Monday, December 31, 2001
This blog has been a little quiet due to the holidays and I thought it could use an entry on this last day of 2001. I think that we could all agree on one thing, it has been an interesting and a memorable year. I don't think that there is one member of this blog for whom something good didn't happen...(I think we all had at least one good thing happen this year even if you can't remember what that was.)
Anybody got any resolutions they want to share? You realize that if you own a dog you are more likely to make New Year's resolutions than if you own a cat? (There was an article about that in the National Post last week.) I own both so I guess I'll be spending the next few days in a state of complete confusion trying to decide whether or not to make a resolution. So for the cat owners out there, I guess you're "purrfect" anyway. For those who are catless and dogless are you in a no man's land or do you not care?
So on that note I wish everybody on this blog a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2002!
P.S. I saw the Harry Potter movie over the weekend and really enjoyed it. Anybody seen Lord of the Rings yet?
Friday, December 21, 2001
It's Friday and I'm sure no one is really getting very much work done today. I'm heading downtown to meet the old CDS crew for lunch, I'm looking forward to it!! I thought that I finished my shopping yesterday, but I just found out that there's a gift that will be doubled, so I'm heading back to the store to find something else-drat, I wrapped it too!! Better to find out now than later. Jim has agreed to feed the cats in our absence. It's slightly more of a big deal because now he has to leave the building and walk down the street to do us this favour-thanks Jim, you rock! We ordered some food last night, and the delivery guy commented on the great paint job we've done so far, he noticed! It's certainly a shot in the confidence arm-way to go us!
I still haven't received a firm confirmation from the company about my job, but if everything goes right, I should be starting January 7, cross your fingers everyone. Still have some stuff to do this morning, so I better get to it.
Wednesday, December 19, 2001
I blogged this, but it seems to have disappeared with my slow connection! The hh sent me an email yesterday that seemed to imply some sort of plot by the interviewing company to steal people from him and this morning he wrote to tell me that he had sent a letter to Toronto STC informing them of this company's low hourly rates. Irene came over last night and we were talking about this crazy guy. When I told her his name she started laughing. He was an employee at Nortel who was fired because he was nuts, Irene said that he's creepy too. After he was fired, he called all his coworkers for weeks asking if they knew why this had happened. I sent off an email to him telling him that I found a job and requesting that I be removed from his files. This should avoid all that nasty calling and emailing that may have occurred if I told him to get lost because he's insane.
I got a call yesterday from the other company that I interviewed with, looks like I may be working there come January......:-)
Steve was on the radio! Steve and Bill were on Homerun yesterday afternoon talking about Lord of the Rings. They both sounded very good, I'm so proud!
Tuesday, December 18, 2001
Tired of cholesterol-clogging turkey and gravy for Christmas? Slate magazine has a highly amusing article on alternative meat products. In it, the writer describes a dinner party held for friends in which only meat substitutes were served, culminating in the pièce de resistance, Tofurkey. Judging by the guests' reactions, it was not an overwhelming success. I'll stick to dark meat and bread stuffing, thanks.
This headhunter really sounds like a complete idiot. The way he operates I doubt even if he has a legitimate contract with the company who hired him to do the searching. Since when is it up to the applicant to ask for a second intereview. Doesn't the interviewing company usually decide that in concert with the head hunter? Are you sure this guy is a real headhunter and not some basement psycho who is playing office--he has a computer, a fax and a telephone. Sheesh!
I think Dina you could show him a thing or two, but I wouldn't bother. Why help him when he clearly isn't helping you (or anyone else for that matter)?
But, then you know what I think of headhunters...a pretty yucky species all round. Did I ever tell you my sister-in-law was in this dubious trade? I certainly never got a sense that she knew what she was talking about, except for her commissions.
The holiday shopping is almost complete. The gifts that we are giving are not half as fun as Elizabeth's tacky gift exchange, but I think that everyone will like them anyway. I'm planning on heading to Club Price to price a gift for my folks, gotta get the best deal! My favorite tacky gift is a ceramic piece given to my Dad one Christmas. It's a native american and horse, the faces blended together and painted in browns and blacks. It has to be the ugliest thing that I have ever seen. The year after my Dad received it (it normally stays hidden under a bed), he wrapped it up and gave it to me. Since then, it's become a tradition in my family to give the indian head back and forth. The trick is that when you receive it, you must look as surprised and happy as possible. I wonder who's going to get it this year?
More stupidity from the headhunter: I received an email from this twit asking if I had been called for a second interview (in fact, I received two identical emails). Apparently, the other writer may have been asked for a second interview and since the headhunter wasn't informed he's ready to contact lawyers, etc, etc. What a tangled web.......
Monday, December 17, 2001
What do you get an 8-year-old for her class gift exchange? Why, a whoopee cushion, of course! Simple minds, simple pleasures... : )
We had our office Christmas on Friday and it was great fun as well. We went to a place called Le St-Augustin (on rue St-Augustin, in the town of St-Augustin!). The food was wonderful. I had marinated salmon, then rabbit, and the others mostly went for the bavette. We were thoroughly spoiled with plenty of good wine and port and incredible cheese plates and desserts.
The best part of the evening, though, was the tacky gift exchange. Among the presents were:
- A bottle of Aqua Velva and silky boxer shorts for one of our Italian studs
- A ceramic Spanish cow for our Spanish translator (hee! hee!)
- Gummy boobs and a rock-climbing rappel line made out of paper clips (very crafty, Rosy!)
- Aspirin and ear plugs for our veep of Marketing who suffers through the President's rants
- Flavoured body lotion (my gift, very nice)
- Sexy dice (shake, shake, roll.... Kiss + Lips)
- A chocolate phallus.
But it was all in good fun and everybody seemed to really enjoy it.
So now you know what's on everybody's mind at Paradox. Sooner or later, the conversation always turns to sex.
We had some lovely snow for the weekend, our first true snow this winter. It seems a bit odd to have it now that it's here, I think that everyone had kind of gotten used to bare roads and not wearing boots in December. First snows are magical, everything covered all white and pretty. I was reminded that I never did dump the dirt out of the tomato pots, oh well.
It has also managed to turn seasonably cool, but hardly arctic. I imagine that people will be out in force this week doing the x-mas shopping that they've been putting off. We went on a brief trip to the mall this weekend and it was horrible. I vowed to get the shopping in during the days this week to avoid all the crowds and nonsense. Steve's office party was Saturday night at a restaurant called Profusion. I had a great filet mignon and as usual his company was very generous. Every employee received their choice of wine, port, or chocolate (pre-arranged) and then they had a raffle where every employee received a gift. Steve won movie money. One of the guys who won a DVD player last year won another this year much to everyone's dismay. Kathy came over Sunday afternoon for a cappuccino and some cookies. We sat in the livingroom with a fire on and had a nice blab. Today, I have much baking and errands. Better get to it!
Friday, December 14, 2001
I went to the interview yesterday and discovered that the company isn't looking for a tech writer! It's a small company of maybe 15 people run by an older Swiss man. Very nice guy, he showed me around the back, let me play with the lasers and answered my questions. The headhunter said that the owner's name was Theodor, his name is Walter. He told the owner that my name was Diane. Walter apologized for having me come to an interview for a position that he doesn't need. He interviewed a woman earlier in the day who wanted 70k/year! That must have taken an extreme amount of stupidity because anyone who walked in could easily see that the owner doesn't make that much. He told me that he's looking for someone to redo the Web site and create some brochures. I have decided to try to help him because I like him. I'm going to try to get some people together who can do the work for modest amounts of money and make it possible for Walter and his employees to alter the material as things change. This may mean working in PageMaker (that's what they seem to use), but I think that I know enough talented people to make this happen.
Sometimes fate just brings you to certain people and I think this is one of those times when I should listen and follow the path.
Thursday, December 13, 2001
Wednesday, December 12, 2001
I've just spent all day listening to the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? It's a wonderful trip back in time to Depression-era music, with bluegrass, folk, spirituals and even a little chain-gang music. The harmonies are beautiful and the lyrics are simple and from the heart. Now I know just what to give my Dad.
