'i am a tenacious retard.'
not said by me. said by the new consultant. but rather funny.
yes it has been THAT kind of project. the shit-bag, nothing-works, frustrating, goddammitalltohell kind.
(note: "like a guerilla fighter" was not so random. it has to do with me being a road warrior and not being able to participate in a presidential debate drinking game on thursday. also, truth be told, i slightly edited the conversation to eliminate an 'oh, it would have been funnier this way' moment.)
T: have fun in the mountains
T: like a guerrilla fighter
K: i'm a ninja
T: ahhh ok
K: ninjas are cooler because i'd have to have, like, a specific cause to be a guerilla fighter
K: instead, as a ninja, i can fight for things like Honor and Justice and Free Beer.
T: FREEEEE BEEEEEEEER
K: what do we want? FREE BEER! when do we want it? ALL THE TIME!
T: no justice no peace! no beer no peace!
K: know justice, know peace! know beer, forget your own name!
there is a slight recurring theme going on with the chants for free food and beverage. strange.
anyway, work update:
i'm in new mexico. mountains. and very dry air and strange hot/cold weather. i'm, like, a MILE above all you floridians. literally. the air is too rarefied up here for this sea-level girl.
also, i didn't feel on top of things today. i felt dorky and awkward and i talked too much and i laughed too weird. last week's project was awesome, i got glowing feedback. ('as is the case with most new consultants, i expected to get a document requiring significant updates. however, the document she gave me could have been handed to the client as-is.' and other similar comments talking about resourcefulness and confidence and client rapport and stuff. this project i feel is off on the wrong foot. not in any identifiable way, but just off balance.
consistency is key. i'm looking for a promotion in the next round. i need to deliver performances like last week every week. and maybe i could stop constantly talking about stupid nothing just to prevent silence.
other stuff is going on, but i don't feel like talking about it. so there.
i'm back from philly, sorta obviously, since it's saturday. i did the 15-minute-tourist thing, after working 12 hour days and going directly to dinner/hotel/sleep... on the way to the train station thursday, i stopped to buy a cheesesteak, a magnet, and take a picture of the liberty bell from the outside of the glass-walled building it's in. no time for a tour. i did two out of three - the woman at the cheesesteak cart thingy i went to exclaimed 'but i just cleaned my grill!' when i asked her for one. oh well.
work was nice, this week. i had actual problems to solve, and my specific 'expertise' (i'm no expert, but i have a solid unix/linux background) came in awfully handy, and my day was filled with actual things to do. and at the end of the week, i turned in a document (oh hey! a deliverable! what a concept!) that i was quite proud of. the client also thanked me for going 'above and beyond', which i really really really hope he mentions to someone who will mention it to my manager. actually, you know what? forget it. i'll mention it to my manager myself.
there are a lot of local projects coming down the pipe, but at least next week i'll be in new mexico. after that, who knows, although i hope to be asked back to philly to do a follow-up proof of concept at the client i saw this week.
friday rehearsal, plus a walk around east bethesda (never before seen!) which lasted about an hour and a half. after rehearsal went to the bar, had a crazy drunk 43 yr. old buy me a beer, and sat and talked to a straight male electrician who just likes to experience different things... more power to him. why is it when i go to the bar i only attract grody women who are old enough to be my mother, and straight men? saturday sectional and hash. another bizarre dream. my weekends are becoming eerily similar. if i go for a hike tomorrow, it will just be too much. however, it is more likely that i will go to the rennaissance festival with my big sister from SAI, who i (completely lamely) hadn't called since i moved up here. (she teaches in northern virginia.)
to distinguish this weekend we have: purple rock candy. grapelicious! shiggy trail at the hash (for the uninitiated, shiggy is thorny and/or boggy crap you have to slog through along the trail) so my legs are pretty stripety now. walking by the high school in bethesda and wondering if i could still be taken for a high school student. a current crisis of wardrobe choices in which i feel fat and disgusting and as if i have nothing to wear to go out to the club, and then i berate myself for being so body-conscious and typical. also, cheese. but not THE CHEESE i was looking for. plus, the cheese was technically not during the weekend.
for those of you who aren't chris, this is in response to him sending me this article.
chris, i agree with some of the things that he says. no matter how hard we fight it, change is here. it's a global market. intellectual property in the digital age will never fit the model of physical property or even of intellectual property in the analog age (information wants to be beer, or something). the current method we have of dealing with immigration is not working. neither would outlawing outsourcing. and i know that i'm just voting for a lizard so the wrong lizard doesn't get in.
i like that he has actual stances on actual issues.
but the market.
ahhh, the market.
