"We're just one big happy litterbox...."
Final Fantasy, herding cats, anime, manga, reading, avoiding housework, more anime and reading, art, writing, encouraging artists and writers
(Header cartoon kitties by GryphonCat; BG and layout by Changeling; page title by Riss.)
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Happy Birthday, RissiCat!
I love you so very very much. This is the twenty-fourth birthday of yours that I have been privileged to share with you, and each one is more precious to me than the last. I'm holding out for at *least* fifty more!
With love, your very own Gryphoncat (who...)
...scratched in the box at 01:50 p.m. on Thursday, July 7, 2005
*One* more thing...
Much, much, much love to the roomies for meeting me in the library below where I presented my tutorial defense, with arms full of flowers to congratulate me for making it through. Sooooo happy.
...scratched in the box at 08:39 a.m. on Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Don't you ever use the "C" word when you're talking to me...
Forgive me for the catch-up-long-winded post, but I think it's better to just get it all out of my system is one lump. This has been a "challenging" spring. With the last of my regular class-room courses ending at the beginning of February, work seems to have taken this as license to step up my firm obligations and responsibilities. I became lead on a couple of projects, which required all manners of time and coordination. The company also decided to switch over the firm's equipment management software suite to a whole new package and I became key to defining the capabilities that we needed the new software to be able to do. So there was plenty to do, with plenty of time to do it in... so long as I didn't attempt to work on my senior project at the same time. So I didn't.
Spin forward to mid-March: my tutorial is due in a month, and the only thing I've really accomplished is some background research on the literature review. No instrument. No research conducted yet. My advisor is encouraging, and I'm pretty much back on track. Except - well, the server that runs updates to the software that we are replacing utterly fails. Everything grinds to an administrative halt, and we are at a serious risk of losing equipment if we cannot track it.
Spin forward two weeks - work crisis is now resolved, and I have my life back. It's Wednesday, and I contact my advisor, who's first words are: "It's too late. You can't do this." I force her into agreeing to meet with me the next day anyway. When I make the appointment, I bring her to draft of what I have so far - the instrument I found, and my intentions. During the appointment, I understand that a fair portion of her students, not just me, are running late with their project. So I understand her frustration a little better. However, as we go over what I've done to date, her attitude improves markedly. I at least know exactly where I want to go, and how to get there, unlike several of her other students. She has more confidence,now. Her very valid critique: I should have attempted to stay more in touch with her, to let her know what was going on, not just disappeared for two weeks.
The next couple of weeks are a haze of tutorial related mayhem when I get another brick tossed onto the load: all the asset mgmt staff will meet in NY most of the week ending April 22. I've lost one out of the three weeks that I had left to complete the paper. Well, damn. I put on a big, big push to get the draft to my advisor before I have to leave, and the day weekend before my flight I get her a copy of my work to date. I fly to New York.
While in NY - I get her response. We need to meet on the Monday of the week it is due to go over several problems: She points out the glaring flaws in my project. Places where the logic does not flow smoothly, or that I explained myself so poorly, that she has no idea of what I'm trying to express. Damn. I spend the rest of the afternoon in the library getting additional info to bolster my argument. On Tuesday, I negotiate Wednesday off to work on the paper. It's due by 5pm Friday. I send her the revised draft Tuesday night, and get a response on Wednesday that the improvements have the paper headed in the correct direction. I'm spending most nights in front of the computer until I'm stupid, but I don't care much - I know that we're headed where I wanted to go, now. The problem is work now... I have project deadlines due that I am missing, because of this deadline. Not good. I'm getting scolded daily by my boss. Grumph. Worse part is he's right - I'm not balancing all this very well. Dammit. Friday we have another go-around, and I admit to him that I'm need to rest of the afternoon off. The transition from my home desktop to my work PC dumped all the graphs and charts out of the paper. I have to cut and paste them back in. Major suckage. Hooverlike. But if it's not in by 5pm, I fail. Period.
I don't fail. I make it there with 5 minutes to spare, due to traffic issues, so my advisor doesn't get to see it one last time. It is my belief that she'll understand and agree. And she does. I take the wonderful, tolerant roommates out to the Japanese restaurant we like best to celebrate. My defense of the paper is scheduled for 2pm on Wednesday. So as of yesterday, it's really, really done. The relief is incredible, indescribable.
