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Journal :: August 2004
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01.07.2004 (sun)
I watched a little bit of a Prince concert that I taped last night. It was really funny. It's so different to see a concert where the performer is obviously having fun. He seems to have loosened up a bit lately, which is great. He had been a bit too serious for the last few years. It took the fun out of the songs as well.

At night I finally got the nerve to reinstall the Sims. It took me about 5 tries. And one of the expansion packs refused to install - it kept saying I already had it.
But it seems to be working now, although I didn't have much time to try it because I was only able to finish the installation at two in the morning. But it's one of those situations where you just can't quite until it's done.
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02.08.2004 (mon)
At lunchtime I finally tried the game. It's working great, actually. So now I'm having fun once more building houses and stuff. The housebuilding is actually the part I love best. For a time I did nothing else.

I also saw some movies from Sims 2 and it seems fun, especially the new ways you can build houses and people. There's all these new cool options. Not sure about gameplay but it seems worth it just to build stuff.

Yes, I'm obsessed again. But I missed it! It was so frustrating to have it crash all the time. And I need to have something to get my mind off how boring my life has been lately. At least my sims can go on vacation even if I can't.
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03.08.2004 (tue)
I called my new client to find out what the delay is. Apparently he went on vacation before sending me the material to start the mock-up, so I have to wait until he gets back. And here I was worrying about it... I wish people would let me know they're going on vacation!

In the middle of the afternoon my downstairs neighbor came over to complain about the water dripping from the AC machine. Apparently the wall right under the drain is missing a couple of tiles and she claims the water accumulates there and is getting into the wall.
As far as I see it, that's a problem that needs to be solved from the building side - it should be fixed. But because I don't really want to cause any trouble I pulled the drain in and made it leak into a bucket instead of the street. At least until I can find a longer pipe.

People really have decided to pick on us because of the AC machines! I'd call that jealous if I was being mean.

My friend Carla called today to invite me to the Opera next month. I don't really like opera but Madame Butterfly has really nice music so I said OK. And invited my parents to go along. Like this we can buy a box and it's much nicer. And we can see a lot better as well.
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04.08.2004 (wed)
I've been feeling really tired. I don't have a lot of work to do but I still feel tired. I don't even feel like cleaning up lately. I just want to go to bed and stay.

In the morning I went to the vet to buy cat food. They had a couple of newborn kittens there that someone found in the street. I felt tempted but can't make that kind of decision at the moment. I'm already spoon-feeding one cat and couldn't bear to have a kitten die right now, which is the most likely thing. Emotionally I couldn't take it.

The thing about taking in cats is that it's a mix of selfless and selfish emotions - on one hand I want to help a helpless creature and on the other I like having a cute kitty around and watch it grow. But I already have four so I have to put the brakes on.

I have some work stuff to solve in the afternoon but it all went smoothly.

I played a bit more Sims at night till hubby came home. Then had dinner and watched 24.
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05.08.2004 (thu)
I got up at nine, did a bit of cleaning up and left.
My brother picked me up and we went over to his office to work on a mutual project.
I came at lunchtime with tons of stuff to do.
Before that we stopped at his place and I borrowed a few more movies to watch.

When I got home I fed the cat and then had lunch.
I spent the afternoon working on some mock-ups and hopefully came up with a couple options that are usable.

Tomorrow I have to work on the details and then do an internal page.

Scully was feeling needy so she sat on my desk until I noticed her. Presently she's leaning on my arm, which makes it that much harder to write anything. Cats, aren't they cute?

I've been listening to Prince a lot lately. Mostly because I really liked the new album. So I decided to give another chance to a couple of the previous ones. The 'Wedding Feast' from the Rainbow Children is really funny :)
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06.08.2004 (fri)
I woke up feeling inspired and did a mockup for a client in an hour. This happens a lot to me. I figure stuff out in my sleep and when I get up I just have to sit down and do it. I guess it's what people sometimes call inspiration. I think it's more like solving a mental puzzle. Suddenly all the pieces fall into place and you know it's going to work.

