Bad mood wake up call

I hit a tree tonight.

I find it interesting, and not at all surprising, that bad "accidents" happen when I'm angry or in a foul mood. The mood has to be particularly foul to fall into the categories of "interesting bad accident" correlation, but many negative emotions certainly fit.

For example, when I lost 85% of my hearing.

I had come downstairs one morning and wandered into the kitchen, when I noticed my roommate had left all the kitchen cabinet door open again. He was always leaving the cabinet doors open, and it drove me nuts.

Now, in retrospect, why kitchen cabinet doors being open would be annoying is beyond me. Maybe at the time it annoyed me like toliet seats being left up (though, for the record, I prefer toliet seats being left up to toliet seats being urinated on), I don't know. But it annoyed me.

And so, in a fit of anger, I slammed each and every cabinet door.



Wham! Wham!

A week later, I was in the doctor's office for a hearing test. I had lost 85% of my hearing in my left ear, and 20% in my right ear.

I used to have really good hearing, being able to hear -/+ seven kHz over normal hearing range. Now, when it's quiet, I hear ringing. In that fit of anger, I managed to induce tinitus in my left ear. The first year of the ringing was very difficult.

"You'll get used to it."

"It's not so bad, at least you can hear."

"Don't worry, it'll go away sometimes."

Didn't quite work out that way. Now, when it's very quiet, say on a mountain hike, and someone comments, "Wow, listen to how quiet it is," I can only wish I could hear the silence.

Because the hum is always with me.

But, back to the tree.

The hitting of the tree was one way to snap me out of the semi-bad mood. Especially with police officer looking over at me when the crunch happened.

That I hit the tree at all was a surprise to me (well, d'uh, I wouldn't have hit it in the first place if I had seen it), because I make it a point to never drive when I'm in a foul mood. I'm responsible for two thousand pounds of machinery that can cause serious injury to people around me, to property around me, and to me. One of the last things I want to do is cause damage because I wasn't in control of that vehicle. Just as using the phone while driving is bad, driving in a bad mood is bad. And I don't like to do it.

So, now, I've gone and hit a tree. The only thing I've damaged is my own property, and that's good. The tree was fine, if a bit scratched. It's a good wake up call. Expensive, but good.

A wake up call to lower the level as to what is an acceptable "bad mood," and don't drive if I'm in that mood.

Wake. Up. Call.

Update: Oh, yeah. The human body heals well when you let it. My hearing has recovered to the range of normal hearing. I wear earplugs when I head out to loud places now (say, like dancing on Saturday nights), and carry around a pair in my backpack pretty much everywhere I go. I still have the ringing when it's quiet, but I can hear fairly well now. Well, except if you speak in a fast English accent. Then I have trouble comprehending what the heck you just said.

I win! I win!

I have won the ever prestigious 2005 SBW Award! I will be forever honored for this award!

From Megan's site, I received the news:

2005 SBW Awards

I just wanted to pass the title of Smallest Bladder in the World back to the lovely and talented Kitt. My bladder really hasn't been that bad lately, and she's right, her bladder is dinky. So here you go, Kitt. You are now the reigning SBW queen.

I am so honored! I'm so excited! I've never won such an amazing award before! Oh, thank you, Megan, for passing the torch (walnut?) to me!

Leave my presets alone

If I hand you my car keys in, say, a car swap for the weekend, or, to let you borrow my car for some reason, don't change the radio stations. Really, it's for only a weekend.

But, if you absolutely must reset the radio stations because my selection of NPR, modern crap and 70's-80's-and-90's crap don't meet your expectations, don't return the car without the stations reset back to my settings.

And for goodness sake, don't leave it set on some All-Religion-All-the-Time station. Or leave three of the five buttons set on Spanish stations when 1. I know you don't speak Spanish, and 2. none of them are my one favorite local Spanish station.

Not that any of my car-swapping friends would actually do such a thing.


Last book I read?

Oh, it's a sad, sad day when a friend asks you what the last book you've read is, and not only does it take you four minutes to remember what book it was, but the book was actually crap.

