Monthly Archives: June 2005

From the train trip

I am on the train right now (this was posted later when I was able to get to a connection). It reminds me of Europe. It is wet outside and only a little light. I think we are in Sacto and it is 6am. It feels grand.

I have been up since 1pm (I slept in). So, personal timewise, it is like staying up until 1am so far. I have an attitude of “it is the train, of course it is running behind, way behind.” That seems to be the way the train works these days and right now it isn’t bugging me. It is the journey. I have almost a week at my destination so, really, the time it takes to get there, as long as it is less than a day, doesn’t matter much.

I like the rainy feel. I like the cool air that is being piped into the rail cars. I like the darkened seats as people try to get a little sleep. All of this feels very much like home. I am surprised over and over how much my time in Belgium changed me.

Before I lived there (for just over a year), I liked the dry weather of Colorado. I liked the rain when it showed up, and the few times I saw fog were cool. After coming back from Europe, I wanted/needed the moisture, the overcast skys, the fog, the cool. The horizon-to-horizon cloudless skies bother me now. I haven’t been able to get enough rain. I need the green from lots of rain. I need the cool, moist air. It feels like home when it is like Belgium. I feel like I need to hide indoors when it is like Colorado. The snow is just something that is nice to visit like rain use to be many years ago. There is no homecoming to the concept of snow.

I like travel by train. I don’t like it when the train is stopped, but I love it when it is moving. I don’t even care if they have to move backwards while waiting, just keep the rocking, and swaying going. Give me the motion.

I lived in Pennsylvania from 1967-1972, then Colorado from 1072-1988. 1989 saw me in Belgium and in 1990, I was back in Colorado until 1996 when I moved to San Francisco. Since I grew up in Colorado and I spent the largest chunk of time there, I would think that is where I would feel like home. But I was born in Minnesota, was there for six months and then my parents moved to Paris, France. I was there for two years. My parents traveled everywhere when they could, timing the train rides to my naps. Maybe that is why European types of weather and the trains feel so comfortable to me. And my trip to Belgium just reacquainted me to all of it again.

I am going to be very sad to see rail service die off in America. I think it an option we need to leave open. And I am selfish, I want to have it around so I can travel and come home again and again.

Job update

It is update time.

I have finished my last day at my job. All over. See Ya! It didn’t seem real until HR handed me my final checks and said good luck.

I had a very nice send off. My group had lunch at Buca di Beppe, in the Pope’s room. It was nice to spend some time with these people I have spent years working with. And they gave me a wonderful going away present. A silver iPod mini. They each had a song on it so I have my own Work mix. It was very touching and it means a lot to me.

I am taking the next week off for a little R&R. Friends of mine in Redding tell me they are delighted to have me come visit and just hang out. I get to sleep as long as I want, wonder out and be around people. It is so refreshing and feels so good. I visited them for a few days in March and all I wanted to do when I got home was turn around and go back. So, here it is two months later and I am going back. We will see if they start to get sick of me over a week visit this time.

Right now, I am in a transition. It used to be I couldn’t stand to be in transition. I would start madly planning, basically grabbing a hold of some line from the other side of the transition and pull myself through it. This time, I am just letting it be, or at least trying to. Don’t know where I am going or what I am going to do.

At the beginning of next week, I will start looking again, hopefully sending out resumes, and contacting the temp agencies. I figure I will visit the agencies when I hit town again. So I am not completely without a plan or rudderless. I am just not going to worry about it right now. Right now is for me and getting myself repaired after all the damaged I took trying to make everything work. Recentering, realigning, recovering.

Studio Ghibili

I sent this out to everyone I had an email address for that I thought might be interested (so for many of you, this is a repeat) and then it occurred to me that I could post it to lJ for those that I don’t have email addresses for and who might not want their inbox stuffed.

