July kind of sucked, to be honest

Aug. 1st, 2015 01:27 pm
st_aurafina: Rainy day, person with a rainbow umbrella in the distance  (Rainbow umbrella)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
July was sucky, in a broad spectrum way, spanning from cat sick on the doona to an emergency hospital visit. I seem to be consistently making and sending sympathy cards, too, which can stop any time now.

I need to take said doona to the dry cleaners but life keeps getting in the way, and it just sits there, all crumpled up and judging me. I think I am that doona. I am that sad, suspiciously stained, sunken-in-the-middle doona that nobody will help.

*massive le sigh*

On the other hand, I just found a note to myself in email drafts about a fic plot point that I had completely forgotten, and it fixes a problem very neatly. Clever past!me.

Ooh, and clearly I meant to put this in a post and then lost it in the morass of drafts:
Customer: I'd like these scripts filled, please. *is a dear little old lady in her eighties, wearing a black cardigan*
Me: Sure! That will be about ten minutes.
Customer: *turns to browse giftware. Her black cardigan has ELVIS' FACE KNITTED INTO THE BACK.*
Customer: *gives me a sly little wink*

Later, when she is collecting her scripts:
Me: And now you can take Elvis up to the counter.
Customer: And then Elvis will leave the building.

My customers. Seriously. Love 'em.

I must go through these email drafts more often - there are treasures in here.

As We Go blanket progress )

Fic recs:

The Haunting of Captain America (2309 words) by celeste9
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes & Steve Rogers, Steve Rogers & Avengers Team
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Thor (Marvel), Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanov
Additional Tags: Ghosts, Alternate Universe, Canonical Character Death, Friendship, Team, Remix

Steve's being haunted by the ghost of his best friend. The other Avengers find out.

This is super cute, and surprisingly lacking in angst considering Bucky is an actualfax ghost.

The Cage is Full, The Day is New (7738 words) by banerries
Chapters: 10/?
Fandom: Orange is the New Black, The Walking Dead (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death, Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: Joel Luschek, Wanda Bell - Character, Scott O'Neill - Character, Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson, Cindy "Black Cindy" Hayes, John Bennett (Orange is the New Black), Maritza Ramos, Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales, Gloria Mendoza, Dayanara "Daya" Diaz, Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett, Carrie "Big Boo" Black, Galina "Red" Reznikov, Brook Soso, Poussey Washington, Eliqua Maxwell, Nicky Nichols, Lorna Morello, Piper Chapman, Maria Ruiz, Blanca Flores, Erica "Yoga" Jones, Angie Rice, Janae Watson, Mei Chang (Orange is the New Black)
Additional Tags: Friendship, Female Friendship, Ensemble Cast, Survival, Zombies, Crossovers & Fandom Fusions

As the zombie apocalypse quickly overruns the world around them, the women of Litchfield must rely on each other to survive.

I don't normally rec WIPs, but I love this too much to wait. Practical and in character and frustrating in the right way (Caputo's first instinct at a zombie outbreak is to immediately keep the news from the inmates, for example.)

the family evans (3529 words) by dirgewithoutmusic
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Petunia Evans Dursley & Harry Potter, Petunia Evans Dursley & Lily Evans Potter, Petuna Evans Dursley & Remus Lupin, Dudley Dursley & Harry Potter
Characters: Petunia Evans Dursley, Harry Potter, Dudley Dursley
Additional Tags: What-If, Family
Series: Part 4 of boy with a scar

What if, when Petunia Dursley found a little boy on her front doorstep, she took him in? Not into the cupboard under the stairs, not into a twisted childhood of tarnished worth and neglect—what if she took him in?

Petunia was jealous, selfish and vicious. We will not pretend she wasn’t. She looked at that boy on her doorstep and thought about her Dudders, barely a month older than this boy. She looked at his eyes and her stomach turned over and over. (Severus Snape saved Harry’s life for his eyes. Let’s have Petunia save it despite them).

