28 December, 2007

Last Friday of 2007

I am listening to Radio Current (on Minnesota Public Radio) tonight and reading the internet.

Being it is the end of the year, it is time for me to think about getting my ducks in a row as it may be. Here is a list of things I hope to accomplish in the coming year:
  1. Finally get down to my goal weight (125 – 130lbs), I am a lot closer than I was last year (presently sitting at 150 from 195 a year ago), but I've plateaued. It is time to step it up
  2. Apply myself to a greater degree at my internship and (hopefully) land a real position if not an awesome reference
  3. Get all my transcripts from UMD, Ai, Century within the next 2 months so I have them for T4A applications next year
  4. Finish my T4A application in the first round of applicants
  5. Save $8,000 – 10,000 by July
  6. Land at least one freelance illustrating gig
  7. Finish a painting a month
  8. Finish a comic a week

I am leaving this at 8 things. I don't believe in lists of 10 or something.

Anyway, I was reading Derrick's Blog, and it occurs to me I haven't seen or spoken to my father for almost 10 years. Not that he was really an integral part of my life before then. He's always been the definition of an absentee parent when it comes to me (he is plenty involved with Jody though, probably because he had 12 years of face time with Jody before he left my mom and me when I was 3).

I don't know who really reads my blog since no one ever leaves me comments, but I'd like to know from those of you who have them. What is it like to have a father? What is it like to have a dad who is actually there and cares about you? I'm not asking for pity or anything. I got over my dad years ago. I am just curious now because it isn't something I'd really experienced.

Thanks and happy new year. Good luck in all things to come.

24 December, 2007

bonus update

As many people may have come to realise, or are now being notified as such. I have been drawing a lot more recently than I had in the last year or so at least in terms of cartooning. I spent a long period of time where when I was drawing, it wasn't cartoonish in intent nor was it really subject matter that lends itself toward anything but my view of stark realism.

Another thing people may not have noticed or realised is that my old portfolio site at Twisted Matrix went down. Like a ship in the night hitting an unknown reef whilst its crew slept it sank. I had no idea it had gone down or the permanence of such until I was notified that it "didn't work" by a person I had sent a resume and a link to said portfolio. All queries as to the reason for this have turned up no response. I assume this was an informal, if not somewhat rude, severing of ties between myself and the lads at Twisted.

As a result, I did lose a small amount of work that had been on there from my ibook days of which I had not copies elsewhere due to hard drive problems with the ibook in its later days combined with my move to the West and subsequent sale of most of my worldly possessions (including said ibook).

This combined with my hiatus from cartooning has lead me down the path where I've lost any sort of my original distinctive qualities in cartooning. Many of the cartoons I have tried to draw recently are just pale imitations of my favourite artists of which I read daily. My original style had been cultivated with great greediness in high school and early college days largely through the very hermitted stance on art that I took which lead to me having very few, if any, connections to the art community (largely: if I don't look at it, I can't copy it, so anything that comes about from the font of my mind is mine and mine alone). I had dropped these barriers naught but a few years ago when I had finally settled upon a style that was both my own and pleasing to myself.

Being those floodgates are open, there is no closing them, and being I have forgotten through disuse the very style that made my art mine, these last few brief forays into reentering cartooning have left me feeling sad and lost. Nevertheless, I bought some new brush pens this weekend, and I'm hoping that in lieu of my foregoing list of end-of-year demands upon myself, I can bring myself to painfully trudge through my old sketchbooks (yes, I still have them hearkening back to junior high when I largely spent my time drawing mutants and odd dinosaurs) and see if I can glean any sort of feeling for what was once my own hand. This is likely what I will do today when I get home instead of sleeping because this is one of those things that aches in the pit of me much like the feeling I used to get during looming deadlines of large school projects I had nary started. The sort of ache that keeps one from sleeping and makes both mind and body restless.

Hopefully more to come.

Holiday Push

Good day blog. Being it is the holiday time, and I have found myself with tomorrow off (and the next day, also new year's eve, but not new year's day herself), I decided I should do some things prior to year end.

These are the things I intend to accomplish or at least get a good go on:
  1. "Finishing" and posting pictures of the painting I'd stopped working on a few months ago
  2. Getting my website operational and with real content
  3. Scanning and finishing a number of comics I've got built up
  4. Making a cheesecake for holiday celebrations (this I am likely doing tomorrow evening)
  5. Acquiring some new, interesting music as it occurs to me I have not really done this at all this year
  6. Expanding, if not finishing, my D&D module so that maybe we can play it when Az is here in January
  7. Attempting the construction of a pair of pants or perhaps a short coat for wearing on the bike
  8. Finally getting Tim's bike in operational status

Granted these are high hopes for someone as easily distracted as I am, especially since the call of finishing at least the original module of Neverwinter Nights 2 is like a siren song to me (I am oh so close to the end of chapter 2, and chapter 3, from what small amounts I've seen on gamefaqs is to be a shorter one), but I figure maybe I can keep myself from this for a week, and see how happy Tim is when he finishes it out (which I'm sure he'll be able to do without me using his computer).

I think since I finished my scrabble game with Beth, a lot of the call of the internet is to a minimum since she is often occupied at Andy's so I have little reason to be online when I'm not at work. Much to Tim's dismay it may be a week of me wearing headphones so he doesn't have to listen to the droning type of music I enjoy working to. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep the time I need to be using my big computer (that occupies a connection to the monitor that he and I share) to times when he is not home so as to inconvenience him as little as possible (and also so he can keep himself occupied and as such from distracting me).

I almost feel I should send out letters of mock thanks to my prior institutes of learning for not getting really any of the transcripts I needed for T4A to me in the TWO MONTHS since I'd asked for them. Though this is partially my fault for being really bad at follow-up on these matters.

13 December, 2007

No teaching job

So I had an interview for a teaching job at Miami Ad School on Monday. It went reasonably well; however, apparently (though this may just be a line, I don't know), the lady emailed me yesterday afternoon to let me know that her boss (who coordinates the classes) decided to not have the class I'd be teaching (Adobe Illustrator CS for freshmen) offered this coming quarter. Likely due to low sign-up for it or something. Who knows.

Other than that, the internship I'm doing is going fairly well. I worked with another intern today on some holiday envelope things Seidel is sending out to clients---today instead of tomorrow (Friday, my normal intern day) because the office is taking the day off then. I also had an impromptu phone interview with Williams Sonoma yesterday as I was getting ready for work which went as well as an interview I had absolutely no time to prep for could. The guy said he would have someone in touch with me by some time next week. This would be a good job to get as it would open a lot of doors for me career-wise. I've pretty much given up on doing T4A this year because though I finished my essays, my respective colleges have not gotten any of my transcripts back to me (save UDC, go figure), and the deadline is fast approaching, and there is an entire second part of the application I'd have to go through. I'm really upset about this, but considering how Tim should probably put in a solid year at his place of work just so he's employable elsewhere, I don't really see a huge problem with it. When I'm filling it out for next year, I do have solid reasons as to why I didn't finish my application this year.

I also took some pictures today because I have realized that I am very close to having the flat stomach I've wanted for years, and though I haven't really dropped any major poundage in the last couple weeks, my body composition seems to be shifting quite a bit. I am into size 8 pants now, and Beth is telling me I am likely smaller than she. My biggest annoyance is that seemingly no matter how thin I am looking when I am standing up, when I sit down, it is as though my body finds all these hidden fat reserves and pools them around my midsection so it looks like I am sitting with an innertube in my shirt. This is likely due to poor sitting posture though, which is something I need to work on, but I am lazy. I'm down to about 150lbs now; so, I weigh half a Derrick :) This is what biking 5 miles 4 days a week in SF (with only one real hill to go up) gets you after about 6 months. That and not having a whole lot of money which means eating at home a lot or just not at all unless one is real hungry.

Tim and I were actually telling Robyn what we'd eaten today, and she's all "omg you guys eat like nothing, what are you a bunch of anorexics or something!" and we're like "no! we're hungry right now! geez!" We did eat out tonight with Robyn and Fei, and Travis was there for some time, but he left before Fei got there because he was feeling sick (mouth problems, not feeling good after yesterday, etc.). We went to this French cafe that we found off of Bush / Kearny Streets in an alleyway (it is next to Sam's Grille) . Their menu had 3 things that weren't appetizers that were vegetarian, but one of them had pears (an endive / spring mix salad with bleu cheese and walnuts, please please please do these with apples, I love all these things so much :( but I'm allergic to pears), and so it was the pasta which was tasty (it was a vegetable and cheese ravioli in a garlic oil sauce with big cloves of soft, sweet garlic...mmm). I also had two of this drink that is made with Gin and Basil which was weird but also delicious. We split this appetizer that had warm goat cheese and a sweet pepper sauce and golden raisins as well. The breadboy there was on top of matters and brought us like 3 baskets of bread right as we'd finish them! WTG breadboy! Fei got a strawberry tartlette after an emphatic recommendation from the waitress, Robyn got probably the biggest creme brulee I'd ever seen, and I got this thing about an island in a lake of caramel sauce (it was a meringe that tasted a little eggy for my liking because I thought it was supposed to be almond or something, but whatever, it was still really good), and Tim got a tripleshot of a liquer I thought sounded interesting, though he did not say whether it was tasty or not. It was good times.

I am at work now and very tired and a little cold. There is not much to do at the moment, and after surveying the bankers, it doesn't sound like there will be much to do later on either. Since I got here at 9:30, that means I can't go home until 1:30 at the earliest lest I tempt the wrath of Paolo for leaving before 4 hours is up (since in the state of CA, employers have to pay full-time, hourly employees for the first 4 hours of work whether they work them all or not if they get sent home due to lack of work or whatever).

