Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kash (or, Money with Eyeballs)


I have to disagree with this blog post. I love Kash. I can't stop laughing at the money with eyeballs. I also love 80s music, so hearing "Somebody's Watching Me" is also amusing.

To each their own. I'm still laughing. I'm looking forward to seeing where Kash ends up next.

Weekend

I've had a good, albeit short, weekend. It took most of it just to get the tree decorated. I somehow haven't been as interested in decorating this year as I usually am. I did, however, seem to be much less stressed about presents this year, so overall that is a win.

Friday night John and I went to see a musical version of Narnia. Most of the songs were not memorable, and they changed or removed items that were in the book; I wouldn't care to see it again. The children in the audience seemed to enjoy themselves, so that was at least a good point. After having now read the book, seen the movie, and watched a musical version, I can say without a doubt that the book is the best. The movie and the musical both make Edmund's "acting out" so over-the-top that I wanted to smack him. In the book, Edmund really isn't that bad. I enjoyed the book, and would read it again, preferably over watching the movie.

I wrapped some presents on Saturday. Still have more to wrap, but I am not as interested in that action this year either. I need to wrap John's presents, but he's usually home, so I guess I'll just have to shut myself away in the basement and tell him not to come down.

Today was a small milestone for me: I finally got to light an Advent candle at church. I have always wanted to light one, and this year I spoke up and requested it because mass this morning was being said for my grandparents. The wreath was higher than I thought, so I couldn't fully see the top of the candle, but luckily hit the wick and lit it without problem. Following mass was a family Christmas party which I really enjoyed. I don't get to see my family as much anymore, compared to when my grandparents were alive. We had food, conversation, and a Yankee Swap where I got some Belgian chocolate fudge and choc covered almonds. Looking forward to trying that fudge, and I like almonds. John almost walked away with some movie money, but got traded for a lotto ticket and an ornament. He did end up winning $3, though, so not a bad deal at all.

We watched Office Space tonight, which I had never seen. It was funny, though it did feel a bit long in parts. Jennifer Aniston, who I usually can't stand to watch as anyone other than Rachel, was decent. The fact that they used a Mac that shut down to a C:\ bothered me, but I understand the point of making it generic office computer.

I have 2.5 days of work left and then I am off until Jan 2nd. I am really looking forward to the break. I barely had any time off this summer, so having this week off that already includes 3 stat holidays is a real treat. I hope to enjoy lots of reading, movies, and I am already booked to setup and install a PC for someone on Boxing Day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Should have stayed home today



It started on my drive in to work. There was some snow in the air. An hour later, my car was covered. We have about 15cm (6") down since about 9am this morning. I am not looking forward to driving home tonight. The wind is supposed to pick up, and along the coast it may change to a mix of freezing rain and snow. I just want to get home safely and not venture out again until tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Radio experiment: results

I finished tracking 5 days' worth of songs on Saintjohnradio.fm. I wasn't able to catch every single song, nor was I able to write down all that I heard because there were some that I didn't recognize or couldn't google. Here are my findings:

Total number of songs tracked: 388
% of those songs which were CanCon: 44% (surprisingly lower than I thought)

Top played artists:
Pink Floyd 14
Rolling Stones 13
Led Zeppelin 13
Kim Mitchell 13
April Wine 12
Beatles 12
Bryan Adams 11
Rush 11
Tom Cochrane 10
Elton John 9
Blue Rodeo 8
ZZ Top 7


Most played songs:
Gimme All Your Lovin' by ZZ Top: 5 times
Just Between You and Me by April Wine: 4 times

Standing in the Dark Platinum Blonde 3
Magic Power Triumph 3
Try Blue Rodeo 3
Hey You Pink Floyd 3
New Orleans is Sinking Tragically Hip 3
Easy To Tame Kim Mitchell 3
Good Times Tom Cochrane 3
Eyes of a Stranger Payolas 3
Feel It Again Honeymoon Suite 3
Voodoo Thing Colin James 3
Nova Heart Spoons 3
Rockland Wonderland Kim Mitchell 3
I'm an adult now Pursuit of Happyness 3
Go For A Soda Kim Mitchell 3
Working for the Weekend Loverboy 3
Show Me The Way Peter Frampton 3
Someday Glass Tiger 3
Sinking like a sunset Tom Cochrane 3
Angel Eyes Jeff Healey Band 3
All Of My Love Led Zeppelin 3
Diamond Mine Blue Rodeo 3

With all of these artists, why in the heck didn't they play any: Queen -- not a single song by Queen all week. I did hear Another One Bites The Dust today, though.

Songs repeated during the same day:
Carry On My Wayward Son Kansas 12/12/08 2
Gimme All Your Lovin ZZ Top 12/12/08 2
The Joker Steve Miller 12/11/08 2
Time Pink Floyd 12/10/08 2
Try Blue Rodeo 12/11/08 2

Most ironic song: How Many More Times by Led Zeppelin

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Radio experiment: halfway through Day 3

I've heard 4 Pink Floyd songs today, two of which were the same song. They played it this morning and this afternoon. Seriously?! I thought maybe I wrote it down incorrectly, perhaps it was the end of the list from yesterday, but no.

I haven't run across a song that has been on all three days (yet), but I'm getting lots of repeats today.

Just heard the 8th Rush song since I began, and it was the first Rush repeat.

Once I have a week's worth of data, I'll post some statistics.

Radio experiment: start of Day 3

The station I'm following is Saintjohnradio.fm (the former Pirate) at 103.5.

It's the start of Day 3 and I already have some repeat songs:
  • Going to California by Led Zeppelin
  • Rose Colored Glasses by Blue Rodeo
  • Fantasy by Aldo Nova
  • Just Between You and Me by April Wine
  • Gimme All Your Lovin by ZZ Top

I've heard 6 different Rush songs, so I'm convinced I'll hear a Rush repeat today. They love Rush on this station. I've also heard multiple songs by Glass Tiger, Bryan Adams, Colin James, Elton John, Kim Mitchell, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and Tom Cochrane. Repeats are sure to follow the rest of this week.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Radio experiment

When we moved into our new office, my co-worker and I found it a little too quiet and decided to get a radio for background noise.  Most local radio stations are so repetitive that it became more annoying to keep hearing the same songs than silence.  However, we did come across a local station that had changed format in the last couple of months.  When first tuning in, I thought it was great – I must have hit upon a good programming day.  Any station that plays Notorious by Duran Duran will pique my interest.

 

We’ve been listening to this station for a few weeks now, and I have noticed an odd pattern.  While they do play songs not normally heard on the top 40, light rock, or classic rock stations, they seem to be just as repetitive.  I’m fairly sure that they play Tom Sawyer by Rush every day.  While I don’t have any like nor dislike for that song, I find it odd that they would play the same song by Rush with such regularity.  Rush has a large catalog of music, why not spread it around?  Another example is Nova Heart by The Spoons.  I’ve heard this quite a few times now, but where are the other Spoons songs they could be playing?

 

They play a large amount of Canadian Content, which makes me curious if they are under a different set of rules.  Since they are a smaller station, do they have to play more CanCon that the others?  Or do they just love resurrecting Canadian 80s songs?  While I’m happy to hear some Blue Rodeo and Glass Tiger, I am not sure how much more April Wine I can take.  SJers seem to love April Wine, as evidenced by the number of times they’ve played here.

 

I’m gathering evidence by starting to track the songs being played.  It should be interesting to see how often things really are played.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Grumble

It's hard to feel motivated when you don't see that carrot at the other end of the stick. All I see is the stick still being there, and right now, that's not much of a motivator.

I was supposed to have a 4 day weekend, but that got cut short to a regular weekend. Partly because I am behind, but also because a third party didn't clearly explain their expectations of me. I'm really angry about that, since they sat in front of me and marked off what needed to be accomplished, only to later turn around and ask if I was finished other things. I'm losing motivation and energy at a very quick pace.

I didn't have much of a summer vacation. I took a few days off when John moved. I couldn't take any time off during his mother/nephew's visit. I took two days off for a 1 day event in Montreal. I'm burning out.

I have US Thanksgiving booked off, and if the job market continues to look bleak, John will be off too. I am taking that time come hell or high water. I need the break. I learned today that I may also be able to take the time between Christmas and New Year's. It's not my turn, but the other person doesn't seem to care as much as I do about it. I could really use that solid week off to relax and just enjoy myself.

I've been working from home this evening for the past 2 hours, and now I'm pretty much spent. I still have laundry to finish. It may have to take a backseat tonight.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Post-weekend

Halloween candy distribution didn’t go as badly as I thought.  Even the older kids were polite, and I got lots of compliments on the carved pumpkins.  One even fist bumped me and gave me props.   I had about 70 kids in total.  No really good costumes this year.

