bluecastle: (mary janes)
Dear boss,

When I say I don't have the paperwork ... I DON'T HAVE THE PAPERWORK!

Also, when I send you a spreadsheet with a list of things ordered by date, "what date was that ordered" is not a question you need to ask me.

sigh. sorry. taking back ordering and its requisite paperwork from the 'as of 19 minutes ago ex-coworker' and I HATE IT.

/vent.
bluecastle: (mary janes)
Rehearsals for The Diviners going well. All of Act I blocked now. We've been doing it in pieces and chunks so when we try and run the whole thing tonight (twice we hope) it'll be interesting to see it from start to finish.

And because it's my friend's thesis project, its been interesting to do a show with that added level of "instruction" laid over it. My friend is doing it to practice directing. The baby stage manager, and costume and sound designers are doing it to learn how to do those things. There are a handful of theater major students who bring their thing to it. But the bulk of the cast in fact is local theater types who do it 'cause it's fun and challenging. It's nice to feel a part of the University Community as it were. Also it's occasionally hilarious as the Theater Department's production of Avenue Q is rehearsing in rooms all around us, so its a wacky counterpoint to all of our Depression Era midwest grit!!

We did this tiny scene last night in the middle of Act I where a rainstorm sweeps over the town and there are a lot of little scenes woven together of lots of people's reactions to the incoming storm (I had to re-type that not as "oncoming" storm :) and I have this lovely little scene where it's just Luella and her husband Basil on their front porch talking about how great the rain is. And the guy playing my husband put his arm around my shoulders. And man oh man I'd forgotten how great something like that feels. Just the simple warmth of two people pressed up against each other. I get so used to my almost total lack of touch from other people that it was a little added bonus to my evening somehow.

But now, time to get back to work. New girl's last day is tomorrow... so lots of extra stuff to do. again. sigh. *drinks SO MUCH coffee*

sigh.

Oct. 29th, 2014 12:49 pm
bluecastle: (mary janes)
based on the amount and type of venting I've been doing/included in this morning it really might be time to start actively turning this boat around.

I no longer have the energy or desire to work for someone whose actively playing mind games with her employees and then coming to them and going BZZZZT YOU FAILED when they a)do what they were told to do, and b) didn't mind read her enough to know that what she wanted us to do is the opposite of what she told us.

anyway... between my own demons, and the number of people around me who are sick and/or dying and/or recovering from a relapse and rehab... I am on my last nerve, and I didn't have that many of them in the first place. 
bluecastle: (mary janes)
My brain is not being kind to me lately. I sorta hate my job, and I just want to be ... I dunno... anywhere else. I'm discovering I'm not all that fond of having to keep up with lots of long term projects. Like I feel like I really want some kind of a job where you come in, do x tasks, and then move on. But I asked for this job, so maybe I should try and make it work...

then I think about other ways to make money and think about my poor abandoned etsy shop, or some print-on-demand services to sell cards or something. But all of that takes time and energy, neither of which I have much of lately.

and I think about blogging, but always convince myself I have nothing worthy of talking about.

blech. blah. depression. doldrums. malaise.

so.

I need to change-up my energy, and I am thinking about really getting serious about decluttering my house in November. Like try and make a game of it, and find 11 things to get rid of every day (because November). I am not good at sticking to long term projects. But maybe if I have to find 11 things, the take a picture of them, and post that picture I'll be motivated enough?! And releasing 330 items from my house is a good goal, right? I took a trunk load of things down to the thrift shop drop off last night, and that felt good, but there is SO MUCH MORE STUFF I want to get rid of!!

Trying to stay at least a little positive, but it doesn't help that all kinds of people around me are sick, or in hospital, or basically dying soon, or have died recently.

So its time to release a few material things, and maybe a few mental ones will follow along... right?

onwards...

Sep. 3rd, 2014 12:51 pm
bluecastle: (mary janes)
So I'm scheduled to have rehearsal tonight. First time back as a full-fledged Stage Manager in longer than I like to think about. But Copenhagen only has three people in it, and I've done many shows with this cast so that much will be okay. First time working as a stage manager for the Director, but again I know her well. (She's my bookstore/cafe owning friend if you've been following along here for a while).

The tricky bit is that the co-founder of the local theater group that's doing this show just died yesterday.

So... I'm pencilling in everything until we get the word on whether or not we're going to go on with the show.

Either way it's going to be a super emotional couple of weeks coming up.

On top of which, I'm working on finishing up a huge project at work, and the annual Open House madness is next week, and the week after that they install our cubicles and I get/have to move out of my office.

