shadesofmauve: (Untwist Thy Knickers)
The GOOD news is that I just heard from one of my references. She'd spaced on the email from the Potential Employer for a few days due to Life, but called them today, confirmed she wasn't too late, and sent in a glowing reference. \o/ So it looks like I'm still in the running, and the Potential Employer was waiting on information for the last few days. So now I have another two or three day window of uncertainty during which I am Not Supposed To Panic. 

[Speaking of Not Panicking, is there a way to change the little emotion image deelyboppers on dreamwidth? Because the little blue square just doesn't express my soul]
shadesofmauve: (Garden)
I had a job interview Tuesday, and took the rest of the week off. Wednesday I woke up to an 'assignment' in my inbox -- a presentation rebranding the department I'm applying to by 4 p.m. the next day.  So that changed up vacation a little bit. My current boss and coworkers know i'm applying elsewhere and are all really supportive, which is great -- and means that I know know they started contacting my references yesterday. Good sign, yeah? 

I'd hoped to devote the week to gardening and painting, but there was that application assignment... and errands... and the house was a mess and we had company for dinner Saturday... and, well, I ended up gardening and painting all Monday, so at least I got SOME time in! (I did a little painting before, but it was just the sketch for a new piece, and it doesn't feel like painting).

(Btw,  I worked out roughly how much yard I can clear of ivy and blackberries in a serious work session, and how big my lot is minus the house, and it looks like I could manage the whole thing if I just had fifty six days off. If I get this full-time job I applied for I'm hiring help).

Oh, and there was music too, because of course there was. A tune class Wednesday night and a really productive practice with E on Sunday. We moved one of my songs up a whole fourth, from A dorian to D dorian, which means I'm singing it entirely with my head voice. It feels super weird, but Erik says it's pretty and I recorded myself in both keys on my phone and I think he's right. (Besides, it'll let us medley the song with the tune we want, without having to transpose the tune). 

Now I'm back at the day job, crossing my fingers about the job I applied for, making progress on current project (more van art), and futzing with connecting my new(ish) portfolio site's blog to other services (Installed JetPack, connected things, really just need to write a new post to test it).

shadesofmauve: (Not a single fuck)
And I find I just missed the mandatory “Active Shooter Training.” (I assume the name is meant to distinguish roving gunmen from passive shooters, who just sit in the lobby casually and only take potshots at passersby or something).

The training was given by a local policeman who got really excited about the idea of having Someone to Shoot and told people he knew which things were safest to hide behind because several of his coworkers have misfired their guns in the office.

Upshot: My coworkers still aren’t particularly worried about someone randomly attacking a library administrative building, but they’re beginning to be concerned about the local police.

In other news, the door back to the pressroom now has a deadbolt, and a sign that says it MUST REMAIN LOCKED AT ALL TIMES. Since they removed and boarded up the only exterior door from the room, and the lock is openable from the office side, I’m forced to assume they’re trying to keep someone or something IN the pressroom. Nonetheless, I have disobeyed the sign and fetched water from the sink in there twice now, and no rabid creatures dropped on my head/sprang from the closet/uncoiled from the cupboards.

The facilities guy did swing by once and growl when he found it wasn’t locked, though. He was pretty angry. Oops.

shadesofmauve: (Shades Of Mauve)
As y'all are no doubt aware, I'm a graphic designer for a public library system, which is in general slightly less glamorous than people tend to think it is (and since the glamor level starts with 'library', it's fairly low to begin with). I occasionally do fun big jobs, and more often lots and lots and lots of quick-turn-around poster jobs, for events from author talks to story times.

Last week I got a bit of a treat -- comic artist David Lasky is doing a workshop, and the publicity order came across my desk at a time when I wasn't slammed, so I took rather longer than usual and actually made the comic-workshop-poster a comic in its own right, complete with actual drawing (and hand-lettering; now I remember why I hated hand lettering).

Today he commented on the branch's facebook page that he loved the poster. Made my day! :D

shadesofmauve: (Not a Single Fuck)
After Orson Scott Card spoke (and we had a bit of time to stand around with our coworkers saying 'Did he really -- ?' 'Did you hear --?' 'Chopsticks? Really?' etc) I went to a workshop on work styles which was odd in that it was enjoyable and seemed marginally useful (I'm a get-shit-done unfazed-by-deadlines doesn't-want-to-hear-your-sob-story-just-give-me-a-yes-or-no person at work. This surprises no one) we had lunch, which was mostly notable for having no protein whatsoever. One woman at our table pulled grocery store chicken out of her bag and immediately became the most popular woman there.

