emsk: (Hex cucumber)

Because it needs to be captured off Facebook and available for posterity.

We’re dealing with a complex issue at work. It turns out probably not to be our ISP’s fault, but I started there as it appeared to be a bizarre network issue.

I am colossally unimpressed with the ‘technician’ that it was my ill fortune to get on the phone some hour+ ago – sufficiently so that I am actually complaining to our rep at Vendor about the fact that they are a colossal waste of space.
I am rather pleased with the last paragraph in my complaint email.
“I’d appreciate it if you could pull the call logs (or arrange for a supervisor to do the same, etc), so that this ‘engineer’ can perhaps have some training in active listening and customer service skills.”

Seriously, two days later I’m still proud of that line. I maintained my calm (verbally while ON the phone) about this muppet, and my complaint only requested some training, not any disciplinary action. I am SO PROUD of myself.
Comments, liveblogged from the call:

HE JUST CALLED ME MISS
I AM FUCKING 31 YEARS OLD
ohh, he’s working with a /colleague/
to make sure he sets up the packet trace correctly
I mean, I only know how to do them with Wireshark, and it’s a bit different inside other networking equipment but OMFG IT’S HIS ACTUAL JOB LIKE HIS ACTUAL. JOB.

He doesn’t know what srv DNS records are!! Hooray!!
THEY ARE BASIC INTERNET KNOWLEDGE AS A TECH
I just heard a Skype noise or possibly viber noise in the background.

AFTER EXPLAINING IN STUPIDLY CRUCIAL DETAIL OF HOW LYNC NEGOTIATES CONVERSATIONS OVER WHICH PORTS HE GETS IT. “But I don’t see that traffic in the trace?” YES EXACTLY THAT IS WHY I AM ON THE TELEPHONE WITH YOU

I’ve dealt with amazing engineers here before. It’s not their fault they work at Vendor, after all, and I try not to hassle them about it. They know their shit, they talk to me as though I am a fellow professional, and they get it done.
This guy though. This guy. Oh my god this guy. And come to think of it I couldn’t do this guy’s job – which is, you know, why we pay Vendor to do it for us. GUUUHHHH

AHAHHAAAAA I texted my mother to whinge.
“You may not love gardening but you sure know how to shovel ….!!! You make me proud. Mum.” N’awwww Mum.

He just apologised for taking too long & asking moderately stupid questions. MODERATELY STUPID WHAT THE FUCK

Around this time I apparently became overtired and thus somewhat silly.

(8:13pm) still not king.
2:39:15 on call, 8:28pm. Still not king.
3:00:00 on call. 8:50pm. Call automatically hung up.
My hair is the prettiest.
I kind of need to pee.
3:17 on phone. Still not king.

So that was Monday.
Across Tuesday, I basically failed to get any third parties to provide external assistance, logged calls with Microsoft Premier support, etc.

Anyway, after a LOT OF WORK with Vendor and Microsoft and some beating of my head against my desk, we’ve narrowed down the issue, and it’s horrific and snarly and DNS related and I can’t even HOW DID THIS BREAK IN THE FIRST PLACE WHAT IS GOING ON.

The email I sent my coworkers about it this evening was long & complex enough that I gave up & wrote an executive summary at the top.

I love my job, I really mostly do, and problems like this are amazing to deal with – you learn SO MUCH. In fact I had that conversation with a colleague who’s had some 50-odd years at Employer – he was very nicely correcting me on a technical point, and I cheerfully responded with a “great, thank you for pointing that out, please correct it when you escalate to OtherVendor!” He went quiet for a moment, so I pointed out that I don’t mind being told I’m wrong, because that means I LEARN A NEW THING, and new things are GREAT, more new things please! That also means less wrong things next time!! Win!!!!

I was overall correct, it was a technicality that needed to be corrected. Important, but not so important as to break my overall points of where the overall gnarly problem is happening. So, you know, my ego wasn’t bruised while I was being corrected, which probably helped.

I have returned home, eaten ALL OF THE PIZZA and drunken ALL OF THE CIDER, seen my bosses’ email where he asks for a dumbed down explanation in the morning, realised I’ve drowned myself in so much technical detail of things I only JUUUST grasp that I haven’t actually managed to swim to the surface yet, failed somewhat in acronyms while wishing the lovely housemate a happy birthday, and it is probably bedtime. Yes? Yes.

