Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Self Humilation. I Mean Evaluation

It's that time of year again. That time of year when all the corporate monkeys who happen to belong to my particular corporate zoo are expected to write up a report about how we did, what makes us awesome, and why (should the corporate gods decide that they made enough millions for the fiscal year) we should get a raise and/or bonus.

I have this terrible irrational hatred of doing this, and find myself hoping I get fired or laid off or get into a horrible car accident so I don't have to.

"They" also have a requirement that I write this thing in third person.

Leauxra's Self Humiliation Evaluation:

We have to have a minimum of 3 goals, 1 stretch goal, whatever the hell that means, and "measures" by which to judge our abilities to meet our goals. 

I suppose this would be meaningful if I had projects and tasks that had beginnings, middles, and ends, but the fact is that I do the exact same thing every day, no change.  I am a drone.  Usually I just paste last year's goals into this years goals and then copy and paste my measures in from the same Word document that I used two years ago. 

This year I decided to be creative.  Following is an example.
Goal 1: Don't quit.

Leauxra did not quit this fiscal year.

Quarter 1 Measure: Leauxra went to work.

Quarter 2 Measure: Leauxra kept her social networking and blogging to slightly less than two-thirds of her work day.  She plans to improve this metric for the remainder of the year so that she will remain employed, and has set a new goal of 90% of her time to be spent messing around on the interwebs during work hours.

Quarter 3 Measure: Leauxra didn't quit even though she wanted to.  Really bad.

Quarter 4 Measure: Yup, she's still here. You can tell because she's writing her frickin' self evaluation.

After working at this company for three and a half years, I still don't know what they expect me to put in this section.  I usually copy the same things I put into my goals, and call it good.  Not this year!

Developments 1:  World Peace
Leauxra has brought about world peace though her efforts in the development section of the learning modules.

After single-handedly breaking up the Somail pirates and rescuing the princess, Leauxra went on to climb Mount Everest 16 times and removed 48,000 million billion tons of trash from the mountain.  She then personally washed every oil-soaked ocean dwelling creature, cured AIDS, and installed a water filtration system for the continent of Africa.

Let's face it, guys:  Leauxra is the awesome. 

Once again, I have no frickin' clue what they want from me here.  Wouldn't these be the same as the developments?  And the goals?  WTF, guys, are you just trying to see how many different ways I can say the same thing?

Leauxra is ALL KINDS of competent.  She also knows you totally won't fire her because, let's face it, she has a really crazy annoying job, and no one else wants it.  She also works for slave wages, and hardly ever complains as long as you leave her alone.  So why don't you take your "competency" rating and shove it?

Oh, and also?  Leauxra is TOTALLY prepared for the zombie uprising, so you totally need people like this in corporate America.  You KNOW that's where the zombies will come from.

It all kinda reminds me of Composition 1 in college... say what you're going to say, say it, say what you just said.  Seriously, are they just judging our ability to survive repetition?
Leauxra loves writing about herself in the third person, because she didn't already feel like a self-aggrandizing douche-bag writing her self-evaluation.

Leauxra could fill out her self evaluation saying nothing but 'Kiss my ass, crackers!' and still keep her job. It would not, however, get her a raise. Probably. And considering her wage erosion (her benefits cost more, so she takes home about 15% less than she did two years ago), she really would like something.

Leauxra loves this time of year because it makes her sounds like Sméagol, precious, and we loves it.

We doesn't counts on a raise, oh no, precious. Dirty stinking bosses won't gives us anything at all. Wants us to starve, gollum, gollum.   Sweet bosses, nice bosses, they will pity us, gollum gollum.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Geek Cred

Every once in a while it comes up in casual conversation that I am a big dork.

Most of the time, my dorky-geeky-nerdiness is kind of simmering under the surface, noticeable if you are looking, but not necessarily obvious to someone I don't know. 

I think, "I've got my geekiness under control.  I am not a nerd, I am cool.  See this?  I am one of the cool kids."

And then someone makes a offhand comment about Lord of the Rings, and my nerdiness explodes like Mt. St. Helens and flattens 230 square miles in minutes.

So this is confession time.

