Friday, September 25, 2009

Echo in the Tardis... err.. Bone. Diana Gabaldon book signing.

I am such a bad blogger. I promise, when Hell is over I shall be back to my overly verbose writing updates.

Work has been killing me. I kid you not.
I even had to take a mental health day this week. Before one of my superiors reads this and fires me, I very much felt sick and had the start of one of my poundy headaches. You know I don't call in sick if I'm not, so please don't fire me. I couldn't come into work because I was not physically capable to do so.

Speaking of work, it has gotten easier in the aspect of the actual work. Today I only had to ask for assistance twice, and it wasn't actually "what do I do" type questions, it was the "This is how I think I should code the ticket, and I do not want it bounced back, is this correct?"
I'm on the Approved Escalation List, have been for a week now. I could have been on it as of 2 weeks, now but I had chosen not to. I did not feel I was ready. Now I am, and so far nothing has come back as a feedback. My current team lead is not the kind to hold or delay "coaching" someone, so I'm pretty sure that there hasn't been one.

But yes, work is killing me. The mad rush of beginning of the school year is starting to calm a bit, but then the politics come into play, and still makes tons of work.

I've realized one of the reasons I dislike my job...
I am good at it.
What do I mean by that? I mean that I actually know what I'm doing, and how to do it. So I get through my calls rather quickly. Which means I am doing 2 to 3 times as much work as everyone else on my team (and I have the daily stats to prove it.)
This means I also burn out faster. But I cannot slow down, I cannot purposefully make calls last longer, it just is not possible.
It was just like how I started on Postal.
The thing that saved me was actually getting onto Backlogs, I was able to pace myself a bit more, and even then I still did more work than everyone else, but I didn't have the constant beep in my ear, and I was able to research the problem before I ever had to speak to the client.
It was my manager's wish here on DOE to eventually get me on "Contacts" (aka Backlogs), but there is nothing they can do to get me started on that till after September is over at the very earliest.

I digress, lets move along.
Wednesday, after a particularly bad day (back was tweaking, people were horrid... the usual.) I get an email from Mother of Mine stating that we didn't have a choice, we were going to drive to Denver for the Echo in the Bone release and book signing of Diana Gabaldon.
Mind you, all I had wanted to do was curl up in my jammies and sleep. If I closed my eyes for a moment, I would honestly fall asleep.
But, Katte had gotten us tickets for our spot in the signing line.

Mother of Mine and I drove to Denver and went to Baja Fresh for dinner before going to The Tattered Cover in Highlands Ranch.
We got good seats in mad crowd of people, and as Katte so elegantly put it "Well at least I'm touching butts with girls I know" - mind you, she had the benefit of being wedged between Michelle and Myself. So every boob to elbow collision and cheek to cheek bump was nothing new for us. (Come on, we've known each other for about 10 years now) Katte was lucky sharing bum space with us, as I unfortunately had to touch a half tock with a stranger! Oh well, at least here was no boob to elbow collision with the stranger.

Diana aka 'Herself was absolutely amazing.
I learned something that I did not know.
Outlander, when it was in it's original blank pages of "What do I want to write about", was inspired in part by an old episode of Doctor Who.
"There was this image of a fine figure in a kilt. And at that point, I thought "hmm... Scotland would be nice"" (I'm paraphrasing of course, but I was rather exhausted and cannot be required to remember every word. I just don't have the mental ability. -I honestly can't wait to get the full use of my facilities again)
Diana is a talker. She loves her digressions. (and that, is her verbage)
She did a reading from Echo, which to be quite honest had all of us blushing in our seats. (Thank goodness there were no small ears in the crowd!)
I shall share a line from the reading, it's in truth the only line I can remember... well.. other than the last line.. but I'm not going to share that because... well.. I'm ebbbil.

"I haven't seen you naked in 6 months. Which means you'll be the best thing I've seen in 6 months." Jamie to Claire. (And forgive if I got any wording wrong, it's past my bedtime, and read the disclaimer above)

Oh, I bought a copy of course. I couldn't not. I have all the other books signed.... Oh shoot.. I don't. I forgot that I do not have a full collection, as I do not own a copy of Fiery Cross, nor Breath of Snow and Ashes. Those are Mother of Mine's copies. Oh well, it's not like I could afford to buy them that night as it was.

