it20010430 - Monday
U2 hits the Target Center tomorrow night. I should be really excited and I'm sure I'll get that way tomorrow, but that fact that I'm not right now sort of speaks to the way my life has been going lately. I've been too busy with things to be looking ahead even a couple of days. Heck, if I hadn't put it on my calendar, I might have forgotten the concert was about to happen.
Ok, that's an exaggeration. But I do feel I'm missing something.
In what may be a related story, I forgot to upload this site yesterday after completing a new entry.
Training tends to be a lot more interesting when you're getting it instead of giving it. Let's see if I can get through tomorrow without making an ass of myself in front of my coworkers.
it20010429 - Sunday
Long after the saga of the naked woman across the alley had given the illusion of retirement, a new chapter opened Friday evening. I would rather it hadn't opened, but it did.
First, some backstory: I'm not a big heat or summer person, and last summer was a warm one. Lacking an air conditioner, my hopes of having a cool night's sleep centered primarily on a single window fan. Problem was the window was right next to the head of my bed, and its constant buzz was keeping me from sleeping. Even though Heather and I had moved in only a month before, my room had already become a disaster area. Hence, the possibility of rearranging the room was discarded in fairly short order. Instead I just switched around the way that I'd sleep in my bed: My feet were now windowside instead of my ears, and for a few days sleep came rather easily.
The lamp in the window across the alley became my next annoyance. It was centered in the window across from my window, and its light had a convenient and direct route to my thin eyelids. I complained about the guy across the alley and his lamp a couple of times to Heather (I think I just like complaining) and went about trying to resolve the situation: I tried ignoring the light, tried blocking part of my window (difficult with fan in use... ended up pulling down my venetian blinds once), tried falling asleep on my left side (couldn't) and eventually just got somewhat used to it.
Then, early in another evening battle with the light, it became incredibly obvious the guy across the alley wasn't actually a guy. A second thought was she really needed to close her drapes when she changed clothes. A third thought was I really needed to close my drapes when changing my clothes.
I think I brought the subject up with Heather first, something along the lines of, um, have you noticed anything about our neighbors across the alley? She hadn't, and by that time had already become somewhat preoccupied with our downstairs neighbor cranking Twisted Sister or equally atrocious music at about 3:00 every morning. (The room the music was coming from was under her bedroom, so it hadn't been much of an issue for me.) If anything, she found my predicament amusing. Although I did find it amusing myself, I felt bad about it, and felt I should do something. I didn't get much help from friends or coworkers in this area. With all the Web designers I'm around, I got more than one recommendation to set up a Web cam. It was also pointed out that most guys spend their lives praying for something like this to happen, and here I was trying to get rid of it. (A few weeks later I made the somewhat questionable decision of allowing the subject of the woman across the alley come up at Turkey Party 2000, resulting in about 10 people trying to look through the windows at one time or another.)
Anyway, general consensus settled on a number of things:
- If she doesn't close her windows, it's her own damn fault.
- There's nothing unethical about me looking out my window, as long as I don't pull out the binoculars. (For the record, I disagreed with this, and I'm not talking about the binoculars, either.)
- I shouldn't try to be a good samaritan and try to make it obvious she should close her windows. As Robin pointed out, she'd probably think I was a stalker.
Anyway, tired of having my sexuality questioned--whether it be in a joking form or otherwise--I pretty much dropped the subject aside from the random inquiry for a naked woman report from a friend or coworker. I spent the rest of the summer pretty much trying to mind my own business, did what I believe was actually a fairly commendable job of doing so, and moved my head back near the window as soon as the weather became consistently cool enough for the fan's constant drone to become unnecessary. A few months later the person across the street apparently moved, evidenced by the arrival of new furniture in the front sun room. Story over, it seemed.
Fast forward to Friday night. M and I were walking up to my apartment, when she noticed an old acquaintance of hers sitting outside the neighboring building. We stopped to talk, and after a little bit learned the woman he was sitting with lived in the apartment right across the alley from mine. Trying to be neighborly, I pointed out that a friend and I live right next to her. In a perfect conversation, the subject would have stopped right there.
It didn't. For reasons it wouldn't be appropriate to repeat but I will say I don't hold against her, M blurted out "I hope you don't walk around naked." (She was somewhat flustered by something else going on at the time and hence wasn't thinking before talking.) I looked at M and watched her face contort slightly as what she said sunk in. "Oh, I'm in trouble," she said. M's statement called for an explanation, of course, and I did my best to give one to the two of them without sounding like a voyeuristic, dirty old man living next door.
