Almost there...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Freedom Dansleeker

So some folks have been asking me about the groovy new dance shoes I've got. They're from Capezio. They're inexpensive, great soles that wrap around the toes and heel, and snap on instantly. Anyway, groovy little dance shoes. Thought I'd pass it along.

Angst and Hope

Tomorrow I learn my fate within Administrative Systems.

Tonight I work late on a project for that department because of insane deadline set by those that will lay me off. People tell me to blow it off and go home, but I can't, because ultimately I won't let the deadline be missed because I slacked off.

Next week I have interviews with three different organizations, both on and off campus. Hopefully one of them will see the value in this flower, too long starved of water, getting a little withered around the edges, but ready to bloom with just the slightest amount of sustenance.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Office Space

We went to Cinema San Pedro tonight to see Office Space. Every time I see that movie, different parts make me laugh out loud. Right now, it's especially apt. I finally find out Friday what my official layoff fate. It could be 30, 60, or 90 days notice. Or, it could be a miracle and be a job, but not one that includes training, which is still my first love. I spent Tuesday morning cleaning out my desk and bookshelves, taking away all personal stuff and cutting down to the minimum for functioning. I just couldn't get my heart into the work I should have been doing. So that's done. Rumors abound around the office. Decisions have been made and now they're just pulling together "packages" that either say, "You've got X days." or "Congratulations, your new job is...." I'm just not sure I'm even remotely rooting for option B at this point.

So, irons in the fire, nothing come to fruition yet. Here's hoping something comes together soon. And for the next few days, all this nonsense is going to make me giggle to myself repeatedly as folks talk about reports, cover sheets, staplers, cubicle spaces, and executive potential.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Scott talked me into a fifth Tuesday ceili. I initially thought "Ack! Not til after the Browncoat Ball!" But I dove in and did it. I taught polka sets and it went beautifully. Paul called most of the night til I took over for Fairy Reel. About 45 people showed up and we had four sets of Haymaker's Jig with five in each set. It was fantastic. And Michael Murphy, the set dance caller, asked me how long I'd been calling. I said, "For about six months, two years ago." He said, "Oh two and a half years?" I said, "No, six months, but that was two years ago." He said, "Oh! Really? Because you're calling at the five year level." And that was it. Lighter than air. Just exactly what I needed to hear. In the melee of layoffs and job interviews and being told right and left that I'm not qualified, tonight was just perfect. I'm good at teaching. I really really am. I felt it, and others confirmed it. It was the best thing that could've happened.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I drove how far?

So I just turned over 9000 miles on Saturday night on my shiny new Prius. That's a bit more than 3000 miles a month. I knew I drove a lot, but good grief! Glad I'm doing it at 48.6 mpg nowadays instead of the about 30 mpg of my old car.

I love the Prius. It's a fabulous car in so many ways. I love never having to fish for my keys to get in the car. I love being able to look up directions to addresses before I head out, and frequently have it give me a smoother way to get home than I'd used previously. I love being able to control the volume and the air conditioning from the steering wheel. I love being able to answer my phone without having to pull it out of my purse, without having to take my hands off the wheel. The car rides so smooth and handles beautifully. Even with all the uncertainty and weird financial drama of the last few weeks, I'm still glad I bought the car.

Now if I could just get the DMV to send me my darned Clean Air stickers, but that's a story for another day...

