textualdeviance: (Andrew Whee!)
Hallefreakinlujah: I'm unemployed! Today was my last day--almost exactly three months since I started--and I've decided I'm never, ever going back there again. The people are nice, but the actual work itself has been miserable for me. I need out. And thankfully, I AM.

Have also decided that I'm going to stay unemployed for quite a while, unless we suddenly need the money or MSNBC has a gig I want. As I mentioned a couple of posts back, I've been mommy-tracking my career for years, now. Time to stop doing that, do the mommy thing, and then get started back up on it again once the kid's ready for day care. I've wasted far too many years in jobs in which my education and skills were utterly useless. If I go working again, I want it to be in something where I'm valued and useful and, I hope, can make a positive difference in the world. What I've been doing for the last five years? Not that. I think I burned out on this on my last go. These last three months have been excruciating. Yay that they paid for London, but still. Enough.

Near-term post-job plan is to dive back into the writing, and start pushing hard to get at least one of my novels sold. I'm not certain that'll happen, of course, but I want to at least try. Given that I've also already written a chapter on yet another new book, I think it's time I consider myself a serious writer. I'm always looking to improve, of course, but I think I'm at least as good as many of the published writers in my genre. All that's left, really, is people paying me for the pleasure of reading my stories, which is more a business effort than a creative one--and one I think I can handle.

So, yeah. I'm going to do that for the next several months--however long it takes to get picked by a birthfamily. Then I'll spend a year or so with the sprog while it's tiny and needs constant attention. Once that's all done--two years and change from now, prolly--I'll take a look at circumstances and decide then what to do about getting a proper paycheck again.

As I mentioned on FB, I don't want to go too long without having some sort of resume fodder--I'm far too practical of a person to screw myself over like that--but yes, I am going to take some time off for now. Honestly, we don't need the money. We DO need my sanity, and that was being sucked dry by that horrid job.

---

The only downside, of course, is that it means we have less money for travel. I think I'm good on that front for the time being, though. As I mentioned, London took a lot out of me, and I think my days of hardcore traveling like that are done. Definitely a few other things we want to do--New England, Mexico and of course some regular Hawaii and Florida jaunts--but the long, transoceanic flights to cavernous airports? Not so much. Oz and NZ will have to wait until I have more bandwidth. Which prolly won't happen until the kid is travel-ready, which will be a while. I know I'll get itchy feet again--soon, even--but I think I can keep them satisfied on this continent for now.

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Speaking of the kid thing ... we're alllllmost done with the first half of the process. We've written the (enormous) check for the pool-entry fee, and tomorrow is the last of our home-study interviews. All that's left after this is getting a photo collage together and getting in a few reference letters, and we're good to go. I'm guessing another couple of weeks, tops, before I can point y'all to our profile page on the agency's waiting-parents site. I'm nervous as all hell, but also really looking forward to being done with this part of things. Idle waiting I can handle. Seven months of paperwork hell? Driving me bonkers.

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Have to remind myself: with at least a year of no real responsibilities, I don't HAVE to do everything on my to-do list in the next 48 hours. But oh, so tempted. The back yard, for one, has been begging for all sorts of attention. It's gotten some--there's a new batch of birdfeeders and a bunch of container garden stuff--but still needs more spiffing. It's rapidly becoming my favorite place to be on a nice day. It can be a bit noisy at times. There's all the games at the park across the street, a tiny bit of freeway noise from the 405 down the hill, and frequent Cessnas overhead (there's a small airport nearby.) But beyond that, it's actually very peaceful. Everything's green and lush and the birdies absolutely love it. We've had tons of hummingbirds this year so far, and I've counted every single kind of bird we've had back there before, plus a few new ones. Love it!

Also have some gaming to do, some fandom stuff (a few fics and vids) and a LOT of reading and movies/TV to catch up on. Also want to properly cook again. Planning to conduct the writing thing in a professional way--making sure I meet a daily wordcount--but beyond that, I'm squirming about having more freedom.

Honestly, this feels like I'm getting back to my real life--back to me. I think I've more than paid my working-world dues at this point. I want to work on the rest of who I am, now. I'm not getting any younger, and my health means I probably won't have many retirement years to do all this in. I'll be damned if I'm going to let any more of my life slip away in a tiny, flourescent-lit box if I don't absolutely have to.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Avoiding going in to work, even though I have to. Have already put in a request to terminate the contract. Will see how that pans out.

Realized something sad, though: part of the reason my career hasn't taken off like I'd hoped is that I've not been fired up to get a better job. Why? Because for the last five years, I've been thinking I was going to become a parent within a year or so, and I didn't want to commit to anything long-term or intensely involved if I knew I was going to be taking a year+ off to wrangle a little one. Had the attempts at making a tiny human on our own worked out as I wanted them to, the kid would now be in pre-school, and I'd be pursuing something far more rewarding than button-monkey contract work. I chose contract over permanent because it was flexible enough to allow me the time off I was going to need.

And as each year has gone by without that tiny human showing up, I continue to be stuck in limbo, not able to find something better because I have to wait.

If there were any way for me to make the kind of money M does, he'd be happy to take the parental leave instead. It's not like we're married to the idea of splitting parenting duties by gender, after all. But practically speaking, his paycheck is absolutely necessary, and I can't make even half that, even if I did get a better job, so I'm the one who gets to stay home for a while.

For the record, I'm not opposed to people who choose daycare, either because they have to work or want to. I'm also not opposed to people who have nannies or au pairs around to enable them to work as well. I'm not planning to be around my kid 24/7 until she starts school. Hardly. But we can't afford a full-time in-home nanny, and since I don't have a truly fulfilling, well-paying job right now, there's no point in blowing 80% of my paycheck on daycare just to enable me to go to a job I'm not excited about. That and really: I've waited this long to have the experience of being a parent. I may as well actually have that experience, y'know? I want to get to know this new little person, not spend 40 hours a week in an office wondering what she's doing. M's already done the parenting thing with his siblings, so he's not as jazzed about that--though he is looking forward to having his own kid. But yeah. I do want to be more directly involved while my kid's little.