Renwench sent me a link to an incredible opportunity. CAL Berkeley’s Film Archive has a fabulous program that is showing many of Studio Ghibili’s films in June. This is the Studio responsible for Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and Totoro. Many of their pictures have been the top grossing films in Japan (beating out Star Wars and Titanic) and Disney is distributing them in the US. This is an opportunity to see movies you have either never had a chance to see, only seen on video, never heard of, etc. It includes the new Miyazaki Howl’s Floating Castle (there showings the day before the official Disney release) as well as some classics like Grave of the Fireflies. Feel free to pass this on to anyone else that might be interested.

as work turns

I turned in my resignation a week ago. My last day is June 7th. And things are going great. It is really freaky. People I have only talked with on the phone about work stuff are coming to visit me and asking for my email address. My boss and I are doing wonderfully. I have had a chance to tell him the things I think he needs to work on in a positive helpful way and he took notes. I also found out what he has been doing to improve on stuff and I am proud of him. He still has a long way to go. He and I still think very differently and it would take a lot of communication all the time to make things work. After getting some things cleared up, I found myself wondering if I could retract my resignation. Then my brain kicked in that it is getting cleared up because I made a crisis by quiting and nothing is actually solved other than the stuff in play at this moment. Things will build up again and it will take a crisis to get resolution again. I can’t live that way. I refuse to live that way. So I am going out on a high note.

I stayed late last night doing some stuff of my own (copying floppy disks to the harddrive so I can burn the files) and a guy on the team next to me ran into problems. He had to get a RFP (request for proposal) out and it wasn’t happening. He was in a quandary and basically running in circles. I stepped in, fixing his files, starting giving a little direction, did some research via the internet and phone calls to find resources for him and we sent him off to the airport at 10pm last night. Found out this morning that it went through and everything was good. I am pleased. It was interesting to see how someone else handles an emergency. I know I am relatively good at troubleshooting and crisis management but I am also surrounded by many people that are good as well. It was interesting to be able to compare how I can handle things and how a “average” person could. I did really well and now I can understand how some people think I am great at it and why I am trusted. I just thought I was average.

This email got sent out by the head of the RFP department and the Client Relationship Officer in charge of the RFP (some of the big wigs were cc’ed on the first part at the bottom):
—–Original Message—–
From: B David BGI SF
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 11:55 AM
To: Palmer, Gina BGI SF
Cc: K David BGI SF
Subject: RE: maryland rfp

Thank you, Gina! I really appreciate your efforts.

—–Original Message—–
From: K, David BGI SF
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 2:39 PM
To: P Gina BGI SF; Copy Center BGI SF; R Pat BGI SF
Cc: F James BGI SF; H Owen BGI SF; B David BGI SF; S Matthew BGI SF
Subject: maryland rfp

Yesterday was a brutal day getting the Maryland rfp out, with a host of problems, some of which could have been avoided with better planning by Dave and myself, some not (such as a bug in one of the tables that caused the computers to crash every time we tried to create a pdf). I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who pulled together to get this out. Obviously, Pat Reese did a tremendous job getting this done and I appreciate David’s earlier email thanking him. I second that.

But I also wanted to express special gratitude to Gina Palmer, who stayed here late with Pat, helped him navigate computer issues, and offered a number of ideas that were extremely helpful to Pat.

I also wanted to thank Dave from the copy center who stayed late to help Pat get the document produced.

Again, thanks to all. Many people pulled together and went above and beyond. The good news is that we did get it out on time, and the final proposal is very strong. Dave Bruce’s work on it really improved it.

Dave, good luck with the proposal and let us know how it goes.

David K

Reading this email makes me glow. I am thinking I should keep a copy of it so into LJ it goes. I hung around to help (it is so not related to my job other than I have the skills to help) because Pat looked like he could use the help and there was nobody else on the floor for a resource. And I do it well. It was kind of fun.

Yeah, they should miss me when I am gone. But I did what I could and they made their bed. I am onto other and probably better things.

I am planning taking a week off and staying with friends for a little R&R which will hopefully help me get better. I figure most of my being sick and the mess of dr appts have been work stress related. And when I get back, it is to the temp agencies I go. I am kind of looking forward to contract work again.