12-hour workdays and moving sales

I’ve gotta find a new job. One that doesn’t require a 12-hour day on Mondays. Ugh.

But the good news is two-fold: 1) UPS was overstaffed yesterday, so Aaron got to come home early, and 2) while he was home (and I was still at work), Sheryl and Sarah came to get my computer. Yes, Sheryl has taken pity on me and is in the process of figuring out what the fuck I did to my PC. I hope she doesn’t have to erase my second hard drive… although I would be happy that my computer was once again functional, I would be extremely sad that many gigs of downloaded material (mostly .mp3 and .shn files) would be no more. Still, though… I have faith in you, Sheryl! *grin*

To Sheryl: Thank you so, so much for making my computer go. I feel bad for embarking on what was supposed to be a super-cool Upgrade By Diana and having it end up Sheryl Saves Diana’s Ass Yet Again. I feel like I must be putting you out, even though you volunteered to help. (You always volunteer to help…) 🙂 Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I really, really appreciate your help, especially since you live all the way up in Toledo now, and I’m really the only thing in BG besides, oh, Pollyeyes. (Well… not the only thing… I mean, there’s a college campus and a post office and a mall of sorts… but you know what I mean.) End of speech.

Now for something completely different… I’ve talked about Ellie and her blog before, and you might find me strange for taking such interest in a complete stranger and her activities, but you’re entitled to that. It’s not one of those envy-type interests, nor is it one of those point-and-laugh-at-a-stranger interests. Rather, I find myself thinking that I would have wanted to be friends with Ellie and her crowd, had we gone to the same college — but it probably would have been kind of like a few friends I have now, where I’m kind of a friend, but more of an acquaintance, and not really someone they’d hang out with all the time. Someone I’d want to be closer friends with, but they just must not think I’m cool enough. —Yeah, that’s a lot to read into a stranger’s blog, I know. 🙂

Anyway, Ellie has a great SHOUTcast stream called normalradio. Ellie has great taste in music. She’s a big Morrissey freak/fan, but in the past several minutes of listening to normalradio, I’ve heard The Counting Crows, James, Dashboard Confessional, and the Lightning Seeds. Currently she’s playing Dubstar, whom I’m not really familiar with, but I’m digging it anyway. I don’t think Aaron would particularly like normalradio, but I’ll bet Sheryl would listen for a while and be happy with a few choices (like James). She’s not always on and broadcasting—it’s whatever she’s playing on her own computer—but when it’s up and running, I’m loving it. *sigh* And I can’t find all the cables to my cool-ass AppleDesign speakers… Damn you, quiet little internal speaker.

Now that I’m using my Mac so much more, I’m contemplating getting some more RAM for it, and maybe blowing $100 on a G3 upgrade… but I’m not going to, since my PC will eventually kick this thing’s little ass. I’ll always keep my Mac, but since more applications are available for Windows, I’ll probably always use it more, unfortunately.

I have got to get myself some James. Ellie’s playing another James song, and I’m finding myself hooked. Sheryl, I see why you like this band so much.

Speaking of music and bands… I’m not much into popular music these days, so whenever I find a band I like, I’m all ecstatic. I know you guys who read this don’t generally share all my musical tastes, but these are the bands and artists I find myself listening to the most these days (and no, this isn’t a comprehensive list):

  • Coldplay
  • Bob Mould / Sugar (not a recent band, I know)
  • Matthew Sweet
  • Catherine Wheel (another 90’s alterna-pick)
  • The Flaming Lips
  • Alanis Morrisette

This past weekend, Aaron and I bought something cool at a garage sale. Actually, it was a moving sale, the kind that’s held indoors because most of the items are too big to move outside more than once. We almost didn’t go in, because we were kind of creeped out by having to go inside to see the stuff—but since we ended up not being able to just drive through the alleyway to the next street, we were forced by our good natures to check it out, anyway. And it’s a good thing we did, because in the entry hallway of the guy’s upstairs apartment was a gorgeous black electric guitar, labeled with a $200 price tag. Aaron and I didn’t want to discuss our potential purchase there in front of the guy, so we looked around and left under the pretense of “we’ll think about it, and maybe we’ll be back later.” In actuality, we drove out of the parking lot, talked it over, took the money out of the bank, and came back for the guitar sooner than the guy probably expected.

