Sunday, September 1

Suspiria's Closet has moved! You will be redirected to the new site in approximately 10 seconds. Please update your links and enjoy the new site!

Wednesday, August 28

Ack, another huge lapse in postings. I apologize to the handful of you actually checking this spot all the time. I'm still planning on redesigning the website, I just don't know when I'll have time to do it. Normally I'd work on it while at work, but we got an extra-huge batch of documents last week, and I'm taking my sweet time with them. I'm also thinking about abandoning Blogger for Moveable Type. It's what Scott uses, and I like it just fine. I don't know anything about it, but I like it just fine. And if it's good enough for Wil Wheaton it's good enough for me. The premiere of Science Bastard was a smashing success, but you probably already read about it on Scott's weblog. He's so much better at posting than I am. Oh, I almost forgot. The funniest thing happened yesterday. I have been going to the Apple website to look at Powerbooks and other technical goodies and stuff, and I signed up for an account and made up an order and saved it for later. Well, yesterday I got a phone call from my personal account manager. He wanted to know if I had any questions about the things I had on my order, and wanted to know if he could go ahead and process it for me! He also approved me for a small business discount (since technically I'm buying the Powerbook for Exhilarated Despair Productions usage (and personal usage, too)). Anyway. He got me a $400 discount or something on the Powerbook, and I think I might order it next month since they have no payments for 90 days, which would put me into December before the first payment is due. I'm a little nervous about digging myself deeper into the debt hole, but I really really want this computer, and I really really want to learn to do cgi. Plus I've ALWAYS wanted a laptop. Always. And it's portable, and made of Titanium. How cool is that? Well, I guess I ought to get back to work. Maybe if I finish the batch I can spend a little time on my website.

Tuesday, August 20

Well, not much to say really... just thought I'd post, since I haven't been on in a few days. I'm still planning on redesigning my site, but I need some inspiration. I'm still not sure where that's going to come from. I also need to see if I can actually ftp from my desk. I think I can. Maybe I'll work on that for a while. I've been busy making flyers and worrying about Science Bastard, even though Scott's doing all the work. He's doing an awesome job, though, and don't you let him tell you any different. I think I'm gonna go scour the web for divine inspiration for my own site. And if I can FTP, there will be a new site up in no time! Well, ok, maybe by next week! Maybe.

Friday, August 16

This morning I cut my toe on Scott's toe. I bled, even. I walked over for a smooch, stubbed my toe (the one next to my little toe) on his big toe, and the next thing I knew, I was bleeding. Add that to a general just-not-feeling-real-great-and-I-wish-my-office-was-about-20-degrees-warmer, and I might just go home early. I came to work this morning with a slushy from 7-11 (almost 2 hours ago) and the damn thing hasn't melted a bit. There. I just stuffed the vents with foam. Now this afternoon I'll be sitting in a pool of my own sweat. Actually, I'm hoping I won't be here this afternoon. I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I'm hoping to get some things done. Maybe a redesign of the site, and maybe some flyers for the premiere of Science Bastard at the Bubonicon. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, August 14

Nobody thought to tell me that my grandpa had Lung Cancer. Well, ok, it isn't as severe as all that. Last night I called my grandparents, just to say hi (and because I'm really really bad about keeping in touch). So I called, and a week and a half ago my grandpa had part of his lung removed. Both of my grandparents were insisting that it was no big deal. He was on oxygen for about a week, but he feels great. The man has more lives than most cats. In his forties he survived a massive heart attack and triple bypass surgery. In his early sixties he survived and mostly recovered from a stroke. Now Lung Cancer, and the doctor's say it's all gone, and he doesn't even have to have Chemo. I hope I inherit his luck. At any rate he's planning the First Annual Flash Bash (My grandpa's name is Gordon, and his friends call him Flash). It's going to be this Labor Day weekend, and I really really wish I could go, but I just went to Mexico and San Diego, and I don't think I'll be going unless they can foot the bill (which I don't think they'll do--and that's okay). But, I'm still sad I won't be there. My grandpa's parties usually become legends (kinda like my college graduation party). Okay, enough of that, I'm starting to feel homesick again. Well, I've been slacking off a lot lately, so I should try to get some more work done. This paycheck is going to be damn small (due to part of my vacation being time off with no pay), and I should try to get in as many hours as I can before the end of the pay period, but it's so damn hard!

Friday, August 9

I really gotta make a point of posting on here more often. I've been really really busy, and it's been great. It's nice to have something to occupy my mind. I spent a really really long time trying to find something to occupy my mind, and now that I've got something, I'm fine. All kinds of bullshit is going on at work, and I don't really care. It pays the bills, and when I go home I don't think about all the morons I have to see during the week. Ok, so most of them aren't morons, but some of them are. And how is it that the most moronic ones are all at the top making more than me? I don't know if I'll ever figure that one out. Well, I think a redesign of the site is coming soon, but we'll see. I've got lots of books to read, and I'm still planning on getting that CDIA, eventually. Plus I need to really clean my apartment. Right now I'm about to get into my Review of xXx, which I saw last night. You can read it (by the end of the day, I'd imagine) at MovieJustice.com. I'm doing movie reviews and dvd reviews and stuff for them. I'm going by Suspiria, if you wondered. So far I wrote a review of Reign of Fire and I wrote some about the Hellboy Panel at San Diego Con. Tomorrow we're going to see John Waters say some stuff about movies or something, and I'll probably write about that, too. It's a cool site, you should all check it out. Well, I better get started on that review, and I probably should do some actual work today, too...

Wednesday, August 7

Sigh. I am back from my extended vacation. Despite almost drowning in the Pacific, getting about 240 mosquito bites, and suffering a terrible case of Montezuma's Revenge, I had a great time in Mexico. San Diego was great, too. I'm sure I'll be posting more about the trip in the days ahead. I was hoping that somewhere along the way I'd have time to do some soul-searching and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Well, it didn't happen until I got to San Diego and I met Lloyd Kaufman and sat in on some panels where people were talking about making movies. I really want to help Scott sell movies, more specifically. He keeps telling me he's not any good at marketing and self-promotion, and I keep thinking "I can do that." I see Lloyd Kaufman getting under people's skins and getting in their faces and selling movies. I think I can do that. So, I'm reading Lloyd Kaufman's book and I'm going to give it a shot. If nothing else, at least I have some short-term goals -- something I didn't have before my vacation. Plus, I don't feel completely stressed out upon returning to work. That's gotta say something for vacations. I don't even feel stressed out about money (a first) especially after taking a week and a half off work -- unpaid. Things are looking up, I guess. Photos from my vacation coming soon!

Friday, July 19

Well everyone, tomorrow morning at about 7 am, I'm leaving for Mexico. I'll be there for about 8 days, and then I'll be back in Albuquerque for about 36 hours before I leave for San Diego for 8 days. I hope all of you have some fun while I'm gone (I know I will). I should be back around August 7 or so, so don't worry if you don't hear from me till then... ¡Que tengan un buen viaje!

Wednesday, July 17

Well, after an hour and a half, nothing really happened. I feel okay, I wasn't so angry that I turned in my resignation, and they tried to convince me that there's some money coming my way. Hah! I'll believe it when I see it. Anyway, they have a knack for using a lot of fairy glamour to make you feel confident and happy and then two hours later you feel like you've been under a spell, and you wake up and you're twice as mad as you were before. Well, okay, that hasn't happened yet, and I hope it doesn't until I get back from my vacation.
In a half hour, I have my annual Self Evaluation Meeting. A few weeks ago I wrote a Self Evaluation and now I get to have a meeting with my Project Manager and the Director of Human Resources. The President of the company is conveniently out of town. If all goes well (I get a title change and more money, plus they don't gripe about me quitting the Hardware/Software maintenance) I might stay a little longer. If all goes not-so-well, I've already written my resignation, and all I have to do is print it, sign it, and hand it over. Viola! August 16th will be my last day. That way I can have a nice vacation and still have a week and a half to find another job before I quit here. What I worry about is that the amount of my raise won't be decided until the President of the company is back in town. Fuck 'em. I'll turn in my resignation if they tell me they can't give me a raise until she comes back. I hate working here with a white-hot burning passion.

Tuesday, July 16

I'm with Wil Wheaton when he says "I don't believe that we're ever given more than we can really handle, even if we don't think we can handle it." I came to this realization after surviving the strangest weekend of my life. At 3:30 pm on Saturday afternoon, My mom showed up at my house unannounced (she lives in Michigan, I live in New Mexico). I was in shock most of the weekend. I think the most shocking thing was that she hadn't made travel plans to go home. She drove out a 1990 Honda Civic for me, which is awesome. I spent the better part of Sunday trying to get plane tickets, or train tickets, or a rental car so she could go home. I finally put her on a train Monday and she should be home late tonight. So now, when I get back from San Diego, I'm free to find a job in whatever corner of the city there happens to be one. Thank goodness for unexpected surprises.

Friday, July 12

Who in their right mind would think it okay to burn incense at the office? In an office with 30 other people? I really really hate this job. If I had any sick time I would have gone home. That was yesterday. Today I woke up with the worst headache I've had in months. I don't know what it's from. I haven't had any of the usual triggers that give me headaches like this (bright flashing light -- like the reflection of the sun on someone else's windshield, mocha, champagne, aspartame). I popped some ibuprophen at 8:00 am. That was almost an hour and a half ago and still no improvement. The lights are off in my office, and I have the brightness turned down on my monitor. I should have stayed in bed. Staying in bed almost always gets rid of these headaches. All I need is an hour in a dark room where it's quiet with my eyes closed.

