Tuesday, January 15, 2008

There's no good time

I was just finishing yesterday's "Fun Monday" post when we got the call from my dad at the hospice. He let us know that my mother was fading faster than they'd expected. So we put some quick sustenance in ourselves and drove out there. We arrived in time and were with her during her last hours. The hospice people were wonderful, and I cannot imagine a more comforting and caring environment. It diminished our fear and pain.

I'd like to say something profound, and I probably could eventually, but my first impression was that this was the weirdest situation I'd ever been in. Surreal. We each acted according to our nature; I journaled instead of talking. I'm very glad we were there. It is very sad, and I know there will be aching times ahead for all of us. But we're in a bubble in time where we can appreciate her life, talk about her with friends, and be glad on some level that she's at peace.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fun Monday

(I'm all a-flutter. I'm so excited to be participating in Fun Monday! Thanks to Ann for hosting.)

A Web site that's changed my life.

Well, there's a couple different ways to approach this. Since I'm feeling generous, you get them both.

About ten years ago, my husband sent me a link to this quiz: Porn Star or My Little Pony? My devotion to The Brunching Shuttlecocks was instantaneous, intense, enduring. How can I ever forget The Complete and Utter Idiot's Guide to Making a Baloney Sandwich or The Björk Song? When I need laughs, I need hardcore nonsense, and here I always found my fix. The only thing remotely like it at the time was Dilbert; there was no comparison. Of course, the lads eventually grew up and got real jobs (though Lore is still out there blogging). But my sense of humor was irreversibly perverted: Engrish.com, Internet Bumper Stickers, The Onion.

On the serious side, now.

I took a job with the government sixteen years ago. I worked as a grants project officer at first. This was nothing like what I had studied to do. J'étais censée devenir professeur de français. All those years of studying French and I wasn't a French professor after all? Kinda neat, once you get past the distress.

Well, after a couple of years someone said, "Hey, you don't seem to be afraid of computers. There's this new thing called a Web site-- it's sort of like a Gopher site-- would you like to build one? We'll show you how." I accepted, and I think it was Halloween 1994 when the
SEAHOME Web site first went live. (I can't find any screenshots from back then, but the Wayback Machine has a few archived from later years.)

This really did change my life. It headed me in a new direction in my career. Heck, it gave me a career. I've moved on to be the lead web person for our region, and I really enjoy what I do.

Hope this is what you were looking for. Can't wait to read the other posts for Fun Monday.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

No more earplugs

I still feel childish about my last ranting post. I never want to take people for granted or let the little insignificant things get in the way.

When it came time to move to our new desks, we chose based on seniority (length of time since the date we started government service). I've had people shake their heads at how petty that is, but if you think of Office Space or The Office, you'll remember that pettiness defines the modern cubicle farm. There were three window seats, and I was number four in line. Jessica, our move coordinator, offered to go stand in the hotline cubicle and talk to herself while I scoped out the noise bleedover level in the remaining cubicles. Now that's a pal! I chose one that seemed workable, if a bit dim, and began moving my non-essential possessions over the next few days so there wouldn't be so much to do on move day.

A couple days before we were to move, my colleague who was number three in seniority came by and suggested I not move all my stuff to that new cubicle. It looked like she'd be moving to a job in another division, and we'd most likely get to play musical chairs all over again. It came to pass exactly as she predicted, and I now have a splendid seat by the window facing west. It is bright and quiet, and there's a slight white noise effect from the ventilation system that masks most nearby conversations. And I have a view by day and by night:

Sometimes you get lucky. :^)