Almost there...

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Well, there seems to be an overwhelming winner on the glasses, and actually, it was my first choice as well. So I went to purchase them Tuesday night, and that frame style has been discontinued! Aaarrrgh! So, I got the store to give me a 10% discount on their demo frames and took what they had. They'll be ready tomorrow. Ay carumba! Glad I didn't dawdle on that decision.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

snicker. It was a good day for forwarded info. And now, tribes and the polyamorous have a theme song, as sung by the Muppets.

Since the link has a lot of popup nonsense, here's the lyrics to "We Got Us"

Piggy: Life is a funny thing
Sometimes you laugh and sing
Kermit: Sometimes you grumble and fuss
Piggy: But either way what do we care?
Both: We got us
Scooter: We have our ups and downs
Our share of smiles and frowns
Gonzo: But through it all we don't fuss
Kermit: 'Cause we got a special thing goin'
All: We got us
Fozzie: Some people like to go through their life single
Aw, that wouldn't suit us at all
Floyd: Why sing a melody as a soliloquy
When its more fun to be
All: Harmonizing

People they say we are
Crazy the way we are
That we won't even discuss
'Cause what we got they can't smother
We'd trade our life for no other
They've only got one another
But we got us!

I love it when the news vindicates you. Unfortunately, this little piece of news isn't going to stop the record companies from trying to prosecute file sharing users, but they're officially throwing money into the wind. Jerks. When will they ever learn to embrace the new technology and see how they could make money from it rather than digging their heels in and saying anything new is apocalyptic? I know, I know. Never. Sigh.

Monday, March 29, 2004

It's officially time to go visit Ireland! Imagine, a country in Europe where you can eat dinner without choking on cigarette smoke. I'm so there!

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Just when you thought it was safe to come back to the weblog, I present, more pictures! But this time it's for a really good cause. I need the help of my dear friends and readers to let me know which of these glasses look better. I think I like the first pair best, but I'm also awfully tempted by the second pair. They are sold at 2 different stores. One is about $30 more expensive than the other, but I don't want that to be the deciding factor. Glasses become a part of you and your image for so long that getting the right pair is far more important than getting the reasonably priced pair. And since it seems I'm getting a little near-sighted to go along with my astigmatism, I'll be wearing these glasses more and more often.

Contestant #1

Contestant #2

So what do you think?

Which glasses should I get?

Contestant #1

Contestant #2


View Results

Saturday, March 27, 2004

So Tuesday was a not fun day at work, as noted before. But what sense is there in complaining if I'm not willing to do something different?

So I decided to go up the casting call for "The Apprentice 2" today in San Francisco. I arrived at 8 and stood in a line that wrapped around the entire block, then was just beginning to curl back on it's tail. That U-Turn spot made for some instant bonding in the line. Within minutes, a chap from Lake Tahoe (Stan) had me in a picture with him, and we were all swapping stories about what brought us there today.

At 9am, they started handing out wristbands, and the line structure started collapsing, but I managed to stay close to Stan and Chrisalyn and Larissa, and we all started our long journey around the block. They handed out nearly 700 wristbands, and I was number 576. You would think that standing on a sidewalk with 700 strangers would be boring or torturesome, but really, I had a grand time.

I got to read a bit of my book, but mostly I got to spend a lot of time getting to know a dozen or so different folks. I would've expected to find more unemployed folks there, but everyone there seemed to be working and very successful. There were people from so many different arenas of business - a sales engineer at Cisco, a finance manager for Triple A, an interior designer, a real estate broker, a chap who works in mergers and acquisitions, an entrepreneur creating his own products, and so on. If you ever wanted to know what to do with your life, asking these 700 people what they're doing with their lives might be a good start.

At some point, it really was an endurance test.

I made it through the first three sides of the block before I had to break down and run find lunch, but a four block walk to Togos was just the refreshment I needed. The line really brought out the best in everyone. People were plenty willing to hold a spot for you while your ran to get food or coffee or to the bathroom. People even watched your bag or moved your chair along for you. Everyone in line was being the best person they could be that day, and that alone was worth my time.

