Thursday, December 29

Technology moves on

Dragging my sorry ass behind it. So today after toodling around reading everyone else's blogs, adding links and finally looking into this Technorati business everyone is all buzzy about (and finding myself ranked a big fat 'zero' -- I told you nobody reads this thing but mom) I decided I would do the thing that I've been dreading all week....


Why dread?

On the eve of my (latest) move -- Stolie, I know exactly what you mean when you talk about how expensive moving can be, and I'm in a small town in Cali -- I find myself, utterly...well, wordless. At least any constructive words.

I guess I could ramble about a beautiful x-mas in a snowless cabin with somebody else's family and doubting my sweetie's love for the first time. I could talk about the new place (complete with emergency water pump as I will now live in a flood zone) or the torrential weather which is keeping half of my moving crew in Sacramento and putting that water pump to good use. I miss Clarion friends -- and the peace what happened at that place brought me, in spite of the insanity it wreaked on the rest of my life. Thinking about IndyAnn who lost her horse Ice this week to freak illness. Wish I could hug you girl.

Truth is, I have nothing to say about my writing (temporarily stalled because my computer is in a box and I can't WORK at work, if ya know what I'm saying) and aside from the pep talk I gave myself about turning this move into a "positive experience" I still feel like I've been dumped for what amounts to the second time in my life by another GIRL who used to call herself my best friend (I know, poor me -- sucks to get a taste of one's own medicine)

I don't want to complain but I still want to blather senselessly at anyone out there who might be listening. Nonsense? Of course it is. Welcome to my world.

The strong part of me is saying "buck up grrl and get your ass in gear. New Year, new day, new opportunities." The rest of me is lying in a huddled pile under the desk and waiting for the rest of the sky to fall in. Yeeeah for being a Gemini, I suppose.

Okay so here is the pep talk I gave myself today, and I'm telling you because sometimes the only way to get things done around here is to hold oneself accountable -- by telling everybody else what you SAID you were going to do.

1. Change is opportunity and the Borg were right about one thing resistance IS futile. Let go and move on. You will survive this and more.
2. Nothing lasts forever. Best friends, boyfriends or ideal roommate situations included. Love the memories, learn from the mistakes and keep on truckin.
3. Forgiveness is pretty damn near divine -- it also takes a lot of practice and you have two very good opportunities to work on that skill right now. Up for a challenge?
4. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Remember we see things as WE are, not as THEY are. Who are you right now? What do you see?
5. Give yourself a hug. Rinse, Repeat.
6. There are starving children all over the world, people without homes due to catastrophe, countries being bombed, powerful people doing ridiculous things, and others having to do awful things to survive. Be grateful you are who you are, where you are, when you are. Life is very good. Say THANK YOU to the UNIVERSE for everything you have, and the things you don't. Be grateful for the opportunity to learn, grow, be challenged and rise above.
7. SUCK IT UP. Tough, smart, stubborn, brave, funny and lovable. These words have all been used to describe you. (Note the omission of thin skinned, simpering, grumpy or wallowing)
8. Go get yourself some ice cream -- better yet, finish of what's left of the cookies and cream in the freezer so that you'll have one less thing to move.

Remember what mom says: and this too shall pass...

So tonight I'll come home and play Shakira louder than I ever would if I was worried about keeping the neighbors happy. As of Monday I'll be surrounded by college kids with bands and parties and music out the wazoo anyway. I'll throw the rest of this shit in boxes - sort the stuff for the dump and recycling, crack open a Corona, add lime and finish watching Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie spend an entire movie engaged in foreplay.(you know you want to check that link)

By the way, life does go on.

Just in case you were wondering.


Tuesday, December 20

So I know I can be pretty high energy, but

...Do I look scary to you?

Yesterday we had a young woman (okay well probably older than me) come to the office to find out about volunteer opportunities at the non-profit I work for. My Managing Director sent her to me, because well he was busy wrangling the IT consultants and didn't really have any jobs to give her at the moment. Apparently I looked just harried enough to possibly have a job to hand off to someone.

