Thank you for registering for the Administrative Professionals’ Day Program. As the invitation indicated, this event will be centered around StrengthsQuest, a web-based assessment tool from the perspective of Positive Psychology. The assessment must be done by next Wednesday. The Clifton StrengthsFinder is a 45 minute, web-based assessment that measures the presence of talent in 34 areas called “themes”. You have 20 seconds to respond to each item.

a) The invitation I got to Administrative Professional's Day made it sound like there would be a nice breakfast buffet and possibly a raffle. Nowhere, anywhere, were personality tests mentioned.

b) Jesus Christ, if I don't respond within 20 seconds is my laptop going to give me an electric shock?

c) Wait, isn't the point of Administrative Professionals' Day to appreciate one's office admin, and not give them more work to do?

I'm not a sociopath, but I'm pretty sure if one of the 'themes' was 'Sociopath' I'd have pinged it. )

At any rate, on Administrative Professionals' Day I think I will go to the breakfast buffet and then quietly slip out before the Strength Finding begins.
In response to this image, sent to me by [livejournal.com profile] amand_r, I wrote you all a little song.


Deck the halls with nightmare demons,
Fa la la la la, cthulu ia!
Tis the season to be screamin'
Fa la la la la, cthulu ia!
Nameless terrors lurk in corners
Fa la la, la la la, sho-og-goth,
And the narrators are goners,
Fa la la la la, cthulu ia.

Meteorites fall and curse us
Fa la la la la, they fall at night
Demon gases eat our horses
Fa la la la la, they're made of light
Things are creeping in New England
Fa la la, la la la, down the well
Leaving blasted heaths steamin'
Fa la la la la, an evil blight!
I have seen more nonfunctional escalators in the last three days than in the last six months combined. It's like some kind of conspiracy, as if the escalators planned an uprising. Though I guess, since it's escalators, it's more of a nonrising.


Guys, wish me luck today. I have an interview at lunch and a duck racing in the Rubber Ducky Derby at one.

The whole interview thing, it's...amusing, yes, okay, but also so frustrating to me. I basically have a lock on BossBoss's job, which I've already interviewed for, but Overboss is really paranoid about HR finding out, so he won't actually come out and say it, and I can't be seen to be anticipating it too much. So when HR told me to apply for this other job, which is basically administrative, I couldn't really say no. Especially since if HR found out about the BossBoss job thing they might interfere because, I can't stress this enough, this company really, really hates it when admins get promoted out of admin positions. And that can be all the illegal, but it still might happen and there's not much recourse I have if it does.

These people I'm interviewing with today know me, and I know them. I have to work with them. Even if I don't get the admin job, I will have to work with them as New BossBoss. And they're so excited about possibly getting me for their team.

I want to tell them, look, I have another job impending so please don't depend on me as your Golden Future Admin, take some other candidates seriously. But of course I can't do that because 1) it isn't done and 2) if the BossBoss job does for some reason go south, this admin job would be a nice backup. So now I'm wasting the the time of people I like and have worked with for three years -- I'm lying to people and there's no way they're not going to eventually know that I was lying from the start when I take another job.

It's just a small part of a larger annoyance, though, which is that however you want to cut it or argue about details or semantics, the process of hiring and being hired is essentially rooted in dishonesty. You can have all the accomplishments in the world and be proud of them and be good at what you do and perfect for the job you're applying for, but you still have to know the "right" answers and you still have to sell yourself, and a great deal of salesmanship is dishonesty. Spin, if you want to give it a nicer name. It's not the dishonesty that bothers me -- I can appreciate a good lie, and even a good lying competition -- it's the fact that a process meant to evaluate a person's actual strengths and compatibility is a process in which everyone, on all sides, lies through their teeth. And everyone knows they're lying, so it becomes a competition for who can lie the best.

Wouldn't it be nice if, when I applied for this job and was asked where I'd be in five years, I could just have said "We both know this is not a job people make a career of. I won't be in this job in five years, but nobody you hire will be, and I have a better work ethic than they do." But you can't say that. Even if the other person would be relieved to hear it.

It's a fundamentally broken system, and I know there's no real way to fix it without radically redesigning our entire culture. But it still frustrates me that we have to go through this pointless ritual, which stresses out everyone involved and doesn't actually do much more than weed out the drastically inappropriate, leaving the rest of the field to see who can sell themselves the best.

And people wonder why I don't date.
This morning, as I sometimes do, I woke up a bit early and decided to check my email before getting up to prepare for the day. Usually my email from Groupon is already there, telling me about all the wonderful coupons they have for businesses in the Chicago area.

