January 5 - March 26, 2004

These entries are from multiple sources. See the footnotes for details.

January 5, 2004 @ 10:54 AM
» Life Update


After the very busy last week of school in December, my life slowed down to work - and last minute Christmas shopping.

I received my grades for the semester: A, B, B minus. Sigh. The B- was in the Senior Design Project: I wonder if everyone in our group received the same grade. I would hate to have brought everyone's grade down - though surely it wasn't ONLY my work that affected the grade! - but then again, if the others made A's, it's not exactly fair that they had so much less work to do than I did and made higher grades. Since the professor in charge of the project is notoriously picky, and her area of expertise is the area that I was assigned to work on for the project, I should probably be glad to have received a B. I'm not surprised she included the minus sign; it doesn't affect my GPA, but I can picture her including it to say, "Well, since the administration will be unhappy if we tick off the students, I'm grudgingly giving you a B, though we both know you deserve much worse." Whatever! One. More. Semester.

At my part-time job, January is our busiest month: I have "gigs" scheduled just about every day through January 16th. School starts next Monday, and I'm supposed to have class every day Monday through Friday.

Yesterday, at a gig, I glanced over and happened to catch the eye of one of the store managers. He actually stopped, and walked over with a "How YOU doin'?" look on his face. Great. He started by asking if I'm in college, and he added that I look like I'm about 21. Flattery will get him nowhere. I told him that I'm *slightly* older than 21. He asked if I have kids: you know, it's really bad form to ask personal questions before you even know someone's name. I said no, and he shared that he doesn't either. He also said something like, "I'm 44, and a cat is about all I can manage." Okaynicemeetingyoubyebye.

He wasn't a bad looking guy, but there was just no chemistry (on my part, anyway). I was afraid he'd suggest getting coffee or something and I'd be forced to give him my standard - and very true - response, "That sounds nice, but I just don't know WHEN I'd have the time . . . "

January 6, 2004
» ... in with the new


Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had a good Christmas, too. Mine was pretty quiet - I stayed home with my family. We mostly got each other little things for gifts, which is fine with me. However, my sister's attitude really annoyed me: after just about every present she opened, she'd look disgusted and say, "Oh, like I *really* needed this." I finally just had to tell her off. (That'll make for some great viewing when we watch the videotape of the occasion. Sigh.) I said that even though I may not love everything I get, I do appreciate that someone took their time and effort to get something for me when they didn't have to. It can be tough to shop for adults, especially for my sister, who literally doesn't like anything. Well, she loves chocolate, but I'm certainly not going to contribute to her, um, poundage.

Anyway. Since school's been out, I've mainly been working and trying to catch up on a few projects. I haven't quite finished everything on my to-do list, but I hope to be really close by the end of next week - despite the fact that I'll be working a lot at my part-time job for the next month or two.

On New Year's Eve, the boss let me leave work early; since it was a nice day and I had my camera, I walked around town taking pictures. On New Year's Day, I decided to balance my checkbook, but the total that the bank had didn't match my number, and I spent about three hours trying to find out why. It turns out that I didn't write down three (!) deposits. D'oh!

Also on New Year's Day, I went to see Return of the King with my cousin. Sadly, I didn't love it the way I expected to. It's very good, but I liked the other two better.

In other news, my boss is concerned how we're going to manage for the next few months with my school schedule being so spread out. I have classes every day, Monday through Saturday: three days in the morning, and three days in the afternoon. My boss moved to Washington, DC, because he thought that the HR guy and I would be around to manage the office here. Then, just before Christmas, the HR guy announced that he'd be leaving at the end of January. Yesterday while musing over options, the boss said something like, "I'd hate to lose you, but we need for someone to be here." If he wanted to replace me, I'd understand completely. He could bring someone in part-time and I could sort-of phase out. As I've said before my only concern about leaving that job would be that it might delay my get-a-house plan. Of course, I'd miss the benefits (paid holidays, insurance, etc.) but I could manage without those until I get a new job.

School starts next week: this is my last semester. :dances: I had written "this is supposed to be" but I changed it, because one way or another, it will be the last one. I used to say that I liked school and would go to school forever. Well, now I've been going to school for a very long time, and I'd like to try something else.

PS - Many thanks to Frances for the holiday well wishes.

January 8, 2004 @ 08:49 AM
» delayed gratification


Yesterday, Brian - or whatever I'm calling him here - asked me out of the blue how long I was going to be mad at him "this time." Completely surprised, I almost didn't know what to say; I was, like, "What ...?" He said, "Well, it seems that whenever I show an act of compassion towards you, you always get angry." I informed him that I'm not mad. (Oh, and the so-called act of compassion he did was to give me a department store fragrance card that was squirted with the same kind of fragrance as my car air freshener.)

As I thought about that encounter a bit later, I did get annoyed at him: what's up with ambushing me like that? How am I supposed to respond to such a question? I wanted to coolly inform him that I actually wasn't thinking much about him at all. It sounds to me like he was working himself up into a good, old-fashioned pity party.

Have I mentioned that I'm so glad we're not hanging out again? The other day, when he was around, I thinking again how compatible we are - except for the COMPLETE lack of chemistry - so it figures that something would happen to remind me why we're not together. Not that I'd forgotten! Then disturbing part of this scene is that it seems to indicate that he is thinking about me, reading into and predicting my actions. :shudders:

Anyway! I'd started this entry because I'm very close (I think!) to getting my own place. :dances like crazy: This has been a dream of mine for so long - literally ever since I started working. In anticipation, I thought I'd like a few things I like about having my own place:

- Starting out with a completely empty place. When we moved into our current place of residence (umpteen years ago), since it was my grandfather's it was already beyond full of his stuff. Add our stuff to that, and as you can imagine, it remains full to the brim with unexplored boxes. I relish the thought of starting with an empty shell, where I don't have to relocate the current stuff before I can arrange stuff like I want it.

- Having stuff the way I want it. That's another biggie; I used to get so frustrated that my family didn't do things like I wanted them done. One day a family friend wisely told me that when you live in someone else's house, you have to do things their way - but in your own place, things can be your way. I'm not sure, but that may have been when my desire to have my own place really started.

- Change of scenery. As mentioned, we have lived in our current house for many, many years; I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to a change. I have recurring dreams where we're moving into a new house, and I'm almost beside myself at the new rooms waiting to be explored . . . and then I wake up.

