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Wednesday, August 27, 2003

 
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bad, bad, bad, bad, bad internet access! though i was optomistic monday night when i was able to get on and send "i'm here!" messages, don't expect anything else from me this week. :( i'm keeping a journal, though, and there will be plenty to write upon my return.

oh, how's burning man? inconceivable. the minor miracles it takes to make this place happen times 30,000 is staggering.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

 
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okay, i've taken what will probably be my last good shower in over a week. i drug it out to the last minute (but i'm o-so-relaxed..!), so we're waiting for john & bryan to arrive before i head out. i hope the bike is securely fastened! i've never had one attached to my car before.

supposedly, burning man will have a wireless internet connection. but i never managed to find anyone with a car adapter for tori, so the charge she has right now (both batteries are in), is the charge i'll have left to blog. yes, yes, i know, some of you are saying, "what? why are you even thinking of blogging when you're going to be in the middle of burning man?!" but burning man is a place for "radical self-expression" and this *indicates blog* is my self-expression. *shrugs* it's not art, but it is me.

*exeunt stage left*

 
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i never managed to find anyone with a car adapter for tori, so the charge she has right now (both batteries are in), is the charge i'll have left to blog.

 
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last night as i was falling asleep i looked at the clock: 11:11, so i made a wish.

all that's -really- left to do now is to packet the perishables & the electronics, load the car and take a shower. i'm surprisingly not hungry. at all.

 
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it's a good thing michael's not in charge of gifts for burning man: he's recommending burning cds with 15 different renditions of "disco inferno."

Saturday, August 23, 2003

 
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closer, closer, ever closer.... but a nap would do me good. i stayed up way too late last night. :)

david thought there would be a 70% chance he could fit my borrowed bike into his load, so we got the the bike from john's place, but unfortunately, david didn't have room for it after all (in fact, he said they were having to make some "tough choices" about to leave behind. i hope it's not a choice between water & art!). but david's friend matt was there and volunteered the use of his bike rack. hooray! his wife kathy showed us how to put it on. then we went to the portland ice cream company for 35 lbs of dry ice. so here we are, with only a few things left to do. i think it might all get done! yee! i'm not someone who gets nervous before a show until i'm right about to step on stage, so i'm not quite feeling it yet, but it's like dress rehearsal, when it finally all feels like a real production.

Friday, August 22, 2003

 
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hopefully the last post of the day: the burning man pix have begun, starting with the preparation.

 
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for someone who's so freaking busy preparing for burning man, i sure am posting a lot today! but it seemed important to inform you that according to the "what herb are you?" quiz, i am catnip:

you are catnip. you are hypnotic & inspire strong feelings in others. people can't get enough of you. you often wish to be left in peace.


also, welcome elizabeth & john as regular, or at least very complimentary, readers. :)

 
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whoo! michael and i removed the back seat to the prius! (re-read that sentence. michael and i removed the seat. two hardware-challenged people!) so it's not quite as cool as a fold-down seat, but it does make accessing the trunk from inside a much easier proposition (important to minimize dry ice sublimation, i think). it took maybe 20 minutes and a great deal of that was spent saying things like, "oh, i think i'm using the socket the wrong way," and dealing with what the instructions mistakingly call "easily removed" black plastic bolts.

la la la! :D thanks to alex for the loan of his sockets, thanks to philip for locating his un-metric set, thanks to bill for thinking he'd have an excuse to go buy some, and thanks to steve dustin for offering his.

 
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finally! a good source for ginger beer!

and just to flip the coin: i forgot i was going to pick up dry ice in clackamas! they closed at 4! damnit! plan b: the portland ice cream company? *bangs head on wall*

 
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tonight i gathered all the art supplies i'll need on the playa. no need to bring a lot, mind you. pens, pencils, watercolor pencils, waterbrushes, journal, scissors&xacto, gluestick, eraser.... michael & i rearranged the art room so i could find my large writing surface with the clippie & my big bag o' raffia.

i have two sets of pilot parallel pens and somehow i'm missing the 2.4mm of each set. that sucks, because it's the most useful size for me. all the remaining pens have been filled with fresh sumi ink (hope michael didn't really adore the dishrag that got a little spotted in the process).

