Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Just wanted to wish you all very lovely holidays and a wonderful New Year! May the New Year be filled with joy and serenity for you and your loved ones. Talk to you in 2003!
Friday, December 20, 2002
It's not the snow and ice under my feet crunching, it's the deadlines and clenched teeth as people run from office to office in an end of year tizzy. Lots of deadlines, lots of people working through the holiday. I'm still trying to figure out when I'm going to be able to get all my personal stuff done as people keep stacking more and more on my desk. Oh, and guess what? Yup, I'm moving again! I have to have everything packed up before I leave. Did I mention that I'm waiting for info on something rush that has to go out and so far have heard nothing? I was trying to leave early today, sigh......
Anyways, to everyone out there, in case I don't make it out of the office,
Happy Holidays!! Have a great one full of love :-)
Have a great one full of love :-)
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
I made it back from Long Island. The flight down was great, despite the 5:40am departure. The flight only had 4 other people on it, so I was able to stretch out and have a little nap. Saw a lovely sunrise above the clouds. There's hardly any snow there, I changed into my shoes after we landed. I was the designated driver because my boss can get lost in a closet. This worked out well, because I really hate being a passenger. We got a Ford Taurus with lots of electric gizmos that were pretty fun to play with. Work was somewhat futile the first day given that there was an office party the night before, and the people I was talking to were finishing their contracts that day. After work, I was exhausted and could hardly go through the 50 channels of american tv. I made a quick trip to the grocery store for a look around at all the goodies. I am constantly amazed at the variety, packaging and volume you can find in US grocery stores, they really do make ours look sadly understocked. I had no fridge this time around, alas, so no yogurt reports. On Friday night, I jumped into the car for the trek to Kuan's place in Jersey.
The drive was like last time, it rained and I forgot to bring a map. This time I managed to get through NY city and found the Lincoln Tunnel, no mean feat in a city with no signs. I made it to Kuan's not too late and had a nice evening with her. She was in full party prep mode and was making mountains of food. A couple from Boston showed up around 10, they were staying over for the party. Saturday we got up and went out for breakfast and ran errands for the party. People started showing up in the late afternoon and the last ones left at midnight. I helped clean up a bit and then dropped into bed. Kuan put me in a great bed with comfy sheets and a big comforter, I slept very well. Sunday we lounged and then went out to a mall close by where they had a Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, and William-Sonoma, my favorite stores to check out online! Kuan treated me to lunch and while she was shopping for books I snuck over to a Crabtree & Evelyn and picked up a little treat for her that I hid under her jammies at home. It was hard to leave, I miss her sooo much. The trip back was interesting, I missed the GWB again and ended up going
through Staten Island and Brooklyn (I saw the bridge), but eventually I made it back to the hotel.
Monday and Tuesday were normal rushing around days. People have been very nice to us, which I wasn't expecting. The geese are still all around the office down there, apparently, they never leave. I guess they're not really Canadian geese anymore, they probably don't even keep a residence up here for medicare ;-)
We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare and sat around for a couple of hours. The flight was almost empty again, so I stretched out over two seats. I got home just after 10:30pm, pretty tired. Steve got me roses and made me food, he's such an amazing husband! There's nothing like coming home to your own bed, I slept so well last night, but was still tired this morning.
Now back to the usual Christmas rush, baking, cards, shopping, packing.....argh!!!
Sunday, December 15, 2002
Anyone got any good office party stories yet? I'd love to hear 'em!
My office party pretty much sucked. It was held in some goddawful sports bar on Crescent (eeeew), with 6$ drinks and a hideously distorted sound system.
I didn't make a total fool of myself (didn't stay long enough) but in classic Becca-fashion I think I managed to disturb some of my colleagues psychologically.
It's a question of etiquette, I guess: Is it bad manners to walk up to a table of co-workers (who you like but don't really hang out with much) and do a crazy shimmy-boob-shaking dance, shouting "merry christmas everyone!!"? I was actually making fun of the DJ's music, which was a rock'n'roll Christmas medley (guess the DJ thought he'd start off the evening with a weary sigh). But when I think about it, the sound system was so bad, maybe my co-workers didn't realize what was playing and thought I was just going around shaking my breasts at all and sundry as a kind of christmas present.
Oh well, it's not a Christmas party if I don't shock and dismay. I hope y'all had more fun and have better stories.
Happy generic holidays!
Thursday, December 12, 2002
Ever wandered half-dazed through a department store and impulse-bought your way through the last three items on your shopping list? Here's a cute article I saw on avoiding that What Was I Thinking? sinking feeling the next day.
and Stan's the man...
... when you want great business cards done well and quickly. I just got back from Concordia Printing, where I picked up my cards. They're positively fab. Thanks a gazillion for sharing Stan, Dina. He's a gem!
Tuesday, December 10, 2002
Yes, I am quite serious. I found one on Yahoo.ca but I would much rather buy one "live". My husband wants one for Christmas. If I am unclear on what it is I am looking for, it's sort of a clock radio that emits soothing noises like wind, rainfall, ocean, birds etc. You can use it to help you fall asleep or wake up to.
The first was Kissing Jessica Stein. I'd seen previews of it and thought it looked like my kind of movie -- and it was! It's the story of a very intelligent and artistic woman who can't seem to find any suitable men. Yawn, right? She finally answers a personal ad from a "woman seeking woman", who is looking for a little something different in the sex department.
It's the story of their relationship, basically, and I think it is as true and sweet and funny a movie about relationships as I've seen in a while. It deals with the spectrum of sexuality with great respect and honesty. If you've ever wondered if you could swing both ways, this is the movie for you, goils!
The other is one that Elizabeth mentioned on this blog a while ago, Waking Life. I really think this is a piece of cinematic and visual art. It is thought-provoking and intellectually challenging and never speaks down to its audience for a second.
Both worth seeing.
Friday, December 06, 2002
It's that time of year again, the thermometer drops and all of a sudden the sidewalks are teeming with dogs in stupid sweaters. Dogs, if left on their own, do not wear clothing, contrary to the popular poker-playing pooches. There is nothing more stupid-looking than a dog in a sweater, and the dogs know it. You see them walking down the street with their heads and tails tucked down, hoping that none of their dog friends recognize them. The average dog wearing a sweater does not stay out long enough to require one. In fact, I would think that the thickness and stupid-looking factor of the dog sweater is probably directly proportional to the cold tolerance of the owner, the old "I'm cold, you go put on a sweater" routine. I wonder what dogs would choose to wear if they did decide that clothes are a good idea? Probably something smelly and sweaty, not pink and cutsie with a matching hat and booties. They don't understand that the bone pattern knitted on the sides is adorable, it's merely a restrictive garment that they tolerate so that they can go outside and take a piss. What's next? Little down vests on chickadees and hats with flaps for squirrels?
Well, the sofa and the chair arrived after supper Wednesday night and they look marvellous! We had to rearrange everything because it was a bit bigger than we thought, but now everything's in place and looks very cozy. Yesterday I even curled up in the chair and read for a while. We're going to see Stuart McLean tonight, I'm pretty darn excited! Steve has given me two of the cds so far to pass the time on really long train rides. Haven't heard anything else about the trip I'm supposed to take early next week, this could be a problem because as usual I need a cash advance that they only give out on Fridays. This weekend is going to be very busy, tonight is SM, tomorrow night we're going to a Rockin' the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) party at our friend Adriana's - she thinks that Mary doesn't get enough celebration considering she hauled her pregnant rear across country and then had to give birth, sans epidural, in front of goats and cows. Sunday night we're probably getting together with other friends we haven't seen in a while, so we're booked! Plus, I'll have to start getting ready to pack and leave, if in fact I'm going.
Monday, December 02, 2002
I'm listening to CBC today, and I just heard an interview with these two guys who were writers for some software company. Their department was cut, but they were kept on. They decided to start their own business writing books and making tapes about something business-like. Anyway, they did this for two years, while still on the software company's payroll. They ran their business from the office, used company resources, and eventually produced a best-seller in non-fiction. They even left for a week to attend a trade show and nobody noticed. They finally quit the company and are now planning on writing a fictional account of their doings. What do you think? Do these guys deserve a medal, or to be thrown into the pit of eternal pain?
It's not up yet, but the story may appear on the Web site.
On the whole, a nice weekend. I had a great lunch with Kathy at the local Indian establishment and managed to get leave work at a decent hour. Saturday, I drove Steve to the STC judging out in the east end, and then went downtown and hit the bookstore for a present for my grandmother. The crowds were horrid in the malls, people everywhere getting in the way, walking in front of you and stopping, and taking up the space with S.U.V.-sized strollers. Saturday night we went over to Terence and Irene's for Geek night, where we watched old serials and episodes of Police Squad until around midnight. Sunday we were supposed to head up to the townies to visit my grandmother, but the folks called and said that the weather was blizzardous there, so we postponed. What do you do with a day you thought you wouldn't have? Go and watch the new Harry Potter movie and go grocery shopping of course!
