GAINZ

Nov. 30th, 2016 03:02 pm
Did a 253 lbs (115 kg) back squat last week, and a 301 lbs (137 kg) deadlift today. That's a 20-pound gain on the squat and a 13-pound gain on the deadlift.

I've felt like such an old lady these past few months. The physical therapy, the 2-month break from skating, the change in seasons making me want to hibernate when I'd otherwise go out, the tension headaches that have been so frequent post-election... I know that I'm quite healthy overall, but it sure feels like it takes a lot more maintenance than it used to.

Being able to throw big weights around is a really, really valuable reminder that I have a lot of power in these ridiculous muscles of mine, and that my body *is* healing and getting stronger. I honestly wasn't sure I'd hit any new PRs in this 10-week cycle, because I had to back off of activity for that long, but I did, and that's great news.

And, perhaps it's also a good reminder that I also ask a lot from my body--especially now that I'm back to a full skating schedule again--and that maybe I shouldn't feel bad when I want to lay around and watch television instead of staying out late. ;)

Oh my god

Feb. 16th, 2016 03:07 pm
I just tried to take a call, but for some reason I must have just missed it, because they were sent to voicemail instead.

In their message, they basically tried to contend that we can't meet in-person to train them on how to use their web site (which was horridly built by someone else), because "[their] site isn't on [their] laptop, it's on [their] desktop."

And, because I reviewed it to answer a bunch of questions they sent, they already know that I was able to look at their site on both my desktop AND my laptop. Because THAT'S HOW THE FRICKIN' INTERNET WORKS. ::facepalm::

Yeah, I don't think I want to have this meeting anymore. :p

Complaints

Jul. 23rd, 2015 01:01 pm
Client: "I want the photos to be taken from farther away this time; I definitely need a little more distance."
Me: "Sure, that's not a problem."
Client: "But I don't want my body to be in it, either. I just look huge."
Me: "...well, I suppose we can crop it in post, if you want us to...?"
Client: "Yes, let's do that."
 [later, after editing the final shot]
Me: "Here's the final edit! I've cropped it to match the crop you approved on the day of the shoot."
Client: "I want it cropped in more, I want my arms cropped out of it completely."
Me: [headdesk]

This was coming from someone who was very self-critical and hung up on her age and weight, and who also didn't seem to understand that, if you're going to take a photo from far away, and then crop everything out of it, then it completely defeats the purpose of shooting from far away. The distance affects how I compose the shot, but it doesn't make the subject look any younger, or appear any thinner, or do anything to minimize whatever physical feature they're fixating on.

------------------

Client: "Okay, if you can just make me look 10 years younger and 20 pounds thinner...!" [fake laugh]
Me: [also fake laughing because even though they're laughing, it is obviously not a real joke to them] "Everything's going to look great."

I never, ever like this kind of commentary. The client is going into the photo focusing on the negative, which makes them automatically more stiff than they'd otherwise be, and that ultimately makes those so-called "flaws" more visible. And, I'm obviously not going to say, "sure, I'll Photoshop the hell out of you so you look less like yourself!" I always do retouch, granted, but there comes a point where you have to either accept how you look, or make an honest effort to do something about it. Complaining achieves neither of these things.

And really, I can't remember a time when I've had someone walk in and thought, "oh, jeez, what an incredible mess this is going to be." Yes, humans are self-conscious, and I can absolutely sympathize with that--seriously, let me tell you about the 1-2 years it took me to get in shape, and then the nearly 10 years it took after that to stop constantly feeling like I was still a fat-and-lazy person. But in the end, 99% of that stuff is in your own head.

People are nice-looking, and age happens to us all, and it's all beautiful and okay. <3

Networking

Jun. 2nd, 2015 05:40 pm
I'm sitting here feeling terribly grumpy, and I'm about to skip out on Yet Another Networking Event, because I just can't handle other people while I'm in this kind of mood. (I'm already fatigued from my Monthlies, I couldn't sleep last night, and a stupid project bug basically ate whatever shreds of a good mood I might have had left)

There's another networking group that I haven't been to in months, and to be honest, I don't really want to go back, because the people there just don't do it for me--I can see how a group like that *should* function, because I see other members having those relationships with each other, but they and I are not even remotely on the same wavelength. It's not about being a nerd, either--common interests certainly help, yeah, but their values and mine are so different that it feels like we're always talking past each other. There have been a couple of instances when I left there nearly crying because I just wasn't making it work with the people around me, and you know? Maybe I'm not the only problem.

