Blizzard!

Woo hoo! I love this weather. There’s nothing like a helluva snow storm to make everything seem perfect and pure, as long as you don’t have to drive anywhere. 😉 I saw the predictions last night on the news and hopped into my car and drove over to work and picked up my laptop. And–damn–am I glad I did. It has been coming down hard and fast since about 5 AM. Highways are completely closed from Denver to Nebraska, Denver to Kansas, and Denver to New Mexico. The airport is closed and 2000-3000 people are stranded (can’t fly out and can’t drive out). The governor has called in the state patrol to rescue stranded drivers. (Live storm report can be found here.)

The snow was so high that my poor old dog couldn’t even get out the door for a proper constitutional and elimination round. So, I shoveled him a walk. And put him in his booties so his paws wouldn’t ice up and in his fleece jacket to keep him warm and dry (he is such a wimp about the cold), and off we went.

Doo, don’t say I never did anything for you.

Hair

As you all know, I’m vain about my poliotic and curly hair. After suffering the frizzy mess of a wig I had in junior high, I’ve kept it short for most of my adult life since I never really felt like I looked decent in long hair. That’s because once it got more than two inches long, my hair went curly and I didn’t know how to take care of curly hair.

A little over six years ago, I undertook the task of embracing a more feminine look. And, today, some of my curls had straightened in the back (we’ve had some dry weather) and I got to see just how long it has gotten. So, I thought I’d give you all a “before” and “after” peek and then do something that is pretty uncharacteristic of me: talk beauty tips.

Good God, here I go …

Hugs

This has been a tough year and an especially tough couple of months for many friends of mine (deaths, disappointments, grief, and other major transitions). And, while I tend to believe that we are each where we need to be in our lives, it’s times like that these that it sucks that we are so geographically separated. For all of you, friends and family, who are going through it right now or otherwise just need a hug to get you through the season.

Here’s what I’d like to do for you

On Praying

A few months ago, I decided to tackle learning all of the names of God by praying or meditating on each one, in turn. Now, seeing as how Hindusim has about 300 million known manifestations of the divine, Islam has the 99 names for God, and Judaism has 10 sefirot (attributes), and that’s not even getting into the Greek or Roman pantheon, I figure I better get cracking. You are probably thinking, “Why in God’s name would I want to do such a thing?” (pun intended;). But if you ask “why” you won’t get t the answer you really want. So, I’ll pretend you asked me “how” instead and let my gut, rather than my mind, take a whack at responding.

I write to digest. So, don’t feel obliged to take this journey down my gullet and out my ass.

Get Mortified

OK, just when I thought I was gonna get to be righteously satisfied in my self-pity and curmudgeondom, I go and find this and now there’s nothing to do but laugh at myself. Get Mortified is a site where adults share their most embarrassing childhood diary entries and love letters and then glory in their angsty inelegance and patheticness. It’s too funny to explain it well. You just have visit it to see yourself on these pages. They’ve even turned into it a stage show. Here’s a precious gem:

Ugly Work Rant

Jumping Jeebus on pogo stick, you wouldn’t think it’d be so hard to be nice to somebody. My team at work got a new manager. Half of my team is in Boulder. Half is in Utrecht (The Netherlands). And my new manager is in … California. (Which is an improvement over my last manager’s time zone: London.) The new manager seems like a decent guy and is trying to build a sense of comraderie and trust with us. (We underlings have been working together for some time and so already know each other fairly decently.) So, he’s coming to the Boulder office for starters.

We have a huge building here, built in the late 90’s when the company thought that they were going to grow this office into a major tech support center. We never even filled out the 3rd floor. And now most of the 1st and 2nd are cubical graveyards because, every time someone leaves, we hire someone in India or China to replace them. Just walk into the building and you can feel how stagnant the energy is. Occasionally, some tries to liven it up and bit by posting some sudokus on the bulletin board. But then there are some days when it’s so deathly quiet that I start to wonder if I’m the last human on earth until I look outside and see people enjoying themselves on the bike path out in the sun. To top it off, the cubicle walls are grey. (OK, I can’t completely dis it because I have a window cube that looks out onto wetlands and a bike path.)

