February 2005 Archives

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February 28, 2005

Taking Time

I took today off work to do a few things for myself, including working out and cleaning up stacks of papers that have accumulated over the past month or so. The muscles have now been worked and the stacks sorted through and I've even watched today's Oprah that I recorded. I also pulled out a bag of frozen turkey from Thanksgiving and made a casserole. Aren't I just Betty Crocker?

I'm not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. The environment there lately has really sucked ass, and even being self-involved and trying my best to avoid any interaction with most of the coworkers isn't enough to avoid the ill effects of that place on my psyche. I'm really questioning whether a job change is needed. Bleh.

It's time for spring already. Time for a fresh flowers and breezes that smell promising. I'm ready for the sunshine.

Up next on my agenda: portion control!

February 24, 2005

Frustrated

Because while I feel somewhat obligated to update this website, I realize that I don't really have anything to write about. It goes well with the nasty weather we've had today, which translates to overcast skies, lots of rain and drizzle, not to mention a cloudy mood. Counseling, lunch with a coworker who isn't happy, and fair amounts of space from the husband have resulted in me wanting to flip the bird to the world and just be alone even more.

My body aches, it's cold outside, and tonight is CSI. I'm going to bed early!

February 18, 2005

TGIF, and Here's What I'm Up To Today

I thought it would be fun to do an entire post of my day's events. This is semi-real-time blogging in effect, people! Check it out!

7:49 a.m. I arrive at work with a bagel, orange juice and a cup of ice. I need the ice for the Diet Pepsi I have open on my desk from yesterday afternoon. Office partner (OP) informs me that she has Krispy Kreme doughnuts if I want one. I definitely want one. I can hear my ass getting wider.

8:25 a.m. I realize that I don't have any photos here at work and write an entry about it in this blog. Boring!

8:47 a.m. I chat with Jon in our talk session about some monster cables or s-video cables that a coworker needs to hook up her new HDTV to DirectTV. He has agreed to swing by her place this evening after work to get it all hooked up for her. She's happy. Jon is a nice guy, I remind myself.

8:59 a.m. I go into the bathroom at work and apply makeup and brush my teeth. Bits of the herb from the light herb garlic cream cheese that I had on my bagel has ended up wedged in between my teeth. I determine that since my dentist visit on the 2nd that I'm doing a much better job with brushing during the day and with flossing in general. I don't want anymore negative comments from the hygienist about my inability to floss properly. (Bitch)

9:05 a.m. I start work on converting two forms on the web server to feed into a database instead of having results sent through email. Such fun. I love having brainless work to complete on a Friday morning. Seriously. It beats actually having to think.

9:16 a.m. I toggle over to naim (AIM) and talk to Scott. We firm up our lunch plans. I'm taking him to lunch because he had a birthday last week and was sick. We're going to Firehouse Subs in Cary. Yum!

9:35 a.m. I finish my orange juice. Not from concentrate!

9:42 a.m. Scott points me at this page. We laugh because we've always tried to be l337 like that when we type. I used to work with Scott at Interpath, back when it existed. Ahh, the good ol' days. We 0\/\/n3d that place!

9:43 a.m. Don't I have some forms I should be working on?

9:44 a.m. I walk to Johnson Hall with OP. We cut through the dorms in a vague attempt to stay warm. There's a girl sitting in the hall, in her pajamas and a coat, reading a book. We discuss outloud whether we're bothering the girl by talking. We continue to talk about the fact that we're sure we're not bothering the girl or making her think we're weird as we walk by her, talking about her. She makes a slight smile and then pretends to be very interested in her book. I feel like antagonizing her further, but we keep walking.

9:59 a.m. A coworker asks if I'd like to go to Moe's today for lunch. I inform her that I already have plans. I like Moe's, though! Welcome to Moe's!

10:05 a.m. I realize that I've done nothing but talk about food today. No wonder I'm struggling with weight loss.

10:39 a.m. Good headway on the forms. The mySQL table has been created and I'm tweaking the script that will feed into it.

