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Itsuka Todoku
20 entries back

Date:2009-12-28 15:12
Subject:Ahhh
Security:Public

I ended up going into work for half the day to check on my new employees and check in with the one who'd been out last week for family reasons.

Taking the afternoon off still, and trying to figure out if I'll be able to cram in the last day of vacation I have left this week. We'll see.

In the mean time, I am happily curled up in the Nightmare Before Christmas PJ's Greg gave me and the Nightmare Before Christmas blanket my parents gave me. I suppose all that really remains is to put on the blu ray of said movie my sister gave me!

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Date:2009-12-01 21:42
Subject:Curse you diet!
Security:Public

So frustrating right now.

Frankly I have been very, very neglectful about exercising the last week because of my writing deadlines. This makes the diet particularly tiresome because I'm not seeing much in the way of results. (Shocking I know... no exercise = no weight loss.)

And I am craving peanut butter fiercely right now for some odd reason.

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Date:2009-11-01 08:28
Subject:Paranormal Activity
Security:Public

Not bad. Certainly better than Blair Witch Project, which was just a big waste of time.

But next time I am debating whether something will be better in a dark theater full of other people who talk and giggle for 2 minutes after every creepy thing, or once it comes out on blue ray alone in the dark on my big screen.. I'm going with my gut.

I would guess it's a little scarier without the talking teenagers and the guy in the row in front of us who thinks he's funny. Just a guess.

And this ladies and gentlemen, is why I hardly ever see anything in the theater anymore.

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Date:2009-10-19 20:47
Subject:Contentment
Security:Public
Mood: content

My contract arrived today. It is official. I am being paid to write.

And a cross-post from facebook:

This is the sound of me exhaling after too much breath holding. I submitted my outline this weekend, and just got feedback. I was very happy about what I heard! A succinct line of overall praise (showing they don't think I need coddling), and... a few very targeted critiques (all excellent points) that proved they read it and thought everything else was good.

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Date:2009-10-17 09:41
Subject:Jitters of a new writer
Security:Public

(X-post from Facebook. Largely just elaboration on the last post as I work through this. Thank you all for your support, by the way.)

My first writing assignment has been a roller coaster experience. My emotions are stretched tighter than an assassin's synskin. When I came on board I was absolutely cowed by the caliber of my colleagues. I recognized every single one of their names immediately. It is a real privilege to be working with them, but at the same time I have that (mostly irrational) gnawing doubt: "I am not nearly cool enough to be here."

Of course, I am doing my best to behave like an intelligent professional with value to contribute, not some wide-eyed fan.

But it's been harder than I thought it would be. I am usually a very confident person, but every time I give an idea here I have this flutter of apprehension that it's going to sound dumb to these people I want so badly to make a good impression on. That said, I am doing what I know I need to do, and continuing to put my thoughts out there. They contracted me for a reason, and it wasn't to be a meek little yes-girl who doesn't contribute. I know this.

Probably the toughest thing has been understanding (and making myself believe- not just rationally but EMOTIONALLY) that when I receive direction, it is not a negative reflection on my capabilities. I'm not talking about feedback on existing ideas (my job requires me to have an open, collaborative attitude towards criticism), so much as unsolicited direction. I am simply not used to getting that much of it. In my day job I lead others all day long. And from the start of my career, I was always expected to be extremely self-directed. If in my day job I needed the level of supervision I am getting on this writing assignment, I would be doing something very wrong.

I need to force myself to step back and breathe, to realize that this is not the same environment. I didn't start this new industry with the equivalent of two degrees, a kick-ass internship, and and a 4.0 GPA as credentials. I am largely unproven, and my bosses are doing exactly what they should be. In fact this is not a slight on me, they are HELPING. Not only that, but we're all a bunch of creative people and everyone is excited about this. They're not just sending me ideas because they think I can't come up with good ones; it's because they are just full of great ideas and like sharing.

I know all this in my brain, but it is just difficult given my past professional experiences for my heart to accept it. Acceptance will come in time. And more than anything... it will come when I do an excellent job on this first assignment, and they prove they liked it by asking me back to do another.