When finished, the woman looked at M and I and spoke four words I rather wouldn't have heard: "Really. I know her."
So let's review:
- Potentially freaked out my next door neighbor: Check.
- Potentially embarrassed someone I thought I no longer had any chance of embarrassing: Check.
- Made me skittish about looking about my own windows again: Check.
The weather's getting warm again and Minneapolis may break into the 80s today. I probably need to get my window fan out, and maybe rearrange my room.
All of this reminds me of something I witnessed a few weeks ago while walking back from the store. An older man came out of his house wearing only white briefs, looked around for his newspaper and wandered back in. I don't know, maybe it's the neighborhood.
Saying M and I spent an obscene amount of money yesterday on computer software is somewhat of an understatement. But hey, I'm finally a Photoshop 6 owner. Woo Hoo!
it20010426 - Thursday
FranklinCovey's new OnePlace program looks potentially useful, especially to someone like me who's continuously buried by the paper chase. Reservations abound, though, not even considering I only recently escaped the cult. My biggest fear comes from the fact that about 90% of FranklinCovey's business model consists of making users not just dependent but completely addicted to their products. (And I don't just mean casual use addictions, either. I mean strung-out, bloodshot, I haven't slept for 36 hours GIVE ME ALL YOUR FUCKING MONEY NOW addictions.) If I start relying on one of their programs to manage my documents, well, I may find myself unable to do it on my own down the road. Which, of course, is exactly what they would want. Next thing I know, they'd require me to wear Nike tennis shoes and work in a collective as a Web designer.
it20010425 - Wednesday
In Transit was briefly interrupted yesterday due to the arrival of my new camera. Further delays may occur.
David Sedaris was great at the State Theatre last night, although cooked carrots no longer seem as appealing as they once did.
Further proof M is a more expressive individual than me comes from this e-mail of hers about Ben and Lisa's wedding:
mrbula, you didn't mention getting pulled over and getting a warning...and ben singing to lisa...and having to wear a tux with shoes that were painful...and how the capitol looked so bleached white...and lying to ben about being in tomah still and not being able to make it although we were 6 minutes from his house, and when he found out that we were playing a trick, and his response of 'you bastard'...and the amazing buildings built by frank lloyd wright, the beautiful meeting house and the convention center..actually the concept of the 'meeting house' as well...the dreadful rain driving back...the amazingly wonderful family who gave a brunch of "all" the guests of the wedding...seeing the house that ben grew up in...the emotions of the wedding...
M knows I spend a lot of time writing and I think she often wonders what the hell I'm writing about. However, the amount of time spent is somewhat misleading, as it's not at unusual for me to waste ten minutes trying to write and fully develop just one sentence. (Not that anyone can tell a difference. I suspect my time-spent/sentence-quality ratio is rather atrocious. My stressing often backfires, too: I know what I want my words to say, so I miss gaps and errors when I reread them.)
it20010423 - Monday
Talked to a friend this evening about his wedding coming up in August. Apparently I need to get fitted for a tux.
It was an interesting evening for phone conversations. Four calls, four subjects: 1) Weddings 2) Procreation 3) Relationships, and 4) Public servants having their photos taken with charred corpses.
From the It Should be Simple but Isn't Department: I just spent two hours trying to buy Allaire Homesite online. In what probably should have been taken as an omen, Allaire has stopped selling it on their site and presently only offers Macromedia products. From there I went on numerous failed searches, an absolutely fucked attempt at registering with egghead.com, one Netscape 6 crash, and, finally, success at c|net... Where I probably should have started in the first place.
Nosebleed count: Holding at 13. I now have additional information on how to deal with them, too. (Friends who happen to be studying medicine can be quite handy at times.)
it20010422 - Sunday - Earth Day
Well, Ben and Lisa got married. I've always been one to grumble about weddings, but have to admit theirs turned out to be very nice. A lot of effort was put into it, and it showed: It was thoughtful, worldly and elegantly understated all at the same time. Quite an accomplishment, and one completely deserved by two such fine people.
Ben got some pretty good distance on the breaking of the glass. If it hadn't been for the feet of his new in-laws getting in the way, the bottom of the wine glass probably could've gone a couple of yards.