11:10 a.m. Script still being tweaked. I take a break and surf around on craigslist for awhile and find this. I become amused because they should have rotated the picture or changed the title to include the words "Lots of Starch" or "I'm an idiot because I didn't rotate this picture." Even so, I contemplate a new fashion statement by wearing a white lab coat over my usual clothes.

1:06 p.m. Went to lunch with Scott and had a good time. Haven't seen him in awhile, and we talked about braces (he has them, my daughter may get them), insurance costs and consumer credit. He's doing okay for a guy who has three kids and is raising them by himself for the most part. On the way back from lunch, I received a call from the eye doctor that our contacts were in, so I stopped by there and grabbed those. Also stopped and got gas. I heard yesterday that gas prices are about to sharply increase, so I think I'll read up on that today.

1:20 p.m. I contemplate whether the refresh button in my rss reader in Firefox is making me obsessive compulsive because I click it so much or if I click it so much because I'm already obsessive compulsive.

1:35 p.m. I discuss with Scott the many different types of Girl Scout cookies that I want to buy from him (er, his daughter, technically) the next time we have lunch, which I'm hoping will be next week. This is the first time in many years that I haven't had someone at work who was selling GS Cookies for their kid. Amazing!

1:45 p.m. A coworker has requested that I create a web publishing account for her and show her the ins and outs of publishing. So I do that, chat with her a few minutes, make small talk with other coworkers and return to my desk. I realize I need to pee but I'm too lazy to get up right now and go back across the building.

1:53 p.m. I spend a few minutes trying to figure out the correct spelling of the new category I've just added called "Minutae," because I figured this entry fit nicely into that category. I typed in "define minutae" into Google and it said "did you mean define minutiae? So apparently that is how you spell it, but I think I like my version better. Minutae! Someone else has a category named this too, so what the fuck, you know? I like minutae!

2:05 p.m. I finally go pee. And I brush my teeth. And I wash my hands. Hygiene? Check!

2:26 p.m. My "easy" script from this morning appears not to be working. Heh. I suck.

2:27 p.m. SJ has a picture of a poorly drawn (but large!) penis on her page. FYI.

3:11 p.m. Stupid form!

3:43 p.m. Okay, the stupid form has stopped kicking my ass now. I won't even BEGIN to tell you how stupid my error was. Thank gosh it's Friday! Yeehaw.

4:09 p.m. Man, I'm starting to get really tired. I think I'll leave at 4:30 and go work out. Then we're going out to eat. Then we're going over to my coworker's house to hook up her new television. Then it's RELAXATION TIME! Yay.

4:26 p.m. OP is leaving and so am I. I think that's about it for awhile. Have a great weekend!

Frustrated

Because it's always when I get to work that I remember that I wanted to upload some pictures to this website and start organizing some of the photos we've taken with the D70. It's the weekend, though, so maybe I can remember to spend some time with my iBook and iPhoto and get organized, published and whatever else.

T.G.I.F.!

February 17, 2005

Settling Down

Nothing is more palpable to me than the downshift of a relationship from the "new" status to one where you've settled in and things have become routine. Lately, I've been feeling that downshift quite a bit as my marriage with Jon has settled into a routine that feels more like a rut to me than anything else. I know it's not the end of the world, that these things happen, but it's hard not to see and feel and react to those subtle changes that start taking place once you've moved in together and gotten used to living with each other.

It's downright depressing, if you ask me. I'm still adapting and working hard not to let this consume my every thought.

I probably live in a fantasy world for the most part about how things should be and how we should interact. I call it a fantasy world because I know that I probably hold a different view than most do about these things. To me, it's not unreasonable to work hard at a relationship so that things don't get boring so quickly. You've got to shake it up and figure out ways to let the other person know that they are special. It's always the little things that seem to change.

For example, Jon and I used to shower together nearly everyday. Now we don't, mostly because we repaired the shower stall in our master bathroom and it's nearly impossible to shower together in there if we are to use our own bathroom for showering. So that change occurred because we made a small home repair and suddenly it is more convenient to shower in our own bathroom versus using the one out in the hall. Okay, I get that - it's not a big deal, but it is a noticeable difference in our routine. I miss showering with him!

