My left forearm currently itches like crazy. Just the top of the left forearm; nowhere else. If I could peel the skin off with my own nails, it'd be a preferable sensation. And also? This only happens in the fall and winter.
I actually saw a doctor over this one year, because I was just that concerned. She sort of mmphed at me in that patronizing doctory way, and told me the problem is a combination of middle age, and the fact that the left forearm gets too much exposure to the sun from its position in the driver's seat.
Then she recommended Gold Bond, which works but makes me smell like an old lady. Which, I'm sorry, is adding insult to injury after that crack about being middle-aged!
Boy, did I feel foolish after that visit. The exposure thing I really should have figured out myself. Yet it doesn't explain why I only itch in fall and winter.
I must not be as rusty as I thought, because they offered me the job yesterday!
My boss gave a sterling recommendation, like I thought she would, and that probably made up for the ancient written eval that I handed out at the interview.
Who knows how my bluff on Excel was received. I forgot to ask.
One thing: I am going over at my current level, instead of taking a promotion right now. I'll take their in-house promotional exam and get promoted off of that list in a few months. Everything else about the move is positive.
I told my team members on Friday - Alien Secty is particularly excited for me; she wants to leave, too. She is putting her app in all over town. One thing: she doesn't want me to give her a lot of filing to do after I leave.
Though I made a show of attacking baskets of old faxes, news articles, memos, and other arcana that I've accumulated in my work area over the last five years, I haven't worked up the nerve to tell her ... there's a huge drawer of unfiled approval documents in the next cube over.
Well? I thought I'd tackle those myself when it got less busy, but it never did. I promise I'll tell her. Maybe I'll drop her a postcard after I leave.
it's Saturday --
After that, if you're still reading and not online, devising an ingenious method for taking over the world, take a quiz to figure out which superhero you are.
What did you score? And why wasn't the dreaded Dr. Doom included? The FOOLS! They will RUE THE DAY!
Just came back to change clothes and pop a coupla Advil. The interview went well, in the sense that, in BB's words, I have no visible external wounds and my head is still in place. But oy vey, am I rusty at interviewing. It has been five years, and do I feel every bit of it right now. I hope my loopy responses didn't sound too val, and were countered by my genuine enthusiasm.
I hit the wall on the written portion, because they threw in an intermediate Excel exercise. Drat. I should know this shit. I took a class on Excel formulas but that was in the dim recesses of the past, when MS 97 was new. So I bluffed that portion, and tried to make up for it with a killer written description of the bluff. Heh.
We'll see. Hope I conveyed what I can bring to the team. In any case, it's good that I've gotten back out there.
Inventory: bookbag, research paper, notebooks, can of soup with pop-top (will heat up soup at work in my coffee mug), extra-large diet cola, two Advil, purse, car keys. Off to work.
I'm temporarily overjoyed this minute. I found something in my files that's crucial to my job interview tomorrow - my latest employee evaluation. Only guess what? It's ten years old! I have nothing more recent in my personnel files at the office. It seems that, though I've worked at my current agency seven years, nobody's ever gotten around to formally evaluating me.
Looking through my old eval, I was reminded how good I was at that particular job. I staffed a phone bank, answering questions/ problems/ tirades from disgruntled callers with student loans. Later, I wrote answers to written inquiries along the same lines. I liked the job, and I was very good.
I first met Alien Secty. there, did I ever mention that? And dude, she *hated* phone duty. Loathed it. Would take any shitty project just to get off of the phones. It was the one difference in our personalities.
So anyways. Per the request of the new agency, I now have an employee eval to take to my interview tomorrow. It's older, but glowing.
Okay, back to Word, before my daughter comes in. My other looming deadline is a 2-page paper due tomorrow night, but I haven't done. a. thing. Major writer's block.* Bunny keeps checking on me, the little taskmaster. If she catches me blogging, I might get grounded.
* Maya, your IM about the paper was much appreciated, but I'm a hopeless case.
Later: Inspiration, she struck, finally! Inspiration, she like to keep me in suspense! Inspiration, she kind of beeyotch that way.
Not only is TypePad continuing to act flooey, but it seems the world has gone surreal while we were sleeping.
