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like mist on eyeglasses Below are the 25 most recent journal entries recorded in the "burgundy" journal:

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May 6th, 2012
12:06 am

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well, they're sure not wasting any time
The wedding will be June 24, because apparently we don't have enough to celebrate in June already (my birthday, Dad's birthday, Mom's birthday, Father's Day).

I am tempted to make jokes about the reasons for the rush. Sure, they'd be biologically impossible, but they'd still be funny.

It'll be at her house. A chaplain friend of hers will officiate, but the ceremony will be completely devoid of religion of any sort. It will be mostly a party, with the ceremony only a teensy portion. (She told me that ideally it would be like the wedding scene in Spaceballs.) We'll buy a bunch of flowers the day of, and she'll buy some food at Central Market, and that will basically be it, because the wedding industrial complex can suck it. There will be as many people as the house can hold, and we'll all have a great time, and then my mother will be married holy fucking shit.

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May 4th, 2012
08:00 pm

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!!!!asfkdblhzq
Mom sent me a picture text. The picture was of some unidentifiable round object. I texted back with a question mark.

She called me and said, "He couldn't afford a ring, so he made me a bracelet."

That was half an hour ago. I think my brain is starting to function again.

Current Mood: surprisedsurprised

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April 14th, 2012
09:59 pm

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this cannot end well
Exchange in a friend's facebook:

1) Friend posts graphic with the text, "If the top one percent already own wealth equal to ninety percent of the rest of us, then why do they need more wealth before they'll create jobs?"

2) Friend-of-friend replies, "Capitalism works , plain and simple, free markets create wealth and opprotunities for all, not just the wealthy. It is the reason we enjoy he highest standard of living anywhere in the world. And in a free society people are allowed to keep what they earn. The more wealth one creates the more jobs associated with that wealth are made, simple fact"

3) I ask, "How are you defining "highest standard of living"? Do you have a citation?"

4) He replies, "By the amount of wealth and GDP of this country, and while we are not all millionares the overwhelming MAJORITY of americans have homes and cars and are able to take simple vacations. Ancedotal evidence to be sure, but Naomi sometimes its the simplest things that are the truest of all."

5) I spend 5 minutes with Google and Wikipedia and reply, "Ok, I just wasn't sure what metric you were using. By the UN's Human Development Index, we're fourth. According to the International Monetary Fund, we're 15th in GDP per capita (nominal) and 7th in GDP per capita (using purchasing power parity). And we're 36th in life expectancy and 45th by literacy rate. But if you're using a definition by which we're at the top, that's cool."


I am not much looking forward to what comes next. Some people do not respond well to facts, no matter how gently presented. I just hope he continues to be somewhat condescending, rather than getting angry, because the friend whose facebook this is doesn't deserve it. (One may well ask, if you don't want an argument, why did you say something in the first place? And the answer is, sometimes I just can't take the stupid anymore.)

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February 16th, 2012
05:37 pm

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cats are where memes go to die
That's what I said when I first saw the Shit Cats Say video. The jokes get more and more repetitive, and the whole thing just gets old, and then someone does it with cats, and then it should just stop, because it's dead, dear god please just let it die.

I am starting to feel the same about the What People Think I Do/What I Really Do meme. It's cute, it's sometimes even insightful, but I feel like half my freaking facebook is now variations on the theme (with repeats), and I'm ready for it to go away.

So I thought maybe, if I turned it to cats, I could help it along.



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January 11th, 2012
11:46 pm

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subtle journalist is subtle
I like to think this juxtaposition was intentional.

This horrible thing happened.

The final paragraph of the article:
Henderson said Gilkey had been showing signs of instability but that he thought any violent behavior on Gilkey's part would be self-inflicted and only after his wife had passed away from her terminal cancer. Gilkey had already served 10 years in prison for beating a man to death with a fence post in 1974 and in 1986 allegedly stabbed his own father.

I can't help reading that last sentence as having an unspoken you stupid fuck appended to it.