a strange thing, the market. it is practically a force of nature. where did you ever get the idea that what is best for the market is what is best for humans?
i'm not sure if you've noticed, but a lot of people shop at wal-mart. they do not do this because they like it, or because they think that wal-mart is a good company. they do this because they have not a lot of money and they need things. whoever can make things the most cheaply will nearly ALWAYS WIN, because that's the economy, stupid. but is that what is best for me? for you? for your community? wal-mart gives crappy health insurance to its employees, figuring that most people will just forego it and be insured on their spouse's. they build sprawling, ugly buildings. they put family businesses out of business. but hey, that's what the market demands, so it must be right.
it's cheaper to factory-farm than to treat your animals well. where is the profit incentive to be humane? maybe some crunchy granola types won't buy your food, but most people don't bother to research or shut their eyes in the face of proof of cruelty. 'sorry, hippie-dude, but i'm poor! and it's the cheapest/tastiest!' i know because i do it. and i'm usually nice.
it's cheaper to hire children than adults. but that's, well, insane.
there IS a profit motive to building safe, accessible structures, but without building codes and regulations, it is hard to know what's safe. construction companies would disappear after one of their buildings collapsed, only to reappear like a used-car store with a different name, still doing things the cheap way. and accessibility? it usually doesn't even occur to able-bodied people.
my point is that the market serves the needs of the market. not my needs.
the market will supply most needs efficiently, yes. but at what cost? we might - MIGHT - have a few years of tremendously efficient production - transforming all of our resources into product, essentially liquidating the country's assets. or maybe we would be so inundated by the new open immigration that no amount of free market suppliers would be able to meet the demand for food, shelter, education. maybe since more and more education is needed to land jobs that soon disappear to southeast asia or central europe or wherever, people don't innovate when laid off anymore. they're too depressed, too old, they see the futility, they know how easy it is for corporations to steal their patents and win any resultant lawsuits with their crack legal team.
my point being that regulation of the market is essential. i don't want the principle of supply and demand to rule me any more than i want a tyrant to do so.
in addition, i don't agree with de-federalizing this country. face it, republicanism (in the old sense) lost. it doesn't even make sense anymore. these are mobile times. moving in your lifetime from state to state is commonplace, and city to city almost guaranteed. i'm glad that most things were consistent when i moved to maryland. consistency in the quality of education, of infrastructure - the market will not provide this. neither will the city-states of your dreams. whether you think the constitution says so or not, this is a federal nation, not a loose grouping of sovereign States with a trade agreement. and i prefer it that way. i like my country big.
bush and kerry are 2 sides of the same coin. but they are fighting a battle the only way it can be won. they pretend to be centrists and battle over the middle votes until they are elected, and then they aren't any more. if they have wrong views (supporting the Patriot act, for instance) it is either because a) they are actually opposed to personal freedom (like bush) or b) they know that too many people have been taken in by the name and by the promise of a 'safer america', and they can't oppose it openly if they ever hope to be elected and do good. it is my earnest hope that Kerry is the latter.
regardless, bush needs to be fired. he lacks leadership abilities, if nothing else (integrity, common sense). this country is worse off because of him and his stupid war.
politics has evolved into the most market-efficient way to win votes. sorry, bro, but that's the fruits of YOUR ideals. there's no regulations that can fix that, either, so we have to play within the system.
when a third party candidate that i actually agree with emerges, i'll consider voting for her (or him). until then, i'll keep voting democrat, because i know that after the elections, they'll renege on their campaign promises in the direction that i want, as opposed to the other party. sad, but true.
i sat looking for a minute, and then i heard the fire station nearby's alarm go off, so i wandered down to see. it was in the street right in front of the hotel - apparently an underground transformer blew up. it blew two manhole covers off. crazy! i'm just glad it seems no one was driving over the manholes at the time. talk about a freak accident.
i was sitting here minding my own business when something in the holiday inn next door exploded. big loud boom and my power sorta blinked. i ran out to my balcony (along with everyone else on this side of the building who's awake) and there was a big cloud of white smoke that looked like it was coming from one of the balconies. and then it cleared up and was gone. i called the holiday inn, and their engineers are looking into it.
i seriously thought 'oh my god, terrorist attack!' for about one second. and then i remembered it's a holiday inn in bethesda.
friday i passed my last exam for another certification. woohoo! afterwards, PMSO had a general meeting, which was.... interesting. i was nominated for a position (secretary), which i was not expecting, but i suppose i can do it. i was president of the sunshine steelers in gainesville, but that was mainly paperwork for money and traveling. this seems like it might be more work...