So all of that said, it was still a great moment for me this morning when one of the big names in the area I'm working on gave some very positive feedback on an idea that was completely my own proposal. :-)

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Date:2009-10-14 20:52
Subject:CRAZY
Security:Public
Mood: scared

I am such a basket case right now. Thank goodness for my sweet, supportive husband.

I'm not used to being the new kid at the table, and I am wound incredibly tight about this first writing assignment. Every response I feel like I am being judged. I know we are all just collaborating and sharing ideas, but every time someone disagrees with me (and it happens a lot) I panic.

Even though my rational mind is pretty sure it is not true, the part of my that wants SO DESPERATELY to impress them is just sure they're sitting there going "God, why did we hire her?!"

I really, really want this first assignment to be over. I'll feel much better once (if!! Waaah!!!) they see my work product and ask me back to do something else

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Date:2009-10-10 22:39
Subject:The best movie disclaimer ever...
Security:Public

At the very end of the credits where you have the blurb about not harming animals and resemblance to real people being coincidence:

"No actual Torah Scrolls were destroyed or damaged in the making of this movie."

Awesome.

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Date:2009-09-15 18:42
Subject:Ugh..
Security:Public

Yikes. Bills were huge this month between Dragon*Con and the unexpected car trouble.

It was probably not the time to decide to get a new headset-enabled phone for working downstairs, and a bluray player. But too late, I (fortunately?) hit "buy" BEFORE I payed the credit card bills.

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Date:2009-09-08 16:13
Subject:first D*C post
Security:Public

Pictures will be forthcoming, but in the mean time, I have an interesting story from Dragon*Con to share.

Saturday, I got on the elevator on the ground floor of the Hilton. As usual, we were crammed in. Still, it stopped on every floor on the way up. It stops on 3, and this thin, blond young man with a burly escort begs in a British accent for us to make room. I am thinking "is that Tom Felton?" (Draco Malfoy.) We squeeze in; he is right against my chest. As the door closes we hear girls squealing: "Come back Draco!!"

The guy sighs and says to us elevator occupants: "Thank you."

Yes, Tom and his bodyguard were trying to cram in so he could escape the fangirls. ^_^

Now, I'm not a big "ooh the movie star touched me!" kind of person. I didn't even go to Felton's panels because much as I love Harry Potter, it is the creators I am usually interested in, not the actors who portray their creations. Not that I dislike actors, but they don't matter enough to me for me to compete with their other fans, stand in autograph lines, etc.

Still, if someone had said to me: "Andrea, you're going to have one D*C guest squeezed up against you in an elevator, who would you like it to be?" he would have been my pick. (I figure I can feel that way these days without feeling dirty these days since he's almost 22 now.) So that was pretty cool.

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Date:2009-08-10 16:06
Subject:Defininition of spontaneous?
Security:Public

Such a geek am I.

I have just had to scramble to book a flight and hotel to go to Indiana this weekend.

Why? Because I wasn't planning on going to Gencon (Hard to take the time off with Dragon*Con just around the corner), but then this auction came up:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ENnies-2009-Dream-Date-Auction-Fantasy-Flight-Games_W0QQitemZ180393589419QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2a004bbaab&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14#ht_507wt_1167

How can a girl resist the opportunity to meet the creative team behind her favorite RPG? Particularly when the game (Dark Heresy) is up for so many awards. So basically I'll be flying in just long enough to go to the awards dinner.

And.. it's a chance to dress up!

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Date:2009-08-09 10:19
Subject:The other me
Security:Public

(First off.. it is good to be back on the internet. I had serious withdrawals last week when it was out for a few days.)

Anyway onto the topic of this post.

Many years ago, the choice was made that I was going to get paid for what I'm good at (computers/business), and do what I love (writing) as a hobby. I say the choice was made because it was shaped by my actions, but in looking back, I don't feel like I ever really had an opportunity to make a choice. In the guidance my parents gave me about careers and college, never once did the idea that I could pursue dreams of writing professionally ever really come up like it was a viable choice. And I was the kind of kid who took my parents' guidance very seriously. They said I was going to college, they said I was going so that I could qualify for a good job.. um that was that.

