Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Sweet! The ruse is still good!

I got notification today via mail that yes indeed, Spark!Co. has finished my background check, & I am lacking a criminal record in Norfolk, MA, ROckingham NH, Hillsborough, NH & LA, CA counties for the last seven years. (considering that seven years ago I was still a minor, I'm betting that didn't take long to find out)

But hey - good to know I'm still cleaner'n that whistle you see by the side of the road, innni't?

Well we all knew I had a loose wire...

..and now it's official.

As of late, the Clarismobile hasn't been wanting to start. Therefore, knowing my luck, I decided to bring it in to the mechanic last friday rather than have it die on me on, say, 4th of July weekend when there's not a damn mechanic in the whole town. I bring it to the Best!Mechanic!Ever!, explain that it just doesn't like starting, but everything else is working as well as it ever does. Am informed that it's most likely either the battery or the starter.
Well, if you've read my saga about A Series of unfortunate automotive events, you'll know that I replaced my car battery earlier in the summer. So I spent the next three hours walking around my neighborhood doing errands & worrying about how I was going to afford a new starter. ::sob!::

Turns out? Loose wire in my ignition. No charge.

::fist of triumph!:: sweet!


you know, that film site? The one with like, three hundred individual pages? And how I was so happy to be done with it?

They just handed me another CD with about 60 more photos.


job security, that's what it is...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

There are 63 servers that control my ability to do my job.

Today, they're all dead. And yet, I'm still here at Spark!Co.

There's some boredom, indeedy do there is. But mostly there's goofing off, reading other people's blogs, and shopping. Okay not so much "shopping" in the technical sense as "browsing because I don't hit fiscal stability until about the 2nd week of July & a lot of snarky comments". But hey - that's how I shop.

Actually, I took my last consulting check from Old!Employer and dropped it on a secured credit card with my bank. I've avoided credit cards for the last three years or so due to financial mishaps I've seen others undergo, but I figure it's time to get at least one so that I can do things like rent cars & buy airplane tickets & shop online w/o having to obsessively check my debit card statement & worry about when the money will come out so I don't fuck up the math & incur an overdraft fee. I'm gonna be a grown-up one day people, just you wait & see. I should recieve it 5 - 10 business days from Tuesday, so we'll probably try out the system of "transfer money to the card, then go use the card" for rental car agreements & hotel reservations the weekend of July 18th when I attend the sweaty nerd con in San Diego.

Got home last night & was rather trashed (exhaustion not partying, sadly) I laid down on the bed, set the alarm for an hour from then, thinking I'd get up & do all the thing that needed doing.
That was about 8:30.
I woke up at 6:00.
Hrm. Guess I needed sleep then. oops...

Note to self - when setting up the numbering of items on a page, the nomenclature of "1, 2, 3, 3..." doesn't work. Maybe I need more sleep. or maybe I got too much?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

is that your idea of an afternoon pick me up? 'cause it sucked.

So I get this msg. on my phone at 12:30 - "Hey Claris, this is Whoever at AgencyHandlingMyContract@Spark!Co. We wanted to let you know that we didn't get your timecard for last week, so your paycheck for this week will be delayed since it had to be to us by 11 am today."

Now, since I turned that bad boy in on Fri, my mental reaction was something to the effect of - WHAT?

So I call up - yeah, no, they found it. Uh...you guys couldn't call back to tell me that? Seems I was like, in the second round of...somethingurudder, so they called me by accident.

Well, um...yeah! That was spiffy. Nothing like a heart attack to get you going in the middle of the afternoon!



Tuesday, June 21, 2005

E.Spat, never say I don't love you, baby.

so, my girl Energy Spatula posted her derision today for MSN's list of what a woman should own & called for each girl to make her own. E.Spat, I cannot deny a fellow sister in "Why do these weird people say these things to me?" anything. And seriously, we need to figure out when we're having that drink once you're off the east coast.
From MSN, Ten Things Every Woman Should Own:
with claris' commentary, of course.

