My team really came through on the costume contest. There were goggles and kneepads and jumpsuits and (computer) mice. We were quite a troupe.

I really like these people, y'know?

My monitor mirror has gotten a lot more entertaining since I dyed my hair a lighter shade of blond.

Boy, if there were any doubt about Dell being beige... I think, like, three people dressed up. Sigh.

I've gotten most of my team to consent to being "bug" exterminators. (We're programmers. Get it?) I made 13 little patches to make our uniforms. They have green binary in the background, a big blue bug, and a red no-more over top, a la Ghostbusters.

Over the weekend, Jon and I, along with Ben and Tosha, made masks and costumes. This coming weekend we're going to the Texas RenFest. This year's theme is fairies, and Tosha (who made my wedding dress) is making me a spiffy fairy costume. Now, since there's a limit to the amount of pink I can wear without spontaneously combusting, and because Halloween is all about making masks, I made a creepy mask to cover the lower half of my face. It's just kind of an exaggeration—take beauty and stretch it until it isn't. It has a hinged jaw again, like last year's, but the implementation is more subtle. I'll then put a veil over it, to increase the suggestion of creepiness. (Take a lesson from Jaws: What you don't show is much scarier.) I've got a lacy fan to hold in front of my face, too, allowing me to reveal the horrrrrible visiage at just the right moment.

We did a whole lot of moving last night. We need to be finished tonight. There are just those depressing dribs and drabs left now. Bleah.

Sad news follows sad news. Bastion of fat-girl fashion, Mode magazine will be ceasing production.

As was pointed out in the Cunt book, advertisers just don't think fat girls have money to spend. Boy, are they dumb.



Temporarily disabling the poll, because the page is taking so long to load, it is bugging me. Might be Reblogger, though.

I found the contact information for Fox on the GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) site, folks who probably have many occasions to raise the awareness of Fox executives.

Alright, girls (and anyone else, for that matter). Time to protest the only discrimination still permissible in America. Shallow Hal, opening in theaters on November 9th, is one, long, useless fat joke. Tell Fox we will not put up with this garbage. Tell them that size discrimination is unacceptable. Tell them that fat jokes are dumb.

So here's what we need to do. Write to:

Tom Rothman

President of Film Production

20th Century Fox

10201 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, California 90035

Tell him what you think of his portrayal of women as objects of ridicule--as objects, really.

In this movie, short, fat Jack Black and short, fat, bald Jason Alexander are presented as plausible swingers. Never mind their stature, they are respected as actors and as comedians. Laughed with, if you will. Black is hypnotized to see only people's inner beauty, so--and here's the laugh riot--he--get love...with a FAT GIRL! The horror. Audiences are then expected to laugh at his plight through countless slapstick gags: What a rube! He doesn't know he's dating a fat girl.

And because audiences have not been similarly cursed, we don't even get to have a fat girl get the supporting role. Instead, to show us the beauty Black is seeing, the job is given to demure, slender Gwyneth Paltrow. I liked her. I feel so let down.

Why should you care? Because gorgeous babes like me are told by the fashion industry, the diet industry, the film industry, the television industry, the cosmetic industry, and lots more that we should cover our bodies, hide ourselves away, become thin. And perhaps if all women would just get thin enough, we'd disappear altogether and stop giving them a hard time.

This is an affront to all of us. Get pissed!

An epiphane about website design: When you're distressed and pissed off because you've just found out that your employer has switched to a dental insurance provider that does not include your own beloved dentist, cute websites are even more irritating.

. o O (Don't give me Snoopy. Give me answers, dammit.)

My friend Tameka, waxing poetic, stated "we invented terrorism" and guerrilla warfare. She says, Boston Tea Party? Hello-o?!

Fight whatever war you want (with my tax dollars); just don't be smug about it.

Texas chili has no beans.
I think I know just what this means:
Texas chili isn't really chili, silly.

No offense.

Hee hee, I was simply noting that we have phone service again, with that post on the 15th, but Tameka took it as a sign--or perhaps a directive--and called. ^_^ I encourage each of you to do likewise.

Also, I'm enjoying the discussion in my comments thread for yesterday's post. I finally had something to say that got people talking. Cool!

Watching the news over the weekend, we had one of those moments—the kind where the bottom of your stomach drops out because you are just horrified and shocked by what your President is doing.

The Taliban has said that they'll hand over Osama bin Ladin just as soon as the President offers some evidence. And the President says, to reporters, on television, "We will not negotiate. Never mind innocence or guilt; just hand him over."

He has no proof.

Y'know, when we put someone on trial for murder, the prosecutors need more evidence than "everybody *knows* he did it. I mean, look at him, with those beady eyes."

