A split-level room

This is a room I snuck a picture of during my deck-shopping today. This isn’t the deck we’re going to buy; we managed to find a couple of guys who said, “Well, if you take it down, you can just take it. We don’t really know how much it’s worth, anyway.”

Needless to say, we’re emailing them back tonight to cement things. We’re going to cannibalize Hillary’s current loft for two-by-fours to raise it (it’s lower to the ground than the one in the photo), making our only costs those for summer storage. And it’s really well made, probably by civil or mechanical engineering majors. Not that computer science/engineers or chemical engineers couldn’t have made it well, but there are certain assumptions one can feel comfortable making around here, and that’s one of ’em.

Continue reading A split-level room

A thoughtful belated Ma’s Day

I read something beautiful this afternoon that I wanted to link, but wasn’t sure how to provide a context that is true to my thoughts. I could pass it off with a glib, “This is why I don’t want to have kids,” but that would be shallow and untrue and completely unfair to the writer, who did a beautiful job in her post.

I could also go into a sappy, commiserating commentary, but I’m just not qualified. Her situation is not one I’ve ever found myself in, and I can only imagine the depressing horrors of the rollercoaster of her situation. I can feel for her, but I can’t really sympathize because I just haven’t been there.

So what I will say is that it made me think of my mother. Because I don’t know how frequently, if ever, she has had that good type of day since Ali has been born, if not for a while before. I’m not at all sure that she has had the wonderful type of day that leaves her feeling comfortable with herself, where she isn’t struggling to get through the day until she can (possibly, and frequently not) get a break when the Old Man gets home. Maybe things are better and have improved since I was living with them, but I do worry. During my tenure, if you will, she was only appreciated in a very abstract “Of course we appreciate her–she does everything around the house” kind of way, with no attempts to actually improve her situation. Or rather, no attempts to provide some less stressful choices for her to take.

That makes me very pissed at myself, and the choices I’ve made these past five years. I should be able to surmount my dislike of children in general and Ali in particular for the sake of my mother. It’s like the interest in world news: what my father has been attempting to hammer into me for the past five years, I finally learn with the help of a good feed reader. Le sigh.

Continue reading A thoughtful belated Ma’s Day

The causes of a good mood…

…because not all gift horses bite.

I’m fighting with Visual C++ 6.0 and working on this app for Dr. M that is requiring, essentially, translation from old Borland classes to STL equivalents that I myself am not familiar with, since we used proprietary Advanced Placement classes in high school. I know, though, that with enough time and persistence, I can figure out the GUI and event managers in Visual C++ and get this thing running again. Why Microsoft couldn’t make this shit as simple as it is in Visual Basic, I don’t know. Probably since the code will always be the most important aspect for any C++ coder, while GUI design always came first when we did VB.

So that’s fun. These types of puzzles I like.

I had very little interaction with Bridget this morning, which also got my day off to a good start. That sounds bad, but things are at the point now where every conversation becomes an opportunity for both of us to get in as many snide snipe-y attacks as we can, and it’s just damn annoying, although I’m being just as vicious as she is. Add on to that her new tendency to interrupt whatever I’m saying with “Huh?” (a major pet peeve of mine) and her childish overcompensation for my one-time request for the air to be turned down a little by keeping the air off and the window open on windless days, and the less we see each other, the better. At least she’s suffering from that last more than I am, since I can always leave and do work in the Thorn office. But she’s burning even me out at night, making it difficult to sleep.

So a lack of that, combined with a pleasantly social breakfast, started my day well.

Continue reading The causes of a good mood…

Oops.

Apparently my review of Saturday’s show was a way harsher than I intended. Even he said something to Bob (who is both the president of Film Club and the one editing the page on which the review will reside) to the order of “Damn, you guys must have sucked.” Bob gave me hurtful looks and told me, “If this is your opinion, I’ll run it, of course, but…” Oops. Definitely not my intention, because I really did like the show.

So, here’s a revised draft that didn’t detract from my meaning and didn’t make Bob want to cry. I haven’t put in all the actors’ names, but I don’t have the program with me, so alas.

This is the second time one of my editors has twisted my arm into writing a review due to my unique perspective. The first time was my non-Judeo-Christian status and spiritual distance from the events of “The Passion”. This time it’s because I have absolutely nothing to do with either the Film Club or the Drama Club. Such a person is rare on the Thorn staff.

Continue reading Oops.

taking joy in human unreason