February, 2003

27 Feb 2003, by

Talk is Cheap



Lunch break. I’m actually starving today, and I’m not sure why. Also,
it’s cold again. Does the weather not realize that it’s practically March?
What happened to springtime and sun and warmth? Ugh. Been rainy and
dreary for days. And cold. I just overnuked my lunch, which was pizza.
Yuck. It’s too hard to eat. Woe is me. Actually, I’d just as soon eat
poptarts anyways. I didn’t really want the pizza, it was just the oldest
leftover in the fridge this morning and I felt obligated to eat it. Our
fridge is as full of leftovers as our house is empty of people. I don’t
know if it’s all those years in Nepal or what but my brother’s family, though
they can eat quite a lot of food, suffer from “their eyes are bigger than their
stomachs” syndrome. They’re gone, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
No one likes to get their flight delayed, I can totally sympathize with that,
but they really acted like it was the end of the world. Like they were
never going to get back to Argentina and if they had to spend
one more second in this horrible place (the U.S.) with these horrible people
(us) they would lose all hope of ever seeing the light again. None of this is
hyperbole, by the way, or even mild exaggeration. “I hope we never have to
come back here again,” was a phrase uttered by everyone in my brother’s family
at some point in the last 48 hours except the youngest child, Abby. She may
have said it too, and I just didn’t hear it. However, they should be safely
home by now, and this is great news for all of us. I’ve been extra super plus
busy this week with my parents leaving and my brother and his family staying
here and going back and forth to the airport and various and sundry things so
I haven’t done any writing either on cualcotel or my blog or Sophia’s webpage.
Heck, I haven’t even played Animal Crossing, so you know I’ve been
busy. We’re also all still somewhat sickly with that congestion thing, which we
haven’t had time to fully recover from.

I have a list of things to write about Sophia as long as arm. The filename
for this entry (not that you can see any of the filenames, but I know
what they are) is phrases3.txt. Why is that? Because the last two entries I
meant to write something about phrases and failed to. Maybe today I’ll
finally get to it. If not, without a doubt, the filename for the next entry
will be phrases4.txt

I had another dream that I remember, and while the thought of posting it
didn’t really embarrass me, it was rather sexually graphic and I could easily
see it being potentially embarrassing to a reader. So I’m again trying to
figure out what I should do about that. I’m considering posting it behind a
username/password, so that no one stumbles on them by accident. Or maybe
a standard paper journal is the best place for my dreams. I thought
it might be easier to organize them if I had them online. I even had thoughts
of a database, with keywords and subject categories and a date field. That
was probably overly ambitious thinking on my part, though. I have grand
schemes, I just lack on the execution of them sometimes. At any rate, if you
have any ideas or suggestions about my dream journal and what form it should
take, write me and tell me what you

Pause while I peruse the Nanoedmo page
wondering if I should begin surgery on Cualcotel.

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We’ve fallen off the internet at work and I feel like a blind person. I
keep thinking “Oh well, since I can’t do that I’ll just look up this thing
on the net. No wait. Ok, well, since I can’t do that, I’ll just check my
email. No wait. Oh, well, I’ll be able to know when my co-worker that can
call the people who can fix this gets in because I’ll see him on AIM. No
wait. Oh well then I can just ftp these files home….” and so on, and so
forth. It’s very strange indeed.

Well, it’s funny what your mind does to you. Maybe you remember last
week how I talked a big game about posting my dreams to the blog yadda
yadda and how fun this would be etc., etc. and I posted the dream about the
house falling apart. Well, three nights in a row I’ve had dreams that were
too terrible for me to post here. I wrote them down, of course (though I
have to admit I was hesitant to do even that), but I can’t bring myself to
post them publicly. The first night’s dream was just weird and embarrassing
and made me think, ugh, rather not go into that. My reluctance was then
rewarded by two nights of truly violent and horrific dreams, each worse than
the last which I am even more reluctant to post, but which I dutifully
wrote down in one of my notebooks. Last night was the final revenge, I
suppose, because I can’t remember my dreams at all, so it’s like back to
square one. Not sure what I’m going to do about that. I suppose part of the
blame can be laid at the feet of Nyquil, since for a couple of those nights
(not sure which ones, to be honest) I was under the influence. Still trying
to get rid of this darned persistent congestion, you see. Still, I
suppose I’m going to have to commit to either posting the dreams or not.

