put your war clothes on

After a basically funky month, I am tired.  Work has been busy and bananas, as I lost an employee today, after the most bizarre manner of resignation I have yet observed.  Not that I have the most experience.  Anyway, I had to travel for work, and ended up in New Orleans during the week before Mardi Gras.  That’s actually kinda fun.  And I got beads.

went for work - came home with beads.

Got sick on the plane ride home and it lasted through the beginning of the week.  Really, I’m still occasionally coughing now, so I suppose it’s lingering.  Anyway – because I needed so much sleep at the beginning of the week I was completely behind on my Blacking It Up/AfterBlack listening this week (I’m still not done).  So a lot of news got to me in a short period of time.

And apparently it broke me.

In fact, I’m not altogether sure I wasn’t already broken earlier this year when my idiot friend proclaimed on FB that she doesn’t believe in Civil Rights legislation.  But then there were 20 GOP debates, Newt dogwhistling everything, Santorum considered an actual real candidate, Arizona’s taking text books away from children, Texas wants to end affirmative action, and mother-effing Virginia literally wants to institute state-sanctioned rape in order to limit abortions.  Yeah.  Trans-vaginal ultrasounds involve the insertion of a wand into a woman’s vagina.  There is no medical requirement that this (by definition) invasive procedure be performed prior to abortion.  It is simply a law the VA state legislature wants to mandate for any woman planning to get an abortion in the state.  Regardless of whether the woman wants the intrusion.

Coerced vaginal insertions = rape.

Just so you know.

This war on women isn’t even underground anymore.  It’s freaking blatant as anything.

The racism hasn’t calmed down either, though.  Some doofus called Whitney a stupid n-word, and two different racist videos from doofus high school students have been in the news this week.  Not to mention the Linsanity business.

Newt’s moonbase is actually starting to sound good, right about now.  Cuz Earth has too much crazy to be sustainable.  Speaking of sustainable – I almost forgot about the Cult of the Green Dragon.  Sigh.

Thanks to TWIBIU for keeping me informed.  This was kind of a depressing news week, though…maybe next week I’ll eat candy and dream about unicorns or something.

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silver spoon

 I am not rich and I am not poor.  (The silver bars on the left are not mine.)  I am blessed.  Those silver bars on the left allowed me to visit my sister last month after a business trip.

I’ve been watching the Occupy Wall Street protests with interest for the last month or so.  Watching, because one of the blessings I have is a job.  And also I live in Podunk, population 3 people who would be into OWS and 30,000 who would just go on about their day and call the OWSers dirty hippies.  (I know, I know – excuses, excuses, right? but seriously.  Podunk is GOP-land.)

My idiot friend believes that the OWSers are arbitrary in their anger against the 1%, considering that even the 99% here in the US still have more than 90% of the rest of the world.  I believe that argument is a derail of the flavor: “stuff is worse other places, so you should be happy you’re not there, and fix those things first before you complain about here.”

Meanwhile, a website called slaveryfootprint.org can tell you how much slave labor contributes to your normal daily life.  Take a quiz and find out “how many slaves work for you” (my # is 46).  Except there’s no tangible way to free them.  Apparently, you can download an app on your phone and then email companies that use slave labor to express your displeasure.  There’s really no easy answer on this one.  There is so much that we use here that at some point had human rights violations attached, it’s quite difficult to handle untainted material.

So even though it was a derail, my idiot friend has a bit of a point.  OWS isn’t wrong.  But we need a parallel, global OWS.  The haves are continually putting their humanity above that of the have-nots.  I do this myself.  How many times does my lazy behind not do something for someone/some group simply because I don’t want to get off my keister?  or come up off a couple dollars, a bit of time, and some elbow grease?

I’ll admit that because of my privilege, my favorite way to help out is to just throw money at a cause.  It’s something I can do with minimal effort, and it generally does make a difference.  Sometimes I find it to be the more sensible response, as the economy of my flight to some poverty stricken area for a week versus me donating the price of that plane ticket.  This is why I disagree with short mission trips to the Global South.  Sure, folks get a glimpse into life somewhere else, but they don’t get much done, and they spend a gajillion dollars to end up building a hut, when that money could’ve built a whole hospital, and given people jobs.

Anyway, the plight of others doesn’t eliminate the current situation in our own country: a growing dichotomy between the ruling 1% and the working 99%.  If you start looking at charts and graphs about when the disparity really took off, they all point to the early 80s – and Reagan.  And yet, we currently have GOP candidates who revere Reagan, but are actually much further to the right than he was.

I’d like to be a little more clear on what I can do to stop contributing to what I do not want to support, without losing my job.  I hope that’s the next phase.  Because what are you going to do with a bunch of guilty people?  Other than desensitize them to it so they can enjoy Thanksgiving whole-heartedly.

Because compared to some, I really was born with a silver spoon in my mouth.  And I should do what I can for those who have no spoons.