Between the hours of driving, lack of recycling and lunch at McDonald's, M and I had a rather unsuccessful Earth Day. But we still had a good time in Madison.
Nosebleed count: 13.
it20010419 - Thursday
Well, tomorrow morning my girlfriend and I are off to Madison to watch a good friend get married. What strange institutions we humans create for ourselves.
I wonder about some of my neighbors sometimes.
It's become a habit of mine to carry potentially useful automotive items in the trunk of my car. This typically has served me well, but broke down last week when my trunk found itself saturated with windshield-washer fluid. With this weekend's trip to Madison fast approaching--as well as the possibility of the trunk being put to its first legitimate use since Mamatha and I went to Chicago for New Year's--I wanted to get things cleaned up fast. (Besides, it still had needles in it from when Heather and I picked up a Christmas tree.) The biggest task would be washing the blankets and towels I'd stored back there. Should be easy, right? Well, no.
Saturated items in hand, I entered the laundry room in the basement of my building. There I was confronted with the sight of a neighbor standing in front our building's only washing machine, his hands conversationally outstretched as if he were holding court with the Whirlpool. It took me a moment to figure out he wasn't speaking to ghosts but into a cordless telephone headset. Apparently he'd run a load of laundry without adding any detergent and was now consulting as to whether he should redo the load or not. It became obvious that he was going to hit rewind, so I left my laundry down there and returned about a half hour later. Once again I found him in the basement, this time taking seemingly finished laundry from the dryer and placing it into the washer. He explained he wasn't sure if he had used detergent on that load, either, so he was rewashing it just to be safe.
It's getting late now, so I guess I'll be doing the laundry when I get back from Wisconsin.
I've spent the past few minutes printing off pages from Mapquest to make sure I can find everything when we're down in Madtown. It's become a peculiar place for me to visit. There are so many memories there from so many people, events and journeys: High school forensics. Badger games. Institute trips. SPJ conferences. United Council. State basketball championships. Newspaper Interviews. Delivering "The Prince" to Tommy Thompson. Mike's golf tournament. U2. There's something around every corner, something down every street, some of it almost recent, some of it long ago.
Funny how sometimes the simple names of streets printed on a map can cause me to sigh. Mineral Point Road. Whitney Way. Regent Street. University Avenue. State Street. Fish Hatchery Road. I've been lost on almost all of them, usually on purpose, a few times by accident. Heck, I know why John Nolen has a road named after him.
Anyway, I should be going. I still need to pack and didn't sleep very well last night.
"Did you see 'Snatch?'"
"I don't go to those kind of theatres."
Nosebleed count: 11.
it20010418 - Wednesday
After months of waffling, as well as years of loyalty to Nikon and Olympus, I finally went ahead and bought a digital camera today. And, god forbid, it's a Canon. It should be arriving sometime next week. Sure, it costs the equivalent of a week and a half of my salary, but it'll be a great help kicking the development of lstc.org into high gear.
it20010417 - Tuesday
It's turning out to be a busier week than usual.
From the "Shit you Don't Want to See in Your Inbox" department (in this case from a hypothetical Web-hosting company that hypothetically hosts this site):
Mon, 16 Apr 2001 02:12:04 +0000
Subject: ADDR.com Service Announcement - Company Closure
From: "ADDR.COM Web Hosting"
Dear Addr.com customer,
Due to the unfortunate events that have occurred during the past week, we are unable to continue operations at Addr.com. You have previously been advised that a hacker obtained a partial database of client information, including credit card details. Addr has been working closely with Visa and Mastercard and has given its full co-operation to assist them in minimizing consumer fraud as a result of this incident.
However, our merchant bank has decided not to continue to allow Addr to accept credit card payments from Visa and Mastercard customers in the future, and to freeze all recent payments made within the last 30 days by clients. Our management team have been working around the clock to try and secure a resolution to this situation but unfortunately we have been unsuccessful.
The freezing of a large amount of working capital and the bank's decision not to allow us to accept future payments has resulted in our inability to maintain service to our clients beyond this week. This decision has taken the financial future of Addr out of our hands.
All servers will be turned off by our provider between Saturday 14th April and Monday 16th April.
