Monday, February 28, 2005

Will trade time to sleep for...as yet undetermined commodity.

--> I am wearing a pleated skirt today. it looked cute in the store, but in practice, the pleats don't fall right, & I feel vaguely like I'm in Catholic school again. (not like, in a dirty way. in the way where I'm forced to wear dowdy clothing.) I think this skirt's goin' back. Bye bye skirt!

--> Tech writer J & I are either going to bring about an entirely different approach for how our company markets itself (i.e., one borne in the last ten years) or we're going to get fired. It's a toss up, I'll keep y'all posted.

--> It's possible that the letter I sent to refile my refiled appeal (yes, we're on #3 here people!) for financial aid is going to give the Fin. Aid Dir. a heart attack, 'cause by no effort of my own, every time I do this, they've screwed up more. This time 'round I attached the letter from my undergrad student loan people informing me that the school I'm attending has told them I no longer go there, so they were going to take my loans out of deferrment. The hell? Danu's tits, dude - just give me my damn Stafford Loan for the hassle at this point!

--> Working at MB again tonight. Sadly, I have a feeling that work tonight will include more schoolwork while standing at a valet podium on Cahuenga, but none of the fun getting to hold an Oscar that it had last night. ::sad face::

--> Working tonight after working last night pretty much means about three hours sleep, which gives me a whopping six hours in the space of about 50 hours. My brain, she is of the tired. If I had the time to drink I would, but I have class Tues night & work Wed. morning. No fun for me....

Friday, February 25, 2005

Dammit Jim!

• Get to work -- check.
• Be late to morning meeting -- check!
• Have on the spot silent conspiracy with tech writer wherein we presented an impromptu revamping of the way our company goes about determining its advertising and ended up giving a small seminar called "Why the advertising in the natural products industry sucks and it's time we looked at how other industries do it so that we don't suck anymore" -- check check check!
• Get assigned to do new print campaign -- fuck.

• Curse my clever brain -- aw, yeah...

Thursday, February 24, 2005

My job makes my brain hurrrrrrt....

Boss : We're (trans. ME) going to make a new brand identity for Product A, based on new findings.
Me : Okay.
Boss : I need marketing that highlights Medical Terminology A, B & C, since it has benefits in fighting Diagnosis A, B, & C.
Me : I don't know what any of that is.
Boss : Excuse me?
Me : Well, before I can you know, give you art for something, I need to know what it is and...no one's explained to me what exactly the product does if you want a new brand identity.
Boss : Well we've got a nutritionist and a Ph.D here, I'm sure that we have an idea of what we're doing.
Me : But your designers aren't nutritionists and Ph.Ds, and I don't have time to read through a billion page study especially since my degree is in design which isn't, you know, science. Therefore, I need you to give me an explanation of the product, what it does, and what it helps remedy, because Diagnosis A, B, & C? Yeah, I don't know what that is.
Boss : Well quickly I can tell you that Diagnosis A is...
Me : No. Written. I need it written down if for no other reason than so that when I'm looking at stuff on photos.com, I have a keyword for their search engine.
Boss : oh.
Me : and I'll need it by 10 am tomorrow morning for the meeting you scheduled so that the designers have a better idea of what's going on.
---------

I can see that I'll be sitting down tomorrow & making up a form of "Things you must be able to tell me about new products before I will work on their brand identity." ::facepalm:: There's this thing. It's called A Marketing Strategy. Maybe we should, you know look into doing that.

The only bright spot to my day is that so far, all my homework is caught up. Therefore, I'm using the 20 minutes I have before my next class to trot across the street to Subway...tra la la...

and for those of you that asked, I get to call Mr. Financial Aid back tomorrow.
::coffee commercial voice::
What Mr. Financial Aid doesn't know is that we've switched the normal college student who hasn't already been through all this crap before with Claris, whose prepared response in case of rejection will be, "Great. So...who's your boss? I'll be calling him next."

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Is Tinseltown supposed to leak like that?

so as you may have heard, it's been a little precipitation-heavy here in ye olde "L" to the "A" to the "ngeles".