Wednesday, July 10

Monday morning I rode my bike to work. I bought it last Spring before I had a car. I was also living about 3 miles from work, and the bus in Albuquerque isn't the safest place to be. I now live a mile and a half from work, and the bike ride is pleasant when it isn't blistering hot out. Plus, it's good exercise. When I was about to leave work Monday evening, it was raining. Normally I'll ride in the rain. I like the rain. But Scott and I were going to a movie Monday night, so I decided I'd leave the bike overnight and pick it up with my car Tuesday. No Problem. Except that when I got to work Tuesday morning, the bike was gone. A bit of explanantion: the bike was locked inside the back patio which is surrounded by a 15-foot high, wrought iron fence with spikey things at the top. And the company doesn't have insurance to cover stolen items. Someone had scaled the 15 foot fence, tossed my bike over (somehow -- that bike was darn heavy), and probably sold it to buy some crack. I never in a million years thought someone would get in there and take my bike. But they did, and so that's the end of my bike riding to work. If my car breaks down, I'm really screwed. I can't walk to work, because it's not safe. Last time I walked to get lunch I got 2 offers for "a ride." Apparently any woman walking on the street must be a hooker. And the bus is just out of the question. Anyway, it's just one more reason I hate working where I work. Just one more reason I'm more determined to get a job elsewhere. I'm tired of working in a dangerous neighborhood, I'm tired of working for people I don't like or trust or have any faith in, I'm tired of not having any money for the things I need, I'm just plain tired. 10 days until I don't have to look at this place for about 3 weeks. 10 days until awesome adventures in Mexico and San Diego. Woo!

Tuesday, July 9

Well I've been back to work for a few days and not much has changed. I've mostly decided that I'm going to quit doing the Hardware/Software maintenance unless I get $1 raise. So, we'll see what happens. I'm not going to be doing much of that this week anyway, because I've got to give a refresher course to the person who'll be taking over for me while I'm in Mexico. A while ago, my grandmother gave me the address and phone number of a woman in Michigan who might have some information about My Grandmother's Father's family. I've been doing lots of family research, trying to find out who my ancestors were. Apparently my Great Great Grandfather came here from Germany on a boat, and not much is known about him. We don't know when he was born, where exactly he came from, or how old he was when he died (the obituary said 60-62 years old). So, she's going to send me some information, and I think I might put up a page about my family or something. Just to exhibit some of the research I've done. I've got some really great Photos of my Great Grandpa when he was a dashing young man. Another Mystery was my Great Grandfather's mother. Her name was Bertha Bolvritz, and I think she came from England. The problem is that I can't find any instance of the word Bolvritz on the internet anywhere. It simply doesn't exist. Very strange indeed. Aside from that, I've been having great fun with Scott, working on Science Bastard, and hanging out. Last night we went to see Reign of Fire. I'm going to write a review of it, and pretty soon you'll be able to read the review at my friend Adrian's site, MovieJustice.com. The site isn't entirely ready yet, but keep your eye on it.

Friday, July 5

What do you want to be when you grow up? When I was little I wanted to be a Veterinarian. At 8 years old, I realized I couldn’t emotionally handle being around animals who were sick or in pain. At 9 years of age, I realized that Veterinarians mostly only see sick/dying/hurt animals. I knew this was not for me. In High School and Junior High, I spent a lot of time talking to the School counselors. I then decided I wanted to be a Psychiatrist. I think this came from a need to understand myself, and why I felt the way I did. I think I was hoping for a ‘Physician heal thyself’ miracle. Two years into a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, I realized I didn’t want to fix other people’s problems for a living, and that I had enough difficulty fixing my own problems. I changed my Major to Biology, and quickly realized that the job options for a Bachelor’s degree in Biology is mostly limited to being a Graduate Student in Biology. Yeah, there’s Park Ranging and what-not, but solitary living is not for me, really. At this point I had completed my Minor in Spanish Language, and so I ended up with a Major in Spanish and a minor in English Writing. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but I graduated in four years, and that was good enough for me. I’ve taken Aptitude tests, and quizzes to find out what I’m most suited to. All I was ever able to conclude was that I’m a Science/Language Person. (Most people are either Science/History OR Art/Language). It’s just another testament to how screwed up I am. Here is a list of the last 4 books I’ve purchased: -> Wall Street’s Guide to Personal Finance -> The Complete Idiot’s guide to Changing Careers -> Great Jobs for Foreign Language Majors -> Photographer’s Market I think it’s time for a change. If I had any interest in becoming a starving Artist, I’d get more serious about Photography. If I had any faith in my ability to speak Spanish, I’d try Translation or something (although living in a bilingual region isn’t real conducive to getting a job speaking Spanish, when Spanish is clearly your second language. Most people who grew up where I live, grew up speaking two languages, and they’re much better at it than I am). So, I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I know what I can’t keep doing – and it’s working for this company. I’m going to stay for the next two or three weeks, and then take my three-week vacation, and then find somewhere else to work. I’ll go work at Wal-Mart if I have to. How do you go about deciding what you want to do for the next chapter of your life? Anyone have any tips?

Tuesday, July 2

L.A. was a blast. I don't think I've had that much fun since... well... a long time. And Linda Harrison (Nova from Planet of the Apes) was so incredibly sweet to me. And she's still very very beautiful. She even liked my jeans! I got the Nathan Long tour of L.A. and Hollywood, drove down all the strips and saw lots of cool stuff. The only celebrities I saw outside of the ones scheduled to be at the Autograph shows were: The MTV2 news guy Iann Robinson, Johnny Ramone, Maynard the Pawn-Shop guy from Pulp Fiction, and Dave Schow. Dave Schow was a gracious and entertaining host for the evening. Oh yeah, and we drove by Disneyland a bunch of times! woo! But now it's back to the real world, and I've pretty much decided that this is just a dead end job. I really don't have much hope of climbing the corporate ladder, nor do I have much chance of making more money, so I really think it's time to move on. I think when I get back from San Diego I'll start the New Job campaign. Maybe I'll wait until the Document Imaging Architect certificate is finished and then try to get another job. We'll see. In December, I might be able to work for a few dollars less an hour, and I might just do that. Maybe I'll go be a landscaper. Another reason this job sucks: The potato chips I just got from the snack bin are stale. yick

Wednesday, June 26

WOO HOO! The new website is up. Let me know what you think. If I had a comments thingy, you could leave them there, so you'll just have to email me. And, the geocities site is going away. If you've bookmarked it, and I don't think you have, but anyway there will be a redirect page up to redirect you. Oh, and my project manager and the HR director think that raises are unlikely this year, because the company is suffering poorly at the hands of someone who has less business sense than a rock. I guess I will be shopping for a new job. Working at Walgreens was less stressful. Maybe Wal-Mart would be fun.
I arrived to work this morning to find that we have finally recieved the notification about annual self-evaluations. This happens every year around here, although it gets later and later every year. We're supposed to compose an evaluational letter to management (well mostly our project manager and the HR director) detailing "what you've worked on, what you've learned, things you'd like to know more about, and skills you may have that we're not using to their full potential or at all." "We ask you to be candid and to tell us not only about the areas in which you feel confident and productive but about the ways you believe you can improve, either through your own efforts or with our help. And tell us where you think we can do a better job. As always, constructive criticism is preferred over other kinds." Constructive criticism would mean telling them that perhaps they should try paying more than starting wages for collecting carts from the parking lot at Costco (which is where I'll be working if I don't get a decent raise). I actually had a daydream where I was in my self-eval meeting and the HR director told me I was going to get a 25 cent raise (which is what I got last year). I told him that it just wasn't enough and I walked out forever and ever. It was a nice little daydream. How much do you think normal jobs with technical corporations offer in raises each year? 50 cents? A dollar? Do you think they offer a retirement program? Maybe they'd offer to pay some of the premium on health insurance.. or maybe offer eyecare as a benefit since you're staring at a computer screen all day. ha-HA. Anyway, I've been looking forward to this moment all year long. It's the part where I get to tell them I feel like I'm being taken advantage of, and that they need to pay me more. I just wish I'd had any luck at all finding a different job. Okay, so I haven't tried *that* hard. But, I might try a heck of a lot harder after San Diego Comic Con.