We apologize for the severe inconvenience this will no doubt cause you. Please do not try and contact our company via telephone as they are no longer being operated. If you would like to request a refund for unused service fees you have prepaid then please make your request in writing to the following address:
Addr Refund Requests
3031 Tisch Way
Floor 10, Suite 1006
San Jose, CA 95128
Addr.com will attempt to make a refund of all unused service fees if possible, when funds are made available by our bank. We cannot guarantee that a 100% refund will be available, but will make every effort to reimburse all clients as far as possible.
Heh. The return address was from yahoo.com, which obviously made me suspicious, but there was a very substantial mitigating factor: This site, my primary e-mail and my FTP access through Addr had been down for over three hours when I read it. Eventually I discovered the e-mail was indeed a hoax, but I didn't find it out from Addr; I found it out from a discussion board I frequent. Not only that, it turned out the bit about the entire customer credit card database being stolen was true. Addr apparently didn't find this important enough to notify their customers about.
So screw them. I'm transferring this site back to it's old host. I was never too impressed with Addr to begin with, but stayed with them primarily out of laziness. That was a mistake.
Nosebleed count: Nine.
it20010415 - Sunday - Easter
Air travelers: Check the photo on page 66 of the May/June issue of American Photo. Ever get the feeling you're getting the shaft? I'm not much one for romanticizing the past, but that photo makes me feel today's airline passengers are missing something.
Mamatha and I spent most of our day on a metro-area flood tour. (Photos will be posted after developing, scanning and coding.) We hit Stillwater first to see if the lift bridge had gone under yet, and got to witness local inmates working on the tempoary dike keeping the downtown from retracing its floodplain roots. From there it was to Hudson, where First Street had surrendered to the St. Croix. The old Cedar Avenue bridge down in Bloomington was submerged as well. Probably the most spectacular sight today, though, came from the St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis. The Army Corps of Engineers had opened the locks to relieve some pressure off the falls, and the view from the Stone Arch Bridge was amazing.
it20010414 - Saturday
I was talking to Ben D. about what he was going to show his cousin and her friends as they spent the weekend in the Twin Cities. "Oh, you know, the downtown, Uptown, the mall, little Mexico."
"Yeah, you know, Lake Street."
"I'm going to kick your ass."
Nosebleed count since Wednesday: Six
it20010413 - Friday
I wonder why people can wish me a merry Christmas and I don't think anything of it, but if someone tells me to have a hoppy Easter I get annoyed.
I remember them starting a large expansion in the Twin Cities about a year ago. They found my resume online, and although I was comfortably employed, I decided to talk to them. I was very clear about the fact I'd been professionally involved in Web design for two years, but the recruiter who kept contacting me apparently didn't do a good job of listening. After a fair amount of prodding, she finally sent me a job description... A job description that required applicants to have six to nine years of Web design experience. The absurdity of that requirement was obvious (I think it was Kottke who wrote that Tim Berners-Lee already had a good job), and I promptly lost all interest in them. I politely explained this to the recruiter, but my feelings must not have been understood, as SHE WOULDN'T LEAVE ME ALONE. For two weeks I found myself being continuously pestered by e-mails and phone calls asking if I was going to apply or if she could answer any questions for me. Annoying? Yes.
Eventually the recruitment deluge subsided. And so, it seems, has marchFIRST. It's too bad people are losing their jobs, but I think any company that bills itself as an industry leader yet goes about doing things as inherently laughable as that requirement probably shouldn't be in business anyway.
Trying to ignore the music radiating from my clock radio this morning, I buried my face deep into one of my pillows, my nose responding promptly with a stream of blood. I guess I should start keeping count: Since Wednesday morning, that's five nosebleeds.
I hate Spring.
it20010412 - Thursday
The only thing more annoying than a nosebleed is a nosebleed in the shower. Well, make that a double-barrel nosebleed in the shower. Actually, make that a double-barrel nosebleed in the shower when your bath towel and linen shower curtain happen to be white.
Not that my morning was delayed by such an event.
it20010411 - Wednesday
Got to hang out with a bunch of old roommates this evening in St. Paul. Tony and Katie were passing through the Cities on their way back to Portland and called people together to Billy's Bar on Grand Ave. It was cool to see everyone again. A number of us are within an hour or so of each other, but life has a habit of making getting together difficult. Mamatha finally got to meet the self-described "brown guy" I used to live with, but seemed a bit disappointed he wasn't as brown as she was. (Tony explained Portland's gray weather has lightened him up some.)