I kept working on the other layout (the one I started yesterday) and managed to come up with the internal page. Everyone seems to thing this is the way to go so I may start html soon. Which is good because there's still so much to be done!

At night we had to go shopping. The car is once again going in for repairs (stupid piece of junk) so we had to do the shopping now before it's too late.
Unfortunately hubby refuses to get rid of the car so this will keep happening over and over again. At least until I lose it and set fire to the car.
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07.08.2004 (sat)
I got up fairly late, watched a movie, played some Sims and went out.
We went to the park for a bit and took some work to do. We have to come up with a name for a project I'm working on. The problem is that people register domain names that they don't even use, so when we need one for a new project it's almost impossible to find a free domain for a decent name.

We sat on the grass and talked a bit and then went over to the beach to look at the sea for a while. It was almost sunset but there was a mist in the air so you couldn't actually see the sun going down. But it was nice because it wasn't too hot.

On our way back we got some pizza for dinner but then hubby spent an hour making phone calls to his family so it went cold while I waited :P
I hate cold pizza.
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08.08.2004 (sun)
I played Sims for most of the day. Well, not actually play... I made characters and built houses. I have an almost complete replica of Buffy's house, thanks to the extras on the DVDs which even had a blueprint :)
I still have to make a couple of characters in order to have a whole Sunnydale neighborhood. I'm missing Giles, Dawn and Wesley. And the Cordelia head I found is not very good so I may make one as well. It's good to have a project :)
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09.08.2004 (mon)
My neck and shoulders are completely fucked. I can barely turn my head and everything cracks and hurts like hell.
Still I had to work to do so I took a couple of pills and got on with it. I'm trying to do a site without tables, which I hadn't tried yet. It went well up to a point. The main stuff is done and all in place but then little things start to go wrong, like padding. A bit after six the pain was back with a vengeance so I stopped. I'll ask hubby to give me a hand later on. Sometimes it takes someone who hasn't been looking at the code for hours to spot what I missed.

It's cool and cloudy, which is pissing off everyone that's on vacation but I love it.
Unfortunately I can't open the windows because the cats will jump out and kill themselves, but I go over to the window occasionally and breathe in the cool air.

The cat is vomiting again. So I guess this means another bunch of pills. I'm going to give it a few days to see if it happens again...
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10.08.2004 (tue)
The cat threw up again so I started giving her the pills but it doesn't seem to be working. Every time I try to feed her or give her pills she vomits.
If this was a game I would have just moved to level nine...

I kept working on the html and finished the homepage I've been working on. Now I have to do a template for the internal pages.

At night I played some Sims. I finished the Buffy characters and made a Sunnydale neighbourhood The Wesley character took a really long time to make. It just wouldn't look right. And Anya still needs a bit of work as well. But it's fun because like this I already have an idea of what I want each of the characters to do and it's more fun than just random characters.
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11.08.2004 (wed)
I've been killing myself doing the internal page. It's almost done but there was one bit that just refused to work. So I used a table :P
Fuck it. I have better things to do with my time.

I had a few rounds to do - drugstore, post office, bank. I'm going to finally have my own credit card instead of having to use hubby's card all the time. It makes no difference because the account is the same, but I have to order stuff under his name and then I can't sign for it at the post office :P

At night I started building houses for my Sims. It's my favourite part. Am I a frustrated architect? I'm not being as thorough as with the Buffy house but it's still pretty close, at least in terms of layout. Giles' house was especially fun to do.
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12.08.2004 (thu)
Today I did a couple more pages for the site. I sent an email to my brother telling him where the stuff was and asking what specifically he need me to do but got no reply yet.

I did another review on screengazing but wasn't up to doing anymore.

I spent a great deal of time erasing spam from hubby's site. That's what you get for allowing comments on your site - lots of links to porn. It's really annoying.
It would be easy enough to manage if we could install the new version of MT, but my brother is the only one with access and didn't get around to it yet. I hate spam.

