Thursday, June 26, 2014

An open letter to my daughter's summer camp

Dear Cascade Lake,

First off, let me start with my thanks. Thank you for providing a summer experience for Noelle that has her outside playing the majority of the day. You see, her dad and I have to work and I wanted for her to have the same type of outside fun that I had growing up where I was lucky enough to have my mom home. I didn't want her in a place where they'd be inside most of the time with field trips to the outside (!) for play. You offer swimming and exploring and sports all day? Perfect. Swim lessons provided by Red Cross-trained life guards? Gimme that pen; now where do I sign? I love it. She loves it. It's perfect.

There is just one thing. You see, being outside in the summer requires sun protection. Noelle, being of northern European stock, has a skin tone that best be described as 'death warmed over'.

You notice the striking resemblance to this famous person, no?

Clearly this could be problematic, yes? Good thing that there are plenty of products on the market today designed to keep fair skin, well, fair. This magic product? Sunscreen. But the secret to the success of the magical elixir is you actually have to apply it to the skin for it to work. And when you don't, this is what happens.


The long-term effects of sun exposure aside, can we discuss the wisdom of trusting a 7 YEAR OLD to thoroughly and completely coat her skin with said sunscreen? Hell, adults need help covering our backs, didja stop to think that maybe kids would require assistance too? I shouldn't have to have the camp bus driver make a note to have the staff apply sunscreen to my child so she can avoid returning home looking like she was dunked in the same shade of hot pink that once graced the bedroom walls of my sister.

Cascade, we love this camp. She's made friends and learned to swim and discovered a passion for basketball. We plan on sending her little brother Noah there next summer. If you could just do your part of using the sunscreen I provide to keep her from becoming the star attraction of a lobster bake, I have a feeling we can totes be BFFs.


Caspar's Mom

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Doctor Hell Yeah!

Ever since Dylan did his 'Dylan DOESN'T Know' show about Doctor Who last December, I've been intrigued by it. From that point on, I was keenly aware of the twitterverse chattering on about something called a Tardis, Donna, Rose, Amy, Nine, Ten, Eleven, feels, weeping angels, Sontarans (I'm looking at you@DHGamerMR) and EXTERMINATE! but still hadn't seen it though my interest was growing. Plus all the pretty people in the glowy box loving the show can't be wrong, amirite? Thus emboldened, we borrowed the box set from my stepfather-in-law Dyl's step-father Roger and settled in to watch from the beginning of the New Series.

Two seasons and three episodes into the third series and I can officially say we're hooked. Well, I am. I assume Dyl is too as we're giving up going to bed at a reasonable time to watch just one more episode every night. I would even go so far as to way we've joined the ranks of Whovians but not sure we've paid our dues yet. Science fiction, adventure, space, morality...yes. Just. Yes. Whovian yet or not, I love it. And me being me, I *might* have already formed some strong opinions.

Let's just put it out there: my favorite so far has been Nine. Christopher Eccleston was absolutely brilliant - the fleeting childlike flights of joy and wonder but always with the undercurrent of deep sadness. It's so incredibly poignant and wrenching yet smart and fun. We're into the Tennant era now and while he's great too, the mania is just too much. Plus most of the acting is done with his eyes and since the mania factor is high, we get a lot of crazy eyes which is way too close to Barty Crouch Junior from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for me to take seriously. I'm kinda expecting for Voldemort to pop up in the background and/or menacing tongue flicks any day now.

I'm also fully, solidly Team Rose. She was so...real. A normal girl with few advantages and even fewer goals ended up on the adventure of a lifetime. She's tough, she knows who she is and make no apologies for it. But now we've got Martha. Martha is adorable and sweet and I get that her character is supposed to be a stark counterpoint to Rose: smart and questioning but my god, enough with the butthurt puppy dog eyes at the Doctor. The Doctor is obviously grieving the loss of Rose but doesn't want to be alone which is why he's waffling on taking Martha back after their quick jaunt around the timestream so I don't blame her for accusing him of treating her as a 'rebound' because he totally is, but the result is that I'm tired of her whining and would very much like for her to go home. I assume that this is part of the Doctor's character development through the remainder of the season: coming to terms, letting go, and embracing the new on its own merits but it's not doing her character any favors right now.

Time to get to work, still have a lot more traveling to do before the Tardis lands in August!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Why magnums of wine were invented

Oh! Hey there. So, it's been a while since I've gone off on a work-related rant but after the past few weeks, I feel pretty entitled. Some of it may be boring and techno-y but it mostly boils down to people are stupid and woe is me.

It's been no secret that I'm not the biggest fan of my current position but earlier this year I found out that if I want to stay in Sensory (oh goody) then the head of the NQAL sensory group will be retiring in roughly 2 years and logically speaking, I'm the only one in house that has any responsibilities remotely close to what she does so I put my 2-year plan into action. Mostly this consisted of asking what I need to know and trying to schedule time with my boss to approve the trainings. (Spoiler alert: hasn't happened yet.) Okay, I can deal with two more years of this; things are supposed to improve, stuffs are being moved around, Bob's yer uncle. Then several weeks ago, a friend in the group that I left 10 years ago called me up to let me know she had gotten a new position and hers would be vacant and I should totally apply, she had already mentioned me to the lab manager. Wowzers! That's what I wanted more than anything, to go back there but always felt that too much time had passed. However, the way the job post was written, I qualified on all counts. Sweet! Eternal damnation of the sensory kind was demoted to Plan B. Sent in the bid, got the first interview, felt good about that, got the second interview, was feeling pretty good about that and then....Screech. Sorry. A two-grade jump is too much. We'd love to have you back but only at a lower grade and that's not what we're recruiting for but keep in touch. TTYL. Well fuck. Fuckity-fuck-fuck-fuck. Plan B has been called up to Plan A. Again. (It's okay, I'm still bummed but I've got my name back out there and that's half the battle blah blah blah.)

But! Knowing that's off the table right now (they'll rue the day!) meant that I could refocus on building the base of skills and training that I'll need to become Super Sensory Scientist - management of the shelf life report has found a new home with the materials management group (shockingly, where it should have resided all along), time freed up to really get the descriptive trainings going, still trying to get a meeting with my manager, we're making progress when...Blammo! The maelstrom of stupid has taken up residence in the plant and my office is ground zero.

First was several massive raw material rejections because appearance requirements such as 'Red' and 'Dark Red' were very confusing to our suppliers and I was backed on these rejections completely until the powers that be decided we really needed the material to make stuff and so, maybe our requirements need to be loosened to 'tan with a reddish tint' and 'orange is fine too'. I've stopped responding to emails and phone calls over this because they are on their own now if they want to use this stuff that doesn't meet the specifications that they specifically specified.

Next the person who is now taking on the responsibility of running and researching the shelf life report has just gone out for two weeks on paternity leave. (Interestingly, just last month my company started to grant 1 week of paternity leave. We still don't get actual maternity leave, you go on short term disability for that. While good on them for stepping into the 20th century for the guys, for the ladies who are actually HAVING THE BABIES, sorry, We award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.) While on one hand, yay! babies!, this means that the report and research revert back to me while he is out because god forbid they have a backup to research materials in materials management along with a different report to block and test 174 products ASAP NBD. (Ha. Haaaaaaa. No.) and assorted evaluations, investigations, panels, and bullshit for the team of Me, Myself, and I.

But it's all good. I just sucked down a giant Diet Coke and I've got a magnum of Chardonnay plus unlimited ice cubes at home. I do apologize though to everyone on the primary ballot; Im'ma most likely take my annoyance out on y'all later. 'Murica! Fuck yeah!