In all fairness, it wasn't complete crap, just mostly crap.

The book in question is Carpe Demon. I read it on the way to Chico nearly two months ago. Two! I haven't even finished the latest Harry Potter for goodness sake. Sigh.

Kris purchased the book for me a few days before our drive to Chico. We had been at Borders, nominally for Kris to purchase the soundtrack to Wicked. In as much as I love bookstores (having worked at bookstores for over five years in high school and college), I wasn't quite ready to leave when Kris was ready.

Well, Kris was completely ready to leave, so even though I was resisting, he was insisting. After a few moments, Kris turned to me and said, "I'm getting in line. You can put whatever books you want into my hands until I get to the register, but I'm leaving now."



I immediately plunked the stack of books in my hands into Kris' arms, and followed him out of the stacks. Along the way, I started picking up books and adding them to Kris' pile. A couple of them were ones I had been thinking of purchasing, but wasn't quite ready to get (realizing I had a 2' stack of books at home not yet read), but some of them were completely spontaneous.

Like the Carpe Demon book, whose sub-title of the book is "The Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom."

The back cover makes it sound interesting:

Lots of women put heir careers aside once the kids come along. Kate Connor, for instance, hasn't hunted a demon in ages...

That must be why she missed the one wanderin through the pet food aisle of the San Diablo Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, he managed to catch her attention an hour later -- when he crashed into the Connor house, intent on killing her.

Now Kate has to clean up the mess in her kitchen, dispose of a dead demon, and pull together a dinner party that will get her husband elected to County Attorney -- all without arousing her family's suspicion. Worse yet, it seems the dead demon didn't come alone.

It's time for Kate Connor to go back to work.

I read the first three pages in the store, to see if I could stand the writer's voice. It seemed okay, so sure, why not?

Well, by the end of the first chapter, I realized why not.

The style of writing was annoying. She was unable to make any statements of actions without explaining them to death. And the descriptions weren't entertaining either. Quite often the author tried too hard to create the scene and character voices, managing to just annoy me instead. An example:

"Mo-om." She managed to make the word two syllables. "You don't have to be gross."

Writing the word as two syllables puts both of them into my head as I read them, I don't need the description afterward.

The plot was predictable. The character development was unsatisfying and shallow. The lead character, Kate, pretty much had to be an idiot to behave the way she does in the book. And her husband? A complete moron.

The parts that should be exciting, the fight scene descriptions, for example, were lame and boring.

The book is 360 pages long, and satisfyingly thick. Until you open it and realize the paper is thick, the lines widely spaced, the font large and there are less than 300 words per page.

The part I think I found the worst was on page 279:

"Demons are the bad guys," Ediie said. "And believe you me, I've known some bad ones in my time, that's for sure."
I opened my mouth to get a word in, but Eddie rambled on.
"Vial things. And the stench? Hoo-boy..." he made a strong motion as if to dispel the odor.


Sounds a lot like "vile," eh?


That was the one I remembered, but there were a number of misspellings in the book that were really annoying. Those, and a series of grammar errors just grated on my nerves.


The book sucked. Time to get this copy out of the house.

Memories are funny things

They're gone before you realize it. That very well may be the best thing about them in some cases, but it's also the worst thing about them, too.

Pretty much most of my childhood I struggled to forget. I'm sure most people (though definitely not all) are in the same boat of hating the awkwardness of growing up.

I became darn effective at forgetting memories, and being aware of the ones I wanted to remember. I remember sitting on the Olive Walk with Ari Pine, just talking on cool Southern California evening some time during my junior year at college, and thinking, "I want to remember this. This is a good moment." I have no idea what we talked about, nor who else was there, but I do remember that it was good, and that I wanted to remember.

I find myself more and more wishing that in the destruction of my bad memories, I hadn't lost the good ones, too.

But, I guess memories are like that, too. You don't get to choose.

Cal Henderson

Sometime last week, I had lunch with Cal Henderson.

I'm sure if I bothered, I could look up which day it was (okay, I looked: Thursday), but, eh, I'm relatively lazy at this point, so let's just say "last week."

