katernater: (music • (mumford))
Co-workers and I went out to the Indian restaurant for lunch this afternoon and, I don't know why, but for some reason tandoori made everything seem less awful. I guess it's just knowing that we still consider one another to be members of the same team; that we all sink or swim together. Knowing that you've got someone there to wade through the mire with you makes wading through the mire less terrible. I would still like some closure regarding the whole communication issue but, for the most part, I'm feeling better today than I was yesterday.

Plus, one of our students was there at the same time and as he walked out the door he stopped by our table and told us that lunch was on him. I mean, free Indian food; that's a sign that the day has got to get better, right?

All right. I'm getting out of here. 'Time to enjoy some of this sunshine.

Rant.

Feb. 7th, 2011 07:15 pm
katernater: (movie • (holmes))
I recognize that I am very fortunate: for all of its stresses and mini-dramas, there are more things that I actually like about my job than I don't like. I have very supportive colleagues, a wealth of creative resources, great (for the most part) students, and the ability to design classroom activities that are directly in line with their needs. There are a lot of school systems where one or all of these things are simply not available, so I am grateful that I am able to take advantage of them. I also recognize that, being brand new to the teaching business, my supervisors want to see that we're all "singing from the same song sheet," so to speak. That is, they want to keep tabs on me to make sure that I'm not using class time to, I don't know, build paper mache penises or something. I get that, and I appreciate it. I understand the need for it. But it seems that, lately, "keeping tabs" has turned into "micromanagement," and between the 2-3 class reflections papers and the two-hour weekly "newbie" meetings (which directly follow the weekly hour-long staff meeting, effectively knocking out half my afternoon every Monday/Tuesday), I'm finding it difficult to find time to actually plan for classes like I want to. I usually end up taking my class binders home with me, just so I'm guaranteed some peaceful work time.

Now, again, I am aware that, being new, I am subject to certain requirements and expectations that the veteran teachers obviously will not have to contend with. But if the meetings about classes are taking me away from planning for classes, then what's left to talk about in the meetings? Grah.

I'm also still sick, which might be contributing to my irritability.

Let's see if a Funfetti cake will help.
katernater: (doctor who • (bride))
It's a sad truth -- though one I've been told I will encounter more and more as I make my way back into the professional marketplace -- when you realize that you just may be more competent than the people for whom you work.

Signing off for the night because, just, blah.
katernater: (sherlock • (night owl))
First off, it's my mom's birthday. Happy birthday, mom!

Second, seasonal allergies: Nature's daily punch in the face. Ugh. Every year I forget how horrible the last two weeks of August are on my sinuses. Getting to sleep last night was difficult because Todd and I kept waking ourselves up by sneezing. Most of the day I'm stuck in ragweed limbo: either I'm out of it because I'm on allergy meds, or I'm miserable because I don't want to be out of it, and therefore don't take allergy meds. I volunteered to read out loud in class today and could barely hear myself speak for all of the congestion in my head. I'm sorry. It's impolite to talk about the contents of your head in front of other people, isn't it? I can't wait 'til the first good hard frost comes through and kills everything with a stamen or petiole. This is not a joke.

Third. Those of you who have recently been on the job market and who have Facebook accounts: when you were submitting applications, did you change the name of your Facebook account so that employers would not be able to find you? Or did you adjust the privacy settings on your account in some other way? I am not overly concerned about the content of my account, but I figure that it would be best to err on the side of caution. I would hate to miss out on an opportunity because a potential employer saw the cat macro someone posted on my wall. (Is it really paranoia if they're actually out to employ get you?)

Fourth. I Netflix'd Robinson Crusoe last night because Damian Lewis was in it, only to discover that he gets killed within the first ten minutes. Very anticlimactic. Movie casts should really be listed in the order in which the characters get run through by the swords of other characters.
katernater: (misc (rdj) // You're like iron and steel)
There's a term for it. I know it. That phenomenon when you notice something off-handedly, say "oh," and then suddenly you're seeing that thing everywhere? Lately, that "thing" has been: Elvis Costello, guys with handlebar mustaches, Maximilien Robespierre, and full-bodied stringed instruments. Never all four at the same time, though. (What kind of crazy Victorian tea party would that be?) But, you know, just frequently enough to get me to think that god is spilling the cosmic Scrabble tiles a little more deliberately these days.

