jillithian: (typewriter)
You can get so swept up in Social Media. Would I have known about Ferguson, Mo, if not for social media? Would I have seen the video of the paper mill across the river from my office collapse during demolition if not for social media? Would I be even 1/4 as aware of feminist issues and fun mommy blogs and fantastic comics or unschooling or bicycling or pro-breastfeeding if not for social media?

But then, in a case like Sunday, where I needed a friendly voice to care when my father-in-law was hurting, posting to social media was about as effective as farting in the wind.

And I make a point of following real people. I make a point of culling bots from my own followers, and only keeping real people. But the real people I follow and who follow me don't really pay attention on the weekends. So, my plea was nothing more than a fart in the wind.

I think I've made a similar plea when first struggling with motherhood. And Cal's rash that never seemed to go away. And that may have been during business hours. I remember feeling like I was farting in the wind then, too.

That's on Twitter, anyway.

But facebook seems so much more ... self-censored. Like, putting any inflammatory political think piece is like farting in a crowded room, while on stage, with a microphone strapped to your ass. In front of your mother and that super judgemental aunt.

I have real, in-person friends on both platforms. I feel like the ones on Twitter aren't as plugged in - just, as I say, another fart in the wind storm. And the ones of facebook, are? Maybe?

But then real life friends - seeing them in real life these days - are such a rare occurance. I don't know how to fit them in. They don't know how to fit me (and my toddler) in.

And so I feel unsupported. Dangling.

I have the feeling of friendly discussion when I post here or on twitter. At least, I get to say what's on my mind. So that makes my brain feel like I'm sharing thoughts with friends. I'm getting that friendly exchange feeling. Without the actual friendly exchange. Sending my Important! Personal! Thoughts! and Feelings! out into the ether like another fart in the wind.

Like social media is really some kind of strip tease. We go through the motions, but in the end, it was more of a fabricated interaction.

Or maybe I'm still emotionally recovering from this weekend. And the shift from 70-degrees and sunny to overcast, sprinkling and chilly. 
jillithian: (pwnd Cute Overload)
I am refusing to answer my mother's calls today. And she's already called.

I don't know if I was less gullible or if Mom was just easier on me than my brother growing up, but she never got a good April Fool's Day joke on me until last year.

I was out of my element. It was my first corporate trip anywhere ever. And it was for the job I had started only seven months previous. It was a work trip to our corporate headquarters in Dallas with my co-worker Mark, my boss Mike, another co-worker Mike who flew in from Arkansas, and the president of our company, Steve. So add the nervousness of my first corporate trip and add the company I was in and I had completely forgotten what day it was.

First thing in the morning after breakfast with the crew and before we headed out to the offices, Mom calls and tells me that she had a business trip to Dallas and so she'd be in town that evening and wanted to go to dinner with me. Mom is always on business trips anyways and it just didn't occur to me to think otherwise. Somehow I had to work up the guts to make a request of my boss and the whole crew for this meeting to be able to eat with my mom for dinner instead of with everybody else. Remember, I'm new to everything in this company and I didn't want to be the new girl that shuns the team for other plans, but it was also my mom.

So, at the offices we quietly walk into a small conference room where Steve is on a conference call. I whisper to my boss Mike asking what the proposed schedule would be that evening and if I could go to dinner with my mom. He looks at me a little funny but says that it would be ok.

It was later that day that it suddenly occurred to me. I think it was even late afternoon - I was that out of my element! So, on top of being the new girl who wants to skip out on plans with the team, I'm also the new girl who gets punked by her mom on a business trip with her boss.

So, this morning I received an email:
From: Mike [the boss]
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 9:39 AM
To: 'Jill'
Subject: Urgent Message

Your Mom is in town and wants to meet you for lunch!! ;-)

Welcome to April,


Being that it IS her favorite holiday of the year, I did forward this on to her with an additional "This is YOUR FAULT!" so hopefully she'll forgive my lack of willingness to answer her calls today.

The worst part, however, is that I really should have known better. She pulls this trick on Parr almost every year. The same trick, even. "Hi Parr. This is your mom. I just landed in Chicago and should be to Madison by lunch time. Where do you want to eat?" And he falls for it every year and I laugh at him for it every year. *facepalm*


Mar. 27th, 2009 04:21 pm
jillithian: (big brain)
I started this morning with working code.

All I did was try to move the call to one function from one area to another.

Now, all I am getting is core dump after core dump. I just want to close the window and go back to the previous window. But the wclose() function is what makes it barf. I can whide(), but then it doesn't repaint itself and all of that fun garbage.