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December 14th, 2011
09:26 pm

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oh. oh my
Burgundy boots.

Burgundy boots! Burgundy boots!

I just bought them in black, so I know how good they look. And they make them in burgundy! Burgundy boots!

burgundy boots burgundy boots burgundy boooooooooooots!

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December 10th, 2011
12:08 am

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IANAL
But I can't help wondering if, when you are on trial for the attempted murder of your fiance, arguing that you only meant to scare her, not kill her, when you tasered her, tied her up, stuffed her in a cardboard box, and buried her head-down, will actually help your case all that much.

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November 24th, 2011
09:26 pm

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go now. go
I have been watching My So-Called Life on Netflix. I missed it the first time around, for the most part. I knew who the characters were, and I vaguely remember an episode where Rickie gets kicked out of his house, and I'm pretty sure I thought Jared Catalano was cute. But that's it.

Watching it now, when that was more than half my life ago... well, it makes me nostalgic, for starters. Angela Chase is pretty much exactly my age. I don't get that a lot - I'm not quite Gen X, and not quite millennial, and I don't get a lot of media targeted right at me. But it came out in 1994, and Angela was 15. I was also 15 that year. The music, the clothes... I remember that. (Well, not Rayanne's clothes, but mostly everyone else's.) I saw an episode where a kid gets a hall pass to go to the bathroom, and the "pass" is this big piece of... something. And we had hall passes like that too, that were huge so they could be seen from a distance and not easily made off with.

And I remember what it was like to be 15. I wouldn't go back for anything. I don't think there's a single kid I haven't wanted to hug at least once. I can't help wondering how it would have been if I'd seen it at the time. All I know for sure is that I wouldn't have cared about the parents nearly as much as I do now. Would it have been inspiring? Would I have felt like it really got me? Would I have taken it too much to heart, the way I over-identified with the characters in Pamela Dean's Tam Lin? I'm not sure if it was a great tragedy that I never saw it, or if I dodged a bullet. I had some proto-Rayannes when I was 14, but I mostly went the Sharon route in high school. Maybe I was better off not getting any ideas.

I'm also made deeply uncomfortable by some of the sexual dynamics. I'm sure there was a ton of that at my high school - the rumors, the sexualized gossip, that kind of thing. But I was never aware of it. I never had that realization so many girls and young women have, that you can never just be anymore, there's always this filter over how you'll be perceived. And I watch it happening to the girls in this show: all of a sudden you're just a pair of boobs, or you're that girl who puts out, or you're not any of those things and therefore you don't have any value, and you're not you anymore, and it's heartbreaking.

I'm about one-third of the way through. I could chug the whole thing in less than a day, but I think I'm going to parcel it out. I've got to give myself some kind of break.

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November 18th, 2011
10:26 pm

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for ajollypyruvate
The cats are settling well into the new apartment. They both love the new bed, and Domino has a sink to lounge in once more.







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November 6th, 2011
11:41 pm

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sherlock
Possibly this has already been discussed to death. But I didn't get around to watching the recent BBC Sherlock series until relatively recently, so I missed all the fannish discussion and digestion.

I like it a lot. There's a lot to talk about. But there is one little niggling detail that is just eating at me.

In the third episode, with all the explosives and things - the old lady's wired up. And she starts to say something she shouldn't, and the sniper shoots her and sets off the explosives, and it all goes boom. So far so good (in a manner of speaking.)

But then we see Holmes and Watson watching a news story on tv about the explosion. And the story says it was a gas leak. How can that be? I can buy the explosion on Baker Street being made to look like a gas leak. But you can't tell me that a woman could be covered with explosives and somehow the police can't tell the difference between that and a gas leak. On top of which, by that point Lestrade, at least, knows what's really going on, and nothing is ever said of the police actively keeping the real story out of the news.

So what the hell? Did a wizard do it?

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October 26th, 2011
11:32 pm

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dressage
This week I get my first paycheck at the new pay rate. After taxes, the mandatory pension contribution, etc, it comes out to about $220 more per pay period than I was getting a month ago.