Tuesday, June 25

I'm having a little trouble getting the new hosting and websiting working. Maybe by the end of the day, the site will be up. I think the problem may be that I've gotten a little big for my own britches (figuratively, not literally -- well, a little literally, but I digress). Anyway, I had to ask for help, which makes me feel like a moron, but hell, it'll be a learning/growing experience. I arrived to work at 7 am again today. I am so sleepy. My eyes burn (probably from the smoke, though), I feel groggy, I have a headache (probably also from the smoke). These symptoms will probably go away around 11 am, and return at about 3. I am not a morning person, and no amount of coffee can correct this defect. I've been listening to the Avril Lavigne cd. I bought it yesterday along with Paulina Rubio's 'Border Girl.' I wasn't going to buy the Avril Lavigne cd, I figured I would just download all the songs off Limewire and not have to pay. And then I found out that there was bonus material on the interactive cd. And I'm a sucker for anything I can put into my computer and get videos from (computer accessories are a really bad addiction for me. If there's breakfast cereal that has a video game in it, I'm twice as likely to get that one than one without a video game -- even if I don't like the cereal). Plus the cd was on sale. And I've been really curious about the Paulina Rubio cd. Anyway, the Avril Lavigne cd is really interesting, and it's having a strange effect on me. First of all, Avril is 17, and she sings straight from the heart. It sounds exactly the way I was when I was 14. I grew up kinda fast. I left my mom when I was 14, in favor for a more stable residence with my grandparents. Living with my grandparents was kinda strange because If I wanted something I most generally had to pay for it myself. Granted I was fed and I didn't have to pay rent, but I guess 14 was when I started working, and I have been ever since. I also met Karl when I was 14, and I kinda lost a big part of myself with him. I think it's hard not to when you've decided that you *will* be with someone for the rest of your life. There's something you give up, I felt like an old maid housewife at 18. We were together for eight and a half years and when it ended I kinda broke out of what I had been becomming (old and fat), and I'm still trying to recover from that a year later. I guess the point is that Avril's cd has really made me long for my lost youth, and I've always wanted to have a *real* care-free childhood, something I only had when I spent summers with my grandparents (this happened maybe 4 or 5 summers). I just remember waking up with the sun shining on my face (you can sleep with the blinds open where I'm from). I'd get up and decide what to do that day and my options were just about endless. I could go into the woods, into the lake, into the river, I could ride a horse, I could go fishing, I could climb a tree, ride a bike, or hang out with friends. Where I live now, there are no woods, no lakes, no rivers, no accessible horses (unless you want to pay $45 for an hour ride and you don't even get to decide where to go or how fast), can't fish because all the lakes are either dry or closed, no trees to climb because they're all in someone else's yard. Sure, I have a bike, and I can ride it, but it's usually too hot, or too dangerous, and who wants to take a joyful ride on a bike through the warzone? And I have friends, but it's not the same kind of friends. The kind you've always known. The kind of friend you know will always be there for you, no matter what, the kind you know will tell you those pants make your ass look fat. How do you recapture something like that? If you know, please tell me.

Monday, June 24

Yesterday afternoon, the sky became kind of hazy. You could barely see the Sandia Mountains. Today you can't see them at all. Online weather claims that visibility is 5 miles, but I think that's being generous. Average visibility is 25+ miles on a normal day. So, where did all the haze come from? Well, it's actually smoke. Arizona is on fire, Colorado is on fire, the whole wide west is going up in flames. It even smells like smoke. My eyes and nose burn, my throat is sore. The end of the world is here, I'm sure. We are getting the most spectacular sunsets, though. And wouldn't you know, the batteries in my camera went dead this weekend. I have to remember to get those replaced. Despite the polluted air, I had a good weekend. Scott and I fixed up his porch, and it is now a wonderful little place to sit and relax and eat Lime Sherbert. Also, keep your eye on Avril Levigne. I have a feeling she's about to be a very big sensation (Remember what I said about Shakira?). And here, this is the funniest site I've seen in a long time. I laughed all morning. http://www.mycathatesyou.com.

Thursday, June 20

I have procured hosting and a copy of Dreamweaver 4! New website is becomming more and more imminent. And then all the links have to be updated, and so does my blogger template. Lots of work ahead, but I think it will be fun. I want to teach myself a few new web-tricks anyway. On the agenda tonight -- delivering newly finished cushions for the chair I re-upholstered for some friends last weekend. They turned out better than I expected, and I think I'll probably post a photo of it somewhere soon.

Wednesday, June 19

Normally doing the color scanning is my favorite part of the whole scanning process. I get to look at all the pretty (and sometimes not-so-pretty) pictures and I can feed in whole stacks at a time. Not today. Today I am going crazy from scanning. I only have three frigging documents left (I had planned on finishing this batch yesterday). But, I have this *huge* document. It has about 200 pages that have to be color scanned. Normally this would be ok, I'd just feed them in 20 at a time and let the scanner do all the work. Not today. Today the damned document comes every other page in color and the pages that aren't in color are in greyscale. So, I have to feed each page in individually and change the settings between scans. I'm going so wonky I can barely focus my eyes, and this is a very bad thing, because I have to count up 6 from the page number and save it as a .Tiff numbered six after the page count. I know that doesn't make any sense at all, and that's half the problem. It takes concentration and mental agility - neither of which I have at the moment. I wonder how many sick hours I have. It doesn't matter, I'd just have to face it tomorrow and I might as well get it over with today. I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with my new duties as Hardware/Software fixer-person. I have this list of things to do that will obviously never get done. Today the CEO (think Mr. Burns) says the Sound Card on his Laptop won't work, and although it isn't a high priority, he would like it looked at the first week of July while he is gone on personal vacation. I thought that taking on all the extra responsibility would encourage raise-giving-tendencies in the powers that be, but alas, not for me. How much extra work do I have to do to get paid enough to pay my car insurance? First, I went from lowly editor to Senior Scanning Operator, no raise right away, but I did get $0.25/hr at Annual Review time. Then I took on 3 assistants when they doubled production. I did not recieve a raise nor a title change to Manager. The HR director did have the courtesy to tell me that I was already a manager in the President's eyes... great. Then I took on All of the Hardware and Software problems in the building. I have been told by everyone that I deserve a raise. Everyone including my Project Manager and the HR Director. I have yet to recieve anything. No Raise yet. HR director told me I'd probably have to wait until Annual Review time, which he told me would be in mid-June. It will no doubt be pushed back to mid-July when I am about to leave for Mexico. Then, since I will be gone for almost 3 weeks, I will no doubt miss my opportunity at an Annual Review and at a Raise. I think I need to start concentrating on things outside of work, like personal projects and weekend trips.

Tuesday, June 18

Oooohhh. I bought a domain name! Now, I just have to find some hosting that doesn't suck. And then --> Another new web site!!! I'm going to try to make something cool this time, though.
Alrighty! Three photos for you to enjoy here. The first one is a cactus flower near the entrance to the caves in Carlsbad. The second one is of a walkway near the cave entrance, and the third is Lester. All were taken with my new wide angle lens. Let me know what you think.

Monday, June 17

Ok. I suppose that'll work for now. So, um, go buy some Exhilarated Despair Products now that the link is back!
Grrr... I really dislike Geocities. Why doesn't my darned image linky thing work???
What a weekend. Scott and I spent the better part of the weekend re-upholstering a chair for some friends. We would have finished too, except the needle in my sewing machine got bent and the machine is all frigged up now. I'll have to finish the cushions this week. I'm really pleased with the chair so far. Now that I've discovered tack stripping, I'll never go back to upholstery tacks again (unless the piece really needs them). I'm also considering purchasing a domain, but I'm not sure it's worth all the trouble. We'll see. I've got so many things I think about doing, but never get around to (like updating the photography section on my site or making daily posts to my weblog). Lots of ideas, not so much time or ambition. Well, ok, I'm pretty busy with other things right now, so that's my excuse. Oh yeah, and we had a hail storm on Friday. It was crazy. There was grape-sized hail everywhere, in drifts. And all of my vegetables were reduced to sticks. All the leaves are gone. My tomatoes were just getting blossoms, too. The street that intersects the one I live on was flooded. Photos of that soon, I swear.

Wednesday, June 12

The only thing I dislike about Victoria's Secret is that both stores I went to last night overcharged me by $6.35. Exactly the same amount at both stores. All was forgiven, though, when they promptly repaired the error instead of giving me a hard time about it. I think the website and the weblog template are both honkey-dorey now. If you see anything that looks wrong, or if a link is broken, please let me know. OR, if I forgot a link to you, let me know. Or if you want me to link to you. Or if you just want to say hello. As usual, I forgot to bring photos to scan, so those won't be going up just yet. Soon, though, soon. Maybe even tomorrow. I'm still trying to decide on a decent way to display the photos on my page. I'll have to think about it and see what I come up with.

Tuesday, June 11

Ok, well, soon I will have a spiffy new template (Thank you Alan!) to go along with my spiffy new webpage. I hope you like it, I've slaved all day making it (the webpage). And if you don't like it, feel free to send me *your* design ideas! (hint hint) What a day. I haven't done a lick of real work, just worked on my webpage. Now it's off to go shopping.

Monday, June 10

Well, the Hardware/Software job sure keeps me busy. Thankfully I'll have a batch of documents to process this week, so I'll have a break from fixing computers (unless something becomes urgent). Money woes have got me a little down. Nothing urgent, just a constant dull pain. Plus my allergies are in full swing, so I'm feeling generally crummy. The first day of shooting on Scott's short film, Science Bastard, went really well. I'm glad I can help. Tonight we'll be filming a gore scene where some guinea pigs get the weed-eater treatment. (Not real guinea pigs, mind you. No animals will be harmed in the making of this film!) Also tonight will be the filming of the drill-to-the-head sequence, and I get to be the blood-blower, or something like that. I can't wait! Scott ended up making the dead cat, and it turned out really gross looking. The shots we took look really nice (As far as I can tell. What do I know anyway?) and I think the movie is going to be pretty darned entertaining. Aso this week: The Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale. There goes what little remaining cash I had. But, I need new panties. I really do.

