fr_defenestrato: (Homer scream)
Seriously, for sheer neck-creeping terror, this sentence from the current draft 'Proposal Development Procedure' at Chisanbop, Inc., is about on par with 'I have no mouth and I must scream':

'The bid will proceed unless compelling arguments against it are raised.'

It's a recipe for disaster. Terrible win-loss ratio (which we have), squandered resources. It's nonsense. NO bid should ever proceed unless compelling arguments FOR it are raised and any reasonable arguments against it can be countermanded.

Fuck this place.
fr_defenestrato: (easter)
Update since Wednesday: the Cheeselord Tenebrae service went off well despite Fr. Kevin's homily. hiding in the tenebrae )

Thursday, my boss invites me to the "pipeline review" meeting where everyone involved in sales at Splatcom runs down the data on all potential opportunities. omg boring work talk )

Last night took a couple buses in a row from my office to St. John's Catholic Church in Falls Church to sing, as a ringer, for the Good Friday service there. back to church )

Metroed home, hung out awhile, and back out to the Green Lantern, which has managed to curry a respectable underwear night on Fridays as well as Saturdays. requisite smut content )
fr_defenestrato: (saturnalia)
Hooray! I got 8 hours of nearly uninterrupted sleep last night! Crashed hard shortly before 9 and woke up at 5 a.m., completely BOING-don't-even-fit-in-the-bed-anymore awake. Started work about 5:30 and got the biggest baddest job on my to-do list done by 8, so I had no qualms about not leaving for the office until 9:15. Today we convene the Red Team review of the present proposal. I'm hoping any of the four people assigned to review it will have actually read it by 3 when we meet to debrief.

Meanwhile: hommos from Perfect Pita for lunch. Nom nom nom.

Tonight: the Suspicious Cheese Lords are singing a Tenebrae service at the Franciscan Monastery in D.C. As I've mentioned to several peoples, the Monastery fired us as artists-in-residence two years ago this spring, and since then (and partly because of that) we've been evolving into more a concert band than a church-service group—obviously to my extreme glee. We scurried that first year to make up the money (~$7K per annum) the Franciscans had given us to sing 6 services during Holy Week and various other holiday services throughout the year, and now that we're actually getting 5-figure offers from cathedrals and concert series far and wide we don't have to accept any old church service job that comes our way. But I've always had a soft spot for the monastery, which has one of the most gorgeous, sonorous, peaceful chapels I've ever been in... and so when the Franciscans asked us back for this Holy Week and the lords debated about it, I was happy that we decided to accept only once service, and that that service was Tenebrae. It's a mournful service, full of lamentations and whatnot, and toward the end of the service all the church lights go out and the altar candles are extinguished one by one, except for one that the priest picks up and walks out of the chapel, leaving the place in total darkness. While the lights are out the "strepitus" (Latin for "great noise") is sounded, symbolizing the "contraction of the earth in woe" following Jesus's crucifixion, or some such crap. (They have special noisemakers for this at the monastery.) Then the priest brings the candle back in, just like Jesus brought back the light of the world blah blah blah. Yeah, it's goofy and mythtical, but I like the darkness of it, and the drama. We sing nothing remotely happy. Yay!

Ooooh, in fact, one of the things we're singing tonight is explicitly about "the dying of the light" (but rages, rages not thereagainst): Moriens lux amantissima by Jean Mouton. We recorded this last summer but it didn't make it onto our new CD, which made me sad as it's my favorite thing of Mouton's that we sing. Anyway, y'all are welcome to come listen... at least it's free and you don't have to sit through TOO much churchiness.
fr_defenestrato: (Default)
So here's what: I packed my enormous orange duffel bag with comforter (paraclete), light bankie, pillow, change of clothes, and toiletries bag, Wednesday morning, and took it to work with me, prepared to live there until Friday, napping on the floor of my office only as absolute needed, to get the current proposal done. Then late Wednesday afternoon Addendum 5 to the Request for Proposals (RFP) came out announcing a postponement of the due date till Tuesday, May 25. Wait, May? "It's a mistake," I insisted. "They mean March." Sure enough, minutes later another email from the client saying, "Ok, here's the REVISED Amendment 5," only there's no attachment. Two minutes after that, new email, with revised Amendment 5 really really attached, this time for sure. Tuesday, March 25. So whew.