At night I played Sims for a tiny bit and then went out to buy chinese food. Then I got into a fight with my husband about the car. He's finally given in and agreed to sell it but not before the damn thing cost us 2.500 euro in repairs. A bit more than it's worth, in my opinion, and I had said so before. But men tend not to listen until they feel like it.

Then we finally got around to eating dinner and watching 24.
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13.08.2004 (fri)
I had no work today and didn't feel much like making up stuff to do so I did other things - water the plants, clean up a bit, watch a bit of a movie and play Sims at lunchtime.
Nobody said I couldn't have a day off anyway.

The game was funny. I was playing with the Xander character, trying to give him personality points by making the yellow potion, but he kept making the love potion instead. It's a random thing but he made the love potion at least 4 times. So he had all the women in the game win love with him. Which is funny because that was one of the episodes in the show.
Then he also died while trying to fix the TV, but I brought him back. Nothing like 'save game'. If only we could do that in real life.
But I never had a Sim die before so it was weird

The other weird thing is that I don't look or feel any thinner but my pants are starting to fall off. I had to wear older stuff instead since I've been buying nothing but 'fat pants' for a while now :P
And it's not like I've been following a strict diet or anything. I was able to detox from chocolate, which was a sad but big victory, but apart from that it's only working cause I'm too lazy to cook. I've been having yogurt, breakfast cereal and the occasional piece of fruit. That's pretty much it for most days. Not very healthy, though. Must try harder.

At night we went out for a bit.
Hubby wanted to buy the new Doom game and I needed to get tickets to the Opera next month (Madame Butterfly).
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14.08.2004 (sat)
In the morning I played Sims for a bit. I forgot all about lunch and at 3 PM I had to go buy cat food. Then we went to develop some pictures. Pedro did some tests with the camera to try and figure out why the photos are always over exposed. It's hard to tell if we're doing something wrong or if the camera isn't working properly for some reason.
How I miss my old one - this new crap has too many buttons :)

I ended up buying some clothes as well only because I was able to find some stuff that isn't that tasteless 'oh the 80's are back' garbage.

At night we went out to a birthday dinner party. I never know what to wear to these things. It's flaming hot when we go out but later on there's a cold chill. It's like you have to pack an extra outfit just in case :P
But it was fun although hubby had a bit too much to drink and passed out on the bed as soon as we got home.
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15.08.2004 (sun)
I got up, picked up my book and sat comfortably on my little sofa by the window. I read for quite a few hours but didn't manage to finish it. I'm a slow reader :P
I can't move on until I've taken in what it is that I'm reading. So if I get a bit distracted I end up reading the same page over and over again until I can focus again.

Unfortunately the relaxation was interrupted by our downstairs neighbour complaining once again about the water dripping from the AC. It's the other one now. Quite frankly I felt like telling her to fuck off and come back when she has a court order. I'm getting really pissed off about the whole thing.

In the afternoon I played Sims - what else? - and watched 'Changing Lanes'. A movie about anger motivated revenge seemed quite appropriate to my state of mind.
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16.08.2004 (mon)
It's monday once again.
I have a few things to do but don't really feel like it much. I feel tired. Not that I have much right to complain, but still...
When so many people are out there enjoying the sunshine and I'm still here everyday in front of a screen, being bombarded by unhealthy radiation and paler than a vampire, it makes me a bit depressed.

I had tons of weird dreams tonight which don't help in terms of feeling peaceful and relaxed.

I decided to have a quiet lunch break, with my book, and take advantage of being home. But I always end up doing 300 things before finally sitting down to eat. I guess I can't relax if I know there are things to be done.

During the afternoon I worked on a new page but the whole 'not using tables' thing is starting to get on my nerves as I never seem to be able to align stuff in both browsers.

