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Journal :: December 2004
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6.12.2004 (mon)
We went to IKEA at lunch time. We didn't plan on buying anything in particular but ended up spending a lot of money. We bought a couple of side tables (one of which has to be returned because it's incomplete), a rug, two lamps for the bedside tables and lots of other little things.
What I really like is getting home and putting everything in its place. I like the way the flat feels more like home whenever we add the right elements to it.
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7.12.2004 (tue)
Another shopping day. I was trying to find presents for my grandmothers but I got a call from a client and gave it up. It's impossible to relax when I know I have work waiting for me at home.
We just bought some food and other stuff that we needed and went back home. I did the work, which took about an hour and then had something to eat at around 6PM.

At night we went out to dinner with my brother and his girlfriend and then went over to their flat to see the new furniture and chat for a while. It was a nice evening, even though I got sleepy really early.
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8.12.2004 (wed)
I spent most of the day working on the doll house. For some reason things refused to go well today - I spilled paint, glued stuff in the wrong place, etc. There was no permanent damage done but it was very demoralising.
I started cutting the cornice and skirting pieces using the dremel thingy but the disc broke and a bit hit me in the face. A little higher and I would have lost an eye. So I gave it up and went back to the good old fashioned manual saw.

At night I wrapped some more presents but I still don't have a christmas tree up. Somehow I'm having a hard time getting into the spirit of things, even though I'm enjoying buying presents for people.
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9.12.2004 (thu)
So I'm officially back to work. And there was enough to do in the morning. The afternoon was not so busy and I started feeling really sleepy so I didn't do much. I have some administrative work to catch up on and a new work to start but I'm still waiting for stuff from the client and didn't really feel like starting before I have all the data.

Tomorrow morning I'll be out on a meeting. I called Carla to see if she wanted to have lunch tomorrow but she had to delay her vacation because she has too much work - she's been working saturdays for over two months now and now can't even take a couple of days off!

I just got a call from my father saying my mother's in the hospital - her heart stopped and had to be revived. She was at work when it happened and was apparently turning blue by the time they found her. Good thing she was in a hospital at the time, though, instead of home alone, but I'm still a little freaked about it.
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10.12.2004 (fri)
I left at 9.30 for the meeting. When I got out of the subway I called my father to see if he had news about mom. It seems she was OK during the night so she may be released later today.

The meeting went fine but it does look like I'm going to be working for this client for at least another year. It's great because at least I'm working and they're pretty happy with the work we've been doing but it also makes me nervous because I don't want to stumble into something that's bigger than I can handle. We'll see how it goes.
I guess when I started handling the company at the beginning of the year I was very prepared to fail but not so prepared to actually succeed. It's a bit scary.

After the meeting was over I called my father again and he was on his way to the hospital to pick up my mother. When I got home I did a little urgent work and then went over to see her. She was acting like her usual self, which means that she acts like it was nothing. That's why I didn't even quite realise that this sort of thing has happened before, because she always plays it down.
She seemed alright but once again nobody could say exactly what's wrong with her so now she'll have to have a bunch of tests and, in the worst case scenario, get a pacemaker. Like she puts it, become a 'battery operated mom'. Humour is key, I guess.

I came home again at around 3PM, had lunch and then got to work.
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11.12.2004 (sat)
I went out with my friend Carla today. We hadn't seen each other since the end of September, so it was quite overdue. We talked, exchanged early christmas presents and then went shopping. We went to some really cool stores that I have to convince hubby to go to sometime. And I was tempted by a shoe store that has some really fun outrageous stuff. The shoes are expensive but really cool and original. I have to go there with a bit more time one of these days.
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13.12.2004 (mon)
I had a rotten day. I woke up feeling nervous as usual on mondays but today it was so much more than that. I was hungry and so i had some cereal but couldn't keep it down. i ended up not being able to eat anything for the rest of the day. Even the tea I made at lunch time was threatening to make me vomit again.

I know I had a lot on my mind - the stuff I have to do as a result of last friday's meeting coupled with the fact that my mother is going to the doctor today to arrange to get tests done and may end up staying overnight, but mentally and emotionally I felt fine. I little nervous but nothing out of the ordinary. Only my body seems to disagree and get out of control.