I stopped at Omega on the way home and saw a bunch of nearly naked guys I know from way back, still shakin' they thangs on the bar. Gotta love underwear dancing... gotta because all the naked stuff went away. Got good and hosed, slept through my alarm (how 25 of me!), woke up at 8:13 and STILL made it to work for a 9:30 meeting. Needless to say, unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed. had a good, productive day: took the opportunity to help out two different VPs with two different responses to "requests for information" or "sources sought notices"—not proposals proper, pretty short, just some agency trying to figure out whether there's enough small business talent to release an acquisition as a small biz set-aside.

Left work at a decent hour Thursday, with my newly restored laptop (it had crapped out for the second time in 2 months... but Clem Braddington, our IT guy, helped diagnose it with his little magic bag of tricks and we got the OS restored without I had to shell out repair money; of course it restored to Vista and I had to overwrite XP a third time, and reinstall all my programs, but. It could have been worse. Anyway, I packed up my little Toshiba and the external harddrive I had brought in to do installs as I worked, and brought it all home in my enormous orange duffel bag... and realized I had left the laptop power cord at work. So I got online, reserved a Zipcar, headed back to Tysons, grabbed my cord, and came home. Ugh. Couldn't get to sleep to save my life so I just did more work on RFI responses, till 6ish, at which point I emailed various work folk and said "working from home today" and went to bed. Missed the 10 a.m. meeting by about 4 hours.

Last night was a rendezvous with [livejournal.com profile] avocado_tom and friends... including P, the brand new girlfriend (to be clear: the nomenclature's new as of two or three days ago) and somebody else that I was supposed to have remembered in detail but was still hazy on... a guy named Jerry that I knew in Delaware, and while I recognized his full name and his face when he walked in, I had the hardest time placing the context or thinking of one event or scrap of memory in which I could pinpoint him in timespace.

Tom and I still couldn't figure out whether we had ever met in person before, our common friends at UD notwithstanding. I spent some time looking at his face trying to imagine 12 or 14 years taken away... It wasn't clear. Didn't ring a bell. Yet his formulation ("Gary lusted after my roommate") pretty much says it. Actually, in retrospect, if back in Delaware he were anything near as cute as he is now, I'd remember him.

So anyway: there shows up at the Brickskeller a group of 10 (plus me); and of the 8 men present, what was extraordinary to me (though my Delaware experience with the crowd in which Tom and Jerry ran should have mitigated this) was how ... gay-like they were. "Metrosexual" doesn't even cut it. These guys aren't "queer-eyed"; they are queer, plain and simple—they just don't by nature or habit suck cock and suchlike, though I expect more than one of them wish at times they were so inclined. They are remarkably physically affectionate with each other—the moment we met Tom hugged me on the street when I held out my hand to shake; when we said goodbye he kissed me on the lips; his friend Bill introduced himself by feeling up my butt and made like he was trying to take me home at the end of the night, protesting his heterosexuality (with a plaintive "I've tried!") only when I went to French him; etc.

And of course, it was the Brickskeller, a patently fun place, the worst I can say about which is that the men's room is among the foulest in the city. I had a few terrific beers and Belgian ales and some pierogies that were deep-fried (eia! I expected pan-) but at least tasty. And I met (or maybe re-met) a batch of intelligent, articulate individuals whose conversation (and memory for scatological songs) was great fun. It was, in short, an interesting and very enjoyable time. This was some good company. (Thanks, Tom!)
fr_defenestrato: (brother voodoo)
Good lard: at the office until 11 p.m. yesterday working a proposal due two weeks from today. Caught my Fairfax Connector bus to West Falls Church, caught the last orange line train downtown, which meant I was certain to miss the last yellow/green trains north. So I exited at MacPheremone Square and walked three blocks to the Green Lantern for a nightcap. Four beers and two shots later I cab home, feed them katzen, pack my stuff for the weekend (Lord Pancakes Aren't Animals Are They is shortly coming here to the office to pick me up; hence we hie to Ohio for the wedding of Lord Dan the Obstreperously Intent on Connubial Bondage), check email and LJ, and head to bed for an extremely efficient four hours' sleep before I need to get up and out for an 8:30 mandatory meeting, which fuck you Erica.

