turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
I have a bunch of stuff (house, health, financial) stacked on March 8, that I could use good vibes for. I spend my time trying to not freak out, freaking out, daydreaming, wishing I had a time machine, etc. I am half tempted to take a sick day Monday even though I really don't have enough in reserve and should save them for a real sickness. Anxiety doesn't really count.


At least I finally fixed the running toilet. And I should really get off the sofa and go to the grocery store, too.
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
Nick's parents are busy divesting themselves of a giant household. I ended up having dinner with them last week on our usual night while nick was at a business dinner. L mentioned packing up towels to give to the humane society, and I said "Oh! Could we have some of your spare towels if you're giving them away?"

They looked at me, puzzled. "These are *old* towels. You don't want these!" We've stayed at their house before. The towels are perfectly fine.

"They don't even match!"

I looked at J. "J, some of our towels are ones that I took with me, to college, 20-some years ago. NONE of our towels match. Non-matching is FINE."

And it's one of the things that drives me a little bit bonkers, every christmas. Every christmas eve, we spend the night at my mom's house. The house I pay the mortgage on. And nearly every year, there are brand-new towel sets, with the little matching toilet carpet and bath mat. And a few years ago it was all brand new faucets, and lights over the vanity, and matching toothbrush holders and the little water glass and and and. And it drives me batty. Because even "cheap" towels are expensive and she's replacing them every year. And it's IN MY FACE, every year, just another way that I try not to splurge and my mom can't help herself.

I apparently have a *thing* about towels. There's no point in getting new ones if the old ones still dry us off. (I did buy two $35 towels from amazon 5 years ago because they had decent reviews. They pilled up and got weird... but we still use them, because ARGH.)

So I get a text from L yesterday. "There's a set of new towels for you on the bench in the front hallway, you or nick can pick them up this weekend."
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
So, I'd gone almost 6 years without a sprain, but friday changed all that. Ankle buckled on uneven pavement while walking home, though I managed to not fall. Hopped to lean against a building and curse for a minute, and then hobbled to the corner and grabbed a cab.

This will make commuting to work more interesting for a while. :( In the mean time I am treating it with liberal applications of apple pie to my mouth. I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING, I'M AN EXPERT.

On the garage front, we now have historic approval, and the ANC committee voted to support our application for a zoning variance. I think our zoning hearing will be in March. So now it's time to work on refining the design and interviewing contractors. If things work out hopefully we could have building permits this summer? I'll not hold my breath.

Nick's parents move out to LA for good at the end of January.


Oct. 8th, 2015 08:30 pm
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
So, S got married this weekend, and I stood up for him. Groomsmaiding seems a lot easier than bridesmaiding-- it involves getting up later, and then doing things like ironing, fastening french cuffs, and hauling supplies in a fancy dress. Also doing some day-of wedding-planner schedule-running. (I ran the wedding hotline, took care of tips, made sure we didn't lose people, etc.) I abandoned the high heels idea, figuring that a broken ankle was not the way to celebrate the day.

He went all out on the wedding; his girl wanted to be married in the redwoods, and so redwoods were booked——a 50 minute bus ride across the bay from the reception. So he hired two Googlebusses, and everyone was bussed to the ceremony in Berkeley. He also had a schedule literally down to the minute; the first dance was at sunset, with the bay and the golden gate behind them, and as he dipped and held his wife hundreds of white heart-shaped balloons fell from the ceiling.

I can say, that he is very definitely a man in love. And it's pretty wonderful to see.

turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
went to the endocrinologist for my quarterly checkup; my thyroid and a1c are both now in the normal range, so yay! Will not change any of the meds at this time. Morning blood sugars are still mostly over 100, though, so have to keep working at it. Now I could cheat, and exercise for 5 minutes before testing my blood sugar... I suppose I should ask about that.

I went to an exercise class this week, since a new solidcore studio opened up about a block and a half away from me. It's an interesting experiment in pain and care-- the class is done on modified pilates machines, and so the tension (for me) is between doing the exercises as specified, and dislocating a shoulder or hip. (for example: you put one knee on the moving carriage that is being pulled away from you by springs, and another on the platform. Go to full extension, and then pull back an inch at a time. If I go past half extension, however, I'm going to abruptly go all the way down. Similar exercises with shoulders.) it's a terrible 50 minutes, but it seems effective. I just hang out in the back and do what I can, and then stumble home.
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
Sunday morning I went out to my car, and was blocked by a wasp hovering in the place where I need to squeeze past my car and a metal pole. (I park underneath a neighbors deck. It's dark and narrow). I decided discretion was the better part of valor, etc, and eventually elected to walk behind my car instead. (also a bit of a squeeze.)

