Tag Archives: POV

2015: Variations of Hell on Earth

There are a lot of things I can live with. Unfortunately, stupidity is not one of them. So can you imagine how difficult it is to perpetually be in the same breathing space as some who’s level of intelligence is in the negative? Can you understand how the level of difficulty increases when said unintelligent being is part of my group?

I used to think that maybe it’s me. Maybe my standards are too high. Maybe I expect too much from someone who’s been here for less than a year. I know it’s not fair to compare how I was when I was new, so I try not to (although I end up doing it anyway). But when the consistency of her inconsistencies are unparalleled, and when the simplest of things cannot be done, and when the same errors are being committed time and time again, it leads me to believe otherwise.

It’s. Not. Me.

True enough, there’s more then enough dislike talking through me right now. I’m watching Lady J take the heat for a mistake committed by TGoE. I know it’s part of her role – accountability, right? It’s a leader thing, I get it. As long as The Garden of Eden is under her supervision, it will always be her mistake, even if it’s not. But when you look at the long and sordid situation they’re in and you realize that all of it could have been avoided simply by TGoE correctly managing expectations, can you really blame me for really wanting to drown the latter in the loo?

Lady J wonders why she sticks it out with us. TGoE’s answer is the Ms. Universe response: “I really love what I’m doing.” Dude, seriously. And yet, when the question “But what if what you’re doing doesn’t love you back?” is posed to her (and it has been – many, many times), she has no response.

I’ve come to understand that this seems to be her natural response to potential conflict situations – she withdraws, stays silent, puts on her “kawawa” face (which is the most annoying thing ever), and sulks. Sometimes I wonder what goes on in that head of hers (I have images of her very few neurons playing tag with each other – Goddess knows they have more than enough space). I wonder if it’s ever crossed her mind that she is, for most of the time, at fault? If you just base it on how she retells certain things, there was always someone else who told her the wrong thing. Or there was always someone else who misunderstood (but what she said was really correct. Like REALLY. She’s sure of it). It’s never her. It’s always someone else. Seriously, how long can someone delude themselves into always thinking this way (apparently, it’s been going on for almost 9 months and it’s still going strong!)?

I get it, you know. Her working in this kind of environment is hell for her. It’s difficult enough when you feel everything you do is wrong. It doesn’t help when every single person you work with (at least those who count) confirms this. Often times to your face. Her life in this office? This is her variation of hell.

Lady J is convinced that one day TGoE will decide to leave – not because she’s being to hard on her, not because of the fact that no one ever talks to her in the office (except for Robo-egg and Barney, but those are different stories and will be told at a different time), but because she will never be able to deliver. I, on the other hand, am firmly convinced that she’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Try to look at it from a completely predatory point of view:

You get paid every fifteen days to do absolutely nothing of worth except encode random stuff which other people assign to you, mostly because they’re desperate for you to do something. But since you aren’t capable of delivering at a normal capacity, none of them will give you work that actually requires at least the smallest iota of intelligence. After all, at the end of the day, it’ll still be their necks on the line.

So you’re coasting along. No one really talks to you, save for a couple of poor souls who are, more or less, in the same boat, and it’s enough for you because at least you have “friends”. People talk to you behind your back (like literally – they sit behind you and they talk. Using not-so-soft voices) but you don’t really care. After all, work isn’t about making friends. When everyone else is loaded, you finally get assigned to a customer. And because you have all the time in the world, you spend a better half of an hour talking to them on the phone, not even considering that they might not have the same amount of time in their hands. And when you fuck up, you know that someone will always come to your rescue – because even if you know that they abhor your presence, they also have an image to uphold.

So it’s a blessed existence. You get something for doing absolutely nothing. Why on earth, would you leave?

So I’ll say it again. I don’t think she’s going to leave. If she had an ounce of pride, she would have left months ago. If she really cared about the rest of us, she would either have shaped up (because there has been more than enough time for the improvement to show) or shipped out (because her being here is actually weighing us down and we can’t look for a more suitable person because she’s still there).

But where is she? She’s still here. And honestly, I don’t see her going away anytime soon.

And this is my variation of hell.

Dark & Twisted…

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Filed under Secret Life of Bees, Stories from the Garden of Eden

Violent Reaction Much?

My former team and I are planning to meet up soon – the last time we saw each other was in July or August (I remember very well because I was fat and jobless then).  Sadly, their situation’s still as bad as it was right after I left – there’s been a change in management (some of it, anyway), which might mean there is something intrinsically wrong with the organization.

