elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, January 19th, 2015 06:38 am
My first week of launching the day had two scales of change to it: one was a more intentional way of spending time at the computer (an hour or more), the other was a bit more order and completeness to physically preparing myself (ten minutes or so). The shorter scale is going fairly well, in part because once i go to do one thing, the whole sequence is triggered. The longer reading and writing and planning time is not going as well. First, there's variation. I slept longer some mornings and there was one morning where Christine and i had to get the car to the shop earlier than my usual up-and-out. Second, it's hard not to do the email clean up of the many overnight emails of dubious value. There a sense of vanquishing the beast that comes with the clean up, but then i'm left with the real emails to digest.

I still feel the longer scale habit is a good intention, down to the ignoring the email. I think the shorter scale preparations for ending and beginning the day will become habits before i get a more solid habit with the mental preparations.


I wish i had had the foresight to take today off instead of last Monday. It's both Christine's birthday and there are MLK observances. With work, just Christine's birthday fits.

On the other hand, last Monday i wasn't feeling well, so all's worked out.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, January 11th, 2015 07:44 am
[livejournal.com profile] zyzyly wrote about nine things he does everyday, implying this was a meme. His was the first list that i saw. He first lists "poop," after noting that "not sure why everyone else who is doing this avoids the basic functions of human life." I have grown aware that some people are so regular that there is a singular event. For me, it's not as reliable.

1. Sleep. I definitely do this every day. In high school and college, i probably got six hours of sleep a night, at most. I have learned that getting eight creates a substantial difference and i wonder if my memories of such a hazy fog during high school were due to lack of sleep.

2. Eat. My meals can be pretty irregular, but i have not gone a day without eating. I am extremely susceptible to mood swings when I'm hungry.

3. Talk with Christine. There may have been some trips where our schedules and timezones didn't quite work out, but for years -- even when we lived apart -- i've at least talked to her every day.

Is the meme every ideal day? Or every day without fail?

4. Drink black tea. At home, i make a pot of keemun or a variety of blends: winter is a "noel" blend, spring has chocolate and spices, summer juniper and grapefruit, autumn has fruit and cinnamon. Traveling is a bit of a challenge as, other than my mother and sister, most folks aren't prepared for my tea habit. I'll bring my own tea in bags or with an infuser, as many places seem to think of tea as the caffeine free option. Or they will have heavily scented Earl Grey or just green tea.

5. Reflect and plan. Journaling or making notes in my daily log happens, not quite without fail, but close. Unfortunately i seem to do one or the other, but now always both, which jams up one of the works: i'm prepared but not clear (as journaling helps wipe a fog away) or clear but not prepared.

6. Take some stack of pills. This is ideal, because i can forget to take my antidepressants in the morning when i work from home, and i can bypass all the supplements and antihistamine in the evening when i am abandoning the day.

7. Brush my hair. I can't be sure when this happens. Sometimes my hair is braided when i sleep and stays in a braid. On weekends it might just stay in the braid. Odds are i have to rebraid at some point, then brushing would occur.

8. Brush my teeth. Again, i don't have a good time habit here. I drink my tea usually very first thing and so it actually relieves much of the overnight unpleasantness. I strive for twice a day. Woudn't swear it happens.

9. Read. I am pretty sure i read SOMETHING every day. Usually, i read much of the day: emails, articles, "social media", news, notes. My time management and my desires don't line up though, and generally there's more to regularly read than i have time for. So there's not one thing i read every day.

This was a curious exercise, reminding me that i fail southern ladyhood 101 as i never "put my face on" and only casually "make myself presentable" if i can get away with it. Working from home two days a week means making half myself presentable and even then, i know video quality is poor enough that there's only so much precision needed.

My awareness that i am lousy at time habits (pretty good at physical space habits, i think) is again underscored.

I believe that this coming year my mornings will not be so wildly irregular. I have resisted making a morning schedule out of the irritation of so many contingencies. Maybe now is the time to do so. Try to figure out how to fit everything in the morning, or at least rotate focus morning to morning (in the reflect, read and plan areas). There has been a reason my mornings have not been clockwork, but maybe now i can change that.

