Saturday, December 31, 2005

Six Week Experiement

The follow may sound a bit crazy like. That's okay, because it kind of is.

Since I got to LA, I have had a...well we'll just call it a gradual degeneration of my personal social circle - people did things, I did things, it was all just not of the good. In the meantime, it turns out that even if they're 3,000 miles away, your family can still find ways for their psychosis to drive you crazy.

This week, after three years of what could be seen as a downward spiral, I went through an emotional point which we can kindly refer to as "hitting bottom". If nothing else, you'd be surprised how oddly freeing that is. But anyway.

I just know that...I don't want to be angry anymore. I don't want to be bitter about things. I don't want to be paranoid that people are smiling at me to my face and talking shit about me behind my back because I watched them do it to everyone else we know for years before the shit turned on me. I just don't have the capacity for a forum with filters & friendslists &, yeah. I'm no good for that right now.

Hence the six week experiment. I've decided to kind of...go on hiatus from a lot of things for the next six weeks. I was going to cut out bread & pasta for the first month of the year for crew anyway, so I've decided to just roll them all together & give up LiveJournal for a bit as well. During this, I'm taking the semester off from school and hey - the ongoing list to achieve New World Order. I want to see if I can't put things back together again in a way that will mean I'll be okay enough to deal with the way things are. Would I like to go back to the way things were three years ago, when people still pretended things were okay all the time? Yes, yes I would. But that's not going to happen, and I need to make a life with what I've had.

SO! here's my deal. No bread, no pasta, no livejournal...and....(feel free to laugh at this, Melly surely did on the phone today) for each day that I manage to accomplish all three of these things, I get a dollar. ;) I'm going to put my dollar in a box in my office, and at the end of this, I should theoretically be able to finally buy the armchair that I wanted for my living room from Target. (I've already got like, $50 towards it in gift cards, let's not be crazyer than I already am now)

Which means that every time I go to buy a bagel in the morning that I shouldn't have anyway... I'll have to decide if it's worth giving up my dollar.
Any time I want to go make a snarky comment in LJ or post meaningless crap... I'll have to decide if it's worth giving up my dollar.

you get the idea.

in the interim, I'm also going to give serious thought to the fact that as of Feb. 1st, I'll have health ins., and seeing what is entailed in that - either just taking a day to go talk to someone, or joining the ranks of the pharmaceutically eccentric for a while. We'll see. I ordered a tai chi DVD with AM & PM mediations for myself, because I've done yoga for years now & I think my energy system is just so used to it that there's no effect anymore. In order to achieve Free Super Saver Shipping, I also may have acquired The Politics of Dancing, Vol.2 by Paul Van Dyk, but hey - trance is good for the soul. Not to mention the cardio & lifting routines that I still have to do for crew.

Meanwhile, starting tomorrow & going until President's Day weekend - no bread, no pasta, no Livejournal. As Melly informed me when we were talking today, "It's a plan. It's a good plan. And I know, 'cause I'm a planner - I've even had psychological tests tell me that I'm a planner, so I can tell you. It's a plan."

I need up. I need out. I need something more than what & where I've been. Take six weeks, see what I can see...can't hurt.

New World order - 12/31

Today's list.

Freelance work:
• Reformat Ludlow Wellness Center file & send out CDs
yes, this is a repeat, but burning all of those DVDs last night actually tied up my computer until this morning, & since the files I needed to work off of are on a CD...yeah, it got bumped.
• update pictures for Votd - print all invoices
• do music player for

• Do laundry
neighbors tied up the washer/dryer last night, but it's going as I type.
• do all mending

• clean car
it's raining like crazy here in LA right now...we're gonna try this one tomorrow, most likely
• fill out paperwork to finish hr file for insurance
• drop paperwork for Msngr!Co. at office
• file the damn inbox
• buy phone card

• trace out architecture onto sketchpad to begin prelim sketch

But - I have a theory. Everybody in the whole city is having sex at the exact same moment except us...but we will press on.

Granted, I had only put Must Love Dogs on my NetFlix list out of deference to the $250/day they were kind enough to pay Special K to be one of the rowers.
A fact about which I was informed, "Fuck you, I am key, we make the magic happen, dammit!" ~ Special K

Upon watching, I discovered 2 things:
1. Maybe it's just me & my life at the moment, but that movie was fucking hilarious.
2. K really wasn't kidding - she's totally key & is the rower going back & forth in the middle of the shot with Diane Lane. When I did extra work, it's like, "I think that might be my elbow", but hers is totally, "Holy crap, that's K!"

Meanwhile, after Jesse, James & Jordan since October, my New Year's Resolution is to date guys whose names don't start with J. It wasn't a planned thing, but I'm taking nominations for the next letter in the alphabet, 'cause I think I need to diversify. ;)

Friday, December 30, 2005

welcome to the new world order.

For the new year, I've decided to make some semblance of structure of my life & extract an existence from the chaos. However, any time I try to do this all! At! Once! and make huge sweeping changes, I inevitably fail because it's easier to just watch repeats of the new BattleStar Gallactica than to begin a very large list. So I decided to break my world down into three basic categories & try to do a couple things from each of those lists every day in the hopes that eventually, there won't be nearly as much on it as there is now. So my poor beleagured readers (all 3 of you) are now to be subjected to my daily attempt to make things a little less insane.

Today's goals?
Freelance work:
• Reformat Ludlow Wellness Center file & send out CDs

• Do laundry
• Finish burning DVDs on hard drive, clean up desk.