Ice asked for my opinion about certain “performance standards” their supervisor is trying to implement.  She asked for my opinion and I gave it.  To whoever gets offended by what I right – “You can take this post, print it out, crumple it into a little ball, and shove it up your ass.”

Oh yes, Universe, the Bitch is back.

Here’s my response.

***

Okay, feedback on the email.

It’s a good thing that the form was sent to you before the end of the year – that way you will already know how you are going to be assessed.  HOWEVER, it would still have been better if the form was discussed BECAUSE sending an email does not guarantee understanding, not does it give the opportunity for immediate clarification (like the logic behind the scoring system).

That said, there are several things I have rather strong opinions on.  Anything mentioned hereafter are my personal takes.  You are not required to agree with any of the points raised nor should you be swayed by my points of view.

Let’s start.

i.     Attendance

I don’t understand why taking planned leaves affect your performance evaluation.  In all the organizations I’ve been with, it has always been the unscheduled leaves that make scores lower.  Why?

First, what is the reason for including scheduled leaves in measuring attendance?  Since attendance is an organization-wide metric, is this scoring system implemented across all levels of the organization (meaning if the QAs are being measured against this standard, shouldn’t the Quality Lead be evaluated the same way as well?) and accounts?  If not, why is HRCC the only account implementing this kind of measure?  Will all employees of HRCC be measured in the same way?  If not, why are the QAs the only individuals to have this restriction? Is the account under so much scrutiny that employees are going to be penalized for going on scheduled leaves?

Second, the reason why it’s called scheduled leaves is because it is planned – this means permission was asked and given ahead of time.  It’s now the supervisor’s responsibility that the remaining staff be distributed as strategically as possible.  Kung masyadong madami ang napayagan magleave, hindi problema ng QAs yun – problema yan ng supervisor kasi he should have known better than to let so many people go on leave.

Third, from an employee’s point of view, this becomes a loss-loss situation.  If a leave has to be taken, it will never be a truly positive experience because regardless of the supervisor’s decision, the impact will always be unfavorable – if the supervisor does not give permission, the employee does not to get to go on leave; if the supervisor does give permission, the employee gets to go on leave but will have to live with a lower score when evaluated.

Fourth, the company grants employees 25 PTOs, 5 of which are carried over and another 5 converted to cash at the end of the year should it not be completely used.  That said, to be able to maximize the leaves given (which, if I’m not mistaken, the company is advertising as a benefit), one must consume 15 of the 25 PTOs, leaving the remaining 10 to be converted to cash or carried over. However, should employees be measured as stated in the KRO form, one will not even reach a 4 should one opt to consume all un-convertible leaves regardless of when said leaves are to be taken.

Fifth, if the response to the fourth point is employees have the option of not going on leave, then the question is this: what message are you trying to get across? Is work-life balance something we are not advocating anymore?  If it is not, then I suggest that expectations be managed.  If you want employees to practically live in the office, then say so – don’t preach about the importance of health and family when there are consequences when one attempts to allocate time away from the office.

Sixth, why is attendance being measured on a monthly basis?  If the true goal is consistency when it comes to good attendance, then it should be measured as a long-term goal, not something that we are expecting to change on a per-month basis.  Measure attendance in terms of percentages in quarters – this way, ranges can be determined to be equivalent to a 4 and a 3, as opposed to going from a 5 to a 2 due to one instance of unscheduled leaves.  For instance:

SCORE MEASUREMENT CRITERIA
5.0 100% attendance for the quarter
4.0 90% to 95%
3.0 85% to 84%
2.0 80% to 84%
1.0 Below 80%

* Wherein % attendance is computed as (number of days present) / (Total number of work days)

Lastly, using scheduled leaves as basis for non-performance is against Labor Law.

At this point, I think it should also be brought up that Labor Law states there should be at least 12 hours between an employees’ log out time and the next log in time.  If I remember correctly, this was something even WFM was very careful about when plotting schedules for agents – why is the case different for the QAs?

 

ii.     Log In Hours

I agree that QAs should still have phone time – this keeps them updated with the process as well as builds their credibility.  I also agree that they should meet the VOC target, as customer satisfaction should be present in every single call. I don’t, however, agree that AHT and conversion should be met.  What is the rationale behind this?  Is it realistic?