The only thing I worry about is whether I can light a fire under my career when the time comes again. I'm guessing my only option is to do whatever I can to get one or both of my books published, so I at least have that going on to fill the gap, and make certain that I have something more on my CV for that time than changing diapers.

Which leads me to a final thought: Ages ago, someone asked me when I was going to have kids, and I told her, "Oh, not for a while, yet. I want to make some contributions to the world, first." She glanced over at her kids and said, "Those are my contributions to the world." I get that I kind of offended her, but honestly? I think she was full of shit. It is of course a difficult and laudable job to turn a tiny human into a functioning, self-sufficient adult, but if that's the only thing you've ever done, you've not actually made something of yourself. Living your life through another person--partner, child, etc.--isn't making your own mark.

If you have dreams of what your children will be when they grow up, and those visions include something besides parenting, why don't you have those dreams for yourself, too?

Frankly, I've not achieved nearly the amount of things I wanted to before I became a parent, but time's too short now to wait any longer. So for now, I get to put aside the development of me in favor of the development of a tiny human. I'm doing this voluntarily, of course, but it's still kind of sad.
textualdeviance: (Button Monkey)
So, since I haven't updated about this since my last bellyaching ...

I first sent mail to my teammate, confirming that it wasn't just me--there's really next to no work for us. In the middle of that, I also discovered something else that's a roadblock for the team, with larger-scale potential repercussions. So, I broke down and wrote a long mail to my boss about it all late last week.

Things post-mail are still settling out, so I don't really know what's next. But it does seem like our workload is slowing down to a trickle--and a trickle of stuff I really don't want to do. I already suggested that if this really is just a one-person job, then I'm happy to train my teammate on the stuff she doesn't know, and let her have it. Having my position go away due to budget reasons would be the best course of action, I think. It'd mean I wouldn't lose brownie points with my agency for quitting/breaking contract (and thus can get another one later if I want) but it'd also get me out of this mind-numbingly boring and degrading position I'm in now.

There is still a dilemma, though, and I've come to realize that it's why, despite the adoption process going well, despite the upcoming London trip, despite the great weather and everything else, I'm actually kind of miserable right now.

Downwardly mobile dog )

It's weird to look around and see how much I have and yet still feel so desperate. I'm sure people look at my life and think I have it all, and wonder why I worry so much. But that's just the thing--I don't have it all. M does. This stuff isn't mine. It's his. And if we split up, it'd all go away. I'd keep some of the material goods, and we'd split whatever pittance we could get from selling the house, but that wouldn't last. He'd be perfectly fine--financially, at least--if we split. I'd be fucked. This is not how my life was supposed to go. I did well in school. I went to college. I worked like a dog as soon as I could, stopped only when my stupid body told me I had to, and started again as soon as I was able. This shouldn't be happening to me.

I suppose this is probably why I have so much sympathy for other people who are on various forms of public support. I know very well that but for the grace of my husband's paychecks, I'd be one of them. Not through any fault or laziness of my own, but just because this is how things are sometimes. Where you get in life is only about half what you put into it. The other half is where you start and fate. People who are fucked on that other half shouldn't be assumed to have fucked off on the effort part. Unless you're lucky enough to have 30 years of living expenses set away somewhere, anyone can come to ruin at any moment--even M could, if he lost his job. Sure, we could've lived closer to the edge all this time and saved more rainy-day money, but it wouldn't be enough to make that big of a difference, long-term (and the mental health benefits of travel, the safe, comfortable house, etc., go a long way to making the rest of it possible anyway. I don't regret what we've spent so far--it's been its own investment.)

So, no. It's not weird that I'm so worried about my future survival when my ability to support myself is so fragile.

At the moment, all my hope lies in one thing: being able to sell at least one of my novels, and write/sell more while I'm home with the little one. That doesn't pay a lot, either, but it's at least possibly steady work if I'm able to sell enough of one to get contracts for more. It's also something I could do while doing paycheck-earning work of other kinds until I got better established as a writer. Best of all, it would be something I could take pride in, rather than something that made me feel like a particularly technical worker bee.

But that's hardly a guarantee. And with the current gig having hit the iceberg, just waiting around for that lifeboat to maybe show up so I don't go down with this slowly sinking ship is agonizing.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Job is driving me so far up a wall I'm starting to think I'm Spiderman.

Dilemma:

-What I'm doing is boring and a total waste of my skills and education.
-It also only takes me 3-4 hours/day to do--on a busy day.
-Leaving me stuck at work, trying to look busy, and feeling guilty for stealing the company's money to fuck off on the intarweebs.

What I'd like to do:

-Ask boss if there's something I'm missing about my duties and/or whether I can be useful helping out elsewhere to keep me busy, or whether I can just go part time, work from home, blah blah. Or ...
-Quit entirely, because this isn't what I signed on for.

Why I can't:

-Teammate's job is more or less the same as mine, just on a different section. And unless I'm unaware of something else she's doing, she actually has less to do every day than I do.
-Which means Teammate is ALSO being paid to fuck off all day. Or she's a total idiot who actually needs the time to do something so simple.
-Therefore, speaking up about not having enough to do would call out that she's been fucking off and/or an idiot for the last 6 months.
-Which would likely put her job in jeopardy. Ack.
-I could quit entirely without giving that reason, but then they'd just hire someone else in my place who'd ALSO get paid to fuck off all day. Which wouldn't be fair to them.
-Quitting without a Damned Good Reason would fuck my reputation with this team and my agency.