So, rattling off the beginnings of a list of things I'd like to see in a networking group:

  • People who are smart, savvy, and hard-working. I'm tired of "networking" with people who have no idea where their so-called business is going, or who aren't committed to it, and/or who don't really need to care because their spouse/trust fund is supporting them.

  • People who are HONEST, and kind, and genuinely interested in connecting. Maybe we won't end up being "besties," but hey, we don't have to be--as long as you're being real and being open, I'm going to like you all right and trust in your abilities. If you're too busy whipping out your 30-second elevator pitch to have an honest interaction, or to listen to what others are saying, you've already lost me.

  • People who are not overly spiritual. I absolutely don't judge people for wanting a spiritual aspect to their lives. It has value and it can help people get through hard times. But, I can only take so much hippie woo-woo, shamanistic, "soul purpose," guide-me-universe rhetoric--it's just not for me. I've met people who are very spiritual, and some are very sweet, but we never seem to click. I work hard to be a positive person, but I'm also quite grounded, and I like it that way.

  • A group of people who aren't all "coaches." Why is everyone trying to become a something-or-other Coach these days? Do we really need a coach for every aspect of our lives? I want to meet people who make things happen, who build concrete things, who produce tangible and valuable results.

  • Expects you to attend twice a month at most, on average. Carving out an hour or more each week is a tall order, especially if you're in more than one group that's demanding that kind of time! Monthly meetings are so much easier to manage, and still regular enough to be valuable.

  • Has some kind of structure. One thing that the networking group I've complained about does well is provide structure--there's a format that breaks the mob into smaller groups, and guides them to interact with each other. Having parameters makes it easier to manage. Unstructured mixers can fun, but only if my Introvert Brain isn't screaming at me, or if I buy enough booze to make Introvert Brain stop caring.

  • Not taking place before 9am. Because nobody should ever have to deal with me before coffee and breakfast. ;)

I'm not sure if my persnickety parameters make me impossible to work with, but I hope that's not the case. I've met some really awesome people through my work, but the vast majority of those haven't been through "networking." Maybe that can change.
batskeets: (finger)
I don't know if it's just because I'm in a really horrific mood, but the level of entitlement that practically everyone is displaying today is filling me with SO MUCH RAGE. I really hope I emerge from and escape this gloomy cloud of suckitude soon. I've never really considered myself an optimist, but I'm feeling so negative these days that it's kind of making me hate myself.

I so desperately need a break. From work, from feelings, from people, from everything.

Sigh

Nov. 10th, 2014 05:13 pm
batskeets: (finger)
I'm getting reeeeal tired of getting slapped around by the universe at large for no good reason.

10616142_10152597775683347_3939838092137830117_n

Wheeee

Oct. 24th, 2014 12:25 pm
batskeets: (finger)
So, I sprained my ankle last Saturday. I was able to walk on it easily shortly after, and my teammate who is a Real Doctor checked it over and said that there didn't appear to be broken bones. But, it is clearly Not Okay in at least some small way.

I managed to almost make it an entire week without freaking out about getting fat because I can't exercise. Being a former fat kid is *awesome*.

And really, that was just the bottom layer of the shit-frosted cake that has been this entire, stupid week. Shit-frosted cake seems like a good metaphor, too--there's been a solid layer of good stuff in the midst of the bad, and you could *probably* eat around the poop frosting if you had to, but most of us can't quite bring ourselves to make the effort. :p

So, yeah, it's been a week of unexpected schedule hiccups, incredible lack of sleep, people opening their big mouths when they shouldn't, last-minute changes, with a 3-day course of antibiotics as a chaser. It was enough to make me break down and eat the comfort food that I usually only consume when I'm bedridden with Teh Sick: mac 'n' cheese from a box.

I have one more potentially unpleasant hurdle to clear before this week is over, but at least I can get semi-drunk while I do that.

Keep on keepin' on, mates.
Heh, and the individual I complained about here yesterday is now out of the picture. So it goes.

The tech staffing agency who connected me with that gig played some phone tag with me today, and we finally caught up in the evening. My rep let me know the gig was being terminated, which didn't shock me. I got a chance to give him some insight into the lady's stunning lack of respect for my time, and the incredible lack of direction she gave.

My rep confided in me that they'd asked their branch manager if they should back-fill the position in case more help was needed, and their branch manager recommended against it. Basically, this lady was a poor communicator even with the staffing agency--she'd go radio silent and say that everything was fine, and then (in my rep's words) "out of nowhere she'd start complaining." Even their branch manager saw a "huge lack of direction" from her, and she seemed to be expecting them to manage her projects, which is not at all what they do.

