Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Julia J, click here now

Last week I got a call from my friend Julia. She said, "I just called to get a summary of your blog from the past week. Your posts are too long." Whoah, baby, nobody's making you read them!! ;) When I mentioned that my eyes were feeling OK, she said, "Why?"

"Well, I had laser eye surgery yesterday to repair a tear in my retina."

"Oh, I didn't know what that whole 'Eye-opening Experience' post was about. I didn't read that far."

Now, the first line of that post was, "My plan for today did not include getting zapped with a laser." I think that I might have read a little farther, given that first line. It's not like I pulled out a big surprise in the 50th paragraph or anything. But no one has ever accused me of being terse, especially in written communication. Don't get me wrong, I can be a mean technical writer, reducing sentences like, "The beauteous orb gradually ascended into the clear, blue sky, casting its light across the ground like a beacon of hope breaking over the black waves of night," into "The sun rose." But when it comes to prose...well, let's just say that the "before" sentence there streamed smoothly from my fingertips like a cascading waterfall, its crystalline jets of water arcing...erm, you get the picture.

I was talking about this with a coworker, and he said, "You need, like, those CliffsNotes for your posts." Only, he didn't say "CliffsNotes," he said something else that I hadn't heard of, and so promptly forgot. But it's the same thing. So, I have decided to institute CliffsNotes for Julia, or "jiffy" notes, for my posts. At least until I tire of them. =)

I'm going to include a brief summary of my posts so you don't have to read so much. And I'm making fun of you a little. =)

Friday, August 24, 2007

I HATE Earthlink

...still no DSL. =( I'd tell you the whole saga, but I don't want to harsh your Friday.

On a good note, the doc looked at my eyes yesterday during my checkup and said, "Beautiful." And he wasn't hitting on me.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

An eye-opening experience

My plan for today did not include getting zapped with a laser. Miraculously, the DSL still works...so here's a brief "glimpse" of what happened today.

My plan was to

1) Go to my routine contact lens checkup at 10:30, perhaps getting a new prescription to make things slightly less blurry. I've heard about new soft lenses that can correct astigmatism (I've had minor astigmatism all my life, but not enough to warrant constant glasses-wearing, which I detest).

2) Grab some lunch.

3) Run some errands.

4) Head over to Goodyear to have them look at our engine mounts, which they repaired a month ago, but which I suspect are loose again due to the immense vibrations during idle, and the grinding noise on initial acceleration.

Out of these, I accomplished 1. I did get one of the new lenses, which I got to wear for about 5 minutes before the optometrist (a great guy, head of Emory's contact lens department) said, "When's the last time your eyes were dialated?" I couldn't remember. For so long, we've been concerned about my corneas, I don't think anyone was bothering about my retinas. (I have Thygeson's, which in a nutshell causes bumps on the cornea. Mine's in remission right now, but it could pop up at any time.) Well, to make a long story (I was at the clinic for a total of 5 hours) short, the resident examined me, "squooshing" my eyes in the process (somewhat painful!), and found a small tear in my retina. She passed me to an opthamologist, who passed me on to a fellow in the Retinal department, who finally passed me to the Retina doc (Retinologist??) The fellow said he recommended laser treatment to "weld" the tear to my eye so that it would not lead to a detachment later, and he'd do it right then! I had to sign a waiver saying I understood anesthesia might be involved, and possible side-effects were brain damage and death! A lot worse than "dry mouth"!!

The whole thing was a very weird process...every time my eye was "squooshed", I would be unable to see for a minute or so afterward. Just a dark grey mist. After the laser surgery (it was an argon laser...the geek in me doesn't retreat even under the most dire circumstances, aparently), I couldn't see for a minute, then everything was magenta-colored for another couple minutes. I think the most exciting part of the day was driving with one contact in a dialated eye, the other eye streaming constantly. Fortunately, I was able to get to DH's office before the bad traffic started, and he shuttled me home, where I was able to lie down. I feel nearly human now, although 5 hours in a doctor's office with no lunch and no liquid certainly didn't help. But, "I am OK", which is the first thing I said to DH when I called after the procedure. I wanted to call before, but, alas, no cell phone service there!