And I did, actually. Would have been great to have a look at the blog we're trying to put up and add any helpful tips or suggestions on the formatting. I hate HTML. Or I'm just too dense to make any sense of it. I'm only just beginning to play with my own blog formatting, so I'm hardly an expert though I think I am making some strides. Put it this way, my MOM can code better than yours truly.

So Cupcake (as I will refer to her here) is all of about 5'4, mid-late 20's with bright blue eyes and a 'perky' expression. . The MD deposits her in my room after a tour and she perches hesitantly on the edge of the chair, staring at me.

I pause here to tell you something about my job. I work in an old apartment converted into an office, with about 10-15 other people. We each have our own office space but since most of our work is done via computer and phone -- or by studio it's a pretty lo-key environ. I wear jeans to work most days. Ah, the joys of working in radio. My 'office' (code name: padded room) is pretty sweet. I have a window looking out onto the balcony planter boxes, tons of plants and cool blue walls (I got to pick the accent color when we repainted a year ago) I try to make it comfy - hell I spend 40+ hours a week there.

I start with maneuvering my chair so I'm not sitting behind my desk to eliminate the 'principal's office' sensation and open with a crack of being terrible with names and asking her to re-introduce herself. (I Find, having one of those names people rarely remember or pronounce right the first, second or even fifth time -- that it relaxes folks for me to confess that I'm no good with names. So I ask theirs, which gives me a chance to reintroduce myself. I cannot tell you how often a look of relief replaces the panic growing on their faces when I repeat my name slowly one-more-time)

Anyway, Cupcake coughs out a little laugh I realize she is not to be swayed by my attempt at icebreaking. Hmmm. Business it is. So I ask her about herself, and what she's looking to do. I tell her what jobs I have. She's too new to web design to help much with the blog. I show her our brochures and business cards that could use a once over.

The invisible timer goes off, we stand, I thank her for coming by and walk her to the front door. What an odd creature. She hardly breathed sitting in the chair and once we started talking I do believe she forgot to blink. On the way back to my office I realize I've seen the look on her face before -- in the eyes of the deer I almost hit driving up 101 late at night. Hmmm...I replay the conversation in my mind. That can't be right...

SHE wanted to volunteer, it's not like I was steamrolling her into anything. I consider my appearance. Which, to my credit was more 'professional' than my usual jeans and tennies but still Humboldt County enough not to earn me strange looks at the Co-op getting lunch. I guess my sweater is a little odd -- being hand knit with an abundantly fuzzy cowl neck. Okay, I confess my hair was a bit odd. It was pouring when I woke up and -- exhausted with the prospect of battling my 'fro all day -- I braided my hair into some chunky but (I thought) stylish locks. I passed the mirror and did a precursory check -- nothing in the teeth.

Hmm...Out of curiosity I swung by Malia's office where she and Cathy were chatting with the question: "Do I look scary to you?"

I can't tell which one of them laughed harder. I mean at 5'6 and 130 soaking wet with boots on, I do not exactly cut an intimidating figure. I don't even make a very good ABW (Angry Black Woman, for those of you who don't know better) on my most crabby day. At best, I can pull of a Cranky Brown Grrl pretty well. (Usually involved in a road range incident)

Yes, I know there are many camps who might argue that there is a 'B' in that label at all is enough to 'scare' some folks.

I have the distinct impression that Cupcake was well nigh terrified of lil'ole me. Can anybody out there back me up on this? Have you ever had the sense that you set someone's nerves jangling just going about your own business? Care to share your theory?

Wednesday, December 14

Strange Done...

Well it's been a long (dare I say, odd) ride but in spite of packing and moving and packing again I finished Strange. At least to the point where I'm ready for Strange to go out into the world and come back needing to be cuddled and mailed out again, and again, and again if need be.

