Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So the trick is to keep the game face on. All the fucking time. And yes, there is strain. That's what getting coffee and restroom breaks are all about. Walking away for a few quick minutes here and there.

But the game face. It's all about calm in the face of Clear and Present Danger (thanks, Tom). Keeping them from seeing panic that they feel and want to share. Keeping them from feeling like they will have to deal with another problem. Keeping them grounded. Making them laugh here and there. Because otherwise the stress level will become even more toxic. Ah yes. The toxic. And that's the week. Keeping it from killing anyone.

Walks at night after work with Kman help. But that is about all there is to offer, besides drinking ones-self into a stupor. Which, given the rigors of the following day isn't very appealing. Ah, but it is. But it really isn't.

And the game face. Keeping it from cracking off, chipping like paint. Exposed to the elements. And the salt. And the cold. Keeping it intact. Keeping it fresh, even.

The good news? Next week the boss is travelling. And there isn't much for me to worry about then. Because once in play, he is in play and the game rolls on without me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This weekend has been spent primarily hunkering down in expectation of absolute chaos next week. The boss is back, and there are critical things that happen on Wednesday- career making kinds of things. For him. And there will be stress, ah yes. In my world, indeed. So I planned ahead and slept a lot. And took care of things that will get neglected during the week. It's all good, just expecting a shit-ton of stress and angst. But that is the joy of having a job, no? As long as they're not too horribly cranky, I can deal. And if they are, I go to the new Top Pot donuts nearby and buy them treats to shut them up. Or cry. Because that usually stops men in their tracks and flips the remorseful switch full on.

But I wouldn't do that. No, that is the heavy ammo to be reserved for another day.

Friday, September 26, 2008

All I can really say this morning is that I am glad as hell I didn't get the job at Washington Mutual. I interviewed there several times, and am highly relieved.

Scary fucking stuff. I just hope that calmer heads in congress will prevail and they will hold off on spending all our blasted money in saving structures that ought to be looked at closely before determining if they actually need the assistance. Or if this is a Henny Penny maneuver. Oh, yes. The sky is falling. It happens. If you are a silly chicken, and if this is a children's story. I wouldn't share this story with a child though. It's boring and scary at the same time. But the boring prevails.

On the happier side, the stock at work went up this last week, and I got my first award a month ago. It's nice to see something resembling stability in my life. At least financially. The rest is pretty good, but that helps.

Gotta go to work in a bit- so will sign off. I'm hoping to have time to actually put some writing on the page this weekend. It is possible. And likely. Hold tight, I'll be back soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I've started and discarded two posts already this morning. I am worried that the day might follow along like that- fits and starts. But there you have it. Nothing new to really report. Nothing at least that I want to say out loud. In public.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh, the angst in the household right now....

We put those claw dealies on Buddy's claws this weekend. He is a very bad boy, who loves to scratch the shit out of the furniture. Not that we have nice furniture to ruin, but it gets on the nerves. And one of the amps is totally denuded on the side, and will need to be repaired. So we glued the plastic covers on his claws. He was very good. And now he is disturbed. Doesn't know what to do with himself.

Very odd to see his kind of perplexed and nonplussed little self. Don't like it much, but prefer training him this way to declawing him. Would hate to do that. Would really hate it.

Bad Buddy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Now there's a break in the rain. It's good. Because after a perfectly dreary Saturday (CATURDAY!!!) it'll be nice to emerge into something not wet. Damp, perhaps. But wet is not ideal.

I don't intend to spend enormous amounts of time writing about the weather. It just takes over sometimes. Back in the day it was the snow. That would take over. We were prisoners of the winter, and had to deal. It happens here, but not as often. It's more dramatic here, as people stop driving and trees fall over.

So on the docket for today, the amazing and fun job of cleaning the house and finishing my big project of the weekend- the one that had me all pissy and annoyed yesterday. I am going through boxes of papers. And shredding tons of things and just throwing plenty of stuff away. I hate carting things around, and have a very bad habit of hoarding paperwork. I think it is genetic. Ask my father. He has a professional reason for it. But I would say in this instance it imprinted.

