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Tuesday, April 30, 2002

[#] [0]
i think i'm getting sick. i haven't been able to concentrate at all.

worked a lot on adapt today. some internal summer organization, but nothing big. or public.

jenn & i played lunch money for the first time at lunch. i was anna, a perky blond third grader in a pretty pink dress who scored a coup for the whole third grade by defeating alfred, an obnoxious fifth grade bully (played by jenn).

tonight i discovered that frontier house is a daily thing, not a weekly thing. so i watched what i think is the second installment.

Monday, April 29, 2002

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jeff & i went to monglian bbq for lunch. mmm. jay, pete, mike & chuck came as we were finishing. jenn & i broke the bluye squishy ball. :( i'm having issues w/ dreama moon, who is mad at me that adra hasn't gotten back to her yet. chuck went to initiate the instructional development process, and i'll meet w/ them both friday. o, joy.

Sunday, April 28, 2002

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oh, my god. woolite dark laundry wash? it's like a goth's wet dream.

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read some. cleaned a little. made more of a mess. did a miniscule amount of calligraphy. planted my prius earth day card. took a shower. responded to a huge socialist thread steve started.

i am a very boring person.

Saturday, April 27, 2002

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i added a google search! (look to the left). unfortunately, google doesn't see yet, so i just added a general blogspot search, which works for me, anyway (now i can do random searches to find blogs! :). nemo has very few html pages, which makes the fact that the hair and now doesn't appear to be indexed even odder. hmm.

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it's cold out here, but i do so love my patio. i came out here to answer some of steve's mail (!) and to look up the lyrics for the beatles' "michelle," but, as usual, got way distracted.

my back hurts; i need to stretch. do i want pizza?

[#] [0]
i thought of another movie for my top-10 list: the fisher king. now i only need 1 more movie for a complete list.

you know, i only ever get motivated by around 8 p.m., but by then it's too late to do anything. by the time i get ready & then go, everything's already closed or about to. :(

[#] [0]
the cat tried to wake me up this morning by yelling at me. i am not moved by such behaviour; i just yelled back & returned to sleeping the sleep of the dreaming dead. later she lay next to me & purred. much better...... :)

but now we're both hungry.

Friday, April 26, 2002

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i can't believe i forgot to write about the new thought police and relative absolutism last week! this is a concept i'm struggling with now & have since i read neal stephenson's the diamond age. and then i found this. further bulletins as events warrant.

[#] [0]
i'm an outsider.
what are you?

[#] [0]
met w/ aaron to talk about the oldcb. he was surprisingly fun to work with! he's so much smarter than me about databases, but i don't get any sense of patronization from him at all.

submitted the tiger's grant. wish us luck!

Thursday, April 25, 2002

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i've suddenly become responsible for the tigers grant, since chuck & his gf are going to s.f. for the weekend. teresa came to talk to me today; she asked about webct ce & i said i would rather spend the $7000 on jenn than on an upgrade.

tonight, after my sdfc board meeting & jenn's class, we went to discovery lake and took pictures of me for her mother/daughter project. it was so cold & i was just wearing a sheet! i thought i was going to get in the water & float w/ the moon like ophelia, but when it came down to it i was too afraid to get in without knowing how deep it was. :(

[#] [0]
lynn left me columbines! :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

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yes! oh, no! this is great! this sucks! today michael sent me a message which included this line:
"Good news: Nancy Bowers is leaving PSU, so an instructional developer position should be opening up here soon."
i know nancy! i've even helped her out! so i asked her if i should apply for the position, and she says:
"the answer is YES (emphatically)."
but then she says:
"I and the other two faculty support people are all PhD level and I think they wanted my replacement to be at that level as well, however, a MS level person with strong WebCT skills would be drooled over needless to say."
argh! and what have i spent my time in san diego not doing? getting my master's degree! i am very sad and am trying to fomulate a reply.

other than that a lot of development on the adapt site, not all of which is necessarily visible.

hey, cindy changed her blog template.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

