daidoji_gisei: loaves of bread (bread)
My arms are sore tonight and I'm exhausted, all a result of baking today at work. For various reasons we have no one to bake bread tomorrow, so I baked all of Saturday's bread and all of Sunday's, plus a large number of dinner rolls for a special order. I started my run at seven and worked almost continuously until one, when I was able to stop for lunch. (At one point I slacked off long enough to make some iced tea--baking is thirsty work!)

It's been awhile since baking has left me this wiped out. Tomorrow and Monday are days off for me, so at least I'll be able to rest up. Sunday will be a complete rest day with no exercise (except possibly to walk downtown so that I can see Guardians of the Galaxy), put I'm thinking off adding a few push-ups to my exercise plans. At the moment I'm just working on my stationary bike for its cardio benefits, but a few strength exercises wouldn't hurt. In the meantime, I'm taking some aspirin and getting to bed on time tonight.
daidoji_gisei: loaves of bread (bread)
So yesterday I learned that I am about to have a huge shift in my job.

About a year ago OH did some internal restructuring, with the Cheese, Deli, Bakery, and Meat and Seafoods departments being aggregated into one overall Food Service department. We've been slowly working through the changes this requires to make the whole thing more efficient, and as of August 1 one of those changes will be that there will no longer be Deli, Bakery, or Meat and Seafood managers. I still have a job, but my new position is Bakery Production Lead and all of my remaining managerial tasks are being taken over by the Food Service Manager.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, anything that feels like a reduction in status always makes me feel twitchy. On the other hand, I'm losing the parts of my job I enjoyed the least and keeping the baking parts. (And since we moved bread-baking to the daytime, I get to bake lots of bread.). And the change itself is absolutely sensible, there was too much duplication of effort under the old system. Finally, I will be changing from being on salary to being hourly, which means that extra-long work weeks will no longer be the norm. On the whole I guess it's a positive change, despite my twitchiness.

My big hope is that this will allow me to channel more effort into writing. With the new position I will (presumably) have less stress in my work life and more energy, so I need to start thinking about how to make that hope real.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I worked slightly over 10 hours today; it's my second 10 hour day this week. The next two days aren't looking good either: We have a big sale going on this weekend, two coffeehouses have placed big orders for the end of the week, and I'm short-staffed. It's an exciting life.

I'm sitting at my desk playing on the internet and gathering the energy to walk home and embark on the effort of feeding myself. I have some food already cooked at home, but I need to think of something to do for a vegetable or two. Buying something on the way out of the store is sounding too tempting!

On the happy news front, today I was surprise-gifted a Pilot Metropolitan pen (F nib, lizard colorway) and a bottle of ink (De At's Lavender) by a friend. I'm excited to try it out--I have a M-nibbed Metro that I really like, and I've been curious about the F nib ever since it was announced. I shall ink up the new pen with the new ink tonight and the first thing I'll do is write out a thank-you note.

Monday night while taking a bath I had the radio on to a station that played music from the past three decades or so (how did the 70s and 80s become so far back in time?) and they played Jackson Browne's "You Love the Thunder". This is a song I've always liked but hearing it now I was struck by how perfect it would be as a writing-soundtrack-song for the Fire Saint novel because it describes a large number of relationships going on in in it. In fact, not only can you reverse the genders in the song and still have it work, I suspect that you could use any combination of genders and it would still apply somewhere. I'm trying to decide if I want to get a CD of the album it is from or just buy the song. I'm in no rush because until I get my computer situation under control I have no way of putting a playlist together.

And again

Apr. 3rd, 2014 05:40 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I'm very tired; still carrying sleep debt from Monday. I had gone to be early last night to try to catch up, but since I got four phone calls during the course of the night from my new baker this didn't help as much as I would have liked. (First call was a little after 10 pm, last was around 4 am.) This is part of the training of new bakers; most of them go through a period where they feel nervous about what they are doing and I take pains to let them know that I'm available for them if they need help. It's part of my job, but it isn't helping me sleep.