In short, she was such a not-ideal client for them that, if I didn't work out for her needs, the agency was planning to sever the relationship with her anyway.

To be honest, I'm not even a little bit sorry that this gig is over. I mean, I'll miss the money a little, but, simply put, that bitch wasn't paying me nearly enough for the amount of aggravation she caused me. :p

I'm glad that I've evolved into the kind of person who knows how to treat the people she hires, and who also won't put up with disrespectful behavior. It certainly seems to help me get rid of the unreasonable and toxic folks faster than I used to.

UGH WHY

Aug. 5th, 2014 12:56 pm
batskeets: (finger)
Gotta love it when someone just assumes that you're always available and will drop everything to get on a client call with them RIGHTEFFINGNOW.

And then, you SCHEDULE A TIME to do the call, and guess what? They flake out on your scheduled time: no call, no cancellation e-mail, no nothing.

I'd like to subcontract for somebody with reasonable expectations once. JUST ONCE. Jesus.
Possibly my least-favorite piece of feedback yet: I sent out a logo comp for a health coaching business, which included a silhouette of a female runner. It looks like a normal-sized person to me, especially when I think of someone who's fit and muscular. BUT, of course, the client thinks the runner looks "fat." (yes, that was the word the client used. Ick.)

UGH. Is it any wonder such a huge percentage of women have a friggin' complex about how their bodies look?

Related: I've had entirely too many clients throw the term, "edgy" at me, as of recent. Do people even know what they mean when they say "edgy"? SO VAGUE. Ugh. Choose other, different descriptors plz kthx.

On the up side, my project manager is basically a wizard, and has taken my incredibly sparse excuse for training and run with it. She is rocking it with clients, and is making this crazy-busy period noticeably more bearable for me. The mere fact that I can count on her to put out proposals and help with communication eases my mind, and it might actually help even out how new work cycles in, so I DON'T have to be freaking out all the time.

So, in short: Awesome people are awesome. Non-awesome people need to look at their lives and look at their choices.

Bleh

Apr. 23rd, 2014 11:49 pm
Well, THIS week can officially take a flying leap off the nearest bridge. And hey, it's Portland! We have several to choose from!

Okay. Maybe it's not quite THAT bad. But jeez, it's only Wednesday, and I already feel like my head is going to explode from all the things in it. Lay off a little, would you, universe?

...no, really. Anytime now would be great.

Greeeeat.

Mar. 14th, 2014 12:07 pm
(side note: "AEV" is a former TT skater who opted not to try out this year)

ME: ...because I'm going out of town this weekend.
AEV: Oh, cool. Where are you going?
ME: Oh, it's the travel team retreat.
AEV: Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting about that! Are you excited?
ME: Yeah. I think I'll be more excited once I get there. I'm just waiting for the moment when I stop feeling like I'm going to have a nervous breakdown, heh.
AEV: Yeeeeah, that never really goes away.

--

I do know that the vast majority of my current anxiety is about the time commitment, and the fact that other new demands on my time have cropped up recently, so I probably wouldn't be freaking out as much if I were adjusting to just the extra couple of practice hours for TT. But TT obligations, plus starting a new part-time job maybe a week before tryouts, and then getting sick during the week following, has me feeling like I'm scrambling to catch up on things, much less catch a moment for myself.

Also, on the other end of the spectrum, one of my other skate buddies who is on TT this year said that things are usually bonkers at first, but then everything smooths out in June when home teams go on break. So, it's definitely not going to be like this for the entire season. I'm just hoping that this initial adjustment period calms down after the retreat this weekend. I feel like I'm not having as much fun with TT as I could be, so far. It hasn't even been two weeks, though, so, again, adjusting.

I also need to keep reminding myself that, no, I do not need to have 100% attendance for both my home team and TT. It takes 80% to get rostered, and that buffer exists for a reason. I'm allowed to take a day off. That's good advice for life, really. ;p

And, there's a small amount of anxiety about the fact that I've effectively put myself out there as one of the best skaters in the league. I haven't historically been a super-competitive person, and while I do know that there are things I'm good at, or even expert-level at, I've never really been brave enough to try to claim that I'm the best at something. There's been a lot of talk at practice about trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone, and I know that they're referring to skills and techniques, when they say that. But, when I think about it, merely trying for and getting onto TT is a huge step out of my comfort zone.

