Adventures in Zombieland

So earlier today, Alysia and I ventured forth as zombies to the Denver Zombie Crawl. This is my 4th of this sort of event – the first three I did back in 2005, 2006, and 2007 in Richmond. Kinda pooped out on them for a bit, I suppose, thus the 2 year gap. It’s bizarre to see how these things have evolved. The first year I’m not even sure there were 100 people, and we walked Carytown as an alternate to the original planned mall, after hearing that law enforcement there might not be too happy with us showing up at said mall and would act accordingly. Big contrast to now, where it seems like these zombie events more often then not take donations of some sort of a charity.

Anyhow, the Denver Zombie Crawl was huge. They were going for a world’s record, and there were zombies by the thousands out. I had no clue that the gathering would be this big. Great for people watching, though! I did a sort of resurrected person from the 80’s theme, and while my costume wasn’t nearly as stunning as some of the other stuff there, I was pleased, especially compared to other costumes which seemed to have a perfunctory blood smear on the face and that was it. I also paid specific attention to my face, as it is rather important to appear that you’ve been feasting on corpses at some point recently if you’re to be a convincing zombie. Once I get ahold of a picture, I’ll post it.

One upside to the smaller zombie walks/crawls is that they bring out the more dedicated zombie impersonators. At the Denver event, there were waaaay too many people breaking character! This also tended to correlate with how good or bad of a job they did at zombifying themselves up. I for one am a big fan of moaning at cameras! So we do 1/2 the crawl, then step into a bar for a drink + appetizer. When we go in, we’re one of a few zombies there and the place is a little under 1/2 full. When we leave, the place is packed, mostly with zombies. After that, apparently still being hungry, we got ice cream cones, and thusly got photographed by someone while eating said ice cream cones. Admittedly, I mostly got ice cream for the joy of being undead and licking an ice cream cone, but lucky for me it was rather tasty ice cream (pumpkin pie flavored, yay!).

And here’s where this zombie crawl became awesome. Unlike the Richmond ones I’ve done, the zombies lingered. They were everywhere, all over 16th street. Chasing and shooting each other (there were zombie hunters there, along with “targets” (people who wore Xs who wanted to be attacked). And lots of photo-taking. I felt like I was at an anime con for the undead, it was pretty sweet. And how I longed for a boom box so I could play “Thriller.” Next year, that seems pretty much like a necessity.

Remnants of the zombie crawl shall cling to me for awhile, this is because I am really bad at removing eye makeup. I know there’s probably cream or something to help me with that? I’m not really sure, since I don’t wear makeup very much. In any case, soap and water has done about as much as it’s gonna, and I’m just stuck having a case of the ole spooky-eyes for the next several days. I’ll probably finally get it all off around the time Halloween rolls around, whereupon I will dress like a raccoon and apply the eye makeup all over again.

Incompetency. Or, WYSIWYGs are the Devil.

I don’t like WYSIWYGs. This is because the “I” stands for “isn’t”. The specific ones that cause me angst these days are the ones designed for CMSs and email builders, which supposedly allow non-coders to build fabulous looking pages and emails with no knowledge of code whatsoever. And this wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, if WYSIWYGs were nice and paired down to the basic necessities of “add a link” and “add a picture” and “stick an ordered list here” and other really simple choices to help fill out the content of an already nicely designed site. Or, if in the case of the disgusting behemoth WYSIWYGs like TinyMCE(AKA the in-browser Second Coming of Frontpage), the content editor simply ignored all the superfluous buttons and stuck to what is safe.

But no, they have stacks and stacks of mostly unnecessary formatting, all sitting there just itching to make whatever you’re trying to build just a little bit uglier. And the problem is that those who do not know the evil of a WYSIWYG think it gives them power to create mighty, complex, and beautiful layouts. Then, when their beautiful layout turns to gobbledygook, they hand it off to someone else to fix. Incidentally, content editors who either know some html or are willing to learn are awesome. They’re more likely to know better then to dump table into table and format text over and over until there’s approximately 123127836 nested span tags, then try to “fix” the formatting mess by copying and pasting some stuff from MS Word. What really bugs me, though, are those who treat the idea of using HTML like an upper manager treats the idea of using a copy machine. Faked incompetency is crap.

