mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
This has become my default mental image for massive all-day meetings like the one I was in today, especially if said meetings involved failed internal plots and counterplots against one's colleagues and superiors.  Like the one I was in today. 

Today was a #85 kind of day.  I am taking a nice long walk in the lingering sunset now.


mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Utterly surreal week.  Power outages, all kinds of crazy bad stuff at work, getting interviewed for public access TV about that little trip to Florida we took last week, and a sinus infection. 

Oh, yes, and a family of adorable little skunks moved in two houses down.  Let me tell you, the sight of fluffy baby skunks with white gossamer tails frolicking around in the lawn in the firefly-sprinkled twilight is, at once, absolutely beautiful and completely ungood.

Also, here's a snack-sized update to "Starchild," in which has now surpassed "Another Piece of Blue" as my second-longest fanfic.  Yikes.  It'll definitely be THE longest by the time we wrap things up with Chapter 20.  Anyway, in Chapter 15, Eirika and friends (?) finally take off on the Peace mission with the intention of finally making that lunar landing that we've been talking about for 26,000 words.  And the lunar lander thingy gets a name.

Blech

Jun. 30th, 2011 11:25 pm
mark_asphodel: (Dead Heero)
This week has kind of sucked.  No, actually it pretty much sucked.

Jet lag and insomnia.  All kinds of crap happening at work, ranging from contract-law stuff to stupid interoffice drama because people can't mind their damned business.  And other things that felt like the morale equivalent of a kneecapping going down on the home front.

In more positive news, my yucca plants are in bloom.  I don't think I can make soup with them this year, but they might yield up enough blossoms for an omelet.  Also, my nineteen boxes and various pieces of furniture finally arrived from California, and only one thing is broken thus far.  I've been afraid to open some of the boxes, though.  :(

It's weird to have my childhood bedroom set here in my new home, three thousand miles from where it's supposed to be.  I mean... I used that bed as a kid.  My mom used it when she was a teenager.  And now it's here in Michigan, awaiting... potential kids, I guess.  Or short and lightweight guests.  My two showpiece dollhouses, the San Franciscan and the Spanish-style, are sitting next to one another on a table like the beginnings of some bizarre subdivision for 1/12 size people.  They are also awaiting... something.  Not sure what yet.  Hopefully restoration. 

I haven't written in days.  My head just hasn't been there.  Last week was a fever dream when it came to writing, and this week is just... nothing.  No energy.  Can't even finish these two drabble requests that have been sitting for... what, two weeks now?  Hell, I can't concentrate long enough to respond to the messages I've received since Saturday, which is just sad.

Going to Florida next week, though.  Maybe that'll spark something.    

At least the house is slightly closer to being clean.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So.  

Monday-- wake 0600, work 0700-1530, dinner at Cafe Habana around 1830, wait in line for Elvis Costello show commencing at 2000, Elvis Costello show 2100-2330.  Drive home.

Tuesday-- arrive at the Henry Ford to see the Emancipation Proclamation at 0015.  See there is a 4-5 hour wait; cry.  Go home and sleep 0100-0400, then take chairs and water bottles to husband who has decided to wait in line overnight.  This act of mercy is rewarded by being allowed to line-cut and join him.  Wait in line 0430-0615.  See original Emancipation Proclamation and leave venue, arriving home 0630.  Take shower, proceed to work, stay at work until 1530.  Frantically pack suitcase and shovel down dinner, arrive at airport 1800.  Plane is delayed by bad weather.  For three hours.  Read Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, drink a Blue Moon and board plane circa 2200 EDT.  Fly to Vegas.  Arrive circa 2300 PDT.  Get shuttle to Caesar's Palace.

Wednesday-- Have snafu with rooms; put in the swanky Augustus Tower to compensate but have no accommodations for Saturday night.  Change return flight in disgust because the fee to change the flight will be cheaper than working out a hotel/transportation mess.  Work on an FE8 drabble before falling asleep circa 0130 PDT.  By this time my internal clock is so messed up it's not funny, plus I was sick on the plane. I don't manage to wake until 0850; have to run to make my 0900 conference.  Get talked at by various parties from 0930ish through 1400.  Finally get some food around noon, which is the first real meal I'd had in about 22 hours.

I still don't know which way is up.  And this is the worst and most unreliable Internet I've paid money for in years.

When my brain works again, I might review the Lincoln novel.  It was surprisingly... good.  Also, the Elvis Costello show was fantastic; he can be inconsistent live, so this was a wonderful surprise.  And seeing the Emancipation Proclamation was very moving, especially given that it attracted a wonderfully diverse crowd of people who were willing to wait 6+ hours through the night.  It was a bonding experience.  