 

 

a new chapter: the world is upside down

It’s been 8 months since I’ve written here.  Partly because life got more complicated.  Well.  Mostly because life got more complicated.

Back in September I mentioned a bit about the changes at my job.  Even before that, I’d mentioned my boss.  Looking back on it now, it’s very clear that she was abusing me – verbally/emotionally.  Not just me, but me more than other people.  When I first started there, I thought that she was great.  Then I found that she was sometime-y, alternating sweet and mean.  But it seemed to be with everyone.  Time went by, and it seemed like I was getting a lot of hits, but I figured that I just wasn’t seeing other people get the short end of the stick.  It wasn’t until my work-buddy said something to me because he noticed that I was particularly getting picked on that I realized how bad it had gotten.  As I am wont to do, I internalized quite a bit, multiplying my white hair, contemplating quitting and complaining to my family on the worst of days.  When my work-buddy left, greatly influenced by her general suckiness, I became focused on finishing a particular project and getting out of dodge.

A few months later, things started moving quickly, we were interviewing candidates to take over for my work-buddy and settled on one.  The day she started, my boss tendered her resignation.  I was shocked – blindsided, really – and a little sad…weird, I know.  The woman my boss had been grooming had always said that she’d leave if the boss left, but I wasn’t sure if she really would or not.  And in the interim, she took over.  A week after my boss’s last day, the new girl and another coworker quit.  They were gone the following week.  But a week later, the guy wanted to come back.    My company balked at that, and it wasn’t clear if they would let him return.  I took on quite a bit of additional responsibility as the more senior woman and I handled the work previously handled by ourselves + 3 other people.  It was a difficult time, but when things are that dire, you just do what you can do.  No one is really expecting you to be able to do 3-4 people’s jobs.  At least not at my job.  Two weeks later, my last compatriot gave her two weeks notice.  That’s when I thought I would become a babbling idiot.  I took a short vaca to get away from it all (because I actually had to use the time) and came back to a pure unknown. Continue reading

new seasons

So.  In the last 6 weeks, my workgroup went from 7 people, to 8 people, to 5 people.  So.  Yeah.

I’ve got a lot more going on now, and in the last 2 days, I’ve completely taken apart the inlet system of our GC trying to figure out why we’ve got a 4 minute later retention time shift on two different columns, using two different methods/samples…  But it’s most likely a pressure controller issue that has actually been causing problems for a while.  It’s just been misdiagnosed.  /techspeak

Actually, one guy who resigned from our group would like to come back.  And I really want him to.  But HR is making things difficult.  And he’s only been gone a week.  Stress is definitely present in my life – even though I don’t feel really stressed, I know that I am.   I’m figure I’ll just get more grey white (my hair doesn’t do grey – it goes straight to white) hair out of this.

But it’s fall here in South Kak, and things are starting to look up in other ways.  A friend of mine just emerged victorious from her doctoral defense, a god-daughter of mine will turn 2 this week, and next week I’ll use up my last 2 vaca days before I get 3wks.  Nice.  [I just hafta keep reminding myself not to think of those folks in our European sister company that start with 6 wks of vaca.]

Of course, fall also means new shows to be watching for.  Several have intrigued me enough to watch, with varying results.
Nikita ~ I watched the Peta Wilson show on USA, so the story has a soft-spot with me.  I like Maggie Q and am overall digging the show – although I’m not sure if it really shoulda been called “Nikita”.
Undercovers
~ Hello, Kodjoe.  And a lady lead with hair like mine?  So far, so good.  Or maybe so far, so super-sweet.  I like this show, but I’d like a little more from it.
No Ordinary Family
~ Live-action Incredibles.  Why didn’t Disney think of this sooner?  Heroes has been crappy for three seasons!  And where is the sequel to the first movie already???
The Event
~ Seriously.  Does everything Blair Underwood is in have to suck SO bad??  Maybe the Losties are filling their void with this, but I have to pass.  I don’t have the patience to wait for it to get good.  This is no MSCL.  Or even Firefly.  Or even Dollhouse.  (I might watch Mike and Molly now that I won’t be wasting my time on this…)
Running Wilde
~ I have waited this long to see Felicity again, and she’s a mom now?  With a daughter named Puddle??  Even though I have to suspend all disbelief to watch this show, I like it.  Or maybe I just liked Felicity.  But I’m still watching. 
Hawaii Five-0
~ I skipped this at first, just cuz I’m tired of sequels.  But when I saw Mick St. John (isn’t that the coolest name?  Moonlight was hotter than anyone gave them credit for – and ahead of its time) I had to go ahead and check it out.  Good action, nice Daniel Dae Kim.  Really bad choice on the Caan boy though, IMO.  He’s ugga-mugga in my book.  Gives me the skeevy heebie-jeebies.  And there’s not enough pidgin for me to wax nostalgic about the island.
Hellcats
~ Now.  I lurve cheer.  I can listen to cheerified words – a la cheer-tocracy, cheer-ific, cheer-tastic, etc.  I have seen (and most likely will see) every Bring It On movie ever made.  Some more than twice.  I even like Sharpay from HSM.  I’m a freaking fan of interracial relationships on TV!  And I can’t watch this show.  Sad.  Really.