• deposit paycheck
• clean car
• fill out paperwork to finish hr file for insurance
• make corrections to financial spreadsheet for 2006

• white out bottom right half of painting
• trace out architecture onto sketchpad to begin prelim sketch

We'll see how much of it gets done. I have a feeling the part with the prelim sketch might get bumped to tomorrow, unfortunately. but it's a very long list, so step at a time, and maybe I'll hit an ordered state of being eventually. gotta be better than I'm at right now, anyway.

oh light the sky & hold on tight, the world is burning down...

I've decided to take the winter squeeze semester off from school. I'm not ready for C+ programming yet, and I don't have a laptop at home, which means I can only do homework at school...I would rather spend the next six weeks putting my freelance work to bed and doing messenger work on the weekends so I can pay for a new laptop & be able to go into the spring semester knowing that I've got what I need to be able to take my classes without a nervous breakdown. Because I hear not having a psychotic break is a better way to approach academia. Just a thought. So next semester it's Java, Flash Actionscripting I, & some other course to be determined between now & then.

went out with J-of-the-red-hair again last night, and realized...yeah, this isn't working. He's nice, if a little overeager, and he makes me laugh, but I'm all feels awkward. We met up at my apt., & went to dinner on Melrose, & when we went back to my apt. to hang out...I just wasn't comfortable having him there. It just felt ...wrong. And all the wanting to make an effort in the world isn't going to make it right. He asked if I wanted to go on some cruise ship party for NYE - something involving costumes, and I just had this instinctual thing of "yeah, no..." in my brain. Outwardly, I just said I'd have to see if I felt up to it...but I think when he calls tonight, I'm just going to tell him I don't think we should see one another anymore.
He's funny & fun to hang out with in the same way that Sam is - in fact, I found myself thinking several times that he & Sam would really get along. But (and I can say this knowing that Sam's pretty much okay with the following statement) - I wouldn't date Sam. It's not that kind of fun, so to speak. So yeah. J-of-the-red-hair, good luck & godspeed.
Also, based on the fact that the last three guys I've dated have had names starting with J, and two I didn't care about & the other, it seemed, didn't care about me, I'm thinking that I need to branch out to other letters of the alphabet in the new year.

I should probably take the N*sync Christmas carols off my Nano.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

at least there's that.

I might not be good for much else, but at least I'm good at my job. amen.

Friday, December 23, 2005

we did a timed lap of the marina this morning - aka endurance training.

I could review the row, including the fact that ZenMaster H gave me some highly valuable technique improvement at the end, but instead I will say this :
The day before we all go on Christmas break is the best day ever to do endurance training, because when you are ravenous afterwards, the office is full of free food.

Thank you.

Also? R.S. Monkey? ZenMaster H asked what I was e-mailing you about, and, um, she says she might want to come. heh. she thinks ours is a worthy cause! ;)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Office Party wrap-up.

1. Several of my co-workers yelled out "I knew it!" when I copped to having been a whore. See last entry for possible issues with that.

2. Whoever my secret santa was would not admit it. Dude, they bought me a sketchbook - a kinda nice one at that...whyfor the lack of admittance?
::eyes sketchbook warily now as thoughts that would make Sam proud flash through my brain::

3. Fudge & brittle = Claris spending copious amts. of time at the gym tonight. oy.

Adina, the IP officer loved her gift of copious amts of Diet Rock Star (BevMo came through in the clinch when CostCo fell through)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wednesday hat trick.

1. Boss just gave me a $25 AmEx gift card for christmas.
a. pretty cool since I've only been here for about a month & esp so since I only became a "real" employee on the 16th.
b. considering the dvd of Serenity that I bought last night had a $10 coupon for buying BattleStar Gallactica S1 or S2 on it, I'd say my boss just bought me 14 hours of BSG S.1 extras.

2. Is it time to go home yet?

3. We are playing a game called "Who Dat?" at the dept. party tomorrow. as part of it, you are required to anonymously submit a fact about yourself & see who knows it. Being the miscreant I am, I of course put in "I was a whore for HBO." Now, I'm not like, ashamed of having done that, I just figured it was one of the many weird facts about my life that won't get me fired...what kind of wigs me out is the fact that I had two different co-workers ask if it was me. I mean, yeah, there must be something since I got cast & all, but considering that I was essentially cast as a 19th century opium-addicted prostitute -- yeah. Do I somehow...exude the "whore" vibe? In the workplace?

I'm kind of torn. On the one hand, it would seem I easily fold into the role of fallen-angel-esque farmgirl prostitute, so hey - bummer. On the other, I'm wondering if it might be possible to harness this power for you know, my own selfish purposes - who knows, it might come in handy on a date or something.

I've got FLAIR, baby.

One of my co-workers gave me a little candle for Christmas, & it had this plastic holly thingamabob attached to the wrapping with a white ribbon. (C is verra precise - she'd get along great with R.S. Monkey! ;p ) So I took the thingamabob & the white ribbon & attached it to my backpack - I told C that it was my non-denominational holiday flair.

Who says I don't have spirit? I got mad spirit, yo.

My list? the one from this weekend? Yeah, it's not much shorter. I really need to work on that.


heh. H3 was in fine form for this morning's row. It was an...interesting lineup, including our favorite PowerBar sporting rower, who was behind H3. But it was very laid back, you's the week before Christmas, there was JUST enough people for a boat & a double, Coach T cox-ed (which means I'm so totally cox-ing on Friday, gods help them all) It's a chill kind of row.

H3 was not in a chill sort of mode. I laughed at him, I couldn't help it - when we were docking, I looked back to actually, you know, see the dock, and just the look on H3's face made me lose my shit. he was in total impatient & hyper 5 yr old mode. Is it like, that time of the year for guys with a JD or what, because the PM we have here who used to be a lawyer was like that yesterday too - to the point where I threatened to tranq him. Is this a cyclical thing for guys?

