Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:51 pm

Denny bought a lovely brown suede blazer at Bremer’s, an uppity men’s clothing store that’s going out of business. He looks very handsome in it. Now he’s grilling up some dinner (not in his blazer, though. Too messy.).

I had a very long workday. I had four meetings, several of which were over an hour. I barely had time to get done the things I needed to do at my desk, much less any recreational computing. That’s why I’m making this update at 5:45 p.m. from my kitchen table.

You know what’s good? Kiwi strawberry Diet Rite. SMACK goes my mouth on the kiwi strawberry Diet Rite.


I wish I had some frozen fruit

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:54 pm

Doesn’t frozen fruit sound good? I really like frozen cherries and grapes. I’m thinking of trying frozen peaches too. I need to make a heavy-duty trip to the grocery store, and it’s going to be frozen fruit-o-rama.

Would it be weird to eat a shrimp sandwich? I kind of want a shrimp sandwich. I don’t mean a po’ boy or anything, more like just a handful of shrimp on a couple of pieces of whole wheat. That sounds pretty good. Can you tell I’m hungry? I’m going to have a granola bar in 7 minutes, because I like to have some carbs an hour before I go running, which I’m going to do after work at 5. Denny and my friend Alyssa are going to play basketball while I run in circles. It will be a delight for all concerned, I’m sure.

In wedding-related news: we went to the rental place last night and got some things settled. They’re getting a new kind of dance floor that will work on a grassy surface (good to know, now that we’re probably going to have tents on grass instead of the concrete patio), and they also will rent us platforms that we can stand on for the ceremony. They can be arranged so they’re at heights of 8″ or 16″. I vote for 8″ because I would get less hurt if I pass out and fall off during the ceremony.

Also: over lunch today we went into a jewelry store and looked at wedding bands. I’m trying to decide whether we should buy them locally or get them from a website. You know what a fan I am of using local businesses, but dang, the web has some cheap wedding bands. I think when you buy locally, you get a lifetime guarantee or something, but I don’t know if it’s really worth it.

Anyway, Denny was most interested in one a lot like this:

6 mm white gold domed comfort fit

they don’t have that one in 4 mm, which is the size I wanted. A competing website does, but the 4 mm actually costs more than the 6 mm one, above, which seems stupid considering it’s less gold.


This message brought to you by…

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:59 am

…a super-sweet G5! Woo!

I’m running Panther (10.3.7), which is actually what I was running before, so it’s too bad I didn’t get in on a sexy OS upgrade, but that’s ok. I have the new iLife suite, including Garage Band, which I hope to get awesome at eventually. I wanted a dual processor, but they were having a special on single processor 1.8 Gh models, so that’s what I got. I shouldn’t complain; not many workplaces would buy me a Mac in the first place, much less a super-sweet G5 with 1.25 GB of RAM.

I wonder how wimpy that’s going to sound when I look back on this post in a few years. I remember reading a book when I was a teenager in which the character had designed a computer game, and another character asked him how much memory it required. The answer?

“A megabyte.”

The response?

“Nobody’s going to buy a game that requires a whole megabyte of memory! Keep dreaming, pal!”



So tempting

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:42 pm

So there’s this G5 sitting on the floor outside my office that is slated to be mine, but I’m not allowed to use it until Amir does something to set it up (don’t ask me what; I’ve set up tons of Macs in my day, and it can’t possibly be much diferent). Amir is out today. Grrr.

I found some shoes I want. Actually I found lots of shoes I want, but I found some I might realistically get. The major purpose is wedding shoes, but I think they could be multi-purpose after the wedding. They look pretty comfortable (they’re Aerosoles, a brand I’ve had good luck with comfort-wise), aren’t outrageously priced, and are cute-o-rama. I haven’t had new shoes in months. Literally months.

(In white, I suppose. I don’t necessarily need white shoes, but black and pink don’t seem quite right with my color scheme, and the white ones are nice-looking.)


I’m home

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:22 am

Pictures from Portugal. Woohoo!

