marcicat: drama llama (drama llama)

Adventure Week rolls on — it’s not really a week in terms of matching up with a calendar week, but it started yesterday and goes through Wednesday, and calling it Adventure Week sounds cooler than ‘five consecutive days of doing stuff.’

Day 1: Bounce House Obstacle Course 5K (it’s actually called the “insane inflatable 5K,” but I like mine better) — achieved! And with minimal injury! (Just a little scrape near my elbow, which is Exhibit A in the ‘wearing a long-sleeve shirt and then pushing the sleeves up does not provide the protection you were hoping for’ lesson.)

Day 2: Final packing for the hike. And maybe a nap? (It’s important to have quiet time built into adventures, right?)

Day 3 & 4: Hiking.

Day 5: Rest & recover day. Laundry. Apologize to the cat for being away. Award myself some serious stickers for all that adventuring.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (owl forward march)

I’m headed out this morning for a “practice hike” in preparation for my September overnight hiking trip. Things that I have going for me:

1. lots of snacks

(Also, I’m going to a park I’m relatively familiar with — I’ve done all the hiking before, just never in the same day. It’s a level up for me, but it’s not objectively unlikely that I will succeed. Plus, I mean, snacks!)

Things I am worried about:

1. everything

(Yeah, that’s just me, though, I am Always Worried About Everything. No reason not to go out and have a good day!)

Just as a semi-practical note, any time I do a new hike I try to plan bail-out points along the way. So if I get part way through the planned route and think ‘nope’ there’s an option to cut things short. I’m sure I saw that on some list of tips at some point, and it has been useful at the most unexpected times!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (bird with balloon)

Uh, well, see, my new schedule is going to prevent me from reading a bunch of fic this morning to find one to rec here, which is actually often what I do on Fridays.

But I do have something to say about fic in general, which is that I have seen a lot of posts floating around tumblr (again) indicating that all fic authors universally love comments on their work.

Which is ::cough:: not entirely true. I personally find comments intimidating — I’m always terrified to open them in case they’re awful, and then if they’re nice I feel this obligation to respond back in some clever and meaningful way.

Which isn’t to say that people shouldn’t comment if they want to! Just that there really isn’t One True Rule for engaging with people on the internet, and that includes fic authors, and it’s okay to tailor your experience to be what you need.

So yeah, that’s my thoughts on it.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (tree with rainbow swirls)

Switching shifts at work, starting today. It feels like the least of the changes I’d *like* to make at work, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s a step in the right direction.

[art credit Claire Mohjer]

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (badger moon)

I am not-so-secretly terrified of social media. I mean, sure, I post here, and I lurk on tumblr more than I should probably admit. Conceptually, I can see the benefits of having an online presence.

But I worry a lot. (I mean, about everything, not just my online presence, but that’s part of it.) What if my identity is stolen? What if I say something stupid that gets taken out of context and ruins my life? (an actual thing that has happened)

And now my workplace wants us to take on answering questions on social media as part of our expanded responsibilities. They say they have our back, but it’s not in writing and I probably wouldn’t believe it even if it was. I am 100% convinced that any one of us would be fired in a hot second if something we said blew up online.

Ah, fear, my constant companion. So our days together go.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (polar bear)

Since I’m working early today, I set my alarm a little early too. And then, of course, proceeded to dream all night about sleeping through it and being late.

Pretty standard fare. And the job I was late to was sort of a weird amalgamation of my current job and my last job — a little unusual, but not too weird.

But the best part — and I love how in dreams things like this don’t seem weird at all — is that in my absence, Tom Bergeron (yep, host of Dancing With the Stars) had stepped in to open the store and cover for me.

Thanks, dreamscape! I appreciate the assist!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (duckling)

I’ve been trying to figure out a post about work, and how people in power use the phrase “we don’t want you to feel that way” like it’s the end of the conversation, like any discontent you feel after that is your own fault, certainly not theirs (they don’t want you to feel that way), like they bear no responsibility for the structures that created the feeling in the first place, and often won’t even acknowledge that those structures exist and that some benefit from them while some do not.

But it’s not a new story, and it’s been told so many times by better tellers than me, and yet —

But it’s sunny and it’s summer and I have the day off and the cat is sleeping next to the keyboard. And so, the day rolls on.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (badger relax)

Summer sleeping is so different than winter sleeping. In the winter it’s all layers and blankets and socks and having a warm cocoon till morning, then turning on all the lights to make it seem like daytime even when it’s still dark out.

Summer sleeping is one blanket and no socks and sticking my feet off the side of the bed to catch the breeze, and waking up to birds and wind chimes and kids in the parking lot and sunshine in the window even before it’s time to get up.

