November 20th, 2006

x-files, without you, freaky shit, Mulder

Not asleep yet, because things are in my head. [Experimental.]

This one is for everyone at Gossamer who didn't get feedback from me in 1997 through 2000.

It's been years.

There's a mermaid on the wall of the shower, and she's got her back to me, hunched over, studying the ripples in the water like she can see something there that I can't see, not even if I squint hard enough to see stars. I remember the black screens and amber letters, logged in too late to my shell account. Thin client, they'd call it now. Dumb terminal. Dumb angel, and saving grace in a world full of madness when the 24 hour study area in the library was the only sanctuary I could think to find.

All the geographic-distance between the screaming fangirls meant e-mail. E-mail meant culture and archives. I dreamed in gossamer, gold and green and all the lovely colors I couldn't see on my screen. I never responded, always lurking. Bad fangirl, no feedback. I was never a part of the culture, but there I was lurking on the outside, watching the words patch the hell I was living in. The characters always got worse, but they came together in the end, didn't they; they were meant to be together, and all the aching and poison words couldn't keep them apart. You could tell by the chemistry it was meant to be so. And in the end, it was.

Autumn leaves and crystal blue skies and that little treasured hope of independence and higher education turned in to twisted winter and bitter bare birch. The words were solace. I wouldn't let myself cry over myself, so I watched them burn in their silent orbits around each other, mute hateful torture. Sometimes they laughed, and I laughed with them. It was safer than crying. If I started, I would never stop...

I memorized the names of the ones who wrote them best. I had to believe that it was inevitable when they wrote them that way. I wasn't sure whether I liked the ones where they got together at the end or the ones where they weren't yet there but they'd make it there someday. I tried to write down what had happened with us, make it happen to them, but the words wouldn't come. It wasn't time. It wasn't right. I had more waiting to do, and someone with better words than I did had to write them as they were.

The years turned the anguish into dust, and from the dust grew flowers. They're still broken and beautiful, and the mermaid in my shower sits watching them. Why does she dream of unhappier times, when today is so full of life and promise?

Oh, my dystopia. We were perfect, you and I.
  • Current Music
    "Portia", Throwing Muses (in my head)
documentation, writing, quill

Two days in the life.

Friday has turned into an incomprehensible blur. I know Pink Shirt Guy was out, because I remember parts of Thursday. I think Friday involved some random bits of grocery shopping.

Saturday was writing, then meeting up with local National Novel Writing Month people at Organ Stop Pizza in Mesa. I fell in love with the place almost on sight. It has a very delightful feel to it, despite the clerk who I think was trying to short-change me. (I didn't let that happen. I said, "I'm confused. I gave you X, the price was Y, and you gave me Z?" and all was (eventually) fixed.) But the dinner was great fun, my characters ran amok while I took notes, and I got 3,200-odd words down. It's not all good days. There are some very bad ones.

I went through Target and rolled will saves against a stunning array of unnecessary impulsive purchases, and made a mental wish list on some others not quite so silly. They have light-up stockings now. That's a silly one. Also, I'm not sure whether a stocking with an initial on it should be J, A, or L. I answer to all three. There was a wee line out front, and it had gotten longer by the time I started for home.

I stayed up very late hanging out on IRC and catching up with stuff. I did laundry!

cadhla mentioned in her commentary about NaNo that the 1,667 words a day pace is something that a professional novelist might be expected to maintain. You know, someone whose "day job" is writing novels. Of course, the words might be more carefully crafted, and would have to be edited and carefully checked for continuity and all those fun things, but it's a level of writing that the casual hobbyist shouldn't feel bad about not being able to maintain for 30 days straight. But I've established to myself that I can do it, back in 2004, and so while I am determined that I can do it and will do it this year, if I manage to miss it and fall short of the 50,000 come the end of November, I'll still have another valiant try to my experience, and I will have a decent first draft to do things with. There are advantages to having a determined writer roommate, and one of those advantages is that if I do not start a) polishing stuff to submit around, and b) actually submitting it, hcolleen will hit me on the head with the 2007 Writer's Market. She did not say so literally, but I know her, and yes, she will.

I didn't get much sleep. Then I went to B&N for the Sunday thing, after getting stuff on the computer cleaned up enough to shut down. (Rather a lot of stuff to put where it belonged. That takes so much longer than I think...) I didn't get my usual vast amounts of writing done, and was antsy and itchy. We all decamped sooner than we might have. I stopped to grab dinner, then I came home. hcolleen and I watched Episode 9 of Bleach. There was giggling and gasping from me.

I wrote. I did not write as many words as I should, but I did write a lot, and I started off something that I did not know where was going with the phone call. And things worked themselves out from there.

Then I hung out on IRC and read X-Files fic, because I was too tired to move. I've been feeling curiously empty, as well as absolutely gleefully hyper. hcolleen says it is not mania, because mania is irritable. This book just puts me in a very good mood. But I have little time to myself, and I fear the crash. But I finally feel like a real writer again.

Now, I am going to bed. Goodnight, moon.
  • Current Mood
    creative creative
phone, cordless phone


Dear LJ,

I have co-workers who should not be trusted to drive a spreadsheet without crashing it into things. I've spent an hour just going "wtf", which is not the best time management, but ... ow. My brains.

Love, Loonie

Dear Team With The Bad Hours Charts,

I noticed some issues with this weekend’s hours charts. I understand there may be new people learning the hours chart, so some mistakes are only to be expected. It would be greatly appreciated by everybody if someone who is more experienced with the hours chart takes a look over it to catch any issues before it is printed and submitted as the official hours chart for the shift.

