And on we go 2002
Well, yeah, there ain't much to say to that.
I was doing better this afternoon after my doctor's appointment. Left a message for a therapist recommended to me by the one regretably located too far away in Aptos who was highly recommended by Kevin's dad and, it turns out, my Mum. Took a very brief shower & put on the new ointment (isn't ointment a fun word? let's say it: ointment ointment ointment. Tempting to say oinkment isn't it?) and then took a nap which was supposed to be 1-2 hours long but turned out to be 3+. Perversely enjoyed some work email from a customer we're dealing with through a partner and who has really annoying internal politics; this one was from the gatekeeper on the data saying she just had a brain flash & realized a field we could use that might provide the information we need which is basically what we've been asking for explicitly since October. She plays innocent because this solution delivers what her group should but doesn't. The politics are so blatant and pathetic and unproductive for the company as a whole it's either laugh or cry and I have finally gotten enough emotional distance on this one to just laugh.
I had some tomato soup & toast for dinner which was nice & comforting. Spent most of the evening reading catalogs & playing The Sims. Unfortunately, just as bedtime started approaching, the itching began. Why? What is up with that? And how am I supposed to get to sleep like this? Grrr. I just took my allergy medication, so I hope it kicks in, stops the itching and makes me drowsy. Feh. What a hassle this all is.
Tired "Voice" & Weary Head 2002
I woke this morning with aching arms & wrists. There seem to be two reasons: I slept strangely & cut off some circulation in my arms and I chatted too much yesterday. Chat is really hard on the wrists because it's the fastest typing I do and I am distracted from listening to my body tell me when it needs a rest.
Still having a lot of other health distractions. My stress appears to be largely manifesting itself physically as intense itching all over my body (but especially on my arms and legs). This is keeping me from falling asleep quickly so I take allergy medication. Unfortunately, the allergy medicine is only slightly effective in reducing the itching, but it does make me drowsy enough to fall into an exhausted sleep from which I awake very groggy. This has been going on to a greater or lesser degree since November. So here I am at work: sore wrists & stiff muscles, groggy head, itching like mad and with the side of my hands from thumb to first finger all bumpy & red from scratching. Basically, I'm miserable and I can't think and I can't get any work done.
If you can't say anything nice... 2002
I had a great weekend, really, but I'm such a gloomy gus these days it's hard to post interesting, non-self pity thoughts. I'll try.
- Dinner Friday with Hava & Matthew
- Kristin's cool whirlwind of friends helping her move everything in record time, in the rain into her new place "The Apartment With The Wonderful Closet"
- Seeing Amelie for the second time
- Playing The Sims with people whose blogs I read put in as the neighbors
- Brunching on a sunny San Francisco Sunday morning with many of said people who are much cooler & funnier & sexier & wiser & sweeter than any Sim could be
- Walking with Kevin and puttering around in the Academy of Sciences marvelling at science and giggling nervously at giant clams (It is good to stay friends)
There! Excellent Dinah! I get a biscuit for being a good girl.
Jish's Xmas Brunch 2002
The goofy version:
A Good Friday 2002
Had a really nice evening with my friends Hava & Matthew. They cooked me a lovely dinner*, made me laugh and generally proved themselves wonderful people to have in my life.
I'm doing a bit of thinking about Needs & Desires in relationships over in the Dinah area. Not done yet, by any means, but I've got a good list started. Much to mull over as I consolidate the lessons I've learned about myself. Ah and I do still intend to keep thinking about my unromantic desires. My main goal now, though, is to take care of myself emotionally and spend more time with my friends.
Mmm, and my goodness, I better take care of myself physically and go to bed. I've got to get up and help Kristin move tomorrow (speaking of friends!).
I'll leave you with a cam shot of the Qualité moist towelettes I keep by my computer in case of an emergency. I'm prepared for anything requiring me to have clean, lemon-scented fingers and you can't imagine what a comfort to my mind that is.
*We had a Tofurkey and it was yummy!
Needs List 2002
Jay Allen suggested a good way to help improve your chances of getting what you really want: Think of and write down every great quality of every person you've dated and everyone you really respect. Even write down qualities which you think you want, but perhaps have never encountered.
