Mistress of Disguise

Because modern clothes are stupid

Summer is Here

Things have improved a lot since the last time I wrote. The lady that works as the executive assistant to Chief Reyes (who is the chief chief) is planning to retire at the end of June, and she’s brought me back into admin to train with her so I can take her place once she leaves. It is so nice to be back in admin! Having an 8-5 M-F is so great, the midnight shift in Booking was killing me. My sleep schedule is still readjusting, like bad jet lag, but it’s nice to be able to plan things on the weekends again, look forward to having holidays off, you know, have a damned life.

There’s still some uncertainty that I’ll actually get her spot, since they have to open up the position to everyone once she actually leaves, but she, my current Captain, and my former Captain, are all putting in recommendations for me, so that will be a big leg up. I’m spending my down time polishing and updating my resume, too. Even if I don’t get the new position, at least it will be six weeks I won’t be in Booking, since I’m officially “on loan” until she retires.

My mental health is doing better, too. I definitely won’t say I’m doing great, and I still have my bad days, but I’m working on things, and I feel like things are really improving.

I’ve even felt good enough that I pulled some UFOs out from under the bed and have started doing a bit of hand-sewing again. I’m working on finishing the blue and pink 1760s stays that I started a while back and that needed some alterations in the hip area, and as soon as I finish binding the bottom edge I can actually check those off the list. I’m going to finish the flossing on my green 1870s stays, too, so I can finally call them 100% done. I still don’t have the space to really make a gown or anything, but at least I can work on small stuff.

M’s had a bit of an upswing, too. A colleague at the university office he works in gave him a preliminary job offer. It sounds like they’re going to create the position specifically for him and have it waiting for him once he graduates next spring, working in the recruitment office. It sort of throws a kink in our plans to move up north next year, but we talked it over, and he’s planning to take it if it does become a reality, especially if I also get the executive assistant position with the chief. So, we may be in Texas for a couple more years, but if we stick to the savings plan I came up with, then we may only need to be here for maybe two or three more years before we could finally leave. Neither one of us want to stay in Texas anymore. West Virginia has now become Maine in our plans which will mean more rural, which I like, and more snow, which he likes, and we’re both anxious to move forward with our lives. We’ve both felt so stuck.

But, at least if we can’t move just yet it does mean that we can make Paris happen for next year. We’re planning to combine it with his graduation trip, and I still want to squeeze in a week in Germany, so I may have to finagle the time off a little bit, but three weeks in Europe would be SO GREAT. So it will probably be one week in Prague, one week in Paris, and one week in Germany. We may whittle down the week in Paris a bit since there are a few things in Germany that M wants to see that are pretty far apart, but I really only have a few things I want to do in Paris, so it wouldn’t be too big a sacrifice.

Of course, that all depends on whether or not we decide to stay in Texas or if we just want to take the chance and move to Maine right away, job offers be damned. It’s all very up in the air right now.

In completely unrelated news, I went to the doctor for an eye infection, and they made me stand on the world’s rudest scale, which told me I was 20 pounds heavier than I thought I was. It looks like I have about 100 pounds to lose to get to my goal weight, which sounds hideously unattainable. I went immediately after the doctor’s appointment and joined a gym down the street from my house, which is actually inside a hospital and very swanky. They have a smoothie bar and everything! And I can live with the $20/month price tag. Working out will be a lot easier now that I get off work at a reasonable hour. I’ve started swimming at home again, too. I’m doing between 30 and 45 minutes a day right now, but I want to eventually get back up to 1+ hours like I was doing last time. I don’t think I’ll be able to force myself to get up at 5AM, work out, go to work, come home, and swim, like some insane people that apparently do that sort of thing (I think those people only exist on TV, really), but I think I can get to the gym after work for an hour, then come home and swim for an hour. That sounds pretty doable.

With just the swimming I’m already down a pound from last week, even with all the yummy things we ate over Memorial Day weekend, so I’m feeling pretty good about my chances of hitting my goal by this time next year.

