out for the evening, but the catch is the third or fourth time you've drained it to fill your water bottle, you have to go and lug it out of the fridge and baby sit it under the sink while you fill it, letting it drain through the filter so you can get it good and full so you don't have to deal with this chore for as long as possible, except getting it good and full means that it now weighs a good 8lb, which gets awkward when you have to bend down and twist in order to get it back into its place on the top shelf, and now that I think about it, why haven't we ever thought about moving it to the side nearer the sink so you don't have to contort so bad to fiddle with the damn thing? Probably because the last apartment had the door opening on the right, so it was more convenient to put the jugs on the left...

Plus, all that hassle and it still doesn't taste great.

Anyway, one afternoon shopping for groceries, I noticed that they had started selling a brand of water bottled about 2 hours from where I grew up. I'd seen it all the time as a kid. I toasted my nostalgia by picking up a couple of bottles. They also sold the carbonated variety, and given the cost($2/L), I figured carbonated water would drink a little slower and last a little longer than the still, since I had never gotten a taste for the stuff. Of course, as I continued to work out, and continued to buy these green glass bottles of refreshment, the stuff started to grow on me, as distasteful things do. I think what did it is I stopped trying to drink it cold. The europeans like their tepid sodas, right?

so now I have a $4/week carbonation habit, but that's because I can't carry more than 2 of these things in our normal grocery bags. I could easily go through more if it weren't so damned inconvenient. (Even the Brita starts to look good; I stopped buying the spring water and refilled the empty glass bottles from the store of chilled water). However, life goes on, and I lose a little weight.

That brings us to 6 months later and we've got about 10 of these liter bottles hanging around the apartment. They're so heavy that they distort the recycling, so I've been neglecting to add them in. Glass is such a pain to recycle, too, because not only do you have to haul it around, but you have to get a special bucket to put it in, and then the guy just dumps it into a bin where the sound of it breaking, despite all the care you've paid to it, sends a chill down your spine and makes you think of fingernails and chalkboards.

My dovely, ever so ecological as me but less loath to spend money, finally suggested I look into Sodastream to curb the rampant accumulation of glass, lest we end up building a house out of the stuff.

The problem is that "I'm a little averse to being locked down in proprietary systems," she types on her macbook pro. . . "And I would feel bad if I couldn't use these damn green bottles anymore. I've grown fond of them and their heft."

so I've been reading up on carbonation in general, because surely all those cola makers at the turn of the 20th century didn't have fancy equipment to pressurize carbon dioxide. So how did they do it?

There are several alternatives I came across, each rather fascinating.

baking soda and vinegar
beer brewing and the resultant 'fixed air'
And of course,
the same method as sodastream, but less streamlined and more open source.

I've got about a week's left of carbonation left until I need a decision. Do I bite the bullet and sell out to the brand name or cause myself even more headache in the interest of saving money and pride.

customer service magic

One of my favorite phenomena I learned about while working in customer service is Customer Service Magic (CSM).

I don't pretend to understand exactly how it works, only that it does work. Customer Service Magic is what happens when you struggle for a long time on trying to get something to work without success. Frustrated, you call the help line knowing 'oh, customer service is never helpful, I don't know why I'm bothering.' The agent on the phone doesn't actually do anything extraordinary or special to your exact circumstances, but as a result of having called, you will suddenly be able to do whatever it is you were trying to.

Happily, this phenomenon also occurs in the tech field. Often, my employees will come to me with some question, and sometimes I don't even get to sit down and take a look at the problem when they figure it out. These instances make me think that CSM is just a tool to help our brains catalog and revisit problems from new perspectives.

Other times, while helping someone and trying multiple solutions in vain, some permutation will click into place, and suddenly, despite doing steps you were sure you did exactly the same several times previously, the problem will be solved. Unfortunately, this sorts of solutions are only useful once, because without understanding how they came to pass, the next person to encounter it will have to go through the whole ordeal themselves. This sort of situation makes me think that CSM introduces new variables that can cause someone to deviate just enough from their previous attempts to hit on one that works.

