Saturday, August 04, 2001

I have an in-person interview with the Job I Really Want next Friday. They're flying me in to California.

The manager and I adore one another based on phone interviews. Three of the developers have worked with me before, and say "you're the best technical writer we've ever seen." (Direct quote.) I've sent them a PDF of a pretty damned impressive white paper I wrote.

I am terrified.

What shall become of us without any barbarians? They had become a kind of solution. -- Cavafy

What if they don't want me? What if they do? What if I get what I've been saying I wanted -- a cross-country move to Silicon Valley, easy access to people who speak my language, a job where I'm doing my best work -- and it's not enough?

What if the problem isn't with my circumstances, but with myself?

Friday, August 03, 2001

Where's SlashCity?, home of Nestra and Shrift, among others, has just been hit by a remarkably sleazy piece of Net business practice.

Briefly, SlashCity registered their domain,, with At the end of July, SlashCity was hit with an enormous bandwidth overload, causing their hosting service (not RegisterClub) to complain and fine them. Some Internet spider was downloading all of SlashCity's files.

As it happens, RegisterClub failed to send SlashCity a renewal notice in July, allowing SlashCity's registration to expire without notice in August. Minutes after the expiration, a Russian company, the same one that had caused the bandwidth overload in late July, registered as its own domain. It immediately sent a ransom notice to the old owners, informing them that it would charge $550 to return the domain to them. In the meantime, it has put up a pornography site at .

The SlashCity owners are deciding where to move their files, most likely to In the meantime, SlashCity pages will be offline. Needless to say, please do NOT follow any existing links to; you'll just encourage the squatters.

N.b. Nestra's blog is at for the duration; as far as I know, Shrift's is offline. (Update: She's camping out at

I'm the lead on The Project From The Hellmouth. My co-writer (whom I respect immensely) just sent me a note saying "It looks a lot more like a book than it did two weeks ago." We are well past cold comfort and into ice-9 comfort.

Last week, Nestra and I filked again. Everybody Ought To Have A Vamp. Poor Sondheim.

Thursday, August 02, 2001

For three months now, I've been telling the development team that we had inadequate information, that the documentation was going to suck. At every week's status meeting, I have been told about a new feature that wasn't ready on time, or about an already-documented feature (damned few of those) that was shifting beyond recognition. Each time, I said "This is going to affect documentation quality." I warned that the example documentation was going to consist largely of the example, plus a little explanatory text.

Code nominally froze Monday. (Hah!) As of Monday night, the example wouldn't compile, far less run. I cobbled together an example chapter Wednesday and sent it off to the developer for feedback. I did this in spite of a three-day-migraine; under any other circumstances, I'd have been in bed with a pillow over my face. At the 6P.M. status meeting with the VP of development, the developer said "This example is just the code, with a few sentences of text. Is that all there is?" "Yup." "Is there going to be any more?" "No, this is what I said I could give you."

What part of "I can't do this" didn't you understand?

Apparently I have a departmental reputation for pulling miracles out of thin air. Sorry, guys, I'm tapped. But the development team are angry and disappointed. Because I told them for three months that the documentation was unacceptable, and now the documentation's unacceptable. This time, Jonquil's Miracle Fairy didn't show.

God, I'm tired. Migraine, day 4.

P.S. Thanks to Nestra for mighty template improvements, including finding the graphic for me.

Wednesday, August 01, 2001

Signs That Jonquil Is Too Tired

Monday at 6 P.M. my time, I was in a phone meeting with the VP of development, my manager, and the senior members of the product team. Everybody hadn't arrived yet, and we were chatting. I thought it was just Tech Pubs. I said something derogatory about the documentation, then said "Of course, I wouldn't say that in a public meeting."

My manager replied "You just did." Seems the VP was already there.

Fortunately, he already knew exactly how angry and despairing Pubs was about this project.

Constant Fury

What sends me into a white-hot rage?

People who can't/won't do their job and feel no shame about it. Transparent lies, the kind that say "You're too stupid to realize this statement is self-contradictory." (Yes, George, I'm talking to you.) Smug I'm-saved-and-you-aren't Christianity.

As you may have guessed, I'm spending most of my life in a white-hot rage. This can't be good.

I walk through a world in need of editing, and 99.99999% of it I can't fix. Probably just as well for everybody else. A couple of days ago, in response to some particularly heinous misdeed or other, I said to my husband, "Come the revolution..."

He answered pensively, "We're going to need an awfully big wall."

Tuesday, July 31, 2001

The Slash Revolution

When Kate's Slash Revolution comes, which side will I be on?

As with previous revolutions (feminism being the one closest to my heart), I will refuse to buy into an all-or-nothing package. I am a feminist, have been from age 13. I won't adhere to anybody's feminist party line, whether it's Rush Limbaugh's or Gloria Steinem's. If I can't pick and choose, it's not my revolution.

So I'll be one of the people standing up and saying "Nobody is hurt when fictional characters are repurposed in amusing ways. But publishing your fantasies about real human beings' private behavior is icky and libellous." Because that's what I believe.

The world is way, way too much with me at the moment.