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I slayed a dragon yesterday.

Over the past few weeks, as I grew more aware that 311 was planning a takeover/integration with my new department, I started planning and recruiting and electioneering.
And yesterday we had the integration meeting. All of the people and talking points I dropped into the well came to the fore without my having to say a word. Not one. Hell, the people on the integration side of things even fist-bumped me and thanked me for helping. They thought I was helping *them*.
I am Littlefinger.
I am Varys.
I got back from my meeting to a message from one of my 311 dovelings stating that the reps from 311 who had been at the meeting were killing the attempt. They didn't feel my department was "welcoming" enough to be brought into the 311 family.

I am Batmayor.
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I've never been comfortable holding babies.
I always feel as though I am not physically strong enough, or maybe the wrong kind of strong; I worry that I'll drop them or break them by holding them too tightly (for fear of dropping them).
It occurs to me it's probably because I don't consider them people so much as deeply valuable, fragile, unpredictable things. Creatures maybe. I don't worry that I hug my friends too tightly or too lightly. It's automatic that I can embrace them because they're people and I trust them to pull their weight physically, so to speak. Babies can't do that. And they squirm.

My cousin's twins were born 2 nights ago btw.
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I keep imagining how awesome and grown-up my house is going to be when I'm done with all of my projects, and new-furniture-getting, and art-hanging.
And then I remember that I'll still be living in that house, so it will never actually be a grown-up's home. I will still have my blind spot for dog hair, and I will still be inured to all of the clay dust that accumulates everywhere all of the time. My aesthetic will still be comprised of stuff I acquired because I needed a thing once and it has no place within a larger schema or design or palette.
No matter what i do, my home will always be the seat of my apathy.
It'll always look like a nonsense mess because Elyse lives there. And Elyse is a nonsense mess.

I get my new bed frame today!!!

KLONOPIN

Jul. 6th, 2017 11:14 am
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I had my 2nd ever uterine biopsy yesterday.
The first one I had a couple years ago was a goddamn nightmare. Trauma-inducing, raging-pain nightmare. I remember sitting in shocked grief and confusion for days after the first one.
But this time?
This time I took a butt-load of klonopin first. And I had some helpful suggestion from Sam.
And the result was that it hurt like the dickens. But the doctor stared at me in awe- "You didn't even flinch!" she whispered.
And I didn't.
And for all that I recall the exquisitely shitty pain that seemed to last for a time beyond the measure of time, I kind of don't remember what the pain actually felt like. I remember having the impression of gut-splitting agony but... it just didn't stick around afterward. It hurt terribly in the moment, but when the moment was over... so was everything else.

Yay Sam.
Yay klonopin.
Boo being female.
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Ahoy.
Dreamwidth.
I uh... am on you. Now.

It's weird being gone from LJ. It's been such a staple of mine for such a very long time. I haven't really bothered with writing much of anything since it went away. It's literally been my journal. And I have this blank new one now (I know it's not really blank, hush).

My new job is hard in ways I haven't really experienced since I was young. It's a better job than 311. There is no part of that up for dispute.
I have not, however, received training. And it is in fact different work than what I've been doing. It's literally a data technician job. I analyze, process, and record data. And I don't really know how to do it yet. It bums me out every day. And every day I get a little better at learning how to learn to do this job. I get better at identifying who will have insight into what the fuck I'm doing. I get better at determining what I can power my way through on my own, and what I have to lay at the feet of somebody who knows what the hell they're doing.
The hours are better. The location is better. There's free parking. I have weekends back. There's lots of down time. Everybody is very laid back. The phones barely ring. I just feel like a big dummy all the time.

311 is trying to fire my trainer. The first person I really befriended there. I'm trying very hard to resource ways to keep her from being railroaded out. I don't think she should stay there. But Pioneer taught me that leaving on your own terms is better than facing disciplinary actions. That shit never comes off your record.

MCA Denver

Sep. 16th, 2014 04:29 pm
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At lunch today I decided to go to the modern art museum a few blocks from my office.

I had never been there before.

I walked around the building twice trying to find the way in. There's the obvious entrance area, which seemed to lead to nowhere. "Funny joke, Art Museum" I though to myself. I eventually gave up circling the building and tried the obvious entrance again. The fucking wall rolled back, triggered by a motion sensor I guess.
Fuck you, modern art museum. You're already trying too hard.

