azurelunatic: Thalia, Muse of Comedy, in a plaster relief sculpture. She is adorned with an ivy wreath, holds crook & mask (Thalia)
Swung by Purple's desk on my way in to tell him to find a hat (so he could lift it to me, for technical victories); he'd apparently just headed off for what turned out to be lunch.

I had lunch with the guy who used to be on the A-Team but who was in HR now. From his perspective, I've "come out of [my] shell" quite a bit, what with asking awkward questions in front of all-hands meetings and such, compared to going "aaaaa wtf icebreaker woe :(" -- from mine, I've certainly gained confidence about what exactly will go over well here, but I haven't exaaaaaactly been terrified of public speaking for 20 years, and I'm still an introvert. It costs to be socially On, except with a very narrow range of people. (It may, come to think of it, help that I've been spending several hours a week with one of those people fairly regularly for the past two years.)

Madam Standards dropped by to thank me for putting a reminder about dietary information on the potluck sign-ups.

Purple returned from lunch to tell me that one of his friends had told him: "Wow, your friend [Azure] has some big, um ... balls?" re: last week's pointed question. Heh.

My whole team has been hit by the plague. The Stage Manager sounds about like I feel, and was also from-home on Monday and Tuesday. I'm feeling much better! (I'm still coughing, and still have a damaged throat.) Purple was out with it last week, I think, but for him it was just a head cold.

I have not yet got the information for User Acceptance Testing for the new helldesk software iteration. There are some things that ARE APPARENTLY NOT WORKING AS THEY OUGHT, THE BASTARDS, and I am threatening to assemble a crew of engineers in someone's office. Pitchforks optional.

There was an emergency team ping from the other end of campus. I didn't take it. There was a second ping, still calling for people. I eyed it. The third ping was much more emphatic. I grabbed my gloves and bag and hustled (mindful of my delicate lungs). By the time I arrived, of course, the area was saturated with security, and what they'd needed the emergency team for was crowd control. (In the event of a medical situation, the last thing you need is onlookers going all popcorn.gif.) So I headed back down.

I have been slowly making my way through an album that Purple had mentioned that he was digging (it's good; not the sort of thing that I would have picked up myself, but good) and therefore was lost in a combination of chill noise and inbox when the Commandant poked me in the arm. "Augh! Don't *do* that!!" I said. No, the Lunatic will not notice your approach! This is why there is the doorbell! They have apparently filed a ticket to get the room they're planning to use for the potluck next week, but it is (likely) caught in some godforsaken corner of the helldesk, since the Dean hasn't seen it. I gave sage advice. The fact that I am helping plan my own goodbye party is not lost on anyone.

Eventually the building got cold and lonely enough that I needed to not be alone in there. So I pinged Purple, gathered up my gear, stuffed some stuff in the outgoing mail, dropped the portable hard drive back on R's desk, and wandered down to Purple's office. He was chatting with someone at their cube when I wandered by. I waved, drifted into his office, dropped my bag, drifted out, made myself a cup of tea, and settled in with the iPad quite cozily. His office is warm.

He came back in. We talked for a while. If ever I find myself near Palo Alto at the time of a beer bash, I should consider myself his guest. Was that lemongrass? No, it was "sweet orange" tea; I'd been looking for mint but didn't see any. Had I looked in the other, unlabeled drawer? No? Oh, that's where it might have been. I suggested a "MAYBE TEA?" label to go with the "TEA" label -- sometimes there is tea in that drawer, and sometimes there is not. Purple evidenced amusement at the thought of opening the "maybe" drawer and wondering wtf is in these bags, if there's doubt as to the tea status. I declared that the herbal ones would go in that drawer... This idea met with his approval.

Eventually, we braved the cold and the lingering smell of natural gas that nobody has ever got pinned down and the uncertain traffic in the parking lot. A little bird pecked about, nearly camouflaging itself against the white line, before flittering out of sight. There has been a wire coat hanger stuffed behind one of the pedestrian crossing signs, apparently for days, though this is the first time I noticed it. I held out my arm, and Purple obligingly shuffled closer so I could loop my arm through his as we stood there, chatting about things you find on Goodreads, and old movies, and all manner of wackiness.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
So Sunday I was feeling somewhat poorly... Sunday night I had a hard time getting to sleep for the coughing ... Monday there was no question of stepping out ... Tuesday I was still weak and sore, but much more coherent. Today, finally, I felt somewhat human again.