This has been an incredibly long post.

03 December, 2007


So I got an internship. I learnt from past failures of my portfolio that one basic one won't do the job at all. I have to do like what I do with coverletters (and occasionally resumes) which is customize customize customize. I stayed up all night after work Thursday and until my interview Friday (mostly) to do it. Not to say I didn't at least try to sleep, but I had almost fallen asleep when Ciro woke up to find himself locked in the bathroom and started clawing at the door to be let out. I got up and let him out, and lay back down with him next to me to try to sleep again, but at that time I got a brilliant idea in my head on how to do my portfolio.

Many creative types may know this sort of feeling as persistent inspiration; the whole "oh man I really need to sleep, but this is such a good idea, maybe if I just start it, that will be good enough. No I should really sleep. I'm going to try to sleep." 10 minutes later: "ok, I need to start this, I am going to forget if I don't start it". So I got up and started it and picked out all the pieces that were going in and made up the covers (I made it like a little book, or a 'zine; a single short-signature [12 pagse] long). When I finished that, I tried to go to sleep again, but I pretty much just lied in bed for about 2 or 3 hours with my eyes closed trying to get comfortable and trying to sleep to little avail.

I got up at 10:30am or so and finished it up around 11:30. By this time it was too late to try to submit it via the internet to Kinko's, so I had to go there in person and try to get things figured out. They claimed they were printing things (though none of the printers were going), so I had to go to the self-serve. I had put the disk into my laptop (and brought my laptop) so it wouldn't get scratched up in my portfolio, and I'd brought the laptop in the case I couldn't get it to print right or in a timely fashion so I could at least just present it on screen. Well. At Kinko's self-serve, the colour printer does not do two-sided automatically. I spent probably about $12 on prints I couldn't use because of this. $6 of which was on printing from Preview which makes for a really shitty printing as for whatever reason, it downscales all graphics before sending to print; even vectored ones.

12:30 rolled around (my interview was at 1pm), so I called and asked to push back to 2pm since they were about 90% of the way to my present work, and I was on-foot rather than on-bike. The first bit of trouble I really ran into was trying to eject the disk from my laptop because somehow along the way a very tiny screw had lodged itself in my cdrom drive's slot. This made ejection impossible. I almost wrecked the disk trying to get it out. Lucky bottle opener to the rescue: I got the tiny screw out, and though my laptop (which is apparently a slut for reading any optical media) would read it, the kinko's mac (after MUCH thinking) would not, and well, it is .40$/min. When it is like the slowest possible build of powerpc, that is a lonnnnnng time. I probably spent a good half of the money-time just WAITING for the computer to do something.

Anyway, I got it printed, and I left there at about 1pm. I got down to the place at 1:30 and had my interview. They were blown away. The guys really liked what I did, and when I mentioned I could draw really well (I also had some samples tucked in my portfolio), well, that went even better. Basically said I could have the internship if I wanted it; particularly because they were also looking for someone who could work on Fridays (which is my best day to do this anyway). So I start there at 1pm this Friday. I'm excited!

Just for the sake of it, I might send it to print at Kinko's (because I will have time to get it with a decent turnaround and it will actually be cheaper than if I try to do it myself again) and make a few more copies so I can leave them behind since it went over so well, and I might still be able to interview at Miami Ad School (the lady emailed me) on Friday while I was out and about and just not checking my emails anymore (or sleeping) pretty much when I'd specifically told her she should call me in my message. I emailed her back today saying I'd still be interested in interviewing this week and to let me know what a good time would be (as she said she'd had a very hectic week and that was why she hadn't gotten back to me at all). If I get that job, it would be awesome because then I'd be teaching design. Which is something I really want to do because it is such a varied field.

Woo woo!

08 November, 2007

antsy and bored

ants ants ants ants ants ants pants bants ants ands stands rands mands stats cats meow meow moew moe mow moo moof morf morph month math make take break broke bored


So the USD is tanking big time. (Props to washort for predicting this ages ago.) The CAD is now worth $1.07USD and rising; while the AUD (Australian Dollar), which has historically hovered around 73c to the USD for the last 10 to 15 years is gaining huge momentum and is now up to 97c to the USD.

Really makes me wish I'd had the cashflow to have invested in foreign currencies 5 or 6 years ago before Bush sank the dollar.

The best part of all of this is while the USD is tanking in value, the cost of everything is rising. Because face it, the US has become a nation of imports; we manufacture fewer and fewer things here each year. About the only prices I've seen stay relatively stable (though they were already expensive) is that of such brands as American Apparel; because their product is manufactured in LA and they tend to source their materials in the US as well. But aside from that the cost of food and fuel (which impacts the cost of anything that uses fuel in the US; namely trucking things around) are rising at rates that no one in our generation has ever seen before.

The other issue is that consumer spending is dropping like mad because of the fact that workers' wages have been stagnant if not dropping in comparison to inflation for the last 25 years. Your parents made more money fresh out of college / high school in the late 60s and early 70s than you make now with your graduate degree.

This is a downward spiral. Hopefully in the next year we can get some measure of representatives on capital hill to pull us out of the conflict in Iraq which has plunged our country deeper and deeper into debt; the fed will figure out what the fuck they're doing in regard to the current housing market crisis (a large part of the USD's tanking in the last year has been directly correlated to the housing market), and maybe give the coming-of-age top consumers (being our generation) A FUCKING BREAK ON THE STUDENT LOAN RATES ALREADY. I know they plan to drop them back to the 3-ish %s by 2012, but that is currently only for people who have not consolidated, and in some cases, only for people taking out new loans. There needs to be an across-the-board "necessary debt" rate drop. But that is another rant.

All in all, at least it is still cheap to travel to Eastern Europe (so long as you stay out of countries that have switched to Euro), much of Asia, and pretty much all of Central / South America and much of Africa.

31 October, 2007


I took one "fun size" 3 Muskateers bar from downstairs last night and put it in the freezer here at work for me to enjoy frozen tonight (as there are few things tastier than a frozen 3 Muskateers bar), and SOMEONE ATE IT. I am SO ANGRY. This is one of the few things I was looking forward to enjoying tonight during the drugery of work, and someone just ATE IT. :(

29 October, 2007

went to the eye doctor

I got my new scrip which the doc was nice enough to give me written out without me even having to ask.

I did ask if I could try contacts again, and she indulged me in vain attempts to put in one-day-wear contacts while my eyes were still mildly droopy and numb from the glaucoma test eyedrops. She was very patient with me even though I was a big fumbling doof. This did not meet with much success which is too bad because I'd like contacts for such things as going out to shows dancing (glasses are too big a risk of falling off), swimming and other showy / sporty events. I think the combination of me not being too familiar anymore with the sensation of touching my eye, the numbness of my eyelids making them difficult to control, and the fact that I think she had me trying on too-big of lenses spelled failure in this instance. But for those of you (Beth) who have been insisting I should try contacts again for the last couple of years; I now have, and failed. I might be able to try again when I go to pick up my frames if she has time. I might ask if I can't get a smaller size lense since even though my eyes are big, it is difficult for me to stretch my lids open enough to get a lense that is literally half the size of my eye in. The other reason I thought they were too big was because I could FEEL them once she put them in for me. I have had contacts before. I know how they are supposed to feel, and this felt WRONG. I told her this, and she got a smaller size for me to try, but by this point, my eyes were so angry at me, I couldn't keep them open enough to get them in.

I did, however, find some really cute new frames which will take about a week and a half to produce and get to me. I might also order some cheaper frames off the internet since I can use my 'scrip in addition to the frame size on my current glasses to get ones that fit. Probably a pair of sunglasses. I'd like to check out some of the eyeglass stores around me to see if I can't find anything fun for a backup pair that doesn't cost mondo dollars.

Anyone who has contacts suggestions, let me know.

28 October, 2007


I broke my glasses last night. Optometrists are not open on Sundays; not even the ones that work for such places as Pearl or Hour Eyes. Plus I'd rather at very least go to one that is covered by my health insurance so even if I can't find my vision plan card to pay for frames + lenses, I won't have to pay for my eye check and prescription write out.
They broke on the joint between the top of the left (my left) lense and the nose piece. The entire top rims of my glasses are now coated in duct tape. I might install a paperclip if this proves to be too feable.
That's all that's going on with me other than working on a website, working (not very well) on my T4A stuff (which NO ONE IS HELPING ME WITH THANKS JERKS) and Tim and I helped Travis move last night then went to Old Jerusalem for dinner. Tim forgot his wallet, so I got to pay for us. I have no money.
We could have gone with Travis to a party last night, but Tim opted not to, and I don't like to go to parties where I won't really know anyone with just one other person because then it's like I just follow them around all night, where if there are two or more people I know, I'm more apt to mingle and actually make new friends.
Oh well.
I am in a terrible mood right now because these taped up glasses are bugging both my field of vision and my skin (especially after I was biking because my face was a little sweaty), and I am at work because I switched with Benita. AT LEAST I will get Thursday off this week, and if I can't get into an optomitrist before then, I'll have the whole day to do so.
If I bother to install a paperclip into my frame setup tonight, I will likely try to hold off buying glasses at an optomitrist (as my insurance might not cover it) and opt for the less expensive route of buying them on the internet with my wrote out 'scrip.

10 October, 2007


Preface: These are my working essays for T4A; I am looking for feedback and help. I need to finish these in ~1.5 weeks. Please, please, please leave comments or email me (jendockter (at) gmail.com).