The coolest thing was when I asked "How long will this take?" The fellow told me, "Well, for someone with skin as pale as yours, it could take a little longer." Schwunh? Aparently, the laser surgery is only possible because there is some pigmentation directly behind our retinas. This is necessary for the doc to see the scar tissue the laser is producing. If we didn't have that pigmentation, they wouldn't be able to use lasers. They'd have to use a cryo procedure that is more invasive and more painful. Now, I don't think there's any real "reason" for that pigmentation. But isn't it cool that God designed our bodies so that doctors could take advantage of technology?? We really are "fearfully and wonderfully made"....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oh, the connectivity!

Tomorrow I will lose DSL access for seven to ten business days. This is in spite of the fact that I am moving 100 feet down the street, and BellSouth is able to unhook and rehook my phone line all in one day, with the same number. Earthlink, not so much. So, what I'm saying is, if you don't see posts from me, I'm not dead. I've just become a technological have-not for seven to ten business days. For now, take a look at what the car looked like last Thursday night:

You are looking at about 500 pounds of fine IKEA storage furniture: one extra-large EXPEDIT bookcase, one small EXPEDIT bookcase, one small BILLY bookcase, two BENNO CD racks, and two GORM shevling units. I'm estimating 500 pounds, because the largest EXPEDIT box said it weighed around 230 pounds. Most of Friday was spent assembling furniture (some still to be assembled) and finishing our TUNDRA flooring. This will make another good blog post someday.... Saturday was a whirlwind of moving, and Sunday was a haze of fatigue. I promise a more informative and entertaining post once I get some sleep. And some high speed bits and bytes flowing again.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Let's follow yesterday's cranky post with a nice, calming one. Our new headboard:

I've always had a mattress and boxsprings, but this new bed will just have the mattress; hence the "slats". They're all connected with woven tape, like some massivly wide ladder for extremely short-legged people. Actually, it kind of makes me want to get some mallets and see what kind of a xylophone it'd be. Although we had no real "trouble" putting it together, the crappy hardware and inaccurate diagrams really made us appreciate IKEA furniture! Here's a shot of the bed through the screen. This is an interesting collection of things. The chair on the right was a Christmas present from DH one year. It's so comfortable, but sadly, I have sat in it very little. The reason is that it sat in a strange spot in the old place. There was no side table beside it, it faced away from the TV, and it was across the room from the sofa and other chairs. I envision mornings off sitting in this chair, with some nice green tea and a book. At least, when it's too cold or too hot to sit on the deck. =) The table top is Spanish marble that, family legend has it, was "smuggled" into the US aboard Air Force One. DH's grandfather was a navigator on Air Force One (or Air Force Two, if you believe DH's parents rather than his grandfather. I choose to believe his grandfather. =) The legs on the table came from a grand piano. I have no idea of the history of the piano, but the legs were "upside down" from how they are used on the table. Finally, the vase is from this year's ADAC sale. It was handmade in China by teenage girls (according to the dealer, the boys just aren't as good at the intricate work, duh!) and is a copy of an antique (I can't recall the Dynasty) that sold for $35,000!! We got it for $35. I'm all for paying 0.01%!!.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Graffiti Jerkwad

