loree: (Default)
The posts in this journal are primarily friends-only. I tend not to automatically indulge in reciprocal friending of those I haven't met, but I also have a terrible memory for names. If you would be so kind, comment here and (re)introduce yourself, or else tell me how you found me.

Thanks much,

P.S. - Comments are screened to save your eyes from bleeding, falling out of your head, and/or spontaneously rupturing in protest at the prospect of reading vast volumes of comment-itude (or perhaps to hide my embarrassment and/or make you think I might be more popular than I really am). Also, monkeys.
loree: (Default)
Welp, I've been headed this way for a while, but I'm going to be jumping ship on Livejournal soon too. The latest TOS change makes even a permanent account an unattractive proposition. Find me on Dreamwidth, Twitter, or Facebook.

I'll be turning off crossposting after this post goes through, and deleting my LJ account once have time to collect my scrapbook and user icons.


Jan. 31st, 2017 08:20 am
loree: (Default)
Today is the last day to sign up for Obamacare if you haven't already. Don't let the new administration make you miss it.
loree: (angel)
That previous message was not written by me, but is reposted in memory of our beloved [livejournal.com profile] dagard, who ended his battle with depression by committing suicide on February 16 of this year.

If you're reading this, if you're thinking of hurting yourself, I'm begging you -- please don't. Depression lies to you. I love you, I'll miss you, I won't be better off without you, I need you, I care, and the world would suck without you in it.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text START to 741741
loree: (biohazard)
Survivor Day 2016

November 19 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.  It's a day when people affected by suicide loss get together and share stories, share hope, share memories and coping strategies, and generally look to each other for understanding and support. You can find out more about it at https://afsp.org/find-support/ive-lost-someone/survivor-day/ .

I choose to spend this day each year raising awareness about suicide, and  I do this by sharing my mother's story (http://sweetmusic-27.livejournal.com/105130.html) and by sharing facts about suicide itself.  In the past, I've written about my mother's suicide, I've written tipsheets for talking to friends who are suicidal, I've written about uncomfortable truths and busting myths and dispelling taboos.  But I've never written about my experience as someone with suicidal ideation.  I've been afraid to do so, partly because I'm not looking for sympathy or advice, and partly because it's scary to share your mental health status with the world.

I first experienced severe suicidal ideation at eighteen, when I went away to college to get a nursing degree.  Before then, I'd fought stress by sinking into my studies and music.  When I was in college, it was my studies that were making me miserable, and I had no time for music.  I was beginning to realize that maybe a nursing degree wasn't for me, and I sank into depression.  I slept a lot, and I cried a lot.  I was looking down the wide, central staircase of my dorm building when it occurred to me that most people wouldn't look at that staircase and long for relief, and think of jumping.  It was one of the realizations that got me to look into counseling.

Eventually, my college therapist suggested medication.  I fought the idea.  I thought I should just be able to shake it off on my own.  "And should diabetics just 'get over it' and make their own insulin?" she asked.  I went home and did some internet searches.  One search led me to a list of things to avoid saying to people with depression.  Things like 'shake it off,' and 'just get over it,' and 'go outside, you'll feel better.'  I saw how many of those messages I had internalized, and when I came back for my next appointment, I agreed to a prescription of an anti-depressant, and I tried that for about a month and a half.  It didn't work for me, but my sister took me aside and suggested I try a different one, which worked for her, and perhaps our genetics would mean that I saw a similar effect.  I tried it.  It helped.

Over the last ten years, my suicidal ideation has fallen into three categories: barely-noticeable, sudden but mild, and moderate.

Barely-noticeable suicidal thoughts are like a news ticker streaming by at the bottom of a screen.  I know it's there, but it's easy to ignore.  These are thoughts that come up when I see a sharp object, look out a window of a tall building, or drive a car.  I unwillingly visualize cutting myself with that object, jumping out the window, or crashing the car.  These thoughts happen to me every day.

Sudden but mild suicidal thoughts happen at odd times, but the example I usually use is when I'm at the grocery store late at night.  Nobody else is around, I'm almost done with my shopping, and I remember I need ham.  I walk by the refrigerator case and there are twenty different options for ham, and I'm tired, and I thought I was almost done, and there's no reason for there to be this many different kinds of ham in the world.  "There's no reason for anything.  Why am I here?  I shouldn't be here.  I should just go."  Then I close my eyes, stick out my hand, and pick up the first kind of ham I touch, and get out of there.  The thought passes.