So ... there it is. My options are to suck it up and drown in boredom and guilt every day, or speak up, and risk fucking someone else out of a job she needs. Meh. Double meh.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Way too many maudlin, self-pity-riddled navel-gazing posts here lately. Keep meaning to get back to this as a proper, far-more-diversified blog space instead of the endless whinefest it seems to be turning into, but I keep getting distracted by other stuff. Just don't have the daily bandwidth for anything other than burst-spewing on Twitter (and occasionally FB) so it's only the long-form bellyaching that ends up here.

So! To try to remedy that, here are some actual recent highlights of the Marvelous Life of the Texty:

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Started the new job: About five weeks into it, now. It's boring. Rather more so than I expected. I'm also doing a lot more of the same button-monkey stuff I did before. Kind of feel like there's been a bait-and-switch, in that I expected more content generation and editorial decision-making than has actually been happening.

That said, what I'm doing is just different enough, and my duties are just interesting and few enough, that I think I can tolerate it, at least for the short term. It's a 12-month contract, and I'm not 100% sure I can finish that out (or at least go until I'm on family leave) but I think I can at least stick with it through the summer. Which will be useful in terms of money. Which, really, is the reason I took the job in the first place (that and plugging a growing CV gap.)

The money, of course is going to help with three big things ...

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Random health stuff: Got my hearing aids this past week, and have been adjusting to them over the last few days. I can't say as I actually like them just yet, since they're a really abnormal feeling to wear, but I am seeing an improvement. Actually asked M to turn down the TV today. Whoa.

Have a bunch of other little stuff that needs taking care of soon, though. New glasses. Dermatologist. Some other bits and bobs. Need to go back to the periodontist soon to get my bone graft done. By the time I get the actual implant (about a year from now) I'll probably be completely used to the giant space where that molar used to be.

The bone graft is going to cost us about $3k, and I'm sort of wondering how long I can put it off, because I'd much rather spend that money on ...

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Travel: Hooray for my paychecks, because it means we're being naughty and going back to London at the end of May. Holy carp. Have been wanting to go back since the moment we left, and when it turned out that a couple of my lovelies are doing a fan event (plus the play) ... well. I kinda had to. Yes, it's not the most responsible thing I've ever done, but dammit, I want to, and I can (if barely) so I'm gonna. Yes, yes, I should sock all this money away in retirement or college funds or something, but life's pretty damn short (and my available time/energy for travel even shorter) so I may as well.

It's a much shorter trip this time--nine days as opposed to three weeks--but it'll be 90% London, with perhaps a side trip or two to Brighton and/or Cardiff (and the con, which is in a small town about an hour-ish to the north.) Very, very much looking forward to being back, and getting a little more in-depth to the things we'd only skimmed over before.

Also hitting Comic-Con this year, though Dragon*Con isn't happening, due to my missing the hotel reservation thing, plus remembering how miserable I was last year in the cloying Atlanta heat. It just completely drains me, and I end up not having any fun at all. At least with San Diego, there are some nice ocean breezes. That, and I expect Game of Thrones people to be at SDCC, and I'm dying to meet those folks.

We might do more travel after that. Not sure, yet. If we do, it'll be domestic--something where we can hop right on a plane and head back at a moment's notice if we need to. Which could, theoretically, happen, due to ...

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Adoption Stuff: Hooray! We're officially on to the next phase! We have our first home study visit scheduled for mid-May. This will be the in-home thing where the social worker gets to know us better, checks off the "safe for kids" list for the house, and generally gets more of a picture of who we are, so we can start building the family profile that gets handed out to the birthfamilies. After that first meeting, there are individual meetings with each of us, then one more in-home followup. After that, assuming all the paperwork and such is in, then we finally get to enter the waiting pool!

Then starts the interminable wait. Last we talked to our counselor, she said the average wait was actually getting just a little longer, too: about a year for most, and 14+ months for same-sex couples (I assume we'll be on the far end of that, what with the openly queer thing.) Eep. Still, I'm guessing we'll be in the pool by the end of June at the latest, and might well be in adoption planning a year from now. Really, it all comes down to whether we look interesting enough to a birthmom. It's kind of like matchmaking: never know if you're going to be sitting around forever because no-one wants to dance, or whether that one, perfect mate is going to show up right off the bat.

Still, knowing that we're qualified, and just waiting to be picked--which will happen eventually--will be very nice. And I can certainly keep myself busy in the meantime, what with the job--if I can tolerate it that long--mucking around in the back yard, and maybe more ...

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Writing: Still waiting to get feedback from some beta readers for the novel, though M and D both loved it. Once I hear back from more folks, I'm going to work in whatever suggestions they give me, and then get it polished up for agent shopping.

I'd been considering shopping the first one around, but the more I think about it, the more I like this one better. Have more ideas for sequels, too. Also like its publishing chances better. No clue, of course, whether it'll get picked up, but I hope so. I'd rather have the resources of a proper editor and publisher than to try to self-publish and market it on my own. Self-publishing is easy, but rarely lucrative, because it's so hard to get your book noticed when it doesn't have the resources of a proper marketing team.

Have also been writing quite a lot more on my quasi-legit blog, including a piece on online socialization, and a bunch of yammering on about TV shows and social responsibility. Do similar stuff over on my Tumblr these days, but with more shameless fanthing drooling over picspams and other general flailing about ...

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Fandom life: Pretty darn busy right now, actually. In addition to my barely-coherent glee now that Game of Thrones is back on, I've been watching Eureka, The Borgias, Grimm, Fringe, Lost Girl and Criminal Minds. The big portion of my fanthing time, though, is going toward all the news and such for the Primeval spinoff that's filming in Vancouver right now. Got a chance to go up there for a con last weekend and see a panel with the new cast. They all seem like really nice folks, and I'm hopeful that the end product for this will be worth it for us fans of the original show. I think it's in good hands, at least.