Are there scheduled time frames wherein they should be on the phone or will they be given the freedom to choose what time they go on the phones?  Was call volume trending even considered when this KRO was included (especially since VOC, AHT and Conversion targets should be reached)?

And, for the sake of alignment and accountability, since VOC, AHT and Conversions are measured on a QA level, then the Quality Lead should be measured on VOC, AHT and Conversions on a team level as well.  And by this, I do not mean agents in operation – I mean scores generated only from calls taken by the QAs.  In fact, I suggest that the Quality Lead be measured based on the scores of two teams – agents and QAs.  Since the QAs are responsible for providing feedback for agents, then the Quality Lead must be responsible for providing feedback to the QAs.

 

iii.     Quality Scores of Agents Handled – Given by Dallas QAs

Why are the scores of Dallas QA the only ones considered?  Why not base the QA’s scores on the OVERALL SCORE of the agents?

Who is responsible for counter-checking Dallas QA scores and giving feedback to the agents – QAs or Team Leads?  If it is the Team Leads, what if there should have been disputes raised that would have resulted to a higher score but they weren’t able to do so?

That’s it for the quantifiable data.  For the core competencies, I hope you, as a team, came up with the Core Competencies together – or, at the very least, you should understand why these four competencies were chosen for the Quality Team above all the others.

Are the Measurements to Criteria for each competency provided by HR?  Some are very vague and not so readily quantifiable, such as:

Resilience

  • Comparison between bullet 3 & 4 – One gets a 4 if one is able to withstand pressure and accept change.  One gets a 3 if one adjusts to change and needs help during demanding situations.  If one adjusts to change, does it not mean that one has accepted change and should therefore be scored a 4?
  • Bullet 3 – if the situation is demanding and one asks for help why should that be scored lower?  Isn’t asking for help better than pretending you know what to do?

 

Learnability

  • Bullet 1 – What do we mean by a “wholistic approach to learning”?
  • Comparison between bullet 1 & 2 – One gets a 5 if one has a wholistic approach to learning & seeks opportunities for the same; quick in grasping new & complex ideas.  One gets a 4 if one is a self-starter; is able to apply learning.  In seeking opportunities for learning, is one not being self-starter?  If one is able to apply learning, is it not proof that one has grasped the idea?  If you answered, “yes” to both questions, then shouldn’t you be wondering what the REAL difference is?
  • Bullet 4 – “Requires to be shown what to learn”.  What does that even mean?

 

Teamwork

  • First and foremost, Level of Interaction does not amount to Teamwork.  I can turn myself into my boss’s or my teammates’ shadow and still be completely useless.  This is not how Teamwork is measured.
  • Keeping to one’s self is not indicative of a negative mindset regarding teamwork.  If a person is truly an introvert, it should not be used as basis of non-performance.

I had a comment on Ownership & Achievement Focus, but I kind of got the point.

Let me know what happens.

***

On a different note… I never should have told Martin I used to work with Debbie.  Now he keeps on talking to me and I don’t really like him that much.

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It’s Like I have Turret’s

The Bottom Line

Ignore the external world today; reach inward to get all the strength you need.

In Detail

Things that appeal to your intellect will be drawing you in today. You’ll find that the most challenging concepts will suddenly make a lot of common sense, and your brain will get a new sense of its capabilities. This means it’s the perfect day to readdress a project or book that has been a struggle to deal with. Complicated ideas aren’t so complicated right now — in fact, they’re pretty fun to wade through! If you’re being tested or challenged in any way today, expect things to go well.

Strangely enough, I dreamt of Rachelle again the other day.  Because I was too lazy to write anything down, I don’t have a clear idea of everything that happened anymore.  What I do remember was that I threw a drink at her and held her down in a pool with the help of my many, many arms (for some reason, I had somehow embodied Vishnu at that point).  Angst much?

Big Haha.

Since Reneeca is now a friend in Facebook, I get to see whenever she gets tagged in someone else’s album.  The other thing about this online account is that if the person who tags your friend in their album is NOT your friend, you still get to open that particular album and browse through their photos.  Lo and behold, Nix was tagged by her older sister in a photo belonging in an album named “Andrew and I” (does anyone want to guess what this particular album contains?).  Obviously, psycho me couldn’t pass up a chance to ferret through Rachelle’s account (especially since it’s been taking all of my willpower to not add her as a friend).  The one thing that I realized was this – Andrew Martin looks remarkably like everyone one else in his family.  Anyway, enough of that.  At this point, I’m just going to end this particular topic by saying that I still have the urge of adding her in my account.  How psychotic, pathetic and screwed up is that?

