sienamystic: (Be More Awesome)
This coming week is going to be on the rough side, stress-wise. I'm doing some stuff at work that is Big and New and I am hoping I have organized everything but of course am scared that I haven't remembered to do something important that will screw things up. Plus it's stinky hot out, the kind of heat that just wears you down and makes you want to crawl inside and hug an air conditioner, and it saps the will out of me. Oh! and of course I'm crampy and irritable and hormonal as well.

I hope I will feel much better by Friday, and that everything goes smoothly.

Bemo's birthday was yesterday so we had chocolate cake and ice cream and friends brought over port and good chocolate and we played Cards Against Humanity and were happily raucous.

I'm also trying to nudge myself into writing more,but not fic. Instead I'm trying to work on the original book I've been trying to do for years now, but always find myself stalling out on (I hate plotting.) Maybe I can get something going with it finally.
sienamystic: (surly bonds)
So the dominoes refused to fall properly so I gathered them up and relaid them in an unorthodox pattern and then had everything fall into place. So my Big Task is done and done well (because I work with an awesome team of people who know how to get things done right), but I'm still plagued with anxiety kitting me in the face at random moments, plus a touch of paranoia now that I'm sitting in the airport. You know, the whole "what are they going to do while I'm gone and can't defend myself?" kind of thing. It's mostly my stupid brain and the sick system in operation at work, and I hope the sound of waves will make it go away because geez. I'm so tired of myself right now and I know everybody else around me is too.

Anyway. Meme.

I currently have 47 works archived at the AO3. Pick a number from 1 (the most recently posted) to 47 (the first thing I posted there), and I’ll tell you three things I currently like about it.

Also I have a Dresden kissing fic to write! Have to ponder that one.
sienamystic: (cactus pot)
I am stressed out like whoa from work. It's the longest stretch of stress where I have not (to this moment) broken down into some sort of ugly crying fit once I got home - I'm not sure if I'm proud that I'm managing, or feeling like I should just have one to release the pressure.

Essentially, I'm going through a really big learning process, and I hate the fact that I'm dragging some people along with me and making their lives difficult. Things are getting done, but not elegantly. And the big boss is in full-tilt ADHD mode, where he is unavailable for long stretches of time in the planning stages and then spins into your own carefully laid plans like a whirlwind and disrupts everything so you don't know if you're coming or going or if you have ever made a right choice in your miserable life.

I have a lot of dominoes lined up for tomorrow morning, and I'm worried that they will not fall properly because of my mistakes. I hope very hard that all goes the way I want it to.
sienamystic: (cactus pot)
I have had no energy for posting. Work has been screamingly busy, but hopefully once we get past the next month or so, things will settle down, at least back down to more normal levels. You know the image of the swan, all grace up top, all frantic paddling below? Well, the swan is starting to look a mite rumpled, let's just say that.

I have seen and loved Iron Man III. It was like...it was just the movie I hoped it would be, somehow. I need to see it again.

I am still watching and being creeped out by Hannibal and wonder why I watch and then watch with a pillow to put over my face just in case but watch the whole thing and aaagh.

The weather has settled into some sort of intermittent rain-sun-rain thing, but it's kind of nice. I like the smell of wet asphalt.

I am so tired, seriously, people. I have a beach vacation in just a couple of weeks and I can't wait. I am seriously needing some time with no brain activity.

I've written most of a certain somebody's Buffy/Esposito fic, but I have to bring it to a good conclusion! Will write the others soon too.
sienamystic: (Anya)
Dreamed this morning, before the alarm rang, that my boss got together a huge group of people (like, concert-venue huge) to tell everyone I was fired, and why.

At least it wasn't a portent for a bad day. It was a very productive day, but now my feet are sore.

Also, something horrible and yet hilarious happened at work, and I probably can't talk about it yet, but it'll make a good story when I can.
sienamystic: (etc etc etc)
So meeting with supervisor is tomorrow morning, so at least I can stop angsting like an idiot about it reasonably soon. But of course, it's still in front of me. This is all just my big old Imposter Syndrome thing, which stands behind me and mutters, "Now they've found out, you thought you could fool them but of course you couldn't." I picture it looking a little bit like Mother Gothel from Tangled crossed with an Alien face-hugger. I hate being so thin-skinned.