The second Harry Potter movie isn't bad, definitely not for small children though. The adaptation wasn't as good as the first movie, they left out many details that would have really helped develop Harry's character and really botched the end where they had a perfect chance to really flesh out Voldemort, and failed miserably. The special effects were great, but it seems that while the makers didn't mind showing scary made-up monsters, they did have a problem with showing prejudice, bullying, children being ostracized, and a villain being mean and murderous and cruel. In Rowling's books, human beings are way more monstrous than any monster, from Harry's aunt and uncle, to the Malfoys, to Voldemort, and to ignore that theme makes the film vacuous.
Friday, November 29, 2002
Jus left th clinic
arm ok no panic
need u 2 promis me
2 keep kissin
me left breast
cos baby nxt week
me right'll b missin
The Guardian has this beauty and others from its best of Text Poetry 2002. I find texting an absolute riot and a great showcase for how dynamic language can be today. Guess I'm just weird that way.
Thursday, November 28, 2002
Maybe he was drunk during our conversation. I never can tell. He usually takes his teeth out when he drinks, but not always, so how's a daughter to know?
Anyhoo...please disregard my paranoid ramblings about toonie-sized quarters. I probably should have done my research first!
Well, I arrived at work and they had delivered my boxes and hooked up my computers. A few hours later, I am more or less organized and only hav eone computer and a laptop on the desk. Of course the first thing I did was turn on my big monitor. Guess what? The movers scratched it! It's a small scratch, but I can see it and it will drive me crazy. I had to fight to get this monitor, so I'm really mad. My boss is filing a report with the movers, we'll see what happens. I now have a phone on my desk so people can call me, I'm not sure whether that's good or bad.
Wednesday, November 27, 2002
I was in one of those coma-like sleeps this morning, didn't hear the cats, or Steve, or Steve throwing stuff at the cats. I didn't hear anything until my alarm started to chime. I love the chimes, so serene! Working on rewriting a developer's document this morning. He's worked really hard on it, so it may be difficult to show him the new version. When they're really proud of their writing, I usually tell them that I have to reformat and move it out of Word, just some minor changes to make it clearer to a non-technical audience, spell check, etc. You hate to hurt their feelings.
It's a great day for a Grey Cup parade! I wish I still worked downtown.
Tuesday, November 26, 2002
I found out that I'm finally officially changing offices this Wednesday. This is a temporary-permanent move, which means that I'm moving, so my computer and phone will finally be where I am most of the time, but they're moving the entire department in a couple of weeks to another building, so I will probably be moving to the other building with everyone else. Also, the office that they give us will not be my permanent office, because that will eventually be where the rest of my writing team is as opposed to the department I'm working in. Also, when I am moved to a permanent spot, I have requested that I continue to share an office with my old office mate as opposed to where I am now most of the time - primarily because guys are just better to share offices with because they don't care if you move a chair or turn up the thermostat, and almost never complain about stupid things that don't matter and that make you crazy. Confused yet? Perhaps I should create a diagram.
So I got my two boxes yesterday and started packing stuff and putting stickers on everything. I only really need one of my computers and my phone, so I plan on leaving the boxes packed and sitting in the middle of the office until we move again in two weeks. For some reason, I don't think I'm going to feel like any less of a gypsy after Wednesday than I do now.
Monday, November 25, 2002
Last week was crazy busy, this week I'm hoping will be a bit more sedate. Saturday, Steve and I got up early so I could get my car rust-proofed, and then I took him out for breakfast. After, we went to Westmount and wandered through all the stores for gift ideas. Westmount has a whole bunch of nifty stores. Once you get the the last ones, you've seen many of the same things repeated, but there's always some novelties. Saturday night, we went to a friend's surprise 30th birthday party. It was a hoot! She was actually surprised!
Sunday was a slow day. Steve had an old friend over who I swear talked from the moment he got to our place until he left 6 hours later! I hid in the livingroom in front of the fire; I watched three movies and read.
Today started off with my pass card not working, but other than that, not so terrible. Just taking it one hour at a time, looking forward to lunch. I tried a new bread made with something called Red River cereal-it looks like bird seed.
By the way, way to go Alouettes!
Friday, November 22, 2002
Hey, have any of you seen the new quarter?
My Dad made a point of calling me yesterday, because he knows I pay cash (which I guess means I'm too poor to charge everything). He wanted to warn me about the dastardly new quarter which looks a hell of a lot like a toonie (same size, same silvery pretty). "You check your change carefully every time, because you can bet there'll be a lot of people giving quarters instead of loonies now".
And what about all the vending machines, washers and dryers and god knows what-all else? What is the world coming to? It's diabolical, that's what it is.
Of course I haven't seen these things, so maybe they only exist in my father's imagination, but still, damn those money-people!
I just dropped off my car at the dealership for maintenance. Normally, I stay with the car, but today I'm having some body work done which will take longer than an hour. I got a loaner, a 2003 Camry to be precise. It's new and plush and smooth driving. They give you really nice cars on purpose. It's too bad that I don't have a lot of errands to run today. Of course I left my passcard in my car, so I have to wander around with a "I'm an idiot and forgot my pass at home" card. We were suppose to go out to lunch for a colleague's birthday yesterday, but that was cancelled because he had a meeting. I ate a really crappy Tim Horton's sandwich and soup (blech!) We're supposed to go out today, but I just heard that there's a huge rush to get out a doc that doesn't exist by tonight. I hope there's something good in the cafeteria.......
Thursday, November 21, 2002
"Terrorists Plan to Blow up Internet on 1-11!"
I also thought this Onion article was rather amusing. I can't create a link on my work computer for some reason, so you can copy and paste if you want.
Y'all have a good day!
Last Friday, I was talking to a colleague and asked that we meet on Monday. On Monday, I emailed to ask when he was going to stop by, and he said that he was very busy, and that I should book a meeting with him for Thursday. I booked a meeting, sent the request, and never heard back. This morning I waited for him to show up, which of course he didn't because he's far too important. He said that he hadn't read his email from yesterday afternoon; this of course has nothing to do with the request that I sent Tuesday morning. Then, he sent me a meeting request for tomorrow that would run over lunch. I declined. I wish that Outlook had a Ha! button....
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
Sounds a little odd, doesn't it? I pulled into a parking spot this morning, one of the ones in the middle of the lot where you park opposite another car, and a lady in a Volvo, who arrived from the other side, and seemed to be taking the spot opposite, actually wanted to drive through and park where I was so that she didn't have to reverse out of the space when she left. I was sitting where she wanted to be, and she honked at me until I finally gave her the spot. You'd think that a Volvo would have better manners, not to mention that she works somewhere in the building, so I will see her again.
Tuesday, November 19, 2002
As you all know I have been given 15 months working notice and if you didn't think that was long enough, yesterday our company made an announcement that puts the whole schedule into a complete schamozzle. Something called the Risk Model was a key agreement that everyone in the financial community had to agree to and accept for our new systems to be implemented. So, the predictable occurred (and we were warned it might happen), it wasn't approved and now the whole implementation is thrown up in the air and nobody knows when our new systems are going to go live. What this means is, those of us who were scheduled to leave in November and March will likely have our departure dates rescheduled into the future again. The company cannot let people go as long as we are running the old systems.
At this point I find it hard to take anything all that seriously and have decided to ride it out....The economy sucks anyway and the financial industry is in complete disarray not just here in Canada, but globally.
Anyone seen Harry Potter yet?
Monday, November 18, 2002
It started yesterday when I found out that I didn't have a garage spot. It continued this morning with the shovelling, scraping and sweeping, then the crappy drive to work, then getting stuck in the company parking lot where they had just started to plow and I got stuck-twice. This sucks. I am not happy today...
Friday, November 15, 2002
Yesterday afternoon, we got hauled into a last minute project. The boss said that it would take us an hour. I left the office at 11:30 last night and hadn't stopped for supper. In some ways, I think that it's the universes' way of levelling my economic karma - I probably made enough in overtime last night to pay for the winter boots and coats that I bought last week. Still, I'm leaving at noon today, my brain is quite dead :-)
Who wants to come for an Indian food lunch? I'm buying!
Thursday, November 14, 2002
In the past few weeks, since listening to Becca's report on the Mademoiselle/Madame phenomenon, I have been hyperconscious of the terms of address I am greeted with in and around town. These are my conclusions:
1. Women invariably address me as "Madame"
2. Men almost always address me as "Mademoiselle", unless they're ridiculously young, like the bag boys at the supermarket.
3. When men do address me as "Madame" they are typically either really boys in men's clothing (see above) or they are secretly anglophone.