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... and that's about it, really. Sleeping, working, writing, cooking, tending to the critters and the house, watching dorky TV shows, reading ... The usual. It's been pleasantly calm this month as opposed to the giant shitstorm from the end of last month. Hoping May is equally bland-but-satisfying.
textualdeviance: (Whole Lotta WTF)
In the past four days:

Good:

-Had our first proper intake meeting yesterday with the adoption agency counselor we'll be working with. It went quite well, I think. She seemed to like us. Next step is getting the home study together. Should have that wrapped up within the next month.
-Killed time between appointments yesterday by wandering around Pike Place Market. Haven't done that in years. Came home with tons of awesome from DeLaurenti's and other food purveyors.

Sorta good:

-Finally got a new job. Start Tuesday. Sort of my old team, but under a different boss, working on a different product, and doing something with more editorial/writing stuff. Less button monkey = probably won't want to set the place on fire. It's a 12-month contract. Not sure if I'll finish that out. Depends on how well I like it and how long we're waiting for a birthmom to pick us.
-Money, CV fodder and something to keep me occupied during the wait = good. Extremely fucked-up timing in the short term = bad. See below.

Bad:

-Got a hard-drive-mangling virus. Necessitated a reformat, which meant scrambling to back up data. Just barely starting to reconstruct the machine now.
-Called in the washer repair folks for the THIRD time, since the thing still wouldn't properly spin.
-Found out I have "mild but significant" hearing loss. Will be fitted for hearing aids Monday.

Worse:

-Penny went into sharp decline, and we decided to let her go. In-home vet was here just a few hours ago. It was peaceful and kind, and I'm glad I was able to be with her, but I'm pretty shattered. Also, all grieved out at this point, having lost four cats in five years. Glad the remaining two are young.
-Khaleesi, freaked out by Penny, decided to pee on the bed last night (this is very unusual for her--she's normally quite well behaved.)
-This woke M up, so he's had 3 hours of sleep.
-I've not had a full night's sleep in three days, either, due to raging anxiety induced by all of the above.

I really wish my body could handle alcohol, because I'm tempted to spend this entire weekend very, very drunk.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Haven't done one of these in a while!

Digest version, for those in tl;dr mode: I wrote another book, our adoption process marches on, I have yet to get an offer for a W2-earning job and I'm dying for a proper vacation.

The long version:

I wrote a book! Now, bring on the revision/publishing angst. )

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I wrote another book. A while ago. And am also angsting about it. )

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On to other things which are just as fraught with Social Bullshit angst, but a different kind, at least.

Adoption process update )

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Not going back to chorus )

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Still unemployed. Now slightly annoyed by that. )

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I just need my own private jet so I can go whereever I want. )

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Other than all that, life goes on. Still playing video games, hanging out in various fan circles, grousing about politics, getting annoyed at the cats, blah blah. Getting things together for spring back-yard mucking, too. Slightly angsty and irritated at the world for big meta stuff, but otherwise in good nick.
textualdeviance: (XKCD Complicated)
Agonizing a bit about difficult life choices. For those who've not followed this saga elsewhere: I'm trying to decide whether to go back to work, and if so, which job and when. There are some big concerns with mental health, bandwidth and money involved:

Job A and B )

Now, in an ideal world, here's what would happen: I'd get Job B, and they'd be fine with me starting in February, so I could survive January's nightmare schedule. I'd work there through our waiting time in the adoption pool, and then either quit entirely or take leave when the baby shows up, or maybe even only take a couple of weeks and then go back, as the schedule is childcare-friendly enough. And if the job turned out to be hell, I could find a way to leave without burning too many bridges. Ditching a contract before its end is bad form, definitely, but not unheard of, especially for parental leave.

Theoretically, I could also leave Job A at any time without too much drama--the open-ended contract helps a LOT with that---but the time/mental-health drain of it in the short term would make doing everything else really difficult. Really, the biggest reward of Job A comes down to one thing: Money. Quite a lot of it. And fast.

The dilemmas:Money vs. time/mental health )

Or, in summary: We don't absolutely need money from me working in order to make this all happen. It would just make things easier, faster and more secure.

Summation and decision making )

The Bottom Line:

The next phase of my life, in my ideal world, will consist of five things: Kid, writing, singing, friends/family and travel. Anything that doesn't fall into furthering one of those five categories is something I don't want to have to spend time/effort on.

I realize how very lucky I am to even have this choice to make, and I'm grateful to M's brain and the luck of the stock market from 15 years ago that made this happen. But I do have this choice, and I don't like feeling that I'm being selfish or irresponsible if I choose to do what will make me happy over what will fatten our bank account. Money for its own sake doesn't interest me. We have enough of it to have and do the things we want, so long as M keeps working. More of it isn't nearly as necessary to me as feeding my soul. And stuff that will take away my bandwith for singing and writing, without giving me anything in return but a paycheck, is actually starving it instead.

A footnote about M )
textualdeviance: (Recommended for the Internet)
So, if you've not kept up with my tl;dr rant and babble lately (and I wouldn't blame you), here's a condensed version of what's been going on in my life the last couple of months!

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The biggest thing, of course, is that we've got at least a rough plan for getting the adoption going. We've been sorting through agencies, and have found at least one that may be right for us. We have our first intro seminar dealio with them next Tuesday. Assuming that goes well (and it may or may not) we'll get going on the home study stuff soon after. That process will take a couple months, but we'll probably be on the waitlist sometime in January. Then? No clue how long it might take. Could be a long wait, though, since we're going to be pickier than some, and have a few not-so-attractive things as potential adoptive parents. Still more-than-slightly terrified, especially about getting cleared medically, but I'm crossing my fingers.

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The other big thing is that I'm singing again! I bit the bullet and joined up with SWC. Only a few rehearsals so far, but god, it feels good to be back. It's been ~4 years since I did any serious singing, and getting back into it is making me wonder why I ever stopped. (Well, I know why--time, burnout, scheduling fail, etc. Still.) I've been needing to feed my soul, and music is its preferred meal, so. Yeah. :) First concert's in February. We'll see what I do after that--will prolly depend on adoption stuff.

