azurelunatic: Parental Advisory: I Say [animated changing curse word] A Lot (fuck)
Guide Dog Aunt threw a game night on Saturday. It took me a little longer to get ready than I'd hoped, but I did get over there. There was a Cards Against Humanity game in progress, and I was dealt in.

My aunt is all about the house rules that say that the purpose of the game is to have fun, so there were a few un-fun cards quietly put in with the used cards. Another common house rule is that if you don't know what it is (or don't admit to knowing what it is) you don't have to play it. Some people chose to ask things like "Who's Michael Bay? What's 'queefing'?" and many people were enlightened. "I didn't know there was a word for that!"

"What's Harry Potter erotica?"
"Well, when someone loves the Harry Potter books a lot, and writes little stories..."
"Oh! ... How do you know these things?"

One of the people who was new to the game was enticed in to play just one round, for the second go. By the second time we had got around the table, she was gleefully choosing a slightly weaker card, out of kindness to the current czar.

I won one hand by pairing "In this world there is nothing certain but death and ____" with "Soup that is too hot." Guide Dog Aunt agreed mightily.


It came time to cease partying, and everybody went home. I stuck around to help clean up all the fun, and with three people working at it, it was fairly quick. I caught up with my aunt, and then went home and went to bed.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
It was slightly less fuck o'clock in the morning when I shambled in to work on Friday. I was contemplating dropping the heaviest of my things at my desk before going to the departmental all-hands in the auditorium of the executive building, but then I saw Purple shambling forth. "Yo!" I called, and he waited for me to catch up with him, scowling in the not yet burning light of midmorning.

All-hands. )

Helldesk software meeting. )

Eventually I did get a good look at the time and I needed to rush back to my proper end of campus.

Rainbow tables beer bash & dinner. )
azurelunatic: "Where's the goddamn NERF BAT when you *really* need it?" Animated cartoon tech support loses her cool.  (headset)
I woke up a few minutes before the alarm was set to go off. I'm not sure if it actually did. I was out the door fairly promptly, and beat traffic in to work. I set myself against the task of attempting to replicate the structure of the old database in the new tool, and found myself asking many questions (many rhetorical, and moderately profane) about the designers of the new thing. Ahh, the honeymoon phase of a new tool, marked as it is by excessive sugar consumption (honey) and rude gestures to the program (moon). I also filed a bug, P0 catastrophic, against the old tool. I keep saving that for best.

Expected: selecting an arbitrary value from Company, Product, or State (individually or in combination with other items) would be searchable.
Actual: selecting arbitrary values from any of Company, Product, or State makes any search fail to run.

Expected: possible to use the Clear Filters operation.
Actual: the only way to clear values from any of Company, Product, or State is to refresh the page.

Rather than actually repairing this, I'd just like the contents of all the tables in .csv format, along with a diagram of the table relationships.


There was an all-hands early, which was why I was in at that hour. I might as well get the good commute and score a few hours of near-silence.

I found a seat next to Mr. Wizard Beard. I peered around for Purple but I didn't see him. It was equal odds whether he'd be on site or not.

Eventually it came to be Q&A time. I raised my hand for the microphone, and (hands starting to slowly turn to ice) rehearsed what I'd say. The bored-looking guy whose face reminds me a little of Shawn made some arcane signal to the guy covering the other half of the hall, and shortly an older man was behind me with a wireless stick microphone, avuncular and reassuring.

"I know this is somewhat of a squeaky wheel question, and I know a lot of people have been working very hard on improving this," I began, the first few words clipped off in the ears of the room as the mixer played catchup. "But how soon do you think [helldesk software] will be as functional as [beloved old zilla install]?" I handed back the microphone. If I was in trouble, so be it.

I got spontaneous applause and a wave of laughter. "That was a great question," the avuncular man told me in my ear, suddenly personally warm in a way that outshone his professional easiness.

The CEO indicated that this was a very important question to have asked, and put me at ease that I was not going to be in trouble. As for the substance, he was going to punt to the financials guy, but he saw the CIO there in the back of the room...