we went to alex's because he thought he had the required socket components (thanks, alex! no extension, so we'll see how it goes). alex also lent me a dvd, a cd, and several comics (yay!). it was the first chance i've had to see their house since i saw it in various stages of remodel before they moved in.

rob's thinking of visiting saturday. dear god. is it friday already? do i leave sunday? *breathes rapidly*

Thursday, August 21, 2003

 
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another bad driving day. :P what is it about portland that just makes me feel stupid when i go somewhere new? this is a new phenomena for me & i'm not liking it. there's some really pretty country out there when you get lost looking for downtown hillsboro, though.

worse, though, was when i stopped at a phone booth to call the restaurant where john was waiting to tell him i would be late, the girl on the phone said, "okay!" and then hung up. there goes fifty cents.... so another call to the place gets me another girl on the phone who says, "oh, yes, we located him and told him you weren't coming." you should be very proud that i only shrieked, "whaaaaat????!!!!" on the inside. they ran outside to catch him but apparently he had already gone. :(

 
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jason lewis is still alive! expedition 360 looks like it's set to kayak 3,100 miles through the indonesian archipelago (west timor to singapore) beginning in march. yeee!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

 
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oh, oh, i have more to say about keller fountain! now i think it is quite possibly the coolest place in portland because it's got a waterfall you can walk behind! yes! i love that! :D

 
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michael is opening the isight box even as i type! :D there goes the plastic wrap.... there goes the outside cardboard wrap.... it's being unfolded..... lid 1, manual, stands, clear plastic, "and on the other side we have... ta daa!" and underneath we have the cable. well! cool!

let us try it! on neya, of course..... :P

 
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i really want to remove the back seat of the prius so i can get to the trunk & maybe have a little more livable room during burning man, since i'll effectively be living in trixie for 6 days. but to do so, i need a socket wrench, a socket extension, a 12mm socket and a 10mm socket. do you think michael or i have socket wrenches? ha ha ha! can anyone let me borrow theirs for a couple of hours? *blink blink*
update 08.21.03: philip volunteered to find his yesterday but says he doesn't know where they are, alas. anyone else up for a round of find-the-obscure-tool?

 
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sven was elected to the board of the portland women's crisis line! congratulations, sven!

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

 
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i finally have all the water i'll need (14 gallons!) and most of my supplies. what i'm still missing:
* bike rack & lock (thanks for the lock, markalope! thanks for the bike rack, mike & kathy!)
* a/c car adapter for tori
* solar adapter for trixie's battery
* compressed air
* window coverings for trixie (solar reflectors, space blankets, etc.)
* loose shirts/clothing
* something to cover my face during duststorms (bandana, scarf, etc.) (thanks, markalope!)
* dry ice
among other things, i need to start working on the origami stars, redecorate the logos, get trixie's back seat to fold down, and wrap up my email. *yawns*

oh, i should probably point out that i will be unlikely to get that job i just applied for. they want a master's degree (like the last time i applied for a psu job), and i know state hiring systems well enough to know they can't hire me if i don't meet the minimum required qualifications. but i also know that in this case, they're planning on using the pool of applicants for another job or two they may open within a few months that won't require a master's degree. hopefully, that will give me some more time to decide if this is something i really want to pursue (as markalope says, "it sucks to be good at something you don't like").

 
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yes, yes, i can't help it: i'll dig through the art room at 2 a.m. to find the good paper and the clipiolas even when i'm feeling ambivalent about a job (as brian says, "have i climbed the right mountain?"). anyway, the final application looks a lot like this.

for whatever reason, the printer is having serious issues w/ any apple-based applications: nothing would print right in safari or preview or even text edit, for god's sake. but indesign was fine, as was mozilla and i.e. which reminds me, mac i.e.'s printing options are the best i've ever seen. i wish safari would adopt them.