He's gotten us into a jihad, and he has no proof. I am embarrassed of my country.

Oh, by the way:


Okay, so I broke down and made a storTrooper—they're just so gosh darn cute. This is a pretty good approximation of me, except that it isn't stacked enough. The hair is right on, and the cargo pants with bare feet are standard attire.

My avatar: dark blond and barefoot, baby.

Ah, bliss...

Weather conditions from this afternoon, 79 and sunny

Oh, wow. We saw the most incredible movie on Saturday. I'm so impressed. The Others, starring the always beautiful and surprisingly talented Nicole Kidman, is a suspensful, mysterious ghost story. It creates real tension, rather than just relying on startling the audience (though one bit made the girl behind me scream--hee hee). There's no gore. It's really just a skillfully told ghost story. Jon and I have been picking it apart since Saturday afternoon; there are so many intriguing levels. I highly recommend it.

After being without phone service for over a week, I received a call from a SWBell technician from within my apartment. We've been going 'round-and-'round with them since last Monday. We finally got an important clue when we called our voicemail--and someone answered! Ah-ha! They plugged our line into the wrong apartment's jack. I can't wait to dash home and hear that comforting dial tone.

We do very much like our new apartment, though. It's nice. 9-foot ceilings are a joy.

So I found I had a flat tire this morning. My first thought was to call Jon, but he was already at work. My second thought was to call AAA. I finally calmed myself down enough to admit that I was perfectly capable of putting the spare on, myself. Good grief. However, when I got to the "Remove the lug nuts" stage, I found I could not do it myself. Those bolts weren't moving. A man cutting the lawn at the apartment complex came over to help and finished the job. I was quite grateful, but I did want to do it myself. Oh well. Now I get to figure out how to get a tire repaired myself. That's good enough, I guess.

I had a scary thought last night, watching the news. Clearly, terrorists are attacking our economy more than our government, with the WTC and then with sending anthrax to Microsoft. So here's my thought: If you attack the world's largest software manufacturer, wouldn't you be likely to attack the world's largest PC manufacturer? This is purely my own speculation, but it's a sobering thought.

My friend Faith has pointed me to the niftiest new toy. Publish to your blog through AOL's Instant Messenger using BloggerBot.

How do I get myself into these things? Here's the note I just sent to Jon:

You like projects, right? And challenges, too, yes? Okay, I just found out, at 3:30, that each VP in I/T is expected to have a team costume for the All Hands meeting on Tuesday, 10/23 (not next Tuesday, but the one after). We, the FISH Committee, thought it would be smart to have a group fish costume. Something like a Chinese dragon would be awesome. With me so far? Thinking about papier mache yet? See how this relates to us? So, do you think, over this weekend and next, we could make a fish head and tail (tail might be cut out of foam instead) out of papier mache?

Better question: Why does Jon put up with getting dragged into these crazy schemes?

Wow. I went to the Learn About Your Benefits Package fair, and a strange man stuck a Stressdot[tm] on me. It's a little dot, the size of a hole-punch, and it has been stuck to the back of my hand. It is looking at me as I type this, in fact. It changes color based on my skin temperature, to indicate my relative stress level.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a Mood Ring for the New Millenium.

Mine's dark blue right now, indicating that I'm a pretty froody chick. Apparently, breathing on the back of your hand calms you down.

Happy Palindrome Day

Aaaaaaaaannnnnnd, publish!

My family has been having a lot of fun with dates lately. I think 10/10/01 is neat looking, but it isn't the most interesting. Granddad wrote to say that 10/1/01 is a palindrome, as is 10/02/2001. My uncle John then pointed out that 10/11/01 works upside down and backwards. Hee hee.

Wow, 2015 will have an especially excellent Pi Day, giving two more decimal places: 3/14/15. Well, if you want to properly round rather than truncate, I guess you should wait until 2016. Aw, heck with that. Big party on 3/14/15 9:26. With pie, of course.

Ah, seven minutes to go...

Y'know, Blogger really impresses me, especially as I get deeper and deeper into developing my own web apps. Right now, they've turned off the publishing feature, and it gives me a little message: "Sorry, publishing is temporarily unavailable. (Will be available in 15 minutes.)" And I think, yeah, sure, 15 minutes; it's probably said that all day. But then I posted to another blog, and it said publishing would be available in 13 minutes. So they really have given themselves a deadline and are actively updating the time estimate. Neat!

Conceivably, by the time I finish this post, it will be live again (since I took a phone call in the middle of it).

Whiny blogs are annoying, and if I can't get myself out of this funk, I'm going to lose all my readership. But, man, we're at war. Bob the Angry Flower knows how I feel.

