Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Hi all,

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

Christmas crunch
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 :-)

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

I'm back!
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

Shake yer ornaments

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

Godawful Gifts

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

Does anyone know where I can find a sound therapy radio?

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.

I watched a couple of good movies on the weekend and thought I'd share.

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.
The weekend was great! Stuart Maclean was fantastic, Adriana's party rocked, and we had a wonderful dinner with Rhett and Debbie. Then, I came back to work. They moved my office on Friday and put me in a big office with four other empty desks and no windows. The room really sucks! If I didn't know that they would be moving me again soon, I would have almost cried. To add to it, there was a visitor sitting at the desk they put me at, and the temporary computers that were set up for him were still on the desk, as well as the phone, and of course this meant that the moving people just dumped my stuff on the desk and didn't connect it. It took most of the morning to track someone down who knew who the computers belonged to and if I could take them off the desk. Luckily, there was a great admin from another department (I am plagued with never having a good admin in my department) who helped me move everything, bless her heart. After I was logged back into the system, I looked for the email from the company that books our trips giving me my new password so that I could log in and book my trip - nothing. I finally called and after much hassle, was told that I was no longer on the list of people who are allowed to travel. I sent the email to my boss and prayed that he wouldn't send me. Apparently it was just an error that he fixed. I booked my trip. I checked my itinerary this morning, apparently the only flights are at 5:40am and noon. I was hoping for a civilized 6:30. Oh well. Now, I've just found out that the office I'm going to is having a Christmas party tomorrow afternoon, so we're trying to get the boss to put off the trip until Thursday. I've threatened bodily harm on my boss if he doesn't let me rent a car for the weekend. So far, I haven't received any money either. To add to it all, I'm going down with a guy, so will probably have to eat at steak restaurants all week, sigh.....

Friday, December 06, 2002

Because dogs can't talk
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?
The sofa cometh
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

Looking busy
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.
The Secret Books
courtesy of Feral Living
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.