1. A fabulous photo of yourself
good. luck.
2. A pretty pair of heels
you want me to go shoe shopping? Have you met me?
3. An Eminem CD
I'm good, thanks.
4. A great pickup line…and a way to blow 'em off
Dude, I'm so used to being a freak beacon that when guys are actually hitting on me, I totally don't realize it. Seriously, I've had friends laugh at me for this in the past.
5. A six-pack of good bottled beer
Sam Adams? Not a good microbrew. Start with Mad Hatter since you seem to be new, and then we'll work on bigger things.
6. Bathroom reading
Right now mine is Sense & Sensibility - what's yours?
7. A business card
For which job?
8. Earplugs
do the headphones I wear at work count?
9. A straight male friend on your speed-dial
Just 'cause he's on speed-dial doesn't mean he's gonna pick up. love some of my straight guy friends, but yeah.
10. A condom
I'm not even screwing around with anyone right now, and I've got more than just one condom in my house, thanks. One? Kind of unambitious of them.

No, for real?
From Claris, Ten Things Every Woman Should Have:
1. a dog/cat - because when you need a good cry, they'll just curl up & snuggle on the bed with you.

2. Minimum 2 pairs of boots
1 - hiking boots that you've had for years & can wear to do damn near anything
1 - pair of knee boots that you can wear out with a skirt when you're having a day, or under a nice pair of pants to work so you can sit in meetings & think, "What would you say if you knew my boots could kick your ass even without me in them?" - it's like the shoewear equivalent of naked under a trenchcoat, only without the naked in the work environment. I have a pair of tall black leather knee boots that lace all the way up the front. They're bitch boots, & I wore them so much I have to get them re-treaded.
for the record, I at present have three pairs of boots & have been eyeing a fourth.

3. DVDs of movies/TV shows with witty banter, romance not patronizing to the female gender, and situations where things blow up. Because sometimes, you just need to watch something blow up.
"Shooting makes me feel better!" - Aeryn Soon

4. Sarah McLachlan, Norah Jones, David Gray, Jimi Hendrix BBC Blues album, and Jason Mraz.
I mean the CDs, of course, 'cause could you imagine having all those personalities living with you? If nothing else, how would you feed them all?

5. John Mayer.
no, that time I mean the actual guy. ;p

6. the straight guy friend who answers the phone that you can go to dinner with & have it not be weird & with pressure, but just fun enough that you both walk away thinking it's awfully nice to be appreciated.

7. The jeans that you love.
For me - low rise boot cut jeans from the Gap in long in the darkest wash they have available at the moment. Minimum two pair.

8. I know it's not like, particularly sexy or whatever, but, well, Gladware has made my absentminded life exponentially better. It's possible that the day I discovered ZipLoc makes disposable containers that have screw on tops so they'll hold soup well, I literally shared my joy with my friends. It's sad, I know this.

9. High speed internet access at home & the fastest processor available on the (computer) hardware of your choice.

10. Triple-A.
Because sometimes, no matter how independent you are, even if you have indeed had experiences in life that mean you know how to test the circuit breakers for your engine with a plastic covered paperclip...when it's 11:30 at night & raining & you're in the Valley...it's really nice to be able to have the tow truck guy come change your tire in half the time it would have taken you.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Freak Beacon update.

My neighborhood is, at times...somewhat odd. Just last weekend, I had a random older hispanic gentleman come by & because I was the only one home, drop off a pizza for my neighbor. For some reason, B did not have to pay for this pizza - I was, needless to say, wary of this, but I couldn't seem to refuse to take it, despite my saying that I was, you know, refusing to take it. So it sat in my fridge for two hours, me all the while waiting for it to like, blow up or something.

B gets home, & I knocked on her door & went, "Um, honey? This got dropped off for you, and you don't owe them anything...?"
Yeah, it seems the guy who owns the little hole in the wall grocery store around the corner took a shine to B & whenever his son (who works for Domino's) brings home extra pizza, he drops one off for "Betty". (which, incidentally, isn't her name)

Is it just me & my Northeast US. puritanicalism that's kind of weirded out by the fact that some guy B. didn't know not only knows where she lives, but also just... decided to start dropping food at her apt? 'cause I keep noticing that about LA - people you don't know will be like, "Where do you live?" and I'm not talking about like, the guy you meet in a bar - I mean the barely speaks English guy behind the counter at Subway. Yah dude - like I, as a single white girl in LA, am gonna tell you my address. because when I say, "around here" - that's a nice way of saying, "yeah no." Of course, this no doubt causes me to have less free pizzas delivered to me door, but I'm actually kind of okay with that.