Originally published at kiwi geek. You can comment here or there.

emsk: (Default)

Today, I got so happily engrossed in work that I nearly missed my lunchtime leg&eyebrow-wax appointment. I got there about three minutes late, and realised on the way back to work that wearing tight jeans, in midsummer, on the day you get your legs waxed, is a really stupid idea! It was hot and my pores are complaining and my jeans stuck to my legs for the rest of the afternoon. I had a cold bath when I got home to give my poor legs a chance to cool down.


I got complimented on my makeup, which is funny for the following reason: I couldn’t get last night’s eyeliner OFF, so I cut my losses, tidied it up and put some eyeshadow on before I left for work. (Also, I love the Urban Decay palette that I acquired over Xmas, it’s fantastic.)


I went to a bar with workmates to farewell a workmate who’s disappearing to Australia, called my mum while I walked to the bus stop; I am now happily ensconced in the snug with Tigra, a Coke, and my husband has been sent out to acquire dinner.


It’s been a pretty good day.


I’ve started teaching zouk now. I am thrilled by this. See, the social nights I go to at a local bar start with a free beginner class. November-ish last year, I turned up early (ie, in time for the actual class – for hopefully obvious reasons I had been skipping it). The teacher was on his own, so I dived in to help. After that, he asked me to keep teaching with him, and hello YES PLEASE. I love teaching anyway, I love zouk, and this way I can give a little back to the hobby that’s given me so much. It’s basic basic beginner’s stuff, which I can do in my sleep, and I’m thoroughly enjoying teaching.


I suspect that there is another advantage to someone like me teaching. I am not intimidating – I am overweight, I am going to turn thirty this year, I am approachable for most of the women who show up for the first time. (Opposed to the slim twenty year old blonde stereotypical dancer.) I do have gorgeous hair, even if I say so myself.


So, people show up, they laugh at my jokes (all stolen from other dance teachers), they learn the steps, they go “you make it look so eaaaasy” at me, I generally feel good about myself.


As well as Cyclenut’s mum, who puts in regular appearances at the bar – did I mention that Cyclenut’s mum started turning up? She did, and I felt a bit awkward at first and then I got over it – I ran into a manager from my previous job. I got along well with him when I worked there, and we chit-chatted quite a bit last night (which was his first lesson). I even got a hug when he left!


I got some compliments on the class, which is always nice, and more importantly, several people cheerfully told me they’re coming back next week.


It’s been a pretty good week, actually.




emsk: (Default)

It’s been an interesting year. I spent the last couple of hours of it curled up in the snug, with Tigra and wine, with the other cats periodically checking in to make sure I wasn’t scared of the fireworks. Not a bad way to see in the new year.


I’ve gone for four or five work trips – training users on software, rolling Windows 7, assorted other bits and pieces. I’ve changed roles internally, and moved into a department I’ve wanted to be in ever since I started at this company. So far it’s going well.


I’ve danced, joined a performance group, entered Nationals, gone out socially, started teaching. I am proud of my dance achievements this year.


Operation 2012: Clean/Organise/Tidy All The Things has continued. We’re still not great at keeping the kitchen immaculate, but we’re a lot faster at returning order to the chaos (as the underlying mess isn’t present now). The spare rooms are usable, the garage is mostly free of crap, the usual dumping grounds for junk have remained fairly junk free. It’ll take time, but we’re on the right track.


I haven’t mentioned much of it online – some things just don’t belong on the Internet – but Tobermory’s had ongoing health issues, which created work issues, which he’s dealt with like a champ. It’s a work in progress, but I am damned proud of what he’s achieved personally this year. And I am proud of the way we have worked together as a couple. It’s been hard yards, but we can both be proud of the outcome.


It’s been a complete shit of a year on occasions, and there have been amazing highlights too. I’d like 2013 to be a bit less dramatic; but on balance I’m proud of my 2012. That’s a pretty good way to exit the year.




Originally published at spinneretta

emsk: (Default)

Unsurprisingly, there’s a learning curve in my new role. I’m a month in; I think I have the basics under my belt, and I wnat new stuff.