Moderate suicidal thoughts happen rarely.  It's only when I'm having a low period, where I'm depressed for a couple of days to a week.  I don't want to do anything, or I do, but I can't muster up the energy.  I don't feel loved, I don't feel important, suicide pops up as an obvious choice, I push the thought aside, and keep fighting.  Fighting is boring and difficult and I hate it.  The judging specter in the back of my mind thinks it's ridiculous that I'm even trying.  After a few days, the fog clears and I don't feel that way anymore.

Since I don't have severe suicidal ideation anymore, I thought that this was the best I could do.  I've been in a really good place otherwise - I have a good sense of humor, a career that drives me, a great support network, health insurance, and an understanding psychiatrist.  I'm very, very lucky.  But some months ago, I sat down with my psychiatrist and we talked about my low periods.  She said, "I know you feel like you're in a good place.  But I think we can do better.  I'd like you to think about adding a medication to the one you're already taking."

It took three months of side effects and zeroing in on the correct dose, but now my suicidal ideation is just... gone.  I don't have moderate thoughts, I don't have mild thoughts, I don't have barely-noticeable thoughts.  It's a little weird that they're gone, to be honest.  It's possible that they'll come back, or that I'll still have low periods where they reoccur, but when they do, I'll be ready.  I've been fighting them most of my life.

Every person's story is different; every person's suicidal ideation is different.  But that's how it is for me, and I'm willing to step up and talk about it.  Every time you share this post or other information on suicide, you help to fight the stigma, break the taboo, and dispel the myths. Feel free to link back to this. Feel free to comment here with other links and resources and stories. Feel free to talk to me about suicide. Feel free to comment anonymously on this post (trolling and hate speech will be deleted).
loree: (shades)
This past Saturday I was elected to be Vice Chair of Norwescon 40. We're taking applications for executive positions, and will be conducting interviews next weekend. I'm looking forward to new challenges -- and it's going to be interesting being responsible for only a handful of people instead of more than 200.

I'm also planning a memorial bash for Firesign and Dagard, to be held in Las Vegas over the weekend of August 12-14. I suspect it will be more cane-waving and two-drinks-is-my-limit and early-bedtimes than interesting-chemicals and what-day-is-it and drank-all-the-things than bashes past, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I'm in the final stages of research, and will be posting the details to the LambdaMOO community on Facebook when they're settled.

Help needed

Mar. 7th, 2016 02:24 pm
loree: (angel)
[livejournal.com profile] tithonium and I are planning to go over to [livejournal.com profile] dagard's place this evening to start the process of collecting his belongings. We could really use some help. Anyone free to meet us on CapHill tonight after about 7pm? Comments are screened so you can leave phone numbers and we can text about the details.

ETA: If you can't make it, feel free to spread the word, but only to people we know, please. We don't need Joe Rando rifling through our dearly departed's bank records.
loree: (angel)
I haven't posted in forever, I know, and I'm sorry that I'm breaking that trend with such terrible news. But some of you don't frequent the other social media spaces where I've been talking about this.

[livejournal.com profile] dagard, meatspace name Ryan Brown, was found dead in his home today after I called the police to perform a welfare check. Details of what I know so far are posted here, from a redacted letter I wrote to his father.
loree: (shades)
If you're expecting or hoping for one, please check your spam filters. I'm suspecting a filter problem, because I'm astounded at the number of people yet to reply. And if you *have* received yours, save yourself a couple of nag emails and fill it out? :)

(Comments screened, although if you have questions about Norwescon programming business, it's probably better to email me - same username as here, at the convention domain. Dot org.)
loree: (laugh)
"Watch out or you'll lose your goth cred," said my boss of the white scrunchie I wore today, completely failing to notice the pattern printed on my shirt - a jumble of skulls reminiscent of one of the bone collections in the Paris catacombs painted in black and blue watercolor.

Cloth scrunchies are plentiful again. That's a fashion trend I missed. I should buy my weight in them so I'll have enough to last until they're popular again in another 20 years.
loree: (shades)
I am still reading. I am and remain ALL THE BUSY with Norwesconly things - the convention starts in ten days. But I had a lousy shopping experience at an Avenue store this weekend that deserves some Avenging.

Two pairs of pants. In the entire store. )


Oct. 8th, 2013 03:30 pm
loree: (shades)
Has anyone been in contact with [livejournal.com profile] rigel_p lately, and if so can you please ask her to contact me? I've got something relatively urgent (yay-urgent, not danger-urgent) I need to discuss with her, and am having no luck raising her via email (Gmail) or phone (Google Voice).