Last night we went to McGill to listen to Margaret Visser give part four of her Massey lecture. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but as usual found myself feeling a bit overloaded by all the ideas piled in my head over the course of the hour. I'm sure that great intellectuals can easily absorb all this information, like carrying a large laundry basket and folding everything in neatly. I, on the other hand, have forgotten to bring my basket, and spend most of the time scrambling to keep the socks from falling on the floor while adding more. I need to go home, drop the stuff on a table (whatever didn't fall out of my head), and sort it out before I actually have any observations on it. Just once I would like to be able to stand up and ask an intelligent question at the end of a lecture. Perhaps if I just caught one sock and held on to it? But then what are you going to do with one sock?
Wednesday, November 13, 2002
For some reason, I keep thinking that it's much later in the week. The project has become even more confusing and many things that I hurried to finish are now gathering dust while deadlines are extended. What do you think that it means when your boss tells you that you won't be assigned permanently to one project because he "needs your varied talents for other things". Is that a nice way of saying that I don't have the attention span to handle a project, or is it actually a compliment?
This weekend was a big consumer weekend. I finally found a coat, well, two actually. The first was found at a sale in the garment district, suede, below butt/above knee with a hood. The second was found on big sale at the sporting goods store where I found my winter boots, a very non-girly pair of sorels that will be very warm and dry-but not pretty. I should be all set until the winter of 2008. Saturday we went up and visited the folks and put on the snow tires, although it was so warm we were practically out there in t-shirts. Sunday we passed by Sears to see is they had any livingroom furniture that we could afford, and we found a great sofa bed and chair which will be showing up at our door early December and we will be paying off in tiny increments for some time. I learned from the lady at the store that Quebec doesn't allow companies to add any extra fees to long-term payment plans, perhaps this is to make up for all the freakin' tax we have to pay on everything. Personally, I'd trade it for good schools, good roads, and good healthcare, but I supposed I'll take what I can get.
Monday, November 11, 2002
I have been back from vacation for four weeks now and I don't feel as though I had been anywhere at all. Maybe November just does that to you...
Anyway, I am 5 months away from my "best before" date and despite some anxieties and a more than a few sleepless nights, I am starting to accept the inevitable and given the latest developments, am left shaking my head, which I feel I must share with this group.
A week and a half ago, more layoffs were announced here, and these latest have really shocked the company (even though some of us predicted it would happen). For those of you on this blog who may be unfamiliar the history of our impending layoffs, this company gave everybody a letter last January stating that you either a) would have a job of some kind by March 2003 or b) No, you would not and to expect a severance and blah, blah, blah. I fall into the b) group or the group known as the No group. This March 2003 date is the anticipated date that the new systems go in making 100 of us redundant. For once, everything is on schedule and on time.
So, a week and a half ago, everybody got an email announcing some more organizational changes, namely 19 people are being let go at the end of November (one month's notice) and that the terms of their severance are the same as those who got their notice in January. These were people by the way who were informed in January that they would have jobs following the implementation of the new systems in March 2003.
However, here's the thing of it...1) These 19 people are all seasoned, very knowledgeable people who have been here for a long time 2) the terms of the severance are not the same as these people have received only one month's notice. The rest of us got 15 months working notice. Then, to add insult to injury, our company is running mandatory workshops called "Respect in the Workplace". So no matter whether or not you are staying or going, these workshops are being run right now and if you fail to show up (because you are unmotivated perhaps? or just plain abused?), your cost centre will be levied a $500 charge.
I pointed all this out to my boss and she hadn't thought about it at all, but I told her that this company would be lucky if anybody is doing any work at all these days (except her of course.)
Friday, November 08, 2002
Wheh! Glad this week's almost over, although it's bound to be twice as busy next week. Tomorrow we are heading up to the townies to put my snow tires on. We got more snow last night which made the drive to work this morning a tad exciting. The temp has shot up today, so the snow's nearly gone, yippee! It's always strange to be sweeping snow and leaves off your car at the same time. Steve went in to work today, his first day at the office. So far, he likes it. I've been pretty used to my solitary morning routine, so I was a bit thrown off by his alarm and having someone else awake around me this a.m.. I guess I'll get used to it again!
Thursday, November 07, 2002
A sunny day really does wonders for the mood, too bad it's also COLD. Just found out that there's a whole bunch of extra work to do, so my schedule is all blown to heck. A couple of months ago we didn't have enough to do, and now we're investigating cloning :-) What do you do with your clones during down time? Maybe leave them here and go on holiday or try to convince them to clean the house? We watched part of this neat program on PBS last night. It was called the 1940s House, and it was a British family that volunteered to live as if they were back in the 40s. They were moved into an authentic house and had to cope with the blackout laws, rationing, air raids, and usual everyday problems. If they play it again, I recommended it! I learned a lot about wartime England.
Wednesday, November 06, 2002
One of my colleagues is being sent to Germany for three weeks, I'm so jealous! Of course, my boss isn't going to send me anywhere after all the trouble the last business trip I took was to set up. I don't think he'd send me across the street for doughnuts. I saw an ad in the career section this morning for Krispy Kreme staff. Apparently they are coming to our fair city sometime next year. If the job includes free doughnuts, they better pay for gym memberships or offer free liposuction to their employees. I've never tried one of their doughnuts, but I hear that they're really good.
We got more snow last night which changed into rain this morning, picture this scene, only with more wet snow:
the new hallway light, ain't it purty?
Tuesday, November 05, 2002
Well, it snowed all day yesterday and into the night. We don't have a lot of snow, but it's still on the ground. I hope it melts today, I have this odd urge to start my Christmas shopping early. Steve decided to take the job at the game place, they finally made him an offer (and apologized for being late, so they're ok in my books again). He starts going into the office next week, right now they don't have anything set up for him. It's down at the Old Port, which has always been an area where I've wanted to work, especially if the company provides parking.
Work is quiet and slightly disorganized. Any day I am expecting a few people to suddenly realise that there's some big thing to do despite my reminders and inquiries for almost a month. I am still a gypsy writer with hopes that sometime within the next two weeks I will have a permanent home. I'd like a window in that home, but I'm not optimistic. Steve got Spiderman yesterday, so we put on a roaring fire and watched it last night, what a great movie!
Monday, November 04, 2002
Halloween is much better when you walk around the neighbourhood. We had a great time seeing all the decorated houses and kids running amok. We wandered up to Becca's and saw her cute kiddies all decked out. Friday I had a great lunch with Elizabeth and Steve at the Indian place.
The weekend was a bit of a wash. Saturday we got started late and then went to Future Shop to return a Toshiba VCR. First, you should never buy anything from Future Shop, they suck. Second, if you have foolishly purchased something, you shouldn't try to return it. The Toshiba VCR that we bought never worked quite right, but you have to spend some time realising that it's not you, the tapes,and the connections. Future Shop only has a 30 day return policy. We offered to buy another type of unit with the refund, but we could only send it for repairs. When asked what was wrong with it, I said, "It doesn't record or play properly and the timer doesn't work". That should keep the repair people busy. I was talking to Maggie, they have a similar model and it doesn't work very well either. Sunday I went to Home Depot and bought a nice light fixture for the hallway and visited Maggie and the crew. I found a nice arts and crafts style coloured glass fixture for a reasonable price. Putting up lights in older buildings is always a challenge. I'm beginning to think that I should write a book about it just to remind myself of all the things that I suddenly need when I attempt a lighting project. Steve had to help a lot because I couldn't reach with our ladder. The screws were too short, the instructions were not obvious, but we got it up finally. It's crooked, but we were tired of messing with it.
The company that Steve is doing a contract for was supposed to send an offer of employment over the weekend and they didn't, the finks. I'm starting to dislike them.
It's snowing, I have become accustomed to only seeing snow here in late December. Perhaps I shouldn't put off the snow tires much longer.
Thursday, October 31, 2002
Greetings ghouls! Today is the day when I miss working downtown and taking public transit. I didn't see many people in costume this morning on the way to work, it's hard to see them when you're in a car looking at other people in cars. Steve and I got a little behind schedule this year and didn't get a pumpkin, so we're going to give it a miss this year and just go for a walk to look at the other houses. Our neighbours don't participate, so not many kids come to the end of the street, especially because we don't have a porch light. Last year it was super cold and rainy and not many people saw our pumpkins. I got all sorts of candy, and we only got a few kids. Then there was the little bastard who kicked our pumpkins down the street.
Some people go all out with their houses. Maybe someday we'll have fun neighbours who want to participate. Until then, we'll have to content ourselves with a couple of brave, desperate children and live with the halloween scrooges......
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
To the lady who used lemon-scented body spray in the locker room: everyone enjoys inhaling lysol after a workout, thanks so much....
The owner of the little corner produce store I go to seems to have attended a "get in touch with your inner salesman" seminar. The usual background radio station elevator music was replaced by Vivaldi. This wasn't unpleasant, just mildly odd and unusually loud. When I got to the cash, the owner was ringing up my purchases and pointing out the good prices and excellent quality, size, etc. of his produce. Normally, he just smiles and is genial, but doesn't talk very much. Why is he suddenly so proud of his avocados? When I got out of the store, I looked around the block for another store opening up, but didn't see anything.
