jillithian: (Polly)
A comics artist I've never met is making me cry right now. He's a DJ at an internet radio station. His husband died this week after a long battle with brain cancer. It is the last song of his DJ shift; the whole thing dedicated to his husband.

This morning, my coworker announced she got another grand daughter last night. This is the second in two weeks. She's off this morning so she can take care of her 17 month old grandson, the newest grand daughter's older brother.

Yesterday was picture day on the breastfeeding FB group I'm in. One mother posted a picture of her son who only lived one day. She's pumping anyway and is going to donate her milk, whatever she gets. He looks plump and scrunchy faced and big and healthy.

Next week is Xmas already. When did that happen?
jillithian: (pwnd Cute Overload)
I am refusing to answer my mother's calls today. And she's already called.

I don't know if I was less gullible or if Mom was just easier on me than my brother growing up, but she never got a good April Fool's Day joke on me until last year.

I was out of my element. It was my first corporate trip anywhere ever. And it was for the job I had started only seven months previous. It was a work trip to our corporate headquarters in Dallas with my co-worker Mark, my boss Mike, another co-worker Mike who flew in from Arkansas, and the president of our company, Steve. So add the nervousness of my first corporate trip and add the company I was in and I had completely forgotten what day it was.

First thing in the morning after breakfast with the crew and before we headed out to the offices, Mom calls and tells me that she had a business trip to Dallas and so she'd be in town that evening and wanted to go to dinner with me. Mom is always on business trips anyways and it just didn't occur to me to think otherwise. Somehow I had to work up the guts to make a request of my boss and the whole crew for this meeting to be able to eat with my mom for dinner instead of with everybody else. Remember, I'm new to everything in this company and I didn't want to be the new girl that shuns the team for other plans, but it was also my mom.

So, at the offices we quietly walk into a small conference room where Steve is on a conference call. I whisper to my boss Mike asking what the proposed schedule would be that evening and if I could go to dinner with my mom. He looks at me a little funny but says that it would be ok.

It was later that day that it suddenly occurred to me. I think it was even late afternoon - I was that out of my element! So, on top of being the new girl who wants to skip out on plans with the team, I'm also the new girl who gets punked by her mom on a business trip with her boss.

So, this morning I received an email:
From: Mike [the boss]
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 9:39 AM
To: 'Jill'
Subject: Urgent Message

Your Mom is in town and wants to meet you for lunch!! ;-)

Welcome to April,

Mike


Being that it IS her favorite holiday of the year, I did forward this on to her with an additional "This is YOUR FAULT!" so hopefully she'll forgive my lack of willingness to answer her calls today.

The worst part, however, is that I really should have known better. She pulls this trick on Parr almost every year. The same trick, even. "Hi Parr. This is your mom. I just landed in Chicago and should be to Madison by lunch time. Where do you want to eat?" And he falls for it every year and I laugh at him for it every year. *facepalm*

bork.

Mar. 27th, 2009 04:21 pm
jillithian: (big brain)
I started this morning with working code.

All I did was try to move the call to one function from one area to another.

Now, all I am getting is core dump after core dump. I just want to close the window and go back to the previous window. But the wclose() function is what makes it barf. I can whide(), but then it doesn't repaint itself and all of that fun garbage.

This is the part of programming that I hate. It's not the fun discovery or planning or implementing phase anymore. It's the "Let's narrow down to the most friggin' obscure piece of 30 yr old code that you copied from one section where it worked fine but it doesn't want to work fine here." struggling phase. I love figuring stuff out, but this is more of the "using up vacation time waiting all day at the Social Security office to change your name on your card and when you are finally called to the window ten minutes before it closes, being told that you needed to get your license updated first at city hall across town, which will also close in ten minutes" kind of figuring stuff out that isn't fun.

It's a Friday afternoon. Half an hour before the end of the day. The gray matter was borked by Wednesday afternoon. I am still expecting to work on my capstone paper tonight as the deadline is looming (Monday!).