I do plan to get a place very near my family, because I don't want to leave them altogether. I truly believe they need me, and I need them too, because what fun would it be to have my own place and be alone all of the time?

January 21, 2004
» pit of random


School started last week. It's getting very busy, very fast.

I worked every day last week at my part-time job.

I think a guy that I dated (years ago) at my part-time job is spreading rumors about me.

The rumors aren't true, but I still think he's cute.

Two nights ago, I had the best dream about Lord of the Rings: it was just like I was there in the movie, and it was *awesome.*

My hair is longer than it's been in years, and I love it.

I bought a new purse.

Yesterday, I wore my heavy winter coat for the first time this year.

I drink iced water, even in the winter.

Tomorrow, I plan to chat with my on-line friend, Michele.

I have writer's block, hence this string of miscellaneous thoughts.

I wanted to post something, to let you all know that I'm still alive.

January 21, 2004
» Rollin' with the punches


I just thought I'd post here and give an update of what's been going on.

On a totally frivolous subject, two weeks I learned that a star that I had a little bit of a crush on is "in love" with the chick that he's been dating; I know it's crazy but hearing that really brought me down. It still does a bit, whenever I see a picture of him. I know, I know, it is insane for me to feel so rejected that someone I don't know "loves" someone else. Still . . . ouch.

In other news, school officially started last week. I phrase it that way because my class . . . didn't. On the way there, I checked the room assignment for the class no less than three times, but when I arrived I found the room empty. I was a little early, so I sat down to wait. As time for the class to start grew closer, I started to get nervous, because no one else had attempted to join me. I went to the department secretary to check whether I was in the correct room, and she informed me that the professor is out of town this week. That is fine with me: it makes my extremely busy week a little less so.

We met to begin the second part of the Senior Design Project, and it was off to a smashing start because the room on the schedule was already taken by another class. While wandering the halls, I kept finding more and more members of my class; finally we ran into the professor and still more people from the class and we moved en masse to a so-called temporary room. After my B- in the class last semester, I admit that I'm not exactly looking forward to this class. I mostly sat with my arms folded across my chest, glaring at the prof with what I hope was a look of utter contempt. He explained the grading system: they first looked at the group project as a whole, then at each individual effort. If your section was "weaker" then your grade was maybe a B or a B-. Whatever! As I said, I'm not looking forward to that class at all, since the lady in charge of my section is extremely picky. I honestly can't imagine doing any work that would merit an A from her, so I'm pretty much going through the motions.

At my full-time job, I happened to learn from another source that the boss is planning to move our "corporate headquarters" to Washington, DC. That doesn't surprise me, but I am a bit annoyed that he didn't tell me himself. Instead of wondering about it, I finally asked him how much longer he plans to keep the current office open, and he said probably through May. He added though that he plans to bring someone else in, but after the previous contract ends in March he may not be able to keep me on as well. I assured him that I understand completely, and I really do. My school schedule is very inconvenient for him to work around. Plus, I could definitely use some time off to concentrate on my schoolwork.

January 22, 2004 @ 06:12 PM
» mad semester


Yesterday, we met for the first time for concrete design. The professor was out of town for the first week of class, then we were off on Monday for the holiday. Upon arrival, someone tells me that we may not need the book - the book which I have already purchased. The book that I probably cannot return because the last day to return books was the day before our frickin' class met! GRRR! Plus, I'm going to have to purchase a new concrete manual, because I have the old one. :laughs bitterly: I was so crazy to think that I wouldn't need to buy any books for this class that I've already had the first part of.

This morning I was late, so I wound up having to awkwardly find a seat at the front of the room. Sigh.

All this schoolwork seems to be piling up, and I don't know where to begin.

Well, I was going to ramble some more, but I'm sure there's something else I should be doing. I'll probably be back, though, when I think of something else.

January 26, 2004 @ 05:32 PM
» break it down


Yep, new look for the site. I think this one with a wider entry space is more appropriate, since I tend to ramble. On the other hand, the short entries will look really short. Ah, well. I'll say again how much I admire those people who create free website templates for others to use. Thanks a million guys - you rock!

In other news, is there anything sadder than checking your email several times only to find there are still no new messages? Sigh.

Also sad is that I am really in a bad mood, that started yesterday when I spent hours and accomplished literally nothing on my homework. Sigh. Why did I pick such a hard class as an elective?

These classes six days a week are really starting to wear on my nerves. True, this will be the first week that all classes meet (unless we have snow :crosses fingers:) but I think it's that Saturday lab that's really got me wiped. It started out badly when we met the first week of classes, which labs usually don't do. Then, the others in the class keep trying to reschedule it; if they move it to Friday, they are really going to mess up my work schedule even more than it already is. Anyway, Saturday was the one morning that I could regularly sleep in, and sort-of ease into my day. Now, I have to get up early and go traipse around outside. *groans*

I admit that the lab itself isn't so bad, once we get going, but it's just having yet another day that I have to go somewhere . . . we all need a break every now and then.

January 28, 2004 @ 09:49 AM
» Hump Day Rant-Fest


Can you tell that I don't write to my on-line friends as much as I did? I can, because when I have something to say and no one to say it to, I wind up over here. I also write here when I don't want to say certain things to my e-pals, or when I feel like saying something would be too much rambling about myself.

My biggest pointless worry today is trying to obtain the most recent eps of my favorite show. (It's only shown on cable where I live, which I don't have.) Someone wants to trade eps with me, but then I have to find those eps and copy them, cutting out the commercials . . . I'd rather just send them money - although I guess this is a more honest way to do it. I would just send them the tape, but all the eps are not on a single tape. I guess it would be easier to get cable, but I cannot imagine paying $80 a month (or whatever crackhead fee they're charging) to watch one show. GRRR - this is really a hassle. I got spoiled because my previous source lasted for so long. He might still come back, but I like to have a backup plan.

Another rant: this morning I find an email that the boss "reduced my vacation accrual." It said that it would increase again when I worked 40 hours again. I wanted to snarkily write, "Whatever. Although I don't plan to return to working 40 hours a week, here." That's annoying me especially because since the other guy left so suddenly, now I have all this extra crap to do, then there's the boss, reducing my benefits, acting as if he's afraid I'm going to actually get something. Plus, the extra work I have to do is that crappy HR stuff, and I *loathe* that. All those prissy new employees call with questions, and they have such a belligerent tone in their voice - I admit that I'll blow them off whenever I can, just to try to take them down a notch or two. You win more flies with honey, you know.