Monday, August 18, 2003

 
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i was supposed to hook up with neil this afternoon at keller fountain, but he never showed. i had never been to keller fountain before, but i loved it! it's probably twice as big as the picture shows, and every inch of it is climbable & dippable, so lots of kids play in it. i discovered these pants i bought for burning man are remarkably waterproof and i spent a good hour and a half lounging with my feet in the water and sucking on a firecracker ice pop. a blond guy with startling eyes came to talk to me until he found i was 30 and then had somewhere else to be.

after feeling fairly confident that the only things i was going to buy for burning man at this point were food & water (and maybe a solar adapter for tori), i walked past the swirling, shimmery path of paint the sky kites. damnit! they had a lot of glowy stuff, which was missing from my repertoire. such things included clip-on markers, a lighted frisbee and astrojax (since i doubt i'll ever juggle fire, light will have to do).

when i got home michael said, "so i guess you decided not to apply for the psu job..." and i gasped because i had entirely spaced it out. so guess what i'm doing tonight? oh, yes.

 
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cindy finally had her baby! eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! welcome to the world, little jillian lane akers!

Sunday, August 17, 2003

 
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how weird. i found an old post i made to nathan's philtable discussion group two years ago about expectations, and i'd say most of it is still relevant. i also found another reference to "gl.'s three rules of blogging (tm)", though it's a google cache and the site itself has vanished (i didn't see it before because they spelled my name wrong :P).

Saturday, August 16, 2003

 
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whoo-hoo! well, sorta. i realized that the portland cow parade photos we took weren't on packetwarp, so i just transferred them there. the same goes for the photos of sandy & her horses, pictures from & of alex, pictures of my renfair face & arm (right before i moved to california), the sca demo the arquelle shire did for barnes & noble (i'm thea), or my first snowboarding trip to snow summit.

today was more burning man buying & sorting, though i took michael to bridgetown first & then we stopped at the hollywood burger bar (yum! except i was less impressed with the chocolate malt). among other things, i now own zip-leg pants with lots of pockets (yay!), a small nalgene "children's lit" bottle from powell's, and the coolest. headlamp. ever. i want to wear it all the time! i'm wearing and using all this stuff now so i can get used to it before i'm distracted by the playa. i'm also experimenting with hair-tending actions so i don't have to figure that out on the playa, either.

steve, bill & brian have felt compelled to tell me when mars will reach its zenith so i'll be sure to catch it during burning man (aug. 27: due south and tilt your head 45 degrees). thanks, guys!

Friday, August 15, 2003

 
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*sniffles* brian sent me the coolest birthday present ever: an old "star & satellite path finder," which is a star chart/wheel which has all the constellations cross-referenced with the month. he brought it with him the last time i saw him in california, and we were able to find leo, sirius, and saturn (of course, i have a special fondness for leo). brian says he bought this particular star chart the year i was born, so he says it seemed appropriate to give to me for my 30th birthday. *sniffles, smiles* he says i should use it at burning man, which as it will be moonless, will be a particularly lovely thing to do.

and as an entirely gratuitous gesture, he also sent me a copy of "pacific northwest: land of light & water," as a way to acquaint me with my "new neighborhood." :)

 
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i really had an interesting (and very long) day yesterday. i spoke to stephen gance from psu for an hour and a half as we discussed the state of online courses there. i could be absolutely sympathetic about what he was going through but i felt i was less than helpful (or else i would have solved these same problems at csusm, right?). i know he just wants someone to be the webct person, but it's hard for me to be "just" a tech person; tech problems are so rarely about the technology. they're about personality conflicts and resource hoarding and unrealistic expectations and the fear of change. i made a good analogy about how difficult it is to address pedagogy when faculty & students aren't even sure they trust the software or the process; it's like maslow's heirarchy of needs, where you can't be expected to reach self-actualization until your basic needs for food & shelter are met. having said that, every time i talk about the tulip program, i realize how much i love that model, how proud i am of the changes we made. i suspect it won't last long there, though, as the good changes we made required more work on our part. and in general, i made really good progress on issues that still plague other campuses, like aggregating course data.