I still say that I would be a wonderful addition to the FBI.  My other dream jobs are as follows:

  • To become a spy
  • To become an assassin

On to other things…

Boyfriend, Vhekkie and I watched Up last weekend.  Due to all the very, very nice comments that I heard about it, it seemed like such a good movie.  I was expecting a kiddie movie with a moral lesson in the end.  In fairness, I did get that.  What I did not expect was the enormous amount of depression that I would feel twenty minutes into the feature film.

The movie starts off showing Mr. Frederickson as a kid.  Then, after attending a film showing of the rise and fall of an adventurer whose name I cannot remember right now, he meets this other kid with ultra wild hair.  Then he grows up, marries Ellie, works as a balloon-seller and then gets very, very old.  Ellie dies right before they get to go on their adventure and neither of them does what they’ve always dreamed of – living in some strange place in South America on top of a waterfall.  Somewhere in the middle of the movie, I suddenly realized that Ellie was the kid with the ultra wild hair.  I really did not see that Ultra-Wild-Hair-Kid was a girl.  Anyway, by the time Ellie withers away and dies, I’m so depressed that I’m on the verge of crying.  And then the funny parts begins.

The other main character in this movie is Russel – this egg-shaped kid (no neck, no waist) with a patch of hair covered by a cap.  He’s introduced as a Junior Wilderness something about to graduate into a Senior Wilderness something.  The only thing he lacks is the badge earned by helping out an elderly person.  He chooses to bug Mr. Frederickson to earn the badge.  Unfortunately, Mr. Frederickson isn’t the most accommodating person in the world, especially since someone wants to buy his house and lot to complete an urban project.  The old man refuses the kid twice or thrice, thinking that this would stop him.

He then decides to go on the big adventure he and Ellie had always planned by inflating millions of balloons that miraculously pull his house from the ground.  The millions of balloons also succeeds in keeping his house afloat.  Airborne, he hears a knock on his door.  When he checks his porch, he finds Russell, petrified.  This begins the strange friendship between the grumpy old man and the egg-shaped kid.

Fast forward to when they finally find themselves somewhere in South America.  In this strange and forresty land, they encounter interesting characters – Kevin, the exotic bird which apparently understands human speech, and the Talking Dog whose name I cannot remember either.  On a side note, Kevin is also insanely attracted to something – which the Grumpy Old Man uses some time in the film to save their lives – that I cannot recall as of the moment.

The rest of the movie is an adventure.  From a child’s point of view, it’s a completely new world that has enormous birds and talking mammals.  By the time that they were on the funner part of the movie, I could feel the depression ebbing away.  The only problem with Up is that no matter how funny or how entertaining the latter part of the film was, it couldn’t completely erase the feeling of depression that the first part brings.  In conversations that I’ve had with some other people (Elowee and Vhekkie), we have come to the conclusion that at such an early age, most children would not be able to fully understand the feeling of loss Mr. Frederickson had when Ellie died.  Actually, most children would not understand that Ellie had passed away… that, or they’re still in that phase wherein their parents are telling them that she had gone to a more wonderful place and is very, very happy.  But for people who are of a higher intellect (an assumption, I know), the movie is so very, very sad and is never able to fully compensate for that sadness.

I have no intentions of giving a scene-by-scene description of what happened – not only because this is not how I usually write my reviews, but mainly due to the fact that I cannot.  I fell asleep somewhere in the middle of the movie.  Unfortunately, Boyfriend fell asleep at around the same time so no one could update me on what happened.

What I can add are these… The Unnamed Adventurer later on appears as an antagonist and falls to his death near the end of the film.  He is also responsible for the collars that allow the dogs to speak human.  Unfortunately, the Alpha Dog’s collar is damaged and he ends up sounding like a chipmunk.  Despite being a Doberman with uber pointy ears, it really does undermine his authority and lessens the level of his perceivable menace.

Would I recommend you to watch Up?  Yes, I would.  Overall, it still a very entertaining film and is something that most children would genuinely enjoy.  There are also moments that are really funny – sometimes because the script is witty, sometimes it’s because the animation is very apt, and sometimes it’s because what happens is so surreal that you will have no other response but disbelief.

Like Mr. Frederickson turning into a semi-Rambo character.  And finding out that Kevin is a girl.

