My manager called me to his office today, and told me what my annual bonus was going to be. OMG. Let's just say that getting new skiis at the end of the season will not be an issue.
I dropped off Courtney at the airport for the last time. Her "6-months" commuting stint is finally coming to an end -- 2 years later. She'll be back next week for one last time, but arrives Wednesday around 8AM, and my flight to Reno leaves at about 6:30. I'm going to miss her going away luncheon at work, which is next Thursday. We added each other to our AIM list, and will keep in touch that way, hopefully for many more laughs, which we always have together.
Today at lunch, she told me about two things she's planning for her upcoming wedding, which sounds so cool. One, she is going to ask everyone coming to tell her the name of the one song they know that if they hear it, they can't not dance. She is going to try and play them all at the reception, and she's going to make a CD with all the songs on it to give out to everyone. How cool.
The other thing she's going to do is get a picture of everyone they're inviting, and make a little booklet -- a la a yearbook, with each person's picture in it, and a caption under it, perhaps her (or Ben's) favorite memory of that person -- to hand out to the guests as they arrive. That way, when people first get there, and "mingle," it will be a great ice breaker. Perfect.
I'm really really looking forward to it. She has already decided that she's going to ask all of her gay (men) friends, of which she has many, to each give her a rose as she walks up to get married. That will be her bouquet.
I stopped at home and picked up the drinks, ice, Oreos, and Ritz crackers to take to the Usability Lab. I squeezed into a ridiculously tight metered spot on Hillsborough St. As it was just after 5:00, though, I didn't feed it.
When Amelia arrived, she told us that her brother who participated on Tuesday, for whom I was the test monitor, said on the way home to her, or later in the evening, "That John guy was as queer as a three-eyed cat." Of course I was expecting the age-old "queer as a three-dollar bill," and spent the rest of the night wondering where in the world a "three-eyed cat" came from. And now I'm wondering again. Google returns: Your search - "queer as a three-eyed cat" - did not match any documents.
I hate not being able to understand similies or metaphors. It's been at least three weeks since someone at the bar told me while pointing to someone, "I've fucked that guy, and he's like fucking a hot cup of coffee." What in the hell does that mean? I am still trying to derive some meaning from it after all this time. And, you guessed it: Your search - "like fucking a hot cup of coffee" - did not match any documents.
Being bothered by not understanding the comment as opposed to the hearing of the comment itself is a welcome, however. The first 35 years of my life were spent so desparately trying to hide, that hearing a comment like that would definitely have been an attack on my entire being, sending me to a very dark psychological place. It's so freeing now being out and reacting to those kind of comments with the (slightly modified) inimitable words of Bette Davis to Joan Crawford in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane: "But you are, Blanche. You are." (The words in the movie were actually: "But you are in that chair, Blanche. You are!")
Our first participant today was Amelia's sister, for whom Angel was the test monitor. It was a good session, in spite of Amelia cracking on her sister as we watched her in the observation room via the camera. We laughed way too much. She was unable to do one task, which is good. That will probably give us some good information.
Next, Charlie went, for whom Will was the test monitor. Me, Angel, and Amelia were three cackling girls in the observation room. Charlie was our "most sophisticated" user, owning two or three of his own computers, and working as a computer programmer at IBM for a living. We had one task in which we had hoped at least one person would use the product's "Help" system. None of the other three had, which was disappointing, and we had little hope with Charlie.
But, lo and behold, when he got to that task, he did select Help from the tool bar. Well, the crowd in the observation room just went wild. We were carrying on like cheerleaders reacting to the game-winning touchdown. As we stopped pig-snorting and set our pom-poms down, Charles was finishing the task, and I said, "Oh my g-d, if he were to use the help again, I think I would just cum." (Is that what I really said? I think I may have said "spew forth" instead.)
Charles starts the next task, and says, "Well, the Help system is still open, I might as well use it again." Oh my g-d. We went nutso -- celebrating and laughing hysterically at the same time. Who knew? Our most experienced user using the hell out of help. Usability testing at its best.
I had a few minutes before class, and checked my mail online. I found my graded genre paper in my inbox. 98%. I was thrilled. Dr. Swarts' grading system is so intricate. I mean the total points possible for the grading criteria of "Sources," was 2 points, and I got a 1.96. Now that's intricate.
I am so ambivalent about revising the paper. I really love the subject, and can easily incorporate a couple of his suggestions, but my g-d, it's a 98. I'm just afraid that if I don't, at the end of the semester, I'll miss the next grade up in the class by 2 or 3 points and then will kick myself for not. I missed an A+ in 512 last semester by 3 points.
I have saved the paper on my laptop to take with me to Tahoe. I may work on it on the plane. I love to use my laptop when I travel; it makes the time just fly by. Plus, I have to bring my laptop with me anyway, as one simply must be able to devise one's blog entries during one's traveling. That last sentence sounds so like something a three-eyed cat would say.
I wondered about Mark in class tonight, as he was absent. People have so much going on in their lives.
I went to Flex at about 11:30. I spent most of the night talking with Chris from White Rabbit. Michael L. was there, and in the show tonight. He sang some song from Chicago, I believe. This white guy from the audience got up there a couple of times and sang some sort of rap song, that I think everyone there, but me, knew. He really had an incredible voice, and I'm not even a big rap fan. As I left, Chris was following this "straight" guy into the bathroom... Men are pigs.