While the importance of having correct totals on the hours charts may decrease with the advent of $SYSTEM-based $CHART hours, we are not there quite yet. For the moment, it is still important to only charge the same hours as a positive one time, but to make sure to charge them as positive hours. I say this because I got an impressive number of errors on this weekend’s hours charts. There was an hours chart that had a positive total and a positive subtotal, which should not happen, and then those hours were entered in the same fashion to the evening hours chart, compounding the error. I also got an hours chart with Inbound hours charged as negative, with nary a positive in sight. I got an hours chart with $SPECIFIC downtime charged positive for one job and negative for another. I got an hours chart with negative italic hours of $TYPE Downtime, but no positive number charged in $PHONEGOON Downtime. All of these things may provide an accurate total for the absolute value of the hours charged to the job, but they do not provide an accurate number of total hours for the team. The hours charts in question were corrected and re-printed. When using the +/- column to remove program downtime for a job, make sure that it's sort of negative on the right line, rather than adding hours to both the dialing and to the downtime by having it positive in both places.

The hours chart works by adding up only the positive numbers into the total hours at the bottom. It ignores all negative numbers. Make sure that for any hours that you are charging to jobs, that there is a positive total there somewhere.

Some jobs (like $SPECIFIC downtime or any inbound application) have only positive hours. Other jobs have a positive total (or two positive totals, if there are temps dialing on it) and subtotals (type of $THINGY, $REGION, or other subtotals). Make sure that any subtotal is charged as negative. Since the way the $OTHER_SIDE_LANGUAGE_SPECIFIC hours on the $CHART are kept has changed, I changed the way the hours were tracked on the hours chart in an attempt to make it relatively painless to keep the hours in such a way that very little has to be done in order to break them down for the $CHART. It seems that this has caused some confusion. Currently the hours chart has the total hours between the two $OTHER_SIDE_LANGUAGE_SPECIFIC jobs as a positive, and the individual jobs, and the dialer type, all as negative italic subtotals. If this is too confusing, it can be changed back to two separate jobs, even though that is not how it is tracked on the $CHART.

If a positive is entered on the negative italic subtotal lines, this will screw up the total hours. If a negative is entered on a bold total line, it will screw up the total hours. Try not to screw up the total hours, please?

A. Lunatic
Direct Telephone (602) XXX-XXXX
  • Current Music
    Wishmaster? FISHMASTER! !
phone, cordless phone

More Spreadsheet BS

I am undercaffeinated for this kind of work. I am
trying to fix that status right now. Fortunately, I
had a nice solid breakfast, so I am at least with
sufficient random energy to do any hitting that is

I am still not done with the damned $CHART, because
there are changes, and I am cussing at the vile way
that my teammates have done things. I am no longer in
danger of doing any hitting, though. Obso1337 Manager
says that #2 Trendy Chick needs some real uptraining
with the bleeding hours charts. No shit, Sherlock. I
guess I usually do not see the damage she does to
them, she being a weekend person.


HTML Stripping in plaintext comment notifications = on crack.

I'm pretty sure I have the classic plaintext comment notifications rather than ESN. (For those not hip to back-room jargon, "ESN" is actually the notification system.)

Quoted from the entry: The leading <a on HTML links is stripped; the closing </a> is stripped too. This leaves one with href="">link text lying out there. Italics are rendered and sent as italics. Usernames are entirely stripped out.

In the comment part of the notification, I see the">link text, but upon hovering, I see that the link goes to [current directory]<a href= , which tells me that something's broken.
work, headset, nerf bat, working

OMFG work. (I'm evil.)

Today, a two-hour piece of paperwork took like 6. Granted, this was for three days' worth of hours, and at least 1/2 an hour was me going "wtf, you did not just do that, beeyotch!" and drafting the snarky e-mail saying same. But still.

I am going to be sooooo glad when I do not have to rely on the ability of my fellow supervisors to a) know what a spreadsheet is, and b) remember that positive numbers go in the bold lines, negative numbers go in the italic lines, and c) everything must be charged positively at least once, but definitely not twice.

There's a little piece of paperwork that used to be done daily, but is now no longer done over the weekends. The people who used to do it over the weekends are cheering. The people who used to use it over the weekends are complaining, and since they know I am t3h spreadsheet wizard, they are asking me if I can make them a thing to duplicate their section of it.

Now. :D I'm evil. If these same supervisors were sat down and told "here's this spreadsheet, you will be learning how to operate it for your jobs" there would be hissy fits to the CEILING. But. If I take a chunk verbatim out of the damn spreadsheet, set it up to do like three days at a time, and show them how to use it, and apologize that it isn't much, but here's where you fill in this and that... They'll eat it up and thank me for the privilege of using this tool that I have given them.

They will also be 99.9% trained on the damn spreadsheet.

(I'm evil.)
twilight, Fairbanks to Phoenix, two worlds

Little snippets of childhood: cold spaghetti with my ruler.

When Dad was feeling particularly oppressed and he'd forgotten to bring his fork, he'd eat his cold spaghetti with his ruler. Mama pointed out that lack of a fork did not preclude him going down to the damn microwave (this was the late '80s; there was one microwave in the 8-floor building) (only she didn't say "damn", but she sounded like it) and heating up the spaghetti. He insisted otherwise.