Archive for February, 2005

When you’re at this stage of sickness, you’re still miserable, but you can do things. I tried going out on Friday night (big mistake) and my cold came back full-force yesterday. So I was left lying on the couch most of the day, coughing every few seconds and watching the America’s Next Top Model marathon on VH1.

Man, I’m addicted to that show. I don’t want to be a model. I don’t care one way or another about people who are models. I don’t really understand fashion and why someone would invest so much time and money in it. But for some reason, this show was the most interesting thing I could find on the 200-and-something channels we have.

Besides my beloved idiot-box, my other source of entertainment came from my roommates and their people coming and going all day.

I didn’t used to be a roommate-person. I preferred living alone and the quiet that went with it. If I wanted to see people, I would make plans to go out. Many times I didn’t, so I would enjoy the time to myself.

Such is not the case, especially now that I’m sick. In general, I enjoy having people in the house, blasting their sounds and cooking their dinners. Now that I don’t have to worry about studying or anything important outside of work, I say, “Bring it on!” It beats watching TV by yourself for hours.

That’s not to say I have ass-wild roommates and friends. (But doesn’t it seem like every girl thinks her own group of friends is the wildest in the world? Pretty annoying…) I just like having people in the house, almost to the point where I feel really weird if I spend the night in the house alone.

So, I want to have roommates forever. Gus thinks that’s creepy. He doesn’t want to be 30 and still renting his house out to people. But since we don’t need the extra space the same way we need to clean and/or decorate the space we have now, I think we should forego the excess and enjoy the fellowship.

That’s me. I haven’t been this sick in a really long time. Not to point fingers, but people shouldn’t come to work sick. It was probably unavoidable in my case though. Christmas got sick, and then Gus got sick. I still felt like a million bucks until Tuesday evening, when I began to feel the onset of chest pains and a sore throat.

Now that I can move around without every muscle in my body shaking, I decided that even though I’m sick, it doesn’t mean my computer has to be. I’m currently running Ad-Aware on my machine. My PC in particular seems to be a magnet for pop-ups, cookies, viruses, and all other things nasty, so big thanks to Mitch for spreadin’ the word.

Back to my hacking cough. I honestly can’t recall more than one or two days that I’ve been in as much pain as I was yesterday. I was on the verge of saying, “Call 911; I think I’m dying” a number of times. But all that would have done is scare Gus. I’m just not used to being in so much pain.

No.

So as not to foil those who expect this link to be humorous, I will forewarn that it’s a really long feature story in Newsweek about stupid women who drive themselves crazy trying to do everything in the world when they should really just pick one or two things and do them well.

The writer suggests some social improvements that could be made to increase the quality of life for mothers who also want to work and have social lives. I agree with those, as I do most of her thoughts on the pressure women put on themselves to excel and be self-sufficient.

Although, while I support the idea of forming support groups and getting a spot on the political agenda to improve daycare (here’s that humor you wanted), I also think more women (and people in general) need to take a step back and ask themselves, “Is this really important?”

The article mentions several instances of women going crazy, being literally unable to verbally express their thoughts, losing sleep over the tiniest of tasks and suggestions about how to do them. Are these women so far removed from the real world that they can’t simply decide, “Hey, maybe the color of felt that I provide for my third-grader’s class craft project is not very signifigant.”? Or better yet, “Maybe I shouldn’t care what other people think about the color of felt I provide in the first place.”?

It’s such a stupid, worthless, and most of all, thankless, race to get your kids the best (or someone else’s insane standard of the best) schools, ballet classes, instrument lessons, etc. How could so many people set out to perform the activity of parenting without having their head completely in the right place with regard to meeting their own needs?

Parenting seems like something Americans believe you should just “do” once you reach adulthood, regardless of their actual plans or goals. It seems like most people go into it knowing they’ll do poorly, but do it anyway because it’s the norm. What a waste! Would you become a painter if you’d never taken an art class or even had the interest to draw a picture? Would you take a job as a doctor if the sight of blood made you faint?