Is it just me, or is leaving work in the dark a bit depressing?
Monday, October 28, 2002
The search for a winter coat has been postponed indefinitely due to the dearth of attractive coats that don't make me look like a large-bottomed lady of the evening. I went out with Bill Friday night. We went to her coat place and then hit the department stores, nothing. Everything was wool, long, and uninspired. I saw a couple of nice trenchcoats, but they were spring/fall coats, which wasn't the point. Saturday, I continued the search at a mall and found nothing. I'm giving up on getting a new coat this year in the hopes that next year's coats will be more dina-friendly.
Put a coat on barbie, you'll catch a disease
I find this lingerie barbie thing a bit disturbing. I read in the paper this morning that they're in the FAO Schwartz toy catalogue. Why would I give a child this? Will a Christina Aguilera skank barbie be out in time for Christmas?
Happy birthday Guislaine!
We had a great birthday dinner with Guislaine last night at her birthday restaurant, but today's her official birthday. Have a great day babe! Your lingerie barbie's on back order :-)
Friday, October 25, 2002
Went to the Just for Laughs Cabaret last night to see the Working Woes show. It was a very eclectic group of comedians, musicians and spoken words artists raising money for immigrant workers. One of my friends was performing, so that's always a reason to go outside. After Terence, I think that my favorite was Catherine Kidd. She did a wonderful spoken word piece about a bi-polar bear. The ending was a bit weak, but the imagery was unique in some parts and she has a great speaking voice. I am in awe of someone who can stand up on stage and do a 10 minute performance without forgetting anything or stumbling, and even remember to sound good and move around in a way that adds something to the story. How do they do it?
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Today was Robert's birthday and we went over for a little cheer after dinner. Three year olds' faces have a magnetic attraction to cake....yes, I will be saving this to show your first girlfriend
Steve also realised his life long ambition to be a fireman, something which is just fine with me, I just wish they'd given him a bigger uniform (only slightly bigger mind you :-))
Scott's leaving today, sigh, we will miss him....The guys are going out this morning for breakfast and then picking up the essential bagels and stuff to take home.
Steve has his first meeting for his trial job this afternoon. I bought him a new shirt for the occasion. Last night we put in a fire and watched The Count of Monte Cristo. I liked it. Guy Pearce was the baddie which was a change, they glossed over some of the moral angst though.
I was hoping that people would suggest coats or coat buying locations, maybe a few places to find boots. Come on guys! Help me shop!
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
We've had a taste of winter for the past few days. Sunday night it snowed a bit, and yesterday and today have been very cold. I decided that it was time to give up bare legs and skirts and reached for my tights this morning. I'm starting to think about getting ready for winter and what I still need to do before the snow falls. I was hoping to get a new coat and boots this winter, maybe a new scarf. Anyone know where I can find a stylish, grey, warm trenchcoat-like coat, preferably with a zip out lining? I still have to clear off the back deck. I got rid of most of the flowers and plants, but there's still a few things to put away or cover. Then, of course, there's the bi-annual organizing of the clothes, packing up the summer clothes and finding all my sweaters, making room for bulky clothing and seeing what fits and what's too ratty. Last but not least, I still have to take my car in for her winter check-up and oil treatment. I was also hoping to get a few tiny paint chips fixed before the winter salt turns them into rust spots.
I was naughty and checked out the Indigo site yesterday at lunch. I found several books in the bargain section that looked interesting, including two cookbooks and a $4.99 book for the bathroom. How could I resist? I also picked up Salt, which I have wanted to read for a while.
Monday, October 21, 2002
What a busy weekend it was! Friday night I organised a surprise party for an old friend who is moving to Vancouver. We went to Hot & Spicy, yummy food! She was surprised and we had a great time. Scott, Steve's brother, made his way to the restaurant from the airport. Saturday we did a bit of shopping at Club Price and the Atwater Market and had a quick nap before heading over to Terence and Irene's place for dinner and conversation. Irene made a fantastic lamb stew and all the fixins and surprised us with these warm chocolate cakes with hot running chocolate inside - wow! They were from a Nigella cookbook. Terence gave us a demonstration of their Dolby Theatre Sound system. We were watching a battle scene from Gladiator, and you could hear individual arrows, it was incredible. Good thing that they don't have a downstairs neighbour most of the time. Sunday was a lounging day. I finally finished the comforter cover that I started last year. I borrowed my Mom's sewing machine because mine old contraption is stuck on zigzag. I don't know where she stored hers, but it was really musting smelling and gave me a sneezing fit. Scott and Steve played with a friend Sunday night, and then Scott developed full stomach flu late last night. He's feeling a bit better today, but Steve was up and down last night, so I'm a bit beat and probably also fighting off a cold and stomach flu. Luckily, the coffee at work seems to kill everything :-)
It's a below normal temps day out today, last night we even got a tiny bit of snow. The guys are going to build a nice fire and watch movies and stuff, if it wasn't for the plague at home, I'd be a bit jealous.
Friday, October 18, 2002
Driving through my neighbourhood this morning, I saw a woman crossing the street from one apartment building to another wearing a white terry bathrobe and carrying a towel and a bath brush. Is the water really that much better on the other side of the street?
I went to the hair dresser last night at a salon I'd never been to before. Becca suggested it as a nice place, she wasn't kidding. I got a head, neck, and shoulder massage from my hair washer! The hair dresser was very nice and gave me an excellent cut (although I screwed it up this morning) and the prices are VERY reasonable! I was shocked and amazed. The service was fantastic, I'm definitely going again! As a bonus, they use Aveda products, so my head still smells all aromatherapeutic! I think I just made up a word....
Thursday, October 17, 2002
Ever had a time in your life where you felt alienated from just about everyone?
I don't know what it is, but I find that for the past few months or so, I've been like a character in one of those intense introspective novels (think Philip Roth, early Mordecai Richler and -- in the extreme -- Kafka) who cannot connect with others, who finds every normal human pursuit both laughably pitiful and unbearably touching.
I'd always thought that this (literary) state was a kind of midlife crisis that (fictional) men with no real-life domestic duties indulged in.
But now it's me waking up as a giant bug and listening to the "normal" people on the other side of the door. I mean this only figuratively, of course. My own family life is still the same warm, intimate and life-sustaining bubble it always was. But I always thought the happy family life was an extension of my increasing comfort and happiness in the larger world.
So what's up? Am I crazy, depressed, or is this my very own midlife crisis?
I feel a change is in the air, like I'm approaching something rather large as I walk with outstretched arms through a thick fog.
The weirdest part is that I kinda like it. Perverse.
I know this isn't regular coffee ring fare. But I got rid of my own blog, so you may have to put up with this every now and then. On the positive side, if I really am going crazy you can watch.
I've been trying to get my hair cut for several days, and my appointment keeps getting cancelled because of sick hair dressers. Now, I completely agree that I don't want a man with stomach flu leaning over me with scissors, but when I decide to get my hair cut, it's generally looked like crap for at least two weeks, so now I'm really overdue...
Hey Maggie, got that bowl and scissors ready?
In other news, my tooth is smooth and patched, my dentist is good to me :-)
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
A week ago I saw a beautiful animated movie called Waking Life. Sort of the movie version of Sophie's World, it follows a guy who travels to a new city and meets all kinds of people there, each embodying a philosophical or religious school of thought. It was written and directed by Richard Linklater of Dazed and Confused. It's hard to tell which is more breathtaking with Waking Life: the visual treatment (the scenes were filmed, then painted over) or the way the characters explain their philosophy for laypeople like myself. It left me contemplating certain ideas and phrases for a few days afterwards.
And speaking of pearls of wisdom, I sent one to Zefrank and heard back from him! On his site, he called for gems you heard as a child. On seeing some of the words people sent in about various orifices, I remembered important words my Dad told me: Don't pick your nose, kid. Your head will cave in.
Words to live by.
What did I do last night? Did I go work out? Did I work on my sewing projects? Did I clean the bathroom? Nope. I sat on my behind and watched tv, thank you very much.....
I lost a part of a tooth Monday at some point. I'm waiting to find out when my dentist can grind it a bit so it's not so sharp.
Tuesday, October 15, 2002
It was a fantastic weekend! On Saturday we started cleaning out the dreaded spare room-it was floor-to-ceiling junk, now it's just floor-to-half way up the wall. We went over to Maggie's in the afternoon to pick up something for my Dad and checked out the new and dejunkified basement. It was a useless space full of junk a couple of weeks ago, now it's a playroom and organized area for tools and laundry. Good job Maggie!
Sunday we hopped in the car and drove up to the townships to visit the folks. We had a nice Thanksgiving lunch (ham this year) and then drove to my grandmother's for a visit there as well. We drove home in the rain and were beat by the time we got home.