What I would really like to do is say "Fuck it. I quit," walk to the bar across the parking lot, forget my name in a couple bottles of Captain Morgan, and drunkenly decide to go swimming in the freezing, foaming, flooding Mississippi. I figure the second bottle of Morgan will numb whatever pain there is before the cold numbs the rest.

But I'm not going to do that. I'll end up resisting urges to go for a swim, and probably resisting the urge to waste the evening playing Sims, and instead prod my borked gray matter into pecking out something half legible on the laptop while the dog stares and sighs at me bored.

Update: There's a comic for that )
jillithian: (typewriter)
Strange.

My job is finally fitting me.

Wednesday, I was fighting a fever all day, but refused to leave work because I was hours away from finishing some code I was working on.

Thursday, I really felt like crap in the morning and was SO TORN between staying home and sleeping or going into work to finish said code. Finally, at the last moment, I decided to stay home and even took some Nyquil to make sure I wouldn't keep myself awake thinking about work instead.

This is really a new thing for me. Or, at least, I don't remember the last time I would rather go to work than stay home with a valid sick day.



And, also, a coworker of mine I was talking to on the phone on Friday brought up some interesting tidbits. He's based in Arkansas as our support person for a big customer, so he's never been to St. Cloud for a work function where our spouses are also there. Turns out he graduated high school with my husband. They both had big 80s hair. I couldn't stop giggling.
jillithian: (pwnd Cute Overload)
Wow.

I can't tell you how nice it is, and SHOCKING, to finally have a boss that treats me like an adult. (no offense to Lars)

Honestly.

So, with the ultimate fail that was my proposal today, I have ended the day on good notes.

Tim has the night off and greeted me at the garage door with a big hug and kiss. He's also feeling much better than he has the last few days.

And, I got the idea of possibly doing a Scrum sprint at work for my capstone project. I thought - it's a new customer and two new programmers (myself and a coworker) and then my boss all programming. Why not try this for one round? And my boss listened to me. And nodded his head. And added suggestions that we should try it and then have a review meeting at the end to see if there are better ways to do it.

This is new territory for me. In the past, it is usually a lot of hemming and hawing, if any consideration has been given to it at all, that ends in a total brush off. But not this time.

Luckily he will be in Singapore next week so I will have time to type up some rules for this Scrum sprint and research a bit and then we can hopefully run with it when we get back.
jillithian: (That kind of day)
So, when my mom was up visiting a few weeks ago, we went and explored the new library.

It was all I could do to NOT bring home any books. Somehow I convinced my mom to let me just get a library card and that's IT.

See, I have so much on my plate right now that I'm not completing, and I have such a thirst for knowledge of anything, that I'd bring half the library home if I had the chance, postponing the less interesting but higher priority items on my project list.

That's what I feel like today.

I am being brought into development of a new tool and I just spent the last 45 minutes with a co-worker giving me a very basic tour of the development software we'll be using.

I looked at my co-worker and said, "Mom, please don't take me to the library anymore!"
jillithian: (Toe Jam)
Brain hurts.

I'm in Green Bay to talk with a customer about our software and my brain is done for the day.

Also, fried onions are fucking fantastic. Even day old, cold fried onions. Fucking FANTASTIC, I tell you. And SCREW YOU Mr. Vending Machine down the hall for not taking my money and letting me have craptastic food I shouldn't eat any way.

I am not used to being on the road. I miss my home base. I miss being able to look something up on my computer. I worked all of the last two weeks to make sure I'd be able to VPN in on Tim's laptop to my work PC so that I'd be able to competently do my job today, but was foiled by the security firewall of the company here. ACCESS DENIED, indeed. VPNs work well as long as you actually have an internet connection.

Also, I was looking forward to a hotel room with a bathtub during the trip as our bathtub is currently filled with various detritus from the remodel job that is in slow motion (if not pause) right now. It is damn near impossible (and uncomfortable!) to try to shave my legs in the coffin sized shower stall we have in the downstairs bathroom. Sometimes a girl would like to shave her legs without having her knee behind her head just to reach her ankle. But alas. Somehow, the hotel looked at me and decided I needed the handicap accessible room with the shower seat. Fail!