So I go to reset my cell phone alarm to Ridiculously Early O'Clock, except my cell phone's not where it ought to be. Wait... no, it's not ANYWHERE it ought to be. Uh. Hmm. Head upstairs to Irv A and dial my number on [livejournal.com profile] misterdarkness/[livejournal.com profile] peregrin8's phone and run down the back stairs quickly to tiptoe through my apartment, ears up and microadjusting, listening for the buzz of my cell phone (because of course I never have the ringer on, ever). Nope. I try again. Nope. Ok: I left my phone in the cab. I email Lord Broccoli to advise him of my work number and address and that I've lost my phone. I email My Sunshine (My Only Sunshine), [livejournal.com profile] maestro_live, that I've lost my cell phone. He emails back almost immediately that he's contacted the cabbie and the cabbie will drop it at his place. Whew. Leave it inside your outer gate, I tell him, and I'll pick it up on the way to the Metro in the morning.

I set the loudest and most annoying alarm clock in the work, ganked decades ago from Travelodge on Main Street, Newark, Delaware, where I was desk clerking, and go to bed for what is now maybe 2 hours 15 minutes' worth of sleep. Except oops. I wake up at 10 a.m. having missed the mandatory 8:30 meeting, but more importantly OH so close to being late already for the 11:30 meeting, in which, in essence, my entire job is being picked apart by an external quality assurance auditor.

Auditui meo!

Emergency mode: deodorant, mouthwash, put on a suit, tie in pocket; email boss: "Very sorry. I will be there by audit time. Long story"; shut down, unplug, pack computer; scram to Maestro's place, grab the phone, head to Metro, green line train sits in the tunnel between Shaw and Mt. Vernon for several minutes. At this point I WILL be late for the meeting. Get out at Archives and grab a cab, who drives me to Tysons and, because he doesn't take credit cards, stops at the Exxon near my office. The ATM gives me a process error. Nothing to do with my account. I am in hell. I am in hell. I am in hell. What I tell you three times is true.

Second try on the ATM and success. Cab drops me in front of my office. I uncoat, brush teeth, slime and ponytail hair, grab coffee— and someone has made double-coffee. So much coffee in the basket that it has overflowed and grounds are everywhere, in the carafe, on the burner, all around the machine. Fucker! What the fuck, fucker? I make new coffee with 4 minutes till my audit. Grab my shit, laptop, notepad, etc. Put on my tie. Head to conference room.

AND I FUCKING KICK ASS.

Auditor asks me question after question and I have reasonable answers to everything. He even tries to get me on an exception to our process (the prop I'm currently working on) where the Capture Plan was skipped due to time constraints. Says to me: "Maybe you should write that into your SOP..." I called up the SOP that he had "perused" (def. 2) and found precisely where I had already written the exception clause in.

I rock.

Another meeting now. Road trip soon.
fr_defenestrato: (avogadro)
I've decided to compile a set of usage laws that apply in the business of Federal Government contract acquisitions. These apply to generation of text for both Requests for [Proposals, Quotations, Information, what have you] and the [proposals etc.] that would-be contractors submit in response to said requests.

Today I present the first law (that occurred to me; its primacy does not necessarily signify its importance relative to forthcoming laws):

Any document-initial statement of purpose, problem, or intent, in either a Government-issued request or a contractor-supplied response, must include (preferably in its second paragraph) a reference to "meeting these challenges," regardless of the immediately preceding text.

