Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Whew -The Last Day

Desk is cleaned off.

Files are cleared out.

None of the people I was supposed to transition things to ever contacted me.

Oh well, I suppose it will be an adventure . . . . . for them.

I think I'll settle into that period that happens between sequels for a little bit.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Home from Grandma's

I'm all out of Time and I'm certainly out of Sorts. So if anyone would like to send me some extra Sorts they have lying around, I'd appreciate it.

The combination of Holidays and the Great Endings of Things plus Everyday Things has me reeling. I haven't been able to catch my breath since September. Every weekend seems to bring another Holiday.

I have not forgotten the Taunting updates but we just spent four days over the river and through the woods.

New Poppets were added to the House - and other people bought Poppets for me! - the Holiday Spirit up above was given to me by my Perfectly Normal Husband, and I received a Small Theatre Troupe from my Relatively Rockin' Brother-In-Law. Pics of them will be later when I get to play with my Theatre.

Of course I gifted Poppets as well - A Drunken Poppet for my Perfectly Normal Irish Father-In-Law. Although no one NEEDS a Drunken Poppet they certainly are fun.

And for my Poppet Mad Niece I gifted a Holiday Cookie Poppet which we have photographed by the Gingerbread Train she made herself.

And for my Mother I had to get her the only Poppet that actually has "Chic" in her Name. The Leopard Chic Poppet makes herself at home amongst my mother's accouterments of beauty.

This picture was actually taken at my mother's request. I think I'm winning her over.

And I received a new toy that allows me to take "tripod" pictures from some fairly tourtured angles - which I played with immediately.

But now I am incredibly sleepy and heavy with food, and love, travel and trimmings, and the knowledge of the three more days before my job ends.

All endings are beginnings too, but when you get to the end of a really long hike, sometimes there is more of a desire for a nap than a victory lap.

Hope everyone had a wonderful season celebrating whatever it is they like to celebrate.

One final pic taken using my Gorillapod:

Merry Everything!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Taunting - Cheapass Edition

Do you all remember The Taunting? It is my family's personalization of our Americanized Holiday celebration.

As time goes on and I study more, I am harboring a secret suspicion that Judah and the Macabees became a macho male veneer on a holiday that had been celebrated by Jews previously that celebrated Judith. I've done a presentation on Judith in art and history- she is fascinating in the mixed up worlds of art history and political history . . . . but that is another truly wonky, geeky, potentially controversial story - for another time and perhaps a different audience.

Questions like Judith burn through my brain - but the someone to tear through the questions with me, well that doesn't work out so well. Their brain would have to be burning too. It's tied up with Western religion and history and art and the role of women and the values of monarchy. Too complicated, to much trust needed to have the conversation. No one wants to play with me. . . . .

So my fevered brain and I put all of our energy into the Taunting instead. And indeed, Channuka snuck up on us this year, and I "lost" my job 4 days before it started, (it's not lost, just ending in a few weeks, but in the Meatworld the effect is the same) and I was far too optimistic about time estimates for some artwork I was trying to do. So as a result the Taunting was planned, but the execution was not out of Phase II:Find Key Elements. Phase I is Create The Theme.

Every year at the beginning of Channuka, I put all of the presents out at the first candle. They are numbered, there are 8 for each child (who aren't so childish anymore) and each present is a clue. Every Taunting has a Major Theme, and every night has a Minor Theme. You have to open the presents in order. The "big" present is always the 8th Candle.

The wrapping is part of the Theme - and last year it was Poppets. And Chinese Takeout Containers - My sister was the one to get the wrapping theme. It's an in joke. But this year, we opted for The Taunting - Slacker Edition:

As you can see things were ordered and arriving - instead of hiding the packages as they came in I stacked them all in front of the portal mirror and set the Poppets from Last Year's Taunting to guard them.

The Slacker Taunting actually is related to a legendary event called Slacker Camp. When My Perfectly Normal Husband was simply My Accountant Who I Brought With Me to the Desert, Because You Only Bring The Things You Really Need, we set up very elaborate, generous interactive performance art and helped everyone who needed it with their own.

Then we went to a local event about 3 -4 weeks later and brought everything we needed and enough for lot of other people, and offered to share and give instructions but only performed the barest minimum needed. Those who had known us from the other events saw the art in it, and those who had just met us thought it was a brilliant conceit while they ate the steaks that we brought but they cooked.

It was interesting for us, because we are people who do, and help, and plan, and execute. It taught us things like letting go of complete control, and that if we give that out into the world, good people who are fun to hang out with will come to us and give us their enegry, work and company. However I must admit - we were only willing to do Slacker Camp once. It's not our nature.

So the same way Slacker Camp was not conducted in a vaccum, The Taunting - Cheapass Edition was also held within the context of Tauntings gone by. Good traditions grow new stories.

When the first Box arrived it was approximately 4 feet tall and 5 inches square and I had no time to unpack it so it stayed in the livingroom and I declared that the Cheapass Taunting had begun. The Boy asked if it was one gift but it actually contained several - it would take me three days to be able to get enough time to unpack it. The Taunting had begun! It Taunted me too.

On the First Candle I had a lovely stack of Amazon Boxes. ( because I'm a Prime Member and they deliver in two days with free shipping for me) and a few boxes from other places.

First Candle also happened to be Shabbat and it was such a Slacker Channuka that I hadn't bought candles for the Channukia ( menorahs) so we scavenged the leftovers from previous years.

However The Skeleton That Want's To Run A Florist Shop came up with a backup plan.