Summer is officially starting now, since M is heading out at the end of the week to visit his dad in El Paso. It’s become sort of a summer tradition that the first few weeks after the semester is out, he heads to the desert. I’ll have about a week or so on my own, in which time I plan to scrub down the entire room. He won’t be there at his desk as the immovable gaming object, getting in the way of my cleaning efforts! I can finally get under the desk to give the floor a good scrub, and to the shelves on the other side of the desk so I can pack it all up and put it in storage. Since we put in the little kitchen area, we’re back to space being at a premium, so anything that can go into storage, is going into storage.

Life Update
Sort of dropped off the map for a while. I developed pretty severe depression after starting my new position, to the point where there were days I didn't even get out of bed. I've been slowly pulling out of it, and I've had several pretty good days in a row which is a relief. For a long time I thought I just had some mild, situational depression,  but looking back, I can see that I've been fighting this for a long time now, for at least a couple of years now. I've started investigating therapists available through my health insurance, but it's hard to know what to look for, and I'm so anxious about opening up to a professional. But, I'm taking steps forward, so I feel like I'm heading in the right direction.

I've had to change my entire outlook on my current job. I thought it was going to be a job I would have for a while, which is why it felt so devastating when they pulled the rug out, but now I've just had to start thinking of this like the jobs I had while I was in school - temporary and unimportant. I've been using up the vacation time I had saved to take days off here and there for evening archaeology lectures, which has made things feel much less confining. The next lecture is about a scientific analysis done on the famous Nefertiti bust, which I'm really excited for!

Unfortunately, because  of the job stuff, I decided to cancel all of my travel plans for the time being. I cancelled the places I had reserved for our Paris trip (thankfully we hadn't booked our airfare yet), and I didn't bother registering for CoCo, so it's of the table now, too. I thought I would be more upset, but it's more of a relief than anything. Maybe next year I'll feel more like interacting with the human world again.

House hunt is on hold, so we're working on turning our room into a short of studio apartment. I'm clearing out my sewing corner so we can make it into a kitchenette with a mini-fridge, microwave, and maybe a Keurig. We keep eating fast food because we don't feel able to use the kitchen to cook, and I really miss vegetables! I can't wait to have a place to store things like lettuce and yogurt. I've never missed salads so much in my life!

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I had my first two days on midnight shift, and it was fairly awful. I don't really know anymore why I'm on this Zod-forsaken shift, because it literally has the most people of any shift. They kept saying it was because there was no one was on this shift and they were so understaffed, but, they only have desks for 5 clerks to work at any one time, and because there was literally no one on the previous shift, they have been so backlogged that they haven't had anyone available to show me what to do.

They put me on the reception desk instead, which is easy and a lot like retail customer service ("I'm sorry, but your order hasn't arrived yet" is now "I'm sorry, but the paperwork hasn't been updated yet.") The rest of Sunday night I just...filed things, since all the desks were taken.

I feel like nothing is going to come of the job at the ME's office. But, I have been in contact with a lady in Lockheed's HR department, so I'm hoping something comes through there.

Found an astonishingly gorgeous house in West Virginia, but we're nowhere near ready to move there yet. It's a 10-bedroom, 6,000 sq ft brick mansion built in 1852, and it's for sale for $275k, which is insane. And it's only an hour and a half to DC. Gah! $275k here gets you a 2,000 square foot house if you're lucky.

Even though we're not in the position to buy anything now, at least I know that there's a healthy, affordable market in WV. I'm feeling more and more like I won't be in the position to build my own place by the time we actually move up there (I want to build with my own hands, not have someone build for me), so the next best thing is finding a historic home. M doesn't want anything big, but I do, so I'm hoping he'll come around in the time between then and now.

