So, the stalls - weird mix of very popular and no-one looking, which didn't appear to correlate with how easy it was to get the attention of someone staffing them. I had a really interesting conversation with a fellow who is involved in running a fabric/sewing/craft/quilting shop near here (and I know which mob they are, and I wasn't impressed with them five years ago, but maybe I should give them a second chance, because they do stock a wide range of items that I find difficult to get. Plus, he was willing to show off all the features of the expensive gadget that he was showing, even after I said that I covet one but cannot in any way afford one. I think I would need to set up a sideline in selling shiny things if I bought one, although fancy cut vinyl stickers are something I've love to be able to do...). There was one stall focusing on Fiskars items, and the person demoing a cutting ruler with built in rotary cutter was talking about how she can use that despite shoulder issues, etc etc, show special, etc etc, especially if you buy it with the rotating mat (which was on my wishlist) etc. So, bought one of those and a square rotating mat (the other one I'd seen was round, and I didn't really want a round one) for a total of $120 -- looking at the Spotlight web site, just the ruler is $125, so I'm feeling pretty happy about that. (even if it was that I gave in to a sales pitch, I'm justifying it that I was specifically looking to buy equipment that will make my life easier)
The exhibitions- I did in no way manage to do this justice. There was a wearable art exhibition of about a dozen pieces, and I wish I'd given the time to reading all about them, but by the time I found the displays I was already hitting headachy, so reading was limited. From there I went to the travelling exhibition, which made me realise how little I value textile art. I kept thinking 'but these aren't really quilts' and things like that -- it was only when I made myself step back and examine them as artworks, and started thinking about them that way that they started to make sense (things like printing a photograph onto fabric, and then building from that - there were at least three of these, and I couldn't make them make sense as quilts). As 'pieces of art that people would put on display' some of them were fabulous (and some were just meh, but that is me and art at the best of times. And then there was a vast exhibition of a range of works, from competitive ones (there must have been two different competitions displayed, at least, there appeared to be two sets with state winner ribbons), through to several quilt guild groups showcasing work-to-theme sets (and I really liked that - what do a range of people do with the same one). I did find that this area was a bit confusing, and I wish that more of the quilting groups had just had a piece of paper with meeting times on, so that I could work out which one(s) I would actually be able to get to. The one I'm most likely to have any luck with is the one where there were really really enthusiastic people encouraging me, telling me that everyone is welcome, and if you are a beginner, everyone is really helpful. And they meet on Sundays, so I will definitely think about going to that one.
Presentations - I happened on one on free motion quilting. The person presenting it did a really good sales pitch on a few things, and then a really good 'how to learn' set of instructions, and I was inspired to purchase their starter kit, because it had a couple of things that I had already been eyeing off, plus a pre-printed set of quilt as you go blocks, so I got a couple of bits for 'free'. Which, oops, means I have another project*, but I'm just going to put it in the music room, and I'll get to it when I get to it (the second half of this year is probably going to involve a lot of me-at-home time, so I have hopes of craft). Other than that, I didn't go to any of the presentations. If I were to go again, this would be why I was going, and I'd look at the schedule ahead of time, and plan around that.
Not buying fabric - mostly this was easy. I hate buying fat quarters, and a lot of places seemed to be mostly selling those. There was a stall selling 'french linen' which had absolutely beautiful fabric, but I have no projects that would have benefitted from those fabrics, and I don't need fabric for a new project (in future years, I can imagine picking a project, and then going shopping for fabrics, because it would be a great way to go a hunting -- so much more variety than just going to a local store), so resisting it was easy. My downfall was a basket in a corner of one very crowded stall, where 'bolt ends' (~3m) were being sold at $3/m, and there were two really good ones for backing baby quilts, which cost me $20 for just over 6m. There was a third I kind of liked, but it doesn't fit with the kind of colours I usually buy. I'm kind of regretting not getting it, because actually, it kind of suits something I have in mind. But really, *not buying fabric* was the goal.
Overall - I got in early enough that it wasn't horribly crowded, I managed to see a bit of everything and have an idea of what I might go back for in future years, if it falls at a time I can get there, and I only pushed things a little too hard (ow. and apparently, when I don't have water, and my mouth is too dry to dry swallow tablets, I've reached the point where chewing paracetamol tablets seems perfectly sensible, and I don't even noticed the bitterness). Oh, and I read a chapter of the textbook (including answering as many of the questions as is possible without pen and paper), and about half the next one, so I actually go a reasonable amount of study done.