I amused myself by using my Emergency Face Paint Kit* (tm) and giving myself rainbow 'eyeshadow' to go with my rainbow tights and no hate button. Of course that meant I had to give other people rainbows, too. While I was in the middle of that they announced the annual awards. There are two -- one for being generally awesome, and one for coming up with things that save the library money.

Much to my surprise, I won the second one. Luckily they read the description of what I'd done BEFORE they announced my name, so I had a minute and a half to put down the facepaint, say "Oh, shit. It's me" and come up with something not-entirely-inappropriate to say to over a hundred people.

Afterwards my close coworkers informed me that they spent the same minute and a half thinking "HOLY SHIT RED ALERT OH NO WHAT IS SHE GOING TO SAY?!"

I let the rainbows speak for themselves, though.

I marched across that stage like a proud little rainbow, shook the hand of the only person in HR I'm not absolutely disgusted with, and didn't make a complete ass of myself at the microphone (I thanked them for honoring me for reducing my own workload; I didn't point out that I was being rewarded for redesigning a project even though I'd done the design it was replacing, too).

It cemented my feeling that it was a Very Strange Day, and I decided that spending a Very Strange Day in another almost-work-related workshop would be a waste, so when I saw the monk gathering people for a walking tour, I invited myself along (We rent the gym of the local catholic university for this event, and a tour of their library is always an option instead of a workshop.).

Did I mention it was sunny? As we left the building one of my coworkers said "That thing! In the sky! WHAT IS IT?" and our monk said "I don't know. I think maybe I should exorcise it." MONK HUMOR, GUYS.

The first comment he made as an actual part of the tour was a Puff Daddy joke.

There's not much of interest in the tour itself, unless you count a very unassuming older coworker whom I hadn't previously met gleefully suggesting squishing problem children between the collapsible shelves (we were all a bit twitchy about babies after the OSC talk, I think), or the fact that the university spent $150,000 on a 7 volume hand-bound bible full of modern bible art and covered in hand-tooled leather (on the up side, yay, the painted Adam and Eve as brown! On the downside -- 150,000 for an art-piece bible? In this economy? The catholic church tends to magpies, doesn't it?).

Then we reached a computer lab, and our monk gestured at the dual screen set-up nearest us and said "The guys in the tech lab say this is where I need to come if I want the most out of my Diablo III experience!"

Those of us who had a clue what he was talking about managed -- barely -- not to guffaw. He caught it, and explained "Killing demons is what monks do, right? It's basically just a simulator. Training hours." Then he stuck his hands behind the, er, tabard-over-the-cassock thingy, tried an innocent look, and said "That's what I tell my abbot."

(I was walking with two guys around my age at the time, and lamented with one of them later that we failed to ask his gamer tag. Then we started comparing various Diablos and the other guy said "Neeeeerds." He has no idea. Also, he works in a library. Pot. Kettle.)

And that, pretty much, was the Weirdest All Staff Day Ever.

*I also have an emergency mandolin. Clearly I run into a different type of emergency than most people.
shadesofmauve: (Not a Single Fuck)
I know you're all dying to know about our All Staff Training Day event, the conclusion of all the drama around management, unruly staff, and Orson Scott Card.

Let me start by saying that without a doubt, it was the best ASTD I have been to.

It turns out that when you get a lot of people pissed about something, they come to your event full of energy and ideas and snark, and you can bond over that instead of awkward small talk. Was this the sneaky trick to boost our morale and liking for our coworkers at the expense of the relationship between workers and leadership? If so, then well played, management. Well played.

I honestly expected not to say much about Orson Scott Card's speech. I expected it to be about the process of writing, or of getting published, or insight into one or more of his books -- all of which might be interesting, but hardly fascinating gossip fodder. We were told he was going to talk about his writing, or the writing process, or general authorhood -- the kind of things you'd hire an award-winning author to talk about.

He started by discussing the eating habits of baboons.

From there, via a long and winding path, he reached language development. I believe that the point of his talk was "Language makes us different from other animals, and stories are cool", but I can not say so with any certainty.