Books get to have pages for acknowledgements, but rarely do short stories give credit to the many people who help send them along the way. So, thanks to all who put eyes to paper and struggled through the urge to strangle me for improper use of "its" and "it's" -- your patience is lovely and staggering. That includes my fellow CWers: Amy, Ann, Chris, Eugene, Katie and Rachel; as well as Tazsa, Malia &D.

Big thanks to Naihma for checking my Spanish and Spanglish translation and phrase suggestion.
All further errors and liberties taken with Spanish are mine alone!

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Sunday, December 11

Gender Differences

I usually resist conversations that descend into how men and women are different. For as many generalizations there are that can be made there are just as many exceptions to the rule.

However this time I indulged because it was D -- who can get me to talk about anything -- being somewhat the male version of myself I love to hear what he has to say about things. So this time the conversation got around to 'action/inaction'

Interestingly enough, we agreed on two basic ideas (This isn't always the norm, trust me):

Men would rather take any action even though it may be a mistake...

Women would rather do nothing than make a mistake...

Interestingly enough we came to this by very different methods. I attribute this to socialization, culture and gender roles. He called it our individual 'natures.' Yet we both came to the same conclusion.

But it does bring up a certain line of inquiry because I know people of both sexes who run their show by one or the other of these strategies. So I put it to you...When is it okay to do nothing? And when is doing nothing the greatest mistake you can make? Is there really a gender difference?

Tuesday, December 6

Why I blog (reason #999)

So I heard from a friend today via email that I haven't had a "live" conversation with in years (remember the pub in Sacto?) but whom I often think of. She's one of the few people from high school that I still try to keep in touch with. We both get busy, exchange a few brief emails and then keep running through our daily lives but she's one of those people that once you've been friends with you can never NOT have her in your heart.

I hadn't heard from her in a year or more. I assumed she got busy with work and life, ect. Last time we checked in she was working 60+ hour work weeks and traveling to Africa. Why on earth would she be concerned with keeping up with me, tucked away here in little old Arcata? Day to day, my life changes very little compared to hers.

Today I checked an old email account I rarely use anymore. It was a fluke. I had a few extra minutes at lunch and thought I would clean out some of the laptop and viagra ads that were surely accumulating. What do you know -- there she was.

Subject line: My name is *** and I am a very, very bad friend.

It felt like Christmas arrived early. With all the drama pushing its way to the forefront of my life lately this was a welcome bit of good news. My friend was still there. Not only that -- she'd been reading my blog since Clarion and when she found out about my dad she wanted to let me know she was thinking about me.

I guess this is why I'm here. Sure, along the way I may pick up a few outsiders who are for some reason interested in the goings on of my crazy life. It's nice to have a place to vent. It's fun to share my random stories and internet findings.

But deep down it's just my way of staying in touch, of keeping connected to the people that matter the most -- even if I don't always know they're out there.

So this one's for you, and you know who you are. You are not a very bad friend, you never have been, you never will be -- I'm pretty crappy keeping up with email too. Have fun in Africa. Let's sit down for a beer soon.

Thursday, December 1

Support the Write-A-Thon, Donate today!

This year I am participating in the Clarion West Write-a-Thon from June 18 - July 28, 2006.

My Goal:

Since my NANOWRIMO project was sidelined last fall, I'm pledging to finish the novel I started by writing 10,000 words a week for the six weeks of Clarion West. (Which, the way I wrote during CW amounts to about a not so short story a week!) As Vylar mentioned in last year's write-a-thon, my hope is to relax and let the first draft come as it will, trusting the rewrite and editing process to make it pretty!

How can you help? Go to the write-a-thon page and make a pledge in my name. Otherwise you can contribute here: From May 1, 2006 until the end of this year's workshop all donations to this website will be sent directly to Clarion West to support a fabulous intensive workshop for writers of speculative fiction!