Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Every week, the same again
  1. The Wizard of H2O

  2. Record Snowfall Slams Las Vegas

  3. Profitable Until Deemed Illegal

  4. Aliens Cause Global Warming

  5. The ‘Amazon Tax’ and the ‘iTunes Tax,’ Compared

  6. ISO 4217

  7. A Piece of iMe: an interview with David Chalmers

  8. The Legend of Master Legend

  9. Every week, the same again (encore)


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Every week, the same again
  1. Happy 25th Birthday Apple 1984!

  2. Media, schmedia: The (very small) difference between Matt Drudge and Walter Winchell

  3. The Donnell Library Center: A Eulogy In Pictures

  4. Derinkuyu, the mysterious city subterranea of Turquia

  5. Hirst demands share of artist's £65 copies

  6. Jeff Koons

  7. Major Gallerist's Advice to His Staff:
    "I Suggest You Sell Some Art"

  8. Confusopolies

  9. Aliens Cause Global Warming

  10. Inhaling Fear

  11. Cry Me a River: The Psychology of Crying

  12. Finding Good News in Falling Prices

  13. Obama’s Outreach to Religious Right Somehow Not Sitting Well With Liberals

  14. A World Enslaved

  15. Revelations from the new science of cooking

  16. Did our cosmos exist before the big bang?

  17. Every day, the same again


Saturday, December 20, 2008

As seen on tnsw/d


Friday, December 19, 2008

A day in the life


All of which adds up to a much bigger pile of crap than the initial benefits of working here suggested.

Things I'll genuinely miss:
  • being able to wear jeans in to work

  • the proximity of the Chinese supermarket

  • the rare occasions when I got to work with the Art Director

  • music playing for all Studio to hear

  • Jenn Truong, a true delight to work with, and the only real reason I could justify staying on


Thursday, December 18, 2008


After more stress and time sorting out medical issues than I care to think on, it seems that I officially don't have to see my (horrid) endocrinologist any more. I am officially not currently leading a lifestyle which puts me at risk for Diabetes, a fact which means that my PCOS is under control (for the moment, at least), as well.

Something worth celebrating, certainly. Looks like I'm going to make a second attempt at getting shitfaced — to ring in the demise of another turbulent year — this New Years. Low-sugar-content booze it is.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Every week, the same again
  1. The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

  2. The hidden cost of our growing taste for meat

  3. Thieves Winning Online War, Maybe Even in Your Computer

  4. Inmate escapes German jail in box

  5. Man handcuffs his wife to the bed, loses key

  6. Two cases of compulsive swearing - in sign language

  7. Finally, the Scent of the City

  8. Why Wall Street Always Blows It

  9. America Is Not Declining

  10. Does the brain feature built-in noise?

  11. Ontario man builds real-life female android


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Post-game analysis

Monday's meeting was with a lady whose job includes making sure the Studio runs efficiently.

After buying me a "coffee" (actually, it was Perrier) and settling down in a nook in the nearby caferia, I kicked off the meeting by asking her what role she has within the company. After that, I proceeded to tell her my motivations for leaving the company by giving her a timeline of events — explaining that I was hired under 3 months probation, spoken to about 3 separate issues before probation, which were then raised again during my probationary review, despite CFB's comment about noticing my "improvement", resulting in an extension of my probation. I highlighted that I was denied two days of vacation, given one, and then denied further vacation recently, while working on a project which has required me to put in a great deal of time and effort to compensate for my contact's ineptitude.

So, when I was restated that I would have been with the company for 6 months by the time my requested vacation time would have ended, the lady I met with pre-empted my statement by saying I've had "no vacation", as I was stating that I've had "one day of vacation", due to it somehow being deemed wrong of me to have asked for two days.

The conversation then, upon her questions, delved into the professional atmosphere, including my opinion of the role with relation to what I feel I was hired to do, versus what I've actually done. She agreed with me that leaving based on the lack of actual creativity is probably the best choice for me.

We then began discussing the Studio environment at this company, versus the Studio environment in a typical Design shop, with me explaining that the atmosphere here is draconian in comparison with the average Studio environment. She seemed suitably concerned when I explained that a co-worker had slept in her car over lunch, which Jane not only knew about, but responded that it seemed like a good idea.