So to celebrate (and to celebrate the end of the project that has been eating my brain for the last few months), I went shopping. (I have also celebrated by taking people out to eat. And in the spring, I will probably celebrate by spending a few days here. There's a lot to celebrate.)

My initial goal was to go to a really fancy store and buy one spectacular dress. But then I couldn't decide, and I fell into the clutches of a bizarre hyper saleslady. Thanks to the crazy woman, I ended up with a dress that I would never have thought to try on myself, but which I think I actually like. I will not be 100% sure until I try it on with some better undergarments, and get some feedback from people who know me. (She encouraged me to do this. She said that this dress is outside my comfort zone and I need an outside opinion to convince me. She also asked me if I "had a man in my life" and indicated that once he saw me in the dress, he would... respond emphatically.) Anyway, now I own this dress in black.

The other dress I bought yesterday, I think I will probably return. It's very pretty, and it looks nice (although again, I need to see it with better underwear) but it's a harder thing to find occasions for. It's a great fuchsia color, and it has a defined waist, which I normally don't get. I told the saleslady (not the bizarre one, a different one) that I can't wear dresses like that because they don't work with my proportions, but she said Kay Unger designs dresses with a short bodice, and sure enough, the proportions were perfect. I think I was so excited to have that kind of silhouette that I got carried away. I would link to a picture if I could find any evidence anywhere that this dress existed. But since I probably won't keep it, I guess it doesn't matter.

And then today I went shopping again, although these dresses were less expensive. I got this one at Ann Taylor. It looks fantastic, but then, sheath dresses are pretty much my thing. As evidenced by the fact that I also bought this at TJ Maxx (it's not a good representation of the color, the actual dress is darker and richer-colored.) Speaking of Calvin Klein sheath dresses, I bought this one a few months ago, and wore it yesterday for the Audit and Finance Committee meeting. It's also what I wore when I went shopping. I wonder if that has anything to do with how the salespeople treated me. I don't normally look so much like I belong at Neiman Marcus.

Also, at this point I feel compelled to mention that most of the links I'm posting give a price much higher than what I actually paid. In case anyone wonders.

And then also today I bought this one. No fucking clue where I might wear it, except that the occasion should probably involve a disco ball and coke. Is anyone planning a Studio 54 party anytime soon? It's an absolutely ridiculous dress, but I like how it looks, and it's so different from what I ever wear that I thought I had to go with it. Unlike the model, I actually have breasts, so there's some definite side-boob action, but not, I think, in a bad way. There may be a bit of the Theiss Titillation Theory in play; I would not want to do, say, shoulder shimmies in this dress.


So, there is my superficial consumerism for the day/week/month/year. One of these days I'll post about what it's been like to work where the Occupy Austin people have been camping out.

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September 30th, 2011
06:57 pm

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promotion!
I got it I got it I got it!

On Tuesday, they scheduled my interview and writing sample, for Wednesday afternoon. Late Wednesday afternoon, they scheduled my follow-up interview for Thursday morning. Two of the candidates made it to the second round of interviews; the other woman had her interview first thing this morning. Less than 45 minutes after she left, they offered the position to me.

More details later (maybe.) For right now, I have a car-load of stuff to unpack. Because I've also moved. This is the last load; I've already turned in my key. Hell of a week.

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September 16th, 2011
05:14 pm

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an actual question, plus gender stuff
Over on Facebook, I linked to this Brookings Institute study. Short version of findings: the perverse incentive effect whereby unemployment insurance contributes to joblessess is less than previous studies found, and about half that effect comes from people who, in order to maintain benefits, continue looking for jobs rather than removing themselves from the labor market entirely (i.e. giving up.)

Here's what I posted about it:

-I have a question about the whole issue of UI contributing to joblessness - shouldn't we be looking at *open jobs*, and not *people without work*? It's mostly zero-sum, right? So if Bob doesn't take a job at Starbucks because his UI allows him to hold out for a job in his field, then Sally can take the job instead. And if Bob *had* taken it, Sally would still be out of work.