I used to really like Groupon, but they've gone from this kind of hip urban company to a spa service for suburbanites. Not that I have anything against the suburbs in themselves, but since I usually can't get to them, Groupon is now rather useless to me. I get why their targeting shifted; broke urbanites like me tend to use the Groupon once and never go back, whereas people living in Chicago's bedroom communities have the money to provide repeat business. Still, it stings that I helped build up their name recognition and now they want to sell me coupons for dentists in Lombard.

Anyway, I went to look at all the deals, because I'm a creature of habit, and I was struck vividly by the first line of offers:

Those are two vaguely terrifying women followed by an apparently unconscious one. (Mostly when people are in the photos it's women, I don't know why.) But I had a sort of A Softer World moment.

A Cheaper World: A Sam Starbuck Presentation. )
[livejournal.com profile] megaleena left a comment a few days ago on a post where I talked about my obsessive-compulsive reading list, suggesting it would be interesting if I shared it. Easily enough done!

So, between email, work, and writing, this is what I read daily. )

For bonus points, this is my Monday additional reading list. )

Man. Reading it all laid out like that, I do kind of look like a politically apathetic dilettante, don't I?

I also read Chicago Magazine and The New Yorker, and the Monday edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, though I don't know if those are exactly points in my favour.
Jesus Christ, how do I get roped into these things...

So, Claire was reading some fanfic and got all "PUT PORN IN, FANDOM!" and I was like "If you wrote it, then you shoulda put some porn in it." and then Foxy was all, "I smell a song parody."

And apparently I'm like some kind of wind-up toy, when someone tells me to do something I just bumble off and do it.

So Foxy and Claire and Anya and I wrote a song. This chick named Beyonce helped.

DISCLAIMER: We still love the gen! This isn't meant to be like, a polemic or something. It's just a filk about porn.

To the tune of Single Ladies... )
This evening I walked up to the post office that I normally go to when I want to mail stuff, because they're nicer than the Ft. Dearborn post office (for real, you guys, don't ever go to the Ft. Dearborn post office, they're terrible people). But when I got to the Nice Post Office, I saw something a little odd through the window. The PO boxes had been gutted -- there were just big walls with gaps in them.

That's a little strange, I thought to myself jauntily. They must be remodeling! Oh well, I will mail my packages and make pleasant chit-chat about the remodeling and be on my way!

Then I got to the front door and there was a sign there all SUCKER WE MOVED WE'RE BACK THE WAY YOU CAME AND HIDDEN IN AN APARTMENT BUILDING NOW. Only, you know, in more formal wording and with a giant google map printout.


Who does that? I've never seen a post office move before. Where once there is a post office, there is now no post office! Just a big googlemap making me look like a dumbass! What is this, a Miyazaki film? POST OFFICES ARE SUPPOSED TO STAY PUT.

Clearly I need a "sam doesn't handle change well" tag.
You know, I'm genuinely not sure how I feel about this hourglass.

Actually that's not true, I love the hourglass itself, it's just the right size and it has a nice weight, and it's aesthetically pleasing, the proportions are good. But I've been using it to train myself out of some of the running-around I do, and I'm perplexed by what's happening.

The hourglass is actually a fifteen-minute timer. So I make a list of activities each morning and then spend fifteen minutes on each, rotating through: "email" "outside reading" "drywork" "writing", et cetera. Some tasks don't get finished within fifteen minutes -- I didn't realise how much "outside reading" (websites, news, research) I do. Other activities either don't last fifteen minutes (Sudoku: 10 minutes for a hard puzzle) or I don't want them to because it'll mean doing something I don't want to do. That's the point, of course, the timer makes me do it.

Thing is, it also makes me move from task to task when time's up, and I'm not sure if that's teaching me to multitask and be calm when something isn't Immediately Done or teaching me an even shorter attention span than I have now. Mind you, it does get me off the computer for fifteen minutes of every hour -- that's "drywork", when I'm cleaning my desk or going through papers or anything, basically, that's not computer oriented.

I don't think drywork can possibly last. My desk can only get so clean...
Today I am the most misunderstood person on the internet. Not in any kind of sad, emo way, it hasn't been a bad day exactly. It's just that I am literally not making myself understood. I am cross-communicating with a vengeance. ENGLISH, WHY HAVE YOU ABANDONED ME.

We got three calls today from people wanting to talk to "the person in charge of fundraising". We are a business in charge of fundraising, but it's very difficult to make people understand this. We don't need to sell chocolates, sir or madam, we're a little beyond that now. No, there's nobody in charge of fundraising, or rather in a limited way everyone here is.

I had to explain our new security system to someone, again, but after 300 repetitions of this explanation, TODAY I effed it up.

I have three different web browsers, but only one of them currently functions well enough for me to order dinner. And it's Internet Explorer.