Makes me grumpy as hell to go traipsing through the past like that. I see where I spent time that wasn't justified. I see where I spent energy that wasn't clarified. It was not all fun. So then after getting well out of sorts, we had dinner with friends, and I abandoned the project for the day. It helped.

And now to get rolling- there is very little left.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ah, Jack, you let me down last night.

First off, I don't blame you for the crappy acoustics-playing in the WAMU theater is like playing in an airplane hanger. That can't be helped, I suppose. Ditto the really stupid seating. It was hard to connect with the folks in the seats when they are half a mile away and separated from the band by a sea of people. Don't know how the sound folks could possibly counteract the crappy venue. Bummer that.

But the opening band? The Kills? Really? They were considered good enough? Really? From what I saw, they basically pranced around on stage posing rather than actually playing music. And the endless repetition and drone of the alleged lyrics...really? I am perplexed. Quite perplexed. Won't be going out and buying their music soon. Or ever, really.

And after all that, I do appreciate that your band was prompt. But the 45 minute set followed by the 5 minute powder, and the very short 15 minute reprise was shockingly abrupt. I was NOT feeling the love. In fact, what I witnessed was in no way a joyous reunion of the first Raconteurs concert that I was at a little over a year ago. That one was great. Lots of love from the stage. I attended it despite having thrown out my back an hour before. No pain meds, and extreme discomfort, and I still got it that you guys were having fun on stage playing songs. This time, no back pain, no meds, and I got it that you took over the band at some point and decided to run the entire show. Brandon was relegated to back up player. Not too cool, if'n you ask me. And I would love to give you the benefit of the doubt and think that perhaps he was off his game with a stomach bug, and you were generously taking the show and making it happen. But this isn't very likely now, is it.

And the brevity. That is where I feel ripped off. The brevity. What the fuck was up with that? You now have 2 albums worth of material that you can cover, and you still couldn't muster up a playlist that would go longer than an hour? WTF. Rip off.

Yes, I am cranky about it. Mainly because I have been a huge Jack fan for a while now, despite criticisms from friends and family- people who just don't get it, and accuse me of falling for hype. Now I am beginning to wonder. Perhaps there isn't room on a stage for Jack and his ego and the rest of a band. I don't know. I am not feeling very charitable at the moment. Just pissed off that I hauled myself across Lake Washington after a brutal fucking work week, and sat through a shitty opening band, to be treated to an hour of not horribly inspired music. Highlight- the re-working of "Steady, as She Goes". The low point- not playing "The Switch and the Spur."

I hold you Jack, to a higher standard than last night. I think that you are capable of much more as an entertainer- I have witnessed it through extreme pain and discomfort (when I said thrown back, I wasn't kidding- full on slipped disc, with a good 4 months of repair work to get it back to somewhat normal). I am hoping that someway, somehow, someone who you trust and like can talk some sense into you and bring you back to the place you should be- performing for the folks who love you, and sharing the stage with the band to which you belong. Otherwise, it all becomes the Jack White show, and that is not what I paid to see last night- and it does a disservice to the other boys in the band.

Now I shall finish, and go drink a little more coffee and try not to be cranky any more.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nothing alarming today. Nothing really frightful woke me up on NPR. Just the usual crap- politics, economics, and surprisingly not religion. The third item on the list has been markedly silent lately.

On my trip, I read Fool on the Hill, by Matt Ruff. It was lovely. It helped the airport experience enormously. I'm reading his Sewer, Gas and Electric now. Not as quick a go at it, but it doesn't help that work has been brutal this week, and I am insisting on Kman going walking in the evenings with me so far this week. That way I can avoid the dreaded gym, get some exercise, spend quality time with the boy, and basically feel smug about my fitness levels. He is complaining a touch about not having enough tv time in the evenings, but I tell him, "Man up, Mary- are those your balls in your purse?" And he laughs. And plots kicking me out of the house with the cats- who really are great little coup planners. Actually they wouldn't really give a rat's ass who lives here, as long as they get enough food (by their definitions, which vary) and plenty of attention when they require it. It's like being coopted by a band of Banana Dictators. Only they are small enough to pick up and toss on the bed. And they poop in a box. Which might be said of the aforementioned dictators, only I am not privy to that information (did you see what I did there? Where is my "ba dum bum"?).