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yesterday i went to an edward tufte seminar on visualizing information. i got his three books as part of the seminar fee, but since they technically belong to the school, i bought my own copies because they were so good! i've already devoured "the visual display of quantitative information" and am working on "envisioning information."

edward tufte is extraordinarily charismatic: knowledgeable, well spoken, w/ a dry wit and a no-nonsense attitude. he doesn't have the arrogance of jakob nielsen, but also isn't as benevloent as donald norman. i've read most of the books on tufte's must-read list, including "understanding comics," "the design of everyday things," and most surprisingly (but enjoyably!), "phillip & alex's guide to web publishing," one of my favorite obscure web books, and one of the ones i wish i could have written. :)

speaking of books, he owns and showed off several old, gorgeous books -- original newton & galileo manuscripts! one of his assistants walked around the tables, holding the books with gloved hands.

i tried to apply most of what i thought i was learning to online courses, both development & supports stats (and maybe display to students). i sketched out a few ideas. in general, though, when designing information, you keep this in mind:
1. what do you want to prove? what do you want them to know?
2. compared to what?
3. show all relevant data
4. show causality
5. multiple variables
6. "do no harm"
7. annotate
8. borrow strength; borrow broadly

one of the things i think i got was a renewed desire to get aaron & jay to actually apply usability stuff to the olcdb -- create screens on paper first, and then code them! (rather than create & get me to use it so they can code the next piece). i also am not sure they understand my desire to keep non olcdb-specific elements in my control, i.e., on the courses server rather than on lynx. how do i communicate this without hostility?

the seminar was at the san diego hilton beach and tennis resort. yowza! what an absolutely incredible place! all of the rooms were suites w/ balconies arranged in little "villas," and surrounded with it's right on the east bay, which is a perfectly beautiful, peaceful piece of sand and surf. the rustle of the palm trees and the gentle lapping of waves were entirely stereotypical and seriously soothing. i spent all afternoon out there and drove home through torry pines and the coast highway.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

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the third color workshop was today (two more to go!). we focused mostly on lettering (though i focused mainly on consolidating & organizing my text). i thought to bring the archos & so i was able to get into my zone because i could listen to kate. ;) susan & i went to rhino art at lunch & it turns out she worked for apple's education division for 10 years!

i'm still convinced that i was born to work with a well-made soda-pop pen, though it turns out i'm not making them right; the chopstick needs to be inserted further into the pen. and i like to work with smaller sizes than the default directions make.

after the workshop i got two small cans of "magentic" paint from michael's & thought i could do the wall in the "dining room" but it wasn't nearly enough & now i have a half-painted dark grey wall. :( i don't know when i'll be able to get more.....

Friday, April 19, 2002

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well, okay, i tried looking for some books via the web interface and our library sucks. :( neither of the books i saw at michael's exist here.

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well, okay, i had to get some mountain dew first.

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i didn't even bother to go to work yesterday. instead, i read out on the patio or reorganized more art stuff. or huddled on a small ball on the couch, waiting for dark.

today i went in late and am attempting to avoid everybody. so far, it's working. somebody, probably adra, left a little jar of pink columbines on my desk. sasha sent me a box of picnics! yay!

i won't be going to the friday night thing so i can work on my magic/tech text. in fact, i'm going to the library right now.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

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damnit. looks like it crashed. :( g'night.
(items to do: 124)

[#] [0]
a message i just sent michael:
subject: oo! google apis!

np: nothing but my own sobs in this small dark room
god, i love google.
(items to do: 225)

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i could really go for a krispy kreme donut right now.
(items to do: 358. excruciating!)

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at this point at night, my choices are always to eat or go to sleep; i chose eating because adra had a cheese cracker sandwiches in her cubicle and jenn had a capri sun i believe leftover from rad. ah, yes, that's a little better.
(items to do: 436)

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what an odd, odd thing: serve up a delimna, agree to do whatever people vote. live your life on msn.
(items to do: 567)

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gas! damnit, i still need gas!
(items to do: 2387)

[#] [0]
like you really thought i could leave it alone. :) the good news is that it's doing something (items to do: 6469); the bad news is that it's doing it slowly & i will just scream if it has an error and stops. nemoweb is inaccessible until the backup is complete.