If a text editor is really necessary, stick a simple one in there that inserts the HTML tags for you, like the “html” tab on this here WordPress text editor. What I’m really hoping is that this is just a temporary technological gap, and it’s just a matter of waiting until either someone makes a WYSIWYG that actually works properly (hah!) or writing basic HTML becomes as common as cursive used to be.

Attack of the Wandering Salesman

So it was about 4:30 or so, and I was sitting at my computer at my new job doing whatever work I happened to be doing at the time. The door opens to the right of me, and a preppily-dressed guy walks in. This is abnormal. Firstly, because no one at this job dresses close to preppy – thus far, it’s jeans-casual unless there’s a client coming in. Also, the sign outside of this door informs whoever is at the door that the entrance to the office is down the hall. In fact, this sign is probably there to keep people like this out.

Anyhow, he starts talking to me, and at first I’m waiting for him to mention being lost, so I can give him directions. Soon enough, however, it becomes quite clear that he’s quite intent on selling me coupons for some car wash down the street. He’s on a roll, and I’m just sitting there being confused that I’m sitting at my desk at work being harassed by a car wash salesman.

He ends his shpiel, and I inform him that I usually just wash my own car. He then informs me that I’m a “strong independent woman” and asks if there’s anyone else in the office who might be interested. I explain to him that there isn’t, and he looks about ready to disagree with me when my project manager comes out and boots the guy away with a firm “No Solicitors.”

What I don’t get is the “strong independent woman” comment. I mean, I’m too cheap to take the car through a carwash, and I know how to operate a hose. I don’t get the gender stereotyping of washing cars – if anything, when I think of “people washing cars”, I just think of all those random groups of kids at the side of the road selling car washes to raise money for their school or church or whatever. And for that matter, to continue down that fuzzy gender path, wouldn’t washing a car be pretty similar to me washing some gigantic pan or tupperware dish or something?

Then again, maybe I’m missing the point altogether. Obviously I was meant to be super complimented by his comment and immediately start flinging dollars at him to get those precious car wash coupons. D’oh!

A mish-mash of minute updates

So I woke up in the middle of the night last night with some of the worst muscle cramping in my calf ever, it still hurts right now. Need to look into how to avoid Charley Horses and such.

We’ve got visionary dreams of biking to Golden today. However, I have cramps. And Drew works from 7:00am – 12:00pm today. Soo, we’ll see if that works out.

I have a “You’re earned a phone upgrade!” card, meaning that mayhaps one of these days I shall actually achieve said phone upgrade.

My elbows hurt. This is because I’m back to working full-time in front of a computer. Which I am complaining about via typing on a computer.

Pak’ma’ra painting is still slow going. Curse you, persnickety clouds!

Salami Day was a raging success. I made over $13.00 in Google Ads clicks that day, woo! Need to redesign the site, it’s mildly craptacular as it is now, and it wants to be better then that.

I have a super-sweet new rice cooker. It slow-cooks, too! Will soon make more beans then you can possibly imagine.

Why it’s best to delete all Craigslist-related emails with poor grammar

So I found a lot of sushi plates on Craigslist for $35. Twenty single serving roll plates in three different styles, plus a bunch of bowls for soup, salad, and sauces. For $35! I’ve been wanting to have something more appropriate for serving sushi, so I emailed the person. I get a one sentence response. Or rather, a one line response, containing 2-3 sentences, nothing punctuated or capitalized. The post in Craigslist was written just fine, strangely enough. I’m generally wary of dealing with people that can’t write a decent email, but I really wanted the sushi set. So I wrote back, suggesting we meet at 10:30 today, and she writes back giving me her phone number and the intersection to meet her at. I still wasn’t sure *who*, given the only thing besides the intersection and the phone number in the email was this chunk of text: “should be fine, i’ll have somer meet you”. Somer? Is that a person? Is that “someone” typed incorrectly?