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Also still writing like a demon, though it's been ages since I did any fanfic. (Kind of fading interest a bit on the primary fandom. More on that in a bit.) Since I'm not working again yet, I decided to take advantage of the downtime and do NaNoWriMo this year. If you're over there, you can find me with this handle. I seem to be going well on my project so far--have topped 9,000 words in just four days, which is well ahead of their suggested pace. Helps that I put together a decent chapter outline for it in the middle of this, too.

Haven't done more agent shopping for the other novel, but I think I want to give it another edit and maybe a bit of expansion before I do. Have been letting it sit for a few months now, and fresh eyes wouldn't be a bad thing before I go dropping it on someone else.

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Khaleesi seems to be settling in fairly well. She's still shy of Otter, because he's an asshole and he's almost twice her size, but she gives him (well-earned) smacks on the nose pretty regularly. She's also basically a perfect cat. She's friendly, sweet, has perfect litterbox habits, etc. About her only flaw is that she scratches a lot. But she also responds well when she's scolded for it. Still considering whether we add another kitty--perhaps one more young one to take Otter's focus, so poor Penny doesn't get any harassment at all--but that may be a while yet.

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Have been diversifying my fandom interests, now that Primeval is on ice for at least the near future. A little burned out on it, to be honest. Still think the cast is adorable (though there's some behind-the-scenes stuff that has me a bit uncomfortable) and still keeping up with our fan groups, but I'm just spending more time on other stuff. Particularly, I've been dipping my toes into Game of Thrones/ASoIaF. Just finished the most recent book in the series, so I can finally go hunting fandom for it without risk of spoilers. Sadly, a lot of the fandom I've found so far seems heavily oriented toward dimwit fangirls. Which is kind of creepy, considering they're way too immature for this subject matter. Ah, well.

Elsewise, I'm watching Sanctuary, Fringe, Downton Abbey, Criminal Minds and a few other things here and there. Looking forward to more Leverage coming soon, too.

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My mandatory contract break is up, now, and my agency has pinged me about new possible assignments. I'm not sure I want to work again right away, though. We could use the extra money, but it's not critical, and I figure someone else needs that job more than we do right now. I may want to work again while we're in the adoption queue, but for now, I'd rather spend that time writing, catching up on sleep and watching the birdies in my back yard (of which there have been TONS this year.) I may change my mind if there's a really awesome assignment up, though.

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Also, I want to spend more time socializing. We had a way fun Halloween party, and I'm dying to do more of that. Not that I don't love my long-distance/online friends, but meatspace socializing really boosts me, and I need more of it than I get right now.

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Bed, however, is my main goal at the mo. Especially because Khaleesi just dropped an atom bomb in the litter box. Ugh. Night.
textualdeviance: (Brenda)
So, the job I've sort of been waiting for just came up.

On paper, I'm definitely qualified for it. I have everything they want in terms of knowledge, experience, technical skills, etc. The only thing I don't quite have is enough leadership experience, since I've only done the bossing-people-around thing a little bit here and there. Still, I'd definitely be one of their top candidates, I expect, and a little bit of interview magic would probably get me in, unless someone else is just miles better.

But, some problems:

1. I don't want to work right now. I'm enjoying my sabbatical, and really, really need the downtime for mental health reasons. Related, getting this job now would get in the way of my DragonCon travel plans. Which is another mental health thing.

2. I'm sort of in an anti-journalism mindset at the moment. I'm so disgusted by the NOTW thing and so burned out after three years of working on stuff that occasionally got creepy that I'm in a mental palate-cleansing phase. I'll be back in the game again eventually. Just don't want to be caught up in the news cycle for now.

3. We're probably going to be starting the adoption process in September (currently waiting on numbers for M's annual review to budget for it.) The process itself wouldn't require me not to be working, but once the kid shows up, I'm planning to take at least a year off. Getting a job now would mean only being in it for a year, tops.

4. The above issues mean I'd have a hard time selling myself. My resume would get me an interview, I'm pretty sure of that. But I'm not sure I'd pass the interview itself because I don't think I could fake enthusiasm for the company/job well enough to do so.

Meh.

If this job came up three months from now, I'd probably jump on it. But I just don't want it right at this moment, and since my paycheck isn't essential, I don't need it, either.

Thing is, I'm wondering if I'm shooting myself in the foot on a long-term career basis by not going for this right now. A job like this is so rare that it's not going to come up again anytime soon. If I turn it down now, it'll be years before something similar comes around. This is absolutely the kind of job I want to be in 2-3 years from now, and something I'd be comfortable doing for years beyond that. I just don't want it right now.

Dangit. I don't know what to do. :(
textualdeviance: (skwirls)
Am very post-partum-y right now. Things that have ended for me in the last several weeks, or will be ending soon:

-Any chance of pregnancy (the surgery)
-The big UK invasion
-Current job contract (a week from Thursday)
-Several of my favorite shows: Fringe, Camelot, Game of Thrones, Sanctuary (done), Ideal and Primeval (2 more eps each.) And the Primeval finale will probably be its last, ever, which is seriously depressing.

Plus, though it seems summer has finally arrived here (nice blue skies), it's also Solstice, which means the sun's now on its way out again. Sigh...

In some ways, I'm kind of looking forward to a couple of months without a major occupation of any sort. Gives me time to read, write, cook, park in the back yard, stare at birdies, socialize, traipse off to the coast, etc.

But I also know myself well enough to know I'll be twitchy, and wanting a new Big Thing to get into soon. My summer shows (True Blood, Leverage, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Torchwood) will keep me amused (as will continuing our Criminal Minds DVD run), but none of them are really appointment TV for me, nor do they inspire any delving into fandom. They're passive entertainment, in other words, and not the sort of hands-on stuff that I'd need.