Today is the day my parents are going back to Argentina. We are all going
to miss them, I know, but my concern is mostly for Sophia, who I’m not sure
understands what is going on. I’ve explained to her that nono and nona are
going away, and we did lots more hugs this morning than we normally do, but
I know she’ll ask for them frequently in the next few days. Her developing
mind is such that she remembers people even when they are not present.
“Where ducky?” she might ask me or “Where daddy?”. I know I’ll be hearing
“Where nono? Where nona?” and see her little shape toddling over to the
closed door where they stay with her hand extended towards the knob,
looking for them. She’ll get used to it, of course, but even that is
bittersweet. So she stops asking for them, is that any better? They’ll be
gone for a year, that’s an infinitely long time for a small toddler mind,
and by the time they get back she will have to meet them all over again.
She’s been very fortunate to have this time of closeness and sharing with
them. She has relished them, though not because she understood this time
together would be brief. Children are wonderful creatures.

I’m doing other things while composing this entry, including mp3
management. No net access means no
, so that I’m on my own musically as well as everything else.
Fortunately, I’m armed with a good many mp3s. Listening to them makes me
cringe when I see them labeled “Track 08” and so forth. So I don’t think
I’ve talked much about Shasradio here before. Shasradio is an internet
streaming radio run by a friend of mine. He has around 60 gigs of mp3s,
mostly in the areas of techno, rock and alternative. What makes his radio
different from any of the zillions of internet radios out there? I’ll tell
you what : the ratings. If you’re logged in to the radio when you listen,
you have the ability to rate songs according to love, like, dislike and
hate. Each of these ratings has a weight, which means that when the code
my friend wrote to pick the songs adds up the ratings, songs that are
negatively rated aren’t picked. In other words, you control what’s played
by your ratings. Is that cool or what? Of course you can be outvoted,
which means I have to listen to the dreadful, dreadful Smiths all the time,
since the majority of listeners have rated that whining drama queen Morrisey’s
songs positively, but it’s still a neat concept. The radio also allows you
to have one request queued at a time, so you can actually hear exactly
what you want every once in a while. There’s also a chatroom,
where you can discuss the songs playing as well as countless other topics.
Not only that, listeners can actually upload music they like to the radio.
You get one upload per day. Anyways, most of the handful of readers I have
are probably already Shasradio listeners, but if you’ve never tried it, you
definitely ought to check it out. Consider this my go check this out link
for the day.

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I’m writing this to make lunchtime get here faster. I’m starving, despite
the fact that I just ate most of a candy bar (it wasn’t a very good candy
bar, much to my disappointment). My head still feels oogy. I’m just not
recovering from this as quickly as I’d like to. Last night was our ninth
anniversary, and we did nothing just as planned. Nothing at all. On
Friday we might go out to Bruno’s for dinner. We’re exchanging very, very
small presents (CD size and COST, we both promised). Next year, on year
10, we’ll have to have a big bash. My friend,
and his wife are married 10 years this year and they are going to
England to celebrate. I can’t decide whether to ask for a trip to England
or a big honking diamond. Or both. Hopefully next year we won’t be in the
financial dire straits that we are this year and we can reward each other
with money to equal our love and gratitude. I don’t know whether I’ve ever
stated this in my journal, but my
is the best man ever. I wouldn’t trade him for another human
being, living or dead. Time goes on, and maybe I start to take him for
granted some, but I rely on him so much and I need him so much and I love him
so much and he never fails to make me smile. He’s the shoreline to my tide.
I sway and come in and go out and change every day, but he ever remains
steadfast, holding me up and anchoring me to the world. I am truly blessed
to be able to share even a year of life together with him, much less nine.
As usual when I stop to contemplate how fortunate I am, I cannot help but
also feel undeserving. I did nothing to get the greatest guy ever.

Lucky again! It’s lunchtime! More later.

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I’m lying in bed. I’m no sicker than I was yesterday, but I’m no
better either. I feel all stuffed up and disconnected, the kind of
stuffed up and disconnected that makes you have weird dreams. When I was
in high school (a long, long time ago) I used to keep a very faithful
dream journal. It was interesting, and my dreams rewarded me by becoming
more vivid and easier to remember the more I wrote about them. On and
off, I have thought about this and missed it. Someone I know from
Shasradio was putting her dreams
into her LiveJournal and when I
told her that I found those entries the most interesting, she started a
separate dream livejournal, which you can read here. I check
it fairly regularly, I’m going to try and do the same, I think. If I
succeed, I might branch the dream journal away from the blog, but atm,
since I’m so tentative, I’m just going to jot my dreams down here when I
remember them.