Monday we drove to St Bruno and went for a walk on the mountain. It was a perfect day, cool, sunny and clear. There were a lot of other people doing the same thing, but it wasn't crowded on the trails. here's a couple of pictures of a beautiful day.
We had a little snooze in a field after, and then went downtown and watched "Spirited Away", a wonderful movie.
I'm tired and a bit stiff this morning and wishing that I had a few more days off....
Friday, October 11, 2002
Our department is supposed to be moving next week. They wanted to put us in an old part of the building that even the security guards didn't know existed. We went up to have a look, the area was dingy, poorly lit, and the offices were deserted, but not empty. It looked like something out of a sci-fi movie where most of the life on the planet's been obliterated. There was even a flickering light at the end of the corridor. To get to this little wasteland, you have to climb these swaying metal stairs. The only thing that it was missing really, was a sign that said "Beware of the Leopard". It was depressing, we didn't want to go there. Luckily, our boss decided that we are not going there, but where we're going to end up next week? Who knows?
Thursday, October 10, 2002
I do not have a picture today, but the washer is a very pretty, white, shiny box. There are a few more dials than I expected, but Steve had pretty much figured it all out by the time I got home and explained it to me. He even saved a load of laundry for me to do, yay!
After this, the rest of the evening was dull by comparison....really dull.
Stand up straight!
I see this girl walking to school almost every day during my commute. She's about 14 I'm guessing and is not the prettiest, slimmest girl on the planet, but that's not the point. Her posture is absolutely hideous and makes me want to scream "Stand up straight girl, you look like a schlump!" out the car window. She walks like she has a hump, I kid you not. It is so unattractive and seems to mirror, or perhaps enhance, the somewhat dejected, loser look on her face. I didn't have the greatest posture in high school either, and it showed up in some of the pictures. If only I could go back in time and say, "you, mediocre-looking girl, if you just stood up straight and felt a little better about yourself, you'd change your whole appearance". Good posture exudes a confidence that attracts others and says, "hey there, I'm a winner" to people.
So stand up straight and proud high school girl, show the world who you are!
Wednesday, October 09, 2002
1. It is important to find a man who works around the house, occasionally cooks and cleans and who has a job.
2. It is important to find a man who makes you laugh.
3. It is important to find a man who is dependable and doesn't lie.
4. It is important to find a man who's good in bed and who loves to have sex with you.
5. It is important that these four men never meet.
(sent to me by the washer fairy)
They called last night, and the washer will arrive sometime today between 8 and noon, yay!! The only thing that compelled me to come into work was the need to pay for the darn thing. Pictures I'm sure will follow....
Got some extra time?
Check out zefrank. It's a lot of fun! My favorite so far is the online predate confidence builder. Warning, there may be sound. (from ni vu ni connu (Martine))
Tuesday, October 08, 2002
It's official, our washer has ceased to be, it is now an ex-washer. The repair guy showed up yesterday and was able to put a screwdriver through the tub, apparently the rusted hole is not fixable. To replace the tub, hoses, and whatever else the darn thing needs and then wait for the motor to give out in a couple of years would cost the same amount as a new one. I called my friend who has worked in the appliance industry for many years and asked her advice, seeing as how I know absolutely nothing about washing machines. Not only did she suggest a good model, she also got me a discount. Thank you washer fairy, you rock!
The washer should arrive before the weekend! It's kind of exciting. I know it's silly to be excited about a washing machine, but I've never had a new one before, what do they smell like I wonder? It's white and square with knobs at the top, nothing fancy. It's also got some sort of feature that keeps it from going off balance and walking when all the towels end up on one side.
What's that smell in the air?
My temporary, soon to be permananent, office in located a few blocks away from a Kraft foods plant. When I got out of the car today, I smelled hot chocolate....mmmmm.....
Monday, October 07, 2002
What a great weather weekend! Sunny, windy, just cool enough for a sweater, you gotta love it! Bill was over Friday afternoon and evening playing the pirate game and watching some tv. She stayed for supper, then later we kicked her out into the cold. Saturday we didn't do much all morning, then in the afternoon I got an energy spurt and recaulked the bath tub and regrouted some tile in the shower.
Sunday we had brunch with Terence, Irene, Lyle, Maggie, Andrew, Jeannine and the kiddies. Normally the restaurant is very quiet, but a lot of people stopped in after the CIBC Run for a Cure event, so the service was a bit slow. I had waffles with fruit, so good! Afterwards, we waddled down to the Atwater Market for fresh apples, the grocery store for general provisions, and then home. I put a load of laundry in the washer and was preparing for a nice late afternoon nap when the doorbell rang. Our washer sprung a leak and water was pouring out of the bottom of the machine and flooding our downstairs neighbour's pantry and basement! Oops! It took a while to clean up, then we had to take the laundry to a laundromat and wash it there. So much for my nap! My Dad thinks that it may just be a broken hose, Steve's calling repair people today. Luckily, there's not much damage downstairs, but we'll have to take a close look at our floor to see if it's ok. I'm sure that we are not the only ones to have a flood in the laundry room and there may be some necessary repairs.
As they say, it's always something :-)
Friday, October 04, 2002
You gotta love Fridays. Today I'm meeting Maggie and her mom-in-law, Jeannine, for lunch. I'm still waiting to hear if I'm changing offices next week and where that office will be. I must admit that I'm growing accustomed to the dark cave I'm currently in temporarily because it's so close to the designers that I need to talk to all the time. Perhaps they will let us keep this office as a part-time space so that we don't need to run back and forth when there's a lot of work to do.
I gave in and watched Survivor last night. We also taped Push Nevada, which I think is one of the better shows this season. I'm starting to realise why I prefer British tv shows to North American. Perhaps it's just the ones that we import over here, but they all seem to have an end date. A certain number of episodes are shot and then that's it. Example, Cracker. I loved Cracker, they cast the wonderful Robbie Coltrane to play the dispicable gambling, adulterous psychiatrist/crime investigator. The show covered maybe six story lines with probably five episodes per storyline. It was a good show, but then it ended and that was it. Push Nevada will hopefully run this season and then not come back. Why must we continue shows that no longer have any life or ideas left in them? Who still watches ER? Most of the original cast is gone, and they've done everything that the show set out to do. Twin Peaks is an example of a great show that should have ended when Laura Palmer's killer was revealed. Stop flogging and give the space up to another deserving show. We'd have much more creative, entertaining tv if every show had a set life and then bowed out so another could take its place. Why do you think that most of our sitcoms are based on original British versions? North American tv producers aren't willing to take a chance and lose any precious revenue. You also wouldn't have actors making millions per episode or being type cast into one role for the rest of their lives.
Thursday, October 03, 2002
I love The Onion, but doesn't everyone? Sometimes I find their articles so profound; for example, the ones after Sept. 11th.
I thought this one was perfect for me. This is how I feel at work. Because I work part-time I find myself keeping my enjoyment of the rest of my week from my co-workers. This temp's philosophy is pretty close to my own.
Now if only I could stop feeling guilty about having a happy, balanced life!
Is there anything as maddening as cats who decide to start playing at 4:00 a.m.? I was woken from a very nice, deep sleep by the sound of at least two cats running up and down the hallway, one of them yowling every 3 seconds. From what I can tell, one was jumping into a cat-sized box in the hallway, crouching down, and waiting for the other cat to attack. When attacked, both cats would jump into the air and scatter in different directions, moving the box down the hallway in the mad dash to escape. At least this is what I think was happening. What it sounded like was a piano being thrown from one end of the hallway to the other followed by two elephants, one of them playing the bagpipes while running away. Repeat until you are so angry that you could easily throttle both of the furry little sweethearts (in my case, about twice, but I let it go on for longer because I really didn't want to get up). Needless to say, I'm beat today!
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
I watched The Osbournes last night. Okay, I know the whole world has watched it before, but I don't have cable so it takes me a while...
It's quite fascinating in its way. I love watching families, as I guess everyone does to some extent, hence the standard sit-com formula. I'm not sure whether it's the Osbournes' normalcy or their strangeness that's most interesting. I think it's how they defy expectations and clichés. Ozzy is just this bumbling, funny figure of a dad -- Oddly detached, and yet you know that he really knows his kids well, where many dads of his generation don't.
As I've mentioned before, I tend to like reality TV. Even the worst of it ("Meet the Folks", *shudder*) is a small study in human nature.
You're not the only trendsetter, Dina. Ever had one of those days when you woke up two hours after climbing out of bed? At 9:30 this morning, my spouse chuckled and pointed out that I was wearing my t-shirt inside out. This, after I took my son into preschool and spoke to half a dozen people. Then I left the car lights on--twice. And I can't even blame it on too much work. I think I'll try going back to bed and getting up again.