Obviously it's not that simple - let's say someone retires, and their position opens up. I'm competing with someone who is unemployed. If they get the job, then hooray, joblessness goes down. But if I get the job, you can't just assume that my old position creates another opportunity -maybe my employer chooses not to fill my position. Not everything is fungible and interchangeable. But it still seems dodgy to me to say, even in the tiny fraction of a percent of cases where unemployment benefits might cause someone to decline work, that this contributes to the unemployment rate. Especially if we're talking about people avoiding underemployment - wouldn't that have a trickle-down effect on the less-qualified? If Bob is a college grad, and he takes the Starbucks job, and Sally is a high-school drop-out, where is *she* going to work? Isn't everyone better off in the long run if Bob continues to draw unemployment until he can get a better job, while Sally works at Starbucks?-


It's a sincere question, which no one has yet addressed on my FB, but maybe if I tag the_macnab he'll come over and look at it. Anyway.

One of the comments that I did get was from a friend of my brother's, whom I have never known well and have not seen in years. His comment was "I think smart girls are cute..."

Really? Really? I'm not going to say anything, because, you know, brother's friend, and I just don't feel like getting into something like that. But what, on some level, I'd like to say is, "You know what smart girls think is cute? Actually engaging with the substance of our conversations, instead of making everything about what your dick likes."

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September 5th, 2011
10:34 pm

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so, yeah
I applied for a promotion at work, and am stressed about that.

This is the first project of this size that I have ever been in charge of, and we are going to miss our deadline. I am stressed about that.

I am moving in a few weeks, and stressed about that.

I lost my wallet the other day. I think I know where I left it, but they have been closed all weekend, so in the absence of any confirmation that it's secure, I've frozen my main credit card and cancelled/replaced my debit card and other credit card. I still have my drivers license and checkbook, and there was only $5 in cash in the wallet, so even in the worst-case scenario I didn't lose any significant amount of money and still have access to my funds. But I've been a bit stressed anyway.

Saturday evening I fell in the shower (not my shower, that's been done already) and landed hard on the edge of the tub. So my right butt-cheek has been really sore since then, to the point that driving anywhere is quite uncomfortable, and I can't sit on a hard surface (like the floor) at all. Not stressed about it, exactly, but I do worry what sitting in a desk chair for 8 hours will be like. I think I will bring a pillow.

Today I discovered that my car had been broken into, for a certain definition of "broken." I think maybe I left the back door unlocked when I loaded the car full of empty boxes. When I went out to the car today, I saw that the driver's side door and the rear door behind it were unlocked. And all of the compartments in the front - the glove box, the console between the seats, the space under the stereo, the little drawer next to the steering wheel - were opened and the contents spread over the seats. They didn't take anything (the stereo is still there), and they seem to have left the horror of the back seat entirely untouched. Haven't checked the trunk yet. No windows are broken. Could have been a whole lot worse, but... yep, still really stressful.

And I don't get a break from any of this. I don't like being at home right now (oh, and there was also an incident last week where I was awakened at 2am and witnessed what was probably either a mugging or a drug deal), but I can't stay with a friend for a few days because I'm really behind on my packing. I can't take time off work for self-care or catching up on moving tasks because I'm really behind on my project. If things were a little bit worse - if my windows had been broken and I had to get the car cleaned and fixed, for example - then I could maybe justify taking time off and delaying the final project. But nothing rises quite to that level of significance, while still being bad enough to throw me off my game.

And because of all the stress and stuff to do, I am not eating or sleeping all that well, which is making everything else exponentially harder.

I want to throw a giant temper tantrum, and not do anything I don't want to do.

Being a grown-up really sucks sometimes.