So, we have a 1969 Kay Vintage electric guitar (this model was manufactured with a Les Paul body), an Epiphone bass amp, electronic tuner, three picks, soft case, cables and cords, all for a very good price. Aaron looked for more info about our "new" guitar online, and found that the same guy we’d just bought it from had tried to sell it for that same price on eBay. Apparently the high bidder stiffed him, so he sold it to us for the same price at his moving sale.

It’s a bigger purchase than we generally make at a garage sale, but we figured it was worth the investment. Both of us have been playing more often now that we have a decent axe. The Kay is far and away much better than the Silvertone Amp-in-Case model we had before, with the fabulous twanging sitar sound. *smirk*

My, what a novel I’ve written. Even though I have to handcode now, maybe I ought to update more often again…

My Blog Is Too Mac-a-licious For Ya Babe

Nope, the PC is still not fully functional. I’m about this close *thumb and forefinger one centimeter apart* from taking the stupid thing down to Virtual PCs and making them fix it. OK, guys, don’t hose the second hard drive—this is not an option…

I guess the good news is that I haven’t gotten any of the new viruses going around. Very few hackers bother to make Mac viruses. 🙂

Now, let’s see if I can properly segue here without telling you anything my employer doesn’t want you to know…

Hey, guess what? Our e-mail was down at work yesterday. And our fax server. And, well, hell, the whole goddamn network was down. Never you mind why. It’s a bunch of fun to manually fax clients who either are usually faxed straight from our computers or receive their deposit reports via e-mail. It’s also a barrel of monkeys to work harder than usual to get less done than usual, all while the rest of the building is cleaning their workstations and going home early because they have nothing to do without their computers. Ahh… there’s nothing quite like having your primary workstation on a network separate from the corporate domain.

My 90-grams-of protein-and-30-minutes-of-exercise-a-day diet died a quick death. Like, two weeks. I’m trying to convince myself that just because I’ve been off the diet for as long as I was initially on it doesn’t mean I’m necessarily a failure. *smirk*

Aaron told me today he’s been contemplating the Atkins Diet himself. Yes, I slammed it earlier, I know, but if he’s willing to give it a shot, I’ll do it with him. He hasn’t totally committed to it yet—he wants to double-check what’s legal for the first couple of weeks to a month and figure out some potential meals first. Chicken, burgers, and tuna would get kind of tedious after about a week, we’d imagine. Anyway, both of us need to lose the same amount of weight (and, oddly enough, have the same starting point), so if we managed to coordinate our weight-loss efforts, I think we could succeed. All I know is I’m tired of being frumpy.

When Mom visited last weekend, she told me she thinks I don’t eat enough. Gee, thanks, Mom. That’s just what I need. —Anyway, she’s probably more correct than I want to give her credit for. I think eating, for me, is a social thing. When I’m by myself at home, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass if I eat dinner or not. I say to myself, “Hey, I’m hungry.” I look in the kitchen, and if nothing strikes my fancy, I don’t eat. I pay my stomach about as much attention as I would a headache (and Aaron always bugs me about not taking anything for my headaches when I have them). I just don’t give a shit. If it’s the weekend, though, and I’m out with Aaron or other people, I tend to order up something huge and full of pasta. Lately, I’ve ended up taking half of it home, but still. Maybe I have more of a laziness problem (like, not wanting to actually make anything for dinner). I’d believe that, too. Actually, that’s probably right on the mark.

Part of me is sad that all my pretty code will probably get reorganized once I put this back into DreamBeaver. The rest of me smacks the first part and says, “Dreamweaver lives on your GIGAHERTZ machine, and you’re currently coding this on your 275 MHz PowerPC. Get a life…”

*sigh*

Downloaded BBEdit to my Mac. I’m a much happier coder now.

I feel so crappy. Just generally mentally worn-out and physically blah. I should be happy — Mom’s coming to visit tomorrow, and I got my camera back from Blue Ribbon today (just in time for the Mom Weekend). I also got 5 hours overtime this week, which could be considered good or bad. I also got paid today, which is definitely good. I borrowed Donna’s Windows CD last night, and am about to use it today, and that’s good, too.