For all you food lovers, I made this wonderful discovery last week: Nigella. A British colleague at MVM had raved about her recipes and said all Britain was in love with her. Well, I can see why. For those not familiar with the Nigella phenomenon, she's a bombshell who serves up nouveau comfort and fusion food while wearing tight cashmere sweaters and leather pants. The recipes are relatively fail-proof and sound divine. But the real turn-on is the lush, glossy photos patently showing food as objects of desire. It's very interesting. (Note to all those with cooking hubbies: you might not want to share this discovery with your hon. He may not be checking out the recipes when he pores over her books.)
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
For all you word lovers out there, there's an amusing article on the CBC site today on misadventures with spelling and pronunciation in English. Save it for an unhurried romp through our much-loved and maligned language.
And in other news, Dave Eggers has managed to thumb his nose at convention yet again, this time by publishing his new novel himself. There's an interesting article on his decision to publish the novel and the new trend toward self-publishing on the Observer. So now you don't have to fret about enduring the crushing defeat of a publisher's rejection slip ever again. Just do it yourself!
Now if I could only find the time to write the great modern novel between taking out the garbage and scraping the playdough off the floor...
Now that Steve is at home, I get dressed in the dark. I keep a flashlight on the dresser to scrounge through drawers. I thought I was wearing a white t-shirt this morning, but I put on a pale lilac one instead. I don't think that it really goes with the brick red corduroy shirt I threw on top. Anybody with fashion sense care to give me a clue?
Home? Work? I walked into the ladies room at work just as a lady was leaving one of the stalls, her pants still undone. We both had a laugh about her feeling a little too at home. Have you ever confused office and home with embarassing results?
Well, the crappy laptop is finally working, so I'm over at the temporary office. I'm making a mental list of the things that I have to bring over from my other office. I'm going to be moving over here permanently at some point next week I think. I hope I don't get this office, it's quite dark. They don't know where they're going to put us actually, we may get stuck in another building on this side of the street. Not much intrigue going on this week, plenty of confusion though. It's that phase of the project where you irritate the heck out of the developers with questions that they can't answer.
Steve rented a pirate game for the PS2 that's pretty neat. I watched him play for a couple of hours last night, it's better than tv. You play this lady pirate who ultimately needs to avenge her father's death and find her mother's treasure (she was a pirate too before she dies). You sail your ship to all these islands and find buried treasure and fight nasty things. Steve's favorite part is the ship battles. You have to fight enemy ships and forts too. Steve likes to ram the boats, which makes for a lot of explosive crashes.
My blister is a bit better this morning, but I couldn't get into my shoes to work out last night. Did my feet grow in 7 months? What gives?
Monday, September 30, 2002
Friday night, Melissa and I drove to Laval and visited Suzie with Liz. We were all sitting around the diningroom table. Suzie had put out a few light snacks. Keeping in mind that Suzie is Italian, there was a fruit platter, two kinds of baked chips, a big bowl of bbq mini rice cakes, olives and pizza. Also, she made biscotti for coffee :-) We were having a great time, when someone looked at a clock and realised that it was 2am! Saturday I slept in and then we got Colin's gift and went over and gave it to him. We got him a semi truck that holds hot wheels-sized cars. It came with 20, but there's also room for storing about 20 more. He seemed very delighted and unlike most 5 year olds, thanked us very much and said that they were very cool. Saturday night we met Dan and Libby for Indian food. They are moving down to New York tomorrow where Libby's starting work at a law firm next week. They found a place in the village-too cool!
Sunday was a lazy day. I went to the fabric store and found some nice suede-like material for a skirt. Fabric stores are very strange, I'll have to write a post about it sometime soon.
Today has mostly been wasted by more computer problems and people who don't seem to know what's going on. I also managed to give myself a huge heel blister from shoes that were fine last year. I'm hoping that with enough bandaids I'll be able to go workout tonight.
Friday, September 27, 2002
Get to work, wait for laptop. Do other work. Wait. Wait. Call IS guy. He's says that he's waiting for my admin to call him back. Go over to admin's office and watch her talk to her friend for a while, then intrude and ask her to call IS guy. IS guy calls me back and tells me that the machine is ready and I can come and pick it up. Admin calls me and tells me that the machine is ready and I can go and pick it up. I ask admin where the machine is (I forgot to ask IS guy). Call IS guy and get correct location. Fetch laptop. Find cables, power cords, network adapter, and bag. Lots of last minute fixes to get the laptop 'network-ready' (included stealing my boss' network card - shhhhh!). Rush down and beg hardware guys to reconfigure machine.
Get to gym, change clothes, realise that I don't have my shoes. How could I not notice I didn't have my shoes? Change back into street clothes and leave gym. Drive home to do aerobics with shoes. Get home. No house keys. Get in car and go and pick up husband downtown who has keys. Drive home. Make husband watch tv for an hour so I can do aerobics in peace.
After 7pm, the day finally fell into place. Somedays just require a re-synch.
Thursday, September 26, 2002
Tomorrow (Friday) on C'est la Vie my first "pak" (packaged item) will be broadcast across the country. Tune in to 88.5 FM at 11:30 am to hear the humourous musings of the biggest dork in the world.
If you can't listen then (and you can listen live through the website), you can download the show from the C'est la Vie website after it's put up.
I worked very hard on this, so I want to make sure someone listens, even though I'm nervous as hell.
And now for something completely different... Need to find the Antichrist? Google to the rescue! Just type in "go to hell" (just like that; don't forget the quotes).
Now that we know where he works, does he have voicemail?
Ok, so it looks like I'll have that laptop sometime this morning. I got a really great support guy who walked over here and picked it up yesterday. This means that I'll have to go over to the other building today. Of course, I was supposed to be over there last week. What else could happen? I'm betting that they haven't turned on the network outlets at my temporary office even though I asked them to last week.
I made my weekly trip to the veggie store and made a cucumber salad when I got home and washed my lettuce, etc. I bought some more mangoes, so maybe there will be sorbet sometime soon.
I tried the exercise ball for actual exercise last night. It came with a short video with a general range of exercises. You wouldn't think that rolling around on a large inflatable ball would be that difficult. Several of the poses that the lady on the video suggested were nearly impossible to get into without a great deal of clutziness on my part and all the failed attempts that resulted in me rolling off the ball in a heap. I had to pause the tape several times, because I was laughing too hard and couldn't hear the instructor or the relaxing background music.
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Remember the problems that I had when the company I work for sent me to the US for two weeks? Getting a laptop with the software that I need on it for two weeks while I work between two buildings is proving to be another pain in the neck. The admin is being a cow again and thwarting my attempt to work. The best was when she tried to talk me into replacing my hard-won pentium 3 desktop system for a clunky compaq pentium 2 laptop - you're dreaming lady! After talking to the manager, we may have something worked out. What a hassle!
Maybe I should just carry my desktop system back and forth, it might be easier.....
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Ok, normally they aren't, but today, a certain person known as a pain to all, was summarily dimissed from a meeting I was attending. There was much rejoicing, I definitely give the meeting a 9.5 for excitement. The office politics are escalating.......
In other news, my godson turns the big 5 today. Where does the time go? Seems like only yesterday that he was a stripe on a white plastic stick...........
Monday, September 23, 2002
Last week was super busy, but I'm back!
Had a fun weekend. Friday night I headed over to Jen's for a Colin Firth extravaganza! We watched all 5 hours of Pride and Prejudice and stuffed ourselves with George's souvlaki and cookies.
Saturday we got up quite late and wandered around. Late afternoon we jumped in the car and went to Club Price where I bought an exercise ball. I've wanted one for a while because they look like fun. It took us forever to blow up, exercise in itself! Saturday night we watched a bit of tv. We watched the first episode of a new series called Firefly that premiered last week (we taped it). It's a western set in outerspace, not bad. It's created by the same guy who did Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I doubt it will be that good. Sunday we also slept in and then Steve went to his card tournament and I went out and ran some errands. I ended up at the Bay downtown and had a nice lady at the Mac counter do my makeup. I looked pretty good, but I was dressed like a bum, so I looked a bit strange. Francois came home with Steve and we had bbq'd hamburgers and I did a bean salad. All in all a very good, uneventful weekend.
Today I am wondering where I am supposed to be. There's all kinds of office politics arising from the project that I'm supposed to be working on across the street. I just want everything settled so that I can work in peace. So far, I have only managed to go over to the other office for a couple of hours where I determined that no one had a clue what I was supposed to do, so I returned to my office where I await some answers.
Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Stir it up is doing something weird again. It's not displaying the number of posts correctly. Time delay perhaps?
I just found out yesterday that I'm being loaned out to another department across the street for three weeks starting tomorrow. I have an office, but so far no computer or phone, so there's some rapid emails going back and forth trying to get me set up.
Do you think that my department asked for a deposit?