And then there's what we have dubbed the "towel of love," which in itself sounds downright hokey, but it is just a small something we do - hand the other person a towel as they are exiting the shower. It doesn't take a lot to do this, and whenever I'm home and Jon has finished showering, I make sure to be standing there holding his towel as he opens the shower door and is ready to dry off. It makes him feel loved, it makes me feel good - we're both winners! For awhile, he was really good at hopping out of bed in the morning as I was finishing up my shower to be waiting there with a towel for me. It is a small gesture that says "I love you" and results in a warm, fuzzy feeling. I know it is an effort for him to get out of bed to do that for me, especially when he's barely awake and it's cold, so that makes it that much more special. It isn't mandatory, mind you - I know it's impossible to do these things all the time every time - but it's really noticeable when it's day four into a work week and no hopping out bed has occurred.

Like I said - small, subtle shifts.

For some reason, I've got tons more energy to maintain a level of showing love in this marriage than I did my last. Maybe it's because Jon is a better fit for me as a partner. Maybe it's because I feel more love than I felt previously. Who knows! All I know is that it does become increasingly more difficult to extend oneself in small subtle ways when it's not reciprocated as often - that's inevitable. It's when I realize this that I feel those small pangs of "ahh, things are changing" and I know that we're settling down.

I'm not sitting around worrying about this on a daily basis, but I indeed have noticed that we're becoming more routine in our actions regarding each other and that those little things don't seem to happen as often. It's mildly upsetting to me, and I think part of me feels nervous about what other little changes are happening to us that I'm not even aware of. I don't like ruts.

All of this being said, it's important to note that Jon is still pretty terrific to me. He suggested a trip out of town this past weekend, and we went. He surprised me with flowers on Valentine's Day - totally unexpected (and therefore resulting in a big grin on my face because I'm not easy to surprise). And he does work hard to help make me happy by doing so many things for me and because of me that I can't begin to list them all here. I love him so much, and I do feel an enormous amount of love from him as well.

I recognize fully that relationships are HARD WORK. I'm constantly amazed how difficult it is to maintain even a good relationship where there is plenty of love and understanding. So I don't really want to come off like a whining bitch who is never happy. Because I am happy. I'm just noticing some changes and taking note.

Besides, this is my website and I have a right to express my innermost thoughts without fear of giving off the wrong impression. Okay, so there is a little fear, but I do feel better for having expressed myself.

Thank you, internet.

February 15, 2005

Why I Love Him

Because tonight he had the brilliant idea of buying some of those Biore pore cleaning strips when we were at Wal-Mart. When we got home, we put them on our noses, and we acted like TOTAL DORKS when we pulled them off and looked at the crap that came out of our pores. SO COOL! There is nothing better in this world than sharing that type of enthusiasm with someone you love!

Also, he surprised me this year and got me 18 roses for Valentine's Day! SURPRISED ME! And we don't even celebrate Valentine's Day! Amazing!

February 14, 2005

Happy VD!

I'm feeling a bit guilty because I'm not a big Valentine's Day person - I tend to view it as a commercially generated occasion. Because of this perspective, I don't get into it much and tend to forget that I probably should get some special people in my life at least a little something.

I did manage to pick up a card for Jonathan last week and gave that to him this morning. I asked, even, if he would be my Valentine and he asked me to be his. So I have a Valentine now. Marriage isn't a guarantee of having a Valentine, but it sure is nice when it works out that way. You put the work into the relationship and what you get out of it is Valentine status. Jon and I just happen to believe that it should be more of a year-round thing and that we should always remind each other that there is love around. So that's how we practice it.

Unfortunately, in all my rationalizing about the day and trying to determine why it's not any more special than any other day, I realized that I probably should have at least gotten something for Casey and perhaps my coworker friends (mainly, the group of girls I hang around). And I didn't. But there is time for Casey! And I will create and make her something special. Times have been tough lately for my relationship with my daughter, generally, and I feel like it's very important to show her that I care about her and love her. And I'll ask if she'll be my Valentine, too.

See? I do care. And I'll follow through. I'm just not always thinking about these things ahead of time.