Let’s tell a story where Petunia Dursley found a baby boy on her doorstep and hated his eyes—she hated them. She took him in and fed him and changed him and got him his shots, and she hated his eyes up until the day she looked at the boy and saw her nephew, not her sister’s shadow. When Harry was two and Vernon Dursley bought Dudley a toy car and Harry a fast food meal with a toy with parts he could choke on Petunia packed her things and got a divorce.

I love all of these AUs, but this one is my favourite by far. Amazing Petunia, still very much herself, but with all that ferocity tapped and sent in a more positive direction. (And thanks, [personal profile] dine for the rec!)

Door diagnosis, at last!

Jul. 29th, 2015 12:34 am
azurelunatic: Stone relief of Enki creating rivers. "Wank me a RIVER" (Enki)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Purple did not in fact go skydiving as he'd thought he might over the weekend, because it was one of those "weather permitting" activities. The weather did not in fact permit.

By the time I got through the lines with my lunch, the little table that Purple and the guys were at outside was crammed with about 8 guys (it is a 4 person table). CTY memories aside, that didn't seem like it would be pleasant, so I opted for inside with Mr. Tux and his officemate.

The guy from the internal department responsible for my little database said he'd likely be able to have a .csv pack of my tables to me either Monday or Tuesday. Unfortunately, the host on which the new thing's VM is located, was the one that managed to die over the weekend.

The bbq station's thing was a roast half-chicken. I'd declined to try it, since chicken meat on the bone is not a thing I do (mainly texture aversion, with a side of fear of even slightly raw chicken). I was lucky in this case -- while the internals had slow-cooked very nicely, the skin had not rendered and Purple said it was revolting.

I caught the big door by my cube doing the thing where it locks open again. I called security so the latest guy could see it in action. He came over, and by that time it was no longer doing the thing. I indicated which one it was, and he called it in. As he was heading off, it started doing it again for no reason. I called him back. "It's doing it again!"

"Call Cesar," said the guy with the ladder from over where he was doing something unspecified to a fluorescent light fixture. Apparently this is the sign of a particular part in the door going bad, you could see right up there at the top where it was not doing something or other. I was very glad that I'd happened to say something about this in his presence, because otherwise we would have spent another six months going around on it.

I dropped some chocolate on the desk of the community manager type who had been namechecked so memorably in the comment thread referenced in Friday's all-hands. I reckoned he deserved it.

Purple's brain ran out of space early. I was amenable to wandering home early, so that's what I did as well. We stood in the parking lot a while, letting our cars cool off with doors open. Purple doesn't actually hate shoe shopping more than I do, it's just that it's hard for him to find shoes that actually fit comfortably.

Leaving early meant time and brain to do the potroast I'd got over the weekend (no particular feat for a regular cook, as it was Costco precooked, which meant microwave and leftovers, but that's the state of my brain vs. cooking these days) and to catch up on Friday's recap.

My calendar reminded me of the date, and I observed the last Tuesday in July quietly, telling [personal profile] silveradept the story.

I woke up before my alarm today (Tuesday), and meandered in happily. Today's bbq offering was pulled pork sandwiches, albeit somewhat more chopped than pulled. I mixed the peach and the firefighter-hot sauces, and got a very pleasing combination.

The problem with the host is the motherboard. I got the .csv files, though, so that's good.

My task now after the helldesk software meeting on Friday is to spread the good word that no, the team in charge of fixing the thing appears to hate the terrible front end more than I do. I shared this at my 1:1; that cheered my manager, especially when I explained the part where the fancy expert just dropped his pen and stared at us. Also, I am treating the need to express myself in the tickets about the thing without swearing as a writing exercise, with creative results. Also, I added cheerfully, it's amazing what you can slip under the radar with references to Sumerian gods. There are not many people who know what's in Sweet Enki's Pitcher...

It was good for both of us that my manager was not drinking anything at this juncture, as she would have sprayed both of us. Apparently she has at least some small familiarity with Sumerian mythology.

