Sunday, April 30, 2006

noodles at 1:30a

A great day with Stephane, Rod, and Eileen in San Francisco [pictures to come]. An awesome evening celebrating Kristy's birthday at Hotel Valencia [in Santana Row, down San Jose way]...drinks, fun, flirting, then late night [early morning] noodles with KC, Sam, and Bassam.

Now to crawl into bed...

Saturday, April 29, 2006


3.5 gallons of gas: $12.10
Parking at 5th and Mission: $17.00
Lunch at Park Chalet at Ocean Beach: $40.00

Time in San Francisco with friends: priceless

Friday, April 28, 2006

they've still got it

Coming home from seeing Depeche Mode...awesome show, and really enjoyed the time with Kristy.

Now to get a few hours of sleep before my last day at ActivIdentity...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

before and after

My cube at ActivIdentity for four years:

And after packing it up [last day is tomorrow]:

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

watch this space

I got the CD from Jen with Australia pictures on it [hers, and the ones we took after my poor camera broke]. With luck, I'll work on them this weekend and get them posted on flickr...more soon!

my saturday in san francisco

Yeah, this post is a little late. Oh well...better late than never [gotta love platitudes].

So last Saturday, I hung out with Rod at his place in the city [down in Marina Green, finishing line for the "Escape from Alcatraz" triathlon; he is immediately behind the famous Safeway [known as "The Singles' Safeway", for its pick-up scene]. It was a great day...we watched "Godzilla" [never seen it, liked it...campy enough to amuse, great CGI], ate sushi [appropriately, Godzilla rolls from Kioku sushi...with each bite, we had to make the Godzilla noise and stomp our feet], walked along the Bay [amazing views, more on that below], watched ESPN2 [Model Boxing. No, seriously. Models. Boxing. Some pretty hard hits, too, which surprised us. Sure, they were wearing serious face protection, but still...those girls hit fairly hard], ate pizza [Pizza Orgasmica, yummmmm], watched a bit of "Dodgeball" [which I borrowed and watched...also amusing].

The walk was amazing. Rod lives literally one block from the Bay down in Marina Green, with sweeping views of almost every SF landmark: the Palace of Fine Arts, the TransAmerica tower, Alcatraz, the Presidio, the Golden Gate, the Bay. The weather was a bit cool [in San Francisco?? Naaaahhhh....], and the skies a bit overcast, but it was still lovely. Used my cameraphone to capture a few pictures...not the highest quality, but enough for memories. And my favorite: the nicely endowed pedestrian pavement sign [I love San Francisco].

All in all, a very good day.

strange is not a crime

My friend and former co-worker Jen Fritz is in town...she brought me this very appropriate button as a gift.

I love it. :^)

the time has come

Well, almost. Three more work days, and then a four year stint comes to an end. I sent out a farewell message last night, letting everyone know it was my last week, thanking them, and giving a link to my highly decorated cube [which is eerily empty now]. The replies I've been getting are amazing...sweet, personal, funny, touching. That's one of the primary things I love about what I do: I get to work with so many cool people from all over the company.

It's going to be hard to say goodbye to them.

Monday, April 24, 2006

yay and yuck

Yay for a great night with some friends. It's my last week at work, and some folks took me out to Dave and Buster's [fun bar/arcade].Seven of us, drinking, noshing, playing video games, and getting the crap beaten out of us by Heather, the undefeated air hockey champion. Much fun.

Not so much fun was the call I received from the alarm agency as I was heading home, telling me there was a power outage at work [the third time in a month a specific circuit breaker has been thrown]. So here I am, getting stuff back online, because of course, this is the breaker that powers our T1 [translation: internet connection and email for entire company], our PBX [translation: the phones], and AC for our network room. It could be worse, definitely, but it's still not happy.

With luck, I'll be out by midnight. But I have to be back in on time tomorrow, since we have no other IT coverage [the consultant doesn't come in until 2p tomorrow].