 

I sat outside and tried to read, but wasn’t feeling like it in the end that night.  Instead I grabbed the laptop and did some wireless surfing, trying to come up with a very last minute Halloween costume, to no avail.  I just couldn’t produce something that quickly.  We also could not find the shirt that belonged to John’s renaissance outfit, so we both decided to go to a party un-costumed.  We walked in the door and got some comments on our lack of costume, but whatever.  The party was more subdued than previous years.  I think a lot of people were tired from the week and/or Chicago rehearsals.  I wasn’t interested in playing Rock Band, so a bunch of us sat around and talked.

 

Work encouraged us to dress up on Halloween, but then also scheduled security badge photos on the same day.  I questioned that decision and was basically told to stuff it. 

 

Didn’t end up going to Calais on Saturday because my package didn’t say it had been delivered.  Mum went to Bangor today so I’m getting her to stop and pick up my parcel.  I think we’ll be heading to Calais again either the 15th or 22nd to get a turkey for Thanksgiving.  I also want to buy a bunch of stuff online for xmas presents, so if I can get organized and order a crapload of stuff, I can save some money.  Saving money is paramount right now after all of the moving debt and John still being unemployed.  We have some leads for him, and his resume is getting out there, so I hope we’ll get movement soon.  He’s bored, and we need the money.  :)

 

I’m headed over to Mare’s tonight to do some knitting.  Dre and possibly Emily are coming over too.  I may try to hit Michael’s tonight before heading to Mare’s to get some yarn on sale.  I’m going to try knitting another blanket.  I have a sample piece of fabric that will be used for Regan’s baby room.  I think the light green/white combo yarn may be the best match.  I liked how that yarn knit up, so I’d like to stick with that rather than something adult and more scratchy.

 

Tomorrow night is knitting club at the library again.  I am almost finished the mini-purse we’re doing as our project.  I just have the strap remaining to knit.  Maybe I’ll finish that off tonight.  I restarted a scarf for myself and can keep working on that too.

 

Correction on the previous post: It was not the same neighbour who I spoke with about the kids in our yard.  It was a different neighbour who told her kids to cut across our yard on their bikes.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Crankiness

I'm particularly cranky today, mostly self-induced.

It started last night when I berated myself for not calling a contact regarding a doctor for John sooner than yesterday. I'm frustrated with myself for not just picking up the phone and doing it earlier. It was a simple phone call, the contact seemed to have no problem helping. I was scared to make the call because I wasn't sure if the contact would recall who I was from just a voicemail message, so I had to use my maiden name. I also hate leaving voicemails, as I usually end up sounding like a rambling idiot, even if I do have a script to work with. In my own defense, I did email the contact about 5 weeks ago, only to be told later that he doesn't check his email very often.

We've been having a recurring problem with various kids walking and/or riding bikes across our yard. John caught a couple of them biking across the yard last night, so he yelled out to them to not do it. The neighbor next door responded by saying "sorry, I told them to." This is the same neighbor with whom I already had a conversation asking her to speak to her son about not cutting through our yard. Now all the kid knows is "mom thinks it's ok" so we'll never get them to stop. We also recently had a parent accompany their child to cut through our yard, which teaches the child that it's ok to trespass on our property.

I'm sick and tired of being the central walkway for the neighborhood. I pay my property taxes and that means I get to decide what goes on on my property. Streets and sidewalks are for transportation, my backyard is not. I often feel in life that I am stepped on, ignored, and pushed aside. Having people walk all over my yard feels like another version of walking all over me. They have no respect for me; if they did, they'd ask permission or just not do it. Other than posting signs and possibly gathering evidence to take someone to court, I don't really have any recourse. We can fence our property, but given the size of it, that would cost a lot of money.

What I am particularly concerned about is whether we'll get any pranks tonight, especially after catching those kids last night. I'm not much in the mood to hand out free candy to all of the kids who walk across our yard, so it's put a damper on Halloween for me this year.

I got in to work this morning and lots of people are dressed up for Halloween. I'm annoyed with myself for not putting in the effort to get a costume this year. Every year for the past few I have said, this is the year I'll make the effort and get a costume idea and have it come to fruition. Another example of my inability to follow through on things lately.

I just received a phone call in which the person said, "Hi... I don't need you." It's nice that users can resolve their own issues, but a little disheartening to get that phone call right now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Slow to knit

I don't normally get headaches, but today my head hurts. The party went well last night, but Chicago rehearsals ran late and no one could come afterward.

Since I restarted my knitting in spring, it's been a slow process. The blanket took a long time and I didn't have anything else on the go at the same time. I'm looking at projects that my friends are doing or have done and I am behind as far as skills go. I hope the combination of knitting club and being around other knitters will help bring my skills up. I guess it's just the usual for me: scared to try new things in case I screw them up. What I need to keep in mind is that screwing up knitting is not something to be afraid of, geesh. I am not sure why I've turned into this person who is wary of trying new things, but I need to work on it.

That being said, I still want to knit a simple blanket for Regan's baby. Maybe I'll try something more complicated on a smaller scale first.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Since I have 10 minutes

I'll slap up a blog.

I haven't been blogging much lately, not out of lack of desire, but lack of time. Since I'm not good at short versions of stories, I haven't felt like I've had enough time to blog. Today I decided to get something posted even if it doesn't cover all that I want it to.

Work has been very busy for me. It's not a blogging topic, so I can't go into detail, but I've been a bit overwhelmed. I did manage to hire some more help starting this week, so I am hoping that will take some of the pressure off. Work seems to be encompassing most of my life these days, or at least it feels that way.

What else am I up to? I finished the baby blanket I was knitting for my new nephew. I wasn't totally pleased with how it turned out, only because of its size. It ended up being too wide, a mistake I made by casting on too many stitches to begin with. Once you make that mistake, you either keep going or start all over again. I didn't realize the magnitude of the mistake until later and ended up making it a lot larger than it needed to be. The good part is that I know for next time, it should be approx 60 sts and 150 rows. That should be a good sized blanket using the same yarn.

I'd like to continue with knitting and increase my skills, so I joined a knitting club at the library. The club is a bit disorganized; they're not quite sure what structure it should take, but I do like having more experienced knitters beside me to help. I got a lot out of the book I have, but nothing is a substitute for hands-on assistance. My next project is a scarf for myself, which I started a couple of years ago but put away because I ended up making it too wide. I ripped it out and started over again on the drive back from Montreal last week.

Speaking of which, John, Dad and I drove to Montreal last weekend to attend my nephew's baptism. It was a 9h drive, through the US. We left Friday and came back on Sunday, so a lot of driving for one day's worth of activities. I was pretty wiped, but glad to see my family. I didn't get the chance to call Lisa while I was there though, which I feel bad about. I need to catch up with my friends who have moved. I've been so busy with things and I need to catch up with them on how they're doing.

I guess my 10 min are up... gotta get back to work. Tonight I need to prepare for pumpkin carving, which is tomorrow. I don't like having it on a weeknight, but since Friday is Halloween and you can't carve a pumpkin a week in advance and expect it to last, Wednesday seemed like the best answer.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The only cool thing

about the new version of Knight Rider was something most of the people I know wouldn't have noticed. John and I were catching up on some TV last night and watched the season premiere of Knight Rider. KITT goes back to his hideout, and all of a sudden I see:

Melissa: "Was that...?"
John: "Yes"

They used the former blimp hangars in Tustin (next door to Irvine) as Knight Industries' HQ. Cool!! We used to drive right by these on our way to Sam's Club, the best place to go right after your wedding™. They recently built a brand new shopping area next to the hangars and I also shopped there on the last few visits.

The rest of the episode basically sucked, was cheesy, and the fact that KITT is now a Transformer is really silly. He turns into a truck? UGH.

Seeing the blimp hangar in the episode though was pretty cool. John often comments on how alien worlds, other planets, or Star Trek fight sequences seem to take place in or around 29 Palms. I finally got to participate in recognizing something familiar.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First Lady fashion

A recent estimate of the outfit worn by Cindy McCain at the Republican National Convention totaled approximately $313,000.

$313,000.

Let that sink in for a minute.

I wonder what would happen if the potential First Lady was forced to get her wardrobe only from Target?

John talks about his plan to run for president some day, which I usually pretend he's not serious about, but maybe I should reconsider. If I was First Lady, I could force designers to make narrow shoes.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Fortune telling weather update

The conference I'll be attending in less than 2 weeks is in the Florida Keys, popular destination if you're a hurricane. I received an email today from the conference hosts entitled "weather update". I laughed. It made me wonder if they had some secret way of predicting the weather.

The email basically said they were keeping an eye on things, as is the resort, and that the resort has an extensive evacuation and disaster recovery plan. That isn't very comforting.

Here's what I know for sure: if there appears to be a hurricane headed for the Keys right before I leave, I won't be getting on that plane, evacuation plan or not. I think my company would prefer I stay alive over forfeiting some plane tickets and fees. At least until I start/finish documenting my job functions. :)

Cassel in the sand

Tom Brady is now out for the rest of the season. Some find this good news, as there seems to be a hate on for the Pats after last year's undefeated regular season and "spygate". Being a Pats fan, I am obviously disappointed. I wonder what the rest of the season will bring.