My evenings... oh, that would be good to plan out too. I abandon the day, a ship of potential that has failed me. Some times the day is merely taking on water, some times the day breaks up. I rarely feel i can moor the day at the dock and disembark with grace. Maybe i need to learn how to do that.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, January 10th, 2015 11:27 am
The CIO visited this week. Apparently, my particularly vocal previous staff member had a meeting with him, raising the issues of the previous regime. This came up in the group meeting, where the CIO acknowledged the previous leadership hadn't led us well, said something about different styles, and then qualified with a, "not to say one style is better than another."

I so wanted to blurt, yes you CAN say one is better. But i didn't.


Under the weather with a lousy head cold. Multiple days.


My vacation begins as soon as we finish the install in Sydney tomorrow (3 am their time). Yay! To help me stay up until this midnight install for our east coast data centers, we watched "Reign over Me" which i found endearing. There are strong parallels with "The Fisher King," although it's far less manic.

... and i still didn't post. My new manager encouraged me to skip this morning's Sydney install, so i slept through. Sinus headache this morning.

But i'm on vacation!
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 07:33 am
Ministry out of the silence in Friends' worship has certain expected stylistic elements as well as stylistic elements that are derided by some. I roll my eyes at ministry that begins, "This morning on NPR, " or, "I read in the New York Times."

I was chagrined, then, when i found myself beginning ministry last Sunday with, "On Twitter this morning." Well, that wasn't exactly how i began, but it's close. I continue to carry concerns about the racial tensions with police and shared reading this story: https://storify.com/AtotheL/pregnant-woman-maced-in-delray-beach-fl . The point was that we are now able to listen easily to the stories that are being shared with us from those who experience oppression -- and that i am looking for how i am led to take my role in healing the brokenness.

I still only see that i need to listen and witness. I wonder about accompaniment: if we were to move into a house, should we buy in a neighborhood that is far more diverse? The obvious place to select would be excluded by my criteria that we do not buy anywhere that has obvious weakness due to sea-level rise or liquefaction during an earthquake.

I talk periodically with a woman in Meeting who is much more connected to the area social justice community. We've talked about this and both recognize that we need to be followers of black leadership, we need to listen.

We have had a police incident at the Meetinghouse this month, though, and so this may be where we need to do more than listen.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, December 29th, 2014 07:00 am
My new year is with my birthday in early March. I'm in a much better position to be optimistic then with the lengthening of the days and the greening of the year.

But in getting the piles of reminders for December and early January sorted, i ran across an e-workbook for preparing for a new year, spread out over four weeks. Given my life, spreading it out over eight weeks seemed wise.

It starts with wishing.

I'm not sure how good a wisher i am, but i wrote out wishes for different parts of my life, scribbling away with the digital pen on my iPad. I do like the combination of tactile with digital!

Wishing does lead me to some awareness of being thankful. I am particularly aware that i am delighted to find that Travelsmith makes dresses that are consistently sized and cut in a way that is both flattering and fits. I have been buying them for a couple years now (gifts from the catalog, and then filling in as dresses come in at my budget price of $20 on eBay). Pants have never fit me right, not when i was a skinny stick as a teen nor as my full figured self now. In general, I am very comfortable about my appearance.

Not my fitness level: the last half of the year was even more sedentary than before -- and i would have had to describe myself as sedentary then. But my ankles and feet are mostly happy these days, and i have no excuse to not walk. Christine's got the bike back and happy, so even if (when, please) we have another spate of rain, i should be able to exercise. (We have a stand that converts the bike to a stationary bike.)


One of the gifts received this year was Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi. I am not very good at following recipes, usually with acceptable results. Last night's attempt at making turnip dumplings inspired by the parsnip dumplings was as disaster. The first fail was not recognizing how important it was for the batter to be stiff and to follow the direction to steam off water from the mashed veggie. I made another fail by folding in crepe batter: this was also far too runny.

Even after adding much more dry mix, the batter seemed more fluid, like cake batter, than stiff, so i poured it all into a pan and baked it. I think i have turnip bread now. And it needs salt.

OK, overconfidence in the kitchen has now been adjusted to an appropriate level of humility.

