Logging out and getting on

In 1982, my mom landed this awesome job with a local software company. She was working on an English degree at the local state university, and as part of her technical writing course she had to interview someone working in the field.

Somehow it was that she wound up interviewing a woman named Alice who worked at this local software company. Once she was done interviewing Alice, Alice then started interviewing my mom– for a job. Which she gave her.

So my mom has worked there for 26 years. In 1985 or so, she arranged for me to have a summer job there. I went on to have one or two more summer jobs at this company, then wound up being hired full time in January of 1990.

So for the last 18 years, I’ve worked full time at the same place, and my mom has always been there, too. We almost never interacted professionally, but we had conversations online and saw each other from time to time. When I wound up in the company health care center with a broken arm, and couldn’t raise any of my co-workers on the phone, I called my mom and she was there.

This morning I pulled into the parking lot of a building I don’t normally visit. I had to go into a meeting of colleagues from around the globe and stand up in front of them and be introduced. As I was parking, my iPod tossed up the following song lyric:

“…no one knows you better…”

and I burst into tears. Then I pulled it together, drank my coffee, stood up in front of those people and did my bit.

4:30pm was her retirement party. As I hoped, it was a jolly affair. People were happy to see each other, some who had not seen my brother Daniel since he was a baby. Everyone was there and it was a nice time.

After it all dispersed, I helped mom clear out some things from her office. “You’re about to watch me log off for the last time!” she said, dramatically. “Do you think I should set an Out Of Office message?” I provided some amusing ideas for what the message should say. “I’m out of the office and won’t be checking my mail. EVER.”

Me, mom and Wayne went to the fancypants hotel on campus for a drink. It was nice. It was just like always. I think it is easier for me than for some of her co-workers who have known her since the beginning. I know I’ll be seeing her regularly. They don’t know when they’ll see her again.

So there it is. After almost two decades, my mom won’t be there at work. And eventually, after she moves to the beach, she won’t be in town, either. As Wayne said, “Logging out, and getting on!”


i just replaced my DSL with a high-speed cable connection.

i’ve had my DSL connection for years, and i swear it seemed faster in the past. or maybe it’s just because i use a cable connection whenever i am at J’s house, so the difference is way more obvious.

anyway, the difference is clearly noticeable. surely there is something i need to go download now.

the real trick will be to turn off the DSL without eliminating my earthlink account. my confidence in earthlink customer support was shaken when i called them to set all of this up, and they told me this service wasn’t available.

where is my neural interface, my hovercar, and my jet pack?

i have a song stuck in my head that i can’t identify.

i can’t even really tell what the lyrics are. it kind of sounds like the singer is saying “isabelle” but i can’t find a song of that name that sounds like this song.

i don’t have any idea who the artist is. i can’t sing it or even hum it with any kind of accuracy.

i need to do a brain dump directly to the internets but sadly, the future isn’t here yet.

damn future!

weekend roundup

*eat local*

saturday morning we walked to the farmer’s market and talked to one of the farmers selling beef. i came close to buying some, but it’s so expensive that i wanted to be sure i planned well before buying. i decided to see this as my fact-finding mission.

after, we had breakfast at piedmont, which was fabulous as usual. i would love to know where they get their bacon. it’s always so amazing.

*move it*

we stayed out of the house all day on saturday. after walking home we went out shopping, and picked up my new eye glasses lenses. i had been very careful not to look at frames because my lenses are so expensive and i didn’t want to add to the expense. my current frames will be okay for another two years.

we had lunch at one of those places that serves many odd pizzas; ours featured vast piles of roasted garlic cloves and onions. by this point in the day, it was raining, and it was cold, but i don’t think it was quite snowing yet. we were sitting next to a window and i was freezing the entire time. we visited the apple store somewhere along the way, and then i think we just made a beeline for the car. it was miserable out.

*like tears in rain*

the main event of the day was seeing the new cut of _blade runner_ at the Carolina. this is an all-time favorite film for both J and I. he had never seen it on the big screen. the new cut is great; in particular i enjoyed the detailed soundscape that i had never really noticed before despite having seen the movie on VHS and DVD countless times. we kept discussing it for the rest of the evening and on into sunday; every so often one of us would say, “you know, i never noticed before how something something something,” and we would start again discussing the movie.