Yet another rant: this darn homework . . I've tried it and tried it, but I can't get past the "simple" part of the problem setup to actually solve the other part! D'OH!! And I keep hearing the professor's voice in my head, that if we do not do the homework, we will fail the class. Way to put pressure on us, the first day of class, Dr. T!

Same class, different rant, I paid over $100 for the book that the bookstore said was required for that class, then on day one of class - which was of course one day past the deadline to return books - the prof says that we don't need that book, not even as a reference. I strongly suspected that the bookstore wouldn't take it back, but I found myself stopping in there yesterday anyway, to ask. I talked to four different people, finally winding up in a bit of a showdown with a girl that had a very stressed/angry/belligerent voice. I wanted to tell her that I could be all of that as well, since I'm probably the one that's going to get screwed here. She insisted that the professor told them that the book I had was the one we needed. In all of this, I'm mostly mad at myself, because before I bought it, I kept thinking that I should wait until the class meets, to be sure it's the right one. Then I thought, "No, they say it's the one we need. I'll go ahead and get it and save myself a trip." D'OH!!! Next time, I'll listen to you, Inner Voice.

OOHH! I thought I was almost done ranting, but there's at least one more. Last night at the part-time job, we were at a small clothing store. I remember being glad that it was small, thinking that we'd probably be done in less than three hours. WRONG! We had two EXTREMELY SLOW counters - then the other good counter left after four hours because she was "sick." We finished about thirty minutes after that; if she had stayed we could've all left in fifteen minutes, I'm sure. Then after letting one person go, the team leader asks if I can stay. No, as a matter of fact, I cannot, because it's almost midnight, and I still have to get up and go to my other job in the morning. He should have asked before letting that other lady leave. Again, the Inner Voice told me right before we finished that I should tell the TL that I'll have to leave very soon, but I didn't. D'OH! When will I learn?

January 30, 2004
» working class dog


Thanks to scheduling issues, this is the first week that I'm having classes all six days, and I don't think I like it too well. It's one class a day, but I have to make six trips a week to the college. :groan: I know that plenty of people have a much tougher load, but this one is almost too much for me, since I work too. Even working less than forty hours . . . my days are still pretty full.

For the last few weeks, I've had quite a bit of work at my part-time job. Now that it seems to be slowing down, I'm at a loss for how to handle the evenings that I have "free." (Note to self: why not do something crazy, like homework?) I really think I get more done when I have more to do. At my day-time job for example, this has honestly been one of the busiest weeks I ever remember having in all of the four years that I've been there. Still, I really feel like I've accomplished something; it's nice to feel as if I've given them an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. We found a lady to come in and answer the phone on the days that I go to work later. Since there's someone else sharing my area now, I cleaned it: IMHO, it looks better than it has in a long time. :gives self cookie:

In other news, I was checking my site stats for Laugh Lines, Love Lines and noticed that it has a lot of referrals from search engines; this morning I searched google.com for "love lines" and, lo and behold, my site is currently the number one result for that search. Number one out of 5,640,000: I hope those searchers are looking for quotes!

This morning also, after over a year with your-site I discovered that their site stats program lists results for more than the top ten pages -- all this time, I thought that since only the top ten were displayed, only the top ten were tracked. Apparently that isn't true, and I'm glad. I really like that feature, which is why I will be hosting another site with that company . . . more on that after the site is up. Here's a hint: I'm moving one of my current sites.

February 6, 2004
» secrets


In the previous entry, I mentioned that I was moving one of my sites. I'm proud to announce that I have (mostly) completed the move, and Angel's Secrets is now located at its new home: www.secretsofangel.com. It was at its old location for about seven years, and I probably would have left it there - since that's the URL that is listed everywhere - if I could have updated my billing info at Yahoo. Long story short, I couldn't so I decided to move the site while I had a few months left to advertise the new location at the old one. Well, technically, the old one will remain up, but after the paid account ends, the more well-known URL won't work any more. I hate that I'll probably lose some visitors, but I'm excited about the new site. It's fitting that my largest site should have its own domain, plus maybe now that it's not at Geocities, it'll get a little bit of respect. One of the website directories currently lists it as a "drooling fan site." I resent that: I do NOT drool! :wipes mouth with sleeve:

In other news, four weeks after the semester started, my design project group finally had our first meeting for the semester. I really thought we had a clear plan of what we needed to do . . . what was I thinking? We did the same thing as always: puttered and wasted time. Sigh. Fortunately, after the class yesterday I know what I need to work on this weekend.

As the meeting started Eddie was ordering Chinese food, and he was asking people want they wanted. As I was sipping from my Taco Bell cup, he asks if I want anything. I decline, and he asked playfully, "Don't you want to be fat like me?" while rubbing his stomach. (I explained that I had just gone to Taco Bell.) He's a big guy - tall with yummy shoulders - but he is *definitely* not fat. I would describe him as "manly." :dreamy sigh: I still find him attractive but I think my crush on him has cooled off dramatically. I also think I'm not the only one who finds him attractive; the other girl in our group seems to mention him/talk to him every chance she gets. Plus, one of the girls in my classes last year mentioned him a lot as well, and several times I noticed her watch him as he entered the room. Yes, she probably noticed me watching him a few times too . . . I'm telling you, the man is fine!

Again though, my crush on him has really dwindled: I can now concentrate easily on other things while he's around. *grins* In fact, it becomes increasingly obvious that his personality and interests are very much incompatible with mine. This weekend, for example, he excitedly told us that he is going to Birmingham to see The Undertaker. Not quite familiar with who - or what - that could be, I almost asked if that was a singer. As he talked I began to suspect that it was some wrestler. (Side note: see, this is why I often keep quiet. When I start talking, goofiness ensues.) Anyway, the differing interests I could handle, because I certainly don't expect my guy to like exactly the same things I do, but the attitude . . . the most unattractive thing that Eddie does is put people down. I've heard him three or four times talk about some girl being "ugly" and that makes me think of him as unfair and judgmental. The way he and his buddies have something negative to say about practically every person in their lives, I sometimes get a wee bit paranoid and wonder what they say when I'm not around.