It wasn't that long ago that Brady was a young rookie, and the fact that he won a Super Bowl, with some help from Drew Bledsoe, was a major accomplishment. Winning that first Super Bowl launched his career into high gear. Matt Cassel may not look like Brady on the field, but I think he deserves a chance. Everyone has to start somewhere, and this is now Cassel's chance. He played better in game 1 than he did in the preseason, perhaps one of those instances where being in the real situation rather than a practice ups your game.

Good luck, Matt. Bring your A game. No one expects you to be Brady, or have an undefeated season, but get us some wins and we'll support you.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Subtle

It's subtle, but I get the feeling it has begun. Changes are being made, and I don't agree with them. Two significant (to me) changes recently. I wonder what's next?

A friend of mine always says that if you don't make a decision, the decision will be made for you. I have a feeling that process is starting... which means I need to start thinking more seriously.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sqeak

Last weekend, while John and Stew were installing the satellite dish, they walked up to the back basement door and discovered a dead mouse lying in the middle of the stone area.  Why was it there?

·         Someone is trying to pull a Godfather on me, and is leaving me a sign

·         The mice are mobilizing and have gone from my office to my house

·         The mouse jumped from the retaining wall and didn’t make it

·         A cat left us a “present”

 

The last option sounds the most plausible.  We’ve been getting visits from a neighbourhood cat who has taken a liking to John (most cats love John).  She may have decided to leave us a present as thanks for the scratching.  Frankly, cat, I’d prefer a bottle of wine, even though I don’t drink.  Given the placement of the mouse, it seems odd for it to have just walked up and died right there.  We think it was either left there as a present, or an animal intended to come back and get it later.

 

I’m really glad I wasn’t the one to discover it; that would have been a bad scene.  I just hope this isn’t a recurring pattern.  I’ve been living mouse-free since I moved out of the apartment and the Great Mouse Invasion of ’04.  Having them at the office is bad enough, but that will end next month with our new office building.  I need to pay extra special attention when bringing the wood in this year that we don’t have any unexpected bonus gifts.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Small frustrations

  • A little bit of deli sliced meat from the counter at Sobeys shouldn't cost as much as it did
  • Where did the mild Genoa salami disappear to?
  • Why won't Sobeys realize that their lactose-free chocolate ice cream is a big seller and therefore stock more of it, or at least reorder more frequently?
  • Why do they always get rid of the flavour I like, leaving other flavours which are nowhere near as appealing? I liked the strawberry.
  • Why does a 6" pizza with two toppings cost over $6?
  • Why did they not drill holes in the bathroom cabinet for installation onto the wall and the knobs on the doors? Why didn't they include any instructions?
  • DirecTV. Enough said.

Monday, August 18, 2008

2 weeks and counting

I arrived back at my office this morning to see a scrape and chunk out of the top of my desk. "Holy shit, what happened to the desk?" I said. "Oh, that was the tape dispenser. I was boxing that [cartridge] up and it flew off and hit the desk."

For two years, I worked at a table or part of a cabinet with a keyboard tray clamped to it. I begged and pleaded for a proper desk, seeing as how I work in IT and sit in front of a PC all day. Finally, because someone else was moving into this office with me, I was able to get a very nice workstation for 2 people. It has remained in excellent shape through the 3 people who have shared it with me over the past 3 years, until last week.

Is the scrape and dent really that bad? No, I guess not. Was it intentional? No. But that doesn't make me feel any better.

I worked hard for this desk. I've kept it in good condition. To have someone come along and damage it, not even seeming to care enough to offer an apology, really pisses me off.

I didn't personally pay for this desk, obviously, but I treat it as if I had. It took me a lot of work to get it, and just because the company bought it doesn't mean it deserves to have the crap beaten out of it. How you treat your tools and equipment shows a lot about what kind of person you are. Apologizing for damage you personally caused also shows character. I had my answer before, but I now have more confirmation.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Surprise present

I've been having a rough week at work, so today John surprised me with a present.


Another Snuffles for my collection. I had thought this one was sold out, but lo and behold it was sitting in St. Stephen, waiting to join my Snuffles community.

Thank you, dear, for your thoughtfulness, efforts, and love.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer slides away

Summer feels like it is slipping away this week. I’m so busy at work that I haven’t really had an opportunity to take any vacation. I had two days off when John arrived, but that was a whirlwind of arriving and unpacking the trailer. I had one day off the following week, but then worked Canada Day so I didn’t get the full 4-day weekend I had intended. I can’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel due to some large work projects.

I’m cranky in particular this week because it seems like everyone but me is off and having fun. My husband is unemployed, and while I don’t want that for myself, he’s getting to be home watching TV or doing tourist things with his mother and nephew, who are also here on vacation. My teacher friends are off work, so they’re enjoying half to whole days off. Some other friends are on vacation as well. It’s an exaggeration, but it feels like everyone is getting some time off except me.

I had intended to take a couple of days off this week to show my MIL and nephew around the city/province, but then I had to send one person on the road and another was off for 3 days of bereavement leave. You gotta do what you gotta do, so I had no choice but to cancel my plans. I arranged to attend a meeting remotely today so I wouldn’t have to abandon my visitors even more and drive to Halifax. I do need to thank them for being the excuse for me not having to go to the Evil City, although I am disappointed not to be able to see Cyn.

Even though I want to, I can’t get a mani or pedi due to having a smashed up finger and still trying to rid myself of the issues with my toes. I curse whichever aesthetician gave me the toe issues because pretty much the only time I have bare feet is while getting a pedi. Clean your tools properly.

What I want to do with my vacation, when/if I ever get any, is read. Some of my happiest summer vacations were spent absorbing myself into a book, maybe even reading all day, not worrying about what needed to be done in the house, etc. I also would like to put up the badminton net and bat around for a while. Our nephew said he was interested at first, but it quickly drifted off his radar any time I mentioned it. John has been having some bad arthritis days lately, but I hope it will calm down soon so he feels well enough to play with me.

I realize this blog has a down tone and is predominately negative. I’m not happy right now and I haven’t been happy for a while. I know what the cause is (no, not John) but I’m not sure how to fix it. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time (years, in fact) and haven’t come up with any solutions. Until I do, I’m stuck.

Maybe I’m totally off-base. Maybe making that change won’t help. I’m just not sure. I continue to have a lot of questions with no answers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wafer abuse

A student in Orlando removed a communion wafer from church without consuming it to show his friend who wanted to learn about the Catholic faith.

Manhandling the guy over this incident isn't right, I will agree to that.

However, dude, what were you thinking? If you wanted to do show & tell, why didn't you arrange something with the priest? It's no big secret, and I am sure the priest would have been more than willing to show a wafer and explain about it to the other student without you making yourself stand out like a giant neon sign. You know the rules: you're supposed to consume it, not put it in your mouth and take it out again to show it off. That's disrespectful.

Observations about Canada

John's 10 year old nephew is visiting us this week. He had two observations about Canada that I found amusing:

"Canada is cold. Where's summer?" July is Fog Month in SJ, and he's hit it at its usual state. To me, this IS summer, as sucky as that is. *sigh

"Canada is nature conscious." I like to recycle and have lots of rules for what "trash" goes where. Luckily a 10 year old seems amenable to recycling. It makes me wonder if his school or municipality are not big proponents of recycling?


I have no idea where a human being gets that much energy. This is a common complaint amongst adults regarding children, but it still amazes me.

I am at work, but John, MIL and nephew are heading to visit Martello Tower this afternoon. I hope they get some enjoyment out of it, but they won't be able to get a great view of the harbour with the fog being out as it is.

If the weather gets better, I'd like to get the badminton net up in the back yard since I find myself with someone who would like to play. I've also been requested to try out Guitar Hero on the DS. I get the feeling that will be harder than using the actual guitar on a PS3.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Busy busy

Life has been busy. John's arrival, unpacking, adjusting to all the change. I'm now a wife with a live-in husband who brought stuff with him and likes things in different places than I do. It's a big change for both of us, and since change makes me uneasy, I haven't been feeling all that stable lately. It manifests itself physically as I make more frequent trips to the bathroom. Time will make things more comfortable and we'll get things sorted out.

I've been enjoying having John home all day, looking after things. That can't last forever, as much as he'd enjoy being a kept man. The move has created a debt load that we expected, but I still don't like it. It will soon be time for him to go job hunting, but we have some projects that would be better served by him being off work for at least a little bit longer.

John brought quite a large DVD collection with him, and we haven't been able to find anything we like for storage. We decided to build our own shelf, which John has drawn out in a plan. He's quite excited about building it, and I am looking forward to maximizing our space and getting exactly what we want. That project will have to be put off for this week, though, as we have company coming to stay with us.

The other issue on our plates right now is wood for winter. Since John is still unpacking and I haven't had much time to provide input and opinions on where things should go, a lot of boxes are still in the way of where the wood needs to go. I need to find more time to help get that cleared away so the wood can go in.

