Almost there...

Sunday, December 30, 2001

So all week, the Fezziwig's cast mailing list has been active with everyone's thanks and how much they're going to miss it. I wasn't feeling it until yesterday morning. Don't get me wrong. I loved lounging in bed with Tigger tucked under my arm at 10am. It was great. But all day long I felt like I should be dancing, and well, you know, most of the world just doesn't revolve around dance like that. If I'd jumped up and asked the other customer waiting at Saturn to dance with me while we waited for our cars, I'm quite certain he would've thought me a lunatic. Somehow I don't think he felt inspired by the song used in the movie on tv quite the same way I did. I wandered through my day feeling like I really needed to be dancing, and dancing a lot. I felt so slothful. Sigh. Today I'm feeling the same way. Oh well. Morris season will start shortly, and I'll find someplace to dance on New Year's Eve, but it's just not the same. I miss my sisters and Mr. Scrooge. I guess this is how lifelong participation in fairs begins. Batter me up and fry me crispy. I'm hooked for life.

Thursday, December 27, 2001

Argh. Yesterday I wrote a lengthy post regarding my joys and journeys for the past week, but unfortunately, Blogger was hacked into and my post got lost in the aftermath. Suffice to say, I survived my project going live. Out of 14,000 records converted from the old system to the new, only 100 had problems that would prevent payroll from running successfully, and we have two weeks to figure those out (most of which are very minor problems like the person is hired for more that 40 hours). January 7th paychecks should be delivered successfully. We'll see as we get closer.

I also survived the last weekend of Dickens Fair, and I even got married! Well, at least Miss Emilia did. It all happened rather suddenly. Mr. Topham asked Papa for Lavinia's hand in marriage. Papa said that she was too young, and besides, her two older sisters would have to be married first. Mr. Hopkins quickly obliged and asked for Cordelia's hand in marriage. Topper promptly asked if that was sufficient, and requested to marry Lavinia again. Mr. Fezziwig said, "Of course not! Miss Emilia still has to find a suitable husband first!" I promptly added that I have no intention to marry until I find someone who can show me the world and take me on many adventures. An hour or so later, Mr. Fairfax caught me backstage and proposed that I should marry him. I again repeated my statement that I had no interest in marriage unless it would bring me adventure. He said that he was a man of independent means and that we could travel the world. I said, "Let's go!" After some discussion, we decided to elope and send Papa a telegram from Gretna Green. The telegram arrived promptly at 5:40, and Mama cried and Papa nearly fell over he was so stunned. We arrived promptly on the heels of the telegram, allowing just enough time for everyone to react. I announced, "Oh Papa, we've just returned from the most fantastic adventure to Egypt! We even saw a mummy's tomb when we visited Mr. and Mrs. Petrie on an archaelogical dig. Mr. Fairfax wanted take me on to see the tea plantations in India and China, but I insisted that we couldn't possibly miss the Christmas party! Mama inspected my finger for a ring, and Papa welcomed Mr. Fairfax into the family. Then we went into the parlor carol sing. Hee hee! I was introduced around as Mrs. Fairfax (which actually did make me squirm a bit oddly enough. Miss Emilia likes being young and free as much as I do! And she likes being a Fezziwig!) and generally it was a good bit of fun for a while. Miss Lavinia was again told she was too young to marry, but she was introduced to everyone as "Miss Fezziwig", an honorific reserved only for the eldest unmarried daughter.

Christmas went well. Rick liked his new cordless drill. I got two copies of Moulin Rouge (yay!) which we watched one of on Christmas morning on the new DVD player I got for my mom. My Christmas present from Rick proves that he does listen to me at least some of the time. He got me an event rather than a thing. We're headed to San Francisco for a chance to see Teatro Zinzanni! I can't wait. I've been dying to see them for at least a year now.

All in all, it's been a good week. Hectic as all get out, but good. And I'm nearly ready to take on January. I just really wish I had this week off to recover. I really need a break, and I know I'm not going to get a real one until this week next year.