Why do you seek to join Teach For America? What would make you an effective corps member? (400 to 500 words)

10 Reasons I'd like to be a T4A teacher:
  1. I'm smart and I want to share my smarts with the children.
  2. To instill in children the internalistic drive and love of learning that my mother and early school teachers did for me.
  3. To give back to the educational system that gave so much to me.
  4. To gain my certifications and build experience to open up the possibility of moving back to MN and helping with poor, low-performing schools there.
  5. To impact positive change in and learn about communities that were once completely foreign to me (i.e. in "The South" that is North Carolina, or highly urbanized areas such as NYC).
  6. To serve as an example of someone who grew up poor and made something of themselves.
  7. I spent a fair amount of time griping about how poorly many public school systems in this country are run; this is my chance to make a difference.
  8. I want to be one of those teachers that kids hate while they have me, but love when they're done: namely one that teaches them and makes them do things the hard way so things are easier when they actually do get "tough".
  9. To teach today's kids to be critical, inquisitive and mindful.
  10. To help build tomorrow's effective leaders and workforce.

10 things that make me an effective corps member:

  1. Relatability: I've been there. Learning is hard, learning while worrying about whether mom's going to make enough money to cover rent and buy food this month is even harder.
  2. Enthusiasm: I face every day as an opportunity for new challenge and new learning.
  3. Range: I've been the bookish kid, the clown, the shy one. I can coax kids out of their shells; I can instill the difference between fairness and equality.
  4. Experience: I've done teaching projects back in the day through Bio-Earth club. I know how to cater to various crowds and adjust course materials accordingly.
  5. Nurturing Attitude: I care about today's youth. The world is a lot harsher today than it was when I was in grade school. There is a lot of competition for everything; kids today need a good deal of coaching to go along with the other skills for life that school teaches.
  6. Community Focus: I am primarily interested in working in small to medium sized schools, districts or cities as these usually have the least red tape in regard to inacting positive, large-scale community change. I feel many small communities have the ability to show what just a few people can accomplish and as such give example to larger urban and suburban settings; or merely the larger urban area surrounding.
  7. Attentiveness: I think in far too many cases, a lot of "problem children" are left behind or simply ignored. These kids often are looking for someone to reach out to them, and I would make it a point to make sure these kids find the help they need.
  8. Focus on Learning: I make it a point during lessons to not get distracted or go off on tangents because I feel this takes away from the learning experience as well as wastes everyone's time.
  9. Make it Matter: I will make it a point to tie the teachings to something that currently impacts the students because if there are situations the students can apply their learning to, it is more likely to stick with them in the long run.
  10. Cater to Their Abilities: Tying in with not leaving behind students who may struggle with the material, but also serving to let those who understand it get ahead; I will strive to work with struggling students to bring their achievement and understanding up to the level of the remainder of the class.

Describe a time when you encountered serious obstacles to success while working on a project. You may choose any academic, professional, or extracurricular project you have worked on during the past four years. Your essay should address all of the following questions:

  • What was the aim of the project?

To create the new Keller Williams North Texas real estate advertisement book. Redesigned from the ground-up. The largest book we'd had to date and have it publish and on stands by an early September date from its inception date of July 8th.

  • What were the specific obstacles that arose, and why did they occur?

      1. The core committee of realtors working with us on this book had a difficult time agreeing with each other on pretty much every issue dealing with the design of the book including:

      • The cover design. Kirsten (the other designer working on the book with me) and I made up 6 initial covers. The committee debated over them for a week, and decided they wanted to see 6 more. They continued to debate over the cover up until 3 days before the data download.
      • Whether to use "lifestyle" photos on their covers or actual real estate property from inside the book (this was a large factor in why it took so long to decide on a cover).
      • Whether or not the book should be in full colour, spot colour, black and white or have a single-colour spot and a separate colour section.
      • Whether they wanted red spot in their headers and footers or just black and white.
      • Whether to have realtors' photos next to their properties.
      • Whether to use our standard fill-ins for ads placed without photos, to have special fill-ins made for their book, or to have a separate section for ads that did not receive photos.

      2. The sales people were giving us either wrong or completely opposite information:

      • They told us (and our programmers) the realtors wanted the book in full colour when they did not.
      • Sales people informed the realtors that red colour folios (the part of the page that has the parent company's web information and page number, etc. at the bottom and date of the book at the top) as well as listing text would be "a good idea" (it's not).
      • The number of listings per page changed from their original book (the one they had with a different publishing house) to how many we were doing; we were not informed of this until almost a month into the project.

      3. Data issues; deadline issues; programming issues.

      • Deadlines for real estate submissions came and went with many of their realtors not submitting, resulting in botched test downloads and many angry calls
      • Little to no training of realtors on how to use our online submission and ad-building self-service device resulting in a lot of last-minute fixes.
      • Programming receiving too little information too late and having to scrap about a month's worth of work and do re-works with less-than-spectacular results
      • Missed September deadline due largely to unwillingness to compromise and inability to communicate effectively. Largely a case of too many cooks in the kitchen.

      • What was the ultimate outcome with respect to the initial aim of the project? Why did this outcome occur? (400 to 500 words)

      The ultimate outcome was a book that was released almost a full month after its initial agreed-upon release date. It was a lot of hardwork and headache on mine and Kirsten's part, but the book looked fantastic once all the bugs were worked out and we got realtors and sales people to agree on what would be best in regard to feasible design within the clients' budget and our own press's limitations. I would say this is a mixed, at best, result of about 3 months' work, but in the end, the customer (the realtors) were happy with their product, and that is all that really matters.

      While you should completely describe the obstacle(s) you faced, please do not focus your essay primarily on the obstacle(s); it is more important that you thoroughly explain your reaction and describe the steps you took in response to the obstacle(s). The experience you choose to describe may relate to any academic, professional, or extracurricular project.

      25 September, 2007

      Minnesota Bound

      I am coming to (going to?) Minnesota in the first week of (r)Oc(k)tober.

      I arrive October 5th at 12:40am and depart October 8th at 9:50pm. Plan accordingly.

      I will likely be spending much of the time there with such as one Mari Cook at her fabu apartment in Minneapolis.

      I am open to going and doing anything I can get to either by bumming rides off people, taking MT or walking (within reason).

      29 August, 2007

      honk toot

      So, blog. It has been some time.

      Yesterday morning, biking home from work, I managed to bike up my entire hill without stopping to get off and walk my bike. I was amazingly sweaty when I got home.

      Carlos at work, this is his last week. He has found a new job at a different office doing pretty much the same thing as he does here, only for better pay, and it is closer to his house so he can bike to work now. To celebrate this, tonight we had pizza at work.

      It has been fairly slow this entire month, so I have not been getting as many hours in as I like. However, the last couple of days have picked up. Unfortunately, I feel like crap tonight and just want to go home and take a bath and rest my eyes which are ridiculously bloodshot for no good reason.

      I got another summons for jury duty in the mail. This one for the day after my birthday. I talked to Lynn, and we are in agreeance that if I call them and tell them I've already been summoned once this year, I shouldn't have to go through this again. It basically is a week where I can't go anywhere because I might have to go to the court house. Not to mention that I work overnights, and it would be extremely painful for me to be up and sitting around waiting for this bullshit. Not only that, but it is entirely likely that I'd fall asleep in the jury box unless it was a particularly riveting case.

      I also went to the library today and got a library card. SFLS has the worst catalogue search ever in existance. I was looking for the Graphic Artists Guild's guide to pricing and ethics. A search for Graphic Artists Guild yielded nothing of the sort. Not until I searched Graphic Pricing was I able to find this book. Unfortunately, the one copy that can be checked out was (the others were non-check-out-able in reference or lost) until the 6th of Sept. Boo. I also was looking for some French instructional books---as in books to teach/learn French by. All I could get were audio results, and none of the ones that I'd be interested in getting were available. I really wanted like an exercise type textbook, but all I could find were dictionaries. Ah well, c'est la vive.

      08 August, 2007

      Comcast is coming tomorrow between 8am and noon

      Hopefully I will have internet before work.

      That is all.

      29 July, 2007

      My day today after Travis dropped me off

      Cats real hungry. I fed them, gave them milk treat, then found that one of them had thrown up on my biking jacket. I was going to wash it tomorrow anyway when I did laundry, but still, yuck. I'm just glad I left the window open so it didn't smell like cat vomit when I got home. Called Tim and updated him on the cats' status, and then dragged out my bed and tried to get some sleeps in before work. Almost immediately after dragging out my bed, my neighbourhood exploded in a sea of loudness. I think the secret to why I can always take a nap on my makeshift window seat is that people outside don't realize I am trying to sleep, so they stay real quiet.
      So anyway, I had locked up my bike downstairs for the weekend, and when I left, there was this guy (at least I'm assuming it is a guy due to how it is locked and the fact that it is a big fat heavy fucking ugly ass mountain bike) who had his bike like OVER the rack in an amusing fashion but in such a way that it was not in the way of anything; in fact, I would park my bike like this if I had the upper body strength by the time I got home to be able to muster it up there, but I'm usually winded and full of asthma by the time I get my bike down there, so I don't have the energy to do it. Yeah, well, he decided it would be good to basically pile his bike on top of my bike and the bike next to mine and then kind of loop his U lock around my handlebars. I had to wrestle my bike out for 10 minutes, and my hands and handlebars got all greased up from his chain. I tried to put his bike back as well as I could, but his front steering got turned sideways while I was wrestling my wheel from next to his---no small task since this other bike was, as mentioned, some giant heavy fuckin mountain bike with big fat nobby tires---and I couldn't get it to go back to straight. I'm pretty sure I put quite a few good gouges in his frame's finish too considering I had to scrape it around on the rack.
      I almost want to feel bad, but I really don't. I would never pull bullshit like this. If I went down there, and there wasn't space for my bike, I'd just schlep my bike back up to my apartment with me. I've had to do this about 3 or 4 times already. Sure it sucks to have to carry your bike up an extra flight of steps than if you went through the front doors, but it is a lot more considerate of your fucking neighbours than piling your bike on top of theirs.
      Also, while I was trying to nap, I'm pretty sure I heard gunshots outside on my block, but I'm not too sure, because I don't think any police showed up that I could hear. Also, when I was riding to work down Haight, some dicks thought it'd be funny to throw a water balloon at me. They missed, but I was still somewhat angry about this. I had seen marks on the pavement from the other balloons, and they looked fresh, and I'm glad I steered myself in such a fashion as to be mostly out of their range.
      Raaaaar is not good day for Jen. Also, Hugh is here, and I thought he was off for the month starting this week :(
      I'm also tired and have a slight headache that felt migrainy before, but I don't feel nauseous or too sensitive to light anymore.
      At least the cats were pleasantly needy and not obnoxious while I was trying to sleep. They actually both came over and piled on me which was most delightful. :3

      23 July, 2007

      What I did instead of sleeping today.