Leek fritters are next from the cookbook.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, December 28th, 2014 08:11 am
This morning's spam seemed like an interesting new tack:

From: FBI
Date:2014/12/28 01:40 (GMT-08:00)
Subject: $


I have cleaned off much of one of my digital desktops yesterday and this morning (My Evernote tickler tags and incoming "notebook"). I don't know how valuable it is as sometimes i feel like i just put a two month tickler on everything to think about later. I have gotten pretty good at putting in delete dates to things, though, so there's hope that i will put an end to things that just never turn out to be important enough.

This is one of the woes of "getting organized:" i have a record of things i thought might be worth doing and the natural erosion of memory doesn't delete them for me.

Off for coffee with friends and then to Meeting, where i hope i feel led to, at least, read social justice queries. If i am led to ministry about the visibility of oppression and a call to awareness, i hope i will hear and act.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, December 26th, 2014 06:59 am
Christine is calling to order the flowers for her sister-in-law's memorial, which will be tomorrow.

Back to work today, with news of a preproduction install process that has screwed up that system. I am appreciating my new role as a team member not leader: i can help today, but the person who took over my role is in on Monday. All of this is in his lap then. There will be Kerfflufles over this, and I am delighted not to have to sit in them and hold my ground. The new release manager will, perhaps, attack the screwed up system.

I presume i will be continuing with the consultants who are so distant from their deadline, but the document promised for the end of Christmas Eve has not arrived yet (from a person who, when i expressed regret that he wasn't on the west coast with more hours in the work day to go, replied "It's not my holiday").

We had lovely sunshine yesterday and walked in the baylands, delighting in the bird life. One of my favorite birds are ruddy ducks, which seem like big ducklings. Their dives are so effortless and elegant.

We talked about my current experience of anhedonia, and Christine reminded me of the Sunday before Thanksgiving, when i began to feel the emotional drain of my work as the responsibility left me. She reminded me that i observed that the recovery from my previous role would take time, and this need to rest, to sleep is probably part of that recovery.

I think a moment about when i left graduate school and took a system administration job. I could tell then, too, that i needed to recover. And i did.

elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 06:15 am
These grey short days feel so unusual. I am allowing myself more rest, more rest, and wonder if i will ever be rested. I remember some years ago when i allowed myself a winter season of saying "no," a season of not making decisions. That was such a valuable rest: i recall the clarity on the other side, how some decisions seemed obvious when before that season i was wrestling with them.

Yesterday wasn't grey, and i was back in in the office after a four day weekend. The southern exposure of our offices and the single paned glass make for a sauna experience and the blinds stay closed. It looks like we will have bright weather for the next few days. I have, however, volunteered to work Friday. There's a project in a tizzy, behind schedule, major kerfluffle, and there has already been an incident of calling people while they were on vacation for support. (My four day weekend was unmolested.) I think the project is doomed by fluffy thinking; yesterday's meeting was marked by me asking questions to which the answers seemed to be "um" and "huh."

Ah, but folks don't give up. So i'll work Friday instead of go on a road trip. I'll go on one soon.


I've gotten out for walking the past few days - YAY. Please little baby habit, hang in there. And i'm trying to use the "conditions of enoughness" responsibly. Not over plan and fail to complete, as i have been. Last night, since we went out to eat with a friend, the COE was to walk while the delicates ran through the wash cycle. And Christine was right, if i had had to wait for the dryer cycle of another load, it wouldn't have happened.

Housework thoughts )


When we saw my NC nephew at the beginning of the month, he was designing his own board game. Christine told him about dice beyond the six sided choice, and he was wowed. The obvious choice then was to get him dice for Yule, which led to a purchase of the introductory D&D set. I had bought the D&D books when they came out, but i had no one to play with as a teen. Christine did have friends. This year, as i muttered my teen angst, Christine said, "Hey, is this a hint you've been dropping all these years?" We've rolled up two characters for me and have started on the quest from the first edition of the game. I'm not playing the characters i would have played as a teen: i'm playing two very young dwarves for whom naive is not strong enough a term. Christine is rather amused.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, December 18th, 2014 02:36 pm
Tuesday was the promised meeting and announcements to wrap up the reorg -- but not quite. Apparently the current date is 5 Jan to make things official. (I typed "5 June" and then "5 Jul" before getting the date right. At least, i hope it was a typo and not prescient.)

