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December 7th, 2011

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Things have been insanely busy at work for the last few weeks, sorry everyone. I haven't had time to read, much less write. Things are looking like they'll be busy for at least a couple weeks more, especially since we're supposed to introduce mobile support in a couple of days. It's a good thing to offer, but oh, there will be headaches at first. On the bright side they've authorized overtime pay, so yay time-and-a-half!

November 4th, 2011

Books read this year

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31. Maskerade - Terry Pratchett
30. Interesting Times - Terry Pratchett
29. Soul Music - Terry Pratchett
28. Out of the Darkness - Peter David
27. Armies of Light and Dark - Peter David
26. The Long Night of Centauri Prime - Peter David
25. Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett
24. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them - Al Franken
23. Flash and Bones - Kathy Reichs
22. Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett
21. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J. K. Rowling
20. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
19. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J. K. Rowling
18. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J. K. Rowling
17. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
16. Night of the Living Trekkies - Kevin David Anderson
15. Lemony Snicket: An Unauthorized Autobiography - Lemony Snicket
14. The Last Colony - John Scalzi
13. The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi
12. Small Gods - Terry Pratchett
11. Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett
10. Reaper Man - Terry Pratchett
9. Moving Pictures - Terry Pratchett
8. Eric - Terry Pratchett
7. The Complete Wreck: A Series of Unfortunate Events 1-13 - Lemony Snicket
6. Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
5. Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
4. Pyramids - Terry Pratchett
3. Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett
2. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
1. Sourcery - Terry Pratchett

Pratchett's Phantom parody. I am a huge Phantom fan, the original book by Gaston Leroux as well as the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical. Pterry does a great job with his parody of opera in general and Phantom in particular. And, of course, I love the witches. (Especially Nanny Ogg.) I'm not sure how much I'm going to like his rendition of Agnes/Perdita if only because there seemed to be a little bit of fat stereotyping going on, but I trust Pterry as a writer enough to think that there will probably be much more to her character in later appearances. I will admit to slight disappointment over the Agnes/Perdita dynamic. When I'd read the character description in the back of previous books it described Agnes and Perdita as being separate personalities and, this being the Discworld, I had expected it to be something more supernatural than a teenage girl and her fantasy life. More of a Jekyll and Hyde type scenario. I like what it is and would not have been disappointed at all had I not been primed to think something else.

Incidentally at the same time as I was reading this a friend on Facebook had gone to see Phantom and kept posting random snippets of songs as his status. Between the two I decided to go out and re-purchase the original soundtrack. (I loaned my previous copy to my aunt years ago and haven't seen it since.) I still don't have the register to sing along with all the songs, but when I'm alone in the car on my long commutes it's fun to make the attempt anyway. ;)

October 20th, 2011

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After three months out sick and another month where I was lucky enough to be able to work at home, I had forgotten just how much work it is to, well, go to work. Nine hours a day in the office (including lunch time) plus over an hour and a half of total commute time means I'm not at home very much during the week. Even though I'm feeling a lot better we're back to eating a lot of takeout and convenience meals and our laundry is piled up very high. I'm thinking of hiring the laundry pixies again to wash and fold it for me. It's either that or we spend a couple of hours on Sunday doing family laundromat time.

It is very nice to have some income again though. We've managed to pay all of my medical bills now and put a little bit of money into savings. If we keep this up we'll even be able to comfortably get Christmas presents for everyone this year and still be able to make my student loan payments. That would be nice.

Saturday is Kaitlin's school's Silly Olympics. (Yes, we just did that back in May, they've decided to move it to a Fall event instead of Spring.) That should be a lot of fun and I think I'll be able to hang out longer this time. I've got to remember to bring the camera. It's been way too long since I've spammed my friends with kid photos. :p

October 17th, 2011

Books read this year

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29. Soul Music - Terry Pratchett
28. Out of the Darkness - Peter David
27. Armies of Light and Dark - Peter David
26. The Long Night of Centauri Prime - Peter David

25. Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett
24. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them - Al Franken
23. Flash and Bones - Kathy Reichs
22. Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett
21. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J. K. Rowling
20. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
19. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J. K. Rowling
18. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J. K. Rowling
17. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
16. Night of the Living Trekkies - Kevin David Anderson
15. Lemony Snicket: An Unauthorized Autobiography - Lemony Snicket
14. The Last Colony - John Scalzi
13. The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi
12. Small Gods - Terry Pratchett
11. Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett
10. Reaper Man - Terry Pratchett
9. Moving Pictures - Terry Pratchett
8. Eric - Terry Pratchett
7. The Complete Wreck: A Series of Unfortunate Events 1-13 - Lemony Snicket
6. Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
5. Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
4. Pyramids - Terry Pratchett
3. Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett
2. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
1. Sourcery - Terry Pratchett

No, even I don't actually read this fast. I knew there were some books I'd read that I'd forgotten to add to the list before, but just couldn't remember which ones. Now I've remembered. I like this trilogy a lot because it really fills in a lot that the fifth season never managed to get to. I'd wondered for a long time what happened with David and his Keeper and now I know. It did take me a long time to decide to pony up the $20 for a used copy of the last book in the trilogy though. Books 1 and 2 are relatively easy (and cheap) to find, but not the third one. And what's the point of starting a trilogy if you don't have the whole set?!

Soul Music was fun, as are all the Discworld books. Apparently I'd have enjoyed it more if I knew a bit more about music history. And possibly Welsh. I've managed to get Josh interested in the series a little bit. He started off with Small Gods and laughed the whole way through. He never did make it through The Colour of Magic, but we watched the BBC movie (for The Light Fantastic as well). Now he's working on Reaper Man and probably later this year we'll watch the movie for Hogfather. Kaitlin is liking the movies too.

October 12th, 2011

Books read this year

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25. Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett
24. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them - Al Franken
23. Flash and Bones - Kathy Reichs
22. Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett
21. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J. K. Rowling
20. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
19. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J. K. Rowling
18. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J. K. Rowling
17. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
16. Night of the Living Trekkies - Kevin David Anderson
15. Lemony Snicket: An Unauthorized Autobiography - Lemony Snicket
14. The Last Colony - John Scalzi
13. The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi
12. Small Gods - Terry Pratchett
11. Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett
10. Reaper Man - Terry Pratchett
9. Moving Pictures - Terry Pratchett
8. Eric - Terry Pratchett
7. The Complete Wreck: A Series of Unfortunate Events 1-13 - Lemony Snicket
6. Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
5. Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
4. Pyramids - Terry Pratchett
3. Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett
2. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
1. Sourcery - Terry Pratchett

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Discworld books I've read so far, but this is the first one that has literally made me laugh out loud. I'm not sure if it was the binary troll, or Carrot's particular way of looking at the world, or Vimes' surly demeanor, but something in this one just struck exactly the right chord with me. I think The Watch books are becoming my favorite ones in the series. Closely followed by everything else, of course.

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Now that I'm back at work I will probably be posting more often. For some reason at home I've stopped using my regular computer so much and done most of my internetting on the iPod with the Wi-Fi. I guess I feel I'm being more sociable when I'm ignoring people in the same room as them. In any case, I've got more time on my hands for it now.

I also haven't been posting as much because I just don't feel like I've got a lot to say. Even I'm getting tired of hearing myself talk about all my medical troubles (which, sadly, still aren't quite over) and since I don't feel well I never go out and do anything, so there's not much to talk about.

Kaitlin's birthday was last weekend. She's 6 years old now, which I can hardly believe even with the evidence of a 46" tall girl with her front teeth missing in front of me. I nearly forgot to plan the thing, so her party was fairly low-key, but five of her friends came over and they all had fun playing games, jumping on the bed, beating up the piñata, and eating strawberry shortcakes, so it all worked out well. I even got to see Josh's parents after the party, who I hardly ever see, so that was nice.

This weekend I'm heading down to visit my dad and see my nieces for the first time in over six months. They've got to be huge now! And I bet they're pulling themselves up and getting into all sorts of trouble. I can't wait.