There are just a couple of disadvantages of living downtown. One of them is getting graffitied occasionally. You might shudder as you pass by these atrocities, thinking, "Gangs! Boy, I'm glad I don't live down here!" But from experience, we can tell you that it's actually suburban white kids who perpetrate these lame illustrations of their imagined angst, trying to get in touch with their "inner beaten-down urban youth" (and, occasionally, crazy white guys). Now, I'm not talking about graffiti art, which can be very cool-looking and is usually found in clumps on universally acknowledged abandoned buildings. I'm talking about the people who just spray paint for the "fun" of it. My mom used to have a little saying about these people. It went something like, "Fools' names and fools' faces are often found in public places." She usually said it when we went into a restroom where someone had scrawled "Jackie 'n' Stephen 4-EVER!" on the wall. So last night the new place got hit. And it was the only place on the street that did. This is unusual; most of the time they scrawl every few feet or so. But the little princess that did this (I'm pretty sure it was a pre-teen chick) only hit the place with the curtains, to maximize her giddy, adrenaline-rushed, giggly "big caper" delusion. I've blurred out her crap in the picture so she can't find this and text her friends on her rhinestone-encrusted RAZR, "omg..luk on blog..lolz!" What really ticks me off is that poor DH and some friends were up 'til about 1:30 in the morning last night (er, this morning...) putting down an IKEA floor in our ground floor room. So now instead of resting, he is off at Home Depot purchasing paint to cover up the prepubescent doodle. I know Princess Paintcan probably won't be able to get the car from Daddy for another few nights now that school has started, but we like people to know we're on top of it. I just hope next time DH is awake for it and can hold her for the cops like he's done before!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


The lovely and perspicacious Jean recently had a caption contest (or more accurately, I think, Oscar had one) for blog bling, which I won!! My prize was sock yarn!! Any one I wanted from The Loopy Ewe. Whoah. That was a hard choice. Have you been to this site? Very dangerous. Never seen so much pretty sock yarn all in one place. I've been looking for a good green to do Elfine's Socks in, so that's how I narrowed my choices, and I ended up picking Teal Party by Claudia Hand Painted Yarns. However, I was unable to ignore the beautiful Toast colorway as well, so I had some of that come along. I plan on knitting these with it. I can't believe how fast the yarn got here...I think I made my choice on Friday, and it arrived at Chez Jean today! It's soo pretty in person! Even prettier than on the site (duh!) The very best part about the yarn is that it is sooooo soft. I can't explain how soft it is. It's 100% Merino wool, but it feels like...um...clouds. Or something. Something really, really soft. Aparently it's painted on Louet yarn. I must check that stuff out. The yarn in the bottom right corner is black lace yarn for Mystery Stole 3. The chivalrous Richard, husband of the lovely Jean, cake-ified it for me (but told me never to remove the ties before giving it to him to wind again...I think I owe him cookies. Aparently there was cursing, but the yarn is unscathed. =) Here's a better picture of its loveliness. It is also very soft. But in a different way than the sock yarn. Like, the lace yarn is soft and smooth, but the sock yarn is squooshy and soft. I clearly need sleep.

Blatant Ravelry Kiss-Up Post

I want in Ravelry. Bad. But I'm such a new knitter, fame (and my lack thereof) is not going to get me anywhere. When I signed up for the waiting list, I remember reading that they were looking at our blogs, so in the teensy, tinsy off-chance that they read mine, I just want them to know:

1) Even though I've been talking about the new place a lot lately, and I don't have the words "needle", "yarn", or "knit" in my blog name, I do, in fact, knit. I even knit tonight on the Errant Lace Socks.

2) I am a software developer. Therefore, I will not send you bug reports saying, in total, "This doesn't work." I will first make sure it's a reproducible error, and then I will document all the conditions that led me to the error, and then I will send you something helpful like, "I was on view X in tab Y, and when I clicked button Z, I got the following error message...."

3) I'm a chronic Beta-tester. I've Beta-tested Star Wars Galaxies and Halo 3 multiplayer. And also an obscure Smalltalk PDF report writer.

4) Did I mention I am a software developer? I have skillz with Java, HTML, JavaScript, Oracle (and other "lesser" databases) and a bunch of other stuff.

5) Ravelry looks sooo kewllll...please invite me? Mom always said it never hurts to ask. =)

Monday, August 6, 2007

One Word

I got this meme from Terri. It's going to be a real challenge for me, because I am a relatively verbose writer!