  1. Starting around my 12th birthday, I reread the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Hobbit at least once a year, every year. This didn't stop until around the time the movies came out, and I reread the books so many times during that period that the last time I got to The Return of the King, I had stopped enjoying it, and thought it boring.  It's been a few years, though, and I have been thinking about buying the series for my Kindle.

  2. I watched Star Trek the Next Generation religiously, and saw all the movies in the theater.

  3. I played role playing games for fun in high school and college.  Dungeons and Dragons.  I thought that somehow I was cooler for playing a cool character all the time.  I also (briefly) played Vampire, the Masquerade, the live action role playing game which took being a dork to new levels.

  4. At one point in my life, I owned every Dragonlance book ever written.

  5. I still think being an Evil Wizard when I grow up would be the COOLEST job ever.  But I would totally have to be Neutral Evil, because Chaotic Evil ends up crazy and Lawful Evil is totally boring.

Something that I have come to realize, though, is that there are a LOT of geeks out in the world today.  We might not have tape in the middle of our glasses (we wear contacts or got Lasik), or wear our pants hiked up to our armpits (unless we are being hipster/ironic), and we hardly ever have a buck-toothed (orthodontics) guffaw that clears a room anymore.  But deep down, we're still nerds.

Are you a nerd?  A geek?  A dork?  Find out with my "Geek Cred Test" (listed below).  Each "Yes" answer is 1 point.

  1. Have you ever used any of the following pickup lines (and expected them to work)?
    "I have a 20 charisma, baby!"
    "I am reaching into my bag of holding and pulling out CHARM!"
    "I tried a saving throw, but you've bewitched me!"
    "Is that 1d20 in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?" (Variations on the dice also count!)

  2. Have you ever dressed up as a cast member of Star Trek and gone out in public on any day other than Halloween?

  3. Have you ever gotten into an argument about whether the Millennium Falcon or the Starship Enterprise would win in a fight?

  4. Do you know what the SCA is?  (Bonus point:  Have you ever considered joining the SCA, been involved in a Renaissance fair as a goat boy, chess monk, dunking wench, etc, or own clothing that would pass at an SCA meeting or Ren Fair?)

  5. Do you still watch Anime?

  6. Have you ever tried, whether successfully or not, to learn a made up language (such as Klingon or Esperanto)?  Being able to write in the phonetic rune alphabet as seen in Tolkien's books counts.

  7. Do you know the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

  8. Does most of your knowledge about Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology come from comic books?

  9. Do you now, or have you ever owned dice to play any game other than Yahtzee?  Bonus point:  Have you ever owned a 20 sided die?

  10. Are vampires in your world evil, mindless, blood sucking fiends that burst into flames in the sun (as opposed to sparkling)?

Write down your total in the comments below.  I promise not to judge you.  Much.

Scoring:  1-3: Mildly Dorky, 4-6: Repressed Geek, 7-9: Total Nerd, 10: SUPERNERD, Over 10: Wanna come over to my house and watch Akria while we play Cyberpunk?

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Left Behind for the Rapture Birthday Bash

    I am almost halfway to 70.  Seems like there should be a lesson there.

    35 sounds old.

    When my mom was 35, I was 11.  When I was 11, the thing I wanted most for my birthday was a Pound Purry stuffed animal.  I wanted the Siamese cat version.  I got it, but I also got the flu for my birthday, so couldn’t even enjoy my cake.

    Other memorable birthdays:

    When I was 18, a friend of mine had me ordained a minister of the Universal Life Church.  This means that technically, I can add the honorific “Reverend” to my name, and it ‘s technically legal for me to perform marriages.  So what did I do?  I performed a temporary marriage (not to last more than 5 years) between two friends (both girls, and neither gay) in the fountain in Old Town Square in Fort Collins.  We managed to finish before the security guards chased us out.

    When I turned 33, I jumped out of a plane.  Nothing was wrong with the plane, and I did this on purpose.  I have never in my life been more convinced that I would have a heart attack as my hands went numb and I looked down below my feet and saw the plane zooming away because I was upsidown.  You can say you’re happy to be alive all you want, but until you are completely convinced that something is going to kill you and then land on the ground safe and sound a few minutes later, you don’t really understand what “happy to be alive” means.