The whole thing is a lot like throwing myself into the deep end, and seeing if I can swim. I'm usually pretty good at rising to occasions, though, so it'll be okay if I work hard, be smart, and stick it out. It's worked for me in the past. I just hope it involves less crying and crippling self-doubt than the first few months of Fresh Meat in 2011 did, heh.
Friday night's bout was a tough game. I knew it would be, and I don't feel horrible about it, but I could have done without the super-convenient head cold that came a couple of days prior to it.

Part of why it was a such a tough game? Well, one of my teammates had some freak accident on Wednesday, and managed to tear the tendon that holds your thumb in place. She's currently wearing a super-rigid brace to keep it supported.

On the same day, another one of my teammates managed to sprain her ankle and aggravate a knee that she was already having problems with.

And then, yet another one of my teammates let us know on Friday morning that she'd had a death in the family.

And you know what? That's just the most recent run of terrible things that have happened to people I like. There were a fair number of Not Good things that happened to others I know, before that. I am not bloody happy about it, and I also can't do anything about it except try to be supportive, but even that doesn't seem like enough.

And, shit. Just recently, I was the listening ear for a story that, just, WOW. I won't share it here, because it's not mine to share, but, JESUS. I can't even fathom how anyone can do a thing like that to such a sweet person, and continue to live with themselves.

So, yeah. I'm pretty happy with my own life, at least, but I want to punch. Literally. EVERYTHING. on behalf of the people around me. Yep.
batskeets: (finger)
I pretty much want to punch everything today. Literally. EVERYTHING.

Kind of like some drunk idiot probably did to my shop window late Saturday night.

At least it was an accident, and the guy who broke it stepped forward to the cops and is willing to pay for damages. It wasn't some vagrant, and it wasn't anyone trying to break in and take my gear, and I am definitely, definitely counting my blessings on that one. I won't feel 100% relieved until it's fixed, but I'm less freaked out than I would otherwise be. But christ, just the hassle of the cleanup, repair and so forth is more than I wanted.

This and other things I've been fretting about will be resolved soon, but ugh, the act of getting things dialed in has felt like pulling teeth, today.

On the up side, some fairly comforting things have basically fallen into my lap--among them, I may very well be teaching kids about photography at a private school summer camp. (and yes, getting paid for it) I guess doing workshops has been good practice for that sort of thing, because Past Me probably would've shied away from the opportunity. But, hey, I like kids, they seem to like me, and I like both photography and money.

Just, ugh, this day. It's been one of the more frustrating ones in a while. And it also included probably the most phone calls I've made in a single day. Coincidence...? XD

Yep

Nov. 23rd, 2013 10:21 am
November has been pretty stupid, on the whole. But hey, it's almost over!

Thank jeebus for the people around me, and for Thanksgiving's imminent arrival, because those things are too excellent to be denied. Some wonderful things have come from unexpected places, as of recent.

Oh, and thank jeebus for my teammates, whom I am so, so excited to bout with just two weeks from today. SO. EXCITED. I have so many good feelings about this season, and I can't wait to make them a reality. Would it be cool to win Championships in the year of our league's 10-year anniversary? Uh, YEP. There's a long way to go to get there, yet, but it'd be pretty great.
Yeah, so, totally cried in the car after today's networking lunch. That was awesome. :p

Okay, I was already in a pretty defeatist mood when I left the house this morning. I remembered going to this same event a month ago, and basically shutting down and avoiding people like the plague a solid week before I felt normal again. I wasn't looking forward to that. But, seriously, CRYING? God. When did I become such a goddamned weepy mess? I never used to cry over anything.

I'd love to be in a place where I can just relax and be myself at these stupid networking lunches. Thing is, I don't feel that I CAN be myself, because my Real Self feels really awkward, finds the whole thing somewhat terrifying, and absolutely LOATHES talking about herself. And, I do have sort of a fundamental disconnect with networking: we're all there to get more business, but nobody's really allowed to SAY so.

I mean, yeah, I'll tell you about roller derby, or about PAX, or about how I cried at the ending of Mass Effect 3, but dear god, don't ask me to tell you why you should hire me. I can't handle it, apparently--I'll talk too low, or too fast, or too rambly. I'm so completely without pretense that I can't even pretend to have an organized thought or a snappy message. I can tell OTHER people how to do that, but I can't seem to do it for myself.

I've been advised to let the fact that I love my work shine through, but how the fuck do you DO that when you don't express yourself outward? I heard that a lot when I was growing up: we'd be doing something I liked, and someone would say, "you don't seem very excited."