Here's the thing I don't like about Modern Art: it's all trying too hard. You can just feel that needy, grabby-handed energy emanating from every piece. You can sense the reaching that the artist is doing. This is not expression; it's shouting at the viewer before it knows what it's going to say.

I walked through an installation that was so lazy I couldn't get properly worked up at how un-artistic it was. Two dozen pieces, same process for each- a section of newspaper with paint spilled on them, and one other form of media also paint covered (tack nails, coins, some rubber...). White paint, and black. Maybe there was blue? I can't recall. I thought "maybe it's the articles underneath that lend some significance," but no... dead end there. I thought "At what point did the artist stand back and say to themselves 'Okay, now I'm done- the 24 pieces that came before are enough'." Or did the artist somehow, in their "studio" gaze upon 40 or 50 such pieces and have to PICK between them, narrowing down the selection to just THESE 24 pieces that are equally uninspired and lazy? I dunno. I hate modern art so much.

So I purchased an annual membership.
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I dreamt last night that I was on vacation in Croatia purely because the exchange rate was astronomically in favor of the US Dollar.

I have no idea if that's actually the case. And I don't care to research it. I just get a kick out of the fact that my unbridled subconscious chose to go on a goddamn vacation to Croatia because it would be cheap.

Dream big, Elyse. Dream big.
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I know it was only one day of training and orientation, but the picture they painted of hospice volunteering sounds mightily like the routine for being a Camel girl in the early aughts.

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My friend (we'll call her Sandi) has a little girl. Her daughter is not quite 2 years old at this point.
While at work the other day, she was up front with me and my work-twin Jason bemoaning her wee daughter's development.
"She kissed a boy at daycare," she declared. Jason and I stared at her. So? our combined gazes asked. Sandi's mouth turned down in a perfect upper-middle-class woman fret. "The boy didn't want it! I don't know what to do- on the one hand she's adorable but on the other she just wouldn't stop kissing this poor boy!"
I made my face an expressionless mask. I stared intently into Sandi's confused and forlorn eyes.
"You've raised a mouth rapist," I told her tonelessly.


Sandi's not speaking to me right now.
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I fixed my furnace today. Because goddammit there HAVE to be things that I'm good at.
As an encore, I managed to get tickets to Book of Mormon for Tuesday evening.

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"Procrastination has become its own solution- a tool I can use to push myself so close to disaster that I become terrified and flee toward success."

- Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh

It's like she knows me. And found a way to make all of the messed up things about myself lucrative for her. That diabolical bitch.

Jen

Aug. 16th, 2013 09:59 pm
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It's my dead friend's birthday today.
Facebook reminded me. Which is, really, the only thing Facebook is good for. Reminding people of birthdays.
I find it kind of ludicrous. This artificial facsimile of living that continues after Jen very much died. But it makes sense too, since Facebook is how her mom told everybody that she was gone. Her mom takes pictures of purple sunsets and posts them to Jen's Facebook. Her mom thinks that they're a visible incarnation of her daughter's memory. I imagine her mom thought she'd be a grandmother by now.
I get a lot of calls for Jen at work still. More perhaps this month than previous months. There was a day a couple weeks back where almost every 3rd call was for her. People calling for her, using her maiden name. My gut response is to correct them- it's not Rotramel anymore, it's Ronhovde. But that's a moot point and I remember in the next beat. Her proper name means nothing to the callers, who weren't at her wedding. A wedding held a week after her diagnosis. So she could be married while she still had her crazy long, fiery red corkscrew locks. But after she'd had the port placed in her chest.
I just tell the callers that she's no longer with the company. Which, every time, strikes me as a heroically optimistic understatement. Fuck do they care anyway- they're all selling something, and I have it on good authority that she isn't buying.
I remember Jason saying that he wouldn't be going to the funeral. He just sort of blurted it out 3 days before. Like you would with something you'd forgotten until the last minute. Or like a declaration of something important to you but that you expect nobody else to care about one way or the other. A visceral afterthought. I couldn't react quickly enough to hide my disappointment. It was such a work thing to begin with. Every day at the office begins and ends with the tone Jason and I give it. Silently agree upon. The jokes we tell. The side eyes we give. How was I going to get through a work funeral without my work twin? We were gonna carpool. And then drink a lot, stoically. And then never speak of it again.
We have yet to speak of it, so I suppose that worked out okay.
And I went anyway. There were many work people, and many devout Catholics. Many people I hadn't seen in a long time. It was all sort of tribal actually.
At the end of the service Jen's family was arranged in a receiving line. And everybody filed past, and said appropriate things, and gave meaningfully understated shoulder and elbow pats. I found myself standing in front of Jen's mom, who looked relaxed. She was smiling and nodding, and not bewildered or awkward or grief stricken visibly. She looked calm; wry and sweet, the same way she'd looked a year before at Jen's wedding. In the same church, actually. I just stood in front of her for a moment. A beat too long probably. And wordlessly I sort of flung myself bodily at her. Because that's what you do when you're so very overwhelmed and somebody near you is just towering over everything, great waves of MOM pouring off her. She was very sweet to hug me, very sweet not to make me talk or feel bad for having nothing worthwhile to say. Very sweet to give me comfort when all I could think was "why are you standing here taking care of me when your daughter is dead?"
I agreed to go drinking with some other people and wandered out of the receiving hall into the late afternoon parking lot. I had lost the sense it required to stand in a room with people like a person. The process of eating macaroni salad baffled me. It all struck me as very white. I worried I'd start making a noise of distress that would start in the back of my throat, thinly, and that would transform into a roar of crazy. Something animal and senseless. Something that would sound like pitiful panic and confusion. I figured if that was going to happen, it should happen in the parking lot and nowhere near the macaroni salad.