Later, my teammate would tell me that the CIO had seemed dreadfully embarrassed to be asked. Let us be clear: the CIO was attending this meeting as any employee might, in the standing-room-only area. He wasn't in some sort of reserved area. He was not mic-ed up. (This subtlety was lost on the folks on the phone.) The avuncular man with the handheld mic presented it to the CIO. He mentioned that they definitely knew that the helldesk software was terrible, and that they were also afraid that it was so terrible that people had sort of given up on trying to make it better and give feedback on what would actually work for them.

The CEO addressed me and told me that squeaky wheel questions like that are necessary and to keep asking them. I flashed back a thumbs-up and heart-hands.

"If you hadn't asked that, I was going to," Mr. Wizard Beard told me.

There was a sort of buzzing in my brain that obscured most of my senses; I only got it back when I heard a voice say the words "squeaky wheel" -- it, of course, was Rubber Chicken Guy, wanting to make sure that our route to complain was as clear as possible.

My phone started buzzing a little, with my team cheering at me in slack, some Twitter high-fives, plus [twitter.com profile] godtributes.

There were a few more questions and then the meeting was over. I kept the CIO in my line of sight and wandered over the few meters to where his little group was standing, to take my place in the little knot of people that served as an informal line. I had a very nice chat with Rubber Chicken Guy and his buddy, a fellow who'd just been moved in to my building and who helps run a demonstration lab at one of the work conferences.

Eventually the topic of the helldesk software came up, brought up by some fellow in glasses with grizzled hair. I was able to explain where you file a ticket against the software within the software, which was news to the CIO -- he'd mostly been relying on not!Facebook, and that was such a yellfest that he was burning out on listening at all. Drinking from the flamethrower.

I said some things that I hoped were full of empathy and understanding, that it's super hard emotional work to face people who are that angry and in that much pain. I feel like we bonded a bit. The other guy had his pet feature, which will make things better if they do it.

Also the rest of my day. )

Tomorrow's going to be interesting. First there's a greater-departmental meeting. Purple and I are both in that greater department. Then there's a helldesk software thing. Following that will be the diversity-themed beer bash. I will be there, I will be queer, and I think I'll pass on the beer.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
I am the person who the intern pokes on Slack when there's an obscure abbreviation to be defined.

It turns out that the phrase "putting the old knowledge base articles into the Helldesk software" is best accompanied by painful-looking gestures.

Purple's Windows update took an hour.

The new person at the work cafeteria taqueria is getting better at rolling burritos. Today's effort looked sort of like a blunt, complete with holes at top and bottom. I folded over the more foldable-looking end. Purple laughed at me.

Somehow the topic of https://web.archive.org/web/20061205081603/http://www.brownplasticpackagingtapemonster.com/story.shtml came up. (Well, I know how: via me telling Purple that if the thought of something makes him giggle for that long, he's not allowed to do it.) And then he got to the idea of putting brown plastic packaging tape down in a human shower to prank someone. I suggested that the lights would have to be pretty dim to allow that one to happen. He suggested replacing all the bulbs in someone's house with lights 1/4 the illumination. I pointed out that this would be more nearly literally than usual gaslighting. Both of us are reprehensible and think we're very funny. (We would not do these things. I feel that a good prank is harmless, and gaslighting is harmful.)

I had been craving cinnamon rolls last night. It is hard to come by just one cinnamon roll. Much easier to just get a grocery store tray and then share with the team. "The disc of evil", as my manager called it.

It has cooled down, so sleep will be easier to come by.
azurelunatic: panic button.  (panic)
It turns out that when you combine heat, humidity, and any amount of exertion, I start to pop off panic attacks like they were going out of style.

Have dinner in downtown Mountain View, and queue up for a gelateria? Panic attack due to claustrophobia.

Go to IKEA and try to go through the showroom backwards? Panic attack.

Try to communicate how to arrange two shopping carts so that I can go to the bathroom while Tif watches the carts, then allow me to fill my water bottle while watching the carts while Tif uses the bathroom? Panic attack.

By the third one, I realized that this is really not normal for me, and that my physical state during that amount of heat and humidity had to be contributing.

At some point over the last year or so, I wound up going to a work music thing and mentioned to Purple that I was somewhat claustrophobic, and the crowd might set me off. It didn't manage to fully do that, thanks in part to Purple being mildly obnoxious and distinctly funny, on purpose in order to distract me. I was appreciative.