In addition to all of the change at home, I am also dealing with change at work. I am managing 2 people this summer and I have been finding that very stressful. We are moving our offices around the end of August, so I've also been involved in that process. That is affecting my ability to take vacation time during the best weather of the year. I can't even have a couple of days off this week. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am the only person in the office for 3/5 days. I won't get to show my visitors around the city unless it's after work or on my lunch hour.

Now that my nephew has arrived, I am trying to put a push on to finish the baby blanket I've been knitting. I am staying at work today for lunch and brought the blanket to work on. I hope they like it. I really wanted to make rather than buy something, even though my skills are basic. Looking at the pics, I really wish I could see him in person. With so much going on, I probably won't get to see him until the fall. I wish they lived closer. I like baby stage the best, as long as I can give them back to their parents. :)

This past weekend was spent on another project that we needed done to adjust to having two people and more devices needing the internet in our house. With two PCs and two TiVos now, we didn't have the home network needed to support it all. I'm not a huge fan of wireless on everything, so I requested some help from friends to install a series of network drops in the house. It was a one-day project that turned into 2 days, but is now complete. I also planned for a couple of circumstances, such as having an extra wired connection in the living room (better for data transfer than wireless) and an extra jack in the bedroom in case we decide to move the TiVo to that room. We're also working on setting up the basement as a secondary entertainment area. John brought his TV and electronics, and I put my TiVo down there. So far all we have for seating is the bean bag chair, but I'm not as concerned about that right now.

Daniel pics




Friday, July 11, 2008

Nephew details

My nephew was born this morning at 7:48am EDT. A healthy 7lb 5oz and "really long" but they haven't measured him yet. The delivery was done by emergency c-section because the baby's heart rate was dropping fast during pushing. They later discovered that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck 3 times!!! Thankfully everyone is healthy and happy, though exhausted.

Pictures to come soon!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Memory

I have never had that great of a memory, but I feel an increasing sense that it is getting worse.  I can’t recall entire conversations I’ve had with people, personally or at work.  I don’t fully doubt that they happened, but I am starting to wonder what’s going on.  Have people noticed that I don’t necessarily remember things, and then try to con me into thinking I agreed to something that I didn’t intend?  Perhaps, but most of these types of conversations, such as the one I had at work today, don’t present any real gain for the other person so I choose to believe I have just forgotten.

 

I will admit that I tend to multitask, which does reduce my attention to both functions.  Sometimes I don’t pay close enough attention to a conversation that is not vitally important, so I end up forgetting parts (or all) of it.  Some periods in my life I prefer to block out because they were painful, I wasn’t happy, or they just weren’t vivid enough to stick in my mind.  That being said, why does my memory seem so much worse than the average person?  Do I spend too much time thinking inside myself to the point where I am blocking out the outside world?  That may be a possibility.  I am used to spending a lot of time alone, thinking to myself.  I have been known to think about conversations in my head, believing that I truly did have that conversation with the person, only to have them adamantly reply that I said nothing to them about a topic.  That makes me think I’m starting to lose my mind.

 

I’m not stupid, though.  If anyone asks me to remember the conversation we had about me lending them $1000, I’ll know better.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tired

I'm tired today. I was at work from 10:30 to almost midnight last night, trying to fix an issue. Still isn't fixed. I am now the ping pong ball in the fun game of "the problem isn't on our end, it must be on the other company's end." This is not a game I enjoy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

John's progress - Day 4 & 5

They passed through Knoxville and stopped for the night in Roanoake, VA. They have attempted to send me pictures, but the first batch bounced back, and the second attempt was foiled by computer hogs. Today they are on the road bound for Lancaster, PA, home of his sister, where they can get some rest and family time.

I don't think John has gotten a full night's sleep in about a month. His one comment to me this morning (he was driving, so didn't want to talk & drive) was "I hope this is over soon." Today is a short day of driving, so hopefully he'll be able to get some R & R at his sister's house. They haven't decided yet how long they're staying, but I hope they stay long enough to get some good rest.

Today I am going to continue the cleaning & purging in the house. I need to make sure the spare bedroom is ready for his mom, that things are out of the way in the basement where we'll need to carry things inside, drop off the bags of clothes that I've purged, take some cardboard to recycling. I still have to drop by ADT and order another alarm keyfob... been meaning to do that all week since ADT is in the building beside me at work. He will also need a bridge pass, but probably not until he gets NB plates. I'll call and see what info they need and if I can get it early.

Sometime this weekend I also need to put on a push to finish the book for book club, do some more knitting so I can estimate how much yarn I need in total, and ponder some work HR issues I may have to deal with. My brain is full.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

John's progress - Day 1 to 3

John left Irvine on Tuesday, went as far as Scottsdale, AZ. Stayed overnight with Chris, Cynthia & Summer. Left Wednesday and stopped in Tucumcari, NM (close to TX border). Today, they are headed toward Knoxville, TN, taking a more southerly route in order to avoid tornado weather. At least I think that's what he said in his voicemail, as the message cut out. I keep managing to leave the room when he calls, grrr!

I can tell that John is pretty stressed out. He hasn't slept well in weeks due to the stress of packing, Caly, and moving his whole life around. His biggest concern right now seems to be the fear of robbery. He's traveling with everything he owns in the world, the only exception being his guns. If his trailer and/or vehicle got broken into or stolen, that's most of what he has to his name. I can't fully relate to this fear because I live in a place where crime is relatively low. I understand his concern, though. All he can do is follow best practices. Keep things locked and secure, don't leave the stuff unattended except overnight, etc.

He hasn't been eating very much or very well lately, so I think it's a good thing that his mother is with him to remind/"force" him to eat.

I want him to get here, get settled, and start to feel like a normal person again.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Toilet Tales

When John is here, we often find ourselves in the predicament of both needing to use the bathroom at the same time. With his move happening very soon, our need for a second toilet in the house was becoming more important. So over the past couple of weeks, that has been my household focus and goal.

I started by talking to Dad about getting water pipes into that room. The waste pipes were there, but no water was being brought into the room. We discussed what needed to be done, and he decided to bring just one cold water line in for now to handle the toilet. In the meantime, my task was to go toilet shopping and pick one out.

I decided I wanted an elongated toilet, since it was closer to what John was used to. Jenn and Stew got a new toilet last summer, and they seemed happy with it, so I decided to go with the same model. Since toilets aren't really something you can try out, it wasn't really something I could spend a lot of time on -- they all end up looking the same in the end. This toilet was from Home Depot, was only $100, and I had gift cards from my wedding shower that would cover the purchase. The only problem was that Home Depot was out of stock, and couldn't tell me when they'd get any in.

Dad called last Saturday morning asking if I had gotten a toilet yet. I told him Home Depot was out of stock. He suggested we could wait until later, but I wanted to seize the opportunity that my Dad was available and willing to work on the project. On a whim, I called Fredericton Home Depot, and lo and behold, they had 6 in stock. I decided rather than driving around SJ looking for another toilet, I could spend the same amount of time driving to Fredericton and back. So I did.

Dad and I started our project upstairs, since I wanted to put the new toilet upstairs and the old toilet downstairs. The old toilet always seemed to spray water on the seat, and that annoyed me. We got the new one installed without too much difficulty. We then moved the old toilet downstairs, unfortunately some of the wax came off on the stairs. I worked on cleaning it, but could only get it to come out so well. I may get the carpet cleaners to attack it next time I have them in.

Next was installing a flange for the toilet to sit on in the basement. All I had was a pipe sticking out of the floor. Dad needed more tools, so we called it a day and picked back up again on Sunday. I did manage to get a lot cleaned up in the spare bedroom on Saturday, though, which was good. I went through a couple of buckets of paperwork left over from the wedding/last fall, and sorted those. I also found another bucket I didn't know I had and that ended up containing the coupon I'd been searching for about my wedding dress preservation.

On Sunday Dad came back over late morning. He chiseled out around the pipe in order to put in the flange, and put down a piece of plywood so the toilet would be level. We set the toilet in place and then went to work on the water pipes. After realizing he had bought the wrong connector, he went out to replace that. He ran the water pipe, turned off the main water supply, and cut the cold water pipe to install the T joint for the new pipe.

That's when the fun began. None of the 3/4" fittings he had bought would fit the pipe. We drove to Home Depot and Kent, only to find out that my pipe was Kitek. Plastic on the inside & out, with aluminum in the middle. It was discontinued and thus no one stocks parts for it anymore. It is just a fraction of an inch larger than all of the fittings currently available. We ended up buying some parts to make a temporary fix, at least so I could shower or use the toilet. That fix wasn't very reliable though, and ended up leaking, so I turned the water back on long enough to fill the toilet tank but that was it. Sunday night I ended up taking my stuff and showering over at Dad's house, to prevent any catastrophes from the pipes leaking more downstairs.