When I reflect back on my life, I often wonder if I knew then what I know now, would I have gone this route. I think it's at least 50% likely I would not have. I think there is a good chance I would have started studying to be a professional author. Of course, I admit that I could very well have ended up your typical starving artist with two degrees and a job and Barnes and Noble.

So I can't say I am really unhappy with how things turned out. The life I lead certainly allows me resources to devote to the hobby I love. I am very happy with pretty much every aspect of my life. I am also not sure that the person I was back then would have had the people and business acumen necessary to make it as a professional writer.

But every now and again I see something that makes me feel acutely like I am glancing at a mirror me. I see the threads that connect me to the person I might have been.

Today George R R Martin posted in his blog about Worldcon:
http://grrm.livejournal.com/98001.html

One of the people he mentions, John Kessel, was my professor for the fiction class I took a NC State. (I got an A.) He runs their MFA in creative writing, which is the degree mirror me probably got instead of an MBA.

Hope you're doing well out there, mirror me.

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Date:2009-07-02 22:33
Subject:Transformers. Ugh.
Security:Public

I really loved the first transformers movie. I went in with rather low expectations, and walked out thinking it was probably the best movie I saw that year.

So I really had such high hopes for the new one. I hated it in so many ways, it is not even worth my time to enumerate them. Summary: while some of the things I hated are due to my familiarity with the original source, many are not. Top of the list: pointless dumb/sexual/bodily humor/ not-so-witty-remarks

I know some of you liked it, you are entitled to your opinions. They won't change mine.

How can the same creative team get the first one so right, and the second one so wrong?

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Date:2009-06-29 12:27
Subject:Hello!
Security:Public

Not a lot to say really, but I realized it had been a month since I posted, and I probably ought to say something. I check my friends page every day because I love keeping up with all of you, but frankly there is just not a lot interesting going on here right now.

I've been very pleased with my Dark Heresy game lately. Very energized around that again.

Diet is going well. 37 pounds gone.

And I can't wait for this weekend when I take a little time off around the 4'th. I really need a vacation, work has been stressful lately.

Hopefully next post I will talk a bit more about my recent experiments in MMO'ing.

Lastly- there are a couple names on my "friend of" list that I don't recognize. Glancing at the journals, you all seem to have interests similar to mine. If you have friended me from some strange connection and would like to be friended in turn, feel free to post and introduce yourself.

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Date:2009-05-24 07:29
Subject:I'm not dead
Security:Public
Mood: cheerful

Hi all.

Sorry it has been a while. Work has just been very busy. I am still really happy. I love my job, I've lost 30 pounds since I started my diet this year, and Greg and I are on vacation in a BEAUTIFUL mountain cabin this weekend. Been playing a little World of Warcraft again.

The Details:

Job front- I'm doing some very fun, challenging work, but it is very taxing. Everyone is constantly telling me what a great job I am doing. Feel very secure in my employment, which in these times is a wonderful thing. Still (usually) getting to work from home 2 days a week. But the down side is that we have one of me, and we need 4. As in, we have had job reqs open for months to hire 3 more of me. So while my boss (who I adore) understands that I can't possibly do the overhead work we have for 4 people, there is 4 people's worth that both she and I know really needs doing and I'm struggling to keep up with just the parts that can't wait. The last couple weeks have been particularly INSANE, because we're finally getting some good candidates for those open reqs. But I am in charge of the phone screening, which means having to do that, and then face to faces (no working from home) on top of everything else.

Life in general: Greg and I blissfully happy. We talk about it all the time. How lucky we are to have the life we do in these trying times. We will be doing our long term financial planning (read: retirement) today, but I ran some initial numbers and we're in great shape.

