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theodosia: (dead like me)
I realize that as school has progressed this past year, I've grown increasingly hermetical -- aside from posting the occasional picture here, that is. I'm going to try to make socializing more of a priority, because catching up with friends means a whole lot to me, but it's going to be an uphill battle in the coming weeks.

Mostly because, in a fit of ambition and practicality, I've signed up for another class in addition to the two I'm already taking. This way, I can be done faster, and it also gets the class that I most need in addition to the programming one -- Web Design, with lots of emphasis on CSS and Dreamweaver and interacting with XML data -- the logical 'other half' to what I'm learning with the Java/C#/XML class I'm taking at night.

Three classes doesn't SOUND like much, I know, but the day classes are the super-accelerated ones that my school runs, so instead of say three one-hour sessions per week the way you'd do at a normal college, they run 4 hours/5 weekdays and 3 hours/4 weekdays respectively. And although there's a fair amount of in-class work, that's a whole lot of learning time compressed into a work week. And then there's the two night classes on Monday and Wednesday for programming -- and an 8 hour class on every other Saturday.

So, um, I've committed myself to a whole lot of hours. Technically, I should be up for it -- the programming class so far has been the only real stretch, as in, I've had to spend extra time working hard to learn this stuff (yesterday I got to play stump-the-Instructor when we needed a delegate function to handle a threadsafe process triggered by an event) but even that isn't too bad because I actually like programming and find it an intriguing problem when I'm not pulling at my hair.

I checked, and it's OK if I decide that three classes are Too Much, and I can punt one of them until later. That would extend my time in school, or at least not shorten it any, but it would be good to get as much of it as possible over when my Unemployment benefits run out and I have to start looking for work.

Obviously, I wouldn't drop the programming, since it's the Reason for all this and what I've got my hopes pinned on jobwise, but I'd have to decide between the two daytime classes.

Now, my Digital Design class -- with the Photoshop and Illustrator and all that -- ended this Friday, which is sad-making because I've enjoyed it so much and can't say enough good things about what we learned and the instructor we had. I was somehow not surprised to find out that he'd run a karate school at one point in his varied career, because he has the centeredness I associate with black belts and other advanced practitioners.

Most of the last week was devoted to portfolio presentation -- so I have 20 of my pieces (most of which you'll have seen on Flickr) put up in a ringbinder now, with labels and explanations, and damn if I'm not proud of how far I've come. I could believe I could get work as a visual designer, but I fear it wouldn't pay nearly enough, or steadily enough, for me to feel secure.

Tomorrow I'll be starting a very small class (3 or 4 students) in 3D Animation in its place. We'll be working with 3DMax which looks very cool indeed. This is possibly the Least Useful class of any that I might take, and pretty much the obvious candidate for dropping back on... but I really do want to go play with the Cool Stuff, you know? Even if it means getting to class at 8:30 AM in the cold winter months, even. SIGH.
theodosia: (Dodo)
First posts, first lines, 2007:

* January: Saw [livejournal.com profile] lysana doing this, thought I might as well, too:
(Oooh, interesting stats and all that. Which I shall repeat tomorrow....)


* February: Um, in case anyone is interested, I was working all day yesterday just blocks away from some of the "suspicious devices" in downtown Boston.
( Ah, the Mooninite faux-terror alert, which I blame more on the media than I do on the police or politicians. Plus, Boston got a whole big donation out of Turner Broadcasting and a good test of its emergency procedures.


* March: ... nope, didn't work. I guess LJ doesn't acknowledge "script" HTML or something.
(Little did I know what March would hold for me!)


* April: I lasted until about 11 last night, despite being in a very loud con suite, but I was enjoying talking to various and sundry (especially [livejournal.com profile] engenda and [livejournal.com profile] qe2) and in a surprise guest appearance, [livejournal.com profile] gnomi who perhaps unsurprisingly-in-retrospect turns out to have many many friends who are friends of friends of mine.
(This was, of course at Muskrat Jamboree, which rocked and what just what I needed, just two or three days after my layoff!)


* May: My former team leader called this afternoon to pass on the news that my former co-worker's wife had a good "we think we got it all" verdict on the chemo she's been going through since December, so that was a nice thing to hear.
(Hmmm, you wouldn't think my layoff was quite so traumatic, would you? Among the things I'm proudest of this year was not falling into a major funk and making some pretty sweet lemonade of it.)


* June: I'm currently sitting out on my patio. We had just a little pattering of rain about an hour ago, but I had the cover of the patio umbrella and the maple trees, so all was well.
(Enjoying my layoff, speaking of lemonade.)