Sadly, no one considered this as a possibility when they built the city. The result being that all sorts of things electrical are all wonky - the security keypad for our office was offline, phone lines have been down in certain places, etc.

But the best thing is the traffic lights. Because it would seem no one thought, "Hey, it might rain one day, why don't we get traffic lights that are waterproof?" All over the city, every so often you'll come across intersections where there's just...not a dang thing. For instance, on Sat night on my way to Spiffy!Hotel, I got the lovely surprise of the lights at the corner of Santa Monica & La Cienega being out. This is not a small intersection boys & girls. And this was at 5:45 on a Sat night. There was nothing to control traffic flow other than a blinking red light and the ability inherent in every citizen of Los Angeles to summon up every whit of their skills in the area of responsible vehicular operation.

Needless to say, I was ten minutes late to work.

Hi! I'm an example of everything your school DOESN'T do! ::waves!::

oh god. okay. so this is my saga of the Financial Aid office.

Fill out FAFSA.

Yes, acc. to the gov't, I qualify for aid.

Acc. to my school, because what I'm doing is after my Bachelor's & they don't do Bachelor's, (comm. college = Assoc., Certificate Programs, or transfer to 4 year undergrad programs, normally) I don't qualify for aid.

Appeal.

Get denied, & handed a list of private loan companies. Except it's not actually different companies, it's actually ONE loan offered by three different banks. I'm under 26, single, have no co-signer, and have been at my job less than two years. Wanna guess how my application went over? Yeah. nothing like three rejections in one day to make you feel spiffy.

Then we get to the fun point where I decide "Frell this dren, I'm making Fin. Aid do their job". Now the suck-tastic fin aid counselor had mentioned to me that their Fin. Aid Dir. was new & had only been there like, two months. Soooo...I called the school operator & went, "Oh, I'm sorry! I was looking for Financial Aid. Actually, maybe you can help me - I'm calling from the AIGA, and I just wanted to verify the contact information for your new Fin. Aid Dir. - proper spelling of his name for our mailings, direct line, things like that....thank you! You have a nice day too."

Heh. Years of working as an admin/temp/marketing assistant pays off eventually. *g*

Cut to the part where I spend a day writing a letter, deciding it sucks & having Anya & lawgeekgurl tweak it for me. Anya made it businesslike, lawgeekgurl made it ominous. I lurve my friends. I also made up an excel spreadsheet of my schedule for a normal week, & went, "Wow. I didn't even make any of that up, and I'm pretty fucking pathetic." My cohorts, being the charitable souls they are, agreed wholeheartedly to my patheticness. Thanks guys!

Anyway, so yesterday I call the FAD (heh. I've GOT to refer to him that way from now on, I just do) & leave a msg. Surprisingly enough, he actually called back. I got about halfway through explaining that while I originally was looking at grad school, I've since determined that for my professional needs, an Associate's in programming would be more applicable to my needs since a Masters' would be more theoretical than what I'm looking for right now, so I DO qualify for fin. aid because I'm doing an AS, not pre reqs for an MS. And then he begins.