So, I emailed the boss last night, asking for feedback generally speaking, plus “what’s next?” His reply was absolute gold, and also serves to highlight why I love him as a boss.

The list of available options looks something like this:

• Maintenance tasks. These are the jobs that get pushed to the back of the queue and forgotten about, but then things go bang because of it.

• Find something that isn’t good and make it better.

• Other stuff


I remain unsure as to what I’ll be doing tomorrow, but chances are that I’ll be enjoying it.




emsk: (Default)

I love my new role. I love not being on helpdesk. I love that my coworkers are keen to help me, particularly when I want to be shown how to do something tedious/menial that they don’t have to do any more because I’m the new body.


I love the challenge, I love having new things to do and learn. I love having new responsibilities, new rights on the network.


I love that when the Helpdesk collapsed this morning, I could restart the server, deal with a client issue (referred to the vendor), resolve said client issue with vendor support, and also help the team by taking on a little of their workload (three people absent, plus the manager, equals a shitty shitty morning for Helpdesk).


I love that I could do that as well as my own actual workload.


I love being able to sit at my desk and work through a problem without interruptions. I love being able to actually employ all of my attention span. I love being able to noodle with a problem until the answer actually appears on the internet.


I love how my boss will tell me how to find answers, instead of telling me the answers. He wants me to learn, so that I’m a useful team member not a script-reproducing monkey. I love how my colleagues recognise my existing skillset, and use it, while helping me build upon it.


Right now, I am happy in my job. It is a damned good feeling.




Continuing

Jun. 22nd, 2012 09:01 am
emsk: (Default)

Now that I have the full story on my grandmother, I do feel kind of guilty. It’s not likely that she’ll live past the weekend. Internal bleeding that they can’t find, and thus can’t stop, despite xrays and internal probes and goodness knows what. She’s also a chronic asthmatic and struggling to breathe – which doesn’t help, given the low blood count.


It’s not looking good.


We will probably visit her on Sunday. Apart from anything else, I think my mother would feel better if we did.


I’m actually having a good week, that aside.


At work, the Ops Manager is going on maternity leave. When she announced her pregnancy, I said that I’d be interested in taking advantage of any opportunities that fell out of the reshuffle tree.


It’s ended up going like this – Ops Manager going on maternity leave, Project Manager will move into Ops, one of the server team is moving into Project… and yours truly is moving into the server team. The lead of that team actually requested that I move, I didn’t have to apply or anything.


It’s only for a year, but a year is a long time, you know? The worst-case scenario is basically that the Ops Manager wants to come back part-time, everyone else gets asked to move back down the chain – and I have a year’s experience in server admin to take to another employer. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they’ll push me back down the chain having once promoted me – this is a good employer! But if the worst case is basically that I have good experience to take to another job, I can’t particularly lose.


Dance is going well. At the end of the beginner’s salsa class yesterday (I was waiting for the next class, improvers, to start) my teacher was advertising some zouk workshops they’re running in a couple weeks. Of course, there was promptly the chorus of “What’s zouk?” And he asked me to do a demo with him for the class. Ego: boosted!




emsk: (Default)

I feel like a mass of contradictions, sometimes. I want to work in IT, but I also like being a homebody who cooks and sews. I want to be a dancer, but I love food, cooking and eating. I like being strong, and being independent, and I want to be at home with my husband, under his protection.




I would like to own a cafe someday. There is a quote from Pratchett that is pretty much the sort of place I’d like to own.

There were plenty of hot-chair eating places like the one Vimes headed for now. It sold plain food for plain men. There wasn’t a menu. You ate what was put in front of you, you ate it quick, and you were glad to get it. If you didn’t like it, there were plenty who did. The dishes had names like Slumgullet, Boiled Eels, Lob Scouse, Wet Nellies, Slumpie and Treacle Billy — good, solid stuff that stuck to the ribs and made it hard to get up out of the seat. They generally had a lot of turnip in, even if they weren’t supposed to.


I’m good at tasty / bulk meals like this, and I’d love a little hole-in-the-wall cafe with bar stools and high benches, a different meal, or maybe two at most, each day. It would have bread rolls and nice solid stoneware dishes and be wildly popular, and a little bit quirky. I would sell jam and sauces and maybe cookies and things to take away for dessert.