At 4:30, we were at the door, and we had a team of 8 together who were sticking together. They were interviewing in groups of 13, so we had a few extra folks with us, but it was almost instantly apparent that we had an advantage by having gotten to know one another over the past 8 hours. Brandon, the interviewer, asked us a few questions about current events, then asked us about the current season, and finally, asked us who we felt was a leader amongst us. I was so pleased when Stan, the fellow who I was going to name as a leader in my opinion, named me as the one who he thought was a good leader. I was so surprised, but I couldn't have been more tickled. After 20 minutes, it was all over, and we were back on the street headed home. I don't know how he managed it, but I suggested we all get a photo, and Brandon, who had been interviewing all day long, as part of a 20 day, 5 city trip to do these interviews, was kind enough to take the photo for us.

I don't know what will happen next. If they decide I'm "Apprentice" material, they'll call back sometime this week. If not, that's okay. I'm glad I went just for the sake of the experience. Now if only I'd worn sunblock...

Thursday, March 25, 2004

In my truly deranged attempt to avoid doing work, I decided to finally wander over to OKCupid. It's been getting such mixed reviews from friends, I decided to see for myself.

They say I'm the "Dirty Little Secret". Um, okay. Ultimately, works like a Meyers/Briggs assessment, but with hip naming conventions. Wacky.

Tra-la-la. Okay, back to my Visio flow chart.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Ordinarily, I'm not one to physically manifest stress. People always remark that my shoulders feel tight or whatever, but they always feel like that, and it rarely has anything to do with any particular stress at the time. I just have tight shoulder and back muscles, and a massage is always appreciated.

But oddly enough, for the second time, a conflict with HR and a conflict with Research Compliance at the same time has led me to have a weird nausea stress reaction. The first time this happened a month or so ago, I tried to rationalize it with consumption of bad leftovers, but now I'm thinking it really is stress. I nearly tossed my cookies about 10am this morning. I'm just now staring at my lunch thinking I might convince it to stay down. I feel like I'm channelling Christyn. Very very odd, and very disconcerting.

I am hating my job again today, yet I feel trapped an suckered in by the paycheck I've grown accustomed to. I'm also hemmed in by not having a bloody clue what I'd rather be doing. It has been said that most people lead lives of quiet desperation. I'm feeling that right now. I don't know what I'm capable of anymore or what I should be pursuing. I don't feel like I'm particularly good at anything special or useful. I feel like I've been waiting too long for a golden opportunity to present itself, knowing in my heart that the only people in this world who find golden opportunities are the ones who make create their own golden opportunities, and I don't know where to begin.

Perhaps I should rename"Almost there..." "Almost Where?".

Monday, March 22, 2004

I figured out what's bugging me about the drug reimportation issue. The drug companies (and heck, every other company in America) are making their product offshore with cheaper labor, and sending those drugs around the world and charging different prices in different places.

Americans are noticing that our prices are more expensive than other places and so they're buying from internet pharmacies and such.

Two can play at this game. Oh, but wait, then the companies cry foul. When we do exactly what they did to make production cheaper they act like we're killing them. But they're killing us first. Welcome to globalization. See how you like them apples boys.

Hypocrisy. Ticks me off every time.

But I didn't say that! Um, oh yes you did...

Friday, March 19, 2004

Just updated the Irish Ceili flyer with one of the cool photos Rachel took this week. Too bad color printing is so expensive (like 99 cents a page!). It'd be really cool to hand out in color. Oh well. Still, groovy photo and such. Rachel is such a cool photographer.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I'll tell you a little cosmic secret, Gemini.
One of the best ways to stay on top -- which is where you are now, right?
-- is to keep paying homage to the bottom. So as you harvest your good
fortune in the coming weeks, I suggest you express your gratitude for the
painful experiences that have taught you how to thrive. While basking in
the glow of people's praise and attention, recall the parts of you that are
still unripe. When you come home after a day of radiant success, take out
the garbage.

HAHAHAHAHA! That's exactly what I did. A day of radiant success, followed by taking the trash to the curb. Go Brezsny!