My Ink Drop for April arrived today, and I'm feeling a bit mixed about it. Three of them are in the yellow/orange range, which is my least favorite part of the spectrum. I have some faint hope that the PR Shoreline Gold really is more golden than orange, but I'm not liking the looks of the Diamine Coral at all. Oh, well, you put your money down and you take your chances. I have one more month of Ink Drop and then I'll decide if it is entertaining enough to keep up.

Last night I went hunting crochet hooks, and confirmed something that I already knew: you can't get a 7mm crochet hook at your local big-box craft store. For reasons unknown to me, crochet hooks in the US go from 6.5mm (size K) to 8mm (size L) with nothing in the 1.5mm gap between. I haven't decided yet what to do about this, though pleading emails to my non-American friends are not out of the question.
daidoji_gisei: loaves of bread (bread)
Dragged myself out of bed sometime before 8 and after breakfast and two pots of tea (my normal intake is one) I got myself to work. Having to work that overnight on Monday really messed me up, and tomorrow I need to be at work at the regular time, alas.

My original plan was to be starting to write LwtL this week; so far that has not happened. I can't write when my sleep patterns are messed up; the brain won't focus. On the one hand this irritates me; I can't demonstrate how horrible a writer I am if I can't write. On the hand it is a relief that I can put off being reminded what a horrible writer I am.

The weather turned cold again so I haven't gotten any more work done in the garden. I really, really need to get my pepper and main-season tomatoes started this week; they need to be ready to go in the ground at the end of May.

I, ah, may have bought another fountain pen. I got it with an italic nib, so I can at least say that it fills a hole in my collection. Also it was shiny and I'd worked the night shift and this is why I don't store my credit card info on the Goulet site because otherwise this would be a far more frequent happening. As it is, I need to swear off new pens for the foreseeable future because I need to save money for a new computer.

and again

Mar. 31st, 2014 08:05 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
The baker who is supposed to bake bread on Monday nights was out of town last week for spring break, so I ended up covering both his shifts. Today he called to say that his plane flight back had been canceled and he wasn't going to be back in time to bake bread. Guess who will be covering his shift tonight?

Update

Mar. 28th, 2014 04:46 am
daidoji_gisei: loaves of bread (bread)
Due to dire conditions in bakery staffing, I will be working Saturday. This gives me a six day work week, and that includes Thursday when I spent the whole afternoon renewing my Food Manager permit and then went to work and baked a full shift.
daidoji_gisei: loaves of bread (bread)
Monday I finally got my laptop to the repair shop to have it looked at. Wednesday I found out it would take about $1800 to fix, and that was assuming they could even find parts for a laptop that old. I'm not happy with this at all, but there isn't much I can do expect start thinking hard about what I want in a new(ish) computer and what I'm willing to pay for. I would like to stay with an Apple product, as I like their design philosophy but I'm aware that Windows machines are generally cheaper and at my current level of use most Macs are overpowered for me. On the other hand, I loathe MS Word, which at work keeps trying to force me to do things with the text I don't want it to do.

Also, Wednesday I went in to start training a new bread baker and found the bakery in a state of mid-level catastrophe. Not happy about that, either. I ended up doing the whole training shift with the new baker, then sending her home and staying myself to do some day-baking tasks. Ended up getting to bed sometime around 6 am, then getting up at 10 am so that I could use Lincoln's pathetically inconvenient bus system to get to my 1:30 pm Food Manager retraining session. At this point, I will be doing tonight's night of training having had four hours of sleep and one meal today. (I wish I worked somewhere where dedication was respected, but I suppose it could be argued that if I were competent in the first place these situations would not come up.)

In happier news, yesterday my new crochet book arrived and I got to look at it today. I am loving a lot of the designs and I've marked two in particular to try really soon. This weekend I need to go through my yarn stash and see if I have anything I can use for these projects; with as much yarn as I have already I'd really rather not buy more.

Today

Feb. 20th, 2014 07:04 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
I didn't find a rejection notice in my email, which qualifies as the best thing to happen to me today. Tomorrow is likely to be worse. I'm getting back to my Nov/Dec mindset of having stuff going on and feeling trapped without options to deal with it all. There are no cures for being me, I guess.