Funny thing happened at dance a few weeks ago. In salsa, I spend a lot of time in salsa chanting “1,2,3…5,6,7…” to myself. I’m a musician at heart, so I don’t generally struggle to keep time – I understand what the music is doing. Still, counting under my breath helps me remember what I’m doing right now, especially when learning a new move.

Practicing with a classmate the other week, we were going great guns. After a few double-speed turns, I was running out of breath and gave up the chant, in favour of counting in my head. Suddenly the whole thing fell apart, he lost time, I couldn’t figure out what he was doing, flailwaughstop.

“What happened there?”

“You stopped counting! I was lipreading!”

“I was out of breath, dude! You could… count for yourself?”

“I… I never thought of that.”




Periodically, the company gets reminders from the finance department. It’s X time of year, please remember to do Y, that sort of thing. Usually they’re form emails.

Late last year, someone cocked up. Instead of the usual “dear everyone, please do X, regards, Finance”, we received a little missive from a gentleman to his ladyfriend. He was looking forward to their anniversary, and wished her a very sexy time over the weekend. There were no names, for which we were all thankful.


I’m in the IT department. We all know who was responsible. As such, one of the admins periodically takes delight in asking the author what cost code he should charge sexytimes to…




emsk: (Default)

I’m out of town this week – work. As such, Murphy, who is a cruel bastard, has ensured one of my boys is sick. Not Tobermory this time, but Boomer. Poor little bugger has been in a fight, or walked on something, and has an infected, leaky, foot. And yes, he’s been to the vet. Poor wee sausage.


I’m out of town as part of the deployment of a big project at work. The project manager is a wonderful woman, I think I want to be her when I grow up. Today, after the training sessions that I’m there to run, she (out of the blue!!) said “let’s go swimming!”


What the hell, right, why not. So we went to buy her a pair of togs – I’m an over prepared freak and bought mine with me – and bought towels.


Although I haven’t swum for five years – in fact it might be closer to six – I haven’t lost it. I wasn’t breaking speed records or anything, but I did a very creditable set of laps. I lost count somewhere after 20, and as it was a 33 meter pool, I’ve swum at least 600m. I doubt I hit the full kilometer, but I am, I feel justifiably, proud of myself.




Originally published at spinneretta

Minutiae

Aug. 31st, 2011 12:30 pm
emsk: (Default)

The soundtrack in our home at the moment is the Lurgy Duet; featuring my husband on sinuses, myself on lungs, with special appearance from Ms Candy C Cat singing the Whine Aria.


We bought our tickets for the trip to the UK this December. Hooray, white Christmas?


I still can’t find a home for Candy.


I had a surprise work trip last week.


I’ve nearly finished my current salsa class. Other than some moments of despair to the effect of I’LL NEVER LEARN TO DO DOUBLE SPEED TURNS, it’s going OK. I can’t decide whether to do the next salsa course, pick up zouk at another studio and do salsa on another day (casually), do bachata on a Friday at yet another studio… I have a week to make up my mind.


I went to the first class of a performance routine. I backed out when I realised there were two lifts involved – I’m not about to ask anyone to hold my weight. Dance with, yes, dip and drop and turn, yes, hold entirely? no. I still bought a pair of new dance shoes, and will be selling the ones I’ve had since last year and wore once before I decided they’re intolerably uncomfortable.


I went to Cirque du Soleil by myself, as T had a headache. Poor man. Mum commented that, since I started dancing, I’ve gained confidence. She’s right, too. I don’t mind doing things alone, and I’ve started trying to make friends. With some success, I have a semi-regular dinner arrangement before dance with one of the women in my glass. She’s lovely, and I’m enjoying it.


T’s busy at work. It’s stressful in the right kind of way – he enjoys what he’s doing, and with the inevitable exception (there’s always one), likes his colleagues. It’s nice to have him happy with his work.


Everything changes, everything stays the same.




emsk: (Default)

To have work email on a phone, you must download and use a smartphone app called, for the purposes of this conversation, PITA. To set up the app, you require a PIN, generated by me (usually) via the PITA management application. So far so good.


Previously that was all that was required; just the one-time set up, which was in itself a mission (you can imagine not all managers should be given smartphones and told to download apps from the Android market place or iTunes store, right?)


