Almost there...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

How to Make an Ammy Puddle

Last night as I climbed out of the shower, I sat on the bench in the kitchen fussing my hair. Rick took my towel and marched me down the hall, insisting that I lie down and enjoy the massage. I said, "But..." then shut up other than "Oooh... good spot." for the next 40 minutes. This is the wonderful guy I remember living with prior to 2 years of unemployment and a bad winter holiday season. It's nice to be back from the alternate universe.

Five Graves

Remember yesterday when I was wondering about the set of five graves with "Vengence is mine..." and so forth written across them? Well, Ali has managed to confirm the worst fear - it was indeed murder most foul. With an axe. Ew. Quite a story really. But ew. Remember ladies - marry well, or your slacker of a husband may whack you with an axe. Or something.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Infinite Improbability Drive

Zaphod must've turned on the Infinite Improbablity Drive again, because I just had a highly improbable situation happen. There's a woman who was a former student and current employee. When she logged into Axess to get her old transcripts for a grad school application, she didn't get the page she needed in Axess. She just got the employee pages. You're supposed to be able to access them for five years after graduation. When I logged in as her in the FIX environment, a day old copy of the real environment, I saw all the tabs she should see. When I checked her security in the production environment, it was just staff roles. Totally flummoxed, I could see the tabs, but there seemed to be no security associated with it. When I log in, tabs. When she logs in, just employee info. Over the phone, I looked up the data she needed most in the FIX environment and told her I'd get back to her after I figured it out. I called over a coworker (since this is part of my new gig), and we both stared at it trying to figure it out, flipping between various access points, finally checking her security in FIX to make sure it matched the PRD security. It didn't. It had alumni roles. It turns out, today, the only day in all this time since she graduated, is the very day that her last quarter of enrollment ended. Happy Anniversary? Um, yeah, you'll have to walk into the reg office now to get that data.
Yeah, so that was weird. And yes, I'm looking forward to the new Hitchiker's movie.

Coming Up For Air

Well, having mostly caught up to the craziness that is work (or at least to the point that I didn't feel compelled to work ofer the weekend for the first weekend in at least a month), and filed my taxes last week (whew!), this is the first weekened in a long time that I've felt like I had a real weekend. We watched Battlestar Galactica over breakfast Saturday morning. Rick finished digging up the tree stump and we planted the second front tree Satruday afternoon. Auntie came down and we went to yummy dinner at Chevy's and came home to watch Stage Beauty and I (heart) Huckabees. Huckabees was interesting, but Stage Beauty was fantastic. I saw previews for it, but then never found it in the theater. Camera 12 said they had it for a week. This is a crime. This was such a good movie. It's the story of the transition point where men playing women on stage transformed into women playing women, both of which were "morally degrading" but for different reasons. Billy Crudup is fantastic as Mr. Kynaston. His anguish is perfectly portrayed. And they manage to make the denouement as shocking and edge of your seat for the audience in the scene as well as the audience watching the screen. Lovely.

Sunday was spent at brunch with Kevin and Rachel and Ali and Mark and Cyrus and Athena and Kira (Kev's cubemate), her husband, and their son Max. Good brunch was had including an absolutely divine Passionfruit Sorbet. Yum! We then set out for the cemetary for a good walk, lots of exploring, and some photos of graves and Easter eggs. The most fascinating thing we stumbled upon was an old gated grave site with six stones, one passed earlier, but the remaining five had "Vengeance is mine, saith the lord. I shall repay." scribed across the five gravestones (with the single interruption on the fourth stone). All of those folks died May 26, 1897. Very curious. The other interesting item was the big celtic cross headstone that had a dollar sign in the center on the front side, but not on back. Rachel (Fisher) kept finding interesting head stones that she liked, and oddly, the two she was drawn to were both for Fishers.

Came home feeling a bit poorly (Ammy doesn't do wind well, and it got very windy, right before the raining), and chilled out for a while. Finally decided to take back the videos from the night before, and picked up Dead Like Me and Ella Enchanted. Frittered away the remainder of my evening. Dead Like Me was fun. Looking forward to some more episodes of that. Ella was fun, but a little grating at time. When she picked up a bow to play her mandolin, I cringed. But if taken in the right fluffy spirit, it's a good children's farce with a strong cast including Anne Hathaway, Cary Elwes, and Eric Idle. Fun, fluffy, and non-threatening. Last, off to bed feeling like I'd actually relaxed this weekend, making work less work this morning. It feels a bit like I've been driving seventy on the freeway in fourth gear for a while, with the engines whining. Not feeling quite like that this morning. Except when I look to Friday when I take over my new job full-time and won't be done with my old job (and the major testing and retesting and communications and web training development that needs to go on there. But heck, it'll all work out. It always does.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Bunnies vs. Thursday Next