October 5th, 2011

Books read this year

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24. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them - Al Franken
23. Flash and Bones - Kathy Reichs
22. Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett
21. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J. K. Rowling
20. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
19. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J. K. Rowling
18. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J. K. Rowling

17. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
16. Night of the Living Trekkies - Kevin David Anderson
15. Lemony Snicket: An Unauthorized Autobiography - Lemony Snicket
14. The Last Colony - John Scalzi
13. The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi
12. Small Gods - Terry Pratchett
11. Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett
10. Reaper Man - Terry Pratchett
9. Moving Pictures - Terry Pratchett
8. Eric - Terry Pratchett
7. The Complete Wreck: A Series of Unfortunate Events 1-13 - Lemony Snicket
6. Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
5. Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
4. Pyramids - Terry Pratchett
3. Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett
2. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
1. Sourcery - Terry Pratchett

I haven't been writing, but I have been reading. After seeing HP 7.5 I felt the urge to finish re-reading the series. And so...I did! Lords and Ladies is another Discworld adventure. For some reason that one took me a while to get into, but once I did I really enjoyed it. Flash and Bones is another Temperance Brennan novel and follows the usual formula. But you know what? Sometimes it's fun to read a formulaic book. As for Lies, I picked it up at Goodwill not long after Franken was elected senator figuring that if the guy is going to be in the government I should see a little of what he's like. I never saw him on SNL or any of his other shows. The book didn't quite strike the right funny bone for me, but it was interesting nonetheless. And now, I move on to more Discworld.

August 8th, 2011

Books read this year

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17. Stardust - Neil Gaiman
16. Night of the Living Trekkies - Kevin David Anderson

15. Lemony Snicket: An Unauthorized Autobiography - Lemony Snicket
14. The Last Colony - John Scalzi
13. The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi
12. Small Gods - Terry Pratchett
11. Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett
10. Reaper Man - Terry Pratchett
9. Moving Pictures - Terry Pratchett
8. Eric - Terry Pratchett
7. The Complete Wreck: A Series of Unfortunate Events 1-13 - Lemony Snicket
6. Guards! Guards! - Terry Pratchett
5. Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
4. Pyramids - Terry Pratchett
3. Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett
2. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
1. Sourcery - Terry Pratchett

I've never read any horror novels or zombie books before (except for World War Z, which is about the aftermath more than the actual zombie invasion) so I don't know how Night of the Living Trekkies compares, but I thought it was fun and had a lot of good Trek and general sci-fi references. Naming every chapter after a Star Trek episode title was a nice touch.

Stardust surprised me with how different it was from the movie. Captain Shakespeare isn't in the book at all, which is quite disappointing as he was one of my favorite characters, and the ending is much more dramatic and dangerous in the movie than the book. Still it was a very nice fairy tale and a lot of fun to read.

May 19th, 2011

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This weekend is apparently the "Silly Olympics" at Kaitlin's school. I've been skipping out on a lot of school functions lately (which means so has Kaitlin) because I haven't been feeling well, but this last week I've been feeling pretty good, so I think Kaitlin will get to do this one. I have no idea what it entails except for a bunch of, presumably silly, games. I'll probably need to bring money just in case. These things have a way of turning out to be fund raisers.

We've been working on what to do for Memorial Day weekend. Most years we go to the Kinetic Sculpture Race up in Eureka, but we didn't plan for that as early this year because we didn't know what was going to happen with me employment-wise. And hey look, I'm employed! I do have Memorial Day off and Josh is taking off the Saturday before so we get the full three-day weekend together. (Very nice, since we typically only get to see each other all day on Sundays.) It's a bit late for booking hotels, and considering my health problems I'm wary of a five hour drive anyway, particularly since there isn't much around for the last three hours of it. On top of which, Mom has offered to take us on a different vacation later this year and while we've saved up some money I don't think we can afford to do both. So we're coming up with something else to do. Current ideas involve Marine World in Vallejo with our old neighbors. We'll see. I know Kaitlin wants to see Kung-Fu Panda 2 at some point too.

May 17th, 2011

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It turns out that when you're going around to all the laundromats in town and are trying to give one of them way too much money in order to wash & fold for you, it is impossible to find one that will do it on a Sunday. Yesterday we didn't manage to get laundry done either, but only because we couldn't find Josh's wallet with the laundry money in it. (Don't worry, we found it eventually. Always remember to look in yesterday's jacket.) Finally this morning I managed to drop off our extremely heavy bag of laundry at the wash & fold, after waiting around for ten minutes for them to open, where we will pay $1/pound for them to do our laundry for us. This is not going to be a regular thing (I hope), but we've managed to build up a very big pile of dirty laundry that we're just not able to keep up with right now. And when I did decide to do some laundry at our place this weekend it turned out the washer was broken. The repair man has been called, and in the meantime I am using some of my newfound income on the luxury of having someone else do laundry for me. Call it a late Mother's Day present.