Yes, I've lost 30 pounds. I am pleased with it, but there is another 40 to go. Still I bought and wore a bikini for the hot tub here in the cabin, so we have progress. There are certainly times where I wish I could have other foods, and times when I loathe exercising (or even times like last week where I just couldn't make it happen), but in general I am finding the lifestyle changes pretty easy for the scope of what I'm doing. And I feel confident that once the initial restrictions on what I can eat have been eased (once the weight is off and I'm just maintaining) it's going to be fine.

This cabin is amazing!! We're up in the North Georgia mountains, only a couple hours from our home. Gorgeous, spacious (sleeps way more people than just us), has internet and an outdoor hot tub, plus a giant bath tub. We're just hiding out up here over the long weekend, and I'm enjoying recovering from the very stressful work week. I should have brought the camera to take photos. Next time I will.

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Date:2009-04-12 02:22
Subject:Pictures
Security:Public

Well, I spoke too soon about sleep schedule. I am so far from anything resembling US Time. >< (Or Japan time..)

Anyway, I have our Japan pictures uploaded here:

http://east-horizon.net/travelgallery/gallery.php

Doing this made me realize 2 things:

1) I never uploaded the pictures from our Honeymoon in Rome. I need to remedy that.

2) I need to create some master index of my travel pictures. They are scattered all over my websites because some galleries I haven't wanted to share with some audiences (read: professional contacts). But it makes it hard for even me to keep track.

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Date:2009-04-08 05:23
Subject:Oh thank god finally
Security:Public

FINALLY. After five days of living in the twilight zone, I am finally (I hope) back on something approximating US time. I went to sleep at 8:30 and woke up at 5. Close enough. It beats waking up in the middle of the night and staying awake for 5 hours like I have pretty much have since my return.

Now I just have to quit missing Japan! :-)

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Date:2009-03-29 07:21
Subject:A few pictures
Security:Public

Just a few pictures while we have internet. I wasn't going to take many pictures since I've been here so much, but Greg's parents have asked we take some. Plus, the first time I was in Japan, I didn't take any pictures, and that was the only time I was here for the sakura.

So just sampling. Bigger images will be available in the final gallery.



The view from our window at the ryokan in Kyoto




As I mentioned in my last post, the sakura aren't really in bloom yet, but everything is still in motion to get the hanami (sakura viewing) festivals up and running. Here's a shot of what a japanese festival looks like.




However, the shidare sakura (weeping sakura) trees bloom a bit earlier. And there are a few places where you can see them nearly full. I'm so glad. While looking for a lunch spot, we ran into this BEAUTIFUL little street near gion where shidare sakura were lining a canal in front of several traditional storefronts. Simply beautiful.



I also realized as I was digging through my websites, that I don't think I ever uploaded our honeymoon pictures... I will need to remedy that.

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Date:2009-03-27 05:47
Subject:Kyoto
Security:Public

Greg and I arrived in Kyoto yesterday.

This is my fourth (or is it fifth?) time here, so I've seen a lot of what there is to do by this point. But we're trying a new place I've never stayed, and I have to say- I don't think I'll ever stay anywhere else ever again in Kyoto. The place we're staying is called the Three Sister's Inn. It's a traditional structure, but it has modern amenities like private bathrooms in every room and even wifi! The staff are super friendly and it is in a fantastic location. It's literally around the corner from one of my favorite shrines, and there are lots of shops and restaurants nearby, as well as several bus lines.

Greg seems to really like the city, it's much more his speed and style than the modern press of Kyoto. Some cold weather has set the sakura trees back, which is disappointing. There are some trees starting to bloom, but it's doubtful we'll see them in Kyoto in all their glory. It sounds like they should be close to bloom in Fuji and upon our return to Tokyo though, which may prompt some re-arranging of our trip.

I haven't actually taken any pictures yet, but I'll try to snap a few, including the ryokan today.

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Date:2009-03-25 08:19
Subject:We're here
Security:Public

Not a perfect night's sleep last night, but much better than my first night in Rome. Plans to manage sleep on the plane seemed to have worked reasonably well. I feel very lively this fine Japan morning.

Anyway, off to enjoy Japan now!

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Date:2009-03-22 10:20
Subject:Waiting
Security:Public

In 24 hours I'll be on my way to Japan!

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