After the defense, which went surprisingly painlessly, my advisor asks me if I'm coming to Closing convocation (scheduled today) and I say "no", I have work projects to focus on. She urges me to come, and realizes that I haven't seen my school email lately. I've been nominated for the departmental award for Business and Economics. *blink*
So yes, even though I have no clue as to what my grade is for the paper, and may not know until just before graduation, I won the award, sharing it with one of the foreign students, which is pretty damned cool. And this evening I participated in the senior supper, which gives me two whole school experiences under my belt, when I had none before. All in all, a good day.
I should have warned my advisor: Don't ever use the word "can't" around me. I take it very, very badly. [EG]
...scratched in the box at 10:07 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, 2005
Hearts and Flowers... okay, how about web-posts and Outback Steakhouse?
On the day set aside for mushy sentiment - something I tend *not* to excel at - I offer up a few sentiments from the heart.
First to my Mom - an amazing woman who raised five children mostly on her own, because the father of those children never grew out of his adolescent self-centered behavior and she figured out that she didn't need a sixth child, especially one that was disguised as an adult. Mom, thank you for loving me the best way you knew how. Although your love was flawed, and I understand now that those shortcomings were a result of the way you were raised, you always strived to rise above it all. Above all, you gave me the more important lessons of self-respect and dignity that have carried me through many a rough spot in life, and are more valuable than any amount of clothes and jewelry.
Second - for all the friends I've met both online and in person who are now or have recently been students. Thank you all for the encouragement and cheering as I tackled college for the second time in my life. This time I am sure to make it through, and with one class to go I am positioned to capture Summa Cum Laude upon my graduation, all while maintaining a full-time work schedule. I could not have done it without the love and encouragement that got me through many conflicts in time and energy. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Third - although she's never likely to see this, thank you to chiropractor Constance Haber. You listened to a total stranger describe twenty-five years of migraines and pain, and pointed me in a direction that a slew of general practitioners, osteopaths, and neural specialists never thought to take. To them, IGG Bloodprints and food sensitivities are not "scientifically sound," not perfectly reproducible, so they refuse to treat the concepts as a possibility. But your intervention in 1997 gave me a way avoid the chronic pain that had dogged my childhood, and as a result gave me a whole second chance at living, and the ability to enjoy that life. There is no way to measure that gift.
Last and never least.... Thank you to Changeling and Gryphoncat, my roommates and best friends. So much love - not enough words! Thank you for your patience as my life away from home eats up more and more of my time. Thank you for your patience and support of all the facets of my life. You guys are simply the best thing that ever happened to me. I will try to make it a little less complex soon, I promise. Everything I do, and everything I am is both for and because of you. Now and always, I will ever be your Rissie.
...scratched in the box at 10:01 a.m. on Monday, February 14, 2005
Building a Better Mousetrap
Much silence later and I still have nothing useful to say... The good news in school is that I am finally, finally down to just my Senior thesis project to research and write. Much happiness for not having to make the time to get into the classroom at 6pm several nights a week. The bad news: now I have to be self-disciplined enough to actually do the research and write the paper, otherwise graduation is cancelled for me. Argh. Double bad-news department: with only two classes in the Interim/spring semester, I have officially fallen below half time status, and am "no longer in school" according to Financial Aid department. Joy of joys. My school loan payments now start about the time that I graduate. >_< Maybe I can turn my senior paper into a NY best-seller list and let that do the work for me?
In "real life" I never know when I've had enough, so I started dieting shortly before Thanksgiving. Yeah, dumb - I know. But I made it through the holiday season with only a few bobbles. As of weigh-in last night (yes, I joined Weight-watchers... nothing like going public with your extra pounds to motivate you) I've lost 1/3rd or what I'd like to lose in total and 2/3rds of what I promised myself I'd lose for graduation. G-cat and Change' are the best cheerleaders in the world in this endeavour. Thanks, guys.
Work continues to be surreal, as management again wants us to find "real" ways to apply pressure to the field to comply with rules. After much pounding of head on the formica surface of my desk, my head dropped out an idea on Monday that I expanded on this morning. I figure that this issues has multiple parts and I'm all over people tackling them today. And wonder of wonders, my boss did the "thumbs-up" of my ideas that I bounced at him this morning. Woot. Mighty.