Needless to say, it’s not a particularly warm and friendly environment. But we’ve got the new manager coming and I, for one, need to feel like I’ve got a decent personal connection with guy if I’m going to trust him. Corporate is making the investment to fly him out here and put him up in a hotel for two days. So, you’d think that they’d want to make the most of the opportunity (especially since they are usually such tight wads about travel) and give the new guy a cube or office near his people so that we could all actually get to know each other just by being around each other and not having to have a formal meeting every time we want to have a short, friendly conversation. But noooOOOOOoooo.

Facilities informs me that we only have a limited number of phones and so we can’t be moving one around willy nilly every time a visitor comes to town. So, there are only a handful of pre-wired places for the visitor to sit. And all of them are inhospitable (like right on the hallway at the top of the stairs by the bathrooms) or so far away that he’d have to pack a lunch when he was ready to venture out and drop in on his new minions. But no exceptions will be made.

And this is one thing I hate about working in corporate, archetypally masculine, minutiae grubbing environments: Relationships and quality attention to interactions and spaces are treated as frivolous and unworthy of consideration. I wonder if my new manager feels as slighted as I do by being stuffed in some out of the way hole. I can say, for me, the company’s response to me trying to make someone feel valued and welcome makes me feel unvalued and unwelcome. That we may be on a tight budget during hard times, I could understand. But our CEO makes about $2 million a year and we keep buying up small companies. So, it’s not a matter of no coins in the coffee can, it’s a matter of values. And, secondly, I probably wouldn’t be all off on a rant here if my request had been met with an acknowledgement of the worth of what I was trying to do and some statement of regret that we couldn’t handle that the best way we’d like to. That part is just inexcusable. To me, it’s like inviting someone to visit and then not picking them up at the airport, not making them dinner, not freshening up their room. You just throw them the keys to the house, point at the refridgerator, and grunt that you’ll be back later some time. It’s just rude.

Lately, things have been going a wee bit better for me at my job. I’ve been a more engaged with the work and the team and less depressed and burnt out. But this has renewed my cynicsm. If I stay in this kind of environment, I will be a bitter curmudgeon by the time I’m forty. I’m drowning here.

Time for Some Fun

[yoinked from ]

Some University students in the UK have put together a game to study degrees of separation and social networking via the internet. It’s a fun little thing that’ll be more fun as it grows. Their goal is to show connections between 7 million people. I’m player #4958. If you’re not signed up yet, go here. This will connect you to me and get you started connecting to others. The person with the most connections when they reach 7 million players wins!

Two Thumbs Up

I’ve been a James Bond fan since my childhood Roger Moore days, even though Moore always seemed a little too much of “dirty old man”, even for James, to play the part. And had I been born 15 years earlier, I would have been right there since Dr. No. I have no problem suspending my femininism for 90 minutes of campy fun, double entendres, and damn good stunts, setting, and intrigue. While I must admit that the James Bond formula was getting a bit hackneyed–*sigh*–it was hard to imagine James as anything but the old James without losing something precious.

But they’ve got me with the new James. He’s as egotistical as ever, but unrefined and therefore vulnerable. He doesn’t get by by being the most clever or most skilled or best toy-equipped character on screen. He misses clues, shows his hand, messes up and then has to risk more personally in order to fix it. They did a great job with character development (listen for the timing of the building of the 007 theme music) and tossed humorous references for us old timers. And Mr. Craig is, well, easy on the eyes.

James Bond: Vodka-martini.
Bartender: Shaken or stirred?
James Bond: Does it look like I give a damn?

The only sobering downside was to realize that I am now the same age as James Bond. Either that means there’s hope a life of adventure for me yet or I’m just plain getting old. 🙂

My two pennies: Go see Casino Royale. I’m going to hate waiting 2 years for the next installment.