Hunny of Mine is jealous that I got to go to the signing. Mind you, he's currently in Singapore at the Grand Prix. Jealous? Moi? Never. ;-) (He keeps sending me messages while he's in the Executive Lounge of the hotel eating sushi and drinking Gin and Tonics... the lucky bast... lucky bloke)

I politely informed Hunny of Mine, that we will of course just have to go to Scotland when Diana is in on her yearly visits. I shall of course by then have my full set again. And of course Hunny of Mine will have actually been introduced to the books properly. (I can't recall at the moment if he has actually been able to read them or not, but if he hasn't I do know he is intrigued by them.)

All in all, I had a wonderful time at the signing. For photos, and other anecdotes you can go read them at Mother of Mine's blog here.

One last note before I go. Diana has given me hope. She didn't start writing Outlander until she was 35. Mind you, she was very lucky when it came to landing an agent. In fact, she got what every author dreams of. I doubt I'll ever be that lucky, but at least I know that even at 35, one can start a persons dream. Oh, and she was amused that the last time I saw her was when Drums of Autumn was coming out, and it was in California and I was like 12 or 13.

Oh, big news involving "The Wedding", so I didn't blog about it, which I'm glad about. But with Guy coming to town in December, there had been chatter about having a handfasting while he was here. Just a small intimate thing with a few friends. Then of course as these things do.. it spiraled. No.. snowballed. Suddenly it was becoming an actual wedding.
Between the stress from a wedding I wasn't wanting to deal with and work, I snapped. I reached my breaking point. There were constant tears, fighting etc.
I finally reached a decision.
I called it off.
Back to what was Plan A.
IF there is a Handfasting, it will be at my going away party in June. It will be casual, it will not have any pomp and circumstance, and it will just be Myself and Guy getting handfasted with my family and friends.

The actual wedding will happen in October, and will be in England. I feel bad that a lot (most) people in the US won't be able to attend. But unfortunately, I'm not going to feel too guilty. I do not have the ability to pay for the plane tickets of everyone I want to be there, so I am not going to stress out over things I have no control over. If someone really wants to be there, they will make it happen. I cannot. If they cannot be there, they will be there in spirit, and will be in my thoughts.
I have a wonderful Hunny to Be, who is being wonderful and is researching places for us. He's got some favors tucked away in his sleeves, but no matter where we end up having the wedding, it will be fantastic. (Alright, just heard Christopher Ecclestons voice right there... Can this blog get anymore Whovian? Oh yes it can.. stay tuned)
I am contemplating the Doomsday song as my down the aisle song. It's beautiful, it's mostly instrumental, and it would be quirky at a wedding, just like me.
Which of course means, Song for Ten would need to be played at the reception, and if that is played, then Love Don't Roam also needs to be played. Ah, the "Ten" song trifecta.

Oh, completely random. Mother of Mine just finished watching an eerie British show from the 70's called "The Children of the Stones" which even if we hadn't just come back from a book signing of Diana's, and both are champing at the bit to start reading Echo in the Bone, would have still immediately gone "oh my gawd, this reminds us of Outlander"
Standing circle of stones.
Buzzing coming from the stones.
when you touch the stones, you hear screaming, and get flung multiple feet away.
Time being manipulated by the stones.
Some people being "sensitive" to the stones.

Honestly, thats the quickest synopsis of the show. But it screams of Outlander. And it made us wonder since we just found out that Outlander was originally partly inspired by a British show from the made us wonder if also this little obscure show was also partly inspiring it. Or even if she knew about it at all.

Alright, I guess I'm done babbling for now.

Current book:
Fatal Journey by Kathy Reichs
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

I have to admit, I really do like both covers. I'm not sure which one I like more. I know of course the US cover is the one Diana has been wanting for years.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Made it through day one of Hell, and the neatest thing

I survived the first day of hell.
I can honestly say I'm shocked at how unlike Postal it is. We were in the hole pretty much all day, I mean not just some... it was a constant 60-150 calls waiting for 30 minutes or more. But some how, I made it through without wanting to cry, without hitting my mute button and wanting to call someone something I shouldn't repeat... None of that. And I didn't have to ask for much help unless it was one of the issues that we supposedly never see and aren't supposed to ever happen in the computer world in general. My team lead still needs to learn the art of talking to people without making them feel like idiots.. but... whatever.. he's not going to learn it anytime soon. And I've only got to survive 9 months. Less than that actually.