February 09, 2005

Work Daze

I've been unmotivated in general for awhile now, but I keep trying to find something that will occupy my brain. I actually managed to work yesterday afternoon for a good chunk of time, which is better than I've been doing lately in general. I spend most days reading and surfing the net, tinkering with photos and webpages and talking online. At first, it's fun to goof off and do that. Then the realization kicks in that I'm getting paid to do much of nothing, therefore I must be expendable. Not that the college ever fires someone for not doing work, mind you, just that it sucks to know that I've grown complacent with what I do.

Part of my problem is that I'm a procrastinator and I put things off to the very last minute possible. Currently, I have three or four php programming requests to take care of, but I've only spent a few hours doing one of them. That was yesterday afternoon, and lucky for me the task I was assigned was easy enough to manage. I'm either getting better at programming or I under estimate my skill level, or both, but I managed to get the majority of what I needed to do for this one department done yesterday in just a few hours. What's left is some cleanup on the output... easy enough.

Now I just have the other tasks to contend with. It is my goal today to get those taken care of or at least in the process of being taken care of. What pressure!

It's a pie job. I like what I do, I just am somewhat bored with it. And I'm not quite yet ready to polish the resume and start looking for something new. Then again, the college is fast approaching an installation of Microsoft's SharePoint Portal Server and I should be tapped to help manage some portion of the intranet project. So maybe I should start rethinking my career strategy a bit.

February 08, 2005

JDI, Not Your Average Geeks

Jon and I officially tripped the whore meter AGAIN this past weekend when we purchased a Nikon D70 digital SLR camera. It's been forever since I've taken pictures with a camera that had a good lens on it, so this camera does not disappoint. I'm rusty, though, very very rusty, and somewhat intimidated by the sheer power of this awesome piece of technological wonder. This is probably one of the few times I've actually picked up the manual before playing with a new toy, and I expect I have many nights of reading about what I need to do to take photos that come out halfway decent.

Internally, I'm yearning for that vague familiarity of being in tune with the camera and what is happening around me, and I am hoping to reconnect with a hobby I enjoyed so long ago, photography. I expect I will have to take hundreds of photos before that engages, however, so I better get to it.

Jon and I are planning an overnight trip to Boone this weekend to take pictures in the mountains and areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I expect we'll come back with some decent shots, even though having a kickass camera doesn't necessarily mean that will be the case.

Yet Another Reason Why I Love Google

Is this cool or what? You can click on the map and move around with your cursor. Extremely great interface. Loads quickly. I could go on and on about how terrific I think Google is. But I won't. I'm supposed to be working.

February 06, 2005

What I Did Instead of Watching The Super Bowl

February 05, 2005

Red Rock Canyon, Here I Come

One of the things I'm contemplating doing when I go to Las Vegas in April is go on a bicycle trip with a group up to Red Rock Canyon. Because of this desire, I decided to take Mother Nature up on the offer of good weather we had around here today and went biking for a short while.

It's been months since I last rode my bicycle and I can certainly feel the effects of exercising those muscles that have grown weak. I ache! So I guess it's a good thing that I've got a couple of months to get my legs in shape for my cycling excursion.

Yay me!

February 02, 2005

Would you like that templatized?

Something was said not too long ago about how everything on the web is becoming the same. Blogs are great, but dear god, look at the templates and how it's hard to differentiate one from the next. The formats for outputting your personal thoughts is generic, and it has lent itself to a boring web. (However, being someone who has designed and developed for the web for many moons now, I certainly understand why templates are a good thing and how they make it easy to follow web standards. And yes, web standards are indeed a good thing.)

I had a thought process on the way to work this morning about templates, and how templates make things easier. For everything. Bear with me here.

Take a chaotic life, for example. If you take that, place a "Normal Life" template on top of it and then squeeze in the bits and pieces of that life here and there to follow specified formats, you've got a good idea of how things are going to look and feel. And if you take your relationship, and take a "Normal Relationship" template on that, defining how this or that will look or operate, then you end up with a pretty good idea of how things should work out. Same goes for raising children, having friends, etc. If we all just had things templatized, it would be so much easier, right?

Well, that's where my thought process hung for a second, because I realized that while templates are great for the masses, they certainly do lend themselves to output that is expected and ultimately, boring.