afterwards we went to city beverage for dinner; we shared the crab cake appetizer, which was just big lumps of crab, barely bound together and lightly pan fried, with a spicy homemade tartar sauce underneath. i had a fabulous steak that had been treated with a spice rub and then topped with roasted tomatoes, onions and etc; i took a gamble and ordered it medium rare, which can be too rare for me in real steak houses, but as expected was just right. J got a roasted pork loin and although the pork loin was good, i think the vegetables that were served with it were not to his liking.

one of the things i love about city beverage is the tiki drink menu. J was driving so I was free to have whatever i wanted. i started with a pink pussycat, which is still my favorite, and then i was trying to think of the name of a pina colada with no success. it was the oddest thing; i could think of all the ingredients but not the name. i described it to our waiter, who described it to the bartender and neither of them recognized it either (which is crazy, but oh well). so the bartender made me something along those lines; he used malibu rum, pineapple juice, something with banana, and a drizzle of blue Curacao. it was delicious. i don’t normally like banana, but it was so just right in this drink.

*so let’s stay in*

the snow didn’t really stick, and was just a dusting anyway, but after being out all day saturday i really wanted to stay home on sunday. it was wicked cold, anyway. i decided to try a biscuit recipe that sarah had recommended in her blog; i did not “forget the salt!”:http://www.ovenall.com/diary/2008/01/dont-forget-the-salt/ and indeed, they turned out very well.

we just took it easy for the most part all day; we took reese out walking in forest hills park, because we’d never taken him there before. after we got home, J installed my birthday present, one of those nice chrome curved shower curtain rods like they have at fancy hotels. and bb and m stopped by while out walking. fortunately i had put the living room back in order last week and there were actually places to sit and stuff. crazy.

Drought, national perspective

“It’s just us, mostly.”:http://www.drought.unl.edu/DM/monitor.html

So odd to look at that map and see that the drought really is focused on NC and a couple of nearby states.

RDU is reporting getting about a half inch of precipitation today which puts us about an inch and a half behind average for the year. You know, the year that’s only seventeen days old?

More is supposed to fall on Saturday, let’s hope so.

wotta day!

took mo in for a checkup this morning– he’s doing great, PCV looks really good, Dr. C smiled a lot and said “excellent” at least once. Those visits are much better than the ones where he looks sad and says “aww.”

worked from home in the morning then went in to work for an afternoon full of meetings. i actually had a pretty good time talking with people about future projects, so long as i could push back that feeling of panic that we’ll never get it all done.

after work i met m. for vietnamese night at Bahns. i used to eat the regular chinese menu there back when i was a vegetarian but i’d never had the vietnamese. i think the quality of the vietnamese food is probably better there than at dalat, but i like the breadth of the dalat menu. m and i talked about the “ENIAC programmers”:http://eniacprogrammers.org/overview.html because i’d heard one of them give an interview on the radio this afternoon. for some reason, i always find documentary information about early computing to be almost hair-raising. the first time i saw footage of the first windowing interface developed at Xerox PARC i almost fell out of my chair.

after dinner i ran some errands including, yes, believe it or not, buying bread (though not milk, as i’d gotten that last night). when the weather threatens i tend to buy more cans of soup that i can heat on my camp stove than i do bread and milk. i also got mo a special treat: ham baby food. i routinely mix chicken and turkey baby food into his food; ham is a special treat because they don’t carry it at my normal store.

once home i did some chores, got mo all fixed up with a nice meal featuring some bits of cheese as an “appetizer”, then his regular food + ham all warmed up in the microwave. he is as spoiled as any cat i have ever personally known. caught up on correspondence with J while watching some Simpsons reruns, and gave Mo a thorough grooming.

and so here it is, just after midnight, the day is officially over.

i really, really hope they delay work tomorrow. or close. i wanna stay home.

and one less thing…

well, if you don’t pantingly refresh the liveblog of the macworld keynote speech, but actually care about what apple is up to, you may not know (and yet may be interested in knowing) that i only got half of what i wanted: they did announce a new, verrrry thin laptop called the “macbook air” that _only_ communicates wirelessly– that includes software installs, there’s no optical drive. but they did not announce an iMac-like dock for it.

however, the dock seems so logical given what the air cannot do that i’m hoping they’ll announce that later in the year. but who knows?

my resolve to wait it out and not get an iphone yet has been ground down a little by the update today– the maps stuff sounds cool– and by the completely unassuming and fuss-free way that friend BB looked up movie listings the other night while we were at dinner. it was like, M and i were talking about movies, and a moment later he was listing out what was showing near by.

the “time capsule” announced today is appealing, too. i don’t know what a terabyte of storage normally goes for these days, but does it usually come with a wireless hub, too? _neat._