I don’t know… I guess I’m just bored and lonely. I called Sheryl about my cranky computer, and she was hanging out with friends. I thanked her a lot for helping me out with my problems, and she wasn’t bitchy or anything, but I’d already agonized over calling "my personal tech support." But the internet wasn’t helping, and there was no one else to call, and I wanted to get this fucker working, so I called and interrupted her social time. *pouty self-deprecating sneer*

I think that just drove home the fact that I have absolutely no fucking social life. Not during the week, not on Friday nights, and only with Aaron and our mutual friends on the weekends. Not that I don’t enjoy hanging out with all of our friends… but sometimes, on Friday nights or weeknights, I feel isolated. Unloved. Everyone else has a group of friends to hang out with. Either that, or they live two or three (or more) hours away. I find I’m missing the days of the dorm, when I could call up Beth and go to the Founders snack bar, or go up and see if Donna was in her room, or IM Timmay and ask what he was up to. Or before that dorm experience, how about with Amy? She was almost always there, either playing PlayStation or studying or reading, and we could go on spontaneous walks around campus or to Grounds or Hatter, and talk about important things like God/Tao/Force or where we were going with our lives or our Tarot or a smattering of other mind-expending concepts. Or we could just hang out in the room with the door open, and Sheryl or the RA or someone would wander by and say hello. Or we could head down to the computer lab and play on the internet side-by-side and wait for someone to think we were on duty. None of you except Aaron know my roommate and friends before Amy, so I won’t even go into what we used to do… suffice to say it involved holding drumsticks for ransom and listening to Dream Theater with Asshole Steve.

Now what do I do? Play on the computer. Read. Nap. Watch HGTV and TLC. Avoid eating. (I’m hungry right now, but I really don’t give a shit.) I actually just played PS2 for the first time in months today. SSX Tricky. Anyway, sometimes find something to clean (but not often), and I sometimes lay on the couch with a potential new design for my genealogy website that can’t seem to get off the ground. Lately I’ve been leaving Instant Messenger launched, in the hopes that someone might want to talk to me, but no dice. Amy never even calls on Tuesdays like we’d agreed.

Excuse me, please. I have to dig myself out of my hole of self-pity before my Mom shows up tomorrow at 11:00am.

I *heart* my Macintosh

Finally couldn’t stand having an un-updated blog. Since I’ve been downloading fix-it stuff on my Mac, zipping it to floppies, transferring it to the broken PC, reconstituting it, and attempting to fix it, I’ve been feeling the love for my trusty Mac. I ended up using Fetch to grab the code for my blog, and (since my blog is too large to be opened by SimpleText, and I don’t seem to have BBEdit on my computer) using MS Word 98 to edit code.

Also, I have to give it up for me. By using stylesheets, I have made my little blog so much easier to update manually. It’s so much easier to type <p class="entry"> than trying to set all the font sizes and colors, indents, and all that crap. I’m also editing the HTML straight just to try to trick Word out of reformatting everything for me, as it is oft wont to do.

So, here’s the skinny on the PC. I was a little too eager to get my kick-ass system going, and failed to note that I had no driver disk.

This is bad, mmm-kay? So, between my existing Win 98 SE cab files (thoughtfully stored on my computer by Sheryl), Aaron’s Win 98 Update CD, and downloading/transferring files from the internet, I have seriously fucked up my OS. It refuses to recognize that I have an onboard nVidia video card, and sound card, and it keeps giving me errors when I try to install the drivers for the onboard LAN. I finally did download the drivers I needed, and get them on the PC (which required nine, count ’em, nine floppies), but Setup.exe doesn’t launch. I had to attempt to load the drivers manually… but I think the damage had already been done.

I asked Loni at work if she had a Windows 98 Second Edition disc I could borrow, and it turns out that she does. I’m planning to bring it home tomorrow (assuming she remembers to bring it to work), install the fucker, and hope I don’t have to wipe my entire C: drive. …Though it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Most of my important stuff is on the other, newer secondary drive.

On the weight loss/fitness front: I have been attempting to raise my protein intake to 91 grams a day. That’s harder than it looks—yesterday, I felt like all I was eating was meat. Today I made myself a yummy dinner: two chicken breasts baked with a glaze consisting of honey mustard, organic honey, the juice of one lemon, one teaspoon of soy sauce, and two slices of sushi ginger. (Hey, we didn’t have any ground ginger, OK?) Because I was feeling the need for some noodleage, I also made some ramen noodles, topped with a little butter, parsley, and lemon pepper. And, just to be silly, I garnished my plate with two lemon wedges. (I always find it silly to think about food presentation when I’m the only one going to be eating it. But I need to realize that the look of the food is half of the experience. —OK, maybe not half. But some.)

