Painted.

Jun. 15th, 2009 12:56 pm
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I have to give massive, massive props here to Michael, Crystal, Riff, and Kimmie, who gave their weekend to helping me paint my condo, a project I started and abandoned -- oh, the better part of a decade ago, actually, and living inside the unfinished results has been pretty insanely depressing. But now my home is well on its way to being a proud and brilliant gleaming white, and I can't thank my friends enough.

We completely finished the living room, the dining room, and the hallway, including the interior of the hall closet, and I tell ya -- it looks fan-freaking-tastic. We even got a decent start on the kitchen. Both it and the bedroom are, sadly, not very big -- so it's really not going to take a lot to finish the place.

This is just the start. I finally have the time, energy, and cash-on-hand to start making this place livable, in a way I haven't managed since I moved in here -- what, fifteen years ago? Something like that.

And when I'm done ...

....I think I'm finally going to have a housewarming party.

MMVIII.

Dec. 31st, 2008 04:52 pm
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This was .... a hell of a year, really.

I left a job that was slowly killing me even though I had no fallback plan for it. I was more broke than I've ever been, getting by on ramen and peanut butter sandwiches. I put together a spiffy redesign of webmutant and starting shopping my resume around, and now I'm paid quite well at a job I really enjoy.

They turned on the proton beam in the Large Hadron Collider, and the world didn't end. An exploding star halfway across the visible universe became the farthest known object ever visible to the naked eye. The SpaceX Falcon 1 was the first privately-developed spaceship to make orbit, and India launched Chandrayaan-1 to the moon. A woman in Spain became the first person to have a successful trachea transplant with a lab-grown replacement. We found snow, real snow, falling on Mars.

We lost George Carlin. And Gary Gygax and Edmund Hillary and Heath Ledger, Arthur C. Clarke and Forrest J. Ackerman and Stan Winston. And Boeing Surplus.

I had my first migraine. That's a club I was perfectly happy not being a member of,

The Merchants of Deva had to cancel our annual party at Norwescon, thanks to untenable new rules and regulations at the hotel. I joined the committee for Steamcon, and made it to an Orycon for the first time in years; it was pretty laid-back and uneventful, but it was nice to have a room at a con for just me and Ahna for a change.

I started using the jQuery Javascript library, and it finally made coding Javascript fun and easy.

I finally got to go to Florida for Halloween Horror Nights, and I got to take [livejournal.com profile] windbourne with me, and we went to DisneyWorld and Epcot while we were at it. I fell asleep on the plane and woke up to find my fear of flying was suddenly, inexplicably gone.

We saw Avenue Q and Phantom. And I saw English Beat, Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers, Goldfrapp, Cold War Kids, We Wrote the Book on Connectors, Vixy and Tony and Tricky Pixie (about a million times), and probably some other bands I'm forgetting. David Tennant announced he was leaving Doctor Who. Steven Moffat was tapped to be the new head writer, which I couldn't be happier about.

.... I got published. I have a story in a book, from a real publisher, a real book I can take down off the shelf and hold in my hands. And best of all, it's a Doctor Who book -- I'm finally, really genuinely a part of my favorite thing in the world. A small part, a footnote of a footnote, but still.

I bought myself a completely adorable little laptop. Used it to finish revisions on my fan-film script, write a new story for Halloween, enjoy having wireless Internet access practically everywhere I went, and now I've fried it stone dead. A short in either the power supply or the motherboard, most likely.

I put together lots of props for the Mercury's Doctor Who night, and everyone's amazed and delighted expressions made all the work totally worth it. That same weekend, my condo burst a pipe and had a terrible flood, and I've been living with a bare concrete floor in my dining room ever since.

The price of petroleum hit $100 per barrel for the first time, this year. Gas reached $4.00 a gallon. Our economy tanked, taking everyone else with it, but at least that brought oil crashing back down to $40 a barrel. Seattle was crippled by the most massive snowstorm in years.

I wasted hours and days of my life on someone I thought was one of my best friends, who turned out not to really be a friend at all. It's the first time I've ever had to explicitly tell someone I was done with them, and the first relationship of any kind I've looked back on with the sense that it was all just -- pointless. I let a lot of my other friendships fade during this time, and I wish to God I could just have that time back again.

I donated money to a political campaign for the first time in my life. I watched in horror as John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, the most calculated and cynical and anti-intellectual such choice I've ever seen, and even deeper horror as so many voters seemed to take her seriously. And then Barack Obama was elected, the country finally waking up from one long post-9/11 nightmare of hate and fear and choosing love and hope instead. Barack Obama didn't get the country to just believe in him -- he gave us a chance to believe in ourselves again.

