Thursday, January 31, 2002

Good news!
Just got a call from you-know-who, I'm going in tomorrow to meet with HR for a short interview and then hopefully I will be starting on Monday!!!! Yay!!!! Steve has an interview this afternoon for a possible four month contract as well. Thank you STC Montreal!!! Making friends and having a community to fall back on really helps when you're looking for work. We went to the meeting last night on PDFs and saw Julie and Tamu and tons of other people. Whooppeeee!
The drag is that we almost didn't make it because my car failed to start. Looks like I'll have to get a boost and then take the car in to the garage today because it's obviously not the battery.....doh!

Monday, January 28, 2002

So sorry to hear about Steve, Dina. When you hear about the layoffs around you, they're always just statistics until they affect somebody you know. Then it begins to hit home. This recession has been merely a minor nuisance for me until today. Now it's real. I suspect, however, that it's a phenomenon that's going to touch some of us more than once in life in this savage world of unchecked capitalism. When my Dad was out of work in 1984, he hid it extremely well, but it really shook him as he was the only one in his surroundings to be hit by what was a relatively new practice: rationalization. But I wouldn't be surprised if it happened to me or those around me a few times over the span of our careers.

To help take your mind off your travails, here are some wonderful and absurd quotes from notable people, called Moments of Zen. My fave was from The Tick, on why there are so few evil morning people. Obviously, he's never met Jean-Luc...
Bad news.....
Steve called me Friday morning and asked if I could pick him up outside the office. You guessed it, he was layed off. He survived the other two layoffs last year, but couldn't dodge it the third time. His boss felt terrible having to tell him the news. He's doing ok, we're not going to worry about it yet. I was hoping the you-know-who would call and ask me to start this week, but no phone calls yet. Hopefully the job will come through soon so Steve and I can just switch places for a while.
We had a great bookclub meeting last night at Irene's place. Her kitten was very well behaved for the guests. We spent the weekend finishing the office. We now have shelves and basically the rest of the books up. Today will be getting the dining room organized and doing some groceries. We're both on vacation, so might as well enjoy ourselves and get a few things done!

Friday, January 25, 2002

The first coat of paint is up! I'm starting to feel a bit squeemish about the red stripe now, perhaps I'll weenie out.......
Happy Birthday Kathy!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Then, let's get plastered!
Couldn't resist... a little late January stupid humour...I'll crawl back to my cave again.

Have fun with your plaster!
Let the plastering begin!
I went out and got some joint compound and tape and fixed the large cracks in the corner of the office last night. The room is basically cleared, just the desks left in there because they are way too heavy for me to move. This morning I fixed a few more things that I didn't see last night and soon I will start sanding - wheeeee! I hate the prep work and the dust, but it's going to pay off, just like it did in the other rooms. I've decided to go with a light tan colour everywhere, the ceiling will get painted tan as well (I have a theory that this will actually make the room look a bit larger). To punch it up, I'm going to put a 4-5 ft wide horizontal red stripe near the top of the wall and run it around two walls. I'm going to hang book shelves over the stripe areas, but I think that it will add some pizazz. I'm hoping that it will look good. I'm using the red that's in the entryway and will be in the livingroom, so I think that it will tie in nicely. Whatdya think?

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Home Depot - a review
In the past, we have reviewed books and movies on the blog, so why not hardware stores? I'm a hardware store addict, I love aisles and aisles of tools, wood, paint, and other building supplies. So for all the fellow addicts, here's my review of the new Home Depot on St. Antoine. I made my way to the store yesterday afternoon. The layout of the parking lot is a bit confusing. There are at least two lots for cars, one is at the "front" of the store and then there's a two-level lot at the side. You can't see the two-level lot from the front of the store, which was almost completely empty. I parked my car in the empty lot and discovered the other lot as I walked around to the main entrance. The store was pretty empty as well, although I'm sure that it's probably busier on weekends and after 5.
It's set up like any other large hardware store, although there was something slightly more cavernous about the design. I think that it's because there's quite a bit of open space at the front of the store before the aisles start. This will be handy on busy days because the cash lines won't impede people wandering around with their carts. The lighting and the paint departments are the first thing that you see directly ahead from the entrance, I guess they're the most popular with do-it-yourselfers. The lighting department has the usual products plus a whole bunch of very nice ceiling fans from Hampton Bay. The painting department carries CIL, BEHR, and Ralph Lauren and they have all the faux painting gadgets. I found the store layout kind of hard to figure out. They have a lot of stuff showcased (shelves, kitchen and bathroom cabinets), but it's hard to see the products individually because they're shelved. I also had trouble seeing prices for items because other items were hiding them. They have some different tile and flooring products than Reno Depot, so it's worth a look if you want some variety. Their wood section is laid out nicely, I prefer it to Reno. It seems easier to find project wood. The tool cage at Home Depot also contains things like hinges, which I found rather odd. Normally, the tool cages of the big stores are for power tools, drill bits, nice hammers and saws and blades. Perhaps hinges are a top theft item? The prices all seem to be in the same ballpark as Reno. I think that Reno stocks more items though. I did have a couple of sales people approach me. They were very pleasant and although the store was new, they seemed to have some idea of where to find things. All told, I will probably go back from time to time to see what new products they have, but Reno is only 5 minutes from my house and I see no reason to defect.