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churn, churn, churn. i know nemoshare is big, but it's not this damn big. i'm going home. i was planning on going to the store, but i'll just be all grumpy now. :(

[#] [0]
oo! bloglet! :D


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i can't believe it: i went to the bathroom & while i was gone, the cleaning people locked my office! i had to go track one down and ask them to let me back in. :P

[#] [0]
still at work, waiting for the accursed archos backup. stupid kludge archos! stupid folders synchronizer w/ its unhelpful logs! stupid nemo that wants to crash & then do weird stuff on reboot!

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

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first day at work, and, as predicted, not very productive. but jennifer was jubilant. :) after everyone cleared out after 5, i was able to catch up a little on email & add our portland cow parade photos to nemoweb, as well as pictures of sandy's new foal, sahara. i also redefined the "what type of online course do you have?" info.

dave is apparently in now, so i need to pick a weekend to upgrade to osx & mess with all the cables & wires in here. i'm still worried about archos compatibility. speaking of which, i am in the midst of doing a complete backup (though i had to wait for the obligatory crash, first).

jennifer & amy captured me at the last minute & took me to starbucks. ordinarily i eschew starbucks, but it was free.

Monday, April 15, 2002

[#] [0]
i didn't accomplish what i planned to accomplish today, but i was productive, so i can't complain. what i planned to do was to create pastepaper & work on the text for the magic/tech book. what i did instead was sort through the paint i bought from the artist's yard sale & reorganize all my art stuff. i found a use for some old cd shelves i had: now i have a "sparkly ink" shelf! :) i still need to find a way to hang more paper, though: every time i create new paper i have to reshuffle all the old paper. it would be nice to hang projects in progress, too. maybe strips of corkboard...?

i'm worried about not having enough done for the third color workshop, which is this saturday. but given my rate of working, i could probably work on the pastepaper i already have. or work on composition. or work on color wheels, maybe, even. but i can't let myself stress out on something that should be a learning experience. i'm not used to being behind the curve in classes, but i guess i could consider everyone else way ahead of the curve & accept the fact that i just might not get as much done as everyone else (that's what i keep telling the tulip people!). i can't let what i can't do stop me from what i can.

[#] [0]
home again, home again. i wrote my team to tell them i'd have to stay home tomorrow to get my wallet from michael; chuck asked me if i had examples to give him for my performance eval. i see adra contacted our adapt instructors w/ a much friendlier letter, but other than that, i am trying to stay away from work.

Sunday, April 14, 2002

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flew home today. brian drove us to the airport, whereupon i discovered i had left my wallet at michael's house. grrr. michael gave me $15 (after brian's urging), but of course, the major issue was my driver's license, because airports now want to know who their terrorists are, even if they can't stop them (sorry; editorializing). anyway, it turns out the no-identification issue really isn't a big deal: "you'll just get some extra screening." which, in fact, did occur: my carry-on bag was specially x-rayed, and when my boarding pass was taken she did a double take and sent me to the metal-detector-shoe-removal line. it was only once i had gotten to lax that i got seriously harassed for not having an i.d.: "well, how did you get here, then?" three people, four phone calls, 10 minutes, and innumerable computer checks later, they finally let me on the plane. "do you have a notebook or something w/ your name on it?" i didn't, but i had my palm pilot's owner info, which i showed them and it seemed to be enough.

it was a bright blue blustery day when i left portland; when i arrived in carlsbad, it was cloudy, chilly & still. odd, that. once we hit l.a., it was like flying over antarctica -- the clouds were so uniformly even & unbroken, it looked like a frozen wasteland.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

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i got to see doug & miriam today! (and ben, and emma!) we ate lunch at la buca, went to a toy store, and talked. i didn't alot nearly enough time for all this (and i was a little late to begin with); doug & i had to abandon miriam, ben & emma to hustle to the transit mall, where i met michael so we could go to alex's.