There's nothing like a mid-week day off to remind you how rare and unstable free time is. You think you have a lot ahead of you and then it steadily fritters away into meaningless errands. Part One: I spent part of the morning yesterday at a nearby sex shop looking for a gift for the office gift exchange (theme: Un P'tit Cadeau Quétaine). After staring at dildos, crotchless panties, and all manner of tasteless, tacky items, I settled on a large chocolate penis for my gift mate who is a certified chocoholic. Not very subtle, but sure to be appreciated among the low-brow crowd at work. Part Two: Went to the dermatologist, which was mercifully short. Part Three: Sat in the waiting room at the Mazda dealer while they verified the Check Engine light on my car for the umpteenth time. Grrrrrrrr. At least I got out in the morning to enjoy the beautiful sunshine while throwing the frisbee around for Chili at a nearby park. So enjoy your free time while you have it, Dina. And good luck with your prospects!
The headhunter from Toronto emailed me yesterday, apparently a client in Dorval wants me to interview Thursday. I explained that I was waiting to hear back about another offer, but that I'd go out of interest. The company makes lasers or something and doesn't have a tech writer. I'm meeting with them Thursday at 1pm. I'm still a bit amazed that they are looking for a tech writer in Montreal through a headhunter in Toronto, I'll have to ask them about that. I went back to my secret place of gifts yesterday and they didn't have half the interesting things as last week, I guess that you have to get there early during the sale. It's definitely something to keep in mind for next year. So, how's everyone else doing with there Christmas preparations? I seem to be the only one posting (I'm so lonely!). Steve's work Christmas party is this Saturday night at some restaurant downtown. Last year, it was at this fantastic French place on the plateau, the food was amazing and every employee got one gift, they had a few big things and then smaller gifts (certificates, booze, etc.). Steve got a great bottle of champagne. I'm hoping that they are as generous this year. I have to email some people at my old work and find out how their party went, I'll be really upset if everyone got a 1000 bonus :-(
Today I'm having lunch with Tamu and running a few errands. After that it's back home to do some more cleaning and organizing, always lots to do!
Tuesday, December 11, 2001
I forgot to disconnect the internet connection last night, Steve discovered that the phone was still connected this morning as he was leaving for work. Doh! I missed a call from the folks. I went to check my account at my ISP's Web site and found out that I only have 278 hours left this month, horrors!
We watched Wonder Boys last night, Michael Douglas, who I don't normally like, was very good. Great movie, I recommend it. We had a nice fire, it's so cozy. I went out and had my car treated with the anti-rust mineral oil yesterday. The fun part about it is braking after it's done. A bit of oil tends to get on the brakes pads, so sometimes you don't stop as quickly as you should. It's also fun to watch them spray the car, you watch them through a big window. Some of the cars that are being treated are not the best advertisements of the treatment. I saw this old station wagon that was severely rust-eaten, perhaps the guy was attempting to keep the car from falling apart until the end of the winter.
Today I am getting a few things organized and then going out with Irene to a new Christmas shopping sale that someone told me about. Top secret! That's the problem with new shopping haunts, you want to tell your friends about them, but if you do then they know how cheap their gifts were :-)
Monday, December 10, 2001
Now just how often do you see that? Not many people are saying that this morning, but I'm quite happy with the day so far. Steve isn't. He was gaming last night until 2am and didn't sleep well. Poor guy! This weekend was good and busy. Saturday I slept in a bit and we sat down and did our thank you cards! Whew! If it wasn't for Steve, we'd never have gotten them done. If you were one of the people near the end, you may see something like this: "Thank you for the lovely gift, my hand is falling off, send a masseuse!" Many of them will be mailed off today. I'm still working on a few. Sunday we went for breakfast and then came home and I put up shelves while Steve addressed cards. I went over to Maggie's to visit with Andrew's sister Nicky because she's leaving to go back to England today. She and her husband-type guy Adam are working on a book. They were approached by a big publishing company and asked to write a book about there journey from city dwellers to their current idyllic life in the Cotswolds training horses. I'm looking forward to reading it, they're wonderful people.
Oh! I forgot all about Friday and my trip to the employment office, the lesson to be learned is always check where you're going if you haven't been there for 6 years. I went to where I thought the office was, well it was there the last time I needed to go, why would it move? Ha ha! It moved and I ended up going through the phone book and discovering that the new office was much closer to my house! Ugh!
Friday, December 07, 2001
I'm actually keeping track of the days! I did a bit of x-mas shopping after the interview, stopped by Silanis and picked up my ROE, and then went home and attempted to clean up a bit. I didn't get very far, but now you can almost walk into the dining room without tripping over a paint can or roller. Today I am going to the employment office to wait forever in line and fill out papers in the hope of getting some money from them some day. Should be fun!
Thursday, December 06, 2001
Wednesday, December 05, 2001
If I were a work of art, I would be Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night.
I am a tiny village at peace while overhead rages the tumult of the heavens. Objects whirl and flash around me in a fevered haze only partially reflected in reality while I remain grounded and secure in my isolation.
Which work of art would you be? The Art Test
I haven't seen a fellow blogger here for a few days.... I'm starting to get lonely.
The first coat of red paint in the entranceway looked like all first coats of red paint-absolute crap. The second coat I did yesterday looks much nicer, but I'll have to do a third today. At least I now know that I'll have to tint the primer when we do the livingroom. I decided to give the paint finishes a miss and leave the lower part of the hallway alone. I think that it will look good as soon as I get the mouldings up. All the colours tie in very nicely so far. The red is amazing and makes the ceilings look really high (ok, they are high, maybe higher?).
I have an interview for a contract position Thursday. I am not at liberty to mention the name, but it is the place where I have twice been deemed unexceptable for rather bizarre reasons. Wish me luck!
Monday, December 03, 2001
It's Monday and I am not at work! Yippee! I got up with Steve and had breakfast and am drinking some coffee to prepare for the big painting job I have ahead of me. This weekend we managed to prime the walls in the hallway, paint the ceiling and put on the first coat of paint. Today, I'm going to put on the second coat and put on the first coat of red on the entranceway. I am a little uncertain about the darker colour that I'm using in the hallway. It's nice, but seems a bit flat. I'm thinking about doing a paint finish with a darker colour, maybe ragging or something, to give it a bit of depth. We'll see what it looks like when the second coat dries. So far, this not working thing is pretty good.
Friday, November 30, 2001
Yay! Whooppeee! I'm very relieved on this rainy, cold day. One of the sales gals made me some yummy chocolate fudge cookies and we're supposed to go to lunch today. I have to choose a restaurant, drat! I hate choosing places to eat. I have no taste and enjoy cheap food, great for dating, but very bad if you want to choose a modest restaurant where a variety of people can find something that they will enjoy.
I'm very happy that I decided to leave here and I know that there are better things ahead for me. We're going to paint the hall this weekend. I hung the pot rack and sanded down the walls and made soup yesterday. It was a good rest.
I'm sorry to say Rebecca, but it is a Harry Potter thing. If you go back about a week in the blogs, there's a link to the sorting hat that decides which house of Hogwarts you belong to. I believe that there is some connection between stress and detal problems, I tend to grind my teeth and clench my jaw when I'm stressed. This dental problem was a wisdom tooth that had to be removed though, so I don't think that's stress-induced.
Thursday, November 29, 2001
Dina, is there a parallel between your work life, home-painting, and dentist visits? It all seems so protracted and piecemeal and painful. I admire your stamina. If I could chuck it all for you and run away to the Caribbean, I would. (Of course, my life isn't all hearts and flowers either. I just don't read about on a blog, so I can't draw these parallels.) My hubby says dental problems and stress are intimately related, and I believe it.
Anybody else ever had a confluence of mental and dental grief?
I went to the dentist this morning for my follow up and decided that it was too crappy outside to battle the snow and freezing rain to go to the office and sit there trying to find something to do. Devotion to duty? Hah! I'm going to prep the rest of the hallway for painting and maybe even get the primer on all the walls. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, November 28, 2001
I left early yesterday because I was tired of sitting here trying to be busy when I actually have very little to do. I went over to a discount mall near here and got some Christmas cards, I'm ready for the holidays :-)
My VP called me yesterday, he wants me to do something today that involves Word templates. I may have to kill him.
I decided to give the stick figures a miss last night and instead painted the tile backsplash with white semi-gloss paint. You can't really tell I painted it, it still looks like there's only primer on the tile. I'll keep at it, those tiles will be fixed someday soon. Maggie came over and dropped off the stud finder and the pot rack, we are now that much closer to being organized.
It's cold today! I finally had to scrape the car windshield this morning. I knew that it was coming eventually. I wonder what I will do today? Work on my Christmas card list perhaps? I've been surfing for cookie recipes, I may have to create a separate page for the stuff that I'm doing while I'm not working.