So I get there just before 10:30. Glad to make it on time as it’s a 45 minute drive from where I live up to Boulder, where this person is. I park semi-illegally at the intersection – poor parking options as the intersection is just on the edge of a campus, and there are students everywhere. I don’t see a person obviously standing around with a box of dishes, and she never gave me a description of her car (I did give her a description of mine, though), so I call her number at 10:35. No answer, no indication of who the phone number even belongs to in the voicemail (which is a default voicemail that just repeats the phone number). I say I’m at the intersection, leave my number, tell her to call me. After 10 more minutes of sitting there, I give up and go home. It’s been several hours since that point, and still no word from her. So much for my sushi plates.

Apparently I need to remember the lesson of “Never deal with illiterate people on Craigslist.” I can handle semi-literate – a few misspellings happen (myself included here), and some people really do type like they talk – but in general, I have the best luck with people that type like me. I was once getting rid of some aloe plants, got a bunch of responses, and picked the one who wrote her email pretty much how I write emails. She was prompt, nice, and I ended up having a several minute conversation about plants with her. Also useful is people with emails that are job related. If they use a work email, it means they’re capable of showing up on time for a job, meaning they’re capable of showing up on time for you. Maybe the fact that my sushi person was using an AOL email address should have also clued me in, oh well.

My search for cheap and fabulous sushi plates continues on, I suppose.

Procrastination Station!

I’ve been wanting to go on a bike ride for awhile, but I keep finding reasons to not do it! I want to paint too, but I keep getting distracted! As soon as I start working again, I’ll suddenly *really* want to do both of these things. But as of right now, when I’ve got time stretching out empty in front of me, I’m all like “I’m gonna play on the internet and read instead!” I’ve been reading 2-3 books a week though, which is better then my previous hobby of “I’m gonna play video games all day!” Oh, silly free time.

8 days until Salami Day. Gotta figure out something for that. Either buy a couple tubes, and Drew & I can have a salami extravaganza, or find people that want to go out and get salami with us. Or find people who want to have a home salami celebration. I’ll get Drew to bug people at his work.

Got a fabulous pair of late-90s sorta wide leg pants from the thrift store recently, haven’t figured out if I’m gonna sew stuff to them or wear as-is. Finished sewing my ill-fitting bright blue Hostel Loki shirt, it is now a better fitting bright pink and blue shirt. Should take pictures and post them at some point. My vinyl corset’s zipper pooped out on me, got a new zipper to replace it only to realize that a.) vinyl against fabric puckers awfully and b.) I didn’t get the sort of zipper that separates at the bottom. So, need to go back to Hancock and get a new zipper, then figure out how to sew it right. If I’m feeling really ambitious, maybe I’ll do some hand-sewing. We shall seee.

I really want to sew me a petticoat. Or a tu-tu. I’ve never owned either, and that could be fun both as club clothing as well as to wear under skirts to make them floofier. I *think* they’re supposed to be easy to sew, and I’ve got a giant pile of old netting just begging for me to try it out. Skirts are usually the things least likely to get screwy for me. I’ve more or less accepted that 1/2 of all things I sew end up like crap, but the odds are a bit more in my favor for skirts.

I was going to buy a pair of shoes from JC Penney with a $10 off $25 coupon, but we played Axis & Allies for 2837489374 hours on Saturday and ended up not finishing until the mall closed, and the coupon expired that day. D’oh! What’s unfortunate is that I played America in a game where America can’t even attack anyone until the end of their 3rd round. And in a game where each round takes about 2 hours, the wait gets quite tedious, especially as this game day was held at a location that didn’t allow you to bring in any food or drink, and only sold candy bars and chips in the vending machines. Not even pretzels or granola bars! My teeth were already melting from the 24oz Dr. Pepper I had, they didn’t need any more melting! I did also play China, but they were teeny. Apparently I need to try playing one of the several 2 person A&A games Drew has, might be more satisfying.