Last night was the first night since my Sunday back spasm that i had a solid night's sleep. I awakened quite early, but it was on my own instead of after hitting snooze for 40 minutes.

Spent the morning sorting out morning commute options with caltrain & shuttles. I want to start taking them next year (maybe a few times the remaining work days). With the new job, new habits.

I'm a little frustrated with my low energy, but between the depth of the winter night and a few physical issues, i will not write off my hope that i will have more energy with the change in job.

Approaching death and various illnesses of family members )

So that all weighs heavily in these grey wet days. I welcome the wet, the dramatic clouds, but it certainly cuts into my energy.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, December 14th, 2014 08:01 am
The failed install on Friday night still weighs on me. On the other hand, we had a delightful Yuletide yesterday, going to the San Francisco Wholesale Flower Mart. This is where there are dozens of vendor booths bringing greenery and flowers into the city. I imagine hotel and other venue buyers and florist shop buyers fill the place in early hours during the week. On Saturdays, it is open to the public.

We have breakfast at Bechelli’s Flower Market Cafe then wander looking for a wreath for over our fireplace/video monitor. Small ones, just the right size for your door, are bargains, as are all the snowball hydrangeas, cyclamens, and poinsettias you could want in all sizes.

I saw some wonderful, but not holiday appropriate, wreaths made of lichen encrusted bare branches. We liked them for their architectural qualities, but we agreed we wanted greenery. After walking store fronts noting the choices of magnolia leaves and conifer branch based wreaths, we went into the vendor booths and found this magnificent wreath. The guys who were making these wreaths between helping customers offered two prices, one 20% higher than the other. Christine blanched at the lower price which was a bit higher than i was expecting, but not by much. My memory is that we bought much more plain wreaths in previous years, and it has been YEARS since we bought a wreath. This one doesn't even need a bow, it is so decorated with sprays of various berries and cypress seed pods. I love the contrast of the grey green conifer with the gold-backed green magnolia leaves.

Over breakfast Christine had noted our usual source for fruitcakes was closed for renovations this year: could we find a California source? Some searching on my phone turned up sellers in Napa and Sonoma, but they were all mail order. Then i found a news article about California Fruitcakes (with some editorial and authorial debate at the beginning about who was the California Fruitcake) and discovered a bakery in San Francisco which made them. So after our wreath choice, i managed NOT to buy any other plants (theres a blooming cyclamen and cactus on the deck and the Lenten rose has buds). We wrangled a route through the Castro and Cole Valley to the Inner Sunset and Arizmendi Bakery (http://arizmendibakery.com) where we acquired two smallish fruitcakes. Then we cruised through Golden Gate park to the ocean, where we sat and watched some waves for a while.

We'd bought pizza slices as the bakery, but the garlic was far to potent for Christine. As she exclaimed with wonder that anyone could stand such an overdose, i reflected on her fondness for pepper and chilies - and the chili she made in the evening provided a point in illustrating the possibility to over do other spices with delight. Since she didn't want her slice, i ate them both, sharing a bit with the gulls and a raven.

In the late afternoon, we went to a gaming store in Santa Clara to pick up the D&D introductory set for a nephew.

All in all the day was delightful, with happy energy for both of us.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, December 13th, 2014 06:38 am
So last night was an install, first one shepherded through by my new manager. It was helping him prepare that provided me with distractions and nagging worries through the week.

And we had yet another challenge-to-test integration failure with an external organization last night.

And so the software hasn't gone in.

And i am bummed about it.

(And of course i procrastinated in the afternoon.)


One of my many Philistine moments was at the Grand Canyon years ago. I believe i referred to it as a big ditch. *cough* Well, in captioning this timelapse video of clouds filling the grand canyon USA Today refers to it as a deep ravine.

At least i had the excuse of sleeping on rocks the night before and a day's drive from Los Alamos before that.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, December 11th, 2014 06:09 am
Christine asked me to keep Edward in this windy and damp morning. He, however, is quite articulate and g78 [OK, his typing isn't so good] and he is making his desire quite clear. I am keeping him in for Christine though. I have a little wager with the devil on my shoulder on how long Christine will withstand Edwards plea.

Now he's sitting in my lap, my heavens what a big cat.