Why do people set themselves up for failure?

I ran the Freescale Half Marathon on Sunday and now my legs don’t work right. I wasn’t planning to run this race until a day or two before the online registration deadline. It was one of my characteristic off-center decisions on the fly, where I shrug my shoulders and say, “I guess I’ll (fill in the blank). Why not?” The blank has included things such as “dye my hair pink”, “audition for The Weakest Link, and “move to Austin and become a hippie”.

At 6am I awoke to the sound of thunder and pouring rain. I checked the weather on a number of news stations and watched a canned feature story about the marathon on News 8 Austin. There was no mention of how the weather was affecting the beginning of the race, of course. The race was to begin at 7am by the old Bahama Breeze which now houses the new Baby A’s where I drank that nasty margarita that one time.

Being my typical self, I arrived at the starting line 10 minutes after the race began. The rain had completely stopped only minutes before, and thus I believe I missed very little. I stretched briefly (which came back to bite me later) and began to run.

The first couple blocks were a ghost town. Garbage bags littered the path, and a few people who were at the far end of the initial cheering section walked in the opposite direction back to their cars. A bunch of people started yelling and cheering for me. I yelled, “Which way do I turn?” And they yelled, “Keep going, you’ll be fine.” So I did, and I was.

I caught up with the stragglers quicker than I imagined, and by the time we had to turn the corner, I was running with the pack.

An interracial couple looked to be running at my pace, so I followed them. My guess was confirmed when the girl check her watch and commented, “We’re running at a ten-minute pace.”

I got bored and decided to follow a couple of Mexican girls in matching pink shorts and black tops. I didn’t stay with them for long, as I caught a whiff of their stinky cheap perfume.

I ran among a multitude of goofy hats and t-shirts made in memory of dead people, including Jesus, everyone’s favorite dead person. Also notable were a man skipping rope the entire way and another man running backward.

I watched the sunrise and listened to Deep Dish the first few miles. Once the sun was completely out and reflecting all the newly fallen rain on the pavement, I resigned myself to looking at the shoes of the people in front of me because I couldn’t see anything in any other direction.

After I passed the 5K and 10K markers, I wasn’t sure how to feel about the big signs that read “Mile 8”, “Mile 10”, and so on. Throughout the last mile, however, I can honestly say I felt a kind of pain with which I was previously unfamiliar. I just wanted it to end. The band that played by the UT stadium around Mile 12 made me throw up in my mouth a little.

When I reached the half-marathon finish line, I threw up a lot. I had not monitored my water intake very well, and it all came out while some poor teenaged volunteer named Michelle watched. I apologized for subjecting her to such nastiness, and went to look for Gus who had relocated around town several times to cheer for me.

He drove me to the real finish line and I inhaled a sausage wrap. I tried to walk around and enjoy myself, but I was tired and sore. I stayed home yesterday, it was so bad. Christmas informed me that many others were gimping around work yesterday, but today I found that several other people took the day off as well. I didn’t think I’d be able to drive, and given my driving abilities, it’s probably better that I didn’t try.

Some people asked me if I wanted to run the half again next year. We’ll have to see about that one.

I *heart* your interactive taxi.

In other news, my shit list is getting really long. Everyone is stupid. That said, all the garbageyness of my work day was broken up by a nice lunch with Thomas and Emily. They are entering a level of cute-couplehood that nears that of Gus and me. I am glad for them indeed.

You see a commercial for phone sex immediately followed by an offer to try the Rascal for FREE.

Holy shit, man. When Gus wakes up, we’re doin’ it on a RASCAL!

Wanna spin a shred of a weak argument horribly out of control? Let Ann Coulter show you how. She’s the Michael Moore for conservative enthusiasts!

I held a specifications review meeting this morning because my group needs to decide how much information we want to publish. Naturally, some terms were thrown around that were completely new to me, and I rushed to write them all down in a legible fashion.

Among those terms was “load dump”. We have to spec the load dump!