Holed Up in Arsenal B

Drowning in UK Role Plays (starring Lara and Joel)



Blessed Be…

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Because Knowing is Half the Battle

Just because I haven’t done this in a couple of days…


The Bottom Line

Be patient. A friend is having a hard time managing their partnership with you.


In Detail

How long has it been since you made a real effort to get away from it all? Okay, you may not be able to get away to Aruba on the spur of the moment (although if you can, you definitely should), but you can find a few moments to spend some TLC on yourself. How about a walk in the park before work? Maybe a few hours after work with the phone unplugged and your favorite book? It’s amazing how refreshing even a brief respite can be.


Boyfriend and I have been talking about going back to Baguio.  Honestly, my two trips earlier this year really did make me realize that deep down inside, despite my obvious enjoyment of the drama, I think I’d want a quiet life one day.  That was what I found in Baguio.  Quiet.  Peace.  With what’s been happening these past few days, maybe it’s time that I go back.  There are a couple of places that we’ve been wanting to go to but haven’t been able to visit (like the Crystal Cave and the Grotto).  I just remembered that because of what the stars said.


On to other things…


I was surprised.  I honestly did not think that I would enjoy the G.I. Joe movie, seeing that the reviews have been mixed and that I had no real interest in the cartoon series, but I’m glad that it turned out to be a decent experience.  Was it the greatest movie ever made?  No.  Was a sorry that I waited one entire week before finally watching it?  No.  But in the end, I’m glad I did.  We were deciding between Up and G.I. Joe before having dinner.  Up has been getting really good reviews (plus I wanted to watch it because the tubby little boy is sooo cute!) and G.I. Joe seems to be leaving viewers confused as to whether they like it or not.  The again, I’ve never been known to rely much on reviews.  When I was in college – or some time right after I graduated –  I bought a copy of Gigly.  Despite everyone – local and international – saying that the movie sucked, I still wanted to watch it.  At the end of it all, I wanted to be the one to decide whether or not it was crap.

It was crap.

G.I. Joe, on the other hand. was not.  To be honest, beyond Channing Tatum, Marlon Wayans, Dennis Quaid and Sienna Miller, I actually bother to check who else was in the movie.  The cinematography was to die for, just like the second Transformers movie.  I liked the twist at the end – how Rex survived the explosion and later on became that weird but brilliant doctor who masterminded the whole nanotechnology thing.  Admittedly, I got it before the plot eventually unfolded itself, but there’s still that little bit of satisfaction from being right all along.

The Baroness, played by Sienna Miller, was definitely something to watch.  I initially thought that she would be the most interesting characters in the movie – being Duke’s (Channing Tatum) former fiancee and all.  During the movie, I found myself wondering whether or not I had found another Nina Myers.  Unfortunately, this was not to be.  In the end, love conquers all and The Baroness turns good once again.

I so hated that.  It would have been better if she had stayed evil until the end.  I mean, if there is going to be a sequel, who’s going to be the kick-ass bad chick?

The MOST interesting character for me was Snake Eyes.  Storm Shadow was a very, very close second.  I love the background story between them and was very sorry that Storm Shadow died in the end.  He was a very effective villain – efficient and unforgiving.

I loved how they inserted flashbacks to explain stories that made most characters who they were.  It would be interesting if they went further with that and developed something independent focused on each of the characters.  Without the disappointment of The Baroness’ change of heart, I would have given this movie a 4.0.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra


Holed Up in Our Room in Colorado

Drowning in Dialogues from Supernatural


Blessed Be…

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“Your Sister is So Dead to Me Now”

Despite real-life drama to which the title of this post would be so apt, I actually got this from the TV series Privileged.  Boyfriend and I, instead of pushing through with our original plan to having dinner and then watching a movie, decided to proceed to St. Francis Square to ferret out some DVDs.  Privileged (we first saw the pilot episode on ETC) was only one of the twelve DVDs we ended up buying.  The others were…


  • CSI: Las Vagas, Seasons 8 & 9
  • Biography (containing an episode on the Red Hot Chili Peppers & The Beatles’ Women)
  • Supernatural (Seasons 1 to 4)
  • How I Met Your Mother (Seasons 1 to 4)

I can feel a lot of entries following this, each one talking about one of the above-mentioned shows.  Today, however, is going to be about Privileged.  It’s slightly reminiscent of The O.C., being located in Palm Springs and filled with uber-rich people.  The plot’s got an interesting twist to it, though.  And there are some characters that are just to die for… and to think that I’m presently just watching episode 3.