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
I was talking to a friend of mine recently who is planning to start a family soon. During the conversation, she said, "We're planning on getting pregnant soon, we may already be pregnant". First, I'm very happy for my friend and her husband and wish them all the best, but when did being pregnant become a tagteam event? I had no idea that a woman could hand off the little fetus so she could have a night out now and then. Seriously, I hear this turn of phrase a lot and it sounds wrong every time. Definition-wise, pregnant is defined as "containing unborn young within the body" (Merriam-Webster online). We don't point at a male and female animal and say "they are pregnant", why should we confuse the term with people? You can say "Sam and Betty are having a baby", in the sense that they will have a child at the end of the process, that seems correct. What's the deal? Do men have to be included in everything? Should I start saying things like, "Sorry Maggie, I can't come over and visit, we just got our period and we feel horrible" or "We just went in for a PAP test and a breast exam, everything checked out ok". On the same note, I don't think I ever want to say, "Wow, good thing we only have a prostate exam once a year".
We could always invent a new word that means "Sam and Betty are currently in the process of becoming parents, Betty is doing most of the actual assembly, while Sam is holding up his end by taking all the bitching and requests for strange foods in the middle of the night". Get to work!
Monday, September 16, 2002
Last week was crazy, but the project is now out and things are back to a grinding halt. I received special recognition for my work on the project, which I deserved completely :-)
I took off early on Friday and went to the gym and then went home and got ready to go out for Bill's birthday extravaganza. We all showed up at Carlos & Pepe's for margaritas and festivities. Bill got sloshed and a good time was had by all. We got her a CD and we made her personalized fridge magnets which she loved.
Saturday, we woke up late and eventually got the energy to go grocery shopping. Saturday night we headed over to Maggie and Andrew's for a theme Vietnamese dinner (we brought store-bought spring rolls) and watched Apocalypse Now afterwards. It was the redux version with close to an hour of extra footage. I saw it ages ago, and was a bit surprised by this second viewing. I don't like war movies, I never have. I realise that Apolcalypse Now is not strictly a war movie, I've read Heart of Darkness and I understand the underlying themes of the movie, but it is set around a war and I avoid those types of movies because of the graphic violence that they usually contain. I remember A.N. as being very violent, but as it turns out, it isn't graphic at all compared to recent war movies. It's scary how much more tolerant society in general has become of watching violence, and yet how few penises we see on the big screen....
Sunday we headed over to Club Price and bought a new portable phone because ours seems to have given up completely, even with the new battery we put in last year. I took it out of the box, put it together and plugged it in and set it to charge. It was only later when I looked at the instructions that I realised that I shouldn't have plugged it into the phone jack until it's finished charging. It's written in several places in the instructions. I think that they should have included a sticker on the phone. That's a tech writer for ya :-)
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Okay. I don't know if anyone else is going to like it, but I just have to recommend a movie to y'all.
If you're a bit of a film buff, and particularly if you like cheesy Asian flicks, check out "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist".
It unbelievably stupid and freakin' brilliant, IMHO. And it's so hard to find a truly good comedy, I thought I 'd pass it on.
Go give it a try. I laughed my ass off.
Thursday, September 12, 2002
What struck me hardest at the time was the reaction from our VP. His family is Lebanese. He's very deliberately a man of the world, he drinks, he smokes, etc., etc. In other words, no religious fanatacism here. When I told him what was going on, he smiled. I nearly decked him. He said what many people, including me, have since said, that many, many people die in many, many places for many, many mindboggling outrageous reasons, and that the American reaction only illustrates one of the fundamental reasons the U.S. is so detested in so many places. But at the time I just couldn't deal with it. I told him that may be true, but this time my friend was there, dammit (Kuan, I am so very glad you're still here!)... I think he finally snapped when the towers came down, and he certainly never smiled about it again.
The cynical side of me is still outraged that Bush has managed to capitalize so thoroughly on the "tragic events of 9-11". Not to mention the havok he and his cronies have wrought on the English language (remember Rumsfeld's attempt to "incentivize" people?).
But this morning, in the car at 8:46, I was in tears, all the more so because every person in every car around me was too.
Wednesday, September 11, 2002
I listened to the special programming on the CBC today in memory of 9/11 but admit I had to turn it off. It was making me too blue. My way of remembering all those lives so cruelly erased will be flying a kite with my daughter at her school picnic again this Friday. Held a few days after Sept. 11 last year, the picnic was the only thing that brought me solace after two days on an emotional rollercoaster. Flying a kite with Camille and her friends was so simple and so peaceful that it felt as if the jagged hole inside me was almost filled. And that's what I'm trying to remember about that time, rather than the palpable fear and paranoia around me on that day.
How it changed my life: I had just moved three days before into our house. On the Friday after the 11th, I had a terrible panic attack in my bed and got up and talked to my husband about it for about two hours. I had cried and had all kinds of intimations of mortality throughout the week, but that Friday night I really felt like this might be the beginning of the end, and that we would soon know what it was like to live in fear and violence, like so many people in the world.
What I think I've taken away from that day is a new certainty that anything can happen, at any time. Life can turn on a dime and become horrible, and more often, beautiful without any warning. Last night I saw a journalist who'd covered the scene in NY that day and he said, basically: "I never thought I'd see that, and I don't think I'll ever see anything that bad again." All I could think was, "How can you be so naive? Of course we will see that bad, and worse, in our lifetimes." But I don't feel morbid or despairing about it. There's nothing you can do about it but live your life every day and remember what's really important. Sounds trite, I know, but what else is there?
I remember get a call from my husband who was in California at the time. He had flown to LA on the 10th. He had just gotten up and was wondering what on earth was going on. My brother-in-law was on his way to New York City that morning (by car) for business in the financial district. They got turned around somewhere just outside New York and were told to go back, that the WTC was gone and therefore wouldn't be needing the artwork that they were delivering to a client there. My sister-in-law was frantic wondering where her brothers were. By the end of the day everyone was accounted for.
Meanwhile, in Toronto, all our executives had assembled in the board room (for those of you who don't know, I work in the Financial Services sector) to watch events unfold on TV. My boss was there as well with a stack of files a mile high. She spent the day as she usually does multi-tasking. Watching what was going on and plaguing here colleagues with follow-up questions on the material in her stack of files. (Never one to miss an opportunity to catch up on work.) Our senior management sat there watching TV in complete horror while she apparently looked really irritated the whole time and was actually quite snarky to her subordinates the rest of the day and as it turned out for the rest of the week. (I didn't know at that point that her mother's cancer was in the terminal phase.)
The next day, after I had submitted a long awaited business report, (which she didn't at all like in spite of the tremendous work I had put into it), we had a major row which made me seriously wonder about my future here. The following week I went on holiday knowing that the die was cast, that I would be one of those selected to leave in March 2003.
So there it is, for what it's worth, how 9/11 changed my life.
Tuesday, September 10, 2002
I was just having a brief peak and I don't see any stir it up? Am I the only one?
Monday, September 09, 2002
It's back to the shorts and tank tops, we have ourselves a heat wave until Thursday. According to Environment Canada, we're supposed to get up to 34C today, that's HOT! I dearly miss my sweaters too, and my jeans, and long-sleeved shirts, and, well, clothing in general. If I was at home, I'd probably be wearing a wet towel. As it stands, I'm freezing in my office as usual.
We had a great weekend. We went up to teh townies for my mom's birthday and got to see the folks and my grandmother, aunt and cousin. We had a nice lunch and cake. The folks brought us back some knick-knacks from Cape Breton and got us a lovely clock, barometer, thermometer thingie that looks like a porthole for our anniversary. We have to reset the readings though because it was saying that it was much cooler in our hallway than it actually was yesterday. Yesterday we did a tiny but of cleaning and laundry and had a fun evening with Rhett and Debbie at a Thai restaurant downtown. Work's really super busy until Thursday, then we'll see what happens!
Friday, September 06, 2002
Yet another heavenly day of deep blue sky and warm sunshine! Add in the cool nights under a warm duvet, and you have all the fun of summer without the sweltering heat. Is anybody else out there enjoying the sunshine?
The movie One Hour Photo is out. Although the site is hard to figure out, it does a good job of conveying the creepy atmosphere of the movie and the sterile world of Robin Williams' repressed character. I won't be able to pick up my family pics again without wondering a little about the people who develop them, though... Can't wait to see the movie!
Thursday, September 05, 2002
It's truly creepy the way that actor Jeffrey Tambor and that Phil guy from Opra look so much alike. For a long time I thought they were the same person and could never figure out why anyone would get counselling from an actor. I also discovered that Jeffrey Tambor played a character called Dr. Phil..... coincidence?
Okay, aside from the being unemployed part...
Andrew and I went to the Supertramp concert at the Molson Centre last night. It was a great show! For years I've heard Montreal DJs talk about how our hip, with-it city was the first place to really embrace Supertramp, and for years I've thought this was essentially patting ourselves on the back. But John Helliwell made a point of saying how much the group loves Montreal, and how over the years we've always been a great place to play, and that we really were the first place to "get" their music. What an incredibly talented group! Helliwell plays three different saxes, as well as an assortment of wind instruments, Rick Davies is, as always, an amazing pianist, and Mark Hart, who has replaced Roger Hodgson, is a good singer, great keyboardist, and fantastic songwriter. Bob Siebenberg, the original drummer, is still banging away - and now his son, Jesse, is also doing percussion. Imagine growing up surrounded by these guys, and then, while your childhood friends are starting their careers in business or whatever, you go into the family business of being a rock musician!