At night I was feeling better and was finally able to eat something. And my mother came back home after all since it's difficult to schedule some tests during this time of year.
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14.12.2004 (tue)
I've officially started a new project today, so I spent most of the day working on a mock-up for a website. It's going pretty well, although I feel I'm starting to repeat myself. But they liked a previous work I did and asked for something in the same style so I couldn't just go off and do it with purple stripes instead just to be different.

When I really had to take a break I read some stuff about the new Batman movie that looks like it may be cool.
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15.12.2004 (wed)
I finished the new mock up and sent it to the client for approval. I may have to wait a couple of days on that because I think a lot of different people have to approve it, so I'm sure it'll come back with tons of notes and will end up looking nothing like it does now. But it was done fairly quickly so I didn't have the time to get too attached to it.
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16.12.2004 (thu)
I had a really quiet day today. I read articles on websites, and just did a little work at around 7 PM before watching ER.

I also started gluing the windows and door to the front panels of the doll house - won't be long now!!!

Then hubby got home and we went shopping but at this time of year it's a real nightmare to go anywhere - there's people coming out of the ground, or so it seems.
I bought a couple of magazines and food for the week and went home to eat dinner and watch the rest of that awful Van Helsing movie. It really sucks!
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17.12.2004 (fri)
For some reason I can't quite understand I'm really hungry today. Usually I can go the whole morning on a yogurt but today my stomach was complaining after a couple of hours. It was ignored, obviously, because the last thing I need is to start eating more.

I had a little work this morning and had to mail some stuff but it's still quiet.

My Lord of the Rings DVD still hasn't arrived but I'm really hoping that it's just because of the increase in mail at this time of year and not another hijacking by someone at the post office. I do have to write a complaint, though, about a package that disappeared last month but I'm waiting for hubby to help me out with that because I tend to just insult everyone and call them thieving incompetent bastards, which I believe doesn't go down very well.

I joined a new forum so I've been having fun posting. Hubby was starting to get bombarded with way too much useless information and so I decided to direct it towards people who might actually care about it all.

At 7 my brother called about work but I'm going to leave it for monday. At 7.30 I shut the computer off and watched ER. Then I started watching American Psycho again but the TV suddenly went off, started beeping and a rather intense burned smell started fouling up the atmosphere. I unplugged it and then tried plugging it again and got the same result. So now I don't have a TV...
I called hubby and told him 'you know that big plasma TV you've always wanted to buy? Guess what - looks like you're going to.'
Always look on the bright side :)
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18.12.2004 (sat)
I did a bit more work on the doll house. I can't find one of the lamps, which sucks, but the rest is almost finished. All that's left to do is hanging up the doors.

At 6 PM I met up with my parents and we went shopping. It's not a good idea to do this on a weekend but my mother doesn't want to drive until she gets the results to all the tests she has to make and it's the only time my father is available to take us. Plus they were going to a dinner later on with the people from the Martial Arts school.
It was a bit frustrating because I couldn't find some of the things I wanted to buy.
Then I met up with hubby to go take a look at the tvs. We were hoping to spend a little less than we did but ended up buying a pretty expensive huge plasma screen. After comparing the picture between that one and all the other ones I couldn't settle for less. I knew I'd be spending all my time remarking on how fuzzy the picture looked :)

The only trouble is that it's too big to carry ourselves so we have to wait a couple of days for delivery. At first they said they couldn't deliver it till after Christmas but then we said that we'd assemble it ourselves and so they agreed to deliver on monday.
Can't wait! I'm going to have to rewatch a lot of movies on that thing.
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19.12.2004 (sun)
Fairly dull day. I didn't feel like doing much so I just knitted and watched Poirot and Partners in Crime - things that don't require a big TV to be interesting.

Hubby did one of his paintings today (a Christmas present) and it turned out really cool. I keep telling him he has to make one for us but he just keeps putting it off :)
The hallway was like a sandstorm afterwards because of the spray - really thick mist.