 

So thanks Facebook, for reminding me of that. I'd not forgotten about her. I don't know why her birthday should be so significantly triggering. She's not more dead today than she was yesterday. Not more gone. Guess that's how it's gonna go for millenials though. This is just a new thing my generation will have. Like Jay's old Livejournal page. The farther I get from my days in Detroit, the more the dead folks hurt. Maybe I've gotten weaker for having been away so long.
Or maybe Facebook is just an asshole that told me I should buy my friend a Starbuck's giftcard this morning to celebrate her birthday.










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Trying to be a good human is really hard today. People keep needing things, stuff keeps happening that distracts me incrementally.

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I attended an all-day offsite seminar on Tuesday entitled "Developing Emotional Intelligence". Which... fine, okay. I am not always a warm or emotionally available person.
It was an interesting day, all over. I was reminded that- and I hope [livejournal.com profile] fop can appreciate this- a lot of things that happen in the regular course of a day can be considered good material for future story telling.
Not great storytelling, mind. Not even great material. But different enough from the norm to be noteworthy. Ish.
Over the course of the day I discovered how terribly good I am at leading small groups of people, which was fun and worthless. I smile, I make eye contact, I open up my body language. I lean forward and grunt in the affirmative when others speak. I cajole and coax. I tell sympathetic anecdotes which bring others into the group. I tell jokes and laugh. I enunciate. I speak from deep in my chest and project. No shit, I'm fucking good at this. I got some lady to cry-cathart. Which is now a word.
You're welcome.

Later on in the day, during the lecture bits, the instructor bemoaned the current state of communication. He lamented the "fact" that today's generation of youths will never learn how to converse with other people because they're always texting or posting to social media. "What's wrong with talking on the telephone?" he exclaimed.
The class echoed his fears and his assessment.
I sat silently in the back, wondering if these people had any concept that before the TELEPHONE folks used to write letters in order to communicate with people when they couldn't address them directly. Seems more like the current generation is just coming back around to the way things used to be. Before the godforsaken telephone made communication between people so abrupt and base. LETTER WRITING. Jesus.
It'd be great if just one generation of people could let go of the myth of the Golden Age of their own youth. Just one.

:-(

Feb. 25th, 2013 09:16 pm
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With the new income tax rate, I'll actually be hella lucky if I get enough of a raise to put me back at my previous take-home pay. Yeesh. Should I be angry at Obama now? Is that how this is supposed to work?

/Seriously though, I've gotta be angry at something. There's actually no way a raise will bump me back up to what I was making before the tax hike. Why on earth was I waxing hopeful about being able to afford starting a family?
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Work update. Ahem.

