I am at Chicago O'Hare waiting for a very late connection to Charleston (crap, now cancelled). A week there, followed by a week in Chicago.

Less than a day into this trip and my boss is already teasing me about my mad skills at destruction: one of the axels of my new carry-on luggage melted the wheel casing and dislodged on my way to BART. Then, this afternoon I chipped a molar while eating a carrot.

Despite today's auspiciousness, I don't have that sense of foreboding that this is going to be gig of doom. (Yes, I did just knock on wood).
Normally by the end of an out-of-town work gig I am close to climbing the walls and wanting to be home. I think that most of this is work induced alienation: the lack of comfort of connecting with friends as a balm for a long day conflated with returning to a hotel room which is very much not home. This was not the case with this last gig and I find myself a tiny bit regretful that I didn't get to stay in NYC a bit longer.

While the hotel room itself was no more homey than than others, city noises are comforting to me, and on the nights I didn't get out I would unwind by sitting in the dark, listening to the city, and enjoying my pretty damn awesome view.. On the nights I did get out, I had good company and perfect mellow types of adventures ([livejournal.com profile] adularia invited me to a steampunk book reading, there were board games with Adam, and conversation filled wanders through a variety of neighborhoods).

Even the obscene heat wasn't enough to bother me. It was in the 90's on Wednesday, and had only dropped to the mid-eighties by the time we left the fortunately air conditioned workplace at 11pm. I remembered that I spent most of my three summers in upstate trying to be nocturnal; somehow anything over 75 is misery inducing on a sunny day but I can find even 80s pleasant at night. It isn't weather I would want to go on a vigorous bike ride in, but it was still enjoyable.

In fact, the most unfortunate event outside of normal work chaos was learning that China Mievelle is gay. My internal perception switch from ridiculously unlikely (a sweet spot for fantasies) to absolutely unattainable (fantasy death knell) was crushing in that "oh, drat" sorta way. (Not that I don't think guys having sex is hot, it just isn't a fantasy I put myself in).

My tiny regret aside, I am very happy to be back. A full night of sleep in my own bed, familiar neighborhood graffiti, and perfect weather for riding my bike. This morning I had a spur of the moment breakfast at Brown Sugar Kitchen with [livejournal.com profile] kest (alas, I only noticed that they now have beignets as I asked for the check), and a brief visit with my parents before heading to work at the little colo.
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With the caveats that it is not summer and that I have only been out and about in the historical end of the downtown district wandering for a few hours, I find myself not minding being in Dallas. I am a bit frustrated that everyone who I ask about what their city has to offer says "Well, there is the grassy knoll... and the Sixth Floor Museum." The city is larger than San Francisco and Oakland combined... this many people must have something worth sharing beyond a murdered president and good barbecue, but no one I talk to seems to know what that is.

Some of that makes sense as generally, in any city, an out of towner asking what to do is referred to a set of things tourists favor. Dallas is not a get-away type destination and doesn't seem to civically promote specific attractions as unique to Dallas (the only postcard of Dallas I could find that was about the city advertises it's light rail system). The internet informs me that Deep Ellum is the warehouse arts district and has some pretty phenomenal graffiti and murals; if work ends at a reasonable hour tonight, I may try and wander over that way. Also, there is a new Audubon Center with short hikes into a restored river/forest area that I hope to make it to if I have Friday afternoon free.

I did enjoy my wander downtown. Dallas seems to have steadily grown through the last century such that the business district buildings are an even mix of beautiful old brick and granites, shiny skyscrapers from the last two decades, and incredibly ugly steel monstrosities from the sixties and seventies. Many of these buildings and their ground floor storefronts are standing empty, probably due to the bum economy, but there were folks out and about, eating at the restaurants and walking their dogs (there were an awful lot of dog owners out and about). Also, cheerful friendliness runs rampant. I think of the Bay Area as relatively friendly, but I am not so sure that is accurate. Here if I make eye contact and smile, I generally get an immediate return smile and possibly a greeting, where at home there is usually a very brief flash of confusion and sometimes suspicion before returning the smile; a small thing that I hadn't noticed before.
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I was up till two last night. Mostly packing, but being me, time was spent super-gluing googly-eyes to plastic martini sticks. The thank you plant for my turtle/plant/fish-sitter required modification. Despite the late bedtime, I still made it to the airport by 7, using public transit, hauling over 100lbs of luggage.