I really need to buy a coat. My current one has tears and stains, no good at all. What I want is a fabulous London Fog trenchcoat from Macy’s, I’ve just got to fork over the $100 for it. I also want an awesome rice cooker, of the sort that you can also use to slow cook things, one that keeps your rice fresh infinitely long. Which also looks to be around $100. You know, while I’ve got this really great non-existent income flow right now, all of the sudden I want to blow my slowly dwindling savings. Oh wait, I do have some income! A few people bought Salami Day t-shirts. Not enough for me to get a check yet, but it’s progress. Google Ads have seriously slowed, which is too bad.

Anyhow, I should make myself go bike ridin’. Or Reich Biden. Toodles!

Feed me, Seymour!

So I use LJ to read blog feeds. And I had a new one to add. However, you can only create new feeds if you have a paid account. Which I no longer have, as I just don’t use LJ nearly as much as I used to. As it is, the majority of my LJ posts are grabbed from my WordPress blog. I should probably start using another feed reader, one I can actually add new blogs too. I know there’s still plenty of people that post on LJ, and I wonder how tedious it would be for me to add all of these people’s journals as feeds to a feed reader. Thing is, then I miss reading the friends-only posts. I wish there was a way I could just add my friends feed to a feed reader, and magically have me logged in. Or I can just check both LJ as well as a feed reader, it’s not that big of a deal, I’m just all about being super efficient.

Efficiency! I’m so proud, I have finally achieved a state where I can go infinitely without showering. Nevermind, that sounds gross, let me reword it better. See, for the longest time, I would feel gross and awful if I didn’t shower every single morning. This is a pain, though. It means less sleep on days I need to get up early. I also don’t get that dirty every single day, and I really hate that if I wake up too late for a shower, I’d just feel awful the rest of the morning. It was psychological, and needed breaking. It was a big pain at first, but I have acclimated myself now to being able to get up and throw on clothes and leave without bathing, and to not feel like I’m super gross for doing so. It usually makes more sense to shower at night anyhow, since I can wash off after I’ve done something super sweaty/dirty, rather then waiting for the next morning to do so.

I’m applying to be a part of a sleep study. I would disappear for 2 weeks into a lab, and get paid around $2,500. It’s not like I’m doing any other work right now! Looks like there’s a lot of testing to see if one qualifies though.

Pretty sure I’m headed to another Drupal meeting tonight. I’m growing bitter with Drupal, though. I mean, I know I’m asking a lot of it in what I try to do sometimes, but it’s just not very well organized. I just use WordPress for blogging, so it’s not like I’m stretching it’s limits very much, but it’s so nice how easy it is to upgrade things. Just a button click, and it’s taken care of. Magical! No such simplicity in Drupal. It’s all “download this, then dump this thing here.” And this is why Drupal shall never have the market share that WordPress has. There is a way of simple module upgrades, but it’s command-line interface. Which is fine for most developers, but this sort of thing helps guarantee that Drupal will make little headway into the non-developer world.

Boy could I use some pizza right about now!

Hoo Boy do I suck at updating this thing!

I am so tired, like giant sponge tired. See, we went to this club this past Friday. I’m all like “Goth night at a gay club, I’m there!” I start sneezing uncontrollably after one too many inhales of the ole fog machine. The next day, it’s still going, except I have a headache. While I have my doubts as to if one can catch colds from fog machines, I’m pretty sure one can catch colds by being in the vicinity of drunk and sweaty people. The nose has calmed down a bit, but I’m stuck with this headache and some of the worst kind of fatigue.

How convenient, I suppose, that my temp job has slowed to nothing? I’m due to come back in at *some* point to fix something, and then there’s still hope of future projects, but it’s pretty sporadic, which is unfortunate for those of us who like paychecks. I’m trying to take advantage of my time off, at least. Last week that mostly involved too many cookies and a serious time investment into the long-forgotten Civ III. There were progress nuggets buried in there somewhere, though, mostly consisting of continued work on the Pak’ma’ra painting, plus some planning for the (hopefully) visionary new Salami Day site. We’ll see.