I remember two things from last night. One is a strange thing that
happens to me regularly, although I can’t remember having had it happen
to me in several years now. I wake to the sound of someone calling my
name, usually insistently. I think I can hear their voice even as I am
waking. Last night, the voice was my mother’s. When I woke, I waited,
to see if the call would come again, but of course, it didn’t. Strangely
enough, last night was the first night in months that my parents have
spent away from the house. When I was a child, this phenomenon would
happen to me in waking too, I would hear voices, calling my name. I
would often look for my mother and ask her, “Did you just call me?” She’d
assure me that she had not. After a while, she developed an answer to my
common question: “Well, if you hear it again, say ‘Speak, Lord, thy
servant listens.'” This is a reference to Samuel, for those of you not
biblically inclined. He is alone in the temple and God keeps calling out
to him. Who is calling me? What is it they want?

Both cats are in the bed with me. The dog just sighed deeply. He’s
curled up near the window. It’s good to have company when you are sick.

In the other dream, we were renting a house (which we weren’t living in
for some reason, or had just moved out of) from the Cain’s. The Cain’s
are the people whom we bought our new house from. Something was wrong
though, and repairs were needed. I walked down this long, narrow
hallways (like the hallway in the apartment we lived in in Argentina) to
the back room and showed my mom the plaster on the wall that was peeling.
As I touched it, the whole wall fell away to reveal the brick beneath.
Now we can see that the damage is not just superficial but structural,
for there in the brick wall are missing and torn out bricks.

That’s all I remember. I took a bath earlier, and it felt great and my
nostrils opened up and I could breathe. Now, though, I’m all stopped up
again, which is bothersome. I was planning to nap here with the kitties
after I wrote down my dreams, but now I don’t know if I’ll be able to
sleep with all this congestion. Ugh.

Oh! Well, either my cache on Galeon is playing mad tricks on me, or Neil
Gaiman went back in time to post on his journal. He’s been posting all
week! I swear I hard refreshed the thing! Lots to catch up on. Yay.
Oh. OK. His website was acting up. I am not insane, the posts weren’t
there when I tried to read them. That’s reassuring.

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13 Feb 2003, by

Mr. Neil Gaiman



I’m feeling a little oogy today. My head is all stuffed up. Blech.
I’m at work, but I’m not really sure how long that will last. No writing
last night either, felt oogy then, too. My boss said I sounded like
someone who needs “to be prone”. He’s funny.

I wish Neil Gaiman would update his blog already.
It’s been over a week! I wonder whether anyone gets impatient with me when
I don’t update in weeks.

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12 Feb 2003, by

Tantrums Daily



Well, this past weekend was rough. Sophia has moved into full on tantrum mode
now, and I kind of thought that wouldn’t happen for a few months.
Sometimes things just get her out of sorts and once there nothing will
bring her back from screaming and wailing. No distraction, no consoling,
no comforting works. It’s almost like a question of waiting her out. But
that’s really, really hard. I thought it was just happening to me, because
she seems to prefer Kurt so much and behave so well for him. This weekend
though he said it happens to him too. So what do you do? I ask him. I
just leave her, he says. Oh, I say. Me too. Only I keep coming back to check
on her. Not me, he says. I wait until she comes to find me. Well. She has
legs. They work. Maybe that’s what I should be doing as well. Plus we should
be consistent. And should have probably talked about it earlier. Communication.
Very important. So that was the lesson. Learn to tell each other what is going
on with Sophia.

Also, tell Sophia what’s going on. The fact that she understands
everything we say means that if we discuss things when she’s not paying
attention or in her absence and are then suddenly suiting up and getting in
the car without having told her where we are going flips her out. As does
reaching over to wipe her nose without having told her in advance this is
about to happen.