Later, I ran into some article on computer modeling of crowds, and they weren't getting the crowd dynamics right until they started modeling motion changes on time until collision. At that point I decided to do an audit of my crowd-based claustrophobia if it was just that my collision alarms were blaring.

It turns out that there are two primary drivers for my panic at being in variously crowded public spaces. One is my collision warnings going off continuously. Another is the time-until-collapse alarm. See, my stamina hasn't been too great in the past, and I've been learning to compensate for that. So I always have a vague sense of how much standing time/walking time/walking distance I have left in me. In a crowded place, I also have a vague sense of how long it may take me to get out of the crowd and into some place of refuge/place to sit down safely. When these two timers start to get close (let alone compare unfavorably), I panic. Less common is if/when my brain and communication starts to delaminate. If I can't communicate clearly my need to get the fuck out and sit the fuck down, it's not safe either. Which distresses me more.

Humidity, it turns out, entirely fucks with both my actual stamina, and my calibrated sense of how much ability to keep upright I have left to me. The level of sweating that happens in extreme humidity turns out to closely resemble the amount of sweating that happens when I have burned through all but the very last reserves of my energy. This doesn't make me feel super secure. Annnnnd ... panic time!

One that used to get me a lot was feeling dehydrated. Yay water bottles.

Now that I know this, I can maybe cope a little better. Ugh.
azurelunatic: "Offices are why big people get GRUMPY and say BAD WORDS" (offices are why)
Yesterday involved a lot of wrestling with the fucking participant database, which has broken entertainingly in that you can now only search by name, not by product used. Am not best pleased. I spent yesterday and today doing a lot of things that ought to have been done automatically in under 5 minutes.

This week is bug triage week for poor Purple. He has, however, invented a little script to help diagnose a particular sort of weirdass bug he's getting barraged with.

Months ago, I'd complained to Purple that I felt the need for a cry, a drink, and [redacted for crudeness]. Purple had made awkwardly helpful suggestions at the time, which wound up being its own little saga (short version: always check the integrity of your magic wand's cord before use; no injuries except my equilibrium and the device). Today I wasn't feeling that bad, but I did feel the need for a good book, a cup of tea, and [redacted for slightly less crudeness]. I did get the cup of tea -- since it was primarily hibiscus, I dropped one of the dried sweetened hibiscus flowers in, plus a small handful of dried blueberries.

Last night there was a small earthquake, and people were asking each other whether they'd felt it or not. Purple had been up at that hour. So had I. The telling was amusing. There were howls of laughter, and I feel I've marked off a box on a SF Bay Area bingo card.

The hibiscus flower is tentacular when rehydrated, like a little facehugger. However, it's a small facehugger, more of a nosehugger really. They wouldn't be chestbursters, they'd be nosebursters.

I have been training a Pandora station for show tunes. It has decided to include Disney shows in this now. I can't say that I'm going to argue. I may argue with the fact that there are at least three albums out there with the same goddamn songs on it (for every prominent show that's been redone, it looks like, plus the Best Of albums and the live albums) so I may need to gently grouse at the devs a little.

The evening cleaning guy suggested chia seeds to improve the tiredness and general malaise that I was feeling last night. I haven't really noticed a difference when having them and not, which sort of deflated his suggestion. Tonight he mentioned that I seem different from a lot of the other people. Well, yeah.

There is a meeting in the Fix The Goddamned Helldesk Software series on Friday, with someone who apparently knows about making the motherfucker work correctly. The scheduler person called my desk phone to ask if I had recommendations for users. I'd been face-down in the database, and was pretty inarticulate at her for about 2 minutes, at which point she said she'd email. I gave her the names of about six people who I thought would be articulate, helpful, and okay in a rarefied crowd. I then specifically mentioned Beldorion as a person I thought would not be helpful in this group. She then said it was a great idea, she'd already reached out to him, and he was very passionate. I clarified that I felt that if you wanted anyone else in the room to get a word in edgewise, Beldorion was not your man. Oh well.

It's a lunch meeting, so if I get a salad to go from the cafeteria, I can justify also bringing a bag of microwave popcorn. (Purple's suggestion.)