Friday, August 25, 2006

More Browncoat Ball Goodness

Things are starting to come together for the ball. Adam designed a really fabulous poster and t-shirt for the ball. And I've spent my morning sorting through Firefly/Serenity quotes in search of the best lines to stuff inside a fortune cookie. For better or worse, it's probably not a good idea to include, "You're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater." Too bad.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Browncoat Ball - Day Passes Available Now

Browncoat Ball Single Day Passes are now available. There's a Friday ticket for $50 and a Saturday ticket for $100. Yes, that's still spendy. Can't be helped. If I had it to do over again, I would be more vigorous about talking Ray out of the boat trip, but he had his heart set on it, and I think that will be what keeps us from breaking even. We'll see. But really, I've put my heart and soul (and endless hours of time) into this project and I think it's going to turn out well for our guests. We've got a private room at Swig for afters on Saturday night, so the party doesn't end when the ball is over. Oh no, there will be dancing and drinking til 2am. And then I'll get up the next morning and lead a tour of Chinatown. Yee-haw. Wish me luck.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Quena's Going Away

Quena is this magical little pixie I met this year at the Pryanksters. She's one of those folks who seems so utterly comfortable in her own skin, and yet is still so young. I just wonder where her life will lead.

But I know that right now, it's leading to Maine for a year. She sent out an email saying that her going away party would be at her co-op in Davis in place of this week's Pryankster practice. Now, going to Davis for a party on a weeknight would ordinarily be unthinkable, but it's Quena. Plus, my desire to be at work is a little lackluster at the moment, so what the heck, eh? And I'm so very happy I went. It was a lovely party in a lovely house and Quena was radiant. Dave and Anselm kept the music going. We alternated between English and Irish dances and waltzes. The house was bouncing enough to knock down plants and cause the piano to sway. Sarah was just starting to walk, tottering across the floor here and there. And surprise surprise - Dave can play Congress of Vienna on his fiddle, which meant I got to make up my missed Congress from Gaskells with Erik. I stayed the night on Erik & Marissa's couch and woke early to get to work not much later than any other day this week.

So here's to a safe journey for Quena. And hopefully the party for her return will be just as good.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Starry Plough Time Warp

Being at the Plough last night was like having your own personal time machine, only better because it was friends and dancers of past and present.

Magenta was visiting from Virginia. Anne, Heather, and Heraldo came up together, and she'd announced she was going to be there, so some other irregulars like Paul and Karen showed up. It was Quena's last night, so there was a strong showing of Davis dancers. Dawn showed up for the first time in ages. Alex was returned from his travels. Plus there were some new recruits like Sam Weiler, and some recent recruits like Christophe. Allow me to just say the place was wicked crowded. I think there were 7 sets of Chutney on the floor at once, so that's at least 28 advanced dancers. Add to that the band was on fire! Rachel the accordian player was back, and after a few minutes worry at 9, the stage was jammed full by 9:20.

Net result: one of the best polka sets I've had in ages. We ran through a bunch of crazy figures without a fumble. Anne may not have done Irish in ages, but she's got it etched on her soul. I think I danced nearly every dance of the night, including all the "Dances for Everyone" to have a chance to dance with everyone. I finally had to leave after the polka set, after the waltz, after the High Caul Cap, begging off the jig that was starting. I offered hugs and kisses as the jig started up, and got in my car to power up and find that my car was busy playing the same exact jig off of Natalie McMaster's In My Hands CD. Yep, not even Shadow wanted the night to end.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Busy Weekend

Friday Night I was relieved to learn the Fairy Ceili had been cancelled. This gave me time to cook up chili for Liz's wedding on Sunday and go have yummy piadine's at Tomatina. And woof, I admit it, I was crazy tired. We came home and crashed in front of the tv with the first disc of The Adventures of Brisco County Jr..

Saturday we commenced our run at the three big events for the weekend. First stop: Siannan and Tom's going away party. They're off to Georgia for at least 3 years. So we all gathered in Golden Gate Park and munched picnic food and lounged in the grass and played with discs. About the time the party was set to end, the musicians started up and dancing commenced. Still, we had to go to get ready for Gaskells.