then i went to finnegan's to pick up burning man gifts: i decided the only decent contribution i could offer my first time would be language, so i wanted to focus on poetry beads & magnets and dog tags. (i was thinking on the road the other day how language is always the filter for experience.) but i forgot how much i love toys and what a perfect opportunity burning man presents for play, so i spent more than i was expecting on bubbles and bells and ribbon twirlers and pinwheels and candy necklaces and yoyos and origami star strips and a color-changing ball. oh, and a battery-operated mister. :)

then sven & i went to multnomah falls (after i supplied him with corn! i'm so glad to have someone to give some to!), though first we stopped at crown point to see vista house. it was unfortunately closed, though it was obviously nouveau-ly gorgeous in stained glass and ornament, and had one of the cows from last year's cow parade hanging out in the foyer. there were a tremendous amount of wild sweetpeas growing along the edge of the road and sven discovered they had pea pods on them! (i suppose this sounds obvious to you, but i never knew it.) they were tasty and cute. but at this point it was almost 3 p.m. and i needed to eat more than sweetpea pods, so we ate lunch on the patio of the very-20s grand-lodge style multnomah falls lodge, which in my case was appetizing and large, though in sven's case seemed overpriced and meager. multnomah falls are spectacular even from the bottom and the bridge (you could see the shadow of the water writhe behind it like a snake), but we weren't content with that, nooooooo! we were compelled to climb for a mile to get to the very top, though in my case that meant stopping every 10 feet to catch my breath (what's up with that? i must be old now. :). we also spent some time in the larger river area scrambling over rocks and pools. people kept asking me to take their pictures, and by the time we finally left, it was dark. but let me say, there's nothing better than a day at multnomah falls except a day at multnomah falls followed by sampling "sven's amazing butterscotch sauce" freshly and liberally poured over vanilla bean ice cream. yowza.

so i finally had to decide to limit my social engagements so i could do prep for burning man; i don't actually see having much time for anything until mid-september. mid-september?! where the heck did the summer go? wasn't it less than a month ago that i was spending days doing nothing and liking it? if i immediately have to go find a job when i return from burning man, i'll feel as if i missed my chance to decompress, though the good thing is i've met a few good people and my heart must finally be recovering from csusm, as it doesn't hurt as oppressively as it did.

in other news, sandy got me a copy of edward gorey's dracula: a toy theatre as a belated birthday gift. ee! thanks, sandy! and i feel compelled to mention my gratitude to ken, though he would say it was unnecessary, as he sponsored my ticket to burning man. i don't really know what to say other than to shake my head in disbelief and say thanks, ken! :D brian called me this morning but caller id identified him as someone from "ibm global services," so i thought, feh. that person can leave a message if it's so important. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

 
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and i missed the peak of the perseids meteor shower? argggh! i think this is the first time i haven't made an attempt to see it in at least 5 years.

 
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today was a very, very, very bad driving day. *collapses weeping on futon*

 
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two... days... without... internet... access.....! stupid windows worm. better now. i hate it when macs are punished for windows mistakes, though. the home cable-modem contingent always takes the longest to recover.

Monday, August 11, 2003

 
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ha! karma is not usually so obvious or immediate, but after missing greg on friday, i was stood up by my first craigslist person today! i waited at blue moon for 30 minutes, went ahead and ordered & ate lunch, and then headed out. i stopped by the performance art center because i remembered they were hiring but didn't catch the address for applications before i had to turn left. then i stopped by the body shop because i am fully out of indian gardenia brown sugar scrub, which was the best stuff ever, and of course they no longer sell it. :P

 
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i don't even know where to start! i guess i'll work my way backwards.... :D

i spent yesterday recovering from the party on saturday, which kept us busy all day long. we went to powell's technical books to pick up some of their combustible/flammable stickers for burning man only to find they close early on sundays, so we hopped back to powell's to pick up a good journal to take with me and a booklight.

saturday night was the party, of course. we spent the day buying day-of items and preparing them. i used the itunes music store for the first time to hastily compile a "burning mix" cd to play during the party. worked like a charm after the "authorization" issue was worked out (i had bought them on one computer but had to burn them on another). i was so busy it felt like i didn't actually spend much time with the guests, but it was really nice to see rob again & meet mel! and it was the first time i had seen susan since we were in san francisco together. the roof is a stunning place to have a party as the sun sets; it's really a shame one can't reserve the grill, though.

not that we suffered too badly: there was lots of food! michael and i started with a baseline of chips, drinks, kabobs, sausages, rosemary potatoes, grilled onions, bell peppers, and smores. in addition, john came with a killer pasta salad (and i don't even like pasta salad!), susan came with chicken sausages & long poppyseed rolls, steve & cindy donated chips and 7-layer dip, and philip came with the infamous lemonade pie (mmmm: creamy! tart!). we have soooooo much food leftover we won't have to buy groceries for a week (and we'll have corn & blackberry poundcake every day!). brennan is to be commended for grilling to perfection all night long despite the obstacles of wind, other grillers, and darkness (thanks also to the assistance of cindy & steve!).