LOS ANGELES - The red and cuddly Sesame Street Muppet Elmo has learned a new lesson: 'H' is for handcuffs.A man dressed as the character was one of three impersonators arrested last week for allegedly harassing tourists for tips after posing for photos on Hollywood Boulevard. Booked with him were people impersonating superhero Mr. Incredible and the dark-hooded character from the horror movie "Scream."
The impersonators said they were taken into custody at gunpoint, handcuffed and paraded on the Hollywood Walk of Fame before stunned tourists and other impersonators. They were charged with misdemeanor "aggressive begging," police said.
Elmo, in handcuffs? Paraded on the Walk of Shame? What an image!
"With all of the crime in Los Angeles they pick on us?" said Elmo impersonator Donn Harper, 45, who makes up to $400 a day in tips.
What do you suppose his voice sounded like? Mwheh-heh.
Los Angeles Police Officer Michael Shea said police warned impersonators at a meeting last month that the department would start enforcing solicitation and harassment laws.
"Make no mistake about it — I wanted the characters to know what we're doing," Shea said.
And he called them "the characters"?? Yep. Be on your guard today, webfolk. It's like Roger Rabbit out there.
crawl up with a flashlight comprehensive review turned into a 20-minute dead end conversation, when the business owner we had traveled to see politely but firmly denied us access to the building.
You'd've been proud of me, particularly since I didn't show how disgusted I was. I took my cue from the ever-gracious Z., who told the business owner several times we were there to give him another opportunity to comply with the law. We knew there was a chance he'd pull this, but we had to try anyway. If and when we have to go to court with this guy, we'll have to prove we gave him his due process.
Well, I did say one or two things. "Are you aware," I asked in my best CSI:Beancounters voice, "that the regulations state you must grant access to state representatives during business hours?"
He was nice enough about it, but for reasons I can't blog, he stood firm. We assume he thinks we'll just back off and let him operate with impunity, but! It ain'ta gonna happen! Because we're civil servants on the edge! We have an STD 262, and we know how to use it!
(That's a travel expense claim form. Nobody but my reader from the FTB will know that. Heh.)
Fruitless as that visit was, the conversation was actually the high point of my day. Well, that and lunch at a Denny's with a slight roach problem. But that's a problem for a different agency. Z. and I had scheduled other visits in the area. We made a freeway circuit and visited other businesses, winding up at the airport in time for the last flight home.
During this time, I formed a hasty, blatantly unsubstantiated, and possibly inflammatory opinion about L.A. itself, which is this: most of Los Angeles is incredibly run-down, old and busted. At least the part we traveled. No number of palm trees, no amount of pink stucco can hide this. By startling contrast, Beverly Hills is wildly, embarrassingly posh, pruned, primped, landscaped, gleaming and attractive. And there was hardly anybody there to enjoy it.
So, I think all other L.A. residents should drop whatever they're doing, right now, and spend a few weeks just roaming around Beverly Hills. Folks, that's where all your green grass, parks, and trees are! Go, and just sit down on a bench! Have picnics! Go bird-watching! Teach your kids how to make daisy chains!
Or else plant yourselves a few more trees in Downey, Compton and Torrance. 'Cause dayamn.
I don't have permission to share the photos of the happy wedding party, but you have to see the beautiful place! This is the Ironstone Winery, out in the middle of nowhere in the Central Valley.
But I think it would be okay to post a picture of a very special member of the wedding party ...
It was a beautiful drive to the winery, but right at the end we began to lose our nerve, believing we'd made a wrong turn and were terminally lost. Somehow, we came up the backroads or some kind of alleyway, to get to the winery. Could Mapquest have a vendetta against us? Luckily we still made it with time to spare.
The wedding was just beautiful. Just beautiful. The kind of thing where you know the couple is as right for each other as possible. I started crying the instant I spotted the first bridesmaid, and I didn't stop until the end. Never thought I'd be one of those weepy women at weddings.
No, I didn't cry about the dog. The dog is a pit bull whom Savvy took home from the rescue shelter in order to socialize him, so that he could be successfully adopted one day. That day came, but Savvy turned the would-be pet owner away - she'd already begun to love of Emmett as a part of the family. Okay, maybe I did cry a tiny bit about the dog.
But then came the reception and lots of wine and new people to meet. Bunny made friends with another little girl. I met a woman who used to be a coworker. We abused all the same cube-mates for a while, which was fun.