Okay, remember that thing where I had the dilemma about which book to start? Well, the dilemma was solved, sort of - just read both at once. So Something Rotten is my bedtime book and I've got about 100 pages left, and I'm already sad to see it gobbled up so quickly. The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies is also a hoot in much the same way, and it's become my lunchtime/waiting room/bored now book. So, a strange and surreal detective novel set in Toy City where the detective's partner is a toy bear, who ultimately is the smarter of the two, but who is prone to drinking too much, which makes his stuffing soggy. And then there's the strange and surreal detective novel with Thursday's husband who was eradicated through time travel, whose last job was working inside the book world as a jurisfiction agent and who brought Hamlet out on vacation with her, and whose 2 year old son speaks in Lorem Ipsum, and all of this is set in an alternate 1988 where cloning is commonplace and Thursday has a pet dodo. Funny thing is, I generally don't care for detective novels, except for when they're this surreal. Truth be told, these two books are wonderfully complimentary, and I'm having a ton of fun reading both.

But what will I read when they're done? Ah well, I'm sure I'll find something.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Pixel is the Cutie-est!

I don't know if he does this when he's at home by himself all day, but when I'm working from home, he entertains himself all day long. And then, when I want to play too, we'll play chase around the house, alternating who is chasing and who is hiding, or he'll play fetch with his feather or mousie toys. It truly is excrutiatingly cute. Oh, and he definitely knows his own name nowadays. I say Pixel and he does this cute little trill and looks over, cocking his head. He's such a great kitten, even if he's not officially a kitten anymore. He really hasn't grown up (except in size! Our 12 pound huge kitty!) so he's just a hoot to play with. Chase is a lot of fun, with him skidding past me as I hide in the bathroom and he gallops from the bedroom to the kitchen, sliding into the rug in front of the sink. Oh, and speaking of rugs, another of his favorite self-entertainments is to hide under the rug and reach out to grab the toy he dropped on it before he climbed under. He's such a great cat. I'm so glad he showed up.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Pagan Quiz

You scored as Greek Pantheonic Pagan. One of the best well-known pantheons around is Greek, due to the popularity of the Greek myths. Pagans who fall into this catagory tend to follow the Mother and Father images of Zues and Hera, but it's not at all uncommon for their patron deities to be other Greek Gods or Heroes, such as Ares, Hades, Persephone, Apollo, Artemis, or Dionysis.
Lusty and dramatic, the Greek Gods call to those who like epic tales and wild romance. You either already are a Greek Pantheon follower, or else you look to them often for insight.

Greek Pantheonic Pagan


Ecclectic Pagan


Roman Pantheonic Pagan


Egyptian Pantheonic Pagan


Zoroastrian Pagan


Sumerian, Babylonian, and Mesopotamian Pagans


Norse Pantheonic Pagan (Asatru)


Shamanic Pagan


Kabbalistic Pagan


Eastern Pagan


Celtic Pantheonic Pagan


Catholic (Pagan?)


What kind of Pagan are you?
created with

It's absolutely right! I'm an initiated woman in a neo-Hellenic pagan group. But I've also studied Babylonian, Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Roman mythologies. Artemis is my favorite, but I've got an ankh around my neck. And at the end of the day, the mythologies are really only a wonderful metaphor to describe daily life and the rituals are just an experience in living deliberately. Mmm yah.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Evil Microsoft

So my computer has a fun new trick. When I click an item in the task bar to bring it to focus, it doesn't work. Sometimes. Intermittently. Right now it's doing it. Last night it wasn't. It's making me insane. So now, to complete the revised demo I'm creating, I have to take a screen shot, minimize the browser window, use Powerpoint underneath, then maximize the brower window again, all for one shot. I've got something on the order of 200 in the presentation. And woe to me if I choose to go check a different window on my desk. I have to minimize each item one by one.

Has anyone else out there experienced this? Any advice (other than "Buy a Mac")?

Got a big bowl of bright red strawberries to soothe my soul. It's almost working.

Friday, March 11, 2005

So Lovely

I started out having a bad day. I had a headache from the night before and had to teach 3 classes before noon. I popped into the office to find no hot coffee, so I took my ibuprofen with cold coffee from the day before. Bleh! At the second class, several folks got all wrapped up in the approval process and how you could assign ANYONE as an approver. Yes, yes you could assign your buddy to approve something. And that would be on the audit record as a non-default approver, and if you were doing something inappropriate, you would be called on the carpet. But you can change the approvers! Yes, yes you can, because there are situations where you need somthing approved and the ordinary approver is out on vacation or sick or on leave. Anyway, we went several rounds on that, and I finally managed to just move on, and the person didn't try to drag the whole group back in; she just grumbled to the person next to her and shot me evil looks. I could care, but I just don't. That piece of how the system works was decided by a working group 3 years ago, and she can be as pissy as she wants to about it but it's been vetted by internal audit, so she can deal. Anyway, that made that session run long. Moreover, I ran out of handouts because I thought 70 would be enough, but the house was packed. Sigh. I showed them where to print their own online. I got done with the third session and found that the UAT database was down so there was no chance we could fix the work stoppage issue today. It has to wait until at least Tuesday morning. But testing has to happen today! And I have to field the dozen HelpSU requests and lead them through the work around. And test. Yeah, at the same time. Grr.