Anyway, we were giving the coaches their gifts for Christmas, & D asked me to make sure people didn't run off, so I tell H3 "Hold up, don't leave yet." He's all, "Hey, time is money, come on..." (for my lawgeekers - why yes, I believe he is a big firm lawyer with billables, how could you tell?) so I grab him by the shoulders & go, "YOU MUST CHILL - I have taken your firebird keys!"
To which Coach T corrected me that the line was "I have hidden your keys" - I didn't feel like explaining that I was quoting lawgeekgurl's misquote of the original line, but yah. Point was gotten across.

R.S. Monkey, I seriously think that once Special K gets back from Hawaii, we need to organize an outing involving a bar and possibly pool for our group at crew, and we're going to have to drag H3 along with us. I mean, I'm not suggesting we get him plastered & leave him with strippers or anything, but dude - that boy needs some zen. And while I realize this might sound funny to my bow seat who only knows me from crew - when I'm saying that someone needs to go have fun, that's a sad, sad thing. Just ask my non-crew people -- I'm the girl that this time last year had three jobs & two college classes. Besides, if I'm not going back east for the holidays, I need to get my slightly seedy bar where things are made of wood & don't look like they walked out of IKEA quota somewhere, so methinks we need to get on this.

The good news is that it took three days, but I can walk w/o pain since starting my new lifting program. My problem being that years of running & kickboxing mean that for me to actually feel lifting, it involves a starting point of bar + 60. However, the fact that I seem to have healed up from Sunday's initial foray can only have one response - time to go again tonight!

Sadly for the rest of my crew team I believe I'm cox-ing Friday. There's pretty much nothing to save me now...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

oh god.

Sales guys make my head hurt.

::insert monologue about the importance of emphasizing luxury cars by the sales guys here::

Sales Guy: what about this stock photo?
Claris: we probably shouldn't use that.
SG: why not?
Claris: you want luxury cars?
SG: Yes, of course.
Claris: I can tell you by the dashboard, that's a Toyota.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Why don't we play a little game called "Shut the motherfuck up."

Over the last four months, I have spent the majority of my time in a boat sitting in stroke. In truth, I've been sitting stroke since frickin' Learn to Row camp in July, if we're gonna be technical about it. The problem with that being that when you spend most of your time being the person that sets the pace for the boat, you never learn to follow anyone else's pace for the boat, and hey - issue! And, because of the fact that I've concentrated on being able to switch between & maintain an 18 - 22 stroke rate, once we get above that, I am fucked. I can sit a 20 or a 22 like nobody's business - sadly, the higher level rowers almost never go below a 24 - 26 on a lackadasial day. That would also fall under the classification of "issue". Yes thanks. Therefore, Coach I says to me, "We're going to switch you around up near the front of the boat so that you can get practice following other people at a higher rate" - which then in turn means eventually I'll be sitting stroke at that higher rating. (and hopefully cut down on my title as Tues Morning Short Bus Special)
someone my height & weight is at the front of the boat. The few times I wasn't stroke in Learn to Row, I was six seat, and I honestly don't think I've ever sat further back than 4, which is basically the stroke seat for the bow half of an eight. I'm a big girl, what can I say.

Therefore, when I get told this morning that we're taking out the green 4, which is a starboard set stroke, & Beavis is stroke, I'm all "Coolio, that's the plan..." also I narrowly escaped coxing, so sweet! Sitting stroke is a whole different set of issues than any other seat in the boat - really the only seat equal to it in worry is bow. Can't live in a boat without a good bow seat. And I'm not just saying that because R.S. Monkey reads my blog. But after a couple months as stroke, sitting 3 seat? Blessed ease, my friends. All you have to do is row - you're part of the engine room, you can just concentrate on your form, & follow the stroke in front of you, be completely's kind of like a little vacation, I tell you.

Now - There's a hierarchy in a boat. It goes thusly:

(who's technically outside the boat, but shutit)

If you are not one of these people, you pretty much just fuckin' row. You don't make decisions, you don't contribute your opinion unless asked, you are there to make the damn boat go & nod when critiqued on form.

Our cox this am was this girl A. Now, A's not very experienced. She started at the same time as R.S. Monkey & I, but she hasn't really been around as much, and she's very hesitant about the whole thing. boat's set up with Beavis in stroke, me in 3, two more senior rowers R & S in 2 & bow. I'm thinking, "We're going to have a good, solid row, no fuss, no muss." Which really, I could use a no fuss no muss row 'cause lately? Not so much with that in my world.

Unfortunately, R & S turn out, to my surprise, to be effin' backseat coswains. Before we even cleared the goddamned dock they were "no, you don't turn, we need to do this, we're not warmed up yet..."

We get about halfway through the warmup for stern pair (Beavis & I) and my footstretcher unhitched - aka, the boards that my feet are strapped to so that I have something solid to push against shifted. And it was not a quiet slide, so pretty much everyone knew it happened. However, at this point I know that unless it's a danger to yourself & others, you just finish the piece and fix them quickly during a break, but it does mean that your form changes. In this case, to keep in sync with Beavis, I had to reach forward more than I normally do. From behind me, I hear R & S going, "You can't do that, you need to fix your form, you're going to hurt your back..." wtf? What part of the rip of bolts coming out of their catch did you not hear? We stopped for a minute, switched pairs so the bow could warm up while I fixed my stretchers, and then made the turn, rah rah rah - Beavis& I carry the turn, and technically never finished our warm up - A calls for us to hold and the Peanut Gallery behind me is all, "Bow pair isn't warmed up enough, we need to do more..."

and it was like that the whole fucking time. Now I'll admit, I am a controlling stroke - if I don't trust the cox completely, I will talk to them, especially when we're in the Mighty Four - in that case, it's four rowers who've (somewhat) trained together, and we're used to a certain rhythm & routine of doing things. And honestly, the Mighty Four has had some rather dubious coswains tossed our way, so there are times when as stroke you're literally coxing the boat for the practice, something that I know has always slightly annoyed Beavis, who I think just got an idea of what that's like today during her turn. Could A have been quicker about some things? Yes, of course. Did she do things that I wouldn't have? Of course. Are there calls I would have made differently if I'd been stroke. Yes.