So. He started with baboons, and the amount of time they spend eating, and therefore not talking. He moved on to human's being group hunters, benefiting from being social animals. So far, so good -- if totally out of left field. The hunting thing was marred by harping on innate gender differences, but, hey, very early humans did have more of that, so whatever. There was a bit more on development of language and how it aided early humans (up 'till this point it sounded like a Stephen Pinker book with less hedging around the evo-psych), and suddenly Exhibit A of the power of language was:
"If your friend tells you 'Fred's taking Edna to prom, heh heh, wonder why,' you know it's because Edna's easy. But if the friend says 'Edna's taking Fred t prom, heh heh, wonder why,' you know it's because he's rich and has a car! Why? Because of gossip!"

If you're feeling charitable at this point you may suspect that he was trying to make the point that our cultural baggage, both good and bad, is carried via language. You shouldn't be charitable. He went on to say of course women pick guys based on cars, because while men are all interested in fucking as many women as possible, women want either the biggest, scariest guy, or the one who's rich. With additional assertions that abused women stay with their abusers because a man who can abuse is also a man big enough and strong enough to protect you from other men.

I shit you not.

(My automatic NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE defensive response to 99% of all Evolutionary Psychology had well and truly kicked in by this point, btw, and I was live-tweeting it).


After a bit about how awesome it was that women could talk while babies were stuck on their tits because they weren't busy chewing leaves (he really is fond of baboons) he wandered into how we were all human and empathy is beautiful (a tad ironic considering he's an anti-gay-rights activist) and illustrated the idea of empathy by referring to New Testament stories as if everyone in the room could be assured of knowing the context,* so the story itself didn't need explaining (there was also a bit about how 'everyone skips part X of the book of Mormon, ha ha', but he did acknowledge that only mormons would get it).

He moved onto written language, with stops at the Great Vowel Shift and a detour to "Change is good! Change is natural!" (I must assume he was referring to linguistic, not societal, change). Then back to written language and the wonder of alphabets and syllabaries.

Now, there's a pretty solid argument to be made that an alphabet (the concept, not necessarily ours) is the most flexible way to efficiently communicate a language, so I had no problem when he said that the alphabet was more efficient than ideograms. You have to memorize a hell of a lot more symbols to be literate in ideographic language, it's harder to manage loan words, etc.**


He decided to enforce his point by saying:
"It's like chopsticks. Some people manage with chopsticks just fine, I know, but I can't eat soup with them! You just can't eat soup with chopsticks. So, I'm sorry, but a fork, knife, and spoon are just better."

...which is about the time I switched from 'disgruntled muttering' to 'repressed maniacal laughter.' It got very loud inside my head: "ASIANS DO NOT EAT BROTH WITH CHOPSTICKS! EUROPEANS DO NOT HAVE A MONOPOLY ON THE SPOON! EVERY ONE EVERYWHERE USED KNIVES FOREVER! YOU CAN DRINK SOUP FROM A MUG OMG IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!"

He spent awhile back on what I presume was his original point; that language is an amazing thing, and that the written word allows us to have 'conversations' and feel the power of language despite great distances or centuries. There was a lot of obligatory-for-library-talks stuff about how awesome books were, how awesome we were.

And, oh, yeah, somewhere in there he pointed out the fact that naming conventions generally morph such that 'masculine' names become feminine-acceptable, and that this is an indicator that unfortunately sexism still exists. Which, y'know, is TRUE, but I think a better indicator that it exists is the way he dissed hypothetical Edna up there and reduced all the wimmins to defining ourselves by what we look for in a baby daddy. JUST A THOUGHT.

And that was Orson Scott Card's talk.

On all technical levels he was an excellent speaker. He has presence, he has flow. He knows delivery. He made some jokes that were genuinely funny, and he can do self-deprecating humor. The talk felt like one long digression over-all, but he was always engaging.

He's very clearly an intelligent man -- an intelligent man so absolutely trapped in his own small world that he doesn't have the faintest concept that what he's saying isn't absolute truth. It was a perfect example of the blindness of privilege; a veritable mountain of unexamined assumptions heaped on each other to form a speech.

[Stay tuned for the second installment, when I regale you with stories of Father Pete, the Benedictine Comedian, and other wacky hijinks!]

*HR did schedule ASTD on Yom Kippur, so none of the Jewish staff were present. At least one less minority who didn't know what the hell he was talking about was saved it! Way to go, HR. You never cease to amaze.

**There are also benefits, like the fact that Mandarin speaking people and Cantonese speaking people can read each others' writing.
shadesofmauve: (ZP brain escape)
It's almost five, my brain is in go-home mode, and my boss and my coworker are in the cubicle next to me, calling all of our various organizational phone numbers to see if they still work.