But I mean...what is with that? I was walking to target yesterday, and some random guy passing me stops & starts shouting, "Honey, how'd you get a body like that? Because damn, I want that body - you might think you're fat but baby black men like it like that! All men like it like that, don't you listen to what the tv says - can I go home with you tonight?" And it wasn't like I stopped to listen - I just kept walking as soon as he'd enunciated "honey" - the rest of that was shouted down the street after me. That's great. Thanks. Not feeling the least bit conspicuous now, and who the fuck do I see about getting this freak beacon removed? they can do every other kind of removal surgery in LA - fat, skin, hair, and, it would appear higher brain functions - there's gotta be someone that can take the "Please talk to me crazy people & skanky guys" sign off & replace it with "would be happy to go on a decent date with someone worth having a second date with" sign.

Friday, June 17, 2005

it's sort of like working with the flanders...

..after you've spent the last ten years working with Homer.

Okay. lemme make something clear. My job? coolio. I like my boss, the paycheck is very nice. But as I may have mentioned previously, this gig is far less hectic than my last one. Like, seriously less. and I know that sounds odd, but dude. when you go from ten million things a day to three. It's puttin' me off-kilter. Seriously? I don't know what to do with myself. I mean, yes, my old co. was kinda messed up & fear of the fact that no one but me knew how to do my job has actually caused them to not hire someone to replace me & ask me to continue on a "consultant" basis. So, theoretically, I could do consultant work in my spare time. But hey - even I have some itty bitty morals in this shriveled black mercenary heart, so beyond coding...well it's not like I can just flip open photoshop & be designing layouts for a nutr. suppl. co. while I'm working at a utility co, ya know? so that kind of limits my abilities.

And it's so quiet here. It's calm, it's quiet...no one comes into my office to close the door & yell about the fact that my boss is a fuckwad. (seriously. my old boss? fuckwad. It's possible that I inadvertently introduced that term to the dept. when I found a co-worker in tears on her second day working there, & baby, that term? stuck.) If you think I'm kidding, I once referred to my office as "The Chamber of Secrets" and yeah. I'm gone & that's still what they call it.
So it's all calm. and quiet. and I don't really think I can get away with being the misbehaving corporate mutant I've been for the last two years. There's no throwing of catalogs across the office because the copy sucks ass, no posting of impudent pictures on my door. It's all so....nice. and ....controlled. and it's kinda freakin' me out.

Maybe it's me. I mean, I'll admit, I've had some really unusual workplaces, man - when I was 19, I managed a 3rd shift factory floor where guys twice my age would wait until one another got into the production machines to fix them, then light their boots on fire. that's right, people, they lit one another on fire for fun.* So this whole thing with nice people who aren't fucked up everyone is well-paid and they have an actual... plan for the company & everything is just really...nice.... yeah. I find that disconcerting. I don't know how to deal with it. Part of me is waiting for someone to walk up to me & go, "yeah, Claris? Despite your best efforts to present a pleasant smile & quiet, unassuming demeanor...well we've figured out that you're not one of us. I'm very sorry to tell you this, but yeah. You're done now, but thank you so much for visiting us, and get a cookie from security when you turn in your badge. Have a nice day!"

Because I feel guilty I mean, they pay me WAY MORE than SG did, and yet? I'm not doing that much. like to the point where I feel guilty about how much time I'm spending scrolling the internet - and I'm one of their goddamned web designers! That just ain't right, yo. And I keep asking "am I doing okay, is there anything else..." and they're telling me, "no, you're fine, you're doing great, you work faster than anyone else, this is great..." which leads me to ask - who the fuck was here before? were they brain dead?