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August 9th, 2011
11:31 pm

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He's gone! He's gone! Narcissistic Blowhard is gone! It's so exciting. He's been gone for about a week now. He retired, and he's not coming back as a temp, and I wonder how much pressure was applied to get this to happen. (He's also moving to San Marcos, which is a big relief to me, because I've worried a lot about him trying to get into local politics. And then I'd have to anonymously slip his opponent information about him, and it would get all ugly and complicated. But if he's in San Marcos, I don't think he can even keep serving on the City Board he's been on. Anyway.)

Tall Woman is leaving soon too. This is less of a yay. She got a job in another department, and I think that's a very good thing, because she was just not adapting well to the changes in the office, and I want her to be happy and have a job that's a good fit for her. But I like her a lot, and it will be sad for her to leave.

Tall Woman is an Auditor III. Narcissistic Blowhard is an Auditor II. They will fairly soon be posting both positions. I will of course be applying for the II, and possibly some of the IIs will be applying for the III. (They applied last time, and didn't get it, but maybe enough has changed since then that one of them might have a shot.) So I think my chances of finally getting a fucking promotion are looking up. There's really not any viable internal competition, and last time around none of the external candidates made it as far in the selection process as I did. There's a chance, of course, that someone fabulous will come along, with audit experience and financial or IT experience, who is not qualified enough to be a III and who is willing to work for a II salary. So none of this is guaranteed. And of course I still loathe the hiring process. But it's definitely promising.

Unfortunately, my anxiety level has gone way up since all of this started. They haven't even posted the openings yet, but already I can feel the craziness I had this past spring, creeping back in. At least I know what it is now. Last time around, the anxiety got displaced onto a bunch of other things, and made life fairly complicated and unpleasant. I can feel the displacement starting up again as well, but since I'm aware of it I can head it off. (No, I do not actually want to break up with anyone. No, I am not unloved and only barely tolerated.)

I'm also starting to get cold feet about this apartment, but I don't know if that's displaced work anxiety, the natural result of making a big decision, or actual reasonable doubts. If I get promoted I can afford a much better place. On the other hand, I don't have to spend all my money on the best apartment possible. I can instead have a perfectly reasonable apartment, and pay off my student loans sooner, or get my car repainted, or replace all my crappy furniture. And as much as I hate moving, if it turns out that this apartment was a bad decision, I can move in a year. By which point I will almost certainly be making a lot more money.

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August 2nd, 2011
08:58 pm

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hoose!
Much, much angsting about getting a new apartment. So many criteria! So many goddamn students descending on the apartment market like locusts! So little time to view anything! So addictive to go back to Craigslist over and over and over and over...

A few weeks ago, I saw this apartment that was in a great location. I walked in and said "wow, what a great kitchen!" And the agent said, "um... that's the kitchen and the living room." So I didn't look at anything else.

Friday, I saw a place that was just fantastic. But I just wasn't sure about the living room and dining area. It really seemed like it was a just a bit too small. So I left, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. Everything else was so great.

So I got myself a tape measure. Last night, I measured my living room and dining room, and figured out the minimum space I would need. And I checked the floor plan, and it looked promising. Today I confirmed that the apartment had not yet been snagged (despite the student-locusts), and I went back with my tape measure...

And now I have an apartment. I get the key September 16.

It's 700 square feet, which is so much smaller than what I have now, but really quite spacious for a single person (what I have now is obscene.) All-wood floors. Gas stove (my very first! I will do my best not to asphyxiate myself or blow anything up.) Skylight in the living room. Light-green accent walls. Directly above the leasing office, so I am unlikely to have any issues with noisy downstairs neighbors (and the reverse, I won't have to worry about pissing off the people below.) It is within a couple of blocks of several bus routes that will take me right to work (or to Wheatsville, or a ton of fun stuff on Guadalupe or Burnet). It's a very short walk to Central Market and my vet. And it's only $24 more per month than my current place (which, given the neighborhoods in question, is so very much less than I was expecting to pay.)