A chunk of Drew’s relatives came to visit last weekend, and left in their wake a vast array of uneaten Indian food. My new favorite thing is Korma. At this point, I’ve only had Lamb Korma, but I’m sure all of the other varieties are just as delightful. My Other New Favorite Thing is Bhakti chai, which I desperately need to write a tastyniblets post about at some point. It is everything chai should be and more. I apparently need to seek out a Natural Grocers where they sell Bhakti chai ice cream, it sounds incredibly magical.

So I really hate WYSIWYG editors. I need to find one that works for Drupal, though, as for some bizarre reason people who don’t know html really like them. I’m all like “learn html!” and they’re all like “no way!”. Sigh. I’ve crushed through the rather-generic one titled WYSIWYG, it looked messy and did little for me. Then I switched to WIZZYWIG, which I had high hopes for. Unfortunately, the admin panel was limiting, with poorly written textfields where the max size was far shorter than one needs. I poked the js to get around this, which was fine up until the point I realised I needed the ability to upload PDFs. On to CKeditor! Testing that out now, I’m hoping it’s the editor that will make all of my fantasies come true.

The State of Things

Boy am I sticky! I really shouldn’t be, since this is Colorado and it’s supposed to be super-dry, but sticky I am. My plan is to convince Drew to go swimming upon his waking up. Wish I had time to go tubing – it seems pretty big out here, what with all of these rivers out here that are really super-wide streams about 3 feet deep. Maybe one of these weekends.

Work is still super busy. Am slowly plowing through Job #2, and Job #1 has gotten a bit easier now that I’ve more or less figured out how to use a Mac, and how to use Codeigniter, and how to use all of the other stuff they have me using. It’s been educational – I’m still not sure how much longer this job will last, but when it ends I’ll have some good stuff to spruce up my resume & portfolio with.

On a completely unrelated note, all of the tank tops at Old Navy got stupid. I really like their ribbed tank tops – they’re comfortable and usually about $5-$7 each. However, at some point recently they decided to add a foot in length to them. I don’t see the point, I wear the shirt and have a giant pile of fabric bunched around my waist? So anyhow, I lost my tank top source, and need to find another one as my tank tops are slowly fraying apart!

Cow appreciation day last weekend was successful, we hit 4 different Chick-fil-as. The best one was in Larkridge, everyone was super excited, there were balloons everywhere and the employees seemed really into the event, and lots of customers were dressed up. We got our picture taken, too. The worst was some CFA in NE Denver (Brighton?), we drove through the middle of nowhere only to find unenthusiastic staff, very few people dressed up, and a few customers that snickered at our costumes. Not appropriate!

Just a quick update, mostly about work

I have no time for anything (except this brief post, apparently). Went on a 1.5 week trip, a vacation & funeral combo, to FL and VA and NC, got to see lots of people, make/eat lots of sushi, splish around in lots of water, and a good time was had by all.

My recruiter had an interview lined up for me when I got back, and it turned out that it was less of an interview and more of the guy having already decided he was interested in me based on my website, and just wanted to see if I was interested in the project. This still confirms in my head that I am bad at interviewing, since I didn’t really have an interview for this position. Also, there are other people working there who do both design and dev, so I was saved from the hated question of “which I like doing more”, which I think is only given by people who only do one or the other. Anyhow, it lasts a few weeks, since it’s just for a project, but assuming all goes well, it will make me more employable and give me money and all that good stuff.

I’m also in the middle of the DMS website (and by “in the middle” I mean, “busy hacking up Drupal and making a big ole mess”). Sometimes I’m uninspired for design, and I have that problem right now. So this is what I work on when I get home from the other job, since they want it done soon as well. I could also have a census job, the next round of followups, with training starting this Thursday, but I’m gonna have to call and cancel because I have no time. It’s like I went from famine to feast here. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, work is a good thing, it’s just exhausting when that’s all you do.

Also, this weekend I went to Drupalcamp Colorado, which was neat. I’ve got some fun ideas for new projects, once I have to time to get around to them, that is.