Archive for March, 2003

Mar 31 2003

Pain of teaching

Published by under Work

Yeah well, my back and feet are killing me because I was on my feet all day. The class is going too fast. I covered all of day one and two modules into day two already today. At this rate we will be done long before our three day time is up, and that is not exactly a good thing because we have internal people joining after my part of the class is complete. I was worried that it was my fault that the class is going so fast but really I way overestimated all of the times for the modules. *sigh* So I have to come up with a lot of filler and stuff.

I have a headache. Like I said, my feet and back hurt. Ugh. I am just worn down. I feel kind of bad because the class is boring. It just is. The material is completely dry. At least the people are nice about it. They know we just have to forge ahead and get through this stuff so they can learn tech.

Only two more days to go. This class needs some serious help. I think it needs to be shortened but I will have a better idea once it is over.

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Mar 31 2003

Sporadic updates

Published by under Work

I will be teaching a class for the next three days, so my updates will probably be rather sporadic, since by the time I get home I am pretty wiped out. Look for me again after Wednesday.

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Mar 30 2003

I wish I could work from home

Published by under Work

Yesterday I spent a lot of time creating presentations for my class that starts on Monday. And I really love working from home. I wish I could work from home all the time. I get so much more accomplished because I am comfortable and it’s quiet. It’s easier to concentrate and easier for me to get into something and lose myself in it. At work, there are always people stopping by or carrying on loud conversations. There are meetings. There are smoke breaks and lunch breaks and BS breaks. At home, there is me, The Man, and the cats. And while we might have a household meeting, it would be held on our couch or in our office, and both rooms are a million times more comfortable and friendly than any meeting room at work.

So, I got my self-assigned work done and I am ready for this class. Sort of. I have never trained this course before, and while the material is not all that important, I would like to make a good impression and make the class as fun as possible for everyone. The course is pretty dry, but if I can be friendly and a little relaxed, I think we can get through it okay.

I guess I’ll just have to see what kind of students I have. That makes a ton of difference. If they are all shy or not too talkative, this is going to be one boring class. Because I am not gregarious enough to carry the vibe through on my own.

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Mar 28 2003

Manual labor

Published by under Current Events,Work

Today is mostly focused on prepping the training room and myself for the class starting on Monday. That means I spent the morning in the training room scrubbing and setting the monitors, keyboard trays, and chairs to their default positions. Also had to check and make sure that I had everything I needed in there: keyboard and mouse, white board markers, big giant paper with easel, a book, a pen, a highlighter, and LAN access. Now the whole place is clean, and smells like industrial cleaner. But at least it’s not a freaking mess anymore. Now all I have to do is prepare myself, meaning go over the book and highlight things I need to be sure to mention in each chapter, and create some more slideshows with PowerPoint. Which will have to be done this weekend, which means I won’t be getting a lot of relaxing done, probably.

Last night I watched an extremely depressing movie on HBO called The Laramie Project, which is about the aftermath of the Matthew Shepard murder on the town on Laramie, Wyoming, where the whole thing went down. And it really was interesting how the murder of one young man affected so many people in ways that I would not have considered. I mean, obviously, Matt’s death was a catalyst that brought a lot of issues about hate crimes and gay bashing to the surface of the world’s conciousness, but it’s very easy to forget that at the center of all this there is a town and its residents who are trying very hard to live down the image that two drunken men projected onto their town. The person that really surprised me was the Catholic priest. He had a very open mind, and what really impressed me is that he took his spiritualism beyond the dogma of his religion. He wasn’t just going by the Bible or by what his superiors in the church were saying; he actually thought about things and came to his own conclusions about what he believed and what the town needed to get over the tragedy. But at the same time, what you heard from a lot of the residents is “Live and let live” — something that sounds good on paper, but in reality is not how things actually work. One of the gay men said “What it really means is ‘You don’t tell me you’re a fag, and I won’t kick your ass’”. Which means that even with their monumental show of support of the Shepards and their loud protests that Laramie is not a town full of gay bashers, they still have a long way to go. And I hope that they have not stalled or buried the lessons that they learned. I hope that they kept growing. But I suppose I’ll never know for sure.

I really need to get a hold of Vicki and see if she is coming with me tonight for the second meeting with K–, the one where I tell her that I am not interested in this business thing. I’ve left a message on Vic’s cell, but I think she’s still at work. I’ll probably try to call her again in a few minutes and see if I can catch her.

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Mar 27 2003

What does Totality mean?

