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Can you hear me, sailor?
I am singing you the sea
The tide rushing in, full and thick in the morning
I sing you the grey mist before dawn, the song of the gulls,
Can you hear me singing?
I am singing you the white caps
And the blown splume of brothers down below
I sing you the knife edge of the wind
That ruffles your hair and bites at your skin
Can you hear me, sailor?
I am singing you the stories
Of all the deep places
Where light does not go
Where we light our own way with our glow
And our voices echo in the rocks
Can you hear me singing?
I am singing of fortunes found and lost
Of joy and sorrow and pain
I sing you the flotsam washed up on the beaches
And the heated sands of the shore
Can you hear me, sailor?
I sing you the shells
To hold to your ear, and listen to my song
And their broken loves underfoot
I sing you life, and love, and loss
And new beginnings in the waves
Hear me sing.

Romance!

Aug. 4th, 2013 11:16 am
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I dipped my fingers into delicious, passionate romance a couple evenings at Pennsic. Not the sort of enchanted moment that guarantees anything solid or permanent = life isn't that simple. A glorious romance by moonlight. Still, I did get to kiss someone and whisper poetry to them, and it fed my soul.

Problem is, I'm now left with a vague desire to write romantic letters without anyone I'm certain is appreciative that I can write them to. So here's a shout out to my gal friends - anyone want to receive a love letter? I really want to write them. Alas, when you write a love letter to a guy you're not involved with, they get all weird and shit and don't appreciate the letters for what they are.

Any takers?

It's good to be wildly in love.
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I watched footage of the Boston Marathon today, and flinched in sadness when the explosions went off. I saw that only one runner fell down at first, and people ran to help him up.

In the background, I saw more people running to help. People helping staggering runners get across the line because, yes, to finish mattered even when a bomb went off. The race mattered. The task at hand mattered to finish.

I'm teary with love and admiration for my fellow men and women today in the human race. Just about everyone ran toward the buildings, toward the smoke and fear and uncertainty. Were there more bombs? Could more go off at any second? Why yes, so let's go help people get out of there.

Going and helping. Not just running away and hiding, and pulling out guns looking for targets to shoot at.

Awesome. Finish your races. Help those who stumble. Help those who fall. Seek out those who need more help and can't ask for it. Imagine the pride a year or two from now for the runners jogging slowly toward the finish line. "Yup, I was there. The bomb went off, and I stumbled and fell, and skinned my knee. Then I got up and finished those last ten yards, and went to help out."
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Fat people like me (for over 20 years of experiencing it) don't really understand what it is like to be a skinny person. Fat people live in a world of silence and envy of those chic, lovely gazelles with their perfect perky derrieres and resent how they're just skinny with no effort. I was one of those fat people, living in that world, truly not believing in or understanding the world of the skinny girl because I'd never really been it.

Well, technically I was slender enough in high school. Not like the gazelles, mind, but I was active and eating at home so that mom's decently balanced food was more or less on par with my high school sports and marching band activities.

College started to see my decline, when I was eating on my own. I remember the box of cheese nips and 6-pack of coke being sustenance in a day while working. Oh yes. And I thought nothing of it - not realizing really how much I was shooting myself in the foot. I ate them, and was still filled with resentment at those pretty girls who, in my own weird brain, did nothing to stay so adorable. This wasn't helped by having for a while a roommate that was desperate to gain weight; she went on the dark beer, cheeseburger, and fries/corned beef hash diet only to fail to gain an ounce.

She led me astray, and I never knew it. What I learned later is that MOST of the skinny people fight every single day of their lives, trying to be skinny. How they feel their pants get tighter, and go on salad diets all unseen. Being thin for most, you see, isn't really a matter of genetics as it is choices on a daily basis. Of choosing to get out and move and fight to stay skinny. I had 10 full years of ignoring what I ate, and exercising only when it sounded like fun.

Today I read an article written in angry response to the '21 habits of happy people' slanted from the point of view of unhappy people, and a lightbulb turned on. Depression is a chemical game the same way fat can be. Your brain/body will, in fact, fuck with you. It fucks with me every time I get on a treadmill at precisely 20-25 minutes in, telling me that I've worked hard enough. I'm done. And doesn't chocolate sound nice? With caramel, yes. Why am I exercising? What's the point, when I'll still see basically the same thing on the scale tomorrow?

So I'm opening up to the deluge here: Dear depressed people - happy people are depressed too. Happy people have crappy days/weeks where they're stressed and pissy and want to tell those of you that only tell them sad/depressed things that you're killing little parts of their brain with your constant negativity. Happy people just learned how to cope with it all better. Happy people occasionally look at themselves in the mirror and despair. Happy people sometimes can't even manage to get fully dressed in a weekend, and really don't want to call any of you because they're down, and hearing about how crappy your life is makes their own seem worse because it's hard for them to be happy when everyone around them is in pity party mode.