      This route took me about 3 hours. The largest climb was in Park Presidio and was about 350 feet over the course of a mile or less (I walked the bike for most of this). Other lesser notable climbs were around 100 feet or so over a somewhat longer distance (these ones I did on the bike). There were a couple 200s in there too, and I walked parts or most of those. I was very saddle sore when I got on my bike for work tonight, but the soreness went away after about 5 minutes of pedal pushing.

      First Leg Second Leg Third Leg

      Total Approximate Distance: 18.1 mi
      Total Approximate Time: 3 hrs

      Notable Events:
      1. Being sprayed by sprinklers while finishing the ride through Fort Mason Park (along with a number of other cyclists and joggers). I commend the city for their dedication toward watering the sidewalks and trails
      2. Realising I was grevously offcourse and would have to go through the hills of Presidio
      3. Finding the Safeway that Travis couldn't remember where it was by Ocean Beach
      4. Buying an artichoke, some fruit and some liquid beverages at said Safeway
      5. More or less successfully navigating Golden Gate Park the long way
      6. Almost getting hit by two cars in rapid succession who did not understand that I do get to take a full lane, especially when I need to be taking the left leg of said road---especially when I had already been taking the full lane before they were even behind me
      7. Flipping off said drivers
      8. Not getting hit by cars
      9. Getting down to Lower Haight via Haight St. faster than both a truck and a moped
      10. Getting home rather than ending up somewhere completely unexpected (Potrero, Noe Valley, UCSF, etc.)

      I got home and everything situated at about 10:30 this morning, and then, despite being horrendously tired, I could not fall asleep for at least 40 minutes.

      20 July, 2007

      This is the face of LA?

      Originally uploaded by Saphirra.

      Apparently everyone in LA is really ugly.

      05 July, 2007

      I am the tiredest girl. Or: How I spent my 4th of July

      Unlike most of you, I had to work today. In fact, I am presently at work after spending my day walking around town and signing my lease and seeing fireworks. I was woken up by Tim calling me at about 1 in the afternoon (woo a whole five and a half hours of sleep!) to say that they would be in the city in about an hour. So I got up, got dressed, walked the dog, drank some caffeine, and just generally prepared myself for the day. About 45 minutes after he called, I took my time in exiting the house and went to wait for the bus. I was on my way to meet Tim, Zac and Alex at my new digs (and Travis as I would find out a little later). It takes, usually, about 25 minutes to get over there on the bus. So when I got there, I called Tim to see what their progress was. They had not yet gotten off bart. I told him which station to get off from and which bus to take and in what direction. about 10 minutes later, he calls me back: they'd gotten on the bus in the wrong direction and were going to be another half hour or so. So I walked up and down Haight street about two blocks in both directions around my apartment and then called the land lady to be buzzed in when I got sick of waiting.

      In the meantime, I had also gone to walgreens to get lip balm, cortizone cream (for my very itchy shoulder) and a measuring tape.

      I went in, filled out and signed the necessary parts of my lease and took measurements of the walls for fabric application. Almost as soon as I'd finished doing this, Travis called saying he was on the corner of Fillmore and Haight and inquiring as to where my apartment was. I told him it was above walgreens and waved at him from my street-facing window. I let Tarv in, and we discussed various things that I can't really remember.

      About 10 minutes later the rest of the boys showed up. Everyone remarked on how large the studio is, how much storage it has and how dirty the street-facing windows are (very dirty). We generally stood around and talked and hung out as much as people really would want to in an empty apartment. We had left the door open, and my landlady type person came by because she heard voices, saw a bunch of boys and not me and asked if I was there. I popped out, and she said I could leave the lease or whatever I need to do and we'd arrange for key pickup on Friday.

      After deciding that people were hungry and establishing that we were, in fact, meeting Joe and Monica later, we went out in search of food and ended up at a taqueria about a block away. Delicious nachos and burritos were shared, and we slowly made our way (largely due to no one really knowing what to do with ourselves up until fireworks were to start) back to the bus stop to take the bus out to the Marina district and walk over to the wharf where fireworks were being held.

      There was the worst cover band ever playing much of the afternoon. We settled on a spot that was relatively uncrowded for our fireworks viewing and then went in search of beers and other acoutrements. Red Stripe was on sale at Safeway, as was tequila and M&Ms. These are the things we bought. Tim and I also got soft pretzels and many of the boys got pizza. When Monica's friends, Andrea and Jenna, showed up, they and Joe went to get dinner and were gone for an exceptionally long time.

      Sidenote: MonicA, AndreA, JennA; this makes me think of JennIE (what I went by when I first became friends with B), BethanY, MarI (Mar-ee). Just something I noticed.

      Darkness was falling, and it was getting colder. David eventually showed up and he and Zac went to go get food. Travis and Tim went for a "run" to get their blood flowing and warm up some. Alex and I sat around and basically held on to our seating area until everyone started to come back.

      Beers were drank, tequila imbibed, food eaten, fireworks watched. It was a good time had by all. I then hiked the 2 miles to work from the wharf in about a half hour which is amazing considering I went up a street I didn't need to and considering the amount of foot traffic about tonight.

      After riding the elevator up to the office, the sleepiness set in. I went to get some soda out of the machine after punching in, but the one up here had no Dr. Peppers. So I went downstairs and got some tasty snack as well and walked around looking for something to do. I think there were maybe 6 or 7, tops, bankers down there---probably fewer now---and one of them gave me a project to do. I am probably going to not walk the dog until I wake up tomorrow considering David was going to walk him when he got home tonight cos I am tiiired.

      <3 <3

      edit: I took a lot of pictures of fireworks and a few of the people around me today; I will likely post tomorrow at some point on my flickr.

      27 June, 2007

      How Jen looks at Apartments

      Today I was scheduled to view two apartments: one I actually contacted the person and was (as far as I know) one of very few people coming by to look at it today; the other was an open house. The first one was at 5pm, the second at 7pm. I had mindfully written down another place I could chance to look at around 6 if I felt I had time that was between the two I was going to today, but I would have to call them and what have you.

      The first place, I did not get the actual address until this afternoon when I woke up. It is in the Outer Sunset district, which is largely residential, and very close (literally, out the front door and there it is) to Golden Gate Park. Due to not getting it before I got up (and took a shower and washed the dog), I did not look up directions/transit the night before as I would have liked. So at 4:10 this afternoon, with a damp dog looking over my shoulder, I attempted to find what bus, tram or whatever would bring me to this place in the most timely fashion possible.

      I am not a stranger to hauling ass to a bus so I don't have to take a connecting bus---it is almost always faster to haul ass a couple extra blocks to the bus to one's final destination than to sit around and wait for the bus that brings one's ass to said final bus. That said, I hauled ass down Leavenworth to Turk and Leavenworth. Mmm, right in the middle of Tenderloin. Luckily it was just the beginning of rush-hour, so not too many crazies about.

      As I was hauling ass down the hill, I saw a bus leaving from that corner area. This bus turned out to be the bus I'd wanted---the 16X (X for express). Not at all discouraged, I figured since the next bus said Ocean Beach, it'd be heading close enough to where I was going, and I hopped on the 31. That's right, the 31, not the 31X; I jumped on, at 4:40 when I have an appointment at 5pm across town, a non-express bus. During rush hour. Going to Ocean Beach via Balboa (I did not know where Balboa was, but Ocean Beach is the direction I want!).

      Following some directions I'd written down for the 16X, I debarked the bus roughly where I figured I'd get off the 16X. At 28th Ave (rather than 29th). I was looking for Lincoln and 29th, which is roughly the 1200 block of 29th. After walking down hill a block and a half (because downhill is easier when you have no clue where you are), I noted numbers getting smaller as well as being in the 500s and 600s.

      Ever have that sinking feeling in your stomach when you realise you're in the completely opposite place you want to be? Yeah.

      I ran into some people and asked them where Lincoln was, and they confirmed my fears that I was, indeed, on the wrong side of Golden Gate Park. Golden Gate Park is one of the largest inner city parks in the US. I think it is almost as big as Central Park in NYC. Luckily, it is long and relatively skinny rather than being a big blob like CP, and I only had to cross it the skinny way.

      That's right, I crossed it. I didn't trust my bus sensibilities to try to hop on a bus to get across it, and I figured it'd be faster for me this way anyway. It took me about a half hour. I took pictures. They are on my flickr.

      Keep in mind, the bus dropped me off at 29th and Balboa around 5:15, so I was already running late, then there was the 10 or so minutes I spent being lost and then going back the way I came, then the time in the park. Luckily my sense of direction isn't so terrible that I came out at 13th or, conversely, 34th Ave on the other side. I came out at a moderately successful 26th Ave and walked up the center median of the street to 29th.