I literally danced in the streets that night, with thousands of people, thousands, who could finally believe in their country again, who were laughing and crying and cheering and everyone was a friend, that night. It felt like we'd won a revolution without ever having to fire a single shot. It was, honestly, the most joyful and meaningful and profound night of my life and I will never forget it, not ever.

We reached the deep minimum of a long solar cycle, but after a slow start, it looks like Solar Cycle 24 is finally beginning. Maybe the future will be a little brighter.

You've been -- interesting, 2008, I'll give you that. Still, I won't be sorry to see you go tonight. Even if you do cling to life for one extra second.

Rebooting.

Jun. 24th, 2008 01:15 pm
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Six months ago:

My health and energy levels almost completely collapse. I had been spending most of my days off in bed because I couldn't make myself care about anything long enough to stay awake for it. The answer finally turns out to be buproprion, an atypical antidepressant. After spending a couple of weeks as a batshit-insane, impatient, hyper-lucid speed freak, my neurochemistry levels off and settles down to a perfectly functional level.

___________
Three months ago, almost to the day:

I quit my job. This is kind of a big deal; I've been working there off and on (but mostly on) for about four years now. (I don't really want to go into my reasons for leaving, but you can ask me privately off-line, if you like.)

I'm sure I'll be able to find another job easily enough, and in I do manage to keep myself focussed and actively looking better than I have in the past, but it's still fairly spotty. Bursts of frenetic activity interspersed with periods of apathy and despair, and occasional stretches of being "almost sure" I'm going to get some particular job, and therefore not really looking for any others.

I keep busy. I go on several interviews, most of them with recruiters rather than directly with companies. I work on a ton of websites. Aware that what I laughably call my "savings" won't last forever, I start building steampunk toy gun mods, with the intention of selling them on eBay. They look great, but I entirely fail to follow through with this.

___________
Two-and-a-half months ago:

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wendolen (I owe you dinner for this), I land a one-shot paying gig -- building a demo version of a hush-hush new project from the guys who launched Manifesto Games. Knowing that I'm at least doing something that will eventually generate income isn't quite as nice as, you know, actually having money, but it does help to keep my spirits up.

___________
Two months ago:

Months of unpaid electricity bills catch up to me, and the power to SIXBOX gets shut off. Aside from a few scattered nights spent at home in my very dark condo, I practically live with Ahna and Lars from that point on.

___________
Two weeks ago:

I run out of money completely. I survive by selling off some books and some CDs, scrounging together every tiny bit of spare change I have, and eating mostly ramen and peanut butter sandwiches. (In fact, I've been eating a lot less in general for the past couple of months, and it's starting to show -- I've lost something like twenty pounds. Poverty apparently agrees with me.)

Friends start asking me, couldn't you ask your mother for money? Yeah, I'm sure I could. That's not really the point. I'm not going to be able to rely on her to rescue me forever; I have to teach myself that actions have consequences.

I start relying on Ahna using her credit cards -- since I don't have any -- to pay off the bills I can't ignore, like the phone and car insurance, with the promise that I will pay her back as soon as the check from Manifesto Games arrives. Ahna continues to be patient and loving and generally entirely awesome.

___________
Last week:

I have my second interview with a company called CourtTrax. They have a web service that provides real-time searches of court records, which sounds to me like a good match with my experience. Like the first interview, it goes extremely well.

___________
The very next day:

They offer me the job. I accept. Go take a long, last look at their website -- completely redesigning it will be one of my first tasks. I'll be making three-and-a-half times the amount I was making at Blue Utopia. I'll have full coverage -- medical, dental and vision.

___________
Four days ago:

I wrap things up with the Manifesto Games project and send them an invoice.

___________
Tomorrow:

My first day at CourtTrax.

I will have everything I need for my life to begin again.
icebluenothing: (Default)
Whatever rumors you've heard about the four of us, they're probably true.

(And If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry about it.)

Mutated.

Apr. 22nd, 2008 07:13 pm
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I should probably mention .... I finally did quit my job a couple of weeks ago. Things just weren't working out.

Since I'm actively looking for a new job, and since my portfolio site was starting to feel hopelessly outdated to me, I've spent the past few days completely redoing the entire thing. This involved much swearing. But I think I'm finally happy with it all.

Have a look and let me know what you think:

http://webmutant.com/

Phoneless.

Oct. 28th, 2007 02:19 pm
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Hey, quick heads-up: my phone is dead. So, if you were planning on calling me, umm, don't.

I dropped the damn thing about a week ago, and it seemed just fine, but it died last night. The guy at the store tells me that's not unheard of.