I have also eaten a banana for breakfast every weekday this month, and have exercised at least half an hour (with the exception of Tuesday, when I thought I was making progress with the computer-beast, and didn’t want to quit).

Wow… I haven’t spent this long coding straight HTML in… years? And to think I used to take pride in this ability. Maybe I should do this more often.

Oh, yeah. On the job front. (Did you even know there was a job front?) I sent an e-mail to one of the managers in Sky’s Marketing Department today, detailing my desire to work in said department. I told her where I currently worked, how long I’d worked for Sky (almost a year, fyi), and gave her my qualifications, including my bachelor’s degree and my experience in graphic design, web design, multimedia authoring, and video editing. I requested that she (or the appropriate person) let me know if there would be any positions opening up in the department anytime soon. She sent me a prompt reply, and copied the two VP’s of Marketing, and told me she was forwarding my message on to the people who did the hiring for the department. So… the ball is rolling. We’ll see what happens…

Unk. Now to upload and make sure I did this dang thing right.

Yup. Another Entry.

Not much to report. I am proud to report, though, that I ate breakfast *and* lunch today, and I jumped for a half hour on my trampoline. I opted against a walk/jog due to the severe thunderstorms and the tornado warning that was issued as I was driving home from work. Yipes. Anyway, the trampoline was fun but challenging, as I actually jumped for 30 minutes straight, instead of giving up after I got tired. (Probably should have stopped after 20 minutes, though, since that’s when my knees and ankles started actually hurting on every impact.) I did it while watching the 10:00 Fox News—while the news was on, I’d do the jog-bounce in place thing, where the balls of your feet don’t really leave the mat. During the commercials, though, I’d do full-on six-inch-high jumps (much to the dismay of my bouncing boobies). Forty-five minutes later, I can tell that my heart rate is still a little elevated. My breathing has long since returned to normal, though — I’m not that bad off.

Ended up staying at work a little longer than I needed today in order to get my 40 hours, so I got 45 minutes OT. Sweet. Andrew and I stayed after all the work was done in order to compress some little-used files on the server to reclaim some hard drive space. He was in rare form today, though, so we ended up having some particularly pleasant time together. Who’da thunk it? I found out that he turned 30 on Wednesday (we all thought he was in his early- to mid-30’s already), and had kept it ultra-low profile, to avoid any embarrassing "you’re old" parties. I’m considering writing him a "Gotcha Card" (remember, those are like RCC Pizza Points at Sky) just to say Happy Belated Birthday. Ah, what the hell.

I also narrowly missed having to work two weekends in a row—Loni’s husband has been in the hospital this week with major heart blockage. She was on vacation out-of-state on Monday and Tuesday, then Wednesday morning she came in to work, but left at 10:30 to take her husband to the doctor. Seems he was having difficulty breathing while mowing the lawn or climbing the stairs in their house. Turns out he had one 90% blockage and one 60% blockage, but they didn’t find this out until they admitted him to the hospital and ran some tests. Anyway, Loni has only been to work for about three hours this week, so we were assuming she would want to be at the hospital or with her husband this weekend. Well, we were wrong. Her husband is being released on Saturday, so she’s coming in to work. At first I wasn’t sure whether she was stir-crazy from being at the hospital, or if she was antsy just to get back to work. Turns out that she wouldn’t have been able to take my next weekend to work, so she opted to just work the schedule as is. Hmm.

Hey, I just managed three decent paragraphs out of "not much to report." I think I’m getting better at this blogging thing. ^_^

My Weight-Loss Plan… For Real This Time

All right, guys. I’m going to proclaim my goals out loud (so to speak) and unashamedly, so that I cannot renounce my plans.

I am fat. More than fat, I am obese. I can’t seem to locate the entry where I discussed how I’m not-quite-morbidly obese and linked to the scary Flash BMI calculator (Beth? Do you remember?), but we’ve gone over the fact several times in the months before the wedding. I am still the same weight I was in November… which could be good or bad. I choose to be grateful that I haven’t gained any more weight. I maintain that there is some validity to the concept of a weight setpoint, since I seem to have stabilized around a given weight.