Gaskells was lovely and I got to wear a dress that hasn't fit in five years or so. This is always a nice victory. There was a wild little scramble to get ready because Shauna and Sherman were down with a nasty headache and didn't make it to the picnic and left a message saying, "Hey, don't come by, we're dying here." So we scrambled thinking, "Who is going to Gaskells, has an iron, and ready to take on two stragglers?" Then we remembered Alex made an off-hand comment about having folks up to his place for the in between time. I called him up and he welcomed us up the hill. We tried out his garment steamer and lounged around watching the sun set through the layers of fog hanging over the city. Then off to Gaskells for a night of dancing. I have a silly problem at Gaskells these days - there are so many people I want to dance with, but I can't possibly dance with them all because there aren't enough items on the set list. Harumph. (Oh yes, my life is so hard!) Erik and Steve managed to make it just in time for the last two dances, so we got to hear Erik's tale of car woe, and still made it to Au Coquelet just before the vanload of teenagers. Full of french onion soup and chocolate mousse torte, we headed home, dropping off Emily on the way since Bates had to go to work. It was really nice having a chance to talk with her and get to know her a bit better. I can see why Bates thinks she's so keen.

So, into bed around 4 with the comment of "Thank god Lizzie scheduled her wedding for 3pm." By 11:30 we were up again, racing around taking care of the three cats (for we are still fostering the princess, plus Dixie is staying with us while Fred and Malaya are in Europe), getting dressed, and heading out the door to pick up the cakes and grab a bite of breakfast before being off to Walnut Creek to go to Liz & Jeff's wedding. We made it just before 3, and I had Christyn put me to work. I ended up in the ceremony doing the smudging, which I must confess I had no idea if I was doing it right, but heck, I'll pitch in anywhere I can. Liz looked gorgeous with her hair done by Janice and the white dress with red trim. Jeff's tartan became an instant new favorite - red and purple and black plaid! The ceremony was outdoors and the park was not especially well divided so there were some kids by the fountain playing with a kite and occassionally screaming at each other on one side and a festival with a PA system and amplified music on the other side. Add to that a helicopter landing at the med center down the street and it was a little distracting, but everyone looked lovely and it all worked out. It was also Suzi's 31st birthday, and she looked radiant. We talked her into dancing a 4 hand jig with us, where she protested she'd done nothing of the sort for 10 years, but we called her through and she did better than many I know who've been dancing it at least once a month. She rocked. But the dancing started late and there were few dancers left, so it wrapped up with a waltz and the cleaning up commenced.

Home again, we showered up and fed kitties and got ready for the week and headed off to bed. Gee, I wonder why I'm so tired this morning?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Browncoat Ball

The Parkway is showing Serenity on September 21st, the night before the Browncoat Ball kicks off. How cool is that?

And, for those of you who have been asking, after some negotiations with Ray, it does look like we'll be able to sell some single-night tickets to the Ball (both for Saturday and for Friday night). This will hopefully make some folks very happy. The price is still steep because we get the venues we get because we buy spendy dinner, but hopefully that won't put you off too much. Hopefully Ray will have those tickets posted on the website this week. I'll let you know when they do go on sale.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Rick!

It's Rick's birthday today. Be nice to him okay?

Everybody's Doing It

Everybody on Live Journal has been taking an online version of the Kiersey MTBI Personality Test. So I figured, what the heck, I'll give it a spin, see what I come up with.

The results were:
ENFJ- The Teacher
You scored 90% I to E, 31% N to S, 33% F to T, and 42% J to P!
Your type is known as the teacher, or the educating mentor. You also belong to the larger group, called idealists. You tend to bring out the best in other people. You lead without seeming to do so. People are naturally drawn to you. You expect the very best from people which takes the form of enthusiastic encouragement which is so charming that people try their best not to disappoint you. You share your personality type with 3% of the population.

You need to feel a deep and meaningful connection to your romantic partners, and go to great lengths to understand and please your mate. Harmony is vitally important to you, and you often put others' needs before your own. You have a pretty thin skin and are easily hurt. Although you strive for harmony, when your values or ethics are violated, you can be very emotional, confrontational, and even punishing. However, you are very insightful about the underlying cause of conflicts, and an excellent communicator, so you have the tools to bring about a quick and peaceful resolution as long as you can keep control of your facilities. You want to be appreciated for your thoughtfulness and compassion. You need your partner to make a real effort to get to know you. Above all, you need to be able to express your feelings and have them taken seriously.