And then there was this thing with a man looking for a dentist, except I don't speak Arabic so it took us a while to establish that he was not in the dentist's office. (We did establish that he was from Egypt before we established that he was in search of a dentist. I googled one for him.)

I wrote the above while recovering from dinner, and then I looked down at my foot, which was tingling, and discovered that at some point during the meal I had ripped a three-inch gash in the side of my left foot. So now I'm not even communicating with my own nerve endings.

I don't have band-aids long enough for this, but I do have superglue!

Guys, don't let me glue my foot into a sock. That would just be embarrassing.
You guys, you guys, I just discovered a cache of Calvin & Hobbes fanfic on AO3, and it is adorable.

I'm not sure if it's fandom or the stress of prepping CG or the stress of other things entirely, which are admittedly self-induced so I'm not asking for sympathy, but stumbling over this random little collection of stories was like walking through a nightclub at two in the morning and finding a small, well-lit library with a teddy bear in it on the other side. It just made me grin.

Not that I don't love my life on the whole, but sometimes it's a little...contentious? Maybe "busy" is a better word. Complicated? I don't know. Lately I'm finding socialisation a little difficult, both online and in meatspace -- we really have to find a better term for "not online" that doesn't imply a reality differential, by the way -- so being normal even just for coworkers and people on the train wears me out. Because I am not Calvin at all. Dear me no.

It'll wear off, but until then:

Calvin & Hobbes fanfic! Adorable!
This morning I was asked to change my password on my work computer, as I must do every four months. And I sat there waiting for it to authorise my new password, and I thought, I have measured out my life in login codes.

And, as it so often does, then my brain screwed me out of several hours of productivity.

Edit to add: Why hello there, entire internet! If you'd like to know who I am or what I think of this poem, I made a separate post that you can check out. Hope you enjoy your stay here at chez Copperbadge.

The .doc File Of J. Alfred Prufrock )
I keep wanting to sit down and write about this stuff, and then I keep thinking, do I really want to? I don't know.

Thirty-one feels bigger than thirty, I think because thirty's a milestone but everyone acknowledges it's a milestone and mostly in this culture we also acknowledge that most socially-forced milestones are kind of bullshit. Nobody I knew in high school felt grown up when they got their driver's licence; everyone I knew in college didn't feel grown up until they had to make their first car insurance payment. It's the gritty little pieces of life that make you re-evaluate the whole. At least, for me.

And then I had a minor identity crisis in the shower this morning. )
LOL, so it turns out my karmic reward for running the job fair is to get a $150 cut on tomorrow's paycheck. MY LIFE, FOLKS.

Payroll fucked up the sick day I took, and they're very sorry but the paychecks have already been cut and they can't cut me a separate check, so I'll just get that $150 on my next paycheck on the 13th. Which would be fine, except this paycheck pays my rent, thanks, and $100 of that $150 was kind of necessary. :P

I have a good job and a life full of perks, plus a savings account and a credit card, so I don't actually need money per se. I can cut a deal with my landlord and the money will reach me eventually at any rate. (If you are thinking of nipping over to paypal, consider people in more dire need than myself -- [livejournal.com profile] graduate_maria is short of their goal and the shelters and aid orgs always need help. Srsly, don't send me moneys.)

But it got me thinking about what I would do if I did desperately need to raise money fast, combined with a remark a friend made to me a while ago about what I could go for on the free market. And I thought, well, what if I ran some sort of original-fiction short story festival? Say, for a small consideration, I promised a thousand-words-minimum to prompt or freestyle, distinctly non-fannish.

I don't know, is this a good thing? Do we think this is taking advantage of my position vis a vis the internet? Do we think this is sheer ego? I'm not a good judge. I have no idea what amount is even decent to ask, and I doubt I have time right now anyway. But I like the idea of getting the writing practice in, making a little cash, and perhaps compiling them afterwards and putting out a volume of short stories through Extribulum Press.

It's strange, really -- if I were doing this for charity I wouldn't hesitate and I wouldn't even dither about price, but it's different when I want to earn the money for myself. Artists often devalue their own work; people don't do art because it pays well, they do it because they love it, or at least that's why I do it. So it seems wrong somehow to ask for money for it.

Anyhow. It's interesting to mull over. Your thoughts on this topic are welcome.

In other news, I did three things today:

2. Added summaries and warnings to all fanfics what had it not. Every fanfic has (or should have, I may have missed some) at the very least a warning note reading "Warnings: None." Fanfics with possibly triggery content have, to the best of my ability, been tagged with appropriate warnings, and there is a specific request on the Master List to contact me if you hit content that wasn't warned for so that I can apologise and make it right.
3. Realised, whilst doing the above two items, that it really is true: I cannot organise my life. I can only cross-reference and index it.
Do you guys know how many fanfics I have written in my life?