Drained

Feb. 10th, 2014 04:49 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Kakita Hideshi)
I'm exhausted right now, far more than I should be. I'm assuming it's a reaction to the stressful thing happening at work right now; emotional tension and uncertainty can be just as draining as real work, but not nearly as satisfying.

I'm craving some retail therapy, but I am trying to avoid it on general grounds of good sense--I don't need any more pens and I need to save money for the Kotei season and Gencon. On the other hand, this crane pen costs less than a bottle of perfume... So far I'm being saved by my general dislike of heavy pens and the sad memory of my blingy dragon pen which writes smoothly enough but is so heavy I can only use it for short letters. (And as a 0K2 weapon, but how many times is that going to be useful?)

I had plans for major housework tonight, but instead I think I'll eat dinner, listen to my Chris Whitley CDs, and nibble at writing. Writing can be frustrating, but I find it restorative none the less.

Update

Feb. 6th, 2014 05:20 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
It's been hard for me to keep up with online things because I still haven't had a chance to get my computer fixed. (I know, I know, first world problems, I'm not supposed to complain about things because I don't live in a war zone.)

I'm behind in all of my crochet projects, mostly because I've been dividing my at-home time between catching up on housework and laboring ineffectually at various writing projects. I'm doubly grumpy about the writing thing today because I've been reminded that I'm Not A Real Writer because I'm not interested in staying up way past my bedtime to get my writing in. I'm sorry, but I don't have a cushy desk job were I can sit in front of a computer the next day and pretend like I'm working. I'm either doing physical production or dealing with Being A Manager Who Has to Supervise People and both of these things require me getting sleep the previous night. Also I do not have now and never have had a muse.

At least I'm still crawling ahead on Latin; I finished chapter 4 (finally!) yesterday and will be moving on to chapter 5, which apparently will introduce plurals. I think that when I get through this textbook (the Cambridge Latin Course is divided between 4 books) I should reward myself with some more ink. I haven't decided now many bottles a Latin textbook is worth, but I still have 7 chapters to go so I have time to make up my mind.

Work would be fine except that I am suffering from a Problem which is so stressful it's eating away at me even when I'm at home trying to relax and has me fantasizing about calling in sick so that I don't have to deal with it. The situation is not going to go away and I suspect it is going to get worse before it gets better--I'm just hoping I'm not the person who makes it worse.

Valentine's Day is coming, so I get to spend the next week being reminded that I'm fat, unattractive, middle-aged, and alone. Thank you, greeting card and floral industries, for all you have done to improve my life. I would be tempted to buy myself something to cheer myself up (which of course is the entire point of Valentine's Day) but I went ahead and ordered myself some Dragon's Eye last week, which takes care of my discretionary spending for the month. I do still need to order some seeds, but it's hard to make growing vegetables feel like a splurge.

Weird week

Jan. 9th, 2014 04:56 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
So far at work this week, we seem to be trying to have as many problems, disasters and generally odd things as possible. The current list contains, but is not limited to: a shipment where the produce all froze in the truck in transit, two supply trucks from our main distributor that arrived a day late, a display cooler in the store that stopped working (rendering all the products it held unfit for sale), a cooler in the deli that stopped working (rendering all the prepped deli items it held unfit for sale), a pallet of papergoods meant for a store in Indiana being delivered to us (and our pallet delivered somewhere else), and several sick employees. I am taking the position that this means we are getting all of the year's drama out of the way in the first half of January and I'm sticking to it.

Meanwhile I've come up with two possible story ideas and my brain is fixed on writing the crackier of the two first. I'm finding this a little worrisome, but I'm consoling myself with the idea that after all the years of trying to write Serious Samurai Drama it was only natural that I'd had a certain amount of crack that I had to get out of my system.

And it's Thursday already, and I don't know what happened to the rest of the week. I haven't gotten nearly as much writing done as I wanted, though I've kind of kept up with my Latin. Laundry has been a total loss, unless I get something done after my bath tonight. I haven't done any crocheting, though I have gone through some of my magazines and started a list of potential projects. Part of me wants to try something ambitious like a sweater, but I feel incapable of doing anything that grand. I'll keep looking at patterns: maybe something will cry out strongly enough to drown out my doubts.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
First work day of the new year is over, and I'm tired and stressed. Not horribly so, but I have inventory to deal with and that's never a good time, and then one of my night bakers has hurt their knee so we have no baker tonight so I'll be baking bread tomorrow during the the day and that will put everything else further back in the line.