Perhaps, when I move, I should look for a company with less corporate. Because I don't think I could handle this kind of stasis for 20 years. I go back to my old gig to consult, & I'm like, "Okay, this I can deal with - backstabbing, gossip, skulduggery....I'm actually more trusting of this than the Nice Place...ohgodi'msick&Ineedhelp..." 'cause gah. I don't think that's right, yo. It might be wack. Might even be wiggedy-wack, a term I used ironically last week that caused my sister to call me & open the conversation with, "Wiggedy. Wack." but hey - just because one is the Whitest White Girl in Whiteonia does not mean I should be limited from expanding my vocabulary, even if it is only my sarcasm irony!

in other news, tomorrow I'm going to go check out a crew team & decide if I wanna row back & forth on water a bunch this summer. Let's hope I don't fall in!

*before anyone asks - we used to wear steeltoed boots (I do indeed, still have my steel toed Doc Martins simply because I refuse to throw them out.) so, you take rubbing alcohol, which we had in little squirt bottles to clean the machines. now, there was about a three inch gap between the floor & the top of the door these guys had to close to get into the presses to fix them - three inches is just enough room for the guy behind you to stick the nozzle of the alcohol squeeze bottle under the door & spritz the very thick rubber heels of your steel toed boots, and of course, you as the guy fixing the press don't feel this, because hello? thick. rubber. soles. Then, because 90% of the people there were smokers, (I was one of like, six non-smokers) everybody's got a Bic, and flip, THWOOSH! you had a 250 lb guy trying to climb the equivalent of a phone booth because hey! feet. on. fire. The trick of rubbing alcohol being that it had a near-instantaneous evap point when lit, so even though it lit & there was flame, there was no actual burn. However, no matter how many times this is done to you...you will still jump, because there are survival reflexes and the bottom of your feet are on fire. and that my friends is how one achieves neverending family fun for the whole dang workfloor. One day I'll tell you about the acid that soaks through to eat your bones while leaving your flesh intact. That one's spiffy.

Hi, I'm a geek.

1. I saw the following today as Wil Wheaton mentioned in his blog he'd bought this :

 SELECT * FROM users WHERE clue > 0
0 rows returned.

2. It's possible that I just figured out how to rearrange a section of code by doing a search & replace instead of having to correct 567 files individually*, and it's possible I had that silent moment of triumph in my cubicle where I point both index fingers at the screen in a silent "SWEEET!" gesture.
(for my fellow geeks, I had to move a graphic into the a href tag, but each link connected to a different html page - However, since the text for the link only has two options, I'm going to move the graphic code forward rather than attempting to move the link code back)

I think I need help.

also, I kinda need to change my bio - I'm not valeting anymore, but I still don't sleep any more or with an increased regularity in schedule...so I suppose the title of the blog still applies....

Saturday, June 04, 2005


I have just completed my last two Visual Basic.net assignments for the semester with a whopping...one hour & forty minutes to go before class! Life is great! and Good! And full of hoppity kittens!

of course, now I just have to get through the actual final exam next week...

Friday, June 03, 2005

You know it might be time to think about moving when...

You're driving down Melrose going from work to apt. before school for the night. Pull over as cops go screeching by, resume driving once they've passed. About two miles down the road, you're waiting for a stoplight, thinking about...the ten million other things that are going through your brain, when you hear sirens coming from the left - cops are approaching.

shit, dude. Someone did something.

All of sudden, two cop cars pull up & block the car in front of you - cops launch out of the cars, yelling at the door of the hole in the wall convenience store on the right of the road, and hey - guns drawn!

To me, this says "The light turned green, let's get the fuck outta here!"

To the guy with the Florida plate in front of me, it said, "Sit in your car and gape like a slack-jawed yokel."

Therefore, since it's a four lane road & the cops were only blocking our lane, I took it upon myself to stick my head out the window & yell, "If the cops are pointing the guns away from them, someone else is pointing a gun towards them - and we're behind them! Now move your fucking car because I don't want to get shot!"

Why am I the only one that thinks of things like that?