I'm also having a lot of fun looking at the 18th century houses that are for sale. The stone manor that belonged to Washington's first cousin is currently for sale for $1.6 million, and there are a couple of other mid to late 18thC properties that are available right now that are so pretty. It's all lotto dream shopping, of course, but it's so much fun to look! There's one house with this massive ballroom that I can just see myself swanning around in, and holding fun costume events in, and dances!  It's absolutely, 100% the house I would buy if I won a jackpot.

I bought an antique fluting iron, which I'm planning to use for the aqua 1890s petticoat, but I have so little time with the new work schedule that I have no idea when I'll actually be able to work on anything new.  I don't get to bed until 2am, I sleep until a couple of hours before work, and my days off are spent on housework. UGH. I can't wait to have a regular routine again. I miss my free evenings, having the options to go do things if I want (there are several concerts coming up, and a couple of after-hours museum parties that sound awesome), and having my weekends free.

Anyway, hopefully things will turn around in the next couple of weeks. I'm so stressed all the time right now, I'm actually on the verge of going back into retail until I can find something full-time. Just...a couple more weeks. ~sigh~

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There's nothing like a good bitch session at the beginning of the workday to really relieve a bit of stress. I actually caught a couple of the other secretaries on my way in this morning, and we all had a good long moment of mutually complaining, and it was just really nice to commiserate with them. Turns out I'm actually behind the curve, as three of them have already turned in their notices and don't even plan on stepping foot in Booking. I'm too nervous about going without money for an inestimable time period to just rage quit right now, but gods the temptation is strong. It's hard to decided which scares me more - being without money, or being among rowdy inmates. It's horrible being pushed around by fear.

The Captain has been out with the flu since last Thursday, so he hasn't been able to approve my vacation request yet. I'm really hoping he gets the chance before Saturday, since I timed it to start on the first day they had me in Booking. XD I'm hoping that will provide some extra time to hear back from the places I've applied to (I've sent in well over 50 applications at this point). If someone would just get the hiring ball rolling, I'd feel confident enough to put in my notice here.

I have to wait on M to get out of class tonight, so I figured I might as well go and see Black Panther. I haven't really been sucked into all the hype surrounding the movie, I'm not a huge superhero movie fan (I like the Thor and Iron Man franchises, but don't really care about the rest), but everyone is saying its great, and, well, I've seen everything else at the downtown theatre. XP I reaaally wish that Annihilation was already playing, because it's the same person who did Ex Machina, which was brilliant, but it doesn't come out until Friday. :(

Update: The Captain said that he has an In at Lockheed and will make a call for me! If they begin the hiring process this week, I can put in my notice here, and only have to endure a short time in Booking!

Unfortunately he can't approve my time off since I won't technically be working for him during that period, so the people over Booking would have to approve it, which they never would. But, at least it will get paid out to me once I leave.

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I've gone from anger and grief to feeling like I'm in some sort of limbo. Until I find a new job, all my plans are on hold - buying a house, all our travel plans, Paris, it's all just up in smoke now. Ugh. I don't even feel like I can sew because I don't even know where I'm going or what I'm doing.

I feel like I'm being whiney, since I'm not actually losing my job, just my position, but I feel just awful. Feel free to ignore my griping.

Much type. Many job. Wow.
I went on sort of an application spree, and applied to a bunch of positions before my 11 o'clock lunch. (I'm not desperate to get out of here before the transfer, noooo.)

I found a few museum positions open in Dallas and Denton - A collections curator, a collections manager, a collections technician, and an exhibits coordinator. Any of them would be pretty nice but all of them are 6-month contract positions, except for the exhibits coordinator, which is full-time. Still, any of them would give me experience in collections handling and curation, which would help me in future job hunting.

I found two admin assistant positions open at my old college, and applied to those, and two more with the City, one with the City Secretary, one with Parks and Rec. Either of those start at $1/hr more than I'm making now, so I'd be happy with either, and it would basically be the same job as I'm doing here.