Tuesday, November 27, 2001
I had the exit interview yesterday and it went very well. What I had hoped would happen did, so now I can take the month of December off and truly enjoy it without worrying about money. Yay! HR also let on that several people who have heard that I am leaving have been giving her a hard time. She asked that I not say anything bad about P. I explained that I had not said anything bad about P, and that if people jumped to that conclusion, they must be getting that idea from their observations. Of course, I don't feel like I can't say that she treated me like something she scraped off her shoe. If someone asked, I would tell them, I don't think that it's acceptable to be treated the way that I was treated and I won't hide that fact. It's wrong, but I'm not wandering around the company whining.
Dina vs. the stick figures, part II
I went to the hardware store last night and bought a quart of high-hiding primer. The can said that this stuff was perfect for grafitti and would stick to anything. There was nothing on tv last night, so I attacked those fiendish painted goblins. The darker figures that I sanded seem to be fading away quite nicely, the carmen miranda stick figure (fruit bowl on head) is still bleeding through! Now I'm mad! I may sand that one down to see if that does that trick. This is war!! After I finished the walls, I took the can's claims to heart and primed the ugly 70s brownish-beige tiles that make up the kitchen backsplash. The can was right, that primer will stick to anything. I was going to take the tile off and retile, but if I can find a way to paint the tiles, that may be quite a bit easier. I'll have to do some research.
Monday, November 26, 2001
It's Monday morning and I have five more days at this place before I am truly free ... I cannot wait! I'm not sure what I'm going to be able to finish by the end of the week, we shall see. I have an exit interview today and will probably find out whether or not they are going to lay me off. I am beyond caring and so looking forward to not having to think about this place next week. I can paint and put up shelves and fix things and organize and bake cookies and finish all the projects that I've been in the middle of for months, and rest, oh boy do I need a rest.
Damn stick figures
No, this isn't a rant about supermodels, at least this time :-)
I started washing those hideous stick things off the walls of the hallway, arghhhh! One of them, a very lightly painted stick person with a fruit basket atop its head, washed off pretty well leaving only an outline. The other ones, which are painted with layers and layers of paint were impossible to wash. I couldn't keep the water clean enough to make a difference. Solution? Of course I brought out the sander. After about 45 minutes, I had slightly less paint on the walls and many colours of dust floating everywhere......oh joy! After that I washed off the dust and got some primer on the walls over the sticks and guess what? It bleeds through! Solution? I'm going to pick up a quart of high-hiding primer at the hardware store tonight and go over those areas with it, should do the trick! We went up to the townies yesterday and got my snow tires on the car, I've finally accepted that winter is coming. My folks sent us home with a paint stick and an edging tool, we'll find out how they work this week.
Steve got tickets and we went to see the Harry Potter movie Saturday night. It was quite good, but not as good as in my head and there were bits where I thought they could have done things better without taking up any more time. I think that they should have let me see it before they brought it out and I would have helped them fix it :-) Really, I enjoyed it and it was true to the book. Now we get to wait for Lord of the Rings. They ran the trailer for it and it was amazing, Steve wanted them to show it over and over. There was a really funny ad for Monsters Inc before the Harry Potter movie as well, maybe I can find it somewhere. I really want to see that movie as well.
Friday, November 23, 2001
Ok, so I haven't made everyone take the test, but it seems that there are an awful lot of Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs in my circle of friends. So far, no other Gryffindors and no Slytherins. Toronto is a mighty strange place, I hope that this headhunter gets over himself and sends my c.v. to the two places in Montreal....
Had a quiet evening of tv and Maggie came over for tea. I'm at home today, I explained to my VP that I couldn't do anything else truly productive until he makes up his mind about the template and reviews the guide I gave him two weeks ago. We'll see what he has to say. So far, no word from the prez about my lay off and it looks like my last week is definitely next week, the end of the month. I'm going to go through an installation guide today and clean up some of the bigger problems, then I plan to wash the walls of the hallway. We decided not to paint this weekend and instead go to the townies on Sunday and visit my folks. I may do some priming today depending on how easily the stick figures wash off the walls. Much to do, much to do!
Thursday, November 22, 2001
Your Torontonian STC contact is like most Torontonians and yes, many of them are uppety and they live in things worse than basements, I've seen a few in cardboard boxes. The neat thing about cardboard boxes is they can be kicked over, burnt down or squashed, thereby leaving their occupants homeless but with really expensive mortgages, because even cardboard boxes go for 500K.
The thing with Torontonians is they don't like anybody who isn't from Toronto and they are especially uptight about Montrealers, as they think we're all going to beat them up if they come here and don't speak any French. They also think they are better than we are (you know all that World Class nonsense.) However, they are just Muggles and are just like Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia with sons like Dudley...(I know a lot of Dudleys who work here.)
Seriously though, I have always found the Toronto STC less than friendly or helpful and they tend to view themselves as the super chapter....(But really they are in severe need of an edit for tone and attitude.)
Ok, so I checked out Toronto's STC Web site and there are a couple of contract positions advertised for Montreal. I email the person in question to inquire and the responses I have received from "Victor" have been abrupt and snotty. I don't think that he's at all interested, but I sent my c.v. anyway. Awfully uppety for a guy who probably works out of his basement........
Went to the dentist yesterday with Steve as back up. I was out of there in about 45 minutes! The whole thing was quick and relatively painless, although slightly more expensive than I thought. It certainly went much better than I expected. My tooth is now in a small envelope in my purse. My mouth didn't completely unfreeze until about 4pm. I ate at about 2:30 because I was starving and couldn't wait another minute. Steve got me all comfy on the couch and brought me food and Advil and sympathetic looks. Later on we had a fire and and watched the Legend of Drunken Master, a Jackie Chan movie. It was great! Today my jaw is stiff and achy, but it's not so bad. I have yet to hear about whether or not the company will lay me off. I also think that it is very strange that my VP has asked me to work on a project this week that is entirely dependent on his review of a manual that he has not looked at yet..... oh well. I'm not getting as much done as I hoped, but at least it's not just because of my waning enthusiasm for this job.
Saw this review of a hysterical new book entitled Non Campus Mentis. The book is a collection of the funniest gaffes in college student essays. Some jewels are simply typos, others are malapropisms, and some leaving you wondering what kind of brownies those kids were eating. My favourites? Yahoo, God of Judyism, Chairman Moo, Hitler, head of the Gespacho. Enjoy!
Tuesday, November 20, 2001
Saw this game on the Salon site. Real mindless fun! The Absolut site is also amazing.
It's a good idea for Steve to go with you tomorrow. In one of my many death-defying experiences in my 20s, I had 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed with 2 local injections of pain killers and a general sedative to ease me through it, then drove all the way from downtown Montreal to St-Hyacinthe (60 minutes +). Shudder.... If you're going to be floating home, it's better to do it on somebody's arm.
I still haven't spoken with my VP, but it looks like I'm here until the end of the month. It's starting to get a bit monotonous, I come in and find it harder and harder to focus on work. It's that idea that I'm not of any use that's getting me down. Yesterday, I worked on an installation guide, but my mind was creating a x-mas list and thinking about house projects. Sigh........
Tomorrow I'm going to the oral surgeon guy who is going to remove the wisdom tooth that is no longer welcome in my mouth. The appointment is at 11, so there's no point in me coming to work. Steve's going to go with me, I'm not sure why. I don't think that there's going to be a huge problem getting it out, but there may be some cutting involved. Of course, there's also that tongue has to go looking for missing tooth syndrome as well. It will be good to get it out, but I'm not looking forward to it......
Monday, November 19, 2001
You may have noticed that the blog entries now end with [comment]. If you click comment, you will be able to add a comment to the entry without posting. This is a feature that I added for members and nonmembers of the Coffee Ring to include a little aside about the entry. If there's a comment on the entry, you will see a number and if you click it you can see what others have had to say. It's just a little something to make the blog a bit more interactive. It can be fun, try it! :-)
So, the kitchen is painted and looks pretty good! Steve and Maggie like it a lot, I'm thinking that it's a bit too orangy, but I'll learn to love it. I'm sure that it will be better once we have stuff on the walls and it's organized. It's just not what I had in my head. It also means that we've had to rethink the colours in the hallway and going with a slightly darker shade on the bottom of the wall. Yesterday was very nice and warm and we finished up the painting, went to Club Price and then came home and put everything back together. I'm tired, but another room is done! Next weekend Steve has an STC thing all day on Saturday, so we're thinking that it will probably be less productive. I also have to find some time to go up to the townies and get my snow tires from home. I think that we're going to try to prep the hall walls this week and perhaps prime them so they're ready when we are. We have to scrub down those stick figures painted in the hallway or they're going to bleed right through the paint. I got a chalk line, so we're ready to lay out the line between the dark and light colour in the hallway and I found pre-primed mdf chair rail at reno depot for $1.98 for 7 feet! This is going to look great!