So yeah. Suspect September will kick my butt...
bluecastle: (mary janes)
Every time I go over to the giant room of book processing, I smile as I walk past the incoming stuff... it just amuses me that we're a giant research university library, and yet we're still buying Mr. Potato Head and random sets of plastic groceries for the Education Library :)))

and

As I was coming back from doing an hour of boring paperwork over in the giant room ... I am now 5 bucks richer. I found a five dollar bill on the floor on my way back to my office and I tried to turn it in at the main circ desk and they wouldn't take it. She just kept saying "keep it, keep it, keep it ... no really keep it." So, um ... okay ...???  It can live in my desk until the next fund-raiser book/craft sale and I'll just buy stuff with it which will go to local charity works.

also

today I got "we hate to leave you here all alone" from departing employees. yesterday was all about the passive-aggressive hate. guess which I prefer :)

20 minutes til hometime...
bluecastle: (mary janes)
So I just went over and worked on one of my projects which is go unpack 50+ boxes of donated books and put them on some shelves so the relevant librarian can go through them and figure out which ones to discard right away and what to do with the rest of them etc...

(highlights today included a volumes of bondage porn with bonus robots, and 2 volumes of a stamp collection!!)

I'm just unpacking away, having been told to fill up all the available shelf space before the faculty member will deign to come down and do her bit ... And I start to get snarky comments, and then end up hiding in the cubicle where I'm emptying the boxes because the employees that work in the corner of the room are gathered around bitching about how many shelves I'm taking up.

I do love ending up in the middle of territorial pissing matches.

I was just going to let the chips fall where they may, but when I emailed the faculty to say ... hey ... all the shelves are full now! I did mention FYI that there was some complaining going on.

Welcome to bureaucracy where the middle managers make decisions, and then the peons march around with pitchforks...

sigh. lol. I just want to go home and change out of these dust and book mold covered clothes!!!
bluecastle: (mary janes)
...mostly intact. Although I slept through most of yesterday. Some of that was a stupid sinus headache, but mostly just exhaustion I think.

In the down time between the 3pm and the 7:30 show Saturday, the woman playing the mother asked the director "so what have you learned from doing this." And he said all the right things, but somehow I never connected with his choices for this show. We had numerous examples of people crying all over Facebook after the show. Copious weeping, but somehow I could always see the strings being pulled so I never even really teared up. But the whole point of the thing was to be a learning experience for him. I was just there because he still needed to learn the crucial lesson "you can't direct and be on book at the same time..." :)

Also, I will never ever think a recorded gun shot sounds as good as a live version. Granted, we weren't allowed to use blanks as we weren't an official university production (or something). I'm hopeless old school about this, but give me two 2x4's to clack together every time. I just think that unless the people onstage are listening to a gun shot over an intercom or something that it just looses all impact when its clearly a recorded sound.

But my friend go his post final blackout HUSH from the audience before they pulled themselves together enough to applaud. This made him happy. So I'm good. Actually I was personally really happy with the slow slow fade to black we finally got to on the last performance. It felt right.

So now I can hopefully get my life back! And I got some lovely parting gifts that that's an extra special bonus! I can't wait to try out that bergamot scented candle!
bluecastle: (mary janes)
It's Friday! Earlier it was 94% humid. Five and a half hours is not enough sleep. Why did the lights just go out outside my office?

But mostly thoughts about today's free lunch at work. It's our annual (and possibly 'last in this format' thanks to some impending sweeping administrative changes coming down the pike) awards luncheon. Well, awards feels a bit misleading. It's basically years of service thank yous... every five year you get a tote bag and a small gift and your boss or their designated delegate stands up and says nice things about you and we get free sandwiches and cupcakes. And warm bottles of water...

I always feel a bit conflicted sitting there polite clapping (I started at year 11 and so will get my 15 year tote bag either next year or the year after depending on how they count...) and it is, on one hand, lovely to get everyone together and share good things about our co-workers.

But sometimes I think it tips over into gratuitous self-congratulation. Also there are door prizes which I never win! ;)

Also, especially in our case because we have so many more than any other unit, it points out the very large divide between staff and faculty. The staff notice which faculty members (don't ask me to explain the special snowflake "Library Faculty" designation... it's complicated.) don't bother to show up. Hell, I notice I was the only STAFF member to show up.

But at the end of the day it's nice words and free food...

Final run of the show went OK last night. There's one page where things always fall apart and they end up chasing each other around for AGES making shit up until one of them gets the dialog back on track. So we'll see how opening night goes tonight. A friend came and took photos of the show ... and they made her cry. She's crying away and still snapping pictures. Frankly the show is 75 minutes of mind fuckery and 15 minutes of heartbreak, and really, those 15 minutes will supercede any little bobbles that came before.