May 9th, 2011

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I have been reprimanded (on Facebook of all places) for not updating my Livejournal enough. So here we go.

Basically, life has just been incredibly busy since I started my new job. Amazing how coming home 11+ hours after you leave in the morning will eat up time and energy. I haven't even been here a full month yet and already I'm glad it's only a one year gig. This is an insane commute for me.

Health-wise things are up and down. It's very much a "two steps forward, one step back" kind of deal. We're still tweaking my meds and trying to get things into remission. I have good days and bad days, but most of the time I make it through the day without too many problems. I just come home exhausted. It's a good thing I'm making more money now because we're eating a lot more take-out and convenience foods. I just don't have the time or energy for cooking anymore.

For Mother's Day Kaitlin jumped into bed with me as soon as she woke up in the morning so she could give me the card and present she made at school (a flower pincushion). She was so excited about Mother's Day it was really cute. We didn't really do anything special. Bagels with the works for breakfast and I took a couple of naps. The last couple of days have been "bad days" stomach-wise so I wasn't feeling up to going out to dinner or doing anything special. I was thinking of going to see Thor, but decided against it. I'd end up missing too much of the movie for bathroom breaks and it turned out I needed the sleep.

So that's about it. Life is crazy busy and I can't wait until work is done today so I can go home and rest.

April 28th, 2011

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Work is so sloooooooooooow.

April 18th, 2011

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Now that I've survived the first week of my new job where I wasn't able to do anything, I am trying to survive the second week, where there is stuff I can do, but things have been unusually slow so I am not only running out of work-related items to do, I'm even running out of my usual goofing-off things to do. I've actually managed to catch up on reading ontd_political and I didn't think I'd ever be able to do that.

RoboGames was this past weekend. None of the people I invited showed up, but it was just as well because it turned out I was feeling pretty bad this weekend. I don't know if I just pushed myself too hard to make it through the week or what, but Friday night was misery and Saturday I needed to sleep most of the day. (Kaitlin watched far too much TV and made amazing messes in the living room and kitchen.) Sunday was a little better, and today here I am at work again so we'll see how things go. Oh yes, the robots. They gave a valiant effort, but alas, the competition was very good. Still I think if they can keep up this partnership to work on the robots then next year is going to be amazing. And now that we're going to have a little more income coming in we might even be able to substitute some money for time to make it better too.

Last weekend was busy and this next weekend is looking to be a bit crazy too. Saturday some friends of ours are renewing their vows and then Sunday is Easter, which is when we would usually head up to Colusa to see Josh's mom. I've begged off due to illness before, so that may be what happens this time, but I hope not. I do like getting to see Lil and Kaitlin loves going up there for Easter. Still, long car trips worry me these days. And the thought of a day to myself is very appealing.

April 5th, 2011

Breakfast today

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A whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, capers, red onion rings, smoked salmon, tomato slices, and a pinch of kosher salt. Yum.

March 29th, 2011

Books read this year

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5. Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
4. Pyramids - Terry Pratchett
3. Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett
2. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
1. Sourcery - Terry Pratchett

I certainly haven't been doing as much reading this year as I thought I would have. Turns out when I'm at home with a Playstation and Netflix I spend more time watching TV and playing video games. More stories per hour I guess. Spider Bones was a decent Temperance Brennan novel, though you don't really get any tension until about two thirds of the way through it because she's investigating old deaths so you don't worry about "the killer". But since I read the books more for the forensics I still enjoyed it.

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I enjoy the fact that social media lets me keep in touch with people I would otherwise rarely or never see, but the asymmetrical nature of internet communication does bother me from time to time. If I want to let people know something or ask a question I have no way of knowing if anyone knows I've even spoken unless they answer. So sometimes it feels like I'm just spewing words into the aether where they drift away and disappear.

There's your insight into my neuroses for the day I guess.

It will be very nice when I actually start at my job and I can have some social interaction that isn't online. Real-time communication is a very different thing that I haven't been able to practice much, I don't think I'm even very good at it anymore.