Ok, gotta go to work. It's promising to be another brutal one. But these are actually kind of fun. Like juggling monkeys. And hoping none of the monkeys have a really evil blood-borne pathogen that will cause my innards to seep through my skin.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ok, I am going to break form and actually say something important.

If by chance you wander here and have small children who play soccer in the back yard, please, please read the following article and act if it applies to you:


I heard it on the radio this morning whilst trying to get out of bed. Scary shit, people.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gotta say I appreciated the weekend away from most everything work. Was still processing things that happened, were said and were done. But that's probably to be expected. Poor Kman had to listen to my musings, but that's also probably to be expected. He gets beer out of the equation, and cup cakes.

Kman wrecked his bike at the track day. He is fine- just low sided. The bike not so much. Not sure what he will do with her. She requires a lot of reconstruction- it wasn't the new one though. But he might just part her out. He spent very little on her originally, so it's not a huge issue, just kind of sad. He messed up his hand a bit, but otherwise only has a large bruise and a sore elbow. I am really glad that he has always purchased the best safety gear available. And it appears to work. Had a debate with my mother yesterday about the relative safety of the track days. I said that I prefer him on a track to daily commuting (which he also does), mainly because it is a known course, with limited people on it, and they know what they're doing, and there is an ambulance available at all times. Versus his commute, where people are idiots, it is slower, but there are lumbering cars around, and they make very bad stopping points. She didn't agree, but that's not a problem, really. He'll go out and run again next season. After he decides the fate of the bike.

Nothing else, have a very busy day planned, so gotta run.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ah yes I am back. From the work week. It was a marathon. It was also fun. I didn't do anything that would get me fired. I didn't have time. The inclination? Well, that is another story entirely. But no time makes it hard to get creative with misbehavior.

And did it go well? Yes. I think so. It was good to meet people in person with whom I have an extensive email life. It was good to hear the B52's live- and dance 5 feet from the stage. Yes, Fred Schneider, we noticed how stoned you were, but were in awe anyway. And yes, Kate- that sparkly dress was amazing. If I could wear one to work, I would be happy. But I doubt I could pull it off. The consensus was that they have cooler jobs than any of us. Period.

It was good to hear Steve Young speak about team work and football- not that it was profound or anything, but it was surprisingly eloquent, and got a lot of people happy. I would've preferred Terry Bradshaw, but there you go.

It was good to get home, more than anything else. I am sick to absolute death of thinking about work, talking about work, talking to others from work, and basically need time away from that world to become myself again. I was "on" for a fucking week, and am so drained in spirit as to be almost catatonic. Maybe not that bad, but it's still not a pretty sight.

I sent Kman out into the world for the day- he is having another track day. I needed time by myself. And wouldn't really be good company right now. Not that I hate people, just have had enough of them for a while. And the kitties are needy- it's really odd- they are following me around the house screaming at me. Then they fall down and need their bellies rubbed. I think it's love. Or they are just broken. But I want to think it's love.

And on that note, I will ring off for now. I would like to go and do something quiet and contemplative, but will most likely take a nap.

Monday, September 08, 2008

So here's the thing. I have to go on a week-long business trip. I have never logged into this site via my work computer before. Ever. Have kept a strict division of labor, so to speak. And don't know if it is wise to muddy the waters. I haven't thought that it was smart to blog via work machine- mainly because I know damned good and well that it is monitored. Not proscribed, but monitored. If I were to ever be involved in some kind of court case, all of the history of the machine would be court documents, etc. blah fucking blah.