I myself have been on the receiving end of Customer Service Magic. I don't remember the precise circumstances, rather just the feeling of relief as I realize that my issue is gone and I don't actually have to stay on the line for an hour trying to fight my way through scripts.

I don't know whether CSM only occurs with customer service representatives who feel a passion for their product or service, or whether it can happen with any wage slave. Maybe the ones who are passionate and care about getting good results for their customers are the ones who notice it?


I am stupid addicted to hanabi. One of the girls at work brought a deck and taught us a couple weeks back, and I finally made an account on boardgamearena.com and have been playing a couple of games every night.

it's basically cooperative solitaire with a twist: you don't get to see your cards, but instead, you see everyone else's. You take turns cluing each other in on your respective hands and making leaps of faith as you try to play your hand.


How to write effective business emails

This is the tried and true method I've used for a year and a half in consumer customer service, and nearly 2 years in a tech role that basically amounted to customer service for software developers.

[The bicycle saddle] came today, so I'm not sure what happened with USPS! Thanks for looking into it. [1]

I compared [the saddle] to the one I'm replacing, and while the old one was too dried out by the time it got to me and flared out at the sides, it seems like the B17 is a lot narrower.[2][3] I bought it to put onto a ladies' 1968 Raleigh Sport.[4] Do I need the B66 instead?[5][6][7] I had thought I could reuse the clamp from the old saddle with my seatpost, but looking at the item summaries for the B66, B67, and B17, I'm no longer sure.[8]

I'd appreciate your suggestions![9]

Step 1: Acknowledge and reply to any points in the previous missive(s)
Step 2: Explain the background of your question
Step 3: Rewrite the background to leave out extraneous details, tempting parenthetical statements, and other nasty habits of oral communication; add in jargon phrases if you understand what they mean and the receiving party will understand them.
Step 4: Provide the details that are important and you forgot to include. You can put these in a bullet point and they'd probably be just as happy, but you can write them in a nice sentence and they won't be too mad.
Step 5: Ask your question
Step 6: Research the issue again, using the information you've collected
Step 7: Rephrase your question
Step 8: Add in any last questions or misgivings you have as a result of your additional research.
Step 9: Thank them in advance for their assistance and compliment them a little by humbling yourself or exalting them.

Linguistic Reform

I was reading this article in The Atlantic over the weekend; it insinuates that the reason the US doesn't have more engineers, doctors, teachers, lawyers, etc is because as kids, we spend too much of our time learning to read and write, memorizing and internalizing all of the pits and foibles of the English language.

I wasn't very impressed with their suggestion that spelling reform would instantly transform the US into a powerhouse of capitalism and science, but the idea of using tech to solve the problem appealed to me.

I started thinking about how Japanese children learn kanji by reading furigana, which uses kana (think Japanese alphabet) superscripted over a character to sound it out, allowing them to pick up the meaning from context if they recognize the sound of the word or idea. Of course, we can't really put parenthetical explanations that explain what a word is when it has a complicated or illogical spelling every time we write a word with complicated spelling, but we can use text replacement.

I copied the first paragraph from the wikipedia article on IPA and started writing a correlation guide for sounds. I had to make a few conscious decisions:
  1. I was going to design a phased implementation, where every couple of decades, the next step towards a logical orthography would be taken

  2. The first phase of the reforms would not involve vowels, nor semi-vowels; they're too damn complicated to make the first changes comprehendible to first-generation converts

  3. The letter "c" would be used for the "hard-c" sound, instead of "k"--K is commonly used because it is unambiguous in English; however, I think there is a greater stigma to see a large number of Ks in written English, and using C would improve the theoretical uptake

  4. The letters x and q would not be used; they are however, reserved for possible future purposes. (for example... filling out those damn vowels)

  5. Morphemes that are used as affixes or in combining forms would use the same spellings to preserve the connection between meanings. This may have the impact that pronunciations of some words would morph.
    • E.g., "Northern" would use the same "th" as "North", even though the phoneme is voiced in "Northern" and unvoiced in "north", and my reforms would show the distinction otherwise.