March 26th, 2011

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I start my new job April 11!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

March 12th, 2011

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Real friendships with exes

Possible
4(19.0%)
Tricky
5(23.8%)
Weird
1(4.8%)
Worth it
1(4.8%)
Not worth it
0(0.0%)
Impossible
1(4.8%)
Depends on the ex
9(42.9%)

March 11th, 2011

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Just got an email: "Hi Jennifer- Good news! [name] would like to extend an offer to have you contract in his group at [place] for the role you interviewed. Please call me and we can discuss the terms."

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1. Job interview on Tuesday went well, I should know in a few days if I've got the job or not. I like my chances though.

2. RoboGames is coming up soon. It would be fun to see any locals there.

3. There are tsunami warnings in effect along the coast here, but I don't think anything has happened yet. The beaches and some coastal roads are closed, but the ferries are running again. There's still a chance of some flooding when the tide comes in, but it doesn't look like there's going to be much damage here.

4. The Red Cross is helping out with disaster relief in Japan. I kicked in $15. Maybe you could help out too.

March 4th, 2011

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Two bits of good news.

1: On Tuesday I have an in-person interview with the people who did my phone interview last week. I'm still in!

2: This weekend I get to have coffee with Christopher Lee, not the actor, but the dad of my ex who was like a second father to me.

I am so excited!



February 24th, 2011

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I've been messaging back and forth with Tommy all week, catching up and figuring out who we each are now that ten years have gone by. Things hit a bit of a snag when he responded to my comment that I'm Agnostic now with "So, then, you believe in the teachings of evolution." Oh boy. I'm pretty sure we managed to end that part of the conversation amicably, but I know neither of us convinced the other of anything.

Since I've been talking with Tommy so much lately I figured I'd try to talk to his dad. I've never been very close to my dad (Val), at least not since I was little, but Tommy's dad, Chris, was a second father to me. He wrote back to me tonight. Not only does he remember me (fondly), but he said I could talk to him any time and gave me his number. I am ridiculously happy over this. Seriously, I'm grinning right now.

February 18th, 2011

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Sometimes you just wish for a sudden breeze.

February 15th, 2011

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I actually managed to apply for a few jobs this weekend. Nothing huge, but at least I've gotten started. I'm pretty frustrated with the USAJobs website though. What is the point of having the aggregator if every department has a different system that you need to sign up for? And the password requirements are ridiculous. You need to have one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one number, and a special character in a password at least 8 characters long. It's like they're trying to have people leave a post-it note with all their passwords on their computer monitor. Case-sensitive passwords suck.

It was a rainy weekend so we didn't get out and do much. Way too much tv was watched yesterday, and I'll probably be watching a little too much this week too. I figure I should get in all the stuff I want to do by myself this week because next week is the mid-winter break at Kaitlin's school, so she'll be home with me the whole time. We'll probably go see Gnomeo and Juliet at some point. I don't think it looks all that great, but it's also the only G rated movie to come out in about two years and Kaitlin likes the trailer so we're going.

Since Kaitlin doesn't have school on Monday we have a full weekend with the whole family, so we're going up to Colusa to visit Josh's mom and maybe his old friend Pete. We haven't seen them in a long time. Josh saw that I was trying to keep in touch with more friends this week and he thought that seemed like a good idea for him too. When he got into the mini-sumo robots he was hoping it would lead to some more friends, but it turns out you don't really meet people that way. We both could use some lessons on how to make friends.

February 9th, 2011

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While I was in school I didn't post much because I was too busy reading textbooks and writing papers. Now I don't post much because I don't really have much to talk about. I haven't really gotten started on the job search, but I promised Josh I'd finish my resume today. I've been doing laundry and dishes and keeping the apartment more or less in order. I even vacuumed the living room yesterday. I really need to set myself a schedule though, otherwise I'll end up playing around on the computer all day and never actually apply for jobs.

The weekend was really nice though. On Sunday I got to go have lunch with a friend sans kids for the first time in years. Then we went to Point Pinole, intending to hike around. Instead we looked at the goats they have for ground cover control and played at the park for a while, but at least it was outside. Monday we took Kaitlin to the book fair at school and then walked up to Indian Rock Park. I'm enjoying the weekends a lot more now that I don't spend time with any other adults during the week.

My ex on Facebook still hasn't responded to my friend request, but oddly his wife did. So at least if I don't get to have an old friend back I get to make a new one.

And that's about it.

February 7th, 2011

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Check out what came in the mail today!

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