Your group summary: idealists (NF)

Your type summary: ENFJ

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 89% on I to E
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 33% on N to S
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 44% on F to T
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 46% on J to P
Link: The LONG Scientific Personality Test written by unpretentious2 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

As per usual, on at least a third of the questions, I could've gone either way. Maybe others fit better into these categories, but for me it's so situational. At work I'm one person and at home I'm another. And at events I'm organizing I'm totally different from the person I am at events I'm just attending. So call it my 'Gemini' nature or what you will, but while this is one aspect of my personality, parts of my personality are flexible or changeable depending on the scenario.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Opening Credits

Every now and then someone makes a best of and worst of list that is actually amusing. In this case, it's both amusing and I don't disagree with anything he says. I present the best and worst Sci-Fi openings ever as described by some guy I've never met.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Permits

Came in to the office today to find the first A Permit signs in the parking lot I usually park in. It's been a topic around here for a while about when that lot will get noticed and will suddenly require an A permit. Looks like it's going to happen just in time for the new parking permit year. So, if I want to park anywhere vaguely near my office, or really, have a shot at a parking space at all (C permits are frequently referred to as a "hunting license"), it looks like that will change my parking permit price from $216 a year to $552 a year, more than doubling the cost. Ouch. On the bright side, I may not be here to pay it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Out of My Mind

I must be nuts. Here I am, working late for the second day in a row, at a job I'm not going to have a month from now. I just sent out the project and organization update configuration draft documents to the directors. It took hours to update, but it's done. Now they've got til the 18th to update them. I suspect many will not even look at it. But Bob still wants to go live on September 1st, so I'm working my tail off to make it happen. Why do I still care? I have no idea.

And now I'm going to Friday Night Waltz because dancing is one thing in my life that still makes sense.

Restoration Comedy

I went to see Restoration Comedy with Christyn last night. It was a delightful mix of period costumes, themes, words, and modern stuff thrown in. Modern stuff like latex body suits and a outburst of Voguing. Read the review for a better description of what I mean. It was fun. I laughed out loud more than once. It was also sold out. If you want to go, make a reservation soon.

Marching Forward

So sometimes you have to let yourself have that really bitter grumpy day so that you can get over it. Wednesday was that day for me. I'm over it.

Two things helped me get over it. One, I got a cold inquiry from a recruiter looking for someone who would fit a "Business analyst with a training accent" position. At first, I said no thanks, not looking for contract work, but we emailed back and forth a few times and she convinced me to go for it. She convinced me by waving absurd dollars under my nose (like $30k a year more than I make now). So we'll see if the client likes my resume, but it seemed like a natural fit. But really, the idea that someone would want my skills was just heartening, because that's not a sense I get around here currently. Second came my resume review from the guy leading the workshop. I handed him my revision and he said, "Wow, I really like your summary. It really tells a lot about you in a very few words." So I told him that I'd done what he'd recommended, and posted the results to my blog, and the comments I got pretty much contradicted him directly, which amused me a lot. He agreed that resumes are all in the eye of the beholder and there's little right and wrong beyond the basics of not lying. So, I'm okay with the resume as it is now (with just a couple of minor tweeks I made on Thursday based on some suggestions from friends). This takes another big weight off of me because feeling okay with it means I can start sending it out in earnest. So I applied to all of the jobs on campus that I want, and now I'm starting to look elsewhere as well. I've sent a list of interesting jobs at Google to Paul, and he says that he and Kev and Karen will take care of me there. I've got to follow up with Deborah on the Kaiser front. So I'm beyond the fear and anger stage and into the forward motion. I do much better with problems I can start moving forward to fix. So we'll see how it all turns out, but right now I'm sanguine about it all.