I tried this out by manually replacing the text in a short paragraph. But, after reading it, I felt the text was too familiar to me to have the real experience. So I set about automating changing the rest of the article.

First, I used grep to extract all the unique words in the article (which also picked up foreign words, IPA characters, and other non-word contents) to a text file. Then, I opened it in a spreadsheet program and added a column that contained all of the future transformations. I included the first stage transformation for every word that needed one, and the second or third stages for a few that I could see (stage 2 involves removing duplicated consonants). I sorted by column 2 and pasted all of the words that had phase 1 modifications back into a text document and wrote a regex pattern to turn the file into something I could feed into sed. Finally, I used sed to transform the entire article into the phase 1 orthography.

I think the only mental leaps we would need to be able to parse this easily is the knowledge that the digraph "dh" is the voiced "th" (from Northern), and that "c" is always a hard-c sound.

Other changes:


  • Soft G -> J

  • "French J" / "voiced SH" to ZH (e.g. closure)
  • X to CS or CZ, depending on voicedness

  • Soft C to S

  • QU to CW or CU

  • Ph to F

  • "Of" to "Ov"

  • "Is" to "Iz"

  • Silent letters (G and K of GN, KN) omitted


partying partying YEAH + night bike

The kids at work* have started organizing these Friday night gaming sessions. The first one was a week ago, and we just played Smash Brothers on the projector and ping pong. A couple of the guys who are more senior and work from our clients' sites came by later and added to the party feel.

Everyone immediately agreed that we should do it again, and even a few more people heard about it and came by, this time bringing some drinks, too. One person brought this physical tetris-like puzzle game called Fits that was pretty fun (and difficult!). Another guy had a pack of cards, so I taught everyone how to play ERS.

I hadn't played Egyptian Rat Screw since high school when it was a staple of long band trips and boredom during breaks, but after googling it a little, the rules came back swiftly.Collapse )
I won pretty easily while everyone else was still learning the rules, so for the last game, I volunteered to start with no cards and slap my way in, and I still won. I was pretty impressed, because a couple of the guys playing ran out of cards and were able to slap back in themselves for a little while.

There's already one planned for next week that will actually be company sponsored, so the participation will be even greater. I'm excited!

At the end of the night when my boyfriend and I were ready to leave, I had to make the decision of whether I wanted to take my first night bikeride on my Raleigh. I opted to make the trip, since I had installed my lights and my route goes through a quiet residential neighborhood. It was beautiful. The moon and stars were showing clear against some clouds, and there was a stiff, crisp breeze (Even without biking, it was enough to blow you over) that carried the scent of blossoms. A+ would ride again.


spring time

Even though there's not a very noticeable temperature or weather change, there are still some reliable signs of spring in Los Angeles's South Bay.

The first is a brief period of heavy fog. This is Silent Hill levels of fog, where you can't see one side of the street from another. (for a certain width of street, which if you've played the first Silent Hill, you'll know the streets are quite wide in that game) Eerie to stop at a stoplight that you can't even see!

The second is the perennial ducks. I'm not sure whether it's the same mating pairs from year to year, but pools, fountains, any consistent body of water will have some ducks show up. They would show up at the fountain at Konami (and even walk to the the grocery stores nearby!). These are the ones that showed up at my apartment's pool this year:

It also makes cats think about gardening

I went through the planters on the porch and threw out some old annuals I had put in in the autumn that had died off, as well as the other general plant trash that accumulated over the winter. A couple of annuals were still alive, so I consolidated them into an empty planter where I'd tried to do some onions that ended up getting waterlogged. I added some perlite, so hopefully the new ones won't suffer the same fate.