It's been an odd experience working on a show for someone learning to direct. And because he didn't bring me in until the last minute I don't feel I've been all that much help. Some, sure, but still. But it's one of the cool things about working at the University. There are always learning experiences to have, and to help with. Even if that means I've going to spend the next two days unpacking a garbage can full of garbage three times over. Oh the glamour of the theater... ;)
bluecastle: (mary janes)
So I have to learn to train myself not to automatically assume the worst when boss-type people come into your office and close the door!

I was in the middle of eating my lunch when the department head came in and after some grumbling about my not having a chair that wasn't piled full of stuff proceeds to ask me if I'd heard that there was a move afoot to get our service desk manager a cubicle NEAR the service desk (what a novel concept!). There's been talk about this floating around for a while now, which seemed to vary on odd/even days whether it was likely or never going to happen.

But now it seems that the need for faculty offices combined with the push for manager man's staff cubicle, led someone higher up the food chain to say "hey ... would you like THREE cubicles so all your staff could be in the same place?" Hence Dept Head asking me what I thought before he got back to the administration.

Frankly, other than the loss in privacy I think its a marvelous idea. Mostly in relation to how often in my new job duties I'm trying to process a whole truck of books and there's just not room in my office to allow me to pull a booktruck up beside my desk.

Just before this I was saying to a group of online friends about how this week was trying to kick my ass, but I was trying to take it in stride and look for the good in the energies swirling around. So maybe this is my reward for leaning into the wind and trying to go with the flow :) I mean, sure, an actual office is always better than a cubicle ... but for the day to day _doing_ of this job, I think someplace a little more communal is a good thing! And while I sort of hate packing, I LOVE unpacking! So we'll see. Our service desk is in its temporary summer quarters right now while they reinforce and then raise the floors. There was no clear picture when this might happen, but maybe this Fall...

Otherwise, running mostly on fumes. I got home a bit earlier last night (9pm instead of 10pm), ate cereal for dinner, did a few show/prop related things, tried to find clean clothes, and finally fell into bed around midnight. Full final run tonight. They didn't do TOO badly during the run last night. The worst bit was jumping ahead a page and a half in the script. Between the four of us (two actors, the director, and me) generally two of us are freaking out at any given moment ... but that's production week!!

OK, must dash and deal with the rest of a cart of books. Semi-mindless tasks are good things today!!
bluecastle: (sherlock and john b/w)
Work is slowly driving me bonkers. I'm trying to juggle at least 5 projects, and there's SO MUCH CONSTRUCTION. (You don't even know. ITS SO MUCH.) And trying to concentrate meanwhile they're jackhammering underneath your office ... So. Not. Fun.

Plus I'm exhausted from last night's 4 1/2 hour rehearsal. The getting home late is one thing, but its always compounded by stopping for dinner on the way home and then getting home and needing to eat, and being keyed up from rehearsal so I need at least an hours TV watching downtime. Then there were extra props to gather up ...

This show I'm doing -- a bare(ish) bones production of 'Night Mother -- is basically to help out a friend whose a returning adult student theater major (I guess. he's here doing theatery things anyway). And because I know one of the the actresses (my friend who owns the bookstore/cafe). But my friend is a rather newbie director ... and its challenging to watch him struggle, and the actresses struggle, and the woman playing the Mother is losing her voice ...

I think he's pushing them to do too much in too little time, but when is there EVER enough rehearsal time??

Ah the romance of theater... LOL. We open Friday night, and have two shows on Saturday and then its over. It's frustrating coming in at the last minute and trying to do what I can, but on the other hand, one mad week plus two rehearsals is survivable!

So that's my day so far. 
bluecastle: (mary janes)
Firstly it started with pancakes and bacon... so there's that. Met a friend for breakfast at the local Waffle Shop.

Then swung by the Goodwill to kill some time and found three cute things -- two tops and a dress for about five bucks apiece. YAY.

Then two of the NY/NJ company were in town for the weekend rehearsing a show they're coming back to do tomorrow. (Doesn't everyone drive five hours [times 4 trips] just to perform for half an hour????) And as I was free I went along to help keep things organized. And rehearsal was really good. We're working with a local middle school girl a lot lately and she's a) adorable and b) eager to learn so it's working out really well.

