Saturday, December 11, 2004


In class just now, as we were winding down to our lunch break, the instructor said something to the effect of, "blah blah blah blah the exam on monday blah blah."


I turned and whispered to Janet, sitting behind me, "Did she just say 'the exam on Monday'? Did she mean this Monday?"

Apparently she meant this Monday.

Janet said that it's better that I found out now than it would have been if I had found out ON Monday.

I guess that's true.

Still... oops. I should pay more attention to these sorts of things.

Friday, December 10, 2004

So cute!
It's not just me -

According to a story on eWeek, AOL has mistakenly suspended a very large number of AOL Instant Messenger (one of the most widely used IM programs) accounts, by mistake. I don't know about you guys, but this happened to me and a large percentage of friends and coworkers. AOL says that a fix should be ready by Monday.

AIM also finally added the following bit to their tech support page halfway through the day today: "If you recently began receiving an error message indicating that your sign on has been blocked because your account has been suspended, please be patient as we restore the accounts over the next several days. We apologize for the inconvenience." Rumor has it they'll have all accounts restored by Monday.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

AOL has suspended an AIM account that I use regularly. When I attempt to sign in, I am directed to a page that tells me:
Your Screen Name is blocked from signing in to the AIM service.

Your Screen Name is blocked from signing in to the AIM service. There are several reasons why you may have received this message:

  1. Screen Names that were previously used on AOL but have been cancelled or suspended, can no longer be used on AIM. This includes both master accounts and sub-accounts. In order to continue using this Screen Name on AIM, please reactivate the account on AOL.

  2. AOL Screen Names that have one or more of the following Parental Controls set will no longer able to use AIM, even if they have previously been able to do so:
    - Instant Messages are Blocked.
    - Kid's Only age category.

    To access AIM, the Master Screen Name on the AOL account must go to AOL Keyword: Parental Controls and change the above settings for this Screen Name. In addition, your Screen Name must also be set to one of the following age categories: Young Teen, Mature Teen, or General (18+).

  3. Users who identify themselves as a child under the age of 13 may not use this service at this time. If you are an adult and have entered your birth date incorrectly, you may use a credit card to complete our age verification process now, or anytime within 30 days of the date when you identified yourself as a child. You will not be charged for this credit card verification.

    Click here to sign in to our age verification form to reactivate your Screen Name.

  4. An account may be terminated for violations of the terms of service.
This was never an AOL account; it was only an AIM screen name.

No parental controls were set.

The age verification system will not allow me to sign in with this account, leading me to believe that age verification is not the problem. I am quite sure I set the account up with my correct birthdate, anyhow.

That leaves only terms of service. But I read through their terms of service, and did not find any that I have violated. I use the account only for messaging a few friends. No email at all. No spamming. No questionable material. Did someone else hijack my account to do bad things? Is AOL erroneously blaming something on me? Are they suspending accounts for no reason at all?

It's just a silly IM account. I know that. But still, somehow, I feel violated.
I wrote the following in a comment on a friend's blog. As it's been on my mind, recently, though, I think it perhaps belongs here as well.
There was snow in MN when I was back last weekend. It made me so, so happy. So did all the brown. I realized that perhaps one of the reason I feel oft compelled to wear shades of brown these days is that I miss seeing it in the landscape around me each winter.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Well I had a dream I
stood beneath an orange sky

Yes, I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
with my brother standing by,
with my brother standing by.

I said, "Brother, you know, you know -
It's a long road we been walking on
yes it is, yes it is, you know
Brother it is such a long road we been walking on
Oh brother, oh brother."

And I had a dream I
stood beneath an orange sky
with my sister standing by,
with my sister standing by.

I say, "Here is what I know now, sister
here is what I know now, goes like this -
In your love
my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
in your love, in your love."

Oh, but you know, I am so weary
and you know my heart, my heart's been broken
Sometimes, sometimes my mind is too strong
to carry on

Too strong, too strong to carry on.

But when I'm alone, when I've thrown off the weight of this crazy stone
When I've lost all care for the things I own
That's when I miss you
that's when I miss you, you who are my home
You who are my home now.
You are my home now.

Here is what I know now brother,
here is what I know now sister - goes like this:
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love!
My salvation lies in your love
My salvation lies in your love
My salvation lies in your love
in your love, in your love, in your love.
In your love, now.

Oh, I had a dream I
stood beneath an orange sky
with my brother and my sister standing by.
My brother and my sister standing by.
- Orange Sky, by Alexi Murdoch.

Heard this on John Richard's show this morning. He made some comment about having had it played at his mother's funeral. The song resonated well with me, and also it seemed fitting with yesterday's post.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

One of Alex's friends died in a plane crash on Sunday afternoon.

Alex is sad.

It makes me worry for the friends of mine who fly.

It makes me feel inadequate as a friend. I don't know what it is to have a friend die. I have not yet experienced that.

It makes me feel more mortal. What would happen to my dog if I passed on? Who would notify my family if something happened to me? Who would even know how to contact my family?

And I feel more acutely the mortality of those around me. What if this were the last time I ever spoke to he, or she, or you? How would I ever come to terms with it? We are all mortal, and the time will come when these things become a reality, no longer idle questions -- how will I hold up? Will I hold up?

Why do we live in this world, just to die? Why expend so much effort living, doing, working, buzzing about, when it all comes to nothing in the end? Why do we waste so much time on so many things that matter so little, when time is a limited commodity?

Susie's rat died the other day, also. This rat mothered the rats I had out here in Seattle last year. I was home for my brother's wedding last weekend and held the rat on Sunday afternoon. Two days ago, it was happily crawling up and down Susie's scarf, and I was petting it and playing with it. And now it is dead.

It's sad. And so much. So beyond my understanding. Life, death, time, mortality... I can't get my head around them.
According to a new study, lack of sleep messes with your hormones and may cause weight gain. Vewy, vewy intewesting.
If Susie were a princess, she would be Snow White. Which Disney Princess would I be?

. . .

I am Esmerelda!

Mysterious and passionate, I am a survivor. Even though life has swung me some difficult situations I have a strong intuition that gets me through. Also, I have the capacity to sympathize and relate to people.

Which Disney Princess Are You?