She is too big for the high chair. She could probably still sit in it,
but her feet get stuck putting her into it and taking her out of it,
resulting in lots of complaints about “Stuuuuucky!”. Now she sits at the
dinner table with us in a regular chair with a phone book. I think she likes
this better, because it’s more like what we do. She’s really interested in
imitating everything we do. She loves to put my shoes on anytime I take them
off. I always thought that walking in someone else’s shoes thing was kind
of metaphorical, but apparently, if you’re a toddler, it’s pretty literal.
I wonder if she thinks walking in my shoes makes her think like me, or be
like me, or look like me.

Last night I blew up a balloon for her. There were left over balloons from her
birthday last year that had been sitting in a drawer in the kitchen at the old
house. In a sweep and dump of several drawers and cabinets from the kitchen of
the old house last week the balloons found their way here. She had a complete
blast with this. She kept kicking it and throwing it and laughing uproariously.
She was especially delighted by the fact that Sergei seemed a little scared by
it. He’d dodge around it and try to always stay facing it. He was mostly playing,
in that way he does with the vacuum cleaner. When I had her
show Kurt later in the evening how she played with the balloon he said, “This is
great! We should tape this!” I agree, we should. Despite the fact that according
to a friend of mine I “take documenting your kid to new levels of tediousness” I
often feel like too much is going without being recorded. It will all be washed
away and forgotten if I don’t write it down, photograph it, hook up microphones
and tape it, or get the video camera and make a movie out of it. And it’s worth
recording, because it’s all so wonderful and life-affirming. Not because it’s
Sophia, particularly, though that makes it extra good for us, but because it’s a
child growing up in the world, learning new things every day and fascinated by it
all. Anyways, there’s no movie except in our minds of Sophia chasing that
balloon, kicking it away from herself, chasing it further and laughing
continuously, but there ought to be.

The time when my parents are supposed to leave is almost here, and it’s like it
sneaked up on me. I don’t want them to go. It’s going to be really rough on
Sophia too, I think. She’s grown accustomed to seeing them every day, to going
back in their section of the house for visits. Sometimes she takes my father by the
hand and just leads him around the house, showing him her toys and things, pointing to
her beloved atlas (another rescue from the old house) or her bears or random things.
He always drops whatever he’s doing to go with her, and it’s so sweet.

OK, so I don’t know how much more time I have to write on this today, so to make
sure I don’t forget what I was going to say I’m making yet another list of things to
write about. Think of it as stuff to look forward to reading about!

  • song enjoyment (deep and wide, old McDonald)
  • bear going to daycare daily
  • cualcotel progress
  • hop on pop chase game
  • stinky socks game
  • politics and war (maybe, if i feel like ranting)
  • links? that would be novel, i don’t do that much (maybe bookcrossing and

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Blah. Even with new improved everything in one place I just found a lost
Diary entry. I had written one on January 23, only I had apparently started
Vim from a different directory than I normally do, so it was saved not where I
would normally look for such things and so I just found it now when I was
organizing my directories a little. and I inserted it in the appropriate
place, so if you are reading this thinking you have read everything before
this entry you might want to go back to January 23. Then again, you might
not. Anyways, I think I’ve got a system, and if I can just remember to start
Vim in the Documents directory, maybe this won’t happen again. I’m pretty
pleased though that I seem to be getting at least one entry in a week,
despite a pretty busy schedule.

Last weekend Kurt’s parents came to visit. They had a great time with Sophia
on Saturday, but by Sunday she’d gotten overtired and clingy and had started
to be sick with a raging flu that’s spreading around like wildfire.
According the papers roughly 10 percent of kids have been out of school in
the last week with this thing. One of my co-workers took his child to the
doctor, and the office was so busy that at first they told him they wouldn’t
be able to see her. At any rate, the grandparents brought Sophia a great
toy. It’s one of those cubes with the wires and the beads with the holes in
them all over like you see at Doctor’s offices all the time. Sophia loves
it. She also got a “bier! bier!” (bear, bear) from her Aunt Kelly, as well
as a couple of books for her ever increasing library. It was quite a
delightful visit, except perhaps too short. It would have been nice if they
could have stayed another couple of days and gotten to spend a little more time
with Sophia.

So Sophia went to Toddler B classes this week. Well, the days she went to daycare,
anyways. She didn’t go Wednesday or Thursday. She seems to be thriving there, and
she gets to do so many different kinds of activities. When I took her in on Friday,
the teachers expressed concern that she hadn’t been there and said they had been so
worried that they tried to call and check on her! This is so sweet to me.