YUCK

Jun. 8th, 2011 02:56 pm
mark_asphodel: (Dead Heero)
 My work laptop emits so much heat that using it right now is unbearable.

-x-

I accidentally put on the pair of blue jeans with a hole in... a bad place... before I went to the board meeting today.  Woops.  I wondered why my spare jeans were the wrong color and had the wrong pocket design and didn't need a belt.  I thought I'd thrown these ones away.

-x-

I love Ovaltine.

-x-

As if this Vegas thing wasn't enough, my comrades love me so much they're sending me to a conference in Orlando... the first week of September.  Just my luck, getting sent to places I don't want to visit at the absolute worst time of the year.  Why can't I get sent to New Hampshire or Boston the way my most excellent spouse does?  Because I'm not a software designer.

-x-

I need to come up with material for the radio show tonight.  This is stressing me out.  I have all these ideas right up until the day of the show and then I blank.
mark_asphodel: (Dead Heero)
My, the sunporch upstairs is nice.  Why don't I write here more often?  Oh, yes, because there's no artificial lightning and this recliner is broken.

It has been a busy and productive weekend-- in the friend-visiting, economy-stimulating, social-work sense of "productive."  I affirmed my visceral hatred for Sterling Heights and its environs and I intend to withdraw from respectable society for the rest of the evening.

Also, I bought four different scents of bath salt today (rose, lilac, lavender, and "stress relief") and one of 'em is getting used tonight.

-x-

Feeling very distracted in terms of writing-- actually sitting down and finishing anything I really want to finish is a challenge at present.  I got a lot deeper into "Palindrome," I've been kicking around Chapter 14 of "Starchild," and I've been toying with a dive into the backstabbery of FE3/12, but something's disconnected right now.  It may be the heat.

-x-

I am feeling resentful about my upcoming business trip to Las Vegas, not least because the place where I have to stay charges fifteen bucks a night for 'Net usage.  Yes, I realize they want to give me no incentive whatsoever to stay in my room and not drink/gamble/hit the shows, but it still pisses me off.  I'm not there because I want to be.  I'm there because someone is making me go to a conference.  The least I should be allowed is to write kink meme fills on my off-hours.  

Also, Vegas in June?  Too.  Damned.  Hot.

I wish the conference was in, like, Anchorage.  Or Reykjavik.  Or Australia... it's almost winter there now.

-x-

I went to a cooking class at Sur la Table yesterday.  Made prosciutto-wrapped scallops, Thai beef skewers, awesome chutney-topped crostini, and chocolate-chunk bread pudding bites.  That was great, great fun, but I won't do it again unless invited by my Oakland County friends because it's clear across "town" at the Somersault Somerset Collection.  On the plus side, I got to keep the recipe book.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I found out today that a combination of diligence, honesty, and virtue screwed me over when it comes to this year's annual bonus thanks to stupid accounting tricks and the adorable concept of "non-billable time".  But, as my most excellent spouse reminded me, most people don't even get a bonus.  It's not the money that galls me so much as that I fell into a loophole that punishes people for doing extra work for the company.

And since I am still doing extra work, I will be screwed over with the bonus next year, too... so I would potentially make more money by refusing extra responsibilities (that somebody has to take) and just collecting a paycheck.

@_@ 

Anyway, since I have failed at the meme where you sum up your 'fics in two lines of dialogue, here's a different meme that is going around. Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] raphien  and [livejournal.com profile] myaru  and [livejournal.com profile] sacae and [livejournal.com profile] sailorvfan10 .

What do you want to see me start doing more of in fiction? (eg. origin stories, myths, romance, fight scenes, etc.)

What do you want to see me stop doing / do less frequently? (examples = same as above)

Have at it.  

Miscellany

Sep. 21st, 2010 10:35 pm
mark_asphodel: (Dead Heero)
 So, yesterday was a real backstabby fiesta at work.  Everyone survived, but I am so tired of the never-ending catfights between 95% of the female employees at the company.  Seriously, I think I'm the only female (yeah, I am one) on speaking terms with every single one of the other "girls," or at least speaking terms that are purely business and not passive-aggressive "frenemy" BS and worse.  Instead, I get to be the conduit for a lot of the interpersonal crap because of my position, yay.

I swear, sometimes I wish I could gender-change at will so I could be a guy on the job and then switch back when I get home.  I guess that would make wearing my street clothes on casual Fridays a pain, though.  ;P

I was at a labor conference this spring and one participant asked me to define what I thought was the biggest challenge to women in the labor market.  I said "other women."  I was perfectly serious.  Guys form cliques and backstab, sure.  But not all of the time!  At least not that I've seen.