Work is going well. I've been working quite a bit lately, and I've even taken on a couple of extra shifts because my hours will be truncated next week compared to what I have been working. I'm getting used to the place at this point and I've got a solid rapport with a few regular customers. Everyone comments on how nice I am. I go home and complain to Todd. A girl at work also doubles as a Mary Kay representative on the weekends; she told me that she earns almost $250 for every party she hosts. That's primo money and I could really use some. I told her that I'd be interested in getting more information from her as soon as the season starts (do make-up reps have a season?) and I think I could do a pretty good job of hacking facial shellack.
katernater: (house (s3) // Your little round mirrors)
Second day of work, in the books. I was trained on the register today (there are at least fifty different ways to tally one transaction, given the various gift cards, reward cards and tenders) and since this is the first time I've worked at any retail establishment, I was surprised at how quickly I picked up on things. I spent most of yesterday in the back room (which was little more than a storage closet with the ghosts of Precious Moments figurines looming like characters out of a Dickens novel), reading manuals and watching training DVDs. I'm a very tactile learner. I can read pamphlets and manuals and be fine, but I really start to retain things when I get my hands on the machinery. I'm optimistic. I know that I have to give this place a fair shake and, when it really comes down to it, it's a paycheck. I have to stow a lot of my pride, forget sometimes that I am a college graduate with two years' professional experience, and just, you know, work for a bi-weekly payout. Survival. That's all it is.

I was able to submit a couple of requests for days off. I'll be taking off next Thursday to go to the Preston-Child book signing event in Indianapolis, and I'll be off on June 5th to see Coldplay in Indy, too. They seem pretty flexible when it comes to scheduling, especially for part-timers like me. If I can get 20-30 hours in there per week, I should be okay financially.

I have a free evening. When I was home, I found a couple of discs of second season Battlestar Galactica that [livejournal.com profile] another_myself sent me waaaaay back in the day, so I think I'll repose with those. And read Cemetery Dance -- I want to be done with it in time for the book signing next week. I'm thinking of asking les authors which character they think I'm more like: Nora Kelly or Margo Green. I want to be more Nora than Margo. (But I suspect I'm more mousy than I give myself credit for.)
katernater: (dubious (h) // Technology in the bathtub)
Oh, criminy. Posting at [livejournal.com profile] house_cuddy is now moderated, due to an influx of "spoiler-related" posts. Honestly. Is that really necessary? Isn't the entire point of a community like that to, I don't know, talk about the show? Especially after the episode in question aired three days ago? "The first rule of fandom is: YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FANDOM." It's television, people. Not a state secret.

In other news: I have an interview with Barnes & Noble tomorrow! Yay for books!
katernater: (holmes (rdj) // A scandal in Bohemia)
Todd ended up dragging me to the doctor yesterday because I chickened out and didn't go on Friday, and despite empassioned assertions that I was feeling better and the sensation that "Kull the Conqueror was crushing my windpipe" was, at the most, only "temporary" and "kind of cool because I can make Kull the Conqueror references. " Todd is clearly not as moved by Kevin Sorbo as I am, and we ended up going to the doctor anyway. The clinic was running two hours behind, which was lame, but I live a block away so Todd and I were able to go back to my place for an hour and a half and then come back, which was cool. To cut a long story short (and to spare you an awkward conversation I had with a nurse about the Anne Geddes poster on the wall of the exam room), their best guess at what I had was strep throat, for which they prescribed me a buttload of antibiotics. Two doses down, and I'm already feeling less "Krull" and more "guest stint on Just Shoot Me".

I'm also filling in for our receptionist today, which means that I get to sit at the front of the office facing the big picture window, watching the gray, sludgey parking lot outside. I am also proximally located to the bowl of chocolate left out for visiting clients. I can also track how many times the people in this office go to the bathroom.