    Anyway.  There’s been a lot in the news about the world ending on the day before my birthday.  Damned inconvenient if you ask me.  Kinda like the year that the tornado sirens went off while I was at work and got to spend a good chunk of the day in the bathroom (tornado shelter) with my coworkers.  Awesome.

    Stupid Rapture screws everything up.

    How am I supposed to have a birthday party if the world ended the day before?

    If NPR says it, it must be true, right?

    I do take heart in the fact that the world has been about to end for frickin' ever, so what are the chances that they'll be right this time?

    If you really need to know why I am so blasé about this, check this site out...

    My favorite bit is:  "ca. 4,500,000,000 AD       The sun will swell into a red giant star, swallowing Mercury, Venus, Earth, and perhaps Mars. This will be the true end of the world!"

    Still.  Seems like a good excuse for a theme party.  Here are some ideas:

    Left Behind for the Rapture Birthday Bash – while this MAY offend some people, they will be all raptured that day anyway, so the rest of us can drink us some beer.

    Disco-Zombie-Jello-End-of-the-World-Tupperware-Birthday-Party – It’s got everything!  From Harvest Gold and Avacado Tupperware to tinsel hair and zombies!  I think I even have a brain-shaped Jello mold and MAY have a CD of Disco hits around somewhere.

    Meh.  I may be too lazy for a theme party.   I think I’ll just stick with rootbeer floats, hot dogs, and booze.  Always a winner (I promise not to pass out this time before the guests eat dinner (probably)).

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    UPDATED: The Beautiful Woodland Creatures Actually DO Want to Eat You

    What, you think that because deer are vegetarians that they don’t have it out for you?  Please.  Wild animals are all pretty much assholes, whether you want to admit it or not.  This may have something to do with the fact that they are actually WILD ANIMALS.

    Forget the bears and mountain lions and coyotes.  They aren’t the ones that will screw you up.  Well, maybe they are, but they’ll just kill you.  It’s the little vegan shits that are gonna mess with you until you are crying in the woods without any gear. 

    You aren’t Snow White, and the little birdies aren’t going to help you clean the house.

    I have put together a little guide to help you identify some of the common woodland assholes of which you need to be aware if you venture out in my neck of the woods.

    The Biggest Jerk Animals Around

    I saw these guys near Grand Lake on a backpacking trip last summer.  They were just young ones, but they were still seriously huge.

    I know, majestic and blah blah blah.  Moose are really just too big to exist.  Have you ever looked at their knees?  They're like, as big as my head.  You can tell that all they really want to do is step on you.  I hear in Alaska they are so bad that they have "moose days" at the schools.  Kinda like snow days in the rest of the country, but the kids don't have to go to class because there are too many of these suckers around.

    And don't believe that they are like big cows or something.  These guys have serious attitude problems.  Avoid at all cost.

    They just run and look industrious and make you feel bad for ever stopping for a break.  Little overachievers.

    When you get above treeline after the snow starts to melt, so like, July and August, the pikas come out.  You will notice that the entire world will sound like it is full of squeak toys.  Yes, they're cute.  Yes, they basically look like oversized hamsters with big ears, but these dudes will run around with crazy wild abandon while you are gasping and wheezing at about 12,000 feet.

    They do this to show you how weak you are.

    The insidious little buggers will also keep moving constantly in your peripheral vision and lead to a little known illness called HAP (High Altitude Paranoia).  This sometimes fatal disease can only be dealt with by going down in altitude immediately.

    They will also watch you when you go to the bathroom, which is just weird.  Little perverts.  It's bad enough when you have to go pee above treeline without an audience.

    This raven is letting all the nearby predators know that you are ready to be taken down. 
    Don't get me wrong.  I love ravens.  They're my favorite bird in a weird emo-attraction-to-harbingers-of-death-way, but these guys are pretty much constantly plotting your demise.  They're smart, they're bigger than you think, and all they really want from you is your tasty, tasty eyeballs.  Do not be fooled by their rough but strangely graceful attitude.  These guys have got it in for you.

