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October 22, 1998
a year ago

No Sleep for the Busy

Was so tired, just went to Cucina! Cucina! for dinner. John had the chopped salad, I had a weird dish of angel hair with pesto, skinned tomatos and, I think they were slices of potatos just very barely cooked. I really just wanted the angel hair and pesto, but the tomatos were yummy. We ate, we talked, we got work out of our brains, partially.

One thing was talking over with John what to do with the bug I'd cornered in the midst of new code. The basic upshot is that the symptom is small, though the underlying mechanism is clearly broken in part. Also that any fix we introduced might have unintensioned side affects, and this close to actually shipping, that would be very bad. So I feel a bit like a hound who's tree'ed her quarry, but cannot get to it to actually kill it.

Growl, snarl, gnash.

But by talking through all the consequences, I could see the wisdom of it, and we'll let it go until after it's shipped to CM and I can pounce on it afterwards when I actually have the time.

The rest of the evening helped. We took Fezzik on his walk, and the sky was huge with blackness and stars. Fezzik was cheerful and happy and bouncing along on his toes, tail waving and eager for treats and glad to be outside with us. Simple desires, that dog. Then John broke open the Crash Bandicoot II and I got to fall over laughing when the Bandicoot did his belly flop. Ow ow...

So we went to bed and got to sleep okay and pretty quickly around midnight.

I woke up around 6:30, eventhough the alarm was set for 7. Brain started and wouldn't stop and I wanted a shower before work. So I showered. John was already moving around when I woke up, and my motions probably woke him up anyway, and he finally joined me in the shower and we leaned on each other and scrubbed each others back even as we washed the sleep from our eyes and started talking about the work plans for the day. On the way to work, we stopped by Noah's and got bagels for everyone, eventhough I already had a biscuit with peanut butter and jelly. The biscuit was good, but everyone liked the bagels. Nice to have treats during big push times. Mmm... bagel and lox spread.

So, at lunchtime John is completely and totally tied up with work. Frantic with the last throes of four or five different things, and I'm just tying up loose ends on test plans and verifications. So I get sent off to find lunch. Which I do. He got me lunch enough times when I was in the throes of development that I know how useful it is to have someone go do the 'other things' when one has to thrash something out at work. Luckily, our cycles of busy times do not exactly link.

I walk out to the parking lot and it's just gorgeous out. I wanna go to Amphora, an aromatherapy store that I know is in the Redmond town center. I know I want to get my friend a gift from that place, one of the diffusion lamps as well as something anti-stress for me. I smelled with the jasmine essential oil some few months ago, and have been haunted with the fragrance since. There was also a perfume blend that they called 'rain' and I wanted to see what it would be liked with the jasmine oil.

I guess it's another obsession in the forming.

Mark noted today that when I have a passion, it is usually a great one. In this case, he seems to be correct as well.

Anyway, as I was walking to the car, Kent walked out from the office downstairs and asked me where I was going for lunch. I hemmed and hawed, and finally confessed that I was going to the Taqueria de Gallo, but only after stopping by a perfume shop. I was really not sure that he wanted to go to the aromatherapy store along with me, and very uncertain as to how he would take the fact that I was going to such a shop at all. But he laughed, said he had an hour to kill and really wanted to get out of the office. He also said he didn't have a car at the moment, and really didn't want to go to the AM/PM for a heat lamp Burger.

So I said sure, and he hopped into the Stoat with me. We drove off in a cloud of blue diesel smoke and much rattling.

It was much more fun to be riding in the Stoat with the clear, warm weather all around us. The drive over to the town center was relatively easy, but the parking lots were completely full of people going to the center for lunch. We finally had to circle back around to a parking structure, where we found plenty of parking on the ground floor. We walked over to the store, and went into a cloud of scent.

Normally, I'm very allergic to most perfumes. Usually, if I walk into a Bed and Bath store I'm sneezing within a minute. There are some body and bath stores that I can't even walk by without sneezing, and some of The Body Shop's massage oils have even given me rashes all over my body. So I was very surprised to find myself still breathing after standing in the midst of all that scent for minutes, as the sales lady was talking to a customer. I looked over a number of the lamps, and tried to find one that a cat couldn't reach through to get at a flame from the candle within. There was one ultra-utilitarian metal mesh setup that looked perfect. I also bought a glass and minimal tripod setup for me, and I didn't think anything at work would bother it.