The last time I visited Billy's came a few years ago when another former housemate, Nate, turned 21. I volunteered to be the designated driver for that occasion and for some reason volunteered my Oldsmobile as well. That second decision turned out to be a questionable move at best and my policy on transporting drunk people was modified somewhat following that evening's events: After Billy's we wandered over to the Wild Onion, where everyone got trashed, a couple of roommates started making out, and another decided she wanted to flash the DJ. On the way back to River Falls, Nate emptied the contents of his stomach onto a partially-open side window, and before anyone really knew what was going on puke was spreading spider-web-like across the back of the car. There were three people in the back seat, and most of their clothing ended up being discarded the next morning. As for my car, well, it took about a month and a half to get the smell out.
I'm still a willing designated-driver, of course, but whenever possible, I use someone else's vehicle.
The Twin Cities was never really on the radar for a company like kozmo.com, but its passing is sad nonetheless. I remember visiting Chicago, watching the Kozmo folk flying around on their spiffy orange bikes, and thinking, damn, I wish we had that up north. [ via MetaFilter ]
Any morning that greets you with visible breath and pouring rain is going to be a bad one. I know a lot of people are happy about spring, but I'll take blowing snow over this shit any day.
Somewhat-related note-to-self: Get the hatchback on your car fixed. Rainy season is back, and it would be nice for the trunk and its contents to stay dry.
it20010410 - Tuesday
WCCO commented this evening how strange it is that 1997's "Flood Of The Century" is being repeated only four years later. Well, it's a different century now. Duh.
Ben D. and one of his relatives will be up in the Cities this weekend. He was looking for things to do, and it seems an unusual option would be to travel around the area and look at the temporary dikes, flooded airports, and closed roads and bridges scattered all over the metro area. Definitely not something that happens every day, nor every Spring, for that matter. (In doing so, it would sort of bring things full circle: I remember visiting Ben down in St. Louis back in 1997 when the Mississippi was playing games with the folks down there.)
I woke this morning to a splitting headache worse than I've had in years. It felt like my brain was going to blow out the top of my head. I considered this predicament for a while, realized I wasn't in much of a position to consider anything, and decided it would be prudent to call in sick to work and go back to bed.
I finally got up around 12:30. It's around 1:30 now. My head still hurts, but at least I can stand it.
it20010408 - Sunday
Mamatha and I decided to be suburban yesterday and as a result found ourselves tooling around the Mall Of America. We spent about an hour and a half in Underwater Adventures, a rather cool place to go for a date, albeit one that may leave you wondering about the sanity of the employees: While visitors slowly travel along a motorized walkway, guides walk along with the groups answering questions and sharing trivia. As the group moves on, the guide unplugs his or her microphone and walks upstream to talk to new visitors. The monotony was getting to at least one of the guides, who, as he unplugged his microphone and depart, started to mutter quietly under his breath: "Back and forth, forth and back..."
Just as a side note, if I worked there, it wouldn't be the unending repetition of tasks that would cause me go day-trader. No, it would be the constant assault of the Beach Boys from speakers located every few feet along the tour. I asked one of the guides if she got tired of the music, and she looked at me with a somber face and nodded. With that she walked off, mouthing the tune that was presently torturing her.
All that Beach Boys music put me in the mood to see Roger & Me, but Mamatha and I struck out at video stores in both Minneapolis and Roseville. We scored with the carry-out pizza, though; a broken printer resulted in a broken order, and our eight minute wait landed us two free pizzas.
Anyway, lacking Michael Moore's first documentary, we rented The Big One instead. I had been putting off seeing it for quite some time, mostly due to a promise that I'd see it with a particular fellow Moore fan. (For whatever reason that friendship has apparently trailed off, so...) As expected it was pretty good, although I was disappointed about one thing: I saw Moore speak at UW-Eau Claire back in 1997, during which time he previewed a couple of Wisconsin scenes from the film. One scene he fast-forwarded through, though, was him standing on the front steps of the capitol in Madison, supposedly ranting about all of the fashionably liberal, quasi-socialists the city is overrun by. Well, that scene was apparently cut from the movie. Damn.
I really need to get Homesite on my home computer. This coding in Notepad sucks.
it20010407 - Saturday
Earlier today Robin and Andy became the eighth and ninth individuals I've introduced to Cecil's Deli over in the fair community of St. Paul. Thanks to one of my patented short-cuts Mamatha and arrived late, but the place was packed, so the two hadn't been seated yet, anyway.