One large suitcase of clothes, gear, and a desktop that accidentally got left off the freight shipment. One small suitcase with Cliff Bars, Oatmeal, books, hand sewing projects, stationary, and board games.

Yeah, in Las Vegas I expect to be the kinda woman who invites people back to her room for games. Like Scrabble.*

One of the few nice things about this job starting a week early is that it normally takes me a few days to get acclimate to the 10+ hour work days such that I am not completely exhausted most of the time. Which means I will have the resources for self-care when we hit the longer more rigorous days this coming weekend. Well, pending not starving to death for lack of nutritious vegetarian food at prices I can actually afford. (It is 9 o'clock and the best balanced vegetarian evening meal I could find for under $15 was a veggie omelette. It was also the only thing on the menu that had spinach in it. <sigh>)

*I brought Set, Power Grid, Guilllotine, and Race for the Galaxy too, but Scrabble is the one I am most likely to rope people into playing.
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I was up till two last night. Mostly packing, but being me, time was spent super-gluing googly-eyes to plastic martini sticks. The thank you plant for my turtle/plant/fish-sitter required modification. Despite the late bedtime, I still made it to the airport by 7, using public transit, hauling over 100lbs of luggage.

One large suitcase of clothes, gear, and a desktop that accidentally got left off the freight shipment. One small suitcase with Cliff Bars, Oatmeal, books, hand sewing projects, stationary, and board games.

Yeah, in Las Vegas I expect to be the kinda woman who invites people back to her room for games. Like Scrabble.*

One of the few nice things about this job starting a week early is that it normally takes me a few days to get acclimate to the 10+ hour work days such that I am not completely exhausted most of the time. Which means I will have the resources for self-care when we hit the longer more rigorous days this coming weekend. Well, pending not starving to death for lack of nutritious vegetarian food at prices I can actually afford. (It is 9 o'clock and the best balanced vegetarian evening meal I could find for under $15 was a veggie omelette. It was also the only thing on the menu that had spinach in it. <sigh>)

*I brought Set, Power Grid, Guilllotine, and Race for the Galaxy too, but Scrabble is the one I am most likely to rope people into playing.
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estro: (dAarmstadtarium)
( Mar. 13th, 2009 09:16 pm)
Tonight just after sunset I was on a train passing through the south bay salt flats. It was during those few moments when there is a band of umber at the horizon, just below a brilliant blue that still provides a dusky light though the night sky above is quickly swallowing it. The flats glowed silver-white while the bay beyond reflected the deepening blue. The lights of a small towns glittered against the back-lit hills in the distance and in the sky a bright planet marked the first celestial appearance of the night.

Breathtaking moments like these throw so much into context.
estro: (dAarmstadtarium)
( Mar. 13th, 2009 09:16 pm)
Tonight just after sunset I was on a train passing through the south bay salt flats. It was during those few moments when there is a band of umber at the horizon, just below a brilliant blue that still provides a dusky light though the night sky above is quickly swallowing it. The flats glowed silver-white while the bay beyond reflected the deepening blue. The lights of a small towns glittered against the back-lit hills in the distance and in the sky a bright planet marked the first celestial appearance of the night.

Breathtaking moments like these throw so much into context.
estro: (speculum)
( Mar. 6th, 2009 11:00 am)
In the name of eventually making myself actually employable I accepted the weekend swing shift at a south bay colo. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, noon - 8 with a best time 1.5 hour commute each way by public transit. Average time commute is probably closer to two hours. 8 hours at $15 an hour, minus the $16-$20 daily fare, and considering the 3 to 5 hours spent in commute effectively means I am killing my weekends (and thus my social life) for around $9 an hour. Even were this full time, $15 an hour is barely enough to live on*, so I still need to find work on the other four days.

The people at the colo are great, and I will be getting experience and knowledge in both network engineering and systems. Looking at this from a furthering my education standpoint makes it seem like a totally reasonable thing to do (I would have to pay to go to school for not nearly as practical an education) and I look forward learning new stuff. However, from just a mental health perspective, it is going to be really, really, rough. I have already done the commute two days running for other reasons, and the days end up being exhausting.