However, this morning, they activated a new policy, with NO warning to users, and NO warning to support staff. This policy means that all users must set up a password for the PITA app on their phones. Minimum four characters, no other requirements.


This password is not linked in any fashion to any other system we use (eg, not synced to AD) and does not, at present, expire.


After 1 hour of inactivity on the phone, you must re-enter this password, if you want to see your email.


You want to know the really awesome thing?


Me, G, and Teamlead have access to the PITA console. Plus the responsible server admin. We cannot reset these passwords. In theory, if they enter the wrong password 10 times, it’ll lock them out and we can then reset.


In practice, this has not actually worked, yet, and in fact the one user we’ve tried it with, completely disabled his PITA account. I’ve had to re-set him up entirely, which requires removing the app from the iPhone, re-downloading from the App Store (requires knowing his iTunes account password), and re-setting up from scratch. With the relevant phone data use charges.


Can you imagine the shitstorm this has generated for us this morning?




emsk: (Default)

I’ve managed, as usual, to amuse my colleagues. Boss was complaining that she had holes in her jacket pockets, and as (upon inspection) it was just the seam in the lining that’d gone, I offered to repair it. Apparently I’m weird for having needle, thread, and scissors in my desk drawers! Boss is cheerful – no more rummaging around in the lining of her jacket for missing spare change…


The trait of having STUFF in my desk drawers – needle, thread, buttons, ibuprofen, bandaids, scissors, food, tea, misc – amused folks at my previous job too. The 19 year old, who had just (most gratefully) borrowed needle and thread to sew his trouser button back on, had a rummage in there once.


“Jeez, Mahal, what else have you got in there? A portal to Narnia?”




emsk: (Default)

I’m away for work next week, being a rotating technician until we eventually hire someone in said remote location.


Convo via email:

Head of server team: when you’re onsite next week can you test $large stack of equipment that’s been rescued from another site? (does it power up? – does it sound OK?, that sort of stuff….)

Me: No problem, I’m staying in the $hotel anyway, so I’ll do it Monday.

Him: Cool – cheers for that. Hopefully this work will save us $50,000 (what the stack of kit is worth)

Me: Note to self: don’t drop anything.


Sent the last, and heard laughter out from his desk. I’ve been informed if I drop it I’m being fired…




emsk: (Default)

I was in the dunny at work yesterday – not my usual office, I was helping out at another site – and heard someone fly in to pay homage to the porcelain gods. I felt quite sorry for her – retching interpersed with “oh, god, argh” type noises.


An older lady offered sympathy and help, but whoever it was (I never saw her) was quite insistent that She Was OK, Thank You (now please go away).


I flushed, went to wash my hands, and had a thought.


“Should I offer congratulations instead of sympathy?”

“… yes.”

“Morning-afternoon-all-day sickness?”

“YES and it SUCKS. Um, do I know you?”

“Probably not! I’m just here for the day. I have an unopened water bottle. Would it help?”

“Not really. But thank you…”




Originally published at spinneretta.com
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emsk: (Default)

In a five story building, this is the only floor with vending machines. (The IT department, sundry meeting rooms, the EXCELLENT coffee makers, vending machines, etc etc.)


A chap who I recognise but couldn’t put a name to just marched into our area and gained our attention via the simple expedient of waving a $10 bill.


“Can someone please, please, arrange to exchange this for me? I really desperately need some chocolate.”


Never being one to stand between a man and his chocolate, I obliged with a $5 and sundry coins.


“Excellent service I get at this helpdesk! I’ll come again.”




Originally published at spinneretta.com
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emsk: (Default)

Mum rang me this morning. My paternal grandmother’s had a bad fall. Nothing terribly unusual for someone of her age, sadly (she’s into her 80′s). She lives in a downstairs apartment of my aunt and uncle’s home. They were out of town and it looks like she decided to go upstairs, fell down the staircase. A family friend happened to call around, realised the dogs barking was completely out of character, and broke in through a back window. Poor Nana. She hasn’t broken anything, thankfully, but she’s badly bruised, and having heart issues.


