Thursday, April 27, 2006

As long as you've got a plan.

My goals for this week are twofold:

1. Actually make it to every practice I'm scheduled for this week -
Which is Mon-Sat morning @ 5:20, & then my sculling session on Wed night. So far, I'm 5 practices down, 2 to go towards this. I figure once I manage to attend all of my practice sessions, I'll then work on trying to do well at practice. Baby steps, baby steps...

2. Bring lunch to work every day.
I pretty much outsourced my lunch all of last week. And while I was eating salads, not like Double ranch bacon cheeseburgers or anything...still. I have the food, I need to actually use the food. Plus, you know, the whole easier to eat healthy that way thing.

So far, so good. Next week, who knows what kind of wacky turn my existence will take, what with the extreme excitement & all.

On Saturday, R.S. Monkey has convinced me to come walk in a circle with her a bunch of times in the dark wearing tin foil. No, it's not an attempt to attract lightning while testing sobriety, it's the 24 hr American Cancer walk. I'm in for her overnight portion - I was going to bring Zoey, but it seems these pinko commie anti-cancer facists won't let pets on the track. Of course, if Zoey were here, she'd tell you she's not a pet. ;)

Meanwhile, I have decided that there simply needs to be more hours in the day. Can we get on that for me? Thanks.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

You really are just a simple creature, aren't you?

Here at Altruism!Co, they're big on the titles. Seriously. There are job titles here that are two lines. So when they called me to ask about my business card (which hey, I think this is the first time since I worked at M!tech that I haven't had to design or typeset my own company business card!) and asked what my title was, I answered, "Designer."
"That's it? Is that your official job description?"
"Well, I have a feeling my official job description is going to be The Girl With Her Head On the Desk, but we probably shouldn't put that on my card."

It would seem that my "official" title is "Web/Graphics designer" which honestly, I've always thought was dumb - to design for the web, you have to design graphics, so wtf? For my freelance site, I normally just go with "Multimedia Designer", but I don't feel like explaining shit, so I voted for just plain old "Designer".

Brevity. It's the soul of stuff, don'cha know.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Warning: Here there be Things Of A Girl Nature.

I never used to have PMS. Seriously. I was that annoying friend that looked at you & went, "Dude. It's just a period..." I was Sally Indestructible - no cramps, no headaches, no nuffin'.

Then, about a year ago, It Started.

For the record, It SUCKS.

My version of PMS seems to manifest itself in nausea. Nausea, headaches & a sore lower back. But only for the first two hours of my day - after that, I'm A-O-K again.

Sadly, I do crew - a sport where your practice is on the water, every morning, for basically...the first two hours of every day. In addition to that, the way that our erg testing cycles fall just happen to coincide with my cycle. Seriously - last Wed., we did our 2k test for April. not two hours later, my period starts. It really is like clockwork.

So when I woke up this morning & felt like crap, I rolled my sorry ass out of bed because honestly, once we get on the water & I'm in good, cold fresh air (or as fresh as LA air gets), I'm fine. We'd done the erg test last week, it shouldn't be a problem.

But no NO - today myself & another girl got to do our pacing & consistency tests on the erg. Um, yay? R.S. Monkey had warned me about this piece - she'd done it last Friday, which I'd skipped out on 'cause hey - vomiting! - so I wasn't horribly surprised. Poor Coach T, though - it seems my erg partner for the day, New!K was coming down with a migraine & much like me, had only showed that morning out of cox penalty avoidance - a reasoning that Coach T seemed surprised to hear us cite. We made it through one of the three 2ks, and I got up and went to the bathroom to dry heave. In crew, the fact that I was able to make it to the bathroom shows really good control

The result being that I have to do the 3-piece exercise again on Wed. I mean, I'm fine with that, because by then my Monthly Issue will be over, so I should be fine - Coach T even told me that my first go at it showed a better control for pacing than anyone else's had over the course of their three. (The point of the exercise is to teach you how to be able to control your stroke & split timing for consistency & stamina - hence the reason you do the same thing three times. By the 3rd 2k piece, you'd have hopefully managed to keep a consistent drop in time as you up your stroke rate) I mean, it's not a problem normally - I can do it in my sleep - just, you know, not when I'm dry heaving in between sets.