Monday, January 21, 2002

Another Day and Another Blog

Well fellow bloggers, I too am around. This has not been a fun two weeks but at least I know where I stand. You may recall my telling you months ago that all CDS employees would receive a letter sometime this month telling them whether or not they would have job at the end of 2002. Well, on Tuesday, January 8th we were informed that we all have jobs as of December 2002 but that is only because the deadline has now been pushed to March 2003. Yes, you are reading this correctly. So instead of 12 months notice, you now have 15 months. When you start to think about it, who wins here? If you are among those asked to stay, there is the whole survivor thing plus the fact that you were told your role could change anyway and there is no guarantee that you will be in the same job. If that is the case and you don't like it and leave, too bad, no soup (severance for you). If on the other hand you are being asked to leave, there is the issue of rejection, and then having to stay until the end to get your severance. You are also required to perform properly. However, you do get to collect your money and go. A no win situation at worst and at best, unknown oppportunities no matter which letter you received.

How did I do in what I have come to term "the CDS do I have a job lottery?" The short answer is, I got what I needed and wished for.
Yes, you have to be careful what you wish for but I still wished for it and got it and have accepted it.
I'm back!
Well you have at least one of the fold here with you, Dina. It's nice to be back among the virtually living after a prolonged contract that came right on the heels of the Christmas holidays. For one long, lonely month, I had no time for resolutions, taking stock or anything other than writing, making supper and wiping noses. It'll all seem so worth it tonight, though, when I grin and bill it. My Visa bill will thank me immensely.

Your toffee tea sounded lovely. I've had maple tea, which was delightful, but haven't seen the toffee one.

I'll leave you with this gem of a Web site I stumbled onto. It's poetry so bad, it's good. He had me hooked with this intro on the home page, "I began writing as a child of six or seven years old and quickly discovered I didn't know many words and those I did know, I couldn't spell..." Enjoy!
Where is everyone?
I'm feeling very lonely again, where are all my fellow bloggers?
Last week after I finished Myst III, I did various essential house chores including packing up some rooms or at least thinking about packing up some rooms :-)
This weekend was very lazy, I did almost nothing other than visiting people. We watched Gods and Monsters at Maggie and Andrew's - good movie! Friday night I went over to Irene's and met her new kitten, black and white and full of mischief! She introduced me to celestial seasonings english toffee tea, it's amazing! I have to find some! Today I am going to get a few groceries and perhaps finally check out the new home hardware that opened down on St Antoine.
Good news! I heard from E on Friday. They have one of the two signatures that they need to hire me. The other signature is apparently the easy one, so I may know something by mid-week!

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Myst III - finished!
Yay! I finished Myst III last night. The ending was a bit disappointing for me, it's over.... sigh. I'm probably going to run through it again for fun. Today I'm packing up some of the stuff in the livingroom. I'm not sure where we're going to put everything from the four rooms that need to be cleared for the plasterer to do his thing. Looks like it's back to chaos for a few months! I'd like to paint the livingroom first and then move on to the offices and get some shelves up. I'm still not sure what colours to use for the dens and the diningroom. We had some snow yesterday, so pretty! January has been relatively mild and snow-free. Some of the kids from the school next door took advantage of the fresh snow to write some particularly unacademic words on my car, little bastards!

