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Whew! Big first project done!

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Well, it’s late, but a quick update before I crash. I’ve been at my new job for 5 weeks and 1 day (so it’s my sixth week here now, wow!) and I just finished turning in my first big project at work.

At my last job where I did courseware development, I spent four years and two months (to the day) writing training materials for a software company that made products for manufacturing companies. My new job is exactly the same—courseware developer at a software company that makes products for manufacturers. And they recently adopted using FrameMaker as their publishing software, which is what we used all those years at that old job. So in many ways, I was really lucky that I had the experience I did.

But at the same time, when you’re a new hire, there’s always a million other things you’re learning and being sent to for HR or orientation or training etc. So I really only had about a week to work on this new project, and it’s a pioneering project too, where it’s the first of its kind in a new training delivery method. So although there were examples, and former training materials to copy/paste, there was still plenty of “here, you can figure it out!” moments where I kind of had to make things up.

But I feel really good about getting close to having hit the mark. It felt awesome to turn in the “final files” at 10 pm and drive home. Of course, it was my first time to be at the office that late, so I was lucky I didn’t actually set off the alarms… they kick in at 10 pm unless you disarm them for two hours at a time, and I finally got up from my desk at 10:15. The little alarm pad was beeping discreetly in the hallway, so I hope I got the disarming sequence in without waking any of the facilities people for an actual alarm. I’m sure I’ll find out tomorrow.

G’night!

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Recently Listened to: Kate Bush, “The Dreaming”

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Another Sighting

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Forunately the person from whom I have to keep the following story secret does not read this journal (yet?) so I can happily tell you the funny adventure from this evening:

(And if any of you reading know her, please don’t tell her!)

Some quick back-story: About one or one-and-a-half years ago, I was in Ventura at a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. In this little tiny shop, back in a corner, there sat a homely looking 40-something guy and a heavily made-up woman. My first thought was “That guy has either hired a hooker to hang out with him, or he’s Angelyne’s assistant for the afternoon.”

Angelyne is an LA-phenomenon, if you weren’t aware. There are even sites devoted to Angelyne sightings, if you need further stories.

I could not believe how ridiculous they seemed, while I sat sipping my coffee, and even went outside with my digital camera and snapped a quick movie of her lost and disheveled attempt to find her car—especially since they arrived in a black SUV rather than her signature pink corvette.

Well, this evening as I was leaving the Whole Foods Grocery in the Valley, I passed her pink corvette in the parking lot. And I just could not resist going back in to the store, to see if I could speak with her for a moment.

Another friend of mine once had met her and gotten her autograph on one of her pink business cards. The autographed card was stolen off her refridgerator during a party my friend was throwing, years ago. After my brush with Angelyne in Ventura, I thought if I ever ran into her again, I would try to get an autograph again for Morgana.

So I went back into the grocery store this evening, found her (easily enough) and asked her if I could get her autograph for a friend who once had her autograph but who had the card stolen. She was a bit ditsy but she said she would be happy to give me an autograph.

She only had two items in the grocery checkout, but the checker carried her bag to the car for her. She opened up the back of her corvette, handed the checker a copy of “the latest issue of [her] magazine, ‘Hot Pink’,” and looked for a card to sign for me. She found a glossy double-sided postcard of her and her pink dog, signed the card “To Morgana, Love Angelyne” and I thanked her and returned to my car. When I looked at the postcard, the back had another shot of just the dog, including the rates if you’d like to hire “Buddha” for “your next film or event!” and the phone number for booking her pink dog.

Only in LA!!!

My plans are to frame the card in a double-sided viewing frame, and decorate the frame with bright pink feathers or fur. Morgana will be back from a trip overseas in a few weeks, so I’ll be able to have plenty of time to create the frame, in all its Angelyne pink feathered glory.

My friend Ann says I’m an Angelyne magnet now. All I had to say was that all my friends now have a Kevin-Bacon-number of “2” to Angelyne and it’s all my fault. *laughs*

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Recently Listened to: Kate Bush, “The Dreaming”

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Guys and Dolls

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Mom’s been stage manager for “Guys and Dolls” at the local community theatre in her town, and I heard nothing but great things about the show—including that the performances have nearly been sold out the entire run. It was a crazy month, and I was lucky they held over the show one extra weekend to finally get to see the show.

My roomie Mer has been my theatre buddy this year, which has been a lot nicer than going to everything alone. Live theatre is great, but when I was seeing show after show alone, it was starting to grate on my nerves. I’ve been thankful that Mer likes theatre, too. She hasn’t gone to everything, but many. And occasionally I’ve taken other friends, like Dayle, so I’ve enjoyed having season tickets (in pairs) to treat my friends.

Well, originally I bought an extra ticket for Geoff since the two of them were going to help me with the moving truck. That fell through for today, but we went the show anyways.

