Wednesday, October 31, 2001

You aren't serious about the pig pajamas! Pictures? Hmmm? Sounds like an imaginative bunch for the most part with one exception and that one is doubtful as to whether that's a costume or a working uniform.

Have goodies been handed out?
An angel, soldier, witch, squeegee kid, spaniard, grim reaper, marquis de sade, my coworker finally put on her pig pyjamas.......
I'm a GP. Costume update: Austin Powers from last year is Where's Waldo. We now have a sailor, cow, clown, Chinese lady, guy in a sari, Smurfette, king, another doctor (surgeon), bride of Frankenstein......
Hey what's with all the bold type?

So Doc. Ument are you a surgeon or a GP?
Happy Halloween!!!
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

Speaking of Consumerism, An Ad that Made My Day and Another that Makes Me Say Oh Yeah, Come On!

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 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.
'Fraid I've used up all my energy getting ready a Hermione and a Lyin' King costume for the kids. But make sure that the good old doc gets a couple of photo ops so you can share your Hallowe'en fun with us.

Steve and Bill's new blog is wonderful. Sort of their personal shrine to inconspicuous consumerism...
Last minute Dina strikes again!
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?
Steve has again decided to go on his spending moratorium this year. Last year, I dared him to try not spending money copiously, and from Nov 1 until the end of Feb., he was pretty good. This year, Bill has joined him and they've started a blog on the subject. God help us all........Covertly Coveted
Plaster, anyone?
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

This weekend was very busy. Friday afternoon I went running all over town getting stuff for my Grandmother's 90th birthday bash. I was in charge of the following:
  • balloons
  • 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

I heard about this one on CBC radio. Looking for a Halloween costume? Costume Idea Zone
A new Coen brothers movie. I have no idea what it's about....The Man Who Wasn't There
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

It's been a long time since I posted something here although I have been faithfully reading everyday.
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

My Sudden Silence
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

Here's one to add to the list. Happiness is a muscle-melting, sleep-inducing massage. And a nap afterwards to cap it off. I've been told about this great place in Morin Heights with a Japanese-inspired decor, called Spa Ofuro. No time? Pass the candles and Calgon, please. And close the door when you go, will you?
What we really need is some happy things today. It's a grey, yucky day and I still don't feel like working. Everybody come up with something happy and blog it......I'll start, how about a puppy?
Restaurant review
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

The paper fair was very good, I got bags of samples and more are coming to me through the mail. After I finished the whirlwind tour, I went back to the office and had supper. The food was pretty good, it was catered. I sat with the sales team, I really loved working with them! One of the women was telling a story about doing laundry in a laundromat in Paris that was hilarious. Afterwards I went home and then worked from home Friday. I got some errands done as well, shopping and car washing. I found a really nice set of fireplace pokey,shovely/brushy things for $50, so I picked that up. The chimney repair guys are coming to fix the flu door Wednesday. We should be perfectly ready to have a fire after Wednesday. I'm not into working today, wish I was home enjoying the sunshine........

Thursday, October 18, 2001

Paper fair tonight!
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

Lamps and fabric
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!
Sorry Kathy!
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

Perhaps not the last week......
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

Last week?
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:
Click here to find out what robot you really are

Thursday, October 11, 2001

Three Weddings and a Funeral
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

Digital Daydreams
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 just heard about this from another blog. Can you believe it?Starsky and Hutch - the movie
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

I thought that I dreamed this bizarre thing
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

Time to get a move on!
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

Sick girl returns
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

Just so nobody worries, I am sick today and at home. I will blog later today when I am a bit more alert. See ya soon!!!

Monday, October 01, 2001

I found The Onion to be so well done this issue, that I would like to have a hard copy to keep. They are fantastic writers, to take something so awful and find the right tone for intelligent satire. The "articles" are great and quite biting at times, but never offensive, to my mind anyway. I do get the feeling from the past week that people are starting to get over the trauma of the attack, though I think some things may well have changed forever. The violence implicit in so much of our everyday speech and turns of phrase now feels strange, and a new gentleness seems necessary. I hope that we have also learned to live more for the day, and keep our priorities in order. Take care, everyone.
Chim-Chiminey, Chim-Chim, Cheroo!
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.