It's not perfect: I worry about what that skylight will do to my air conditioning costs. There's less counter space and storage space than I would like. The laundry room costs more than I'm used to. On-line reviews indicate that the walls are very thin, and I am a light sleeper (although one of my bedrooms is without any shared walls, so I can just put the bed there.) I'll have to pay for more utilities than I currently do (water, cable, trash, gas, etc.)

But it's sort of like relationships. There are people who look great on paper, but in person there's no spark. The people I'm involved with, I'm perfectly aware of their imperfections, but they still make my heart go pitter-pat. This apartment makes my heart go pitter-pat too.


I have 6 weeks to pack. Eeeek.

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July 22nd, 2011
08:18 pm

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lessons in boundary-setting
A week and a half ago, I joined OkCupid, out of curiosity and other motivations I don't feel like going into right now. Thus far it's been a very positive experience. Next week I will start actually meeting people in person, so we'll see how it goes then.

I have recently been exchanging messages with someone, and I would desperately like to use this in some kind of training class for young people, on how to respect other people's boundaries and recognize when someone is not respecting yours. how it wentCollapse )

So, let us recap:

1) I said that I preferred to interact on-line for a while before meeting in person. He responded by trying to talk me into renting a room from him, and then inviting me over to his house.
2) I very clearly stated my housing preferences, which were in all ways completely opposite to the housing situation he was trying to push, and he responded by doubling down on it.

None of this is ok with me. If someone isn't going to listen to my expressed preferences, and is going to continue making overtures that I have explicitly stated I'm not interested in, then what other personal boundaries are they going to ignore? This is why I want to have this in a class: you have to be tuned in to these things. You have to be cognizant of the way people treat you even in seemingly inconsequential ways, because they point to larger behavior patterns. I want girls to learn to walk the hell away from guys who act like this, and I want guys who act like this to be called on it.

Which is why the message I am about to send says:

I'd be a lot more likely to come over one day if you hadn't said this right after I said I wasn't interested in meeting in person yet. I'm sorry if that sounds rude, but I feel like you really haven't been listening to me. Not only did you talk about me renting a room from you when I had just said how I preferred to handle in-person interactions, you also completely ignored what I said I was looking for in an apartment. Maybe that wasn't how you intended to come across, but it feels pushy and dismissive to me.


This is one of the nice things about OkCupid. If some random anonymous dude on the internet thinks I'm a touchy bitch, so what? I've had guys pretty openly proposition me, and I haven't found that threatening or upsetting at all. I've just politely said that it's not what I'm hoping to get out of OkC, and they've been perfectly nice. In so many ways it's just so much easier than negotiating all of this face-to-face.

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June 26th, 2011
09:49 pm

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living up to expectations
The other day I was driving up Lamar right at the start of evening rush hour. And there's a big building at the SE corner of the intersection with MLK, with a bunch of steps and a decorative fountain. And as I was driving by (in the left lane), I saw a guy lying face down on some of the steps.

And my first thought was, "Bwuh? Is he ok?" And my second thought was, "No one seems to be slowing down or stopping." And then it was sort of a mush of "the people in the right lane must be able to see him better than I can, and they're not stopping" and "I've already passed and I can't pull over" and "well, maybe I can call 911 once I get to a good stopping place" and on like that, and then I just thought, "No. No, this will not stand." I thought I'd feel stupid calling 911 without actually knowing there was anything wrong, and I knew for sure that if I didn't do anything at all I would never stop wondering.

So I pulled into the right lane, and turned right on 24th street, and then spent at least the next 10 minutes realizing just how few through streets there are in West Campus. Finally I was able to get south of MLK, and I drove back up Lamar and... he was no longer on the steps.

I wouldn't call it a waste of time, because at least I got some peace of mind out of it. So that part was ok. And I'm fascinated by the thought processes that went into it.

It is so, so easy to just say, "Well, someone else will take care of it." Sometimes it's even true. But I feel like I have something to live up to. That was an easy situation in which to act, because it was the middle of the night and there wasn't anyone else around. Rush hour on Lamar is pretty much the exact opposite. But I like being able to think of myself as someone who does, rather than someone who says, "somebody ought to do something about this!" I'm not perfect in that respect, by any means, but the more I act that way, the more pressure I put on myself to continue doing so.