In summation:
Photobucket
katernater: (xf (m) // If you walk out on me)
I got lost coming back from lunch this afternoon. I'd gone to Barnes & Noble looking for a little more Sherlock Holmes and hoping to score the latest issue of TV Guide (I decided against the former and the latter wasn't in stock yet) and decided to take a little detour from my normal route. When I passed a peat processing plant and a string of unfamiliar-looking liquor stores, I knew I'd strayed too far. It seems incredible that I can still get lost in the same ten-by-ten mile grid that I've been driving in every day since I started at the agency. I tried to pass it off as no big deal -- a vehicular lark, if you will -- but the shine came off the apple when I cruised by a ramshackle taco stand that enterprisingly doubled as a used auto parts outlet. I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent person but, when it comes to navigation, I'm pretty much rudderless.

Still no word from the apartment complex, which aggravates Todd more than it does me. Understandably. We're getting down to "crunch time" and it would be nice to have confirmation of a place to live. After cleaning my room last weekend I came up with a fresh stack of "must have" books that will be traveling with me to our new home; I think I should get at least two bookshelves to hold them. We're going to live a pretty spartan existence for a while (knowing full well that this apartment is a temporary homestead to get us both through graduate school), but I honestly don't know what I'd do with myself if I didn't have a part of my collection with me. There's something very comforting and homey about a bookshelf jammed full of trade paperbacks. Call me sentimental.
katernater: (alone (w) // A life in packing crates)
I think the stress of work has started to imprint itself on my subconscious. Last night I had a dream that Linda, our digital media supervisor, prescribed me Ritalin to help me remain focused during the day. I was so relieved. Like, in dream terms? I was as relieved by that as I am when the giant mutant shark (that haunts 80-90% of my other dreams) gives up chasing me while I'm swimming off Amity Beach. I think I've got a handle on my stress level. Of course, when a webbie gets an insta!medical degree and starts prescribing you medication, there might be some latent stress issues that require your attention.

I called Valparaiso this afternoon with some follow-up questions about financial aid. As of today, it looks like I'm good to go. Tuition is about $4300/semester for nine credit hours (which is considered "full time" for all graduate students) and I was told that books are about $400-500 on top of that. That leaves me with a nice cushion I can use to pay rent, utilities, and occasionally eat something outside of the Frozen Foods section. I won't get a check until I go through the financial aid interview process (read: fill out an online Promissory Note), but I should have enough money in my checking account right now to put down a couple months' rent when Todd and I go apartment hunting. Which was supposed to happen this weekend but, with the Obama thing, I don't know if I'm going to be able to go. Todd was talking about going by himself and photodocumenting anything of note, but I don't want to put all of that on his plate just so I can work the phones for a few hours. We can't really put it off much longer at this point, either, because we're so close to leaving (3 and a half months, approximately) and having a place to live is, you know, kind of important.

Being a grown-up is terrible. You have to make all of your own decisions. Balls.
katernater: (house // Giving up on today kthx)
Strange, strange day. The whole world just felt a little off, a little left of center. A lot of people were out today, so I went into the office expecting to take on a lot of the work that was left behind but, for the most part, things were quiet. I was able to take care of some projects that I'd been putting off for far too long, which was fantastic, but I was almost waiting for the universe to roll out some hefty punches at, like, four thirty, which put me on edge for most of the day. 'Came home and saw Kellen for a bit -- he'd stopped by to surprise his girlfriend and to get some help from the family proofreading one of his first college term papers. I poked him in the ribs, teased him for being so skinny, and remembered what it was like to have a brother in the first place.

There are at least ten plastic grocery bags of trade paperbacks sitting in my room. On Sunday, my grandfather (who hoards everything he's ever bought, borrowed, bargained or bluffed his way into ownership of) gave me free reign over about 150 books that he was looking to get rid of. I took them all. There are at least another 300 books in his library, which he's told me that I can pick and choose from if they'll help me in my graduate work. I'm not sure if Buskin' With H. Allen Smith or Breaking Away will ever come up in any of my required reading courses, but it's nice to have them on hand to pad out my personal library. They also make my room smell wonderful. Like sweet, sweet knowledge.