      Reese, the apartment's current occupant, greeted me very graciously despite my being over 40 minutes late. The apartment was huge for both a studio and an inlaw. It leads directly into a large, sunny back yard, has tile floor, a big clawfoot tub, a reasonable amount of shelving, and the tiniest kitchen imaginable. It is open and airy, and Reese said it was cool if I wanted to paint it myself (which would save him painting over it all again with white which he was happy about). He was pretty awesome, and his stuff is in the pictures, but he is apparently moving to the attic apartment in the same house, so he might be awesome new neighbour! woo! He told me part of the reason he was going to paint was because there was some paintball marks around the apartment because one day it "felt like a good idea" to shoot paintballs in the apartment. The only places they were obvious were on the door and the fridge.

      Thinking about it, this isn't really an apartment for anyone. It takes a certain kind of person to really want to live in a place like this. Especially contrasted with the second place I went to. It's not fancy or all that pretty, but it has charm. I don't know that too many of the people who were looking at the second place I went to would be as excited as I was about a clawfoot tub with fish painted on the sides of it or about the fancy front door this place has (it is super fancy!), but I really like it, and I hope they call me or email me back.

      Onto the other place. So I walked out to Lincoln after bidding farewell to Reese and his lovely apartment, and after walking 3 or 4 blocks, I realised my feet really hurt. So I decided to try my hand at this bus thing again.

      What I really need to do (because at both stops there was like one other person there with me, and neither times did they get on the same bus as me), is follow the lead of the people who look like they know where they are going. I learned this today. So I get on the 29 bus. This bus goes to the Presidio. Realising this (and after the bus took a turn), I thought "isn't the Presidio south of where I want to be?". The bus then took two more turns and started back toward the general direction I wanted to go in. Then it went into the park again. Oh no! Where I am going is still on the south side of the park (lower Haight). So I rode the wrong bus again for a bit, and got off at the first stop after the park with a gentleman who seemed like he knew what was up. I then waited around for the 5 bus. Luckily at this terminal, there was still an intact bus route map/map of the city. From this I gleaned that the 5 would take me all the way to Fillmore, which is where I wanted to be, but then I'd be walking 4 blocks down Fillmore to Haight, where the apartment was. Good good! I also made sure to note where I could catch a bus to go toward home (the 22 bus northbound, which, if I felt like waiting for it, I could then catch the 1 bus and get off at such as Clay and Leavenworth).

      I got to the second place with a whole 10 minutes to spare. But I had forgotten to write in my handy journal that I bring with me on such occasions as going to new places or job interviews (hooray notes) which apartment I'd be buzzing. I waited outside, staring at the list of names for some time trying to remember, and some british people who were also looking to look at the apartment came up. They had also forgotten to write down the buzzer. I was convinced it started with an S, and I remembered it was on the top floor. We were about to buzz 850 (because it was an S name and a high number) when a lady came out of the building and informed us that it was indeed the McDonald apartment at 130. (Prior to the British people walking up, I had attempted to call Tim so I could maybe get him to log into my email and tell me what to buzz, but he didn't answer his phone then.)

      We buzzed up and were buzzed in. The apartment was gorgeous. Beautiful hardwood floor, porceline tile in the bathroom, new linoleum in the kitchen. There was a lot more counter space in this kitchen than the other. It even has a kitschy fold down ironing table. There was also a huge closet large enough for a bed and a dresser that I think has two doors to it. And the lady who lives there has the friendliest cat. I pet her cat for a bit, and she followed me around the apartment while I listened to the British people ask the lady questions so I wouldn't have to. They were delightfully polite, and we had a good laugh about a Friends reference. Because there is no view on this apartment; lots of light, but the windows don't really lead anywhere. The lady commented that in this area most people's windows open up to face other people's windows, so it is almost better to have no view than this. And it is like the episode in the boys' apartment with the man who sings to the morning every day right across Joey's window.

      Anyway, I dropped off applications there and noted on there (thanks to the polite brits) the unit number and my email address and that I could email out my credit standings/history stuff because I didn't really want to shove a big pile of papers under the manager's door.

      The neighbourhood of this second one is right on Fillmore and not in the super hippy dippy part of the Haight. It's over a corner store and across from Whole Foods as well as a myriad of restaurants and bars (including at least 3 indian restaurants). It is expensive and small though and not nearly as open and airy as the other place.

      After this, I spent 15 minutes or so waiting for the 22 bus, which I took to California St. I walked along Fillmore for a block and really felt like a beer and decided to have pizza for dinner. I then walked home up Sacramento, walked the dog, ate pizza and drank a lot of liquid (I hadn't eaten or drank anything all day up to this point). And now I am at work. What's doin?

      21 June, 2007

      Good Morning

      Your car has been stolen.

      Someone apparently stole the honda from mountain view caltrain. David found out today when he went to get it on his way to work. As such, I do not know how I am going to move my stuff and get my cat.

      why I love San Francisco and other miscellaneous musings.

      A week ago Tuesday, Tim came up to go to a rock show with Tarvis. That day, we kicked around town with Robyn, and then Travis met up with us later when we were at Blondie's eating some slices. It was a fun day. We inevitably parted ways: Robyn to go home to Hayward, Tim and Travis to go to their show, and me to go home and prepare for work that night. On my way up Powell, and up the hill home, I walked past a legless bum who was being pushed by another bum. The legless bum told me, very loudly, that I was a whore.

      The Friday night (well, Saturday morning at about 2:40am) before, I was treated to a bum masturbating under a blanket on my walk home from work. He had graciously cut a hole in the blanket so I could see his hand working furiously.

      Last night when I was taking Lucifer for his evening walk, I was walking down Sacramento St. as usual, and I noticed that there was a man with a large rottweiler on the side of the street I was presently on. Lucifer tends to get worked up when he walks past other dogs on the sidewalk, so I chose to cross the street at the intersection before where this man was. On the way home, I noticed there was a firetruck at the top of the block, but I didn't really know what was going on. As I came closer, the man with the rottweiler was still there. He was standing on the dog's leash, had a cellphone earpiece in his ear, and was just saying "OW FUCK" loudly over and over again. The firemen were getting out of the truck as I was approaching, and apparently they were there for him. I had to cross the street in front of the truck (they had pulled down the one-way facing the wrong direction!) to avoid running into crazy man with the large dog.

      Also last night, when I was walking to work (running late, so pretty much at 11pm), there was a man on the sidewalk in front of me who was walking more slowly than I. As I went to go around him on the left, he started veering left, and I couldn't go left anymore as there was a large mailbox thing in my way; so, I quickly changed direction to go right, and then he veered right, but I was quicker than he, and I was able to get around him.

      I am kind of hoping my walk home is less eventful.

      I am going to Minnesota today (yay!); as such I will be staying up after work to pack and finish up some projects and go get some cosmetic things done (waxing, pedicure). As such, I managed to spend $10.40 at Starbucks downstairs. I got a fruit and cheese "plate" ($5.25, and really worth every penny, it's got a lot of fruit, some nutbread and a decent amount of cheese that includes cheddar, dill havarti and a 2 oz wedge of brie—3 of my favourite cheeses), an 8.45 fl. oz. Pellegrino (I have a cold right now and the fizzy water helps break up the soreness of my throat—I have no idea how much this cost, but I'm sure it was outrageously expensive for how much liquid it contains), and a medium, five-shot, non-fat, extra-foam latte with one packet of raw sugar, some cinnamon and nutmeg (base price for a regular 2 shot medium latte is $3.25 I think, so this was probably like $4.00 at least). This is likely the only food I will eat until I get to Minnesota other than the snackpack they give me on the plane because I really hate eating when I'm flying (I get really painfully gassy), and it seems the longer I'm awake, the less I want to eat anything (which is the complete opposite of most people, I know). I'm just going to pretty much ride the caffeine high until I get to the airport and can sleep while waiting for my plane and again on the plane. I get away with this because as I get older, I become a lighter sleeper, so anyone who'd mess with my stuff would wake me up before they even got hands on it.

      Also, anyone who is around the bay area: I would love if you had an awesome, cheap apartment on the ocean beach/richmond side of town for us to live in that allows cats. kthxbai

      10 June, 2007

      Also where the fuck was everyone tonight? I ended up getting Pavel to drink beers with me, and we each had one between us over the course of 3 hours, and that knocked him out. Does everyone have a life now but me?

      How do I meet people? I don't know what to do.

      A slow fade to black

      Dear blog,
      Today something happened, and it won't let me rest. I have been trying to sleep for two hours, and despite my trying to tell myself to not be affected, I am.

      Blog, today, David broke up with me.

      He broke up with me, and then left to go do things with friends and is presently at the residence of one Philip Neustrom. For at least 2 of the 3 years I have been in a relationship with David, I had tried my hardest (which may not be the hardest the average person can try, but I am not by nature an outgoing person) to get him to go out with me and do fun things and have adventures. For the last year, I have tried to get him to communicate me because I can sense when something is wrong with someone, but there is only so much a person can do. And a lady tires of trying after a while.

      So now I find myself not only in the awkward situation of still living in the same apartment as the person who just broke up with me, but I also have the overwhelming sense of rejection and loneliness of the sort I hadn't felt since Jr. High. In Jr. High, I had, at most, 2 real friends, and I didn't have them until the last half of 9th grade really. In 7th grade, I went 2 months without speaking to anyone, and no one noticed. Now I am living in a giant city, working at a job where everyone is at least 6 years older than I am, and, more or less, utterly, and completely alone.

      I am not hip enough for David's new Apple friends or even to hang out with the likes of Phillip Neustrom apparently. The last situation where I might have been able to make a friend, I stopped talking to the guy because David had expressed distaste in my meeting this new person when I told him about it. I am going to look at an apartment later today when there is an open house, but I can't sleep because every time I try to, my head fills with things that are wrong with me, wrong with my life and the nagging feeling that I cannot do anything about any of it. This works to make me just start crying, and this has been my mental state since about 4:10am.