And then asked the freed up sales lady what would be good combination scent for relaxation and for clearing the air of the odds scents of healing. I remembered being laid up for days after my surgery, and the odd scents that accumulated around my room and my healing body. It would've been nice to have something that smelled nice, but not overwhelming in that room. The sales ladies surprised me with her recommendation, which was a combination of grapefruit and frankincense. John, when he later heard of the combination, had fun calling it 'frankinfruit'. The funny thing is that the combination works very well, the grapefruit gives it all the high citrus notes, which are all sharp and clean. The frankincense is rich, mellow, almost woody and a good base for the other scent. The combination is unlike either alone.

I bought some of the jasmine, and added an essential oil blend called Clarity, it's supposed to help concentration. I'm not sure if any of this works, but there is some pleasure simply in an environment that smells good rather than neutral or antiseptic.

Kent was very patient throughout the process, even looking at the a few things as Christmas presents for his wife. We both got out with some relief, because even though I wasn't allergic to the scents they were overwhelming in concert.

We then pulled over to the Mexican restaurant, both bought the lunch special, which was the signature burrito, which was not only filled with rice, meat, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, beans, and various spices, but also topped with cheese and a spicy burrito sauce. The whole thing was then bundled in an aluminum pan, covered with a cardboard cover, and then put in a paper bag with plastic utensils and napkin. There were two small containers of salsa, one red one green, the latter being the hotter of the two. John and I were planning to eat the whole thing together, and I still wonder if Kent knew what he was getting into when he ordered the thing.

We drove back to the building, and Kent thanked me for the adventure outside the building before disappearing back downstairs in the his part of the building. Kent used to work with John and I in Synario several years ago, but quit before we were sold. It was good to see him again and talk with him for a while.

I brought the giant burrito up to our lunch room, called John, and the two of us ate it. It was perfect for the two of us.

My afternoon was spent testing, going through various test plans a step at a time, and being very thorough with recording the actual results. I enjoyed that. Around 5:45 John came by saying that he had a quiet period, and if we came back to the office after, in order for him to start the build for the evening, we could go visit our friend in the hospital and find dinner somewhere on the city side. So, we did.

It was good to see them doing well, with presents piled around them everywhere, and while we did wake them up, they were cheerful and happy to see us. Many well wishes and hugs were passed on from other mutual friends. The initial results were good, so most of the anxiety was over with the surgery, and it was evident. That was quite a relief, both to know and know it from them. After a while it was evident that they were getting tired, so we hugged goodbye and wandered off into the Broadway area near the hospital, and started looking for food.

Broadway has some really excellent food places along its length. One plan was to simply stop wherever there might be parking, and eat wherever the parking happened to be. The real premium seems to be parking in the area. As we wandered along the street, we suddenly saw Dick's, a local good burger place, with fresh potato fries, well made burgers, and real ice cream in their milk shakes. So, we stopped there, had two burgers, two bags of fries, two chocolate milk shakes, and also bought the two necessary containers of ketchup.

We then ate on the metal counter setup in front of the stand, with about a dozen other people at various times, including two gorgeous lesbians linked by motorcycle gear as well as each other, a dad with two girls and his male partner, a couple students discussing marketting strategy in most unbelieveable terms, and I ate in complete silence in order to enjoy all the conversations flowing about me. Sometimes it's good to be able to be invisible even when you're a six foot tall Chinese girl with blue hair, a trench coat, and a Mongolian Horde hat. Believe it or not, it's possible so far as conversations seem to go around me. Quiet, no eye contact beyond an initial, polite acknowledgement of presense, no abrupt motions or sounds, and I might as well not be there. We also watched people walk by in all the various colorful ways people walk on Broadway.

It really reminded me of Tommy's in Hollywood, though, likely not as dangerous or as glamorous. There are no gangs or stretch limos or kids bouncing around in leather upholstered Mercedes convertibles. But there is a flavor of the same kind of diversity, just a different range for it.

The drive back to work had little traffic, and the sky was wide open as we went over the lake. Stars scattered like winter breath against the black night.

During the afternoon, I used some of the essential oils in my office. Sadly, I overdid it a little, and the scent was so thick it gave me something of a headache. The Clarity scent was very nice, with some of the sharp pine scents, some undertones of wood, and herbal mid-tones. The jasmine, however, was pure honey. It's a very singular scent, and when I put the first drop in the lamp I didn't smell anything immediately, so foolishly, I added another drop. Within ten minutes I was overwhelmed out of my office.

Returning to my office from the night air, the jasmine scent was sweet and overlay everything in my office. I relighted the candle, and as I sit here writing the warm scent is lovely now that it's lightened and blends very well with the honey ginseng green tea that I made for a late night sip for writing to. John's finishing various underlying things for what should, finally, be release of the product and software to Configuration Management tomorrow. Then, perhaps, we'll be able to sleep again

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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