back contents next November 18, 1999

Soul Foods

Thinking Femme I came home today at a reasonable hour.

Tuesday and Wednesday, I've been coming home tremendously late and terribly exhausted and tonight, I came home early. It was nice to have dinner at 8:30pm instead of 10pm. Granted, I was later that I expected (I wanted to be home at "normal time" which would be around 7:30), but I was able to get one of my projects off of my plate for the time being and I could spend time with the project for The Soda Company That Must Not Be Named(tm). We've been neglecting the project for the past three weeks and, to put it bluntly, time is up. We need to get cracking on the application now and the first delivery is early next week. I've built about 90% of the HTML for that, so I'm not too worried.

I'm still worried.

I've just been swamped with work. Today, I was told by the project leader for the Soda Company project that I must not accept any work from anyone else. Nope nope nope. I am "booked solid" for the next few weeks as I finish the HTML screens for the project. No one can have me. It makes me feel like I'm wearing a chastity belt. "No one shall have her!"

In the meantime, other projects will have to sit and fester until we either hire a new person or get more freelance HTML developers. They are supposedly getting some freelancers for me by next week and then "the pressure is off" for the time being.

I just hope they aren't better than me. Tee hee hee. I got a wonderful email message from a coworker and two of my superiors. The coworker called me a "HTML Goddess", since I spent about 5 hours with her slowly getting her dynamically generated tables to work. We had to deal with Vignette, something that I am completely in the dark about its capabilities, so we spent much of the evening going:

"Okay.. we need to start the table here. But we don't want it to start the table if this value is zero or this is the first time through the loop. Can you get it to do that?"

"Hold on." *clickety clack clickety clack*, the programmer writes the jargon that would, hopefully make my request work. She refreshes the page. "Like that?"

"Hold on." I look at the source. "Yes, that works but then we need to make sure it closes in the right place. So..." I pause as I think and make the mental calculations. "that means that we would have to end the table here but only once we reach a new value. So that means we have to put it in the top and make sure it only runs it once the category values change. Can you do that?"

I think you get the picture.

We had to fumble our way through to get it to work but in the end, we were able to do it. Cases that we found today where "it didn't work" were discovered to be either corruption of the data, or incorrect data tables and nothing incorrect with the logic of the loops we generated. So, she wrote that message to the team (I am not formally on the team. I am just assisting with the HTML problem spots) with the title "She Rocks!". It made me feel really wonderful to get that message.

It was then quickly followed by two more. Well, actually one more message. A project leader on a project that I used to be on wrote to my boss' boss (the head honcho of our department) jokingly asking whether my title can be changed from "Consultant, Information Architecture" to "HTML Goddess, Information Architecture". My boss' boss wrote back to him (and cc:ed me) that "Goddess" is not one of the corporate approved titles and I must settle for "Wizardress", "Empress", "Inspired One" or "Queen of HTML". Tee hee hee. Isn't that wonderful!

I'm doing something right.


Two more things to add to the growing collection of My Stuff.

My Ebay PurseI've been perusing the halls of ebay recently to pick up more "glam"-type items. One of my newest aquisitions came today: a very cute satin blue purse with white leaf and flower embroidery. It is an outrageously feminine accessory that looking at it objectively, one wouldn't consider it part of my tastes or on my fashion sense. However, when I saw it on ebay, my guts siezed me by the throat and convinced me to bid bid bid.

Now, I've got this bright satiny small purse (it might hold my pilot and my credit card wallet) that currently doesn't go with anything that I own. Mike took one look at it and said, "Wow, that's bright."

"What do you think?"

"I think you should wear it with something that doesn't make it stand out."


"Nothing you own."

the perks of being a wallflower My other new plaything is a new book. I've been rereading A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking on my commute and I wanted something new. I went to a bookstore today to look for either American Psycho by Ellis or Survivor by the author that wrote Fight Club. No such luck. I felt like a real idiot in the bookstore: I hate walking out empty-handed. So, I scanned the shelves some more.

It caught my eye because the cover is this brilliant chartreuse. It was the last copy left on the shelves, so the lone book was very eyecatching. I liked the title the perks of being a wallflower, so I read the back.

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All weknow is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Needless to say, it grabbed me.

"[You're] a wallflower... You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand."

...Patrick started driving really fast, and just before we got to the tunnel, Sam stood up, and the wind turned her dress into ocean waves. When we hit the tunnel, all the sound got scooped up into a vacuum, and it was replaced by a song on the tape player. A beautiful song called "Landslide." When we got out of the tunnel, Sam screamed this really funny scream, and there it was. Downtown. Lights on buildings and everything that makes you wonder. Sam sat down and started laughing. Patrick started laughing. I started laughing.

And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.
-- the perks of being a wallflower Stephen Chbosky

I'm always reading. Perhaps, that's something that I should share more frequently with you, Constant Reader. My impressions of what I'm reading and not just a synopsis afterwards. Plus, for those books that take me a while to read, it might be interesting to gauge my tastes as I progress through a book. This one is a bad book to start with, since it is so short (200 pages).

I noticed that Clive Barker has got a new one out. And that House Atreides kept tempting me in the store. Too many books, too little time.


Since I got home early today, I had a proper dinner with Mike. We actually ate together. The past week and a half, with exception of the weekend, we were taking different meals because of the late nights at work. Dinner was pork with onions and cabbage cooked in a wok with chinese-style ingredients over rice. It was delicious! Mike said that tonight, his ability to improvise great dishes turned out to be really handy. It turns out that the meat he wanted to cook tonight was inedible and had to improvise something else. We had no black beans, so he couldn't make black bean sauce with the pork, so he improvised with a container of "oriental seasoning" we got from his relatives, a generous helping of garlic, a splash of good soy sauce, and a hint of palm vinegar. It worked and the end product was wonderful. And very similar to pork with black bean sauce.

Afterwards, I decided to make myself a pot of tea (china black). Tea is comfort food for me (like rice and pork with black bean sauce). I love holding a steaming mug in my hands, inhaling deeply the aromatic vapors, letting its sweetness linger on my tongue. One Twinings' China Black tea bag can make a small pot of tea (three cups). Mm.

Best of all was the conversation. Mike and I properly sat down and ate together. The meal was food for the body but the company was food for the soul.

A hearty thank you to one of the most beautiful women on the web, Valerie. I've had the pleasure to know her for several years now, even in real life, and has always helped me. Unlike me, she knows that chastity contains an 'h'. ---

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© Copyright 1999 Eileene Coscolluela