      I have been trying really hard in the last couple of months to be more positive, but this just made everything come crashing down on me. This has been an incredibly self-centered post, and I apologize for that, but fuck. I feel like I am dying.

      31 May, 2007

      I cut my bangs in

      Today after shampooing and adding product
      Originally uploaded by Saphirra.

      I used this stuff called hairglue that looks (and feels) like marshmallow fluff to help train my bangs.
      I really need to get my brows tinted and waxed.

      30 May, 2007

      The Truthful Resume

      Jen Dockter
      17 Leroy Place • San Francisco, CA

      Objective:To make money doing something that doesn't make me hate myself or dread the days where I have to go into work.

      Skills: Smart alleckness, surfing the internet at odd hours, drinking too much coffee, being suddenly inspired, starting (but inevitably not finishing) projects (unless collaborative), knowing a lot of things, being able to do a lot of things, surprising various employers with my extreme level of competence despite coming across as an awkward dummy, adobe creative suite, formerly macromedia but now adobe products, corel stuff and things you never thought a person could do in MS Office. Also drawing and writing really well, but not so good with the outloud speaking.

      Education: I have a lot of it. I spent 7 years working while in school, much of it doing full time work while attending college part time because that was all I could afford. I went to 4 schools, though of the first 3, only 42 of my 95 credits transferred to the final school I ended up graduating from. I started as a Computer Sciences and Graphic Design double major then dropped the Comp Sci for Computational Mathematics (an applied mathematics that has a lot to do with computational algorithms), then spent 2 years at community college taking C++ classes and most of my lib eds which ended up not transferring at all. I also spent a summer term at UDC where I did surprisingly well in intermediate French (considering I hadn't taken French for almost 4 years at this point, and got a solid B+ in the class) and intro to theatre.
      I hold a baccalaureate degree from Art Institute of Pittsburgh in Graphic Design. I hold a master's degree in Art and Aesthetic from the University of LIFE and Work Experience.

      March 5th, 2007 to Present • Goldman Sachs on behalf of Williams Lea
      Presentation Specialist
      Yeah, those things you never thought you could do in MS Office. That is basically what is done with this job, only it is extremely restricted to primarily one style or motif as the case may be, and that motif is of corporate ugliness with some navy blue thrown in. Work here is sporadic, and as such many of the employees are now experts at web surfing and doing fun things in photoshop. It is not at all creative, but at least the people I work with are pleasant and witty. I get a lot of reading done here and have expanded my webcomics reading list three fold. I was recently told though that I am surprisingly good at this job. Apparently I have the habit of coming into things where people have low expectations of me.

      August 15th, 2005 to October 20th, 2006 • Dominion Enterprises formerly Trader Publications
      Key Accounts Designer
      I started as a production designer here and because I am amazingly fast and good at what I do (namely what I do in the field of production, publication or otherwise pre-press design), I was eventually promoted through the ranks to that of key account designer. I know it sounds fabulous, but really it meant I was doing about 8 books on my own because my manager knew I could get it done. This meant a whopping $2 pay raise and a desk away from the increasingly obnoxious male workers. This job was extremely stressful or extremely boring or both at once (being my monitor was visible from the ridiculous window into our office that was put in I am sure just to spy on whoever was sitting at my desk at that time). Here I had to put up with a slew of aesthetically challenged, good-design-phobic and just otherwise idiotic sales people and realtors who I am sure spent most of their time peddling their own special brand of bullshit while ignoring press checks and letting us produce what would be an otherwise good-looking product. I left this job under the mistaken assumption that the big city held more better possibilities for a creative talent such as myself especially since I finally got my shiny college diploma after 7 years of study. Boy was I wrong.

      July 15th, 2005 to August 25th, 2005 • Back Shack
      "Marketing Intern" (really just a Salesperson)
      This is a job I got when I was between jobs so I could pay tuition and rent. David's mom was good enough to hire me part time and allow me to log hours for when I wasn't actually there but instead working on her boyfriend's band's website. She also had me design business cards for her and for the other salesperson who worked with her (other than me, I didn't ever hand out any cards). I also made some fliers and other various advertising mailer materials. She said she'd give me copies for my portfolio, but I never got any (partially my fault for not reminding her). Not a bad interim position; $10/hr plus all the internet I can surf between the one or two customers I'd have in a 5 hour shift.

      February 12th, 2005 to July 1st, 2005 • Webcommon formerly iHouse
      IDXPro Customer Service
      I will make no claims other than this was the worst job I'd ever had working for the
      worst people who could ever own a company (and I've worked detasseling corn for Nothrup King before). This was basically the most retarded form of tech support for what I would discover to be the lowest form of sales person in existence: the realtor. Webcommon had a product called IDXPro, which is very confusing to realtors because there is an entire real estate web system that is simply referred to as IDX, so a good 50% of calls I fielded were realtors asking about other companies' IDX products because they thought IDXPro was some sort of general helpline for ALL of these products. They were not nice about it either. I put up with a lot of swearing at me and being called stupid and much worse things (also a stalker who really wanted to meet me in real life---creepy). I tried really hard to get into the IT department here because it was better than being spied upon all day and having people scream at me on the phone for something I had nothing to do with breaking (there were two programmers, then one programmer, who worked on our product, and they were constantly bogged down by this buggy, buggy web product). I was eventually fired for changing my computer's password to something that was actually secure. I did this because the default passwords are first initial, last name, 123 on all the computers, and I did not want someone else getting on my machine with my name and password and getting me fired for looking at porn or something stupid like that.

      January 15th, 2003 to January 15th, 2005 • Kinko's Document Creation Center (DCC)
      Senior Designer, Assistant Manager
      I cannot stress enough that this was a design position and not a monkey-in-the-branch
      making copies position. Looking back over my past 5 years of employment, this was probably my best job with the best pay-to-living expenses ratio, but I left it and Maryland due to personal reasons I will not go into here. I came into this job as the lowest rung person who can work in a DCC: QA. I started at $9.50 an hour, which is about equivalent, living expenses wise, to what I am making now. I did not have a degree at the time, and as such the hiring manager didn't feel I was capable of creating business cards for Joe Blow who came walking in off the street to have his order taken by a guy who's probably done more coke than my mom has wrinkles. Despite these complaints, it was a fairly open and creative job. It was stressful sometimes, and a lot of the people I worked with were catty bitches, but all in all they appreciated the work I did and paid me decently for it. Working my way up, I ended up leaving at $16/hr with a 4-day (10 hour shifts) work week, great medical and dental and a decent 401k (which was better when it was with Fidelity than with Vanguard). Unfortunately if I want to work in a DCC again, I'd have to move to either LA or back to Maryland, and I just really don't hate myself enough to subject myself to that weather. Plus I really would rather work on bigger, more important projects. I thought California would be good for this, but again, I was wrong.

      October 5th, 2002 to December 20th, 2002 • Harvest Moon
      Volunteer Graphic Designer
      Ahh, volunteer work I had to do for speech class. The speech class that Ai decided didn't count as speech credit so I had to take speech class again. This was a set of business cards and brochures I did for their Hands Across the Ocean campaign. All in photoshop because this was back when I was a complete newb and U of MN Duluth really didn't teach me the proper tools to use in the case of doing real design work. As is the common complaint among design studios, too many students who are taught "theory" and not actually how to design. However, it wasn't terrible work, though as I think about it, I really should have told her to give me a thinned out text version since her brochure ended up with quarter inch margins and 7pt text---too, too much text.

      June 4th, 2002 to November 24th, 2002 • Sears
      In-Store Marketing Associate
      This was the last retail position I held, and hopefully it will be the last I ever hold in an actual store (I am not above doing retail design or corporate work for retail companies). I really should have taken the job working in a Kinko's branch in Woodbury over this job, it would have been a shorter commute, more money, and I would have probably started at Kinko's in Maryland making more than $9.50 an hour, but stupid me I wanted to work with my friends. For this job, I worked possibly the worst hours a person can work in Minnesota who owns a crappy car that doesn't get garaged. Namely, I had to be up at 4am in 10 below weather to try to get my car to start otherwise get "points" deducted for being tardy. I set up displays here and also had to navigate back stock rooms with Katie in incredible heat while wearing too much clothing (everyone has to dress up to work at Sears; I think it is so people don't know that we were horrendously underpaid) and oftentimes heels to take down 50 to 75lb televisions and other things on unsturdy ladders and just generally be treated like crap for a really crappy job. Oh and if any of us happened to work even 5 minutes of OT, that was a write-up. In the end, I got fired because I cracked. I came in one morning to set ad for a super Saturday (so we had to be there BY 4am) to find someone had opened the locker where I kept my work things, strewn all of my stuff all over the locker room and put their own lock on the locker. I left them a nasty note and showed no remorse for doing so.

      June 1st, 2001 to June 2nd, 2002 • Target
      Food Ave. Team Member
      Do you want to know the secrets of Taco Bell or how it is they make those perfectly
      round crusts for personal pan pizzas for Pizza Hut? Well, I know. I worked in such a place inside a Target. I ate a lot of free food and did more or less all the work that was necessary to be done while on my shift unless I was lucky enough to be working with one of three other competent people. I got yelled at once for going home on time after working a hellish Friday dinner rush with no help because everyone else had called in sick, and I did not get to take a lunch. I got written up for basically telling the manager who was trying to stop me from leaving to go shove it because I was already clocked out and not going back there (the head cashier no less--the one who refused to send me backup during the dinner rush). As per usual with my experience working at Target, I was the only one responsible enough to actually show up on Friday closing shifts, so I was the one who got scheduled for them every week. Usually there were two to three people scheduled for these shifts, but I was often the only one who came in. On the off chance that I got a Friday off, I usually got called to come in anyway when all the other people called in "sick". Despite this responsible behaviour, I still only scored a "grade" of C+ on my annual review which resulted in a dismal 3.4% raise (barely cost of living). That combined with the manager constantly cutting my hours because he didn't like my "attitude" lead to me quitting this job (though the assistant manager immediately above me absolutely loved me and would often change the schedule so she could work with me). Him not liking me either was a result of or lead to me often mocking him by pretending I was a giant ape (this man was quite gorilla-ish).