Heck of a way to go out during my last week...

it never fails

Even when I don't do the organizing, I'm always the first to arrive at a

a sleepless night

Brain monkeys. Too many things going on in my head to get to sleep, even though I'm exhausted. The desire to try to let someone at work know about my concerns for the future of the IT department, even though I'm leaving and I don't feel it would really do any good. The frustration at not being able to succeed there, and at not being truly heard. The confusion and frustration with James, the inability to get him to look past his own certainties and insecurities for a bit and to truly *hear* what I am saying about how I feel and how his actions affect me. The big grey area that is my future...what will I do, where will I do it, with whom? And of course the usual human worries about money, health, know, the little things.

Funny...I just noticed another similarity between my work life and love life: I have been telling the very bald truth to the people involved, and it doesn't seem to help; they continue doing what they want, and don't seem to hear what I am saying. I am increasingly frustrated and drained trying to make things work, trying to be heard, and more importantly, to be understood.

That is the one trait of mine that has followed me through my entire life: the deep need to be *heard*, to be *understood*. I will explain in twenty different ways to someone, because I desperately want them to *understand*, to fathom why something affects me the way it does. Greg, James, Ope, ActivCard...all of them were situations that left me feeling at loose ends because I just couldn't break through to the people involved. They were too caught up in their own situations to be able to hear or understand mine, unable to step outside themselves for long enough to consider my perspective. And the irony is that each person tsk-tsked when they heard about the other situations, never comprehending the similarity of the situations, never grasping the painful irony of their telling me to just walk away, that it wasn't worth it, that I had given the person [or company] more chances than I should have.

I don't think I'm too unusual from most people in wanting to be understood. I think my problem is that I don't give up when I should...I keep trying past the point when it should have been given up as a lost cause. And it leads to sleepless nights like tonight, when my helplessness and inability to be heard just spin 'round and 'round, and I keep trying out different scenarios in my head, keep trying to find just the right way to explain, to be heard. Frickin' monkeys...

[insert poignant closing remark here]

Thursday, April 20, 2006

words of comfort

This was the fortune I got at lunch yesterday:

this hits too close to home

This comic cracked me really hit some of my own buttons [click for larger version]:

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

riding high

Very good session with DrBob tonight. Last one for a while, as I go into self-imposed unemployment, but very validating, very uplifting. He's good...he doesn't let you stay in denial very long, but he lets you get where you need to go in your own way, so it means that much more.

What a ride this past year has been. I'm in a good place. I like myself, I like who I am working to become [and may that journey never end]. I also like what I've been learning about myself, about decisions I've made, why I've made them, and importantly, how to not follow the same patterns going forward.

Regrets? You betcha. But the question is "what do you with those regrets going forward?" My answer: learn from them, make them a part of who you were, and use them to become who you want to be.

I'm doing my darnedest.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

fanks, easser bunny

Bok, bok!

[Also: ]

my day yesterday

cough sniff
cough sniff,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
This was the entirety of my Saturday. I medicated, slept, coughed, sneezed, slept. I had some good friends to keep me company, though: Pepper and books [my most constant friends].

Saturday, April 15, 2006

sniff snort cough

The good news: I'm feeling worse. No, really, that's fairly good news: it means the thing is progressing, and [knock on wood or a wood-substitute such as a laminated desktop or perhaps a nearby sheet of paper, since paper is tree which is wood, so it counts as knocking on wood, right?]...



As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by myself [Interrupted? Rudely? Harrumph? That wasn't rude, I was merely improvising based on the fact that there was no true wood surface around upon which to knock for good luck {{You know why we knock on wood for luck? It's to catch the attention of the fairies living in the wood, and ask for their blessings.}} [Hey, stop that! You interrupted my interrupting! Now THAT is truly rude!]...

...oh brother...

Maybe I'd better wrap this up and quickly [Why quickly? What, you don't trust us? We'll let you get in with it, won't we?] {{Yeah, go ahead...really.}}

AAANNNYYYYWWAAAAYYYYY.... better say this quickly before I'm interrupted again:


Whew. There. I've said it. Now you can interrupt all you want. [Nope, shan't. It's no fun to interrupt when you are expecting it. Hmmph.] {{Yeah, what she said. Hmmph.}}

So here I am, feverish and medicated [gee, ya think? just a *little* loopy...], sleeping some, coughing lots, reading much, as my immune system does its thing.