On speaker phone.

And they just hit a 'dating' service.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
I'm staying at work a bit late tonight to play with the tablet, working on the sketch I posted yesterday. The big thing to figure out is where the guy's legs go, and, me being me, the easiest way to figure these things out seems to be to *do* them.

I'm glad my coworkers aren't here to see me repeatedly posing myself on the floor of my cubicle.

ADDENDUM: the cat-enforced stillness the other night is probably a big part of why I had such trouble with the original sketches.
shadesofmauve: (can we fix it?)
It was one of those days where I was thankful the liquor store is on the way home from work.

Then I technical difficulties opening the tequila.

Yes, I fought my way through SlowJournal to tell you this.
shadesofmauve: (can we fix it?)
"What? There's no music in jail? It's like, it's like..."
"But what about Jailhouse Rock?!"
"ELVIS WAS LYING TO US! Also, you are not a hound-dog."


"It's like...mud to extract water from elephant poop or something."
"Because there are a lot of elephants in Lewis County!"
"Maybe it works with cows."
"It's not very scientific, either. Just hold it above your head, squeeze it..."


"What are the most ludicrous publicity options we could offer?"
"Check box if your program deserves tagging of: A) public Building. B) overpass. C) boxcar."
"For really small programs we'll just do stopsigns."
"Oh, I know! FLASHMOB!"

shadesofmauve: (Default)
Skellington: "Is there anything else we NEED to talk about? If not, let's end this meaning."
Coworker: "I like what's in your mind! ...except that lots of it's dirty."
Skellington: "That's the best part!"

I have been getting kind of bored of my job, but hey, you can't beat the permissive climate!
shadesofmauve: (Default)
The Olympia Timberland Library hosts a lot of author-talks. I think these two might be of particular interest to some people on my f-list. Click through for a higher res image on flickr. (Posters by yours truly).

OLPriest Boneshaker 201004 pstr

OL Febos Whip Smart 201003 pstr

Some of you know Priest, and someone here has to be interested in the memoire of a professional dominatrix.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
I am at work.

I don't work Fridays.

There is no budget for extra hours, especially not overtime.

I just worked overtime.

In the immortal words of Berke Breathed: "Pbbbthhhh."
shadesofmauve: (Default)
After much deliberation, I decided against using zombies to advertise "Eleanor Roosevelt Comes Alive."

What do you think of my alternative?
shadesofmauve: (bitch-princess)
Shit. Shit shit shit.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
So, when asked to design a poster for the program "Eleanor Roosevelt Comes Alive", I'm practically obligated to use zombie imagery, right?
shadesofmauve: (Default)
Every once in awhile, a patron comes in to one of Timberland's 27 branches in search of a book that they vaguely remember reading 23.7 years ago, which had a main character who was a boy, or maybe a woman, and oh, the cover was blue.

If they don't immediately know the book, the librarian-on-the-spot sends out an e-mail to all staff. I've been working here almost three years, and I've always wanted to answer one of those e-mails.

I finally did!

I won pseudo-librarian points for correctly pointing a patron to A Game of Thrones by [ profile] grrm.

Granted, "Main character gets killed off; another becomes center of story" was kind of a give-away, but they did throw me off by thinking they'd read it in the 80s.
shadesofmauve: (Default)
It's snowing, and the entire Timberland district is closed, which means no going into work, and no official call to do any work. I'll probably get some stuff done anyway, because I brought enough home thursday. I really need to get working on my new years card, too.




That's right, kids: I'm workin' from HOME!!!one!
shadesofmauve: (can we fix it?)
I worked 11 hours straight yesterday, including work I'd never done before (major signage) and work I'm technically not supposed to do (writing). That's probably part of why I can't stop sniggering when I read this. Really.

"Ride on "Santa's Express" to "Candy Cane Town" with B & E!"

It's the beginning of some ad copy for a children's program. The rest of it is fine (describes the program), but I can't get past "ride on santa's express" without gigglefits, and I'm pretty sure that indicates that there's something wrong with me.
shadesofmauve: (can we fix it?)
They threw me a welcome back web meeting! Guys, you shouldn't have!

No, really.

You shouldn't have.

I want that chocolate I gave you back.

(disclaimer: I love my coworkers and I know they didn't want to be in the beating either)


shadesofmauve: (Default)

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