The food, company and conversation was expectedly good.
it20010406 - Friday
Note to self: Do not respond to personal e-mails when really busy and/or distracted. Explanation: I accidentally CC'd a coworker on a rather private e-mail this afternoon. I wouldn't have even noticed if my girlfriend hadn't promptly called me to point out I'm a twit. (Sorry, dear.)
Thank god for Outlook's recall feature.
It was noted by more than one person this morning that I've worn black for three days in a row now. There's actually a technical explation for this: My life has been really busy since I got back from SXSW a few weeks ago, and as a result I've been ignorning many regular chores, notably laundry. I ran out of clean clothing earlier this week and had time for only one load, and had to choose between my lighter shirts and my black ones. For whatever reason I chose black, and hence I've been forced to dress accordingly since.
it20010405 - Thursday
Coming back from a meeting, I discovered a long mailing tube sitting at my desk. It was from Seigel, but I had no idea what it was. Assuming some kind of joke was in the works, I walked over by a few of my coworkers and proceeded to open it up. Well, it wasn't a joke, and I sort of flipped when I figured out what I was looking at. It was a poster from The Dismemberment Plan's recent concert at the Memorial Union down in Madison, and it was autographed. I babbled for a few moments about how great the band is, scoffed when Liz mentioned she got a guitar pick from A Perfect Circle, went back to my cube and called Ben to thank him.
The Plan is on tour and will be hitting Minneapolis May 9th, location to be announced. Catch 'em if you can.
That's My Bush! is easily one of the dumbest television shows I've seen in a long, long time. I tried watching it last night and now regret doing so. Unable to stand the bad jokes, poor writing and taped laugh track, I turned it off 20 minutes into the program.
A few of my friends seem to think I've been forgetting a lot lately, and I think they may be right.
Case in point: Last night I got a cordial but mildly stressed message on my answering machine from Ben's girlfriend regarding their impending wedding. She was the last person I expected to read this site, but she did, and was more than a little surprised by what I had written about my involvement. (If Ben had read it, I'm sure he would have just laughed and brushed it off. But he didn't read it, she did.) I called them right away and ended up talking to Ben for a while. I assured him I was cool with everything and apologized for what I wrote and any resulting confusion. He mentioned that he was sure he had told me, but, I thought, of course he thought he told me. So I didn't think much about it.
I talked to Robin a little later in the evening, and she seemed to remember me talking about being a groomsman. At that point I became a bit concerned.
For the life of me, I don't remember being told I was going to be one. It's an uncommon event--indeed, this will be the first time I've ever done such a thing--so I find it more than a little difficult to believe I'd forget it. I even searched through my journal last night and found no mention other than me being a photographer.
If I wanted to take the paranoid track, I could wonder about my headaches, the confusion of my doctors, the bulge on my head, the CAT scan that revealed nothing. But that probably is just true paranoia. (I suppose the headaches are just as likely caused by me staring at a computer screen eight or nine hours a day. Doing that didn't bother me before, but I suppose tolerance can reduced over a period of time, eh?) A more likely explanation, and one I have to admit I'm not entirely comfortable with, involves my habits for storytelling and more than occasional sarcasm. It seems entirely possible that I could have been under the impression that I was just going to be photographing the wedding, but didn't make that point explicitly clear when telling the story to others.
For what it's worth, my girlfriend, who knows Ben, thought I was going to be photographing the thing. But I've beat this to death and still have no clue what really happened, so, for the time being, I'm going to drop it.
Well, I did my taxes last night. I've been putting them off for a while, not because I've been dreading them or anything, but because I knew they'd be incredibly quick and easy, especially when compared to last year. I had all the forms and necessary documents ready, so I had everything done in less than an hour. (Last year I had to deal with three jobs and two states, resulting in eight forms and two full days of confusion and number crunching. This year was with only one job and one state. A suggestion: If you live in Wisconsin and plan to move out of the state, do so over the new year.)
Grumpy thing for me to go to sleep to: For the second time in my life, I owe taxes. $610. Fuck. I got a raise early last year, but didn't change my withholding. I really need to start recognizing these things earlier.
it20010404 - Wednesday
I finally picked up The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips this past weekend and just listened to it for the first time this morning. I've been kicking myself since for not buying the damn thing earlier. Even from bands I worship, rarely do I find an album I can listen straight through and remain smiling and content. This one is a wonderful, wonderful exception. It's amazing.