      September 25th, 2000 to May 5th, 2001 • JC Penney
      Menswear Associate
      Minimum wage job in Duluth. I only took it because they said I'd still get hours after winter break (which I had to leave campus for because they do not let students stay on campus during winter break). That was a big fat lie. Though I logged no hours after January 1st, I still put it as May 5th because that was when I put in my official resignation from the position and picked up my $5 deposit for my locker key. Another place that required us to dress nicely though didn't pay us enough to buy nice clothes, and I was really fat at this point so none of my nice clothes from high school fit me anymore.

      June 10th, 2000 to September 1st, 2000 • Some Company Whose Name I cannot Remember
      This is a job Mari's dad got me at his company. I forget what the company is called. I basically did things with databases for pre-press printing stuff that I never really understood, but I was capable enough of going through the motions with enough accuracy to do the job adequately. I used FoxPro for this. They basically did direct mailers. I only flubbed once and sent the wrong dated material to print; luckily the pressman was good enough to catch it in the test-run so I didn't get fired for it. I also got to use a bulk eraser on computer tapes. Here I made the most money I'd ever made before: $10/hr. I worked 15 hour weeks. It was in Eagan though, so a good chunk of that money was spent on gas.

      May 12th,1997 to September 5th, 1999 • Target
      Softlines Team Member
      This would have been a much more fun job if I hadn't taken it so seriously and been
      like other teenagers in their crappy retail jobs. However, I have a hard time not taking work seriously, so when I am told I am not doing a good enough job even though I'm busting my ass for $1/hr less than people who started 4 months after me and just slack off all shift, and also when I'm the only person who comes in on Friday to close what amounts to half of the store, this does not make me happy. I left partially because I was going to school. I think this Target has me on record as being terminated (rather than quitting) because I was told the dumb HR lady who also does a lot of the scheduling kept scheduling me after I left because I tried to take leave of absence so I could have a job to work at during breaks. Again, most of the assistant managers loved me because I did a great job at what I did, even the softlines manager had no real beef with me, but the person who ultimately decides my fate did not like me at all and as such I got the short end of the stick.

      September 20th, 1998 to November 5th, 1998 • Washington County Library
      Yes, I worked two jobs for an almost 2 month period in high school. I would have worked there longer had the head librarian not called me a complete idiot in so many words. Even the other librarians openly called her the queen of all bitches. This was mostly pretty dull, unstressful work, and it paid better than Target though with slightly fewer hours. I got a decent amount of reading done on breaks, too. Usually my back would kill me by the end of my shifts from carrying heavy loads of books around for 4 to 5 hours.

      Portfolio: In sore need of updating, can be found here.

      References: Just ask, and I can give them to you, especially if you really want to hire me or even interview me after reading this.

      23 May, 2007

      Apparently Derrick reads my Blog

      I almost feel bad for the lack of updates now that I know someone is actually reading it (look! there is a comment).

      Here's what's been going on in the wide world of Jen as of late:
      I've been playing a lot of Neverwinter Nights. I set up a server for it on my desktop. If anyone wants to play; presently it is just me and Tim, and soon maybe Az. It will pop up in the Teams section of their multiplayer play occasionally as Ultra Butts, but really the best way is to email me, and I'll let you know about when we might be playing next; or if you want to just go play, I'll turn on the server. It isn't anything fancy yet, it is just the base game. I got a modular builder for mac, but I have yet to figure out how to delete objects, so a custom world is probably going to be a while.

      I bought 3 new DVDs: Devil's Backbone (by the same guy who did Pan's Labyrinth), Brazil and Season 2 of Venture Brothers. I have two (soon to be three once my fabric comes) sewing projects going, one of them (and soon two) are variations (C & E) of this dress (Mari, if you read this, don't follow that link) and the other being this skirt from no pattern---I am just making it up as I go.

      I bought some new clothes last week mostly because all of my pants are too big for me. I wear a solid size 10 pant at Express now, and I can fit into medium size shirts at most places now (though button-ups I still have to wear the largest or nearly largest size I can find due to the rack). I have come to the conclusion that the W01 Skinny Fit jeans at express are actually cut to make you look skinny, not cut any thinner than their other jeans because they fit me in the thigh and ass just as well as the curvy cut, but the curvy cut isn't nearly as flattering (I get a lot of muffin top in the curvy cut). I might go back and buy a pair of size 8 as something to shoot for.

      Oh, Tim's character died in D&D last week because he was being a dick. My character acquired a house full of awesome books.

      I printed 20 some of the Col. Bomb t-shirts. I am going to be selling them for $16 (+$2.50 shipping in the US; $5 abroad) in my etsy shop. I started making a gingko tree shirt for Kirsten, but realized half of my stencils for it are in Davis.

      Lucifer got attacked by the same stupid lady's dumb black standard poodle twice last week: once with me and once with David. Both times she told each of us that her dog never attacks other dogs. I am thinking this is bullshit. I've been taking steps to avoid her at the park when I'm with the dog.

      Presently, I am making my first noodle salad of the year. I am using Annie's whole wheat shells and cheese, broccoli, pepper strips and corn. I might throw some extra cheeses in there for good measure. Hopefully it will be done enough for me to bring to work with me for dinner.

      Oh David also finally realised his dream of owning a fixed gear bicycle and bought one last weekend. It is turquoise with white handlebars and seat. He is happy that it has a brake so that he doesn't have to skid down the big hill we live on when he goes to work.

      I love fat free philly. It is the best. Only 30 calories per 2 tbsp serving! I finished the noodle salad. I put about 3 tbsp of philly in there with the regular powder cheese, and it has about an equal vegetable-to-noodle ratio.

      And now I am going to clean the cat box.

      04 May, 2007

      Am I Gay?

      Originally uploaded by Saphirra.

      I don't think so, but apparently google thinks my blog is. Or at very least that it panders or caters to gay or possibly-gay (gay-curious?) readers. I just noticed this when I was finishing up reading my daily comics and adding new comics that I'd caught up with to my ever-expanding list of links.

      Today the dog did not poop on his evening walk. I miss my kitty. I can fold over the waistband on pretty much all of my jeans. I owe Lynn $10.

      I apologize to Collab for not being there last weekend; I couldn't make it. I do have a buttload of crayons.

      This afternoon (it is still the "same day" for me as I work overnights and have not slept yet), I finished my skirt. I will wear it tomorrow in triumph over the button hole function of my sewing machine as well as my inability to do a neat, straight hem.

      That's all the news for today. Keep it real, true believers.

      27 April, 2007

      There are not fewer than 4 helicopters outside my window at work right now.

      So, my aunt Barb---who is probably my most favourite aunt just because she's lead a pretty interesting and free-wheeling sort of life, and hell if I know what she did for a living before reaching retirement age, but she's always been one for wandering around, and I think I get a lot of her personality if personality is anything a person can inherit...Anyway, my aunt Barb. She's apparently got a new boyfriend, but he's also an old boyfriend (they went out together for a while some 27 years ago and just "found" each other again a month or two ago). His name is Ken. Ken and Barbie. My mom thinks that is adorable. Anyway, this Ken guy is a widower (I think his wife died about a year ago?), and his now-dead wife was an avid sewer/quilter. Apparently he is giving my mom and my aunt Trish her huge stash of fabric. My mom said she and Trish have been going through it, setting aside good things they like and setting the rest for garage sale this summer. She said the next time I'm home to bring an extra suitcase or bag to fill up. I am very excited. I asked her to set aside any sort of prints she thinks I might like, especially if there are prints on 2+ yards.

      In other occurrences today, the security of the office building I work in has decided that people should no longer be allowed to use the stairwells as "shortcuts" between floors. I never really looked at the stairs as a shortcut, though they are generally faster than waiting for the elevators. I looked at them as a chance to get the blood flowing in my legs as well as a way to get between floors. I don't understand the logic behind having to use the elevator to go up or down one or two floors. This seems very inefficient both time- and energy-wise (like electricity that runs the elevators). And it isn't like there aren't 3 cameras staged at every stair door so they can see who is coming and going all the time. I mean I can understand maybe shutting down the numberpad doors until they can be switched to keycard access since numberpad doors are seemingly easier to hack, but the keycards are in place specifically to restrict access to certain offices, and I'd think that'd be easily applicable to floors. So if you're ever on floor 43 in the 555 California St. building in the middle of the night, starting next week, and see me doing walking lunges down the hallway to the elevator, you'll know why.

      26 April, 2007

      Things to remember for the weekend:

      Cat toothbrush
      Sewing Machine
      Nippon Dress
      Old pot for melting crayons

      If things come in the Mail:
      Az's Polos
      Spray Paint
      masking tape
      cutting mat
      xacto knife
      plastic sheeting
      poofy dress sewing pattern
      sewing bag, extra pushpins

      I might bring more fabric things and start in on the quilt if I decide to stay in Davis until Monday for Co/Lab Monday-meeting, but if the orders from Old Navy or J. Crew come tomorrow, I will have plenty to do without that as I can start in on bleaching/spraying shirts on Sunday in Davis and just work on that all day. The only reason I'm bringing the sewing machine is because I can go to JoAnn (or possibly a different non-chain fabric store!) this weekend and get fabric for the flounce as well as netting for the poof dresses and additional fabric for the skirt of said dresses (granted they come in the mail tomorrow). Hopefully there will be ladies such as Lucia and Monica around that I can perchance goad into modeling lady things for me; otherwise I might be able to get Kirsten to do it, but since she works during the day on Monday, I don't know the chances of this. I'll probably try to get out her way on Saturday evening or Sunday at some point to bring her the caramels and just visit and see if she'd be interested in modeling anything for me.