Joanna Garcia as Megan Smith

Joanna Garcia as Megan Smith

Let’s start with the main character, Megan Smith.  She’s an uber-smart Yale graduate who wants to be a “serious” writer.  Unfortunately, life doesn’t turn out the way she thought it would be after collage and ends up working in an tabloid magazine for 10 months.  After being let go from that job, she gets endorsed to an opening in Palm Springs.  Arriving via a private plane and a limousine, she meets Laurel Limoge, a woman of the world.  Madame Limoge is also grandmother to two teenagers: Rose and Sage.  Megan then realizes that the position that she has just been accepted to was being a tutor.



Lucy Hale as Rose Baker

Lucy Hale as Rose Baker


Rose is the younger of the Baker sisters and shows a little more acceptance of Megan’s sudden existence in their household.  She has expressed her desire to get into Duke, the college that Laurel wants for her grand daughters, believing that it would have made her deceased mother proud.  As of the beginning of episode 3, however, she has been told by their headmaster that due to her poor academic performance, she would need to repeat freshman year.


Ashley Newbrough as Sage Baker

Ashley Newbrough as Sage Baker


Sage is Rose’s older sister.  She’s less tolerant of Megan – to the point that she’s gone out of her way to go against most of Megan’s attempts to tutor them.  She briefly succeeds in getting Megan fired on the first episode, but after she was reprimanded in front of her grandmother, she realized that her tutor was there to stay.  She’s very protective of Rose and is somewhat offended that her sister is welcoming a stranger into their life.



Anne Archer as Laurel Limoge

Anne Archer as Laurel Limoge


Often described as a ball buster, Laurel Limoge is grandmother to the Baker girls.  She is very forthcoming about the tragedies in her life, as demonstrated by her little speech to Megan 20 seconds after her arrival.  She turned her late husband’s little make-up company into a cosmetics empire.  However, her busy schedule often makes her an absentee guardian to her grand daughters, leaving Megan fill in that role.



Allan Louise as Marco Giordello

Allan Louise as Marco Giordello


Last (for this post anyway), but definitely not list is Marco Giordello, the gay, sarcastic stay-in chef in the Baker household.  I’m not going to go into detail about him because his character is something to be experienced.


And that title?  That’s his line.



Boyfriend and I are on episode 4 now.  Till next time… =p


Holed Up in: Our Room in Colorado

Drowning in: Rantings of Sage Baker


Blessed Be…

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24 (The Comeback)

I spent the day doing one or a combination of these things:


  • Checked my online accounts (and quickly gave up on this since Friendster was experiencing some error earlier and I have completely no patience about these sort of things)
  • Watched 24 (Sixth season… I’ve had a copy of it since mid-summer, but after watching 5 seasons straight, I opted to take a break.  For about a third of a year)
  • Watched Criminal Minds (Fourth Season… bought the third a couple of weekends ago and finished watching it some days ago.  The last episode of season 3 is GREAT.  There’s just no other way to describe it.)
  • Played Sims3 (God game… do I really need to say anything else?)


I’ve presently gone back to watching 24.  I’m at episode 19, if I’m not mistaken.  Honestly, it took me a while to get into this particular season, but by the time I was watching episode 3 or 4, I was hooked all over again.  They’ve made a couple of character changes and most, if not all, have worked out nicely so far.

In season 6, Wayne Palmer has been elected President.  Considering that the whole thing started with his brother being in the same position, this Palmer holds a weak comparison to what his assassinated brother was.  He had his moments, I have to give him that, but as of episode 18, I think he’s been permanently taken out of the show.  Obviously, I still think that David Palmer was the best President this show’s ever had and still could not accept that they killed him off (such parallelism to my feelings regarding Albus Dumbledore’s demise).

Jack’s family had their stint.  His brother, Graem, was partly responsible for the assassination of David Palmer and has been supplying the terrorists with the bombs.  Their father is trying to look for the Russian man whose name I have forgotten and, at numerous times, that “no life is too important to sacrifice for the company he spent the last 12 years building”.  This was particularly true when Father Bauer threatened to kill his own grandson if Jack and his sister-in-law (who, apparently, was with Jack prior to marrying his brother and might not still be over him) did not cooperate.  As of the middle of the episode, Gream is dead (killed by his father) and Father Bauer has disappeared.

