Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Well, it's halloween again, and I'm dressed up as a corporate assailant again. I tried to get a pumpkin Sunday night, and went to a couple of different places, but everywhere was all sold out. This isn't a picutre of my pumpkin; I got the picture from an e-vite for a party that I completely forgot to go to. I've been so busy, I've been slacking on my socializaiton. At least it's getting better with each passing moment. Maybe tonight we'll scare some kids in the neighborhood, but we're not going to scare them too much, given how things go these days.

When I was a kid, we ran home from school, changed into our costumes, and spent the next several hours trick-or-treating. We usually had pillowcases with us, because they hold more candy and are more durable then any other crappy candy bag. I really think we trick-or-treated for at least 5 hours, and didn't have our parents check the candy before we ate it. We didn't eat any apples given to us, not because of the razor blade scare, but just because apples suck compated to a bounty of resses peanut butter cups, M & M's, snickers, hershey kisses, sprees, sweet tarts, marshmallow things, and all sort of other candy. Some past costumes I have worn were wonder woman, a nun, various demons, a witch, an orphan--that costume was just dressing up in regular clothes and when someone asked what I was, I would tell them I was an orphan. In my late teens and 20's I wore a lot of retro 70's clothing, and would just wear an extreme amount on halloween.

One of my most fun memories of Halloween was the time when I was living in NY with my cousins, and we went to Manhattan to see the parade in the village. My cousin and I trick-or-treated the whole way down to the Annadale train station; here we were, two twenty-something adults knocking on stranger's doors asking for candy. Kind of fun and funny, and gave us something to eat on the ferry.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

it's been nice

It's been a beautiful autumn so far, not too much rain, but heavy fog in the morning that burns off by 12 noon or so. Everything smells like crisp cool air, dead leaves, and fireplaces, and the rustle of dead leaves swirling in the wind can be heard so often it's taken for granted. Tonight we lose daylight savings time, and gain an hour of sleep. I think it's strange that Arizona and Indiana don't have daylight savings time. That must be weird, not having to change your clock twice a year. I wonder if we lived on a larger planet, if we would have longer seasons and the need for a couple of different daylight savings times. Who came up with the hour change? Why not 45 minutes or 1 1/2 hours?

Work's been unbelievably busy lately. Busiest I think I've ever been in my life. And it's tough, too, real brain busting mental exhaustion work. Just dealing with a lot of people and a lot of different paperwork, depending on the situation. I have all new people starting next week so that should be releif, I haven't made any art lately, and miss having more personal time. I'd love to take a vacation, too. I'd like to just float in warm water indefinately.

I have new neighbors next door (again). This is the 4th neighbor that's lived there since I've been here. A woman about my age lives there, I haven't met her yet, but she's been a little obnoxious and Thursday night I almost went over there to tell her to shut the hell up, she was making a ton of noise, blasting music and jumping or dancing around. I haven't heard any neighbor here at all except for her, so I know it's not me being too sensitive.

I guess it's close to election time, I've been receiving a steady stream of ballot measure or election canididate junk mail. I can't wait until it's over. Anything political gives me a headache, it's all bullshit. I read the voting guides that come in the mail, and I vote, but I'm really skeptical about my vote counting. Our state does a mail in ballot, which really is more convienent then going to voting places. I get school flashbacks filling in the bubble scan-tron looking voting keypunch card.

I can't believe it's fall! What a nice summer. I can't believe it's almost Halloween.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

autumn tree pictures

These pictures were taken in Lone Fir Cemetary and around the neighborhood in Portland, OR last weekend.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

autumn bike ride

Here's a video I took of an afternoon bike ride we took on Saturday through our neighborhood..

Friday, October 20, 2006

no customer service awards won here...

I work with this receptionist named Dolores who is the most unfriendly receptionist I have ever worked with. I try to take her with a grain of salt; she is miserable, older, uses a cane, and closely resembles Jabba the Hutt wearing dangely pearl earings. I know that's mean but the visual it's going to create is pretty close to the real thing. Anyway, she seems to always be a little annoyed, or frustrated or flustered, and I try my best to be nice, help her out when I can, I try not to ask too much of her because I've seen her flustered and I don't want to be the one responisble for giving her a heart attack. When I arrive to work in the morning, I have to walk past her to get to my department. To be polite, I say "Hello" or "Good Morning." I don't make much small talk, just enough to be polite.

So get this:

The other day I was walking past her, and she stopped me. She started stammering, "you know, I know that you like to be polite, but I would just prefer it if you didn't say hello to me in the morning."