Anyway, so I think at this point the solution is to just suck it up & get up an hour or two early one week a month so that by the time I get to practice, my initial Morning Nausea has passed....incidentally, can you imagine if I ever got pregnant? It would take about two weeks of getting sick in the morning before I thought to go pee on a stick!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


What did one casket say to the other casket?
Is that you coffin?

What do you call a lazy baby kangaroo?
A "pouch" potato

They refilled the office candy jar with Laffy Taffy. ;)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Why I can clearly not be trusted on my own.

So on Friday night, I went shopping. Now, here's the thing - there are certain aspects of being a girl that, well, I suck at. Shopping is one of them. Why? Several reasons:
1. I have what I call "Retail Aversion" - i.e., I spent so much time working in retail & customer service that I actually have an averse reaction to large groups of people in consumeristic settings. Seriously.
2. I am aesthetically picky - I don't want fuss, muss, flounces, I don't want to have to buy a pair of shoes for each outfit. Sequins are SO OUT. No large prints. I'm issue-ridden. I admit this.
3. I can't buy crap work. In my family, the girls were taught to sew our own clothes by the age of 12 (Mostly, I think, to keep us out of my mom's way) Because of this, I have been known to go shopping & make such comments as, "$120! Bullshit, they didn't even turn the seams under."

Anyway, so Friday, I attempt to go shopping. And really, I was off to a good start - I got two bras, a short suede-ey leather bolero style jacket, and new running shoes (squee!) - so I figure, Okay, let's wrap it up at Tar-jay. Good times. I need some shorts/stuff to just run around in this summer, and they're about right for that.

So I trundle into That From Whence Most of my Household Which I Didn't Make By Hand* was Decorated. Now, back to the part where I really don't shop for clothes that much. I see these shorts/capri...thingys and think, "ooh, I'd wear that." I mean, I thought it was weird that the sizes were odd-numbered, because isn't that shit normally even-numbered? But okay, sure. I grab my size, (or the closest odd number next to it) head for the dressing rooms.

They're too small. What? okay, maybe it just runs small. I go out, take a couple larger sizes, go back.

And according to Target, I'm a size 17.

WHAT? A size 17? Dude, I haven't been a size 17 since four years, 40 lbs, & a crew team ago. What the mother-effin' eff? I mean, I bought the pants, because they fit, but still - I. Was. In.Dig.Nant. Who the hell are they using for fit models that I'm a 17? I mean, I've heard of vanity sizing - what the hell is this? Shame sizing?

So now I'm home, and I'm all disgruntled. Because I'm huge. I'm huge, I'm fat, I'm ugly, and resisting the urge to go run a marathon and take ten laxatives, because this is LA & I know I'll get away with that since the girl next to me on the track will have taken 20 laxatives since she had the lining of her stomach removed in order to get rid of the extra couple of ounces.

I mean, this makes no sense. I have been doing cardio up the yang the last few weeks - I row four or five mornings a week, I'm at the gym for cardio at least two nights a week, and honestly, some nights lately I've been at Long Beach rowing for the second time that day. How in the hell could I have jumped five sizes?

It's possible that I expressed a sentiment of this nature to R.S. Monkey at The Bagel Shop O' Crack after practice the next morning, and she looked at me, did the Dubious Eyebrow Raise, and asked, "Are you sure you were in the right section?"
Claris: No, I was totally in the right section - women's clothing. It's all one thing! Right next to each...oh.

That's right, I am such an ignoramus that I shopped in the Juniors section & didn't even know it. Which, as OzLady pointed out when I spoke to her on the phone:
a) is a disappointment to her after her years of trying to educate me about the joys of consumerism**
b) means I suck because I still fit in the Juniors' section.