So I've taken myself to watching Star Wars on Spike zoomed in funny on the widescreen tv. I've found that Chewbacca irritates me. Not nearly as much as Jar Jar, but I ended up turning the movie off when he was "rahr"-ing at the dismembered pieces of C3PO.

And I don't trust the alarm clock in hotels. So I set it and my cell phone alarm, but still managed to wake myself up every half hour all night to double check that I hadn't fucked up and over slept.

My co-worker Sue is a bad-ass. She's on the road constantly and just has this confidence in herself that I envy. I imagine I might be that calm if I were on the road 80% of the time like she is, but for now I'll just try to not drown myself in coffee.

I am debating that tomorrow I'll just skip trying to drive home in time to get to class at 5pm and take my time and explore Green Bay a little bit more. I saw Lambeau Field for two seconds as I passed it's exit on the freeway yesterday. Maybe tomorrow, I'll take a detour and check it out a little bit better. I haven't decided yet. Hmmm

Looking forward to dinner!!!!
jillithian: (Default)
The amount of money I spend is directly related to the amount of free time I have.

At least when I have time between required time slots. Like today, where I took the afternoon off with vacation to study for my mid-term in my Operations Management class.

At first I was feeling like a wanker for not properly utilizing the time I had in the evenings of this week before today. But whatever. I was having fun playing King (or Queen) of the World on Facebook.

I realize that was not a really good use of my time, and I know there probably are going to be many days from now until next August where I will wish I still had that half day of vacation. But after studying for the last two and a half hours in the library, I am feeling pretty confident with my knowledge on the subjects covered - at least other than remembering which person first invented the term "quality assurance" in what year or memorizing the fifty million different ways to calculate sigma based on the type of chart you are creating. (Me = hates memorizing)

Of course, I'll know in about an hour just how well I learned the subject matter. *grimace*

But anyhoo, I have some extra time between now and 5pm when the test starts, so I know it will be all I can do to not go shopping downtown. I am not allowed to go to the Electric Fetus. I spend mucho dinero in there on CDs and vinyl that I do not need to spend.

Hmmm.....

I could also be working on my term paper for the International Business Management course or even on my portion of our group's case study for that course or starting to research for my starred paper. But I know my limits and if I start working on anything that will require major amounts of brain activity, I may lose the benefits of the studying I did this afternoon. (Think Kelly Bundy and her maximum brain capacity).
jillithian: (Toe Jam)
Little things that frustrate me, part -100:

IBM Informix syntax: select * from mytable where myfield not matches "*REDO*";
MSQuery syntax: select * from mytable where myfield not like "%REDO%"

Thank you, that is all.
jillithian: (Polly)
I'm about two group projects and a term paper away from a permanent mental vacation. Oh wait. Now my job wants me to travel to Green Bay for a couple of days. Sure! I'll fit that right in there!


I'm actually not that cranky. I have fits of sarcasm and then the brain blanks out the large amounts of stress and I giggle. I've decided to reduce my caffeine intake from a large travel mug of coffee and a can of pop to one or two cups of green tea. Hopefully this will help.

I'm not opposed to going to Green Bay. It could be fun. I'd even get to choose if I wanted to fly or drive out there. But there are some pre-requisites, otherwise it'd be a wasted trip.

Like I told my coworkers last night: I'm already $8,000 in, so I might as well finish. What's $3000 more?
jillithian: (Polly)
I never quite have enough ambition for all of my ambitious plans. I guess I am an ambitious planner and not an ambitious, er, doer.

Starting tomorrow, every Wednesday and Thursday I have to leave work a half an hour early in order to get to class by 5pm. The last semesters I had class, I just didn't come home those days for lunch. This semester, though, I've decided I'm going to stay late on Monday and Tuesday for half an hour so that I can still see Tim for lunch on those days.[1] But that seems to get to be a short night.