When I started to write about Eddie - umpteen paragraphs ago - I made another mental note not to visit any of my sites from the school's computers. I mean, what if someone found that site, then found their way here? Then what if they recognized who I was talking about and told Eddie? Or what if they didn't immediately recognize who I was talking about but they started searching and found a picture of me, then recognized me, put two and two together, and told Eddie? My on-line bud Frances wrote recently that she's paranoid that people in her real-life will find her on-line journal: I feel your pain! Yet, I'm still here, rambling. And at some point during the semester, I'll probably visit one of my sites from the school's computer lab. Hmmm . . . I guess you could say I'm tempting fate. ;o)

February 6, 2004 11:23 AM


I'm laughing as I type this: I was reading the earlier entries and I had completely forgotten about that manager-guy trying to flirt with me. *chuckles* See, THIS is why I'm so big into writing things down: they later provide an endless source of amusement.

Since Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching, I thought I'd post a little story for those of you who, like me, are love-less this year.

If this is Love, I'll take Spaghetti.

Several years ago, I was dating a divorced guy who had several kids. Since he was divorced and he wanted to spend time with The Brats as well, for Valentine's Day, he decided that he and I should have lunch with them, then we would have lunch alone later.

So, I met them at the restaurant, and it went the way of our usual times together: minimal conversation and maximum angst. I didn't think it was that bad because I'm not really much of a chatty person anyway. (If you can believe that.)

But as we were parting ways in the parking lot, my boyfriend seemed suddenly moody. He practically shoved my gift into my hands then left with the kids in a bit of a huff. He had said that we'd still see each other that night, so I continued with my plan to treat him with home-made cookies. Long story short, the cookies burned and he never showed up - apparently he was ill because he didn't feel that I "reached out" to the kids enough.

The happy ending here is that after I dumped his sorry buh-utt, he tried to call me again no less than four times, trying to get back together with me, and every time my response was a firm, "No way, Jose." Maybe next time he'll give his woman - whoever that poor soul is - a little respect.

February 10, 2004 @ 03:05 PM
» monkeys on the 'Net


A long-overdue gripe about a fellow webmaster: he started off on the wrong foot, when the first message he posted on *my* forum was to brag that his site was the number-one result on a search engine that I rarely use. Um, okay - whatever. Then, I realized that I'd seen the design of his site before - on another site! I posted that message and he replied that the other person stole it from him. Then that webmiss said that he stole it: I cannot believe all of this . . . I expect much better of this fandom.

I wrote that I believed the other webmiss because I had discovered her site first. Also she has links to other sites and a guest book, so other people can reach her. The braggart links to no one, which makes me wonder what he's hiding. He posted a message in my forum again last week, and I visited his site for the first time in ages, and I see that he's added a links page. I clicked there and see that he will add people's links to that page for TWENTY DOLLARS A YEAR! You have GOT to be kidding me!! But wait, there's more. Two sites are already listed, and one of them is mine. I'm tempted to write and ask him to remove my link, because I don't want anyone to think for a second that I paid him to be listed. :sits up indignantly: The nerve!

February 16, 2004
» "A river divides us."


I'm writing this from the computer lab at the college. I was off of work today so I came to school early to try to work on the senior project. That was a good plan, but on the drive here I realized that I'd left some materials that I needed at home. Then when I arrived at school I sat at the computer and here I've been. Ah, well.

I hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day. Mine was . . . well . . . better than some of the disastrous ones that I've lived through. I went to get the oil changed on my car and right before I left, the mechanic presented me with a red carnation and wished me a happy day. I'm sure that they were doing that for all of their lady customers, so don't think it was just for me or anything. *g* Still, I really appreciated it. In the evening, after finishing my homework, I watched Shakespeare in Love, which I have decided to make a Valentine's Day tradition. (The movie, not the homework, that is.) I saw that movie years ago, but I had forgotten how good it is. I liked it so much that I watched most of it again the next day. Without spoiling the ending for anyone who hasn't seen it, I'll just say that it fits with the way I feel about love these days.

Speaking of love, or something like it, our design project group met last week, but it was just Eddie, Melissa, and me. Eddie asked again where I went after graduation, when I just "disappeared." (Call me crazy, but when he asks questions like that, trying to find out about me, my intuition tells me that he's trying to find out if I was married or am seeing anyone.) In typical vague fashion, I said that I worked for a few years before deciding that I wanted to become an engineer. He said, "You must have been smoking some bad dope that day." lol! I agreed, "Apparently, I was on crack." While we were asking questions, I said that I had one for him, and asked when he started going by "Eddie;" he explained that the coach started calling him that in ninth grade and it sort of stuck. I think I would have told the coach that if he wants my attention he should call me by my actual name.

Over the course of the evening we chatted quite a bit. Among other things, he also remembered that I went on a trip ("to New York or Washington DC, or somewhere") when I was in high school. It was Washington DC, but I was really surprised that he remembered that. I don't care if he does have a girlfriend: deep down, no one can convince me that he's not a little bit interested in me. Whether he is or not - I may have written this before - I wouldn't really pursue a relationship with him, because we're too different. Still, it's really fun to flirt. :wink:

In other news, last week while searching through floor plans, I found the one that I have liked ever since it found it in a magazine years ago. I'm thrilled with this find because it means that one important part of the home-finding/home-buying process is under way. It's far from over but at least I have some sort of direction.

February 18, 2004 @ 01:10 PM
» Woe is me - I am undone!


I just checked the message board for my favorite now-defunct band and what do I see? Some chick, claiming to be dating one of them (she won't say which one) was asking for info on what the show and it's fans, etc. used to be like. Why do I get the awful feeling that she's seeing the guy that I really like? And more importantly, why does that bring me down so much? Do I stand any chance whatsoever of meeting the guy? No. Even if I did meet him, is there any chance whatsoever of him being my soulmate? No. So why does it hurt my feelings?

I felt the same way when I learned that Orlando Bloom was "in love" with someone. I know it's crazy but . . . it's the way my life always goes. Even in real life, if I like a guy that's actually worth having, you can bet your bippy that someone's already got him.

On a different but equally not-good subject, this project/group work is really getting ugly. The other girl in the group is so quick to dismiss anything I suggest, yet she admits that she doesn't know what we're supposed to be doing. Then, she doesn't even seem to want to try to work on the project with me. That's fine with me, but no one had better accuse me of not doing anything for the project. I don't have time (or interest) to chase them down and beg them to let me help.