(Oh, and that reminds me: It's time to buy a watt.)
Not to sound like a girl, but I've been gaining weight lately. I've felt it for a couple weeks, and now I'm starting to see it. It's a combination of things: I've been working a lot of long hours and have been living a fairly sedinatary, stationary life at my desk. That in itself shouldn't be a problem, as I'm usually pretty good at getting out and exercising. I sprained my ankle two weeks ago, though, and that's pretty much put me out of commission.
And the weather has been so nice lately. I really want to go walk around the lakes and take in the Spring, as soggy as it may be. It figures that just as the doctors would finally cure me of the cold that's been plaguing me for almost half a year, I respond by blowing out my left ankle for a third time.
it20010403 - Tuesday
Well, I finally got my check card from Firstar today. What a fucking mess that was. Watch for the story soon at usbanksucks.net. (They recently merged with US Bank and will be taking that name, so no, I'm not kidding.) Trying to find the silver lining in not being able to use a check card since March 10th: My checking account has over $2000 in it for the first time in at least a year and a half. Proof that ain't no silver lining: I pay most of my bills online--accessing my checking account via my check card--and have been delaying doing a lot of that as I can't get online account access without that stupid card. Hence, most of that money will be going poof when I start paying bills this evening.
So I'm laying in bed last night, over-caffeinated and unable to fall asleep, when for some reason it dawns on me that I didn't run into the CSS padding problems detailed on A List Apart. The only copy of the HTML and CSS for this site was at work, so I had no clue what I had done. I checked soon after I got in this morning, and discovered that by sheer luck I didn't use padding in any elements that had a defined width.
And you're saying, "Um, what?"
it20010402 - Monday
About seven months ago Seigel asked me if I'd go to his wedding down in Madison this April. I answered that of course I would. A couple of months later he informed me I'd have to get a tux. It wasn't explained why, but I went along with it. Then, late last year, he told me I'd be photographing the thing. I have a background in photojournalism but have never done a wedding before, but, OK. Then this morning I opened Outlook at work and found an e-mail from his fiancée.
The subject line: "Hi Groomsmen!"
I'm gonna kick his ass.
Well, I just spent three and a half hours freeing this page from <table> tags. What a bitch.
It would have been easy if it wasn't for the exits and detours box on the right. The content, especially the date headers, kept running into it. In the end, it turned out that the main problem stemmed from my lack of understanding of how header and paragraphs behave. But now that I know, and now that I've nested my <spans> and <divs>, it's all good. (Well, not completely: This page no longer validates for HTML 4.0 transitional.) Anyway, everything now seems to work in Netscape 6 and Internet Explorer 6. (The page almost works in Opera 5, and is probably close enough for government work.) As for everything else, including IE5.5, I have no clue and will have to check later. But it's almost 9:30 now and I've been coding all day, so I need a break.
it20010401 - Sunday - April Fool's Day
I suppose April 1st is an appropriate day to restart my site. It'll probably end up being a joke anyway.
Spent yesterday evening with Mamatha and some of her friends at an Indian Holi festival over in Roseville. Lots of singing, dancing and acting, most of it in Hindi, which I don't understand. Thing is, Mamatha's originally from southern India, so she knows Telegu, not Hindi, and as a result neither of us had much of a clue as to what everyone was laughing about. There were a couple hundred people there and I was one of about three white folk, so the urge to scream "Speak English!" was almost unbearable. (I later shared this inclination with my dearest, but she didn't seem to find the concept nearly as humorous as I did.)
Breakfast this morning came from Ruby's across from Loring Park. My pancake was good, but the place was kind of gay.
Later in the day, after a financially ill-advised trip to Barnes & Noble, Mamatha and I caught an evening showing of Enemy At The Gates. It was a good flick based on a true story, but was a bit more sentimental and sappy than I usually like them. The true history of the main characters is shrouded in the propaganda portrayed in the film, so I find the rather clean way the movie's love story gets tied together at the end somewhat suspect. (If anyone has seen the movie and knows whether the ending is legitimate or not, I'd like to hear it.) That said, the acting was pretty good, the sets seemed realistic, and the credits were next to impossible to read. On my 1 to 10 scale, 10 being best, I'll give it a 6 1/2.
Final note: Those folks over at NPR have an interesting sense of humor.