I need to figure out how to make the time in transit income generating (I can use my laptop on the hour of train time, but have no internet (both Caltrain and Amtrak gave up on those plans). I also need to figure out how to be regularly and sufficiently employed on at least three weekdays so that I can also pay rent, bills, and eat. And, most importantly, I need to figure out how to keep myself functionally happy as my life (and the lives of my dear ones) isn't structured such that most of my socially and emotionally affirming interactions can happen during the week.

*For those not familiar with bay area rents, while living alone in a tiny apartment is my biggest luxury, I still pay less for rent than most people not living with their parents.
estro: (speculum)
( Mar. 6th, 2009 11:00 am)
In the name of eventually making myself actually employable I accepted the weekend swing shift at a south bay colo. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, noon - 8 with a best time 1.5 hour commute each way by public transit. Average time commute is probably closer to two hours. 8 hours at $15 an hour, minus the $16-$20 daily fare, and considering the 3 to 5 hours spent in commute effectively means I am killing my weekends (and thus my social life) for around $9 an hour. Even were this full time, $15 an hour is barely enough to live on*, so I still need to find work on the other four days.

The people at the colo are great, and I will be getting experience and knowledge in both network engineering and systems. Looking at this from a furthering my education standpoint makes it seem like a totally reasonable thing to do (I would have to pay to go to school for not nearly as practical an education) and I look forward learning new stuff. However, from just a mental health perspective, it is going to be really, really, rough. I have already done the commute two days running for other reasons, and the days end up being exhausting.

I need to figure out how to make the time in transit income generating (I can use my laptop on the hour of train time, but have no internet (both Caltrain and Amtrak gave up on those plans). I also need to figure out how to be regularly and sufficiently employed on at least three weekdays so that I can also pay rent, bills, and eat. And, most importantly, I need to figure out how to keep myself functionally happy as my life (and the lives of my dear ones) isn't structured such that most of my socially and emotionally affirming interactions can happen during the week.

*For those not familiar with bay area rents, while living alone in a tiny apartment is my biggest luxury, I still pay less for rent than most people not living with their parents.
Any css gods in the house?

If one is working on a site which calls upon 3 different css stylesheets, and seems to have other font/etc preferences that get set in hidden javascript, is there a way to create/insert a primary preference css stylesheet?

(really, all I want to do is scale the font up everywhere. All of the font sizes I have found are are set by percentage. This should not be such a pain in the ass. I suspect I am missing something really obvious.)

Secondly. Trying to figure stuff out by looking at the html code is a headache and a half. The following automatically genereated source code shows up with a different font size on each line, not a header and two regular lines. grrarrrr.

<p />
<h3><a name="Blah"></a> Schedule </h3>
Foo
<p />
Bar
<p />
Any css gods in the house?

If one is working on a site which calls upon 3 different css stylesheets, and seems to have other font/etc preferences that get set in hidden javascript, is there a way to create/insert a primary preference css stylesheet?

(really, all I want to do is scale the font up everywhere. All of the font sizes I have found are are set by percentage. This should not be such a pain in the ass. I suspect I am missing something really obvious.)

Secondly. Trying to figure stuff out by looking at the html code is a headache and a half. The following automatically genereated source code shows up with a different font size on each line, not a header and two regular lines. grrarrrr.

<p />
<h3><a name="Blah"></a> Schedule </h3>
Foo
<p />
Bar
<p />
Last night was the first time I have had my own hotel room.

I find it amusing that it was larger than my apartment.

So odd.
Last night was the first time I have had my own hotel room.

I find it amusing that it was larger than my apartment.

So odd.
My boss just informed me that, of the 3 vacation days I have to use before my job ends on the 15th, the 15th really should not be one of those days.

Also, it would be good if I didn't have to head home too early after work... or need operate a motor vehicle that evening.

I see.
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My boss just informed me that, of the 3 vacation days I have to use before my job ends on the 15th, the 15th really should not be one of those days.

Also, it would be good if I didn't have to head home too early after work... or need operate a motor vehicle that evening.

I see.
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