More woe - my hair. :cries: I tried a new salon on Sunday for a trim and now it looks awful. I wish I had put it in a ponytail . . . and I just might do so before class. How do some people get their hair to look so great? Are they born with good hair? Do they spend hours working on it, or what? I wish I knew. As with most of my physical features my hair is plain, frequently crossing the border into ugly.

February 20, 2004
» what lies beneath


Yesterday a guy that I briefly dated was the speaker in the Senior Design Project. I knew that he would be there because his name was on the schedule. Heck, he has taught courses before (but none that I've taken), so seeing him around campus is not a surprise. Anyway, I was hoping to sit quietly unnoticed in my back row seat but I was slightly late to class, walking in the room right after he did, so I had to go around him to get to my seat. He looked at me; I smiled a knowing smile and walked on. Then, during his lecture he mentioned that he plans to retire to the south of Spain, and someone remarked that he would need a lot of money to do so. He replied, "That's one good thing about being single: you can save money." Since he mentioned that he's still single I was hoping to leave the class without having a chance to speak to him. I didn't think it would be a problem because as I stood up to leave he was talking to someone else. However, my path was blocked when the student in front of me paused to chat, then we were leaving just as Tim finished his conversation. He said, "Hey, Anne." I said, "Hey, Tim." Melissa and I spoke briefly to him about the project before he started off down the hall, opposite of us. Melissa asked how I know him and I admitted that we dated. She said, in what I think was a snarky tone, "Wow - now he's an engineer and you're *still* in school." I pointed out that he was already an engineer when we were dating. Yes, some people are blessed early on in life with good direction and opportunities. For the rest of us, it takes a bit longer.

Although I had planned to not mention that part of my past to any of my current classmates, I'm glad that Melissa was there. Maybe I'm paranoid (or maybe I'm thinking way too highly of myself) but I had the feeling that Tim was going to try to casually ask me out again. He's nice enough, and he's not bad looking, and he has a great job. He'd be a good husband for someone, but as with so many of the guys I know, there's no chemistry between us.

Earlier this week I had another blast from the past when I saw Darrell, a guy I used to work with. It was at Taco Bell; I was finishing my meal and he was paying for his, and I thought I recognized the back of his head. I said, "Hey, you," in what I hope was a friendly, familiar tone. We chatted about standard catch-up chat stuff. He asked about school and I said that this is my last semester. Ever helpful, he asked if I'd applied for a job at a certain local company - um, not yet - and he said that he'd let me know if he hears anything. I'm not holding my breath, but hey, you never know. He worked at my "day-time job" about three years ago, and he left under not-so-good terms with the bosses, so he might help me find a new job just to spite them. *g*

In his defense, the bosses had the problem because they believe that they are never wrong . . . I know that I've mentioned that before. Everyone else can see how smart and capable Darrell is; now I'm gushing, aren't I? I admit it, I developed a huge crush on him - which could never go anywhere because he is happily married, I'll quickly point out. Looking at him, you'd never think of him being "crushable" because he's pretty thin, he wears glasses, he's bald and his ears stick out a bit. But his personality is just so . . . dynamic. He's so positive and smart. :sighs dreamily: You know, people act as if describing someone as having a "good personality" is what you say when there's nothing else nice to say about the person, and maybe there are people out there who really don't care what their partner has to say as long as they look nice. But I'm not one of those people, and I can assure you that any man I wind up with will not be one of those people either.

February 27, 2004
» They really like me?


I've been sitting here with my pencil in hand, trying to do the last homework problem in an assignment that is due on Monday. Okay, I admit it: I put the pencil down before I started surfing the Web. Okay, I also admit that was over an hour ago. Sigh. :turns chair so I can't see the books:

Yesterday, I went to class in the morning, then to work, then back to the college in the evening, which should not surprise anyone because I pretty much live there these days. (I'm getting used to that, btw; I don't really expect to get home before nine pm anymore.) Anyway, we were meeting with an instructor who is helping us calculate the loads on our structure. I don't think that instructor is teaching any classes this semester, so it's *really* nice of him to come in after work to help us with this stuff: I'm going to take up a collection and get him a gift certificate to a nice restaurant, or something.

While we waited for The Man to arrive, the conversation fell to griping about the project, and Eddie said, "Yeah, our group has all the people that no one likes." For the sake of any new visitors to this site, I'll point out that I'm in his group, but he's said before that we're the outcasts, so this is no surprise. But this time another guy said, "Well, everyone likes Anne." (Again, for the sake of the new visitors - he was talking about me!) I was moved: really? EVERYONE likes me? Eddie said with a laugh, "Not any more!" I think he was saying this because I was in the Outcast group because he added, "She's in MY group now." The odd thing is that I think he then said, "I made sure of that." What?! I must have heard that wrong . . . right? He's not exactly chummy with the project advisors and I can't imagine him telling them that he and I should be in the same group.

In other project news, following The Man's advice, I actually did some work on the project. (I know: gasp!) Since most of the calculations are very repetitive I set up a spreadsheet to crunch the numbers: I'm not completely done, but now I'm in very good shape. I told the group what I did, and Melissa was thrilled. Technically, she's supposed to be doing the structural stuff, but I don't mind helping. For one thing, I do want to contribute to the group's effort, and I'm ashamed to say that I haven't done too much until this point. For another thing, Melissa has the habit of nitpicking over little facts; that is really starting to annoy me because we don't have time to make this one hundred percent perfect.

Speaking of which . . . homework awaits.

February 27, 2004 @ 11:43 AM
» isn't anyone trying to find me?


Yeah, I'm not posting here so much: good or bad, I'm trying to ramble at the other site. Still, I'll come here for the REALLY pointless rambling . . . . though some might find it hard to see the difference.

Lately I've been thinking about adding a counter to the other journal. I'd like to check out the referrals and see where visitors are coming from - lately, I find that more fasicnating than the actual number of visitors. But, the number of visitors would be there, and what if no one visited the site? Though I know it's silly, I'm sure that I'd feel rejected. Then again, what if it gets, like, 20 visitors a day or something - I'd be intimidated. I already feel like I'm writing for other people - and I really am, to some extent - but then again, not knowing if anyone ever visits the site, I occasionally do post an innermost thought there. As curious as I am to see where (or maybe if) visitors are coming from, I'll probably fight the urge to add a counter for a while.