Also, I don't know if anyone would be interested in these, but I like to create my own album art for the songs in my iTunes queue. After seeing the new Entertainment Weekly promos, I Photoshopped a few 400 x 400 covers. use 'em if you want 'em )
katernater: (evil // I am excited for party times)
There were some pretty surly-looking fellas working on the duct work in the back storage closet this morning. I guess they were pulling out insulation or spreading rat traps, because whatever they were working on necessitated them to be up on ladders, stuck between ceiling tiles. So I go in there, looking for a file, and I'm pretty sure the guy knows that I'm in there rooting around beneath his ladder because I say something like, "Hey, I'm just going to sneak past you for a second here" in that real gentle-type voice people use around wild horses and feral cats. I'm kneeling at the filing cabinet when I hear a metallic CHINK! right beside me.

The guy had dropped his X-Acto knife, with the blade open, from the ceiling.

He ambled off the ladder:

Me: [nervously] Ha ha ... that could have been disastrous.
Him: [picks up knife, ratchets the blade] Yeah. It coulda'.

O_o

Also. Have you ever asked yourself, "I wonder what would come up if I did a Google Image search for 'Marie Curie'"? Do you abuse workplace time and resources to find out? Are you even a little bi-Curieous? )
katernater: (bored // Breaking and entering)
Today I used the word "coolbeans" to describe an event at work ("Hey, Kate, what do you think of this invoice?" "Hey, man, that's coolbeans.") I have regressed.

LET'S PAUSE THERE FOR SOME PLANTAGENET HUMOUR )

Hello, weekend? Where are you?
katernater: (lovely (ga) // She's a rainbow)
There were firemen standing on the median of the shopping center where I usually take my lunch (the shopping center, that is, not the median) carrying around big black boots for donations for the MDA. I threw in two dollars because, you know, I love Jerry's Kids, and I got a very nice racially balanced sticker in return. I only wish that the firemen were like the ones you see on all of those calendars (or in low budget adult films) because I am just shallow enough to break out my checkbook when I see some fabulous dents. Alas, the firemen in my hometown are only slightly trimmer than the people who work in my office building, which is kind of sad, considering that the people who work in my office building think that dragging and dropping files from their desktop to their trashcan constitutes "strenuous physical activity."

Speaking of my vocational wunderkinder, I've been invited to my first bachelorette party this weekend, by a co-worker who's tying the knot in two weeks. This is very big for me. Whether through choice or circumstance, I don't have a lot of female friends who come without screen names. [livejournal.com profile] luuser doesn't count, because I consider us to practically be sisters, plus she lives in another time zone. I'm sort of thrilled by the prospect that my company has been asked for, especially because a bachelorette party is one of those things I should have been old hat at by now (if anyone I knew in college was a. interested in getting married, and, b. interested in anything but smoking pot and parsing out the existential meaning behind The Talking Heads' "As The Days Go By"). Anyway, said co-worker is getting a trolley to take a group of girls around to the various bars and haunts in town and, by jove, I'm kind of looking forward to it.

Tomorrow night, Todd and I are going to a fancy restaurant for steaks and wine, which will necessitate the use of The Little Black Dress and her favourite companions, The Let's Hope I Don't Break An Ankle Getting Out Of The Car boots. We figure that we should spend the money we have while we have it, because in a couple of months we're going to be living bowl to bowl on Fruit Loops. I finally told my boss that I'd been accepted to graduate school and I'd be leaving the job at the end of this year, so there's some finality in the decision now. With school starting back up the last couple of weeks, I've got the pang for academia in my gut. I fully believe that I'm meant to be in that environment for the rest of my life and I can't wait to get started. I will earmark this post and refer back to it when I am in the middle of writing a long dissertation about the significance of footwear in Robert Browning's lesser poems. Formidable years, indeed.