In other news, aikido went really well this week (treated myself to a new gi since the old one was blown out at the knee). Work has been productive too. After a momentary scare, I think we have found a way to cope with a dept collector who has trawled up something from over a decade ago and is trying to harass Bemo about it. There's also a potential job that's swum up onto the horizon for him. We are doing our best to remain staunchly neutral about the whole thing, because if he sends his heart over the fence and they lob it back at him, it'll set back all the good work he's doing with the therapist. (How's that for a weird metaphor? Basically he sits on the razor's edge of hope and the fear of hoping, the desire to reach out and start work again and the fear that once again he will be rejected, or be found unsuitable, or disdained. Zen mind, zen mind. It would be a good job for him, we thing - part time in a field he's experienced with.

Am getting increasingly incoherent so we can take that as a sign that the pill is working. Goodnight all.
sienamystic: (mermaid)
Well, back from the road, but about to head out again in a few days. Here are some photos from Syracuse, NY - mostly of the Everson Museum and works therein.

Everson Museum sculpture court
I.M. Pei's first museum building. Lots of concrete. A really impressive interior, an exterior I think could use a little softening.

the knitting porcupine )

Plus I was fed at an incredible restaurant named Sparky Town (amazing lentil soup and mushroom-cheese quiche, plus brownies to die for) and wandered around the Armory Square area and had a coffee at a place called Freedom of Espresso. All in all, a very nice trip.
sienamystic: (Giles exposition)
An unusually busy Saturday, starting out with a meeting to sort out details of a charity thingamabob that Bemo and I are volunteering for. It takes place at the local children's zoo, so we got to hang out by the two-kinds-of-stork-flamingo-whistling duck-vulturine guinea fowl area. It was early in the morning, so everybody was stretching their legs, doing various beak-clatter things, and hopping around. We spent some time watching the storks scoop up their morning meal (in the case of the European storks, a mouse each and some nice little fish that the guinea fowl tried to steal) and laughing endlessly at the whistling ducks, which marched out of their pen in a straight line, making noises not unlike a platoon of squeaky toys being stepped on by an elephant. Bemo fell in love, and now wants to fill our apartment with whistling ducks, but I fear our bathtub won't be quite enough for them.

Then, a very good breakfast at The Egg and I, a new place in town (I think it's a franchise dealiee, so I'm sure there are a bunch of them out there) that opened up a few weeks ago.

Then off to the library book sale. Our acquisitions, to the tune of eight dollars, consist of a ton of Real Simple magazines (I rarely buy them new, but I like their recipes), some Architectural Digest mags (ditto, except in place of "recipes" put "pictures of houses," and a heap of old-to-very-old Gourmet magazines. I also got a hardbound copy of four Mary Stewart novels (Touch Not The Cat, The Gabriel Hounds, This Rough Magic, and My Brother MIchael) that I may give to my sister, since I already own them all, Jacqueline Winspear's An Incomplete Revenge (a retry of the Maisie Dobbs books, since I tried the first one and really disliked it), When IN Rome by Ngaio Marsh, The THirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, Herriot's All Creatures Great And Small (a replacement of a former copy), Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong, God is an Englishman by R.F. Delderfield, Wrestling with Gravy, by Jonathan Reynolds, a small book discussing Sir Gawain and Pearl, Dennis Miller's I Rant Therefore I Am (bathroom reading for Bemo), Bennett Cerf's Bumper Crop (bathroom reading for both of us), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (wanted to read it for ages), Nicci French's The Memory Game, and Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, since it's been a long time since I read it.

Not bad for eight bucks and change, huh?

After that, we dropped a huge amount of money at Target, mostly for meds, picked up groceries from the Hy-Vee and Trader Joe's, and went home to offload. I ducked into the office for about an hour to clean up a bit and run through a list of photographs I'm working with, and then back home, where I am in the process of making giant batches of turkey meatballs to serve as meals for later on. Two batches have been cooked, and I'll probably freeze much of the rest of it.

Tomorrow will be all fussing about Rome, and printing out the tests for the kiddies. I am bringing in TJ's chocolate cat cookies to ease them through their test.
sienamystic: (Catherine heart)
In California for a work trip. The drive out here took me through the endless length of Nebraska (sadly, the fastest route through the state is also the most boring, plus it's an eternity), vast spaces of Wyoming, where I saw clouds stacked beautifully in a blue sky, Utah, of which I saw little (being asleep for most of it), Nevada, where I witnessed the weird neon of casinos at three in the morning, and finally California, with the scrubby mountains of pine trees turning into the industry of Sacramento and finally the skyline of San Francisco and the bay leading me around to the charm of Menlo Park and Palo Alto.

I've taken a ton of photos out of a truck window. Most of them are not very good, but they are good for my memory. And some of them tickle me.

trips 006
sienamystic: (the game's afoot)
It's once again time for our big jazz concert that runs every Tuesday in June. The first day is tomorrow, and I'll be one of the volunteers. And lucky us, it's shaping to be close to a hundred degrees! I've invested in a pair of clearance rack paper parasols. I expect them to catch fire at some point during the festivities, from the sheer force of the blazing sun that will be beating down on our poor little heads. Maybe I will bring big buckets of ice for us to put our feet into. I have a hat and some sunscreen as well.