Now: resting in bed. Might have to get up and have hot shower to kill off the rest of the headache/back ache/hip ache. Don't have to do anything responsible until nearly 4pm, when I have to go collect youngest from the train. *flop*
*and when I opened up the kit, it turns out that there is a quilt pattern in there as well, so technically I think that this means I have two new projects, because I've never made a quilt from a kit, and I kinda wanna see how I go. Bets on how far from the original pattern I deviate should be kept to a minimum, because I don't think I've ever met a pattern I didn't want to vary.
There's apparently a Joy Luck Club television series in the works. Whaaaaaaat. Somebody -- Ellen DeGeneres, possibly(!?) -- is developing a new television series based on Amy Tan's widely-read 1989 novel, and they're putting the call out to Chinese American women to be part of a discussion as research for the show.
According to this casting call, producers are seeking a "professionally diverse group of Chinese American born women," ages of 26 to 34 years old in the San Francisco area, to "discuss their lives as a Chinese American female in today's society." The project will take place on June 20 in San Francisco.
Here's the casting call:
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New Yooooork! Asian AF is making its way out east! The landmark, acclaimed, kind of sort of famous Asian American variety show travels from the west coast to New York City, bringing its special brand of shit-talking Asian as F comedy to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, hosted by Keiko Agena and Will Choi. This is your chance to see the show that's been selling out every single month in Los Angeles.
It's happening Tuesday, June 27 at UCB East Village. Here are some more details:
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One of UK Prime Minister Theresa May's government ministers told a reporter from The Sun that the government is planning on invoking the "Technical Capabilities Orders" section of the Snoopers Charter, a 2016 domestic spying bill; the "orders" allow the government to demand that companies cease using working cryptography in their products and services, substituting it with deliberately defective code that can be broken. (more…)
Wonder Woman (please be good! Not that I saw the show or read the comics, but as a woman who goes to see comic book movies, we're due one about a superheroine that's good) is occupying my brain more. But apparently the news about the merchandise isn't great.
Anyway, I’m watching Smallville season 5 for the first time on DVD. (I’ve been spoiled for a few big things on the show over the years. And the next DVD boxset I will go through will be a better show, but I’m watching it with much nostalgia for my experiences of the fandom for the first year or two. Quick recap: CHLOE.)
The colour palate is very striking, coming off the greys of metal, glass, stone and shadows of Person of Interest. I’m also rewatching the Pirates of the Caribbean movies right now, which has the blues and greys of the sea and brown and black of the ships, so the warm, bright, sun-kissed hues of Smallville, where everyone’s outfits are colour-coded, jumped out at me.
( spoilers up to 5.4 )
It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…
1. Should I accept a huge favor from my new staff members?
I’m a mid-level manager with a large, field-based team. I think I have a real camaraderie with the team, and upward feedback surveys show that as well. At most, I see each team member a few times a month, but we talk often.
My team knows that I am single, new to the area, and recently bought a home. Some of them offered to help me move, which of course I declined. I even got texts the day of the move, asking if there was anything they could help with, or offering to move anything I didn’t trust the movers to do!
Today I was talking to “Bob” and “Todd” on the phone and they asked how I was settling in. I said “great” and made a comment about how many odds and ends there are to buy, and that I should rent a van or something. They asked why I needed a that and I replied that I wanted to buy a rug, but can’t fit in in my car. Bob and Todd then offered to help — Bob has a large truck, and Todd offered to help carry. They even proposed a day after work to go. Am I crazy for considering it? Is this out of bounds? I wouldn’t ever want them to feel like I’m taking advantage of their kindness, so I would give them money or a gift card to a restaurant I know they like. What do you think?
If you were peers, I’d tell you to accept their offer at face value (but not to pay them, because it can seem insulting to hand cash to someone who wanted to do you a favor, although buying them a meal or another gift is fine). But as their boss, the power dynamics make it trickier. Their offer might be entirely genuine and they might make the same offer to any colleague, but it’s a muddier area because you have power over them. (And imagine if you needed to give one of them very negative feedback a few days after they do you this favor — it’s messy.)
The reality is that a lot of managers would take them up on this offer anyway, and honestly, if you do, it will probably end up being just fine. But there’s definitely risk to it. If you want the safest course of action, it would be to decline the help, but tell them how much you appreciate the thought and that the offer was really kind of them to make. (Be sure that you leave them feeling warm and fuzzy about the whole interaction, not like you snubbed their genuine offer of help.)
