Protect ya check.

One of the weirdest parts of Ingress for me has been learning about creating metal pins and coins for swag. I’m pretty happy with the results of this most recent creation. (Pins available at our store)

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What should I have said, for example, to a bottom dweller who recently belittled my existence?

I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. As a child I always wished it were stick straight and dark brown. Only in the last few years have I come to embrace the fact that I’m a mousey-strawberry-brown curly-haired person. Only it’s not quite curly, it’s more this wavy and frizzy mess that I mostly keep under control through patronizing an expensive stylist and the judicious application of shampoos, conditioners and styling products that promise to tame my frizz while leaving my hair soft and manageable. This has meant embracing a styling regimen that means while my hair gets wet every day, it only sees shampoo on the weekends.

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Not a year in review.

I’ve started to do the standard year in review post a few times now and I keep getting stuck in March every time.

This is the year I said goodbye to Amélie after five years, and in that rediscovered a bit of faith in humanity through the love and support of friends and family.

I went to New York on my own for the first time, and took a train from Boston to Baltimore. I saw old friends, some of whom I’d not seen in person for more than ten years.

I saw two coworkers (and friends) leave for other things, found myself mentoring two new team members, and I was promoted to Associate after four years and a bit of working my tail off.

I’ve spent more time reading, and more time discovering how to fit creative projects into my daily routine. I’ve rediscovered old friendships and strengthened new ones.

I made a lot of noise over the last year about all the terrible things going on in my life, but really, I’m doing okay.

Here’s to another okay year in 2011, thank you for being part of 2010.

Creatures of Habit

Photos of Java from March
Originally uploaded by graphxgrrl.

I am always amused by just how much a creature of habit Java really is. He wants his food refreshed at 7:30 am and around 11:00 pm, even if he’s not interested in eating at those times. As a result he will pester me incessantly and noisily if I don’t add food to his dishes then. He also wants to eat with people, so will follow me into rooms where I am if it’s also where food is, or will pester me to go with him to the bathroom (where one of his dishes is) when he’s hungry.

But it also comes out in the course of normal days, when I was home early from work last Monday he was terribly confused and kind of sulked a bit–as if I had interrupted his busy napping, grooming and racing around like a crazy creature schedule.

Yesterday, Suezie and Cherie popped by briefly to get something from my apartment in the middle of the day and he was startled enough by the experience that he hid. Nevermind that he knows both of them quite well and is usually his normal slutty self when they come over.

Stop. Just stop!

You don’t get to have it all.

I feel like I’ve been having this conversation in a variety of venues lately. Perhaps it’s because a lot of reflection happens this time of year, or the fact that I do have a lot of friends in transition in various parts of their lives—from relationships to jobs to schooling. No matter the reason, I keep coming back to the unfortunate expectation that we’ve all come to live by in the last few generations. The idea that we can have everything we want. That an inability to do everything well is a failing, or that the inability of the universe to give us everything we want is somehow unfair. This has become increasingly more common in the last few years with the sacrifices I’ve made and that those I’ve cared about have made due to the shift in the economy. I’ve also seen a lot of discussion about whether or not things will “improve” or if this is in fact the “new normal” (which is a phrase I want to stab people in the face for using). Continue reading

Hijinks with UPS

This morning’s timeline. These are the woes of our attempts to get four copies of a proposal to a large technology company in the Bay Area, which I can’t actually name due to an NDA I’ve signed.

6:23 am: Arrive at the office.

6:44 am: Check status of UPS package marked for early morning delivery, email team in San Francisco to let them know that it’s on a truck and should arrive on time.

7:23 am: UPS attempts to delivery package, no one is yet at the office.

8:07 am: I email the team again to let them know the package status, they confirm that UPS driver left a note to try again.

9:55 am: UPS attempts to deliver again. Note in the status that the business is closed. I’m confused, since I’ve exchanged emails with two people in the office already this morning. I attempt to call the San Francisco office.

10:00 am: Thank god I have our San Francisco intern’s cell number, as we determine that our real problem today is that the office phone system is down—which means the building intercom doesn’t work properly either.

10:19 am: I try and get a real person at UPS to talk to me and also be helpful. Giving up, I start coordinating with the San Francisco branch of our reprographics house to reprint our materials so the proposals can be hand delivered in Mountain View on time.

10:42 am: I attempt once more to get a real person at UPS to help me. They finally pass a note along for a local UPS dispatcher to call me to arrange for the driver to attempt delivery again.

10:56 am: The UPS dispatcher calls me swiftly, thank goodness. Not only that, but they give me the name and location of the UPS driver who delivers to our block of Market Street. I pass this information along to our intern and strongly suggest that he try and stalk our UPS driver, since the project is a bit odd and I’m not excited about the product we’re going to get out of the San Francisco repro team.

11:24 am: I get a phone call from our intern. Success! UPS driver stalked, package acquired. I get a hold of the San Francisco repro team just in time to catch them before they actually press print.

And all this while trying to format a large document for our design partners on a project in Kenya. It’s Mondays like these that make me dream of less stressful work.

Aliens, Teenagers, so many easy metaphors squandered!

I often watch random television in the background when I’m working on projects around the apartment in the evening, it tends to give me more… structure than working to music does. Netflix Instant View has been great in this regard, tons of tv shows available that I saw parts of in the original airing. This week and a bit I’ve been watching Roswell.

It came out about the same time as Buffy, another show that I dismissed in the first season or so but came to (obviously) enjoy. Featuring a young Katherine Heigel and two other actors as survivors of the original Roswell landing, incubated in pods, and awoken as children in the 80s. They’re adopted by local Roswell families after they’re found wandering in the desert. We join the action as they’re high school students discovering their “special destiny” and hijinks ensue. Later episodes also feature a young Emilie de Ravin with a questionable American accent (which, in her defense, gets better as the show progresses).

The first season was a bit wobbly, as all first seasons often are–and if you compare it with season one of Buffy, it holds up okay. Then, with meddling from UPN it does a sharp turn into more sci-fi oriented plots in the second season. In the much maligned third season it seems to be trying to find some balance between the two–but has now decimated its own mythology enough that it never really finds its feet or direction again. It somehow made sense to see Ron Moore’s name in the credits the other day.