And also... I'm not on lj nearly as much as I used to be, but for a long time, I thought of everything in terms of what I would post to my journal. I still narrate a lot of what I do in my head, composing the journal entries I never write. It's like the anti-Ring of Gyges: I want to be able to say something good. Everything is potentially up for public display, and that means I never want to have to explain how it happened that I past someone sprawled face-down on the ground and didn't stop to make sure he was all right.

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June 20th, 2011
03:47 pm

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I've mentioned before that my parents had a child a few years before Mouseferatu was born. His name was David, and he died of Meconium aspiration when he was just a few days old.

Over the years, I've thought a lot about David and the associated could-have-beens. The only truly mean thing that Mouseferatu has ever done to me was when he told me once that if David had lived, I would never have been born. (I was 5 at the time, and was very upset by this. To be fair, this was around the time that our parents finally buried David's ashes. I wasn't really clued in back then, but Mouse was 10 and was probably doing a lot of processing himself.) If David had lived, neither one of us would have been born, because the whole course of our parents' lives and their family planning would have been different. Maybe there's some parallel universe where it happened that way, and it would be neat to see how things turned out, but those are such radical changes that there's just no way to speculate.

My father likes to tell this story about me: Mouseferatu was a really easy baby. As long as he got food and sleep, he was fine1. After I was born, my mother told my father, before we'd even left the hospital, "This one's different. This one's obstinate2." My father was like, "she's only a few days old! How can you possibly know this?" And my mother said, "I can tell."

Temperament displays pretty early. Mine was evident at just a few days. David was alive for a few days. What was his temperament like? Until earlier today, it had never even occurred to me to ask. I have no intention of asking my parents: it's been almost 40 years, and chances are that between the damage and the attempted treatment there would have been very little opportunity for display. But all this time I've been thinking of David as someone who existed only in potentia, and it's a little shocking to think that no, he was actual. Not fully developed or fully realized, but still fully real.



1Clearly, not much has changed.

2 See 1

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May 31st, 2011
08:25 am

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random health bits
Is it possible to get a second-degree burn without even noticing it?

I have this new laptop, which I love. But it gets really, really hot. And yesterday I installed the Sims Medieval, which means that for all intents and purposes, yesterday did not exist for me. And today when I got out of the shower I noticed this weird thing on my leg. It's raised and looks somewhat blistery, and it's about 3/4 inch long, and about the width of a match. It's at the top of my calf, by my knee... right where the vents are on the bottom of my laptop, when I'm sitting cross-legged with the computer on my lap. Guess how big the vents are?

I've had transient red spots on my legs before, after extended computer use, but this is just silly. Is there anything I can do about this, aside from the obvious "don't rest your computer on bare skin for extended periods of time"?


Sunday night I went to Elysium for 80s night, because it was a friend's birthday and also the day before Memorial Day, i.e. the Sunday before a Monday on which I would not have to get up early. And it was very crowded, which means it was very hot because the Elysium air conditioning, it is not so great. And I danced rather exuberantly for 8 songs or so without stopping. And I am still not in great physical condition. But finally they played a song I did not much care for, so I stopped, and chatted with friends briefly, and went to the bathroom (where I found that I wasn't just sweaty, I was coated in a thick layer of sweat and my underwear was completely soaked through), and then got some water, and then talked to my friends some more, and then felt queasy and went to sit down, and then after a couple of steps everything got blurry and dark, so I went down on my hands and knees right there because passing right out is never a good idea.

I had been thinking that it seemed kind of silly to go some place like this with a group of friends, because when I'm dancing I'm really not all that interested in interacting with other people. If I want to talk to someone, I'll go someplace not so damn loud. But now I know the reason to go with friends - so they can help you to a seat and bring you cup after cup of water when you get stupid and dehydrated. I did eventually feel better enough to make a few forays back to the dance floor, but I was a lot more careful, and more subdued, and I never stayed for very long (as much because of the heat as anything else.)

