Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I’m taking a much-needed break from work for a few minutes to reflect. At the end of March, I took a ½ day off from my last consulting position to drive up to the Bay Area so I could start a new consulting job the next day. The people who interviewed me over the phone for this position let me know the project was… in trouble.

Typical. I love the problem-child projects. Anyway, I set their expectations pretty low on how much my involvement would help at such a late stage in the process. And then I jumped in, knowing exactly what I was getting into.

Ha. This job has been hard. Pretty much the toughest project I’ve worked on in my career. But I really did know that I would be challenging myself to do the impossible this time. We just launched a software tool to the company last week and it hasn’t blown up yet. Good sign. Very good.

I was just looking over what I need to do so I can transfer my work back to the project team at the end of next week before I get outta here and I laughed out loud. Like lol, laughing, you know?

I wrote detailed training materials for a system I’ve never used. I put presentations together, detailing processes as they used to be and as they will be in the future. For processes that I have never been a part of and don’t quite understand. I managed to track down and communicate with over a thousand staff members in 12 time zones, many the project team didn’t even know existed. I wrote 3 nice things about everyone who helped with the project, never having met 80% of them.

Today, I took a walking tour of some ghetto neighborhood in search of helium balloons and streamers. I found balloons (no helium), streamers, every strip club in San Francisco, and a club dedicated to Jack Kerouac. Then, I partied (well, had lunch with) the CIO.

I should have some down time after next week. I think my next job is starting the second week of June. Maybe I’ll take my tent and sleeping bag and my dog out to the river and camp for awhile. Also, a banjo. Yeah. Definitely need a banjo.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bad blood

I used to donate my blood to both the red cross and united blood services regularly. Now they call me about once every two weeks, asking if I'd like to save 2 lives with just one donation. My blood is quite handy because it doesn't have some harmful virus that can kill babies or something. A lot of adults have this virus- it's totally benign to grownups, so you likely wouldn't even know if you were infected.

Anyway. I've never had it, so they're after me all the time to go give up a pint. It gets kind of old to keep turning them down lately with my poor excuses- nope, sorry, just got another tattoo. Have to wait a year. Woops, just went to a malaria area. Have to wait a year. Yikes sorry, I'm just plain defective and may pass this on to someone I'm supposed to be helping.

So when the red cross fella asked me just now if I could donate, I told him I'm not able to donate anymore. Which was easier than going into why. If you've ever donated blood, you know they ask a million personal questions: have you ever shot up drugs? Ever slept with a hooker? Ever been paid for sex? I wonder which he thought I'd done.

At any rate, no more blood donations for now from me. Hopefully you, reader, can go donate. It really does save lives. Plus, free cookies and juice!!!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Typical Tuesday night

I went home to a house full of ladies last night. 10? 8? Something like that. Counting is hard.

They were all in the war room, discussing. Getting excited about... things. Planning and learning to use chop sticks. I dropped a couple bottles of wine on the table and tried (and failed) not to distract anyone from their meeting.

Later, most everyone had gone to wherever ladies go when they leave our home. There were four of us left. Drinking, smoking too many cigarettes, laughing, sharing stories. We were on the back porch and someone in the apartment complex next door shooshed us.

It was kind of a loud shoosh. Then, the neighbor from just upstairs came near his window and I asked if we were being too noisy - he said we weren't. Cool, so we kept chatting, giggling.

And then. Regis (my pup) went apeshit and ran toward the front door. Which means that either someone was knocking or he thought someone was within a block of our home. My roommate went to see who was there while the rest of us remained on the porch.

She was gone for a few minutes and honestly, I forgot about the possible late night visitor. Until I walked into the kitchen and caught a glimpse of my roommate holding Regis and talking to a gorgeous man at the door. A police kind of man.

Someone called the cops on us for being too noisy. Likely the shoosher.

I sat my glass of wine down and went to investigate at the door. My roommate was just asking Officer Hotness what time it was (noise curfew?). He answered 11:30pm. Pretty serious. Of course, they had already confirmed that there were only 4 people present and that he couldn't hear a thing when he walked up. But he's bound by duty to investigate a call.

I am bound by nature to ask him if he has a girlfriend. And then (un)kindly mention that I don't want to talk to him anymore when he says he does. We - all four of us girls and O.H. chatted about our project and planning, he told us about his sister, and he pet Regis.

So thank you, crankypants shoosher. Made my night much more rad.