We went to see Hector and the Search for Happiness last night. It is incredibly charming, gently humorous. It's not particularly cerebral, but it's an intense journey. It seems to have been unnoticed, but the animations and other creative special effects create charm.

Skype better have paid them a bundle, is my only negative comment. And even then, that's not so much negative as just ... well, i suspect skype may become the generic for video calls.

Note to Microsoft: DO NOT RUIN SKYPE.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 06:33 am
I'm not sure to where time is slipping away; it seems i don't have time for things i used to do. What have i traded? I am hoping i have traded the business with being more present with the cats and Christine, moments of quiet and affection.

Nonetheless, i end up feeling like i am just slower. How did i have the time before? (And i rarely visit twitter and facebook, so it's not gone there.)

I did take time to walk thirty minutes yesterday in the gloom. Plants and fungi are responding to the novel damp. Five different asteraceae blooming (four were weeds), and many mushrooms. I don't know them so i ponder whether some were just different phases of the same species, but there were at least four very distinct body types.

...like just now, Mr M is begging for scritches. His incredibly loud purr rumbles as he stands, leaning on his forepaws propped in the crook of my left elbow. Every few moments he reaches his left paw up to touch my face. I hope he's just asking for affection and that there's nothing else wrong.

Storm preparation warnings are still going out. I do remember some of the storms in the past ten years and, yes, they are storms that compare to the nor'easters i remember hitting Philly.

Things in the news that disappoint me: that Amazon warehouse workers will not get paid for waiting in line to be swept for merchandise theft, the torture report. It's not any new level of disappointment in the news, but today i mention it.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, November 29th, 2014 05:32 am
I'm sitting outside, just under the eves enough to be out of the rain. It is, delightfully, coming down like a real rain. I woke in the wee hours, coughing. We flipped the mattress last night, a chore we haven't completed in ages, and i think we kicked up some dust. My lungs are complaining. I've used the inhaler, played solitaire, drank warm egg nog, and listened to the rain from the warmth of bed.

But i'm awake, so i've finally surrendered and made tea.

And with that, i decided i really ought to get some delight out of this rare event.


We watched a delightful documentary over the past few days, Mona Lisa is Missing, a charming and very human documentary which also has very solid research.

In the evening we watched Saving Private Ryan. It was an excellent bit of film making. As someone who aspires to be a pacifist, though, i found the last words of the Captain to Private Ryan enlightening. "Earn this," says the Captain, where "this" is the sacrifice of the men who went to collect him.

I cannot stand with those who believe in the sacrificial Christologies; i cannot believe in a ledger where sacrifice, violence, and brutality are totaled up and that they buy something. That injunction is traumatizing, and carries the trauma into the generations.


Also, Nathan Fillion as Minnesota Ryan (the first Ryan found) is just great in over the top mourning for his brothers.


Oh, a killdeer is calling out in the darkness and rain.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 07:25 am
"The railroad was tasked to build a line to Tres Pinos. By 1873 they made it to Paicines but did not wish to continue building more line. So in 1874 the names of the two towns were switched so the railroad could say they had fulfilled their commitment to build a line all the way to Tres Pinos."

This reminds me of some reports about work progress early on at the Whale. Then i was sputteringly incoherent. Now, I sigh.


Yesterday i was feeling restless after a breakfast with a friend. I came home, didn't feel like focusing, and rattled about. At noon, i came to Christine and asked her if she wanted to take a road trip. She did, and as we drove waves of sadness and tension would grip me. We talked, and i think that this is the beginning of healing i need to do. Now that the "emergency" that led to high vigilance and worry is over, the waves of relief and realization will be washing over me for some time to come. The stress energy can subside (if i let it). And that's one of the awarenesses i spoke to my friend about: i need to learn to be less intense, where the sense of urgency drives me.

That sense of urgency can drop away to a more realistic level. I need to take care not to just transfer the sense of urgency that i have carried so long to my new work, which i may have done on Friday (waking in the wee hours of Saturday morning thinking about shortcomings in someone else's analysis of a technology framework).

So i will have waves of grieving, i expect, grieving for how hard it has been, letting myself acknowledge that and let go.


Some links and POI about the area we drove through yesterday: notes )
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, November 21st, 2014 06:12 am
Wednesday morning: So we have my Real® Boss, the person whom i reported to until yesterday, who replaced New Director. It appears he's still informally my boss. Then we have my manager, who was the architect until yesterday, when he took my role.

