New living room layout…maybe

Today I spent some time rearranging the second bedroom, which has multiple uses: guest room, office, and general storage facility. I want it to also serve the purpose of a workout room, so I was trying to clear a decent amount of space in front of the television. I was marginally successful; you can see pictures here. (Note that I do someday plan to put the Christmas decorations away…)

Doing that put me in the rearranging mood, and I decided to start thinking about how I want the living room to look. I found a floor plan of our apartment at the rental company’s website and, armed with my trusty tape measure and Photoshop, added in all our furniture. Here’s the current layout:

The big purple block is our couch, and the gray boxes in front of it are Sean’s area. (Light gray is the floor where he sits; dark gray is the kotatsu.) The red blocks are the loveseat and chair, and the long, darker red rectangle is the coffee table on loan from Brooke. The big black rectangle is the TV, the big black square is the dinner table, and the smaller black boxes are the bar table and its chairs, the media cabinets, and a file cabinet.

It’s actually a pretty decent layout, given the awkward utility closet jutting into the room and all the doors I have to work around. I really like the way it looks. However, it’s inconvenient in a couple of ways. First, Sean is facing the back wall and not the television. This wasn’t really a big deal before, but lately he’s taken to sitting in my seat (the loveseat) to play video games on the TV, only to have to move when I get home. Secondly, having Sean’s sitting area right in front of the largest couch means a lot of sitting area is wasted. No one who comes over wants to squeeze in and sit behind him, so the couch is limited to perhaps one seat, rather than three or possibly four. I am also somewhat unhappy with the placement of the bar table in the dining room; I kind of like it, but it annoys me that the stools aren’t next to it, and it isn’t serving its normal purpose.

So for about five hours I’ve been rearranging colored blocks, trying to discover a better arrangement. Here are the phases I went through:

Phase One: Too Awkward

This kind of works, but the loveseat is facing a chair that is at a 90 degree angle, which is bound to look ridiculous. Meanwhile, the chair is floating in the middle of the flow of traffic.

Phase Two: WAY Too Awkward

I thought maybe putting the TV on the opposite wall would help. It’s a neat idea, but ultimately results in a Family Circus-style path through the apartment. I kind of liked the thought of having an artificial hallway leading to the bedroom door, but it’s not really practical and possibly unsafe.

Phase Three: Ludicrous

Perhaps, I speculated, giving up on 90 degree angles would do the trick. This is the result. Ultimately the seating problem still exists and most of the seating has a very poor view.

Phase Four: An Accident Waiting to Happen

What if I used the TV as an artificial wall? Well, someone would knock into it, of course…especially given the small passageway between it and the loveseat. I liked the effect this closing-off had on the dining area, but that’s about it. There still wasn’t a very homey feel, and few decent views. Plus, Sean was probably too far away from the TV.

But then, finally, I came across this arrangement:

I’m not perfectly happy with it, but it feels like this is the best I’m going to be able to do. The TV stays where it currently is, to keep it in sight of most of the room. The loveseat rotates 90 degrees and moves to the corner; Sean slides up next to it, leaving enough room for him to walk around and for people to sit. The full couch becomes my seat, with the coffee table in front of it and plenty of room for others to sit, and then the chair rounds out the room, leaving an open area for the bar table. Sean’s file cabinet ends up next to the loveseat and becomes a much-needed end table.

What’s nice about this is that the flow of traffic isn’t changed; people can walk in a straight line from the front door to the back door, which is optimal with this floor plan. I don’t really like how the TV looks right now, but once we get a table for it I think it and the media cabinets will fill out the wall better.

Of course, I haven’t actually moved anything yet…I’m so exhausted from thinking about it that I think I’ll just relax for now ;)

The ultimate work(out) station

I want a new desk for work.

This desk needs to support two monitors, one CRT and one LCD, an oversize keyboard, and a phone. Ideally it would also have room for a printer or two and a way to keep the CPU itself off the floor.

The work surface should raise and lower so that I can either stand or sit.

The desk should have one file drawer and one or two miscellaneous drawers.

It should also have a fold-out treadmill and a fold-out exercise bike that will retract into the desk when not in use. Ideally the controls for these would be built into the desk, as would retractable hand grips.

I can almost picture how this desk would work. It would have to be at least L-shaped, if not U-shaped. The arm or arms would contain the exercise equipment. There are already products that can raise a monitor and keyboard; for this desk they would just have to raise two monitors at once. I’d prefer it to look snazzy, so instead of a product sitting on top of the desk, I’d prefer the desk itself be adjustable. That would ensure that there would be space for the exercise equipment to fold out and lock in, as well.

Okay, universe, you have your assignment. When can I expect to see this desk in my office?

Quality time

Check out this fabulous fatherhood PSA from the Ad Council. (Click for full size.)