I’m about to head out of town for a week. Our tech down in Christchurch needs a break from the earthquake zone, so the rest of us are being rotated down occasionally to cover him. This week is my turn. Tobermory and I have realised as a result that we haven’t actually been apart for that long in the four and a half years we’ve been together. The odd weekend here and there when the other person’s taken a trip somewhere, but not a whole week.


He’ll probably enjoy having the bed to himself.


The only thing I really object to about the trip, silly enough, is that it means I’ll miss a zouk lesson. I’m really enjoying my zouk classes, and I don’t want to skip one!




Originally published at spinneretta.com
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emsk: (Default)

I’ve spoken to one of the older chaps at work a fair few times lately. He’s a lovely chap, one of the real Old Guard who still hang around in the workplace; doing the job they’ve done for the last forty years, where they started out with pencil and paper and now try to get to grips with computers. He wandered down to the IT area last night, introduced himself, trying to catch me before I disappeared for the night. He stuck out a hand, so as you do, I returned mine to be shaken.


Instead of a handshake, my hand was kissed! I haven’t run into that old-fashioned sort of courtliness in years.


It was sweet. He’s a nice chap.




Originally published at spinneretta.com
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emsk: (Default)

Policy: Skype banned on Company machines.

User: departs for overseas for two weeks. Tomorrow.

Time: 5:21pm. Friday.


User: “I want you to install Skype.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t do that – policy prevents me from installing Skype on Company machines.”

User: “You won’t install it? Fine. I want local admin rights.”

Me: “So you can install it yourself? No.”

A dialogue in which I politely explain the policy for acquiring admin rights follows, in which I explain that it requires management approval at his side and mine. Along with a good business reason for the use of admin rights.

User: “What, family reason isn’t good enough? Company are sending me overseas for TWO WEEKS and YOU say I cannot talk to my wife and children??”

I explain that I do understand his position, but regardless of my personal opinions, I am required to apply company policy unless management explicitly allow an exception.

He hangs up in a hump.




Originally published at spinneretta.com
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emsk: (Default)

I rang my boss this morning, Kiwi time (it’s 9pm in Britain).


I’ve formally accepted an offer of employment from someone else; so I’ve handed in my resignation. I fly home, work for my soon-to-be-ex-employer for a few weeks, and then I’m off to something new.


It’s been an interesting process, actually. A couple of weeks before we flew out, a recruiter contacted me; the company in question were SO KEEN on me that they asked if I would be willing to interview via Skype whilst in the UK.


Under the circumstances, I felt quite free to be entirely honest about my own abilities, to insist on a few things (like a seven-week notice period, so that I could finish my holiday in peace and spend some time tying up loose ends); the confidence of already having a job seems to have paid off, because I’ve ended up with a fairly significant pay rise, no more shift work, and a few other things.


A technical interview over webcam was an experience that I found amusing. I don’t know that I’d want to do it again, but it was most definitely entertaining.


I’m actually quite sad. I’ve really enjoyed this job; mostly I’ve had good experiences, my colleagues have usually been good, and the management has been good all along.


So. Moving into a new job is going to be really weird; I’ve been with my current company three years, and I’m comfortable there. Well, obviously not so comfortable that I wasn’t happy to accept a new job, but…


Wibble? Yay?




Originally published at spinneretta.com
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emsk: (Default)
Work is ... work. I am job hunting more aggressively now; my target is to try and find three jobs I can apply for in a week. This isn't entirely feasible, as there aren't many jobs out there that cater to my particular skillset (or, y'know, the areas around my skillset). But I'm trying.

Mostly I get "thank you for your application but.." letters. I expected that. And as I do actually have a job, I'm not overly concerned.

I took an escalation today, from WhinyGirl. I was really proud of how I handled it; everyone in earshot complimented me, in fact. I was so pleased with myself!

Ten minutes later, the guy emailed service desk to thank us for our patience with his grouchiness. I mean, it was nice that he admitted he was being a bit of an arse, but ... it also slightly deflated my buzz over my Cool Calm Call Handling.

I have a glass of red wine (Wyndham Estate Bin 444 Cabernet Sauvignon), basil pesto (with cashews and parmesan), red leicester, smoked applewood cheddar, whisky cheddar, and a bread roll for dinner.

And two cuddly cats, who mostly want the cheese, rather than any particular evidence of affection; they are also aware that it is T-30 to dinnertime, and are hanging about somewhat pointedly with that in mind.