some donated other party stuff or to the burning man cause, too: thanks goes to rob & mel who brought a camp chair, a small cooler, a feathered mask, a skull bolo, cookies, beer, and the "black & red icon" tape; philip for the first aid kit, batteries, and the "wanderlust" cd; john who lent a large cooler; steve & cindy who brought another camp chair, 8 folding chairs, 4 card tables, flowers, and a flashlight when we needed one; linda who was only here long enough to drop off her camp chair contribution before she had to go home with a raging headache; steve & leslie who brought wine, a hat and lotion; and to susan for bringing a small bag of tiny tomatoes from her garden.

even earlier in the day we had gone blackberry picking w/ mila, john & phillip on sauvie island. next time we decided we would bring a ladder and just go straight for the wild blackberry bushes bordering the farm, which were ripe, plentiful, and tasty. the ones we were able to gather weren't bad, mind you, and i froze half of them.

Friday, August 08, 2003

 
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alex is the only one who's ever expressed a preference for the order of entries here: he wants to see all the posts in reverse chronological order, rather than just the days. you used to be able to do this in blogger, but since they moved to the new version, i guess you're stuck with whatever setting you had, because i no longer see a way to change it, and the support group is at a loss, too. sorry, alex!

 
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i missed my first craigslist meeting! yahoo maps says shute park is only four miles away from highway 26 on cornell, which turns into 10th. so i set my odometer and at mile 5, i began to get a little worried, and then i passed one of the intel campuses (hi, alex!), and finally at the airport, mile 6, i turned around to get directions. that took me all the way back to the shell station, and the woman inside said, "sorry; i don't know. you might want to try asking someone in walgreens." so away i went, and fortunately, someone in walgreens did know that eventually, yes, the street i was on was going to turn into 10th and then two blocks up would be the library and the park. and so then i had to go back the way i had come, and at around mile 8, yes, it did become 10th, and then five blocks later was the library. it was now 12:40, and i was supposed to meet greg at 12. so i walked around the whole park and i asked two guys who looked like they were waiting for something if they were greg, but no, so i watched the kids play in the big woodchip pile and then went back home.

i had just enough time to clean up after amelia (in the hall! arrrggh!), toss her into the bathroom, whirl around, and head to the fox theatre to see a mighty wind with bob, which was cute enough (i think i still want to see best of show). then i came home. i'm going to camas, wa. tonight. whee!

 
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the all-grilled mandate for the party tomorrow is rapidly disintegrating. it was philip's lemonade pie that started it all -- he wasn't going to bring it, and how could i refuse something that sounded as interesting as that? then people began donating children and pets and i knew something had gone terribly, terribly wrong. :)

 
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neil recommends buying MREs for burning man.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

 
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eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! i just got my burning man ticket! and i got it from a guy who sold it for $200! eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! *happy dance*

earlier today i want to chez machin (tasty! cute!) and then to powell butte for blackberry picking. yowza! what a pretty place! it reminds me very much of palmer park in colorado springs.

tonight i think we're shopping for supplies for saturday's party.


 
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michael & i watched tomb raider last night. it was okay. i'd go see tomb raider 2 with him, but i wouldn't spend money on it. i'll probably just wait till he buys it on dvd (because you know he will).

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

 
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i finished with a psychological survey from lewis & clark college which included two "Brief Creativity Tasks (BCT)":
* Imagine if you suddenly became invisible. What would be some of the consequences if this were to happen?

*Imagine if the height of everyone in the world were suddenly reduced by half. What would be some of the consequences if this were to happen?
hee. if i tell you what i wrote, it might influence what you'd write. send them in!