Both are good! Just a very different feeling.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (puffin)

I love mac and cheese. Usually I get the Annie’s brand, because I like the bunny. (Yes, a highly sophisticated brand choice mechanism.) But this week I tried the Horizon brand, because — I don’t know, I was at the store and I liked the shape of the box? It had a cow on it? Anyway, it said ‘white cheddar’ and ‘new,’ and I figured why not.

So the Annie’s cheese pack has powdered cheese that you mix with whatever — butter, yogurt, milk, water, basically anything you have on hand that will make a cheese-sauce-like texture. (I often forget that this will be necessary, so I’ve tried using all of those things.) But when I opened up the Horizon box, I was both baffled and amazed. It comes with a pouch of cheese sauce. Ready to go. WHAT IS THIS PACKAGING WIZARDRY.

Once I got over being weirded out by the cheese goo pouch, it was actually super convenient. And delicious. Add veggies of choice or enjoy plain: meal accomplished.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (kashmir mountain goat)

At the end of this week I’ll be trying again to interview my way into a new role at work. We’ll see what happens!

(PS: I am always slightly suspicious when people say they love their jobs. I love my cat. I love my family. I love that feeling of waking up all cozy in the morning on a day when you know you have nothing planned. Work is different. Work is work. I’ve chosen to do my job based on a range of considerations, and in comparison to other currently available alternatives, I am pleased enough with the situation to continue showing up, and to try to transition within the same company rather than leaving.)

(PPS: I feel like the “job as vocation” vibe somewhere along the way got conflated with “you’re not allowed to complain about compensation or working conditions, because that would indicate you’re doing this for some kind of crass commercial reasons rather than the love of the job.” Surprise! I *AM* doing this for crass commercial reasons! Those may not be the only reasons, but they’re definitely a part of it. And I wish we could talk about that as a component of work, and I don’t understand why I have to pretend that I’ve had an immense passion for spreadsheets ever since I was five to be considered for a job.)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (tree with rainbow swirls)

Yesterday I was super excited to get my new sneakers, so you might imagine my dismay when I opened up the box to see that one of them still had the security tag on it.

Let me back up. Yes, I paid for them. Yes, I ordered them from a reputable company. Yes, I have a receipt.

Okay, back to the story. So I’m concerned. My biggest concern is that this may be an ink-containing tag which will cause some shenanigans if I try to wrangle with it.

So this morning I live chat the company, and I’m all ‘so, security tag.’ And the very nice person tells me “it’s likely you might damage the item if you attempt to remove it yourself.”

Which is golden, right? Because that’s retail-speak for “We’re not liable if you ruin the shoes being an idiot,” and not retail-speak for “The tags are tamper resistant, absolutely don’t touch them.”

So, I googled a bunch of “how to remove a magnetic security tag” info, and I have now liberated my sneakers from their security shackles. Winning!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (freakout squirrel)

Just read the wikipedia summary for Fast & Furious 8. (Or whichever of the various titles it’s going by now.) Nope.

You know what I like in a movie? When NO ONE DIES. Is that so hard? Medical advances happen every day! Sometimes you even *think* someone is dead, but it turns out they had amnesia, and then it turns out they were actually *faking* the amnesia and you were secretly married to them the whole time and your True Love brings you back to life after a parking garage collapses on you!

(Not even kidding, that was a real plot line in Fast & Furious 4 through 7!)

I’m so tired of movies killing people women for The Dramatic Emphasis.

(To be fair to F&F8, it’s not like killing a character for Dramatic Emphasis is unique to that chapter of the franchise. They did it in 1, 3, 4 (sort of?), 5, 6, and 7 (a repeat of 3, but more sad?). Did they really not kill any of the good team in 2?

(Also to be fair, it wasn’t always a woman. There’s just so few women to begin with! Percentage-wise, it’s not even close!)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (kashmir mountain goat)

I just checked my FICO score. (Trivia fact google has just taught me: FICO stands for “Fair Isaac Corporation.” Would not have guessed that in a billion years.)

This is not a thing I had on my to-do list for today, or even woke up and decided to do. But I have a credit card that sends me these emails every so often that say “Your credit score has changed,” and I feel like I should go look at it, just on the off chance that it reveals some kind of information I didn’t already know.

So I got one of those emails, and first I had to dig out my log in information, and then I looked at the score for a few minutes, and dutifully read the little explanations of “things impacting your score.” And I looked at the graph showing my score history, and then I decided I’d done my adulting duty for the day and left.

I’d say it must be time to go back to bed after that achievement, but I actually just got up. Maybe I should check my blood pressure next, just to really lock in my grown-up badge for the day.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (aquarius dreamsheep)

I decided to try one of those 30 day challenges (it’s not really a challenge? it’s mostly to keep me from over-focusing on other things) — anyway, it’s 30 days.

But my difficulty with month-long things like that is that I constantly feel like I am just barely keeping up. (Which is the point of it, I get that, you do one day at a time, but my brain is not always keen to get on board that logic train.)