"Well when the academic counselors sat down with you to go over your educational plan..."
"You mean when they printed my schedule?"
"Excuse me?"
"Have you actually, um, been to Academic Counseling?"
"Well no, I can't say that I've spent time there."
"It's rather, well, hairy over there. Bit of a crapshoot, really."
"What happened when you went?"
"Well, I walked into counseling the way your dept. told me to, & explained that I needed an Educational Plan for my fin. aid appeal paperwork. They put me into Express Counseling which is for the quickie stuff I guess. I waited about ten minutes, they called my name, I explained that I needed an Educational Plan. They said all right, & printed out a copy of the classes I took in the fall, the one that I was in for winter semester at the time, & what I was going to register for in spring, & told me I was all set."
"No no..an educational plan is supposed to be when a counselor sits down with you, helps you determine what your academic needs are in terms of your career goals."
"Yeah, nobody's ever done that. I've never seen a counselor."
"Excuse me?"
"I've never seen an academic counselor."
"Surely to qualify for certain classes, you had to sit down and bring in your transcripts. We have your transcripts from your Bachelor's right?"
"Nope."
"What?"
"Well, I had been looking to take Calc II last fall, so I ordered an official and an unofficial from my old school ahead of time & brought them in. I walked in, offered them the official copy, but they just looked at the unofficial copy and handed it back saying that was good enough. Ended up not taking Calc because none of the units I wanted were open, but other than that...no one's ever asked me about my transcripts or any of the things you've mentioned."
"What happened when you came into our department to do your appeal?"
"I sat down with ::counselor's name::, showed her what I had. Then I wrote out the appeal, had her read it over, and she sat in her office and told me 'Yes, this should be fine.' "
"How long have you been attending school here?"
"This will be my third semester."
"So at any point during this entire process has anyone ever discussed the purpose of your education with you?"
"No. And since ::counselor's name:: mentioned to me that you hadn't been there that long, I wasn't sure what your preference for things like this were, so I figured I'd just call you directly."
"Okay. You need to have an educational counseling session so that it can be determined what your needs are in terms of your course path and what classes can be used towards this degree from your Bachelor's..."
"I can't do that."
"Excuse me?"
"I'm not allowed to use the credits from my BFA towards an Associates because it's already been used for one degree, so it doesn't count towards another. Look, nobody at your school helped me, so I did it on my own. I've already talked to UCLA, USC & Cal State Northridge to determine what their programs are and what I'd have to do to go there. I have everything you're talking about done already...Would you like me to put everything together and make up a packet to leave for you when I go to campus Wed. night?"
"That would probably be best. I'll have your transcripts pulled by then from your BFA so we can see what courses will count."
"They're not there. The transcripts, that is."
"Not the official ones, but the unofficial copy that they looked at...those should be in your file."
"No, I've got those. I told you -- they looked at the unofficial copy and gave it back to me. I have a sealed official copy and the unofficial copy. The school never kept the ones I brought at all."

::note : I'm pretty sure this is the point where I heard his brain break::


....so, between that & the part where I went, "Look, I'm not looking for Fin. Aid for fun here - I'm trying to go to school, and I've got three jobs, and you guys are turning me down."... I think I gave the man a brainache. He's possibly even going to be there tonight depending on how late I get there from work so, yeah. This should be fun fun kids ... I'll keep y'all updated.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Yeah, I know the jargon, baby.

Last night at boxing, I'm talking to M, this tiny Latino girl who's my partner for the night. She comments, "Nah, I figure I sold my soul, the devil owes me." I jokingly replied, "So you're a lawyer then."
"I'm taking the bar next week! How'd you know?"
"Oh, I know a couple of lawgeeks...."

Monday, February 14, 2005

Friends are fun.

lawgeekgurl : Whatcha doin'?
Claris : I'm making water
lawgeekgurl : Oh, okay. ::insert more conversation here::
Claris : ::mumbling:: Fuck. gradients take up too much memory. I need to reboot.
lawgeekgurl :Oh wait, you're making water on the computer...
Claris :What'd you think I was doing? I'm drawing on the computer, not like, reconfiguring the building blocks of the universe or anything.
lawgeekgurl :I dunno, I figured it was a euphamism for something, so I just...kept going. Wow. That's really hard, isn't it?
Claris :Yeah it is.
lawgeekgurl :Wasn't someone doing that a while ago? I remember seeing testing of graphics for that, & that it took them a really long time...wait, wasn't that you?
Claris : ::sigh:: sadly yes. I'm starting another project at work. I need to stop thinking shit up & going, "Yeah, I can do that!" 'cause after that? comes the part where I have to figure out how to make it happen.
lawgeekgurl :Yeah, that's generally a problem.

Actually, the best part of that conversation was where I referenced how they had to layer color onto gollum's skin as an example of what a pain in the ass it is to make natural 3-D textures, & the lawyer replied, "oh can't you just like, steal what they did or something? I mean, I don't think the LotR guys will be trying to buy ::stuff my co sells:: any time soon."
"Well I'm not actually making gollum. That was more an example."
"Right, plus stealing graphics isn't illegal at all."
"says THE LAWYER."