Yesterday, the Stage Manager insisted that I get a compass app on my phone to properly align the compass rug I found at IKEA. I'd been doing it via google maps; I had only been a few degrees off.

I resist other people's attempts to make me share my cloud pillow. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20306575/
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
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azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
Up at fuck o'clock to attend a helldesk fixit summit in place of someone who could not make it. Despite Mr. Wizard Beard's attempts to incorrige me, I only dropped the F-bomb once. (The conference call was recorded.)

Lunch was very tasty. There was a small crowd including Purple and Murraya. The tale of Pippin Peeing On Steph's Couch has become one of Purple's Storytime With Azz standards for the cat crowd.

I finally got back in to Jabber, after a week and a half without.

phone was back in town; this resulted in a group dinner. I did the bulk of the poking at things to make a group decision this time. I felt fearfully grown up.

Assembled were Purple, me, R, Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly, phone, and phone's semi-mythical boyfriend who looks surprisingly like Hard Gay the pop culture icon. He was charming and it was great to finally meet him. I have provisionally dubbed him the Fab Chef.

Since phone had mentioned something about my daughter being off at college, I had to briefly explain Marmalade Fish and accidental child acquisition. My choice of phrasing to explain started with: "My uterus is exit-only!" Fortunately R, phone, and Purple are used to statements from me which would be bizarre from any other person.

This year's Diversity beer bash is next week; not only may phone show and join me at the gayest table, but the Fab Chef may as well!

Beer was dessert for Ms. Antisocialest Butterfly and phone, but the rest of us sought gelato. I had a minor panic attack due to claustrophobia in the crowded line & interior. Minor as Purple didn't notice it.

We found a table outside and chatted. Purple's coconut gelato made a bid for escape. I gave him my extra napkins. As he finished and I observed him discreetly scrubbing off his fingers on his jeans, I asked did he want some water. He demurred. "Let me rephrase. I have a water bottle in my bag." He did, to a bit of giggling. Then it was Storytime With Azz And Purple, our relatives and their explosives tag-team edition. Overall a very fun evening.

I gave Purple a heads up that I had been at the edge of cope for crowds. Next time will be better. We have a plan.

We had parked in the same garage. We hugged goodnight and then soberly talked about parenting (and how my fishmum mode runs in parallel to my phobias so I can handle more as fishmum than as regular Azz).

Tomorrow will be a shopping run with Tif.
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Monday had a fun milkshake walk and chat about leadership styles. Also Beldorion said an amazing thing at lunch, and we have a great intern.

Tuesday involved being face - down in my notes.

Wednesday morning I came in to find a new computer sitting in my cube with a few loose cables. I had lunch with Purple (not exactly glued to his side but happy to be there) then set about setting up the new machine before decommissioning the old.

Unfortunately, the Jabber gods did not smile upon me, and it may not surprise those to whom I was grousing at the end of May that it's being handled bassackward by some helpdesk techs who literally cannot tell Jabber from IRC (from Lync, sadly). Some dumb fuck installed a Skype for Business plugin on IE claiming he hadn't done anything and IE was this machine's default browser. I did not swear but I did fake laugh very obviously. Then I had to call back and get the ticket routed right (as Jabber is no longer officially supported).

I did that thing that cats do, a bit, rubbing my cheek on Purple's sleeve to express that I had missed him. Nora teased me about a/b/o.

Today: WebEx vs. ClearType & my broken login vs. Lync. Today's first tech signed in with his own account to make sure that it was my login broken and not the program. I appreciate that.

It's a dang small world. Today one of my work buddies turns out to have learned CSS from LJ...

My tweets

9/7/15 12:06
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
  • Wed, 18:06: dude, don't fucking add shit to Internet Explorer for me.
  • Thu, 01:05: My fitbit #Fitstats_en_US for 7/08/2015: 3,902 steps and 1.7 miles traveled. http://t.co/gFMrr7HEB6
  • Thu, 01:51: Work infrastructure that promises to let me view inside the firewall seamlessly chokes up on the helldesk pile of SaaS.
  • Thu, 01:54: Purple was back from his long weekend today. Apparently when I don't have words for how I missed him, I resort to cat: rub face on sleeve.
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8/7/15 12:05
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azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz - bolt of blue - infovore)

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