But yeah. There's yet another perfectly good moment of righteous indignation against the media on behalf of my gender wasted, all because I'm an idiot. ooops.

*Yes, I made my curtains & possibly a duvet cover (and have the material for a second) I told you - eye=picky bitch.

**"I want you to picture this. I am sitting at my kitchen table, with my head in my hand, shaking my head back & forth & wondering how I went so wrong with you." ~ OzLady

Thursday, April 13, 2006

To borrow from Sam - Look How Clever I Am.

One of the things that everyone joked about when I accepted a job at a non-profit is that you learn new & innovative ways to get things done, because you don't have the same resources as normal Corporate America.

And then those people that know my life on a daily basis paused & went, "Which, really, you shouldn't have a problem with."

Hey guess what - they were right.

I am the first designer at Altruism!Co. Therefore, they didn't really have the design software that I need to do my job. Their normal software supplier was out of it, so they couldn't get the non-profit price. what to do, what to do -- I certainly couldn't wait a month to be able to do my job, but $1200 is a lot of money for software.

Enter the magic of my undated Student ID card, and say hello to half price software. Indeedy. Seems that the USC bookstore sells it to any student no matter where they attend - sweet, I don't even have to wait for shipping.

So I head on over to Unbelievably rich kid SChool, which is ironically enough in a really crappy neighborhood in downtown LA. It's one of those things where the school was there & the neighborhood just kind of...happened. And, when it happened, no one made any allowance for parking. Why yes, this is a pain in the ass, why do you ask?

It took me...half an hour to get there from El Segundo - if you ever drive in LA, use the 105 as much as posssible, it's the unsung wonder of the city. It took me as long to find parking as it did to get there. And you know how I got parking for less than the $7 they wanted me to pay for the privilege of ten minutes in their bookstore?

Well, on the weekends, I'm a messenger. Which means that during the week, there's a blue uniform shirt in the backseat of my car. And there just happened to be a yellow zone by the bookstore marked "Deliveries & pick-ups - 1 hour or less". Well shit, I'm not going to even be here an hour - I ditched the sweater I was wearing to the office that day, which left me in khakis & a gray tank top (shut it, Anya!) reached in the back, pulled out my uniform shirt, threw it across the driver's seat of Serenity, and went about my way.

Incidentally, it took a larger effort for my credit card to verify that I was who I said I was for that large of a charge to my account than for the USC bookstore to verify that I'm even really a student - they didn't even ask for my student ID! I just said, "I'm a part time student over at ::school name::" and that was it. Incidentally, I can get my next computer through that same bookstore for half price -- they'll ask for my ID for that purchase, but since my ID is good until next fall....well yeah. Do the math, baby.

Incidentally, I have to say that is possibly the rudest campus that I have ever been on. And I've toured art schools - and hey, you want to talk about some overly self-involved snobs, art students are often obnoxious and dubiously talented on top of that, so for me to put USC on that level is kinda bad. However, since what little experience I've had with USC over the last few years has always left me with that impression, today was really just reinforcement. Although, their crew coach did tell me what time it was this morning when I was out on the water by myself, so I'll grant them that fractional courtesy.

The point being that if I'm every going to try to break into a place, I don't need some elaborate plan of technical intricacy - no no, I just need my blue bowling shirt with the white company patch on it. I talked to Special K on the phone as I was driving back to the office, and she agreed - acc. to her, the only studio lot in LA that doesn't automatically wave messengers through is Warner Bros. Of course, if I had Wakko, Yakko, & Dot locked in the water tower, I'd be a little skittish of who I let into the grounds too.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

It's not that I'm dead, it's just that I was busy dropping out of school & starting a new job.

Because hey, I did both this week. Check. My. Shit. Out.

Indeed, I sent in my drop slips to my professors today - within a few days, I will no longer be a student for the semester. Or at least, not one expected to show up for any classes. however, thanks to the laxity of the State of CA Edu. Sys., I know that I will still have full access to campus resources as well as my universal student discount, because they never bother to see who's actually taking classes after they put on on the rolls for the sys. admin privileges. heh.