After rehearsal we hit Trader Joe's for supplies and then went back to our director's house and made ENORMOUS and DELICIOUS quesedillas. (I have a feeling that's not spelled right...) We made brownies and settled in for an evening of terrible movies. The new guy to the company clued us into the the worst worst movie ever ... Thankskilling about a resurrected murderous 500 year old trash talking turkey. Truly terrible, but also truly hilarious. We followed that up by that classic bug film Mansquito. So much merriment I was frequently crying I was laughing so hard.

Then up super early Sunday morning to cram in another rehearsal before our little girl had to get to church and the NJ folks had to get back on the road. We reserved the back room at our friend's bookstore and so there was coffee, and a great rehearsal, and there were six doggies in there with their owners and I got many many puppy kisses.

Then I went home and took a nap.

All in all an excellent weekend!!!!!! Now I need to get some more of that coffee stuff I've heard about and get this week started!!
bluecastle: (mary janes)
candle
In one of my online self-care groups, we've been lighting candles this month and sending out good thoughts to the people we know who are struggling right now. We're encouraging anyone who wants to to light a candle tonight at 10pm EST.

So hey, play along. Or not. But its been a nice practice for me to take just a moment as I light my holiday scented candles and send some happy juju out to others. Seems like kind of the point of the holiday season. Apart from scouring the internets for parts for some plane my Dad has that needs a new handle. He asks for the weirdest things. But at least gave me a list. My mom doesn't "need or want anything." Ok then. Thanks for that!

So if you're in need a comforting thought, just know that all across the globe tonight a group of kind hearted women will be lighting candles and holding good thoughts for those in need. We are not alone. Even if it feels like that sometimes.

♥ ♥ ♥
bluecastle: (kermit flail)
So I was trying to watch Almost Human last night when I got distracted on Facebook by that thing that's going around where someone gives you a number and you have to say that many things about yourself. But not in the usual way. No one's tagged me yet, but I was idly browsing through a friend's responses and in there it said she was a camp counselor at the same girl scout camp that I went to (and that my Mom was a counselor at in fact). So I messaged her and said that. And we compared notes and the years were matching up, so on a whim I pulled out my grade school years scrapbook and there in the 1975-1977 pockets were my camp photos waiting to be put into a layout. And so there I am in my living room, with robots getting blown up in the background, looking at pictures and realizing that YES I had photographic proof that long before I met my friend at the local community theater, there she was looking back at me from a picture taken roughly 37 years ago. So I took a quick snap and set it to her and said "IS THIS YOU??" and she's all OMG OMG yes. And so wow.

I'm still kinda blown away by that.

Don't let anyone ever tell you this world is large and disconnected. In my experience its very very small.

(But now I gotta rewatch the Almost Human pilot as I missed all the good bantery bits in the middle.)
bluecastle: (wrisomifu)
It remains to be seen if its a trick or a treat ...

Crève-coeur (1060 words) by valancy_joy
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Lewis (TV)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings, No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: James Hathaway, Robert Lewis
Additional Tags: Spooky, Ghosts
Summary:


crève-coeur n. -- heartbreak.

bluecastle: (mary janes)
Long time no post. Bad Valancy. But hey, work's been super crazy for most of this year and I've been sick pretty much for the last month... but I'm feeling more rested and have had a pumpkin spiced latte so here I am.

I'm in the middle of a course on Surrendering. Yeah I haven't figured out what that means yet either. Not exactly. But I'm finding out how much I do NOT LIKE NOT KNOWING. But Friday's task was to get quiet and listen to myself. So I set myself a little challenge. I feel like I missed all the pretty parts of Fall being sick for so many weeks. Plus it just wasn't that great a year for fall leaf pretty, but anyway ... I started thinking about how much I love water, and how I long to get to a beach SOON and well there's this state park about 20 minute away. And. A million years ago a few of us went on a walk and we ended up at this awesome bridge. And there's a beach at the park along the fake lake (created by the dam).

So ... I got up and without telling anyone I set off into the "wilds" (yeah there were campers pretty much all over the place so while I didn't see a lot of people it wasn't like it was totally deserted either. And with only a couple missed paths (I even stopped to pick up a map. geesh! :) I found my bridge without too much trouble. And aside from the couple of people in the parking lot WAY across the water, and the one family who showed up eventually I had maybe half an hour all by myself on that bridge to look out over the water and ponder life. And snap some pictures. I even got a few self portraits I am pretty happy with despite the WIND and the accompanying blotchiness! Exhibit A:

moi

Very me. And I almost never look at a picture of me and think "hey, that's me!"

I have a LOT more journaling I have to do surrounding Surrender ... but standing on that bridge dropping bright leaves into the water and watching them float away is very meditative.