We made a nice fire last night (finally) and rented Tomb Raider. It was my choice and I don't know what I was thinking. What a terrible movie. Good action, but no acting, dialogue, or plot worth mentioning. Yuck! The fire was way nicer, although it didn't really warm up the room very much. We'll have to work on that....
Friday, November 16, 2001
I just checked my email at work and discovered that my VP has booked me for another two weeks of work. I'm not sure what to do about this; as far as I knew, I was only working next week. There is not so much for me to do right now and my project managers are trying to avoid me whenever possible. It's not their fault, they know I'm not staying. This past week I've kind of worked in a bubble aside from my VP questioning the new template (he likes the old one better) and one project manager asking about some content changes. I just finished breaking up one manual that I created into 6 smaller manuals, that brings my total up to 9 manuals created in the past three weeks. I really don't see the point in me staying, but if they agree to lay me off when it's all over and they pay me, I guess that there's no harm. I don't enjoy going into work and having to watch the harpie blatantly ignoring me, but I could certainly use the money. I went to the dentist for my check up yesterday. He found a cavity on a wisdom tooth that has been sitting at the back of my mouth, half covered, for the past five years. He suggested that I just have it extracted and finally get rid of it. We'd both been ignoring it until it posed a problem. I love my dentist. He's nice and does his own cleanings and doesn't believe in doing work unless it's necessary. He's referred me to an oral surgeon for the extraction. I'm not looking forward to it. I'm at home today fiddling around with stuff and cleaning. So far, a relaxing day......
Thursday, November 15, 2001
Let's see, I went out for drinks with Melissa last night. We went to Typhoon. I had a Cape Fear, vodka, cranberry juice and something else, maybe lemon juice? It was yummy! We had a nice chat despite the way too loud music. Melissa entertained me by telling her dating tales. This summer she joined an online dating thing and the stories of the weirdos she's met are hilarious! She's finally met a non-weirdo who sounds very nice!
Yesterday was depressing, stuff to do but no feeling that there is any appreciation for anything I'm trying to do. To start this morning off right, the VP just sent me an email telling me that he liked the old template better than the new one that I've started using for all the new docs. I don't care........ hee hee!
Wednesday, November 14, 2001
This is the second time I'm trying to post this morning. The first one just disappeared. Ever feel like you're not needed anymore? I have given the company two weeks to be fair and offered to stay longer on some basis so that teams weren't left without documentation. My VP hasn't talked to me since I resigned and I feel like I probably won't be here after next week. The good thing is that I've had some time to experiment with a few new things. Oh, also that I don't care about a lot of stuff and I've also started sleeping at night. Weeee!
I looked at the tracker info we have on this site and this is what people have been searching for on search engines and finding on our site:
- mcgill blog
- manicure courses montreal
- coffee and manual
- get rid of tweetie
- elizabeth dundas
- pictures of scary clowns
- Kitty+Cats" hilarious
- Can you get Emeraude perfume in Ireland?
- coffee ring
- Dina Bennett
- unconventional engagement ring
- book chapters for lemony snicket
- how to carve a pumpkin with 3 pic.
- coffee ring
- tweetie bird wallpaper
- mojo jojo sounds
- women ring blogger
When were we talking about tweetie bird wallpaper?
Elizabeth, your getaway sounded heavenly!!
Tuesday, November 13, 2001
How right you are, Kathy. How you leave a place is a great indication of who you are as a person. And it really determines whether you send out little ripples of positivity that radiate out and eventually make their way throughout a community (whatever your field is) or whether you sink like a stone into oblivion, or worse, infamy. When you leave with serenity and respect, it only reflects well on you.
Sorry for all this zen-like imagery, but I'm basking in the afterglow of my heavenly weekend at Tremblant. We enjoyed our first weekend away together in 8 years with long walks in the woods, great dinners at local restaurants and the incredible scenery of the Laurentians. We stayed at the Grand Lodge in a nice condo with a fireplace. So I'm serene and well-rested. Now I feel up to withstanding even the relentless onslaught of the Christmas consumerama. Hurray for time-outs!
Well things at CDS are definitely in a post-boom mode now. First the downside: a training course I very badly need to go on was cancelled this morning due to low registration. Our budgets for the coming fiscal year have been slashed quite dramatically with training and travel dollars being the major casualties. No surprises there.
We are still in a hiring freeze but hiring temp and contract help only (at great expense no doubt). However, very few involuntary terminations are happening unless you are in severe need of weeding out. (We had 3 of those cases recently and they were totally foreseeable.)
The upside, yes there is one and that is there is a project for which I am in the process of writing a proposal and until now the typical response is to get an outside contractor todo it. For once, this company is seeing the advantage of using an inhouse resource todo the job--namely me! (The trouble is I could really have used that course, but then there's nothing like on the job training!)
However the documentation unit is suffering as one the writers upped and quit without talking to anybody about it at all and the manager is having a heck of a time trying to get her boss to allow her to get a replacement in any shape or form. All he did was leave his letter of resignation on the manager's desk and dropped off his pass at the front desk and out he walked.(He did this early in the morning when nobody would see him.) No explanations nothing. So Dina, at least Silanis knows what the issues are. Whether they decide to act on them, well, that is likely to take some time. In our case, this individual didn't have the mojo to speak up and give us a chance to find out what was wrong and if there could have been something we as a company could have done.
The moral of the story, I guess painful and all as it is, I think despite all conventional wisdom out there these days not to show any loyalty of any kind to a company, I think you are doing a disservice by not telling them what they are doing wrong. How you go about it naturally will colour the result, but at least both parties stand a chance to benefit and learn from the experience as long as an attempt is made at constructive dialogue.
Got home last night and tore up the tape and paper and plastic on the floor and vacuumed and mopped and then put everything back in the room. Believe it or not, the room looks bigger. Most of the room is stratford blue. There's wainscoting on two walls and we've painted that white, it was varnished wood before, not nice wood, cheapy wood. The contrast between the blue and white seems to lengthen the room. We got to sleep in our bed last night and it was so nice! Steve finished the first Harry Potter book last night. He started it in the morning. I thought that he should read it before seeing the movie, there's nothing worse than having your impression of the characters wrecked by movie images. Of course, there's been so much hype that it's kind of a moot point. Work is continuing to go ok. I'm concentrating on trying to develop a help system for one of my projects. On the whole, the news that I am leaving seems to be quite upsetting for the developers. I'm telling them the truth, and trying to be as nice as possible about getting their work done before I leave. I enjoy developing help systems and guis. Ran into Alison Thoms this weekend and she just emailed to let me know that there's a 3 month contract in the downtown area, but it's a really French environment, so I guess that's out.
Monday, November 12, 2001
Friday, November 09, 2001
Well, I resigned yesterday and it went ok. I spoke with the president of the company, who was very classy about the whole thing, was very sad about losing me and promised that the problem would be looked into. He even told me that he'd be available for a coffee or a beer if I wanted to talk about anything. I don't know if anything will actually be looked into, but he made me feel better and that's what counts. I then officially handed in my resignation to my VP and we spoke about what kind of time I could give them. I agreed to two weeks, the standard, and told him that after that we could come to an arrangement if there was any more work I could do for them. He seemed relieved that I was going and I could tell that I never would have won with him in this situation. HR was upset, but I explained that nothing else could be done under the circumstances. I feel better. I'm at home again today, planning a day of wood stripping and paint preparation. I have to get the paint for the bedroom today. Thank you to all my friends who have been so supportive throughout this ordeal, I'm so lucky to have you all.
Steve came home last night with Smirnoff vodka coolers, what a guy!
Thursday, November 08, 2001
I just checked my home email, a headhunter has already contacted me, that's encouraging!
Wednesday, November 07, 2001
Continuing my favourite theme...My husband had to go up to Ottawa on Monday on company business to take some heavy equipment for repair. Because it was company business and because the equipment was big and heavy, he had to rent a vehicle and wound up with a Ford Explorer. His verdict--the seats were very uncomfortable, there didn't seem to be any more room than in a station wagon, the vehicle felt unstable on the road in the wind and last but not least, the darn thing sucked up 52 litres of gas to go less than 200 kilometres. Why do people like these things again?