Monday morning Dad hit the plumbing stores bright & early. He discovered that they didn't stock any parts for Kitek pipe either. With it being discontinued, most places returned their parts for credit. The problem with the Kitek pipe was that the material used to keep the parts of the pipe together was water soluble, so if the pipe got wet in between layers, it would fall apart. No wonder it was discontinued, but my whole house is plumbed with this stuff. If we couldn't find a fitting that would work, I would have had to replumb my house. Luckily, one of the plumbing supply shops was able to find a couple of fittings to fit the pipe, and rigged up another piece of copper pipe to go between the two. Dad had my water back in business by noon on Monday.

This weekend, I put on the finishing touches. I installed a curtain rod that I stole from the bathroom (it was empty and I had never put anything there). I took a twin size bedsheet that I previously used as a dropcloth to act as a "door". I discovered yet again that I am inept at using a cordless drill, so I ended up doing 2/3 of it by hand with a manual screwdriver. I also put the blinds up in front of the window. They ended up not being totally centered, but by the time I was done fighting with the drill, I didn't really care.

That's the best I can do for now, but at least it provides an extra toilet.

After having the new toilet upstairs for the past week, after all of the effort that went into it, I am disappointed. It has a sluggish flush, so you need to hold the button down for all of the paper to go away. I am also still getting water sprayed up on the toilet seat. Jenn says she doesn't experience either of these problems with her toilet, so I can only assume it is something about my house.

The other thing I don't like about the new toilet is the seat, but that is something that can be easily changed. The seat that came with it is angled inward toward the bowl so much that I feel like I am falling in. I also really miss my padded toilet seat. I am one of the few people who love padded toilet seats. Frankly, I spend enough time in the bathroom that I need some comfort. I did some research, talked to John about what he liked, and started looking into wood seats. While I was researching that, I found a brand new model of seat by Kohler called Zofa.


It's a padded seat, but a single-layer of foam rather than vinyl over stuffing/wood, which means no cracking and splitting of vinyl. It's not freezing cold to touch, and the foam is removable for cleaning. It also has quiet close so the lid doesn't slam, and has quick release, which allows you to remove the seat without unscrewing the bolts so you can clean around it. John seemed to like the idea, he wasn't against this type of padding, so I decided to go searching for it. I found a place online and will ship it to Calais. They're currently out of stock as this model has been quite popular (good sign), but they should have more in by June 18.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Reasons

A lot of people have asked me why I never got a pet when I moved into my house alone. Yesterday explains why: I don’t deal very well at all with death. A pet is great as long as you have it, but eventually you know you’re going to have to say goodbye. I’ve said goodbye to enough humans in my life so far, and am terrified of saying goodbye to more. I don’t need to add another living being to the mix whom I’m going to have to mourn someday. Some would say that’s not a good way to live your life, because you never experience the happy parts of having that companion. They’re probably right, but I just can’t bring myself to do it knowing it will end badly, someday.

She was a cat who made a lot of messes, but not all of them were her fault. She loved lying in dirty laundry. She loved my new sneakers. She loved being scratched under the chin. She was a very quiet cat who didn’t meow loudly and annoyingly like some. She moved slowly. She was cuddly and soft. She grew to accept me even though I disrupted her comfortable living situation. She even licked my hand. She appreciated that when I came to visit, I was awake at 4am and could scratch her. She loved her pink brush. She loved eating ribbon, even though she wasn’t supposed to. She never tried to escape to the outside world, she was content to just sit and look out the screen door.

I can’t ever see her again.

She wasn’t even my cat.

But here I sit, at my desk, bawling my eyes out over a pet that wasn’t mine. If I can’t handle this, how could I handle the death of pet that did live with me for 10 years?

Someday John might talk me into getting a pet. I will go through the ups & downs, and eventually I will have to say goodbye to it, and it will hurt even more than this does. It just doesn’t seem worth it, but not having had experience with the joys of pets, I guess I can’t relate.

I don’t want to keep saying goodbye to people/living things.

So I’m doing the crying for both of us. I seem to be good at that, so I guess that will be my role.

I miss you, Caly.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Made-up words?

Since when did "out-migration" become a word? I've been seeing articles in the paper this week, and they have been using this word. It sounded to me like it was yet another grammatical issue the TJ should be dealing with.

I did some research and found out that it is actually a word. I thought "emigration" was more appropriate, but there is a subtle difference. Emigration is leaving your home country to go to another. Out-migration seems to refer to leaving a region for another region in your own country. It seems like both can be used interchangeably, though, depending on which dictionary you read.

To answer my own question, out-migration has been in use since the 1950s.

That's what I learned today.

Progress

I finally managed to win out over the circular needles and I think I now have it under control. I ripped out the half job I started on the straight needles and rolled up the yarn to use later. I'm glad I went back and gave the circulars another try. It will look much nicer knit as all one piece.

I need to get more progress on weeding down my closet. I pared it down quite a bit, so I thought based on having 2 full bags to donate. However, the closet still seems to be full. I need to make room for my husband, so I am going to have to do another round. I may need reinforcements to help me, as I have a hard time getting rid of clothing that I "might need".

Lisa's truck loading is tomorrow night, so I will be heading over there to help and see her for the last time in a while. I hate goodbyes. I hope I don't cry too much!

Work was finally better today, I think in part because I got out of the office. I think I am in need of a road trip soon, get away from my office, see some colleagues in person, reconnect with the people I support. I realized today that I hadn't been to the store on the East side in so long that I had never met an employee who started months ago. I'm spending too much time at my desk, and sometimes I lose touch with that world. Some road tripping may do me and my colleagues good.

This winter, and so far spring, I found myself slipping into a state of apathy and laziness which has resulted in my house being more slobby than normal. I don't seem to want to get anything done. I hope I pull out of that soon, because the place can really use a cleaning. Maybe I can put a push on for that this weekend, seeing as how it's now going to rain.

I ended my phone call with John early tonight because of a couple of trips to the bathroom. I sat down at the PC to wait for the next wave, but seeing as how I've been here for a bit now, I guess I'm through it.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Projects & pastimes

I've been spending too much time watching TV lately. The evil thing about TV on DVD is the fact that you don't have to wait a week for the next episode; it's right there for the watching, so you can keep on going. I'm addictive that way, and ended up spending more time inside today than I intended. I finished the season, so perhaps now I can set that aside, at least until I buy the next set.

Overall, I've been enjoying the book club I joined last year, but I am having a very tough time getting into our current pick. While I did enjoy the last pick, I would have preferred something that wasn't similar for the next pick. I will continue to try and plow through it. Unless I absolutely loathe a book, I will see it through to the end. It's still too early for me to form a fair opinion on this book, I am just lacking in motivation. Maybe now that my addictive TV watching is done, I can get more reading done.

After a few false starts, I finally got going on a knitting project today. I am going to end up doing it in 2 pieces and weaving it together, something I didn't want to do. I tried avoiding that by using circular needles, but they just weren't working for me. The yarn is chunky and was very difficult to get it in the correct direction and I found myself screwing it up repeatedly. I gave up and decided to knit it in 2 pieces. I also abandoned my idea of doing seed stitch and am sticking with just straight knit stitches. With the chunky yarn, it doesn't really look any different or curl, so I think I'm ok. I'm a bit frustrated by my lack of skill. I feel somewhat defeated that I couldn't use the needles or the stitches I wanted... maybe I gave up too easily? I'm not even sure how this is going to turn out. Will they like it? Or will it be the equivalent of a 4 year old's drawing that gets put up on the fridge because his parents have to make a fuss about it? Is the thought and love in the making enough to make it good? I guess we'll see how it turns out.

Knitting is something I only was able to get so far with before Nana passed away. I went further and did more with embroidery than knitting, but hand embroidery is not something that is very popular anymore, thus it's difficult to find anything pre-stamped to work on. I just don't have the creative mind to think of something I can do, draw it, and then embroider it. If someone handed me something, I could do it. I want to get back to it; I don't want my skills getting rusty. Knitting and embroidery is a way for me to remember my grandmother and somehow stay close to her. I'll have to come up with something to work on.

Mice

Things have been stressful at work, most of which I can't blog about. The part I can blog about is the return of the mice. Last Friday, I found one on a trap in my office just before lunch. I stopped by the office tonight and from the other side of the room, I'm pretty sure I saw something furry and gray in the same spot on the new trap placed there. I wish they would go away and leave me alone. Thank God we're moving offices in a few months and I won't have to deal with that anymore, or at least until the building gets old enough that they sneak in. Since it's brand new construction, I should be safe for a while.

Mice are torture for me after having gone through the Great Mouse Invasion of '04. It's disgusting to have things go through all of your stuff and poop on everything, and I mean everything. My employer is going to have to do something about this situation. There must be some kind of health & safety regulation I can fall back on. I can't keep working in an office where I feel like my skin's crawling all the time.

I don't want people belittling me. You didn't go through what I went through, and I don't want to go through that ever again. You may not understand or agree, but just don't belittle me. It's torture, and I can't handle it anymore.

