It’s not my birthday…

Well the rain falls down without my help I’m afraid
And my lawn gets wet though I’ve withheld my consent
When this grey world crumbles like a cake
I’ll be hanging from the hope
That I’ll never see that recipe again

It’s not my birthday, it’s not today…

- They Might Be Giants, “It’s Not My Birthday”-

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.

-Louis L’Amour-

No, dear readers, it is NOT my birthday today. That cherished occasion lies nine months in the future. Today is auspicious, however, for at least two reasons:

A) Today was the last day of my IT career. I’ve left behind Very Large Corporation, Inc, and Information Technology alike in order to take up my bindle stick, pluck up my courage, and hop aboard a train bound for Creative Enterprise.

and

B) Today is my “rebirthday.” Exactly 2 years ago today, I received the precious blessing of the state court and changed my legal identity to match my actual one. I may be only two years old, but I’m advanced for my age.

It’s been a busy day, is the point.

I’ve been struggling for years to return to creative work, the victim of an odd (and, at times, cruel-seeming) paradox; despite having zero formal IT training or education, possessing what can only be described as mid-level technopathy led to the assumption that I was and would forever be a “techie,” despite both my frequent side projects in the creative arts and my own hearty protestations to the contrary. Eventually, the time I’d spent in IT (which was, naturally, time away from design and other creative fields, at least according to my resume) reinforced this idea; “Claire must be meant for IT because Claire’s in IT and Claire’s in IT because Claire’s meant to be there.”

Not pretty.

But, the wheel of life spins under our feet regardless of our forward motion, and eventually I was able to – through a series of contacts, design projects and a stubbornness so profound that mules roll their eyes at me -  procure my new position in Marketing and Social Media. My excitement is so profound that I’m pretty sure I’ve been levitating most of the day, which sounds fun until you stop at the grocery and can’t activate the little pressure-plate door opener thing.

But I digress.

As I was packing up my few remaining possessions and saying my goodbyes, I realized how deeply IT has affected me, both as a person and an employee. Yes, there have been challenges to my patience at times – ID-10T errors and PEBKAC abound – but for the most part, even the most grievous frustrations were ameliorated by that magic moment, that singular instant, when I solved someone’s problem. Money has never been a particularly strong motivator for me; my inability to manage it, coupled with the sort of disregard for material gain most people associate with terminal illness or religious mania makes it a poor carrot with which to lead me down the primrose path. However, put me in a place where I am genuinely and consistently helpful to someone, exorcising not just the demons from their Excel macros but the shadows from their workday, and I am a happy camper (provided, of course, that there is gratitude for services rendered…ingrates turn the knob of my Smitemaster 3000 to “11″ ).

This has not been an ideal job – what job is, in the final analysis? – but it HAS been a useful one. It’s taught me many things about myself, and the kind of work, environment and interactions I require to feel as though I’m making a positive impact every day. It’s introduced me to some great friends, taught me that trust needs to be earned (not just given away like novelty tokens at a particularly cruddy fundraising carnival), and, perhaps most importantly of all, helped me to understand all the things I’m NOT as well as those I am.

And for that, I will be forever grateful.

It’s been a day of lasts – last login, last cup of tea, last casual sweep of Ice Station Zebra, last hugs and tears and laughs.There will be letters to write, e-mails to exchange, lunches to coordinate; there will be attrition as bodies both peripheral and central in my personal galaxy move closer or break orbit and disappear into space beyond.

But it’s also a day for beginnings. Here I stand, two years as Claire behind me, with (let us hope) many more ahead. The sun has not yet reached its apex; the future stretches before me, a road traveling through sunny heights and icy, shadowed lows. Having reached a fork, I’ve chosen what I hope is the right one, and focus my gaze on the horizon.

No, it’s not my birthday, my friends. But somehow, I still feel as though I’ve been given a gift.


Claire & Company Winter Wallpapers

Happy Holidays, Horde!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I thought I might share with you a little gift: FREE holiday wallpaper, featuring the characters from my very-occasional comic, “Claire & Company!” (also known as “Claire De Lunacy,” depending on the vintage!)

Anyway, here they are.  Consider them a lil’ “Thanks!” for being a reader.

Cheers!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Oscar is what we call a "special needs" cat.

Oscar is what we call a "special needs" cat.

With Memory and Honor

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2009

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2009

OK, kids, it’s time to get serious, because the violence against the TG community is very serious indeed.