Monday, December 17, 2001

Somehow, even though there's another week of insane schedules and wacky hijinks facing me, I somehow feel like I've made it over the hump. One week until Christmas. Dickens Fair has one weekend to go. I have one more week of teaching multiple classes. I have managed to get some Christmas shopping done and I expect that I will have at least one evening this week available to do the rest of the critical shopping (grandparents, mom, aunt, and cousins). The training database is still messed up, but I'm getting used to tap dancing around that so it isn't bothering me as much. The real production database goes live to payroll and benefits on Thursday. Still, none of it seems to be weighing on me at the same level. I guess it's just that come Christmas morning (barely a week from now!), I know I'm going to get to sleep in and relax for a moment. There's a big mental "WHEW!" for having survived all of this so far. I knew that December was going to be completely insane. I knew I was overbooked. I knew it was too much. But I only had one tiny moment of overwhelming collapse, and I still managed to meet all of my responsibilities in the end. Allow me just to add a giant thank you to Rick for putting me to bed multiple nights when I fell asleep on the sofa, and for having a hot dinner and a hot foot soak for me most Sundays when I came home from fair, and for generally putting up with me when I haven't had any time for him. He's a sweetie. Although he doesn't understand why I feel driven to work and play this hard, he tolerates it nobly. As for me, I feel younger than I've felt in ages. I thought sure that my body or soul would utterly give out at some point this month, but I've reminded myself just how resilient my body is and how well I can manage my time. The only thing I'm really really far behind on is email, and that happens from time to time under normal time constraints.

Thursday, December 13, 2001

The late night did end up meaning that the database worked sufficiently yesterday. Thankfully, this group of folks from H&S was much brighter and caught on quickly to the material. Still, I was exceptionally careful not to say anything funny that might be misconstrued later. I also avoided doing any puzzles or games. Some of the students complained to my boss that I needed to lighten up. She explained that with the last H&S group they had complained that there was too much joking around and so I had specifically curtailed this as a result. They were disappointed but understood. Whew. Hopefully they won't be going back and complaining at the levels that the last group did. It was really tricky not to let any of my sense of humor into the room. I slipped up more in the afternoon than I did in the morning. The upside was that everyone laughed when I did, so hopefully they weren't secretly offended. Sigh. I found myself rethinking everything I said trying to see if I sounded arrogant, or condescending, or offensive. I just don't want to be smacked down again. Not when I'm working as hard as I am. Working this hard is easy if you feel like your contributions are being appreciated. When I'm told I'm doing a bad job, and I'm working this hard, my spirit just can't take it.

Unfortunately, the late late night took it's toll on my immune system and I've been fighting a sinus thing for the past two days. Luckily it's mild enough that taking some Sudafed is allowing me to sleep comfortably and function adequately during the day. The only noticeable effect is on my voice and throat. No calling the dances this weekend for me!

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

After pulling a thirteen hour day at the office teaching, revising the manual for Manage HR Records, and assisting Jo-Ann with the Allocate Labor Costs tutorial, I'm now waiting for a call back from Javier about the training database. I'm scheduled to teach again at 8am. I'm also scheduled to teach an all Humanities and Sciences group again. After my first taste of dealing with this school last week, I'm still a bit wounded. The thought of going back into battle with little or no sleep scares the crap out of me. The thought of going in with a broken database scares me just a little bit more though. So I've been testing it with Javier, trying to get it to cooperate, and so far it's looking dismal. My only hope right now is that it will be dismal enough that the class will be cancelled.

Last week's H&S class nearly broke my spirit. My high school students routinely behaved far more maturely than these folks. One HRO spent a great deal of class time talking to the person next to him, or talking on his cel phone and then proceeded to not be able to perform the functions I'd taught correctly because he hadn't paid attention. He answered several calls during class, and had full conversations. Other folks complained that I was condescending and arrogant, but didn't cite examples. Nevertheless, their boss passed along this critcism to my boss, my boss's boss, and my boss's boss's boss. Someone who had been scheduled for the class was having trouble with the online tutorial because they waited until the last minute to complete it, and then there was a connectivity problem started a special ruckus of her own. I managed to get her rescheduled for this week's section, running all over the place and bending over backwards to do so. When she finally did complete the online course, she got a low score and suggested that she would rather just forget the whole thing. I suggested that maybe she could talk to her supervisor about a non-PeopleSoft role in her department. She complained that this was the most offensive thing she'd ever been told. I've gone out of my way for these folks again and again, and got nothing back but harsh, unqualfied criticism. Half of the class complained in their course evaluations that the class was too long and could have easily been a one day or even a half-day class while on the very next evaluation, one person wrote that I moved too quickly and seemed annoyed at questions and didn't have any compassion for how much material they had to learn and how they couldn't possibly be expected to learn all of this in two days. I couldn't win. So I had planned to get a good night's rest, and go in with my shields up tomorrow and avoid letting any of my spirit into the classroom. Again, the thought of facing them on little or no sleep scares me spitless. Add to that the sore throat and runny nose that has troubled me all day, and I just don't know how I'm going to get through tomorrow or the rest of the week.