at alex's, we ... uh..... watched tv & read comix & listed to music & .... other perfectly legal things. i fell asleep; alex drove us home in his silver prius (i would have sworn, all this time, he had a white one).

hmm. it sure seems more boring in the writing than it was in the doing. :P

Friday, April 12, 2002

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we were vaguely french today. susan is sick (and it turns out that i might be, too) & so michael and i went to the crepe place and then went to see amélie (warning: site is in flash, but it was the only one that didn't contain unstoppable music), another movie which has surprisingly jumped onto my top-10 list. what are my top 10 movies (in no particular order)?
1. amelie
2. memento
3. the matrix
4. l.a. story
5. sneakers
6. rumble in the bronx
7. shakespeare in love
8. the princess bride
(hmm. yes, i know this is only 8. i have to think some more).

9. the fisher king (added 04.27.02)
10. fargo (added 05.03.02)

in honor of amelie, we got sticker photos of ourselves in a photo booth. then, after a brief stop at good dog, bad dog for garlic hot dogs (does life get any better than that? :), we went to powell's technical books, where i surprised both of us by not buying anything. even more surprising, it didn't rain at all, despite a 50% chance. it was warm enough, even for me. :)

we stopped by the main powell's store to pick up some book darts & to look at magic/tech books, when it suddenly dawned on me that i'm not just doing a comparison between technology and magic, or even discussing the evolution from magic to technology, but the whole meme of magic/tech, which invites comparisons to viruses/plague and would be a good segue for black magic/voodoo/hackers. i think for the first book i'll do a fairly simple concept comparison and then i'll be able to develop it further on future pieces. but i need something for the next color workshop and finding a 500-word summation of what i want is going to take me a lot more time than selecting, say, 10 themes, writing something up for both magic & tech, and finding appropriate quotes. i feel good about this process; it will help me develop the colors & pastepaper for each "chapter." michael recommends: the magician's companion: a practical & encyclopedic guide to magical & religious symbolism.

hey, the archives look like they're working again. voodoo. amazon, oddly, is completely down:
We're sorry, but some of our stores are temporarily closed. We expect them to return very soon! If you like, you can enter your e-mail address in the box below, and we'll notify you when they reopen.
Please enter your e-mail address: Submit
In the meantime, the following stores remain open:
Auctions   |   zShops
Once again, please accept our apologies for the inconvenience, and thanks for your patience.
--Your friends at
except "the following stores" are also closed. :P

[#] [0]
woke up this morning & finally finished zodiac, an eco-thriller, one of neal stephenson's earlier, odder works. don't know what i'll read next. no susan today; she's sick & a client is giving her trouble. but doug called a few days ago & i'll see him & his family tomorrow. and then i leave the next day. :P

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hey, look: geeklog at sourceforge! :)

Thursday, April 11, 2002

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stupid archives!

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i got my full freeshell acess today! yay! i also just finished stories for an enchanted afternoon.

michael & i finally rented momento: what a freaky, awesome movie! when it "ended" it was as if someone had severed one of my toes & i couldn't catch my breath, because you think when it's going to end that you're finally going to be able to piece together the narrative, but you end up having to invent even the things that came before; more questions than answers. i literally held my head trying to keep it all in. i can't believe it didn't win any awards! the dvd sucked, though; publicity bios & a poorly produced & boring interview with the director.

jason took michael & i to il fornaio, michael's traditional birthday eatery. hyung sook, unfortunately, had class tonight. jason gave michael a framed picture of one of the cow poses we made when we reviewed the cow parade herd. then we came back & played dominoes; i learned how to play "mexican train."

[#] [0]
the archives are driving me crazy! does anyone know why i can't get all my archives to show, all the time? grrrrr...