      I've also been kicking around ideas for Co/Lab shirts. I know they are probably doing silk screening not this weekend but during drinko (or even possibly monday?), and I'd really like to contribute at least one fleshed idea for that. I can probably work on it tonight at work. We'll see.

      Sometimes I hate my phone

      So my phone decided once again to not make any sounds today, and since it is my alarm clock, this means I slept until 4 today. Which sucks because that means I didn't have time to clean the kitchen today or work out or scan things in for Co/Lab. All I had time to do was eat breakfast, take a shower, walk the dog and finish sewing what I could on the Nippon Dress (which is coming along very nicely).

      I had a visit from our patio-mates down in the other side of the apartment. She is having people from out of town this weekend and wanted me to clean my side of the patio. Which I did. It was just a ball of tin foil, some paper bags and one of Pavel's giant water jug things (why he doesn't get the refillable ones is beyond me; it's cheaper that way and more environmentally sound). This annoyed me greatly for some reason. I think the reason is because on Thursday of last week, someone stole our recycling bin from in front of our apartment. See I always thought recycling day was Tuesday because I'd usually be the one hauling the bin back in after taking the dog out for his afternoon walk, but last week it was raining, and the bin was full of water so I left it outside. Apparently recycling day for our block is Monday; David just didn't feel like bringing the bin in on Monday after he got home from work. When it wasn't raining. When it would make sense to do this.

      I'm just generally peeved today at myself and at anything that remotely inconveniences me. I don't want to be at work. And if I do have to be here, I would have liked it if Lynn weren't sick this week so she would be here tonight as she is enjoyable to talk to and then I could also give her the t-shirt back (and get my $10).

      I took some pictures of the view out the window in front of me before leaving work this morning; hopefully I'll be of sound enough body to wake up at 1:30 tomorrow afternoon so I can work out and get things scanned and on the internet and also off my phone onto flickr.

      edit: oh yeah, I still haven't gotten my pay stub from WL yet for this last pay period; I don't think I got one from the first pay period either for that matter. This is quite an annoyance because I like to see how my time at work directly corrolates to my pay.

      24 April, 2007

      Today I took a train. It was rider appreciation day.

      subIt was rider appreciation day on Amtrak today. This meant they had free meat sandwiches, cookies, water and sodas in the upstairs of the dining car and penny wine tasting in the lower level. They were being sponsored by such as Chronicle Books who were handing out free notepads and bookmarks (no pencils though---I asked since I had left all my writing utensils in Davis and wanted to do today's Sudoku/Crossword in the Aggie).

      My finger cut finally stopped hurting today which I take as a sign toward fully healing. See I was a big 'tard yesterday and was cutting figs with a steak knife into a bowl to eat for breakfast, and I drew the knife over one of my fingers and cut it in a pretty bloodful fashion. Being it was a steak knife and not such as a paring knife (which would have been the proper knife to use), it hurt like a SOB. I actually wore a bandage on it for part of the evening because I went to Co/Lab and was afraid if I did actually get to working on anything there that I would jam it chock full of fun art materials and cause an infection (this is something I have done on multiple occasions passed; primarily with photo developing fluids on my frequent knuckle scrapings).

      As per usual, the bart trip into the city from Richmond was crappy if not altogether intolerable. I was privy to a myriad of vapid conversations as well as a duo of crazy old guys who were also mentally handicapped having a crippled verbal dual. Most irritating of all was this woman who presumably works in a day care or pre-school talking on and on about "the babies" at her work and some fellow co-worker who apparently threw a couple chairs in a room and almost hit her and "a baby" because this co-worker is obviously inept and undeserving of this position and cannot handle the stress brought on by having 8 two-year-olds constantly tugging on her and demanding things. This woman said on not fewer than 10 occasions that she was going to be calling child services on this fellow co-worker for her behaviour and all this. She went on like this, basically screaming into her phone at the poor person on the other side, for what felt like 20 minutes until the train got to where it starts going underground. Over and over, ad. naseum. On top of this, I came into work to hear one of the guys on the otherside of our office regaling his efforts to hire a new employee (a story he told about 3 people on our side of the office 3 times last week). Please, people, yes, you are important. The things that happen to you are important, but say your piece and move on; no one needs to hear the same shit over and over again. It is irritating as all hell and just makes me think of Stella.

      In other happenings for today, since I didn't get back to the city in time to go home before going to work, I stopped at subway to get something for my work dinner. I was going to stop at Walgreens because I really wanted to be able to brush my teeth tonight and do not have my spare toothbrush with me (in another bag), but hey, this is the financial district, everything here closes at 7pm. It is 7:20; you are out of luck, sweetheart! Luckily subway was open---I say luckily considering how lucky it is to eat subway at all---so I was at least able to get dinner. I went in, unsure if they were still open or not (no posted hours?), and there was no one at the counter or anywhere to be seen for that matter. After about 20 seconds, a very disheveled man ambled out and asked what I'd like. I ordered my sandwich (6" veggie on wheat), and he yelled back at someone about why they didn't put the short breads in front on the oven, but he pulled out a full 12" anyway, then asked if I wanted a whole or half sub to which I replied I wanted the 6". He then set about making my sub in a slow, stoner sort of fashion. After confirming that yes I wanted cheese, and no I didn't want it toasted, yes provolone please, another man came in from outside to order a sandwich. The man who was making mine then yelled back that it was some girl's turn, there was a small burst of uproarous laughter at this and a girl ambled out. Her face had a definite peach flush to it, and she went about the other man's sandwich in much the same way the man who was making mine did (even down to "do you want a whole or half" after the man had ordered a 6"). I'm not complaining, the sandwich he made me looks fantastic and has a fabulously ridiculous amount of peppers on it, and my mouth recoils in horror just thinking about them. I just found amusement in how obviously stoned off their gourds these people were. Considering it was almost 7:30 and the financial district, I doubt they were really expecting anymore people in until they closed at 9pm (I'm guessing, might be 8pm, but nothing had been put away yet like soups or anything which they usually start doing about an hour before close).

      11 April, 2007

      Big Dreams without Direction

      So I have a job as many of you (who are you? there are maybe two people who read this blog. anyway...) may know. It is ok. It's a job. It pays reasonably well, and I am making my personal debt my bitch. Aside from that I would really like to do more art things, but I have been experiencing a serious lack of motivation lately. I started some socks, but they've been slow going because I am using (literally) painfully thin needles for them and despite double threading the yarn, an hour's worth of work usually only yields about an inch of sock. And I'm having a hard time working up the desire to walk down (not even to, but toward) Van Ness to buy spray paint (mostly because I know they keep it locked up if they have it at all, and this will involve waiting around and talking to clerks until someone figures out who has the key to open the case).

      At very least I am capable of getting off my butt for 45 minutes to an hour every day to do some amount of weight workout in addition to my dog walks and work walk. I was going to run this morning, but the presence of rain quelched that plan. I usually dread the thought of running; once I'm actually doing it, I feel fine, but it is the initial dread of actually doing it: of putting on the running clothes and getting all the crap together to run with the dog (two bags for poops, dealing with him on his leash being crazy), not to mention it almost guarantees that I will get about 5 hours of sleep instead of 7ish, and the cons start to outweigh the high of running I get once I'm actually out pounding pavement. But really it is the most effective aerobic workout, and unless I can find some crazy cache of workout torrents where it is something new to see every day, I won't really do aerobics in the confines of my living room: there simply isn't space for a lot of the big dancy type aerobic moves, and I don't have carpet or an exercise mat to cushion my ever-more-sensitive spine from any sort of floor exercises.

      The only advantage to working out in the living room that I can think of is that since I'd be in a constant temperature environment, I would experience the sudden flood of perspiration I get the second I step back into the house from running in the 10 to 20 degrees cooler out of doors. Even if I do a 15 minute cool-down walk post-run, I still get this horrible sweat attack; it is inevitable, and really the last thing I want to do when I am at the end of my run which is at the ass end of my day is jump in the shower because that just makes me feel dizzy---I don't usually sweat a lot while I am running, it is all after I come in from outside, so no, I'm not some gross person who likes to sleep as a big sweaty mess. That's the whole problem, in fact. I don't want to be a big sweaty mess when I sleep. That is another con to running outside. I suppose I could go in the early evening when I walk the dog before work, but that means I'd be rushing to shower before work. I don't know which is worse. Plus this is a popular time for runners in my area whereas at 6:30 in the morning, I pretty much have the streets to myself as far as runners are concerned. There's just a few early morning commuters out and some people walking dogs. I've seen, at most, 3 or 4 other runners. There'd probably be more down by the park, but I know there'd be more down there, so I specifically avoid going there and instead run in the flat areas around Jones down to Mason.

      Aside from the fitness thing, I feel like I've kind of stagnated as a person. I might enroll at UCSF or SFState as a non-degree seeking student and take some "personal enrichment" courses in math and philosophy. Maybe I might make some friends who live in the city so I don't spend all my time sitting around doing nothing alone in my apartment all day. At very least I feel like I need some sort of academic project to work on. Some sort of accumulative study or research project or something. I'll take ideas. Nothing is too lofty; I'll consider it all. I just need something to exercise my brain in regard to logic, reasoning and comprehension.