I'll have to replace it when I can, but it's going to be a couple of weeks, probably. I'll let you know. But the important thing here is -- if I had your phone number, I don't any more. You should let me know what it is. Comments are screened, so you can just post it here, and no one will see it 'cept you + me. Cheers.
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Ahna calls me last night, as I'm headed down I-5 anyway to go walk around Greenlake. "Did you know the Aurafice is closing?" Yeah, I had heard that. "As in, it's closing tonight?" That, I didn't know. I should be there, I thought. I changed my course.

I've been saying the past couple of years that I needed to find a new venue for my Halloween readings, 'cause they've grown too large for the space, but I always felt bad about it; they were the ones who gave me my first shot, and I liked supporting them. Now I'll have to find a new place.

I did stop by last night, but it was just for a few minutes. I didn't really see anybody I knew, and I didn't feel like talking anyway. Just being there only made me realize how much I'll miss the place, and how much I already have missed attending regular Seagoth nights on Wednesdays. That whole scene feels so long ago and so far away, now. I've already lost the feeling of community; I suppose it only makes sense to lose the meeting space, too.

Lot of places going away lately, it feels like. Going down to SeaTac for Mother's Day, I noticed my elementary school is shutting down. And the bookstore I bought so much of the science fiction and comics of my youth from was gone. It had already moved to a smaller, shittier location a while back, but now even that was gone. And the whole area still feels wrong to me without the Midway Drive-In Theatre screen, even though it hadn't been in operation in years.

I'd like the future better if it had more of the past in it.
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Things have been pretty decent lately -- everything from finally setting up my home office for telecommuting, to having a lovely Valentine's Day with Ahna at the Bodies Exhibit. But today especially has been all kinds of awesome.

I met with a client this afternoon and closed the contract to do the site redesign for Richard Hugo House, the literary arts center here in Seattle. They're the perfect clients -- they know exactly what they want, they have a pretty good understanding of the difficulty involved, and they're offering me considerably more money than I was initially asking for. So now I can stop worrying about how I'm going to pay my taxes this year, which is nice.

I had "lunch" (some plums and a can of Rockstar) at the little park at the corner of Pine and Broadway, where I found a single perfect little rose just lying unwanted on the ground. I brought it with me to Golden Age Collectables and gave it to Ahna, and scoped out their clearance section while I waited for her to get off work. She let me know that the tickets she bought us as an anniversary present for the upcoming Placebo concert arrived. I picked up a couple of supercheap graphic novels and gave her a ride to Lush.

Then I met up with Riff, who was putting the finishing touches on my new -- desperately-needed -- computer. It's soooo cute, with it's sleek black and silver case and spiffy little backlit gauges. Pictures will be forthcoming at some point. More to the point, it's not dying horribly like the machine I'm typing this on now is, and it actually has the chops to run Vista, so I get to join the twenty-first century. He'll be coming over shortly to set it up for me.

Oh, and I kept having really decent luck finding parking spaces all day, too. And the weather was gorgeous.

Life might just be okay.

ZOMG.

Feb. 12th, 2007 07:29 pm
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I'm posting this from home. Thus ending three years without net access.

Thank you, Clearwire. Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] retcon.

Scrapped.

Aug. 3rd, 2006 11:35 am
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My poor dead truck is finally gone.

It had been sitting in my parking space at my condo since it died, over a year ago. I tried researching how to donate a vehicle to charity, but it all seemed terribly complicated -- I'm deeply phobic about incorrectly filed paperwork, and the one place I found that said they took care of all the paperwork never called me back.

I was going to drive the truck down to Olympia to give it to my sister, hoping that I could avoid having to go in reverse at any point the whole way down, but it turns out that if you let a truck just sit there for a year, it won't start the next time you try to use it. Who knew?

The management of my condo had been gently asking me all this time when I was going to get rid of it, and when I was going to stop parking my car in visitor spaces. Not too long after I failed to get the truck moving again, they finally put a note on my car saying they'd tow it if I parked it in a visitor space again. Fair enough, I figured.

In the end, I went to Pull-A-Part, a wrecking yard in Lynnwood, and found out they would indeed tow it away for free and take it off my hands for spare parts if I signed the title over to them. I wouldn't even need to be there for them to pick it up. So that's what I did, and one night I came home and it was just gone.

-----

Why a whole year?

Part of it's just the inertia and procrastination that plagues so many parts of my life. But it was also just frankly hard to do.

My dad told me, after he bought me the truck, not to fall in love with it. He told me too late. It was my first car, something that brought me my first real taste of freedom and independence and responsibility. I didn't get rid of it for so long because I didn't really want to.