Therefore I wound up at work. phone is back from Australia. I had lunch with Purple and the guys. Purple was teasing me that oxygen isn't really necessary, because without oxygen, people don't complain at the lack ... therefore it isn't necessary ... right? I told him that he was one of the nicest assholes I knew. (That's the sort of compliment he likes.)

lb came by, and we strolled up in search of pastry. It was a slow stroll as my lungs were not all the way up to the hill yet. On our way back, I decided to try going through a nearby building to see if one of the people I knew from IRC was in. He was. I said goodbye, quite regretful that our first in-person meeting was both hello and goodbye.

One of the new hires had arrived while I was WFH-sick. I helped him navigate the helldesk in order to place the order for his new-hire software. As I popped back out of his office, one of the fellows from down the hall (towards the salesy side of engineering) stopped to tell me that I'd been very courageous on Thursday what with the asking inconvenient questions in public and all. (I hadn't felt *very* courageous, just a little bit. It gets easier after the first time, and it wasn't my dangerous question.)

I am still surprised to work in a place where people go out of their way to tell me that they like me and will miss me. I am still expecting the elementary school paradigm where I'm too weird, and then too oblivious to notice that everyone wants me to shut up and stop being weird at them.

The evening was a bit of an exercise in aslkjdfasdklfjalskdfj, as R had a sudden conference deadline, and therefore there was a bit of a scramble! Factors included: me being out sick, the high-quality photos being on the portable drive, the portable drive being Mac formatted, the general difficulty of getting things off a Mac-formatted drive when what you've got is Windows ...

... and the true helpful glory of a company full of very creative engineers who specialize in certain things, and have certain recommendations and pro tips. For example, they can tell me that certain paths are a fool's errand, and that possibly the simplest route is to plug the drive into an actual Mac. And some other things which might actually work. I decided I would try one of the other things first.

Purple said that he would have to take his hat off to me if I got stuff loaded without resorting to an actual Mac. (He doesn't wear a hat, so this will be hard.)

*gazes serenely at the progress bar*
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
Over lunch this week, the engineer from the Ukraine allowed as how knowing that software in general was developed by careless jerks just like him made him less confident in things like self-driving cars. "And how about planes?" (He is a pilot.) "They let just any asshole fly!" he said, or words to that effect.

This whole week has felt off-balance. The ice storm that hit the East Coast this past weekend delayed the processing of my car insurance payment, so while I had in fact paid twice (once manually, once automatically) neither had actually gone all the way through the computers due to things having been shut down.

A brief digression about computer rooms! (This is all simplified, though I know a chunk of my people know more about them than I do; anyone who knows more can leave helpful clarifications if they wish.) You might think that these days, computers are magical creatures that can stay up through all manner of physical insult, and you might be partly right! You can do amazing things to computers compared to what used to take them down, but there are a lot of moving parts behind that uptime.

First, modern management tools allow the people running the computers to switch which physical computer is doing the work, very very quickly across long distances. Read more... )

A lot of modern computer stuff happens in shiny modern data centers with fancy uptime promises, and the ability to automatically fail over to remote sites if something happens to the main site. Those are very shiny and new. The world of finance is ... not always on the bleeding edge of technology. They may have some somewhat older stuff. Plus, ice storms are serious business, and if you know it's a matter of time before the power goes out and you're not confident that the generators will hold out, and if the person responsible for making sure the machines stay up is snowed in at home ... maybe it just makes more sense to shut everything down gracefully for the long weekend, so even when the power goes out it won't matter. Then they can bring it back up once they get back in the office, and stuff won't be screwed up, even if it's late.

The customer service agent told me that everything was shut down on account of weather, so I very quickly saw why taking computer systems down would be a sensible move. I confirmed that my policy was active so I could legally drive to work. Yay people being sensible even when the computer is not cooperating.

Purple was not around for lunch this week much -- one day there was a leaving thing on his team, one day he was working from home with the sniffles, another day he had another offsite lunch, and then I had a leaving thing for someone on my team (Sparkles).

It's been the kind of week where people need walks.

Wednesday afternoon I got an email from a person at a company. We called and set up an in-person meeting for the following evening. That turned out to be a five-person interview; I realized that I actually missed the rush of uptime problems.