Cal had recently discovered this site. Not surprising, though, as I've linked to this or my other site from BarCamp and SHDH He had commented to me that there was no way he was going to read all of what I wrote on a regular basis, as I was writing too much. He was too busy. So, hey, no problem, I could write anything I wanted about him and he'd never know.

Turns out, however, he lied.

At lunch, he turned to me and commented on my "10 page post about Chris Messina." The actual quote included a fuck in there somewhere. I laughed, and continued to be humoured when he admitted after reading it, he paged back to see if I had a post about meeting him.

I don't, so I have to wonder if Cal isn't maybe a wee bit jealous of Messina.

I met Cal in June at his Carson Workshop on "How we built Flickr". I had convinced Mike to go along, so he was there, too. It was then that I first met Chris Messina and Ryan King, too. The presentation was fantastic. Mike and I agreed it was a good confirmation of our processes.

Well, assuming Cal knows what he's talking about.

I had introduced myself to Cal in the bar after the workshop, though I was pretty sure that 1. he didn't hear my name in all the noise, and 2. he wouldn't remember who I was even though I was one of only two women in 40+ people there. You'd think all the ladies would be memorable, but no.

Fast foward to last month, and SHDH. Similar to BarCamp, I greeted people at the door, told them to label themselves with name tags, indicated where the food, presentations and bathrooms were (three distinct locations, mind you). I'm really beginning to enjoy it, which I think is a bit frightening, actually.

At some point relatively early in the evening, Cal arrived and I reintroduced myself to him. I say "reintroduced" because from my perspective, it was. I knew who the hell he was. From his perspective, it was all shiny and new!. When I said, yes, we had met before, his response was, "Oh? We have?"

In an adorable English accent, of course.

He promptly took my spot at the development table, and started working.

I promptly messaged Mike, "You are now completely jealous of me. Cal from Flickr is here at SHDH." Mike replied that he was, indeed, jealous, then promptly secured permission to go to the next one (November 5th, Mike!).

Cal spent the next two hours effectively ignoring all of as he worked. When I asked him why he bothered to show up if all he was going to do was work on work projects, he commented that working at a house full of socializing geeks was ever so much more fun than working at home alone.

Couldn't argue with that one.

Cal ended up leaving sometime around 2 or 3, after watching the Dojo presentation, switching some work server deployments around, mis-spelling my name with a Y, and trying to root my system with Andy. When he left, everyone started crashing. I fell asleep by falling over sideways on the couch I was sitting in and passing out.

The following Monday was Flickr Fiesta, which I had intended to go to, but was unable to get away from work that evening. I think I was really tired, too, from a lack of sleep on Friday night and too much ultimate on Sunday.

But, yeah, about Cal.

He shortened his name (sur and family) when he had the chance. Works at Yahoo! on Flickr (d'uh). His girlfriend's name is Elina (and she's adorable!). They have a white, medium-hair cat (Mr Kitty?) with different color eyes. He moved down from Vancouver, where he had met Andy Smith (which is how he heard about SHDH).

How do I know this? Well, the night before Webzine 2005, I managed to invite myself to dinner with him and E. Okay, not really, he invited me up to their place to meet E, and E invited me out to dinner with them, but I did feel like I was imposing a bit. Elina is heading off to Art School this semester, which is really cool. Boo that Immigration won't recognize her degree forcing her to attend school to stay here in the U.S. Stupid INS.

BTW, the view from their place is spectacular. And remarkably clutter free. Definitely worth inviting oneself to.

Cal wears only T-shirts and shorts (he owns six pairs, all of the same style, four of the same color).

Even in winter.

Even winter in Edmonton.

The man is clearly insane.

There is, however, photographic evidence that he has at one point worn pants. We think the picture has been digitally altered.

So, now, if you read posts where I'm talking about Cal, you know who I'm talking about.

Oh, and by the way, Cal doesn't know how to pronounce "schedule" correctly.

Okay, look, people

Okay, look, people, there are two times when you really piss me off when I'm driving, and you really need to stop doing both of them.

The worst? The absolute worst?