Ring. Knock. Knock. Ring.

Go away. I'm not answering the door. I know you're a kid because I saw the bicycle helmet bob through my front walk. That means you're peddling something, and I don't want to buy. Get the hint and stop ringing and knocking.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Robots

If it's robots you're looking for, then perhaps you need to go robot shopping. There isn't anyone here who can help you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rio remakes

"Rio" by Duran Duran seems to be getting attention these days -- not good attention, in my opinion.

1) Video spoof

Hedley has done a spoof of Rio in their video for "Never Too Late". I don't mind the spoof, it's kind of funny, but the band and the song suck, so overall I hate it.


2) Song remake

"Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls just dropped her new single, and it's a synth-ful cover of Duran Duran's "Rio" that will make you appreciate the vocal stylings of Simon Le Bon more than you ever thought possible." --E! Online

This remake makes me want to hurl. And then shampoo my hair. I hadn't even read past the part that said "remake" and I had already pegged it as an ad for a hair or body care product.


Step away from the Duran, people. Step away.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Annoyed

We're having a going-away pot luck party at work today. I was the third person to sign the attendance list and specify what I was going to bring. I decided since the choco-peanut butter cookies I baked for the last book club seemed to go over well, I'd try those again for today. The first two people to sign up hadn't picked cookies, so I put myself down for bringing "chocolate peanut butter cookies". I walk into the lunchroom today and to my dismay I see a container full of... chocolate cookies with a peanut butter cup in the middle. Someone who picked after me obviously didn't care that they were duplicating.

It's not a matter of ego -- if the other cookies are better than mine, I don't really care. I don't want to compete with anyone else in what I make. It's the fact that someone else was presented with the list of food items people would be bringing, and they seemed to have either not read, not cared, or deliberately chose to bring the same as me. I would have happily made something else just so we could have as much variety as possible. There have been a couple of occasions where I have volunteered to make a similar dessert, but have always made sure it was a different variety (i.e., if I was making cheesecake, I'd make sure I picked a different flavor, that way it isn't duplicated). Why did this person not say, "ok, I'll make another variety of cookie?"

I'll get over it, but I am annoyed right now.

UPDATE: the other cookies were chocolate with a caramel cup in the middle, not peanut butter. I guess I can't be annoyed anymore, it's not like she knew they were going to look very similar to mine.

UPDATE 2: I was later told that she picked caramel cups because she couldn't find peanut butter!!! GRRRR!!!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ward 1 "choices"

If you are one of those people who wants to see Common Council totally cleaned out and replaced with new faces, Ward 1 isn't offering much in the way of choice. Out of the 5 candidates, two are incumbents, two are former councilors who were voted out of council in prior elections for a reason, and one new candidate.

As for the incumbents, I'm meh. I think we need new faces and a fresh perspective. I don't know much about the one new candidate, but he is likely going to get my vote just because he hasn't previously been on one of our many crappy common councils.

I have no use for councilors who were in office 20 years ago and trying to make another run for it. Your time is past, and I think you should have stayed out of the mix. The worst candidate, in the "at large" category, is an 82-year old veteran of council who... well, let's just say he has issues. SJers being the type who vote according to name recognition, this candidate will likely get a slew of votes. Thankfully, last time he ran he missed the cut... barely. SJ doesn't need the "good old days" with councilors from the 80s.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Miley & Ashley

Just bein' Miley

Poor Miley Cyrus. She gets a photo shoot with a famous photog, probably thinks they look great, and then is forced to admit they were embarrassing after other people start freaking out about it. The Today Show this morning had a piece on "how to talk to your kids about those racy Miley Cyrus photos". Personally, I think the pics are artistic, not "racy". Prudish America strikes again -- oooo, a bare back, we can't have that! There's not even a hint of side boob. This isn't "racy".

I will admit that the message is inconsistent. If you're marketing a 15 year old girl to tweens and kids, then this picture really doesn't have any place in that. However, the pictures were taken for Vanity Fair -- an adult magazine. That raises a couple of points: even though that is an adult magazine, in today's media world, you can't guarantee that kids won't see it and ask questions; second, why are they marketing a 15 year old girl to an adult audience? I'm less worried about what kids think when they see her bare back than seeing males of America lusting after "jail bait".

Miley has hit a very high level of fame at a difficult age. She's only 15, but living in Grown Up Land. That's a dangerous combo. I hope her parents can keep her grounded so she doesn't end up like her peers.


Ashley the money-grubber

Ashley Dupre is suing Girls Gone Wild owner Joe Francis for $10M, saying she had a fake ID when she signed her GGW release form. She was only 17 and didn't understand fully what she was doing. I can't believe there would come a day when I would say this, but I have to side with Joe Francis on this one. Signing that release form and appearing in those videos is pretty stupid to begin with.

Life is full of lessons, and this is one she should be forced to learn. Don't tie up the justice system with this stupid lawsuit. You treated yourself as an adult, obtained a fake ID, and made a decision in your life that you now regret. Too damn bad. Why should the taxpayers of America pay for the courts to decide you need more money for showing your boobs in a video? If you were so full of yourself as to circumvent the age requirement (which, hey, maybe is there for a reason) then you don't deserve anything.

Return to reality

I returned home to the usual crap. If people actually paid attention to me when I tell them my schedule, perhaps there wouldn't be misunderstandings. I'm tired of being invisible except when someone else thinks there is an "emergency" or when it's convenient for them to use me. That seems to be a common theme in my life: I am invisible until I am of use. Unfortunate, but somehow true at the same time.

Last week was supposed to be a restful vacation, but due to the magnitude of crap that happened, I don't feel all that rested. The good news of John's immigration approval bolstered my spirits but upon returning home, I don't feel like I truly had a "vacation". I'm already starting to feel myself drop back into the apathy that was present when I left. It only took an hour of being back in the office to feel mentally beaten down. The next two days of cold, whipping rain won't do much for my spirits either. I had hoped to get back to regular walking, but may have to wait until the end of the week.

I'm concerned about how expensive this summer is going to be. We will have to pay for John's health expenses while we sit through the 3 month waiting period for Medicare. I can't add him to my group health insurance at work because they also require a 3 month waiting period. Add on the expense of moving and his unemployment and it starts to look pretty scary. I've got to start thinking about what I can cut back on.

I also need to start cleaning things up and making room for John in the house. I can start that by making some room to get organized and getting the patio furniture out for the season, but I was hoping to use a power washer on the deck and house, so it would be best if I did that before putting the furniture out. I need to fire up the BBQ and check on how well it's working. Last time I used it, I remember thinking the burner wasn't long for this world. I would love to have a new BBQ, but a replacement burner may have to do for now, if necessary.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More bad news

We heard back from the vet today about Caly. She has diabetes. It means she'd have to take shots and medication is costly. Since John lost his job, and will have enough issues with his own health care costs, this news is tough to hear. He now has a very hard decision to make.

It's been a rough week for him, and I am very glad I'm here to at least provide moral support in person.

Monday, April 21, 2008

No rest for the wicked

I realized today that my vacation is not going to be the relaxing, stress-relieving event I was hoping it would be. John found out today that he is losing his job as of April 30. This event opens up a big can of worms. Being unemployed without an answer from the government sucks. I am very concerned about health coverage, so I have started the process of adding him on to my coverage. I hope there are no snarls with that because he's not yet a Canadian resident. At the same time, he can join a health plan for those who are unemployed, but it will be expensive. Something is better than nothing, though, and he must remain covered.

Caly is also having issues. Around 3:30am this morning she started throwing up on the bed. That resulted in us having to get up and change the sheets and blankets. Later in the morning, around 9am, I walked back in the bedroom to discover a big wet spot on the bed. This is the second time recently that that has happened, so we booked an appointment to take her to the vet tomorrow. With her frequent trips to the litter box lately, she may truly have a UTI this time. She has also been throwing up a lot lately. If it is something more serious that requires a lot of money to fix, well... I think you can guess where that might be going.

On the positive side, John is able to spend most of this week with me. He is on paid leave until Thursday, when he has to go back in to do paperwork and find out about his severance package. He had planned to take Friday off as vacation anyway, so effectively he will only work one day this week.