Next consider whether you would be completely satisfied in a relationship with someone who had the others but didn't have that quality. If you wouldn't, put a checkmark by it. Continue on through the list making this evaluation. These checked ones are your needs. The others are desires; nice to have but not the things that make or break relationships.
Sure, you can have good short term relationships with folks who don't meet all your needs, but it probably wouldn't work out in the long term. Never assume you can change them to meet your needs. Trust your list and be honest with yourself about the potential & your hopes for a relationship when you enter it.
I'm going to start this exercise. First, I need to list things that I really value in a relationship...
I use the male pronoun here not because I'm opposed to being with a woman, but because I've always fallen in love with men and when I imagine my life partner, it's a man).
I want to share my life with someone who
- is a basically happy person who takes joy in life
- takes childlike pleasure in small things around him
- is physically affectionate, giving and enjoying receiving small touches, smiles, little kisses, cuddles, hand-holding, spooning, etc.
- is emotionally available, interested in exploring and sharing his feelings
- is energized by sharing his life with me, wants a strong, committed long-term relationship with me
- is intellectually stimulating, knowledgable and prone to think things through
- is sexually exciting to me and me to him, has a sex drive that is in sync with mine and shares some of my favorite activities
- is playful both in general and in bed, but not a teaser or mocker or just a crude buffoon
- is witty and fond of references (literary, pop culture, inside jokes, heh and also dictionaries, encyclopedias & all those other reference materials)
- is nice to cuddle and hang out with
- is sweet and kind and gentle
- is sensual, enjoys being touched and touching as well as more abstract forms of sensuality (hot tubs, candlelight, dark chocolate, sleeping in, cooking with really fresh high-quality ingredients, etc.)
- is dramatic, but not a drama queen
- is a bit of a popinjay, enjoying dressing up, feeling handsome or even pretty
- is creative
- is eclectically geeky and is energized by the company of other eclectic geeks
- is just plain fun to be around
- loves life and extends that warmth to the world around him
- cares about people and the world
- stands by his convictions
- is self-aware and continually growing
- is self-loving, not self-destructive or self-suppressing
- is comfortable with his sexuality and emotions and doesn't care if it conforms to anyone else's idea of what is "manly"
- is comfortable with his body and with nudity and human bodies in general, won't get freaked about my period or if I have to use the toilet while he's taking a shower
- takes care of his body, not compulsively but in a way that will keep him from having big health problems later or being unpleasant to be intimate with now (e.g. brushes & flosses his teeth, washes thoroughly, eats fruits & vegetables, doesn't eat crappy food all the time)
- actively enjoys the Web and Webfolk
- has some experience or at least openess to polyamorous relationships, understands that love is not finite and that crushes happen even in the middle of other loving relationships [though I have realized that this is less essential to me than I thought; I think the minimum requirement is someone who isn't threatened by "window shopping". I can certainly be monogamous, but I'm also human and don't want to give up the pleasure of admiring pretty people at a distance.] [My tendency toward monogamy appears to be increasing with age, though perhaps it's just a pendulum swing.]
- kisses competently
- is turned off by pain and humiliation (or at least isn't turned on by it)
- is willing to match my putting 50-70% into the relationship, will initiate things, will do his share of the commuting to be together before we live together, wants to build something strong & is willing to put time & energy into it
- has some experience with good communication and the patience to work things through, is able to cope with my emotions coming out in a rush sometimes
- is comfortable with the idea of never having children
- recognizes when things are making him uncomfortable and will actively seek to negotiate a better outcome rather than lumping it and resenting it
- doesn't harbor grudges, hasn't got a brown stamp collection
- appreciates small kindnesses, both receiving and giving (including random acts of kindness towards strangers)
- will spontaneously talk about things he likes and express his pleasure, is more likely to praise than criticize (himself, me, other people, the world...)
- is unafraid of falling in love
- doesn't use the same catchphrases over and over and over
- loves being read aloud to, likes reading aloud, likes sharing interesting things (hearing what I just read in some weblog, telling me about the dream he had last night, laughes aloud at something he misread on a sign and tells me why he's laughing, likes to hear the story that goes with the old picture I just found...)