Take tonight for example. I stayed at work until 5:28 (I got there at 7:55 so it all evens out) and then rode over to the mall to pick up my contacts I ordered.[2] Then I drove down to and around State to see if there were any better parking spots near the building I'll have class in on Wednesdays.[3] There weren't. I started to leave when I remebered I also wanted to find out where that class was in the building, too, as I've only ever had one class there before and that was in 2002. I figured out the best entrance for me, but am unsure on if I will have enough time in half an hour to drive from work to school, find a parking spot, and then hoof it to the building (4 blocks). I guess I could stay later on Thursday, too, but I'd really rather not...

So I did all of that and got home at about 7pm. That seems late to me, and with the sun going down sooner, it just seems to feel even later. I was hoping to have enough time and energy to still take the dog for a long walk, maybe get more done in the bathroom (I loafed last night), and then try to read the first chapter in the book for tomorrow's class. Instead, all I want to do is curl up and take a nap on the couch.

There's also the question about dinner. I have a slight delicacy when it comes to my blood sugar - I'm tired and crabby if it is low and I haven't eaten in a while. It's also hard for me to concentrate when I just want to stuff food in my mouth and I can't. The professor on Wednesday has already struck the fear in me about being late for class or having any food, beverage or gum in class. And I haven't even met him/her (it's an Indian name, so I couldn't venture a guess). So, if I leave at 4:30 from work, that does not give me any time to stop somewhere for a snack and any chance of a break in the 5 to 7:40pm class is questionable at this point. I could try to bring a sandwich and eat it at work before I leave, but there's never any guarantee that I won't be busy with calls during that time. And again, I could stay late, but would I want to?

I'm sure I'll figure it out, as I only have to do this through May and then I am HOME FREE. May just couldn't feel far enough away, yet, though...



[1] I know I am technically on salary and don't have any punch cards to punch, but I still try to make sure I am between 40 and 41 hours a week. I actually keep a spreadsheet of when I get in, leave for lunch, come back and leave for the day. I know. I'm a big nerd. But it keeps me honest, I guess, and in the very unlikely event of someone complaining about my actual hours worked, I will have something to back myself up with.

[2] This is for [livejournal.com profile] theperfumer: I'm sure you've heard already, but I noticed at the mall today that DEB has added a plus size department. Complete with vest.

[3] I really want to ask about motorcycle parking. Every once in a while I see a motorcycle or scooter parked on the sidewalk right next to the doors of a building or right next to the bike rack - also on the sidewalk. Is this legal? Is this acceptable? I would LOVE to be able to skip the four to five block hike across campus from my free or "free" parking (for some reason, Public Safety never checks the pay lot in front of the ECC so I have parked there for at least a year now and have not received a ticket) and just park on the sidewalk next to the bikes and the red scooter I saw by the door to the building. I don't have the balls to try it though. I have this anal requirement of myself to follow rules and laws and the such. Except for paying for parking in the pay lot. The machines you pay hardly ever work or won't eat my dollars, resulting in me unable to pay even if I try.

Updates

Aug. 19th, 2008 10:28 am
jillithian: (climbing rose)
In home improvement updates:
I decided I'd try to paint the wall above the window the same color as the bottom of the other walls - "Pressed Linen," I believe it's called. We'll call it an "accent" wall. Tim scrunched his nose up a bit when he first saw it, but I assured him that if we don't like it, it's only paint and we can repaint it. "We've got more than enough paint" I tell him.

So then, last night I decided to start painting some of the stripes the "Urban Gold" color. I was standing on a chair to paint the top of the wall and on the last stripe on one wall, I went to sit on the chair from my standing position and lean against the back of the chair to get to the lower portion. FYI: when planning on doing this, please ensure that the chair back is actually behind you and not to your left. I ended up falling backwards into the bathroom counter and spilled a bunch of paint on myself, the chair, the floor and a little splatter on the wall. Yes, yes. I rule. I know. I figured that was enough painting for one evening.