There were some little plants that came up in my potato container that I don't recognize. I moved them around so they don't have to compete with the potato vines. There also seem to be some narcissus that are coming up, but they don't seem to be substantial enough to expect them to bloom. There were some little four o'clock seeds that sprouted after the main one bloomed back in October/November. I swept up a lot more seeds, so I just added them to the one that had the majority of them, but a couple of seeds have probably ended up in every planter.

The orchid I saved from the dumpster has been very limp and languid lately, so I went ahead and replaced the bark in it and saw that the roots were fairly waterlogged. I think they might revive with some new bark mix, though. I also repotted the only onion I got to root, which still has extensive amounts of green onion shoots, and saw that its root system was pretty healthy, although no bulbs seem to have formed yet.

The last sign of spring, or really "it has rained relatively recently":

How long do snails live, anyway?

critical mass

So the scale was telling me an increasingly distressing story. I knew my snacking at work had gotten out of control. So I stopped.

It's.. rough, but easier than I anticipated.

company and running and investing

my stock purchases have not gone well 8)

I guess I didn't post here about it, but if you scroll down a couple of entries to the halloween one, just know that I sprained my ankle pretty badly on Halloween as a result of being a witch. I got health insurance in December, and by the time I saw a physical therapist at the first of this month, it was almost healed. She gave me some exercises and milestones to reach before starting to run.

I've been fantasizing about it for months. I'm dreading actually being able to do it, because I've gained about 15 pounds and lost any stamina I had. Back when I was playing ping-pong at the training center, and doing cardio twice a week. Got a lot of lost distance to recover. Ayyyy

my company has run off another good employee, one who I found very inspiring and stimulating. As much of a huge improvement it's been for me, it's still easy to see how relatively poorly compensated we are. But everyone thinks that about their work. We'll see how I feel after a year. I heard someone answer the question "How long did you work at X?" a while ago, and they gasped with awe at the answer "about 2 years". So long, right?

My parents are talking about moving out here. Not to LA, but north of the valley. The houses they have looked at make my mind spin in circles. They're both disabled/retired, how could they possibly work out something? I guess they expect me and my family will take over the mortgage... It could work, but I freeze up thinking of abandoning the house on the mountain back in Arkansas. When we moved there in '91, I hated it. I wanted to move back to the trailer next door we had come out of (a family of five in a double-wide). A few years later, one of my parents asked me if I still wanted to move, and I was aghast. I loved the house and the yard and the pasture and the woods and the bluff.

We'll see, I guess!


Jan. 10th, 2014

I had a dream I was pregnant, had a baby boy, fed him a bowl of rice, then left to explore the countryside and visit a tech fair. I was still pregnant-fat (I think this reflects more on my holiday weight gain than on my recent sexual undertakings), so I couldn't climb the staircase to view some of the exhibits. I appealed to a young grad student watching a booth, and she let me use their moving sidewalk exhibit to raise me over the steps and up to the next floor of exhibits. The sidewalk was a little mat about the size of a coffee table book, made of bamboo shoots that rolled over one another to move forward under your feet. Upstairs was an exhibit of magnetic crystals. They'd clump together to about the size of a pea, but larger than that and they'd fall apart under their weight.

a very bizarre, yet enjoyable dream.


Status Update

Summary of the last week:

worked out with 5lb weights two times
practiced ch. 21 kanji two times

Lola is not using the scratching post my dad made very much. I wonder if the texture feels bad to her or what is the matter. Anytime I see her scratching, I pick her up and put her on it. I've removed her old one because she was just using it instead. We'll see.

my initiative to not eat out so much is off to a poor start, but today I did resist the urge to purchase some cookies at Trader Joe's, so that's something, at least.

I've also decided to finally complete my scottrade account. Going to gird myself and make the market plunge.

new year

something I have joked about in the last couple of months after being promoted to working onsite with my development team is the idea of leading a Scrum lifestyle.

and idk, I don't really care for new years resolutions, there's a lot of things I'd like to work on. Resolutions are often posed in "stop xxx", which is a lot harder to commit to than "do xxx", I think. Your conscious has to be constantly listening for you to be on the threshold of doing whatever verboten activity, but to do something, you can just set reminders for yourself, as long as you commit to follow through.

so maybe I'll just try the agile approach. I'll have a sprint planning party with myself (you're all invited), have a sprint, then check up afterwards. Might as well do something with livejournal, you know?