- sings (even if he's not that great at it) and encourages me to sing
- likes my family and friends
- had a happy childhood
- will have answers for questions like "What books did you like as a kid?", likes the library and bookstores
- isn't driven by money but knows how to manage it reasonably well
- has friends and interests of his own and expects that I will too
- enjoys being alone sometimes and expects that I will too
- loves to come up with ideas and work on projects together
I have only one burning desire, and that's been the problem for the last year 2002
It used to be that my big dream was to go to college. So I did and it was great.
Then after that my big dream was to someday run my own bookstore. So I did and it too was great.
Then in the wake of closing the store I managed to get excited about getting a degree in library and information science. I did keep that fire burning enough to get me through grad school, but my attention turned from libraries to the web.
I guess then my burning desire became to work the web and to become part of a community of webfolk. Well, gosh, I seem to have done that too and it's great.
For the last year, my burning desire has been to be in a steady, committed relationship with someone who inspires, excites and amuses me and with whom I feel a deep mutual respect and passion.
Uh. Hmm. Well, see that's harder to make happen because it depends a lot on luck. I've met wonderful people and made great friends. I've laughed and cried and had really fantastic sex. But none of the ones I dated, good men though they be, turned out to be that partner I was seeking to mingle my life with (though I was certainly ready to give it a shot with a some of them). What I really need to do is find another burning desire to pursue and learn from and stop banging my head against closed doors and trying, as my Mum says, to push the river.
So that's what I'm thinking about: "What do I really really want?" And last night I was thinking it as I went to bed. So what did I figure out? I'm better at having fantasies about meeting someone really sweet than I am at solving big problems at bedtime.
How is it that with all the bursting joy of strong friendship, one of the most painful phrases to hear or utter is "let's just be friends"?
I'm going to run a staff meeting in 5 minutes, send out a report, draw some process diagrams and review a solution design. Then I'm going to leave work early and I'm going to go to the movies. Fuck work. Fuck everything. I want distraction today. I'm gonna buy myself some horrible moviehouse popcorn because I feel like crud and want to console myself in buttery evil.
Oh, I'll be fine. I'm the one making this decision and it's the right one and the friendship will endure, but breaking up sucks even when it's done right and gently and with true abiding affection.
*sigh* This must be Thursday; I never could get the hang of Thursdays...
I like this personality test result:
'You're a mojito. You are cold, refreshing and minty!'
Now I'll have to try one sometime.
[I did, at Club Deluxe on the Haight, bless their competent bartenders, and it was lovely!]
[Here's how to make a Mojito]
Level With Us 2002
The Bush administration would like us to believe that they have no connection to Enron and that any malfeasance on Enron's part certainly wouldn't involve anyone in the administration. They would like us to take their word on this. They must think we're fools.
A few things to consider:
- Enron has been Bush's #1 financial backer over his political career.
- Enron participated in secret meetings of the Cheney task force which crafted a national energy strategy and the White House has refused to turn over records of these meetings.
- That energy plan includes tens of billions in taxpayer subsidies to the energy industry. It would also open the Arctic to oil drilling, but not substantially increase car mileage or energy efficiency. The House has approved it; Bush is pushing the Senate to do the same.
- Last summer, Enron and other companies manipulated the California energy market, costing taxpayers and consumers billions. Enron was a key player in lobbying for the California deregulation plan.
- Enron stands to gain $254 million in rebates of back taxes under the "stimulus" bill President Bush supports. The House has already passed it, and Bush is now leaning hard on the Senate to follow suit.
- Senior Enron executives allegedly made millions selling their stock at high prices, collectively walking off with $1.1 BILLION, yet prevented rank-and-file workers from selling theirs, causing many employees to lose their life savings.
This is disgusting. It's time for the American people to stand up and say we won't have our pockets picked to make a few bad businessmen & politicians rich and we won't allow our environment to be raped for their profit.
Please join Move On's Level With Us campaign to send email urging the President to make a full disclosure and making clear your disapproval of using public office for private gain.
Slavery is Legal in the U.S., did you know that? 2002
The 13th Amendment states: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
An increasing number of prisons in the U.S. are run by corporations, using their prisoners as workers and selling their labor to corporations. Federal safety and health standards do not protect prison labor, nor do the National Labor Relations Board policies. The corporations do not even have to pay minimum wage.