[#] [0]
today is michael's birthday! last night was michael's birthday party. i'm still full (see nibbles). just had breakfast w/ michael's dad, who is now on the road back to washington. steve left last night after dinner.

alex gave me several pixies cds (yay! and it's not even my birthday! ;), since i was so disappointed at getting a tribute to the pixies album a month or so ago at lou's. we'll probably go see him saturday night while he's watching miles (who i'm not entirely sure i've ever seen in person).

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

[#] [0]
missed my chance to see susan, i think. :( while michael & i went to bento, she called twice; by the time i got back, we couldn't agree on a time, so maybe friday, but i am full of despair. she seemed grumpy, but she had had her computer crash 4 times on her, which would make anyone grumpy. so then michael & i went to bridgetown games. i picked up "lunch money" because i think jennifer would like to play.

i'm still waiting for doug to call back; michael's waiting for joe. i'm listening to the other veda hille album michael has other than spine, which i think i like but it's no longer in print. :P

one of my wishes came true! we got a thunderstorm! we raced upstairs to the roof but by the time we got there the storm had alrerady passed! argh! but i did get one rumble of unqualified thunder. whee! :D

john came over & finally clarified the tumultuous habeeb/john relationship. it was almost like one giant sentence; it was almost stream of consciousness; he was, dare i say, giddy. i wonder what habeeb's version of this story is. john also talked some about his timeline/history, and then john turned the self-inspective microscope on me. he asked me many, many, many questions (i work better with questions than exposition), though we didn't really approach the rob issue, which i feel is a large iceberg between us. i know john is still friends with rob & i don't want to say anything negative or emotional or condemning. i feel like i'm at a huge disadvantage w/ john in this area & it makes me uncomfortable. michael stayed mostly on the sidelines during this exchange.

then we went to the clinton street theatre & saw shiri, a korean action movie.

later, i asked michael if he learned anything about me during john's questioning that he hadn't already known, because john asked me questions that michael never has. he said he was surprised that john & i shared similar parental abduction/swapping stories, and that he hadn't known i had lived with my grandparents for a year or so after i was born (i hadn't known that until thanksgiving, mind you), and he hadn't known i had lived in two foster homes while social services was sorting the whole custody thing out.

Monday, April 08, 2002

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woke up this morning & michael cheerfully informed me "nemo's back up," which of course meant that the whole csusm domain was up & it was time to upload students. was surprised to find that there were no coursehelp mails in my inbox. jennifer hadn't added content yet, and when she did, she added it to the wrong course (despite the warning i wrote in anticipation of such an action).

remember all the work we spent exchanging kathy's lights? michelle ended up chickening out, exchanging them back, just so facilities would come in and remove them, just like i predicted. damnit! >:(

finally got to see the second floor of the psu library, the project which consumed michael for almost a year. got a chance to meet elizabeth & reza, who i have heard much about.

bought waaaayyyyy too many books at powell's. i always do. michael & i split up at the door and i hit my three major areas: handmade journals, calligraphy/typography, and small press poetry. this being national poetry month, i also picked up a book of t.s. eliot poems, something i've been meaning to do for a while now. that ate up my whole hour-and-a-half. i'll worry how to fit them all in my suitcase later, along with the art supplies i picked up yesterday from the college artist's yard sale.

Sunday, April 07, 2002

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jason, hyung sook, michael & i traveled all over portland looking at cows. lots and lots of cows. over 7 hours! then we rested, went to pizzicato, zupan's, and watched a very odd x-files.

i need to upload comm350elr students but seems to be down. arrrgghhhh!