Myra Breckinridge;
Endymion; started reading this, got kind of turned off it
Anathem; listened to the audio book, LOVED it!
Dark Places: A Novel
The Graveyard Book
Snow Crash; read this on my phone; really liked it
Time Traveller's Wife
The Giver (again); I think I did end up reading this again. I don't remember what I thought exactly
The Real Story
House of Leaves
The Blade Itself
Death From the Skies
The Ethos Effect
Ender's Game; read this, kind of interested in seeing the movie, but it's such a shame about the author...
Accidental Sorceror
Lord Foul's Bane; started reading this, but really did not get into it at all.
The Belgariad
When Gravity Fails (marid audran)
Naked Lunch

Adding my phone list:
The Hunger Games
The Lovely Bones
The Kite Runner
Water for Elephants
The Time Traveler's Wife
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Count of Monte Cristo (again)
Game of Thrones (the first one again and the rest of the series)
Guns, Germs, and Steel
Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary
Celia- A Slave


Two more sleeps til Halloween!

I'm going to wear my witch costume again. I wore silk specter two years in a row, and that princess gown two years as well. It's economical, plus you have a better idea of how to pull it off the second time!


I got our pumpkin tonight. I wasn't going to start carving, but my dovely asked why I wasn't, and I thought that there'd be no guarantee I'd feel more like doing it tomorrow, so might as well do some. It's cat o'lantern for a third year, and I'm definitely getting better at that.


Lola is in the window, looking out into the autumn night. The clouds are low and gleaming white, reflecting the light from the city


Or metropolis more correctly. ロサンゼルス郡

on music

When I was younger, I had a very intimate relationship with my mp3 collection. (You can probably read more about it in this journal. )

stuck on dialup, you can't download music faster than you can listen, so when you are waiting the 15-20 minutes to download a 3mb mp3, you can listen to that 3 minute song 5 times.

We got dsl in 2005, so from 2001-2005, I listened to each song a lot

after getting dsl, suddenly listening to a song was about the same time as downloading a song. my music collection exploded, but I stopped being able to narrowly pin down exactly [I]what month[/I] I could define by listening to any particular group of songs.

Sometime between the last years of high school and starting college, I stopped listening to music every waking moment at home. This also distanced me from the tracks I did listen to.

Today, I listened to one of those songs from the early period, one of those which besides repeating it until the next mp3 hit came, I would play on repeat all weekend just [I]because[/I].

and it was like being punched in the heart. I searched iTunes for the songs rated five stars, and just looking over the names, I felt so emotional. I turned on shuffle and have just been listening to them while writing this post with this stupid bittersweet grimace of nostalgia.

Remembering the times of my life when I listened to these songs, the individual perfect moments to which they have served as soundtracks, the friends who sacrificed the bandwidth to gift them to me, the old familiar feelings they first evoked when listening to them on repeat.



There is a livejournal app for android. Well I'll be. Something longer form than twitter without being exposed to all those people I know irl!


Tonight I realized I have forgotten the companies that have hosted my site over the years. I remember about every other... That's a lot of gaps.


My psychologist has started me on Zoloft to taper off the Celexa.  I don't have a baseline anymore, thanks to the last few months of work being insane, so it may be difficult to gauge the effect. 


I've taken genetic Celexa since the middle of 2008.  this was prompted by going to France, and completely losing my shit whenever I would have to speak French. When I came back and felt panicked walking through a store, something had to changed.


During the summer of shit going down in 09, I briefly tried to go off it (taking nothing else) and did not care for the side effects.
The next summer, my psychologist at the uni health center added Buspar. I had spent that summer in Atlanta, a place I loved, doing a research project that made me want to throw myself under a bus.