Published by under Friends,Introspection

When I named this incarnation of the journal “Totality” it was mostly because I wanted an image of an eclipse somewhere in my layout. And the phase of the eclipse featured just happened to be called “Totality” – when the moon is completely covering the sun’s disk. Which is my favorite phase of a solar eclipse, and one that is very rare. But, totality is also a word that has nothing to do with an eclipse, meaning “The quality or state of being total”, which should in theory refer to my writing and updates. Which it does not. So, rather than trying to spit out more updates or meaningless chatter, I’m thinking of changing the format and title of my journal — again — to something a little more applicable. Then I thought “But I really should update more and try to share more of my thoughts. This journal is, after all, for me, and I will benefit from exercising my writing more often.”

But really, I’m in a period where I don’t have that much to write about, or I don’t have a lot of deep feelings that need to be expressed. Others have noted the nefarious “Prolific When Upset” phenomenon, and it applies to me as well. Some of my best entries are written when I am (or think I am) angry or sad or betrayed or just generally upset. And while that might be good for my writing, it is not good for me. I am not a person who deals with negative emotions well. I try to avoid them, actually. And that in and of itself probably points to some kind of mental problem I have, something about fear of confrontation or some such which I am not going to worry about right now.

Sometimes it pisses me off that I don’t really have all that much to say, because I like to think that I am an interesting person. And if I re-read this journal in a year or ten years or whatever, I am not going to think that it is all that interesting. It’s really a record of my daily life. And I’ve already established that I don’t have much of a daily life.

So, no deep thoughts, no engaging social life, no words of wisdom for future generations. Where does that leave me? It sounds like I lead a pretty empty and meaningless life. And that would bother me if I didn’t enjoy life so much. I used to have these grandoise plans about “making a difference” and “having adventures”, and I think I still do. It’s just on a much smaller scale. I don’t want to change the world, I’d rather affect people on a personal level. And in that I think that I’m doing okay. There are only a very few people who really matter to me, after all. And I don’t necessarily want to make them better people, I’d rather just do what I can to make their lives more enjoyable, more fun, happier, and occasionally to make them think. And even going to get coffee can be an adventure if you go in the right frame of mind.

And now for a quick offshoot. . .

When Vicki’s Man was down about a week or so ago, me and him and Vic went out for coffee at our favorite little coffee house. And V’s.M. did not like this place. At all. Too full of “freaks”, as he put it. Which, I must admit, there are some strange people in that place. It tends to draw the fringe element and young kids who want to be the fringe element but really end up being stupid. So, somehow, we got on the topic of Wicca. And he said something to the effect of he didn’t want those kinds of people around him because they were weirdos. And that kind of made me a little upset. Because I used to be a witch, and a couple of my friends still are, and I still have a great deal of respect for the religion in general and think that overall it’s a pretty nice way of looking at the world. And he didn’t seem to understand anything about Wicca other than the fact that the one Wiccan he knew made him uncomfortable because she made potions and chanted over them in public, or on his front porch or something. So, I’m sitting there, staring into my coffee cup, wondering what would happen if I told him flat out that I was a Wiccan. Would he want to end the evening right there? Would he not want Vicki to hang out with me anymore? What if I said that I wasn’t comfortable around Christians (which is not true) because they pray and talk about Jesus all the time? I mean, that is just as ridiculous of a statement. I think it’s pretty harsh of him to say that he doesn’t want “those people” around him because of how they act. I never acted like that, and neither did any of the other Wiccans I came in contact with. It makes me sad that once again, one person who didn’t know how to be discreet ruined it for everyone.

But, I bit my tongue because there is a point where you look at someone, and analyze the tone of their voice and their body language, and you realize that they are not going to budge on this. And to be honest, I try not to talk religion and politics with friends and friends-of-friends. Because all it ever leads to is hurt feelings.

And Vicki, if you’re reading this, don’t worry. I still think he’s a great guy.

I’ve been thinking lately about this business that Vicki and I are discussing. This is one of those times that I really hope that these plans don’t fall through, because I think it would be kind of fun. Eventually, I would probably start going with her to trade fairs and rendezvous and places like that to sell the stuff, but initially I’ll probably be responsible for the e-comm portion of the business. Probably what I should be doing is getting some kind of a business plan together so we know how much capital we’ll need to come up with for the initial investment. Because getting an online store up and running that accepts credit cards is not exactly cheap. It doesn’t take an assload of cash either, but it will require some planning. I also have a feeling that if we don’t do something soon, this will just be another of those things that we talk about and never actually do. But maybe I’m wrong. It’s not like we can get it going next month, anyways, because it will take awhile to create the products to sell. And create enough of them to fill orders from.

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