Thursday, June 6

Whew! Another big lapse in posts, but oh well, I've been busy. Scott and I have been doing lots of running around, gearing up for shooting the first few scenes of Science Bastard. And, I get to make a dead cat real soon. That should be pretty cool. Aside from that I have been blissfully busy at work. I still haven't been given a raise, but all in good time, I guess. Is it too much to ask to have enough money to get some of my debt paid down (I know I need to stop *using* the credit cards, too) and buy a car? Everyone keeps telling me I deserve it, I just have to get the Boss to say "make it so." We're coming up on Self-Evaluation time, so I assume they're waiting for that to roll around. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, May 31

Can this day get any longer? I think not. I swear I've been here 10 hours at least, but it's only 2:30. It just isn't fair. I'm looking forward to the weekend, as always. No big plans, just days off. I will be doing some landscaping tomorrow, which is always nice. And movie night tomorrow night. And Sunday... I could have sworn there was something on Sunday, but I'll have to check with Scott. And tonight there might be some Playstation-2-ing with Russ and Ryan from Bow Wow Records. That would be cool. Right now I just want to sleep. and sleep. and sleep.

Wednesday, May 29

What a strange day. This morning I was called into a meeting with the President of the company. She's planning a re-organization of the organization. It's frightening, I can assure you. So what did this have to do with me? She wants me to take over all of the hardware and software maintenance for the company. Can I do it? Sure. Am I the most qualified? No. Can I do the job better than the most qualified person currently in the building? Yes. I'm glad somebody is noticing my talents. Now if I can only get them to notice the level of poverty in which I live.... Annual review time will be very interesting. Not much else to say, I guess. I like my new responsibility. It keeps me busy and helps me feel important. I might like this as a career. I don't know why I've been fighting it for so long.

Tuesday, May 28

Three day weekends are great until you try to re-enter the 'real world.' I had a great weekend, by the way. We found one geocache and spent the better part of the weekend with friends and I got to spend all of the weekend with Scott. I arrived at work to find out that the new batch of work that was supposed to arrive today will not be arriving until tomorrow because of the holiday. Fine. I guess I'll just surf the web all day. I'm certainly not going to take on some extra task. They also fired the Java programmer today. I'm not even sure why. All I know is that he came in to say goodbye, and then we got a new door code. I feel kind of like I'm just walking through Jell-O here. I'm not really participating and it's vaguely like an out-of-body experience. I bought two self-help books this weekend. Great Jobs For Foreign Language Majors and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Changing Careers. I suspect the Idiot's guide will be more helpful due to my lack of confidence in my Spanish. I guess the reason for telling you this is because I'm ready to do something to get out of this crappy, dead-end job. The Idiot's guide has already helped me realize that it isn't actually my job I dislike, it's the way I'm being managed. Or rather, the way I'm being mismanaged. But what else can I do? The job economy sucks, and I'm extremely limited by my car's inability to get me farther than 5 miles at any one time. So I'll read this self-help book, and decide where to go from there. Hopefully I'll pull out of this zombified funk soon...

Friday, May 24

I will never get lost again. Ever. I think that Global Positioning has got to be one of the coolest technological things ever invented. Right up there with dvd players, and satellite tv. I bought a fancy model, and it does all kinds of cool stuff. It will tell me the time the sun will rise, what time it will set, and do the same for the moon. It will show me what the moon is going to look like, and where to find in the sky. It tells me what times are good to fish and hunt, and it will ALWAYS tell me where I am and show me a map. I can search for places I've bookmarked, I can search for cities by name. When I find one, it will tell me how far away it is, what direction to go, and even gives an Estimated Time of Arrival. It will log how long I've been moving in persuit of said destination, and how long I spent not moving. It will even tell me how fast I'm going. The map shows all the main roads, and almost eliminates the need for an atlas. I have an atlas to most of the world right in my hand. Someday I hope to be able to afford the downloadable detailed maps. That would really be something. We went on our first Geocache hunt yesterday, and it was successful. I was facing this big boulder with the gps device in hand. It said I was right on top of the cache. "It should be right here," I said. I looked down, and there it was. A coffee can with a rock and some branches on top of it. It was really pretty exhilarating. The hike was nice (even though it really made me realize how out of shape I am). We made the swaps, logged in the log, and walked back to the car. It was so cool. I'm really happy that I have a three day weekend and the likely opportunity to look for more. And the best thing is that most of my friends seem to want to go, too! It should be a nice weekend. Although, any day I don't have to be at work is a good day.

Thursday, May 23

Normally, I love Best Buy. Of all the electronics/nerd places to shop, I think Best Buy has the best service and prices around. Granted, they only hire people under the age of 25, and usually these people don't know dick about the stuff you want to buy, but I rarely need their help anyway. Until yesterday. This is the scenario: I get home form work at about 3:45, and I have just enough time to have dinner with Scott and to go to Best Buy and get a gps device before the Season Finale of Enterprise. I had looked at them the day before, and I needed to compare the specifications of the two before deciding. They're in a locked case. I go the the gentleman (well, boy, really) working in that area to ask if he can unlock the case. He's helping a customer pick out a reciever for his home entertainment system. Not only is he ignoring me, he's physically placing himself between me and his customer. With his back to me. He's avioding eye contact and trying to pretend I'm not there. I go the the kid working in video games (who also happens to be playing video games). He takes me to a person who's talking on the phone in the Television area who refers me to a person in the automotive department. I get to Automotive, and there are only customers, no employees. I walk over to the Washing Machine area, hoping to find a manager. I find a girl training another girl. The one doing the training looks at me as I approach, but ignores me as I get closer and obviously want to ask a question. The newbie she's training obviously likes customers and wants to help. She finally interrupts the training girl and asks me if I need help. I tell her I just need to find someone who has a key to the case that the gps devices are in. The trainer tells me that girl just went back to automotive. I go to the Automotive area and there are two employees, both of whom give me the same treatment as the guy helping the guy who wants the reciever. So, I go over to the area where the gps devices are. I wait. This area just happens to be in the same aisle as the door to 'the back.' Managers and employees are going in and out, and I stop one of them and ask if they know who has a key to the gps case. He points to the girl in Automotive who is hovering over an employee who is trying to decide on which model he probably won't even buy today. The guy from video games goes into the back and smiles at me when he walks by. Then he comes back out carrying an X-Box and smiles again. He does not ask me if I found someone to open the case (although I suppose it was obvious that I hadn't). I look at my watch. It's 5:35. Enterprise is on at 6. We leave. I get no GPS Device. While Scott is purchasing some dvd's, I notice that the kid from video games is purchasing the X-Box for himself. Enterprise was awesome (it usually is). After Enterprise I decide to put my hand back on the stove, and go back to Best Buy. The girl in Automotive is there, this time alone. I ask her if she has a key. She says no, but she can go get it. So, she goes. She comes back, opens the case. I decide on a more expensive (but much cooler) device (at a discounted price because it was the display model). I thank her, pay for my new toy and go home. So, I've been logging coordinates and downloading Geocaching sites and coordinates, and hopefully you'll hear about that very soon. Like, maybe tomorrow. ;)

Wednesday, May 22

Yesterday marked the US release of the Ultimate Edition of Legend. In 1986, when this film was released in the US, I think a lot of people just didn't get it. Being the cheese-ball lover-of-fairy-tales that I am, I instantly fell in love with the movie as well as the story. The film was cut from an original 125 minutes to 94 minutes for the European release, and to 89 minutes for the American release (Someone decided the target audience's attention span wasn't long enough to accomodate a 125 minute movie). Universal's president felt Jerry Goldsmith's classical score wouldn't appeal to the target audience, so they replaced it with a Tangerine Dream score. A few years ago, I managed to track down a copy of the original soundtrack/score and I found the original script online. After reading the script (while listening to the original score) a lot of the 'plot holes' in the 89 minute release were filled (this was back in the 90's before I knew anything about the magic of dvd). Then talk started about a Director's cut of Legend. Apparently Ridley Scott was never really satisfied with the shortened versions of the movie; and although he liked the Tangerine Dream score, he would have preferred to keep the Jerry Goldsmith score. The Director's cut was slated to come out in late 99/early 2000. Then it was pushed back until 2000. Universal finally announced May 21st, 2002 as the street date. The wait was worth every minute. I can't tell you how gratifying it was to see this movie as the director had originally intended it. All the plot holes are filled. The classical score adds a sense of danger and urgency not fully captured by the Tangerine Dream score. The movie becomes disturbingly dark and nightmarish in places that previously didn't exist. Scenes you just knew were missing are restored. I think if the Director's Cut of the movie had originally been released in the US, it would have been a bigger success at the box office. If you liked Legend at all, you really should see the Director's cut. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, May 20