I'm still ecstatic, possibly too much so, too publicly. But there it is.

And i was delighted how my Real® Boss designated my new gig, saying i was filling the shoes of our previous architect.

Much cramming and learning stretches out before me.


Thursday morning: well, my manager seems quite interested in being my Real® Boss. Which makes sense. It's a change i hadn't really wrapped my head around, but so it goes. (Not a bad change, just different.)

We met for two and a half hours and spent the most time on talking about team members. I recognize that that the team is the first priority for a new manager, and probably a responsibility i didn't follow up as well as i would have liked. (At this point, i am noting the challenges at the time in doing so.)


Friday morning: you'd think i could hit post.

I'm sitting in our office instead of typing in bed. It's an experiment. I forget when i got out of the habit, but it's possible i've been stressing out Christine in the morning as i type. And it's the distress that she wakes with that has stopped me from posting as i focus on her.

Here's hoping a new habit will help.

I ended up spending the past hour fighting with my laptop, but i am now starting on a potentially six hour back up of all my photos. 536.9 GB at current rate of 31.13 MB/s ... less than five at this point, yay.

Work was lovely yesterday. The Thursday meetings were off my calendar, and all my work is new and shiny. I'm going to have to ask my boss about transition responsibilities because i do worry a bit about things slipping through cracks. Fortunately, one deadline has now moved out in such a way it should be easier to meet.

I dreamed of flying with a delightful ease, somehow catching the wind and being lifted yet easily directing myself. I can't help but think that had something to do with work, yet in the same dream, there was a bit of horrible sadness of finding some teens who had killed themselves by hanging in a lovely tree. What on earth, brain? It was my usual sort of dream, landscapes (lakes and eastern forests) and interiors of public spaces (a museum). At the exterior of someone's home, i saw drifts of cottonwood down and deer fur. (Do they shed? The did in my dream.) It would make a lovely felt, i thought. I don't think it was an unusual dream (from when i can remember) except for the sense of ease and flying.

What a relief.


I haven't noted about elephants mainly because Christine's withdrawn so far that the elephants are no longer an issue except on rare occasions. I hold her depression and anxiety as lightly and lovingly as i can.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 06:32 am
I am clear how much of this new gig is predicated on how much i trust my Real&Reg; Boss. Apparently, i made a very good impression on his new boss, our Executive Director, too. I've been aware of his boss for years at the company and believe he's a Good Guy. I'm trusting and thus i am ignoring all the HR stuff that screams red alarm.

I remember when we Minnow folks merged with this Whale of a company: all the HR stuff seemed draconian and horrible. And none of it ever seemed enforced or implemented. I'm assuming it's the same pattern.

So i talked with my Real® Boss yesterday and was both pleased and ... what is the feeling when you realize someone is pretty much cutting all the strings and saying they trust you? Its a type of exhilaration? I get the reins: it's my agenda, my planning, my priorities. He didn't say that, exactly, what he said is that all the ideas i'd listed as things to start with were good. He didn't have any concrete things in mind. When we talked about projects the team will implement and my role specifying them, he didn't seem to have much concrete in mind except that i will know the industry standard ways of doing them and will be able to advise. I get the sense that i am just to be The Expert. (With appropriate lessons from Laurie Anderson.)

So many choices! So much to give thanks for!

Last night as i stayed late working on the miserable miserable change instruction tickets i both comforted myself with "will not be my job tomorrow!" and reminded myself that not only is there the transition, but there is also being backup.

But so not my job!!
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, November 16th, 2014 06:53 am
I finally sat down to do the cryptography homework last night. Oy, calculating probabilities. And, actually, no, i don't think i've ever studied probabilities beyond whatever one gets in high school. Off to https://www.boundless.com, which appears to be a collection of free and reasonably edited text books, then add to my flash card deck forty-three more study cards (this counts the virtual "backs" and variations, so there are fewer concepts).

Yesterday i made a potato curry in the pressure cooker and created my own smoky horror. Christine had done so a couple weeks ago. I think the curry is OK, but i am not looking forward to my turn scrubbing carbonite.