In other news, next week I'm going to talk to a bank about getting a loan, to build a home. I'm excited, and I have a ton of questions. If they tell me I can't afford it at this point I'll probably be quite depressed, since I plan to start a new job in a couple of months. Hopefully, the pay will be more, but I'm pretty sure that the bank doesn't lend to people who have just started a job. I know that I could do one of those financial calculators to see how much I'm able to borrow, but no one can convince me that those things are accurate. I wouldn't want to go ahead and talk to a builder with just that randomly-generated number to go on. Talking to the bank, I figure that even if they turn me down, I'll know where I stand.

I'm not planning to rush into anything but I'm getting very impatient, wanting my own place. We've lived in our current house for so long . . . . it's starting to irk me because it's not mine. It's the same old floors, same old walls, same old piles of junk: oh, to be able to fill the rooms the way I want them to be. Plus, I guess part of me also feels like having a house would be something accomplished, you know? I'm 30 years old, and still living at home, and it's starting to shame me. I know, I know, there's no shame really, because for me, having an apartment would just be a huge waste of money. But I know that people think it's weird to be this old, living at home. Plus, it is a struggle, living with Mom who still has a tendency to try to baby me.

I'm sure it would be easier to buy a house than to try to have one built, but since I've found the plan again, that I've liked for so long, I can't imagine finding another house that would please me. Plus, this way I can still be close to my family. Close is okay, just as long as it's not under the same roof. *g*

March 4, 2004
» all I can do is all I can do


What is with so many 'Alias' sites shutting down? I admit, this current season is not my favorite, but as one reviewer said, that show is still way better than ninety-five percent of what's on television. I may not update my site as much as I - or the visitors - would like, but I look at it this way: it has plenty of stuff to entertain people between updates. For better or for worse, I have no plans to shut down my site any time soon.

My current number one website priority is the Angel site, because it has the most episodes left to review. Since it is now at its own domain, I'd like for it to be as up-to-date as possible. I really hope that show gets picked up by UPN. I know that it's a long shot, so I'm trying not to get my hopes up . . . but that would be great. Then I could actually see the shows as they air!

School-wise, things are busy, busy, busy. There is literally always something I could be working on, for one class or another. Today I was hoping to complete the majority of my current project task, but I'm so lazy. For the past few days I've been feeling pretty alert, like I really understand what people at school are saying and what I need to do. Today, that is definitely not the case. It's almost a struggle to try to focus on whatever topic I should be focusing on. Sigh. Plus, there is an FE review session tonight for circuits that I really need to attend, but there's this whole being-lazy thing to consider. Still, I really need to start preparing for that exam (read "massacre") because I haven't done anything for it yet. Sigh again.

Happily, one of my projects seems to be moving along nicely: earlier this week, I went to talk to my bank, to get information about getting a loan to build a house. The lady I spoke with was very helpful; she gave me several checklists of things to do as well as an estimate of what I can borrow. After that meeting, the big obstacle/concern was wondering if the loan process would be completed before my daytime job tells me that they can't afford to keep me. Today, the boss broached the subject of what would happen over the next few months, and he seems confident that they can keep me through the end of April. That thrills me: I may be wrong, but I believe that's more than enough time to close on the loan.

I've made an appointment to see a builder next week, to get an estimate. As I see it, the last obstacle that could delay this dream is the builder's cost estimate being too high. The builder said that he could provide an estimate from just the plan in a magazine, but I went ahead and ordered a "planning set" of blueprints, because I really want to know what to expect. It's true that I have no idea what it costs to build a home, but the plan I like is small, so I can't imagine that it will cost *that* much - certainly not more than the bank said that I could borrow. If it's more than that, I'll - grudgingly - accept that I don't need it right now.

Okay, that's enough rambling for now. How about some pictures?

March 5, 2004 11:06 AM


And now it's time for another strange tale of

Monkeys on the 'Net

I have a long-overdue gripe about a fellow webmaster: he started off on the wrong foot with me when the first message he posted on *my* forum - not here, one from one of my other sites - was to brag that his site was the number-one result on a search engine that I rarely use. Um, okay - whatever.

Then, I realized that I'd seen the design of his site before - on another site! Since I first saw the design elsewhere, I posted a "Shame on you!" message and he responded that the other person stole it from him. Then that webmiss replied, saying that he stole it. All of this mudslinging really peeved me . . . I expect much better of this fandom.

I wrote that I believed the other webmiss because I had discovered her site first. I also believe her because she has links to other sites and a guest book, so other people can reach her. The braggart links to no one, which makes me wonder what he's hiding. He posted a message in my forum again last week, and I visited his site for the first time in ages, and I see that he's added a links page. I clicked there and see that he will add people's links to that page for TWENTY DOLLARS A YEAR! You have GOT to be kidding me!!

But wait, there's more. Two sites are already listed, and one of them is mine. I'm tempted to write and ask him to remove my link, because I don't want anyone to think for a second that I paid him to be listed. The nerve!

March 11, 2004
» smashed


Today we had our midterm presentation for the senior design project. It could have been much worse, but as I feared, one of the professors asked a question or two about my part of the project. Then she told me not to wait to work on it, or something to that effect. Darn it, I HAVE been working on this thing, but I've been helping out with another part because those people don't know what to do. Plus, the professor asking the question, the one who is the advisor for my part of the project, has been out sick for weeks - I think it blows royally that she showed up just in time to critique our work without having been around to help us. However, the other groups seem to be doing fine; now I look like the sole lazy person in the class, I guess. Whatever.

On Sunday, my sister had a car wreck; she only received a few large, dark bruises on her side, but her car is really smashed. A truck hit her passenger's side, and all of the glass on that side of the car shattered, into the car from the looks of it. I didn't tell her or my mother but one of the witnesses told me that she was lucky to be alive: from what he saw, after the impact they thought her car was going to roll over.

Gee, I'm full of good news today, yes? Actually, the worst part of this wreck is having to deal with the insurance company. She was still making payments on that car, so if it isn't worth fixing, hopefully the insurance will give her enough money to pay off what she owed.