Then I went and stood on the beach for about 2 1/2 minutes because of the gale force winds coming off the water! LOL

But remind me to go back more often, okay?
bluecastle: (mary janes)
I seem to have started a blog. As I delve more and more into this self-care thing, i needed a public space I could send people to from time to time for posts. If you're at all interested in more real life me ... feel free to hop on over to:

http://atthebluebirdcottage.blogspot.com/

I've just got a few posts from this week, and I'm still getting my feet wet and deciding what I want to talk about over there, but I thought I'd put it here in case.

Yesterday was a bad day -- until I got to Shakespeare in the park after work and then things improved. At least today so far I feel reasonably rested. I kind of feel like something is going to blow up any minute but with any luck I can get to the weekend without any major traumas. *hopes*
bluecastle: (mary janes)
so one of the exercises in my recent self-care/joy class was "today, pick a work to embody." F'rinstance "today I will be _________" And a bunch of us have been exploring SOFT lately as a word. What does soft feel like? What does soft wear? How does she do her hair? What does she eat/drink/listen to etc...

So Saturday I woke up with a tension headache and I thought "okay, why not give this embodying exercise a try. So I thought about "soft" and fixed myself breakfast in bed (a think I do commonly now and its changing my life for reals). I didn't try and make myself get up, just stayed in bed for a while and read a bit and waited for the painkillers to kick in. Eventually I got up and puttered around for a while and did some laundry and went on a little adventure to find a local farm store, and came home and took a nap and fixed dinner, and read for a while longer and went to bed. And it was a lovely day and the headache went away. Success!

So Sunday morning I lay there in bed and thought about doing another day of "soft" but that didn't feel quite right somehow, but I had a little breakfast and did another found poem and Sunday's word found me ... "comfort". Cue another calm and restful day.

The details of all of this don't really matter. But what I can't stop thinking about this morning is that by jettisoning the guilt over staying in my pjs, or napping my Saturday away I not only got things done (dishes, laundry, a bit of picking up) but I came back to this work week rested, refreshed, and feeling much better than I normally do on Mondays. I still have to mow the lawn ... but I have a feeling that I'm going to be coming back to the word SOFT with some regularity.

One of our other class exercises helped us find a word to focus on and mine was "ease." Soft feels like Ease's cousin. And I'm liking where they're taking me!
bluecastle: (mary janes)
This seems to be my week for writing. Poem last night, and today is my posting day for my Lewis fic(let). Actually I had a hard time sleeping last night thinking and feeling how powerful and fun making that poem was. Thinking about blogging more regularly (ugh how many blogs have I started and then abandoned??!!) But anyway, before work gets nutsy...

A Patch of Earth (1228 words) by valancy_joy
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Lewis (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Robert Lewis, James Hathaway
Additional Tags: is allotment fic a trope yet?, gardening is good for the soul I hear, Friendship, Male Friendship

Summary:More things are grown in their allotment than vegetables. Set post Lewis series 7. More or less canon compliant. But I like to leave some wiggle room for your imaginations :)

For the Summer 2013 round at Lewis_Challenge.

Joy poem

Aug. 16th, 2013 12:08 am
bluecastle: (mary janes)
My latest joy class ended a couple days ago. Sparked by one of the prompts I hadn't gotten to yet, I created this found poem tonight out of phrases I cut from magazines. Totally tooting my own horn, but I'm just so pleased with how it came out and I thought I'd share. Still working out the punctuation! All but three words are snipped from magazine pages. These poems are so fun to do!!


Start something.
Find the right mood.
Shift the way you move.
Taste it all.
Discover that something
that makes all the difference.
Inspired
Passionate
Original
Different
Hear what you've been missing:
Wonders,
Pretty Stars,
Pure joy,
Support and companionship,
Simplicity,
Cherry goodness,
Hopes and Dreams,
and Music.

Feel what the morning brings
Easy (Sunday) mornings
gently enticed from their fluffy comforters
Brighter and bolder than ever
for every shade of you.

Shine without the guilt.
rise higher.
live better.
live consciously.
content.
Take back your freedom
righting the ship.

Be inspired.
have great morning dreams
full of wanderlust.
find your true north.
let curiosity be your compass.
find directions anywhere.

make beloved, quixotic, positive friends.
start at the heart.
send and receive joy with ease.
be effervescent.
hard to resist.
one unique cookie.
just the right amount of wrong.
& so much more...


As my joy teacher would say --self care like woah! ;)

And now I should do something about the fact that I came to bed an hour and a half ago to try and have an early bedtime. Oops!

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