At six I gave up and finished my book. Then I went looking for the next thing to read and discovered that I still have a Ruth Rendell book I haven't read yet. I have no idea how I let it slip but I'm glad because I'm really feeling like it now. It was a bit like when you lose your keys and decide to check in the fridge just in case. You know it can't be in there but 'you never know!'. And it was. Very serendipitous :)
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17.08.2004 (tue)
I finally managed to get some more pages done but it's still not 100% right. On IE the forms are pulled down for no reason. Still have to play around with the code some more to fix that. But right now it's more important to start integration so I'll leave it for now.

At lunch I watched the movie Intimacy. Apart from the obvious, which is pretty much all I had read about - the sex scenes - the movie is very well acted and more emotional than I had anticipated. It's an interesting mix - a french film with british actors.

Around 6 PM, when I was already fed up with the templates and was just trying to put everything online, I kept losing wireless signal. I was about to start breaking things but decided to take a break instead and when I came back it was ok again.

I did a couple of reviews on Screengazing and was about to do more but hubby called saying we should go out and try to buy stuff for the AC, to see if the neighbours stop bugging us. I say there's no pleasing theses people but at least no one can say we don't try.

We ended up going to bed at 10 PM and I just couldn't sleep. It took forever.
I didn't want to stay up later so that I didn't wake Pedro up when I finally went to bed but I think this is actually worse for him because I can't keep still.
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18.08.2004 (wed)
I got my credit card today. It's not a big deal but it means I can finally buy hubby christmas presents without him knowing about it :)

I also wanted to buy a Buffy doll to join my Spike but they're releasing a new one in February and I can't decide which one I prefer.

I watched yet another trailer for the Village. I just wish the movie would hurry up and get here. It's one of the downsides of living in a little forgotten corner of the world.

Lunchtime. I've been eating terribly lately. I've been feeding on breakfast cereal for days but today I actually did a salad. I have to get back on track occasionally. I ate pretty fast and then sat down for another 20 minutes reading my book.

I got some more reviews done in the afternoon but I'm still behind. It's fun but it's also a lot of work.

At around 6 PM my connection broke down again. There must be some interference in the building that messes with the wireless connection. So I played Sims for a bit.

At night I watched a bit of Once upon a time in Mexico but hubby fell asleep halfway through so he went to bed. I stayed up a bit longer and ended up watching a bit of Superman 2 that was on TV. There were a lot of little things I didn't remember. And I started to feel old - when the movies you grew up with look dated you know you're getting old :)
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19.08.2004 (thu)
My new client is still on vacation. He's only coming back next week, which means he will be wanting to get the site done exactly when I wanted to have my vacation. I hope it's not going to be a problem.

I had lunch with my parents at the chinese restaurant. They're halfway through their vacation and all tanned and I'm still white as a sheet.

I had some work waiting for me when I got back home and made some progress on the templates I've been doing, although I wish someone had some time to look them over with me. I'm having to make decisions concerning navigation and usability as I'm making the pages and that's never good. I end up having to go back and redo stuff to make more sense.
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21.08.2004 (sat)
We went out to the park for a couple of hours this afternoon. I took my book and just sat on the grass reading. This is the reason I have to get a garden one of these days. It must be wonderful being able to do this whenever you want.
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22.08.2004 (sun)
We went out to lunch with hubby's family. His grandparents just moved into town so we did a little shopping after lunch and then went over to their new flat because I hadn't seen it yet. It looks great - the floor on the kitchen and hallway is white, which makes the place much brighter than our flat and even the living room floor has lighter wood. Plus the view is amazing because they don't have any buildings on either side.

Then we came home and I had tons of housework to do, curtains to put up (after adjusting the seems) and a movie to watch.