It was a smashing success. It was beautiful. The people were friendly. The bartenders were amazingly easy to get along with. The musicians kept trickling in, and by the time we danced High Caul Cap, the band was perfect. I couldn't have asked for better. We had 16 in the beginning class, and 8 in the intermediate class upstairs. We were all crazy-nervous for the first hour or two, then realized it was working and relaxed into a really great evening. I know attendance will be down next week. There's a number of folks who said specifically that they can't make it for the next couple of weeks, but I think if we can get through the next 3 weeks with some success, then we'll definitely be doing this in the long run.

Thanks to Rachel and Paul for teaching and calling. Thanks to Matt and Christyn for being the only two musicians to formally commit in advance. Thanks to Patrick Ryan, Bill, Art, Mary, and Angelene for showing up and creating an instant band. Thanks to Des for letting us do this thing. Thanks to Jenny and Carolyn for giving us separate tabs for all of us at the same table. Thanks to Patrick and Ayman for bartending and giving us water as needed. Thanks to everyone who showed up and danced. It was perfect. I couldn't have asked for more.

Oh, and if you left a pair of large dance sneakers behind, they're in my car.

Had an unexpectedly blissfully California day yesterday.

Arthur called at 9 and asked after my company for lunch. Looking at my calendar, I had meetings scheduled from 9-12, then 1-6. I gambled, and decided that yes, that hour should be spent having lunch. And it was beautiful. We sat outside in the warm spring day, lunching on salad and pizza. I couldn't have asked for a nicer lunch break. Good weather and good company and good food.

Then mid-meeting in the afternoon, Christyn called, and I decided to answer it. She offered me her hot tub and massage spot at 7:10 at Watercourse since Brian is still sick. I decided to go for it regardless of how much extra work I needed to do right now. I tore out of work at 6:57, headed to Watercourse where I met Rick for an hour in tub 9 with a basket of strawberries and a couple of nectarines for supper.

Got home around 9:30, soaked and scrubbed and rubbed and mellow. This is why I love living in Northern California.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Trying desperately to get ready for Tuesday's ceili while still staying on top of things at work. The one thing I'm really nervous about for Tuesday is musicians. I'm scrambling to get some music together for a backup just in case. The best case scenario is that I don't have to use anything I'm scrambling with right now. Still, gotta have the backup just in case.

Oooh! Better news. Christyn called. Basically, the band (Matt's band) is going to be there, sans drummer. I promised her lots of clapping for rhythym (and lots of clapping for them being so completely cool). And, since Brian is still sick, I get Brian's hot tub and massage time. Sucks for him; doesn't suck at all for me.


Thursday, March 11, 2004

It really was fun the first time, and David sent me these just ages ago. Right now I need a quick brain reboot, so here goes:

1) What habit or vice that many might consider negative is such a part of
you, that even if you could change it, you wouldn't?

I was once told on a performance review that I ask too many questions. I am frequently the one in a meeting to ask something that others are thinking about, but no one wants to say. This sometimes makes people uncomfortable, but I also often here from others after the fact that they were really glad I asked something.

2) What's your favorite comfort food?

When things get really bad, sometimes a scoop of Daqueri Ice on a sugar cone from Baskin Robbins can make it a little better. Other times, it requires bigger guns. This may involve won ton soup from Hong Kong Cafe in Sacramento, or a carnitas burrito from Los Charros, or maybe my own homemade matzo ball soup. Also, Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Toffee Crunch and New York Super Chunk Fudge are also good candidates.

3) What musical instrument that you don't know how to play do you wish
you did?

Violin/fiddle. Wish I could do that. Instead, I dance in appreciation to those that can.

4) What's something, besides dancing, you do so well you make it look easy?

That's a tricky one. I bet that'd be easier for someone else to tell me. I'm pretty good at public speaking, though I suspect there are few who think I make it look easy as much as there are many thinking they're glad they're not up there instead of me. Oooh! I know! I can create amazing screen shot demonstrations that look like you're really moving through a system when really it's all static screen shots. Others have tried, but nobody else on campus can acheive the results I do.

5) What genre would you choose to make the story of your life? Pick a media,
pick a genre, pick an author or director to be in charge. Farsical musical?
Serious autobiography? TV sitcom? Comic book? Or what?