So lunch arrived, and I worked through it, missing my dance class. By 1:00, I was grumpy. Really grumpy. I told my roomie I'd be back and I went and got on my bike. I wanted some lunch. I didn't know where, so I just pedaled around in the beautiful weather for 30 minutes, riding past several options and finally deciding on a sandwich from Lutticken's Deli because I could eat that outside, sitting in the shade with flowers blooming in my peripheral vision and ate my sandwich and drank my soda and read my book. After a half hour of that, I came back to the office with 1. a little exercise, 2. fed, 3. caffeinated, 4. having taken some me time to read. Ready to face the rest of my day, I dove into the help queue and killed off a bunch of tickets. Now for testing, and then time to go home.

And can I just say again how completely lovely it is outside today. It's lovely. Perfect. Warm without being hot. The smell of spring is in the air. The hills are green and lush. Having spent an hour visiting it, I'm pretty sure I can live another couple of hours in my windowless cave. Eventually, I'll make it back outside, and that's a good thing.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Ooooh. I want.

So last Friday at Friday Night Waltz, Richard was plugging the dance week in Paris and another in Prague. I thought, hmm, sounds fun. Then I looked. That was the worst thing to do. Now I really really really want to go. A week in Paris, dancing madly, taking lessons from my favorite instructors, and hello! Paris! Oh yeah. So tempted to run away to Paris in July.

Monday, March 07, 2005

A Good Book

So I've started reading Something Rotten, and I must say that any book that makes me giggle out loud in bed is well worth reading. There's this part early on where our heroine has arrived home from the book world, and she's brought Hamlet with her. The ordinary greetings ensue. Thursday's mom says, "Pleased to meet you. I'm Mrs. Next, Thursday's mother."

"I have a mother," replied Hamlet gloomily as he bowed politely and kissed my mother's hand. "She shares my uncle's bed."

"They should buy another one in that case," my mother replied, practical as ever. "They do a very good deal at IKEA, I'm told."

It continues from there, but that was enough for a snort and giggle in bed. Ah the joys of a Nextian universe...

Friday, March 04, 2005

We Did It!

Workflow is live and out there for the users. There's around 400 users and around 500 potential approvers. I've done 2 general training sessions and trained payroll. I shepherded the user and approver setup. I've done last minute testing and trouble shooting and helped resolve a new issue last night so that we could migrate the change to production today. I've done system checks after the users were loaded and confirmed that things are working as intended. The system is out in the wild, and now it's up to the users to direct our next move. I'm still holding my breath, but I'm also bringing a bottle of champagne to work tomorrow for when our first transaction gets approved.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Moment of Truth

So I did my first training sessions today, and the first session ran a little long, and the next one ran a little long, but the third one was short. This was pretty much as expected, but starting the first one on time will fix that, and the middle one will always be about 5 minutes long and that's going to be fine because the last one is only 35-40 minutes so it will all work out.

I've made it through the rest of my day, but about an hour ago, I apparently came down off all the adrenaline that's been running me for the past five days and I feel so sleepy, and the bucket of Diet Coke has done nothing to perk me up. So, early to bed tonight methinks.

Rick has been great the last couple of days, helping me set up a light in the middle of the night, doing dishes and laundry and taking out trash and setting up my home workstation so that I could work from home effectively on Monday. It's been a crazy few days, and I'm happy to say he's really been there for me through it.

But now, I need to do my timesheet for last week and go home. More testing tomorrow morning. More training at 1pm tomorrow. Go live to the user community on Thursday night. Almost there...

Kinko's Kicks Ass

So I fiddled with the job aids for the last few hours, fixing this and that, and printing and proofing and reprinting and reproofing. Ultimately, I had to either go into work waaaaaaay early tomorrow to make copies, or do the recommended procedure for large copy jobs (which I almost always ignore) and go to a copy center and make copies. So I went to the Kinko's over by Bob's house, which is a big shiny 24 hour Kinko's. It ruled. My first 100 page copy job was done before I had programmed in the second 60 page double sided copy job. The massive 12 page double sided stapled monstrosity was done before I finished 2 rows of knitting. And then I was on my way home in under 20 minutes for nearly 1000 copies. That rocked. It would've taken me 2 hours at the office. So in the future, armed with fresh new knowledge about the coolness that is my local Kinko's, I'll be taking the advice and making my large copy jobs closer to home.

Of course, Kinko's prices for color copies is ridiculous, so instead I printed my color items at home on my little Epson Stylus 860. I call him Sparky. Sparky churned out 200 pages with color images and lots of black text and never even asked for the shiny new ink cartridges I bought for him today. The only thing Sparky ever wanted was more paper.

In penance for all the trees I've killed today, I've bought two new trident maples for the front yard and a 4-in-1 Peach/Nectarine/Apricot/Plum tree for the back yard. They shall be planted this weekend.

Sleep now. Training at 9. Here's hoping everything goes well.