. . . . Why is it so hard for me to let go of things when it's so easy for me to let go of people?
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So my publisher is having me flown down to San Francisco for the weekend so I can attend the World Horror Convention. (There is no way I can say that and not feel like a rock star.) I leave this evening and will be back Sunday.

This is the first time I've been on a plane since I was about 12 years old. I'm a little nervous. Not about the plane falling out of the sky or being high-jacked by mad Arabs -- more along the lines of "ohmigod there's a thousand rulesandregulations and what if they send me home for having the wrong size carry-on luggage??"

*deep breaths*

Ah, well, onward and upward (literally). Things to do, people to scare.

Boundless.

Jul. 15th, 2005 11:31 am
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"1. Must demonstrate a Customer First perspective and fully participate in the Boundless Selling culture." -- OfficeMax Print & Document Services Associate Job Description

Here we go -- back down the rabbit hole of modern corporate life. Barring anything going horribly wrong with my drug screen1 or my background check, I've got the job, and should start sometime next week.

_________________
1. I always swore I'd never pee in a cup to get a job. *shrug* Food first, ethics later.

Extropy.

Jul. 14th, 2005 08:41 pm
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.... And then the roller-coaster swings around, and my life goes back from suck to awesome. In no particular order:

  • I've been doing a few days work here and there for Trace again, the same person I was working for last year, and he thinks he's going to have a lot more hours for me in the not-too-distant future, which is excellent.
  • Had much fun at [livejournal.com profile] endorphan's birthday.
  • Also had a very pleasant evening on [livejournal.com profile] bhaiku's birthday.
  • The new car, a 1995 Subaru Impreza, is entirely awesome. I'm sure I'll miss my truck, but my new love is helping me get over it in a big, big hurry. It has such amazing luxury features as:
    • A driver's side door that closes all the way
    • A driver's side window that's not constantly slipping out of its track
    • A working interior dome light
    • Working A/C
    • A passenger's side seatbelt that works consistently
    • A tape player!
    • Reverse gear!
    It's also mad sexy.
  • I should have a day job soon, to keep me eating between bouts of working for Trace, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] saheeb138. I have a second interview tomorrow at the copy center of the Office Max he works at, and that practically guarantees I have the job.
  • Someone I don't even know emailed me out of the blue and asked if I'd do some freelance CGI work for them. I said yes, of course.
  • [livejournal.com profile] imsosquare gave me the low-down on how to get cheap dental work. Thanks, sweetie!
  • [livejournal.com profile] windbourne continues to be unimaginably awesome.

Endings.

Nov. 1st, 2004 09:00 pm
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Another Halloween come and gone. The one day I wait for all year, the day when the world makes sense to me and looks like somewhere I'd feel at home, over and done with, and in its place, suddenly winter. It feels that way, at least. This is when my year ends, spring forward and fall back and you can't catch yourself to keep from falling, one hour sooner into darker nights. Pull down the strings of orange lights, put the skeletons back in your closet; the world is winding clockwork down.

Near my work, the little convenience store and its strange tiny food court where I've had so many lunches the past few months is gone now. The coffee stand in it had closed the week before, and today I found the rest of it shut and fenced off.

I suppose it doesn't matter:

I won't have a job after this Friday anyway.

I can't be too surprised, or even that upset -- the political campaign my employer was building a site for doesn't want to keep paying for development after election day, which makes sense. It's been fun, the money's been good (although I haven't saved enough of it), and I finally have more recent webdev experience, so it shouldn't be that hard to get another job. I hope not, at least.

Tomorrow, I hope -- and I hope this so fervently my stomach is in knots -- something else will be ending: four years of terrifying misrule. I wish I were sure how this would turn out. Every time I let myself hope for something better, I can't help but feel that rush of dread. Spring forward, fall back.

The world is ending around me. But the world ends all the time, and there will be another one in a minute.

I know this. Sitting out in the cold the other night, conspiratorially close, watching the shadow of the world steal the moon from the sky with my [livejournal.com profile] windbourne, I knew the moon would come back.

And it did, brighter than anything, its midnight light filling the courtyard outside with white like a blanket of snow on the ground as we made our way to bed.

Forgot.

Sep. 10th, 2004 01:59 pm
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I know what I didn't mention yesterday --

The sprained ankle is actually kind of a big deal to me, because it's never happened before. Seriously. The only sprain I ever had was a finger when I was in elementary school. (It was the middle finger on my right hand, and the fact that it was in a splint was a source of endless amusement to my juvenile mind.)

I've also -- touch wood -- never broken a single bone. I've led a pretty injury-free existence, so far. And I'd like to keep it that way.

Sprain.