Fuck you bitch, I can hear you say. You don't know what it's like in my chemically depressed brain. Don't I, I counter? I hate you all from January 1 to the time change late in March. I really do. I don't want to do anything, go anywhere, make anything, or really get out of bed. In an ideal world I'd be fed by servants and helped from one nightgown into another without having to get up for months. I'd be a chronic invalid if I could figure out how to pull it off when the sun is gone.

But I plaster on a smile and I press on and I listen to the tribulations of others because, frankly, by faking it I make it through to when the sun comes out again. I know intellectually that my depression is just bad chemicals, and my brain is lying to me, and my body doesn't hurt as much as I think it does. Okay, sometimes it does. But that's only when it rains. And I realize that if THIS Is happiness, which it really is most of the time - that happiness is practice and making yourself think the right things even when you don't want to. Even when it's exhausting and seems pointless.

Being happy is just like being skinny by choice, when your family genes say you're going to be heavy and your brain chemicals say that you're doomed to fight depression. The fight never ends. Not the fight to be skinny, not the fight to be happy, not the fight to create beautiful things, not the fight to have wonderful people in your life. Life, good life, requires effort. All of it requires me to sometimes put on pants. And I read the 21 habits of happy people, and I laugh at the 21 tips to avoid depression, and I realize they're exactly the same thing with more comedy to get the spirits up.

So there it is. My version of truth. I am open to you saying I'm wrong a thousand ways.
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I have just been Un-Friended on FB for the oddest reason I might have imagined. I, evildoer that I am, laughed at someone's meme-pic and shared it on another friend's page because I knew it would brighten their day too. In my brain, I was sharing sunshine and laughter.

Alas, in the brain of the person who posted it, and they were not the only one posting it mind you, I am lacking in common courtesy because I neglected to "Like" their photograph first before Sharing it. Those were the words used. Lacking in common courtesy.

I'm not looking for validation here that I'm in the right or wrong. Because, alas, I really don't care enough about a FB Meme. But man, what an odd day to be de-friended for failing to click "Like". And one cannot say something like, "Madame. I respect your wishes and opinions. But may I offer a nice walk in the sunshine? Because if you are living for the Likes of faceless drones like me on the internet, there are much better alternatives. If you could be caused a moment of sorrow, a pang of hurt not to have a button clicked, then that machine means far, far too much for good health."

We must have waffles, forthwith.
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I just past 12.5k words on Royal Peculiar. I have hopes of getting past 15k with this week being down at RSA. It's funny how being surrounded by strangers and bustle give me so much energy and enthusiasm for writing. Like I'm sucking their energy from a distance, gleefully tapping it into my keyboard. (Or onto the notebook.)

Also started a new short story, of the inevitable conclusion of the plot between crazed goddess and high priest to regain a mortal form, when he's lost that loving feeling.
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Dear Great Pumpkin,

It's me again, at that time of year when I find myself reflecting on the previous year's activities, intentions, musings, and pranks. This has been a transitive year for me, as I have pulled myself out of lying fallow in the pumpkin patch and started to carve the face I wish to wear once more. I do not regret that nurturing time of mist and mutual dependence on the vine and earth, but it's past time to sit on the edge of porches and leer out at the passers by.

There is a huge independence of being carved into a jack-o-lantern. Like snowflakes, no two are ever precisely alike. Even if a laser burns out your features to specs set only by your creator, your base pumpkin-hood is unique and special. There are no assembly lines for life that can make you like everyone else, not deep in your seeds, your shape, your veins, and in that slimy gunk going on in your head.

This year I vow to chronicle your ways more, to sing about you more, to write the music of your haunting, wicked dance and perform it more to frighten and delight the children. Your mischievous tunes tickle at my ears and make my fingers twitch, and so I know what you wish me to do. I always know the path you set for me, when my heart is open and my mind is filled with glee.

I accept I have failed you and your spirit in the last year, and the penances you have laid upon both me and my pride I will pay without objection. There are lessons I am taking to heart both in being true to myself and to be a better herald for your greatness. I know not what it is or will be, but in the names of you and all the other faces you wear throughout the year; Raven, Coyote, Salmon, Otter; I will teach a lesson for each reflection I see of you when I look in the mirror. My trickster spirit, my beloved, my best friend. Forgive me. I will do better.
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John is going to be staying at Bjorn's this weekend, back Monday. He is feeling poorly with a fever. I will leave it to him to post details when he feels up to it.

This public service message is brought to you by the letter B.
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Just noticed I hadn't ranted or raved about anything in a few months, so it's about time.

Although I miss parts of Seattle very much, I'm really much happier down here in Cali. I love the sun and the smiles and the old retired people riding their bikes en masse to meet up at the morning coffee shops. There's a group that dresses up to the nines on Tuesday mornings and meets toward the back. That will be me one day. Heck, it's clearly me now, except for the dressing up and being in my 80s part.

