Monday, March 31, 2008

Operation: Rescue Herman, Day 7

Herman has seen decidedly better days. My theory is that he is a type of dracaena, which are supposed to be very hardy plants, and hard to kill.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Unproductivity Software

If you know me at all, you probably know that I am something of a Google whore. I mean, this blog is hosted on Blogger, if I'm in front of a computer, Gmail is open, I use Google Docs & Spreadsheets (and have you seen their presentations? That's what the internet is supposed to be doing for us. Collaborative work over a distance. It's not there yet, but oh man.) I use Reader and have converted many friends to it. Etc.

But this was not always the case. When I got my Gmail account, way back in 2004, I was distressed by the inability to make folders. How would I possibly organize my emails? I wasn't familiar with tagging, or "labels" as Google calls them. Once I'd figured out what tagging was, and that I could tag emails in Gmail, I still resisted. As a result, I have severely under-utilized tagging my email for ease of finding things. But that's OK, because I can always search my email and find what I'm looking for. That recipe for fried peach pies from the Times? (OK, this is actually under my "recipes" tag, but bear with me) Searched and found.

It is stuff like this that makes me so frustrated when I come into work and have to use Microsoft products, particularly Outlook. There are things about Outlook that I like--it's easy to change the sorting of email, and once I've sorted by Sender, I can collapse all the emails from my boss so that I can find the one from that guy whose last name I can't remember.

But I really, really wish that Outlook had a good search engine. It has one, and it plods along and sometimes you can find what you want. If you are lucky. And my desire for a good search engine is dwarfed by my desire for tagging. I have a lot of emails that could be sorted into different folders--it is associated with a particular book, it is about a particular media supplement, and it discusses specific guidelines. I wish, rather than trying to figure out if this should go in a folder for the book, or the supplement, or an "Important" catch-all folder for guidelines, that I could tag it with the information I needed. I don't need hundreds of nesting folders--I need precise tags and good search capabilities.

Microsoft, you're supposed to be the leader in productivity software. Stop making me fight with your software to do simple stuff, and start making changes that actually, you know, enhance my productivity.

CAVEAT: I have no seen Office 2007. It is entirely possible that the changes they have made to Outlook for Office 2007 will render some or all of my complaints moot. But I doubt it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Operation: Rescue Herman. Day 1

So, Herman belonged to friend L. She nearly killed him. I thought he was prematurely declared dead and given up on. J & T took Herman in an attempt to revive him in their sunny apartment. I suspect a combination of overwatering and underwatering nearly did him in. When J & T declared Herman a lost cause, I stepped up to the plate. Here he is, shorn of dead-weight. Hopefully, he can make a come back!

To the right is a cutting made from my plant Hermie. I've yet to name the plant, but have been considering "Hermie, Jr." and "Ethel." Suggestion welcome.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I was just posting in Essjay's blog that I hadn't been tagged, and here was my smart-ass contribution, when I head over to iKate's blog, and lo and behold, I was tagged. Oops.

The Rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 (or more) pages.

Robert Blitzer's Introductory & Intermediate Algebra, Third Edition.

2. Open the book to page 123 and find the 5th sentence.

"In Exercises 59-66, use the given information to write an equation."

3. Post the next 3 sentences.

"Let x represent the number described in each exercise. Then solve the equation and find the number. 59. If a number is multiplied by 6, the result is 10."

4. Tag 5 people.

Um. Five people who haven't been tagged, read this blog, and want to do the meme. (Neener, neener.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sumer is a-cumen

I smelled spring yesterday, while walking near the Brookline/Brighton border. It was fleeting, that scent of green and growing and life. But it made the cold weather a bit easier to bear this morning.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Yellow Sun Is Shining In the Afternoon

OK, I always moan about Daylight Savings Time ending and starting. I don't like the disruption to my sleep schedule, or how I went to bed at 5 am but my body thought it was 4.

But I love that it's nearly 6 and my room is still filled with sunlight.

Also, just finished a mix for a friend and I'm really digging it. Hope she likes it, too.

Can I Stay Here With You Till the Morning?

Yesterday I was chagrined to realize that I only updated this blog three times in February. I thought I'd been doing better than that, but work took up so much of my time and energy that I didn't have the mental wherewithal to collect my thoughts into coherent mumblings. So I'm trying to do better this month, though work is still pretty all-consuming. (Hey, this is post number 2 for March, so I'm already 2/3 of the way to matching February, and we're only a week in!)

It feels bitterly cold outside, though it's not actually all that cold. It is incredibly windy, though, so the cold feels like it's cutting through to your bones. I went out to meet up with my friend at Trident for brunch, and had a good time hanging out with him. I'm a bad friend and don't hang out with him often enough. I also picked up the Collected Poems of Jane Kenyon, so I'm excited about that. I don't know what my problem is with trying to get back into writing, but I can't seem to kick start my brain or get myself to any of the poetic events or workshops in the Boston area.

I can't wait for spring. It's a bright, sunny day despite the cold and the wind, and I want to be outside and not cooped up in a scarf and fingerless gloves. I'm ready to put the sweaters away!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Something's gotta give

I'm running late. I never used to be late, but then all my late friends made me late. I'm going to blog anyway.

Work has been utterly, crazily, insanely busy. For months now. My coworker and I stay late day after day, week after week. As a result, I've been exhausted and stressed out pretty constantly since at least Christmas. There's too much to do, and not enough time or people, so you are always super late with SOMETHING. It's extremely frustrating.

But I hit the wall on Tuesday night. Or possibly Wednesday morning. I left work only half an hour late Tuesday, but with a splitting stress headache that was shooting down the right side of my neck into my back. I came home, scrounged up some sort of dinner, and just sort of vegetated in front of my computer. I eventually felt mentally capable of playing WoW, though I died. A lot. And then I was wide awake at 10, even though I wanted nothing more than to go sleep. I had a venting session with a phone, where I unloaded some of my work complaints, and went to bed at 11. When I woke up at 8 to go into work, there was just no way it was happening. I took half a personal day, and slept the entire morning. I'm still tired. Work is still busy. But that extra morning of sleep just left me feeling so refreshed and relaxed. I've felt like I was in a really good mood ever since. It made me realize just how unhappy I had been for the last few weeks--as a base state, I've had a lot of good times lately. It's almost like post-finals relaxed, or when you have that awesome night of hanging out with a friend, and spend the entire time laughing.