And I finally assembled the Christmas tree. It was a now or never situation, considering it's less than a week away.
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20.12.2004 (mon)
Work went fairly well today. It's good to be doing new stuff at last.

At 4.30 PM the new TV arrived but they forgot the tuner. They said they'd be back but haven't shown up yet. I just hope they show up, otherwise I'll have to go there...
There's always something. At least I hope this is the 'something' and the TV actually works.

I started assembling the stand, which is quite heavy, but the rest has to wait till hubby comes home because it requires two people.
All I know is that if I get it working I don't think I'll be going to bed tonight :)

So the delivery men actually forgot to deliver the tuner AGAIN, so hubby had to go to the store and pick it up - there was no way we were going to wait until I don't know when!
When he got home we assembled everything and it's fabulous. We found ourselves giggling like mad just watching it tune in the channels.
But the real wow factor was when we put in Sleepy Hollow and realised how perfect the image is and how huge it looks.

I eventually went to bed because we couldn't stop fiddling with the menu and trying out several picture settings and weren't really watching anything.

I now have a sea of cardboard boxes in the hallway that I can't throw away for a month, in case there's something wrong with one of the components. But it's a small price to pay :)
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21.12.2004 (tue)
Work was scattered through the day. Once in a while I'd get a call from a client saying 'we really need this done quickly'. But it was all easy stuff so there wasn't a problem.
The only problem is that one of the clients installed some anti-spam software and some of my messages are being returned with a note saying the server 'does not like recipient'. Since I work almost exclusively by email it gets really annoying.

At night I finally dyed my hair (something I've been putting off for months). It's a bit lighter than I had anticipated but I guess it's OK because it looks more red than blond. I have brown hair but with natural red highlights (to go with the freckles) so the red shows when it gets lighter, which I like. Still, I didn't want it too light cause the roots will show and that just means I have to take care of it more often. I used to love it but lately I have no patience.

I watched bits of movies on our new TV and it's really great. It's a pain to figure out which mode I need so I'm not watching the image all stretched, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.
The other things that bugs me about it is that there's a fairly light buzzing sound when the TV is on. It really gets on my nerves if the sound is low. I have to find out if that's normal or if it's something that can be fixed somehow.
Apart from that I'm really pleased with the thing. There are so many little details I never noticed in movies before. And when there's a close up people are suddenly life-size or larger, so it's more like you're watching a conversation in your living room than a movie. It's fun :)

And more good news - my Lord of the Rings III DVD finally arrived today. It took a really long time but at least it didn't disappear like so many others tend to do. Feeling happy about that.
Now I have to watch all the films (extended version, obviously) back to back. That's going to be a really lazy weekend!
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22.12.2004 (wed)
I didn't have any work in the morning so I started attaching the doors to the doll house. It's almost complete (but I've been thinking that for a month now, so don't take my word for it).
At 1 i went out to lunch with my mother and brother and then went with my mother to the clinic where she's doing one of the tests.

After lunch I had some work waiting for me that was only done close to six so there was no time for anything else. Now I have to go finish putting up the doors and find a place for the house. Despite all the problems I had with the paint I think it's looking really good.

The house is finished and you can see pictures here.
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24.12.2004 (fri)
I was getting ready to go over to my grandparents house for Christmas Eve when I got a call from my brother - my grandfather died at half past three this afternoon.
I'm starting to dread picking up the phone these days since the awful things seem to be happening all the time.
They eventually told me not to go and that the funeral is tomorrow at three. I just spent the rest of the day pacing, not really knowing what to do next. I have delayed emotional reactions to things, especially bad things, so I can't quite tell how I feel until a couple of days later. For now I just feel sick and completely stressed and feeling like I should be there, even though I can't really do anything and would probably be in the way.