It's not that I don't think I have skills, either--I'm awesome at what I do. But I'm not awesome at saying so. I've been not-awesome at that, and not-awesome with new people for my entire life. No amount of internal work I've done seems to have fixed that, and yet I have to be good at it. I have to go directly against every Introvert bone in my body and try to do these things, if I have any hope of surviving.

Nothing, NOTHING in the world makes me want to close up shop more than this.

That's the trouble with this whole stupid business thing: I've essentially agreed to have my #1 Failing As a Human Being thrown in my face on a regular basis.
Well, after flying into a work-related rage on Friday (which I had originally planned to take as a day off), working on my actual birthday, and spending much of the weekend sick and having to skip endurance practice today (which I really hate to skip), I kind of feel like 33 has been quite the FailBirthday. At least I managed to corral at least a few of my favorite people together for a couple hours of fun, though. And there were cupcakes. And a couple of adorable-tacular friends who are now married to each other. At this point, I'll take what I can get. ;p
batskeets: (finger)
Today's theme is, apparently, ignoring my expert advice on design and web sites, and the ramifications of it.

Firstly, I spent two hours banging my head against Squarespace, because a client decided that Squarespace was easier to work with than Wordpress. Problem is, Squarespace is so rigid that I can't customize everything the way she wants, so it has mainly been an unneccessary waste of my time and her money. At least I got paid, but jeeeeez. :p

THEN, I gave someone else some important advice about a logo design that someone else did, and recommended some small changes to improve legibility and scalability. So far, it looks like that advice is being ignored, too. Nobody can say that I didn't warn them, I guess, but as the webmaster, this is ultimately going to become MY problem.

I need a beer. :p
I kind of feel sorry for anyone who had to be around me last week--due to an annoying ordering mishap, I was without my B-complex supplements for over a week, and holy damn, did that take its toll. Between that and PMS things, I essentially wanted to hide in a hole for the entire week. By some miracle, I did actually get real work done, and even summoned up enough energy to get organized and be nice to people for the entirety of First Thursday. Thankfully, I had help on the "getting organized" front. And hey, First Thursday actually went pretty well! I'd estimate that a pretty large percentage of the people who came by were people I didn't personally invite, so I'd call that a win. Yay!

But, yeah, the rest of the time, my body was in one place, and my mind generally just wanted to be at home in bed. Well, except at the times when I was actually *in* bed and experiencing horrible cramping pain. Yeah, not having my supplements apparently makes *that* worse, too.

Oh, and skating felt like total ass. I finally got officially thrown into the rotation as a jammer on Wednesday, and largely got annihilated because I was so completely lacking energy. I probably should've told my coaches what was up with me, and I did end up writing them an e-mail the next morning apologizing for *not* telling them that I wasn't at 100% capacity. Yeah, I'm ridiculous.

I will say that Saturday was pretty excellent, though--my supplements were in-hand and my energy was surging again. I did have to work an event early in the evening, but there were plenty of snacks, free wine, and friendly people, so it was more low-impact than I expected. This was the second time working with these folks, so I think it's only going to get easier as we get better acquainted.

And then? KARAOKE. An acquaintance and fellow board member whom I'd like to be better friends with had a karaoke birthday party, so I went, and there were many inebriated antics and good times, and I dropped some of my favorite tunes. The karaoke system was entirely computerized, which was kind of neat, but that also meant I couldn't resort to my usual practice of looking through the book for random inspiration. I definitely could use some new material--things like Queen and Meat Loaf are great, and all, but there's a wide world of karaoke ridiculosity that I have yet to experience. ;)

Anyhoo, there's not a whole lot of point to this post, aside from observing that it's nice to have the energy to do all the things you'd like to do.

Drive-by

Jan. 16th, 2013 01:55 pm
batskeets: (j)
My life currently amounts to this:
  • I have so much work to do right now and nobody who can help me with it. This is largely due to support I was supposed to be given on a major project that completely DIDN'T happen on-schedule, and thusly throwing off my timeline for everything else I'm working on. This situation will pass, but right now, it suck-diddly-ucks, Flanders.
  • Looking for apartments is the most irritating process ever, but so is living on the opposite end of town from my awesome boyfriend. So, I am tolerating the former to solve the latter, heh.
  • I am bouting on Saturday OMJESUS WHAT IS HAPPENING AAAGGGGHHHH.
  • It's nice that I have a life, but right now, I'm sort of too tired and frazzled to really enjoy it... not that this fact has ever stopped me from trying.
Somehow, I thought I would have more to say here, but my brain may have just melted. I'll be back once I've mopped it up and molded it back together.

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