I'd like to start off by saying I *loved* Attack of the Clones and there's nothing you can do to convince me otherwise, so don't bother trying. I just had one of the best weekends ever. Scott and I left early Saturday (well, kinda early) and headed off towards Carlsbad. We stopped along the way in Roswell to visit the UFO museum (cheesy, but fun), and had lunch at El Toro Bravo. I don't really know what I expected to see in the UFO Museum, but what I saw wasn't it. They had a lot of exhibits and photographs and copies of 'official' and 'top secret' letters (for one, it wasn't nearly as big as I thought it would be -- nor did I think it would be right in the middle of town). I knew there'd be models of space ships and little aliens, but I was really, really surprised by their utter cheesy-ness. Most of the Alien models around were little stuffed men with latex heads and hands. I could have made better ones. The only decent one on display was one that was made for the set of the Roswell T.V. Show. That one was pretty cool. The space ships hanging from the ceiling consisted of glued together hub caps with led lights, duct tape masterpieces, and the grand display of the Elvis Ship. Well, I don't know if it was called the Elvis Ship or not, but it was this ship about 4 feet across completely covered in gold sequins and lit up with pink and green lights. I wanted to get a pictues of it, but it was just too ugly. Hideous. ick, ick, ick. All in all it was a lot of fun, though. Except when I realized that the little machine that squishes your pennies and makes them into souvenirs was out of order. I have these pennies from all over the country, but not from Roswell, NM. And not from Carlsbad Caverns either, because they didn't even have one of those machines. So after Roswell, we were off to the Drive-In at Carlsbad. We stayed in a seedy motel (I think this is pretty standard for those of us willing to drive 300+ miles to go to a Drive-In theater). We stuffed ourselves full of food at the concession stand (for about $15 we got 2 barbeque sandwiches, 2 cokes, popcorn, fries, and chili cheese nachos. I'd like to see someone get 2 cokes and popcorn for that at a regular theater). Anyway, the movie was The Scorpion King, which was amazingly entertaining, and it actually made me believe in The Rock's acting ability (as long as he's playing a barbarian-warrior-type). The next morning it was off to the famous Caverns in Carlsbad, which were absolutely amazing. We took the Natural Entrance and Big Room Self-guided tours. It took us about three and a half hours, and today I can barely walk. I can't even put into words what it was like to be 750 feet underground and be in a room you could fit a 747 Jet into. You'll just have to go there yourself. I insist. On the way home, it started to rain (which I normally enjoy), but I started to feel kinda anxious and sad. The closer we got to Albuquerque the more anxious and sad I felt. And then I realized it's because I was getting closer and closer to home, which meant closer to work. Which is where I am right now. Which isn't really so bad, but it's slowly eating me up inside, and I have got to figure something out to get me out of here. So, I've got to find some direction in my life, something I like doing that will also make me some money. I like what I do now, I just don't like the people I'm doing it for. The people who run this company have absolutely no integrity and I have no respect for them. I'm just going through the motions. And I'm barely even doing that. So, we'll see where life takes me, and I hope it's somewhere nice. So, tonight, I'll be off to Best Buy, in hopes that they might put the Ultimate Edition of Legend out early. I've been waiting for this for longer than I knew DVD's existed. AND, I cannot believe that Vecepia turned out to be the Ultimate Survivor. I wanted to see Neleh win it. OH, and can you believe what a hottie Neleh turned out to be when she was all dolled up? Wouldn't we like to see her in Playboy??? Yes, we would.

Tuesday, May 14

Wow. Again, a huge lapse between posts. And so much has happened. Ramsey will be purchasing two plane tickets to Mexico City today. I’ll fly out of Albuquerque and she’ll fly out of Denver. We’ll meet in Houston and then fly to Mexico City together. From there it’s a few days in D.F., then on to Oaxaca City, and then to the Oaxacan Coast for some time on the beach. I’m more excited about this trip than I have been about anything in a long time. Then when I get back it’s off to San Diego for a week of Comic Con International (something else I’m very excited about). Talk about Culture Shock! The only problem with this two-and-a-half week adventure is that I’m asking for 92 hours off work and I’ll only have about 41 hours of vacation time. So, the other 51 hours of time off are going to have to be paid for from somewhere. Hopefully I can save up enough money by then. I’m going to start carrying a peso around with me. That way, every time I reach into my pocket to spend money, I’ll be reminded that’s less money I’ll have to spend in San Diego and Mexico. I also need to email Pedro Gomez and Reynaldo Ruíz. They’ll be heading up the study abroad program in Mexico this summer. Well, they do every summer. Anyway these two guys are Professors that Ramsey and I had while getting our Bachelor’s degrees. Every summer they take a group of students to Querétaro for a language immersion program (the one I went on in 1998). We’re hoping they’ll be willing to let us tag along on one of their field trips, or otherwise meet up with us while we’re down there. The problem with emailing them is that my Spanish is so deteriorated that I’m embarrassed to try to compose an email and send it. I need to spell check and grammarcheck it. And I can only do that at home because I don’t have the Spanish Dictionary and Grammar Rules here at work (at home, I can do it). I suck. You’d think I could rely on my own abilities, but like I said, they’re pretty deteriorated when it comes to verb conjugations and sentence structure. On a different subject, Thursday. 7pm. Episode II. Tickets are in hand. Tonight: Episode I refresher. I haven’t actually seen Episode I other than when it first came out in the theater. I’m looking forward to it. We have to watch it tonight, though, because tomorrow is 2 hours of all new Enterprises. Can’t miss that now can we? Also, only 7 days left until Legend comes out on DVD. I think we’ll go over to Best Buy on Monday night, just to see if they might put it out on the shelf early. They do that sometimes.

Tuesday, May 7

Man, almost a week since I last posted. Sorry about that. So what have I been up to? Movies, new coping mechanisms, and trying to tone down my control problem. Movies first. I took last Friday off work to go see Spiderman. I loved it, much like everyone else did. There's not really anything I can say that hasn't already been said, so I'll leave it at that. Saturday night I finally got around to watching the Special edition of The Professional (aka León). The special edition is quite a bit longer than the version originally released in the U.S., and if you haven't seen it, you probably should. Natalie Portman, Jean Reno, and Gary Oldman are all perfect in it, and the International Uncut Version (Not for sale to persons under age 18) will really delight you (or delightfully disgust you). New coping mechanisms include but are not limited to: Two cups of coffee per day instead of just one. No lunch hour (I can leave a half hour earlier that way). More workload. I must really be crazy. I guess I figure if I'm busy I won't have time to hate my job so much. Toning down my control problem: I had a small fit yesterday because one of my computers had been renamed due to a committee decision that involved inventory of all computers and their contents. No big deal, really, except that they renamed the Server... this meant that anyone who was mapped to that server couldn't get on it, couldn't print and it took that server off the backup loop. I think the thing that bothered me the most is that they came in when I wasn't here to do it, and they didn't tell anyone when it was going to be done. They didn't bother to ask if it was ok to do that (which it isn't). When confronted the excuse was that there was an email sent out weeks prior. There were also emails about CPR training that never occured, memory upgrades that never happened, and several other things that never came to be. sigh... And then I sit down at my desk to find a FINGERPRINT on my monitor and my plastic lizard was moved. I hate smudges on my screen. The lizard doesn't bother me so much, but a SMUDGE ON MY SCREEN... grrr... Must... calm.. down... Okay, really. I'm attributing it to the cleaning crew. It's gonna be alright. I think I need a vacation.

Wednesday, May 1

I have officially used up the internet. There are no more websites I want to see. There are no more searches to be done. What does one do when they've used up the internet? The one thing I could always count on (Bam Margera's Message board at Bamargera.com) won't load. There are some nifty new photos up from Haggard The Movie, though. I looked at them and now that's done. I went to TerraServer to look up all the addresses I had ever lived at. Then I asked coworkers for their addresses so I could look those up, too. I can't think of any more. I even browsed through all the famous places I could think of. I looked up all of my Credit Card accounts online. I even called one of them to see if they'd lower my interest rate. They wouldn't. It's only at 14.9%. Apparently that's low. My other one is at 19%, so I guess I should call them. That will keep me occupied for 10 or 15 minutes.

Tuesday, April 30

The most bizarre things happen to me. This morning I went to 7-11 to put some gas in my car. While I was there I noticed an Indian couple (from India, broken English and all) on the other side of the pump milling about the car, discussing, arguing, chattering. They were like two chipmunks fighting over a peanut. I couldn't figure out what was going on, but I decided to turn around and look the other way. I absolutely did not want to get involved. Well, after a little while, the woman came over, and she asked me if she could borrow my keys. She wanted to borrow my keys. I guess I must have given her a really strange look, so she held up her keys and showed me her mailbox key. She wanted to borrow my mailbox key. I asked her what she wanted with my keys and she told me she needed them to get her gas cap open! As if my mailbox key was going to open her gas cap on her car! I was really quite flabbergasted, but I went over anyway and demonstrated to her how my key would not open her gas cap. I asked her if she had a key to her gas cap, and she said no. How do you have a car that you don't have the keys for? And then I remembered, I live in Albuquerque, and I'm at 7-11. duh. Now I can't remember if I touched the cart ot not. What if my fingerprints are on it? geez. I swear I was going to post yesterday, and then I got pulled into Access University. Access University is another one of the pointless, profitless, wasteful schemes this company comes up with to make it feel like it's a real company. Just like the committees we saw a few months back. So everyone in the company has to go upstairs to this sectioned off part of the room and try to stay awake while upper management goes on and on about different things in the company. Most of these 'classes' involve a PowerPoint Presentation. Half the time the slides are out of order, or the projector is set up wrong, or the speaker hasn't bothered to prepare for the presentation. And the other half of the time, we get lectured about how we lose money when people aren't productive and how we lose money when we overbid projects, or how we lost money on the committees. Well, I've got news for them... We're losing money by having Access U. 1,404 ads in the Albuquerque Journal on Sunday and I only found a few to reply to. Sigh. I think today I might call Costco and see if they'll tell me what the starting pay is over the phone. If it's over $10.25, I'm there, dude! In more exciting and uplifting news, I've been researching my family history, and yesterday I got an email from a woman in my maternal grandfather's family who has done extensive research in the family. It turns out that this family goes way back in the United States, and I came from the same line that produced Abraham Lincoln! This doesn't mean that I'm descended from him, though, it just means that Abraham Lincoln's uncle was my greatx15 grandpa or something. So that's pretty cool. Not to mention that I've got Charlton Heston in my tree (through marriage). Now I just have to confirm that Alan Hale is related to the rest of the Hales in my family (he does look an awful lot like my Uncle Ron)!