Did I mention I'm going to buy the Adobe CS2 Suite tomorrow for half price with my Student ID before I'm no longer enrolled in anything officially? Because yeah, I so am.

Seriously - I dropped because I was only in school to get a new job, and...I did. I'd rather row & paint on the weekends than go to programming class. Plus, I think it's be nice to be able to really master & use what I've already learned in terms of .asp, javascript, & other object-oriented programming instead of trying to learn a smidgen of other stuff so I can have a piece of paper. And in looking at what Altruism!Co is going to need to bring everything up to date, do their site revamp, & move their print work in-house...I'll probably master all of that via trial by fire & learn some extra shit just by doing my job over the next six mos. Oy.

New job is going well - probably be better once I have some concrete projects to work on, but other than that, everyone seems really nice, and since no one has
a) committed any felonies
b) systematically gotten another co-worker fired so they could get their job
c) caused multiple employees to burst into tears at their desks
d) put my job on par with a McDonald's employee (I still say they can suck my service industry.)

Altruism!Co.already has two of my last three employers beat. You want to watch some hinky corporate shit, come work in Los Angeles, kiddies. After four years, this girl from the NorthEast will sum up the experience thusly - "These bitches be crazy, yo."

But seriously - Altruism!Co is really nice. There was even a little thingy of fresh flowers on my desk when I got here - sadly, it's an actual plant, which probably means that I have to attempt to keep it alive, gods help us all. (but mostly the plant.) Honestly, I'm lucky my dog is now used to my absentminded-ness, because survival alone has made that animal fairly self-sufficient.

going tonight for my 3rd sculling lesson in Long Beach - oh fuck me, that shit's difficult. Seriously. And I end up being out on the water for two, two & a half hours at a stretch. Which shouldn't SOUND that bad, except when you have to pee...yeah, that last 15 minutes can seem looooooooooooooooong - esp. since you can't just get out of the water & bolt for the bathroom. You have to get out of the water, get your oars & your boat out of the water & up on the dock into slings before you can even think about making the mad dash for the potty. It's possible that I did this Monday night & am therefore not drinking any liquids after 4pm today since my lesson starts at 6.

Honestly, I know I was the one that put myself on the higher training regimen due to my....possible overachievement issues, but I have got to say - I did not anticipate the tired-ness. I mean, I have trained as a boxer, I've taught multiple Spinning classes in the space of eight hours, and dude - this shit is exhausting. I rowed six times in four days last week, & it looks like I'll be doing at least that if not an extra two practices on Saturday this week. And that doesn't count time spent at the gym - last night I spent half an hour on the erg going through doing a practice 1k for our 2k test next wed, and then went to boxing. By the time I got to my last sparring set, I was just effin' done. My body so hated me. In truth, my body hated me so much that it gave up & slept in this morning, so I missed practice on a Coach I day, which means that I have a coxing penalty. Crap. Ah, well.

Speaking of Coach I - after a two week period where I may or may not have sent out some strategically worded e-mails asking a couple questions about our training program (or lack thereof) with her three days a week that happened to coincide with the fact that the boat she was training came in dead last at San Diego... our training has been pushed up a notch. Or twenty. Fine with me, man, bring it on. Of course, that also contributes to the tired, but hey - life's a bitch, then you die, I might as well be able to pull a decent erg score since I'm here anyway. Maybe then I'll at least get to die with a smaller ass! ;)

Monday, April 03, 2006

Yeah, I got nuffin'.

I have total Elementary School Nutrition today. Breakfast was a yogurt, lunch is a turkey & cheese sammich on my Chock Full o' Stuff Bread with mustard, and I have carrot sticks with honey mustard for a snack. hee.

One week left at Money!Dot!Com! woot!

Skipped practice this morning, but did it because I was up late last night finishing this :

Witchery, finished 04.02.06