But you know what? I wasn't stroke. So I sat there, I shut the hell up, and I concentrated on following Beavis & feathering the way I was taught on Sat. The only time I opened my damn mouth was to say "And....back.." and that was because for all of her prattling from the bow, S couldn't seem to remember when to manage that for a river turn.

It was just... I was in awe. Maybe I've just become spoiled with the fact that I've mostly been rowing with my Mighty Four girls & the racing class people - as dumb as I might feel when I'm in the upper ranks, they don't pull this shit. You could see poor A becoming more & more flustered, and Beavis as stroke trying to talk her in, pay attention. Even Coach I said at one point, "If you are not the coswain you should not be talking!"

And yet, there they were. They'd take a steering stroke when they deemed it proper, they tried to control the docking, right up to the last second. When we were putting the boat away, I just started saying, "A, go ahead & call it. A call this for us." because to the final nanosecond of the row, those two had something to say.

I went up to A afterwards when she was putting her stuff away & told her not to worry about it. God knows we've seen worse. Right now, R.S. Monkey is remembering an incident in an 8 where I finally snapped & yelled, "NO SHIMMYING!" She looked so worried, so I explained, "Look, when you're cox-ing, it's you, and the stroke. that's it. I wasn't sitting stroke today, and did you hear me at all?"
"No, actually...."
"So the day when I shut up should let you know that it's all right to tell everyone else to be quiet." *snerk*

I also started lifting again this weekend, so as I joked to Sabrina this morning, you go to sit down, or squat to pick up a boat, and make that little gasp of "ugh." So hey, good times, good times. Tomorrow morning, I get to go try to keep up with the Big Kids in Racing Class. Joy. How is this sport relaxing again?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Seriously? This life of sex drugs & rock n' roll is gonna be the death of me.

I'm pulling a hat trick here so that I can't do what often happens when I write a list - namely, losing the piece of paper.
shut it, Bow Seat.

Laundry detergent
toilet paper
$1 CD case

--> clean house before EPA shuts apt. down as newly discovered Superfund site.
--> do laundry for same reason
--> wash bedding so it smells less "canine-inhibited"
--> bathe dog once you've found her from under abovementioned laundry & Superfund site remains.
--> make biscuits to go to various neighbors for Christmas as part of the 1049 dog-walking-for-food program.
--> work on CPassoc. site.
--> work on portfolio
--> set up Zoey's Annual Holiday Shame Greeting.
--> put afghan pieces together into one bag so that afghan can be finished while messengering tomorrow afternoon.
--> check e-mail see if latest candidate will be available for stereotypical caffeinated audition Sunday night.
--> put up pictures on - make invoices for last trail of work & burn appropriate CDs.
--> seal up boxes to go back east - rumor has it that allows for postage to be printed on plain paper & paid for with credit card, this MAY possibly save other people's lives.
I have a very strong survival instinct, muthafuckah - it's not me that's to be worried about.
--> finish burning DVDs of Rome, S.1 to send back east to Dad.
pirating is wrong, yo.
--> fold laundry & actually PUT AWAY - do not leave in basket for the week to be pulled out when used as has per previous strategem.

I gots me some mad skillz, yo.

So there's this small...debate going on with the ad sales dept. in NY -- aka, the people who sell to the people buying ads. I was assigned to do an ad geared towards auto companies. Now, cars are VERY SPECIFIC things in advertising. For my lawgeekers, you should all understand when I say one phrase - "intellectual property rights to brand identity". So in my ad, I used an overhead shot of a guy driving what is a 1960's mustang. You really have to look hard to see what kind of car it is, but classic cars are fairly open in terms of brand identity anyway.

Amongst other things, they felt that it was too "cheap" of a car. In fact, acc. to our NY sales office, a 1960 Mustang in good condition only costs about $20k.


So, on my first day as a permanent employee, I combined my knowledge of advertising with my freakishly-acquired, highly-detailed knowledge of luxury cars and sent back the following e-mail.*

*No, I did not get fired, thank you. My Mktg. Dir & immediate boss actually were rather delighted by this, as it would seem the NY sales team is a bit of a bane in their existence.

Dear J:

I picked the car in question because in order for us to use a high end luxury car for our branding...

a) any car whose brand was less than 10 years old & could be identified in the photo as a specific car would most likely contact us with questions as to why they weren't notified their brand was being used in our advertising, a question that would most likely then be followed by a request for renumeration BECAUSE we're using their brand in our advertising without their permission.

Note : simply removing a car's logo or hood ornament with photoshop isn't an option, as the design of the car body would give away the brand & model.

In addition, shots of a car's gearshift or control panels would also give away the make & brand of the car, since (and I'm really not kidding about this) car companies actually have THOSE designs patented as well.