You're slippin, NBC. ABC's all over ya.

So my newly acquired shows will join the standbys of Bones, Castle, and the Mentalist.  But mostly Bones.  Because I love the Deschanels.  And Angel.  In the next few weeks we’ll see if I stick with any of the newbies, or kick them all to the curb when i get tired of them.  Right now, I’m just tired.

ch-ch-ch-changes!

So it wasn’t the year of the boy on SYTYCD – Lauren won – yay!

In more-exciting-because-it-affects-my-life news, my crazy boss is leaving.  On Friday.

This may sound like a good thing.  It may even be a good thing.  But it will have to be one of those good things that I look back on and think – “hey! that was a good thing! huh – how about that?”

Since she’s recommended that we not get a new manager (also, maybe a good thing), I and my colleagues have been preparing to divvy up her responsibilities, which are myriad.  She dropped the bombshell a couple weeks ago, and I’ve made it to the point where I can just be totally cool with her, and happy for her, because we can totally be friends, now.  She is an awesome person.  Seriously.  With no irony whatsoever, she’s a really sweet woman.  But as a boss?  Here-we-go-loop-de-loo.  Not 24/7 – just enough to keep you guessing.

I’m not really in shock anymore, and am just trying to deal with what is a seemingly overwhelming amount of data and responsibility, since I will start the week next week as the person-in-charge.  I do not want to be the person-in-charge.  Not yet.

in need of a flux capacitor

Sometimes I wonder if this is what my life is going to be like.  You know – for the foreseeable future?  Lately it’s been like I’m watching everyone move on, and I’m still here.  In the same place.  Doing the same thing.

I wouldn’t say I’m not happy – just that I expected more.  And it’s much more clear to me now that ‘more’ is something I’ll have to go out and get myself.  Being not-so-easily motivated makes that difficult.  But I can see this is the time for change, for better or worse, I suppose.  Even an old friend that I’ve always kinda counted on to be reliably safe&boring, tho still somewhat unpredictable [reconcile that], has decided to exercise his unpredictable side this year.

With my work-buddy gone, and the shutdown of what was once the major part of my department at work, I guess I can see the handwriting on the wall.  Leaving is complicated and tiresome and risky and scary – all things I’d much rather avoid.  Which is what I usually do, to my own detriment.  Here’s hoping that I can grab ahold of my own “change [I] can believe in”.

the j.o.b.

Life without my work-spouse has had its ups and downs.  My bday was pretty awesome, but the rest of it all has been pretty much all downs.  I really miss having someone to talk to that at least partly gets me – and what I’m talking about.  There’s something to be said for not having to explain yourself all the time.

Since he’s no longer here, I’m getting a lot of his work.  Which can be seen positively, as it ensures that I have something to do.  Unfortunately, there was at least one thing he was doing that I really didn’t want to have a part of.  He worked with the most annoying guy in our group for a week a month, basically.  And now I get to do that.  Oh well – life happens.

Anyway, this morning I happened to overhear a conversation between two white dudes that I don’t really know, while waiting on the rest of my coworkers to come out for a break.  It was so startling to me, that I had to tell someone, but I knew I couldn’t really share it with other people at work, because they wouldn’t even get why I was taken aback by the comments in the first place.  I couldn’t update my facebook, because it was too long to text and I don’t have access at work.  I couldn’t update my blog at work.  I wasn’t going to call my sister in the middle of the day – although I may next time.  And it was bursting out of me – I had to tell someone.  So – I did something a tad bit out of character – I emailed the team @Racialicious cuz I was gonna POP!

the email (sans intro):

This morning in my work cafeteria I was sitting by myself, waiting for my coworkers to join me on break, when I overheard two white dudes talking about the tragedy of the shooting deaths that took place in Juarez this week.

white guy #1:  You know, if we had just invaded and taken over Mexico when we had the chance, we wouldn’t be having all these problems out of there right now.

white guy #2:  Yeah. –pause– But then our next president would probably be Mexican.

this movie is a trip.

white guy #1:  Haha.  Well – at least then he’d be American.

Yup – that’s what it’s like around here.  Apparently, there are still folks who don’t believe our president was actually born in Hawaii.  More scarily, some people think we should’ve expanded the imperialist vision of our country by conquering  Mexico.  Which could only remind me of this movie I watched on Netflix – CSA.  Apparently the Confederacy actually did plan on expanding toward the south – toward Mexico – and beyond.

Nice.