I eventually ended up going to dinner at Pedro's grandparents' flat while I waited for my parent to arrive, since they live in the same building. I wasn't in a party mood but did my best to look normal enough.

when my parents arrived I went over there and my mother and brother ended up giving out their presents anyway, cause what else are we supposed to do with all the stuff anyway, but it was so weird...
My father is obviously very upset and I just wish I could do something to help.
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25.12.2004 (sat)
My grandfather's funeral was today. While everyone else was sitting down to Christmas lunch we were driving to my grandparents house to meet with the rest of the family before the service.
Going into that chapel and seeing my grandfather lying there was so incredibly strange. A lot of people were looking teary but still trying to carry out normal conversation - because what else can you say, really.
I'm always impressed by how at moments like this people can go from crying hopelessly to having a perfectly normal conversation in a short period of time. It's a way to be able to handle the situation and a lot more human and normal than trying to keep a somber face throughout just because it looks appropriate. That's what the priest was trying to do and it looked fake, studied, theatrical. As people, we are hit by emotion in waves, it comes and devastates us and then it recedes a bit and we feel ourselves again before it returns.
I really didn't like the priest at all. The speech he made was complete impersonal and sounded like political propaganda of the worst kind. I felt it was actually offensive and tried to just look at the ground and not think about it too much.

When we got to the cemetery the finality of it got to me at last.
I don't see death as a great tragedy and don't really fear it the way some people do. But it's sad to think I'm never going to speak to this person again.

We drove back home at five and then had to go over to my in laws for the Christmas party which made this a very bipolar day. It felt like too much of everything and I was exhausted by the end of it.
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26.12.2004 (sun)
I felt tired and so I stayed home and watched movies. Later in the afternoon my parents stopped by, and when they left we finally went out for a bit before completely turning into mashed potatoes.

I feel that tomorrow, when I'm finally alone, all the stuff that's been happening in the last couple of days is finally going to hit me.
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28.12.2004 (tue)
Work was on and off today but just little things so I had the time to write to Winfried and call Carla and chat for a bit. It seems everyone is having a fairly light week except for Pedro who's still working like a dog.

At night we went shopping cause we were out of everything and I decided to try eating salads for a while and exercise a bit cause I need to lose some weight again.
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29.12.2004 (wed)
My DVD recorder arrived today and so I spent most afternoon connecting everything and trying it out. I had to go out to buy some DVD-RW cause I only had DVD+RW but fortunately I have a computer store close by.
I recorded a bit of a TV programme in each compression mode to see what quality it has and it's actually not bad. The most compressed mode is a bit crappy so I'll probably leave it for when I'm on vacation or something and want to record some daily show, but the LP mode, which allows for 4 hours per disc is pretty decent. On our huge TV you can tell that it's compressed but if I'm not looking for it I can't tell much difference between this and the SP mode.

Later I cleaned up a bit more of the mess that had been made from all the Christmas stuff and put the painting hubby gave me on the wall. There's still another one, for the opposite wall, but it'll require something more than a simple nail cause it's quite a heavy frame, so it has to wait for the weekend.

When hubby got home we watched a bit more of Return of the King. That's what I call a long movie :)

I was feeling really moody at night. I don't really know why. I should be happy since I have a new toy and everything but I felt slightly angry instead. I guess emotionally I'm not entirely normal yet.
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30.12.2004 (thu)
The week has been slow so I just checked my email in the morning and, since there was nothing new, decided to make some brownies for dinner tonight.
I tidied up the place as well as I could and then got to cooking. Cooking is really not my thing at all. Actually I hate it. But this is so easy to make, so quick and so good that I couldn't help myself :)

At 2 PM I had a salad for lunch and now I have to find something to keep me busy for the afternoon while the flat is being cleaned.
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31.12.2004 (fri)
After a fairly busy day (it seems nobody wanted to leave stuff hanging), I got dressed and went over to my hi-laws for New Years eve. As usual all the family gets together, has dinner, sings Beatles songs, watched the fireworks at midnight and then trades silly gifts.
Hubby had too much to drink, as is becoming his annoying habit, and got quite frisky, which seriously pissed me off because there's nothing I hate more than having a whole room full of people staring at me and laughing. Talk about an uncomfortable start to the year.
Then he had an asthma attack and I had to run home to get his pump, which was also not very pleasant.
At least I got to wear my new top which is a backless chainmail halter that may have had something to do with hubby's behaviour in some way :)

Happy New year to everyone.
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