P.S. I had lots of fun and I’m very jet-lagged.


Off I go

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:56 am

I’m here at work for a couple of hours before the big trip. Work is a madhouse anyway; the office is all torn up because they’re reconfiguring the space and some people are changing offices. I’ll be moving a few feet myself, but not till after I get back. Plus they’ve been testing the fire alarms all week. It will be very, very nice to get away.

Last night I dreamed that I landed at the airport in Lisbon (the dream airport was Barajas in Madrid; since I’ve never been to Lisbon, it seems like a reasonable substitute), and there was part where you had to walk outside to get to the other part of the airport. The weather was beautiful and I was so excited to be there that I completely forgot to go through customs.

I don’t think I got arrested, though.

See you in a week and a half!


Vacation cometh

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:09 pm

Last night I was feeling all stressed out and upset about things…the wedding and work, mostly. It gave me insomnia. Denny was very helpful, though. I asked him to please soothe me, and he did, by pondering aloud all the cool things we’re going to do in Portugal.

For example:

  • Drink wine in a little café
  • Walk hand-in-hand down cobblestone streets
  • Visit cathedrals and palaces and fortresses
  • Eat tasty prawns and mussels and fish
  • Go to fascinating museums
  • Stand on a hill overlooking beautiful Sintra
  • Take lots of cool pictures
  • Watch cute schoolchildren frolic around

That made me feel better.

We leave tomorrow afternoon. I’m going to work half a day, so I may post something before I go, if I have time.


My Weird Gums: The Saga Continues

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:23 am

Author’s note: I looked back at this post and realized it was very long and probably boring to my readership that does not care about my gums. I decided to add some helpful images for your entertainment.

So, those of you who have known me medium-well for more than a year or so may be aware that I have Weird Gums. There’s this part of my gums that occasionally, for no apparent reason, becomes swollen and painful. This happens maybe once every three or four months.

Note: these are healthy gums. I did not want to burden you,
gentle readers, with pictures of gross gums

About one in three of the times, it gets really bad and spreads onto the roof of my mouth, which makes eating virtually impossible (unless I add a generous coat of Anbesol a few minutes before the meal, which works decently, but who really wants minty Anbesol-flavored spaghetti, know what I mean?).

I don’t know why it happens; it just does. It seems unrelated to any particular trauma. I did not poke it with a Dorito. The only trend that has emerged is that more often than not, it happens around my period. The swelling lasts about 3-7 days, depending on severity.

The trickiest part is getting in to see the dentist when it’s actually at the peak of flare-up. It started swelling yesterday, and this morning it was really quite poofy, and it had spread so that my whole upper-left gum area was tender and swollen. Denny suggested that I try to get an emergency appointment today, just to make sure it’s not something serious before we go to Portugal. I called the dentist’s office before I left for work, and my beloved Dr. Fung was all booked up today.

My favorite denist, Dr. Fung

I wanted to see him because 1. he’s cool, and 2. he’s the one I’ve seen about this issue before, so he’s familiar with my history. Instead, they asked me if I wanted to see Dr. Ajala. I guess he must be new, because I’d never heard of him before, and he’s not on their website. I said ok, but I was a little nervous, because I’m shy around new people and it’s a pain explaining this stupid gum thing over and over.

Well. Fortunately, I was able to get in immediately, because an appointment for 10 minutes from the time I called had opened up for Dr. Ajala. So in I went. I explained my situation to the assistant, who tapped my teeth with a blunt instrument, then froze them with some stuff called Endo Ice. Results? Yes, it hurts when really cold chemicals get put on your teeth. From the Endo Ice website, I gather that the purpose is to determine tooth vitality. Dude, I could have told her that I have plenty of tooth vitality, and the problem isn’t my teeth anyway, it’s my gums. I didn’t like her very much. She also insisted on a (probably superfluous) X-ray, and she didn’t even have the good manners to ask if I’m pregnant. I’m not, but it’s polite to ask before you shoot radiation into someone.