I did the math, and not counting the stuff I wrote before college the answer is approximately one billion fanfics. That is a lot of fanfics. I might be the reason the internet is for porn.

I tell you this because today I finished the archive changeover from LJ to Dreamwidth. All of my fanfic is now housed at the Dreamwidth Sam Storyteller archive, including the SGA stuff and Season Zero, which were on separate communities. Every entry that formerly held one of my ONE BILLION fanfics now has a link leading to the new location of said fanfic. All of the interchapter links are functional (or should be) and the tags are accurate and complete.

Here is a thing I did which was stupid: posted a lot of HP fics with ratings but no summaries. What the hell, me of 2003. Being 24 is no excuse for cursing your 30-year-old self with having to read a bunch of your mediocre porn to remind myself what you wrote. If I could travel back in time I would give you such a slap in the head.

Nice job with Stealing Harry though. Way to catapult yourself into fandom, there.

PS: Watch out for uneven pavement.

[livejournal.com profile] cruentum: "The former Desperate Housewives star admits he has a number of "flaws" and already dyes his hair regularly to hide his greying locks. He tells Britain's Heat magazine, "I know I'm good-looking, but I'm not egotistical. I have flaws - I have to dye my hair twice a month to get rid of all the grey."
[livejournal.com profile] snaxcident: "I'm not egotistical" LOL
[livejournal.com profile] copperbadge: I don't know why John Barrowman is so insecure, he looks bitchin' as a silver fox.

[livejournal.com profile] snaxcident: OMG he's soooo angry right now. "Oh my god, how am I going to get "Handsome Youth" roles now?"
[livejournal.com profile] cruentum: He'd kill you, man.
[livejournal.com profile] copperbadge: HE HAS TO CATCH ME FIRST.


You know how he really preserves his youth?

Sometimes the simplest manips are the best.

I'm not sure if this is funnier with context, or if nothing could possibly make that image more amusing.

(Context: [livejournal.com profile] wildeagain started it.)

Man, John Barrowman's really excited to meet a psychic German octopus.
It's hot here. Hot as fuck. Hotter than fuck. Fuck can only dream of being this hot. Mum sent me an email saying that she saw a news report about the possibility of rain in Chicago, but I think the rain decided Chicago was too hot and detoured.

There is no breeze, there is no shade, there is no God.

But then I think about the fact that this heat will end by no later than September, while it is a year-round function in Austin, and I'm okay. When I moved to Chicago I noticed that the primary topic of small talk here was the weather, which makes sense in retrospect. There's no point in talking about the weather in Austin (hot) or Oregon (wet) or California (mild) because it's always the same, but here the weather is a neverending variable.

They say the motto of Chicago is "Urbs In Horto" which means "City in a garden" but I suspect the real motto is Et Hoc Transibit: THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

It might be Adfatimne calidus est prote, "Hot enough for you?"

Appropriately, [livejournal.com profile] jenna_thorn has tips on how to stay safe and stay cool.

Well, I don't seem to have made too much of an embarrassment of myself last night, and I don't have my usual blinding headache this morning, so all in all I call that a very successful momentary lapse in judgment.

I still only slept about four hours last night, but they were deep, deep hours, which is something. I think I've figured out why I've been having such a shit week, and I suspect it's to do with Father's Day. Normally I don't have issues with it, my father's been dead for twenty years, but there's a really weird big push about it in ads around here, at least it seems to me, so perhaps that's it. Or perhaps in past years I've simply been too busy to notice my own mind flipping out on me. I love Lucky and all, he's a good man and a solid father when I need one, but he's not the guy who raised me. So, hopefully after tomorrow this will start to blow over a bit.

I had groceries delivered this morning, and amongst them was an item not meant for me, but I called and they said keep it. It is a bag of ten pre-hard-boiled, pre-shelled eggs. It's like the ultimate in hedonism.

Sam Starbuck brings the internet TO YOU!

Actually I just ended up with a lot of lolarious links today.

[livejournal.com profile] seneska pointed out that xkcd has intriguing timing given what I posted about last night -- I swear I'm not Randall Munroe, though there are days I wish I was.

[livejournal.com profile] misswinterhill linked me to a video of BABY SLOTHS OMG WHY ARE THEY SO AWESOME. I especially like the Zen Sloth Monk in the last shot, he looks like he could tell us the secret of the universe but that would spoil all the fun.

[livejournal.com profile] hija_paloma linked to this song/vid while making a point about Transformative Works, and I can't stop listening to it. I would be ashamed, but sorry, I'm too busy ROCKING OUT.

And then....there was the Doctorcorn.

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