That's right, BORING. It's like coloring inside the lines because that's what you're supposed to do.

For awhile I lost my zeal to blog because, to be quite honest, it became boring. What differentiated me from anyone else? Nothing that I could think of, at least not after I worked through a lot of the internal struggles I had going on when I first started journaling for the world to see. That was back in 1997, back when it was a new thing to do and not everyone was doing it. It served as a great form of expression then (as it does now), but what made it better then was that it was different. We didn't have templates and there was really no concept of what this should be like or how it should be done. You designed your own pages for the most part, sometimes to the point where it looked great to you and like total ass to everyone else, but dear god - YOU DESIGNED IT.

I agree that templates are fabulous and necessary. I, too, have fallen prey to taking the easy way out and templatizing my site. I'm just now learning enough about CSS that I can see where I can have the templates but can start straying away from the "boring" into more personal designs that serve as another form of self-expression that, to me, are more interesting.

And that, my friends, is exactly what the web needs. More of that infusion of intrinsic design and creativity. I'm not saying it's not out there, but blogging has certainly silenced that aspect of the web a bit, wouldn't you say?

Mmmmm! It's a great feeling!

I've just decided after returning to the office from an early morning dentist visit to have my teeth cleaned that there is nothing better than the feeling of running my tongue along the backside of my tartar-free teeth. They are so smooth! And so tartar free!

On second thought, talking about the lack of tartar now makes it seem like I had a lot of tartar buildup on my teeth. I didn't! I'm a flosser and damned proud, but it's the back of those teeth in the front on the bottom of my mouth that end up with a slight tartar buildup every six months. The dental hygienist says there are salivary glands right there and it's a natural area for the tongue to rest, therefore resulting in more tartar in that location than any other.

Just so you know.

February 01, 2005

Diane Has Left The Building

I took a big leap yesterday and booked a flight to Las Vegas in June. I'm going solo this go-round. My parents went to Vegas last week, and it was their plan to return from that trip and immediately book another one for April. I asked if I could tag along since I have this unwavering desire to travel and just go somewhere, ANYWHERE, and Jon has made it pretty clear that he isn't one for travelling much, especially not to Vegas where it's just a pit to dump your money (hell, that's half the fun to me!). So my parents said sure, we'll set that all up when we return.

Well, they returned and their plans had changed. They decided they wanted to do Vegas again next January because of the weather being so incredibly pleasant and not at all like the previous July when we all went and it was miserably hot. But April?! Come on, April can't be that bad. But their minds were made up.

So last week I found myself in a bit of a funk about the whole lack of vacationing or travelling. I really just am ready to see things, go places, do something different than the daily grind. I need a change of scenery. Jon encouraged me to travel alone if I couldn't find someone to go, and I mulled over that idea most of the weekend. I realized that I was a bit fearful of taking a trip that far away from home alone, but hell, a lot of people do it and why the hell am I so fearful anyway? I think I also had to work past the "but you're my husband and you're SUPPOSED to go with me" thing. (Damn those SUPPOSED TOs - they will fuck you every time!) So I had some internal dialogue to realign and had to get to the place where I wasn't so pissed off about him not wanting to go. I mean, come on, I AM A FUN PERSON!

So anyway...

As it turns out, yesterday I received an email from Independent Air about a fare sale they were having. I checked the rates to Las Vegas, and lo and behold the roundtrip fare was cheap! I double-checked with Jon to make sure he'd be able to watch Casey if necessary and he said he would. So I booked the trip. I'm elated! I'm also very pleased at myself for taking this step towards independence, towards doing my own thing and not being so wrapped up in the supposed tos. All of this is very odd for me considering the fact that I'm married and just now trying this. But my life up to this point hasn't afforded the opportunity for me to just run off and do whatever I want - I've always been very grounded by my responsibilities as a parent and wife and have been tied tight to the supposed tos. But now that Casey is a bit older and Travis is out of the house entirely, and now that I have a husband who fully supports my need to up and go, I can do some of the things I've always wanted.

I can only imagine what's in store for the future! In the meantime, I'm saving my pennies so I can dump them off in Nevada in April. Woohoo!

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