In work updates:
I just sent off the second version of an enhanced report I've been working on. I had sent off the first version yesterday to the customer and she had noticed I needed to add in functionality for the custom report options. This is by far the most code I've written in years - not counting the piddly JCLs I used to write at Nahan. And it's in C/SQL combined code which I've never written before. I feel so accomplished right now. I even made sure that the report header was updated. Response from my customer:
It worked this time.
This is gonna save me hours. Thank you so much!!!
Tina


She's one of my favorite customers. She's demanding and has an ever growing list of requests, but if you send her stuff to test, she'll test the crap out of it and send back excellent feedback in a timely manner.

In donation updates:
I've got some very generous friends, family and co-workers. I'm at 95% of my goal! That's just fricken awesome. Now if I can just convince Jody to have Jackson's fifth birthday party late enough in the day that I can still go... (the walk starts at 10am and she was saying that that she thought she'd have his party that day)

Also, her brother is hilarious. He suggested that the theme this year should be "Jackson 5". Can you imagine everyone in afro wigs?! Sylla said he might try to grow his hair out for his own natural afro. :)
jillithian: (Polly)
I support and update a program that was originally written in the early 80s for the Apple II. So, it's not surprising that in the 20+ years of its existence, there are things in the code not everyone knows about.

It's just entertaining that I can ask the same question to two different people - both of whom are incredibly smart and know the program inside and out - and get two completely different answers.
jillithian: (Grumpy)
I am trying to eat a little better, in smaller meals more often.

This is tough, however, on days like today where the company ordered in food for everybody because we have potential customers visiting. So, there's a rumbley in my tumbley right now and lunch isn't here yet and the potential customers are in the break room/large conference room blocking my access to snacks and coffee.

*pout*

I didn't plan very well this morning by bringing in any snacks, but in my defense, I was distracted because we also had to dress nicer today due to said potential customer visit and had to focus more on appearance than anything else this morning.

Mornings are tough for me. I tend to wander around in a confused state of mind trying to piece myself together for the day. The requirements list has to be minimal at such early hours. I even forgot my sunglasses which I had in my hands 15 seconds before I walked out the door.

In states like this, I'm reminded of a particular scene from a Doctor Who episode where this alien took over the TVs and kept saying "Hungry!" before sucking the face off of it's viewers/victims.

Update: Lunch has been served and I've sufficiently stuffed myself with brownies. yum!
jillithian: (Polly)
Remember last year when I thought I might have cancer of the thyroid and luckily ended up just having a nodulous thyroid instead?

Well, my co-worker is going through the same emotional roller coaster right now. Last week he had the biopsy on his neck that I had and they brought him back in today for some blood tests because they "show a concern for thyroid cancer". He's going in for a surgical consultation this week and probably surgery after that.

It's fucking scary to throw around that 'C' word. And even worse when it looks more and more probable.

I don't know what to say to him. After he got his biopsy I was telling him my story and how the first ultra sound lady said that Minnesotans just have very nodulous thyroids. And also how cancer of the thyroid is the best to have because it is the most treatable.

I don't have any more stories left to tell.

I know lots of people say things like "You'll be in our prayers" and things like that. I know he is very active in the Catholic community here in St. Cloud, so saying something like that might be fitting, but I don't pray. I got nothin' there. I'm not sure what to think. Or to say.
jillithian: (Polly)
An email from my co-worker:

Just a brief update to you all…

After 2 days of tense worries and anticipation my wife Mary and I finally got to talk last night to our daughter Katie and her husband Thomas in China. They live in Sichuan province very near the earthquake center. Their town has had minimal damage because most of its buildings have been built in the last 20 years. Their apartment was built 5 years ago and only suffered minor cracks to plaster walls here and there. There however were some deaths on the campus where they are going to school - 3 miles from them. They lost power for a day but power, gas, phone and internet services are now mostly working. They have not slept in their 7th floor apartment since the quake. Aftershocks have been occurring a couple times an hour for the last 2 days making it hard to sleep. So they are staying in the first floor apartment of their best friends.