To all of you out there, I promise this is my last rant on this subject. However, I will find other things go raving on and on about...Since Xmas is coming maybe someone could supply me with a virtual weapon so that I could go and vent on my next object with that...How about a virtual paint gun or flame thrower?
This stupid saga continues. Why can't I get a normal job with normal people??? I was supposed to meet yesterday with my VP and HR and discuss the separation. Well, my colleague had her meeting before mine and suggested that we all meet together to hash this out. I had requested that we do this the last few times that we have had trouble communicating, but she didn't think that it was necessary. So, we tried to discuss why we don't work together and P is being very nice and rational and lying through her teeth and I have very little proof so I try to stand up for myself, but apparently I'm insane. At the end of the meeting, my VP could see nothing but a communication problem and wants us to make up lists for tomorrow so that we can resolve this and keep the team together. I spoke up at this point and said that in my opinion, it wasn't going to work because we've been down this road before. I told HR before I left yesterday that I'm not walking back into a relationship with P, that it would be like a battered wife returning to her abusive husband. I think that she may have understood. I'm at home today licking my wounds and polishing the old c.v.
Tuesday, November 06, 2001
Well, yesterday afternoon I finally wandered into my VP's office and had a talk with him. He doesn't understand why we can't work together. I told him that I have tried, but that I can't deal with the bullying, pushiness and bossiness any longer. He's agreed to the separation option, we will divide the projects as evenly as possible and work on them alone. It's a drag, but at least this way she can't tell me what to do, how to do it, and I don't have to put up with her rudeness and pettiness. We should also find out what the hell she does with her time if I'm no longer going to have to help her with her work. Last week I was going through some of her files, making some changes, and I opened one that hadn't been opened since we switched from Frame 5.5 to 6.0! That's more than two months ago! I can't figure out why she hasn't had time to completely redo the manuals that she's in charge of, yet she somehow has time to create a user feedback questionnaire about the manuals. I know that you haven't seen these manuals, but I would not want to draw attention to them until they're rewritten and I know what people would have to say about them.....
So, at 3:00, I'm sitting down with HR and discussing the changes that will be made. I wonder what P will think of all this? We will work with our project managers and report to the VP and that's that. Allakazaam! No tech pubs department!
Monday, November 05, 2001
I'm glad it wasn't just me. What a thoroughly horrible creature. I wanted to push its stupid face in. Oh well. It reminds me of working with some people at CDS.
Elizabeth I couldn't agree more about verbless wonders. In my book they are as bad as "verbalizing" nouns when perfectly good words exist as for example "He was arming the Swiss Navy" or "He sold arms to the Inuit." It makes you wonder what sort of fuzzy thinking is going on and then you maybe don't want to know.....Maybe we're "fuzzilizing" our thoughts (that's myspeak for being politically correct and I just made that up.) There seems to be a very high sense of entitlement among the media to turn the English language into something only a drooling idiot could possibly use. (Oops, not politically correct, but accurate.)
Try as I might, I just couldn't spank the monkey! He just keeps leering at me defiantly, the little *!$%!. Kind of like at our place... : 0
Read a great article on the disappearing verb in the news these days. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one increasingly irritated at half-completed thoughts and sloppy speech ("Top government officials today adding their voices to the call for Americans to remain vigilant."). For more verbless wonders like that one, check it out.
Good luck, Dina, and keep positive and enthusiastic about your work. It's impossible to fault that.
I keep saying this, but today everything should be resolved one way or the other. I feel as though I've been going on with this melodrama for way too long and I apologize. So, today there will be no backing down, no wishy-washy compromises and no working with P again. This is it, let's see what happens. Will Dina stay or go? Will she end up crying in some Indian restaurant drowning her sorrows in curry? We shall see.......
We have a nice tv room now, yay! The painting went very well. We went with a colour called Kennebunkport green, a nice weathered green that's not too grey, not too brown and should look very nice with the yellow of the kitchen. We got everything prepped and started painting the ceiling and putting primer on the walls Saturday. Saturday night we put the first coat of paint on the walls and followed up with a second coat on Sunday. The trim is going to wait until I have the time and energy to strip paint, but it will be a very clean white which is going to look very nice. I'm pleased with the room, next weekend: the bedroom!!!
Friday, November 02, 2001
I'm back in the office and have discovered that all my favorites are gone and I can't get into my Outlook, ugh! I'm waiting for the IT guy to get in and fix it. I did a bit of sanding yesterday, It's going to be a big sanding job. I keep finding bits that aren't quite right and try to fix them, there's only so much spackle in the world. May have come up with a colour, I'm not sure yet......it's a drak, rainy day here, good nap weather. This weekend there will be much painting and sanding and stuff. Wish us luck!
Thursday, November 01, 2001
I spent my lunch hour filling in a few spot on the walls that the plasterer missed. Steve thinks that he missed spots in the tv room because he was driven blind by the nasty colour. I dragged out the paint chips and started trying to figure out what colours will work with the warm yellow that we want to go with for the kitchen.....found a few nice greens (yeah, yeah, more green!) or more camel colours that may work. It's kind of crucial that the colours work together because you can clearly see the tv room from the kitchen and from the hallway (we're thinking a creamy colour for the hallway that will tie in with the yellow in the kitchen and work with the other rooms when they're eventually painted. The tv room is going to be filled with wall-mounted shelving. Perhaps the trick is to choose a lighter colour for the walls and then paint the shelving a darker colour for contrast. We have to get the paint picked out and the walls prepped for the weekend so we can paint. Maybe I can start sanding down all the walls today. The paint in there is high gloss and I fear that it's also oil, and it needs a good sanding down anyhow.
By the by, Steve and I have officially been married two months today. I have no complaints about my wonderful husband, I'm a lucky girl :-)
You're not alone, Dina, in being left with tons of candy after last night's disappointing turn-out. I've got more Glossettes than I know what to do with now. Guess I'll have to ply my co-workers with them whenever they get mid-afternoon sugar lows. (Note to self: Do not provoke certain excitable Italian tech writers around here when in midst of chocolate bender. - You talkin' to me? Are you talkin' to me?)
Loved your descriptions of SUV ads, Kathy. I have to admit, I share your disdain for these monsters on wheels. Can't wait for them to become Suddenly Undesirable Vehicles. If you like that term, you'll find lots of other great ones for post-September 11 life in today's Salon. My faves are Talibanity and Ground Bores. Check it out!
Overall the trick or treat activity was down I think.In our neighbourhood they were seen early walking around. In other neighbourhoods, they were seen being driven around. But most people had stuff left over. I heard at the gym this morning and at the train station alot of people had Hallowe'en parties for their kids. When I went out at 7:30 last night, there wasn't a soul or a goblin out there.
You obviously got the other part of the equation, the trick side of the treat (your pumpkin smashers)
So if you're working from home today, no doubt you'll have plenty of goodies to keep your energy levels up.
I'm working from home today. My computer at work started going wonky, so the IT guy is trying to fix it today. Getting home last night took twice as long as normal and it was cold and rainy. The apartment was covered in dust from the plasterer except for the rooms we closed off. I ran around getting the pumpkins out on the stoop and putting candy in bowls, when it occurred to me that my neighbours didn't have their lights on or pumpkins, they weren't giving out candy and their houses were dark! Talk about a killer! Our building is at the end of the street. We don't have a light on our porch, so aside from the pumpkins, there was nothing to bring the kids down to our part of the street. Stupid neighbours! In the end, we got about 12 kids, that works out to about $3/kid that I spent for candy, and Steve is thrilled that there is so darn much left. To top it off, some little cretin kicked one of our pumpkins down the street.....
Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Have goodies been handed out?
So Doc. Ument are you a surgeon or a GP?
Well, Doc. Ument is going over quite well. So far in the office we have a butterfly, Medusa, trailer trash, the Great Pumpkin, Hugh Heffner (well, he came in with a bathrobe and slippers carrying a cigar and a champagne glass and dripping in gold chains), and a bum. There's one guy who just came in who's getting changed. I saw pictures of his Austin Powers costume from last year, so this year will probably also be good. Last night Steve and I carved our pumpkins and tried to tidy up in the wake of the plasterer. He's actually being very good about not wrecking the place, but what is it about handy men leaving the seat up on the toilet?