I use Microsoft's plug-in for Outlook to give me local weather and current headlines on the startup page of my email program. I didn't know this was a valid weather condition, but I have been informed that outside it is "DREARY." Then I read the rest of the headlines and see why.

I was exploring the stor site, makers of those annoyingly trendy avatars, and I found they offer a Java chat client, which I thought could be cool for Invisible City. I clicked on the pricing link... *gasp* 25,000 pounds? Now, as I recall, the Brits use a comma for their decimal delimiter, but the three zeros after the decimal point wouldn't make any sense. So, are they making a concession for American readers, and it's 25-thousand pounds, or is it 25 quid? Or am I just confused altogether?

Ah, much better:

I will take the Iron Giant over Al Gore any day. Find your inner robot...

Apparently, the Iron Giant uses sex to manipulate people. Interestingly scientific test, that.

Ever observe someone's behavior and think, "Gee, I am really not liking that person," and then have to think, "and that especially sucks since it's me"?

For the past week or so, I've been spending my idle moments reliving guilt over how I treated a valued friend in a clumsy romance attempt (from three years ago). And I'm not even sure why I'm getting so pissed off at Jon (in the comments). And I've let some stupid piece of web tchotchke make me wonder if I'm boring. I always figured "irritating" is more apt.

Essentially, I feel like an alien. An alien I don't like.

This is more of an apology than a plea for contradictions.

And now the RoboHouse server keeps timing out, so I can't make another stab at it. I'm so demoralized.


I refuse to accept this:

Me? Boring?! Al Gore?!! Hrmph. Go find out what it tells you *you* are supposed to be.

Stupid cutesy web-based personality quizzes... *grumble grumble*

My phone number is staying the same, by the way. But please give me a call to get the new address before mailing any packages.

I think, perhaps, if I focus my attention very, very close, I can be happy. So, to that end:

We went camping with the Unitarian church on Saturday. I so needed that. A while back, we'd gotten ourselves a little 8' x 7' dome tent, which accomodates two—if they like each other a lot. We set it up in the living room last week, for practice, but other than that, we'd never used it. The top is mesh, so you can lie on your back and look at the sky. It then has a separate piece that snaps over top, to keep out the dew and keep in the warmth. It was too chilly on Saturday to sleep with the top down, but the sky was incredible. My only cue that it is actually fall, Orion now rises high into the sky during the night. At 5 in the morning (desperate bathroom run), the waning gibbous moon was bright enough to see by. Imagine if it had been full! The night was beautiful, and the air was deliciously crisp.

On Sunday, we enlisted the help of our Friends With Trucks and moved all of our big things into the new apartment. We then slept there last night. We are discovering, in subtle ways, that this new apartment is bigger everywhere. Most subtle but most significant is the 9-foot ceiling. I feel like I can finally breathe there, not realizing I'd been holding it for the past year.

Sunday, seeking Prairie Home Companion, we switched on NPR long enough to hear the words "cruise missiles" and then switched it off. Oh, look how nice the new apartment is. How very nice.

Gad, I am such a geek. I make a statement of my current state of mind and then immediately think, "Gosh, that would be a great name for a Malkavian [character in a LARP]. Maude Lyn. That's almost as good as Diphtheria."



I'm working my way through Sam's Teach Yourself PL/SQL in 21 Days, with my manager's blessing.

I lack the self-discipline for this.

Good grief. Did I mention that Jonathan won the Area-level Table Topics competition for Toastmasters? His humorous speech came in second. Now he's on to the Division, and then the District. I expect he'll do quite well.

Shortly after the 11th, little flags appeared poking out of many of the cubicles here. It was touching. Since that time, one group down the hall has begun to get competitive with their patriotic display. One row has streamers obscuring the entrance; when the streamers flutter in the breeze created by someone passing by, one can catch glimpses of the red, white, and blue plastic they have laid over the floor. Another row has two twin towers at the entrance, complete with spot lights focused on them from the floor. The towers are made from gray cardboard and have the flags of many countries stuck to their faces. There are some vague words about diversity and unity. One tower has a tall antenna on it, complete with a red, blinking LED. Both rows have streamers and flounces overhead.

It's troubling, really.

Every day, I am presented with this mindless display of patriotism, a reminder of my neighbors' hungy slathering for war. With anyone.

People in Austin—in Austin, Hippie Town, Live Music Capitol of the World... Austin—bombed a mosque. People are harrassing Arabs. People are harrassing South Africans because they're too ignorant to even get their racism straight. Television channels are showing mindless pro-war propaganda. Newscasters are interviewing FBI agents to hear their rationalizations for racial profiling.

How, how can you wave a flag over that?