Nevertheless, it's usually a very fun event, with the music playing, a mini farmer's market and happy people with picnic blankets and frisbees and kids and beach balls. We used to allow dogs, but a couple of years back a lady let her ill-trained and under-socialized dog attack another person's dog, and the decision was made to ban them altogether. Which sucks, because it was fun to see people with their pups, many of whom loved the opportunity to sniff a new butt or two.

This year I'll not be helping to run the scavenger hunt, but will instead be running a sort of museum shop booth. So, yay. We'll see if any of my magnets sell! I have to make more, but haven't been able to sit down and do it.
sienamystic: (Mystic in red and orange)
The trip to DC was relatively smooth - no travel delays, and good service on Delta (nicer planes than I've seen recently, too) a nice time with my family and friends, some visiting time for favorite museums, an interesting and productive work conference, and a very comfortable, fun to drive, so-ugly-it's-cute Nissan Cube as our rental car (despite my overwhelming anger at how much the rental actually cost).

The conference was hosted at the National Archives:
DC May 2011 010

around town photos )

It was a short, but very good trip.
sienamystic: (This is art)
Taxes done, forms sent off to hopefully correct an error from last year's taxes, forms sent off to student loan people to hopefully get some easement in that area. Still feel like I'm drowning in bills and paperwork, but at least I'm not quite up to my nose yet.

Cats at the vet - looks like Kit's bite is easy to treat and will just take me pilling her for a bit, which sucks because she's a strong, wily cat, but I can get it done. If Ratchet continues to try and bully her, I'm going to make a very attractive pair of earmuffs out of him. I think part of the problem is that we're in a smaller place now, and they feel like they can't stake out their own territories, or maybe they're getting a bit bored. Yesterday I made sure the front door to the apartment was shut and let Ratchet run up and down the stairs and stare out the big front window. If he could fit in the harness I bought ages ago on a whim, I'd take him out for a walk, but he's the size of a small (tubby) dog and I'd have to invest about forty bucks in a bigger harness and leash for him. At least he made himself very happy marking the corners of the hallway with his face.

Bemo's ECT still continues, with them expressing happiness that he's doing better and talking about starting to taper him down to twice, then once a week. This irritates me because it was presented as something different - a course of 8-12 sessions (we're on 15 now) which would be able to be stopped without any drawbacks. Except now I'm being told that you do taper them off, and that if you just stop sometimes the patient regresses and you have to start all over again. This is not information I was given to start with. I'm not sure if it would have changed anything had I known, but I'm still disgruntled about it. Also, Dr. ECT (she of the irritating hairstyle and stiletto boots) wants to change his meds, except he won't see her once he's done with the ECT, and I'm not going to change things on her say-so, psychiatrist or no. Bemo will tell his meds person about the changes Dr. ECT is suggesting, and get the two of them to talk...but I hope Dr. ECT doesn't bully the meds nurse into changing things when there's no need for it. Except there may be a need, because while he's getting better, he's not exactly Mr. Bright and Cheerful. (His sense of humor has come back some, and the crying fits have lessened but not disappeared, but he still has a lot of anhedonia and is now worrying about what will happen if the disability doesn't come through, if he'll ever be able to work again, who would ever hire him and could he even do a job again...) So who the hell knows...certainly not me.

Also, I'm not thrilled to have to continue to take big chunks of time out of my day for this - it's about three hours, two of which I take as sick leave, and while I'm feeling very grateful for a job that lets me do it, it obviously can't continue for too much longer.

And on that note, off to see some people about a sculpture move.
sienamystic: (This is art)
Have been helping a little bit with the install of our forthcoming ORLAN exhibition, "The Harlequin Coat." Part of this involves being hugged by mutant clothing on chairs.

Hugged by Orlan

spendthrift

Sep. 8th, 2010 09:46 pm
sienamystic: (aikido)
Have paid for my next month of aikido classes, as my first free month has come and gone. Also treated myself to a weapons bag, since my jo and bokken have been rattling around in various locations, so I told myself I needed one. Really, I wanted it, not needed it, but it's very pretty and I'm happy I have it.

Great class today - just me and one other student, so got some individualized attention that really helped. And I was training with a good partner, who is also a big dude, which means you have to do the technique correctly because he's naturally strong enough that you can't brute force things. Back tomorrow for more.