I was about to step around the corner of my bumper when I spied a bit of white on the ground. There was one of the neighborhood cats lying just in the shadow of my car. Unfortunately, this was a cat that will never get within 20 feet of a human, and he wasn't moving. And then I saw the flies.

I realized I was at the end of my cope, went back to the front of my car where the wasp was still hovering, and so instead got in the passenger side of my car and climbed over the gearshift. And drove off. I parked in dupont near the farmers market, and starting up the street saw, motionless and vacant, one of the largest cicadas I've seen in a decade.

Later, walking to my hair appointment, I looked down in time to dodge around the dead bird on the sidewalk.

Not really sure what Sunday was trying to tell me.

I ended up leaving my car out at Nick's parents place, and attended to the cat today. Namo amituofo. I guess I'm happy that even if he never let me near him in life, he deemed my car to be a safe place to nap and breathe his last?


Sunday I also booked my trip out to CA next month to help shields get hitched. Now I just have to figure out what to wear. The good news is that the dress I bought for Pia's wedding will likely be just fine even if I gain or lose weight; I just need to find a good bra to wear with it and get the dress cleaned. I had my hair dyed a dark plummy red, which should go well with navy.
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
We signed an architect. Have survived the first month at new job; commute is pretty reliably around a half hour, 40 minutes if I just walk. (I usually have to walk around a mile to find a bikeshare bike, and then the drop-off is a few blocks away from the office.)

I'm slowly starting to sleep through the night. Slowly starting to not twitch with adrenaline each time I hear the pager noise on someone elses phone.

Despite my raise, I'm taking home less each month because I've begun contributing 15% to retirement. (4.4% is the mandatory contribution to the pension fund; I'd have to stay with the gov't for at least 5 years for it to do any good. its pretty much a loss for retirement but the disability benefits are reasonable. but the rest is going into 401k-type things with matching.) I didn't have a 401k with groupon because they didn't do any matching, and I was trying to save up cash for the garage of doom.

Life is... pretty good. I'm a lot less stressed. I'm getting some sun. Switching gears, learning stuff.
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
Sometimes, I vex my spouse by asking if he's done such-and-such a thing, if he'd remembered all of the crosses and dots for the t's and i's, basically, you know, asking the obvious. Sometime multiple times. "I'm not stupid!" he's said. "Yes, I
thought of that. and that."

I'd made plans to meet my cousin early this morning, and woke up at 4:45 second guessing myself. wait-- she said she was leaving early from the conference, which means she'll want to check out of her hotel. maybe we should meet closer to the hotel? what if she's uncomfortable bringing luggage to breakfast? is our plan waking her up too early?

And then some quiet part of my brain woke up and said, quite clearly, This is Not Your Problem to Worry About.

The thing is, it's not even a "can't trust other people to do things right", even though that is mostly how people have interpreted it. I realized, somewhere in the hazy purple of 5am, that it stems from growing up with people whose anger always flowed outward. Not that I was *responsible* for things going wrong, but if I was in the orbit, that somehow I was always to blame. Somehow, I grew up thinking, if I just made my lists long enough, if I thought of all of the contingencies and checked them off, that maybe I could slide through without getting blasted with someone's frustration and anger. It's a false premise, designed to keep me spinning in endless, futile circles.

I'm not sure why it took so many decades to come to this realization.

Another thing I haven't figured out is why it seems easier now to learn things than it did 20 years ago. I remember looking at some of the same things before, and just having my eyes cross and my head hurt. Now I read technical things and they make sense. It's bizarre.
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
So first mini-week of job down. I haven't been authorized to get remote access yet, nor do I have a device, nor am I authorized to telework yet, so, for the first time in ... decades? I have a job that I literally cannot take home with me. There may be email piling up, but I can't read it until monday. It's kind of disorienting.

Nick says that I am visibly less stressed and happier. I feel about the same-- kind of shell-shocked. I know better than to get too excited about things, etc. But if I seem happier then that is a major quality of life improvement for him, as well, which is really important. So far, everyone is really nice. And I now get 4 miles of exercise a day. Once I get a permanent badge I will be able to park a bike at work, so I won't have to rely on the vagaries of finding a bikeshare bike if I'm running late.

We're still struggling with the architect issue for the Garage of Doom. The architect next door *increased* their prices by 50-100%. The architect we like better dropped her prices. I don't see how we can sign the architect next door. The nebulous bump of buying their goodwill pales next to the astronomical costs that I forsee if we go with them. With architect B, they hear me when I say I want to work within a budget, even if that means leaving some stuff undone. With next-door guy, they hear what they want to hear. Also they were still trying to buy the lot out from under us even when we'd been talking to them about the project. So, bah.