Other writers out there -- if you're ever beta-read or edited, you get to claim writing as an exercise in collaboration, if you're hard-pressed for an example while interviewing. I really ought to have pointed out the sit-down that lb and I had over a potential question that I was going to ask at a meeting, where we condensed from a large chunk of text to a few lines with bullet points. Writing for a goal means the occasional "I think the way you originally had it doesn't work" with optional "here's why" and "here's what I think you should do instead". lb at more than one point apologized and told me that he didn't want to trample all over what I was trying to say; I pointed out that this wasn't an exercise in my artistic employment of language, this was a text with a very specific goal and two very specific audiences. Therefore my ego about my original draft was irrelevant, and we only had an hour. We got it down to two post-its, eventually.

Friday was the aforementioned goodbye lunch for Sparkles. I was sitting next to the newest person. He quietly asked me if I could help him with the names of the people at the other end of the table. I confirmed the first one, but the second two people were people I interact with a lot less, and naturally their names weren't retrieving through my face. (I possibly could have typed their email addresses, and thereby come up with names, but there was no computer; I was stuck with face-based meat noises.) I apologized for the difficulty. He apologized for it as well, mentioning that he was bad with names. "And I'm moderately faceblind," I allowed.

The new guy lit up. "Oh, so you know exactly where I'm coming from; me too," he said. So we compared notes. If I have time, I may make him a book of flash cards.

Friday was also the day that the department that had suffered the intercision decided to meet for drinks at a local watering hole. I had been included in the invitation, and thought it important to show the colors (mostly blue). So I went, and after a little parking angst, found myself a place against the wall with a cider. I chatted and commiserated and reminisced and even may have uttered some language. One of the remote folks tried to join in via Facetime, but it was noisy and the connection was unreliable. There was some jocularity about one of them there newfangled presence robots, and how one might attempt to jury-rig same via hoverboard, broomstick, and iPad (someone objected as she did not want her iPad to go on fire), and then there was talk of remote control cars and the like.

There was standing around and talking outside. At a reasonable hour, I called Purple to see about dinner; he didn't pick up and I reckoned it was early yet and didn't leave a message. I tried again a half-hour later, and left a message. All told, at the two hour mark I was waiting patiently in the restaurant while getting the odd sympathetic glance from the intercised department (the nuances between "got stood up" and "the rest of the party is 25 minutes late" are mostly dependent on texting) and then there was dinner. Dinner was good. No standing around chatting this time, due to rain.

Various denizens of #cupcake decided that it would be a good idea to meet up socially. R decided that Saturday lunch at her house would be perfect. We had lunch and everyone except lb's girlfriend complained about work. (Sorry, lb's girlfriend!) Then we played cards (Purple had brought his deck) and there was hilarity; lb won and Purple and I had the same score. Every now and then Purple would fall over backwards laughing. Once someone played something meanish and Purple was sure it had been me; it had in fact been R.

Purple and I hung around chatting with R on our way out the door for "just a few minutes"; it was not just a few minutes. However, the moment that R and I started to sound like we were having a conference business meeting, Purple excused himself, gave me a hug, and scrammed. Heh.

A spider inside the "No Soliciting" sign is a nice touch. R needs to (quite literally) debug one of her little technology projects, as the spiders got inside that too.

As a result of the conversation, I started to contemplate a world in which StPatience runs a foundation for women in technology, with me as the administrative person and Nora running a lot of the people side. It's an interesting thought experiment.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
I am probably not allowed to send this particular friend emails with the subject line "Dance with me, Princess?"

test 4

24/1/16 23:30
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
ticky whacky poky

test 3

24/1/16 23:30
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
ticky whacky

test 2

24/1/16 23:30
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
huh

(ticky)

test

24/1/16 23:30
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
test?
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
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azurelunatic: California poppies. (California girl)
Word count on the new project: 1743, not including notes. (There are a lot of notes.)

I finally managed to call Darkside at a convenient time yesterday, and we wound up talking for approximately the expected length of time (2 hours). Today I met up with R for lunch and to talk conference-running. I'm going to run some numbers and get back to her.

Since we'd met up in Palo Alto, I dropped by work for some of the hauling-stuff-to-car which wouldn't benefit from helpful commentary from teammates. (Since the effect of said helpful commentary is generally me crying on Purple, I felt I had made an excellent choice.) I then called Purple to see if he was up for anything fun, given that I was ostensibly in the area.