I had the pleasure of my first ever productive Performance Review at work. It shouldn't come as a surprise at this point, and I guess it isn't really, but it's still jarring somehow; there is a sobering finality to the changes that took place at my office since The Old Boss retired to his fields of bees, and the Second In Command became my fearless leader. Fearless, and thorough, and fair. Such was reflected in my performance review: and I shit you not, at the end she said she was "Blessed to have [me]".
Dudes. For a lady that stalwartly Evangelical Christian to look me square in the eyes- and me a Jewess no less!- and tell me without exaggeration or pretense that I'm a boon brought to her by God... remarkable stuff. What a completely different landscape my office is to me, from what it was for 5 years.
It remains to be seen what monetary compensation is commensurate with being sent by God to answer phones, but I'm hopeful. More hopeful than I've been in a very long time at my job. It's the timid, beaten puppy of hopefulness that I've learned to distinguish from the rambunctious, ambitious puppy of hope that earned all those beatings in the first place.
Ah, puppies.

So maybe this coming year won't be as hard financially. I have no hope of advancing at my office for a number of reasons. But maybe this year I'll start making "contemplate having a family" money. Pleasant thought, as these woman-innards of mine are just a few seasons away from turning into a Downs factory.
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It has been so fucking long since my feelings were genuinely hurt, I'm fucking astounded at how rusty I've gotten at processing this. Crazy to me. Also, kind of illuminating as to just how infrequently I actually get hurt like this any more. My emotional center has been fairly tranquil and unpestered for a really long time.
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I'm not a huge fan of being ill, but being at home is sort of amazing. There's an incredible license to not worry when I'm confined to quarters and it is addictive. I watch TV and cuddle my dog. I read, and cruise the interwebs in search of anything that tickles my fancy. I actively don't spent money or contribute to my mounting pile of crippling debt. And without anything to add to my worries, I end up creatively problem-solving stuff that I otherwise wouldn't have considered.

Pathetic, right? I mean, illness aside, this is pretty much text-book burnout as evidenced by how quickly my brain is reset in the absence of drudgery to attend to. Christ on a cracker, if every weekend was as rejuvenating as a sick day then I would be a healthier, happier little clam.

I've been thinking a bit recently about futility. It's been bothering me that we- as a species- have agreed that we have to have money in order to survive. I mean, why? No other fucking animal society on the planet decided to burden themselves with this arbitrary, made-up obstacle. Commerce isn't fundamentally required for survival. Resources are, sure. And pooling resources amongst a group improves the chances and quality of survival substantially. But money? Made up, fabricated units of value? That's not necessary at all. Having to work a meaningless job to afford mortgage payments on a house on a plot of land, to have health insurance and begin making plans for retirement; this is a flawed, pointless system. It's the snake that eats its own tail. It is never ending and beholden only unto itself. There is no end game, it just goes on and on. I have values and skills which, while prodigious, are not financially actionable. Nobody will pay me to tell good stories, bake tasty breads, knit a Cthulhu scarf, fix things that break, or think through problems. I'm good at these things, but nobody is going to throw enough money at me to continue surviving for them. No, they give me money to answer a phone for 8 hours a day. Dumb, right? It's dumb. The other stuff that I'm good at is way more valuable than phone-answering, but there's no profit there. It's honestly worth more to somebody to have me sit on my butt and answer a phone. That's crazy, right? I mean, it has to be.

I just can't get away from the notion that this isn't the way we're supposed to live. This makes no sense once you start looking at it. Why don't more people look at it this way? How is this a minority view? If not for fictional money, Tesla would have been our god-king and Edison a footnote. The way it ought to have been. But the financially savvy Edison walked away with the trophy and Tesla died crazy and alone in a hotel room gibbering at pigeons while the length and breadth of his intellectual legacy withered away in his fevered noggin. Dumb, it's just dumb. 

OK Cupid!

Jan. 20th, 2013 02:58 pm
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Just discovered the option to mod over on OkCupid. Afternoon=well spent. Good material there, folks.
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I'm so glad that I opted to watch "Pitch Perfect" at home, by myself. There are certain lingering shames associated with the things I enjoy which just don't allow for public consumption. It's one thing to announce "I watched the movie and I liked it a lot". It's something else entirely to invite strangers and friends to view me crying and laughing and smiling with unbridled delight at something stupid.

When I'm sober, I mean. When I'm otherwise off my altogethers then it's perfectly fine. Expected even.

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