Tuesday, October 30, 2001
I saw an ad on TV the other night I just love. Some of you might have seen it. It features some older guy filling up his Canyonaro I mean his SU bloody Vee with gas and along comes a smart ass who starts prancing and dancing around the gas pump singing chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug, chug-a-lug. This goes on for several seconds much to the immense irritation of the owner of the said SUV. Then you see our young hero hop into his Honda Accord (?) and say save some gas for someone else...as he tears off down the road.
However there is another ad for a Dodge product (SUV) where the SUV is seen pulling a huge trailer and through some fairly hazardous road in the mountains. You see it pull up behind a Porsche and then, at its first opportunity it passes the Porsche. A little while later you see this big mother of an SUV pull up behind another sports car (could be another Porsche) and the comment is, "oh, no, we're not going to get stuck behind another one of these again are we?" Yeah, right! Somehow an SUV pulling a trailer on a road like that doesn't strike me as particularly nimble no matter what you say....So come on, does anybody really believe that?
There, I have ranted on enough...Now you all know I hate SUVs and some of you even know why I do....If one of you owns one, I'll try be nice to you from now on...I promise.
Steve and Bill's new blog is wonderful. Sort of their personal shrine to inconspicuous consumerism...
I decided what my Halloween costume would be for the office tomorrow last night on the way home from work. I'm going as Doc. Ument. I hopped down to a uniform supply place on St Hubert and picked up scrubs and a lab coat during lunch. Anyone else dressing up tomorrow?
Got home last night to see that the plasterer had been very busy! He patched almost everything, only missing a few holes here and there. He taped the bigger cracks in the corners and ceilings too. Today he will be doing second coats, a bit of sanding and closing the vent opening in the hallway. We were getting tired of hearing what was going on downstairs, especially when the girls jam in the basement. Tomorrow he should be sanding and then we'll be able to start cleaning up and getting rooms prepped for painting. We still have to decide on a colour for the tv room, so far we have ruled out bright green........
Work's ok, I've got tons to do and I'm trying to ignore the string of dictatorial emails that arrive in my mailbox. HR suggested that I work from home, but it's difficult to get my files from home. I should have comments back on a project tomorrow, so maybe doing that document Thursday and Friday wouldn't be so bad.
Monday, October 29, 2001
- 4dz rolls
- 2 loaves rye bread
- 2lbs smoked meat
- oatmeal cookies
Steve got the meat from Reubens (thank you sweetie!) I made the cookies Friday night and Steve set the bread machine to make a loaf of pumpernickel for my Dad. We're going to get them a bread machine for x-mas if they don't buy one first. It rained the entire way up to the townies and Dad helped me install the new car battery that I bought. Ok, I learned something about batteries this weekend - just because the guy at the Canadian Tire says it fits every car, doesn't mean that it will fit easily. Dad and I had to make some creative changes to get the darn thing in. Always look at the battery that you have before you buy a new one. Oh well, it's in and it's warrantied for 96 months, by the time that I need a new one, I will have forgotten all this great advice and do the same thing.....
Sunday we had a really busy day. We used the extra hour to work around the house. The plasterer is at our place even as we speak and we had to clear out rooms for him to get started. He has agreed to work in two stages. We cleared out the tv room (ugly green), the kitchen, the bedroom and the hallway yesterday. We also cleaned up the storage area a bit. After all that working, we went out for Guislaine's b-day at a wonderful French restaurant where I had filet mignon that melted in my mouth, yum yum!
Work update: Friday was the last straw. I told HR that I can no longer work with my coworker. I have no idea what's going to happen now...
Friday, October 26, 2001
Yay! Finally! I'm so tired! Tomorrow, Steve and I are heading up to the townships for my Grandmother's b-day party. Her birthday is at the end of November, but it's her 90th b-day and my aunt wanted to celebrate it when there was a chance of having decent weather. I have to pick up rolls, bread, balloons, make cookies and bread and Steve's picking up smoked meat. I'm editing my index for a 100 page manual that I created from scratch in less than 2 weeks. I think that I've made excellent time considering the person I work with seems to think that putting up intranet links and complaining that there's no space between dashes is far more important than creating a manual for use with a $50,000+ product. Angry? Me? Always and it's back to square 1 and looking for another job even though I love everything else about this company. Sunday night we're going out to a birthday dinner for Guislaine, a nice little French restaurant that we went to last year. We did have a bit of trouble with the menu, but I don't feel so bad when native French speakers don't understand them either.
It's gonna be a cold night, perhaps we can have a fire.......... :-)
Thursday, October 25, 2001
I have been busy lately finishing stuff off for year-end which will occur on Hallowe'en.
The mood at this company these days is weird. Critical decisions were made last week as to who will be staying and who will be going at the end of next year. In any case we will all receive a letter on the morning of January 31st telling us whether you are invited to accept a severance package on December 31st 2002 or to stay on beyond that date. Should be interesting as HR hasn't quite figured out the minutae of the logistics yet.
However, this week has seen the termination of 5 people, all of whom have been here for 10 years or more. So I think we're warming up. However, these individuals were people for whom it was a little overdue to rethink their options.
Oh yes, I am supposed to say something about the vacation in France aren't I? Perhaps tomorrow or next week when I have completed this assignment I'll find the time to write something that is blogworthy (other than to say it was fun, wonderful and all that usual stuff.)
Tomorrow is Friday already? Yikes! Gotta run...
Thank goodness this week is almost over! I have a lot to do. Yesterday I took the car into the garage for regular maintenance and had an all day meeting, blech! I have to finish a manual and update something else. On top of all that, I keep getting pesky little nit-picky things that waste much of my time. I went to the STC meeting last night, it was an indexing workshop and was helpful. Better still, I had an extra ziploc bag in my purse so I was able to take home some free fruit!
The car was a bit of a money pit. It started with the normal maintenance ($99) then brake maintenance ($54) and coolant replacement ($55) and of course, spark plugs ($35). I also found out that my battery is low, but I decided to save myself some money by buying and installing that myself. Ugh! Tuesday night we went over to Maggie and Andrew's for a bit of birthday cake for Robert. We got him a drum with other musical toys inside. The whole family seemed to enjoy it. Time to work, I'm so tired.......
Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Hi! If you e-mail me and get only thundering silence in return, I'm not ignoring you, I'm cut off! Our e-mail server is unavailable (yet again) for the next 24 to 48 hours as they switch over to a new ISP (yet again). Ugggghhh.
On a brighter note, I saw a terrific site for closet eggheads like me. It explains how technologies and gadgets that fill our daily life work. It also explains things that are especially topical, like anthrax or wiretapping, or even things from sci fi, like light sabers. It also has a section for kids. So next time my kids ask me a real head-scratcher, instead of saying, "Ask your Dad," we'll look it up there.
Then again, I might miss Jean-Luc's hilarious explanations and Camille's initial look of intent concentration, then annoyed "Papa!" as she realizes he's having her on once again...
Tuesday, October 23, 2001
This past weekend we went the Willow Inn in Hudson with Dave, Jen, Rhett and Debbie. It's a pub style restaurant with a couple of fireplaces, if you get there early enough you can probably get a table with a view of the Lake of Two Mountains. In the summer, they have a terrace which must be beautiful. I also noticed that they have added a sushi bar. I think that the rule is get there early if you want a good table of if you're party is greater than 4. The food was yummy, the garlic bread is sublime. Dinner for two with drinks and dessert came to about $65, not cheap, but a fun trip off the island.
We watched Bridget Jones' Diary last night. Maggie and Andrew let us borrow the DVD. What a funny, sweet little movie. The characters were very good, Hugh Grant was excellent and Rene Zellwiger (sp?) was a very convincing 30 something drinkin', smokin' woman. If you haven't seen it, it's very rentable.
Monday, October 22, 2001
Thursday, October 18, 2001
It's that time of year again. Once a year, Unisource (a big paper reseller in Canada) holds a paper fair (aka their annual show). They bring in paper companies from all over the North America and they have booths where they show off their latest papers. Last year, it was at this great place in Old Montreal. This year, they're having at their new digs in St. Laurent, minutes away from where I work. So you might be asking yourself, paper? Huh? I LOVE paper, there's so many beautiful types of paper out there at your fingertips. I have been sending away for paper samples and swatch books for years, I love playing with paper. You can go to paper sites on the Web and order a few sheets of this and that and they generally send them to you free. Better still, I call up the Unisource samples department and they send me free paper. The best part of the fair is the promotions. Paper companies come up with the best stuff at these fairs. Last year I got 5 beautiful posters and many other free things. I can't wait! It's a casino night theme, so I wonder what they're going to do. Should be great! After the fair, I have to come back to work because we're having a dinner at the company to coincide with the sales summit that's going on. It's a great time to meet some of the American staff. I'm hoping that I can work from home tomorrow, if I can get a few more things completed, I should be able to take home a few manuals for some editing and fill-in work, perhaps do some indexing as well.