But the story is very different when you leave town, especially heading north into the mountains. They with a community of “like minded” friends from Chengdu in coordination with the Red Cross have organized their own recovery and aid team. They have a larger 4 wheel drive utility/ambulance vehicle and 2 other 4WD trucks with supplies and some medical aid that they are now driving into the mountains as far as they can - to provide what help and assistance they can. The roads are in extremely bad shape with rock slides and quake damage. The majority of homes and buildings in the mountains have collapsed. And as you have seen pictures on TV the living have no place to live.

Thank you all for your prayers and expressions of support for our family these past 2 days.


Update: I nearly forgot! My Department Head for my degree is currently in Shanghai teaching an accelerated version of the Engineering Management course this week! I hope he is doing ok...
jillithian: (Flying Sqirrel)
Our software is going live in Sweden in June. My bosses are flying to Australia next month for a meeting with some labs there about installing down there, too. We are just about to go live in Mexico in two weeks. Our salesman has a lead in Brazil. From the Expo two weeks ago, we have an interested potential customer from the UK.

It is all I can do to not yell "SIGN ME UP!" into the phone.

I understand that while I'd be in any of these places, I'd be working. It'd be much like our trip to Dallas where the days start at 7am and end at 10pm. I'd be exhausted every day. But the food... The views... The different air...
jillithian: (Big Earl)
Seriously, this is my newest best friend:
GoToAssist

Oh my lord, the amount of time it saves, especially with support calls to people who aren't very familiar with computers. It takes a possible 2 hour support call, not including the follow-up calls and emails, down to a quick 15 minute support call. And, for now, it's free. You just can't beat that.

No more will I have to say "Do you see where it says..." and get the response "No."

I can hardly explain the joy.
jillithian: (climbing rose)
This week has been an odd week and it is only Wednesday. But it doesn't feel like Wednesday. I've had the hardest time figuring out what day it is.

I think there is a conspiracy going on here. And I think that somehow Tim is involved, whether consciously or not. See, I tend to wear brown clothes as I think that color works on me. My husband is not a fan of brown clothes. I just realized this week that the two pairs of nice-ish brown slacks I have both need to be repaired as the cuff on the right leg of both of them has come undone. I find it too much of a coincidence that they both have the right cuff unsewn. *glares suspiciously at my right ankle*

Last night all of the co-workers and I went out to have a nice dinner. On my way home I got pulled over. I was in a mild panic. I went through my mind what I could have possibly done to get pulled over: speeding? no. swerving? no. seatbelt? on. blinker? used. I had had two small glasses of wine with dinner, but that was over a few hours and with lots of food and water mixed in.

Turns out my passenger headlight and license plate light were both out. The officer ended up just giving me a reminder - not even an official fix-it ticket - after checking my drivers license and insurance card and verifying my contacts were in. I believe the only words I said to him were "Yes, sir. No, sir. Sounds good. Thank you, sir. You, too." I promptly drove the remaining 4 blocks home and had a warm bubble bath. I'm bringing my car in this afternoon to have the lights replaced - I'm stressed out enough as it is without getting accosted by the authorities. (I'm exaggerating - the police officer was very polite. I hadn't noticed my lights were out, so I'm thankful he told me.)

I'm excited for [livejournal.com profile] thetim and [livejournal.com profile] princess_nicci's wedding this weekend. It should be a lot of fun. Then on Monday I'm flying down to Dallas for a few days for work. I'm not sure how that will be, but it's a new state on my list.

I need a nap.
jillithian: (That kind of day)
I've been at work little more than an hour and I am already on my second cup of coffee.


Because I spilled my first cup all over the floor and desk of Kathy's cube. And some on my new pants I just cut the tags off this morning.


Somehow I lucked out in that my new pants are black. Also, I managed to aim the coffee such that most of it spilled on her plastic chair mat (hardly any on the carpet) and the area of her desk that didn't have anything on it.

It's been that kind of week.

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