When I wandered past the cube of the Namechecked Community Manager, he was in. I introduced myself. He correctly identified me as the source of unexpected chocolate. I thanked him for his service in the Trenches of Upset Users. The worst part, we agreed, is when the users are upset for good reason and we can't just magically make their legitimate beefs better. We both have the Pebble, also. I never got used to a touchscreen, so I'm not feeling the lack, but he is.

Purple called time at a reasonable hour, so we wandered out to the parking lot as the sun was disappearing behind one of the buildings. A hawk-shaped something flew across the parking lot, and smaller birds scattered as it found a redwood to perch in. Purple recounted an interesting little comedy of manners involving a murder of crows and a line of redwoods: each tree was topped by a crow, with two somewhat disgruntled-looking crows flanking it lower in the tree.

A second hawk flew across the parking lot and landed in another tree. It started calling, its cries rising in pitch to what both of us thought was some sort of distress. The first hawk looked in its direction, but made no move to go any closer.

Purple has a weakness for good black cherry soda, but doesn't much care for orange, despite his love for orange juice.

Paging through some hawk sounds, it sounded rather like juvenile squeals #2: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/red-tailed-hawk
azurelunatic: Warning sign: "If there's a huge fuck-up call Todd"; (huge fuck-up)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I read Tess of the d'Urbervilles on Sunday.

I offer the following content notes:

Animal harm, relationship coercion, acquaintance rape, coerced birth, era-typical child death, religious guilt (Christian), patriarchal fuckery, marital cruelty, attempted murder, abandonment, religious evangelism (Christian), religious coercion, rampant hypocrisy, familial coercion, coercion by means of family, actual murder, execution. Plus a side dish of substance abuse and attempted suicide.

Tess needs, in this order:
* A comprehensive and livable benefits and employment assistance program
* Gap insurance for horses
* Healthcare for her dad
* A taser
* Public transportation
* A working knowledge of what date rape is Read more... )
* Plan B and a rape kit
* Legal aid
* Benefits for her family
* Substance abuse care for her dad
* A boyfriend who understands that a dirty weekend with a sex worker is not the same as rape
* No-fault divorce
* A large shipping box with an angry swan (as f_fa recommends)
* A job with modern safety and care standards
* Societal acceptance of atheism, paganism, and agnosticism
* A restraining order against Cousin Daterape
* A lawyer who has successfully defended self-defense vs. Mr. What Do You Mean, Restraining Order? manslaughter cases
* A younger sister who looks nothing like her

Game time with Guide Dog Aunt

Jul. 28th, 2015 01:46 am
azurelunatic: Parental Advisory: I Say [animated changing curse word] A Lot (fuck)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Guide Dog Aunt threw a game night on Saturday. It took me a little longer to get ready than I'd hoped, but I did get over there. There was a Cards Against Humanity game in progress, and I was dealt in.

My aunt is all about the house rules that say that the purpose of the game is to have fun, so there were a few un-fun cards quietly put in with the used cards. Another common house rule is that if you don't know what it is (or don't admit to knowing what it is) you don't have to play it. Some people chose to ask things like "Who's Michael Bay? What's 'queefing'?" and many people were enlightened. "I didn't know there was a word for that!"

"What's Harry Potter erotica?"
"Well, when someone loves the Harry Potter books a lot, and writes little stories..."
"Oh! ... How do you know these things?"

One of the people who was new to the game was enticed in to play just one round, for the second go. By the second time we had got around the table, she was gleefully choosing a slightly weaker card, out of kindness to the current czar.

I won one hand by pairing "In this world there is nothing certain but death and ____" with "Soup that is too hot." Guide Dog Aunt agreed mightily.

It came time to cease partying, and everybody went home. I stuck around to help clean up all the fun, and with three people working at it, it was fairly quick. I caught up with my aunt, and then went home and went to bed.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
It was slightly less fuck o'clock in the morning when I shambled in to work on Friday. I was contemplating dropping the heaviest of my things at my desk before going to the departmental all-hands in the auditorium of the executive building, but then I saw Purple shambling forth. "Yo!" I called, and he waited for me to catch up with him, scowling in the not yet burning light of midmorning.