It was a long day at work, so this was a good way to let some stress go. Feeling pretty good now.
sienamystic: (Pete whining)
I am currently rewriting (except there's not all that much there, so it's more like writing) our rights and repro policy. I am bogged down in the swamp of boilerplate and, as my boss says, it's hard to stop yourself from trying to anticipate every possible emergency, contingency, and quirk that might come up that you need to address in your policies - registrars being the doomsayers of any museum!

On the other hand, my exhibition is on track nicely, despite all my apprehensions. The gallery guide is being printed, the preview sign is up in the Great Hall, and I've hashed out wall color and other sundries with our preparator. It's still not all quite there, but it's pretty darn close.

In media news, Bemo and I have been watching Justified, aka. There's Life After Deadwood. I've only seen two eps, but both of them have been really solid, and so far I like the show quite a lot.

I just finished reading a very good bio of Doc Holliday, rec'd from the friend's list, and I'm now reading a recent Jesse James one, which is just as enjoyable in a different way - the writing styles are very different, but the Doc Holliday bio was a little more cautiously written, since the author was picking his way through a mythic minefield. The James bio embraces a slightly more dashing style.
sienamystic: (OMG octopus attack)
Well now, at least I can't complain about not hearing the tornado alarms - they certainly went off last night, with a vengeance! We were in the path of the big storms that swept through here, but aside from some roads flooding we got away with very little damage, and none of it to speak of. Never even lost power, and spent most of the evening watching So You Think You Can Dance in between the weather reports.

On the other hand, once the weather died down I got a phone call from my museum, and trotted over there to move various things out of the way of leaks. Some of it is just because old buildings will leak (and it indeed seems like my museum career is destined to always have a leak-fighting component!) but we suspect that some of the current construction may have something to do with a few of the puddles. At any rate, all's well and naught hurt but some cardboard.

All of this is very trying to my mom, who is envisioning me being swept off to Oz at any moment.
sienamystic: (horse)
Watched Walk the Line and The Departedrecently, and enjoyed both movies a ton, although Bemo had problems following the twists and turns in The Departed because of his tooth hurting. But wow, good stuff.

And in other news, today I phoned Paris. I wish it was for something wildly glamourous. In fact, it involved talking to an artist about copyrights but did not involve scheduling a month at the most glitzy hotel in the city and then having to choose between various spa packages. Which would have been a better reason for a phone call to Paris.

No doubt I will soon be phoning somebody in Rome to ask about a tax code. Or ringing Prague to ask them if they want me to include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
sienamystic: (Default)
Back from Indy - tired, but triumphant. Our session was expected to draw about a hundred people, but the count ended up being closer to one hundred fifty. Apparently my utter panic looked to the crowd like like calm, as several people complimented me on speaking slowly and calmly. In fact, when I get flustered, I tend to blank out, so that calmness was actually me frantically thinking what to say next, and not coming up with much. What really made a good impression were the images I assembled of our collection, to use as examples of things that might be difficult to pack. People liked looking at them, and it made a good jumping-off point for other discussions. And now I'm going to be giving a poor, inexperienced girl long-distance advice as she and one assistant struggle to move big, unwieldy, gilt-framed oil paintings from one building to another.

My mentor, who was chairing the session, gave me a fantabulous Dorothy L. Sayers t-shirt as a thank you. I adore it most deliriously. It shows her dressed in a skull-printed dress, with the most Sayers-esque expression on her face. So cool!

Indy, or at least the convention center/downtown area that we were in, was nice enough but strangly bland and empty-feeling. At the height of what would have been rush hour in most cities, there was almost no traffic, so I don't know if it just has a small population, if we weren't where any of the actual buisnesses were, or what the story was, but there was none of that vibrant energy that you can sense in most cities. The hotels and convention center were all linked with skywalks, which meant that had I chosen to, I could have spent the entire trip going through the mall, my hotel, Kateh's hotel, and the convention center without stepping foot outside. Very odd feeling, and some people found themselves getting cranky before they realized that they needed to go outside for a breath of air.

Was supposed to bring the fudge I brought home with me into work on Friday, but in a weak moment, split it with the husband.

Fudge was very tasty.

On the other hand, the house was really messy when I got back. I slept in and then did a little rudimentary tidying. Will be back at work tomorrow.

Sometimes I really enjoy being a professional.
sienamystic: (horse)
My guidebook seems to imply that only mental midgets, assholes, and people with no soul dare to dislike New Orleans. I’m not sure I agree with them.