Hmmm, now here's a random thought: Maybe I can tie dieting and school discipline together. If I commit to spending the amount of hours each week studying on my Senior project in equal amount to the weight I'd like to lose by graduation I either get (1) A whole lot of studying completed on my project, or (2) a whopping big amount of incentive to lose weight faster, so I can be lazier than heck. Hmmmm....
...scratched in the box at 12:53 p.m. on Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Changeling-chan, hang in there. You're doing the right thing.
It is so tough to start dealing with things, especially the tougher things. It may seem like nothing, but thinking about it, writing about it, and talking about it is the first step to dealing. Look at how long it took me to get going on finding a full-time job, and if it weren't for getting booted from the REC and getting a tip from a friend, I could still be looking! Even so, I tried hard not to let myself stop talking about it. That kept me in shape to grab the chance when it arrived.
"Change is good", yeah, but change is scary and tough to do. Just remember you always have friends who will stick with you through thick and thin. Keep working at it, and just take one step at a time. You're writing about it. That's the second step already -- you're doing good; just keep going. Love you!
...scratched in the box at 01:59 p.m. on Thursday, February 3, 2005
What a nice early Christmas prezzie! The last of my grades came in: A, A-, A-, A, *Pass*. Granted, it's a gift that is earned and worked for, but you never know how it will go, until the grades are submitted. My GPA now is utterly safe, unless I screw up my research project beyond redemption. Happy, happy sigh.
Now, I'd better get my shrinking @ss in gear and get my holiday shopping done for the family. Gah!!
...scratched in the box at 09:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 21, 2004
I may be brain dead, but not so much so that I can't remember:
Happy Birthday, Luny!
Many, many happy wishes for you! ((HUGS)) From all the Mews!
...scratched in the box at 05:36 p.m. on Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Whoot, ah say! WHOOT!
Happiness is finishing up 2 major projects two days before they are due. Now I can tweak and fidget with them to my hearts content.
Second wonderful thing is completion of my initial board meeting (wherein the sponsoring professors all review my proposed topic for consistency of message and clarity) and coming out of it with my skin mostly intact. I am one contented cat.
...scratched in the box at 05:06 p.m. on Monday, December 6, 2004
"Such a dork" mode...
I have been so tied up in school and work that I don't realize what's going on until it's well and truly past me - much like a high-speed hockey shot.
CATT, so sorry for missing your birthday. I hope it was happy!
...scratched in the box at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, November 29, 2004
Quiet, (not) Too Quiet
Mews have been quieter than usual these last couple months, in part due to my full-on-full work and school schedule. (the other parts involve NanoWriMo, and illness) I have begun the mental chant of "three more weeks" at some point around last week. I must have been hitting a burn out plateau, though it's hard to tell since I (finally!) got a mental handle around my senior research project. I crept into my frequently-avoided counselor's office last week with the concept in hand, annoyed with myself that it took me two whole months to pull together, and found that I was the first of her seven counsellees to actually have the concept pulled together. Huh. Go figure.
After this term, school is merely the Interim class (The Environment in Film), and my senior research project. I'm pretty darned thrilled. Looks like I'll be graduating in May after all. Woo.
The littermates have been ill this past week, first G-Cat and then Changeling, though I (knock formica) have managed to stave it off so far. We did go to the Science fiction and fantasy convention that we typically attend every Thanksgiving weekend in Baltimore, which was wonderful and hectic. It's one of the few times we manage to connect with many of our friends from when we used to live on the east side of the state, and as such is sort of sacred.
This year was dedicated to quite a bit of fence-mending, connecting with people we haven't spoken to in years - some in part because of their behavior, some of them because of ours. (It doesn't matter if we were emotionally manipulated, I should have gotten my good sense back faster and refused to take sides in a quarrel that was none of my business. Gah Idiot.)
Although Twig was not able to come out and visit this last weekend, we ended up with a Thanksgiving guest, anyway. April, another friend who just started college was back home for the holiday, but working for a few extra bucks on the side. Turns out her parents were heading down to Baltimore themselves for the family meal, and she'd be one her own, so we shamelessly kidnapped her for the day, fed her silly, and then made her play Cosmic Wimpout with us. **purrrrr**
G-Cat even shared in the turkey this year - guilt free, no less! - because I picked up a free-range organic bird from the East End Food Co-op. More expensive than the typical store bird, yes definitely. Worth it anyway? Even more so.