"J.C. Penney, Victoria's Secret, IBM, Toys R Us and TWA are among the US corporations that have profited by employing prisoners. Put together long mandatory sentences for minor drug offences, a strong racial bias, prisons run by corporations for profit, the sale of convict labor to corporations, and a charge for prison room and board and you have a modern system of bonded labor - a social condition otherwise known as slavery." [from Take It Personally: How to Make Conscious Choices to Change the World edited by Anita Roddick, p.75]
I'm trying to find out if Victoria's Secret or their subcontractors still use prison labor and plan to cut my "Victoria's Secret Angel" credit card in pieces - inside one of their stores - if they do. I will not support slavery.
Manufacturing Optimism 2002
Dr. Fox has identified a theraputic procedure which, it is hoped, will ease tension and uplift my mood. I'm certainly feeling better already in anticipation of my appointment.
Nothing is particularly going wrong today, so there's no real reason to feel cruddy, but I do. Doubt & worry about my career, my relationship, my residence, my body, my friends, my judgement, my finances, my responsibility, my health. Nothing seems to be bad enough to keep my worried mind focused on it, so my brain just flits from one troubled thought to another.
Feh. What a sucky way to spend my time.
I slept weirdly; woke up at 6 when the radio came on, my normally sedate morning show was taking callers who were doing their best Linda Blair in the Exorcist impression. So I turned the volume down and turned on the little heater to take the chill off & hit the snooze button for 10 minutes.
Um, except when you turn the volume down, you won't notice when said 10 minutes are up, so I drifted in and out of weird dreams while the room got warmer and the hour got later. Very weird dreams. One of them was in a theme park and I saw a bioluminescent opossum. One of them was in a car and I was driving with my sweetie when I noticed a hair by my foot so I pulled it, but it was a silver cord (you know, like that silver cord that's supposed to connect your body & your wandering soul when you have an out of body experience) and I reeled a bunch into the car and then I couldn't steer very well anymore but that seemed okay and like it would work to get us where we needed to go. [Yep, that's clearly about lowering expectations and releasing the urge to control relationships].
So now my head is all odd feeling and I'm vaguely crampy and I keep wanting to eat & eat & eat. I've been working on this big process diagram and it's coming along fine, but there's a voice in my head that keeps running in circles & shrieking
"It's stupid! It's all stupid! What are you doing??!!" And then my attention flits around like a hummingbird.
O I hate days like this.
Good People 2002
What a wonderful weekend. Hangin' around with Fil on Friday (lunch & Amelie). Gettin' stuff done Saturday morning around home. Seeing the Meiji woodblock art exhibit & walkin' in the Presidio Saturday afternoon. A casual dinner with Derek & Heather. Talkin', jokin', laughin' with old friends B.J., Beverly, Keoni & John on Saturday night. (Such a treat to hear John sing!) Ah, and Sunday brunch at Judith's with the most amazingly inspiring group of women; good food, bright minds and sweet sassy strength. Good to spend time with Janice who was not just great, but downright fantastic with child. Still not the path for me, but such a joy to see her building a baby and adding mother to her list of talents without losing any of the of the qualities that make her such a kickass grrl.
Ah, weekend 2002
Welcome to Saturday. I slept in late because it was cold and I could get away with it. Now I'm up and doing laundry so I have clothes to wear today & beyond. When it's this chilly I want my turtlenecks!
My plan today is to go up to San Francisco around noon or 1pm. Walk from somewhere I find parking to the Meiji woodblock art exhibit at the Presidio and then putter around that part of the city indoors and out as the mood and the weather moves me. I'm hoping to hook up with friends for dinner and conviviality.
How goes your weekend?
I just saw Amelie. It was marvelous. I was going to tell you it was like looking in the mirror, but then I realized it was like looking at a picture of you that captures all you most like about yourself.
Registration, check! Plane tickets, check! Hotel, um... 2002
Right. So I registered months ago and I got on the waiting list for the lovely-seeming Hotel San Jose. Well, this week I found out I didn't make the cut for that hipster hotel. Being a total optimist, I bought my plane tickets anyhow. Now I just need to figure out where to stay. I sure as hell ain't stayin' at the expensive and not very clean Sheraton again. Anyone got any suggestions? I'm not going to be renting a car, so I'd like to be within 3 miles of the Convention Center, preferably out along Congress where the cool kids seem to congregate.