This is the part of programming that I hate. It's not the fun discovery or planning or implementing phase anymore. It's the "Let's narrow down to the most friggin' obscure piece of 30 yr old code that you copied from one section where it worked fine but it doesn't want to work fine here." struggling phase. I love figuring stuff out, but this is more of the "using up vacation time waiting all day at the Social Security office to change your name on your card and when you are finally called to the window ten minutes before it closes, being told that you needed to get your license updated first at city hall across town, which will also close in ten minutes" kind of figuring stuff out that isn't fun.

It's a Friday afternoon. Half an hour before the end of the day. The gray matter was borked by Wednesday afternoon. I am still expecting to work on my capstone paper tonight as the deadline is looming (Monday!).

What I would really like to do is say "Fuck it. I quit," walk to the bar across the parking lot, forget my name in a couple bottles of Captain Morgan, and drunkenly decide to go swimming in the freezing, foaming, flooding Mississippi. I figure the second bottle of Morgan will numb whatever pain there is before the cold numbs the rest.

But I'm not going to do that. I'll end up resisting urges to go for a swim, and probably resisting the urge to waste the evening playing Sims, and instead prod my borked gray matter into pecking out something half legible on the laptop while the dog stares and sighs at me bored.

Update: There's a comic for that )
jillithian: (foil hats)
I'm finding that with the increased amount of things I am working on, I am becoming more and more absent minded about the little things.

Last Friday I forgot to lock the door behind me when I left for work. And also after I came home that night and went to bed.

The last few days I haven't been moving my little magnet on the board where we say who is "in" and who is out at lunch. I also have been forgetting to change the status on my phone from "DEVELOP TIME" to "OUT TO LUNCH" to "GONE HOME". I was apparently out to lunch all yesterday afternoon and developing code all night last night.

Little things like that. Guess I don't have enough brain power to keep track of everything so I am just focusing on the big stuff.

Update: Let me add to the list of things I'm forgetting:
  • I left my cell phone at work on Monday when I needed to talk to my dad
  • I left the cordless phone off the charger a couple days in a row
  • I took my car in for its first service appointment today and the lady gave me the bill and I looked at her confused wondering what she wanted me to do. She said if I didn't have a coupon for the oil change, I'd have to pay for it. Doh.
jillithian: (cooking)
And so, around slide 4 or 5 of my starred paper proposal presentation today I learned that, incidentally, starred papers are now obsolete. I will need to do a capstone project instead.

The good news is that if I give them a new proposal in the next couple of days and date it for today, they'll sign it and still consider me able to graduate in May.

The bad news is that I have to think up a project that I can actually do and write up a brand new proposal paper in the next couple of days.

I never did get to finish my presentation.
jillithian: (cabin at sunset)
Today started with a groggy Jill having not slept well. She then proceeded to grab her husband's body wash to use as shampoo before realizing too late. doh.

It got better from there, however, when she managed to divert the dog from hiding under Tim's desk and got her in the crate with little issue. And, just before entering work, she was greeted by a beautiful technicolor glow over the Mississippi.

I didn't get my paper done last night - the brain was fried before 11:30 when I finally gave up. But I did get a HUGE part of it completed. All I have left to do is expound on the research methods, clean up my bibliography, and read it through.
jillithian: (Big Chris)
Every morning, I put the dog in the crate when I leave. She stays in there until Tim wakes up and lets her out.

She likes her crate, actually. Not so much since the last time we left her at the kennel, though. *sigh*

So lately she's been difficult to get into the crate in the morning. She'll hide under Tim's desk or under the kitchen table and make me drag her out and push her into the crate.

This morning was another fine example of her making me just want to drink brandy for breakfast rather than try to figure anything out.

So, I walk out of the bathroom after brushing my hair and notice the dog already sitting in her crate. I think, "Good dog! Maybe she's getting over the crate thing," and go into the kitchen to get her a treat.

Upon hearing me enter the kitchen and rustle in the treat bag, the dog immediately runs out of the crate and hides behind the chair in the living room. She doesn't budge as I happily call her, snap my fingers, or threaten death and damnation. I sigh, grab her by the collar and drag her out from behind the chair, scold her and push her into the crate.

Jill vs. Dog current score:
Jill - 3
Dog - 949
jillithian: (Grumpy)
Wow. I did absolutely horrible on my test last week in International Business Management. Horrible. As in, 22 out of 35 horrible. I am so glad that it is weighted so that your higher scores are weighted more heavily than your lower scores. The first test, I got 35 out of 35.

I'll be eager to see what I got wrong. I wasn't entirely confident going into it, but I didn't think I bombed that badly...
jillithian: (Default)
The amount of money I spend is directly related to the amount of free time I have.