It was a lot like this, only it was an x-ray of my mouth and not a chicken

Dr. Ajala showed up then, and he was pretty nice.

Note: Not actually Dr. Ajala, but he sort of looks like
Djimon Hounsou. He’s got the little mustache and everything.

He’s Nigerian and he washed his hands very thoroughly. I have a hypothesis that the dentists wash their hands in front of the patients rather than in a prep room somewhere because it gives patients the psychological impression that the whole experience is very sanitary. I explained the situation to him, and he proceeded to poke around at my gums a lot. He later revealed that he was searching around for something lodged up in there. Sheesh! There is nothing lodged up in there! If it were that simple, don’t you think I would have addressed that issue all the other 600 times this has happened? All he accomplished with that was to make my gums bleed. Oh, and he also determined that there was nothing lodged up in there.

This is kind of how I felt

In other hilarious turns of events, he was too shy to say the word “menstruation” or anything related to it. He asked several times about this gum problem’s relationship to my “monthly hormonal.” Hah! “Monthly hormonal.” That’s an adverb and an adjective, no noun at all! But I knew what he meant, and I didn’t make fun of him for saying it because he seemed so shy about the whole thing. I figure there’s no need to irritate the man with the pokey tool. I asked him if he thought it was an infection, and whether I should have antibiotics before I go. He said no, it wasn’t an infection. Then I pointed out my swollen glands to him. He made me do this thing where I smashed my chin down to my chest, which pinched my tender glands against my jaw bone, then he prodded them. “Ow ow!” I yelped. He said, “Sorry, sorry.” He was really terribly polite. I’m not sure that’s the most orthodox method of examining glands; every other doctor I’ve had has just massaged my neck a little.

That’s an important talent for a dentist, I think. Good old Dr. Ajala made me feel affectionate toward him even though he made my gums bleed, perhaps unnecessarily, and pinched my tender glands against my jaw bone and prodded them. That is a true gift. I bet his root canal patients leave the office saying, “Man, that sucked when he was twiddling my nerves like he was making macrame, but he was so charming about it.

In the end, he prescribed me some penicillin, which I think is a good idea. I was having some sweats and shivers this morning, which was probably due either to caffeine withdrawl (going to the dentist first thing made me miss my usual coffee schedule) or a mild fever due to infection. Honestly, it would probably be cheaper and easier to get antibiotics in Portugal, but this way at least I don’t have to learn how to say “Help, I believe I have an infection of the gums that may or may not be related to my monthly hormonal” in Portuguese.

The end.

Author’s note: slow days at work are so great.


Supplement Facts

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:37 pm

I made a thorough and useful packet of train schedules for Portugal. I would share it for you, but one thing I have learned in life is that certain things which are very interesting to me are actually not interesting at all to other people. But suffice it to say, it is a very thorough and useful packet. There’s this one train station I thought we’d be using which is very beautiful, but as it turns out, it’s under repairs and we have to go to a boring train station instead. Oh well.

Denny practiced his conference presentation at work today. He did a very good job. His project is really cool; it’s an online interface for researchers to use in searching and learning about a large collection of ancient Iberian plaques. He also found out that this conference we’re going to in Portugal is being held next year in Fargo, North Dakota. We picked the right year to go.

I took an interesting quiz put out by the BBC about gender and brains. It turns out I have a man-brain. My overall score was the exact average for men who took the test, and it was way off from the average score for women. Who knew? It’s a rather extensive test, but it was fun and interesting to do. I consistently scored well on the parts that men traditionally do well on, and poorly on the parts that women traditionally do well on.


Yay! Baby!

Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:18 pm

My coworker had a baby. She sent pictures. I’d rather not post them all over the whole internet (because I’m sure you understand that the twelve hits a day I get, most of which are from my mom, Denny’s mom, and Emily, hog up a good portion of the internet) without her permission, so I will describe the baby.

It is a boy baby.

He was delivered by scheduled c-section.

He is pink-colored.

His head is very round, not deformed at all (product of the c-section, I guess).