But I think part of the problem was that I was also coming down with something, because there has been stomach stuff since then that makes me think my colon was bogarting all the water, and today I'm having a lot of nausea and dizziness and am doing some work from home. Which is good, in a way, because I'm going back to Elysium for my birthday, and would rather not have a repeat. (I'm going to be a lot less stupid next time - only dance to the songs I really like, never more than 2 or 3 in a row, frequent water breaks, etc. And no alcohol or overeating beforehand. Sure, a single lemon drop, imbibed more than an hour before the dancing, doesn't seem like a lot, but my alcohol tolerance is quite limited, so why take the chance?)


And now to work. Or rather, and now to bathroom, and then to work.

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May 16th, 2011
08:15 pm

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oh right, this old thing
Still in limbo on the job. Had interview with Big Boss, which I think went well. Was told they would decide by the staff meeting Wednesday morning (that is, Wednesday May 11). No decision. No update on when decision will be made.

Uncle has been moved to rehab. It was a strep infection that went untreated and caused the endocarditis and the meningitis. It also caused a number of mini-strokes. Fortunately they were very mini. There were some scares and setbacks, but it looks like things are going, not only as well as could be expected, but about as well as could reasonably be hoped.

That's the short version. The long version is... unlikely to be posted, because at this point I'm just sick of processing things. This is what happens when you see people in meatspace all the time; you don't get around to LJ so much. I feel a little bad about that, but not bad enough to cut down on the face-to-face interactions.

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May 2nd, 2011
11:00 pm

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mashup
I keep seeing comments about Obama's great poker face over the weekend. Surely this means that someone, somewhere, has made or is making a vid. Right? Or at least a gif?

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April 30th, 2011
09:37 pm

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uncle update
Last night Mom sent me this text:

[Uncle L] ate his dinner, turned to [Uncle M, his partner], and said 'what happened to me and why am I here?' WOO HOO

So that was very good, because it meant that he was himself again. But this is not a movie, and you don't turn a corner and then suddenly everything is all right, so there are ups and downs. Apparently he's having trouble sleeping again, for example. Dad said this is how it goes: one good event doesn't necessarily mean progress, and one bad event doesn't necessarily mean a decline. You measure progress over days, not hours. Which is hard, because we are an impatient family. We want him to be better now. But this is all still unmistakably a good thing - the fact that he can be himself, even if it's not all the time, means that the capacity is still there and there's not the kind of damage Mom was afraid of.

Mom's other brother has been there for several days now, and she'll be flying out on Monday to relieve him. She's staying till Friday. They're doing this as much for Uncle M as for Uncle L; Uncle M has been freaked the fuck out. Hopefully by the time she has to leave, things will be calm enough that it'll be ok for him to be on his own.

I had initially been a little concerned about the hospital. I mean, it's fucking St George, Utah, after all. And I don't know what if any legal arrangements the two of them have. But Mom says that no one's been causing any problems, and the housing and support services offered by the hospital are explicitly designated for "significant others" rather than spouses. But I don't think it was an unreasonable worry for me to have, and I hate that. They've been together for more than 20 years. There is nothing that could make Uncle M any more a part of this family. So I'm glad this hasn't been an issue.

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06:33 pm

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they also abominate the color blue
I love the ambiguity of the English language. I just saw the headline "Taliban declare spring offensive."

Current Mood: amusedamused

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April 26th, 2011
06:50 pm

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fuck
So, first it was "Uncle L is in the ICU." Then it was "Uncle L is in the ICU with meningitis." Then it was "Uncle L is in the ICU with meningitis that was caused by endocarditis." Then it was "Uncle L is in the ICU with meningitis and endocarditis but he's on the mend." Now it's "Uncle L is going into surgery tomorrow for heart valve replacement and Uncle M is flying out tomorrow and Mom is going this weekend." Mom's Facebook post was that he "is deteriorating as we speak."

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