Jun. 15th, 2015 03:37 pm
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
We have keys to the Garage of Doom. I gave notice to work on friday; start new job at the end of the month. Nick and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this weekend. I am excited and exhausted.


Jun. 11th, 2015 01:44 pm
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
I've been smacked in the face with a huge cloud of immobilizing depression. Part of it is jetlag, part of it is stress. Condo issue stress. Garage stress. Parents stress. Health stress. Job stress. I just want to crawl under the bed and hide, but I am too fat to fit.

I feel like I have a drained battery. Where are the jump cables for that?
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
So, a facebook acquaintance is in the middle of a career coaching course, and one of the requirements was that she line up 10 victims to try out a free session of coaching. When she put out her second call for volunteers, I decided to step up because while I had certainly not thought about coaching before, it seemed like it might be useful, and at the very least it felt like I would be doing a bit of a mitzvah by getting her closer to her goal.

So we had our session last week. The coaching style that she's learning is more about asking questions than giving advice (which she freely admitted is a huge departure for her-- we are in tech! we try to solve problems!), so it mostly involved a lot of me talking in response to questions.

I can see the utility of it. Here is someone who totally groks a lot of my gender/tech issues, and is on her own path in tech without being a former or current close colleague or close friend. So perspective without that automatic "of course you're awesome" from friends or personal investiture in me continuing to do what I'm doing from coworkers.

One of the interesting things that came up when talking about weighing the pros and cons of some opportunities was that she asked if I knew anyone currently in those roles/orgs that I could ask about the environment and work/life balance. And I was essentially like "yeah, but I don't want to waste their time." And she kind of blinked and was like, "why? USE YOUR NETWORK!"

It's interesting how much of a roadblock I have about this. She gave me homework to talk to two folks in those roles, and I've been completely stalling on it, coming up with all sorts of justifications as to why my stalling is TOTALLY VALID. But the crux of it is that I just don't think that my desire to get more information about the positions is worth imposing on people doing the work. I told myself that the organizations wouldn't want get back to me; when they wanted me to talk to more people I told myself that I would totally bomb the second interviews and I didn't want to appear like I was trying to work my connections to get preferential treatment when I was totally not qualified for this position. And even now, when that round seems to have gone REALLY WELL... my internal response is "oh, shit, that may have gone well" and... I'm still baulking.

Career coaching is like therapy, I guess. I may be out of practice.
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
though...as said elsejournal, I did get a call from the government explaining that i would get a call from another office of the government to extend me an offer but it would likely take several days because government.

I formally declined the other offer I had last night. They didn't want to consider me for the open director position, and despite talking up how they are spinning off and completing an A-round series of VC funding, they do not intend to have any equity plan in place. They tried to compensate for that by offering a lump-sum payment in a year if no equity plan was in place, but the lump sum was small enough that it seems to signal that there will not be a reasonable equity plan. I am not taking a job with just as much stress as my current one (I was troubleshooting production loadbalancer and database problems during my interview), for less money, no manager in place, and no stock. I put it more kindly than that, and they said to please let them know if anything changes for me. So, I guess if I accidentally ragequit and the govt job falls through I still have a potential backup.

But OMG every day involves active effort to not ragequit. Or even reasoneddiscussionquit. I think I will spend this weekend doing yoga and reading trashy novels. I kind of want to start right now.


Apr. 6th, 2015 09:28 pm
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
Tired. Boss scheduled a maint window for 3am this morning, a week ago, and couldn't understand why I was upset he hadn't even asked me first. (And a window starting at 3 means beginning prep work at 01:30.) "What difference does it make?" Well, I wasn't canceling easter, and no matter what I was going to be exhausted after I'd been standing all day cooking easter dinner and dealing with family.

[I love my family. I do.]

In the end, I didn't push back-- we had been supposed to do this weeks ago, and instead I ended up in the hospital. But being exhausted is its own punishment. The resulting outage took approximately 20 minutes longer than it should have because my brain was operating at about 40%. So, what? maybe a 60k loss at that hour? Maybe that was the best thing for the company. Who the fuck knows. It's over now. I went to bed around 6 but it was already light out and construction started up at 8. Unlike on friday, I didn't have coffee so now it's 9pm and I'm just exhausted, and depressed. I can't keep doing this. I've essentially been on-call for a week and a half (technically went off-call yesterday, but not with that maint. and I had to pre-pend my shift with a few days to pay back the guy who took over for when I was in the hospital, he had a death in the family.) In short, I just want to crawl into a hole and maybe wake up in a month or three.

locks, oi.