2. Taking time off when I’m a one-person department
I’m the only person in the IT department serving support for 600+ employees at a company, which is crazy alone. I requested time off over a month in advance and sent a message to all department heads to ensure anything I needed to complete would be done a week prior to my absence. Now, one of the owners of the company is requesting me to send them a back-up plan.
No one can take over my position and they cannot afford to hire someone new. I work salaried so my hours are insane and I’m constantly exhausted. I need this vacation or I’m sure to quit. Do you have any advice on what I can send them as a “back-up” plan? I do not want to have to answer my phone or emails.
Given the constraints of the current situation (including that they wouldn’t be able hire someone new that fast anyway), it sounds like they need an IT firm that can provide backup support when you’re not available. It’s not just for this vacation; what would they do if you were out sick or hit by a bus or quit and left the position vacant? There are loads of reasons why there needs to be a back-up plan in place beyond just this vacation.
Ideally, you would have pitched this long before your vacation was looming, but you can do it now and point out that it will be necessary plenty of other times in the future as well. If they balk at the price or the logistics and pressure you to be available on your vacation instead, say this: “That really won’t be possible. I’m exhausted and in need of a real vacation where I can disconnect from work.” If needed, you can change that last sentence to “the place I’m going doesn’t have reliable phone or internet.”
Also, one IT person for 600 people is insane. It might be worth you considering switching jobs (unless you love it there, but it doesn’t sound like that’s the case) because this sounds pretty bad.
3. How can I push back on being forced to ask for donations?
My office is doing a fundraising challenge. Previously the fundraising team has sent out general emails about incentives for staff members who get people we know to donate, which I have ignored. I just learned that during tomorrow’s all-staff meeting, we are going to have to populate a list of names of people we know, tweet/Facebook/email them right there (to ensure we do it?), and continue to follow up for the next few weeks until they give.
I don’t want to do this. Besides my personal distaste for asking people for money, this request is particularly tone-deaf given our nonprofit is trying to fight a growing perception of being transactional (rather than community-centered), and several of the people expected to fundraise are losing their jobs (to budget cuts) next month.
I’ve read the posts about employers expecting employees to donate, but I’m not sure what to do when they’re expecting me to be the solicitor. (Note: I’m currently in my notice period, so I’m not worried about job security if I politely refuse, but I don’t know what to say.) What would you do?
Gross. Try saying, “My friends and family have made it clear they’ll unfriend people who solicit them for donations, so this isn’t possible for me.”
If you’re asked if that’s really true of all of them, say, “Yes, all of them. They really hate this stuff.”
The fact that you’re in your notice period will make holding firm on this especially easy, but hopefully you’ll inspire some of your colleagues to do the same.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with involving staff members in fundraising work. It’s the insistence that people mine their personal contacts without giving them a choice that’s tacky and inappropriate. It’s fine to say “hey, we’d love it if you’d think about people in your network who might be interested in this.” It’s not okay to say “you must harass your personal contacts whether you want to or not.”
4. My boss sends non-stop thank-you emails
My new boss sends me emails that just say “thank you!” Or “thank you so much!” as replies to almost every email I send to her or that she is copied on from me. I try to appreciate the gratitude, but we are crazy busy and they just feel like a waste of time for her and for me. I often receive them late at night, and while I myself often work at night or on weekends and don’t mind receiving requests in off hours, it feels like an unnecessary interruption to my downtime to send an email with essentially no content. My uncharitable instincts tell me an email that just says “thank you!” sent at 10 p.m. is just to let me know she’s working so late, but I don’t actually think that’s the case.
My passive aggressive instinct is to send her a reply that just says “You’re so welcome!” every time but that doesn’t solve anything. I’m usually all in favor of direct communication but I’m really afraid of coming across as super whiny for complaining about something so small. We are new to working together, and I would like to put my best foot forward. Also, does she think I’m ungrateful for all of her work because I don’t acknowledge every communication with a two word email?
Let it go.
It takes her two seconds to send, and it takes you two seconds to read and delete. And it shouldn’t be interrupting your downtime unless you’re checking your work email already, in which case that’s not really downtime.
She’s a big thanker. There are worse offenses. Your best bet is to shrug it off.