But it's mostly about people. I know I can live anywhere if I have at least 10 people I love there. (So keep this in mind when you're trying to convince me to move later in life, eh?) Just about every night of the week, there's something I like to do, even if it's just going over for dinner or wine at a friend's house. I'm fortunate enough to be staying at John's house with Katherine, and love my grumpy roommates so much! I've got a new place picked out that we can move into at the end of the month, something in a cottage style apartment. And, bonus for me at least, it's walking distance (about a mile) to my work.

The darling and talented Karen has gotten my writing kick started again, by inviting me to go to her writer's group with her. Now I sit and ponder voice and emotional distance from the story. I think I had an epiphany last night thinking about Chaz' stories, and how I can see parts of him in all of his heroes that I've read so far. Yet I can't see myself in some of my own heroes, except for my Luddite story/retelling here. So clearly it's time to put me deeper into my own works. I need to figure out where it's okay to be emotive.

Also hitting yoga at least once a week. Last night Julie, Pony and I found a place that had perky yoga. Oh, the burn! I think I broke my bottom, but it's healing. Katherine will love this gal, I'm convinced. Then we went for mai tais on the way home, to balance all that good health with a little naughtiness.

Best of all, I can have the occasional evenings of sitting home, watching football games, and working on little handwork projects in perfect peace. Because they're a choice, those moments of peace and solitude, not the common state. Therefore they're splendid and precious.

Hi, my name is Jeannie, and I'm an extrovert.
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You know, I've read a lot of different ideas about how to track your weight. One friend that's been successful says to weigh only once a week. Another says don't weigh, just measure. Another says..well. You can read anything on the internet. Let's just talk about numbers, shall we? I'm a scientist, damn it!

I weigh daily. Want to know why? Data. I want daily data so that I can see how things trend. See, I'm a chick and dealing with a whole lot of issues now in my 40s that have to do with my body trying to decide if it wants to do menopause, versus pretending it's only 30 and rarin' to go. And every chick reading this will have to solemnly nod about how sometimes you just gain water weight, bloat up, etc near your period.

There's also the matter of what I eat. When I'm a bad girl and eat flour/corn/rice/things that PUFF in the system, I gain. They hang around in the lower GI tract long after I've eaten them. Now, intellectually you can know that 1 lb = ~3k+ calories, but then why does one step on a scale and wail about having gained 5 LBS OVERNIGHT??? If one only weighed oneself once a week, one would find this so disheartening one would want to console oneself with any of one's food consolation prizes.

No, it's not fair that my body can choose randomly to seize up and not process efficiently for 3-5 days, keeping an extra bag of weight inside somewhere that shows ever so slightly in my abdomen. In fact, one could swear at one's body, calling it a pigf*cker and other things, and eat a pound of cherries or beans to get things moving again. Which works most of the time, but I digress.

So I weigh daily, and pay attention to the downward trends. The sudden weight losses of 5 lbs are a great big lie, just like the sudden gains. I really have to look at the trending direction, and do my best to keep it on a downward slope. On days that it pops up, I have to stop and consider what I've eaten, what choices I've made, and sometimes decide what to eat for the next two days based on clearing the system back out.

Sure, you say. Just don't eat Wheat! Just go gluten free! You'll be healthier. Well, fact is that sometimes I have to eat the damned cookie. Or corn chip. Or whatever. I'm not capable of giving anything up cold turkey, cause when I do it builds up emotional issues like resentment that I just can't afford to fight in this battle to be thinner. Why can't I eat whatever I want? Why do I eat it even when I know I'm going to feel like crap after?

I just do. I suck. So what. I'm going to weigh myself tomorrow morning and continue to make my day to day changes based on what I see, trying to make it go down. When I don't weigh myself every day, I gain. That's just how it works for me.

And since I started doing this again, I'm back down 7 lbs. So this time I'm going to try to keep up the daily weighing, as a daily reminder. I accept that weight loss for me is much like being an alcoholic for others. Every day I have to choose to be good. I might fail sometimes. But I'll have another day to make another choice.
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  It’s hard to grieve when work keeps going on the next day, and the day after. One could sit and second guess oneself forever. Did I not do enough? Was I wrong? Did they take my findings and just throw it out the window. Good heavens, was I an Appeasement Consultant, thrown at the little Wireless Company Who Could out of a sense of guilt? Clearly guilt is cheaply bought off in VC dollars, as I think my whole trip cost under $1,500.

 Most of my time here, however, I really did like my boss and my team. My boss was a techie, a Network man with lots of hands on experience. They say you really understand things if you can explain anything in two sentences or less, and he really understood networks. I also started hanging with one of the web team PMs, who taught me the basics of requirements analysis, use case scenarios, and how to write spec documents for fun and profit. She was blunt and brash and brave, three of the Bs I so admire that are tragically undervalued in corporate America.