Unrelated to that cooking event, we ended up in Max's in Redwood City. While not entirely fulfilling its promise of "Everything you've always wanted to eat," i indulged in "the ultimate grilled cheese" with brie, dill havarti, muenster and tomato on wonderful sourdough.

I've been pondering whether the wheat is really an issue or if it is over-carbing that caused the sensation when i was doing the dietary wheat challenge. At the moment, i know my biggest issue is too much sugar.

I think the semi-official announcement of my new position will come on Tuesday. Still haven't seen the title or the official job description.

(posting after meeting, after groceries)
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 06:25 am

I had a little get away with Christine and her sister this past Sunday night and was home yesterday for dinner. It was lovely, except Christine's depression is so heavy.

I'm not sure what to do other than what i do: ensure she can get care from professionals, encourage her to see the professionals, and hold her smile for her.

I have lost my smile,
but don't worry.
The dandelion has it.

-- via Thich Nhat Hanh

I suspect Christine would say the cats have her smile for her, as i listen to Mr M's loud purr waking Christine in the faint rose light of dawn.

These days, there's far more depression than elephants.

--== Workday occurs ==--

Reorg announcement now postponed another eleven days to Dec 16th.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, November 8th, 2014 07:50 am
On my tickler list was some travel planning, so i poked around Wednesday night.

If i were to fly to the Midwinter gathering of Friends and then take the train to NC and fly home, it will be the same cost as flying all three legs plus meals. And whether i could get a day's work on the train is open to question.

I'm pondering it: it would be responsible.

And then i was looking at the 2017 eclipse. I'm thinking about Driggs, ID, on the west side of the Tetons. I think that would put the mountains in the frames.

Some time ago i imagined hiking up into the Tetons to take the photos. I am a little less ambitious now. Although if we can keep trying Mission Peak....


We have acquired Tagg, a pet tracking device. It's rather large, but works on 19 pound Edward. Edward was a neighborhood stray whom we adopted. He can come and go as he pleases if the deck door is open (he happily jumps from railing to stair railing or to roof), but the other cats have always enjoyed the deck (without causing my heart to stop as they leap from here to there). So, we let Edward roam. He used to come to the sound of his dinner bell, but he hasn't been that responsive since a neighbor at the end of the building has left food out for her orange cat (and Edward and another neighbor's orange cat Luigi).

It's already provided insight and ease in knowing what he is up to: he appears to hang out at a corner of the complex away from where we have usually looked for him. Ah-ha! I don't know if we'll subscribe to the annual fee, or if two months of tracking that comes with the purchase will be sufficient. (If you're thinking about such a tracker for your pet, i can go into more detail.)


[2014Nov07, 9:48:22 AM] My boss: Is [colleague] aware that you won't be his mgr. going forward?
[2014Nov07, 9:48:28 AM] My boss: I wanted to talk re-org and travel
[2014Nov07, 9:48:35 AM] My boss: but not if he isn't aware

At this point i'm thinking, "OMG he's saying this like it's REAL!"

[2014Nov07, 9:48:40 AM] Me: No, i haven't said anything to anyone'

Anyone... on my team. Friends, family, it's all i talk about.

[2014Nov07, 9:48:43 AM] My boss: okay
[2014Nov07, 9:48:44 AM] Me: Is it a done deal?
[2014Nov07, 9:48:55 AM] My boss: officially no
[2014Nov07, 9:49:00 AM] My boss: but given [blah blah that didn't make solid sense]
[2014Nov07, 9:53:49 AM] Me: So, should i be comfortable sharing with my team that a management change is coming?
[2014Nov07, 9:54:11 AM] My boss: Totally up to you - will they panic?

Well panic now or panic later, this is a little late to ask that, isn't it?

[2014Nov07, 9:54:20 AM] Me: I would appreciate being able to do so, but i've not felt comfortable with the uncertainty
[2014Nov07, 9:54:33 AM] My boss: Go for it then
[2014Nov07, 9:54:56 AM] Me: I think the level of panic is less if they're told this is something likely coming

So, i told two team members tomorrow that it was likely i'd be moving to a non-management position, first calling my team member who said that she didn't care about the reorg as long as her manager was the same. I'm pretty sure my exceeding delight at the possibility came through loud and clear.