After I posted the previous entry, where I stated my hope that Angel would be picked up by UPN, I read that UPN would not pick up Angel. Curse you, UPN - and you too, WB. (A plague on both your networks!) Well, since it looks like I'll be losing one of the two shows I watch, I guess I'll have a lot more free time when this current season ends . . . Well, that's true also because I'll be graduating in 65 days. *smiles*

March 12, 2004 @ 05:11 PM
» the hopes and fears of all the years


Earlier this week I talked to a builder about what I'd like in my new home; he took the information and said he'd get back to me in about a week with the estimated cost to build it. I've been pretty busy, so I haven't had time to dwell on it, but now I find myself with a moment and I'm wondering what he will say. I mean, this is a big deal: if he says something like $90,000 it will pretty much be out of my price range at this time.

This is closer than I've ever been to realizing this dream and it's . . . scary. I dare not dream that I can actually afford it: what if I can't get it now? Then again, what if I CAN. Wow. I'm already picking out what door I'll use, and from the plans I've already designated a junk drawer. I keep thinking that I should probably start now, buying stuff I'll need, but then I scold myself not to "jinx" it. lol.

I don't have many dreams. For the last few years my expectations from life have been minimal. Even now as I'm about to graduate from college, I wouldn't call that fulfilling a dream - it's more like something that just happened. But getting a house has been the one constant dream I remember, I guess because unlike something like getting married - which I believe has staggering odds against me ever finding a man that I would actually marry - getting a house is something I can do.

Even though I said I'm trying not to expect the cost to be affordable: deep down, I do think it will be. I've been praying about it - a lot - and everything seems to be happening just right. I found a current source for the plan that I liked about ten years ago. The bank's estimated amount that I could borrow was more than I expected. Plus, since I plan to build on land my mom owns, the bank said that I could probably use the equity to pay for the down payment, something I definitely didn't expect! I even had some concerns about my job situation lasting until I close on the loan, but those have since been put away after a talk with my boss. Some might chalk all of this up to coincidence, but I don't believe that. I feel like I'm watching in awe as the whole universe works to make my dream happen.

*smiles* Well, that was a bit grand, wasn't it? You know, honestly, even if it doesn't happen now, I'll believe that it's for the best, according to God's plan for me. Either way, it's exciting to watch.

March 16, 2004


Well hello there, old friend. Yes I'm feeling rambly and d-x is down. Ah well . . . I have plenty of places to vent. ;)

This is a particularly stressful time for me. I'm not really feeling stressed, but I probably would if I stopped and thought about all that's going on. School is demanding a lot of time, and I still don't feel that I'm accomplishing anything. At work, today I mailed out two weeks notices to most of our local employees. I've asked the boss if I can remain until I close on the loan for my house, and he said that I could, but it still feels like a race against time, wondering if I'll get everything done before they have to let me go. I'm waiting to hear back from the builder with the estimate: this is a critical event because the number he quotes will determine whether I pursue it or have to wait for several more years. I'm trying not to speculate about it, but I really believe he will say something affordable.

Since I'll be gradutaing, er, um, *graduating* in two months, I'm making an effort to get my resume together and go to the job fair, which by the way is tomorrow. Although I've been planning to go, I know when I get there, I'll get a bit shy. Well, I'll have to get over it, because shyness is not going to win me a job. And I'll need a job to continue to pay for the house that I really believe I'll get.

I could elaborate but I'll just say that I have several projects in the air. As I said, I'm not worried about the outcomes, but I'll be glad when I start to see the projects each come to a close.

March 19, 2004
» "You rush a miracle man, you get shoddy miracles."


Can anyone tell me: does "neloo" mean something in French? Or in any other language for that matter? The mailbox for that account - an address that I have never given out, btw - gets a lot of mail from French addresses. That started me thinking that perhaps it means something in another language; I recall how Peter Marshall, producer (director? creator?) of "Happy Days," later learned that in one language Chachi refers to a, um, certain male body part. I certainly hope neloo doesn't mean anything like that. :blush:

Anyway, last week I met with a builder, to talk estimates. As I write this I still haven't heard back from him. :bites lip nervously: Doesn't he know that I'm on a tight timetable here?! Well, no, I guess he doesn't because I didn't mention it to him; I didn't want to rush him, you know? (Hence this entry's title from the Princess Bride.) I'm starting to get paranoid that since it's such a small project, maybe he didn't want to spend the effort on it. Then I try to calm down, reminding myself that he's got other projects going on as well. He's been in business in this area for a long time, so I know that he always has plenty to do. Still, if I haven't heard from him by next week, I'll call and politely say, "I just wanted to check, in case I missed your call . . . "

Despite my boss's claim that they can keep me on through the end of April, I still feel like I'm running a race, to get a loan while I'm still employed. Some might think I'm crazy to take on a loan while my job situation is a bit unclear, but believe me, I would make my loan payment if I had to go back into waitressing. I just keep thinking that if I don't get the loan now, I'll have to wait until I've been at my new job for a couple of years to qualify and that would seriously bum me out. If I don't get the loan now, I'll feel like I wasted all the time I spent there. Sure, they paid me, but what else would I have to show for it?

Although I do get a bit anxious from time to time about it, deep down, I really believe that it's going to happen. At first I was trying to not think much about it one way or the other, almost as if I was afraid of "jinx"ing it or something. But the more I thought of it, the more I agree with my friend Michele: it's important to believe in what you want and to visualize yourself succeeding.

My, my, don't I sound like a motivational speaker? Believe me, I don't think of myself as some starry-eyed, you-can-do-it dreamer. For the last few years my expectations from life have been minimal. Even now as I'm about to graduate from college, I wouldn't call that fulfilling a dream - it's more like something that just happened. But getting a house has been the one constant dream I remember, I guess because unlike something like getting married - which I believe has staggering odds against me ever finding a man that I would actually marry - getting a house is something I can do.

Next week, we have Spring Break from school, but I have plenty of work looming over my head. I just hope that I don't get lazy and skip it. The danger of that is even greater because I'll be working long hours at my part-time job both days this weekend.

March 22, 2004 @ 09:16 AM
» is this fate or just a bad day?


"It's been a while, since I've gone and ****ed things up, just like I always do . . ."

I'm sure my terrible mood is caused by hormones - or mental instability - or something, but I am in a huge funk, feeling like everything is my life is so messed up. Recently I've been feeling happy, or at least positive, looking forward to this attempt to get my house, but now even that dream seems tainted.