I saw the table I want on HGTV

So I have the TV on in my office today, and I’m flipping between the US Open and HGTV. There was a show where two 22-year-olds were buying their first house after living with their parents and saving up money like crazy. Neat story. The two of them had two inspirational decoration pieces that the guy’s parents had brought back from Japan. One was a wood carving of a Chinese character that meant good health, good life, or something. The other was a painting that looked to be in the Chinese style, at least to me. The guy said he was definitely interested in “Oriental” designs–I think it’s still okay to say “Oriental” when you’re talking about decorating, but it seems weird to me.

The narrator kept referring to the new homeowners as “Grasshopper”, as though kung fu had anything to do with Japan (I think the Shaolin monks might have something to say about that). Meanwhile, the designer decorated the kitchen cabinets with horrible renderings of Chinese characters, but at least he had a sense of humor about it–he mixed the traditional “honor” and crap like that with stuff like “candy” and “chicken”.

The thing I was most interested in was the dining room, where they laid out bamboo mats to cover the ugly floor and then put in a low table. The designer made the table by hand, and he designed extensions for it so it could be used at a height that’s normal for westerners.

I have been trying to figure out how to design a table with extensions for awhile now. I would prefer that the legs either fold out or be latched under the table, so the extra legs don’t take up additional space in the house. I want either a black table, to go along with all my black furniture, or a more traditional natural wood, stained/lacquered? table.

It was neat to see someone actually doing something like what I want, even if in this case the extensions had to be stored.

I’ve also thought about putting down bamboo mats in my dining room, but it doesn’t seem like it would work right with the kitchen entrance. Plus the chandelier just doesn’t go with a Japanese style room, so I’ve been loath to decorate it at all.

Maybe someday when we move I’ll have the Japanese-style dining room I envision :)

I also want a Japanese-style bath…

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged ,

Magazine memories

I recently subscribed to Better Homes and Gardens.

My mom used to get this magazine when I was younger, back when the boys and I all lived at home and I shared a bathroom with Mom and Dad. There was always a basket next to the toilet filled with magazines that I would sit and read longer than necessary, and BH&G was one of those.

My favorite parts were always the floor plans and photographs of home and garden makeovers. I loved seeing the unique ways people would dress up their existing spaces. I still remember a tiny yard with a high wall that was transformed into an English garden, and what a strong effect that had on me. I learned then that you can do a lot with a little…even though it was years before my dreams of living in a mansion transformed into a quiet desire for a small, functional, pretty home.

There is a gorgeous little Massachusetts cottage in the June 2007 issue that was originally a boat house. That kind of coziness and simplicity really appeal to me now.

There’s also an 850 square foot California house that serves as the first home for a young couple and their baby. The story boasts a floor plan, much to my delight.

The magazine is bigger than I remember. I don’t know if it actually is bigger or if I’ve just grown accustomed to the size of Taste of Home, which is small enough to be saddle-stitched. BH&G is held together with glue, like a book. It made it a little more difficult to yank out all the advertising inserts.

But the size is a good thing, because it means I have plenty of reading for the basket in my bathroom :)

The new Geoshitties

MySpace doesn’t like its profile pages to be legible, so it does everything it possibly can to ensure that they’re not.

Right now I’m trying to use the new editor to add a nifty Live Free or Die Hard theme to my profile, but the theme isn’t set up right. It puts black text on top of a black background! And when I try to use the editor to fix it, it destroys other parts of the code.

I keep going around and around with it and it’s driving me crazy! I’m way too much of a perfectionist for MySpace ;P

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged , ,

Tidying up

I’ve made some changes to my sidebar.

In the Links, I have finally gotten rid of my old “Things We Lost in the Fire” Amazon wish list. It’s been almost two years! I did, however, move the items from that list that I still want to have into other lists.

I’ve broken out “Reference and How-Tos” from “Nonfiction”, and I’ve changed “In My Dreams” to “Electronics and Appliances”. I’ve also added my “Games” list, which I’d created on Amazon awhile back but never gotten around to linking.

The wish lists are now grouped according to type, so my list over at is with “Help Me Learn Japanese“, “CDs” and “DVDs” are together, all the books–“Fiction“, “Manga and Graphic Novels“, “Nonfiction“, “Cookbooks“, and “Reference and How-Tos“–are in a group, and “Games” and “Electronics and Appliances” fall last.

I’ve also made some changes to Fun Stuff. My Twitter, Ficlets, Dandelife, YouTube, and MySpace profiles are all linked now. I’ve grouped these with other communities/sites I’m affiliated with. The next group of links are fun Flash videos, then Japan-related stuff, and finally various cool things, to which I’ve added NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Finally, down in Comics, I’ve removed Bruno, which is over, Venus Envy, which updates so slowly that I don’t even care about the story anymore, and Help Desk, which used to be interesting but is now just “meh”, and I don’t have time to read “meh” comics. (I don’t think the content has really changed…I think I’m just tired of that kind of humor.) I have added Achewood, which I could never get into before but for some reason am finding intriguing now, and Evil, Inc.