For instance, the only reason that Lexus & Toyotas have the same gear shift is because Toyota owns Lexus. In contrast, a VW shift is COMPLETELY different in shape & style, as is a BMW.

there's even a difference in whether it's a 5 spd or an automatic. For instance, you can't simply buy a Jaguar 5spd - they have to be special ordered. So if I were to use a stick shift, I would technically be excluding Jaguar customers, along with Bentley, since other than the present 2-door coupe, their customers tend to be of an older demographic who primarily prefer the automatic 4 door sedans.
BMW offers the 5spd/auto options IN the dealerships, but the shift on a 325i is vastly different from that of a 5 spd Mini. 1 out of 3 Porsches are automatics (even if that is a waste of an engine) and Aston Martins are primarily 5spd. Meanwhile, Maserati doesn't even use a conventional gear shift anymore - their present controller is either a very small joystick-like lever in the center dash, or a dual paddle system on either side of the wheel.

b) because of the fact that we're attempting to advertise to car companies in general, by using one brand, we would in essence only be advertising to one possible customer, since we'd be excluding all of the OTHER car companies by "endorsing" the one.

So because of all of the above, I decided to run with the look of a classic car rather than a specific luxury car. Classic cars are, for the most part, free of any royalty issues, and a properly kept classic car actually costs A LOT of money - just ask Jay Leno. I would have been happier if I could have found say, a 1969 Porsche roadster, and I can continue to look, but for a draft, I figured the Mustang was a good place to start.

Like I said, I can continue to look, but for the specifications of a car that communicates speed in an image which also carried through the red tie brand identity that was established in the previous ad...I thought this would be a decent jumping off point. Let me know what you think.

~ Claris

and really, that's the short version. I mean, I didn't even get into how many different places the key for the ignition could be placed. Half the time I was a valet, I had the mumbled mantra, "Porsche is on the left..." Saab is in the middle, and Land Rover is like the ADD kid whose parents have taken them off the Ridilin because they want to be holistic -- sometimes it's left, sometimes it's the right side, sometimes it's in the center...

and don't get me started on Lamborghini's need to hide the damn outside door latch. Ten o'clock at night. Curb with no streetlights. Black car. 'nuff said.

the really funny part, that I didn't know when I made the ad in the first of the PMs told me they did a survey a while back & our readers really don't tend to buy high end luxury cars anyway - we have a lot of NextDoor Neighbor Millionaires, and um, they buy Fords.

It's not that I'm's just that I like to win.

and really, is that so wrong?

well that was kinda crap.

I finally manage to get my sorry arse to crew this morning to do a 6k test.

First off - CRAP times. UTTER CRAP. I pulled WORSE on this one than I did on the previous.

Second - there I am, I get up, I get some water, I get my little notebook to write down my times...sit down on the erg, reach up to hit memory to get my breakdowns....
The display turns off.


I hit "on", and no no, grasshopper, everything is at zero. ::slump shoulders:: I have no times. I have to do it ALL OVER. I mean, yes, I had a crap result, but I had a result. I was done! Now, not so much.

Thankfully, when I got in off the launch, she knew how to recall the data from the memory. I was so happy I could have hugged that 6"1' Bulgarian girl with the french manicured pedicure, I can't even tell you.

In retrospect, what she did to get the readings back was nothing that I shouldn't have figured out on my own to do. however, in a sad commentary on my life & times, I have become so accustomed to things involving me & paperwork/buracracy/recordkeeping/test results, etc. being A Thing of Chaos that when I couldn't get the results from the erg, I just kind of sighed & thought, "Well, T does a Monday pm practice...I'll just come redo my 6k then..."

There's commentary in that somewhere. And if I didn't have about ten million things to do this weekend, I might even figure out what that commentary was. Ah well, guess I'll just have to live with my lack of personal insight.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Carbs, sugar & the Internet.

Someone should really just take all of these things away from me.

Unfortunately, I'm a web designer/developer that drinks a lot of tea, & rows crew, so never mind on that ever happening.

Dear Project Mngr. L :
You're a very cool guy, & I'll probably post the link you gave me earlier this week of the Kung Fu Stick Figures at some point in my blog. However, when your creative brief calls for three print ads - full page, half page & 1/4 time I really need you to specify that these ads will be run in our newspaper as opposed to say, a magazine. Because sadly, the dimensions of these two different mediums? are not the same. And now I have to go resize some shit now.

::face palm::

Wicked. Fuckin'. Professional, yo.

The Great Fire on Nantucket began in a hat shop on Main Street on July 13, 1846.

And that, boys & girls, is your Nantucket Nectars Bottlecap Fact for the day.

R.S. Monkey,, this one's for you.

so about two days ago, one of the project managers & I were sending edits of an e-mail back & forth. At one point, I replied with the header line "post e....craaaaaaaap..."

Sadly, this was the e-mail when I got it right. Why sadly? Because instead of erasing the subj. line & the comments below, my project manager just sent it out to the Approval Committee as is, including the subj line of "craaaaaaaaap" and my assertation in previous exchanges where I state, "Dude, we've gotta get this right some time. If nothing else, the law of averages says so - and when we've got math on our side, we can't lose!"

Wicked. Fuckin'. Professional, yo.

the funny part is that the whole issues with the e-mail campaign have moved on from the approvals to the backend arrangements, but no one ever changed the subj line of Proj. Mngr's E-mail, so there's still emails popping up in my inbox with the header "craaaaaaaap...."

Actually, I have to say that at this company, they probably didn't even blink at the whole thing, considering that this campaign had the debate of a brown silhouette of a tree versus a green tree, and that formed sides which were dubbed the "Pro-poo Tree" & "Anti-Poo Tree" factions.

A-Team vs. Macguyver!
Cavemen vs. Astronauts!

In a fight to the death, who would win?!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tuesday Morning Short Bus Special...

that's me, boys & girls. 'cause hey, I'll bet the people I sculled with this morning would be verra happy to take an oar & SMACK ME with it.