We saw "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" last night, it was a funny movie. I think it is one of those movies that was funny to start with, and will get more funny with repeated watchings. "Oh the weather outside is weather..."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tips for job applicants

  • If you're not going to submit a cover letter, then you'd better tailor your resume to show me that you have the skills required to do the job. Submitting only a resume with only a listing of past jobs, with no description of what you did in those jobs, will not get you an interview.
  • If you list a phone number, and you're hoping for an interview, it may be wise to have voicemail on that number. Hearing "The customer you are calling is unavailable at the moment..." doesn't give me an opportunity to talk to you about an interview, does it? I don't want to email you, as that may result in pestering questions or spam if I'm not interested in hiring you.
  • 5 page resumes that are extremely wordy will not get read.
  • I personally think the categories of "Profile", "Objective", and a generic description of skills & attributes, such as "a great listener", are pretty much useless bull. Your objective is to get a job and pay your bills. If you had higher aspirations, you wouldn't be applying for this position. Of course you're going to describe yourself as wonderful.
  • If your name is Bart Simpson, and the email address on your resume is "thesimpson@gmail.com", then I just think you're a cocky moron. Use something more professional when communicating with employers. Save the "fun" email addresses for your friends.
  • If your "objective" is to "seek employment related to your current field of study", then your current field of study had better match what field I am looking for. You may be the best IT guy in your engineering class, but your actions are not consistent with your words. Reword your resume to match what the job is looking for.
  • Just because you've worked in my company's industry doesn't mean you know anything about IT. Are you sure you're even applying for the right job? Did you even read the requirements in the posting? Don't waste my time!
  • I called one person's phone and got their voicemail. It started off with the generic "Your call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message system. [blank] is not available." In the [blank] should be a voice recording of the person's name. On this person's voicemail, it went something like this: "Your call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message system. [Hey, this is Bart. Leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I can"] is not available." This person can't even figure out how to properly set a voicemail message, and yet he wants a job that involves taking phone calls and answering messages? *shakes head*

It's been fun so far. I'm amazed at how many people just send out generic resumes with no tailoring toward the specific job, or who don't seem to realize how important their contact information is. I'd rather not hire anyone than someone who can't do the basics of what I need. I don't have time to extensively train someone. It's rapidly looking like I may not have an extra body in here this summer.

High, then low

Last week ended on a high note. I managed to find the best deal I could on a dishwasher by calling Lounsburys in Moncton. Not only would they price-match, they also threw in the stemware holder/cup shelf for free, and they had the dishwasher in stock -- no waiting. I asked Dad if he could drive me up to get it, and he helped me install it. It's working great so far, dishes seem to be much cleaner, and I can fit larger things in it.

I attended a house party on Saturday night. It was good for the most part, but a bit too much shop talk for my liking. It made me uncomfortable after a while. Once the intoxication reached a certain level, I lost interest and decided to leave. I was tired after having been up early that morning to go to Moncton. I did have a good time though, and played Wii for the first time. The bowling was fun, once I got the hang of how to use the controller.

I can't remember what I did on Sunday. It wasn't much.

I've been reading Dragonfly In Amber. I'm liking it so far, but starting to find the France parts are dragging, so I hope there is some change-up soon. I won't be able to finish it before I leave on Saturday, so I found a paperback copy at United Bookstore. That will save me from dragging the large hardcover from the library with me in my carry-on.

I haven't even unearthed my luggage yet to pack, and I'm running out of time. Work has been hectic this week, my co-worker has been out sick yesterday and today, I've had meetings, trying to set up interviews with more potential summer students... it's been nuts. I still haven't managed to attack what I must get done before going.

Tai Chi has been going well. I find most Tuesday nights I don't feel like dragging myself out to class, but am usually glad I did by the time class is over. It will be easier when I finish beginner and join the continuing class, as I will have more options during the week to pick from for class times. I think I will also enjoy it more when John is here and we can do it together. I will miss one class while I am away next week. Hopefully I can put in some effort to practice over the next two weeks so I don't lose everything I learned so far.

I'm still thinking pretty strongly about wanting to do a yoga class. Not sure if I want to start now, with lots of other things going on, or wait until the fall.

The location of my annual work conference was announced yesterday as being Key Largo, FL. I have never been to the keys, so it will be interesting, providing I can go. My office is moving sometime around August 1, but if that gets delayed, it may run into September so there is a chance I may not be able to make it. Still up in the air for now. The conference finishes up on my birthday, so I know what I'll be doing for my birthday this year. At least there is a banquet that night.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Disappointments

I put a job offer out to a student who I thought was a lock, and he declined the offer. Now I am back at square one with no prospects. I was really disappointed by this news. I am so overwhelmed with things to do at work. I am now starting to get calls from people wondering why I haven't gotten to their issues yet. I'm doing the best that I can, but I feel that shortly that answer won't be good enough. I thought I'd be ok to go on vacation knowing I had a student ready to start when I got back, but now my vacation may hinder my ability to do interviews. This is really stressing me out, but I am just trying to do one thing at a time and get through.

On Tuesday, I had the repairman in to look at the dishwasher. The conclusion is that the motor was blown. To replace it would cost over $500 (parts & labor). Considering the fact that it is 5-6 years old and out of warranty, it doesn't make much sense to sink that much money into it. I've spent yesterday doing some dishwasher shopping. I didn't have as many choices as I thought I might, but I was limited by wanting a stainless steel interior. I think I have settled on the model I want, which will cost $799. Plus extended warranty, delivery, hookup, and removal of old unit, around $1000. Plus HST. This is not a cheap venture. I have been wanting a new dishwasher for a while now, and don't really want to compromise. I'm just going to have to suck it up. At least my tax refund arrived, and that will pay for $500 of it.

I had been anticipating an invitation to a baby shower for my brother & SIL, and it came this week. Unfortunately, this is being held in Montreal. I've looked at my options and my money situation, but I just don't think I can swing it. My plan had been to pay for my mother and I to go up to the shower, since she couldn't swing that on her own. One ticket, after taxes & fees, will cost $405. Double that and I can tell pretty quickly that I can't afford it right now. I can get one points ticket but not two, so I could send my mother up by herself for under $200; I am still debating that. Since it is being held on the long weekend in May, points seats are scarce. I don't really see driving as an option. I don't have any vacation time left, so I would have to leave Friday night and drive at least halfway to make the noon Saturday party. Gas, hotel... probably not much cheaper than a single plane ticket. All of this, plus I'd have to buy a gift. I just don't see how I can do it, especially with the unknown variable of John's moving costs.

I am really disappointed about not being able to go to the shower. I had planned on making it a nice trip for my mother & I, but I wasn't anticipating a broken dishwasher. As much as I hate to make it sound like a choice, I would have to pick a new dishwasher over a trip to Montreal. I'm just really bummed about it.

I went to the ophthalmologist today. Not a disappointment, seeing as how she said I was in good eye health, but no real reason for Creepy Red Eye™. She suggested I call and come back in when the flare-up happens again, which won't be until its usual November time. She said then she could confirm what was happening. She thought it could be caused by the wood stove, since that is around when I start using it for the season, but who knows. The bad part about this appointment was that I had to have eye drops. It's 3.5h later and I am still returning to normal. My pupils were so dilated that I barely had anything other than pupils visible. I had to get someone to drive me home from work because things were still a bit blurry and I wanted to play it safe. I'll have to go pick my car up later tonight.

So it's been a disappointing week thus far. I hope my luck will turn around next week.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Long week

I'm kicking it old school today, washing all of my dishes by hand. Not something I enjoy doing, but it was a necessity as my dishwasher seems to have stopped functioning. One more thing that happened to cap off a bad week.

Monday morning had me dropping by the hospital with my jug o' urine. My doctor had me on a 24h urine collection, the latest in a bunch of tests to determine what Creepy Red Eye™ is all about. I had to have another blood test after dropping that off, fortunately the nurse heeded my warning to use the butterfly needle. I am headed to see the ophthalmologist on Thursday of this week, and then my GP again next week. Hopefully some answers. My GP says there is something going on with me, but my test results have been inconsistent.

My bad luck began overnight on Monday/Tuesday, when my basement flooded. I came home Tuesday evening after work to a smell I recognized all too well. I spent the next hour picking things up off the floor so they'd dry, and doing some cleanup as best I could. It didn't leave me any time to myself before Tai Chi class, and I ended up dropping by my grandfather's house after class instead of before. I did get to meet his new dog, Max, a golden retriever. Less annoying than the last dog, thankfully. I think I will be able to get along with this dog a bit better.

My Dad came over Wednesday night to help with the basement. He installed a trap on a pipe in one of the bathroom floor holes, so it would drain whenever the water got high enough. He also patched a crack by the door. Thursday night he returned and sealed the 2nd hole in the bathroom. With these changes, *fingers crossed*, I hope to have the issue solved.

Thursday brought a minor annoyance in the death of my watch. I had replaced the battery a week prior, but as I pressed the button to see the light, it flickered and died. On Friday, I took it back to where I bought the battery, tested it, but indeed the watch was dead. They also told me the battery was about 50%... for a week old battery? Next time I'm buying and installing my own battery. They did give me my money back, but I lost some trust there. Leaving the jeweler, I walked down to Zellers to see what they had for watches. I really didn't want to be shopping for a new watch, I liked what I had, and hoped I could find something similar. I did find the same watch, slightly different due to the fact that it's many years after buying the first. I didn't bother to price shop -- I needed a watch, this was the one I wanted, and it was most convenient to get it then & there, so I did. Not a big deal for most people, but for me, that was pretty decisive.