There's the possible adoption, of course, but some of that depends on some money stuff we won't know about until September, so there isn't much we could do with that except for initial paperwork. Also will be shopping the novel around to agents, but that's not a time sink. And we have Dragon*Con and a potential fall Orlando trip, too, but those aren't major projects, either.

Kind of hoping that this lack of a Big Thing doesn't mess with my head, actually. When I'm not Doing! something, I start feeling useless and parasitic, and thus become an insufferable whiner (more than normal!) Might just have to make myself enjoy the sabbatical time, instead of feeling guilty for it. Ooo.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Hit the ground running as soon as we got back, and have barely had time to think, let alone properly sleep. It caught up with me Wednesday, and I ended up working from home--and doing rather awfully with it--due to sleep-deprived delirium. Conking out soon and plan to veg in the theater all day tomorrow with our massive DVR and Netflix backlog.

---

The vacay reports (and there will be one last one when I remember to pull the remaining pics) are up for your perusal (scroll back a few entries.) Long story short if you don't want the slog: It was great, I loved it, but I don't think I'll be moving there. Like home better. :)

---

Two more work weeks before I hit the end of my contract. There's a small chance of a few weeks' extension because one of my eds wants me around for Comic-Con coverage, but that probably won't happen. Technically, I have another four months before I have to take my mandatory break, and my agency might well find me something short for then, but honestly, I think I'd rather have the rest of the summer off. I need a chance to breathe and get my head back on correctly and do some of the big projects I've been putting off.

---

One of said big projects is the adoption thing, though that's... sort of up in the air right now. Details )

***

One thing we most likely will do in the meantime is get another kitten. It's been horribly empty being just a two-cat household since Fammy died, and poor, ancient Penny is getting pestered by Otter all the time because he's bored and lonely. But with me working, we didn't want to introduce a new furbaby without having someone around to mind it through the chaotic adjustment period. Free time for me, though, means kitten-sitting is possible, so we'll probably go shelter-crawling in the next few weeks. We considered a dog, but with the baby thing still a possibility, we didn't want to go that high-maintenance. So, kitten (or maybe even a 1-2 year old) it is.

***

Feeling slightly maudlin about the end of my show in a couple of weeks. Likely to be the last series of it, unless its primary backer gets good ratings when it airs this series in January. Seems unlikely at this point. And even if it did come back, most of the cast I love might not come with it. So just two more episodes, and then I get to cry a lot. I have a ton of other stuff I love, of course (have really gotten into Game of Thrones in particular), but this is the first thing since LOTR that I've loved enough to join a fandom for, and the fandom itself has been great, too. It'll still exist after the show's gone, of course, but it won't be quite the same, and that concept breaks my heart. :(

***

And on that depressing note, I'm done for the day. Hasta la pasta, and if you want more of me in the meantime, go stalk me on Twitter.
textualdeviance: (XKCD Complicated)
The biggest thing on my horizon at the moment, of course, is the fact that in 72 hours, I'll be on a plane on the way to London. Yay!

But I'm also looking ahead of that, since I've been tying up loose ends at work, and figuring out what I'll need to do there when I get back. And I'm realizing that I'm probably in for one hell of a bout of post-travel depression, because the adoption is the only big thing I can see in my near future, and hanging my hat solely on that isn't exactly a recipe for mental health.

Don't mind me. Just feeling icky at the mo and need to write to get it out of my system )

In truth, I envy people who can content themselves with friends, family and a non-soul-sucking job that pays the bills. I've always--always--felt my life had to have something more. I've cut my expectations down from the worldwide fame and political power I imagined at age 10, yeah, but I still need something else--something uniquely mine--to point to. I have just this one life, and I have above-average skills in certain things, and I can't stand the idea of wasting that just... existing. I want to leave more of myself when I die than a kid, a paid-off mortgage and a crapload of vacation photos.

The question is: What?

Maybe three weeks on another continent will give me some epiphanies this direction. I hope so. I'm never content unless I'm working toward a big goal, and too much time being less than useful will drive me batty.
Feb. 14th, 2011 05:39 pm

Downside

textualdeviance: (Button Monkey)
So, yay for getting my contract extended, but boo for the fact that we're going to be moving to a new building in a couple of weeks.

Said building itself isn't bad--it's in the middle of a nice retail area that might be useful to traipse around on lunch breaks. Problem is, it has shitty parking, which means us contractors have to park three blocks away. Fortunately, I'm going to be carpooling most of the time, but on the days I can't for some reason, I'm basically fucked.

Even worse than that, however, is that I discovered the new pad (not one of the usual company buildings) has this Modern Open Workspace Design (TM). It's set up more or less like a school, with a bunch of open desks scattered around in each "pod" (AKA classroom) space. Each team has a pod, and everyone's all squished together in this pod, with no individual office or even cube spaces. Just tiny desks with a little bit of storage space and a single partition between you and the next schlub.

Ugh.

Modern design + ADD = Fucked up )

I'm honestly not sure how I'm going to survive this, between the shitty parking situation and trying to get work done when everyone else around me is talking all the damned time.

Technically speaking, I can contact my agency and let them know that I'm at risk for having concentration issues, and I could probably get some sort of accomodation, but really, that's the last thing I want to do. If my disability were something that had nothing to do with how I do my job, I'd be fine with being out about it. This? I can't. I just can't have my boss knowing that I'm deficient that way. Legal or no, it's the sort of thing that colors how people evaluate the work you do, and whether they want to hire you back again. They never put it in so many (actionable) words. They just start taking your mistakes more seriously, and being more nervous about whether you can do the job, and eventually decide that you're more trouble than you're worth.