I show up the am, & G says, "Have you sculled?" I respond, "A little..." (meaning like, five times, thanks) He puts me in the boat with Beavis, who's been sculling for a year, M who normally rows with Special K's crew, and P, who's learning how to work bow (in sculling, there is no coswain, so the bow seat steers)...I looked at the lineup & thought, "Um, maybe I should erg..."

::sigh:: I didn't crab or anything, I was just...I wasn't in sync with the stern pair, that's all there was to it. And we were doing distance pieces, so it just really kinda sucked. How much did it suck? When you get to the end and the coach's version of a review is that you'd probably benefit from some private sculling lessons...yeah thanks, that's wicked helpful. Especially since the practice started with me being told I shouldn't have to tape up the way I do. Yeah thanks, but every time I've asked for help on my grip, I get told to just tape up, so hey, if you could all fucking decide to either a) tell me what I'm doing wrong so I don't have to tape or b) lay the fuck off me for taping, that'd be great, thanks. As I finally told G this morning, "If I don't tape, I can't type. If I can't type, I can't work. If I can't work, I can't afford to row. How's that for cyclical reasoning?"

What makes me feel really bad is that Denise was on the launch for the practice -- she's got way more experience than me, & really should have been in the boat, which would have given Beavis & M a far smoother row, so basically, I wasted everyone's time by showing up today. Go me!

The result being that now that I have my final tonight (oh, it's a bang up week, trust me) I'll have to see about showing up for Thurs. pm sculling with T between now & when winter semester starts. I mean, I know there's a learning curve. I'm aware of that. I just feel bad for everyone else that has to deal with me while I catch up - esp. since most of the people on Tues. am rowed in college, and I've been at it for less than six mos., so my learning curve is pretty effin' big.

and tomorrow morning is the last 6k erg test of the season -- here's hoping I can make it through the whole thing this time and don't have to bail so I can go outside & throw up in a trash can like I did for the Nov. testing. Rowing as a sport, my friends, good times, good times...

For 2006, I would hereby like to request that we somehow work the erg test schedule so that it's not that one special week every. single. time. There are three other weeks in every month, Coach I. I know you're not doing it on purpose, but jeezum peezum, why does it always end up being the week I have chick issues*?

*Let's not even start on the fact that I never used to even have chick issues - when I was
fat(ter), I never had PMS, and was almost never cold. I lose 50 lbs, I spend a week every month in constant need of a nap, and suddenly I get cold all the damn time. Not. Fair.

< /rant>
< apologies for the whining>

Monday, December 12, 2005

tough decision.

On the one hand: I rather like my new job.

On the other hand: ::falls over::

Also got e from a boy last night...he managed to reference FTL drives from Battlestar Gallactica, have a picture of himself dressed up as Spike from Buffy in his profile, and yet? He does NOT look as though he's e-mailing from his mom's basement. This just might be interesting...

Friday, December 09, 2005

For the record, I hate those C2 oars.

I don't care what everyone else says. If it makes me a wuss, so be it, I like the old Croker oars better - I don't rip up my hands, and I can feel the corner of flipping to square way better.
I realize the above sentence will make sense to maybe two people that read this blog, but I had to say it. and now it's said. Thank you.

I dunno. We're supposed to race on Sunday, and I feel totally not in the groove. First off, our four hasn't had nearly as much time together as we did for the first set of races, we don't have our preferred coswain, and I just today. I was comfortable for maybe ten minutes when we did a stretch at 16 spm, but otherwise I was too hot because I rowed with my hoodie on, or I was cold because I'd taken my hoodie off & we stopped, & I just... the whole damn practice felt awkward.

Rowing is a sport of analyzation. Possibly overanalyzation. And I feel like when I'm allowed to just...row, I'm fine. When we stop, and I'm told to concentrate on & pick things apart, everything just goes to hell. Stroke is supposed to be solid. Consistent. Like an effin' rock. that's what I continually hear - consistency, consistency, consistency...and when we row for a stretch, I can do that - you just ...go, and turn your brain off, and count the rythmn in your head. I dunno. I just feel like when it comes to rowing, I'm fucking up a lot lately, I guess. I spent the first half of the marina lap this morning thinking about the fact that I was totally out of step and that I couldn't find the goddamn corner of the oar - it's been almost five months now, I should not be having issues with goddamned squaring the oar, especially when I'm sitting stroke, but I just...I can't feel the corner with the C2s & I'm overflipping, which fucks up the drive & throws everyone else off, and then I'm just wasting the time of the three people sitting behind me because I'm not doing my job.

I know we're supposed to be coached, but I'm just feeling more & more...conscious of everything. and not in a good way - like in the panicky "i'm fucking this up" way, and then I just eff up worse. On the one hand, it's like, just...don't talk to me, just let me row...on the other, when they stop talking to you, is it because you're doing things right, or because they've just decided it's not worth trying to say anything about it anymore? You never really know.

Who knows. Maybe it's just the requisite bad dress rehearsal before opening night, but it would be nice to be able to get off the water & not feel like I just did the crew enactment of a Short Bus Special, and lately that's all I got.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Yesterday. The short-short version.

::Good thing happens at work*::
Drop car at mechanic to have defective O2 sensor replaced in the continuing battle to see if my car can become legal in the state of CA
Decide I'm going to reward myself for good work thing with a new DVD & some take out.
Walk to Target, get movie.
Get home, talk to neighbors, decline invite to go to Mickey's - possibly next week, though.
Drop off Target purchases at apt, make takeout order, go to get wallet.
Go to get wallet?

