back contents next November 23, 1999

Odds and Ends, especially American Psycho

IkoI've been having this strange eye twitch for the past two days. It started Monday. I suffered from a terrible bout of insomnia on Sunday evening. I just could not get to sleep no matter what I did. Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, I managed to fall asleep. When I awoke on Monday, it began.

It doesn't twitch constantly, nor does it twitch when I hold my eyes open deliberately (like inspecting something closely or being really intense at work banging away on the keys). It only begins to twitch after I relax a little. It's so annoying. I have no idea what is causing it or what I could do to stop it. Suggestions? It could be just from lack of sleep that it is happening. Extreme fatigue? I'm not sure, although physically I'm not tired. I'm quite alert at work recently and have been plugging through the material eagerly. I'm making good time through the workload I've got, too. I might even be done by the December 1st internal deadline. We shall see.

I finally brought my camera into work today. I wanted to show you my new machine and desk, especially since I cleaned it last week.

Eileene's PCHere's my new PC and monitor. The PC is below the desk and is cut off in this image. Heather didn't want the sliding keyboard holder and so, she gave it to me. Now, I've got lots of desk space. The monitor (21") is much larger than my previous monitor (17") and I can pump my resolution to ridiculous proportions. I try to keep a box of Altoids near me at all times, because you never know when you have to have nice breath for a client. I'm still pushing around a mouse, although my boss said that I could get myself a tablet for work. Soon. Once I get out to buying one and expensing it.

Now, for a closer tour.

OrigamiI try very hard to keep my desk sunny and interesting and lively. A positive work environment. Several months ago, we had "personal commitment month" where we all had to work 50 hours a week. That was difficult. To keep me unstressed, I would take frequent breaks and make origami. I still have it on the side of my desk. The other designers think it's very cute and we're planning a "origami your monitor" hour sometime in the not-too-distant future.

ReadingOn the top left corner faithfully sits Reading (pronounced "red - ing". Pretend you're British), the second stuffed animal that Mike ever bought for me. It stands by a Teenie Beenie Baby Crab and Teenie Beenie Baby Frog that I got for something like 99 cents at McDonalds. The right side of my monitor are origami butterflies.

Even though I technically don't wear anything that goes with that funky satin blue bag, I have decided to use it anyway and have made it my new purse. I keep my card holder (credit cards and ids and such) in it, my palm pilot, my change purse, and nothing else. I don't think I can get anything else to fit into it. So, yes, that's the shiny thing resting on the left side of my monitor, right by my copy of American Psycho which is lying upon my work notebook where I try to keep track of all my work-related notes.

My cubicle

As you can see, my cubicle is a busy place. On the white wall on the far right, I posted some of the site maps for the websites I'm currently working on. In between the spaces, I've tucked my favorite User Friendly comics that I've printed out.

I've got a 21" Mac monitor that generates enormous amounts of heat and I barely use it. I need it because someday, I'm going to start working on designs like the other designers, and I will need the Mac to develop with. You cannot see the G3 under my desk because it is blocked by my chair. I've also got a fan down there: essential because even though we keep the windows wide open, it's still very hot.

I've got lots of postcards up around my cubicle. One from Run Lola Run, another from Star Wars: Episode I. I've got a Blair Witch Project postcard on my phone, which you can't see because it is behind the PC monitor. Geek! I proudly display my "geek." sticker on my Mac monitor, right next to the Xpedior sticker that they gave out to us. Ever since the merger, we've been getting toys and pens and gizmos, all with the Xpedior logo. They even gave us a well-built slinky that Mike can't keeps his hands off of. The black waterbottle on my desk, near the Mac monitor standing like a monolith, is also one of the Xpedior promotional items.

The glare from the ceiling lights hit my Obi Wan Kenobi calendar in just the right spot so that you can't see it, even if I enlarged the area. It's fun to look at Ewan McGregor's face every day as I come in.

So, I've rambled enough about my cubicle. If you'd like to know what else is in the picture, give me a buzz and I'll be more than happy to tell you what it is.


This morning, I finished American Psycho.

About 3/4 into the book, I stopped liking it.

The torture scenes get very gruesome, but my primary complaint isn't its brutality. It's the repetition.

In essence, it got boring. It started giving me chuckles less and less as Pat Bateman began becoming more careless and excessive. As he lost his suave image in my mind and became someone barely living on the edge of reality. The killings became routine and I became numb to them. They weren't telling me anything new about his psyche except that he just can't stop.

There is one very disturbing scene regarding a doctored up Godiva chocolate that has me swearing off them for a while. Atleast, anything minty. Ugh.

I didn't understand the ending, either. I mean, I understand that he got away with it all (I don't remind revealing that to you, Constant Reader, because the back of the book clearly says so). The last line is "This is not an exit." and I feel like I should be reading more into it. I don't understand the musical dissertations of Genesis, Whitney Huston, and Huey Lewis and the News.

Some parts are very funny. But trying to read the entire piece as satyrical doesn't work well with the violent and serious bits. I like the more experimental chapters where Ellis tries to capture a more stream-of-conciousness voice. In a scale from 1 to 10, I would give the book a 4. It's got some nifty bits but I don't care for the excessive style and lack of imagination that the later chapters take on. I kept thinking, "I've read this before in a previous chapter." I've heard good things about Less than Zero, so maybe I'll pick that up and check it out. I've heard Ellis' most recent offer, Glamorama, is even more violent and brutal than American Psycho. I'd pick it up, but I've heard that the style is even more severe. Blech.

So, should I pick up House Atreides?

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the woman on the bus.


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© Copyright 1999 Eileene Coscolluela