But I'm not going to go on about work. I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune about it by the end of the week, so whatever...

The reason I am blogging right now, is I can honestly say I have had tears brought to my eyes.

I started a phenomenon on Ravelry... seriously epic. I started a little group about doing a Pen Pal exchange. I figured no one would sign up and I'd have to beg people. Round 1 had 150 people officially sign up (and a quite a few more that didn't actually sign up but thought they did).
It was a major headache to be quite honest. For the most part everyone who signed up was really great and helpful, but there were a few... well... calling them snarky twits is being reallllllly polite.
It all got to the point where I was ready to tell everyone to effff off and someone else gets to organize round 2.
I had even started composing the notice informing everyone that I was stepping down from organizing round 2. But I have not posted it and I don't know if I will. No matter what though, I will be adjusting how the signups and partner assignments are done.

Today though, I got my first letter. A woman who when she signed up specifically asked to be my partner (if that was alright by me). Neat!
I can say it brought me to tears reading her letter. I was smiling, and most of all.. I was amazed.
I've been keeping my personality on the downlow for a while now due to the whole 'incident' on Ravelry, and I know that she doesn't have access to my Facebook, and though she admitted that she has checked up on my blog... she hadn't prior to me actually saying "sure I'd love to be your partner" I swear it's a situation where I think I was destined to know her.
She owns a costuming business... (hmmm how many years have I been costuming now??)
She has a sailboat... (hmm... entire summers spent on the family boat when I was a child... sailing? me? never!)
We have a lot of the same taste in books, and movies and music. (Well, other than the fact that she hates The Beatles.) She even mentioned one of my favorite movies of all time. ;-) Won't mention it here since I'm not entirely sure she's not still stalking my blog.

I can officially say, all the headache and frustration was worth it. All because of one letter. How absolutely neat is that?

Well, time for bed. I worked over 9 and a half hours today, and I'll be doing the same tomorrow. I'm going to curl up with Tempe Brennan and my cat.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Being Human, Repo the Gentic Yarn, and many other things

So my previous post was a little well... for lack of a better word... emo.
But hey, I'm a writer... it tends to be what we do at times.

After writing my blog, I went and scrubbed 2/3rds of my bathroom. This makes me happy.
I had a dust bunny, that honestly I thought he was the Prince of the Dust Bunnies, and was going to start plotting war against me.

For those who don't know, this wood burning is from Catharsis Comic, which for the most part is on permanent hiatus, but it is still fun to go back and read through.

I kid you not about the dust bunnies in my bathroom. Colorado Springs is a dust bowl, and to be honest the dust drives me absolutely bonkers. By tomorrow my counter will once again have a coating of dust on it, but at the very least it will be a while before the grandeur of the Dust Bunny Prince decides to show his bunny self again.

So, I've been catching up on a lot of telly... but I'm not going to go into most of the things, cause I can't remember most of them right now. This proves once again I need to take the time to blog more often to do my reviews.

But here is one that I am sooo ready to pimp out cause it's like AWESOME.

Once again, a BBC production.

Being Human.

Blogger hides most of my photos no matter what I do to it in the upload, so to see Annie the Ghost, just click on the image and it will get larger. I'm annoyed at blogger for this. -.-

A Ghost, a Vampire and a Werewolf trying to live a "normal" life in Bristol.

What can I say, other than Freaking Awesome. The writing was witty, and refreshing, and well... human!
There were nice twists at appropriate places, and the episode 5 and 6 (meaning, second to last and last) had me literally going "Ohmigawd!" and squeeing and being quite creeped out at times.

I like their take on the Vampires, which it is amusing as it mimics a few of the "rules" my own vampires in "A Hard Day's Bite" had. Ranging from sunlight to religion and the symbols of power. I liked it!

I'm never fond of the "Wolfman" style of werewolves, but I think that they pulled it off very well.