I’m more and more wanting to redesign my blog template. I know so much more about web design now than when I first put it together. I’d like to keep the main features–the checkered background, the colors, even the style of the boxes around all the content, if not the boxes themselves. But I think the site could flow a lot better, and I would like to lay out my sidebar in lists. I mentioned before thinking it’d be a good idea to have the search as part of the header, and I’d still like to do that. I’m also interested in creating an archive drop-down up there. Of course, ideally, my design would be achieved through CSS, with none of this table garbage.

We’ll see what happens as my ideas congeal. Hopefully this won’t go the way of my fabled shift to WordPress.

(Speaking of which, I probably won’t make that shift. Blogger has had its issues, but it works for my purposes. I like the fact that I essentially have a backup of my entire blog–the static files here on my server, and the Blogger database of my posts and comments over on their server. Plus, WordPress gets hacked regularly, which means I would have to update my software all the time. Also, one of the main features I found attractive on WordPress is obsolete these days. That feature is dynamic pages, and the reason they’re obsolete is that they use too much bandwidth. So, there you have it.)

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged ,

Look at that weird thing

I’ve added a Twitter box to my sidebar. (I also moved the search box to the top. Now I’m thinking I’d like to put the search into the header somewhere, but I’ll worry about completely redesigning my template later ;P)

Twitter is basically a quick way you can let people know what you’re up to. Now I won’t have to put one-line posts on my blog anymore!

Don’t worry; I’ll still do it. But maybe not as much?

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged

Look, I’m on the new Blogger!

And you can’t tell!

That’s because I have a custom template that doesn’t include any of the new Blogger stuff.

At some point I’ll have to fix that…

Edit: Oh dear god look what they do with the post labels! Yes, definitely need to do something about that…


As you might expect, I’m going through a period of questioning. Is there something wrong with me? Do I truly have any skills? Is there any job at all that I 1) would be good at and 2) would enjoy? Do I care too much about enjoying my work? Why do I have so much trouble focusing on boring tasks? Do I need to be on medication? Is there any way I can learn better time management skills?

I’m really just shooting in the dark here, because I don’t know why they fired me, but I think it might have been that they were unable to see what I was accomplishing. Part of that is my fault for not showing them, but part of it is their fault for not asking. I was never given deadlines or any indication of expectations, and I (apparently foolishly) assumed this meant I was free to decide for myself what needed to be done and then present my work to them when I was ready for it to be seen. I would have had something ready next week, I believe.

Did they just decide that I must not be the right choice because I hadn’t managed to pull a website out of my ass in three weeks? That’s very possible. I’m sure there’s someone out there who could do it. Maybe they just wanted to get rid of me and find that person.

It’s frustrating that I wasn’t able to finish the project. It’s hard to just walk away from something that’s incomplete. I keep thinking of things to do that might help or make it better, and then remembering that I’m not working on it anymore. Creative projects are like that…inspiration seems to come at inopportune times, when you’re thinking about something else, rather than during normal working hours. I was hoping that if I plugged away at it for long enough something would come out, and I’m pretty sure something good was coming, but now I’ll never know.

At this point I am really turned off by the idea of web design as a career…mainly because I don’t want something like this to happen again. I feel that I’m slow at it because it’s not something I truly enjoy. I like making designs, but doing them all the time is so draining. I feel that I’d like design to be something I do occasionally–and web coding something I do very occasionally–rather than having those things be the primary focus of my job.

To be honest, right now I feel that I would rather have an easy job that doesn’t require much brain power. That makes me feel lame, but it’s true.

My job at 2go-Box spoiled me and made me egotistical. Maybe the purpose of this job was to knock me down about a trillion pegs, so I’d be on the same level as normal people.

I don’t really know what I want to do now.

I keep thinking of things I’ve lost

I really, really hope that my hard drive is salvageable. I’m looking for fabulous fonts right now, and it occurred to me that I used to have so many fonts…what a pain to have to go out and find them all again :/

(Whine, whine, whine…)


“It’s fine. But it has to be fabulous.”

I’d read about the problems creative directors had with trying to get a concrete idea of what their clients wanted, but now I know their pain.

*goes off to make something fabulous*

Categorized as Design Tagged

Check it!

New template is up. I’m going to tweak the comments plug-in a little bit, and I still need to redo the archive page template, but the bulk of the work is now done. And it’s functional! Yay! circa May 2004

Pollen, and work

Spring is coming. We’re right on the cusp. I know because of the pressure in my sinuses and the beginnings of tears that are suddenly ever-present in my eyes. Yes, that’s right, folks…allergy season is here.