Which is what I'm going to blame my current bad mood on. I have goals I want to accomplish in the coming months,and all of them seem too big and foolish for me. I want to write more, but coming up with plots to go with the characters my brain spits out has always been a challenge for me. And then when I do, I end up with abominations that fit no known marketing category.

I restarted my study of Latin at the end of December (just as I said I would, given the condition I had set myself previously) and I'm in the middle of the third chapter. So far so good, except that even the thought of memorizing noun declensions is starting to frighten me and how am I ever going to deal with verbs? I'm not smart enough to memorize things: that was determined back in elementary school.

Good news: my work switched health insurance providers as of Jan 1, and my premium went down. Getting a larger paycheck is always nice, right?
daidoji_gisei: (Shall bones live?)
...all is revealed when you hit the ground...

It's too over-dramatic to say that I hate my life, but there are part of it that I really don't like at the moment. I'm currently in the middle of frantically trying to hire new staff for my horribly understaffed bakery and...my new lead baker has given notice. So that is another 40 hours of labor I will lose in the middle of November. Right before Thanksgiving.

I don't want to die. I just want the pain to stop.

Weekending

Jul. 28th, 2013 10:52 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Today I canceled the apocolypse by calling up the library and convincing them that yes, I had returned that book on Korean cooking at the beginning of the month and they could take that $35 library fine off of my account. Go me!

I did a fair amount of cooking, so I have lunch for the next day or two. I really need to be better about taking my lunches to work, because even though a burrito is only about $3 at work, it all adds up and Gencon is coming.

I managed to write empty five pens this weekend. Not that I started with them full, but still it was nice. I'm trying to get all my pens empty before I leave town, or else I'll have to have my apartment-sitter write with them every day so that they don't dry out. One of the pens I emptied was the Pilot Metropolitan that Yoon sent me, and as I started to clean it out I felt the urge to refill it. I didn't (see beginning of paragraph), but that is a strong sign that I liked writing with that pen. I have the black one, and I like black pens, but I think that someday (meaning, not right before Gencon) I'll pick up one of the gold versions. For as cheap as it is, it is of amazing quality.

This is going to be a busy week at work and I am kind of dreading it. Lots of things to do, some of them fairly stressful. I know I'll muddle through, but that doesn't make it more palatable. Some days being a manager sucks! Also, this afternoon I learned that one of my bakers broke her toes. I am not looking forward to the monkey-wrench this is going to put in the bakery's production plans.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Today was long and exhausting: I had someone call in sick so I was alone in trying to bake stuff and get things packaged and put out on the shelves. Naturally this meant I also got more phone calls from customers today than I have in the last two weeks!

So now I'm home and idling on the internet while I try to decide what to do next. What I should really do is cook dinner, then wash several days of dishes. What I want to do is go pick up something from the deli next door, take a relaxing bath, then work on something writing-related and fun.

Because I am a bad person, the second option is looking like a winner.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I did not sleep through my alarm, though I did hit the snooze bar twice. This is uncharacteristic of me, as I think the snooze setting is counter-productive in all ways. (Except in the dead of winter, where I jump out of bed, turn up the thermostat, and dive back into the warm bed while the apartment heats up for a few minutes.)

Work was exhausting for many reasons, not the least of which is I have a new day baker to train. Over the years I have come to realize that training night bakers is actually easier than training day bakers, once you set aside the sleep-disruption issue. Night bakers are narrowly focused on bread production and they don't have to package anything other that their muffins. Day bakers make everything from granola bars to cake, package everything that the bakery makes, and deal with the other bakeries we do business with, not to mention the coffee houses we supply with baked goods. And deal with customers. That's a lot of ground to cover!

Anyway. Today's new baker was a pleasant young woman who I will call M. According to my friend Linda, who was my co-leader in the troop, M was in our Girl Scout troop when she was in kindergarten. I remember that we had two girls of that name in our troop at that time but nothing else, but Linda is the type of person who remembers such things so it must be so. M clearly doesn't remember me, but since I didn't remember her I think that's fair.