I think that overall, the meeting went well. I believe that a lot of the information I was presenting her with was unexpected, and I think she understood that I was trying to downplay my own feelings of being unappreciated as a worker, to accomplish something bigger; namely, making the environment genuinely better. She admitted to me freely that I'd giving her some things to think about, including a "concern about the amount of work going through the Studio".

So — while I'm more convinced now than ever that leaving was a good idea for me — I'm optimistic that conditions might actually improve for my current co-workers, and any poor sap who happens to fill this role after me.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's already been a Hell of a day

I'm starting this post at 1:45 pm on Tuesday, and I've gotten up, made the bed, put away the dishes, got dressed, tossed the turkey stock I made last night into the freezer, printed out all the copy that's currently on my professional website, began and finished editing said copy, gone to my doctor's, had my girly-parts invaded (she didn't even buy me dinner!), went in for bloodwork, grabbed a sandwich, came in to work, found that CFB is out of the office today (YAY!), started making changes to the Mega-Project I'm working on, and discovered and tentatively accepted the role that Big Pimp has for me for two months, starting the week after New Year's.

Highlights: my blood pressure's textbook normal, my weight hasn't much changed, but my doctor had to profess that I look leaner, and it's looking really likely that I won't have to see my endocrinologist after next week's appointment with her.

:) Also, CFB is away, and because I didn't mention it earlier, her come-uppance Cometh, And That Right Soon.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008


Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
- G. Bernard Shaw


Every week, the same again
  1. The Soviet Collapse

  2. By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept

  3. How to Fight

  4. For Luxury Brands, Less Money to Spend on Ads

  5. Saving Detroit: It's the Cars, Stupid

  6. Garbage Island

  7. The Painted Building


Dakota Version


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Things I'm still learning:

People who tell you, during a job interview, that they're not interested in having someone around who indulges in office politics, are probably eyeball-deep in office politics themselves and fear retaliation.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Round peg, square hole

Around 4:30pm yesterday, I walked into CFB's office and handed her an envelope. "So," I said, "that's my resignation letter. You have me for another 3 weeks." She calmly stated that this was not a surprise to her, then asked if I wanted to talk about it. I sat down and said, "It's not the work, it's just too tightly wound around here." CFB then proceeded to draw her own conclusions (or pretend that she was) about how the pace was what put me off, saying that I'd be exactly the sort of employee some place else would need, but maybe "not here." This was undoubtedly a conclusion she drew before I'd even made it to my first probationary review. I have no other explanation for how any manager would feel justified in dismissing an employee's request for vacation time, out of hand, under the blatantly false pretense that it's because no more than one Studio Artist can be out of the office at any time.

She scanned through my letter and feigned gratitude that I'd be around until Friday, December 19th. Truth be told, the project I'm working on right now is a nightmare and I'd pity anybody else who had to come into it mid-way, but I was sorely tempted to screw her over. My concern was that I'd actually being screwing over my current co-workers, who don't deserve that in the slightest. Of course, I don't believe they deserve the day-to-day worklife this place offers, either, but it's not my place to tell them.

It was all very civil, and I was relieved that I didn't tear her a new one right then and there. I have, however, responded to the President & CEO's invitation to discuss ways to improve workplace efficiency, by suggesting he hear me out about employee retention. I have an informal meeting with a member of the office staff on Thursday during which I intend to highlight the fact that the company might as well install a revolving door in the Studio, if they're going to insist on working employees so hard that:
  • designers are discouraged from working from home even if their partners are undergoing cancer treatment

  • making personal calls of any kind is discouraged

  • personal visits are discouraged

  • one is required to stare at the status indicator bar when saving a file, as opposed to doing anything "unproductive" like checking one's personal email or reading an article

  • designers are discouraged from taking a lunch break

  • one can have vacation time owed, but cannot actually use it

  • it's to be believed that calling in on one's day off is normal

  • having your manager watch over your shoulder while you work is also normal
I'm starting to get a sense of the utterly silly politics around the place, and while I'm glad that I won't have to put up with that bullshit any more, I only hope not to make the situation worse for my current co-workers.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Thank God almighty...
...free at last, again

Happy Resignation Day
It's about time!
Your bosses give you sass
So kick 'em in the ass
I said happy quittin' day to you
La la la la la la la

(Lyrics composed by the Cat)

More to follow...