Then came dinner, speeches that had us all crying again ... cake, the bouquet toss, that garter affair, and lots of dancing to oldies that were a hit before your mother was born. Bunny happily told us all the details she loved the most, and which ones she will be incorporating into her own wedding. She generously invited our whole table. Good thing the future father of the bride wasn't present!
It was great waking up early and finding such funny stuff in my e-mail. Thanks!
My Room’ integrates an inflatable lightweight nylon-fabric room, a PE air mattress and a polyester storage bag into a mobile privacy cocoon. The combination of a bag and an inflatable room enables teenagers to create (inflate) their own private area wherever they are. Once the room and the air mattress are deflated, they can be tucked away in the storage bag. The advantage of having a room in a bag is that they can leave their small very personal stuff (I-pod, diary, notebook, teddy bear,…) just where it is and fold everything together into a bag.
But won't the nylon furniture conduct static electricity? [via Scupper]
Please buy my son’s creepy clown doll so I can sleep at night. Now I’m not one of those people who is freaked out by clowns, I was never traumatized at a children’s party and having watched Killer Klowns from Outer space didn’t bother me either. Who knows, maybe I saw Poltergeist one too many times when I was a teenager, but this doll gives me the willies. Seriously.
[Sent along by the inimitable Snowball]
In two weeks, Anne Rice ... will publish "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt," a novel about the 7-year-old Jesus, narrated by Christ himself. "I promised," she says, "that from now on I would write only for the Lord."
Yeah, you read that right. She's an un-lapsed Catholic now.
In [the] afterword she calls Christ "the ultimate supernatural hero ... the ultimate immortal of them all."
What on Earth was the matter with cynicism, Anne? It keeps the rest of us agnostics happy. You should have called me first. I could have helped you save the vampire franchise.
It's Saturday, so you have time to become one with magic, the mystery, that is the You draw : online drawing project.
Click on the Draw Pad and create your own piece of graphic art to add to the gigantic database. Ultimately, your drawing, like
zillions of 350,000 others, will land in the pages of the upcoming book, or even better, on the next edition of those very cool posters.
Is it me, or do these posters remind you of cubicles? I ought to get one for my office.
Let's keep a good thought for Ellen this weekend - they've called for mandatory evacuations where she lives in Florida, but the roads are already backed up. [Actually, it sounds like events will not be dire - but very wet.]
How did the half-dozen or so blog readers loitering in the comments section make the inferential leap from a well-known 80's sitcom to the idea of my running for public office?
Oh, sure, I may look dignified on the outside, with my gray hair and my ill-fitting earthtone clothes and my bookbag. But on the inside, I'm actually more like this.
Funny, sure, but that's not something that anybody wants to have representing their fair ____ [insert district]'s best interests. That's not a mental image that will fill you with civic confidence when your local newscaster is running behind a limo and shouting "Madam Kommissar, do you deny the allegations?"
But hey. People can change their minds. Maybe there is an election in my future. So in the meantime, I'm paying close attention to this series, and I suggest you do the same.
In this first unit we will look at finding and preparing campaign workers for your upcoming contest. As any smart politician will tell you a good foot soldier is the ultimate necessity come each September, October, and especially those very few days in November.
Many an election's outcome has relied on the doorbellers, the folks who hand out the yard signs, and the people who can get their peers to the polls. That's why your first job is to find campaign workers you can depend on.
After all, some of you have written to me privately to ask that I appoint you Chief of Staff or possibly Head Cheese. This particularly concerns you.
Saturday: Savvy's wedding! It's taking place at posh winery. Savvy says she plans to wear flipflops with her dress. Wine, friends, and wedding humor - it cannot get any better than that. Bunny and I are going, with our friend Lu bumming a ride. (BB is performing in a concert and can't make it.) I think it'll be a two hour drive each way. Prolly should have reserved a hotel room, but I couldn't afford it. Plus there was the time constraint. Oh well, we're about that long on the road every time we drive down to see my mother*; we're used to it.
Sunday morning: Church. Bunnylou and BB are both in choir these days. Because of this, they wouldn't miss a day of church now for anything. (Though the kid is currently boycotting Religious Education, preferring to sit in the library and read during service.) Maybe I'll stay home and work on my prospectus.