Apr. 4th, 2015 09:25 pm
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
Several years ago, the lock on my front door started getting worse and worse. The cylinder would spin around in the door, and then sometimes the key would get stuck, and not turn and not be able to be removed. For a home with a single point of entry, this was fairly suboptimal.

I'd been meaning to upgrade to a newer lock, so I went ahead and bought a new cylinder and a bunch of restricted keys. The locksmiths were kind of appalled that I would try to install it myself, but they did sell me the lock.

After I eventually figured out how the whole mortise lock went together, I eventually figured out the real problem... there was a brass plug at the rear of the lock that had a notch in it so that when one deployed the setting pin on the cylinder (pinning the cylinder in place, keeping it from spinning), everything lined up. Except the plug had slipped, so the notch wasn't where it was supposed to be, so the pin could never engage the groove in the cylinder; it would run into the brass plug first.

Well, I fixed that, and installed the new lock.

A couple of years later, the *new* lock started getting harder and harder to use. It had never been easy- Nick's been complaining the entire time that he hateshatesHATES this lock. It has always been very...toothy. It was getting toothier, and harder to turn to unlock. We again became worried about getting locked out of our house.

So I took the cylinder out, and played with it today.

Six pins-holes, all topped off with inset screws with hex heads at differing heights.

I tried tightening and loosening the screws; no difference in operation. Started searching online to see if I could find anything about the construction of the lock. I was lucky, and found a reasonably photographed disasembly of a cutaway.

I unscrewed one of the hex heads, and upended the lock. a spring, a brass pin, and a silver pin fell out onto the sofa. eeek. But I was able to figure out how to put those back in properly. no change in lock operation. still sticking badly for locking and even worse for unlocking. (As in, holding the lock in one hand, I could only manage to unlock it one in ten tries. The rest of the time I just tore up my hand.)

I repeated this for each of the pins. No change. Clearly it was time to remove the plug. (The thing you stick the key into.) Lock still sticking.

Next, I removed each assembly one by one, lining up all of the screws, springs, and pins and photographing at each step so I might have a prayer of getting it back together again. The web page warned me that two loose pieces of metal would fall out when I removed the plug- anti-drilling plates, apparently.

Pulled the plug out. As warned, lots of moving parts. A small piece of metal fell out, bouncing in one direction while a spring went in another. eeep.

This lock has both a spring-loaded slider and a spring-loaded side-bar. In the end, it turns out the side-bar is held in tension by two tiny tiny springs. One of them was where it was supposed to be, the other wasn't. Basically, whoever assembled the lock screwed it up. I fixed that, and then slowly and carefully reversed all of my disassembly. Those anti-drilling plates were a complete and utter bitch. (get one in, the other would fall out. &#%@&^#$&@$!) I held my breath and put the plug back in the cylinder, and tried my key. The lock turned! Snick, snick.

And then pin by pin: re-assembling, making sure the lock still turned. Finally every last pin and spring and screw were back where they were supposed to be, and the lock still turned easily.

Two and half hours later I put it back in the door, less worried about locking myself out than I have been in a long time.
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
So, in theory I should have a job offer in the works. I also have a potential other job offer in the works, but I don't want that job as much. I mean, I want it more than the job I have now, but. I really don't want to have to decide on the second one first. The first one has been a couple of days of forms but no responses. And now I have to WAIT ALL WEEKEND. Aiieeee.

In other news, I had my annual review on wednesday, where my boss was all like "congratulations, we promoted you (to another meaningless title) and gave you a 10% raise to a salary that is at least 15% less than the last guy we hired. also while everyone agrees that you have fantastic customer service and you are outstanding at troubleshooting, some of your coworkers find that you are too direct and harsh in your communications so you really need to work on your tone. Also please stand up and lead more often."

And then last night I was paged at 0230 am and was working through 0630 so its not like I ever really went back to sleep, so I'm kind of punchy and caffeinated and sleep deprived, woo. And impatient.
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
So, my neighbor has had a leak in her kitchen ceiling for a while. Part of this "for a while" has been because everyone involved with my building (yes, ME TOO) is a slack-ass; she'd tell me in passing "hey, my ceiling is still wet" and I'd respond, "please send email to the board and the management company" and then two months later she'd text me for the email addresses, and then three weeks later when I run into her she'd say "hey, my ceiling is still wet" and I'd say "did you send email to the board and the management company?" and she'd say "oh, I forgot."

et cetera. Re-run a the whole scenario few times when trying to schedule plumbers.

