Gabrielle's Life and Writings

Gabrielle Lawson, writer of Fanfiction. I will use this space to keep a journal about my writing, the progress I'm making, stories I'm working on, writer's blocks I'm having, our adoption process and progress and just life in general.

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Location: Missouri, United States

I'm multifaceted and highly educated. I have a BA in History and an MA in Museum Studies. But I couldn't make a living in a museum, so my hobby--computers--became my living. I'm now a charter member Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician. I aspire to be a professional writer and/or poet. I am a Christian and have been living by His grace for the last four years or so, despite the MegaStress and now the GigaStress. He keeps me going, and displays His glory still, in my life.

Friday, September 24, 2004

6-week-old Kittens and am I still in it?

The marathon training, I mean. I don't know. I'm getting discouraged, truth be told. I've got just over $600 in donations. Part of this is my fault. I haven't been dilligent enough about sending out letters and follow-ups. I also haven't had enough money in my budget to do that. I have, on the other hand, sent out 271 e-mails and almost as many follow-up e-mails. Also 100 letters. I've contacted 2 businesses and one of them has turned me down. I have less than 2 dozen donors.

The problem is that, if I want to recommit next month and say "Yes, no matter what, I'm going to walk in that marathon!", I have to have at least $4100 in donations. If I don't, and I still recommit, the remainder will go on my credit card. Yes, I can still keep fundraising up until 30 days after the race in order to be reimbursed, but can I really afford to risk that? Would you?

If I can't raise even $1000, why would I possibly think I could raise $3500 to reimburse back to my credit card.

The thing is I just can't seem to get people to donate. Maybe all my friends and contacts are in the same financial crunch that I am. I am going to try some more businesses and some famous people (Star Trek actors, hockey players). Maybe I'll get lucky.

I'm basically going on faith on this now. I have already bought another 100 stamps. I can't afford to buy any more. I will use the resources available to me now, without buying any more supplies. If God wants me to participate in the marathon, He will provide the other $3500 by recommitment. If He doesn't, I'll regretfully have to say "No, I can't walk though I'd love to. I can't afford to put this on my credit card."

On the physical front, I've not walked as often but I'm still walking just as fast. I did 8 miles two weeks ago in less than 2 hours. I did 5 miles on Saturday in less than 1:15. I'll try to walk tonight and group training will be on Saturday...if I wake up on time.

And on a much lighter note, the kittens are now 6 weeks old! I've had a request to get pics of them up on this blog. I'll have to look into that. I'm not sure how at the moment but I'll see if I can find out.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

I Love my Computers

It's so nice to have them back! I finally got a good install on my server, after 6 tries. The web site an FTP site are also both working! Yay!. You can see the web site (which is just a copy of my other ones out there--and I haven't fixed all the links yet either) at this URL.

In other news, the kittens are doing fine. They are now 5 weeks old and very spunky. TabbyGirl (just temporary descriptive names for now) is turning out to be a long-haired beauty. Daddy must have been Maine Coon. Her twin, TabbyBoy, is also long-haired, just not as long. Bright Eyes looks just like her mother and is perhaps the spunkiest. Last night, while I crouched down to clean their litter box, she jumped right up on my back! She wanted attention! Dice is as adorable as ever, and I just love the black lines extending from Bila's (formerly WhiteGirl--Bila is "white" [fem.] in Czech) eyes. I think she should have an Egyption name when she gets adopted.

Money is very tight, and thus makes fundraising for the Train to End Stroke campaign a bit difficult. It costs $37 to by 100 stamps, for example. I've gotten only less than $600 in donations thus far. I need a lot more than that to go to the marathon. I'm not sure now if I'll be able to recommit in October.

And I got attacked by a dog, a Chow, on my walk around the neighborhood on Monday. I got started late and it was going to get dark, so I had decided to shorten it to only 2 or 3 miles. The dog got to me before I'd walked a half a mile. He didn't bite me, but he was loose and backed me up clear across the street. I was terrified. I didn't have any way to protect myself if he should bite me, so I just screamed and yelled for him to get back, never turning my back to him. I finally started edging down the street and he eventually backed off. I called Animal Control. I hope they came and got him or fined his owners or something. As it was, I only walked one mile and had a friend come get me and drive me home. I was afraid to walk the next day. I should walk tonight, but I don't know that I will. My last walk was Saturday, 8 miles, completed in less than 2 hours.

    Status of Stories
  • No, I haven't been writing. :-( Stress has kept me from it. Darn it.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I Hate Active Directory

All I wanted was an FTP site of my own. I had IIS. It should have been possible. But no matter what I would try, I could not access it from outside my network. So I switched from NT 4.0 to Windows 2000. Well hit a snag there. FTP and HTTP worked, but the domain didn't. I could browse the server from my clients but I couldn't browse the clients from the server or the other clients. Nor could I add domain users to the Local Groups on the clients. Everything said the domain couldn't be found or didn't exist. Even on the server.....

Very annoying.

So I tried something one of the network admins at work suggested, regarding DNS. It didn't actually hurt, but it didn't help either. And in the process, I lost a computer. I had wanted to swap video cards in it for awhile. And since this suggestion involved shutting down the clients, I thought it was a good time to do the swap. In the end, I tried 6 differnet video cards, 4 of them AGP, 1 ISA, and 1 PCI, and none of them worked in that computer. 2 of the AGPs worked in a different computer--and neither one of those were the one I had or the one I'd swapped. So not only were those two video cards killed, so was the motherboard.....

I now have a new video card, which helped to deplete my paycheck. I'm waiting on the motherboard, which didn't get in the mail before the holiday.

And now, this week, the FTP and HTTP don't work either. Fun, fun, fun. I hate Active Directory. I'm reading Active Directory for Dummies now in the hopes that it will make some sense out of all this.

On a happier note: I'm only 110 pounds! Yes, the diet is over and successfully, too! Now I'm on to maintenance, which will take a little getting used to. I weigh myself everyday, so I see every fluctuation. I know I can't panic about every fluctuation, but I know from when I was dieting, what I eat matters. If I take in just a few more calories, I'm liable to go up half a pound. Even if I exercise. So I feel like I'm on a perpetual diet. Aw, heck, it's only been one day so far. We'll see how it goes as time goes on.

No, still no writing. Thinking about money, computers, and Active Directory. All of that's getting in the way of fiction. And voting season is almost here for the MEFAs. Eek!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

End of the month, end of the money

Actually, there wasn't any money at the end of the month, then I got paid on the last day of the month, and now I'm broke again.

All the bills are paid, which is good. But I don't have enough for gas and groceries for the next two weeks until I get paid again. I had to buy a new motherboard (got one cheap off eBay) and video card (found one cheaper than eBay). So now I'm nearly penniless all over again.

Remember that the Train to End Stroke campaign costs me. Yes, I'm asking for donations and I don't have to pay the marathon fee, the hotel stay or the plane fare. But I have to buy appropriate clothes (which I've found on eBay for much cheaper than in the stores) and envelopes and stamps and ink, and paper, etc. 100 stamps is $37! So yeah, it's costing me. And right now, I can't even work on it, because the computer that had all the TTES information in it is the one which is waiting on the delivery of that new motherboard.

Needless to say, the stress is keeping me from writing. ;-(