At least when I have time between required time slots. Like today, where I took the afternoon off with vacation to study for my mid-term in my Operations Management class.

At first I was feeling like a wanker for not properly utilizing the time I had in the evenings of this week before today. But whatever. I was having fun playing King (or Queen) of the World on Facebook.

I realize that was not a really good use of my time, and I know there probably are going to be many days from now until next August where I will wish I still had that half day of vacation. But after studying for the last two and a half hours in the library, I am feeling pretty confident with my knowledge on the subjects covered - at least other than remembering which person first invented the term "quality assurance" in what year or memorizing the fifty million different ways to calculate sigma based on the type of chart you are creating. (Me = hates memorizing)

Of course, I'll know in about an hour just how well I learned the subject matter. *grimace*

But anyhoo, I have some extra time between now and 5pm when the test starts, so I know it will be all I can do to not go shopping downtown. I am not allowed to go to the Electric Fetus. I spend mucho dinero in there on CDs and vinyl that I do not need to spend.


I could also be working on my term paper for the International Business Management course or even on my portion of our group's case study for that course or starting to research for my starred paper. But I know my limits and if I start working on anything that will require major amounts of brain activity, I may lose the benefits of the studying I did this afternoon. (Think Kelly Bundy and her maximum brain capacity).
jillithian: (Grumpy)
So, I found my first white hair today. That was a pleasant way to start the morning.

I'm stuck in a rut with the "idonwannas". Idonwanna work on this one support call anymore today because the guy I'd have to ask for the third time on this same issue has been acting a bit touchy towards me lately (hmm, I wonder why when I have to ask him so many questions on the same stuff all the time.....) and it is really becoming a pain in my ass. I don't like leaving things uncompleted but there is no way to make this work correctly. geh

I also am feeling a little (read: a lot) stressed about my workload for the semester and also planning things for the culminating project. I want checklists and format requirements and there aren't any. And I just want to bang my head on the desk. Idonwanna ask questions. I want all of my answers easily findable in detailed checklists on the internet. Is that too much to ask?

And I'm fucking pissed at Microsoft. WTF with the new Office 2007 and it's stupid new extensions that aren't immediately usable in any older version of Office?! And Open Office hasn't yet released the version that's due this month that can open that shit. Of course the university had to install Office 2007 on all of its computers and of course its default is to save it in the unusable format so that I have to dick around on the internet trying to find some stupid program that will allow me to even VIEW the fucking things when I could be getting my fucking homework done. So last night, instead of analyzing Steinway Piano's production processes and measures of quality compared to other companies today for my Operations Management group project that's due on Thursday, I was busy searching and downloading for stupid extension adapting programs (finding none), then looking for view programs so that I'd at least be able to see what I would then need to recreate manually. I ended up giving up at 9pm and emailed my group members to let them know I'd just work on it today. I'm sorry if I don't have $400 to drop on an over-bloated suite of programs just to be able to do the same things that it's 10-yr old versions can do just as well, if not better.

Fuck. I just want to kick shit but I feel too fucking useless and impotent to get anything done. I feel like I'm wading through chest-deep mud and it's such a fucking effort to move even a little and then I see how much further I have to go and I don't feel like I've gotten anywhere.


Aug. 19th, 2008 10:28 am
jillithian: (climbing rose)
In home improvement updates:
I decided I'd try to paint the wall above the window the same color as the bottom of the other walls - "Pressed Linen," I believe it's called. We'll call it an "accent" wall. Tim scrunched his nose up a bit when he first saw it, but I assured him that if we don't like it, it's only paint and we can repaint it. "We've got more than enough paint" I tell him.

So then, last night I decided to start painting some of the stripes the "Urban Gold" color. I was standing on a chair to paint the top of the wall and on the last stripe on one wall, I went to sit on the chair from my standing position and lean against the back of the chair to get to the lower portion. FYI: when planning on doing this, please ensure that the chair back is actually behind you and not to your left. I ended up falling backwards into the bathroom counter and spilled a bunch of paint on myself, the chair, the floor and a little splatter on the wall. Yes, yes. I rule. I know. I figured that was enough painting for one evening.

In work updates:
I just sent off the second version of an enhanced report I've been working on. I had sent off the first version yesterday to the customer and she had noticed I needed to add in functionality for the custom report options. This is by far the most code I've written in years - not counting the piddly JCLs I used to write at Nahan. And it's in C/SQL combined code which I've never written before. I feel so accomplished right now. I even made sure that the report header was updated. Response from my customer:
It worked this time.
This is gonna save me hours. Thank you so much!!!