afterwards i went out to the bar for a bit, but that was uneventful except for the 43 yr old hitting on me (!) she was a little... overwhelming so i left. but kerri was bartending, so it was nice to see her.
saturday i slept in, and when i woke up i just fiddled around my apartment for a while. then i decided to find out if there were any hashes going on (there are 6 or 7 hash groups here). so the dch3 was running at 4 out in tacoma park. i took the train out there but it was single-tracked and delayed, so i missed the pack taking off by about 10 minutes. i saw the trail though, so i decided to run it. i got lost at a checkback (which i thought was a beer check, since it was chalked BC instead of CB.) i eventually found myself in a rather shady part of new hampshire ave (not scary in the daylight, but i wouldn't have wanted to be alone there after dark) and had to ask directions back to the coma metro stop where i started out. i made my way to the on-on but i wasn't DFL - a guy on a bike (it was a bike/run hash) got even loster than i was :-) i was running/walking for about 2.5 hours and i got two down-downs for my trouble. hehe. hitched a ride back to bethesda with one of the hashers in time to go watch the gators get beat by tennessee (nooo!). drunken phone calls to both parents and rebecca ensued. actually, rebecca called me, but whatever. i wanted to head out to ladies night at apex, so i went down to dupont and was wandering in the 'oh shit, where is apex again' meander i always do, when i ran into quinn, laura, the other karen, and two other girls i hadn't met. it's great, i know 2 people in this city and i randomly ran into them on Q street. we went back to quinn's and hung out for maybe a minute and then we all went to sleep. zzzz.
i woke this morning around 7:30 from a completely bizarre dream (let's just say it ended with my father and i and some other people who were in this bizarre battle committing outselves to a waterfall-y death in order to save our honor. also, we reincarnated some paleolithic human remains. and a young member of the junior league (i don't even know what the junior league is) met her untimely end in midair on account of she was cut in half with a battle-ax. there were beautiful vistas in the dream, though, especially the waterfall.) anyhow, the morning sun woke me early - that happens very rarely - and i saw that the day was so beautiful that i could not go back to sleep. it was cool and completely clear. so i went hiking. i had been meaning to go up to the appalachian trail and go to annapolis rock, and i finally did it. i hiked 5 miles before i'm usually even up on a sunday! the rest of my day was spent vegging out at home, ordering pizza and watching stupid movies on abc family. my legs are sore as a mo-fo.
now i have to pack for philly. check out the photo album from my AT adventure which i fully intend to put up right after i post this.
i just blew a buck 50 to re-wash one sock. in an otherwise empty washing machine. the card slot for which is on the other side of where the card slot for the dryer above is. the dryer which contained all my clean, wet clothes.
maybe i should pay attention?
* edit: there is also no 'oh shit cancel' button. i have to wait for the entire cycle to go through, and waste all that water... :-( :-( *
by the way, you all can breathe out now cause i found my copy of grace. i know you were holding your collective breath in suspense.
it was hanging out with a liam teague and an andy narell in the 'rip these cds immediately' pile that i made months ago that got buried under other stuff.
ok, so i'm really truly rolling off this project. i just made travel arrangements for the first time in almost 4 months - i thought this job was supposed to be 75% travel??
i'm going to philly, not charlotte as i thought earlier today. that is lovely because i can take the train, which is a thousand times better than flying, especially since i'm not paying for it and therefore i can take the Acela Express. ah, the only having to arrive 30 minutes before departure! ah, the leg room! ah, the standard electric sockets at every seat! ah, the being able to use electronics at any time! ah, the never having to wear a seatbelt! i'm a big fan of train travel. one of the major benefits of living in the northeast-ish.
a week long engagement - too bad, cause as far as travel goes, it's a great setup. taking an 8am train, so i don't even have to be up ass-early. the train station is 2 miles from the client, and the hotel is a just a block from the client. the only thing that could make it better is if the hotel were a marriott, since i'm heavily invested in their rewards program. oh well.
on another note, something is terribly wrong with my circadian rhythms. i've been in spring cleaning mode - ruthlessly elimating the flotsam and jetsam that accumlates over the winter... or in my case, summer. two nights now - one for the bedroom/closet and one for the bathroom. tonight i will move on to the living room, or perhaps the scary black hole of a coat closet. simplify, simplify! why do i need *two* sets of between-the-toe foam thingies? i paint my toenails, oh, maybe... once or twice a year. it's not like i'm going to wear one out. so be forewarned - if you are coming over to my place for toenail painting purposes, bring your own foamies, cause i have none to share. oh, and also bring a tranquilizer, because if i've invited someone over to paint toenails with, i've clearly lost my mind.
that paragraph could really be reduced to just the last 5 words.