    Mountain Goats:
    "Rocky Mountain goats are some serious assholes." -John Muir*

    Mountain goats have big sharp horns.  They have been known to gore the occasional hiker.  Need I say more?

    Majestic my ass.  Brush out your hair, you damned hippie!

    This guy is planning to destroy my pack.

    About the size of a really large, extra fat tom-cat, marmots live in random places in the mountains.  They show up when you least expect it.  You set down your pack to go to the bathroom or take a photograph, and suddenly they've ripped through your $100 backpack and possibly your Packlite Goretex poncho and ripped open a bag of trail mix at the bottom of your pack.  And they are not afraid of you.

    Gray Jay (aka Camp Robbers):
    This guy kept going, "Want a piece of me?  Bring it!"  He then tried to steal my food.  Hooligan.

    Yet another thief, this bird, commonly known as a "camp robber" will take a granola bar right out of your hand and then mock you afterwards.

    Ground Squirrels:
    "I'm so cute, how can you resist screwing up my natural aversion to humans by feeding me?" -the Ground Squirrel **

    Brazen mixed with cute is a recipe for disaster.  These guys will climb right up your leg if they think you have food.  They won't hesitate to give you the plague, either.  If you see them, throw rocks and shout "FEAR ME!" as loud as you can.  This will not only get rid of them for a few minutes, but it will also drive away the other hikers.

    Runners Up:
    There are some animals that aren't TOTAL jerks, just mildly annoying.

    Mule Deer: 
    Up on Coyote Ridge near where I live.

    Mule deer are always around, with their big ears flapping.  They hang out in shadows, and only come out at dusk, making photographing them a huge pain.

    They also make weird noises around camp at night, to ensure you won't get any sleep after you are convinced there are bears getting ready to eat you.

    Weird Weasel Thingy:
    The best of 6 photos.  This little guy was FAST.

    Dear Weird Weasely thing at 13,000 feet.  What are you?  Can you PLEASE sit still for two freaking seconds so I can snap a photo?  What are you?  Thanks to your twitchy little movements, I will never know.

    * John Muir didn't say this.  I have a disorder where I can't help but attribute random things as quotes from famous people.
    ** Also, ground squirrels don't talk.  They're squirrels.

    BLOGGER DELETED MY POST!  On the plus side, I had a backup, but I am NOT pleased they thought they could just take it all away.  They also deleted my most recent comments!

    To anyone who tried to comment or had anything deleted, I AM SORRY! IT ISN'T MY FAULT!  PLEASE DON'T HATE ME!

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    If Wishes were Horses...

    Dear Santa,

    I know we've had our differences in the past, and I acknowledge your right to ignore me for the last two Christmases after my unseemly outburst a while back.  However.  There is still time to make things right.  I'm extending the old olive branch, here, buddy.

    Sorry I called you a good for nothing douche-nozzle.  It was uncalled for.

    I know it isn't Christmas, but... I have a birthday coming up in a couple weeks.  It would be really cool if you were to make an appearance.  And I, in turn, will keep my wish list short, and slightly less materialistic than the last one.

    I've given up on the pet octopus.  I bought my own car, so I don't need a Jeep.  And I understand that with mineral rights and utilities access, it is difficult to find the RIGHT 80 acres in the mountains for me to settle on.  I also understand that you don't want to give me a winning lottery ticket (maybe you're just not that magical, you know? Maybe it isn't that you don't want to give it to me, but that you aren't ABLE to, and were too embarrassed to say.  That's fine, I am OK with that (sort of)). 

    I don't want the impossible, Santa, but it would be cool if you could help out with a few things.

    First of all, I would like to go a whole day without stomach cramps.  So far so good today, but this is after reducing my intake to bananas, rice, applesauce, toast, and oatmeal.  Grown ups can't eat that shit day in and day out.  I want PIZZA.  I want a BEER.  What the shit, Santa?  Is there anything you can do?  I am totally tied of feeling sick.

    Feeling sick all the time makes me feel old.  I know, I know, I am going to be 35 soon, but damn!  There is NO REASON for my body to rub it in.  Anything you can do, any pull with the medicine gods or whatever.  And you can give this to me early, I don't mind not having anything to unwrap on the day itself.  Getting my insides to stop aching would be gift enough.