Oh, hell. I’m not going to dance around it anymore. I weigh 250lbs. *collective gasp*

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am 70 pounds overweight by the most conservative estimate. Being my ideal weight (my personal ideal weight, not what "they" say) would put me back in middle school — though I’m now about three inches taller than I was then. (Yeah, I hit my growth spurt in sixth grade. Oh, the horror…)

So, you say, whatcha gonna do about it? Well, I’m glad you asked.

First, I’m going to create a little spot for current weight info in my sidebar on the main page. That way, everyone can cheer me on (*nudge, nudge*). I’ll include my current weight (embarrassing though it may be), BMI (body mass index), and body fat percentage, and indicators as to whether each is rising or falling.

Next, I’m going to set goals. Actually, let’s do that right now. *scribbles math problems on scrap paper* OK, let’s assume I can lose one pound a week. That’s fair and relatively simple, right? Right. So, that would put me at my ideal weight on New Year’s Eve 2005. Not this coming New Year’s, but the following. (Good God, that’s a long time.)

But I need short-term goals, too, so let’s figure I’ll aim for ten pounds in ten weeks? That means I’m shooting for 240 by… oh, let’s say October 1st. Certainly I can do that… right?

— There. I just wrote it on my calendar. Hang on, do I need a five-pound mark? Oh, OK… *writing on calendar again* There. The end of September.

…Oh, yeah. Don’t I need a diet and exercise plan now? D’oh!

Actually, I have several books on the subject (yes, yes, Aaron and I have the Atkins Diet book…), but my favorite is The 200 Calorie Solution. No, it’s not a super-starvation diet. 🙂 It tells all about thermogenesis, which is the body’s burning of calories after a meal, and explains how to get the most out of your exercise by walking or doing other exercise within an hour after a meal. The idea is that if you can boost your metabolism just a little, that will be enough to raise your basal metabolic rate so you continue to burn calories at a higher rate. The process expounds upon itself, and eventually your body actually becomes an efficient fat-burner. Theoretically. I like this program because it strokes my food-ego; I don’t think I eat more than your average person, nor do I eat worse food. I do eat too many starches, though, and I’ll admit to being a pastaholic. I’ll give you that. Overall, though, I think I’m just too sedentary. (Case in point: I’m sitting here blogging while I should be out practicing what I’m preaching.)

Another favorite book of mine is The Setpoint Diet. It’s more dietary than exercise-based, but it’s portion control rather than calorie-counting. It also includes an exercise factor, though, as should any good weight-loss program. The hook to this diet is the groupings of foods into the stardard food groups, plus an "A list," a "B list," and "freebies." The concept is that complete elimination of any food group (ahem, Atkins Diet) is unhealthy for the body itself and a dieter is less likely to remain on a diet which completely removes a given food or group of foods. Eventually you’ll go off the diet, or just cheat, and the weight will come back. (Yes, I know there is a throng of Atkins supporters out there… I side with the anti-Atkins bunch, even though I haven’t tried the diet myself. Call me a skeptic, call me hypocritical, call me stupid, but I still say it’s just not sound.) Anyway, on this diet, you’re allowed to have, say, a couple beers or a piece of cake or some real mayo. Just not a whole lot of it, and not all the time.

The reason it’s called the Setpoint Diet is because the author is one of the believers of setpoint theory, which says that your body tries to stabilize itself at a given weight, just like it does with temperature (with shivering and sweating). If you kick-start your metabolism with exercise, and reach the lower setpoint without your body thinking it’s starving, your body will attempt to stabilize at the new, lower setpoint. Setpoint theory has also been supported with underweight people who try to gain weight, fyi. (I’ll look up some references later, for the skeptical.)

So, yeah. My first obstacles are a.) walking for 30 continuous minutes a day, and b.) eating breakfast. Speaking of, I should go for a walk now.

Anybody need a diet buddy? Come on, I know you’re out there…

Design Cravings, Part 2

This entry is actually only about a half hour after "yesterday’s" entry — which was in itself a misnomer, since it was written at about 1:30am.