Miles O’Brian has become a mainstay on the show.  He and ex-wife Chloe (who now has a head of brown hair, which infinitely suits her better than being blonde) are currently in a really bad situation after she said that they “do not help terrorists arming bombs”, referring to when Miles was held hostage by Fayed and was forced to arm the nuclear bombs that he had in his possession.

Karen Hayes is now married to Bill Buchanan, who recently stepped down as Director of CTU after being fired by his wife.  There hasn’t been any scenes showing him and Karen being together after he left CTU.  Nadia Yasir (newcomer, I think) is not acting Director.  She reminds me of Sean McAstin’s character when first coming into CTU as Buchanan’s replacement.  It makes me wonder if she’s have the same fate as McAstin’s character (whose name escapes me at the moment).  One thing’s for sure… she’s no Nina Myers (and I don’t mean that in a good way).

Milo the tech guy is back and is now apparently head of the people-really-smart-with-computers on the show.  Mike Doyle, a previous colleague of his or something, has also been introduced in this season.  He starts off being a smart ass but then becomes an advocate of doing what is “right”, even if that meant not following protocol.

Oh, yes, Audrey Raines is apparently still alive, being re-introduced in the plot on episode 18, I think.  She was apparently captured by the Chinese after she went to Beijing.  She was looking for Jack because she would believe that he was dead.  Right now she’s back in the hands of CTU but shows no sign of rational thinking.

Jack Bauer, of course, is still the star of the show.  So far, he’s been able to save America from Middle Eastern terrorists, detonate a bomb with instructions from Chloe, ambush the Russian embassy, been declared a hero, blackmailed, arrested, escaped, taken into custody and has managed to make Audrey Raines mutter the word “Bloomberg”, which is what CTU is now convinced is being used as the base of operations by the Chinese.

True to form of what 24 has been known for, the twists in the story have been unpredictable and unexpected.  It should be an interesting journey to episode 24.

And after all this, I have Heroes (Season 3), 24 (Season 7), Lipstick Jungle (Season 1) and Criminal Minds (Season 4) to look forward to.  And there’s always G.I. Joe for the weekend.


Holed Up in Our Room in Colorado

Drowning in A Combination of Dialogues from 24 and the Humming of the AC


Blessed Be.

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Craving for Pineapples on Bread

I spent most of today in bed, unable to get up and feeling queasy.  It’s better now – at least I’m upright – so I coerced Boyfriend to let me stay up and watch the episodes of Lipstick Jungle that I coerced him to download for me.  It was the first episode of their second season that I was able to watch first.  Given my less than ordinary work hours, it’s somehow become a challenge for me to figure out the permanent schedules of some shows.  Wait, all shows.  Needless to say, I missed all of Season One and didn’t really get into it until the second season started.  Boyfriend just came out of the bathroom announcing that Lipstick Jungle’s been cancelled and I won’t be seeing a third season.  I have to believe him – he’s likes googling these things.

Anyway, somewhere in the middle of season 1, episode 2, I started craving for Yellow Cab’s version of a Hawaiian Delight.  Boyfriend and I have recently replaced our usual order (Manhattan Meatlovers) for something less expensive and, apparently, just as appetizing.  It’s the pineapples.  I like its contrast to the saltiness of the bacon.  I also like how it’s texture contrasts that of the cheese.

Brooke Shield’s character looks most out of place in Lipstick Jungle – or maybe I’m just biased because hers is the character that I like least.  I love Kim Raver’s frame and Lindsey Price’s version of art.  Shield’s character like is the third person that just has to be there so that the cast can be considered complete.  If it is true that this series isn’t getting a third season, it’s sad… but completely understandable.  This reminds me that I have to write about watching Visionaries and all the weird insights that I got viewing it again after 20 years.

Star Signs

The Bottom Line

You haven’t seen a friend for a while, and they are eager to hear from you today.

In Detail

Despite what the calendar says, you’ve still got plenty of time to reach the goal you’ve given yourself. Do not give up just because you think you won’t make it! Most of what you need to do is already done, so pace your day and keep things at an easy, controlled tempo. There’s no telling what other people are up to, so if you’re dying to find out, ask! You have a healthy curiosity and a witty way of feeding it. Charm the answers out of everyone!

Till next time…

Holed Up In: The Living Room

Drowning In: Dialogues from Lipstick Jungle

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