I promise not to post again until the voices quiet down.

[That's what *she* thinks!] {{yeah}} (.(Hee hee!).)

Uh oh. They are multiplying...more medication!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

okay, I give up

Ugh. I have a respiratory infection; that squeaky voice is still there, now accompanied by a slight fever, chills, shakiness, and that awful chest constriction and those weird little wimpy coughs you get [you know, the ones where you can't breathe in fully, because it starts you coughing, but you don't have enough air to make them really productive coughs, so it's a string of little "khuh...khuh, khuh, khuh...khuh" ones that sound so silly]. It will be a while before it progresses to lung butter stage...that is much less pretty, but ever so much more productive [and let's face it, satisfying...nothing like a really deep cough to clear things up and give you a short moment of breathing freedom].

Sadly, I still need to head into work this morning; the IT consultant doesn't come in until 2pm today. Going to try to lie low and take it easy as much as possible...cross your fingers.

Luckily, germs don't transmit over the internet, so you are safe. Besides, you are running anti-virus software, aren't you?? [har har...geek humor]


For ages now, Pepper has this weird ability to tell time. He will jump up on me around 5:30 every morning. His time sense is amazingly accurate: it varies between 5:27am and 5:32am.

Every morning.

Every frickin' morning.

Even when the time's still 5:30am.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

well, poo

That sore throat I had this weekend? It's here with a vengeance: squeaky voice, raw throat, ears plugged and aching. Stayed home from work, left what must have been a hilarious voicemail for the IT consultants, and tried to give my throat a break. I just had a half hour conference call, which was necessary but not fun [and can't have been fun for the person on the other end of the line, either].

[I wish I could get a recording of my voicemail message today...Minnie Mouse lives!]

Off to have some warm chicken soup, some warm tea, and some soothing lozenges...squeak!

Monday, April 10, 2006

math dork

Just spent the last hour watching PBS and Terry Jones hosting "The Story of 1". It traced numbers through the ages [including the invention of "zero", which fascinates me], all the way up to binary [did you know binary was invented around 1679 by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz??].

Loved it. A little corny, but some good British humor [humour]. Reminded me of "Donald in Mathmagic Land", another favorite.

Ahhh, I'm a dork.

time flies

It was six years ago today that I found out there was more to Greg and Amy's friendship than friendship. That awful trip to Toronto that started so well and ended so horribly.

I'm better now, and have rebuilt myself in ways I never knew I needed to. Even better, I keep learning about myself, keep improving...and I hope to for the rest of my life. It wasn't a good time in my life, and I've had rough spots since then, but I know I can make it through them. It isn't always easy, but it is possible.

Here's to growing up and moving on. Here's to the next six years.

just lovely

Just to keep the pattern going, had a tossy-turny night with bad dreams and woke with a sore throat. Joy.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

one of *those* nights

Damn it.


I love this picture of Pepper.

contented sigh

Kicking back at Starbuck's with a nonfat chai tea latte, reduced fat cinnamon swirl coffee cake, and (of course) a book. Laundry is started at home, so I can even feel a little productive.

This is how Sundays should be...

marketing farmers

Up and out on a Sunday morning...unusual for me. :^) Went to the Mountain View Farmer's Market, a nice way to start the day. Tangerines, Afghan bolani bread with garlic mint paste and sweet salsa (I love the Bay Area), and picked up some buckwheat honey (strong, very good).

Now to meander wherever the whim winds take me...I love lazy sundays.

Friday, April 07, 2006

what ironic timing!

This is the latest "Monty" cartoon...very appropriate, considering that I gave notice today at work:

coconut monkeys

coconut monkeys
coconut monkeys,
originally uploaded by tiredcynic.
It started as a joke. A friend was going to Hawaii, and asked if he could bring me anything. I joked, "One of those coconut monkey banks."

I forgot about it. He remembered.

So a little while later, another friend went. I asked for a matching monkey, and he also remembered.

And the third wonderful monkey from another wonderful friend made it official: it's a collection.

good. bad. ugly.