Friday, April 26

This has been the week from hell. Hell, I tell you. You know it's going to be bad when the subject of the email is "More (potential) bad news..." I'll say bad news. A while back, I went to an AIIM conference in San Francisco. AIIM is the Association of Information and Image Management... or something like that. Well, I spoke to a guy who works with Canon while I was there, and we talked about what I do and what he does, and he asked me if I minded telling him how much I make. I told him I made $17,000 last year. His response was "That was for part-time, right?" That was the turning point in my career. I just kinda laughed and I think he got the idea. He told me they weren't paying me enough and that I should try to get certified as a CDIA. CDIA stands for Certified Document Imaging Architect. He said that if they wouldn't pay me more, at least I'd have a certification for what I already do, and that I could get a better job somewhere else. Well, I spoke to upper management about it, and they agreed to pay for the training materials, and I was supposed to start training right away. I was under the impression that a $1 raise was to be had upon completion, and that I'd get a title change and another raise shortly thereafter. Well, the email was pretty self explanatory: I need you to quit the CDIA training on company time. Completely out of nowhere, [Enter Company President's Name Here] asked me if you are doing the CDIA training on company time. I said yes, obviously. Then she blindsided me with the statement that any training on paid company time will not result in a raise. I really couldn't believe it. To the credit of my Project Manager, he really has done a lot for me in this fight... Here's the remedy: you need to take the discs home immediately and finish the training there or else she won't approve a raise. I was totally caught off guard by this. I had no idea, or I would have had you doing it this way from the start. Once again, no communication to me on this until it was after the fact. Plus, you need to be prepared for this little paragraph in section 314 of the manual: "While educational assistance is expected to enhance employees performance and professional abilities, [The Company] cannot guarantee that participation in formal education will entitle the employee to automatic advancement, a different job assignment, or pay increases." Nice. Just great. Anyway, do the training at home, get certified, and I'll submit what I promised I would: a .50/hr raise for the CDIA certificate and an additional .50/hr for the position of Scanning Manager. The results will be up to [Comapany President]. Sigh. I was under the impression that it would be $1 increase for CDIA certification, and another token raise (likely $.25) along with title change to Scanning Manager. The funny part is, I've been the scanning manager for over a year. My job isn't going to change, so why don't I already have the title? Well I asked the HR Director a while back and his response was that I'm 'Already a manger in the President's eyes.' A $1 raise (assuming I'd get that much) would put me at $11.25/hr... woo pee doo. So, the solution to my problem? Get a different job. I suspect there's probably something in my Personnel file that's keeping me from what I deserve. I think I'll ask to see it after I put in my 2 weeks' notice. This has been quite the stressful week, and I'm really glad it's almost over... Now if any of you three reading this are in need of a full time employee who can multi-task, be self-directed, can work on any type of computer in any program, speaks fluent Spanish, and is an all around good employee... please email me. har. Oh and I hope you can pay at least $10/hr.

Tuesday, April 23

Do you ever have one of those days where you're absolutely sure you're going to wake up and feel better? And then you wake up and you find out that in your sleep you turned off the alarm and it never went off, and then you get to work and realize you forgot your medication at home, and then your favorite pen runs out of ink, and your coworkers insist on being optimistic and happy when all you really want is for everyone else to be unhappy in the hopes that it might dilute your own misery? Well, welcome to my world.

Monday, April 22

So, a nice, long, restful weekend is supposed to refresh you for a while, right? It's supposed to get you back on track for going to work and being productive, right? Then why is it I just want to go back up into the woods forever? I had a really great weekend in the woods despite high winds and low temperatures. Even despite the lack of fishing, I really enjoyed myself. Somehow, that makes me even more irritable about being back at work. Well, it could be partially that I woke up to stabbing pains in my head, but still. Email recieved this morning from Project Manager. Here are some excerpts: Well, I was finally able to speak to [Hr Director] concerning wages. I showed him both the DOL and HotJobs printouts of editorial wages, and he felt they were both off the mark. Natch. We had some discussion, and these were his points: he felt the DOL statistics were high because of the good pay for this position back East, in the larger metropolitan areas. Ok, I can live with that. He believed the HotJobs numbers to be skewed because they incorporated a variety of job skills, possibly including those with what he termed a Q-clearance level or higher. I believe this refers to editorial positions (much like technical writers) that require an additional skill level, such as (in the case of the technical writer) chemical engineering. I don't think other companies require you to be an expert in any special field (like chemical engineering) to be a technical writer. And my job doesn't involve a variety of job skills? Do I sit here and enter prefabricated data all day? Am I merely a mindless monkey at a typewriter? No. I produce a variety of materials for others to use, and I do so in a professional and timely manner. He believes that we pay as much as we are able with our current economic climate. He also felt that it is almost like comparing apples and oranges in the sense that there really aren't many companies out here doing what we do. Yes there are, and I've applied for jobs with them. He was also of the opinion that Albuquerque doesn't have the cost of living that some of these editorial positions back East have (in Virginia, Washington, etc), so the wages are adjusted accordingly. Yes, that is why I specifically looked up average wages for people IN ALBUQUERQUE NM, not people in Washington or Virginia. He also mentioned how the workflow has dramatically slowed around here, so senior management is keeping payroll rather tight. Additionally, I have a feeling that the money from people who move on has been paying off old debt to keying shops, etc. because he mentioned we've been spending a lot of money on those accounts. And I should be punished for their irresponsibility with money? He went on to say that Access tries to offer a variety of other benefits to help counteract the wages. He cited flextime, Where we are required to be here between 9 and 3, and we have to work 2 hours, take a 15 minute break, work 2 hours, take lunch, work 2 hours, take a 15 minute break, and work two more hours. Sounds pretty rigid for flex-time. continuing education, associations and memberships, and a casual work environment as some of those other benefits. They must think they're the only ones. He told me that he always encourages people to pursue their best options. He mentioned, specifically, that if money is the biggest factor in an individual's job satisfaction, then that person might find more satisfaction elsewhere. Well, no wonder the turnover is so high. Don't try to guilt trip me, Dr. Death. Sigh. I watched the World Music Awards yesterday on ABC. It was pretty disappointing. Shakira's performance was great, but she was lip-syncing. And the only other interesting moment was when they glossed over the 3 performers not singing in English. One of them was a French girl named Alizee, and if you like pop music that isn't in English you should check her out. The videos are great, and she's cute as hell. You gotta love girls who are cute as hell.

Thursday, April 18

Another three day lapse in blog updates. I knew this would happen. But, sometimes I just don't have anything to say. We got a new batch of documents in on Tuesday at work. This means I got to test out my new scanner. Usually the way the process works is: I have one guy who does initial black and white scans at 300 dpi. Then I usually check them over (quality control). Then, if they have color or greyscale pages, I pass them off to a combination of two other people for that step. This whole process usually takes 5-8 days for about 1500 pages. This week: 1721 pages in 2.5 days. Ok, I'll admit, it was a bit of an experiment on my part. I couldn't help but wonder just how long this would really take if I worked diligently at it. And now it will be my dirty little secret. I went to Best buy last night with Scott for a new printer. His new computer wouldn't work with his old printer and, well, you can go to his blog and read about it. Anyway, while at Best Buy, I picked up two new cd's. Both by Elvis Crespo. ¡En Español! I already had MP3's of most of the songs from one of the cd's, but the other one was a remixes cd. Remixes. I love remixes. Anyway, I'm not really sure why I'm babbling about this just now. Oh yeah, I remember now. I was going to talk about Mexico. My best friend and I have been talking about going to Mexico together for almost 6 years. Well, this summer she has to go to do some research, and she wants me to go with her. We've been talking about it for so long that I think it's high time we go. So, in late July we're going. I haven't been to Mexico since 1998, when I spent 2 and a half months studying at La Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro. (The site is in Spanish) While I was in Mexico, I learned a lot about who I am and I learned a hell of a lot of Spanish (I guess that was the point of the trip really). It was just one of those surreal periods in my life (one of the many). Looking back it all seems like it was a dream. I guess I'm hoping to relive some of that. Two years after my trip to Mexico, I graduated with a B.A. in Spanish and moved to Albuquerque. I thought what a great place to be for someone fluent in Spanish. Har Har. I speak less Spanish now in a month than I did in a day while in college. I couldn't even find a job in my field. I guess it's a good thing I minored in English writing. I know for sure I won't be posting tomorrow because I'm taking the day off. I'm going camping with Scott and his brother and possibly his sister-in-law. Camping. We're going up near Fenton Lake. "All open fires, including charcoal, have been banned, although kerosene, white gas, and propane are still permitted. Smoking is limited to vehicles and buildings." This means no campfires. Well, I guess I can do without. I'm hoping to get some fishing in, but I'm not holding my breath for that either. I just want to sit in the woods for a good 2 days, and not have to hear constant traffic and airplanes. And water. I want to look at some water. Preferably running water, but standing water is ok, too. I really need this camping trip. I need it. Happy weekend. See you next week.

