back contents next March 7, 2000

Abbreviated Day

Eileene and LolaMy Lola (grandmother) on my father's side and I in the living room of my father's family's house in the Philippines.

Lola raised me with my Tita Ella (Aunt Ella) during the first four and a half years of my life. When I went to the Philippines, she gave me a number of her cross-stitches. In exchange, I'm going to be sending her a cross-stitch of my own. Every once in a while, I will get the strong desire cross stitch something (the bug bites me every two or three years). In the past, my completed projects went to my mother and father. One project went to Mike. This is the first project for my grandmother and I decided to get something in her taste for cross-stitch projects: complex and detailed with fine color work. I decided on a sampler, surrounded by flowering vines and with images of swans and a country cottage. So far, I've gotten just the swans and some detail work complete. It's going to take me a while.


I haven't matted and framed Lola's projects yet. I should do that sometime, since my apartment's white walls are beginning to look extremely sterile. Mike and I discussed various ways to add more personality and life to our abode: painting the walls different colors, hanging posters and pictures, buying furniture. We decided on a number of things.

We will buy lots of pillows for the living room, instead of buying a sofa (or having Ma give me her loveseat, something that she's suggested a number of times). It will look very bohemian, the oriental rug littered with a menagerie of cushions. I want to get all different kinds of pillows. Cushions made from old Indian sari fabrics. Oriental silk. Canvas. Gingham.

We want to paint the upstairs bedroom's white walls. Perhaps we'll paint it a light blue or green, something that doesn't look too terrible against the tan-green carpet.

We're going to put more photographs in frames around the house. Which means I need to buy more frames. And Mike is going to get more pictures of his family.

I want to fill the dining room with lots of plants. It would be a shame to not utilize the south-facing windows of the florida room. Mike is worried that I would kill them, but I point to my surviving plant in the florida room as proof that there is a twinge of green in my black thumbs. He points to the only other plant in the florida room, a probably dead ivy that I'm hoping is still alive as proof that my thumbs are definitely black. My final defense are my frogs: they are still alive and they're harder to take care of than plants.

He says that he can't understand how the frogs are still alive. It's a miracle.


Today was a really short day at work. I left the house late because I didn't think we had anything to deliver or adjust. I arrived at work after noon.

I was wrong. There were a few changes that we needed to make and redeliver the prototypes to the client. We quickly rounded those problems up and delivered new prototypes around 5:30pm. Tomorrow, I won't have anything to deliver, nor will I have any work.

Not having work at work is a little strange. I spend most of my time pimping myself to others, trying to get on projects.

"Got any work for me? I'm free."

Looking for billable work makes me feel like a prostitute.

Come on! Step up! Get your HTML developer here! I don't bite and I'm a real hit with the developers because I comment my stuff!

Thankfully, I know I've got "a solid gig" next week. The designer and IA for the project are talking this week and next week, I start working with the designer to get out a prototype. Until then...


...She holds the clipboard up for me to see this week's check-in form for Client Number 134, stamped with the big red word RELEASED. Then the date.

The stamp is something left over from an inpatient hospital program. In some other program RELEASED used to mean a client was set free. Not it means a client is dead. Nobody wanted to special-order a stamp that said DEAD. The caseworker told me this a few years ago when the suicides started back up again. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. This is how things get recycled.

I read more of Survivor and I am enjoying the book immensely. Chuck Palahniuk is very good at capturing a voice and giving the reader a clear view of the narrator's mind, and at the same time makes the reader aware of how unreliable it is. He did that in Fight Club easily. It's hard to think of Tender Bransen as separate from the voice of the narrator in Fight Club. The tone of the novels are similar. They both have a dreamlike quality. Living life through a oily haze. Only the character histories make them distinguishable.

The women in his novels are similar. I can see Marla Singer from Fight Club as a close relative of Fertility Hollis and the caseworker in Survivor. They are imperfect visions of women, although the narrator seems to see them in far more virtuous and respectable light. It's strange: I get the feeling that the narrators of both stories look at these women ideally as part of their own fantasies and delusions, but are able to objectively present them to the reader. So, I find the women horrible.

For tear stains in a pillow case, treat them the same way you would a prespiration stain. Dissolve five asprin in water and daub the stain until it's gone. Even if there's a mascara stain, the problem's solved.

The little snippets of Biblical verse and housekeeping tips and techniques amuse me. The way they are ingrained in Tender Branson's mind. Like one's a-b-cs. Some of the more bizarre household tips are amazing: how do people discover these things? Does it really work that way? I'm sure it does, but some of them are just so out in left field that I can't believe it would actually work.

Then again, I almost never do housework. It's not surprising that I don't know how this stuff works.

I read today in a quote by the author about Survivor:
Hey, also look for two more books this year: Survivor and Invisible Monsters. Each one is darker and darker and both make Fight Club look like Little Women. My agents says offended folks will be standing in line to take my head off with a gun.

As one could easily guess, I'm now dooling over Invisible Monsters. I enjoy the memoir style and I've heard that it doesn't disappoint. I've been on a reading frenzy recently. I'm finding it very refreshing and rewarding, although I can't seem to find new books fast enough.


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