I admit that I really think this is supposed to teach me something: like that email I got, saying "Sad is easy, happy is hard." We have to choose to be happy, choose to reject those paranoid little thoughts that creep in and try to steal our joy. See, though I say that, when those thoughts keep returning, I wonder if there is something to them after all . . .

This week, I'm off from school but there's still plenty of stuff I need to do. But I'll be working all day, and that doesn't leave much time in the evenings for those things that I really need to do. Shouldn't I have a moment to rest?! I guess I can rest after I graduate, in two months.

At church yesterday, the teacher suggested we all go to see that movie, then talk about it. I didn't raise my hand as wanting to go, but everyone else did. So, the teacher starts asking everyone - me included - what day and time are good. I agreed that Friday was good, but I don't know if I'm going. At first I was positive that I wasn't going, then I was positive that I was going, and now I just don't know.

In the past two days I worked 22 hours at my part-time job, and I even realized before I did that it would leave me cranky this week. Now I wonder if that's it, or if it's something else. (Surely that's a factor.)

Oh, and this weekend, a guy at work was flirting with me again. Groan. Why can't people just leave me alone? I know that people think I'm weird because I don't actively pursue a relationship. (Like running around from one pointless affair to the next would make me normal!) I've dated people - more than I care to admit - when I knew they weren't The One but I still hung out with them, and what a surprise, it ended badly. Now I know better than to go out with someone just to see where it goes. The next guy I date, I want to be attracted to him and actually want to go out with him; not like before where some guy would ask me out, and I'd think with a shrug, "Why not."

Also, I caught a glimpse of myself from a different angle in a store mirror yesterday and can I just say: YUCK! I've known that my hair is one of my worst features, but it looks worse than I thought! And my clothes . . . and don't even get me started on my face. I am truly amazed that any guys ask me out at all: what on earth are they attracted to? See, that's my thinking: they're not attracted, they just think that I'll do until someone better comes along.

March 25, 2004
» gotta see a man about a horse


Seriously. This morning I found myself looking in the yellow pages under Horses. (See also Stables.) My bosses' son is getting married in May, and apparently their traditions have the groom riding up to the wedding on a white horse. How cool is that?! I'm certainly nowhere near marriage, but I keep imagining my own Prince Charming riding valiantly up, looking so handsome in a tuxedo. He'd stop and extend his hand to help me up - which would be no small task, as I'd be wearing a wedding gown. Dreamy sigh.

Then reality sets in. Sigh again. This week is Spring Break from classes, but since I'm working full-time during the day and have plans for three evenings, I'm not really feeling all that rested. Plus, I worked 22 hours at my part-time job last weekend, and I accepted another all-day gig this coming Sunday.

I found out last week that I will be taking the FE exam on April 17th so, in addition to a ton of project work that I have to do, I need to make time to review the material for that test. The other night, after talking about the test with a fellow student, I dreamed that I was taking it, and instead of being multiple choice, the questions were essay-type. All I had to write on was a small memo pad, and the proctor yelled at me when I asked for more paper. :nervous laugh: The final presentation for the senior design project is on April 27th . . . oh, yes, that's going to be a stressful, busy time. There's a good chance that I will cut back on website work around that time . . .

In other news, I still haven't heard back from the builder about the estimate, even though I called on Tuesday and left a message at his office. After I'd already planned to meet with him, someone told me that he didn't build much these days. I figured that if he didn't want the job he would have told me on the phone when I first asked about getting an estimate. I'm considering talking to another builder, but the first guy still has my set of plans. Happily, another part of the project is moving along nicely: I'm to meet with a surveyor tomorrow morning to discuss what I need from him. Also, my boss mentioned his plan for the next few months again yesterday, and this time he said that they can (probably) keep me on until June. I'm trying not to get too comfortable with that, because I hope it doesn't take that long to get the loan, but him saying that makes me feel a little more relaxed. Still, I'm anxiously awaiting word from the builder: when I know the estimate, as I see it, I'll be two steps away from actually applying for the loan. :gets excited, tries to calm down:

In the mean time, duty calls. Tonight I'm meeting someone (or perhaps some people) to work on the senior project. Tomorrow night, a group from my Sunday School class is going out to eat, then to see The Passion of The Christ. Saturday will be chocked full of school-related work, and maybe a small website update. Sunday, as mentioned, I have an all-day gig. . . . one of these days, I'm going to have to try one of those "breaks" that I've heard about.

March 26, 2004 @ 09:36 AM
» easy versus hard


After my XTREME pity party in the previous entry, I'm happy to report that I cheered up not long after I wrote that. Praise the Lord!

This week has been busy but far from terrible. I still haven't heard from the builder about my estimate; I'm trying to be patient but the silence is starting to concern me. At least the surveyor that I talked to is on the ball: I dropped info by his office on Wednesday afternoon and he called me the next day to set up a meeting to discuss the work. I met him this morning - he was right on time - and he's going to get to work. Plus, if his initial assessment is correct, it's going to be WAY cheaper than I thought! Praise the Lord again!

I admit, I was wondering pessimistically, after I dropped that info by his office, "Let's see how long it takes THIS guy to get back to me." I was pleasantly surprised that he got back to me so quickly. About the builder, if he doesn't want the job, I hope he'll just tell me so. As I said, I'm trying to be patient and realize that he has other projects going on, but it's going on three weeks since we talked. I haven't heard a word from him - even though I left him a message earlier this week - and he said he'd probably have the estimate in about a week. I'd hate to have to call and say, "Could I get my plans back? I can't wait on you: I'm finding someone else." I like to think that since he's so busy, it proves what good work he does.

More good news: last night, work on my biggest school project went much better than I could have hoped. (I found out later that I made a mistake, but correcting it is a small matter.) I went with a plan, and am proud to report that the plan went pretty much, um, as planned. I honestly call yesterday's work session the best one I've had since the project began. I've done plenty of work before, but I've felt that work was a half-hearted effort because I didn't really know what to do. Now ... yay! Something is done. There's still plenty of work to do, but at least this is a good start. I really appreciate that other guy working on it with me: I think pooling our efforts is a *great* idea.

I must give credit where it's due: I prayed about that study session, and it was definitely answered.

I was just thinking: once I get this part of the project done, I can pretty much pass it on to the other person, and SHE can work on it for a while. I'd forgotten that I didn't have to do this entire thing alone... Hopefully, I'll have a chance to work on my own part of the project!


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