 
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well, that's weird. after a long conversation with one of the vets yesterday about the three different forms of cortisone amelia could take (including a gel one rubs into her ears!), a different vet called this morning and said she didn't think amelia needed to be on anything.

burdell's good again.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

 
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happy belated birthday to me! last night michael & i dressed up and he took me to the heathman, where i managed to keep down my first solid meal in 5 days. i think he went all crazy at gorey details (ee!), but he says he's still waiting to see what will needs to be bought for burning man. :) birthday song: kate bush, l'amour looks something like you. awwwww. and then portland gave me a belated birthday present today: a thunderstorm! a serious one! i was at dawson creek when it began to hit, and i eventually got soaked. nothing makes me happier faster than a thunderstorm. :D

burdell is moving and my email has been queasy all day as the ip takes some time to propogate. so i've been sending from mac.com this afternoon: anything i sent earlier may take some time to filter through the queue. you might want to send to gretchin@mac.com for a bit.

for the last couple of days, i keep finding myself saying the wrong word: i'll say "stars!" while pointing to my shoes, for instance. this afternoon, after thinking "turkeyturkeyturkey" all the way through the line, i ordered a tuna sandwich. it reminds me of the time i ordered sour cream instead of cream cheese for a bagel, even though the skeptical waitress asked me twice if that's what i meant.
update 08.10.03: last night i kept saying "mushroom" when i meant to say "marshmallow."

Sunday, August 03, 2003

 
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argh! maybe tori won't make it through the next 24 hours! it's definitely a power thing: michael's going to find his extra a/c adapter and try that (a long shot, but soooo much less expensive & quicker than sending her in to be fixed). in the meantime, i'm without access except when michael is willing to lend me nenya, which of course doesn't happen while he's at work.

 
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well, that's 3 days of my life i'll never get back. :P i'm back from the dead, but just barely. that may tie for the sickest i've ever been, in fact. not being able to read or write for 3 days is likely to lead to the longest post ever, and i won't feel at all badly if you don't read it.

in general, i have three indicators of sickness in progressive degrees of extremity:
1. if it affects my eating and sleeping habits: i'm really good at both of these things in all sorts of adverse conditions, so if one or both of them is suffering, something's wrong. this time, my meal options expanded dramatically only yesterday when i was able to have *gasp* a boiled potato for dinner, and this morning i had *gasp* oatmeal. and we've discussed the whole sleeping chills fiasco before.

2. if it makes me vomit: that's the dealbreaker for me. i'm home no matter what i was scheduled to do. (i now unfortunately have an addenda to this indicator, but it's a little gross.)

3. if i can't read: nothing's worse than being sick unless you're sick and can't read! not being able to read email or blogs or even ray bradbury left me in bed one day trying to memorize the titles on each shelf in front of me. the last time i was sick all i could read was edward gorey; this time it was calvin & hobbes (my gorey stuff is still packed in the art room), but i didn't even get through very much of that.
anything else is just a minor annoyance to me: coughing, fever, sore throat, whatever.

the thing i hate most about being sick is that other people's lives happen, anyway, and you not only lose the time you had being sick, but the extra days it takes you to make up for those days. i had to cancel 5 events, two of which i need to immediately reschedule this week on top of party planning for the birthday celebration august 9 and avoiding the actual birthday august 4 (tomorrow! it's almost a good thing i was too sick to think about this much ;). since i didn't really read and certainly didn't respond to email, there's that to attend to (x3). poor michael had to leave work early to take amelia to the vet once we realized i wasn't going to be able to leave the apartment, and then missed dr. who w/ bill to pick her up again (sorry, bill!).

speaking of the the cat, she's looking as badly as i felt. she's alarmingly thinner now and stays curled up most of the time. she still isn't hep on the prescription food, but at least she's eating some of it. we put her food & litterbox in the main bathroom so we could close her in there for the night & in general keep better track of her. she left one gift in the art room and we immediately closed it off, but nothing's come since, so my guess is that the initial gifting started as a physiological problem but then became a habit as we became less able to keep the art room floor sterile. but the frustration here is that we've spent what i consider to be an exhorbitant amount of money here and we still don't know what's wrong. michael says he asked them to clean her teeth while she was knocked out but i don't see any evidence that they did.

michael & i watched daredevil, which i thought was an "above average": i thought the villains were quite good, ben affleck didn't suck, but i was pretty disappointed jennifer garner's role was reduced to "love interest who dies at the end," elektra sequel or not. bah.

tori's power adapter seems to be on the fritz. maybe it's the power supply. maybe tori won't make it to burning man, after all. >:(