...scratched in the box at 10:01 a.m. on Monday, November 29, 2004
Procrastination, whoooooaaa, pro-cras-tin-aaaaaaa-tion.....
I should be doing the draft of the business plan, really I should. But my brain is a total slacker today, dammit. Fortunately, I've done most of the research and just have to get off of my lazy butt and DO it. Thank god it's just the Draft that's due tomorrow night. Unlike an English assignment, I really don't think that I'll be able to bullsh** my way through this. *grin* But I'm gonna try.
Speaking of the lighter side of cow-pucky, I've already been out and done my civic duty. I even took a vacation day today, because our polling place was shorthanded a bit ago, and I said that I would hold myself available. However I have utterly resisted turning on any form of News today. I don't want to know until it's over, I think.
Oh yeah... the "shock and awe" version of financial accounting (i.e., "accelerated") has ended... and to my surprise, I managed to wrangle an A- from the prof. Go figure!
...scratched in the box at 03:43 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2, 2004
One Down, Four to Go
Finished my Accounting I final last night, and emailed to the professor during my lunch half hour. Of course, she did not get it, so now I have to run back downtown, to send it again. Dammit.
But overall, it's done, I did it, and I'm really, really happy. Life is good. However, time is still under the crunch as we start Accounting II with no break between. *shrug* I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.
...scratched in the box at 03:46 p.m. on Monday, October 18, 2004
Homestretch, sort of
Well, the "accelerated" accounting class that I am firmly convinced may still be the death of my GPA is winding to a close. This coming Saturday is the last class, and the final will need to be email back to her by Monday. A lot of students complained about the class, but in my opinion it was more from the horrific pace (and yes, for a batch of students who has never seen any type of accounting pace before, 8 chapters the first week and 4 chapters every week thereafter is a lousy damned pace. You never really understand how it all ties in, before you're being dragged through a ton of more information. I'm hanging on by dint of sacrificing any semblence of free time to the gods of the textbook. Even still it's more like I'm memorizing by rote what to do and say rather than understanding the principals behind the subject. Suuuuucks.
In other news, Happy Anniversary, G-cat, my angel... here's to the next 23 years! *Smmewch!*
...scratched in the box at 04:33 p.m. on Monday, October 11, 2004
Wow. Wow wow wow. I've been working at CMU for just over a month now, and I must admit I love it. The IT group here is NOT political, they are cooperative and friendly. My boss does not assume I have to start from the bottom and kiss my way up -- that's the old group I worked for -- and she actually values my input on process. The clients I have helped are all pretty darn nice. I've met a fellow origami folder (though he works on mathematical paper folding -- "hexaflexagons" -- and they are cool!), a fellow tea lover, and someone who, if the Mews ever get back to Pennsic, we'll be camping with!
The only hitch is that I am working as a temp, and this may all be over after the end of the year. X P
However, Changeling is interviewing for a support job here in my building today. Wish her luck!!!
...scratched in the box at 07:45 a.m. on Thursday, September 30, 2004
Holy crap... What the heck is General Mills putting in your cereal??!
...scratched in the box at 04:36 p.m. on Thursday, September 16, 2004
Life, or something like it...
Work: I have to say I was warned. "The reward for doing a good job is to get more work." And it has, in spades. I have been gifted with 6 new management reports to create and analyze for the bosses. 6 - in the span of one week they want these, so they can modify them before sending them up the line to their bosses' bosses. Along with 2 other projects we're trying to wrap up, one we're trying to launch, and another management report that I created that is now 1-2 hours longer to generate, thanks to the assistance of the higher ups. I have also been voted the person most likely to be called whenever anyone has a crisis, apparently. I think I need more money, but at least my review and raise is better than I have had in the last three years. I still doesn't cover the fact that I am doing two people's jobs, but we're getting there.
