July 29th, 2011



Happy birthday to sophy!

Happy early birthday to cmpriest and mr_wombat, who advance a year over the weekend!

State of the 'Song
The hacking cough and postnasal drip continue, but I'm pretty much otherwise okay. Physically.

Emotionally... this is a difficult transition for me, and I'm piecing together a lot of why that is. That gets its own post eventually.

Sindrian Arts is a go!
100% funded! You can still back Sindrian Arts and get cool stuff through Sunday afternoon. But yeah. Funding. Yay. :)

I love the level of community involvement we have here; I came downstairs to two e-mails, a text message, and an IM squeeing about sindrian making his goal, and I know several people were obsessively hitting "reload" right along with me yesterday. This is a really cool project that speaks to people and that is awesome.

Good day
We woke up to that awesome news and celebrated at Friendly Toast. You guys. Um. Banana chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter between 'em plus bacon and fresh whipped cream. Gluten-free. This is absurd candy food that I would never get otherwise. I was giggling, half-appalled at the excess.

Then the hardware store, which had the stuff sindrian needed plus the kitchen scale I've had on my wishlist (gluten-free baking is by grams) and this awesome garlic chopper - a lot of the Joseph Joseph stuff tempted me, because OMG design geekery, but I decided that of all of the temptations, this was the one we'd use most often. Warning: if you do not like garlic, let us know before coming over for dinner. Because we really like garlic.

Then the yarn store, for dark green yarn for a baby blanket for sindrian's brother and sister-in-law (due in September) and a skein of Noro Taiyo Sock (in #5) for this scarf (for me unless Elayna steals it).

And now I am home.

She is having an awesome time at Explo - she's in pics #4 and #56 today, the first time she's been photographed this session. I told sindrian that I sometimes worry about her keeping to herself too much and not going out and making friends; I know she always does, but I still worry. So I was gratified to see that her hair was braided in the pics. Because she doesn't know how to braid hair, you see. Someone braided it for her. <3

I'm totally envious of her re: her weekend trips, too. Tomorrow's the Newport Folk Festival - if you see her, say hi! And Sunday is Cirque du Soleil. She's been a huge Cirque fangirl for years. :) I always wanted to take her to her first Cirque show - but alas, that is not to be!

sindrian has now seen what feats of chatelaining I can do on just a little bit of energy. Behold, everything is clean, and the yarn is organized by weight. Et cetera. Feels good to finally have a handle on the housekeeping.

Link Soup
* DIY portable fire box. I would like a that.
* I know someone like this. *ahem*
* The Limitations of Womanhood in Fantasy (and everywhere else, but for now, fantasy)

Daily Science
Memristors with a twist: Quasi-liquid soft matter foreshadows biocompatible electronics and flexible robots.

Friday Memeage!
Wearing: Schrodinger's cat is dead/Schrodinger's cat is not dead t-shirt, jeans.
Reading: The Calculus Diaries by Jennifer Ouellette.
Writing: Shayara and poetry.
Knitting I finished and blocked the Clothilde shawl! I have 15 more rows to go on the Lavalette shawl I'm knitting for my mother, and as always, I have a baby blanket on the needles.
Planning: Adam's mom arrives soon! We'll be eating at Tempo tonight and either Harvest or Evoo tomorrow - we'd planned for Harvest, but Adam's mom says someone had a bad meal there once, so she's pushing for Evoo. Thoughts, Boston foodies? I've never been to either.

No idea what we're doing other than eating. We shall see.

Katchoo - Terry Moore

reasons why

There are actually a bunch of reasons I left BARCC. Some aren't public yet because I'm still waiting for resolution on a few things. Some may not become public. Some of it I'm still figuring out.

The thing I've been most public about is that it was bad for my physical health - that I just purely didn't have enough spoons to maintain a five-day-a-week job with commute. And already my theories about that have proven out. I mean, having bronchitis was a bump in the road, certainly. But aside from when I was down hard with that, I've had a lot more energy, I've been sleeping better and more consistently - and aside from the worst days of the bronchitis, I have not required an afternoon nap at all. Which is huge. My available time and energy hasn't just doubled, it's maybe tripled. So that's awesome.

One of the things about the job that was always difficult for me: I have a specific skillset. I have things that I kick ass at, frankly. I'm really good at connecting to people face-to-face, and at the education and social change aspects of the work. I am not exaggerating when I say that I really do have special skill at that.

And the job wasn't that. It was admin and organization. Which I'm also very good at, mind. But a lot of people are very good at that. In the job, I wasn't getting to do the things I'm best at, which happen to be things that fewer people are good at, and that therefore I find a more valuable use of my time and energy. I've had people say "I can't believe they had you doing admin work!", and, well, that was the job I applied for. There was no bait and switch there. But the way the description was written and the way I thought it was presented to me implied a lot more community outreach and education, and the actual job was almost none of that. That's a thing I hope they correct in the job description.

The other thing that wasn't in the job description and didn't get stated in the interview? This is a receptionist position. What I was told was that the phone rings through the office and whoever can grab it first grabs it; the actual job = I was supposed to answer every time, and if I couldn't get it in three rings, it'd ring through the office.

Now, I hate telephones anyway. I really, really need to have body language and facial expressions in conversations. I'm awkward on the phone. I don't hear well in some ranges, I stutter, I'm slow to catch on to stuff, and I just don't do it well. Inability to communicate on the phone is maybe the price I pay for my Power of Social Justice Persuasion.

Also of note: When I applied to volunteer at BARCC, I considered medical advocacy and community awareness and prevention services (CAPS). I settled on CAPS because my body was still very unreliable at the time, and I couldn't commit to up to 8 hours in a hospital, but I could commit to doing a two-hour workshop. The one volunteer position I never considered? Hotline. Again, me and phones - this is a known thing. And I'm really good in in-person crisis situations, but I'm just all-around terrible on the phone.

Very frequently, people would call our office with what we called hotline-type calls. Either because they Googled and found the office number instead of the hotline number, or because they were existing clients, or whatever. Also, people would call the office to make counseling appointments, and often those would turn into hotline-type calls; we don't ask for details in the appointment-making process, but sometimes they pour out. And that's okay. Except that that left me shaking. You don't know the kind of calls we get, unless you've done RCC work. You just do not know. You cannot imagine. And I'm not going to tell you, because a) confidentiality and b) I don't want to give you nightmares. But suffice to say there was some horrifying stuff. I just - you are going to have to believe me on this. Secondary trauma. It's a thing.

I carry these things with me. I carry the stories home. The details are engraved in me.

This isn't a way to handle this. I was not handling this. I was coming home and collapsing.

That job requires someone of a different temperament. What they need in that job is the sort of person who'd choose to work the hotline, because that is part of what that job is. There are people who are amazing at hotline and who are able to hear, help, and put that story away and go about their day. I'm not one of them.

The usual hotline shift is eight hours a week. One eight-hour shift once a week.

I was on a 20-hour-a-week, 5-day-a-week hotline shift for a year and a half.

This was really, really bad for me.

I don't have a pithy conclusion to this post. Really, this particular realization came to me only Wednesday; there were so many work-related stressors that I wasn't seeing clearly anymore, and I'm just now sorting them out. But this was a big one.

I am tremendously grateful that Adam was so supportive about me leaving the job. If I hadn't known he'd be okay with it, if I hadn't felt safe in that, I would have kept pushing myself. And I was already breaking.