This time around, I decided to start the 30 days five days early (aka it was still March). At the time, it was just because I was excited about starting and I figured that any time I’m excited about doing something good for me I should probably dive in and do it before the feeling fades.

But so far I am super impressed by how effectively that decision has convinced my brain that I am winning this challenge. (It’s the 6th, but I’m on day 11! I am *crushing* this goal!) I mean, it’s all imaginary, but if the choice is between my brain having an unwarranted feeling of success versus an unwarranted feeling of impending failure, I’ll go with door number one.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: kismet sleeping (kismet sleeping)

I couldn’t decide on a fic rec for today, so here’s my contribution to #trypod month.

The podcasts I’m listening to these days:

Code Switch

The Naked Scientists

Ask Me Another

Hidden Brain

Nerdette

Rocket

Death, Sex and Money

How I Built This

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

1A

Overinvested

TED Radio Hour

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (blue footed plush)

Happy March! In addition to the all-important changing of the sponge on the first of the month, I like to change up the pictures on screens around me. Phone background, computer wallpaper, email theme, that sort of thing.

1. It’s an easy way to recognize and celebrate the changing of the month!

2. I like seeing different things; it makes me feel like things are changing even when sometimes they feel stuck.

3. It really takes the pressure off choosing the *exact* right picture when I know I’m going to choose again in a month.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (black cat)

For less than a year, but more than half a year, I have been using one of starandrea’s fitbits. Most of the time I leave it on at night, because it actually does seem to encourage me to get more sleep (aka go to bed earlier). (Possibly this is a natural consequence just of getting older? Who knows.)

But I’ve noticed that one of my sleep stats — number of times “restless” — has improved a LOT. Despite me not feeling like there’s been any significant improvement in the quality of my sleep, or even in the number of times I wake up in a night.

And I think it’s sort of funny, because it’s really just measuring whether or not the fitbit itself is moving around. So it turns out that in the last few months, fitbit has trained me to leave one arm still at night. (Which, to be fair, may be helping me fall back asleep faster.) Score one for unintended consequences!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (aquarius dreamsheep)

Instead of fic this week, how about a recipe from the folks over at Penzeys:

Mini Ham and Cheese Quiches

I used a regular muffin pan, because I don’t have one that makes mini muffins, so I used half a slice of bread in each one. And I didn’t take off the crusts, because that seemed time consuming.

Based on ‘stuff I have around,’ I used sliced turkey as the meat and a pizza cheese blend instead of swiss. Also I don’t have any of the spices mentioned so I just used whatever I wanted (some shallots, some garlic, some salt and pepper mix).

It’s an easy recipe, which is always a selling point for me. If I made it again I’d probably use more eggs — I thought the bread:eggs ratio was a little off. (Maybe it was the crusts!)

But overall a thumbs up! Tasted good right out of the oven, and also reheated well throughout the week.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

SNOW DAY

Feb. 9th, 2017 07:43 am
marcicat: (black cat in snow)

Except not really, because we are “perfectly capable of working from home.” Which I wouldn’t exactly describe as a true statement, in the strictest sense of the word “true.”

I would say I am somewhat capable of working from home. I mean, there’s the good part:

Good Part:
No commute!

But it’s not all good. Because it’s one thing to get yelled at by a stranger on the telephone when you’re in an office surrounded by supportive coworkers, and quite a different thing to get yelled at by a stranger on the telephone in your own home.

Although calls forwarded to our personal cell phones can’t be recorded, a fun fact I learned a few years back. So there’s that.*

(*Not even kidding, the only thing anyone takes advantage of this for is to skip asking the question ‘Is there anything else I can help you with today?’ We get points deducted from the call if we don’t ask it, but — as anyone who’s ever been awkwardly asked that question on a call can attest — it just doesn’t fit into every conversation. It’s a relief when you can just leave it out. Believe me when I say, they’ll call back if they think of anything else to ask. Or even if they just want to ask the same thing again.)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (polar bear)

It’s review season! (Again!) Every year, my workplace has us all fill out a self-evaluation, which is the starting point for an extremely opaque and generally frustrating process in which you may or may not get a raise.

The kerfluffle so far this year is that the schedule for reviews was sent out with a typo on it — basically the first date said ‘start working on your self-evaluation,’ and then two weeks later, instead of ‘you should be done by now,’ it repeated ‘start working on your self-evaluation.’

Based on the context of the other dates, it didn’t seem impossible to figure out the error, and there are so many people in the company that seem to thrive on pointing out other peoples’ mistakes that I figured it would be corrected quickly. Turns out not so much.

I am side-eying so hard right now, because *last* year we had a “delay” in this process that pushed pay increases back by a week, which I couldn’t help thinking must have saved the company some cash. And now this year it looks like — oh, another delay? Mmm-hmm.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

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