He was not up for "out" particularly; I proposed that since what I was seeking was company, one of the traditions that Darkside and I had maintained was frozen pizza and terrible movies. He was amenable, so I picked up a frozen pizza and a package of spinach (know thy favorite software engineer) and only got slightly lost on the way to his place. (When you're coming from a nearby main drag, the wrong turn before does not have a stoplight. The correct turn does. This means "fun" trying to get back out onto the main drag and down the street due to our friend the left turn.) He was unsure of the gate code, but I was able to "shark in" after someone.

We proceeded to settle in to his infamous couch to watch things. I've had Black Mirror recommended from several trustworthy directions, so I went for that first. Apparently my limit there is 2 consecutive episodes. We mutually agreed upon Black Books to follow that up.

People who are allowed to call me "milady", a very short list:
* Purple

I would be pleased if this were to become a regular thing.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
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azurelunatic: "Are you challenging my ingenuity?"  (ingenuity)
My priorities at work are: get the participant database in reasonable working order (including the yelling at vendors), and get the process for the yearly conference in as well-documented order as I can get it.

There has been database WTF-ery. The response from the vendor is sort of shaped like "yes Reverend thank you Reverend" as I tell them that this is unexpected and not in the good way. Purple is amused.


I'm starting to apply places, and collecting my references and paperworks.

More people continue to find out and/or ask me about the status of the contractor deadline. I feel somewhat socially obligated to put a good face on it, at least to people who aren't #VirtualH, #dreamwidth, #cupcake, #adventuresofstnono, or closer. This results in scenarios like:

ajl: I've heard vague rumors to the effect that people are talking about getting us a paid Slack, but only rumors. In the future, you should probably ask [R&D IT Flashlight Guy] about that, he might be best placed to know.
MrBlueHair: Wait, "in the future" ARE YOU LEAVING US
ajl: Well, there's that contractor policy, and my team wasn't able to get me converted to full time before the deadline, barring a miracle.
MrBlueHair: ... !!! D:
ajl: :( :( :(

or

R2, the guy on my team not my else-team friend: Well, I'm headed to India to get married, see you when I get back!
AzureJ: Congratulations, and it's been a pleasure working with you.
R2: Oh, I'm coming back! At the end of February!
AzureJ: When in February?
R2: The end ... omg, you won't ... ? Where are you ... ?
AzureJ: The 16th. I don't know yet.
R2: Oh. It's been good working with you too. :(


When that happens, I tend to IM Purple with the gist of the conversation and try to not let it go from tears leaking out my eyes to actual audible sobbing. He says that long notice in situations like this is kind of torture. I'm inclined to agree, though I also appreciate it so I can prepare.

One of the things helping me keep it together is the way that I know I am cared-for and well-regarded, on my team and off, and especially amongst #VirtualH and #cupcake. Purple hugs me goodnight, shoulder-bumps me, occasionally pets my arm, and lets me take shelter next to him. I keep rediscovering that undemanding sustained physical contact with folks who don't set off my alarm bells is a thing that does me great amounts of good. (Even while the same amount of proximity to people *not* cleared for unmonitored access to my blind spots would leave me worse off.) Mr. Zune has joined #adventuresofstnono, which goes a long way towards keeping the people I cherish most from #cupcake in places I will see them regularly. (We have yet to coax radius in there.)

Recently, #adventuresofstnono have been talking about the reverse of popular internet emotional signifiers. What is the opposite of LOL? Throwing up? Crying inside? The simple D: ? This inevitably led to 8===D and its opposite, 8===D: the aghast ascii penis.


I have Scrivener set up, and have embarked upon a project which is intended to be a tropey tropey paper bag which may contain a magician's bird of definite fjord-pining status, and might also possibly -- well. So the other day on Twitter...




Naturally I hunted down the reference (like a good fishmum) and while the story was sweet and hot and I was happy to have spent a fancy coffee's worth on it, the writing quality was not what I'm accustomed to. In fact...

"I can write better than that," I groused to myself. "In fact, I've half a mind to..."

[personal profile] norabombay and [personal profile] sithjawa promptly started incorriging me.

I now have:
* working title (terrible, terrible pun)
* a possibly viable pen name
* a main pairing, several supporting couples, and some names
* a terribly on the nose pen name for the bad fanfic written by a supporting couple
* tons of incorrigement
Pray for me.
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Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz - bolt of blue - infovore)

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