 Because of her, I learned what really happened to that kid from the fairy tales who pointed out in the street that the Emperor was NAKED! There are truths that people just don’t want to hear, inconvenient and ill-timed. To back up before the parade, let me tell you about the Director of IT Security this place hired. He bought a lot of expensive equipment that lived in his office. He recommended an expensive biometric reader system that my people had to figure out, document, and then train others in as we maintained it. (My people here are the NOC folks. In case you’ve forgotten.) He implemented little key fob random number generators so that we had to log into our own email as ourselves. Oh yes, it was all very secure. Less comforting were his cocktail hour inspired confessions about the porn servers he ran at home. That which is learned cannot be un-learned.

 Still, you can just imagine the sour expressions on a couple well suited faces when my buddy piped up with the objection that we’d spent an awful lot of money on physical security when a person could blind telnet into the customer’s network and machines from home. From one login, it was a simple series of Rlogins to hit them all. And by the way, the passwords were pathetic.

 Let me tell you now, friends, that when you have a young, hungry, upwardly mobile VP executive that’s pals with the owner of the company doing a speech about how great the new datacenter is, you do not want to verbally point out that it’s derriere is hanging out in the wind. Even if it’s true. Especially if it is true. That kid that looks so good in a suit is not going to take being thwarted well, and you’re going to be labeled ‘not a Team Player’ and a ‘trouble employee’. No, it’s not fair.

 That kid in the street? We don’t hear about it in HC Anderson’s fairy tale, but I know what happened. Agents dressed in subtle livery showed up that night, and threatened the family. All of it. No more attending parades for them, and if they couldn’t rein in that brat they were all going to be in trouble. Perhaps even an older brother was taken away to become a page at the Palace as insurance against future good behavior. The lesson in all of this is that truth will out, absolutely. But there are times when one might be wiser to whisper the truth in subtle little paper trails with time and date stamps sent through mom and dad up to the local bailiff.

 Shortly after this fairy tale debacle, I got a new hat: Someone Higher Up decided that we should be ISO 9000 certified, so let’s get some ISO 9001 documentation done. And by the way, there’s an audit in four months, chop chop! And, not coincidentally, having sat in all the decision making meetings for the whole datacenter implementation from architecture to tools and processes, it became my baby. Good thing I read really fast, and write quickly as well. Luckily the requirements doc is only about 30 pages, and is reasonably well written. (Don’t read too many FARS or FIPS documents or you’ll need a law degree. Or a cocktail. Or both.) Writing up the policies and processes that we used was actually the easy part.

Getting meetings scheduled where everyone actually read said documentation was a little harder, and I felt like a sheep dog herding people into reading it. I sat on desks. I invaded personal spaces in cubes. I invited curses and spellcheckers and pedants galore, and four months later we passed that part of the audit. Yes, yes. I am completely smug still.

 The other hat I was given was actually a crown. I was put in charge of the training schedule and budget. Brothers and sisters, can I get a resounding AMEN of support for the sheer power and evil joy that can be yours with money and a schedule? Thank you. I got a lump of cash and a list of required certifications they wanted key members of our staff to have. But how to spend it, you incipient despot you?

 First you need a calendaring tool, and Google. Okay, there was Alta Vista at the time, and that dates just when this was going on. There was no Bing yet, and the web searching war was going strong. Lycos, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, all of it was out there and full of fun to search with different results. Then you start thinking about negotiations. And then you admit out loud, “Hi. My name is Jeannie, and I’m a petty dictator.” So your sys admins and architects want to go somewhere nice out of town. Would it kill them to be nice about how they asked for their preferences? Oh, that kind one brought in lunch, and remembered your penchant for dark chocolate. How thoughtful.

 Now, the rude ones that were going to a SANS conference? How about that session in Alabama in August? But you, oh you sweet thing, I love flowers! Yes, you should absolutely go to those classes in DC during the cherry blossom festival. Mm, how kind of you to share your quirky humor, I’d just love to send you off to New Orleans just before Mardi Gras, when your mother in law was visiting your wife.

 I think the real lesson here is to be nice to people you work with, whenever you can. What does it cost you to treat all your fellow human beings with dignity, respect, and at least an even tone of voice if you cannot muster pleasant? We all have issues. Some of you have subscriptions. Why is it so hard to keep your internal angst bottled up, so that you can just be a decent human being to those around you? Save your vitriol and inner turmoil for the internet and the TV set, my beloveds. They don’t care if you yell at them.

 My own splendid manager then decided he’d had enough cat herding, and longed to go back to the simple life in engineering. We spent the next week talking over what he’d offload to me to take over, advice, and other useful comments. The day of the all hands meeting, though, he pulled me aside looking very sober.

 “I put in that you should be the NOC manager after me. They’re your people anyway. God knows they’re loyal to you, and you built that team and architecture.”

 “Thanks. Yay!”