Last night I had a horrible migraine. I thought it was simply due to the work I’ve been doing on a new website for Macross 2051 (I’ve created a new layout and I’m translating it into the proper code for Mambo Content Management System), and though I did take some allergy medicine in the hopes that it would help, I didn’t really believe allergies were the prime suspect.

Today after work I noticed a light dusting of yellow powder on my car. So yeah. Allergies.

Augusta has one of the highest pollen concentrations in the world. Pollen forecast from the Weather Channel; pollen forecast from the makers of Zyrtec. ;> Whichever one you trust, we’ve got pollen, people. I’ve turned on the air conditioning in the hopes that it will help filter some of it out, but I’m getting the feeling that this sinus pressure will stick with me all week :(

In other news…

I haven’t been posting lately, but that’s not due to a lack of things to say. Either I’ve been busy doing something else or I’ve been too tired to write or, the case that happens a lot, I didn’t want to post because I’m going to redo this website in Mambo and I didn’t want to spend energy writing something that I would have to port over later. But heck, I’m going to be working on it for quite some time, so I may as well journal in the meantime. Life’s too short not to blog.

Yes, that was lame. Intentionally lame ;D

Today I talked with Robert about rearranging the office. He had my desk facing one of the sets of windows; I want to turn it to go along the wall to the left, so that I have a better view of the door and so as to open up more space in the center of the room. This will involve shifting some free-standing shelves around and sliding his desk and the mini fridge a few feet away, but it won’t be a big deal, and hopefully the result will make the office look nice and neat. We’ve had clients stop in and we look sort of unprofessional right now. As soon as the main area is laid out the way I want it, I’m going to work on the finer details of spiffifying the office. Should be fun; I like interior design.

I also mentioned to him that I’m going to want a week off sometime in the next two months, and I told him that I would work eight hour shifts the week before or after in order to make up my time. I then asked him when it would be convenient for him for me to go, since the new project will be starting this month. He said that two weeks after the project gets off the ground should be fine, so that means maybe the week of April 5. Of course, you all should know what I plan to do during that time…visit my family!

A week-long vacation to see them will probably be better than the trips I’ve been making, where I go for an undetermined amount of time and then end up getting too attached. One week should be fine. I felt better after the Christmas visit than I had for the other visits, and I really think it was a matter of planning how long the stay would be. I think not having a definite leave date puts me in the wrong mindset, especially towards the end of the visit.

Plus, now I have something to come back to besides housework! (Oh, and Sean, of course ;>)

Today was slower than usual at work, otherwise. I finally managed to scour some of the local magazines for restaurant leads. I also stocked up on printed materials (address labels, instructions, etc), and I affixed quite a few return address labels to bubble mailers. That puts me in good shape for tomorrow, when I have to mail packages.

I just remembered two things I forgot to do while I was at work. Bleh.

I’ll blame them on my sinuses…

Standing on the periphery

Yes, that’s right, you caught me. I’m eating

  • a Klondike bar.

So sue me already! Sometimes you just need goodies…

Here is a special message for a dear friend of mine. You know who you are.

So I’ve been going through the PvP archives for the past few days, as you know, and it occurred to me that I read comics about video games without actually being a player of video games. Sure, I can beat King Koopa in the original Super Mario Bros. (after a multitude of tries), and sure, I indulge in PopCap‘s fantastic Dynomite quite a bit, but I am really no connoisseur (connoisseuse?) of games. Games in 3D intimidate me. I tried to play one of the Mario ones once, and I was totally confused by the shifting camera angle. Supposedly men are better at spatial thinking than women, so maybe I go into it with a handicap. Still, I’m sure I could learn, if I cared to practice. I just don’t care to.

I say that about so many things :>

Anyway, this whole standing on the periphery of a movement and watching it happen but not really participating thing is typical of my entire life, or at least of most of my relationships. I always feel like an outsider, like everyone else is getting things done and going places and I am just watching and trying my best to catch up. I have this wild desire to be cool and interesting and to have people remember me long after I’m gone. It’s really…annoying. I want people to be interested in me, therefore I feel that I must become interesting. I’m not interesting yet, obviously, because I’m not famous yet. Right?


I’m starting to like the design of my Xanga blog better than my main site design. It’s sort of annoying me. Then again, maybe it’s time for a change on my site. I do, after all, favor the color blue. We’ll see if I ever feel like actually changing it.

Speaking of web design, I still owe my mom a redesign of the business site, and I also should redo GP4‘s page and update the Macross 2051 homepage. I really haven’t felt in the mood to design a website in quite some time; otherwise, I would do something for Box of Bunnies, the new website for my local circle of friends. But meh.

I still feel like I’m hungry…like for a chicken sandwich o_o I guess technically I only had two meals today, but still, a sandwich? At this hour? Bleh.