For a long time most of Sophia’s vocabulary concerned either animals or food. She
had some interest in objects (ball, heart, coat, hat, house) and in body parts, but by
far she knew more food names and animal names than anything else. Now, she is learning
about emotions and states of being. These new words are so exciting, because they
demonstrate an awareness of changes that occur to herself and her environment. So I’ll
take her into her room and she’ll say to me, in a whisper, “it’s daaaaaaaaahk. Scary.”
She doesn’t actually seem to be scared, by the way. “Yes,” I tell her,”It is
dark. Let me turn on a light.” So I’ll flip on the light and she’ll say “Light!
Light!” and grin. She’s also conscious of her body, not just that parts of it have
names, but that it changes as time goes on. “Sticky,” she tells me after eating, holding
her hands out to be wiped. “Messy,” she tells me when she spills something on her
clothes. “Stuuuuuuuuucky!” she cries in dismay when she can’t get her feet out of the
high chair as I’m pulling her out, or when her arm gets tangled in the car seat belt.
“Wet!” she cries with delight after splashing her hand repeatedly into Sergei’s water
bowl. The other day she kept getting dismayed because her sweat pants, which have
elastic ankles would ride up to around her knees and then stay there. “Stucky!” she
would say, tugging at her pant legs. Once I’d fixed them, she’d get up and be on her
way, perfectly satisfied.

I’m at work today. It’s my Saturday to work the reference desk. We’re in a bit of a
weird situation at work, where they admonish us against getting too much comp time, but
schedule us in such a way that we can’t help but accrue it. They don’t want us to have
too much comp time because when it comes time to move into the new building they don’t
want us to take time off. On the other hand they have so many things they want
completed before the move (in some cases complete reorganizations of collections) that
they can’t be completed within normal work hours. Not that this is either here nor
there. I just come to work do my thing and leave and don’t worry about it too much.
The reason I mention it though, is because the search room is freezing and my hands
are cold and I’m having trouble typing. Also, there are hardly any people here
because of the rodeo. The rodeo is down the street and all the roads are blocked off
and it’s really hard to get to the building or the parking lot. There’s four people
in the search room, total. I’ve had to pull five items for one person, and my
co-worker has pulled a similar amount for someone else. And that’s pretty much it.
Dead. quiet. Hence why I’m writing right now. Kind of pleasant, actually, to be able
to write basically uninterrupted. The rodeo is on my list by the way, for
being a nuisance that makes it hard for me to get to work and making our local hockey
team have two solid months of away games. But that’s another story for another day.

Sophia is completely weaned of morning feedings now. With only the nightly feeding
left, I no longer have to pump at work and this is a great joy. I put all the parts
away in a box and sealed it up and it’s going in the attic. Hurray! In fact, the
last Saturday that I worked back in November or whenever, I was still having to pump,
and it was quite awkward to explain why I might be longer than 15 minutes on my break.
Still, all done with that now. Yay!

Sophia is beginning to throw some of those terrible two tantrums, now. She’ll get
angry or upset and just wail and holler and flail about and there’s NOTHING you can
do but let her get her waaah-waaahs out. Yesterday she asked Kurt for milk coming
out of daycare and when he said no she started to scream like a banshee. She
wailed the whole drive home and my dear husband said he was more than a little
concerned that child services was going to pull up along beside him and cart her away.
The day before that, she threw a full-on tantrum at me when I refused to let her watch
television. I guess it’s a test of whether she can get her way by screaming like an
air raid siren. We do try to placate her a lot, but I don’t think either one of us is
the type to give in on tantrums, so maybe she’ll learn the lesson quickly and spare us
all a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. We’re really putting a lot of effort into
rewarding her when she makes herself clear to us. “uhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuuhuuuuuuuh” with
outstretched arms gets nothing from us but one solitary “up” makes us pick her up. If
she says “help” or signs it we rush over there to help her. Sometimes when she starts
to get frustrated with a toy, I prompt her,”Do you need help?” and she lights up and
signs help which is very satisfying. We want her to know that if she makes herself clear
to us and we can provide it, that we will. Well, except she can’t watch television 24/7.
Not even if she asks for it as clear as a bell. As we often say to her, half-jokingly
and half-sympathetically, “Life’s hard when you’re a baby.”

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