*snerk*

This is how we get one another into trouble, ladies & gentlemen....

Simple things for a simple mind...

I know I shouldn't be so delighted by this, but I love the automated package shipping machine at the Post Office. One of the hardest things for me for sending out packages is that I'm almost always doing something (work/school) when the post office is open, so I can never get there to send out the package. But the P.O. near me got one this weekend, and it's fabulous -- I can stop there, get my postage for the oversized package, & if it's too big to fit into their drop box, I can just be lazy, leave it in my trunk, & put it in the out basket at work the next day! Me likey.

Also, I had to laugh when I saw that a sheet of 18 stamps now costs $6.66.

Friday, February 11, 2005

things you think up in the shower...

Magazines scream
I could get flat abs
if I'd live for a month
on melons.
Sorry I like real food too much
but good news -
spam's tellin' me
this dating service screens for felons!

I'm just a real-life romantic
Looking to find someone
Amdist a life
admittedly hectic
You're an idiot
Guess what I am too
Let's try being idiots together
& maybe you'll find
there's a real-life romantic in you.

Fortune tellers on Melrose
claim they got my future
hidden in the stars
Simple girl I am
I'd be happy if
this morning's game of 3-D Frogger
doesn't end with me squashed by a car.

I'm just a real-life romantic
Looking to find someone
Amdist a life
admittedly hectic
You're an idiot
Guess what I am too
Let's try being idiots together
& maybe you'll find
there's a real-life romantic in you.


....I haven't figured out the rest yet. ::shrug:: we'll see.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

smoke & mirrors.

Okay, I'm not making this up.

So I'm going through the code on the old site, & I think, "Hrm. we have a search engine at the top. I should keep that for the updated code." I go, I look for the search script they used.

There's no script. Because the search engine on the site? Isn't actually a search engine. It's just a graphic of a white box that yes, you can type a word into, & when you hit "search", it doesn't actually do anything! They just...made a pretty picture!

::facepalm::

Yeah. I think I'll let that one just...fall by the wayside when I upgrade.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Yes, people, Anya's office is so clean & she is so proud of it, she sent me a picture.
::cough::dork::cough::

I've decided, upon spending the day climbing through my company's web server & finding eight years' worth of files jumbled in with the actual, you know, live website, that I have two options -
a) solve the problems, clean the server, & rewrite the code for the present site we have live while I wait for content for the site redesign so that we'll at least be functional in the interim
b) quit.

Option b? Looking like the better option. ::sigh::

I had other witty things to say, but instead, we'll flash to my apartment last night:

Excuse me children - decorum is not your enemy!


These are things you say when you have two fifty pound dogs re-enacting the fight from The Lion King in your living room. Who needs kids?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

What? I'm just sayin'...

Let's all give a hollah for my neighbor's unsecured wireless feed which I can shamelessly piggy back off of since I have the Tiny!Fast! Laptop from my company again for the night.

See, here's the thing - my car? Sucks ass. After this weekend's adventure, I was possibly prone to make "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" exclamations this morning when my engine decided to jump into overdrive & you know, stay there, then go down, & jump back up for the last four miles on the highway before I got to work. Therefore, the KIA? She's gettin' a transmission flush t'morrae. However, to do that, I'll have to take time out of work & use a sick day.

Or will I....Welcome to a little series we'll call "Conversations where Claris' thought patterns throw her boss off balance"

Claris : Hiya.
Boss : Hello.
Claris : So, I have a little problem. My car is acting up, so I need to leave it at the mechanic tomorrow.
Boss : That's too bad.
Claris : Well yes. Anyway, I figure I have two options - I could a) call you & you know, lie & say I'm sick when I'm not, or b) come in here & ask you if I could borrow a laptop & work from home tomorrow.
Boss : ::blink:: Um, I can talk to ITGuy, & we'll see what we can do.
Claris : Great!
Boss : What are you working on right now, anyway?
For those of you new to the game, my marketing director is...::cough:: interesting. He, um, I don't think he entirely knows exactly what it is I do, just that he ends up with webpages & pretty graphics every so often.
Claris : I'm taking the comp of the new site that the CEO approved & turning the code over to xhtml according to the strict dtd so that it'll be compliant with W3C verification. It pretty much guarantees mulit-browser cross platform compatibility. Plus, ITGuy wants me to take a look at finally clearing off the old server, so I need to go through those directories.
Boss : oh. right. That's...that's a good idea. What's the W3C?
Claris : World Wide Web Consortium that dictates the industry standards for scripting & code. Thanks for the laptop!