I just got done surfing around my own (outdated) portfolio, and surfed off of it to one of my "inspirational" sites, PrayStation. God, I just want to cry. How did I manage to drop the ball? How can I feel justified in calling myself a web designer? I’m better than your average non-web-designer, sure, but can I run with the rest of my genre? Even just looking at Schavitz, I’ve long been tempted to say no.

Even just looking at CoolHomePages.com, I feel inadequate. Would any of my pages ever end up there? No. What would I need to do to break through that barrier from mediocrity to coolness? I feel like my brain just doesn’t do cool. Some will say that this is a good thing, because I have a "classic" style and could design for more "conservative" clients.

Well, that’s just great. "Conservative" won’t get me a design job. Versatility might. Self-confidence would sure help, too.

As would actually looking for one.

Quit beating yourself over the head with your own inadequacies, Diana, and go to bed. *sigh*

Design Cravings

I suddenly have an insatiable urge to design something. Not redesign my website, but just make something for the sake of making it, à là Timmay. Something clean and modern with straight lines and interestingly stark graphics and a unique color palette.

I don’t remember how I found them, but there’s this group of friends who all went to school in New Jersey, I think. They all have blogs: Steve’s is Blind Spot, Garrett’s is Maniacal Rage, Shawn’s is Morrison Film, and Ellie’s is Something Normal. I found Ellie’s first, as I recall, by surfing from somewhere or searching for something… I don’t recall where or what, exactly. I might have been looking for mp3’s. Anyway, I liked Ellie’s design, so I bookmarked the page. Eventually I surfed to her friends’ sites and found that they were as design-conscious as she, and relatively well-spoken/written, too. If you’d like to do some random blog-surfing, as I sometimes do, start at one of their sites and just go. The results will be rewarding, IMO.

Anyway, it’s not meant as a slam to any of my friends, but these guys all have great design skills, and I’d be willing to bet that they inspire each other. I wonder if they were inspired by a certain class or professor at the school they attended. Only fly in that ointment is that Ellie graduated Fairleigh Dickinson University with a degree in Biology, not design.

On the other hand, I think they all use Movable Type, so that could have something to do with it, too.

I feel like some elusive Zen puzzle piece is missing from my life, and I think it’s the constant challenge of school. Yeah, college sucked, and yeah, I’m glad I’ve got my degree (and my $40,000+ worth of consolidated debt) and I’m out. But even just submitting my pictures to the Wood County Fair gave me a little of that old preparing-for-graphic-design-critique feeling. (And yes, that feeling is entirely different from preparing-for-photography-critique feeling. There’s less "craft" involved there — you print out your picture and pin it to the wall. In graphic design class, if you suck at mounting and matting your piece, your grade suffers.)

I know for a while there, I was taking a notepad to work and doing design sketches during my lunch. I’ve been trying to walk during my lunch instead, but maybe I could switch off or something. It’s rough trying to improve multiple areas of my life at the same time. Wash more dishes, clean house better, be more active, work my brain more… the list goes on. Aaron says I should start doing crossword puzzles or something if I feel like my brain isn’t working hard enough. I don’t know. I miss conversations with Amy and design pow-wows with Tim.

Part of me says, "What I wouldn’t give to be back in undergrad…" Another part of me bitch-slaps that first part. See, I think I’d love to have that whole experience again, except that half of the whole experience is your friend base. I wouldn’t want to make another friend base, and certainly not at this point in my life. That, plus the fact that you will never have a schedule of classes with non-moronic teachers, no busy-work, relevant subject matter, etc., etc. I guess what I mean to say, then, is that I can really appreciate the experience I had: living in the dorm, not having to work more than 10 or 15 hours a week, having great friends (and a swell roomie), sharing classes with people I jived with, having intellectual conversations (or so they seemed at the time), walking to Grounds with Amy, walking across campus at night with a cool breeze, sitting in the computer lab websurfing or working on design homework or staffing the lab, walking up to Donna’s room or Tim’s room or across campus to Beth’s room, late-night group projects… no, on second thought, I don’t miss those at all. 🙂

Isn’t it sad…

…when the fake swear words you use at work and in the presence of your grandparents become the expletives you end up using for real?