I was pretty shocked. I think my mouth might have been hanging open. I have never been told that in my entire life. Luckily, Delores' supervisor was walking by at the same time she started telling me this, and stopped to listen to what Delores was saying.

"I'm sorry," I told her, I was really confused now, kind of like the time I slept all afternoon, and woke up at 7 PM and thought it was 7 AM and i was running late for school. "I don't have to say anything to you if that's what you prefer." I was mystified.

"Yes, I prefer it. I'm just too busy and I don't have time to say hello to you. When you say hello it disrupts me." She was having a heard time making eye contact and seemed really upset.

"Ummm...okay." I turned to leave, and so did the supervisor, who shot me a look that read, "what the hell??" After we got down the hall and around the corner, Delores' supervisor said to me, "That was so WEIRD!" I agreed, and relayed that I had never been told that in my entire life. "It's not like I'm forcing her to make small talk," I defended myself to Delores' supervisor.

A week of no acknowledgement has gone by, it seems weird to me to walk past someone and act like I don't know them. I don't know how she's able to keep her job, because if she's that unfriendly to me, I can't imagine how she treats other people throughout the day. It's kind of a bummer because I really value the role of a receptionist in an organization, I have always felt that they were the face of the company. Sometimes I think the only company Delores could be the face of is some Tatooine smuggling depot.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

pictures of the work part of my trip to Coeur D'Alene

this was our "networking boat meeting"

Chad Vader Day Shift Manager (episode 2)

Here's the second installment of the Chad Vader saga...

Friday, October 13, 2006

pictures of and around Lake Coeur D'Alene

The resort was famous for it's golf course, and the "Floating Green 19th Hole." Now I don't know shit about golf, one of my contacts was raving about this course. It cost about $250 to play a round of golf. Lots of rich weird older white men around. I never asked if you have to originally hit your ball out there, or if you can just bring it over on the boat and play.

the resort

Thursday, October 12, 2006

farewell, core da leen and spoke-can

I'm in Spokane right now, waiting for my flight to board back to Portland. I had a great time, and have a lot more pictures I have to format and upload. I took so many pictures I wore out new batteries! I was volunteered by my table today to speak to the group again about breakout session data complied regarding our state senators and representatives, which was completely winging it because I'm embarassed to say I don't really know too much about our senators and representatives. It was a crash course in winging it, and the feedback I received was "you did GREAT!"

Spokane is a smaller, spread out, mostly industrial poorer town in high desert country. A lot of browns, yellows, rolling hills of dried grasses...nowhere I'd like to live. The airport is so small and rinky dink it's amazing. It's like a micro-airport. My propeller plane just arrived, and after they offload the people arriving from Portland, I'll be able to board. Another annoying aspect to the Spokane airport is the fact that half of it is under construction, and there are guys sawing pipes and spackling walls here. Oh well. They can only be improving it.

Well I have to go and board my plane now. If I can't upload pictures later, I'll definately be able to do it tomorrow.

Chad Vader

If you haven't seen this already, it's totally funny. The Chad Vader movies are up to the 4th episode. I found this on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

presentation went well!

I'm excited to say that my presentation went off without a hitch, and all day people at the conference were approaching me and asking follow-up questions. My boss said "You did really good," and when I told him I was nervous, he said if that's how you present when you're nervous, then being nervous is working for you.

I wasn't too nervous, not in the sense that I'm forgetting my material and choking or anything. Just the variety of people who are at the conference, not the largest crowd but close (about 90 people) and the biggest room I've ever presented in--I'll have to take a picture of it tomorrow. My palms get a little sweaty, and I have to remember to speak coherently and not slur like a drunk, but once I get up in front of the audience and I'm on, it all kind of melts away, and I feel like I'm actually an observer in the crowd rather then the person speaking from the podium. I ran over on time, and when I was flashed the "5 minute" sign, I momentarily lost my train of thought.

I'm really glad that I was invited to speak at the conference, and would gladly do it in the future, or speak at individual organizations.

All those years my parents told me that I talk too much, or talk too loud, are paying off.

Later that evening, I was walking around the lakeshore, when I saw a Channel 4 van. I walked by and took a picture, then took a picture of the local Coeur D'Alene correspondent. I'm sure that annoyed her, or at least made her think I was some sort of freak. At least in my corporate disguise I'm taken a little more seriously.

Here's two pictures of the sunset:

Oh, and here's a picture of the fireplace in my room:
It's not entirely real; a flip of a switch turns it on, and it doesn't really warm the room up. I think it's just for effect.

I have more pictures from a boat ride out to the floating green I'm going to post tomorrow, and I'm still back-blogged from some events that took place a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks for reading!