This Friday, November 20th, marks the 11th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. This event is held to pay respect to those who have lost their lives to anti-transgender violence and reckless hate; it is also held to increase awareness within the community at large to this violence and the danger it holds, not only for gender-variant individuals but those who share their lives. In 2009 alone, 99 individuals worldwide have been murdered either because they were transgendered, were involved with someone transgendered, or – perhaps most unsettling of all - were perceived to be transgendered by their attacker(s). With the violence against the community escalating at an alarming rate (2009′s murders to date are more than twice that of 2008′s), informing the public and working to educate others is a key step in reducing these senseless acts and preserving the dignity, safety and lives of all citizens.I encourage you to participate in your local events; the light of awareness helps to dispel the shadows of ignorance and hate.
For more information, or to find an event near you, please visit http://www.transgenderdor.org or http://www.transohio.org.

Awesome People to Follow on Friday!

Hey, Readers!

I know that The Twitter is not for everyone, but if you do indulge in the occasional tweet, then you’ve got three new friends you haven’t met yet, waiting for you over at the Awesommolier.

Today’s Awesommolier post focuses on three members of the Faithful Horde who are must-follows! Stop by, get to know them, and be sure to click on the SocialVibe link to help bring art to hospitalized kids. There’s no better treat you can bring a sick or injured child than the gift of art!

(By the way, thanks to you, we’ve already provided almost 140 art projects to kids in hospitals! Your participation is super important, and it is also SUPER appreciated. I may be highlighting three members of the Horde every week, but you’re ALL People of Quality™. THANKS! )

Daily Dose of Awesome Now Available

Splendor in the Grass

"Splendor" is the word for it, my friends.

Today’s Awesommolier is now available, hot off the (word)presses! In today’s post, I review the new Pink Martini album, Splendor in the Grass, which is indeed splendorous. Stop by and check it out – and while you’re there, be sure to click on the SocialVibe link to help out The Art of Elysium!

Thanks bunches!

What is Awesome to you?

Hola, faithful readers!

One of the multiple hats I wear on the dark entity known as Twitter is that of the Awesommolier. What, you may ask, is the Awesommolier?

“None of your bee’s wax!” I will say. Then I will remember that I want you to read it, and shrug while smiling sheepishly.

The Awesommolier is an outgrowth of an idea I had for Follow Friday on Twitter. For those of you with actual lives, Follow Friday is a Twitter tradition wherein one recommends other Twitter users one thinks others would benefit from following. In order to instruct The Faithful Horde on who I thought they should I follow, I created the Awesommolier, a role in which I endorse things and people found to be Awesome in my sight.

About a week ago, a friend of mine said to me, “If these things and people are so awesome, you should tell people more about them, instead of just saying “Yo, Horde, this website/vegetable/Eastern European Glamor Model is awesome!”

So, taking their suggestion to heart, I have created The Awesommolier, a weekly blog dedicated to finding and sharing things I find awesome (while also supporting charity; by clicking on the Socialvibe link, you can help sick kids heal through, and learn more about, the arts).

I’m currently accepting suggestions, so if you’ve got anything you think other folks would love to learn more about, I’ll be publishing this week’s issue on Friday, October 23rd. Write-ups and pics are welcome; in future editions, I plan to partake of all things awesome in order to give a real first-person report for the curious and timid.

If it is awesome, and others should be sharing in it, we aim to let you all know! Send me your nouns, your verbs, even your gerunds to the e-mail at left, via this blog, or on Twitter (@LaBarceloneta).

In Which Our Heroine Enters The Fashion Industry

That's right, I actually spent time designing this.

That's right, I actually spent time designing this.

And by “fashion industry,” I of course mean “the novelty t-shirt business.”

That’s right, faithful readers! You can now get a brand-spankin’ new t-shirt emblazoned with my NEW design, “Tweetar®.” Some pals and I came up with this one day a few weeks back, and I decided what the world needs is another shirt, one that teaches as well as entertains.

Because I’m cool like that.

Oh, and also because I need filthy lucre to finance my other, more ambitious projects.

Do you appreciate the Awesome? Do you speak or at least appreciate Español? Do you have some spare cash you’d just spend on candy or lottery tickets anyway, you undisciplined mook?

Well, then, why not blow it on one of my awesome t-shirts instead?

Stop by today, and you’ll be conjugating Tweetar® along with the best of ‘em in no time!

http://www.cafepress.com/LaBarceloneta

[The preceding was a paid announcement. No warranty given or implied, although if I see you wearing my shirt I WILL give you a hug and dance around in a circle, so probably best to keep a jacket with you at all times.]
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