Part of me hopes that from time to time she remembers the troop and thinks fond thoughts. That hope was the thing that made being a leader worthwhile.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I am half-way through the cycle of training a new bread baker, which means that after two nights of working a night shift I have a day and a half to turn into a day person again--for about half a week, at which point I turn back into a night person to finish the training. Or as I sometimes sum up the situation: I am going to hate my life for the next two weeks.

I got up after only a few hours of sleep this morning in hopes of getting to bed at my normal time tonight. False hope, as I know from experience; as tired as I feel right now I know at 10 pm I'll feel wide-awake and lively. I am going so far as to consider taking a benadryl tonight to make me sleepy. It's a bit of a sledgehammer of a solution, but sometimes I guess a sledgehammer is what you need.

In the meantime I'm trying to be nice to myself by doing things that are necessary, but fun. I'm currently taking a break from reading the Douay-Rheims translation of the Vulgate bible online. This was made necessary by one of my writing projects, which has characters who might reasonably quote from the Holy Bible, but who are living in a time before the New Jerusalem translation (which is the one I own). This makes me semi-cranky when I think about it too much because even in the remote event this project gets published I am quite sure none of the readers will recognize, or care, that I used the era-correct bible--But I know, so I have to do it.

In a little while I'm going to take a break (from doing recreational reading?) and play with a crochet project. I will either start work on a fascinator (having realized that the one ball of red-with-multi novelty yarn that I had to buy because it was so, so soft would make a great hat-like object) or start turning my new skein of silk lace-weight into a ball, so as to make possible future crocheting. And now, back to reading.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Today passed without me managing to use any of my fountain pens. I am saddened by this, as it means I neither wrote nor worked on my Latin homework. To be fair, there is a good reason for this--I'm still getting over whatever illness (I suspect the usual sinus infection) took me down on Thursday but I had to go into work today briefly to set up the paperwork so that Sandra, my assistant manager, could handle the inventory this weekend and by the time I walked there, did what I had to do, and walked back I was exhausted. Fevers just wreck me.

I feel kind of like I've thrown Sandra to the wolves on the inventory thing; it's our end-of-year inventory so it's doubly important that everything gets done right. We are even going to have an auditor there to check stuff for accuracy. Sandra just kind of rolled her eyes at me when I apologized to her today and pointed out I was sick and of course I couldn't be there to help. I gave the only possible answer, which was that I shouldn't get sick on important weeks. (I know, I know.)

In brighter news, I did get a box of fountain pen love from [personal profile] yhlee. She sent a sample vial of Noodler's Texas Bluebonnet, an ink I intend to try right away, where "right away" is defined as "as soon as I use up one of the three pens I currently have inked with blue inks". Blue, like love, is a many-splendored thing. I also have four other sample vials which I am guessing are from the June Ink Drop. I am further guessing that June's theme was "fruit salad". They are all interesting colors, and though I won't be writing any fictions with the warm color choices, they should make great contrasting colors for indicating revisions.

Thanks to a friend on Facebook, I saw this obituary of Count Robert de La Rochefoucauld. Here was a man who's life story was the stuff of Hollywood action movies. I was amazed.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Last Wednesday night I finally sent off the RPG assignment I'd been struggling with for the past few weeks. I don't regret taking the assignment (now), but I wish it has been less of a trial. With it gone, I've been slowly trying to put my apartment into good order. I'm not a candidate for any housekeeping awards even under the best of circumstances, but this winter seems to have been especially bad. But I got half of my laundry done over the weekend and a lot of dishes washed, so that was a start.

I think I can get the rest of the laundry done today. I keep flirting with the idea of going out to Earl May's and picking up some pansies, but that would take most of the afternoon and at this point I think I'd rather have a clean(er) apartment than pansies. I have seedlings to transplant and more seeds to start, so I do have other ways of satisfying my gardening urges.

I have today off because of a combination of reasons: the kitchen is shut down for some new equipment installation so I can't bake, and I need to cover my assistant manager's shift on Saturday (she's on a well-deserved vacation). This will make it a weird week, but I can survive a little weirdness.

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