“Uh, hold that yay. They’re giving the position to the SLA manager. Watch your back.”

 Buh? My team! MINE! Grr. Our SLA manager was hired to manage one whole contract. What does one do as an SLA manager, in this instance? Why, one plays for hours with crystal reports, trying to make pretty graphs of one very small data set. Days? Weeks! Why did we hire an SLA manager again? Gosh she’s pretty. And takes really long lunches with the IT Director. Any other duties were purely ceremonial.

 So for the second time since I trained the computer guy at Kinko’s back in early college to take the job I wanted, I got to sit there and look impassive while my job was given to someone else, less qualified. When the announcement came, every single one of my guys turned to look at me, bewildered. I confess it hurt. The wryly ironic part was that I then got to explain very carefully what a NOC did and was, and how I’d arranged the staffing for coverage, and a lot of other basics about our work to the pretty little thing. In small words with a lot of pictures, as she wasn't that quick to get it all. I also endured her counseling me that this was her organization now and she’d make whatever changes she needed to, and how I needed to be supportive.

 “Oh, I understand. I feel the same way,” I thought to myself, and headed off to another VP to see about changing from Ops to Dev later that same day. As it happened, his Dev team had room for a headcount to assist with project management and requirements gathering and analysis. So with a new job offer in hand, I went to go see about changing departments, only to be told it wasn’t possible. No no, the NOC couldn’t afford to lose my expertise. Ain’t that a kick in the pants?

 Instead of an official transfer, I now got my first ‘dotted line’ reporting structure over to development. I didn’t have anything to do with the NOC anymore, but I was still technically their technical lead and trainer. Three weeks later, half the dev team (this time me included) got our walking papers. Our fearless leaders had run through the Venture Capital funding at a record place. (Did I forget to mention the executive bathrooms? Wow. You should have seen them. Palatial! And flat screens for everyone! Hush you, this was in the ‘90s and really impressive.)

 I was saddened, but my separation fee was a few weeks’ pay so I had a cushion to go look for another job. Sadder still was the morning two weeks after me that my dear friend the project manager, who had only just recovered from the Security/No Clothes debacle, showed up to the doors being closed and locked for good. I think she stayed around a while longer, helping them catalog and sell off the assets to cover her own separation package. And offload our one contract for hosting to another site. See? Now there’s loyalty! I hope someday she finds a place that actually appreciates an honest and loyal soul.

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More thoughts on how I'm learning to be an adult.

"Life as it is. I've lived for over forty years, and I've seen life as it is. Pain! Misery! Cruelty beyond belief! I've heard all the voices of God's noblest creatures: moans of pain from bundles in the street. (snip) And life itself seems lunatic! Who knows where madness lies?! Perhaps to be too practical is madness! To surrender dreams, this may be madness! To seek treasure where there is only trash! Too much sanity may be madness! But maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as how it should be!" ~Man of La Mancha

Now that I'm over 40, this is more true than ever. Two years ago I realized I was no longer the happy person I had tried to be, with thanks to those who pointed out how I had been changing. I had become accustomed to living life as it is, and commiserating with people that are determined to experience every negative emotion and situation that comes their way. It is easy to focus on the negative, with the self delusion that one is improving oneself by seeing all the flaws around us clearly.

I say delusion because I really don't believe this is the case. I could dwell on the truth that every single person has let me down in a large or small ways over time and association. I could admit that I have been overly sensitive, and hurt many times. Or I could open my arms wide and embrace the humanity of those I love and care for, and allow them to be as flawed and human as I am.

I believe that it is more important to laugh than to cry. I believe it is more important to forgive than to allow myself to be insulted. I believe that it is more important to be the rag that wipes the dust off the traveler's boot as they come inside my metaphorical home than it is to be the outraged homeowner when someone tracks in mud flung in the outside world. I clearly also love metaphors way too much.

I believe in serious introspection. And I believe that there are times to throw it away and dance in the moment when they come. I believe it is important to hold my fellow dancers up when they stagger, and encourage them to find the steps to their hearts' homes. Life as it is will always provide sharp stones in the road, that will bruise our feet. I choose to sigh then laugh at my sore feet, and try to find companions with similar feet to sit together in a stream where the cool water can wash it away.

It is easy to empathize, and sometimes I think people don't know how deeply I really do understand their negative moments. But I choose not to suffer from the indignities that life as it is heaps upon us, and can only hope they will as well. It is a path, not a destination, to choose to be a happy person, as one does not just wake up one day to discover one is happy forever after, amen. Every moment, every stumble, one has to choose joy, forgiveness, and love. And I know I will forget sometimes, and grouse my way through a moment. I only vow to struggle to let the grousing and grumbling go as often as possible, and live for the next moment rather than being harmed by the last.

Sooner or later, one has to let go all the pain and unhappiness of the past, and say proudly to the universe that I am more than the sum of my experiences. It is not proving to be the easiest set of choices I've ever made, this business of always trying to choose happiness, but I think it's the most fulfilling. It's certainly better than carrying around anger, bitterness, hurt, and pain.