All-hands. )

Helldesk software meeting. )

Eventually I did get a good look at the time and I needed to rush back to my proper end of campus.

Rainbow tables beer bash & dinner. )

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2015 11:24 pm
azurelunatic: "Where's the goddamn NERF BAT when you *really* need it?" Animated cartoon tech support loses her cool.  (headset)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I woke up a few minutes before the alarm was set to go off. I'm not sure if it actually did. I was out the door fairly promptly, and beat traffic in to work. I set myself against the task of attempting to replicate the structure of the old database in the new tool, and found myself asking many questions (many rhetorical, and moderately profane) about the designers of the new thing. Ahh, the honeymoon phase of a new tool, marked as it is by excessive sugar consumption (honey) and rude gestures to the program (moon). I also filed a bug, P0 catastrophic, against the old tool. I keep saving that for best.

Expected: selecting an arbitrary value from Company, Product, or State (individually or in combination with other items) would be searchable.
Actual: selecting arbitrary values from any of Company, Product, or State makes any search fail to run.

Expected: possible to use the Clear Filters operation.
Actual: the only way to clear values from any of Company, Product, or State is to refresh the page.

Rather than actually repairing this, I'd just like the contents of all the tables in .csv format, along with a diagram of the table relationships.

There was an all-hands early, which was why I was in at that hour. I might as well get the good commute and score a few hours of near-silence.

I found a seat next to Mr. Wizard Beard. I peered around for Purple but I didn't see him. It was equal odds whether he'd be on site or not.

Eventually it came to be Q&A time. I raised my hand for the microphone, and (hands starting to slowly turn to ice) rehearsed what I'd say. The bored-looking guy whose face reminds me a little of Shawn made some arcane signal to the guy covering the other half of the hall, and shortly an older man was behind me with a wireless stick microphone, avuncular and reassuring.

"I know this is somewhat of a squeaky wheel question, and I know a lot of people have been working very hard on improving this," I began, the first few words clipped off in the ears of the room as the mixer played catchup. "But how soon do you think [helldesk software] will be as functional as [beloved old zilla install]?" I handed back the microphone. If I was in trouble, so be it.

I got spontaneous applause and a wave of laughter. "That was a great question," the avuncular man told me in my ear, suddenly personally warm in a way that outshone his professional easiness.

The CEO indicated that this was a very important question to have asked, and put me at ease that I was not going to be in trouble. As for the substance, he was going to punt to the financials guy, but he saw the CIO there in the back of the room...

Later, my teammate would tell me that the CIO had seemed dreadfully embarrassed to be asked. Let us be clear: the CIO was attending this meeting as any employee might, in the standing-room-only area. He wasn't in some sort of reserved area. He was not mic-ed up. (This subtlety was lost on the folks on the phone.) The avuncular man with the handheld mic presented it to the CIO. He mentioned that they definitely knew that the helldesk software was terrible, and that they were also afraid that it was so terrible that people had sort of given up on trying to make it better and give feedback on what would actually work for them.

The CEO addressed me and told me that squeaky wheel questions like that are necessary and to keep asking them. I flashed back a thumbs-up and heart-hands.

"If you hadn't asked that, I was going to," Mr. Wizard Beard told me.

There was a sort of buzzing in my brain that obscured most of my senses; I only got it back when I heard a voice say the words "squeaky wheel" -- it, of course, was Rubber Chicken Guy, wanting to make sure that our route to complain was as clear as possible.

My phone started buzzing a little, with my team cheering at me in slack, some Twitter high-fives, plus [twitter.com profile] godtributes.

There were a few more questions and then the meeting was over. I kept the CIO in my line of sight and wandered over the few meters to where his little group was standing, to take my place in the little knot of people that served as an informal line. I had a very nice chat with Rubber Chicken Guy and his buddy, a fellow who'd just been moved in to my building and who helps run a demonstration lab at one of the work conferences.