Hmmm. Either autobiographical memoir, or a TV series written and directed by Joss Whedon. His version would be a little different from the truth, but I'd love to see how it was embellished.

So that's it for now. If you'd like five questions, email me. I'll be happy to oblige. If you want to ask me more questions feel free, but it may take me a while before I actually respond to them. Rest assured, I will eventually respond.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Terpsichore, the Whirler, muse of dancing, is your
muse. She is commonly depicted dancing with a
lyre, which I can be pretty sure you do not do.
However, you do like dancing, in most any form.
You may be the next Pavlova, who, we must
remember, was not great because of her
technique, but because of her passion for

Which of the Nine Muses is your muse?
brought to you by Quizilla


I'm doing the crazy thing again. I'm putting an offer on this place on Wednesday evening. It's beautiful. I want to live here. The odds are that there will be multiple offers and I won't be able to compete, but I'm really hoping to win. I'd like to live here. Walking down the Los Gatos Creek Trail in the front yard convinced me. That and the hot tub. And the gas stove. Yep, definitely want to live here. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Well that's mighty funny. Back when the AFA was running their gay marriage poll, they required an email address. So I handed it over, knowing that I've got nice junk mail filter on that account so shant be bothered. Cleaning out the junk mail folder, I noticed that the AFA was taking a new poll, this time about the presidential race. They've also added a security feature to their poll site. Anyway, currently Kerry has busted out a can of whoop ass on George Bush according to the AFA. Kerry has over 90% of the current vote, over 10,000 votes, and that compares to Bush's 3% at 377 votes.

Y'know, I think we may have found a new and exciting way to derail the religious right.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Things are getting a little better at work. I'm hoping the bike has turned around and I'm pedaling back up the hill as best I can, even with two flat tires. One thing is certain - there was definitely a hormonal component at the height of it. I could tell I was reacting more than I needed to, feeling more emotional and beaten than I should, and knowing that I would bounce back eventually, but I just couldn't get it to happen until the body was willing. I started getting my ability to fight back exactly 12 hours before starting my period. I really wonder if I'm going to be a dramatically different person after menopause. I have to admit that on some level, I am ruled by my hormones, no matter how much I try to fight it. Much that I count as 'me' is strictly my biology. It's hard to reconcile that sometimes.

Anyway, the other thing that helped was talking to Shirley yesterday. She's hanging onto E-Protocols even though she has to release responsibility for all of her other stuff in the Project Office to take on the entirety of the Oracle Financials cleanup. This is a big relief. The other thing that brightened things unexpectedly was to hear that she'd been being a little passive-aggressive with Kathy and not calling her back about things that went down last Wednesday. She knew she was doing it. She knew it was a bad thing to do. She also knew that she didn't want to deal with Kathy. Somehow, it made me feel so much better to know that Shirley was being slightly juvenile about dealing with these people too. They really just push you to the limit. Shirley is always the height of professionalism. That Kathy and Research Compliance could get her to go to the point of not being totally professional made me feel a little better about how I'd reacted. Shirley is a fantastic mentor, and when the mentor gets thrown, it's nice to know they're human, and that you can't always be your very very best, and that you'll get through it. Even after all of this, she still respects me, and I still respect her. Even after I told her I'd been a zombie for a week, doing the minimum and leaving as early as I could, she said, "Good. That's the right thing to do right now." God bless her. I'm really going to miss her guidance on the other projects. At least I still get ten minutes a week alone with her walking back from our Friday morning meeting. That's the most valuable portion of the week for me.

And now, Friday Night Waltz! Tomorrow is a class in Transformative Learning, followed by the Crystal Ball in the evening. Sunday is all about sleeping in, and Paul's birthday party. Thank god it's Friday. I made it. I hope next week is better. The last two have been the worst work weeks I've had in a long long time. Funny that my life outside of work during the same period has been so good. Freakish even. Oy. Still I'm ready to get off the work rollercoaster for a while now. Really really ready.