You can use only one word to answer.
  1. Where is your Cellphone? - purse

  2. Relationship? - lovely

  3. Your Hair? - chocolate

  4. Work? - mandatory

  5. Your sister? - which?

  6. Your favorite thing? - sleep

  7. Your dream last night? - non-existent

  8. Your favorite drink? - sweet

  9. Your dream car? - Solstice

  10. The room you’re in? - boring

  11. Your shoes? - Clarks

  12. Your fears? - insomnia

  13. What do you want to be in 10 years? - happy

  14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? - everyone

  15. What are you not good at? - athletics

  16. Muffin? - absolutely

  17. One of your wish list items? - Segway!

  18. Where you grew up? - lake

  19. Last thing you did? - blinked

  20. What are you wearing? - pants

  21. What aren’t you wearing? - shorts

  22. Your pet? - missed

  23. Your computer? - boxed

  24. Your life? - tiring

  25. Your mood? - mopey

  26. Missing? - time

  27. What are you thinking about right now? - dinner

  28. Your car? - totalled

  29. Your kitchen? - awesome

  30. Your summer? - fruity

  31. Your favorite color? - blue

  32. Last time you laughed? - yesterday

  33. Last time you cried? - hazy

  34. School? - Master's

  35. Love? - unconditionally

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Now THOSE are some nice-looking legs

The new sofa arrived yesterday (along with the headboard) in a very sneaky fashion. I wouldn't expect this sort of behavior from a piece of furniture, especially not a nice, comfortable sofa. The delivery guys were great; although the store website had warned that home delivery included delivery to a ground floor, they carried the stuff up to the second floor, unpacked the boxes, and removed the packing material (supposedly only a "white glove" service). Once the delivery guys left, I looked at the sofa and thought, "Hunh. That's way lower than I remember it sitting." And I didn't remember it having teensy, tacky plastic legs, I thought they were elegant wood legs. I went back to the old place (with its handy Internet connection) and looked up the sofa on the store's website. Sure enough, the sofa on the website was definitely taller. So I called customer service, thinking maybe they could send the truck back quickly, but the rep told me, "Oh, is it the Tillary sofa? Yeah, we tried to keep that one on the down low...the legs are actually stored inside the sofa. Just look for the zippered compartment on the bottom."

Well, what do you know?

Once I put those sneaky legs on the sofa, it looked much better....

It's still pretty low, but we like it. Now, the cool thing is that those bolsters can move around (but still support your weight without slipping). So the sofa can also look like this.

Or even this (cute but smug-looking male is non-standard equipment on this model). The headboard also arrived; I hope to have pictures soon. And while it's super-cool, the inaccurate diagrams and crappy hardware made us appreciate allll that IKEA furniture even more.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Quick loft update

Eeek, it's been a week since I last posted!! Well, the night we closed, DH and I had dinner on the deck. It was just sandwiches and blueberries, but it was fabulous.

Though it was hazy, the sunset was beautiful. The temperature was perfect. And we were sitting on our deck!!

We had already spent the previous weekend building out our closet (all IKEA) with help from a friend; this weekend was dedicated to curtains. Ironing 100% cotton sheers and Dupioni silk panels is not a good time, let me tell you. Especially when they are 102"x108". For the sheers, you are pretty much fighting a losing battle, because the instant you touch them, they wrinkle. In fact, if you even cast a glance in their direction, they wrinkle. But, I figure it's so humid here that the wrinkles will fall out soon anyway! I don't have pictures of the curtains yet, but here are some shots of the big closet build-out in progress. My husband. What a ham. I didn't really chop off our coworker's head in the actual shot, I'm just cropping to protect the innocent. They really did work hard; I figure they toted over 200 pounds of lumber up two flights of stairs, around hairpin bends. I think I hauled over 100, although in many more trips than they made. The closet looks just great now...yeah, I don't have any pictures of that, yet, either. My contribution to the whole affair was building the drawers.

Can you see how small the box was that they came in?? Those IKEA people are really geniuses of packing. I think I could build an IKEA KOMPLEMENT drawer in my sleep now.

This weekend I'm packing and hopefully we're putting down the IKEA floor in the ground floor room, despite the architects wanting us to hold off until the next big rain to make sure there aren't any more leaks on the ground floor. (Although they assure us the one we saw was due to the painters in the other townhome flushing paint rags down the toilet and it overflowing (!!)) Yes, I know. Idiots.

Old Geek-outs