Wednesday, October 17, 2001
The trip to Fabricville was a success, I found some nice fabric for a duvet cover. One of the fabrics I chose was not as cheap as I thought that it was, someone had placed it in the bargain area by mistake, but the other one was cut and it was kind of too late to go back. Turns out that the duvet cover will cost the same as if I had bought it already made, just with fabric that I really like. One side is going to be a nice solid blue and the other is a blue and white pattern. Now I have to sew it and stuff. After work I went to Ikea and got two nice reading lamps for the bedroom, and saw duvet covers there for $60! Mind you, none were quite as nice as mine is going to be :-)
I put the lamps up last night (they mount on the wall). I have to go back and get the shades though, they were all out and the lady at Ikea said that they would probably be in today.
It's cold here today and I can think of tons of stuff I'd rather be doing than sitting here working. I'm close to finishing another chapter of a manual that I have to have out for October 29. I'm ahead! I'm ahead!! Whooppeeeeee!
I forgot that you're in Toronto on business, poor woman! The vacation story can wait until you have time to recover.....
Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Well, if yesterday was any judge of how things are working out, everything should be fine. P and I barely spoke, but were pleasant enough and didn't interact unless absolutely necessary. I had a relatively stress free day and I was actually briefed on meetings, a rarity. Today I am alone here and working on a tight-scheduled manual and feeling quite relaxed. If this keeps up, I can definitely stick it out. At lunch I'm going to a fabric store to look for material for a duvet cover and patterns for a Halloween costume. The bad thing about fabric stores is that they put something in the air to make you feel much more motivated to sew than when you get home. I have lots of fabric from projects that never got started. There's always a treasure to be found in the bargain bins though! The last thing that I sewed was the shawls for the wedding and Steve's tie, it turned out so well that I surprised myself!
Hey Kathy, we know that you're back. How about sharing some of your vacation with the rest of us :-) I could use a little France by proxy.
Monday, October 15, 2001
We shall see if this is my last week at this company. P and I have failed to get along and all talks between the two of us have resulted in no progress. Essentially, she is a type A who works all the time and thinks that anyone who does not work like this is irresponsible and not diligent. I am older and realise that life is too short for such an outlook and firmly believe in being relaxed and happy at work. Add to the fact that she's a perfectionist and I am not exactly detail oriented and you get the idea of what's happening. We're supposed to talk to HR this week and if that doesn't solve anything, looks like I'm probably not going to be staying.
Had a very nice weekend, the weather was absolutely beautiful and sunny and warm, a real treat. Steve and I relaxed and did some cleaning and just did as little as possible and enjoyed the days.
I took this test last week to see what kind of robot I would be:
Thursday, October 11, 2001
My summer strangely mirrored the movie, drawing to a close this weekend with the final wedding, Kathleen's. It was a medieval wedding, with the wedding party attired as if they'd just stepped out from A Knight's Tale. Although our teeth chattered as we sat on the tiny hard pews of the greystone church from the 1850s, the intimate reception at le Vieux St-Gabriel warmed us up with great food, wine and fun tales about the bride and groom (instead of glass-clinking).
Jean-Luc and I both agreed, though, that your wedding, Dina, was the one we enjoyed the most. Everything from the great skyscape to the vows you both read and the great music made it warm and moving and true.
So when do you and Steve start your new career as wedding planners?
Wednesday, October 10, 2001
Woo hoo! The Communication Arts Interactive Annual is out again to blow us all away with the best of what's being done on the Web and CD. My two faves so far are a digital art gallery called Fusion by DigitalVision and Aniluxe, this great machine on the Web for playing with some cartoons. You can mess with Courage the dog, Mojo Jojo (that evil monkey!) and Tweetie bird. Too bad we can't use the Aniluxe to get rid of vestigial 70s shlock like Starsky and Hutch. Hutch would have to go first, being the boring one...
I have had a rough two weeks and it's continuing. We found out that the product is being released Friday, so we have to have to docs ready. Of course, unless you actually get to see the product......oh well. On Friday I decided that enough was enough and told HR that I have had my fill of being nice and patient and that I would not be mistreated by the person I work with anymore. She never gave me a chance here, and despite all my wishful thinking and extreme turn-the-other-cheeking, nothing has been right for more than 5 days in a row. HR will try to fix it, if not, then I will leave because I'm making myself sick about this. Of course, I don't want to leave and have made this very clear. I also do not want to start looking for another job now, the market sucks! Uck uck!!! I will not work with a bully, I have my limits.
I had a very nice Thanksgiving weekend, full of turkey and stuffing. Wanted to get a bit more done, but decided to relax more than work and I think that it was worth it. Gotta go work my guts out!
Friday, October 05, 2001
Quaker has put out an instant oatmeal for women. I found an article that reinforces how ridiculous this is. The problem for me though, is that vanilla cinnamon flavoured oatmeal sounds pretty good......
We bought a DVD player last night, now we can watch all the bits of the movie that studios thought wasn't good enough to see. Seriously, it should be a neat toy. Thanksgiving approaches and I'm prepared to go on my all day fast tomorrow so that I don't bust a zipper on Sunday. I'm looking forward to the long weekend as well. This week was not a good one and I'm ready to put it behind me. Lots of fun stuff and good stuff awaits after I leave the office this afternoon.
Thursday, October 04, 2001
Lots of stuff to do. I had a huge rush yesterday and pulled a miracle out of my ear and delivered documents on time. Now it's just the rest of the stuff, the applications are still being completed. I really wish that deadlines were really deadlines. You look forward to a time when they will be over and you can get back to normal working modes and then they woosh past and you're in constant deadline mode. It sucks. Having a few more moments of grief with P, we really are opposite ends of the spectrum.
This past weekend we stripped wallpaper from the bedroom and tv room. It was easier than we thought it would be, but still a hard job. The bedroom is an interesting shade of peach, and the tv room, is, well, the most shocking green I have ever seen. It is truly hideous. The lamp that used to give plenty of light when the walls were white, now casts this X-files pallour over everything in the room. We have decided that we will be painting this room first. All we need is for the plastering guy to come in and work his magic with the walls. We also have to decide on a wall colour. We're still thinking about a nice warm yellow for the kitchen, and the tv room walls are very visible from the kitchen, so it would be nice if there's a nice transition between the two. We figure that we'll put up a bunch of shelves in the room once it's painted and then transfer as many books from our dens into the room so that we clear up space in the dens which gives us more space to work. It feels great that we are finally starting to get things moving.
Wednesday, October 03, 2001
After a day of almost solid sleeping, I'm feeling better and most of the cotton is out of my head. As usual, I have a lot of stuff to do. I'm talking to P and she's giving me grief about a project, she can't figure out why the installation guide takes so long. I have tried to explain what's happening.
Tuesday, October 02, 2001
Monday, October 01, 2001
Holy fire-trap, Batman! Glad you had your fireplace cleaned, Dina. Sunday afternoons by a warm fire are heavenly. Hope you and Steve enjoy many cosy evenings with your new diversion.
A friend of mine reminded me this morning that it's important to start laughing again. I have to agree. Life's become so serious and I've become so suspicious of people and things. Like the guy who came to my door selling these impossibly plump, luscious strawberries yesterday. My first instinct was thanks, but no. And then I thought, why not? They turned out to be a totally unexpected, sweet reminder of early summer.
So if you're in the mood for a chuckle, here's The Onion, courtesy of my dear friend Naomi.
Friday, September 28, 2001
It's been a busy morning already! At 7am, the chimney sweepers showed up to clean the fireplace, the first one I have ever had. I asked the old tenants if they had cleaned it this year and they said "no", what I should have asked was "have you cleaned it ever?". The guy said that it probably hadn't been cleaned for 10 years. It's clean now. We also discovered that we have no flu door, the knob that sticks out of the fireplace spins freely. We also have to let the landlady know that her cap isn't up to code and it needs something else that I can't remember at this minute. We can use it as is as long as we make sure the the damper is open and that it stays open. We paid for the cleaning, but certainly cannot pay for the neglect over the years. If all goes well, we can have a fire tonight. The guy told us that the fires have to be hot for the first hour to heat the chimney and reduce the risk of creosote collecting which can cause chimney fires. I think that we can manage that! This also means that we will probably be using the livingroom more, right now it is the room that the cats sleep in.