School: Full time means lots, and lots of reading. I had forgotten that fact. And unlike last term, the lots and lots of reading is text books not fiction, so it isn't anywhere near as much fun. Added to that is the accounting course where we are covering four chapters a WEEK, and I admit to living in near terror of numbers. I can do this, I know I can. Just gotta figure out how.... Just to add the the fun, my tutorial was raked over the other day by my advisor like a small terrier on a hapless rat. She hated it. She felt it was not measurable. She tossed it back like an idea that needed more time to grow. Worst of all - she's right. Fuck. So I am directed to review the literature for the topic and find something do-able.
Home: Integrating the last cat into the household and praying we don't have to skin them all in the process. It's far better than having to find time to trudge out to the art studio twice a day to feed her and spend time with the poor girl, especially with winter coming on in a couple months. Fairer to her, too. In the process of cleaning however, we found vast amounts of paperwork for all the sewer repairs that we did trying to keep the thing going for four years before we knuckled under and brought in the back-hoe this Spring. Hmmmm. I'm thinking maybe - civil suit - to recoup some of that $6K+ spent on a part of the house that they put in legal documents was in good working order when we bought the place, but went whacko in four months?
...scratched in the box at 05:49 p.m. on Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Rude (in a bad way) Awakenings
Dammit - Why, on my four day vacation weekend, have I had the dubious honor for the last three days of being awakened by the damned cats? I can get by on 6 hours of sleep, but it doesn't particularly mean that I *want* to. This weekend was supposed to be restfull.... well, excepting the fricking boatload of homework I need to muddle through. Bah.
Not really in a bad mood, despite the verbage. I've not gotten as much homework done as I would have liked, but I'll keep slugging at it today, and I've gotten a good deal of the housework that I wanted to see completed done, like mad amounts of laundry.
All of this is supposing that the fic which grabbed onto my brainstem yesterday morning, and has poured itself out onto a page and a half of paper will let go. All of this under the rationalization that I'll need to limber up my "writing muscles" for the Senior tutorial. Fortunately, we negotiated a truce, and it's stayed quiescent until after I'd put in a couple hours of reading, and was starting to lose comprehension.
But as for the now, we have a lovely quiet morning. I will make coffee and study or write and avoid firing up the weedwhachker to edge the lawn until AFTER Changelingwakes up, lest she feel obligated to strangle me with the extension cable, since strangling our neighbor for being obnoxious would land her in jail.
...scratched in the box at 07:46 a.m. on Monday, September 6, 2004
Getting busy, getting political...
The weekend spent lazing with Luny is a fading dream now, as the household is launched back into the routine of school and work. G-cat is very happy with the new job, and the new job appears to be very happy with her. Yay! I'm sure she'll go into more detail later. My job just threw 6 new reports onto my plate, all of them important, of course.... And school has a few more problems to iron out, but we're all working on that diligently.
But in the library of my college was a whole table outfitted with information on the November elections, complete with the electoral process and candidate/campaign data. To my delight, there was a table which listed out the 15 current "hot issues" and the various facets of those issues complete with the current political stance of the current president and his challenger. All set out in a neat, easy to interpret format. I've reproduced it for you here.
Much vacation to enjoy, much homework to read, so I had best get to it, neh?
...scratched in the box at 11:23 p.m. on Saturday, September 4, 2004
Changeling: "Have a weiner dog and a good day!"
...I'll explain that line soon. Really. Boy howdy, I hate how any little change after archiving leaves you with all this blank space... so I guess I'll fill it in with some amusing bits and snips from our trip out East this past weekend.
Seen written in the dirt on the back of a semi: "Got lutefisk?"
Fun custom license plates spotted on the highways:
While we were on the toll road in MA, G-Cat had been trying to remember how to fold an origami dachsund, and she got it finished just as we neared the tollbooths. So for giggles, she gave it to Rissi to hand to the booth attendant along with our toll. Riss' handed it over and totally confused the young man by saying cheerfully, "Have a weiner dog and a good day!" ...he probably had fun telling his co-workers about the Neon full of crazy women. (See? Explanation. ^^)
While passing by an exit for the town of Tamaqua, PA on the way home Sunday, I asked the other Mews:
Oh, and there's one more funny but I have to download a photo off the digital camera to 'splain, so that one will follow in a day or two. ^__^
...scratched in the box at 01:16 p.m. on Wednesday, September 1, 2004