Friday, November 29, 2002

Luv that textin'

Be strong
Jus left th clinic
bstrong cheri
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

Barbie's blog, cause every plastic woman has to have one!
(courtesy of Meg)
Well, I'm sorry if I alarmed anyone, but I'm beginning to think that those big freakin' quarters I referred to a couple of days ago are, indeed, a figment of my poor father's imagination.

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

Irene just sent me this, soy sauce super heros? I'm hoping one of my friends can translate this. What do you think?
Tales of the sensitive tech writer
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

Packing up
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

Here's to a calmer week
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

A Quarter to Two

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!
Temporary wheels
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

I saw a funny headline on a tabloid this morning:

"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!

Meeting revenge
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....
Steve just sent me this.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Addictive word game
This is going to waste all my lunch hours.....
(stolen shamelessly from Jackie-O)
Volvo bullies?
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

Yet another wrinkle in my long goodbye from CDS...

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

On the bright side: My boots are amazing and warm and dry.
Dang, another story that's already been told ...... better scratch that idea for my great Canadian novel.
Stupid snow
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

Short day
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

More Research for Rebecca
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.
Brain envy
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

Wednesday? Really?
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?
Shop til you drop
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

When Yes and No Mean the Same Thing...Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

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

Auf Wiedersehen
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

Winter wonderland
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.