Monday, April 15

DOE Q clearance. What does that mean anyway? From the little bit I've seen of the application it means every little detail from the last 10 years of my life. YIKES! What's this all about, you say? Well, it's about an ad in the Sunday paper looking for DOE Q Cleared image processors for a Los Alamos based comapany at their Albuquerque location. "Requires working in a team to deliver high quality electronic renditions of documents from paper, film, and other source media ... Pay starts at $12/hr." I sent the cover letter, resume and references a few minutes ago. Scott got his new iMac today. I can't wait to get home and see it. And touch it, and plug stuff into it. I wish I could go home right now, in fact. But, I gotta put in some hours. I'm thinking I might do disc 2 of the CDIA training today. I'm glad I've started that. I'm putting it on my resume: "Studying for certification as a Document Imaging Architect." Sounds cool, huh? It is cool. Garage sale finds this weekend: a couple of cool sweaters, a velvet-y dress, a fireplace candle holder, and $6 worth of books. Half of those books became $16 worth of credit at a used book store. Also $3 worth of cd's turned into a used dvd of Kiss of The Dragon (along with $2). Way cool movie. You gotta love Jet Li. I know I do.

Friday, April 12

Has it really been since Tuesday? I guess it has. That's three day's even though it only feels like two. Yesterday was stolen from me by corporate hoo ha. By hoo ha, I mean workplace University. It's where averyone in the company crams themselves into a tiny area and watches PowerPoint presentations from the President and CEO about the company, what we do, and who we do it for. Then we talk about Thesauri and Synonomy and Rule building. Blah. I'm a document imaging specialist, not a thesaurus builder. So, everyone pretends they're staying awake, and really the only thing to do is try not to think about the CDIA training you could be doing or the New Scanner you could be installing, setting up, and trying. So, yesterday was spent retreating to a very small place in my head and is thus mostly lost. Webstats tells me I had a visitor from Japan. JAPAN... that's pretty cool. It couldn't have come at an odder time, either. Lately I've been a little obsessed with Japanese Rock bands. Not so much the music, but the look. The whole Glam/Circus look. It all stemmed from Mechanical Violator Hakaider. It's a wacky Japanese film about a robot thing that kills stuff... or something. You can't really tell what it's about... but the costumes are really cool. I've noticed that a lot of the Japanese Rock bands follow the same costuming trend. So anyway, that and sushi. Scott is eagerly awaiting the arrival of the iMac, and so am I. It's just so pretty. If you haven't seen one, I suggest you go look at one in the store. They really are magnificent. A picture can't even describe the way it will make you feel when you're standing right next to it. And I'm a self-proclaimed PC person. But I want one! And, I'm getting used to the haircut. Sort of. Mornings are the worst. I hate mornings because that means I have to get up and style my hair. Styling. Styling reminds me of 8th grade. That's probably the last time I had to style my hair on a daily basis. ugh. Well, that's about it, I guess. It's Friday. I've got a scanner to install, and some CDIA training to do. So, until next week...

Tuesday, April 9

Yuoo ere-a zee Svedeesh Cheff!
Yuoo ere-a a guud cuuk, thuoogh yuoo cun't speek Ingleesh fery vell. Bork Bork Bork!

Oh boy. That's pretty interesting. Thanks, MissJenJen. Something else that's pretty interesting: I had my hair cut yesterday. Everyone's assuring me it's cute and all. I'm just not used to it. When you have the all-one-length 'do for 10+ years, and then you suddenly have layers, it's quite a shock. I'm thinking it might need a few adjustments, though. I seem to be at a lack for words. So, I won't sit here and dribble nonsense.

Friday, April 5

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. I guess that's my excuse for not posting since Wednesday. This morning I realized that my car insurance payment was due on Tuesday. I guess I'll be stopping by there after work today. It's a good thing I'm a good driver since I've been driving around uninsured for almost 3 days. Not like I can go very far anyway. So much for my tax refund. It's kinda sad that I've been trying to tell myself I'd use it for something fun. But hey, car insurance is fun, right? Plans for this weekend: Tonight: Movies by J.R. Bookwalter Tomorrow: Zoo in leiu of garage saling (Zoo is prolly cheaper anyway). Then, in the evening, movie-night-double-feature at Scott's. Sunday: Hard Labor at Sandy & Greg, Inc. It's funny how moving dirt and rocks is so very satisfying. Too bad it pays so poorly. I'd really love to work outdoors all the time. I happen to be pretty good at installing ponds and planting stuff. And I like doing it. Happy weekend everyone...

Wednesday, April 3

I imagine that complaining about work is probably becomming pretty boring for most of you reading this blog. All seven of you. SEVEN? wow. I'm actually impressed, and then my logical mind tells me that some of you must be accessing from both home and work. Surely seven people aren't visiting. I know of 3, but seven? Yay for me! Last weekend Scott and I watched a short film by Low Budget Pictures called Mulva: Zombie Ass Kicker. One person on The Internet Movie Database commented and compared the writer/director of the film to Lloyd Kaufman, who's probably best known for The Toxic Avenger movies. Although the short movie was written and directed by a guy named Chris Seaver, Lloyd Kaufman makes an appearance as the Mayor of Tromaville. Let me tell you, this movie was not as cool as it sounds. In fact, I've been having frightening flashbacks of Mulva and her post-chocolate syrup-slurping gasps. The whole time I just kept thinking "Even I could do better than this. Except that I have no video camera, no way to edit, and not enough friends to be in it. But Scott does! In other news, I recently got a letter in the mail from The Second Judicial District of Albuquerque. Yes. Jury Duty. Minimum wage. I just can't do it, so I filled out the request-to-be-excused form. Lo and behold, today while at work I recieved a call from Mercedes at the courthouse. All I have to do is fax her a letter from my employer stating that I won't be compensated for my time as a juror, and I get excused. The HR director assured me that they could help me out. YAY! No Jury duty for me! If I could afford to take minimum wage for any length of time without defaulting on my student loan, I'd be happy to be a juror. I'm sure it's a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Here's what they wrote me: ------------------------ To Whom it May Concern: Shannon Hale is an employee of Xxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxx, Xxx. She has been notified of her selection for jury duty. We encourage our employees to serve jury duty if possible, but understand that, in some cases, it may adversely affect their income to serve at minimum wage. Our company policy in regards to jury duty is to accomodate the absence required for jury service, but such service results in lost time from the employees normal work time. Employees may, at their discretion, use accrued vacation benefit to replace wages lost due to jury sefvice, but are not otherwise compansated by the employer. In Ms Hale's case, we believe jury service at this time would affect her finances adversely. If you require further information you may call me at 123-4567 X890 or email me at xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxx.com. Signed, Generous HR Director (as long as it isn't giving more money) ------------------------ So, there you have it. They are decent people to work for!

Monday, April 1

OK. New Template. Why? Links. Links, Links, and more Links. The template I was previously using did not have a links box. I liked the color and the layout, but no links box. So, now you have links. Sparse they may be, and they're blue. I also set myself up with a WebSTATS account, which means I've got my eyes all over you, baby. So, my frustration rises as this weekend I saw a prime spot for Suspiria's Closet opening in Nob Hill. It's the old Angel Alley space. They're moving to a much bigger storefront, and it looks really great. Their old space is small and in a really good location - it's perfect I tell ya, PERFECT. But alas, I am far too chicken-shit to drop everything and attempt a small business startup when I have so little to fall back on. If the store were to take more than a month to start raking in the dough, I'd be up Shit creek without a paddle. So, I'll wait. I'll wait, probably forever, because my damned day job barely pays me enough to cover my bills. Sigh. The timing's all off. The savings are too low. Scott and I went this weekend to look at the iMacs they have at CompUSA. Those things look really cool on TV and on the Internet and in photos, but you really don't get it until you're standing in front of one at the store. The screen is beautiful, and it's hooked up to a little hemisphere of opalescent computer. It's tiny and powerful. The LCD screen has no appreciable sweet-spot. It looks great, it feels great, and I WANT ONE. Well, I'd really like to have an iBook, but that's only because I want to take it every where I go. And it has a widescreen-sized screen, not a TV-sized screen. I might go ask for a raise soon, and I'l try to be more stern about it this time. $.50 and hour would be my iBook payment.