Earlier this summer we saw Santana, and in January we're off to see the Stones. And I thought I was born too late to see these bands!
Nonetheless, the highlight of my summer has to be:
Two weekends ago, while staying at the family cottage in Long Sault, near Cornwall, Ontario, I stopped in at the LCBO (Ontario's version of the SAQ, colloquially known as the beer store). I picked up a couple of imported beers for Andrew and a pack of four El Quila. Got to the cash, and the cashier asked me for I.D.!!!! I got carded! I guess I can put off the face lift for a couple of years.
As a friend said, after that, who needs the booze?
I saw a smarmy boss that I worked for about 15 years ago at the supermarket last night. This guy came into the company that I was working for and got rid of everyone that he didn't like and eventually, one of those people was me (he fired my VP, so everyone working under him went as well). This man was responsible for turning me into the jaded, untrusting, and pesimistic employee that I am today. He taught me that know matter how well you do your job, or how happy you are to do it, someone can always just come in and fire you for no good reason. He burst my good-employee-work-ethic-give-100%-like-your-folks-taught-you bubble. Fortunately, he was as stupid as he was arrogant and made a mistake on my leaving papers that allowed me to sue the company for unjust dismissal and win. Didn't bring back happy-worker Dina though.
I didn't walk over and talk to him, he probably wouldn't have remembered me, and it's always embarassing when an arch-nemesis doesn't remember you.
Wednesday, September 04, 2002
Am I the only one out there that's absolutely tired of the catch-phrase, "24-7"? I hoped it would die out, but I keep hearing normal people using it in conversation and it makes me nuts. Damn reality tv shows and email, it's all their fault. How much more abbreviated do you think language will get? Binary? Any catch phrases that you can live without hearing ever again?
Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Steve just called and to tell me that he went down to the basement to get something out of our locked storage area and found that the teenage girls and their friends had taken the hinges off the door and were apparently going through our junk and watching our video tapes. Let's not even think about the stuff that they've taken......
Mad? You bet! Good thing I brought my bike upstairs a couple months ago.......
We had a great anniversary long weekend. We went to two parties, relaxed, ate wedding cake and had a great mexican meal in Old Montreal. Steve gave me a Zen Alarm Clock, and I got him and Playstation 2 and watched him play Spiderman while I napped on the sofa. Life is good!
This has to have been one of the best Labor Day Weekends I have ever spent. On Friday I thought I was going to collapse from exhaustion and I felt overwhelmed at all the things I had to get done before we took off on Saturday. All I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and sleep all weekend.
However, Friday went better than I could have hoped. My mother-in-law spent the afternoon at my place happily looking after her grandson (our nephew) and with my two dogs and my sister-in-law's two dogs while my husband and his sister went golfing. I went off to Agility (dog class) at 6:30 and had a great class. We got back at around 8:30 and my husband had delayed dinner for my return even though I told him to go ahead without me. Anyway, he had gone out and got some great steaks and wine and by this time we were all pretty hungry (dogs too.) He made the entire dinner and my mother-in-law cleaned up. Neither my sister-in-law nor I had to do anything much except look decorative....(sort of).
The evening was pleasant and everyone stayed over until Saturday morning. We had a good visit and the in-laws cleared out Saturday morning.
So after they left, we got our gear together and headed down Highway 15 to New York State around noon. Since we anticpated a long wait at the border, we detoured and crossed at Hemmingford which turned out to be very pleasant and faster. Once in the U.S. we stayed on the secondary roads until Plattsburg whereupon we switched over to the I-State 87. As a side note, how many of you know that the original intention of the U.S. interstate road system was built as part of its overall defense strategy? If you look at where the roads are placed, they all go through towns and cities where there is/was a military presence. That has changed since the end of the Cold War. (But I digress).
Anyway, we drove down as far as Elizabethtown and headed toward Keene Valley. The plan was to back pack in 5 miles to the Giant Mountain Lean-To before dark. We started our hike at about 2:30 and after several water breaks and chit chats with other hikers, we reached the Lean-To at around 6 p.m, set up our tent and then we settled in for the evening. Dinner was a vegetarian Tandoori dish which was surprising good. It was dark by about 7:45 so we hung out and looked at the stars and turned in early.
The next morning we woke up earlyish, around 7:30, had breakfast (Mulligan stew) and set our sights on the big climb.We left all our gear at the Lean-To except for bringing along our day bags which had some food and water for the morning. Giant Mountain is well named as its peak is at 4600 feet and we had 2000 feet to climb in a space of 1.2 miles. Yes, it is quite strenuous and more so when you have to lift up two dogs (about 30 pounds each) one at a time on the steeper/higher faces. (The dogs loved it by the way.) We managed to reach the summit in 45 minutes whereupon we enjoyed a break and some energy bars. The view was fabulous and you couldn't even hear the highway.
We hung out, took a break and then went back down. The way back was a lot harder on the legs but we got back to our tent in about 40 minutes whereupon we collapsed and had a short snooze before packing up and heading back the way we had come the day before. We left around 1:00 p.m. and figured we would need at least 3 hours to walk out since we were carrying a lot of gear and it would therefore be as slow as the day before.
However, the hike out took us 2 hours and 57 minutes this time and at the end of it we were pretty tired. The dogs couldn't wait to get into the car and have a snooze. We, on the other hand couldn't wait to get to our motel that we'd booked to have a shower and a rest before dinner. The motel was in Wilmington, about a 20 minute drive away. Just as a note to other dog owners, Wilmington boasts a lot of motels (most in fact) that take pets no problem. The motel we stayed at was very nice, clean and quiet.
There is something very satisfying coming back into civilization after a trek like that. First there is no guilt about what and how much you eat. Second, it is a really satisfying experience because the tiredness you feel is "the good kind". Third, we treated ourselves to a nice dinner at a restaurant called the Hungry Trout and yes, that is the specialty. In fact the restaurant is right on a stream and they catch their own so it doesn't get much fresher. Ralph had smoked trout and I had the trout marnier (pan fried with orange sauce).
We staggered out of the restaurant and managed to drive back to our motel to collapse for the rest of the evening.
Yesterday we woke up around 8:30 feeling stiff and sore, so we compensated with a lovely leisurely breakfast of blueberry pancakes and sausages followed by a nice leisurely drive home.
My legs are still sore but all in all I am rested and feeling peppy.
Monday, September 02, 2002
Friday, August 30, 2002
This morning I brought my daughter, my eldest child, for her first day of kindergarten. What a feeling! I have shed a few tears about this in the week leading up to it. But today, although I have a heavy feeling in my chest, I was happy walking home after leaving her. She was kicking me out! She's like, "Okay mummy, you can go now." And I'm like, "Hey! Your teacher wants us to stay for a minute, Jeez!" I brought her home for lunch, which was fun, and I'm glad I can continue to do that, not least because the lunch programme costs $200 (!). The school seems so great, though. Small and cozy and very caring. It reminded me so much of my elementary school, I felt happy being there.
I'm proud of her. If ever there was a child who was ready for school, it's U.. I've never met a more confident and secure person in my life. I don't know where she gets it from; for neuroses, I could give Woody Allen a run for his money.
Finally, a long weekend! I haven't had any vacation time, so this will definitely be a treat. Steve's doing ok, he hoped that the contract would last until the end of the year or until he could find something else, but no big deal. I'm sure that he won't be looking for long, and in the mean time, he has chores! Today, he's putting another couple coats of paint on those shelves so we can put them up in the bedroom this weekend. He didn't even sleep in this morning, I would have :-)
As for the weekend, we have two parties and an anniversary dinner planned. I would assume there will be lots of lounging about as well. What's everyone else doing this long weekend?
Thursday, August 29, 2002
Lennoxville is far away - especially when one is given bad directions. Thankfully I left with time to spare, because it took me close to an hour and a half to actually find Lennoxville once I got to Sherbrooke. Next time I'll check the online tourist pages for a map, rather than rely on a English teacher who lives there!
The interview went really well. This was my first interview by committee. I got a really good feeling about these people, and if they offer me the position I plan to accept, unless John Abbott comes through.
In the meantime, I'm at work at Softitler. My training is complete, and today I get my first episode of The Family Guy. Woohoo!
Wednesday, August 28, 2002
I can't believe that almost a year of matrimonial bliss has passed, time flies when you marry a great guy! This time last year I was taking time off from a job that I hated and having a marvelous time hanging out with Caroline.
I found some really big, ripe mangos yesterday, so I made mango sorbet last night (drool.....)