Good: I gave notice today. Last day to be the 28th. Scary, jumping into the unknown like this, but good...I'm taking a chance, looking out for myself, getting out of a situation that wasn't good for me. The best part: I'm free to visit my parents, without the overhead of the mess at work weighing me down. Definitely looking forward to it...can't wait. And if I can stretch the budget enough, I'll take some time to figure out what's next...maybe teaching, maybe stay in IT, maybe leave the area, maybe not. The world is my oyster.

Bad: My aunt has Alzheimer's, and has had to be put into a nursing home. She was the eldest of my mom's family, and always a, shall we say, strong woman. I saw her last year at my mom's surprise birthday party, and it was a shock. I really respect her family for making the decision to get her professional care; it can't have been an easy choice. Sending love to her and the family...

Ugly: The weather. Well, not so much for me...I love the rain and clouds. But for the area, it's bad...40 some days straight of rain or bad weather, and the hills are sliding, houses are slipping, roads are collapsing [Devil's Slide is closed again, for the indeterminate future]. One thing I want to do this weekend is go walking in the rain...I love it.

So that's the summary. The big thing: today I closed my eyes, held my breath, and jumped into the void. Wheeeee! Yikes! Waaahoooooo! Holy crap!!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

'tis a silly place

Absolutely hilarious and dead on:

[Spot the dead parrot cameo]

Monday, April 03, 2006

and still marching on....

This week is moving along. Hectic, but in a more normal way, if that makes sense. Holding things together at work, health is back to where it was [stomach complains in the mornings, eases off once I get home, brain monkeys vary in their nocturnal activity, you know, all systems normal], cat is cute and clingy and feisty, new mobile phone is on the way, I'm making my way through the Xanth books and starting a few others, yadda yadda blah blah.

Big day tomorrow. We'll see how it goes. More on that once it's over...

[props to "They Might Be Giants" for the title]

[[speaking of TMBG, this is an interesting concept: write a song for every venue they play in. I'm still working my way through them...some good, some not-so-much, but hey, it's the internet. They can't all be gems.]]

Sunday, April 02, 2006


So much for a productive Sunday. Caught a stomach flu hit Sunday, mid-morning, and still has me in its thrall [joy]. Not the worst I've had, but it's never fun: fever, shakes, the midsection unhappiness, and all-over wonkiness are the gifts that keep on giving.

The good news: it's not my stress-stomach thing. The bad news: that means I have to just ride it out, since my medication won't help [darn it].

Ah least I have a lot of books to read.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

my daytime home

This is where I spend my days at work, when I'm not running around working on helpdesk cases or in meetings.

It has become something of a landmark: "Take a left at the cube with all the can't miss it."

More pics here...

geeking out

Went to Book Buyers tonight and walked out with eighteen of the Piers Anthony Xanth novels. Shameless pun indulgence, fluffy fun, and I can't wait to get back into them. I love Book Buyers...I ended up with over $91 worth of paperback for about $38. Scary thing is, I still have another nine or ten books in the series yet to find, too...hurrah for prolific authors.

(aren't they pretty??)

Spent a fair amount of time talking with a fellow SF/F fan named Jim, a physicist at SLAC with a similar predilection for reading [I am a self-confessed "compulsive reader"]. We geeked out over Heinlein, Spider Robinson, "Firefly" [see an earlier blog about my evil friend Brian], Babylon 5, Usenet in the "old days", Sandman, Callahan's, and a lot more. He recommended author Christopher Moore's "Bloodsucking Fiends", I recommended "Strangers in Paradise" and seeing "V for Vendetta". The conversation was a lot of fun, and totally unexpected. We traded email addresses, then I headed up to the register to pay for my new old treasures [I love used book stores].

On the not-so-geeky side, I'm now off to finish up laundry, then totally indulge myself with a long bath, candles, and [speaking of compulsive] a good book. Tomorrow is a busy day: lunch plans, things to box and ship, taxes to do, porch light to change, etc., etc. [cue Yul Brynner: "Et ceetterrraaaaa, et ceettteeerrraaaaahhhh, et ceettteerrraaaaahhhh"], so going to totally veg tonight. Bubble bath, here I come!