The Ghost, also had some great rules.

Mostly I liked how the stories intertwined, flowed and how you actually connected with each character. I actually cared about the characters which recently I haven't been doing so much in regards to telly.

Oh, and it was great seeing in the first 2 episodes not 1, but 3 Doctor Who people.

Annie, played by Lenora Crichlow was in Season 3 of Doctor Who in "Gridlock"

George, played by Russell Tovey was in Season 4 Christmas Special: Voyage of the Damned (and actually it looks like he'll be reprising his role of Midshipman Alonso Frame for at least 2 more episodes of Who, so.. WOOT!)

A character who's name I cannot recall, was played by the actor who played Shakespeare in season 3 episode "Shakespeare Code"

I very much am looking forward to Series 2 of Being Human, I hope that it lasts for a good long while as it is a very good show. If you haven't gone out and seen it yet.. Go do it now!

I'm actually getting inspired for some colorways from this show.
Sigh, I wish I had time and money enough to dye up all the yarn I want to dye right now!

Speaking of yarn...

I am currently knitting up a pair of socks called "Legal Assassin" which is a pattern completely designed by me! Don't have photos at the moment since I'm still in the "working out the kinks" phase.

This sock pattern is to match the yarn "Nathan Wallace / Repo Man"

I'm quite proud of this yarn, it was my first time working with wool.
And it will be for sale. I've got only 1 skein left for sale at this time.

Which reminds me, I've been officially made into a Yarnie on Ravelry. Woot. I'm official.

What am I currently reading?

Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs

I can already say that I'm going to be pretty opinionated when I finish this book. Not necessarily about the story, but more about the over all books in general. I will be spoiling a bit for those who have not read, so when I do post that post.. don't read if you don't want a bit of a spoiler. Don't worry, I'll give warning.

I guess I'm done yammering for now.

I give up.

Universe, you win.

My writing time is very limited right now. Meaning, I have approximately 4 days of uninterrupted writing. After that, who knows when I'll get to write. As someone will be home, or I'll be too brain dead from work.

Right now, during 2 of those days (yes, one of them was yesterday) someone has always managed to piss me off to the 10th degree to the point where I cannot write anymore.

That means, I'm giving up. I will not finish this in those 3 days I have left.

So.. You win universe. I am not going to bother working on this novella until after the move.

That is now 3 pieces of work put on the backburner.

Starting next week, all hell breaks loose at work. I'll be doing everything I can to not have a nervous breakdown, and or get fired. This period of hell will last about 5 weeks, and then hopefully start tapering off.
The week after next I have to order yarn for the goddamn wedding sweater that I've decided to knit so that I look freaking half way decent in the goddamn photos. (Thats a freaking joke.) Which, I'll have to have finished by December.. DECEMBER. Again.. what a freaking joke.

I'm done. My back hurts, my head hurts, and I want to cry. Universe, you win.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Such a bad blogger...

Work has been killing me, hence the lack of updates.

So this one is gonna be quick.

I am sorry if the updates are sporadic for the next 5 weeks. I'm gonna be brain dead. This I already know.

Here is the yarn I dyed a few weekends ago...

I'm quite happy with it. I've already sold one skein of it, and I've got plans for the others. One skein I am keeping for myself. I'm actually in the process of knitting socks to go with the yarn. Yup, a pattern of my own creation. Woohoo. I unfortunately had to frog it last night, as part of it was supposed to zig zag, well.. there was zig.. but there was no zag. Back to the drawing board as it were.

Writing has been non existent right now because of work. I'm hoping that when mother of mine heads out of town this week, I'll be awake enough to write. I think I've only got a few thousand words to go. Then I'll hand it off to my editor and we'll see if I can get a rewrite done in time for the contest. If I make it, neat. If I don't.. I'm not going to freak.

I've been crazy recently, and organized an massive Pen Pal exchange. Seriously over 150 signed up for this. I wasn't expecting that at all. But now the signups are over and all the assignments handed out. This will be fun.

Also to note, I'm finally officially a Yarnie over on Ravelry. Yup, I've taken the plunge. Woohoo.

Well... I guess thats all the time I have right now to write.

Ta peeps! Bugs and Hisses.