What were they thinking? 2002
I just went shopping at CDNOW (because I am or at least used to be an affliate and got some email about their big sale) and shopped for a bit, filled a cart right up with fun stuff. Then I went to check out and found that I could not purchase without creating an account. I tried logging in as metagrrrl, but it didn't recognize me and offered no "Have you perhaps forgotten your account password?" assistance. Now I don't see why they should have me create an account anymore than Radio Shack should need to know my address when I want to buy something in person in their stores, so I just closed the browser window, abandoning my cart and went on my merry way. I cannot think of any good reason to build in hurdles for the customer to jump on their way to giving a merchant their credit card number; can you?
CNN Needs Aggression Therapy 2002
Kevin pointed at today's disturbing CNN Quick Vote and that prompted me to write this piece of feedback to CNN:
Today's Quick Vote, "Where should the next battlefield be in the war against terror?" is depressing and disgusting. Apparently CNN believes that the only way to resolve things is to kill people. It is obvious to the whole world that war breeds misery and misery breeds terrorism, why can't CNN get this painfully clear connection?
CNN is killing people by banging the war drum, using the word before anyone else and longer than anyone else, being the cheerleader for the military-industrial complex. Sensationalism apparently matters more to the people of CNN than human life.
I am astounded that Christians are not boycotting CNN. I'm not a Christian, but even I believe "Thou Shalt Not Kill". Hundreds of children die every day because of wars and their dangerous aftermath; how can you stand to perpetuate that awfulness?
Really, I'm just revolted by your almost pornographic obsession with war.
Gah. They make me sick. Clearly there is a connection between the people who make money off of war and the shapers of political opinion; do we really want our news to bias us to support whatever yields the most profit for megacorporations?
Chapter One... 2002
It's wintertime, a good time to be cozy inside, sipping hot beverages, and reading aloud. I adore reading aloud and am, or so I'm told, a very good reader. I was reading to folks a lot last year and then sunny weather came and I started walking in San Francisco and spending evenings there too, so reading time just faded out. Now it's time to start it again.
Do you enjoy being read aloud to?
Design as a process, not an event 2002
One of the better ideas I came across while researching for my masters thesis was William K. Horton's description of design as "a continual process of successive refinement" in his book Designing And Writing Online Documentation.
He describes this in a diagram thusly:
"Development of online documentation is iterative, cumulative, and empirical. It is iterative in that several cycles of development are required, cumulative in that you learn and improve through each cycle, and empirical in that improvements are based on testing and experience with working prototypes of the system."
I think this concept can be readily extended to all sorts of online development and, based on my experience with my bookstore, to other projects as well. The key factor is to do something from which to improve. Yes, you should think first, but don't feel you must solve every question in the first specification. "Ready, aim, aim, aim, aim...." won't get you anywhere.
Oh you foolish little spammers you 2002
I have just been alerted by poor, surprised Judith to the fact that some spammers grabbed a screenshot of my site and emailed their "Boost Your Traffic" pitch to me at the first email address they could find... which happened to be hers, in the comments she left.
This problem will be fixed as soon as I upgrade to the next version of Movable Type, but unfortunately the tar.gz file I downloaded to upgrade wouldn't unzip.
My apologies to my dear readers. The guilty will suffer. Irate consumer demanding to see the manager shall be visited upon the culprit, TrafficMagnet.net. How convenient it is that their office is just 7 miles from mine...
The Coolest Shit 2002
Damn! That Kevin Fox has some hot moves on, let me tell you. I just cannot stop marvelling at the wonder that is New To You. Code for me, baby!
Still ain't happy, but I'm feeling glad 2002
Hey, who wants to go see Gorillaz when their tour comes through San Francisco in March? Uh, yeah, sure, they are animated characters. They're doing a tour. Ya got a problem with that?
Hmm. Whoops. 2002
Amusing ways in which the Microsoft OS differs from Apple's include this one:
On a machine running Windows, if you select all the MP3s in a folder and choose "Play in WinAmp" from the right-click menu, it opens a separate instance of WinAmp for each one and tries to play them all simultaneously. The resultant cacophony is most entertaining*.
Mac users are, as far as I know, unable to experience this phenomenon thanks to the happy clowns protecting them from any pain.
*Warning: shutting down your computer may prove challenging if your folder contains, as mine did, many many files.