At night I had a complete anxiety attack and couldn't go to sleep or even breathe normally. It was really awful and took a while until I was able to calm down.
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23.08.2004 (mon)
My client is back from vacation so I was finally able to finish and deliver the first mock-ups. Now I have to wait for comments. I think it looks pretty good but that never stops anyone from wanting changes.
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24.08.2004 (tue)
My oldest cat is dying. She's fifteen, been sick for a while but the vet can't tell exactly what's wrong with her, stopped eating and has become little more than a living squeleton with fur around it. She's lost all muscle mass and can barely stand up anymore. And now i can't even force feed her. She refuses to swallow and will just spit out whatever food I put in her mouth. So I don't know what else to do. I just feel like I'm torturing her daily, which shows on her sideway glances and the way she tries to hide whenever she sees me.
I really hit a low point today and felt I couldn't take it anymore. I was ready to take her to the vet and put her to sleep but at the last minute couldn't do it. So I just have to accept the fact that my only option is to keep her comfortable and wait. It's very hard.
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25.08.2004 (wed)
I've been feeling down lately because of the cat and because I've been feeling isolated. I'm very emotional, I keep having disturbing dreams and if I see a depressing movie or listen to a sad song I break down and end up noticing I've been sitting down on the kitchen floor crying for the last half hour and my legs have gone numb.
It's not a feeling I'm very comfortable with because I'm usually very strong and able to cope. But I guess everyone has limits.

When I finally sat down to work I had a couple of emails asking for a few more colour studies for the mockup, which are destroying it completely. It's always a battle between pleasing the client and still maintaining a certain artistic or creative integrity.

So I did it but sent a mail basically saying 'here it is but please be aware that this is not a professional look, which is what we should be trying to achieve'. No reply yet.

So in a way I had the afternoon off because I was waiting for a reply that didn't come. I did a few reviews which were overdue and finished my book. I love Inspector Wexford novels. They're murder mysteries but go so beyond the cliches of the style that it's a real treat to read them.
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26.08.2004 (thu)
I had more changes to the work this morning. It's starting to look nothing like what I started with, but OK. I've been trying to do the least possible damage.
By mid-afternoon it seemed like we were finally getting to an agreement. I have to get started on the internal layout but I don't feel any confidence to until this one is settled.

The mailman came over this morning to deliver something and apparently started noticing that there were a lot of people around here with the same last name, so as he was leaving couldn't stop himself from asking if we were related to 'the doctor at number 11'. I thought it was funny but at the same time it just shows that people know and notice every little thing that's going on. It's a bit freaky.
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29.08.2004 (sun)
I went over to Lisbon to meet with my friend Carla today. It's been a while since we've spent some time together.

Instead of just meeting up for tea we went to Habitat. I wanted to see what kind of lampshades they have and ended up buying a chair which I had to carry all the way back.
We still went to a couple other stores and then returned downtown to eat something and chat for a bit.

Hubby was going to watch a football game but I called him because I wasn't sure I could carry all the bags but when I got out of the boat, one of his parents neighbours offered to help me carry the bigger box. It was nice of him but I felt a bit awkward. I always do when people are nice for no reason. I have poor social skills.

When I got home I assembled the chair. It took a while but got it done. It's looks really cool, especially because the fabric is this bright lime green that matches the wall. It's a bit big, though. It takes up more room than it looks at first glance. Now I just have to decide where it will look best.
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30.08.2004 (mon)
We went to IKEA again. This time we waited for a weekday and it was less crowded. We bought some stuff but some of the things I wanted were sold out or wouldn't fit in the car so we didn't buy them. It's a bit frustrating after walking around the showroom for two hours to just get a handful of things and have to leave others.

When we got home hubby started assembling stuff. We removed the glass panel from the bathtub and put about the curtain railing instead. The glass only covered a little bit and water ended up getting out anyway so it was pretty useless.
It was exhausting but it looks really cool, with the curtains we bought.
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31.08.2004 (tue)
We were supposed to drive down to my parents vacation house but were too tired from yesterday. So we went to the beach instead, for a couple of hours, then went to the supermarket and bought some food to take with us.

When we got home I checked my email and I had work to do. I called the client to try and figure out what was urgent and what wasn't and did what had to be done. Second vacation day and I'm already working. This is going to be great :P
Then I cleaned the house and started packing. We're leaving tomorrow morning.
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