I think it's great that more workplaces (especially around here) are taking disabilities into consideration when they're designing. I just wish they included things like ADD and ASDs on their list of considerations. This sort of open workspace bullshit is pretty much proof positive that they don't.
textualdeviance: (UK Coming Soon)
First off: *points to icon*

It's officially official. We've both been cleared by our bosses! Now just nailing down exact dates. At the moment, the most likely is May 20-June 10. Or thereabouts. We'll definitely be hitting the London Expo (already have tickets) and also doing a Duran Duran concert that weekend at the O2 (also already have tickets.) Haven't seen them live since 1984. Figured since I'm (almost) 40-going-on-13 these days, may as well go all in for it. (Heck, I may even go haunt the red carpet zone at the BAFTA TV thingy going on then, too, if my lad's stuff gets any noms.)

The specific itinerary for the trip still being worked out, apart from that weekend. Thusfar, I know for sure we want to hit Brighton, Bath (and yes, Stonehenge), Cardiff, Dublin and Leeds. Plus a bunch of touristy crap in London. Depending on timing/routes, we'll prolly also hit Glasgow and Belfast (or at least thereabouts; I want to see Giant's Causeway.) We'll likely also make some stops based on birding/caching/gardens stuff, and I hope to find a way to hook up with at least some of my fandom peeps (if not at the Expo, then some other way.)

I've decided to bite the bullet and rent a car while we're there. Not while we're in London--gods, no--but for the rest of the tour, I think it'll ultimately be easier than figuring out trains, etc. (especially with my somewhat-limited mobility.) Slightly terrified of getting used to things being on the "wrong" side, but if I start out in a smaller town (Leeds or Brighton) and make sure I have an automatic, I should be OK after a day or so's practice. Just hope I don't smash things up while I'm learning!

I can't believe we're actually doing this, though. First--and probably only--time for something this big. I've never done a three-week vacation before, never crossed the Atlantic, never been on a plane for more than 6 hours, and the only foreign country I've spent more than an afternoon in is Canada. So. Yeah. Big deal for me. *wibble*

More updates )
textualdeviance: (Default)
Hall-decking, while not as elaborate as I'd like (and would do if I weren't working) is basically done. Two batches of cookies done, and a couple more on the way. Half of the gift shopping done. Aside from a few more gifts and some cards, I'm in good shape.

--

Oh, and as for the cards, y'all may get them after Christmas. Which is par for the course for me anyway.

--

Very much looking forward to doing some socializing soon. Having some lovely folks and their adorably squirmy little ones over for brunch on Sunday. Plotting the best ways to leave them all uncomfortably full of food. May also see about tackling another person for dinner soon.

--

Work has been alternately frustrating and satisfying. Have earned some serious brownie points lately, and also will have a byline piece coming up in a couple of weeks. But also have had some roadblocking issues, and a ton of year-end content to wrangle, so the schedule has been brutal. Spose it's a good thing in a way. The harder I have to work, the less time I have to think about some of the truly trashy content I'm working on.

--

WRT real work: I haven't written much on the novel this week, but I did churn out another ~3k words last week, and feel pretty good about that. I'm optimistic that I may well finish this damned thing someday. And really? I'm starting to fall more in love with the story, which is good motivation. I really love my characters and think they're having fun and exciting adventures, and that makes a big difference.

--

Sort of hoping fandom stuff is quiet for the next few days. It's been an embarrassment of riches recently--which is great, of course, but also frustrating because I don't have the time right now to to truly enjoy it. Gnarh.
textualdeviance: (Default)
Thanksgiving down. We did it early (Sunday), which turned out nicely, even though it was just the three of us. I admit one of these days I want to do a whole blowout with a dozen people or something, but as most of folks I know have family they do that with (and I don't), ain't gonna happen anytime soon. Ah, well.

---
Sort of wish I could get together with folks more for other holiday stuff, too. Loved our New Year's Eve party last year. Maybe I should do that again. Or something similar. I haven't socialized with local folks nearly enough lately. That needs to change. Pity everyone's usually on serious social burnout this time of year.

---

Spent the entirety of last week working from home, thanks to the weather. It was... OK, it was a bit of a nightmare, because my publishing tools don't work great remotely, plus the whole system was bogged down because everyone else was remoting in, too. That said, it was nicer than having to try to go into the office on icy roads. I'm very glad I wasn't one of the poor slobs who had a 6-hour commute last week. Horrible.

---

Work in general is getting to year-end crunch time now. Tons of year in review content to get up on top of my usual stuff, which is going to keep me beyond busy for the next couple of weeks. Might get in some overtime at least.

---

This is all quite frustrating for other reasons, too, namely the fact that there's a metric buttload of new fandom stuff going on right now: The new Primeval is around the corner, Andrew just posted a new short film, and my other shows are getting in some awesome episodes, too (plus some will be airing holiday episodes in the next couple of weeks. Eep!) Damn work, getting in the way of my fanthinging!

---

I'd probably be less frustrated about this if I wasn't so disgusted by some of the stuff I have to do for work. Don't get me wrong, I like that I'm employed (even if it is on contract), and I like that they pay me well. I even like that I get to work with entertainment content. What I don't like is the fact that we have to pander to lowest-common-denominator audiences sometimes, which means some truly trashy content on a regular basis. Bleh. I want to work in entertainment media because I love the creative work that talented folks making movies, TV and music can do. I don't exactly enjoy pushing the careers of untalented bimbos who get attention from some cheapass reality show. I'm watching the decline and fall of Western Civilization from up close this way (and am probably helping it along) and that really grates on me.

---

That's probably a large part of why I'm in such a funk right now (as I mentioned yesterday.) There's the usual weather/low light thing, and the wtf did I do with my life this year thing (about which I'll prolly post separately later) but also just... I feel dirty right now. Like I'm being a hypocrite by pimping the sort of thing that I've spent so much energy fighting against most of my life. Obviously, I have some choice in the matter, but if I want to make enough money to buy myself a kid (and reach some of the other goals we have) this is what I have to do. I can't do this any other way right now because the jobs just aren't out there. But that does kind of mean I'm a sellout, which really bothers me.