Besides, I don't think he's ever recovered from the conversation where he asked me about how I did a MOUNTAIN of print work if I have a concentration in web design, & I replied, "I actually have no idea what I'm doing."
"But, you put out the brochures, and DVD covers, and that media kit..."
"Yeah, I made it up."
"What?"
"::shrug:: I made it up as I went. Can I go back to web work now?"

It's possible I frighten my boss sometimes. But that's okay. It's good for him, really. I mean, come on - I'm telling the truth. He can't really argue with it when I'm just that...blatant.

In other news, having Bourne Supremacy on makes me want to buy the score & mix up a couple of running sets using that & the score from The Italian Job. You know, in my free time...

Monday, February 07, 2005

I seriously think that one day, I might fall over. Gah.

Due to a series of unfortunate automative events (which, now that I've typed that out, will probably be the name of the ND.com article), I had the whole weekend to myself. Did I work on the editing that's dogged my sorry ass for a year? No.
Did I finish the pencil piece that's been on my easel for at least four months now so that I could start the painting I thumbnailed last week? Of course not. Although, actually, I did work on it. I just didn't finish it.
Did I do ANYTHING except the Laundry Borne of Desperation? no.
I ended up sleeping a lot & every so often s-l-o-w-l-y picking up my hovel of an apartment. It turns out that underneath everything that was on the bottom of my apartment, there's a floor! Really! I swept it & everything!

Okay, so granted I sat down on Sat. night & type out my day which turned into a 10 page ND.com article. And I had the pleasure of surprising a bunch of auto guys when we couldn't find wire to test the current on the fuse panel for my fuel pump & I pulled out a plastic covered paperclip & suggested we just strip off the ends since the plastic would work as insulation.
Which reminds me, I need to go let someone know about the 1st season of MacGuyver on DVD....

The point being that feel like when I finally have time to do shite, I just...don't get around to it, 'cause a part of me goes, "ooh, the couch looks comfeeee." ::sigh::

And then, today, I was looking at my semester schedule - I thought I was going to have a week inbetween Winter ending & Spring starting. No such luck, it would seem - Winter ends for me on Thurs. night & starts up again Tues night. The funny part of that being that thanks to the way they stacked classes this new semester, I'll actually have more days to myself than I did last semester - I get Monday & Wed. nights free. And w/o the Spanish class on Sat. mornings, I can get some sleep after Spiffy!Hotel on Fri night, since my VB.net class is from 1 - 4, after which I can stop at home, change, let the puppers out, & be back at Spiffy!Hotel for 6.

I would like to take this moment to say that I'd very much appreciate it if the universe would stop filling my brain with ideas of things that I then want to accomplish, because I just don't have the time anymore, thanks. No! Stop! No more! Shut up! www.zipit.com!
Gah.

However, tonight I shall use my time valeting at MB to go through & take notes on the last three chapters of xhtml, what with the final on Thurs. & all. Thought that'd be a good application of my time there, right? 'cause nothing says "perfect studying environment" like standing at a valet stand on Cahuenga Blvd on a Monday night...

Friday, February 04, 2005

I've had a blog for less than a day, & already I've gotten jokes from friends about the fact that I can't stop taking on new projects.

Thanks guys! *g*

does it make me a bad person...

...if when looking back on a the end of a six year acquaintance with someone, you think, "You know, if nothing else, that was almost worth the hassle just to get the number of that great mechanic. I'm really gonna miss that mechanic when I move."

Clearly, I need help.

Great

I'd like to take the auspicious opportunity of my first blog post to congratulate myself, since it's 9:30 am, & I've already schmutzled my shirt. Go me.