Comments screened if anyone has alternate contact info, else my own contact info is in a protected post at the top of my journal if you don't trust our Russian overlords with someone else's details.

ETA: I've been able to get in touch with her. Thanks all!
loree: (monkey thumbs-up)
My company has open positions in Seattle for two senior Unix systems engineers, a systems engineering manager, QA, software test engineer, Remedy developer, a project manager or two, and a handful of various data and application analysts.

Job descriptions and more information are available on our Jobs page - if you're not local to Seattle, we also have a variety of positions from sales and client support to federal projects and software development in a variety of locations:

CA: Aliso Viejo (Orange County), Torrance (LA)
CO: Greenwood Village (Denver)
CT: Hartford
FL: Miami, Pensacola, Tampa
IA: Cedar Rapids, Iowa City
MD: Annapolis, Baltimore, Ft. Meade, Hanover
SC: Charleston
TN: Memphis
TX: Austin, Dallas
VA: Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Ft. Belvoir, McLean, Quantico, Stafford
International: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Canada (Calgary, AB)

Feel free to share this. And as employee referrals tend to move to the top of the stack more quickly than free-range applicants, feel free to reference me if you apply. If you don't know my last name, leave a comment with your email address (comments are screened).
loree: (Default)
More details here, but these are the positions we're hiring for in Seattle:

ATAC Analyst
Computer Software Developer - SIP.net
Computer Technologist
Data Analyst - Data Provisioning
Database Administrator - MS SQL
Financial Analyst
HP Openview Application Management
Manager / Sr. Manager, Network Engineering
Network Analyst
Sr. Network Engineer
Staff Accountant
SW Test Engineer
Systems Engineer
Systems Engineer - UNIX/ Windows
VoIP Engineer

We also have 100+ other open positions in other divisions and other countries:

CA: Aliso Viejo, Camp Pendleton, Torrance
CO: Denver
FL: Pensacola
GA: Atlanta, Suwanee
MD: Annapolis, Ft. Meade, Hanover
VA: Arlington, Herndon, Springfield
VT: St. Johnsbury
Washington DC

Employee referrals tend to go further than free-range applications, so let me know if you apply. Leave your email address in a comment if you want to discuss any of these offline, with the caveat that I'm not going to know much about most of the positions outside Seattle. (Comments are screened unless you explicitly say otherwise.)
loree: (Default)
If you've ever wanted to be a panelist at Norwescon, now is the time to let me know. Don't wait for me to ask you - I'm delegating those decisions to the track leads. Go check out my page on becoming a panelist, reply via the webform linked at the bottom of the page, and I'll forward your info along to the appropriate track leads for consideration.

Please note, however, that while I plan to continue the previous years' policy of cycling through panelists to keep content fresh, on any given year there are roughly three times as many panelists to choose from as slots available to fill. So if you're not chosen, whether you've been a panelist before or not, it's a 99% chance it's not personal. After the convention, everybody except the elected positions are fired and have to reapply for their positions, so chances are good the same people won't be in charge from year to year.

Good luck!
loree: (science!)
I'm still buried under a mountain of dayjob work, and I found out yesterday morning that the Pro Suite coordinator has to drop out due to health reasons. If I know anyone at all who is already attending and would be interested in helping out in that arena (especially on Friday as my panel schedule is pretty packed), drop me a note. I'm not above bribery.

Responsibilities for each party are in the general arena of show up, put pre-prepared snacks on plates, open door on time, shoo people out on time, bag up trash, walk through to make sure nothing's broken or missing, close door -- you don't even have to stick around during the party if you don't want to.

My panel schedule is behind a cut for the disinterested )

And now back to the datamines.
loree: (sad panda)
Comment on a post, and get a 'this page has been deleted' error. Reload friends page, the post is still there, and has new comments. Comment I posted shows up in my inbox. Direct link to the page? Still broken.

KGB script-kiddies, aren't you tired yet?
loree: (Default)
LJ is especially quiet today. RSS and crossposting must be broken. The Russian election is over, script kiddies, get back to your non-DDOSing day jobs.
loree: (monkey phone)
Turn in your pro surveys ASAP to programming norwescon org. If we don't get it back by December 6th, we're going to assume you're not interested. And if you think you should've been invited and haven't, be sure to check your spam filters and old email addresses - while we try to make sure we keep our info up to date, something inevitably falls through the cracks.

All comments screened unless you explicitly say otherwise. If you have a question, don't want a response via LJ comment, and don't have my midgard email address, leave a comment with yours.


loree: (Default)

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