He likes to arrange things. He gathered a group of the minis and they put together Poppets Pretending to be a Menorah.

See - the mini wizard's wand is pretending to be the first candle and Wind is the Shamesh.

I reused the Chinese Food Gift Containers from last year's Taunting. See Slacker Channaka is Green!

We lit the regular candles, The Boy got a timepiece and The Girl got recycled kimono fabric made into fabulous shoelaces, which in turn ended up looking a lot like something Mini Poppets should dance with.

So they did.

Last year it was the Calender that caused Chaos because of the Great Holiday Overlap. This year the Chaos came because I was tricked into believing in The Week That Was Not There. But just you wait Calendar . . . . I'll get you my pretty, and your little ticking minutes too.

The Taunting can be messed with, but it cannot be stopped.

We emerged from the eight days victorious - The next entry or two will tell the story.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Devil I know

Part of the reason for the Dreamtime is because I stopped being good about telling people whom I loved what was happening. Mostly because I was tired of hearing myself. And perhaps I was tired of having to admit that things kept happening.

This entry is to meet that need, although this time I have informed immediate family members, other loved ones might still check here:

There are many aspects of my job that I can't talk about, and indeed very few people who read me here even know what I do to support my Poppet Habit.

Even if I had the type of job where I could talk about it, I'm not sure I would here. Because the internet is a web, but it is also like amber - it traps everything forever. The Dreamtime has some journal like qualities but there are limits, journals generally don't have an audience. They work well for processing and exploring ideas that you are still working on and maybe for venting, but the internet and (as I discovered earlier this week), emails are not necessarily the best "working documents" for processing thought.

However, there is one thing I'm relatively sure of, which is that no one from work reads this blog. Even the one friend from work who thinks about reading the blog frequently admits to not getting past the thought.

At work however, the one thing I should not talk about, is that I am about to be out of work.

I guess it's like what I heard about fight club, which I suppose I shouldn't have heard about.

So although I am about to join the statistical measure of the recession at the end of the month, ( For once I am on Trend! My advertising professor would be so proud . . . .) I find that one of the things that is happening is that everyone who has to tell me something about it, is deeply upset at having to talk to me about it at all.

Later I figured out that's because right now, for this minute, I am the only one they have to tell.

And universally they have said "I can't believe this is happening, who could have predicted this?"

Um . . . . me.

You know, the one you hired to analyze and manage things? The one who told you not only that this was going to happen, but should it happen, I'm the one that you should throw overboard first.

"I can't believe they're doing this to you during the Holidays"

You mean the month the contract ended? But honestly, I do understand that it is upsetting to my three bosses, my HR representative, and the people I can't mention because then I would be talking about work.

But I'm not sure why they were surprised at my acceptance. I wonder what they were expecting? Do people generally behave badly in this circumstance? I can't even imagine. It's just the end of funding. I did a great job, they made money, they'd hire me again, I'd work for them again. It's all good except for the I-have-no-income part.

I was upset sometime in October when I saw that the math would not work. And while my value is tangible, and perhaps even critical, the description of my work is devalued, no one would work to save me on a sinking ship, even if I'm the only one with an oar to move the flotsam. But when the promised miracles still stayed exactly as far away I predicted, it started being more about making sure that the ship could still float even if it was becalmed. Because that's a whole lot better than having the whole thing sink. So I've been working for that, knowing that there was very little chance of being invited on to the repaired vessel unless there was a me-shaped hole when everyone was ready to set sail again.

And if they kept me, I promise the sailors would have thought I was bad luck and thrown me overboard in a different direction.

So now I need to just be careful - I am elegible to work for that ship again or a similar ship. I don't see myself changing the nature of my web presence which is "present but discreet."

I will be looking for a job and I am old school. I work really hard and I take not working as a kind of personal failure. I have ended up in employment situations that were horrible and afraid to leave them for fear of unemployment, but I've been where I am five years, I have family and friends to back me up. I have a spark of life back that had hibernated for several years thanks to Lisa and the Poppets.

So with any luck I'll be able to make a living doing what I'm good at without working for the devil. Instead of what happened once before. Primary job criteria - don't be evil.

I think I'll be OK.

But I do admit I miss at least the idea of corporate cultures with a career path instead of a continually improvised trajectory. Of course those might be as mythological as the hydra.

If nothing else the Embassy will resume construction . . . .

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Because that's how we roll . . . .

OK enough with the introspective stuff. It's time to get working.

There are embassies to build, gingerbread houses to let loose in the world!

Poppets that have been patiently waiting for their photoshoots.

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of night, nor dark of soul shall prevent me from my appointed task of spreading the Poppets throughout the Land.


Ha ha HA!

Bwahahahahahahahah. . . . . .!

Did you like that? I've been working with a vocal coach . . . .

Friday, December 4, 2009

Today I Failed at the Internet - an apology

I've offended someone I like a lot by interpreting things completely incorrectly.

We were having two completely different conversations.

I can't even really apologize properly because I have to apologize in print, without tone and that's what got me into this hellhole in the first place.

Too safe, too loose, I thought she knew me well enough to know where I was coming from and I was horribly horribly wrong.

Now she thinks I think terrible things, about her, (Not true) and I know she thinks terrible things about me. (Which I deserve to some extent for being so dumb)

S., I don't know if you'll ever click on another post of mine, but I'm so sorry.

(Yeah, I originally typed out the name and then I realized that might be a completely different kind of stupid)

Trapped in a hell of my own making - the worst part is that it was exactly the kind of mistake I've been afraid of making and I've been writing about here.

Did I mention I was sorry . . . .