Big reasons why I keep the division going. So now, I am contemplating breaking the third wall while I am gone. Because a week seems like a very long time to be silent. Since I have been a pretty good little blogger lately. And all that. I also expect to be horribly busy, but bored at the same time. And I fully expect to need down time and my own voice. It's just blasted hard to be in professional form for that long. The strain gets to me a bit. Having to tamp down my sense of humor to manageable levels and to not expose them to the kinds of ridicule that I am capable of. Oh, it's so difficult at times. At the last offsite 2 weeks ago, I said "Oh, for fuck's sake." about something. And totally shocked a co-worker. He laughed his ass off, but I kind of got the impression it was like having your first grade teacher say the word "ass."

So I will embrace as much sobriety as I can handle, and might not be hereabouts for a while. Feh.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

As seen in real life today:

1. A large rampaging herd of purple-clad people shuffling towards the U of W football stadium. While it looked like a convention of "special" folks in their favorite purple shirts (seriously here- purple is totally the tard color- check out the special olympics some time- I know whereof I speak, it's my "special" sister's favorite color too) I think there was a game. They were by and large a grumpy looking lot.

2. A very nice homeless man who didn't actually panhandle my ass, just smiled at me and told me to have a good day- outside the U of W bookstore (manna from heaven in the remainder stacks there today, believe me).

3. The prettiest calico kitteh at the petstore. Crude comment du jour- I wonder how many blow jobs it would take to convince Kman that a 4th cat is necessary? I am thinking more than I can deliver. Feh. But she was really, really pretty.

4. The laundrymat next to our favorite Starbucks (yes, we have a favorite Starbucks- so sue us) was apparently broken this morning. There was a shrill, piercing claxon coming from inside, as a very annoyed looking old lady left with a big jug of bleach. It didn't stop while we waited in line. If finally stopped when we got our coffee. And then started up again. We passed the annoyed old lady in the parking lot, as she shuffled to the laundrymat with a look of resignation on her face, and without the jug of bleach.

5. Again, I hate politicians and everything political right now merely on principle. Had a discussion about the sins of Cindy McCain this morning with my mother. Seems that the drug abuse/prescription pill theft/whistleblower firing/charity abandonment thing has gone away. Enough money will do that. I just remember the Phoenix New Times doing a big story of that whole mess back in the day. And it hardened me to her for life. Just because. Hypocrisy has that effect on me. Oh, and John McCain appears to be a horse's ass. Just noticed that when I lived in Arizona for 6 hellish years. Not that the others aren't bad. I'm pretty sure they are equally as excorable. But it's all about the devil you know, right?

6. I guess changing a windshield is hard. I've been to the store and back and Kman and his sidekick today Aki are still at it. I am not helping . I am sitting at the computer and making fun of them. It's much more entertaining, believe me. I would just whine if I was involved. And get pissy and bored. That's how I roll.

Friday, September 05, 2008

And about politics- I got nuthin. Didn't watch anything but the Colbert Report and Jon Stewart- and those were delayed by a day. Just couldn't care either way. Just couldn't muster up the anger, enthusiasm and basic interest. It all just seems the same. I think that the venom that I held during the last election broke me. I didn't like feeling so angry and unhappy. I hated feeling that helpless. And I hated the outcome even more, and couldn't understand how it happened. So something just kind of broke. Can't care.

But that's not to say that I won't vote. I have voted in every election since 1984. Because it meant something tangible to me- I couldn't wait for the chance. I remember in first grade choosing a presidential candidate- sadly it was Nixon. But I got better. I remember my parents debating the Ford/Carter race. I was on the Carter side. I won't divulge which parent chose whom, but those in the know can pretty much call it- it was predictable.

