My team really came through on the costume contest. There were goggles and kneepads and jumpsuits and (computer) mice. We were quite a troupe.

I really like these people, y'know?

My monitor mirror has gotten a lot more entertaining since I dyed my hair a lighter shade of blond.

Boy, if there were any doubt about Dell being beige... I think, like, three people dressed up. Sigh.

I've gotten most of my team to consent to being "bug" exterminators. (We're programmers. Get it?) I made 13 little patches to make our uniforms. They have green binary in the background, a big blue bug, and a red no-more over top, a la Ghostbusters.

Over the weekend, Jon and I, along with Ben and Tosha, made masks and costumes. This coming weekend we're going to the Texas RenFest. This year's theme is fairies, and Tosha (who made my wedding dress) is making me a spiffy fairy costume. Now, since there's a limit to the amount of pink I can wear without spontaneously combusting, and because Halloween is all about making masks, I made a creepy mask to cover the lower half of my face. It's just kind of an exaggeration—take beauty and stretch it until it isn't. It has a hinged jaw again, like last year's, but the implementation is more subtle. I'll then put a veil over it, to increase the suggestion of creepiness. (Take a lesson from Jaws: What you don't show is much scarier.) I've got a lacy fan to hold in front of my face, too, allowing me to reveal the horrrrrible visiage at just the right moment.

We did a whole lot of moving last night. We need to be finished tonight. There are just those depressing dribs and drabs left now. Bleah.

Hee hee, I was simply noting that we have phone service again, with that post on the 15th, but Tameka took it as a sign--or perhaps a directive--and called. ^_^ I encourage each of you to do likewise.

Also, I'm enjoying the discussion in my comments thread for yesterday's post. I finally had something to say that got people talking. Cool!

Oh, by the way:


Oh, wow. We saw the most incredible movie on Saturday. I'm so impressed. The Others, starring the always beautiful and surprisingly talented Nicole Kidman, is a suspensful, mysterious ghost story. It creates real tension, rather than just relying on startling the audience (though one bit made the girl behind me scream--hee hee). There's no gore. It's really just a skillfully told ghost story. Jon and I have been picking it apart since Saturday afternoon; there are so many intriguing levels. I highly recommend it.

After being without phone service for over a week, I received a call from a SWBell technician from within my apartment. We've been going 'round-and-'round with them since last Monday. We finally got an important clue when we called our voicemail--and someone answered! Ah-ha! They plugged our line into the wrong apartment's jack. I can't wait to dash home and hear that comforting dial tone.

We do very much like our new apartment, though. It's nice. 9-foot ceilings are a joy.

So I found I had a flat tire this morning. My first thought was to call Jon, but he was already at work. My second thought was to call AAA. I finally calmed myself down enough to admit that I was perfectly capable of putting the spare on, myself. Good grief. However, when I got to the "Remove the lug nuts" stage, I found I could not do it myself. Those bolts weren't moving. A man cutting the lawn at the apartment complex came over to help and finished the job. I was quite grateful, but I did want to do it myself. Oh well. Now I get to figure out how to get a tire repaired myself. That's good enough, I guess.

I had a scary thought last night, watching the news. Clearly, terrorists are attacking our economy more than our government, with the WTC and then with sending anthrax to Microsoft. So here's my thought: If you attack the world's largest software manufacturer, wouldn't you be likely to attack the world's largest PC manufacturer? This is purely my own speculation, but it's a sobering thought.

How do I get myself into these things? Here's the note I just sent to Jon:

You like projects, right? And challenges, too, yes? Okay, I just found out, at 3:30, that each VP in I/T is expected to have a team costume for the All Hands meeting on Tuesday, 10/23 (not next Tuesday, but the one after). We, the FISH Committee, thought it would be smart to have a group fish costume. Something like a Chinese dragon would be awesome. With me so far? Thinking about papier mache yet? See how this relates to us? So, do you think, over this weekend and next, we could make a fish head and tail (tail might be cut out of foam instead) out of papier mache?

Better question: Why does Jon put up with getting dragged into these crazy schemes?

Wow. I went to the Learn About Your Benefits Package fair, and a strange man stuck a Stressdot[tm] on me. It's a little dot, the size of a hole-punch, and it has been stuck to the back of my hand. It is looking at me as I type this, in fact. It changes color based on my skin temperature, to indicate my relative stress level.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, a Mood Ring for the New Millenium.

Mine's dark blue right now, indicating that I'm a pretty froody chick. Apparently, breathing on the back of your hand calms you down.

Happy Palindrome Day

My family has been having a lot of fun with dates lately. I think 10/10/01 is neat looking, but it isn't the most interesting. Granddad wrote to say that 10/1/01 is a palindrome, as is 10/02/2001. My uncle John then pointed out that 10/11/01 works upside down and backwards. Hee hee.

Wow, 2015 will have an especially excellent Pi Day, giving two more decimal places: 3/14/15. Well, if you want to properly round rather than truncate, I guess you should wait until 2016. Aw, heck with that. Big party on 3/14/15 9:26. With pie, of course.

My phone number is staying the same, by the way. But please give me a call to get the new address before mailing any packages.

I think, perhaps, if I focus my attention very, very close, I can be happy. So, to that end:

We went camping with the Unitarian church on Saturday. I so needed that. A while back, we'd gotten ourselves a little 8' x 7' dome tent, which accomodates two—if they like each other a lot. We set it up in the living room last week, for practice, but other than that, we'd never used it. The top is mesh, so you can lie on your back and look at the sky. It then has a separate piece that snaps over top, to keep out the dew and keep in the warmth. It was too chilly on Saturday to sleep with the top down, but the sky was incredible. My only cue that it is actually fall, Orion now rises high into the sky during the night. At 5 in the morning (desperate bathroom run), the waning gibbous moon was bright enough to see by. Imagine if it had been full! The night was beautiful, and the air was deliciously crisp.

On Sunday, we enlisted the help of our Friends With Trucks and moved all of our big things into the new apartment. We then slept there last night. We are discovering, in subtle ways, that this new apartment is bigger everywhere. Most subtle but most significant is the 9-foot ceiling. I feel like I can finally breathe there, not realizing I'd been holding it for the past year.

Sunday, seeking Prairie Home Companion, we switched on NPR long enough to hear the words "cruise missiles" and then switched it off. Oh, look how nice the new apartment is. How very nice.

I'm working my way through Sam's Teach Yourself PL/SQL in 21 Days, with my manager's blessing.

I lack the self-discipline for this.

Good grief. Did I mention that Jonathan won the Area-level Table Topics competition for Toastmasters? His humorous speech came in second. Now he's on to the Division, and then the District. I expect he'll do quite well.