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Wavy scarf for Christmas present in Manos del Uruguay (mostly on the shuttle, so it's slow going)

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Airline prices from Sacramento to Memphis - my parents have both sold their houses!

We have tickets for the Old 97's on October 16! Happy anniversary, honey!

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Burritos with home-cooked pintos, sharp cheddar and spinach

Roasted peppers with crumbled queso fresco

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My poor garden - totally neglected and dry.

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Artwork © Lian Quan Zhen


i got a new attitude - September 24, 2004

- - September 22, 2004

- - September 20, 2004

Is this thing on? - September 20, 2004

- - September 15, 2004


2003-10-21 - 4:12 p.m.

After all my bitching (see below), the real bad news came in.

Whoolie's father has lung cancer. Beautiful's mother is now fighting her third round with breast cancer. And my sup's mother - the same supervisor mentioned below - went into the emergency room last night. It turns out she has a tumor. We're waiting to find out if it's malignant or not. The poor thing already has advanced Alzheimer's, which is one of the reasons that my sup wants to retire.

Being an agnostic, I don't pray well. But tonight and for many coming nights, I'll be sending every bit of love out to these friends and their families. It's especially hard to imagine Whoolie's family without her dad. He's an alcoholic, abusive and rough even to outsiders, but he's her dad.

It's news like this that makes me wish we could take any goodness, any love that's held in our bodies and channel it right into those who need it most. Do you ever feel like this, like you just want to put your hand on someone's arm and draw the pain right out of them like venom?

Miss Beek, who is born-again, tells me that this is what believing in Christ does for her. It lets her have a love that reaches down into her core and pulls out all the barbed stingers, leaving her fresh and clean and ready. For me that's not an option - I don't know how to have faith that way - and it's not for the people I love who are hurting tonight, either. But with every breath this afternoon I want so much to offer each of these women - Whoolie, Beautiful, my supervisor - some sort of loving surcease.

2003-10-21 - 9:21 a.m.

Before I even start to rant, let me say that in the current economy, I'm grateful to have a job. Without this paycheck, I'd be screwed. My current job pays better than any others I've had, and my office has a long-standing policy of training their employees very well. For which I give thanks. BUT.

Ever since my supervisor announced that she's retiring, everything around here has gone to shit. Today is a perfect example. The sup has decided that she's going to try to get a medical retirement, since she has carpal tunnel in both hands. This means that our HR people want her to use up as much sick leave as possible - so she's calling in several times a week. I am still involved in my HR/Financial Services internship, which means I have responsibilities 20 hours a week in addition to my regular work. When my sup is out, I take on her duties. Four days this week one of my receptionists (I supervise them) is in training classes (no begrudgement here; she's earned them!). That means that yesterday and today I've been trying to do the work of 3.5 full-time employees. Plus provide backup assistance for two of the executives, whose regular assistant is out. Oh, and all of my payroll is due this week, and the effing supervisors aren't keeping their employees in line with policy - which means I get to police everybody and be the bad guy who tells you that flying to Alaska to see your brother does *not* qualify under the Family Medical Leave Act - even though your supervisor says it does.

Sending all the bad-news payroll emails has made me distinctly unpopular. This, in tandem with trying to keep up with the increased work level, is making me distinctly grumpy at work. Add in that my hormones have apparently exploded, giving me PMS in a huge way -- including a breakout, which hasn't happened since high school for fuck's sake, and which is making my face hurt -- and you have one intensely annoyed human being. I am not fun to be around today. Grr.

The PMS will wear off, my face will be back to normal in a day or two, and I'll send off all my payroll emails within the next hour. But my work situation is screwed for the next six months, minimum. No one knows what's going to happen to me. But one way or the other, I wind up with twice the responsibility with no additional pay. In one scenario, I end up as a permanent exec assistant - with all of my other, current responsibilities for conference planning, database management, and HR functions intact. I've done this before on an interim basis and *hated* it. The senior management at this university in some respects still treats staff like it's 1955 and we're Doris Day. My response? Get your own damned coffee. Calendar your own damned meetings. I spend most of my time programming and reading contracts - don't ask me to give a shit if you're 5 minutes late to a council meeting. That's your problem.

The other option is a full-time position in HR/Financial Services, but with all of my current duties, plus half of my supervisor's, intact. The sheer bulk of work to be accomplished makes this uninviting. I'd end up doing analysis, sure, but not getting paid for it. The only thing that isn't an option is staying in my current position. Talk about frustrating.

It will be March or April before all of this is sorted out. In the meantime, I'm trying to learn everything that my supervisor does (though, since she's rarely here, it's becoming very difficult), finish my internship and keep my sanity.

Do you think muttering, "shut up, ass-monkey" under my breath in the halls is enough to get me fired? Wishful thinking...

What I'd like most right now is a Bloody Mary soaked in Absolut and Scratcher wrapped around me for a long nap. Bastard is home sleeping, since he works nights. It would only take 20 minutes to reach his place, strip down and sink into the futon. Sigh.

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