I'm already exhausted. Anyone want to do my Elizabethan costuming lecture for me tonight?

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Fingers crossed, guys, the Navy has received my application for the archaeologist position here in town. I actually meet all the qualifications to go in at a higher pay grade than I thought, which is good. If I could get this position, it would mean that I might actually have a job that I could transfer to wherever M goes to grad school, which will likely be somewhere in the northeast (he really wants to go to Boston), and my choice grad schools were all up there, too, so I might actually be able to go to school while I'm working, which would be amazing and mean a higher pay grade.

I've applied for federal archaeologist positions before and didn't get them, so I'm not exactly holding my breath, but ye gods this would be a sweet gig.

I cried myself to sleep last night over being forced into Booking and not getting to work with my Captain anymore. I don't know if I can handle the chaos in Booking, all the fights between inmates, and on top of that, how catty and cliquey the clerks down there are. I swear it's like high school. I already know it's not going to be a smooth ride because when I first hired I was supposed to go into Booking, but the Captain fought to get me as his secretary, so they're already resentful and snarky about that. Ugh, gods, I hate this. I'd put in my two weeks now if I wasn't terrified of falling behind on bills.

So, any good mojo you guys can send would be really appreciated.

Oh, found out last night that the other two facility Captains actually get to keep their secretaries, but somehow the maximum security facility doesn't need one. Yeah. ~sigh~

Still Alive!
Well, it was 5 days of hell, but I finally recovered enough from whatever I had that I have made it back to work. There was a pile of emails from people asking for stuff that I'd already sent them a dozen times before, and I had to jump right into the lieutenants meeting first thing this morning to take minutes, but otherwise it's about as I expected.

I have to give a lecture on Thursday about Elizabethan dress and I am so not in the mood for it. I still don't feel 100% yet, and it's a huge pain to get to Watauga because of traffic and construction, but I committed to this over a year ago, so I can't back out. Blah.

I'm looking forward to finally being able to work on the Symington corset. I need to also finish the flossing on the 1872 corset that I made for the soiree, because I really want to get pics of the final product. I'm really in love with that corset and I want to show it off. I also need to adjust my new blue stays so I can start on the gown for Paris. I didn't cut the hip tabs quite deeply enough, so it doesn't fit quite right. I'm not looking forward to having to re-bind the bottom edge, but at least they'll be finished then.

I'm trying to decide what to do about M's court suit. I don't have enough time to hand-embroider it at this point. I contacted Christine Yoo who does all those gorgeous machine embroidered 18thC pieces, but it turns out that between digitizing the design, testing it, and everything else, it would take just as long for her to do the embroidery as it would for me to do it. So now I'm trying to come up with a plan C. It's probably either going to involve different, simpler embroidery on a totally different coat than the others I had in mind, or it's going to involve finagling some trim to look like embroidery. I have to give it more thought. A big part of me still wants to give hand-embroidering something a shot. My gown should actually go together really quickly, so I should be able to devote a good chunk of the next few months to his suit. We'll see what makes more sense.

Well, I did it, I caught the bug that's going around. I don't think it's flu, I think it's just a cold, but UGGHH, do not want! 

I was feeling extremely tired on Friday, and I thought it was just fatigue from a long week, but looking back now I can see that it was really the onset of the zootus. I would feel fine when I was sitting down, but would feel instantly ache-y and exhausted as soon as I stood up. 

I was so excited to sleep in on Saturday morning, but the cats had other ideas as woke me up at 4AM, and the minute I was awake, I just knew. 

M bought me a giant thing of my favorite soup and has been making sure I don't have to get out of bed for anything, and I've just been sitting here and binging Mad Men. I hope I've recovered enough that I don't have to use a sick day tomorrow, but judging by how I feel right now, I'm not optimistic.

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Finally figured out the ratios to adjust the pattern so it would print out to my bust size and torso length.

Measure pattern waist.

17 inch bust-to-waist difference.



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