To be sure, there are sections of New Orleans I like very much indeed. Naturally, these are the ritziest sections – I always had champagne tastes on a Pabst Blue Ribbon budget. So my favorite area of the city was the Garden District, where gorgeous homes from the mid-to-late 1800s sit amidst fragrant gardens and old oak trees. I also loved riding up and down St. Charles Ave. in the streetcar from the 1860s, with the wind in my face and the occasional clang-clang-clang of the bell making me very happy indeed. Even portions of the French Quarter are lovely, once you move far away enough from the cesspool that is Bourbon Street.

My friend Kateh, who was there for the same conference, took one look at Bourbon Street and said gingerly, “I think I might have loved this…about five years ago.” Indeed, Bourbon Street must be paradise to those who enjoy getting boozed up and puking on strangers. But for those of us not too interested in that pastime, or intrigued by low-rent sex toy shops or Larry Flint ™ strip clubs, there’s really very little to enjoy about the place. The people-watching isn’t even all that high-quality. No fire eaters, no funky street artists, only a small, grubby handful of those annoying “pose like a sculpture” people - even the small boys who tap for change with bottle-caps tied to their shoes did not show up. Aside from a small, very good jazz band we saw through a window, most of the bands were really bad, and reduced to playing horrible covers of “It’s My Life” and the occasional disco hit so that the drunken patrons could sing along. But worst of all, and the thing that really made us avoid the place after a couple of hours, was the smell. Puke, garbage, and stale beer – mmm, tasty.

At any rate, even though I’m not a fan of seafood, I did find plenty of good eating to be had. I fell in love with the roast beef po’boys that I had, and the one I got from the little grocery with the flickering flourescent lights and the dicy clientele was miles better than the one eaten at the cute little bistro in the French Quarter. Beignets at Café du Monde were definitely worth the trip, and I still probably have powdered sugar trapped in my clothing.

As to conference-related things, all went well. There’s something very heartening about hanging out with a bunch of people all in your profession, and so I enjoyed the company of like-minded museum professionals, and especially, other registrars (even if I sometimes feel that I’m not quite there yet). I’m going to assist with writing a rights and reproduction handbook, and perhaps plan to go to Indianapolis next year to present on the topic. Most of the sessions weren’t that helpful, but I did do some scoping out on behalf of the director, and so hopefully provided her with some intelligence that will assist her as she goes into battle in a week or so. The shippers party (no relation to fanfic, but rather the people who do art shipping and who every year throw the best party of the conference) was at a bar called Howl at the Moon, with great food and two great bands. (The third band, sadly, was a dueling piano act that just ooozed cheese and smarm, so we avoided that bar and hung out in back with the zydeco instead.) Registrars may look like a staid lot, but they know how to party.
sienamystic: (Let them eat cake)
Things I learned from my first costume exhibit:


Expect random body parts to be strewn throughout the building. Don't be surprised to find a shoulder sitting on a table next to the torso of the mannekin that formerly owned it. Don't tease the museum preparator when you walk in to find him wearing a dust mask and sawing off the heel of a disembodied pair of legs, resembling Hannibal Lecter grabbing a snack during the commercial break. It makes the preparator feel vaguely guilty, for some reason.


Expect a flock of women assisting you in dressing the mannekins. These women will range from young people interning for the experience, to older women who do this professionally for many museums. Some of them are very odd. Some of them will be geniuses with a needle, while others will be mistresses of the hot glue gun. Speaking of the glue gun, expect lots of third-degree burns when you accidentally glue yourself to a paper raffia wig for the 1904 bride.


Expect to spend a full forty-five minutes with your head up the miniskirted dress of the 1960's bride as you try to secure her bouquet with monofilament fishing line. Expect somebody to photograph you with your head up said skirt, and threaten you with blackmail.


Expect to see a curator go insane.


Expect to have a board member come in and spend a ridiculous amount of time and energy fussing about one small aspect of the exhibit that she wants changed right this very minute, and contributing in large part to the insanity of the curator and, at this point, the registrars.


Expect to get stuck with a pin at least five times an hour. Worry about not bleeding on the dresses.


Expect lots of happy visitors to the reception, including many who will not, for once, tromp directly into the food area to chow down like they haven't been fed in four days. Discover that Norwegian men who resemble Russell Crowe in his fatter phase (still surprisingly attractive, but not exactly Adonis) can be surprisingly suave, as one flirts with you and the docent coordinator and the quilt volunteer simultaneously. Wonder if he might have been hitting the wine a little early. Expect to hide from docents and the weird dragon lady reinactor who chats with everybody like she never recently threatened to sue the museum because she tripped over something and twisted her ankle.


Expect to be very tired, and to go home and sleep, sleep, sleep. After picking off any stray hot glue adhesions still stuck to your fingers.

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