Garritt, the technical lead for this project, in all seriousness said “load dump” about a dozen times. I held in every bit of my potty-brained double-entendre as the three spectacled engineers tossed around alternate jargon for the spec. I still wanted to giggle like a maniac.

I almost ended up doing that later while on a crowded elevator with Nate and a bunch of people I don’t know.

Sometimes, getting on an elevator is such an ordeal. There are always so many people and no one knows where they should stand…

Wouldn’t it be funny to get on at floor 1, rip a loud smelly one at floor 2, and then get off at floor 3? Gaw-ha-ha-hawd, that would be so funny, I’m laughing about it right now. All those normally straight-faced, monochrome people would twist their expressions into never-before-seen shapes of disgust as they ate my fart for several more floors…

What, you’re not laughing? Ah, well, that’s okay. I guess you’d have to be here. In my head.

Today’s pleasant morning workout was brought to me in part by Wayne Seagroves, who also expressed disdain for the Fox News Network’s barrage of terror alerts and tragic accidents. He, like many other folks at our humble NI gym as it turns out, would rather listen to music and get on with their lives than watch the same footage of a plane crash for over an hour. As one person running on a treadmill in Austin, Texas at eight in the morning, I have absolutely nothing to gain from watching such drivel. That channel relies on the basest qualities of human nature to get ratings: fear and rubbernecking.

True, CNN isn’t all that it could be, but calling the crap on Fox news is a joke. You call this fair and balanced reporting? Beyond producing lousy and unvaried content, Fox obviously pushes a fierce, unbending agenda that brainwashed reporters can’t hold back defending when slightly challenged on camera.

I don’t promote living in a bubble and being oblivious to international and political news, but I think Fox overdoes it. The stories are sensationalized and useless to the average viewer. TV news in general is not that great, but if I’m going to watch it, I would like to be diversely informed and mildly entertained, not mentally drained and perpetually afraid.

I did two important things after work yesterday: attended a bible study with a friend and then saw Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation.

Easy things first, Spike and Mike’s was fun. It’s a little less exciting and grossly magical each time I go, partially because I’ve become desensitized to the sex and gore, and partially because they show some of the same cartoons year after year. They reran No Neck Joe, Happy Tree Friends, Dr. Tran, and Rejected. I had also seen the clip from Hair High at SXSW. Bitch, moan, etc, etc. Even when it’s not great, it’s still good.

Before that, I met with a bunch of women from my friend’s church to talk about the Bible. Not being a large fan of the Bible, mostly due to the people who so dangerously misinterpret it, I mostly listened and took notes. Back when I was Catholic, I actually made an effort to read the Bible intelligently and glean some meaningful messages from its verbose and sometimes downright superfluous passages. Unfortunately, most of the young adults I’ve met in Bible studies (Catholic and Non-denominational) weren’t really interested in interpreting and analyzing, but regurgitating and basking in how good and holy they were. It seemed like they’d say whatever sounded “safe” and pretend to listen to everyone else while they preoccupied themselves with whatever Christian rock band was popular at the time.

So there I was again, several years later (in a Methodist group this time) listening to some nice women fumble their way towards a conversation about this book that they so forcefully feel the need to live by. Everyone was very kind about my lack of Christianity and didn’t pressure me to do or say anything, and there were a few gems of thought that made me feel happy to be there. I didn’t walk in with huge expectations, but I continue to be surprised at how solemn and quiet Bible study/religious group meetings are when the people there are supposedly so animated about worshipping God and in some cases, expect that everyone else should be too. I must emphasize though, no one in that group was hell-bent on converting me or making me feel guilty about my disbelief in Jesus being more than just a man.

In conclusion, I’m glad I went, and I enjoyed spending time with the people I met there. I also feel fortunate to have learned a little more about the friend who brought me. However, since I don’t accept Jesus as the son of God, I probably won’t be developing any close relationships with those people, besides my friend. It was a worthy exercise in reminding myself that I can be down with G-O-D and that the miscellaneous related activities still exist for people’s own self-affirmation, not His.