He is healthy and robust and doing well, and I believe his mom is too.

In writing this, I realized that apparently my priorities in describing a human being are, in descending order of importance, gender, escape method, skin color, head shape, and general physical state. Now I will describe some other people using those terms.

Aprille: lady, ’99 Prizm or running like hell, yellowish-white, round, post-flu euphoria.
Denny: gentleman, VW Passat, pinkish-white, round, sore from playing basketball.
Snoop Dog: G, Snoopmobile, brown, a little pointy, baked on the chronic.


Happy birthday, Denny

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:45 pm

28 years ago today, a very cute baby named Dennis Patrick Crall, Jr. was born. He was premature, but it wasn’t his fault. He would have had a different birthday otherwise, but it’s a good thing that his birthday’s today, or he sure would look silly wearing that party hat around work.

Actually he’s not wearing a birthday hat. I wish! I love you, sweetie, whether you wear a birthday hat or not.


Kum & Go: We go all out

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:33 pm

We had quite a weekend. Denny’s parents came up to visit, and we had a nice time. We got a few wedding things accomplished and made some progress on the ceremony location issue. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t ask; we had a bit of a snafu regarding a verbal agreement that was made and looks like it’s going to be rescinded. We can still use the museum, just not exactly in the way we’d envisioned. We’ll work it out, I guess.

Oh, and the weather was gorgeous, especially on Sunday. I went for a run outside for the first time since last fall. It’s so much more pleasant being outdoors than running in circles on a track. I got to see quite a bit of the neighborhood, including young rascals on bikes, a couple of cute toddlers, and teenagers making out under a bridge. Gross!


Moderation is the key, people.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:18 am

Looking through recent sites, I noticed that I have been much too whiny lately. Here is something funny for you to enjoy.

(sorry I bogarted your image, Getty images)


Imagining terrible questions on future job interviews

Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:58 pm

In this particular job that I have, I often have to interview people for other jobs (my minions, I call them). Like just about every other awful job interview, we ask the “what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses” question. We word it a little differently, but that’s what it boils down to. Sometimes I think about how I would answer that question if I were in the interviewee’s shoes.

Meetings I’ve had this week have helped me firm up that answer. I am not a details-oriented person. I seriously need an assistant to help me keep track of things. I’m much more of a big idea, big picture, big excitement kind of person. For example, today at this high-profile meeting full of stakeholders from all over campus, I was all prepared to talk about all the work I’ve been doing as the lead of the Organizational Architecture team, which is considerable. I’ve done a lot of research about the way the the university org structure works, how we will or will not mirror it in ICON (our suite of course management system and integrations), where exceptions lie, all that. I’ve built a provisional org structure on the remotely hosted testing system and I’m working on one in the testing system. I’m developing distributed administrator rights and assigning them, and helping coordinate training for distributed administrators and migration of legacy sites.

Naturally, none of this stuff came up at the meeting. But you know what did? The fact that I forgot the promotional pens.


Weekend? Now?


I have good news and bad news.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:51 pm

First the bad news:

We have this large-format printer at work, and I walk by it all the time on the way to the regular printer. Well, without warning me, somebody had the ink cartridges stuck part-way out (and believe me, large-format printers have some hella-large ink cartridges). As I was walking to the regular printer, I was swinging my arms perhaps a bit too enthusiastically, and I whapped the bony top part of my hand really hard on the ink cartridge.

Ow ow ow. I’m going to have a big bruise, I can tell. It hurts to type, and I have to type a lot in this job.

The good news: I got a raise. I don’t think it’s related to my injury, though.

Hey, that makes me wonder…should I cite this as an on-the-job injury? I might get workwoman’s comp. Hm…


Read a banned book; it’s good for you.

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:45 pm

Bold the ones you’ve read.
Italicize the ones you’ve read part of.
Underline the ones you specifically want to read (at least some of).
Read more. Convince others to read some.

#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer In Olde English
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward
#23 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Das Capital by Karl Marx
#37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Emile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

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