My Surreality Check Bounced

"Why settle for a twig when you can climb the whole tree?"

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Location: Binghamton, NY, United States

Journey is a rogue English major gone guerilla tech. She is currently owned by two cats, several creditors, and a coyote that doesn't exist. See "web page" link for more details about the coyote.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Darth Vader goes to Disneyland

So, yeah, it's a commercial. But it's funnier than snot. (And why is not supposed to be funny? I've never figured that one out.)

ETA: Comments disabled because the spammers have found me. Hey Kevin21: up yours!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The CDC wants you to know . . .

How to prepare for a zombie apocalypse.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Everybody in my family's okay . . .

but according to my sister, the judge who was shot was one of the good guys, and his loss is going to make a lot of things harder in the area where she works.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Signal boost: How the TSA handles non-standard maxi pads

TSA Groin Searches Menstruating Woman

I know enough women who use cloth maxi pads or menstrual cups (which may have an externally visible tab to facilitate removal) instead of tampons that I really want to get this information out there. It's got to be each individual's personal choice whether they let this change how they approach air travel while menstruating, but we should know all the facts. Including if sometimes, it really is as bad as we think and they actually are out to get us.

Additionally, I don't really want to think about how RH would react if I were pulled out for this kind of search. My guess would be somewhere between livid and belligerent.

I've heard people suggesting that we write letters to our favorite airlines, telling them that we like their service but may no longer be able to travel with them, due to the emotional stressors of getting through the TSA's increased security. The theory is that the airlines themselves can put some pressure on the airports, who can either make changes to their security vendors or put pressure in turn on the TSA (I'm a little hazy on that last part). Does anybody have any idea if this is worth pursuing? I'm tired of other people telling me that I have to live in fear.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Holy wtf, Batman?

criminalization of same-sex spouses in Wisconsin?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

No, I'm Not Dead

(but I'm starting to remember why I almost had an accident with an entire bottle of ibuprofen in my senior year of high school. Thank the gods I've got RH to keep keep me more grounded than my teenaged self).

Somebody actually called me to make sure I wasn't dead, I hadn't updated or been seen online in so long. So here's the short version.

* working diagnosis: fibromyalgia. I have tendinitis in both forearms so bad the swelling is visible nearly up to my elbows. I have bursitis in both hips and every other pain point associated with fibromyalgia. Today, my lower back aches in a way that means a spasm is starting. (I know this because it's the third go-round). Started right after I found out my job was fucked. Too broken to work, but not broken enough to be on disability. And my doctor can't see me again until December.

* complicating factor: anxiety attacks. The good kind featured in the Sopranos, where you can't breathe and you pass out unless you get your head between your knees really fast. Why? The job.

* dreams: shot at last night; tornadoes the night before that. I pull very little rational out of my dreams, but what I do is consistent. Tornadoes mean stress, great change, or both in my waking world. Psycho dreams (shot, stabbed, military service in ancient Rome, plague, etc.) indicate great stress in the world around me.

* the job: fucked, fucked, and fucked. Did I mention fucked? I work for company C, which contracts me to company B, which does IT for company A, the parent company of my actual workplace, where they love me. Company A fired company B and is hiring company D, instead. Company D chose not to take half the staff in our department, and company A walked them off site. We've been at half-staff, and the new sub-contractors company D brought in aren't remotely trained after only ten days. They don't even have computers they're allowed to use. Company D has already transitioned in my new boss, leaving us with exactly two techs to do the job of six.

Company B is screaming at us because we're getting behind. Company D is screaming at me because I drove my I9 to a Pennsylvania location instead of a New York one and didn't do it on their timetable. (And by *I*, I mean *we*--RH and I both had to take half a day off work, because I can't drive long distances right now due to the tendinitis). The local company can't find physical space for all the untrained butts Company D has hired to sit in chairs during ramp-up. My contract through company C ends next Tuesday. And now, company B is telling us to tell the local company that we won't do certain things for company A because we're so far behind it's hitting them in their pocketbook.

And the local company hasn't any authority to hire me directly.

I'm about ready to walk in to the CIO of the local company, tell him that company C is pink-slipping me next Tuesday, at which time I'll be unemployed, because I'm too busy doing my damn job to take time out (and ask RH to take time out) to deliver an I9 to a distant location for a second time. So if they want to retain me, either the local company or company A needs to make me a direct offer. Or company B needs to make me one that comes with a senior tech title, a senior tech pay grade, or both. Because company B has low-balled me something fierce, and there are no other options in this area and this economy.

I do not get paid enough to do this to myself. I need to stop before I end up in a room with no doorknob on the inside. And at a certain point, bosses need to be told to go stick it. I've had to do this twice in my career to this point. Each time, it's resulted in increased respect, and once, in a significant pay raise. I think the CIO is that kind of fellow . . . but he's not the one in control. So I have a council-of-war with my outgoing team lead and my incoming team lead this morning, where they try to convince me I have some other option. Oh, that's not technically what it's for, but that's what'll happen.

I need not to hurt for awhile. I live the job. Whether I want to or not, whether I mean to or not. And I'm tired of being shat on because of it.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

On marriage.

Yeah, this about covers it.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

You all probably want to opt out of this.

Spokeo -dot- com is pretending to be a phone book, and appears to actually be the results of pillaging the Internet for information about people. The resulting profiles are not guaranteed to be accurate, and I suppose that's best, since the one I found for myself includes outright lies on a level that would be considered libelous in any other situation.

I really dislike the fact that someone is guessing at my education level and credit score. If someone actually tried to use this information, I would be very offended by the results.

I'm told there is an opt-out. I'm looking for it right now. But I wanted to post this to let those of you who actually read this blog know that this creepy thing is out there, and you will probably want to opt out of it, too.

(Yes, I'm still alive. Somewhat the worse for wear. In good news, I've recently started a gluten-free diet and have suddenly begun losing weight and having less trouble with allergies that I've had since I was 15. Let's hope the trend holds).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

If you're going to screw me, at least buy me dinner first.

My workplace is in transition. Note, I say "my workplace," and not my company. Since last April, I've been a subcontractor. It has something to do with hiring practices, something to do with too much bureaucracy, and something to do with a very ugly business transition. To wit, my workplace is part of Company A. They had entered into a ten-year contract with Company B to do their IT. Company B brought me on board as a subcontractor (meaning I work for Company C) to help with a particular project, and they liked me so much that they decided to keep me on a growth position.

After five years, Company A filed for termination of contract with Company B, and decided to bring in Company D to do their IT, instead. In legal terms, this is called a transition of services. In common parlance, it's a clusterfuck. About ten days before I would have been a hired on permanently by Company B, all subcontractor conversions were put on hold, and for the next two months, we didn't even know who Company D would be. (We suspect Company A didn't, either). Following that was an uncertain period where we didn't know if our jobs were being whored out to Company D or brought back in-house to Company A. A couple weeks ago, we found out that almost everybody is going back to Company A except for us. We are going to Company D, apparently as a gift for some other things that Company D is doing.

Today, I got to work and found out that Company D had posted all our jobs on the Internet. Over a week ago. And not told us.

We knew we were getting fucked--we didn't know they were going to try and slip us a roofie.

The last time I worked for someplace bound and determined to work me over this bad, it left me with an anxiety condition that I will probably have until the day I die. If there were any other job opportunities, I would go elsewhere. But I live in a fairly small metropolitan area, and the economy sucks right now. RH and I have been trying to buy a house for the last six months, and I can't be without a job and have that go through, let alone make the mortgage. I just don't have a whole lot of choice except to bend over and take it.

But that doesn't mean I can't call it like I see it.