And now I am just saddened by a lot of it. I think that most of the people who want to run the country are pretty much losers. They are trying so bloody hard to take charge, and they really lack the essential humanity to pull it off properly. Yes, I include almost all of the wannabes here. Almost all. There is just such a sense of white-knuckled desperation involved. Like their lives are forfeit if they lose. No, you just lose. And the world forgets about you. And you get to be a footnote. Ah, remember Adlai? No? Wiki it and get back to me later with that. I'll expect a full accounting. So maybe that really is what they fear. Being inconsequential and forgotten. It'll happen anyway. It always does.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

So I actually went to the gym last night. Hated every fucking minute of it. And kept track of every fucking minute of it. But I did sleep well. That seems to be the regrettable conclusion that I must draw. Exercise = decent sleeping. Crap. I hate that. But there you have it.

Yesterday was off the charts stressometer at work. Not me, but those around me. Not happy boys. But they got better as the day wore interminably on. And me, well, I just maintained. And tried very hard not to let their foul moods rub off on me. So much.

Otherwise nothing else I can legitimately discuss here- some other stuff happened, but it is off the record- I will be able to discuss later, perhaps. Unless something more interesting comes up. We'll see.

And now I must go intervene- the kitties are starting to act up- Mika is jumping on top of Buddy with the intent of apparently buggering the poor little guy. And since they're both neutered males, I suspect it has some kind of dominance action going on. Somehow I suspect Buddy won't take kindly to being the bottom.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

So for all the feelings of being in control, it's nights like last night that remind me that it's all pretty much a facade. Not sleeping again. Which shouldn't surprise me in the least. Not really. Just part of my everyday life, certainly. Assuredly. Completely.

But that's ok. It will come. Sleep, I mean. The dreams are there anyway. They happen whether I have full-on sleepage or not. They creep around the edges and tinge everything with an odd shade of sepia. Usually they are narrative. Not last night. But they were still there. Unreeling. It reminded me of those olde time film editing rooms. Piles of rejected film. Watched once and then dumped in a box. Treasures to filmophiles. But rejected nevertheless. Oh, to find the batch of Ambersons edits. And those for Queen Kelly. Strike that. Queen Kelly was garbage overall. And Gloria Swanson was a really strange looking lady. Lady is being generous, no? But what the hell- she is dead. And wouldn't make a particularly good zombie.

The boys at work are obsessed with zombies. I think it has something to do with video games. But don't know the specific reference, and don't care enough to ask. They discuss how to kill zombies. For hours. And hours. No, these aren't the guys I work immediately with- but another group. And it's fine, really. It gets them through the day. And they help get me through the day. I am an observer. And that works well for me. It's like watching some kind of strange geekoid tv show. And the time flies. Until I try to sleep at night. Then it staggers like a drunk. Bed spins and all.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

You know a vacation from everything ought to be a good excuse to come up with great content. But not really, in my case. Just an excuse to let my mind just go...

Last week was brutal. We had about 50 people in town from across the country, and there was training. Luckily I didn't have to set that up. But I did have events to plan, events to attend, training to attend, something to do every night of the blasted week, and my annual review (which went quite well- got a raise and stock award, thank you). I took Friday off. So it was a 4 day weekend. Because I NEEDED it. It was that or start killing people. I did still manage to go to work for an hour- because of a time-sensitive thingy that needed to be done.

But Kman got a precious, precious track day on Friday. And I got to sleep in. Finally I feel like I can cope again. It was getting dicey. Not in a good way. Like in a "wow. She is coming unraveled" kind of way.

Other than that, not much going on. I did get rolling on the writing project again. Finally had the mental space to actually think about telling a story. And was out of reaction only, please mode. So this week will be sort of quiet, I suspect. But then I am travelling next week, for a big company shindig. Not looking forward to it at all. Not in the least. Seriously. Don't want to travel right now. Especially with 1,000 of my nearest and dearest friends. I really mean it. Just want to stay home and not be challenged for a while.

No such luck. But that's why I get the big bucks. Right. Would that that were true. The big bucks and all that.

Oh- tip of the week- if you get the chance to watch Stalag 17, do so. Great Billy Wilder bait and switch of a movie. Loved it. That William Holden. Gotta love the man. Even if he is good and dead. Because he would make a kick ass zombie.