That served me well enough-they are cheap and the only problem was hunting down a doctor to prescribe them to me. But like I said, my stresses have skyrocketed. Start getting careless on purpose when crossing streets, waking up in the morning with entire customer interaction histories in my mind, unable to stop brainstorming responses, or worrying what they will respond with.
My heart will flutter, skip beats, be far too noticeable. I had read that the FDA had reduced its max dosage recommendation for Celexa on account of hear issues resulting from it.


But, work is gradually becoming more manageable, hopefully the zoloft will treat me well, and I can come out of hibernation. Back in summer, I wondered what to do with my time.  Now I daydream about having some.




and day two

My goals for today were
a) to mail a DMV form to my dad so he could sign off my AR title
b) make an appointment to renew my insurance papers so I can get state subsidized birth control
c) cook a dinner
d) maybe do a little planting

It was a lot easier to get up, due to the lack of Daylight Savings, but it came around to bite me really hard in the ass. I thought that the parking garage's lights would be on by 5:30, but they weren't. Guess they wait until 6. I mean, I know it isn't, but it just feels dodgy being up there in the dark.

So as for my plans, I made my way through traffic on hold with the doctor's office, only to find out that since all I do have to do is fill out paperwork, they won't actually make me an appointment. So I get to try to go before work tomorrow and hope nothing takes a long time. Wish they could have told me this when I went in last month, but no, I get to find out when my bill at the pharmacy comes up to $106. Like whaaaaat?

I only teared up for a moment, but I was frustrated a little longer at the idea that I could've gotten this over with on saturday. Last week I'm sure I would've been weeping for 15 minutes at least! I'm hoping that depressive fit is done with, but with a visit to the psych on Friday, it's unlikely to end on a high note! But three day weekend should go a long ways to assuaging that.

So then, I work on making out an envelope and cute little note to my dad to go on the DMV form. I realize I can go to a little postal center on lunch to mail it and plan to do so.

Turns out they want $9 to ship it priority with delivery confirmation ;_;! Should've shipped it from work and just paid back the mail room guy.

but hopefully it will be worth it and I will get it back in one piece.

At the same plaza with the mail center is Fancy Grocery store, and they were having a sale on steak! So we got a steak and some potatoes to mash, and I totally forgot to eat my lunch because I was having a good time and actually I kinda filled up on peanut butter pretzel balls at my desk... so... But the pizza I brought I just ate for dinner, because it turns out my dovely didn't want to have the dinner tonight, which is just as well as he gets home half an hour after me, which is when I usually do the cooking, but he had the steak and the potatoes, and to make a long run-on sentence end, I was unable to cook them.

So instead I planted one of the paperwhite bulbs I got at the garden center yesterday. I poked drainage holes in the bottom of a plastic thai take out dish, put about an inch of dirt in, placed a bulb with roots down, put dirt on top, sprayed lightly with water, and placed it in my peace lily plant to let the roots develop a little. I'm eager to see what happens!

and now, after a night of discussing politics on IRC, I am ready for election day!

just felt like typing a lot

Cibie says that I can post to LJ by typing on my keyboard, so here's giving it a shot.

Today, I woke up and thought 'damnit I am not sleeping in all day like I did yesterday' so I got up and discovered that due to Daylight Savings ending, it was only 9:30.

I got up and made an omelet with mushrooms and onion and fed Lolacat (i.e. shook her food bowl). Dessert for breakfast was a mini-Snickers bar that I got for the trick or treaters that never came to our door.

I spent some time browsing through the script of Hamlet after watching Hamlet 2000 last night in #outerheaven (Saturday night Internet Pirate Television). I keep thinking about this essay I wrote about Ophelia and her flowers for AP English in high school, but I can't bring myself to actually reread it. shuddering here. Turns out Ophelia doesn't get a hell of a lot of speaking lines. Hamlet 2000 did a pretty good job of chronicling her descent into angsty madness, I thought.