Every now and then the world reaches up and slaps you with some perspective. My home has 1 bathroom. This makes it far less desirable - no wait, completely unacceptable - to many home purchasers. But in Cambodia, they're celebrating that every home gets one latrine. Not a flush toilet mind you, a latrine. Wow. We've got it really really good. Really.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Days When You Should Just Call In Sick

The re-org is chapping my hide. We're in the middle of a pilot test for Unanet for time tracking. We went to the Director's meeting yesterday to discuss go live and so forth. The Executive Director really wants to still go live on September 1. The new jobs are being announced on August 28th. That gives me 2 business days to update every person with a new org and adjust their reporting relationships. I thought to get started I would have the directors get me some basic information like an org hierarchy (blank with no names) so that I could get the new person organizations set up. Instead of giving me an org chart as I requested, they directed me to 8 different Powerpoint presentations, each one created by a different director, with different styles of org charts. I'm to knit these together and hope that none of them are incorrect, because they're not going to get me a total org chart. There are dotted line reporting relationships on some of these. I don't know if these are intended to be real or just illustrative of where things are moving to. And when I asked my project manager to get me a real org chart, he says they won't do it. And when I asked the admin if she had a blank just waiting for the new names to be filled in, she said no. This brings me to the secondary angst of the idea that they probably do have one with names filled in and are just waiting for the pantomime of job interviews to conclude. So here I sit, trying to knit this stuff together, getting increasingly grumpy. And I'm trying to figure out how to send one of the directors a list of projects so that she can revise them, but I can't do that until I get the org hierarchy settled. And I can't do that in earnest until the Dev environment is updated. But Wendy wants her projects of the end of today so that she can work on it tomorrow. Sigh. And then I get a call from Dorothy, who it turns out is one of the 33 who need not reapply. Though she's support for the Registries, she's not getting merged into the general AS Help Desk. Why or how this is, I cannot comprehend. But it just made me grumpier. So now, I'm totally grumpy. I can't imagine actually getting any work done. And I've snapped at my project manager about how maybe they shouldn't have the person getting laid off doing the set up for the new organization that doesn't include her because maybe that's just a little depressing. Gah!

And Ray won't return my emails about the Browncoat Ball.
And other stuff.
Grumpy monkey.

Electric Sports Car

All the buzz has been about this hot little sports car lately. Today Mark Morford opined on it in his column. But it does look like the auto industry failed to keep this one down, and I suspect this will be the next darling of the Hollywood set. The big downside is that it takes 3.5 hours to charge, rather than a ten minute stop at the gas station mid-road-trip, so it's great as long as you're going less than 250 miles. Still, I expect to see a lot of these cruising the streets of Los Feliz in the next five years, because ultimately plugging in to the grid is far more efficient than producing your own energy one car at a time. And even earthy, crunchy green folks love a sexy sports car once in a while.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Monster House

Rick and I went to see Monster House tonight. For a kids cartoon, this was an awfully scary flick. I screamed 3 times, once rather loud. Good thing we got to go to the gym afterwards to work out some of the jitters. Overall, good movie though. I just wasn't expecting the cartoon to actually be scary.

Resume Revision

It's funny. I do documentation all day long. I write epic training manuals 400 pages long. I write tiny little job aids aimed at distilling instructions into the smallest possible format. Yet when faced with revising my resume, I'm utterly stymied. I stare at it and think "What to cut? What to add? Ack!"

I went to a resume workshop this morning, and that actually helped get me over the intial terror enough to actually start making cuts and additions, but doubt has set in again. So I turn to the internet and say, "Hey anybody got an opinion? Is this looking good? Is this intriguing? Is there something glaringly wrong? Is there something really missing? Is this format lame? Etc." I offer up my resume in Word and PDF format for review and slaying. I can't guarantee I'll agree with your opinion, but at this point I need to have others opinions just to figure out where my opinion lies.