Saturday, April 06, 2002

[#] [0]
packed, flew. trip very quiet & disaster-free.

played games at habeeb's, who was initially flustered when we arrived and so we killed some time by going to hopa, a middle-eastern restaurant. later, we played the powerpuff girls game, chez dork & lord of the fries. it was nice to see alex & ben again! habeeb seems very nice, as well. we're all confused about her relationship w/ john.

afterwards, jason & hyung sook & me & michael discussed renting a movie, but we went to thai place instead. every time i hang out with hyung sook i like her a little more. :) since i knew we were seeing each other tomorrow to see the cow parade, i bowed out early to return "home." michael is now talking to cindy, who we thought we might be able to see tomorrow, but now it looks like perhaps not.

cindy, who just got two cats, recommends hiss and tell: true stories from the files of a cat shrink.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

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stupid blogger. :P

most of the day was spent exchanging the glorious full-spectrum lights in kathy's office with the nasty fluorescents in our office, so that facilities services doesn't get a chance to take them away from her until we've made a case to environmental health & safety. i feel responsible since i was the one who ultimately showed him where "those lights" were. the process was hugely comedic: we'd close our door, remove the lights from our fixtures, run across the hall, close kathy's door, replace kathy's lights with ours, then run across the hall again, close our door, and replace our empty fixtures with kathy's lights. it's really amazing what a difference they make; i wish we could keep them!

we attended mandatory sexual harassment training today; abel & i played hangman most of the time.

and in other news, i tried valiantly (and mostly succeeded) in catching up with my "spring02 todo" mail folder. the webct-admin list is trickling back to life as we weakly protest the deplorable situation with the technical docs not being available until after you pay, which makes it very difficult to plan upgrades.

[#] [0]
another addiciting blogtool: daypop! which has the absolute coolest search feature ever: the wishlist! it searches for amazon wishlists linked from blogs. i love these people! hmmm... wonder what i'm doing right now....? ;)

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

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john & i are planning a party for michael & habeeb (who i have yet to meet!). apparently john & habeed are "sort of" dating (michael says this is a "recent development")! john's been emailing & planning like a madman; i just sort of nod and say, "uh-huh. sounds good." so far the vote is for a moroccan dinner. this'll be fun. :)

okay, today was the first day of the rest of my life with garrett; it could have been worse. he actually didn't talk about france at all until about 10 minutes before lunch was over, at which point he compared pete's drive to san jose to his almost missing a train in paris. and then he was unstoppable. jennifer, jeff & i have a drinking game now: every time garrett mentions france, we take a drink. being at work means no alchohol, but it's still pretty funny to hear one of us mutter, "drink," and then have three people raise their glasses.

jennifer & i practiced laughing like maurice the midget today. chuck obliged us later; while laughing i stumbled backward into his bookcase and his carefully framed online course certificate fell off and bonked me on the head. ironic, eh? it really hurt! i am still tender.

pete brought cake for jay's birthday (see soundbyte); we walked upstairs and hummed happy birthday to him. the cake was weird, though: it tasted like cornbread with jellybeans. jay is now 30; two years ago he claimed he was "middle aged;" i wonder how old he is now? :)

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"i too had a cheese sandwich." i'm reading blogs instead of working. bad gretchin. is there a job i could get which just involves reading about other people?

i found the most addicting blogtool ever: mit's blogdex! as if i was getting too much work done!

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

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so it was the first day of the rest of my life with garrett... and garrett wasn't there! he was sick. now i have another day to worry about everything.

it's weird coming back to work: adra abruptly decided to take kyle to arkansas and may, in fact, leave him there. jennifer was grumpy & left early. chuck's still euphoric. it was nice to see jeff again. i gave teresa the spiced chai latte i picked up for her at trader joe's. i finally got a chance to talk to candie halstead about the ways in which we differ tracking online courses & why.

i was slated to get my carpet cleaned @ 5, but they didn't come. they said they'd reschedule for when i returned from portland and "do an extra piece of furniture." there's a giant crack inthe ceiling above my bathtub & it's dripping.

Monday, April 01, 2002

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reshuffled & labeled some art stuff. jennifer came over to make bricks; my hands are still dry & creased w/ concrete. i dunked a paper towel in red ink & wrapped it around my thumb when jennifer came over. i told her i had cut my thumb badly making a soda pop pen and i was afraid i'd have to go to the emergency room. she freaked out before i i said, "april fool's!"

went to wasabi for dinner. i am very, very cold. i can't believe i'm so tired! back to work tomorrow. back to garrett. *sighs* the good news: only three days until i go to portland.