And now I have to decide if sending these musings to my Niece would make a difference or not.

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So I had an extra $143 on my Macy's card somehow, I think from paying off a Feb. bill twice. It sat there at -$143 for a couple months while I waited to see if it was a mistake. But it apparently was not.

Priority wise, I really wanted some cute flat sandals for summer. The perfect summer sandal is like a holy grail, akin to Boot Quest but trickier. Too strappy and heeled, and it feels like my foot is being forced through a ricer. Too comfortable and it looks like mom would wear them. Shoes should be foot jewelry, sex, right? I found a couple pair in the sale rack, and if I bought both they were 20% off and came to under $100. I own them.

But I also went on my first ever cruise this February, and fell deeply in love with the whole "I can sit in a piano bar every night, sing along, and look at the ocean while tuxedo clad men bring me drinks" lifestyle. I plan to do one every other year if I can, possibly starting Christmas out of New Orleans. (ps - wanna come?)

Anyway. There was formal night on the cruise, and I realized I really don't own anything truly formal in modern clothing. I looked around in my plain purple velvet dress, and saw glitter and lace and gowns that I never owned. But why not, I suddenly wondered. I hadn't tried anything like that on since losing 100 lbs. So I wandered back to the Woman's area, where they had a discount rack. (My price range - since I didn't have that much on the card.)

I tried on a lot. I discovered that having size 18-20 ta tas and size 14 waist isn't something they sew off the rack for the most part. Not to mention a really long waist. But all those pretty fluttery dresses? The ruching/gathers up the front that used to look so awful? I looked... good! I mean, not great, but I'd dance with me! And I sat down at cried for a moment in a pile of tulle and tissue, in a combination of joy for finally feeling I might be pretty and frustrated sadness for all the years I never dared even try on pretty dresses because they never came in my size.

And I found one that's really close. Maybe an inch or two at the waist and hips, and it'll be perfect. I paid $55 and brought it home to hang up. I keep crying when I think about it there in my closet.

I may be a touch hormonal today.
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There I was, letting my Account Manager know my plans, my activities. I thought we'd agreed on a separation date of May 23. Alas, today I got a "Your last day is May 11" letter.

I kinda feel a little screwed. Next time I'll just give my two weeks notice. Honesty is not the best policy for work environments. See, companies, THIS Is why you feel left in the lurch by your employee set. There is no reward for doing the right thing, so people don't bother.

Ah well. Have an interview tonight and another tomorrow, and hopefully will hear about interviews already gone by soon.
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Today, the story is all about catching up. My laundry fairy is flown down south for spring cleanings there, so the piles are getting out of hand and need to be mastered today. When I woke up, I thought that I would make pancakes for the house. Maybe waffles. Then I discovered the shopping list needed to include such elements as eggs, milk and butter. So we went out for brekkies instead, and I had roughly what I would have had at home in two eggs over easy with toast. I like IHOP as much or more as the higher priced place we went.

Kitty-ums has a small flea wandering around on her, so dosed her fur and will be laundering the blankets along with vacuuming in general today.

Creatively I plan to get chords written out for a song, possibly my "Tall and Frightening" written out. This week I got a piece written by GregRobin re-transposed properly. Citizens, hear me out! There's only so much a music program can do for you! It cannot recognize key signature nor time signature properly. (Also if you flub a measure here or there it is merciless about recording your sixty-fourth rests and random notes. Evil machines!) So discussed some basic theory and ear training lessons with the guys and they were open to it. Life needs more music in it. Bitsy kindly set up the keyboard for me to monkey around and figure out simple chords for the Whitechapel Blues.

Going out to dash by a pawn shop and see if they have a push mower cheap. Or other mower cheap. And return by way of the fabric store, where I'm going to pop in and see if they want a box of scraps to use for their quilting classes. Yes, by hook or crook we're going to stop hoarding scraps and trim!

I have another job interview, this time near Pike's Market in Seattle for DocuSign. Security Compliance Manager, mostly reviewing contracts and terminology. Could be seriously fun! But really, anything outside of my current position is good. I told my Account Manager I plan to try and be gone by 5/15, so I've created the light at the end of the tunnel for myself. If I'm stuck with a week or two not working, aw shucky darn. No more being depressed about work.
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As we're getting a bluesy feel for the band, and (more fun for me) resolved to start performing only our own music, I'm on a roll for new lyrics. They may not book us for the Victorian Monsters' Steamcon in October, but we're going to rock the heck out of busking there! This is dedicated to the notion of how not all monsters come from the black lagoon or beyond the grave.

(Sung to the tune of St. James Infirmary.)

I went down to a Whitechapel side street
To see the ladies there,
That girl, she wore a dress of sable,
So sweet, so cool, so hot, so fair.