5. Interviewing when you’re not sure you want to leave your current job
I currently work at a startup and I really love it there! However, I have some worries about our future sustainability for various reasons. I don’t think we’re going to go under immediately or anything, but I know that when you work for early stage startups, there’s always that risk!
I’m not actively job hunting but I have been keeping my eyes open a little wider lately for these reasons. A job at a larger company where I have friends recently opened up. They encouraged me to apply and I decided to give it a shot.
I’m genuinely not sure if I want to take another job or not. Like I said, I love my current job. But it seems foolish not to look into other opportunities if they come along. If we go under in a few months, I’d definitely be bummed out for passing up this chance to interview. But is it unethical to interview for a new job if I’m not sure I’m ready to leave my old one? If I were to hypothetically get an offer and then decide I didn’t want to leave my current job, how should I handle that?
So not unethical! Just like it’s not unethical for them to interview you without being sure they’d hire you.
If you were sure you wouldn’t take the job if offered and were just using them for interview practice or really weird entertainment, then yeah, that would be shady. But it’s totally normal to interview even if you’re not absolutely sure you’re ready to leave your current job. In fact, interviewing can be part of how you figure that out — sometimes you might find that you prefer your current job to any of your other options, and other times you might realize that you can do much better.
If you end up getting an offer and decide you don’t want to accept it, you’d just say, “Thank you so much. I’ve given it a lot of thought and I’ve decided not to move on right now, but I really appreciate the time you spent talking with me.” (However, if you realize after you interview — but before you get an offer — that it’s a definite no for you, it’s courteous to let them know at whatever point you’re sure you want to withdraw, rather than waiting for them to put together an offer.)
accepting a big favor from employees, taking time off when you’re a one-person department, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.
(Me to spatch: "This is ridiculous. If I can read cuneiform, I should be able to read Chinese. I feel incredibly stupid." Rob to me: "You can't call yourself stupid if you're teaching yourself Chinese!")
There's more. It's great. Also, Percy has written secret instructions for later, which he passes to Marguerite:
...and Chauvelin gets the phrase 'animal lust' to describe how he reacts to Percy showing weakness, because that's not suss at aaaalll.
As a side note- My physical copies of this book are all missing a chapter that appears in the Project Gutenberg ebook- Chapter XXIII The Overwhelming Odds. I found this only by accident, and I haven't managed to find out why the difference- it doesn't seem to be a misprint, since it's in multiple editions.
This is a chapter I'm happy to find, too, because it spells out Percy's capture- with bonus beating up, dislocated shoulder, and finally passing out.
There should be fic for this, there really should.
( Pinch hit #6 - fic - CLAIMED )
Please either email email@example.com or comment on the relevant post to claim one of these pinch hits.
Original assignments and pinch hits #1-4 are due at 11:59pm EDT Saturday 27th May. (3 days from now).
Pinch hits #5 and up are due at 11:59pm EDT Thursday 1 June (8 days from now).
Tagging your canon
For most canons it is appropriate to enter the fandom as it appeared on your assignment. If you're not sure how to tag your work, please contact me. Consistent tagging will speed things up for wranglers processing the tag.
Most works should appear as Song Name - Artist (Media).
Season 3 was disappointing and tainted so I was really worried about watching this season, and with my stress levels before my wedding I just stopped when I got behind due to traveling.
Characters/Pairings: Tony Stark/Pepper Potts (main), James Rhodes, Steve Rogers, Clint Barton, Natasha Romanoff, Bruce Banner, Thor, Sam Wilson, Happy Hogan, JARVIS (AI), Original Characters, Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Skye, Leo Fitz, Jemma Simmons, Antoine Triplett with mentions of Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter. (You can find a complete list and header for my fic here:
Rating & Warnings: PG-13
Beta Type: While I am in desperate need for someone to read this to help me figure out what’s missing, but I also need help with all the usual things betas help with.
Harshness: I’d like honest but not so brutally honest that I just want to call the whole thing off and forget I’ve written 65K+ words already
My story takes place within my own AU verse in which Tony and Pepper are married with two kids.
One of the goals of this first arc has been to establish Knife as Batwoman's new archenemy, and so far that has been done incredibly well. The two women have been compared and contrasted in a variety of ways: through their personalities and actions, their character design, and, as shown in the opening pages of issue #2 and issue #3, though color schemes and panelling. It may help to refresh yourself on those pages from issue #2.
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