    Let me know if I need to sacrifice a goat or whatever.  I'll do it.

    Second, I KNOW you aren't going to give me THE WINNING lottery ticket.  I understand.  But what about a small lottery?  I am OK with tens of thousands of dollars instead of millions.  Tens of thousands of dollars would make a huge difference in my life, and give me the best gift of all... the ability to quit my job.

    I know, I know, I am a thinking, "mature" adult type person, and I can quit my job if I want to.  It isn't like I am being shipped from some slave planet to work in an orbital call center where three tardies get you shunted out the airlock or something.  But I have to be a little responsible, especially with this flesh eating abdominal disease I seem to have, I need the insurance.  It's just so freaking boring, though, especially since I lost my iPod.

    My cube neighbors aren't even talking about Batman or Thor or anything.  Yesterday I got to listen to a guy describe in detail what goes into putting up a privacy fence.  I wanted to say, "Dude, you've been talking about this frickin' fence for 20 minutes?  Don't you work?  If you love privacy fences so much, maybe you should put one up so I don't have to listen to you droning on about it!"

    Anyway.  Whatever you can do would be awesome.

    And this leads us to the other thing I want.  A new iPod.  I know I lost the other one, but seriously, please, I need it.  I can't stand it.  Please. Please.  PU-LEEEEZE.  You don't even have to give it to me directly.  You could just kinda nudge all my friends into giving me Best Buy gift cards so I can get it myself.  If I get enough of them, maybe I can get a camera, too.  How awesome would THAT be?

    So anyway, it was nice to talk to you Santa.  I hope you forgive me, and are willing to work with me here.  I know you like to save your goodwill for little kids and all, but if you add up the digits of my age, that makes me 8 years old, which should be totally acceptable.

    Love and kisses,

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    My New Diet Involves Giardia, or Maybe Ebola

    ***Warning, it is possible this post may contain too much information, and is probably also too long and boring to read.******

    So, at some point in the last year or so I decided I should try to lose a little weight.  This has gone well, except for the fact that I have gained 10 lbs.

    I've tried everything from the Beer Diet to the Chik-fil-A Diet.  I tried eating but Cocoa Pebbles for a week, and I tried only eating food that has been dyed red.  Nothing.  

    So one day, I got this idea to go for a run.

    And by “run” I mean jog slowly for about a minute, then gasp and wheeze and choke for about two, and then  repeat for 15-20 minutes.  It had been a good 6 months since I finished my personal record for the 5K (39 minutes, woo!), and I hadn’t so much as jogged to my car for a fresh pack of cigarettes since.

    The next day, I did it again (jogged, I mean).

    And the day after.

    And the day after that.

    By the end of the week, I could jog really really slowly for a whole mile.  In a row!  Without breaks!

    Everything seemed to be going well.  Three weeks into my training program, it was no longer a stretch to jog for 30 minutes in a row with very few breaks.  So I signed up for the Bolder-Boulder.  I know, I know, last year was a DISASTER, but this time I started training before I signed up.  It was going to be awesome.  I was NOT going to sabotage myself.  I was totally going to win.

    Week 1, I ran 10 miles.
    Week 2, I ran 11 miles.
    Week 3, I ran 12 miles.

    And then it hit.

    Monday, April 25th.

    Not only were my boss, and my boss’s boss in town for a meet and greet, but I had to run (not walk, not jog, but run) to the bathroom about 5 times before lunchtime. 


    I already knew I was going to have to skip my workout on Monday and Tuesday while they were in town.  

    There wouldn’t be enough time because I wanted to have lunch with them and look like I gave a shit at work, and there was no way I was going to get my ass out of bed before work, and after work was out because once I get home I transmorph in to Slug-Leauxra and never get anything done.  But now my body had stopped digesting food and was just spitting it out the other end.  Lovely.

    My stomach issues seemed to ease up as the week progressed, and I actually managed to run a little over a mile on Wednesday.  And then I ran another 2 miles on Sunday.