Monday, January 14, 2002

We have shelves!
We got a lot accomplished this weekend. We went out to Reno Depot and found 9 foot lengths of maple laminate shelving for $8 each and bought some brackets. Then, we came home and put them up, they look amazing! Sunday, I put up other shelves that we already owned while Steve organized some stuff and then we put up books. We managed to get about half of the books that we own into the tv room, not bad at all considering how many we have. The rest will have to wait until we have another room done, probably my office. We will be putting up shelves in the livingroom as well. The tv room now looks lived in, kind of homey with all the books up. Friday night we saw Monsters Inc., what a great movie! The animated little girl was cuter than anything. We've been wanting to see it for awhile. I didn't hear from you-know-who on Friday, arghh! It would have been nice to start work this week. Oh well, perhaps this week I will have better news. There's still an awful lot to get done at the apartment and many puzzles left to solve in Myst III. I'm still stuck on one of the ages.

Friday, January 11, 2002

There is definitely something not working right with the Blog. The postings are on a lengthy delay time for some reason.

Dina: As for your experience with Canadian Tire, I think it sucks that you had to point out to the "nice guy" that you couldn't replace the battery in the parking lot. However, he redeemed himself by helping you and he deserves a nice note to his boss. However, Canadian Tire deserves a smack on the head for overall lousy service and a lousy product.

Of batteries and men
I realised that I had not written about the whole battery problem after I posted the battery thing a few days ago. I bought a new battery from Canadian Tire at the end of October and my dad and I installed it the next time I went up to the townies. I didn't want to get stuck somewhere with a dead battery in the middle of winter. Before we left for Windsor, I put my car into the heated garage space that I rent for the winters to avoid shovelling. As everyone in Montreal knows, winter can be beautiful and a pain in the behind when it comes to snow. The actual snow isn't bad, it's the street plows that pile snow up on one side of your car and the sidewalk plows that pile up snow on the other. Some days, I have had to shovel out my car when the snow is up to the windows and packed under the car like cement. So, the car is in the garage for four days. The day after we returned, I walked up to the garage to get the car out and go to Maggie's for a visit and the car was dead. The car wouldn't even turn over, lights didn't work. The battery that I purchased has one free boost included ( I thought that it was unlimited until I read the fine print), so I called and a guy came and boosted the car, it started right up. I went back to the Canadian Tire and they tested the battery and it looked fine. I ran the car for another week and a half with no problems. A few days ago I left the car out in front of my apartment for two days and guess what? Yup, the car wouldn't start again. This time, the battery was only partially dead. My neighbour gave me a boost and advised me to get the battery replaced, I probably got a bad one. I went back to the store and the guy behind the counter said that he would exchange the battery, but I had to get it out of the car, bring it into the store and he would give me another. I explained that I bought the battery at the end of October so I wouldn't have to replace the battery in their parking lot in the cold and that I didn't have any tools with me to change it. I also pointed out that I paid good money for the battery and didn't think it was fair that their garage wanted to charge me to change it. In the end, the nice guy behind the counter put on his coat and helped me change the battery himself even though he didn't have to. Guess who's going to get a very nice thank you letter mailed to his boss and the head office of Canadian Tire? It pays to expect good service once and a while.

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

There was a nice cheque in the mail for me this morning, my first EI money! Yay! Life is good and I can buy groceries! You know who called to apologize for the delay, hopefully I'll have an answer one way or the other by Friday! Everyone keep your fingers crossed :-) I got into the car last night and the battery was acting up again, time to go back the the Canadian Tire and demand a new battery, this one is obviously defective. Luckily, my neighbour was out walking his dogs so he gave me a boost.

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Sucked into Myst again.....
Scott got me Myst III - Exile for Christmas, and once again I'm addicted. When I got Myst years ago, I played almost non-stop until I finished it. Riven, the sequel to Myst, wasn't as enchanting and I was actually strong enough to put the darn thing away and just play once and a while when I had some spare time. I'm not sure if it's because I'm not working, but here I am again, spending hours trying to solve the puzzles. I have already solved one of the worlds, I believe that there are five in total, and have been wandering around the second trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do. The puzzles are a bit more difficult and the worlds are beautiful. There's also the added feature of being able to turn 360 degrees with your mouse, certainly less of a hassle than clicking, although sometimes I find myself a bit disoriented. They also seem to have built a clock into the game, because if you play in one world long enough, it seems to turn into night and then back into day, perhaps I'm imagining that. Anyway, I'm hooked again dagnabbit!

