Riding home with Aimee 2006
On the way home 2006
Groggy greyer San Antonio 2006
Rain. Swell. Do I have a waterproof jacket or an umbrella? No.
I am having a really hard time with getting to sleep here. Partly the time difference, partly the strange place.
I have no obligations today until a reception this evening, so I'm tempted to stay in my room and work, but I know the sales folks are really grateful when I'm in the booth in the exhibits. Time to get my brain jumpstarted out of this grey drowse and find a way to get over there in a somewhat dry condition.
hotel room. as usual, comically high desk requiring pillow to make it vaguely less ergonomically wrong wrong wrong. later figured out how to raise the chair which helped, but meant the pillow should go under the feet.
Groggy grey San Antonio 2006
The blueish tinge is entirely an artifact of my camera's color bias. The sky is grey and I'm having a hell of a time waking up today.
Too many short nights this week and the time difference partly to blame, but even 9 hours sleep didn't set me to rights. Ugh. At least I didn't have any morning obligations today.
What a day, what a day... 2006
My shoulders are a wreck from being really tense at work the past several days. Beta test starting next week which coincides annoyingly with a conference I have to finish preparing for and the systems hardware was conspiring against us all the way. Disk failure! Swell.
Bleah. Good riddance to that hard week.
I am starting my weekend out right:
- My new and beautiful wool rug arrived. I will take pictures tomorrow when it is sunny (ahem, do you hear me, weather?). I expect to be very happy with this rug for decades.
- I have a Pimm's Cup to sooth my nerves.
- I have a big glass of water because it's always good to have a glass of water.
- I have Annie's mac & "cheese" with some Carrot-Ginger soup to fill my belly.
- I have some really good expensive cheese - Neal's Yard Berkswell - to please my tongue (see illustration of said tongue in Flickrstream).[reproduced below]
- I have French cafe music playing.
- I have no intention of doing anything stressful all weekend.
A little work, a little early isn't necessarily a bad thing 2006
[originally posted to metagrrrl.livejournal.com]
I was thinking "Well, this is it. Back to work tomorrow. Ugh. And there'll be a ton of email..." and starting to stress about what a rough day it would be. Then I realized it was stupid. If my brain was going to spend time stressing over work, I might as well be doing it.
So I switched over to my work account, opened the VPN connection, and downloaded that email.
165 went to my probable spam folder, and only 3 or 4 were not really spam.
62 went to my inbox (not just to some list I'm on).
52 were notifications requiring no action
2 were cc's requiring no action
1 were undetected spam
2 were things I was copied on but which don't concern me
1 was something that I needed to read in detail, but not act on
3 required a less than 2 minute action
Reading through the mail for my lists took about 10 or 15 minutes tops.
That leaves 1 email that I will need to deal with in the office tomorrow, but its one that will take less than 5 minutes.
So, it's only 7:30pm and now I know there's nothing alarming waiting for me and I can right down to the work on the top of my list.
Hooray for the sanity check!
Current Mood: confident
Current Music: Honky Tonk Angel's Medley - k.d. lang
A search interface 2005
Don't remember where I saw this, but it sure seems like it might be too confusing in the midst of trying to help.
My pretty commute 2005
From the bus on the Bay Bridge.
More booths like this please. 2004
Yes, I went to a conference where they gave us a booth next to the food table. (Unfortunately, these are also the evil tradeshow stools that allowed my bag to fall to the ground with Moxie 1, my first Powerbook, inside. Thanks to my Zero Shock case, despite cosmetic damage she actually kept working fine until August or so when the sound began to crap out when you'd squeeze the case. Hence Moxie II. I'll be getting Moxie I serviced and then selling her).
Without changing position, John illustrates the excellent placement of the refreshments. (Alas, we didn't want to make a bad impression, so we actually did not get to graze from our booth.)
Klassy with a capital K 2004
So very busy. 2004
I've been quiet here since I've been crazy busy at work. I come home wanting something amusing to escape to and so I've been surfing the web, chatting with friends and watching DVDs. Not a huge amount of creative output in the evenings since I've been doing so much writing during the days. Admittedly, it is less fun to write & proof read documentation than posts about wonderful weird things seen on the web, but at least my writing muscles are getting worked out.
Not so much my physical muscles. Mental exhaustion can fool me into indolence when what I really need is to move around. The diet I'm on also leaves me with a little less energy, I suspect. Overcoming that pull away from activity is difficult. Today, though, I'll get a good bit of walking in. I have taken the day off to relax and see the geisha exhibit at the Asian Art Museum before it closes later this month.
Earlier this year I'd talked about taking a vacation, maybe up to visit my aunt & grandmother in Alaska, but then my company decided that one of the other product managers and I should put new versions of our products out twice a year instead of once and that made work fairly insane. I think we'll get good at it - already it's forcing us to be more efficient, but it is still a little crazy-making. On the bright side, I'm getting asked to present more at conferences, so that's giving me a little travel.
I'll be in Portland middle of next month and will get to take a 3-day weekend before the conference to play tourist. I'll be staying at the Jupiter Hotel and doing a lot of walking around downtown, visiting museums and parks, and, of course, hanging out at Powell's Books.
Now it's time to be a tourist in my own city. Off to ride the trolley to the museum!
commuting home 2004
Tech support is hard, frustrating, often monotonous work. Cool cars and uniforms that make you look like Agent Smith from the Matrix plus job titles like "Double Agent" seem perfectly reasonable ways to make the work more bearable. More power to the Geek Squad. (And do check out their website. Great attitude!)
Scene from an evening commute 2004
Taken on the Bay Bridge heading into San Francisco.
Thank you, Sir. May I have another? 2004
It was great having a weekend, but it was too short.