Sep. 9th, 2004 02:43 pm
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You'd think I know how stairs work by now, but last Monday, I thought I'd reached the ground floor at my workplace when I actually had one step left to go, and as a result, pitched forward, ran into an innocent bystander and an innocent vending machine, and most importantly, caught my right foot wrong and bent it back. Hurt like mad, but I didn't figure it was anything too awful until hours later, when I noticed it was really swollen.

A phone call to [livejournal.com profile] hetaera15 and a little research on the 'Net led me to believe it was sprained, so I figured I'd wrap it in a bandage, start elevating and icing it, and take Ibuprofen. But, what the hell, I'd probably better be a responsible grown-up and see what a doctor had to say about it, in case I'd misdiagnosed myself. I hauled my sorry crippled butt to the doctor the next day -- taking advantage of my insurance while I still have some -- and had him look at it, prod it a little, and take some X-rays. He told me to, basically, wrap it in a bandage, start elevating and icing it, and take Ibuprofen. So, yeah.

I've been walking with a cane some days, and driving with my left foot on the pedals. A little adjustment, but no big deal.

The amusing part to me is how superstitious I am. I've had such a string of good luck lately -- getting my book published, getting to date [livejournal.com profile] windbourne, getting a decent job in my chosen field -- I've been dreading the backlash, wondering what bad thing was going to happen to balance it all. As soon as I injured myself, I could feel myself relax. Hell, I thought, was that it? That was nothin'.

Palahniuk.

Jun. 8th, 2004 01:51 pm
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So yesterday I used my new library card to -- get this -- check out an actual book. Yeah.

Walked into the Shoreline branch and glanced at their display of recommended books and spotted Chuck Palahniuk's name on the spine of one of them. I've met Mr. Palahniuk, he's a really neat guy, and I've never read any of his stuff, so I picked it up and looked at it. Fight Club. Cool, I really need to get a copy of that someday, I thought, and put it down and started to walk away.

Then the tiny remaining smart portion of my brain whispered to me: Hey, stupid, you could pay money someday to read that, or take it home for free right now.

Oh. Yeah. Huh.

So I did, and went home and sat down and read the whole thing, and then took it back to the library. It felt good to do that, considering the fate of my last library book.

Finally reading Fight Club, after having seen the movie so many times, was very cool -- like finally hearing the original version of a song you love a remix of.

Closing.

May. 27th, 2004 06:01 pm
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I can mention this now -- I've known for a couple-few weeks, but now they've sent out postcards announcing the fact, so I don't have to stay quiet about it anymore.

The Lake Forest Park Jo-Ann Fabrics I work at is closing down. It, and the Lynnwood store, are combining into a new super-store up in Lynnwood. I haven't decided if I'm going to be going to the new store or not. Probably not. I've been really tired of this job anyway, frankly, so I think I should take this as a sign it's time to move on. If anyone has any decent job leads, let me know.

It's been kind of stressful and depressing the past couple of days, what with all these people coming in asking, "Are you really leaving?" A couple of customers seem happy about the new store, but the overwhelming majority are sad and frustrated at the move. (Mainly because of the location. To hear these people talk, you'd think Lynnwood was in Canada.)

On the bright side, no-one's mentioned training me on the cutting counter again, so maybe that idea's been dropped in the shuffle. *fingers crossed*

Oh, yeah, we're hiring a bunch of people to get us through the transition period/liquidation sales. They're desperate for people, so if you're looking for temporary work, come on by and apply. Tell 'em you know Six.
icebluenothing: (Default)
She remembered.

Mind you, she didn't want to do anything to mark the day.

But still. It was nice to know I hadn't been forgotten.

Library.

Feb. 21st, 2004 11:11 am
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Didn't mention yesterday, but I was posting from the Library here at Lake Forest Park, in the same building as JoAnn Fabrics.

This is, in fact, a Big Freakin' Deal. See, using their computers requires a library card, and, ummm, I haven't had a library card in well over a decade.

.... See, there was this book I checked out once. A book about Attention Deficit Disorder. I returned overdue. About a year overdue. I kept meaning to bring it back, but I just kept getting distracted .... Yeah, so anyway, I returned it in the middle of the night and came home and cut up my library card like a bad credit card.

But I've been reading more books lately, and more importantly, I've really wanted to use their free 'Net access, so here I am.

It's a little strange, using these terminals. I can't telnet out, so I can't use my command-line LJ client .... I can't even use Notepad or the like to compose my posts first, so I'm a little worried about typing all this stuff into the web browser and hoping nothing goes wrong when I submit.

I imagine I'll get using to working without a safety net, though, so I might back to posting a little more regularly. We shall see.

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