Oh. fuck.

My wallet's gone. like GONE. I spent a good amt. of time searching, & finally conceded that I lost it somewhere between target & my house. (Target didn't have it, I called)
So I make the obligatory calls to my bank to get new shiznit...
Go to see about getting new IDs, etc.
Resign myself to the realization that I'm basically going to be kinda Amish for the next couple weeks.
Get car from mechanic.
Come back home, do some freelance work, talk to Adina on the phone in a conversation where I say the words, "No dude, this is LA, I'll never see it again..."

10:30 at night, my cell rings.
Woman with Heavy Russian Accent: I am...looking for ::mangling of my name::
"Yes, this is her..."
"I am looking for...::repeat::"
"No, this is Claris."
"Do not speak very good English, looking for...::repeat::"
"No, I'm ...Da! Da, da ::repeat my own name::**"

It turns out that a Russian couple about two blocks southeast of me found my wallet in the gutter. So I went down & retrieved it -- they knew to call me because of my freelance business card that was in there. I have never been so happy to have a business card in my life, I can't even tell you. They wouldn't take anything in thanks, but I'm going to go to Trader Joe's & get one of the little indoor rose plants that I bought last weekend & drop it off at their house tonight. Just the joy of knowing I don't have to go to the DMV & get a replacement lisence, oh god that makes me so happy.

Of course, due to having called my bank, I will still be fiscally Amish until probably Monday because the old cards have been deactivated & I need the new ones to come in, but no DMV & no Federal Building visits! Yay!

And yes, Adina, you can feel free to say "I told you so" regarding your faith in humanity. Personally, I'm thinking this whole thing was the cosmos biting me in the ass for my joy over beating you at Trivial Pursuit on Thanksgiving.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go google how to say "Thank you" in Russian so that I can write it on a card....

*more on that once it's for-real-for-real, because my life just has too high a preponderance of last minute disaster for me to jinx it by talking about it online, thanks
** thanks to my father's Tom Clancy obsession, I know just enough Russian to say:
Da - yes
sudat - Come here
Niet parle Ruskie - I don't speak Russian
In my neighborhood, these are actually applicable skills for every day life. thanks Dad!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dear Elle...

In scanning your blog, there is some very important information that I as a web-geeker need to impart to improve your law-geeker citation compulsivity1.

Thesup for your footnotes is achieved by :

< sup> text here < /sup>

Just remove the spaces...

See? Us non-lawbies are handy to have around. Although now I'm seriously tempted to link to a page of html tags in my links section for you guys. ;p~

1. I have no AIM on school computers, & if I wait until I get home, I'll just forget. I'm fun like that, just look at the fact I've bought two new gas caps in the last month...tra la la...

Winter just wasn't my season...

Or maybe just finals. Hrm.

So far, in preparing for tonight's assignment turning in, I've missed two crew practices, and mind. I'm also horribly behind on freelance work. You know, at the end of every semester, I have that moment where I go, "what the fuck am I doing going to school? I have a job, and I could just be a designer for ever & ever, why do I torture myself this way?"

But then I'll have a sitcheeay-chun where I can do something in programming or whatnot that others cannot because I have been a good girl & I am diversifying my skill set, and I am glad I am in school...which possibly means that I'm getting this degree solely because I'm such a control freak that I'm becoming megalomanical about the Internet.

Heh. Neat.

Anyway, tonight's the final, and then I have time off until the 1st of the year, at which point I shall attempt C# programming, gods help you all me. then spring semester will most likely be Java & Flash ActionScripting - yes, yes, the two classes I dropped my first semester at school. Thankfully, there's a different Java professor, so I've got a WAY better chance of a) finishing the class & b) having less occurances of repressing the urge to jump up & throttle my teacher while yelling, "HOW THE FUCK WOULD I ACTUALLY USE THIS, YOU WASHED UP HIPPIE WHO'S NEVER WORKED IN THE INDUSTRY BUT GOT A MASTERS IN IT ANYWAY*?**"
*Oh please. Like you haven't had that teacher. You can't lie to me, dude, I work in advertising and I know lawyers.
**oddly enough, I found out after having dropped the class that I was not the only one that had that reaction - it seems that out of an original class of 15, 6 of us are retaking the class in the spring. That does make me feel less stipud.

What to do with all that free time, that's my conundrum... Vacation? psh, who takes those? Even if I did go back east for the Holiday-type-Daze....seeing my family isn't really a vacation. I could paint. I could catch up on freelance work. I could possibly finish editing the damn book and start sending chapters out...

...Okay, so actually I'm going to be starting a part time gig where I'm paid a ridiculous amt. of money to transport lab samples. Why? Please see the part about "paid a ridiculous amt. of money". Special K's Boy called today to confirm & see if I wanted to work both Sat & then Sun after the regatta, so I guess the job's a go. I'll head up Thurs. night & pick up the required swag, which I know is at minimum a (company!) Nextel, a shirt & a cooler thingy - turns out insulated lunch bag types? Not just for beating up your sibling at the bus stop anymore!

In truth, because I've been warned that there is a good amt. of time spent just waiting around for the labs to get all their shit together, I'm probably going to invest in a PC laptop so that I can do homework....seriously, totally for homework!

*Don't worry Adina - one day, I'll take a vacation. No, really, I will!

btw, am I the only one finding amusement in Saddam Hussein complaining about being treated unfairly in a courtroom?

Personally, I think the only good thing that came out of this is that that motherfucker might get executed, so I admit that I loved the following sentence :
Under Iraqi law, a court can force a defendant to attend a trial if he is not willing, said Iraqi lawyer Bassem al-Khalili.