She's one of my favorite customers. She's demanding and has an ever growing list of requests, but if you send her stuff to test, she'll test the crap out of it and send back excellent feedback in a timely manner.

In donation updates:
I've got some very generous friends, family and co-workers. I'm at 95% of my goal! That's just fricken awesome. Now if I can just convince Jody to have Jackson's fifth birthday party late enough in the day that I can still go... (the walk starts at 10am and she was saying that that she thought she'd have his party that day)

Also, her brother is hilarious. He suggested that the theme this year should be "Jackson 5". Can you imagine everyone in afro wigs?! Sylla said he might try to grow his hair out for his own natural afro. :)
jillithian: (Grumpy)
I'm kinda pissed.

I'm all excited to remodel the upstairs bathroom and have bought almost everything so far - just need the hardware for the cupboards and a new switch plate and a new curtain rod. Rick was supposed to replace the window in the shower with glass block this week but has been busy so he thinks he'll have time next week. That's fine.

What I'm crabby about is my flooring. I have fallen in love with cork flooring over the past two years and we just finally ordered it for the kitchen today. I also ordered some cork flooring for the bathroom and just received it today.

Nowhere in the literature that I received or read did it say to not use it in bathrooms. The installation instruction packet they gave me with my two boxes says it in the third paragraph: Installation of floating floor is not recommended in bathrooms or in areas with high moisture concentration.

Merde. Sucksucksuck.

I really LIKE the color and the look of my flooring. Crap.

I'm thinking of just biting the bullet though. It only says "not recommended". It doesn't say "Do NOT under any circumstances..." If it fails miserably, I'm only out the $150 for the floor. I'll take precautionary measures and put plastic sheeting underneath it and Tim is also offering to use some seam glue on it, too, if necessary.


Otherwise, I am fairly happy with how easily the 30yr old wall paper came off. I bought some spray DIF stuff that removes the glue, but didn't need it right away as the paper just pulled right off. I'm using it instead with a scraper to get the glue residue off the walls. Tim was unhappy that we can't just move the TP holder as it has a tile thing installed on the wall that it fits into, but we'll survive.


I'm mostly stressed about the glass block. I'm not sure how it will look on the outside with the current windowsill or if the mortar-free installation kit is suitable for an outside wall in Minnesota. Again, nothing I could see on the box for the install kit says if it is "recommended" or not.


Maybe I should leave this remodeling stuff to the pros. Like [livejournal.com profile] superna.
jillithian: (Polly)
It's funny.

I've been married for over two years now. I changed my last name and even enrolled into grad school with my married name. However, since my grad school is the same university as my under-grad, all of their records continued to show me with my maiden name. I had left it as is until this summer when the Graduation Fear hit me and I finally thought about changing my school name to reflect my current name.

It's funny how it took me a while to decide to do this, and even now I'm a little hesitant and resistant.

Is that strange?

There's the stereotypical newly engaged girl who practices writing her new married name over and over again. And then there was me.

Tim proposed on Christmas (his favorite holiday) and my very first Christmas ever away from my family. My parents had just moved down to Florida and my brother was ending his first semester at college in Madison. Christmas involved a day surrounded by Tim's family and New Years involved two days surrounded by Tim's friends. I was suffering from a complete loss of identity. Where did Jill fit into all of this? I didn't have my family. I didn't have my friends. I was even going to lose my name. At one point on New Years Eve, I broke away from the group and sat in a chair in the hotel hallway - packed with people waiting for the show to start - and just cried. There I was - the newly engaged girl with the pretty ring on her finger - crying by herself on New Years Eve.

I don't know if this name on my diploma thing stems from the same issue or if it's just more a matter of pride. An oddly placed pride, but pride nonetheless. It falls along the same lines of me not wanting any kind of monetary help in paying for my grad school. My parents and my husband have all offered to help me pay for it, but I have been consistently turning them down. Now, I know the cash gifts my parents sometimes give me and the motorcycle Tim bought me have all helped my financial state, but none have been given directly for my grad school payments. I want to know that I accomplished this myself. I've saved up all of the money for this schooling myself and I'm not in debt to anyone for it, either. I want my name to be on that diploma because I've earned it and worked for it. I'm just not sure right now what name I want it to be.

I feel like I'm in a constant reevaluation of who I am and where I am in my life and relationships. Is it always like this? It's just tiring. I wish I could just turn my brain off some days (most days) and just be.
jillithian: (That kind of day)
Yesterday was Angie's 25th birthday. Amanda and I decided to throw her a little party. I had recently gotten some fresh rhubarb from my father-in-law's garden and decided I'd try to make some kind of cake out of it for Ang.