---

There is some hope on the horizon, though--or will be as long as I get my ass in gear. I've still been managing to squeeze in some work on my novel here and there, and cranked out ~3,700 words/a new chapter in just a few hours yesterday. The story is really starting to take shape, and the more I work on it, the happier I am with it. There really is nothing else quite like it out there right now, even though it's familiar enough territory to be sellable, and I think it can at least get me an agent. As long as I have the time/mental energy to work on it, I'm hoping I can have it at least in rough draft stage within a few more months. I'm hoping something comes of it eventually, at least, because that's the only thing I have right now keeping me from feeling like I've wasted my entire year frittering away on fandom and other nonsense.

---

On a completely different note: Apparently, my totem animal is a raccoon. In addition to the staring contests I had with 3 (!) of the little guys a few months back at Point Defiance, we had one show up on our back step last night to chow down on some cat food we'd left there for one of the local ferals/strays. My goodness but s/he was bold. Wasn't the least bit afraid of Otter, who was downright livid about the whole thing, and held eye contact with us pretty much the entire time. I admit: I kind of love the fact that we live close enough to a major greenbelt that we get a lot of critters running around. It's like being out in the wilderness while we're still 3 minutes from the freeway.
textualdeviance: (Default)
I think I've discovered one of the reasons I dislike working full-time--or, more specifically, why I dislike working this particular schedule (10-6): Because I'm on Pacific time, by the time I get off work and get home, half the people I want to talk to are already asleep or close to it. Other left-coasties are still up, o'course, but as most of my fandom peeps are at least three hours ahead of me, I'm finding myself with little time to talk to them these days, dangit.

--

I also don't have time during my workday for such things anymore. I'm enjoying having a lot more hands-on work on the site, but it's a hell of a time sink, and that, plus my former news and gallery production stuff, is absolutely draining me. I'm finally ramped up enough with the new stuff that I can get it done fairly quickly during the day, but it took a while to get there, and it's still taking up half the day. I haven't had more downtime than 10-15-minute breaks here and there for the last two weeks, and it's starting to grind me down.

--

Doesn't help that I seem to be nursing the world's most stubborn, low-level cold, which M has had for a few weeks before I finally got it. May be a mild flu virus, since there's a fever with it (though I got a flu shot, so it'd be milder still.) It's annoying as hell, though. Headaches, exhaustion, nose issues, etc. I have so little free time as it is that losing precious hours to the extra sleep I need right now is bugging me like crazy.

--

Said free time is especially important to me because the new gig has so little opportunity for creative stuff that I'm going slightly mad, wishing I had more time to write or vid or do something generated in large part by my own imagination. I'm good at what I do here and I enjoy being paid well for it, but damn, it's soul-sucking for a creative person to just be pushing buttons like this. I'd hoped I could do NaNo this year (albeit cheating a bit, as I was just going to work on my novel) but that's not happening. Poo. I did manage to squeeze in a couple hours' fic writing last night, however, and that felt really good. Slept better than I have in days, even though I didn't really get the full amount I usually need.

--

The other thing I haven't had free time for is properly grieving the loss of my dear Fammy. In a way, I sort of let her go a few days before we actually did so. I knew she wasn't going to last even before we got the cancer diagnosis, and that pretty much sealed it. Unfortunately, I found that out at work, and what few moments I had to digest the shock and grief were cut short by my boss showing up in my office, and I haven't been able to sit down and really get through it since. In a way, this has been good--distraction helps--but I'm also still living with this small-but-gnawing ball of sadness that I can't fully process yet. Maybe sometime this weekend I can do so. Dunno.

--

I have about a thousand things I'd like to say about the election, particularly how depressing it is to see how misinformation, downright lies and willful ignorance has permeated large chunks of our culture, but it'd just make me more angry to think about it. I did write something on my political journal about it, though, and the bright spot in addition to that is knowing that most of the more horrid racist, sexist, homophobic, poor-hating crap is coming from older folks who are rapidly becoming eclipsed. The big challenge, really, is getting younger voters to actually put their decent opinions to work by voting. Far too many of them just can't be bothered, or are so disillusioned by the cacophony that they're avoiding politics entirely--when that should be what rallies them to fight harder. It shouldn't take a charismatic rock star (new hotness) to motivate people to do their civic duty. The vicious circle (Government doesn't represent me, therefore I'm not going to participate in government) just gets worse every year if we can't step in and disavow people of the notion that government is some faceless monolith and not, y'know, us.

--

Don't know yet whether I'll be able to make that UK event in February. Hoping I can figure it out soon, as the deadline for getting ticket refunds is coming up.
textualdeviance: (*headdesk*)
Because I would spend the entire weekend pasted off my ass.

It's been good to be so busy (aka distracted) this week, but I can feel a weekend of stress-induced exhaustion and maudlin navel-gazing coming on.

Maybe I'll just park in my tub instead.
textualdeviance: (Coming Soon: S4 Connor)
Just found out that there may be overlap between the end of my current contract and when I'd need to be here if it gets extended (the guy I'm filling in for now comes back 1/28, and the guy I'd be filling in for after that leaves 2/8 or thereabouts.)

Which could mean enough free time for a trip to the UK for that event. :D

The only issue then is money, and as we're not currently budgeting for the contract extension, if that comes, we can probably swing it.

Gnarrrh. I hope this is possible. But I won't know for sure for a while, yet.



**ETA: Request to my UK peeps or those who have been there a lot**

With 12 days there, where would you recommend going? One weekend would be spent at the event (which is on the south coast) but the rest would be free.

Trying to see if this is possible budget-wise, and want to research transport/hotels for a possible tour itin. :)

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