* July: So, you know the GOOD side of being laid off and unemployed? If somebody says, hey I'm going to Maine, you can pipe up and say, hey, want some company and they say sure, why not?
( Yet again, thank you to [livejournal.com profile] la_perkins! I'm still doling out little dabs of the wonderful jam from Nervous Nellie's Jams & Jellies.)


* August: You PEOPLE never tell me anything!
(The Futurama direct-to-video release)


* September: In perhaps a small fit of enthusiasm I signed up to knit a scarf for Sweet Charity, which is a fandom-centered charity auction wherein fans (mostly) write fanfic and/or make art and/or make vids to custom-order.
(which I still haven't knitted, but guilt about literally every hour now. Little did I suspect how School Would Eat My Life (though in a pleasant way).)


* October: Having listened to the first podcast of Coffeebreak French, the only real phrase that stuck with me is "I am tired" which while apt for me, is also kind of random for a first lesson in anything
(Proud though, with the extra time in the car to listen to podcasts, I've stuck with Coffeebreak Spanish (Lesson 22 now) and Coffeebreak French (Lesson 10)!)


* November: I spent Halloween without much fun, unless you count programming class for that - I do, a little, but I like seeing the costumes and giving out candy.
( Programming class from 6 PM to 10 PM, just like every Wednesday!)


* December: They say you should stop and admire your work frequently, not because it's merely good for your ego, but because you'll be able to detect problems before they get too bad.
(Ah, yes, the scarf disaster -- when diagonal rows attack! Another reason why the Sweet Charity knitting hasn't happened yet.)


Hmmm, not entirely bad as a retrospective of my year, but some of the high points -- Arisia, Boskone, Wiscon & visiting friends, the B.Org get-together in Atlanta, Readercon, all of the career counseling, the actual Getting Into School, visiting with my Mom and family, staying down at the Shore, all the stuff that I've done in visual design class and the new camera, that all gets skipped over. It was really quite the year....
theodosia: (skunky)
Not feeling too great these last couple days, so I've been a) sleeping b) working on schoolwork c) watching Discovery Health on fun topics like morbid obesity or (yesterday) lightning strikes* or d) playing various kinds of computer Solitaire like Bejeweled2.

And I mean, a lot of Bejeweled2, and somewhere in that project, I finally got into a groove and scored over 790,000, so that I got to the 8th level for the first time.

Do you remember in A Christmas Story where Ralphie sends away for the Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring, and when it finally comes, he eagerly goes off to decode his very first secret message and is very disappointed by it? (Shall I ruin the movie for anyone by telling you what it was?)

Anyway, I find myself feeling empathy for Ralphie now. One of the things about Bejeweled is that each level has a different planetary background, which are cool graphics, and I was really intrigued to see what the 8th level would be... what cool new vista would open up.

But! Evidently the graphics just wrap around to the first level screen! I haven't felt this ripped off since I got laid off, or maybe before then.


* Did you know that sometimes you can see a branching bruise across the skin caused by the current exploding blood cells in your capillaries?
theodosia: (skunky)
I'm not quite up to feeling normally well this morning, but I'm definitely on the well-er side -- I may even leave the house this morning, for food-gathering purposes, having finally run out of the OJ that I stocked up on when it was clear that I was coming down with a cold, et cetera.

I went to bed at 9:30 approximately. At around 12:30, a car-horn started up -- not somebody beeping, but that continuous tone that means an electrical system is freaking out. I went out briefly into the cold to make sure that it was NOT my car (oh, the embarrassment, not to mention the bother if it was!), and came back in relieved. Called 911 after it had gone on a few more minutes to find that the staffer was aware of the problem, and she was hopeful I knew the license plate of the offending car. Unfortunately, I didn't go far enough (aside from opening my car and beeping the horn to make sure there wasn't some trick of acoustics involved) to tell her that.

The rest of the night passed without much more excitement.

And woke up this morning to the from-afar-joyous news that the Howard government has been voted out of power in Australia, which literally every Australian I know (not a hyuge set of people, but still a few) seems to be dancing with joy about, for good reason so far as I can see. So yay to friends having some good political news!
theodosia: (crafty)
I had some homemade bread for breakfast, which I find improves my outlook significantly.

Last night I tried something different -- put the usual ingredients in the bread machine, put it on 'dough' and then transferred the result to a bread-shaped pan in the oven, for 30 minutes, which gave it a much-improved crust and texture. Also, it took significantly less time than the regular bread machine cycle, which is probably because the electric heater in there is less efficient than my convection oven.