I went up, sayin' "I'm the doctor,
"You're very low," I said;
She held me close there in Buck's Row
And now she's lying cold and dead.

I met a girl called Annie Chapman,
On the corner by the square
Her throat was white, my knife was thirsty,
And no one ever saw me there.

Hey here's the ghost of Catherine Eddowes,
With her gown of deepest red;
I wrote on the wall beside her,
And to her bones I said:

"Lay you down, lay you down, God bless you;
You'll sin no more, you're free
You may search the wide world over
And never find a kinder man than me."

Oh, when I die, don't hate me
You know I cleaned up London's street;
I sing these girls to their salvation
I've made it clean for highborn feet.

And Scotland Yard will bear my coffin
Six chorus girls to sing my song
There'll be no heaven for my trouble
I've come From Hell to go along

Now that's the end of my story
Once Mary Kelly died so wrong
And if anyone should ask you just tell them
I am the new Whitechapel Song.

jeanvieve: (Default)

I am she as you are thee as you are me
And we are all together
See how they sail like they're running from a gale
See how they swim, I'm laughing

Hanging in the rocky sea
Waiting for the fleet to come
Singin' with their blimey, come on little limey,
Sailor been a naughty boy
You let your whiskers grow

He is the dolphin
I am the wordsmith
We are the Kraken!
Coo Coo kachoo!

Galleon pretty, little cutty,
Shiny little cannons in a row
See how they fly like thunder in the sky
See how they run, I'm laughing

I'm laughing. I'm laughing,

Black and inky ichor
Dripping from a sea dog's eye
Portside it's a fishwife
Pretty little Sally
Hoy, you've been a naughty girl
He got your knickers down!
 
He is the dolphin
I am the wordsmith
We are the Kraken!
Coo Coo kachoo!

In an octopus's garden
Waiting for the ships
If the ship don't come you get some rum
From following the whaler fleet
 
He is the dolphin
I am the wordsmith
We are the Kraken!
Coo coo Kachoo
Ka-Coo coo Kachoo!

Seamen, G-men, rowing flowing,
Don't you think the siren sings for you?
See how they cry like seagulls in the sky
See how they drown. I'm calling!
Hanging in the North Sea, Cruising down the English Channel
Bloody little penguins singing Abney Park
And man, you should have seen them dancing
On the icy floes
 
He is the dolphin
I am the wordsmith
We are the Kraken!
Coo Coo kachoo!
Ka-Coo coo Kachoo!



Oh yeah. I'm-a gonna sing this one on stage one day.
jeanvieve: (Default)
Please disregard if you like - I won't debate on FB. But sometimes I need a good, solid rant, and screaming at a blank wall is about the same as writing TO the person in question. Especially if they're your cousin and you just don't need the family drama/grief. So this is to my cousin Mike.


I have had a abortion. Actually, I had more than one. If this makes me a horrible baby killing murderer in your eyes, I will not blame you if you unfriend me. In fact, I encourage it highly.


Especially if you don't care why. If you think there can be no justification short of rape or incest, then unfriend me.


If you think that you can change my mind about why I'm for early to mid term abortions, and even late term under life threatening circumstances. unfriend me. If you think that any female on this planet considers abortion as a viable method of birth control, unfriend me because you're a moron. Better if you actually go talk rationally to girls who have had them and ask what was going on in their lives that they did it, but I'm not convinced you can do it in a non-judgemental or accusatory manner. Not from the stuff you post.


If you really in your heart believe that life and a soul happen at the first cell division, you'll be happier unfriending me because I think you're a moron for that too.


If you think that God can cause miscarriages and it's okay, and that God can make a bunny deliberately re-absorb multiple fetuses back into it's womb, but it's not okay for humans to do it, then unfriend me by all means. If you think that God made frogs and sharks able to change their gender and reproduce without boys but that reproduction is God's gift to Man alone, then by all means unfriend me.


I really won't miss the way you and your posts and your writing make my stomach knot up with helpless rage and frustration, as must be the case with me for you. I don't want you to lose sleep. I do not want to lose sleep either. I will not engage in debates with you, especially if you are not fully versed in science and biology, or even the English language when there are dictionaries at your fingertips. I will not debate with you on topics you have chosen to champion based on rhetoric instead of your own experience and research.


So if you're against abortion, don't have one. If you believe it's murder, then we don't have much to say to one another and never will, because this is an emotional issue for both of us and people don't change their minds on emotional issues.


If you need to label me a leftist commie, tree hugger, murdering bitch of a socialist in your head to make you happy about unfriending me, I'm okay with that.

And yeah, I'll probably unfriend you in particular in a week or so once I calm down and the issue fades away. You'll never miss me, I don't think. I sure won't miss you.


jeanvieve: (Default)

When you hear a phrase over and over again, it starts to ring little bells in your head whenever it goes off. The bells in my belfry are ringing. So here's a small rant about "People like me".