P.S. The other thing that was really theraputic this week was this fun little flash game. The sound effects are perfect.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Lunch today is one of the reasons I love this area. A packed little Indian restaurant, serving a lunch buffet, the place crowded with all races, colors, and religions, eating together, as the French accordian music in the background is nearly drowned out by the conversations of the various diners. The view outside the window is of clear blue skies and sunshine in March.

No guns. No war. No hate. Sikh eating lunch next to American born caucasian agnostic. As it should be.

So I've added an "Atom" feed for my blog. Being my own special brand of technofreak, I'm sad to say I don't really understand how this works, and even sadder to say that I don't know how to use it, but it's there just in case others do.

I'm intending a redesign of this site sometime around my 30th birthday in May. Until then, this will probably just sit there and be ignored. We'll see.

Monday, March 01, 2004

On the flipside, life outside of work continues to be fantastic. All is a go for the Tuesday ceili starting March 16th. Athena made me a flyer on Saturday cause she's the coolest. She also took in my dress on Friday night, so now I'm all set for the PEERS Crystal Ball on Saturday. Athena is officially my hero right now.

Saturday I got a smog check and my car passed. Seated at the auto shop, I started chatting with the guy who came in after me. After a while, the desk clerk said, "Have you guys introduced yourselves yet?" Nope, not formally. He insisted we did so, with last names. Ammy Hill, meet Dale Hill. The clerk said, "I've had two folks with the same car come in one after the other, but never the same last name." Hill is awfully common though. Still, reminded me of how Ray and I met so many years ago in that college theater class. The teacher calling off roll, then saying, "Oh, are you two brother and sister? Uh, no. Married? Um, no - never met before! Funny thing was we were both recent additions to the Traveller's Union, but hadn't actually met yet. Small world.

Saturday night was Gaskells. I wore my new black dress with acres of tule and it got rave reviews. Well, that and my pin curled bangs. I had sort of a 40's starlet look going. Didn't suck one little bit. I danced myself senseless, then went to Au Coquelait for treats and friends. I didn't make it home and into bed until 3:33. After a night of waltzing, I went to sleep at waltz time.

Sunday I didn't have any formal plans, but I wanted to have my day be more than sitting around watching tv. Eventually we decided to run see the Triplettes de Belleville, then followed that up with a trip to see Tschaikowsky (and Other Russians) at ACT in the city. They apparently were having trouble filling the house because the show was on Oscar night. They offered that if you came dressed for the Oscars (men in tux, ladies in gown) then you got in free. We got in free, and got a sort of informal "Best Dressed" award, when "Mr. ACT" asked to please take our pictures for the website. I was wearing the same gown from the night before (shocking!), but it was just as stunning the next day. Acres of tule. I truly looked ready for the red carpet, and heck, my dress is better than most of the ones worn at the Oscars last night, and I'll bet none of them were wearing a $40 outlet dress. I'm really glad Fred talked me into going to the show. It was such a treat to hang out with him and Malaya.

And by the way, Triplettes was fantastic. There were probably not 50 words of dialog in the entire film, but it was such a richly told story, in such a perfectly French way, I fell in love. Running through the Oscars last night at high speed on Tivo, I was actually momentarily disappointed that Triplettes lost out to Finding Nemo for best animated of the year. It was a close race. Nemo is probably better, but both probably belong in the top 10 for the year.

Ah well. Back to the real world today. I'm ready to drown my sorrows in a pot of matzo ball soup.

Work continues to be unbearable. It seems to be a rare day that I make it to 10:30 lately without wanting to cry or quit. Today was no exception. It's sad when I start to envy others total joblessness and destitution. I could quit, but dammit, part of why this is killing me is because I have my heart invested in my work. I feel a genuine drive to make things right here and to fight the fight until I make the very best of the situation, hopefully being totally vindicated in the end.

But those I thought would be allies turn out to be enemies. Those I try to trust now are burdened with my distrust of everyone and everything around me. And poor Rick just gets to hear all about it every night. That boy deserves a medal.

Anyway, it will get better. I just wish I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. All my plans for losing weight by my birthday are out the window since my only refuge is to run away at lunch and since favorite foods are a source of comfort. My new goal is to continue holding under 150. That might be possible. It will get better. It will. It just sucks right now.