First we stopped off at the “new” mall (built during the 20 years I *haven’t* lived in town, so to me it’s still supposed to be an empty field) and BJ’s Brewery was packed. But next door was an Argentinian place, and we opted to eat there since we only had an hour to make curtain. I’ve never liked any salsas or spiced oils that are set out with bread, but this one was absolutely fabulous. Seems that parsley, spices, oil, and a ton of garlic is what I was looking for all along. We scarfed down two baskets of bread with the oil & garlic parsley, finally just scooping up forkfuls of the dip on our bread.

I ended up with a spinach-filled ravioli in a some kind of tomato/cream/garlic sauce, which I scarfed up nearly as fast as the bread. Mer had a chicken/ham/parmesan concoction with mashed potatoes and zucchini, and Geoff had a lemon/garlic/butter pasta with chicken, asparagus, and artichokes. We were all stuffed, but couldn’t resist a “Zinderella” (or something like that) which was a layered flan, chocolate, whipped cream, almond confection. Definitely worth it. We’ll be going back to this restaurant for certain.

Then as we sat down in the theatre, flipping through the program, I found out that my sister was one of the choreographers and my bro-in-law was actually in the show. Sheesh, doesn’t my family tell me anything? *laughs* Ah, it’s probably my fault for forgetting—I’m sure they must have told me.

Overall, the show was great. The singers had good pitch, good ranges, good stage presence, and good projection. The bugs with the sound system (from previous shows) seem to have finally been worked out. And best of all, the scene changes were AMAZINGLY tight and fast. Of course, my Mom basked in the glow of that compliment, since she was the stage manager and those scene changes were her doing. The lighting was also really well done, with some great techniques for the scene in Cuba and the scene in the New York sewer system. And finally I was able to place where “Luck Be a Lady” is sung in a show, since so many musicals are buried in a blur from my childhood.

And they did some really innovative things with the set, including these rolling/flipping open sets to change from on-the-street to in-the-mission. Think of how a book opens and closes, stand the book on end, and put rollers underneath. That’s how they opened and rolled and flipped the side walls on the set.

Finally, the costuming was also really well done—why don’t men still wear brightly colored suits and matching hats? They looked *great* and I told several of the actors that men should dress like this again. They looked fabulous!

Well, now that we’re home, it’s time to collapse in bed. G’night!

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Recently Listened to: Kate Bush, “The Dreaming”

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No Moving Truck

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When my Mom was a little girl, she was in the Philippines once, and watched some artisans carve these amazing end tables, which they created by sitting on stools and holding the chisels between their toes. At least, that’s how I remember the story being told. I’ll have to ask her about that, because it seems ridiculous now.

Anyways, I’ve always loved the 2 end tables and the coffee table, and said jokingly that I’d like them left in the will to me. Now she’s completely redesigning her kitchen, and she wants everything in the kitchen, dining room, and family room completely changed. So all the kids have to take stuff away from her house now. I’m supposed to pick up three very tall bookcases and a cd-tower to match, plus the three carved tables.

I had reserved a moving truck for today, and even coaxed my roomies into driving me up north an hour on the freeway to pick up the truck, help me load the furniture, and then follow me back home to the apartment to unload everything and return the truck down here (as a one-way truck). But late yesterday afternoon, the truck company called to apologize that they won’t have a truck available in the morning after all. They *might* have one by the afternoon, but no guarantees.

*gigantic sigh*

So now I’ve puttered around all afternoon, no call from the company, no truck, no furniture moved. But this evening the roomies and I will still drive up to my Mom’s town to see “Guys and Dolls” so it won’t be a completely lost day. Just now I’ll have to find a half-day off work to have Geoff drive me up after he gets off work, provided they have a truck available on one of his “get off at 1 pm” days this week, and that I can leave work early to meet up with him and do the trip.

Well, back to puttering and catching up on TiVo. At least I can say that I’m getting a few organizational things done on my computer this afternoon.

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Back to the journaling method

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A dear friend of mine has been using Journal Scape successfully for years now, and I finally thought this morning, “Gee, some friends have been bugging me to get back to journaling again.”

So I’ll be not only trying to give little daily updates from here on out, but trying to move my old archives over here one by one.

Life’s been really great in the new job—today marks five full weeks at the new place! In week three I managed to work out at the gym 3x, week four 3x in the gym, and week five just once so far but I’m planning to go today as well.

Most of my brain conversations lately have included all the sane and healthy steps to putting my life back into a normal routine again. I’m glad for my experience on the government subcontract job, and certainly love the Excel-guru skills I picked up, but I’m relieved to be back into a normal public-sector job, back on the career I was doing three years ago, and in a fantastic company where there are gazillions of benefit. It’s really encouraging to be back in an encouraging environment. *phew*

So, here’s to being sane and balanced and organized again!

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