I browsed through the mail, holding onto a few coupons for car services (my dovely needs a smog check, and my car needs an oil change) and ripped a taxi service ad off a nice refrigerator magnet. Now I just have to think of something clever or pretty to attach to it.

There was also a brochure for classes held by my city/civic center. The Ballroom Dancing for Couples sounded interesting, as well as Knitting 101 at the library. My friend had expressed interest in learning, and I've never learned myself, plus it's free! so we'll see. I have my doubts about getting my dovely interested in dancing, though

I remembered that I had wanted to purchase some daffodil bulbs in order to start wintering them to bloom in spring. Turns out there was a highly rated garden center south of here, and they had bulbs in stock.

When my dovely awoke, I immediately stole all of his clothes for the purpose of washing laundry, while he took to playing Real Survival mode in Resident Evil (GC). This is the fifth RE game we've played; we started with RE1 2 and 3 on PSN classixxxx, then RE: Code Veronica on PS2. After playing so many up-rezzed PS1 games on our PS3, seeing a PS2 game over component cables looked... weird. But beautiful! Then RE:game cube version on the Wii, which is noticeably not up-rezzed, but still lovely. The high color pre-rendered backgrounds are very fulfilling.

While the laundry was percolating downstairs (have you ever heard of a three story apartment complex having one laundry room?) I worked on separating the pumpkin guts from the pumpkin pulp from the Cat o'Lantern we carved last week. (You can see what Lolacat thinks of Cat o'Lantern. Unlike all the other cats that roam wild across the plains of our apartment complex, she does not hiss or bat her claws at Cat o'Lantern.) It took me a lot of googling to decide which part of the pumpkin you actually cook, but luckily I had scraped plenty out when carving that I think I have enough for my milkshake schemes. I microwaved it for half an hour in 5 minute increments, stirring each time (and eventually draining the excess water). Due to the scraping, there wasn't much need to puree the pumpkin, which was good because I tried it in my blender anyway, to no great effect. I'm thinking my blender is kinda shitty.

After laundry, we went on the great garden center adventure. Turns out it's a lot further than I thought, but there's all kinds of great stuff. And since it's Fall, everything was on sale; I got out of there for like $25 despite buying a large planter, a large bag of potting soil, and the daffodil bulbs I've been idly dreaming of.

I also got some paperwhite bulbs, in honor of a paper I read many years ago that explains how to grow miniature paperwhites by adding alcohol. Turns out that the bulbs are pretty creepy looking, like a garlic in the back of the cabinet long forgotten.

My dovely also suggested some catnip for Lolacat to frolic in. The aeonium my coworker gave me has more or less given up, so that will be an idea use for that pot.
(I have also placed random pumpkin seeds in all my pots to see if any of them do anything. I didn't remember from my first grade pumpkin seed growth experiment whether you're supposed to put them tip down or tip up, so I did a mixture of each.
I also pulled up my orange lilies that got dried out and shriveled up. They each have new little bulbs forming in their roots, so I'm optimistic about them coming up again next year.

I started another onion, since the last one hasn't really taken off. Whenever I get to the end of an onion for cooking purposes, I usually drop it in a pot so that it will grow onion greens, which are good for omelets and egg drop soup. Garlics will do the same thing, but I don't run through them as fast.

After the garden center, the next step was to get ice cream for the pumpkin milkshake I ultimately intend to consumer. The best place in Los Angeles county to get ice cream is Handel's, which is an Ohio transplant. This location has some pretty good pizza in the same lot, so that was dinner, then S'mores ice cream (with a graham cracker flavored ice cream base, small slabs of chocolate, and honest to god marshmallows bedded in) was dessert.

After that, we returned home with our quart of plain vanilla and found that it was completely dark already. Hurrah for daylight being squandered! However, the effect is to make me feel like I have a lot more time before bed, so I kinda like it.

At any rate, back online, I got to thinking about people I'd been lj friends years before, and after an hour or two of googling them, decided I felt like blogging.

So here you have it!