Hanging things on the walls
Yesterday I started putting things on the finished walls. I started with the coatrack from my old apartment, looks very nice against the red wall. Next, I put up six small prints of scenes of London that Steve's folks picked up on their honeymoon in England. I lined them up in two rows of three in the hallway, I think they look "smashing" :-) Today, I'm putting up a letter rack and perhaps a few shelves. Still no word from you know who..... boo hoo!!

Friday, January 04, 2002

Happy New Year!!
Over the holidays we welcomed a second cat, Chester, into our home - so I guess I'm even less likely to make any resolutions. Actually, we're working on a family resolution to keep the house in better shape. So far so good!

We had a very nice Christmas, and our party was, IMHO, a success. We were about 14 people at the stroke of midnight, just enough to feel like a party while managing to squeeze into the living room and feel intimate.

Looking back over 2001, I can recall many, many happy moments, like Dina's wedding and all the fun we had in the planning and execution, our visits from Andrew's mum and sister, and all the shoes I bought!! (I'm a little addicted. No, really, I can stop anytime I want...) In general, I think it's safe to say that 2001 was a good year, with very few monkeys (little insider for Dina), and that I am in an even better place than this time last year. I've dropped two dress sizes, I got a raise and an extra week of vacation, my job is more and more fulfilling, my kids are brilliant and adorable, and my husband is slowly but surely remembering to put his underwear in the laundry basket...

Here's to 2002!
I don't make resolutions, although I do have some improvements (personal renovations) that I would like to accomplish this year. We'll see if they get done :-)
The biggest thing that happened in 2001, and my most memorable to date, was getting married to my lovely husband Steve. It was a fantastic year!!!!
On other notes, still haven't heard from the company that wanted me to start working Jan 7. I think that I will call them today and find out what the heck's going on.
Hey ho everyone and a happy new year! The holiday was very busy, lots of travelling and eating and cheer. I am calling this past Christmas holiday my year of fleece. We drove up to my folks on the 24th, visited a bit and went to see Caroline's folks. It was great to see them and we had a nice time sitting around the huge fireplace and yakking. Caroline called while we were there, so we got to chat a bit as well. After that, we drove over to my grandmother's house (over the river and through the woods) and had snacks and a bit of cheer and exchanged gifts. Steve and I got many good things: a Far Side calendar, a cookie jar, some towels, candy and fleece sheets. We got home late and woke up at a decent hour and then opened Christmas gifts at home. The folks loved their bread machine, they can't wait to get started making their own bread. Steve was very excited about the new game that I got him as well. I got a warm, snuggly fleece robe from Steve and the folks got us a lot of stuff: socks, fleece sweaters, a couple of blankets, tool boxes, booze, a really nice box that my mom painted and a few odd things. Steve got a remote controlled car and I got this bear on a stand that plays cheesy sax and moves. After that, we had a big turkey lunch and napped. The slide show started that evening. The folks filled the carousels that we picked up for them and the slides didn't seem to be in any order. There was a lot of "I don't remember this" and "where were we when that was taken?" going on. This was a bit time-consuming because then the folks would spend a whole heap of time trying to figure out the details. The next day we got up and lazed around and then packed up and left. Leaving is always hard. We got back to our place and the cats were happy to see us. We unpacked and then repacked for the journey to Windsor the next day. We got up very early and got to the train for the 11 hour trip. The usual sleeping and reading and me getting antsy because I hate sitting for long periods of time. Finally, we were in Windsor and we opened gifts (I got a fleece jacket, a sanding mouse, Myst III, nice coasters and many other goodies) and hung out. We went to see Lord of the Rings the next evening and went to the mall the next day for a quick tour. Soon it was time to leave there as well. I spent most of the trip back sleeping or reading. I whacked my knee on Scott's car just before we got on the train and by the time we got to Montreal I could barely bend the darn thing. We had two parties to go to and were so very tired. We decided not to go out and fell asleep at 7. At 10:30, two of Steve's friends showed up at the door because they thought that the party was at our place! We got up to see in the new year and then went back to bed, we're such party animals!

Thursday, January 03, 2002

Many good things happened to me in 2001. Perhaps the biggest and most surprising was that my husband and I bought a house. We didn't think we were going to, and suddenly there we were! As a result, however, the latter part of the year was so incredibly hectic I don't even remember much of it. Although maybe my memory lapse is due to the Twin Towers attack. I don't know.
As for resolutions, I don't really make them, but I want to change two things this year: I want to keep my 2-day-a-week job from encroaching on my home life; and I want to do more for others, like volunteer and do more for charity. Anyone else want to share their year andor resolutions?