Wednesday, March 27


take free enneagram test
thanks again to Miss Jenjen! bitch bitch bitch... it seems that's all I do these days. Maybe it has something to do with being a 5: I had a little chat with the Project Manager this afternoon. I've just been putting nasty ideas in the Project Manager's head about what we should be making, and I told him about the payroll book in the unlocked closet, and I told him how long some people have been here and how they're only making $12.50 an hour and how I'm not going to settle for $12.50 an hour for the rest of my life (I make $10.25 an hour now), and how I hate to be a constant source of discontent, but that I'm really not content, and I don't think wanting to buy a car is too much to ask. And I don't think being able to buy a car is much to ask at all. He seems really concerned, and he knows that nobody is getting paid, and that ever since he found out that most people doing his job make $60,000 a year (and he makes about $20,000 take home) it's apparently been weighing on his mind a lot. And, he knows that most of the people that are satisfied with what they make here have wealthy spouses, so this is only supplimentary income. And I told him about all the people who have left and how the rest of us (who've been taking up their slack) should be getting what's left over from their salaries, and how the CDIA certificate will be my ticket out of here. And I told him how The President of the company sends out emails telling everyone that all the new scanning equipment has been ordered when none of it has. The purchase orders have been turned in, but it won't get ordered until The Accountant decides to do get off his ass and order the stuff. So, the Project Manager told me the only thing he can do directly is get people off qc as quick as possible and get them promoted to Senior Editor as quickly as possible, which he does because it's the only power he has. He told me that he thinks The President is really starting to put some confidence in him and is starting to listen to what he has to say, so he's putting together some stuff to show her on Monday about what the rest of the country makes for doing what we do, and he's going to lobby for raises all across the board, so to speak. He said he's hoping that she bases what we make on standards that she developed when the company started (in 1978) and that the lack of pay isn't a conscious thing she's doing. He said he'll be very dissapointed if he finds out it's a conscious decision on her part. I apologized a few times for being such a constant source of irritation, and he said that he was really glad I was honest with him, and that what I say helps him look at it from a different angle, and I'm helping him help the rest of the company. I also told him that I was really surprised when I was out sick last week that The head of Data Processing, The Hardware/Software manger, My 2nd in command, and the guy who actually does the scanning all couldn't figure out how to select the scanner from the menu after the software was reinstalled. So, they had a whole day of down-time until I got here to select the scanner from the menu. This isn't rocket science. And, I told him how I have to plan my sick days for when we don't have a lot to do, because I'm responsible for so much and nobody else can do it. I asked him what they would have done if I was sick the next day, or if I had found another job? I asked him if he thought they ever would have figured it out He validated my importance to the company. That was about as nice as the HR manager telling me that I'm already a manager in The President of the Company's eyes. WOO HOO! Then pay me like I am! I think he really does care about the people more than the company, I think he just has to be really careful how he projects his loyalties, because if La Presidente catches wind that he thinks she might be unfair in her pay, then she'll turn on him. I'm mostly concerned with how $12/hr doesn't buy a car or a house. That's why this place has such a high turnover. I told him how Presidente takes home more in two weeks than I do in 2 months, and his eyes got really really big. I told him about how DP was completely unhelpful in upgrading the memory in my machines when their paid to be the experts in doing that. They basically refused to do anything for me except tell me what kind of memory to get, and they gave me the 'upgrading-your-computer' book. "Here you go. Use this." So thus is the source of my frustration. Sorry about all the run-on sentences and poor grammar. It had to come out, and it had to come out quickly, or my head was gonna explode.

Tuesday, March 26

Dammit. I wrote so much for you today. I don't remember what it was about now, but I assure you it was entertaining. And then Blogger ate it. The little message thingy assured me that what I wrote had been published. And that was almost 7 hours ago. It still isn't showing up. I guess it probably was mostly about how I'm underpaid and I work for a bunch of dummies. Sigh. Project manager assured me that I was in for a few raises. One, they'd change my title and give me a raise. Two, I'd get a raise after completing CDIA self-study program. Three, I'd get a raise dependant upon my annual review in June/July. Well I went to talk to HR manager and found out it would only be two raises. One after CDIA, one after annual review. I went into the email archives to find the email the Project Manager had sent... then I remember he very carefully made a point to tell me in person. NOT in writing. That's the problem with this company, you won't get anything unless you get it in writing. And they're so careful NOT to give it to you in writing... Well, if I'm still here for annual review time, they'd better be ready to get one hell of an annual review from me. IF. Well, soon I'll be off (off work, not my rocker) to enjoy the evening and play Baldur's Gate. Oh yeah, and The Osbourne Show is on. Watch it. Let's see if this thing will actually work this time.

Thursday, March 21

Not much to say today. Baldur's Gate is so cool. All I can think about is going home to play Baldur's Gate. That and maybe a tune-up for the Haggard-mobile (aka 1980 AMC Eagle with the shakes). Well, no tune-up today, but maybe this weekend. yee! Thanks Miss Jenjen! hehe:

Which David Bowie are you?

Wednesday, March 20

I left early from work on Monday. Went to the bank. Signed in to talk to someone about a Small Business Loan. Waited. When I finally got in to talk to the lady, the first thing she asked me was: "Do you have any start up capital of your own? The bank needs to know it's a risk for you, too." Well, how can it NOT be a risk for me? I'd be quitting my job and jumping into it full-time. That's one hell of a risk if you ask me. But the bank wants you to come up with 15-20% of the start-up capital on your own. Hrmph. If I could do that, I could just save for 80-85% longer and have all of the money myself. "Maybe you should try to get a silent partner," is what she says to me. You can't really open a SOLE Proprietorship with a Silent PARTNER, now can you? I don't know anyone with that kind of money anyway. And I don't play well with others. But, they could give me a personal credit line of up to $5000, and while this would not be for business purposes, they really cannot tell you how you can and can't spend the money. So, maybe I can get the credit line of $5000 (which happens to be close to what I'd need for a loan of $30,000). Now, what's to stop me from getting a full cash advance on the $5000, and using that as my own start-up capital to add to the Small Business Loan? Well, the hellish interest, for one. I am so irritable today, that I don't even want to think about it anymore. I'm wearing myself out with it. I need to pay off my debt, stash some cash, and think about it later. The lady at my bank said that it usually takes 2 years to start a company/business. I don't want to wait that long. I feel like I'm innovative enough that I could potentially start the company with $5000, and see what happens. I just need something to fall back on (read: pay my bills with) in case the business doesn't take off. Which would be another good reason to get out of debt first. No debt means roughly $400 less I'd need to pay my bills each month. Right now I just want to go home and watch movies and play video games. I just got Baldur's Gate, and Scott and I are both addicted to it. I guess it's only 2 hours and 10 minutes until I can leave work. :)

Monday, March 18

Well, I've been thinking about it, and Wells Fargo online doesn't say anything about writing a business plan before applying for a business loan. So, what does this tell me? The worst thing that can happen is I'll apply and they'll turn me down. And what happens then? I'll know to start applying for jobs elsewhere. After I find out how much money I can get I'll figure out the percentage that I'll need to pay my own bills, how much I'll need for initial inventory and spend probably 25% of what's left on fixtures and displays. Sounds risky, but I might be able to pull it off. I should probably start thinking about flyers and what design to put on them. What kind of logo should I have etc... Maybe I should drive around some and see what kinds of retail spaces are open. It's funny how you can hate your job so much that it just drives you right out into the world of starting your own business. Surely I can do better than the president of this company. She's been running the company for 23 years, and I caught her reading a self-help book about being a successful manager. Not how to be a good manager, but how to be a successful manager. hrmph. I'll believe it when I see it. I know I can do better.

Friday, March 15

Well, last night was my first venture out to Euphoria. I enjoyed myself. I only stayed until midnight, but I met up with Jim, who I met on NMGoths (a yahoo group). He introduced me to all of his friends that were there, and they were all very nice to me. They're insisting I go every thursday. I'll try. I'm still really unsure about this whole starting a business thing. I got through the first part of the business plan. Right up to the part where they want you to estimate weekly cash flow, monthly cash flow, and yearly cash flow. How am I supposed to estimate how many people will come in and shop? How will I estimate how much money they'll spend? How can I even begin to know how quickly my business will grow? It's such a monumental task. I guess I'll have to interrogate my friend who owns a comic book store. If he can give me some numbers, I might be able to fudge the rest. This weekend I'm going to try to concentrate on cleaning my pig-sty apartment, going garage saling with Scott, getting my garden planted, and attending a St. Patty's day feed on Sunday. Sounds relaxing, huh? I think I need to give the business plan a rest. And, to complicate my decision to quit my job and start my own business, the higher-ups have been talking about giving me a raise. Well, possibly a few raises if I get certified as a CDIA (Certified Document Imaging Architect). I don't think $0.75 an hour is enough to keep me miserable every day.

Wednesday, March 13

Ok, first posting here at the Suspiria's Closet Blog... A little bit of info: Suspiria's Closet is a dream I have of opening my own small business. And who am I? I'm just a lowly data refinery worker with goth/glam tendencies. Name's Shannon. The Blog is mostly a journal of what's going on, what I'm planning, where I'm at etc... Eventually I'm hoping it will be a place for news and updates about the store itself, when it exists. So anyway, this is the first post here. Where am I at now? Well I've printed lots of materials about writing a business plan and I've thought a lot about what kinds of things to sell. So, the next step will be to write a business plan and apply for a loan! yipee...