A few modest examples:

Kellogg, Brown, and Root has scored exponentially under President Bush in the warfighting racket, realizing obscene profits as never before under previous administrations. KBR is rolling in filthy lucre and can foresee no change of derailment of the gravy train.

To meet these challenges, KRB is requesting...

Ok, this one's real:

... The NETCENTS2 Services contract will be a companion contract to the other two contracts in providing users total network-centric IT solutions.

The NETCENTS2 Services contract is designed to meet these challenges...

Also real, at least until I edited the following text:

... Navy professionals have paved the way into the future with resourcefulness, inventiveness, originality of ideas, and meticulously planned initiatives.

To meet these challenges, the MPT&E organization...

I swear, it's just automatic. It's a law; people learn it by repetition and after a while it just doesn't matter what the frig you put in the first 'graph: the second talks about meeting these challenges.
fr_defenestrato: (nebuchadnezzar)
So the guy who was going to send me a proposal draft by COB today for me to review and return by Friday morning is NOW going to send me a proposal draft by tomorrow afternoon for me to review and return by COB Friday.

COB Friday is, of course, four hours later than the time I'd have to leave to get to Falcon Ridge.

Everything is coalescing nicely to ruin my weekend.
fr_defenestrato: (LaTasca)
Lovely weather prevailed. I took the opportunity to run many shopping errands yesterday... Office Stapot for CD mailers (finally getting around to sending out smutty CDs from IML/Grabbys in Chicago) and Post-It flags (because it's easier to shop for office supplies yourself than to order them at work); thence to "Green Pets" (formerly "Pet Essentials") for some all-natural cat food (Tynchre already hates the first thing I tried to feed him; wouldn't even taste it)... the two 20-ish gayboys working here were just as nice as could be, and I could swear one of 'em was flirting, but it might have just been salesmanship...

thence to Garden District, a frivolous stop where i bought a few basil plants, oregano, and rosemary (yeah, it's late in the season but what the hey) and a purple passion plant for my office; by dawdling at GD I missed the closure of Home Rule by 5 minutes, so I didn't get to buy a variety of ridiculously expensive soaps.

Other than that I got some work-work done over the weekend, mostly reading/commenting on proposal drafts... also imPodting classical music and cleaning up my iPod's files so there's exactly one "composer" entry for Bach, one for Beethoven, etc. And all the composers and artists on the classical stuff are listed lastname, firstname. Also started burning those smut CDs, but I still need to design a label.

Saturday night was underwear night at Green Lantern. Not a particularly successful one in gourdian terms (no public sex). Sparsely attended, too: too much of gay Washington goes to Rehoboth every weekend in the summer. Ah well.

Went home well shy of last call and watched About Schmidt again for the first time since my initial on-release Netflix rental. I really like this movie. It's some of the best work I've seen from Jack Nicholson, as troubled and helpless a character as his turn in As Good as It Gets but without the nasty. Totally against type: no snideness or sarcasm at all. Even in the final "wedding reception speech" he's talking out his ass but doing it in the most convincing and respectful way possible so as to spare everyone's feelings. Schmidt is a wonderfully envisioned and enlivened character, and I cried along with him in the last seconds of the film.
fr_defenestrato: (rosewater)
Taking a break from Harold Bloom to read some Hannah Arendt for the first time. Never did get around to The Origins of Totalitarianism. This one's smaller.

A random update: finished up yesterday with a very annoying proposal for the State of Louisiana... too much detail about my life )
fr_defenestrato: (habanero)
I have just been informed that the very first proposal I worked on for my new employer Splatcom, Inc., was successful: the client, Fauquier County (Virginia) Government and Public Schools, just awarded us a contract. Unfortunately the tasks Splatcom will do for them have nothing whatever to do with taking pork brains in cholesterol-enriched cream sauce off the weekly middle school lunch menu.

This is a smallish piece of work, actually, but it sure feels good to have gotten the first one right... This is the assignment, BTW, that my boss gave me 20 minutes into my first morning on the job.

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