And who shaped a good portion of Iraqi law? Let me see...

Ha ha, motherfucker. Possibly the only way knowing that man died could get better would be if every woman he had raped & every child he took parents or family from got to walk up and kick him in the balls first, and then he got shot in the head by a white woman.

I wholly believe in justice - it's just that my idea of justice can have th adjective "creative" appended. For instance, I am of the opinion that when Bush's liver finally gives out due to extensive alcohol poisoning, I hope the only doctor that can perform the surgery is a Jewish lesbian that's pregnant and has gotten married in Massachusetts. Because I'm fun that way.

In other news, the other three members of The Mighty Four are hyped on wearing antlers for Sunday's race. Oh dear.

Wow, dude. that's kinda why I don't own the DVD....

Titanic Sinking May Have Been Quick
Explorer Robert Ballard found the bulk of the wreck in 1985, at a depth of 13,000 feet and about 380 miles southeast of Newfoundland. Ballard was not impressed with the expedition's find.
"They found a fragment, big deal," he said. "Am I surprised? No. When you go down there, there's stuff all over the place. It hit an iceberg and it sank. Get over it."

Friday, December 02, 2005

"Yeah, the fact that those aren't all in the same line is really fucking with my chi."

My project managers give the best feedback.

Special K rowed with us this morning, which was interesting. Special's been out for the last two months with tendonitis, which is why I recruited her to start being our coswain for The Mighty Four...that worked out pretty well up to our first race the first weekend of Nov., but since then, there's always been something that one of the five of us couldn't make it, rah rah the four of us haven't rowed w/ our cox in about a month. Since Beavis was going to be out today & she rows starboard, I asked Special K if she'd sit in & we'd get a different cox, since Special can't 'zactly just jump back in with the girls that pull development times after she's been off the water (and not even allowed to erg) for two months.

It was kinda nice to a) not sit stroke & be able to just enjoy rowing and b) see how we row when we're all put in a different line up. Plus we had ZenMaster R as our cox, which is was nifty, because R is just...he's a rock, man. The most mellow guy I have ever met -- and considering some of my neighbors, that's saying something.

Other than that, my attempt at a solid 24 stroke with a 2:00 min split continues - I went up to 2500k today after practice, & had a 2.03.5 avg. split. Kinda sucks, 'cause I was down to 2.01.9 on Wed. night, but that is also affected by the fact that I hadn't just done a full practice right beforehand. However, since I have issues with overachievement, I'll be sitting down tomorrow before the 7:20am practice to see if I can't pull a 2500 with a 2.01 avg. split.
I was talking to D as I set up the erg, & when I mentioned that my last avg had been 2.01.9, Coach T was like, "I don't even pull that!" Well, what can I say, there are at least SOME advantages to the fact I am what we shall kindly term "country-built". Or, as one former co-worker so kindly asked me one day, "Did you grow up on a ranch?* 'cause I can totally see you doing like, manual labor with horses or something." Right.

In other news, it turns out that erging every day? Makes your butt sore. I'm not quite at the point where you make a little gasp every time you sit down (you know, the day after you start lifting again when you've taken six mos. off? Yeah, that day)....but I'll admit, I'm close. I've also learned that I push more with my right leg than my left. I know this because my right leg hurts more. How's that for powers of deduction?

Oh, and I'm effin' ravenous. Kind of a funny difference between this time a year ago when I couldn't eat anything...I made this winter vegetable soup over the weekend, & got some good rolls at Trader Joe's, and that's pretty much become my breakfast when I get to work right after practice, because my meansily little yogurt that I used to have? Pretty much not getting the job done anymore...

* the answer, btw, is no, I did not grow up on a ranch. I grew up in New England, which means that instead of being able to ride a horse, I just have a lot of sarcasm.

Meanwhile in non-crew news, I called Special K's Boy (whom I have yet to find a name for other than Special K's Boy) 'cause she said they've got work that I could pick up on the weekends, and honestly, if I can speed up in my attempt to actually save money in my ING account, that would be spiffy. Turns out Special's Boy has some killer guaranteed runs that will probably start next weekend that, well, as I said to Special this morning, "Dude, I didn't know you could make that much money in two days!" (and before anyone asks, there's no porn, but there are samples of bodily fluids. Not mine, other people's...yeah, never mind. It's legal, it's profitable, and I don't run the tests, I just drive the samples from one lab to another.)

Plus I can bring Zoey. I don't think it gets better than that, really.

Speaking of Zoey, we walked down to the Grove last night so that I could get a book - the book wasn't there, Megdalen, so I put it on order, Zoey got attention from everyone in a 20 ft. radius, and I still ended up dropping $40 on books I hadn't intended to get - the Barnes & Nobles card, ladies & gents -- possibly the best $25/yr you can spend.

Also, I think that due to the lack of things I like at the Gap this sales cycle & my poor kid pride inhibiting my ability to pay some of Nordstrom's prices, I'm going to have to cave & get some shirts from Amberpimpin' & Bitch... they're the only place selling women's shirts that are actually long enough for me. Granted, they're supposed to be dress-like on the Tiny Perfect Girls that they recruit to work there,** but on me, they're just normal. Think I'll traumatize the cashier when they realize my double-digit sized arse intends to wear the clothing, not just give it to someone else? Hopefully, they'll just use it as a learning experience. It'll give them something to ponder the next time they have to stand outside the door to the store wearing naught but their underwear.***

.... After all, if I can't widen the horizons of a wanna-be cokehead model/actress working retail, what kind of life can I say I've lived?

**They really do recruit you to work there based on how you look. Special K had someone walk up & ask her one day when she was in college.
*** no, I'm not making that up. this is L.A.