I have also been on such a fandom kick lately. At about two or three o'clock every day this week, I've gotten the uncontrollable itch to watch The X-Files or season two of House. I've heard relatively little patter about the fifth season, and I'm trying to keep as spoiler-free as possible before September 16th. One piece of information that I wish I would have known: the stinger at the end of the credits of I Want To Believe! The theaters around here were already shuffling the film to the back theaters by the time I got around to seeing it, so it's unlikely that I'll be back for a repeat viewing before the DVD comes out. I'm kind of bummed because, as much as I was disappointed in the movie overall, I really, really loved the movie. There is no room for shame in fandom, even when it cheats on you with bad scriptwriting.
katernater: (crap (c) // Folding on the doubleblind)
Poop. Poop, I say!
katernater: (ho hum (dt) // We are so indecisive)
We had a company-wide session with a life coach today. Ostensibly, his ultimate goal was to help us find our destinies (which sounded suspiciously like a pyramid scheme: You tell two people about your destiny, then they tell two people, then they tell two...), but I had much more fun doodling in the margins of my workbook:

My life mission is to (two to three action verbs) + (for/with/to whom statement) to (two or three worthy causes or activities) )

In the end, it was all a wash for me. He told us that people under 30 don't even have to worry about their destinies yet. Which is great for me, because I know if I got together with my destiny too early, that we'd just end up separating in a year or two anyway. Very awkward. Very acrimonious. Believe me, you do not want to have to divide up your book collection with destiny.

(You invariably end up with a lot of Louis L'Amour.)
katernater: (iron man // An inaccurate representation)
We've had some pretty heavy thunderstorms over the last week or so and, apparently, the Finger of God came down from a gap in the clouds and poked a hole in a water main across the street from our building. We haven't had water for the last two days. This means no coffee, no fixes for compulsive hand washers (like myself) and, most jarringly, no bathrooms. The gender distribution of the firm is 90/10, men. Which means that the guys can stand around holding their yanks at the non-functioning urinals while the women of the group -- four of us -- are forced to drive to a building that is five minutes away, just so we can go to the bathroom. RIDICULOUS. While it's not the company's fault, there has to be a better way to go about the business of...taking care of business. There's a large window facing the street, allowing us to see the city/highway crews doing what they do best: standing around looking at the hole, like they're trying to figure out how to get to the money on Oak Island without causing a structural collapse. Jesus. Is this what I'm paying taxes for?

I was able to get away for lunch today, and Todd took me to the galleria to get a Cotton Candy Blizzard from Dairy Queen. You guys. Seriously. I look forward to this Blizzard of the Month all year long. I'm practically hyperactive for it. Last year, Todd and I were in Chicago at another mall (I promise, most of our other dates are more exciting than eating at Sbarro's) and I practically maimed him when I saw Dairy Queen had brought it back again. They need to keep that flavour around all year. 'Appeal to the twentysomething-caffeine-addict and eight-year-old-with-ADHD demographics.

I have to start parsing out my book collection. I can only take so many with me when Todd and I move to Valparaiso. I've already got a "Must Have" stack that's about hip-height. Because, you know, I never know when I'll absolutely need Nick Cave's novel, or a book about wildly creative genetic mutations in human beings. I also need to start looking at bookshelves. And humidors.

I am so excited about the rest of my life.

[ETA:]
And, oh my god, I love panfandom RPG crack. House and Wilson switched bodies over at [livejournal.com profile] thisisarea42 (Cuddy also de-aged to 21!) and the ensuing shenanigans are CHOICE. Hey! Tony and Pepper totally switched bodies, too! I love people who meddle with the status quo.
katernater: (FAIL (xf) // Bees and corn crops)
Oh man, I totally phoned in my performance at work today. A couple of Very Important People have been out of the office for most of the week and I was commissioned to do their jobs, as well as my own. 'Made for a couple of stressful days in the early part of the week, but today I sort of coasted. I plan to be much more proactive with some personal affairs this weekend, as the next two days will mark the first time in a week that I've been able to think about things outside of the office.

Todd and I are going to see "Shine A Light" tonight! I can't wait!
katernater: (Default)
Okay. New week, last quarter, last hurrah, final countdown, end zone dance. This is what happens when people stop being nice and start being, uh, crunched for the end of the year. I'm starting this week on a positive note. Granted, it's mostly a coerced, forced note of positivity: if I focus too much on the very real possibility of failure (!!!), my brain is going to catch up with itself and I'm going to start eating my shirtsleeves.

-- Which taste like cologne, by the way.

Because I'm wearing my brother's shirt.

Hnrrff.

PRODUCTIVITY. LET ME HAVE SOME.

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