You're all people like me. We are all of us capable of judging, of thinking for ourselves, of making decisions for ourselves. We are all capable of embracing or eschewing whatever it is that we choose to embrace or push away. We are all crazy. We are all sane. We are all capable of being both within the space of the same sentence.

We choose who we want to be. We choose what we want to feel and do and how we want to react. There is not one human being on this planet outside of a straightjacket that is not CAPABLE of changing anything they dislike about how they think, or how they act, how they feel. I believe that in all of you, even when you do not believe it of yourselves.

People with disabilities prove this all the time. I've worked with people with severe brain injuries. They work hard to overcome their limitations. Many can. Some cannot, but learn to deal and play the hand they're given.

So you're all not crazy. And I DO NOT EVER EVER THINK YOU'RE CRAZY! Yes, that's me yelling in my head at the computer screen. I wish with the force of a thousand stars that no one would ever worry about what I'm thinking and feeling about what's going on in their head. I have enough to deal with going on in my own head. Frankly you do too, all of you. Deal with what's in there, and just don't worry yourself about anyone else's head. They say chicks over forty won't ever ask what you're thinking, and it's true. We don't care. We really, really don't. We care how you act, and whether you seem to be damaging yourself over time.

Individually, and this is directed outward at every single person I know, I disagree with one or another choice you have made. Yup, there it is. I would not choose the same. Now, was that so bad? Take a deep breath.

I also, and here's the fun part, agree with one choice or another that every single human on this planet has made for themselves. Especially the ones about taking care of themselves, figuring themselves out, and going forward as the splendid, bright and shiny people that I know you all are inside.

I've walked around inside a psych ward, twice. I've seen the sad and unfortunate instance where the machine has gone wrong, and I quietly prayed for each one of them for enough of an adjustment that they could function again in a good place in the world. Just like I say a few words in my head everytime the ambulance goes by. It's reflexive, and if my tiny little happy waves mean a darned thing, I'd be glad.

People like me have faith in mankind. People like me think that every human being is wonderful, wanted, and useful in some way. People like me want only the best for everyone, and cheer quietly to ourselves when that seems to be going on. People like me are sad when we see people hitting their heads into the same walls over and over, but get resigned to the notion that we cannot remove all the walls, or convince all the people not to go wall seeking. We do not think less of the head butt-ers. We love them. And if those people say to us that they get a kick out of butting heads against walls, we'll have a sip of Belle de Brillet and toast their joy and not worry one little bit about them. Cause that's not our job.

People like us are too busy trying to live our own lives with our internal criteria of success, and weighing whether we're measuring up. We don't measure other people against our criteria because they're not us. They have their own paths. We weigh their success in terms of their happiness. Cause that's how we weigh our own.


So. Are y'all happy?


jeanvieve: (Default)
Well, we may have found a new place to live. We really like this place that's only a mile or less down from where we live now, which is a pretty great location for all our needs. It's also move-in ready, which delights the boys. Amabel and I didn't mind the thought of personalizing our space, and I'm betting with property management I'm going to be stuck with white walls for the next year. But everything else about it is good, and there's a lot more space which we desperately needed.

Packing will likely start right after Pennsic. The nice part about moving a whole mile, and starting out across from the U-Haul a block and a half away, is the cheap nature of this one. Should cost under $100 to move all four of us, even counting the stuff in Stephen's storage shed. Rent will go up, but I can live with that.

I'm bored with my job, but they love me and know I'm looking with no hard feelings, so it's good to be up front and honest. I finished the PMP classes, now just studying for the test when I get back from Pennsic. It's all pretty fresh, and by joining PMI I get the latest PMBOK anyway. I don't know if this thing will get me a job. I more hope that some of this might translate into an MBA, as I have a feeling I may need to go that direction. And it might also be time to think about the long term plan.

Personal goals: Dump my house in Springfield. I'll take the loss, and might just be forced to borrow some $$ for a short sale if needed. Looking likely, but is a cheerful resolution to that issue.

Lose the rest of the weight gain back to last fall. Pennsic will be a good place to start this, with more walking up and down hill all day. I have not been physically active enough, although I got a handle back on the diet again. I've lost five pounds back, the rest will come, darn it.

Read two books cover to cover on business planning for entrepreneuers. It's not a mindset I know well. I read Rachael's blog on opening a cafe, and it's not as intimidating to me. Just a lot of project management, which I can do. Plus I know this fabulous marketing firm in Sunnyvale with two cute little girls to engage when it gets liftoff. Looking forward to meeting Stacia and Pony in Las Vegas for the planning this fall. I would like to love my job. There was a fun looking one just on opening a coffee shop. Wonder if a small business loan would be a start? Never use your own money!

Mid term - get a new, interesting, and more to the point higher paying job. LinkedIn is my friend, but if anyone knows a good recruiter in the south bay area, let me know!
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