I made cookies last night and have brought them in for the bake sale. I hope that people like them and don't take a bite and spit them out saying "I paid for this?". I did make them a bit chewier than usual, so hopefully they aren't undercooked.
Thursday, September 27, 2001
Yesterday I tuned into the interview of Robert Fisk on HomeRun. He gave a very thoughtful, unnerving view of the making of a fanatic. It's too bad we don't hear more from people like Fisk on the major media, which have been providing virtually indistiguishable--or worse, sensationalist--coverage of the attacks. There was a media critic on the show a day earlier talking about how you saw the same images, the same analyses of the events from channel to channel. I had to agree--there's been very little diversity in view or coverage from what was shown on CNN. So anyway, hat's off to you Rebecca, for a great interview!
After work I went downtown to the Indigo bookstore and bought White Teeth, our latest bookclub book, and the first Lemony Snicket book in the series. I read the first ten pages or so of the Lemony Snicket and it looks very good. It's not higher reading, some words are explained, but it looks promising. Now I'll have to go back to Club Price and get the others....... After Indigo we went to Chapters to spend a gift certificate on a Photoshop book. They didn't have the book, so I had to order it. That was a drag because Indigo had a bunch and Indigo bought out Chapters so technically they are one store, but one store that still hasn't figured out how to take the other's gift certificates. I should be getting the book within the week, so I'm not that annoyed, it's just that I want it NOW. The inner child will have to be patient.
I was supposed to make a sauce for lasagna last night, but I wasn't feeling that great last night, so that's been put off until tonight. Of course I also remembered that tonight I have to make oatmeal cookies for the bake sale we're having at work tomorrow. I hope that I don't have to work late. The deadlines for the projects are starting to woosh by. We got our first look and a new installer yesterday afternoon and it's vile. I'm not sure why they wanted to replace it, the other one was fine. We're still planning on getting our stuff done on time, whatever we can document will be done by tomorrow. I have little hope that the product will be ready in its most completed form though....
Wednesday, September 26, 2001
Just a few more days and the quarter will be over and the rush rush of the deadlines will be replaced by all the release dates being pushed back-but we'll have delivered on time!!! This is important because bonuses are given quarterly and tied to what you accomplish, what your team accomplishes and what your department manages to deliver. I think that myself and the team are doing ok, but I fear the department. Luckily, that's a very small percentage right now........
Tuesday, September 25, 2001
We got lots of rain happening here, it would be a perfect day to sleep. I got a free sample of that hand cream from Air Canada when I went to Chicago. I flew in on Mother's Day and every woman got one as we "deplaned". I heard this word recently, is it real? We don't say "decared". I think that you can get the honey dust at a store on the top floor of the Eaton Centre. It sells sensual items and joke gifts. I know that they sell that product line there.
Steve and I did some of the stuff that we didn't get a chance to do over the weekend, some extra cleaning and another load of laundry. We also made a quick run to Club Price for some basics. As usual, you go in for catfood and coffee and come out with $200 worth of stuff. Actually, it wasn't that bad, we stuck to the list pretty well. It was interesting to note that they have Christmassy stuff out already, decorations, candles, chocolate and the like. It also reminded me that we have to get Halloween candy. For the first time in many, many years, we will have kids coming to the door Oct 31. We'll also have to get a pumpkin. I love carving pumpkins. When Caroline and I were rommates we use to get a pumpkin every year and carve it and toast the seeds and then eat them until we were really sick, it was great!
It's the STC Wine and Cheese tonight, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and watching Steve make his first presidential speech.
Monday, September 24, 2001
I want to play with a pirate ship and cannon, too! Maybe if I got it for Samuel's birthday... Just saw Steve's pic and welcome address in Connections. Yay, Steve!
It was a good weekend, but a little tiring. Saturday we had a quiet morning and then Maggie came over and I coloured her hair and then we went out for a quick run to the mall where we got gifts for Colin, Maggie's son and my godson. His birthday is today, and Maggie and Andrew had his party on Sunday. Steve and I got him a pirate ship with little pirates and a canon that shoots a canonball, it's really neat, I think that I want one! Saturday evening was quiet, we went out to supper with friends and then Steve went out gaming and I vegged out completely on the sofa. I like to just rest my brain from time to time. I have absolutely no idea what I did all evening, some reading, some tv, but no brain activity whatsoever. Steve had to go into work Sunday to appease his boss, so I got up with him and drove him to work. Seeing as how I was up and out of the house, I took the opportunity to go to the Atwater market and spent about an hour wandering around and buying some veggies and apples. This is my favorite season, I love fresh Quebec apples! I got cortlands yesterday and they are so good, I had two yesterday. I have also discovered that this last remaining unpaved parking area around the market is now being condo-ized, so if I want to go to the market I will have to go very early or parking will be a real pain. It's better in the morning anyway, less people. In the after noon I went over to Maggie's and we watched Colin opening things and had cake and got caught up with Rebecca, and Terence and Irene. We stayed for supper and after that I dropped Steve off and went straight to Danielle's place for the bookclub. Got home at 11 and was so tired getting up this morning. I have lots to do this week, we have a release Friday, so tons of stuff to do. Busy, busy, busy!
Thursday, September 20, 2001
Wow, has this week gone by quickly! Work has been very busy and the evenings very uneventful. Steve and I have to get to work on the thank you cards soon. We're still trying to pick out a picture to send with the cards. We have a lot of good ones that I still have to scan and put up on the Web site. There's a lunch & learn today on the subject of time. We have a research person here and he's our "thinker" about directions and concepts and new product development. I think that the talk will be very philosophical and should be quite good. I've been helping him develop a manual for the new process structure that's being developed in R&D and he's an interesting person, even though he has no idea what a deadline is. Perhaps the talk about time will explain some of that.
My lunch & learn on indexing last week went very well. Despite the fact that the audience really does not want to index anything, they were all very polite and looking alert. I bribed them with gummi bears and tried to be funny whenever I could.
Music news: Steve got us the lastest Diana Krall cd. I'll let you know how it is after I listen to it. Anybody else listening to some good tunes out there?
Wednesday, September 19, 2001
Tuesday, September 18, 2001
Today is my last day of work before I head off on a 3 week vacation. The events of the last week have dampened my enthusiasm to say the least and my feelings are at best mixed. However, cancelling it will accomplish nothing so my view is if you think you have been thrown off a horse, the best thing todo is to get right back on and ride him anyway.
What has made this all the more problematic was my husband was in Los Angeles all last week and I wondered whether or not he would get home in time for our departure tomorrow. He did indeed get home last night on time on a flight that he described as fantastic. The check-in in L.A. was fast, thorough and courteous. Service on the flight (Air Canada aka Air Cattle Prod) was excellent and courteous and fellow passengers for once were not even obnoxious. The biggest change is they don't give you metal knives anymore with your inflight meal you get a plastic one. Security is high and nobody is taking chances. Dorval is running very efficiently and well. I have been advised to arrive up to 3 hours before my flight tomorrow.
For those of you who don't know, our holiday destination is France. We fly from Montreal to Paris tomorrow night and arrive at Charles De Gaulle Paris Thursday morning. From there we have rented a car and are buzzing down the autoroute south of Lyon to stay at a wine village called Beaune on the Rhone River. We will stay there for a day and from there head over to a place that I stayed when I was 14 called Condrieu (also on the Rhone but further south.) Our "final" destination is in a small village in the Rhone Alps which is south east again. There we have rented a mountain top house for a week with all the amenities and our planned activities will range from wine tasting to hiking and visiting old churches and museums. We plan to finish the vacation by hiking through part of the Grand Randonnee in the Mont Blanc area (which takes you into Italy and Switzerland if you so choose) and staying for a few nights in Chamonix before heading back to Paris and home.
So there you have it, and I will be back duly refreshed and rarin' to go (I hope) after Thanksgiving.
So fellow Bloggers, have a great 3 weeks of good blogs. I am so looking forward to reading them all when I get back. I may even bore you with highlights of my trip!
Dina: I still have to develop the pictures I took at your wedding, so here's what I'll do, I'll get them developed when I get back and if you want to see them, the price will be a cup of coffee with your new cappucino machine! Is that a great deal or what? ; - ) Enjoy your new toys!