When I'm cruising down a street, going the speed limit, and you pull up to turn in front of me, and then wait until the last possible moment before you do pull out in front of me. What the fuck are you thinking? Either fucking wait for me or go! you stupid moron. Don't wait until I'm guaranteed to slam my radiator up your car's ass, go go go!

It's the pedal on the right. The right. The long one on the right.

Use it.

And when you get onto, oh, say a freeway, accelerate! I'm not in my car to watch you inch up to 105 (65 mph). There is a reason why my speedometer goes over 135 (that would be in kilometers, Mom), and it's not so that I can watch your car's bumper at 105.

While we're at it, sometimes there's a reason why I'm going 55 mph in the fucking slow lane. When the husband hands me the car keys with 200 miles on the tank and a fuel efficiency of 55 miles per gallon, and I drive it 30 miles to realize the efficiency is down to 48 miles to the gallon, you had better believe I'm going to draft that truck and drive 55 miles per hour to get that 100 miles per gallon efficiency. Don't think for a moment I'll feel a bit of guilt on trying to get that efficiency back up.

But, when I'm in the slow lane, do not fly up to my bumper then fucking honk you idiot. I'M IN THE SLOW LANE, you idiot. GO AROUND.

Why is the world full of such retarded drivers?


Hmmmm... I think I broke my keyboard pounding on the keys with this post.

The best part?


This morning, I woke up to about 200 emails in my inbox, about 150 more than usual. In as much as I had stopped checking my email yesterday at 2 in the afternoon, the excess emails were not all that surprising.

As per my usual routine, I woke up by running out of the bedroom, tripping over both dogs and barely missing breaking a leg as I summitted Mount Laundry and descended the backside. I was running, of course, to catch the call from Mike before the fourth ring, when the call went to voice mail, and Mike hangs up or leaves a "Are you up yet?" voice mail.

After, thankfully, picking up the phone in time, I continued my morning routine of sitting down in front of the computer at the dining table, waking it up, and reading email, deleting the spam that arrives, and basically skimming the rest.

So, when I received an email with the subject "FOR SEXUAL SERVICES," I, naturally, deleted it.

As it was disappearing from view, I glanced at the sender, and realized, crap, I knew the sender. Undelete!

The best part of the receipt from Andy? I can't tell if it's the fact it was "Instant" or that Paypal doesn't offer a Seller Protection Policy on sexual services. I mean, what if the service sucked?

(Mom, it was a reimbursement for money I spent at BarCamp last month.)

Post a half, or not a post?

What's worse, writing half an entry and not finishing it, or not writing at all? I'm not sure yet. I have probably three or four dozen half written notes, posts and entries sitting on my computer, my phone and my notecards, all waiting to be finished, polished and finally submitted.


Take this one, for example, from last Friday night, which I wrote on my phone:

Having actually taken the bus this morning for my journey from Kate's to Webzine, I find myself waiting for a taxi to take me from Kate's to the Webzine party half way across town.

And I really need to look up every once in while when I type. I just wrote "@ 5@?4 ,(-1'5 +&@3@?6 5"2 & 3&7@ 3"3 3&:1 ,1 52", K&31's to" when I wasn't looking and had the symbol key locked on.

I know that taxis are a normal mode of transportation for a lot of people, but my experiences with them really are quite limited to travels from the airport and my one journey home from work.

Unsurprisingly, I feel a little nervous. Worse, I'm holding up the langpad.



And now I've been here for 20 minutes, standing in the cold, waiting for this freaking taxi to show up. It's cold (SF, don't you know), and I'm late. And I'm annoyed.

Why didn't I just wear the cool clothes all day?

I actually had a lot more to say. But, well, the moment is passed, and my anger at the taxi ride has dissolved. So, do I bother to post these half written glimpses of my life? I'm inclined to post them, as even unfinished, they help document events in my life I'm sure to forget, and documenting was one of my motivations for starting this whole site in the first place.


That, and tags.

And correct paths.


Turbo AC

Note to self: the turbo in the car works much better when the air conditioner is off.

As in, waaaaaay better.