Eventually the topic of the helldesk software came up, brought up by some fellow in glasses with grizzled hair. I was able to explain where you file a ticket against the software within the software, which was news to the CIO -- he'd mostly been relying on not!Facebook, and that was such a yellfest that he was burning out on listening at all. Drinking from the flamethrower.

I said some things that I hoped were full of empathy and understanding, that it's super hard emotional work to face people who are that angry and in that much pain. I feel like we bonded a bit. The other guy had his pet feature, which will make things better if they do it.

Also the rest of my day. )

Tomorrow's going to be interesting. First there's a greater-departmental meeting. Purple and I are both in that greater department. Then there's a helldesk software thing. Following that will be the diversity-themed beer bash. I will be there, I will be queer, and I think I'll pass on the beer.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I am the person who the intern pokes on Slack when there's an obscure abbreviation to be defined.

It turns out that the phrase "putting the old knowledge base articles into the Helldesk software" is best accompanied by painful-looking gestures.

Purple's Windows update took an hour.

The new person at the work cafeteria taqueria is getting better at rolling burritos. Today's effort looked sort of like a blunt, complete with holes at top and bottom. I folded over the more foldable-looking end. Purple laughed at me.

Somehow the topic of https://web.archive.org/web/20061205081603/http://www.brownplasticpackagingtapemonster.com/story.shtml came up. (Well, I know how: via me telling Purple that if the thought of something makes him giggle for that long, he's not allowed to do it.) And then he got to the idea of putting brown plastic packaging tape down in a human shower to prank someone. I suggested that the lights would have to be pretty dim to allow that one to happen. He suggested replacing all the bulbs in someone's house with lights 1/4 the illumination. I pointed out that this would be more nearly literally than usual gaslighting. Both of us are reprehensible and think we're very funny. (We would not do these things. I feel that a good prank is harmless, and gaslighting is harmful.)

I had been craving cinnamon rolls last night. It is hard to come by just one cinnamon roll. Much easier to just get a grocery store tray and then share with the team. "The disc of evil", as my manager called it.

It has cooled down, so sleep will be easier to come by.

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2015 04:10 pm
thedivinegoat: (Default)
[personal profile] thedivinegoat
Why are there only two stories on Archive of our Own that have Pepper Potts and Donna Moss tagged in them? There is something wrong with the universe.

*Hi* I'm still alive, I've had a job the past two years that was meant to be 42 hours a week but has mostly worked out to 55/60 hours a week. Next week I start as Assistant Manager at a charity shop and my hours go down to 28 a week. I'm hoping I might actually be able to scrape together a few hours a weeks for things like fandom and crochet. We shall see...

Humidity is not my friend.

Jul. 22nd, 2015 02:09 am
azurelunatic: panic button.  (panic)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
It turns out that when you combine heat, humidity, and any amount of exertion, I start to pop off panic attacks like they were going out of style.

Have dinner in downtown Mountain View, and queue up for a gelateria? Panic attack due to claustrophobia.

Go to IKEA and try to go through the showroom backwards? Panic attack.

Try to communicate how to arrange two shopping carts so that I can go to the bathroom while Tif watches the carts, then allow me to fill my water bottle while watching the carts while Tif uses the bathroom? Panic attack.

By the third one, I realized that this is really not normal for me, and that my physical state during that amount of heat and humidity had to be contributing.

At some point over the last year or so, I wound up going to a work music thing and mentioned to Purple that I was somewhat claustrophobic, and the crowd might set me off. It didn't manage to fully do that, thanks in part to Purple being mildly obnoxious and distinctly funny, on purpose in order to distract me. I was appreciative.

Later, I ran into some article on computer modeling of crowds, and they weren't getting the crowd dynamics right until they started modeling motion changes on time until collision. At that point I decided to do an audit of my crowd-based claustrophobia if it was just that my collision alarms were blaring.