Also, there was wet drywall in the back stairwell which I figured was part of the same problem.

Anyway. Plumber came out wednesday, opened up ceiling, sees a rusting 4" copper pipe, says "uhh, this is above my pay grade," and arranges for a more senior plumber to come out today. In the meantime discovers that the wet hallway is actually due to the unit above repeatedly overflowing their tub (despite swearing to me there were no water issues.)

I was really hoping it was the same water issue and water was just traveling down the 4" pipe. No such luck.

Anyway, the plumber came out today. We followed the 4" pipe into the pipe room underneath the building... it turns out the shutoff valve had been broken off, and the drain valve handle was rusted and also about to fall off (aka, don't try to touch it until the water is shut off.) Now, there is also a vault in the front yard. They didn't think the pipe went through the front yard, but all I *did* know is that when you shut off the water in the front yard, all of the water to the building shuts off. So either we have a rogue 4" pipe or it goes to the vault. Ok, so next we try to find the vault.

Now, I'd never been present when the water was shut off before, but I had been told that there was a manhole cover in her front yard. "Oh yes," she said-- "it's under that plastic tub." So me and the two plumbers lift up this tub of dirt, only to find 4" of roots and dirt and slate. No manhole cover. "I know it's there!" She came out with a metal stick and started banging around. Clink. "THERE!"

She'd asked a landscaper to "hide" the manhole but leave it accessible. Ha. 30 minutes of digging and clearing later, they manage to get the manhole cover up. I go outside, they're shining a flashlight into the vault. I look down. Ladder rungs descend the wall and then trail off into about 4' of murky water. You can sort of see valves and pipes in and out of the water.




"Can we just stick a bucket in her ceiling and just wall it back up, and pretend we never saw this?"

They were shocked into silence for a few seconds until they realized I was (mostly) joking.

I can't wait to see what this is going to cost.
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
I'd volunteered to host thanksgiving when I knew I'd be getting back to town from a work trip to Ireland 5 days before. Aka, tight margins, but doable. I hadn't counted on being completely and utterly wrecked physically and then losing two days to a wake and a funeral.

Dublin was a disaster; five hours after I landed, we ended up with a terrible outage, fallout from which continued the rest of the week so that between Monday and Friday I'd racked up ~55 hours of in-office work, 12 hours of travel, and no more than 10 hours of sleep. I'd also missed dinner several times because Dublin is not a late-night town. (Burger King does not tempt no matter how hungry I am.) I spent three hours Friday morning trying to decide if I should go to the hospital whenever I was eventually able to stand long enough to take a shower. (Good news: the shower had handholds.)

The next week was kind of a blur, but at least I wasn't on-call and I didn't die. And, now home, my body is still stuck on irish time; I keep falling asleep at 8 or 9pm.

Last wednesday I got the news that my godfather had succumbed to cancer (seriously, fuck cancer); so Monday and Tuesday were spent at the viewing and then the funeral. I hadn't anticipated just how draining all of it would be. And then somehow I had to throw thanksgiving together.

0700 Thanksgiving morning my luggage was still exploded all over the dining room table and the sofas; the only dishes I'd made ahead were the turkey stock for the gravy, and carrots. It was all chaotic disaster. Nothing finished at the right time, the rolling pin fell on my toe, I burned my hand on a hot utensil, I burned my mom's sweet potatoes warming them up and forgetting about them, etc. I did manage to clean up the house, make homemade rolls, two pies, a turkey, stuffing, and gravy. Nick made a roast chicken and potatoes. We had way too much food. But it was family, and in the end everyone deemed themselves stuffed and happy. Still— completely not the way I'd wanted to host thanksgiving.

And now I am out of pie. Sadness.

oct 20

Oct. 21st, 2014 01:29 pm
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
we lost Abha 13 years ago yesterday. Apparently I got to celebrate by working from 8-9, 11-19:30, and 0-6. The 20th is always bad for me. I think maybe in the future I should just take it off.
turbogrrl: (robotcoffee)
tick, tock. settlement is supposed to be on Friday and and they *still* haven't said how they are resolving the title issue, and their lawyer appears to be dodging our settlement attorney's calls.

Otoh, like a good organized buyer I called up Pepco several weeks ago to see about transferring the account, and found that no one has been paying for power for several years.

So we asked the sellers for meter numbers and estimated bills. Which meant they had to go down to pepco in person last week and establish an account and pay for the power they've been using since they bought the place.

I'm sure they thoroughly hate us by now. #sorrynotsorry
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