Tuesday night I dug around in my recipe book cupboard and found two recipe books I could use: one from the Catholic church in Rogers my mom gave me when I moved out, and one from Tim's relatives' hometown that we got as a wedding gift. I found five different rhubarb dessert recipes in these two cookbooks. I did not have all of the ingredients for any one as a whole.

Tim said I should go to the store, then, and buy the ingredients. I said no. That would involve leaving the house and I was done with leaving the house for the day. Instead, I tried to make do with what I had in the house.

Phone conversation snippets with Tim:
J: "What is sour milk?"
T: "I think it's just milk and some lemon juice."
J: "That sounds weird. I don't think that's right."
T: "Why don't you go on the internet and look it up?"
J: "Because that would involve leaving the kitchen. I don't feel like leaving the kitchen."

I get very lazy and curmudgeon-y at the end of the day, as you can see.

J: "This baking powder says it has corn starch in it. Can I just use it instead of corn starch?"
T: "No."
J: "Can I use it instead of baking soda?"
T: "No. You know, if there isn't any cake left after the party, that's OK. You really don't have to save any for me."
J: *digs in cupboard some more* "Wait! I do have baking soda!"
T: *sigh*

We hung up for a while as I worked. Later:

T: "I looked it up on my phone. Sour milk is milk with lemon juice. I was right."
J: "Ok. We don't have milk anyway."
T: "I think you could also use buttermilk."
J: "You know we don't have any of that, either."
T: "I know. I just wanted you to know that I was right. Like usual."
J: "Well, I suppose it has to happen once in a lifetime."

The end result is more of a coffee cake with a little bit of rhubarb flavor in it rather than the traditional rhubarb pie or bars that are a lot more gooey, but it's tasty. It's just a touch dry, so I've tried putting honey on it, but I don't think that flavor really works with it. I think I'll try a piece at lunch time with some butter instead. All three of my guests last night said they thought it was "really good" so I'll take that down as a success.
jillithian: (pwnd Cute Overload)
*insert fan-girly screams here*
Nick Drago accepted your friend request.

jillithian: (Toe Jam)
My goodness, I am in shock by the accessibility of everyone through the interwebs.

So, one of my guilty pleasures is watching pretty much every reality competition on the Bravo network: Project Runway, Shear Genius, Top Chef, and Step it Up and Dance. My favorite dancer on the latter was Nick Drago. Who apparently has an account on Facebook.

Yes, I did just send him a friend request.

I am such a nerd. Excuse me while I go all fan-girly.
jillithian: (Flying Sqirrel)
The wood tick season has officially opened as of last night.

I am ever so happy that Tim had the night off last night. He was out golfing with the CMPP in the cold.

I took the dog to the dog park yesterday evening and we walked home. It was cold out.

Tim comes home later and, as he is giving the flups scritches, he finds a wood tick having dinner on her neck.

Insert Jill screaming and pushing the dog away.

Tim successfully removes the wood tick and burns it with a match out on the deck.

After putting a flea and tick collar on her that I had bought recently for just such an occasion, we go downstairs to flip some channels (Monday night tv is crap, by the way. I wasn't missing much when I had class.) I'm tired and when I get tired, I rub my face. And last night, as I rubbed my face, I felt a bump that seemed similar to a scab right in my hair line.

Insert Jill screaming and flailing about. I quickly threw the hoodie I was wearing on the ground.

Tim was nice enough to get the tick off of me and inspect the rest of my hair for any other pets I may have picked up. He didn't find any more and I was sufficiently grossed out by myself.

I really hope the ticks aren't out in Canada yet. *wince*
jillithian: (Big Earl)
I don't know what's wrong with me lately. All I want to do is sleep and eat. I've been getting sleepy earlier and earlier in the evening and just want to stuff my face. I don't get it. :(

I took the dog for a long walk last night and started incorporating a short jogging leg of it to get myself into slightly better shape. I wonder if it has anything to do with this recent increase in activity...

The past few weeks I've been drinking coffee in the morning and it has helped me stay awake and also reduces the snick-snack urges. But I'm worried about getting too addicted to caffeine (read: over-cautious control freak) so have tried to reduce my coffee intake as of late. That has also probably affected me.

Right now I am salivating over the thought of the half-empty box of Chicken in a Biskit I have at home. I bought it on a whim and an empty stomach on Monday night after my final. I erroneously went to the grocery store to pick up a watch battery and came home with the afore mentioned crackers, some Chex Mix, a Twix PB candy bar wrapper (it didn't make it past the parking lot), Port Wine cheese spread, and some Kraft Dinner Deluxe.

I need help.



jillithian: (Default)

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