Have I mentioned the "new" bread machine here? I picked it up a couple weeks ago when I visited Mom and we went to a charity resale store, where I found it in a dusty appliance corner, looking never-used and priced at $3! My old bread machine hasn't been usable for a year or more now, because somehow (pauses to glare at sloppy roommate) the altogether essential MIXING PADDLE disapparated, so I figured I could spend $3 in the hope that the paddle it had would fit mine, or else I could figure out how to use the instructionless one.

Well, the paddle didn't fit, and the breadpan wasn't compatible either, but the controls turned out to be very simple, so it turned out to be entirely a great purchase.

Does anybody have a great HINT, though, how do keep the mixing paddle from adhering to the pan after baking? I was thinking Vaseline or something, but I'm open to all sorts of schemes. At least removing the dough for oven baking makes the cleaning process a lot simpler....
theodosia: (Default)
So my Mom has a standing appointment for a beautician to come by the condo and give her a haircut once a month, so they were both like "oh, why don't we give you a trim?" and I was like, "so why not anyway?" and thus for the first time in 40+ years I had a haircut at home.

how it came out )
theodosia: (50s me)
Domesticity details.... )
theodosia: (thousand elephants (by heuradys))
I'm massively reorganizing my home office, which means not only culling the shelves of unwanted books, but also filing away old papers, tossing piles of old cruft, and generally raising a dust storm, though at least the HEPA filter on the vacuum cleaner is helping a bit here. Still... I'm astounded to find out how many 3.5" diskettes I still own. Not really surprising, considering that I used to back up my entire Macintosh hard drive with them.

edited to add: There must be like 200+!

I've also put away all the CDs that I've ripped to iTunes into a big IKEA box, and I'll need a second one soon.

Incidently, since I upgraded my Sims to Sims2, I have an entire set of The Sims for Mac -- all of the supplements, too -- just looking for a new home. First taker gets them for the price of mailing them out.... ([livejournal.com profile] la_perkins got 'em.)


edited to add further: You would not believe the software that I still have that hasn't run for at least two iterations of Mac OSs -- Fullwrite! Superpaint! Eudora! The Simpsons Screensaver! I'm getting all nostalgic-like.
theodosia: (emu)
[livejournal.com profile] veejane gets the Friendship Above The Call of Duty award for this month, if not year, with special oak clusters because she really stepped cheerily up to help me switch over the doors on the refrigerator.

Technically, it's Rosemary's refrigerator, and over six years ago now she was on hand when it was delivered and set up -- with the doors opening the wrong way, so that you couldn't shift stuff in and out from a counter directly -- you always had your hands full. This has annoyed me no end, that the Sears guy was right there and it didn't even occur to her to ask if it could be fixed.

And then for the last six years, she's claimed that she's going to call Sears and get a handyman out to re-hang the doors... soon.

So this weekend I decided enough was enough and had the brilliant idea of asking [livejournal.com profile] veejane if she'd some over and help me with the project -- which really is a two person job, since getting the doors off and on the hinges and all is kind of awkward.

Unfortunately, it turns out that I don't have many of the right tools, since the fasteners holding the whole shebang together turn out to be many many hexagonal-headed screws and other weirder items, some of them in unconventional sizes. So we had one preliminary trip out to Home Depot in order to get a monkey wrench, which I naively thought would be good enough to get us through all the weird fasteners.

Oy. And it would have been, too... but it turned out that after we'd taken off nearly all the hardware, the bottom bracket which supports the whole hinge assembly... is attached by hex-headed screws deep within a very small space into which no monkey wrench is ever going to fit. We needed some proper nut drivers, and they had better be long-handled ones, at that.

And it took us two more trips to various venders of hardware in order to get the correct sizes.

So the whole sideshow took over four hours, of which we estimate 1/2 hour was taking the stuff apart, and the last half hour was putting it back together.

I learned a lot about tools this weekend. I have a great many more tools than when I started. And I'm in awe of [livejournal.com profile] veejane, who remained cheery and calm through the entire thing and was so happy to be using power tools it's positively inspiring.

As for the refrigerator, it's completely put back together, opening on the correct side. With one weird side effect -- I find that if I go into the kitchen in the semi-dark, I'm still reaching for the handle on the wrong side. Ah well, it may take a couple of years to get used to it...
theodosia: (freaking)
...the stove was not lit under the tea kettle, as I'd feared. All was well on the home front, instead of me coming home to one filled with burnt enamel smoke and smell. I guess I turned off the kettle without noticing I did so.

My boss said that if I was lying in order to bug out of work, I was doing such a good job that I deserved to go off. But the good thing from his POV is that I can work from home this afternoon, so he gets a worker who is being productive and not obsessing that she's left her stove on.

I'm thinking that I should probably acquire an electric teakettle that senses when it's out of water, the sooner the better.

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