The left-hand building is clearly an extra from a bad sci-fi or comic book film. The top of the rear right-hand one is where my company had a dessert reception. Alas, it was foggy, so we wandered around past white windows eating chocolates.
Busy can be wonderful 2003
It's been a busy week, but a very good one. I had my review at work and it was mixed. I've definitely made significant mistakes in my first 16 months at this job, but I've also had great successes and my average work is good. It was a tough review because I really had to face some deep-seated bad habits. This time, with the support of my boss, my sweetheart, my family and friends, and some reserve of strength I found in myself, I've finally turned a corner. I recognized that I have been taking the lazy, painful way out by kicking myself and feeling shitty when I blow it, but not doing the much harder thing of actually changing my behavior. This time I decided to change. I didn't decide to try to change; I just did it. It feels really great. I am much less stressed, more productive and happier.
I just watched the special features about the Weta Workshop design team and the stunt team for Lord of the Rings on the extended edition DVD of The Two Towers (which finally came today) and I am so inspired and grateful and proud. These films make me proud to be human. We are wonderful creatures. To create something so amazing, so rich and deep and powerful, is the best thing in the world. It's the same feeling I get from seeing Cirque du Soleil or hearing incredible musicians. This is us at our best. And it doesn't have anything to do with race or creed or gender or nationality. The best happens when we set those things aside to make something together.
Yeah, of course I think "gee, if only I'd stayed a theater arts major, I might have ended up working on the costume team for these films". Sure I want to make magic. But then again, I make the gateway to magic. Librarians link people to ideas, to stories, to the tools that enable people to create. Making software for libraries isn't so very far away from other kinds of creativity.
And I never have to wear prosthetic makeup, work in the middle of the night for 3 months straight, and fall off 30 foot walls. There are some compensations for taking the tamer path.
Normal Work Symptom 2003
Nothing is going particularly wrong today. No one is shouting at me. I haven't been in numbing meetings. I've been getting things done and some of them are even the things I planned to do today. I like my job. All in all, it should be fine.
Still, inexplicably, my brain has spent much of the afternoon going "Aaaaaaaaaah!!! Get me out of here!!! Waaaaaarrrgghhh!"
"Shhh.... Shhhhh..." I say.
It tries to command my body to bang my head against my desk or go drink margaritas.
*sigh* Problem brains.
Zeigarnik Effect? 2003
I'm reading an interesting book called "How We Know What Isn't So: The Fallibility of Human Reason In Everyday Life" and came across this:
And, as any student of psychology can tell you, there is the "Zeigarnik effect," or the tendency for people to remember interrupted tasks better than those that have been completed.I wonder if that's why I find multi-tasking so invigorating? I can feel more connected and awake when I'm switching between several tasks rather than focusing on just one.
The quote has a reference to Zeigarnik's 1967 work "A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology" and I may try to track down that section. Anyone (Mum? Paul?) know anything about Zeigarnik or this idea?
[December 22, 2003: This post has been noted by spammers and is getting repeated junk comments. I have closed commenting on it for that reason.]
MmHm. Monday. 2003
Some days your brain works.
Some days it doesn't.
Not my most productive day ever.
Thank goodness for mindless tasks that (sort of) need to get done.
One step forward, two steps back 2003
I took yesterday off to relax with Chris and celebrate being together for a year. It was good and I felt this morning like I'd had a weekend.
Unfortunately, unlike the day after a weekend, I had a massive amount of email to work through. It's noon and far from getting to the things I'd hoped to work on today, I'm still only partway through responding to all the stuff brought up in this chunk of mail.
The most comically frustrating sentence from my inbox?
"Do you have an assistant or can you suggest someone else whom I can plague?"
Alas, no and no.
Boy, I wish I was those white dreadlocked phase-shifting razor-wielding twins from Matrix:Reloaded. I'd get so much done. And I'd look lovely doing it.
Tired. So very tired. 2003
Friday through yesterday I was at my first visit to the annual users group conference for the company I joined last August. 1100 customers. Down in San Jose, so no flight this time, thank goodness. Stayed at the Fairmont, so the hotel was nice. Gave 5 presentations, attended at least half a dozen others, lunches and evening receptions with customers, getting stopped in the hall almost constantly with product questions. Very fun. Very hard (except the actual presenting which I love doing). Very exhausting.
Got home around 7:30pm last night. Stayed up reading email and some message lists that make me laugh. Visiting with Chris. Getting the lowdown on our new digital studio device for the electric guitar.
Today I slept until noon. Still sitting around in my bathrobe. Can't seem to muster the energy to do anything. Hoping I'll have enough energy to get through 3 workdays and take care of at least some of the piles of things that need to be done.
Tired. Very tired. But I like my job.
Role Rage 2003
Why is it when I have strategic tasks on my list, the tactical chores that rear their ugly little heads enrage me so?
Mess With Texas 2003
This week I have to give a 45 minute presentation to some librarians in Texas.
This will require spending 50 hours traveling, staying in a hotel, wandering around until it's time to present, staying in the hotel some more and then more traveling.
The convention is in Houston.
The humidity in Houston is 93 degrees.
And it's Houston.
Upon my return I will need to work for 3 or 4 hours, after which I will return to my wonderfully freaky neighborhood where I will spend the evening with men in dresses and lots of makeup who will restore my faith in humanity.
All I can say is it's a damn good thing I'm coming home on Bingo night.
Sense of Scale 2003
It is very unpleasant to find after six months in your new job, that you now know enough to realize there is more to the job than can be done by any two people and that your products are an order of magnitude more complex than your previous mental model allowed for.
Very unpleasant indeed.