Oh, and the people who think that the world would be a peaceful place if women ran it are smoking some seriously bad stuff.  

***
I think my biggest source of cognitive dissonance at work, other than corporate garbage, is the fact that I have to forge deep relationships with people I flat-out don't trust, all the while pretending straight-faced that I do trust them.  While keeping in mind that these people are the most likely ones to stab me in the back when they find it convenient.

***

My buddy "Ginevra" read me the corporate policy on blogging and micro-blogging today.  My main concern was "OK, can I get fired for writing prOn calling someone a knob goblin on a gaming forum, on my own time and my own computer, using my own internet connection?  No?  OK."  The rest of it was just insane.



mark_asphodel: (Dead Heero)
 Today was not the greatest day.  Somebody got injured at work, plus one of my direct subordinates is having his bi-monthly meltdown and I had to talk him down from the metaphorical tree again.  This always makes me pretty angry.

I need to stop looking for information about FE12, because what I'm finding just disturbs me.

Spoilers and crap. Mostly crap. )

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
 So, the votes are in, and both contracts passed with overwhelming margins.  I can finally relax... until Monday, when I have to execute my duty of enforcing these contracts.  I kicked back Friday night with lobster steamed in white wine (cooked it myself, mind) followed by cream sherry.  Then I rewarded myself with some DQIX.

I hated Dragon Warrior.  As a lover of adventure games, RPG grinding is anathema, and I remember DW as one long slog of blue slime after blue slime followed by the horror of a metal scorpion encounter-- one of the most searingly negative moments of gaming from my youth.  I still hate that game-- I recall thumbing through the manual, looking at all the way-cool enemies you could eventually encounter, and then returning to slime-killing whilst thinking "this is all a lie."  I never got very far.

Dragon Quest IX, though, is All That and a bag of skittles.  Lovely to look at, lovely to listen to, with an engaging sense of humor and a quite interesting plot thus far.  Still not thrilled with the basic grinding mechanics and all the time-consuming stuff like attending to every article of dress for every member in my party (absence of this micromanagment is one thing I love about FE), but it's a highly addictive game.  It also has a plethora of gaming in-jokes-- one of the enemies is "Wooper Trooper," obviously based off one of my least favorite Pokemon.  And these buggers are just as annoying in DQIX as they are in Pearl.  [Aside-- I plan to buy that Glory of Heracles game soon in spite of mixed reviews, all the more so once I found out that it, too, features Nintendo jokes-- including an Archanea reference.  I'm such a sucker.]  But I highly recommend this game to anyone who has not yet tried it.  At least the slimes have acquired iconic status in the last two decades....

ETA: forgot to add that both the hero(ine) and all the party members are created by you, the gamer.  Fun enough, though the secondary party members have zero personality.  I mean, none.  No dialogue, no plot significance, nothin'.  The fun is solely in making them.  I made myself a pink-pigtailed, violet-eyed little mage girl and named her "Serra," then followed that with a green-haired spear-specialist warrior that I named "Adel" because he looked like a sinister version of Abel from FE3.  Power to the gamers, I guess... 

***
Food note of the night-- one of the most exquisite Mexican dishes I have ever encountered is Chiles en Nogada, which is like chiles rellenos made divine.  Take a large poblano chile and fill it with a sweet-tart mixture of nuts and pomegranate seeds, then lightly batter it with egg, cook it up and smother it in velvety cream sauce.  Amazing.  
mark_asphodel: (Manga Marth)
It's been two long, rough days at the negotiating table, and this one is going to drag out a while.  The company is saying "no" across the board (okay, they agreed to a couple of tiny symbolic proposals) on every major issue, monetary and non-monetary alike.  We're not asking for a whole hell of a lot-- is it THAT crazy to think that one week of paid vacation, ever, is on the low side?  Or that maybe the health care plan ought to be funded against anticipated annual rate hikes in the 12-14% range (this year's was 19%-- ouch) just to maintain our current level of benefits? Hell, I can't even get them to back a standardized process for when employees leave the company so that the people who do leave don't walk off with any more company property.  You'd think they'd be behind that one! (I was serious, too.  It ticks me off when people walk out the door with company stuff, especially the test equipment that is often worth more than a new midsize sedan).

They're playing games, apparently.  I guess it's fun.  Oh well... I don't plan to give in anytime soon.
 
As I am in a political mood, here is the fourth installment of "Another Piece of Blue."

Enter the Catria.... )

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