On the upside, I'm feeling pretty good about work. I've been given the perfect stepping-stone project, the stretch-your-wings and see-if-you're-ready-for-the-next-thing project. There's an existing application that tracks things, and I'm building an interface for maintaining the ways in which some of those things are tracked, so that users can make changes, rather than having to ask developers to do it. So, the app and its business logic are already built, as are the styles and images, but this interface doesn't really interact with the rest of the app and is more of a self-contained module. It's the step between making an enhancement and starting from scratch. So far, I'm doing pretty well with it. This is a growth opportunity.

Yee haw.

I feel like I must be crazy, that I must have some wrong schema. Planning this wedding is making me tense and unhappy. I was crying in rush hour traffic last night, just distressed about spending so much money and so much of my parents' money on something that isn't coming together to be what I want. And even if it were easy, it's still a stupid amount of money to spend on a party, when it could make an excellent down payment on a house in a softening housing market. And that feeling is exacerbated by the feeling that it is all for other people's benefit.

This won't change me and Jon. It will enable other people to see us as married, to accept our moral choices without feeling affronted, to tax us more, to feel we're entitled to health and life insurance benefits.

And I don't know if people are making small talk, or if they think they're being helpful, or if they're just trying to feel superior when they ask, "Do you have such-and-such task done? Oooh, isn't it a little late?"

The bridal magazines would have me believe I'm a freak. But I've learned not to believe what the advertisers are trying to tell me. So, is it possible that I'm not the only girl who hates this wedding planning?

I would get out of it if I thought there were any way I could.

48 invitations mailed last night. About 35 more to go. I don't want to lick anything anymore. Bleah.

Well, with a few notable exceptions, I suppose.

Omigoshomigoshomigosh. Neil Gaiman Has. A. Blog!

I am in the same community as Neil Gaiman. No, I am not a fan girl. What are you referring to?

I'm about eight chapters into American Gods, my signed copy that was a gift from Ben and Natosha, and I am quite enthralled. Too much Life is getting in the way of Reading.

Happiness is a warm tortilla. Mmm...


I watched Yellow Submarine for the first time, yesterday. I feel properly part of this culture now. I've been humming Beatles songs since 6:00 this morning.

Also yesterday, as part of our well earned Slug Day, we watched Watership Down, a faithful adaptation of the book, and The Emperor's New Groove, which we enjoyed quite a bit, in spite of ourselves. It really is cute, believe it or not. And we all know how I feel about the Disney corporation.

My mother completely disregarded my advice this weekend and once again failed to see Shrek and instead went to...Can you believe this? Tomb Raider. She claims it was my father's choice, which, knowing how he feels about the bold and the bountiful, is entirely plausible, but I still feel betrayed.

Wedding Update: For those who are haranguing me, go organize your own damn wedding. But anyway, invitations are nearly compiled. All that is left is addressing (twice, since you have to do the stupid dual-envelope thing), stuffing, and stamping. The gift registry is at Cichelli.Net, but the only deployed piece is the login screen. Processing of gifts still needs to be developed; I just have to find a bit more time.

Man, I tell you whut. I am so worked up, stressed out, and pissed off about this whole thing that I can't even think about it without swearing. I just want to have a party. Just a party, dammit. It will be fine, fine, fine. Whatever you're wearing, whatever you're bringing, whatever color lampshade you will put on your head at the reception will be JUST FINE. Quit asking me.

Why have we allowed our culture to turn a celebration of love into a huge, irritating hassle?

I made up a game last night.

I made up a game last night! I'm becoming One Of Them. tee hee. I'll write it up soon, and then maybe it will be one of the Games of the Month on Invisible City.

I feel all creative and junk.

I suppose it was inevitable: HarryPotter.com. At least there's quiddich training.

brush with death

Or, rather, brush with alarming insurance claim. We spent the weekend with our friends Ben and Natosha and Ben's brother Seth. 4am, we're playing Call of Cthulhu, horror role-playing, when there's a loud bang, like a hammer dropped inside a moving truck. We pause, shrug, and then I say, "Y'know, my car's out there." And then we're moving. We dash out to the street, and there's some activity around a pickup truck across the street, so I figure someone, well, dropped a hammer onto his truck bed.

Then Ben notices another pickup, two houses down, sticking its bumper through their wooden fence. And there's no activity there, which makes me think the driver is unconscious. Ben takes a Maglight down to investigate, and Tosha calls 911. Neighbors start to appear. Then we realize that the first truck, across from where we're standing, is mangled all to heck, with lots of important-looking bits scattered beneath it. Its windshield is shattered. It is empty. The other truck, across the street and two houses away, is also empty.

A car accident with no drivers? An ambulance, a fire truck, and a police car arrive in response to Tosha's call. The owner of the thrown truck speaks up, from the crowd of groggy neighbors. It had been parked when it was hit and thrown down the block. The driver of the throwing truck finally shows up, apparently after retrieving his girlfriend on foot (she is in slippers and looking none too pleased). There are no skid marks.

EMS, having no one to treat, goes off to rescue other people. Firemen sweep up glass and scatter sand under the engines of the trucks. Police officers question a sheepish looking guy in his early twenties. Ben meets his neighbors. We finally piece together the scenario:

A white pickup, in a block and a half, gathers enough speed to hit a red pickup on the wrong side of the road (parked across the street from my innocent little Honda) and throw that pickup diagonally across and down the street, covering about four house-lengths and jumping the curb, and then continue for two house-lengths itself.

The last time Jon ran a Cthulhu game, there was a tornado just north of us, complete with golf-ball-sized hail. Jon is not allowed to GM anymore.

I haven't forgotten about you, gentle readers.

Last week (not the one just past, but the one before it. Yeesh.), I had a week off. I worked on Cichelli.Net and made some progress on my wedding registry application. I need to do some more data entry and program the piece that actually lets you cross an item off the list. I also got stationery and address labels for wedding invitations. ...I ordered labels that said "Sharon and Jonathan Leistiko." *gulp*

I also went to see the Vagina Monologues, which was an adventure just for going to the theatre by myself. There were men there, but not many. Funky, femme vibe. I liked it. And the show was funny and racy and empowering.

This week has been consumed by getting some planning and design documents done for a new project at work. However, this evening, I'm attending a Toastmasters picnic and delivering my tenth speech from the Competent Toastmaster (CTM) manual, which means I'll be completing my CTM certification! I'm so jazzed. (And that's what my speech is on: being jazzed about Toastmasters. It's supposed to be inspirational. I'm bringing a toaster as a prop. *smirk*)

Oh, And! Tuesday, June 12, marked my one-year anniversary at Dell. I reel when I think of how much I've learned in that year. I hear myself at these project planning meetings with my business partner (the customer, the user representative) and the program manager (the interface between the business and the I/T departments), and I think, holy cow, I sound like I know what I'm doing! And I sound smart. How sexy. (My vagina is a programmer.)

And finally, I got a cute card from my friend Fred. It folds out and has a spider with wiggly bits. The ceiling fan in the den makes it dance. What a happy thing.