It turns out that there are two primary drivers for my panic at being in variously crowded public spaces. One is my collision warnings going off continuously. Another is the time-until-collapse alarm. See, my stamina hasn't been too great in the past, and I've been learning to compensate for that. So I always have a vague sense of how much standing time/walking time/walking distance I have left in me. In a crowded place, I also have a vague sense of how long it may take me to get out of the crowd and into some place of refuge/place to sit down safely. When these two timers start to get close (let alone compare unfavorably), I panic. Less common is if/when my brain and communication starts to delaminate. If I can't communicate clearly my need to get the fuck out and sit the fuck down, it's not safe either. Which distresses me more.

Humidity, it turns out, entirely fucks with both my actual stamina, and my calibrated sense of how much ability to keep upright I have left to me. The level of sweating that happens in extreme humidity turns out to closely resemble the amount of sweating that happens when I have burned through all but the very last reserves of my energy. This doesn't make me feel super secure. Annnnnd ... panic time!

One that used to get me a lot was feeling dehydrated. Yay water bottles.

Now that I know this, I can maybe cope a little better. Ugh.
azurelunatic: "Offices are why big people get GRUMPY and say BAD WORDS" (offices are why)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Yesterday involved a lot of wrestling with the fucking participant database, which has broken entertainingly in that you can now only search by name, not by product used. Am not best pleased. I spent yesterday and today doing a lot of things that ought to have been done automatically in under 5 minutes.

This week is bug triage week for poor Purple. He has, however, invented a little script to help diagnose a particular sort of weirdass bug he's getting barraged with.

Months ago, I'd complained to Purple that I felt the need for a cry, a drink, and [redacted for crudeness]. Purple had made awkwardly helpful suggestions at the time, which wound up being its own little saga (short version: always check the integrity of your magic wand's cord before use; no injuries except my equilibrium and the device). Today I wasn't feeling that bad, but I did feel the need for a good book, a cup of tea, and [redacted for slightly less crudeness]. I did get the cup of tea -- since it was primarily hibiscus, I dropped one of the dried sweetened hibiscus flowers in, plus a small handful of dried blueberries.

Last night there was a small earthquake, and people were asking each other whether they'd felt it or not. Purple had been up at that hour. So had I. The telling was amusing. There were howls of laughter, and I feel I've marked off a box on a SF Bay Area bingo card.

The hibiscus flower is tentacular when rehydrated, like a little facehugger. However, it's a small facehugger, more of a nosehugger really. They wouldn't be chestbursters, they'd be nosebursters.

I have been training a Pandora station for show tunes. It has decided to include Disney shows in this now. I can't say that I'm going to argue. I may argue with the fact that there are at least three albums out there with the same goddamn songs on it (for every prominent show that's been redone, it looks like, plus the Best Of albums and the live albums) so I may need to gently grouse at the devs a little.

The evening cleaning guy suggested chia seeds to improve the tiredness and general malaise that I was feeling last night. I haven't really noticed a difference when having them and not, which sort of deflated his suggestion. Tonight he mentioned that I seem different from a lot of the other people. Well, yeah.

There is a meeting in the Fix The Goddamned Helldesk Software series on Friday, with someone who apparently knows about making the motherfucker work correctly. The scheduler person called my desk phone to ask if I had recommendations for users. I'd been face-down in the database, and was pretty inarticulate at her for about 2 minutes, at which point she said she'd email. I gave her the names of about six people who I thought would be articulate, helpful, and okay in a rarefied crowd. I then specifically mentioned Beldorion as a person I thought would not be helpful in this group. She then said it was a great idea, she'd already reached out to him, and he was very passionate. I clarified that I felt that if you wanted anyone else in the room to get a word in edgewise, Beldorion was not your man. Oh well.

It's a lunch meeting, so if I get a salad to go from the cafeteria, I can justify also bringing a bag of microwave popcorn. (Purple's suggestion.)

Yesterday, the Stage Manager insisted that I get a compass app on my phone to properly align the compass rug I found at IKEA. I'd been doing it via google maps; I had only been a few degrees off.

I resist other people's attempts to make me share my cloud pillow. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20306575/


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