Thankfully, I had the class I taught for the last two days to restore my spirit on some level. The class went swimmingly. The students caught on. Even those that struggled seemed to really get it by the end. Even when they made errors, they were able to figure out what went wrong with a gentle nudge. And several of the classroom evals came back citing specifically that I was a great instructor, and I had made the class enjoyable, and I had kept the pacing just right. Thank god I had a chance to teach that class in the interim between the two H&S sections. I know I'm a good teacher. I just wish I could figure out why the folks in H&S have so much hostility. They walked in angry, and just looked for a target. It happened to be me.

Monday, December 10, 2001

Just looking back at the postings for last week, I noticed that I forget to post something I noticed about Buffy the Musical. In the scene where Marti Noxon is singing the song begging to be released from her parking ticket (I'm asking you please no! It isn't right! It isn't fair! There was no parking anywhere. I think that hydrant wasn't there!, etc), the song goes on even after Xander and Anya start talking again, but it fades to the background. Just before it fades entirely, the last line is "Hey, I'm not wearing any underwear." Snicker. God I love Joss Whedon's sense of humor. 'k bye.

I've officially reached the point of extreme tiredness. I did something I've never done before this weekend as a result. I was sitting having some lunch and reading a book at a table at Dickens Fair on Sunday. Somehow I managed to slump over and fall asleep for something on the order of forty minutes. This was of course, in a corset, in an exceptionally noisy public place, with bells being occasionally rung around me whenever a customer gave a tip. How I managed to fall asleep in this environment and stay asleep for a good long time after drinking several caffeinated beverages to avoid such behavior is utterly beyond me. When I did finally wake up, I sat up with a start, apologized to the people across the table from me (who weren't the same people as the ones that were there when I'd fallen asleep), and wiped the drool off of my sleeve. The woman across the table said, "Oh I love your outfit by the way." "Uh, thanks," says I in my least Victorian accent. A quick check of my watch said I had 15 minutes to be back for my next shift. Good timing I suppose. Still, I think I should stay home rather than going to dance in Berkeley tonight. Yeesh.

Friday, December 07, 2001

Yet another ridiculously long night at the office. While waiting for PeopleSoft, I started browsing and ran across this fascinating quiz. I've got to send this to my mom. The question is, will I have the guts to send it to my grandparents?

Monday, December 03, 2001

After some complaint, it turns out that is now a service you must pay for. Unfortunately, when this change was made, the site administrator didn't send out an email to notify people. In fact, until I mentioned it to him after asking what the deal was, it still had an animated gif on the front page that said "Sign Up! It's Easy! It's Free! Click Here!" Oh well. Times are a changing. Luckily the price they're asking is quite reasonable: $5.99 a year. I signed up for a year, so now my wishlist is visible again.

Of course that doesn't help my grandparents since their internet service, like ours, was cut off on Friday night when Excite@Home cut off service as part of their bankruptcy. Remember when the internet was changing the way the world worked? I miss those heady days full of promise. Sigh.

Anyway, you can now actually check out my Christmas wishlist if you're interested.

I'm probably not going to the Plough this week because I'm convinced I need more sleep. I can tell when I'm over tired when I sleep through my alarm for multiple minutes. I slept through it for forty minutes on Sunday morning, and had the weirdest dreams about the Indian film industry. My friend Naomi had gotten into making Indian (as in Baliwood) musicals, and she was making them at UC Berkeley. I went to a discussion she was supposed to be leading about them on campus at Dwinelle Hall. It turned out instead that it was actually filming a movie. We got bored and left between scenes. It was all really weird. When I finally realized it was REALLY REALLY weird that Naomi would be making Indian films, rather than just odd that it was filming rather than a discussion, I finally woke up. Of course, by then it was 8:11. I needed to be at the Cow Palace, in costume at 9:30, and it's an hour drive. And getting into a corset, hoops, and full Dickens costume in less than 20 minutes is impossible. Ah well. Late this time. Better luck next time.

So I was thinking this weekend about George Harrison's death. It doesn't affect me much because I was never a Beatles fan, but I was trying to think of something equivalent for my generation. Even for folks who weren't big fans of the Beatles, for those that grew up with them - as in, those that were in junior high, high school, or college when the Beatles first became popular - it must be quite a shock. George didn't die from sex, drugs, and rock and roll at a young age per se. He died of cancer, something that could attack and kill anyone in their mid fifties.

The rough equivalent for someone in my generation would be to see Madonna die of something like breast cancer at age 53 (which is only ten years from now for her!). Or if she died from Alzheimer's Disease at 63. If something like that happened, I would suddenly feel a whole lot older myself. I'm guessing that is just one of the emotions the average 45-65 year old is feeling this week.