Friday brought a very difficult day at work. I drove to Fredericton with my co-worker to conduct interviews for potential summer students. While there, we became involved in a series of emails that left me seething for the rest of the day. I am still angry about it, two days later. The interviews went ok, but not great, as the students didn't have the skill set we were looking for. The one shining spot of Friday was a phone interview we conducted. I think this may be the student we want, but I have 3 more interviews Monday morning before I make a final decision.

I was supposed to get a haircut Friday night, but my stylist left a day earlier than planned for vacation and neglected to tell me. I luckily had put 2 and 2 together before driving over to the salon, so I didn't waste a trip, at least. I ended up just going home instead. Kind of a let-down after a long, hard day, but I didn't feel much like socializing anyway, and didn't have any reason not to wait a few more days.

Saturday had me going uptown to the market to pick up a baguette for dinner at Suzy's later in the day. I poked around the market, wandered over to Brunswick Square. Noticed that Blue Oasis was closed, I was disappointed to see that. Have they moved, or closed for good? I bought a card at Hallmark, then made my way back to the car and home. I continued reading Outlander for a bit (our current book club selection), and then went to church. I came home, realized the dishwasher had not made any progress while I was gone, and resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to get someone to come over and look at it. I showered, changed, and headed to Suzy's for dinner. I was the first one there, oddly enough. I helped a bit and chatted, just glad to be out of my solitary house for a while.

I am at a strange spot right now, I find. There are times when I have an overwhelming desire to just be home, alone, quiet; yet at the same time, the quiet can seem oppressive and the house too lonely. I haven't been eating well since John left. Food just isn't appealing to me, especially going to the bother of preparing it. I'm sure that's been adding to my stress, but I haven't adjusted my habits yet. While there are times when I want or need to be alone, I'm finding it more difficult to be spending ALL of my time alone. It won't be easy for the two of us to both uproot our lives and live together, when the time finally comes, but I am not sure how much more of this total solitary life I can lead. After the week I've had, I just want to be comforted, and IMs or phone calls just aren't the same.

Back to my story. Saturday night's dinner was really great, the food as well as the company. I felt so much better to be out and with a bunch of friends, talking and laughing, not sitting home by myself with my thoughts. I had a great time.

Today I haven't done much more than read. I finished Outlander, as was my hope when I picked it up this morning. I got absorbed in it, not noticing when it was suddenly an hour and a half later than the last time I looked at the clock. It was intriguing enough to make me want to continue reading the series, and I find after I invest so much of my time in a larger book, I am not usually prepared to leave the characters just yet. I will have to get to the library to pick up the next book, but if it's a large hardcover, I don't necessarily want to start it unless I can finish it in the next 2 weeks, before I go away.

The biggest news of the week dealt with John's job. His division was bought by another company, so as of May 1, he will have a new employer. Unfortunately, this will quash a visit from him in May. I had been debating on visiting him this month, possibly around his birthday (26th), but was leaning toward not doing so until that news arrived. Once I realized I may not get to see him until June, my next trip by plane across the border, I decided 3 months between seeing one another was too long. I asked my Dad for points and was able to book a flight to SoCal on the 19th, returning on the 27th, overnight stay with my brother, then arriving back home on the 28th around lunchtime. That is pretty much the only open week I had, between doctor appointments and work meetings. I can't leave in May with a new student under my wing, so it was now or wait until June.

I am looking forward to some vacation, getting out of my office, seeing my husband, scratching the cat, and enjoying the sunshine. I just wish all of that could be done with the use of transporters instead of 12h worth of flying time. The travel is wearing me down. If John has word on his immigration status by the end of June and is in the process of moving, I am considering skipping my next work meeting. It's in Seattle, and the thought of going all that way for a one-day meeting, without an added visit to John, isn't very exciting. I was in Seattle 2 years ago, saw what I wanted to, and while the city was ok, I don't feel any great desire to put in the long flight to get there just for a day.

I'm feeling despondent tonight in anticipation of work tomorrow. I am not looking forward to the interviews, the decision-making, the other issue that still has me very angry. I'd rather play ostrich. I also don't want to have to get up early. I have to run an errand for my Dad on the way in to work, find time to call the appliance repair shop, and be ready to start an interview at 8:30am. I just need to get through the day as best I can. It likely means I won't sleep well tonight, though. I just wish my husband were here for support. I miss him.

Oddly enough, I miss Caly too. I've never been much of a one for pets, but I seem to have spent enough time with Caly that I found she's grown on me quite a bit. I get the feeling I wouldn't be lonely if she were here, walking by every once in a while for me to scratch, curling up on the back of the couch, or sprawling out on the floor in front of the TV. I have been wondering what she'll think of having so much more room to wander around in and explore. Hopefully she sticks to the litter box though.

Time seems to be running out on my evening. I guess I'd better try to get some sleep and get through Monday in one piece.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Sometimes people actually listen to me

I've been thinking ahead to this summer, where I will enjoy some time outside in our all-too-short season. One of my favorite places to go is the Irving Nature Park. I have frequently seen, on a sign in the park or in the newspaper, various events that are held at the park. Inevitably, I forget to note them somewhere and end up missing out.

This is where Facebook comes in handy. I really like using Facebook to create or join, and attend, events. It conveniently reminds me of all the details in one spot, and helps me keep track of everything. Seeing what events my friends are attending also brings me the potential for new ideas or experiences.

I went searching yesterday for a Facebook group for the Irving Nature Park, but there isn't one. With all of the events they run in the summer and fall, especially for kids, I thought it would be a perfect fit. I emailed them yesterday to suggest it, and heard back from them today. They told me they did not currently have a FB page, but thought it was a great suggestion and would forward it on to the park manager.

Hopefully they decide to follow through and create a page and events.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

All but one

I have been working away at changing my fundy.net email address to a new address I set up. I've been through every website and newsletter I can think of, and I am down to one remaining site that needs to be changed. Ironically, it is Rogers.com, the very company who is shutting down my address and making me go through all this hassle in the first place. Their website is horrible and has no noticeable way to change my username (which is currently my old email). Even help/FAQ did not yield any answers. I sat on the phone for at least 30 minutes trying to talk to someone, then gave up and decided to email instead.

Bastards.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Things I learned this weekend

About Tupperware:
  • It's a Thatsa bowl, not Thasta. I wonder how many times I've embarrassed myself by saying the wrong name. A bit of dyslexia there.

About JCS (I watched the commentary with Ted Neeley and Norman Jewison):
  • The costumes for the guards are supposed to be a mix of past & present. The cammo pants & combat boots are to represent ties to today, the purple tank tops are "Roman purple" since they are Roman guards, and the helmets were chrome so they'd shine. I think they were a little off when it came to Roman purple.
  • The tank scene is supposed to be signifying Judas making his decision and they drive him toward it.
  • Ted Neeley did such a good job at trashing the marketplace that they only had two takes of that scene before too many of the props were broken. Luckily they got everything they needed in two takes.
  • All of the ruins were actually there, and even some of the scaffolding. They added a bit more scaffolding, grew the grass for Gethsemane, but added very little to the set.
  • The choreographer fell down the stone amphitheatre and was badly injured. He had surgery in Jerusalem and then had to be flown back to the US on a stretcher.
  • The final scene was supposed to just be the sunset and cross. The shepherd and sheep were unintentional, but "came from out of nowhere" into the shot and Jewison left it in the final cut.
  • Ted Neeley met his wife on the set, though they didn't start dating until after the movie was finished.
  • During Simon Zealotes, the dancers were working in 110-115°F (43-46°C) heat and could really only work for 30-40 seconds at a time.
  • Jewison did a voiceover for the third man to deny Peter

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Attachments

Throughout our lives, we form attachments to things. They become part of our everyday lives, settling in to our subconscious as we take them for granted. One of those things, for me, has been my email address.

I picked it out when our local cable company (my Dad was a VP there at the time) was just beginning to set themselves up as an ISP. This meant I had my pick of addresses, and thus was able to get liz@. I am trying to remember how long I've had this address, I think I had it when I left university, so at least 11 years, likely a bit longer. I just found out today that the bank of address domains to which I belong is being shut down at the end of March.

This poses a big problem for me. I use this address for everything other than person-to-person communication. I now need to go to every website I can possibly think of where I may have registered and change my address. Some websites will only recover lost passwords by emailing the registered account -- which, after the end of the month, I won't be able to do.

I'm angry that I wasn't given any warning about this change. I could have phased it out over time, given the opportunity. Now I have to fit these changes into a two week span. Argh.

No longer will I have that "really easy to remember" address, and that bothers me. I guess I knew this day would come eventually, but to only know about it 15 days before is so frustrating. I don't want to be forced into this change because Rogers doesn't want to keep up the old domain.

I now have to decide what to do. Do I move everything to an existing address, or create a new address just for this purpose?

I don't need this. I don't want to deal with this. In a small way, I feel like I am losing part of my history. Things change whether I want them to or not, so I guess I don't have any choice but to deal with it. It just pisses me off that I am now inconvenienced by another large corporate decision.