    So I got three miles in for the week in training.

    The weekend ended, and quite suddenly, I thought I might die.  But this is where I started getting confused, because a lot happened on Monday.

    Not only did the stomach cramps and runs (ha ha, I am so punny) to the bathroom get worse, but I was feeling listless and bloated and started to wonder if something was really actually wrong with me.

    It was about 9AM when I realized that I didn’t know where my iPod was.  No music for me, I had to listen to my coworkers while I tried to “work”.

    And THEN all the internets were abuzz because Osama bin Laden had been killed.  It seemed weird that people were celebrating in the streets.  Who does that?

    And because I felt sick, and because when I am sick, I spend a lot more time slacking at work, and this quote kept popping up on facebook (I know, because I checked facebook about 30 times an hour that morning, trying to avoid the news and thoughts of bowel movements), and this quote kept popping up:

    This was later shown to be a misquote because quotes on facebook end up being a little bit like playing "telephone".  Click the picture for the whole story.
    My brain started doing this weird little whirlwind as it flitted from subject to subject: I have to shit! A terrorist was killed.  Someone misquoted Martin Luther King, Jr.  I can’t listen to music.  I have to shit! A terrorist was killed. Someone misquoted Martin Luther King, Jr.  I can’t listen to music.  I have to shit! A terrorist was killed.  Someone misquoted Martin Luther King, Jr.  I can’t listen to music.  I have to shit! A terrorist was killed.  Someone misquoted Martin Luther King, Jr.  I can’t listen to music.  I have to shit! A terrorist was killed.  Someone misquoted Martin Luther King, Jr.  I can’t listen to music.  I have to shit! A terrorist was killed.  Someone misquoted Martin Luther King, Jr.  I can’t listen to music. …

    At some point, I think the walls in my brain finally fell down, and these were ALL THE SAME THING.

    "Man, digestive problems are the motherfucking worst." - Florence Nightingale

    So I didn’t run.  I felt like was getting better as the day progressed, and took a long walk down to the pub with my parents and boyfriend.  As soon as I had a beer, the tummy rumbles were back.

    A new fear emerged that I couldn’t drink beer.

    Tuesday was a repeat.

    "This day sucks balls." - Charles Darwin

    I tried having a home-made chicken noodle soup in the café at work, and realized that I was going to die.  My stomach bloated up like a Macy’s Parade float.  I was going to explode.  

    I started wondering if I had my own little stomach terrorist.  Giardia.  Ebola.  E coli.  The plague.

    My former boss and current running partner (“The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care.”), asked me if I was maybe lactose intolerant.  Or gluten.  Maybe it was IBS.

    I wondered if I just needed a new catalytic convetrer.

    "Pull my finger" - Neil Armstrong

    I came to the conclusion that I just couldn’t eat.  Anything.

    And what did I think then?  Did I think, “Gee, Leauxra, you should go to the doctor,” or “Uh, oh, this seems serious…”  

    Oh no.

    I thought, “If I have a flesh eating virus, I will probably FINALLY lose some weight.”

    Yeah.  No. I don’t have a fucked up body image or anything.

    "OMGWTFLOL" - Ben Franklin

    And even though I knew there was something going on with my brain, and that I wasn’t thinking clearly, the only solution I had was to talk to my friend Suzi  aka Voltaire on Google Chat and misattribute random quotes.

    "Que Sera Sera" - Sun Tsu

    I got home in the evening, and hadn’t had to shit in like, 4 hours.  My boyfriend made me Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup (the kind that is mostly broth) because he is awesome, and I continued to not feel sick even when he fed me some Mike and Ike's.

    "What's wrong with this goddamned printer?" –Voltaire

    So I am writing this on Wednesday.  At work.  I had yogurt for breakfast, and I have another can of soup for lunch.  So far, I feel... normal?   

    I will continue to eat yogurt, Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, and red colored candy (new diet?).

    I am going to go for run in during my lunch break, but "If I start shitting blood I'll go to the goddamned doctor!" - Mark Twain.

    **** Special thanks to Suzi aka Voltaire (they share a freaking BIRTHDAY, yo) for feeding me random quotes all day