Sunday afternoon Monday morning: My coworker Z. and I are flying down to LAX. First thing Monday morning we have to conduct a site visit to one of our esteemed businesses. The following Monday day should be ver-r-ry interesting - and I mean that in the Chinese sense. [Change of plans - streamlined the trip since we are sure we'll be denied entry to the business and there's no sense making such a trip longer than necessary.]
[sneaking in another announcement]
Thursday (next week): Job interview! Actually two! At the same time! Remember how I said I would apply for other jobs? I did it; in fact, I carpet-bombed one agency with four applications, mwheh-heh.
* Hey Mom - Haven't forgotten you, I promise. xx oo
It seems Ashton Kutcher just thought up a new sitcom idea. How nice.
Okay, webfolk, we need to go over a few things:
a) First of all, Demi Moore is all of 42 years old. She is not in the "December" of her life, goddammit. People had better f'n quit calling this a May-December romance already.
May-August is acceptable. Barely. But May-Anything After Labor Day?
I'll cut you, man. I'll do it.
I forget what I was going to say for b.
... wait, I remember now.
b) Writing a sitcom about your brand-new marriage and blended family is wrong, wrong, wrong. It's just asking for trouble. Believe me, I've been watching sitcoms for decades. And it's always the same: one character gets a wild hair up, right? Thinks he's Shakespeare and junk? So he writes a school play / standup comedy routine / TV pilot all about the funny crap that people do and say right in his own house.
And what always, always happens?
That's right: The play / standup / TV show is a hit, but the guy's family stops speaking to him!
And Ashton? Dude? That means the wife, three kids, and a wacky drop-in ex-husband will all be mad at you. That's a lot of people.
The same thing happened to Natalie on "Facts of Life", and she was a mere husk of a girl for going on an hour, until she made amends to, like, the whole dormatory and Mrs. Garrett. So think about it.
Many students are puzzled by our public management course so far. There isn't nearly the number of hours' worth of reading assignments as previous classes demanded. I mean, we're in the middle of a three-week course on Stephen Co/vey's Eighth Habit book. Three weeks! I don't even think the Co/vey seminars themselves take that long.
But I'd like to think I know what he (the prof) is trying to do. This is the dreaded "touchy-feely" part of the course that he warned us was coming clear back in August. This is the part of the course designed to shift our paradigms, where we learn our own voice, if I may borrow from Le Co/vey - our own style of dealing with different kinds of people and situations as subordinates and co-workers. And as future managers.
We'll get deep into hypothetical territory next week, I'm sure, and start to learn what makes each of us tick so we can be effective managers when the time comes. Work with our own strengths, recognize and be ready to neutralize our own weaknesses. And possibly (if it's really possible for adults to make great changes in themselves for the better) make great changes in ourselves for the better.
That's why the reading volume has been so light lately. He wants us to live this book, not just skim it.
And it's not a bad book, really. It has some good qualities, and I'm enjoying the exercises and even some of the little parables in the DVD. One thing - it's exasperating to read his concepts and know that he's borrowed liberally from the most famous philosophers/psychologists in history, from Aristotle to Maslow to Freud, without any acknowledgment whatsoever.
Our prof says that's true, but nothing's really new in the world, and that Co/vey just wants to put these concepts together in a new way, for today's reader. Holy frejoles, this professor must reeeally want us to like this book!
In other news, our local paper reported yesterday that public agencies face a loss of leaders in upcoming years. All those selfish Boomers are about to retire, but haven't groomed their successors.
Hundreds of public agencies in California and other states will soon face a shortage of senior managers because they have not identified future executives and moved them through "a leadership pipeline," a new study warns.
Struggling with tight budgets, hiring freezes and outsourcing, government agencies have failed to groom the leaders needed to replace thousands of baby-boomer managers retiring through 2010, said the study by Sacramento-based CPS Human Resource Services. [...]
California's state government has examined the demographics of its aging work force and the findings were astonishing, not only for retiring senior managers, but for workers at all levels.
More than half the state's 208,222 workers will be eligible to retire within the decade, including 3,397 executives and managers, said Sherry A. Hicks, a spokeswoman and director of legislation for the state Personnel Board.
"When we crunched the numbers, it was, wow! Everybody's awake to the issue here now," Hicks said.
Hey Sherry! Here we come! Armed with our eight habits and everything ...