Originally published at Spinneretta.
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emsk: (Default)
I'm certainly not above being a memesheep here - and, really, the last ten years have been full of changes. As you'd expect when you transition from your teens to your twenties, I suppose.

2000
Finished high school. Spent a fairly miserable year as all my school friends were no longer at school (either being a year ahead or having chosen not to do seventh form). Graduated high school with pretty damn good grades, all things considered. Started going out with Cyclenut.

2001
First year of university, studying business. Mum had surgery to remove an ovary. Stressed out about money. Survived.

2002
Made the decision to switch into computing, having realised that I'd stab someone with a letter opener if I stayed in accounting. Started teaching computing.

2003
First year of the computing degree. It was a good choice! Was mostly miserable in my home town, had no local friends (although there were one or two people who I periodically went to movies and such with, they tended to be less than wonderful). Lived for the chances I got to leave and visit Cyclenut, mostly.

2004
Uni uni uni, work work work. Started making Internetfriends, beginning with Colitis I think. Started cycling and swimming, and running more seriously. Originally mostly due to Cyclenut's influence, I enjoyed it. Eventually ended up swimming with a tri training squad, although that may have been in 2005 now I think about it. Started working at my first helldesk role. I enjoyed that job.

2005
One of my worst years, and yet I achieved a hell of a lot. Got Internet access at the maternal abode for the first time. The final project at uni, which was a horrible series of ups and downs and disappointments. I eventually passed, though. Spent my final semester getting burned out and doing too much. Miserable in my home town, was officially Nellie No Friends. Cyclenut and I parted ways. Met Internet friends in real life. Finally sucked it up, went to GP, diagnosed with depression. Did a Special K triathlon. Met Tobermory. Graduated. Made decision to leave childhood faith while planning to leave home. Went out with my workmates for drinks. Went to the Christmas party. Spent time with friends in Auckland and Hamilton. Rhonda the Honda died, and I was obliged to rely on shanks pony or my bike for transport.

2006
Graduation ceremony, did the walk in the silly hats. Worked for the web-dev company, worked for EDS (worst. decision. ever.) Bought my first car. Moved to Auckland, on April Fool's day which I still think is hilarious. Officially left childhood faith. Tobermory moved to New Zealand. Purchased Spinneretta. Dyed my hair (went through a rainbow of atrocious colours, in fact). Purchased various stupidly cheap appliances off Trademe until we could afford non-shitty ones. Had first birthday. The couch attempted to eat Reiver.

2007
Left EDS. Discovered how truly psychologically destructive that place was. Started working for my current workplace. Reconnected with Pstyken. Tobermory was hospitalised for the first time with stomach issues. Candycat moved in from the neighbour's place. Played World of Warcraft. Cooked a lot, had various work / money dramas with Tobermory's revolving contracts. Got continually sick with various lung-infection type bugs owing to shitty damp horrible flat. Survived.

2008
My beloved Sharkie-car died. Bought the Scoobaru and Buzby. Tobermory bought a house! Moved into said house. Lots of drama related to house buying and so on. Tobermory got residency! and much rejoicing was done. Moved into house, bought furniture and various necessaries. Spent several months wondering how the hell we'd survived in the tiny flat of hell. Unoffically promoted internally as trainer of new staff, etc. Parked Buzby under an SUV in an attempt to avoid another accident. HOUSE! Had our first Christmas and New Year's parties here.

2009
Made a lot of jam. Attempted cake decorating. We bought a lawnmower and I became the de facto lawnmower of the family. Met the Tobermory-parents for the first time. Was proposed to in front of said parents, burst into tears even though I more or less knew it was coming. Acquired the Tigra and Boomer cats from the SPCA. Thaqui moved in. Bought a piano. Promoted to team leader. Dramas with the Ford, leading to it's eventual return. Attempted gardening. Adjusted to having an entire house available instead of two very small rooms. Mum had dental surgery, during which the family suddenly realised that I was actually a grownup and capable of looking after my mother instead of the other way around.

It's funny how summing up the events doesn't really cover just how much I've changed from age sixteen to age twenty six. Still, here I am. And I'm happy.

Originally published at Spinneretta.
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