Exempli Gratia: Yesterday, Aaron left the serving spoon askew in the bowl of pasta salad. Just as I walked over to grasp the spoon and get my dinner, it fell out of the bowl and onto the floor. Did I use a righteous swear, like "dammit…" or "fuckin’…" or "sonofa…"? Nope. Instead, I said, "Poop!"

Poop.

In related news, Aaron told me that he was watching a show on the Food Network about Mexican food, and it gave the history of the chimichanga. See, there was a woman who worked at a Mexican carryout-type fast food-ish joint in California, where the Mexican food craze began. It was late and she was busy, and she’d just wrapped up a customer’s burrito. As she turned to get something else, though, she accidentally bumped it into the fryer. She started to swear, but censored herself halfway — those of you who know your swears in Spanish can probably guess what swear word ended up morphing into "chimichanga." Aaron and I decided that "chimichanga" must be Spanish for "fudge-a-ma-dudge." 🙂

Turns out the customer wanted to try the messed-up burrito anyway, ended up liking it, and the rest is history.

You know, this webpage design has lasted almost a year? I think this is a personal record. Although I must admit, I’m thinking about changing out the yo-yo picture. Time for something (slightly) new and different. We’ll see what happens with that…

This is why I shouldn’t get a tattoo. 😉

Mission Accomplished

Last night I finished matting and framing my photos for the fair, at the expense of one fingernail. See, I was trying to affix the sawtooth picture hangers to the back of my cheap-ass Ben Franklin photo frames, and first Kris and then Aaron jumped in to help. Aaron asked me to take out the photo and glass that I had so painstakingly managed to fit into the cheap-ass frame, so he wouldn’t accidentally break something. I was kind of annoyed at having them horn in on my little project, so I was a little too rough with trying to remove the glass… and bent my left middle fingernail all the way back. Waaay back, and down in the cuticle, too. It bled. Quite a bit. Aaron felt kind of bad. It’s still sore.

After that, we went to eat at Junction (on the patio!) and then to the Cla-zel to watch 28 Days Later. It’s a new take on the zombie flick, and the print at the Cla-zel has the alternate ending after the credits. I personally wouldn’t go to see a second showing, but I’m glad I saw the movie, and I would suggest you see it wherever you can. Very thought-provoking twist on the genre. I might write a review later… though I have a tendency to think about writing reviews, and never quite get around to it. 🙂

After we got back home (narrowly avoiding the Rocky Horror crowd… yeesh), Kris and Mark left, and Aaron and I decided that trying to pound nails into the frames (esp. at midnight) wasn’t going to work. So, Aaron busted out the Super Glue and I glued the remaining hangers onto their respective frames.

In case you were interested, the flower picture (technically, the Rose of Sharon) is an 8×10 in a 11×14 matte and wooden frame. The other three are 4×6 photos matted in 8×10 mattes with black frames. The mattes are actually the colors shown below, in my last entry. (Ain’t I smart? *chanting* I am so smart… I am so smart… S-M-R-T… er, S-M-A-R-T…)

So, yeah. I was a little concerned about the verbage in the rules for whether or not I was supposed to have my stuff framed. See, the rules state: No Frames except for Division A (that’s me). Then, in the Division A rules, it says: Standard size photos up to 16×20 matted on double-thick matte board. Photos larger than 16×20 must be framed, wired, and ready to hang. So, I was a little confused as to whether sizes smaller than 16×20 were allowed to be framed, or if it was optional, or what. I ended up framing them and bringing my photo sticky squares with me today when I submitted my photos, just in case they became photo nazis and made me remove my frames.

But my fears were unfounded. They were very nice and polite and moved me right along, giving me my claim tickets and making sure to tell me that I’d need them later to pick up my projects. The only snag in today’s Fair trip was having to park across the street in the so-far-empty fair lot. There was nowhere to park on the Grounds. Holy crap.

I still don’t have very much confidence in my ability to actually win anything, but I think I may just be trying not to psych myself up too much, in fear of a letdown when I go to see what I won (or didn’t win). We’ll see how this goes — judging is tomorrow, and the fair officially opens on Tuesday, I think. If it goes well, I may try my hand at the TFOP show that Eric told me about. I think some publicity, seeing my art displayed alongside other works of art, might bolster my confidence a little. I might start considering myself an amateur photographer finally, instead of just a hobbyist.

Wish me luck…