Month: January 2007

Boxed.

My new landlord called me last evening to let me know when the tenant in my new apartment plans to be out of there today, so now, delightfully, I know when I can get the keys, have a look around, and start The Move. (After Chris and I try ONCE AGAIN to complete the account changes with Rogers that we need to do.)

Andrew asked me if I was excited. I don’t really understand the question. Why would I be excited? I am glad I found a place in the area where I want to live, that’s clean and bright and has reasonable rent. That’s a relief, though, nothing to get excited about.

But leaving the place that’s been my home for over six years? Making endless phone calls and inquiries and filling out forms and driving around to get my address changed? Dealing with the pains in the ass of sorting, tossing, packing, fixing, and cleaning? Not being able to take what are for all intents and purposes my pets, too, with me? Living alone when I already know it’s not particularly good for me psychologically? Moving into a place with a million unknowns about the apartment, the building, the neighbours, the landlord, and the surrounding neighbourhood?

I don’t understand why I would be excited about these things, about moving. Perhaps it’s because I’m not one of those people who runs headlong at change, welcomes the unknown, and thrives on chaos and uncertainty. I like organized, I like having a handle on situations, I like having a fat, orange cat curled up in bed beside my head.

Maybe if I was moving into a house that I owned it would be different (I don’t want a house yet). Maybe if I wasn’t going to be living alone (I don’t want to live alone in a house, either). Maybe if I already owned all the furniture, rugs, art, and dishes I want and would immediately be able to invite friends over for dinner or just to veg out on the couch and drink wine.

Maybe, bottom line, I am not excited about moving because it is, end to end, an exercise in all things grownup. And with the exception of the time that I was dealing with my brother’s life (and thus it was much easier because it wasn’t about me) that’s a label I’ve never worn comfortably. Good as I am at taking care of other people, I get really tired of being the only one who takes care of me sometimes.

A Directory of Wonderful Things (not affiliated with BoingBoing)

Things with which I have recently become enamoured:

Blundstones – I bought a pair of the Original #500 style in brown a few weeks ago. I’ve wanted a pair for years, and regret not having bought a pair of “Blunnies” when in Sydney. I put them on and started wandering around the apartment, doing my thing, and from the get go they literally felt like I had owned them for years. (It helps that they’re unisex sizes, so generally wider than women’s shoes.) And for those who know anything about my “special” feet and my shoe problems, that is one helluva testimonial. Since they’ve gotten broken in a bit and don’t look quite so stiff and new now, I love them even more, and I never plan to be without a pair of these again.

Kashi – Many thanks to Dana for this one. I have now tried several of their cereals, granola bars, crackers, and malted rolls, and have not eaten a single product that wasn’t fantastic. It all tastes good, the cereals fill me up, and it’s all organic-o-riffic. (And not a drop of high fructose corn syrup to be found…) There were certainly more varieties available in the US than at my local Zehrs, but I can manage. Not even that much more expensive than your major brands.

Lansinoh – Okay, there’s nothing wrong with my nipples, but huge kudos to Robyn for this recommendation. This stuff is basically a tube of pure lanolin, and it’s like WD-40 for your body. Elbows, hands, lips, you name it (and, presumably, nipples). It is, of course, a tad greasy (so don’t forget the “moisture gloves”). But it will leave your bits so soft your skin almost won’t feel human. And really, who doesn’t want to feel like VixSkin? (That link isn’t really work-safe.)

Vosges Chocolate – More organic goodness. Dana got the Red Fire Exotic bar, but I’d already gotten a chili/chocolate hot chocolate and didn’t want to double up, so I got the Barcelona Exotic bar, mostly because I’m fond of chocolate with nuts, but also because I was curious about chocolate and salt. Definitely yum. The mixture of flavours both set each other off and blend well. The semi-milk chocolate was nice, and had a certain creaminess, but would have been just as good in a darker version. And really, could there be any better snack to appease the gods of PMS? (Aside from, perhaps, chocolate-covered bacon…)

Innis & Gunn Oak Aged Beer – Kudos to Mark for this one, suggested during a discussion of Mill St. Coffee Porter (which is also quite tasty, was also recommended by Robyn, and reminds me a fair bit of dark or bittersweet chocolate — really nice when you’re curled up with a book). Anyway, Andrew is a crack smoking monkey, cuz he made some bizarre comment about this smelling like pickles. It does not, not that that would be a bad thing. Mmm… pickles… Anyway, the flavour is clean and well-balanced (most welcome given the number of hop-o-riffic beers I’ve had lately), and delightfully devoid of aftertaste. Perhaps most telling, however, I finished it before it got warm. I very rarely manage to do that. If only it came in 12s or two-fours…

Poke

I had to get blood drawn for some tests this morning, and when I rolled up my sleeve the lab tech commented that my arm “has sure taken a beating”. I told her both arms looked like that, the result of a couple/few dozen blood donations. I heal well, but I do scar like the wind.

(more…)

Ella.

I upgraded WordPress. A cursory glance leaves me casually confident that things are okay.

Holler if you see anything particularly pear-shaped.

Nothing to fear, but…

Had an amusing and flattering chat with a co-worker on Friday. He recounted to me a conversation he had had with another co-worker. (They’re both on the committee for a company-wide project that’s been rolled out. I perceived a number of problems with the project as outlined and executed, so I submitted some unsolicited suggestions for improvement to the project roll-out.)

Apparently, these co-workers both love me, and they think I’m fearless. Flattering, and a bit amusing (in that I am well aware that the co-worker who was talking to me dislikes me at least some of the time).

That I am fearless is also wrong, I think. Yes, I speak my mind. No, I don’t care to whom my thoughts will be presented. Yes, I am confident that what I say is valuable (otherwise I wouldn’t bother). No, I don’t care that my comments will not be anonymous. Suggestions for the project, and, presumably, my input, are supposed to be “temporarily anonymous” — don’t ask — but frankly, it’s next to impossible for anything I submit in writing at work to be anonymous, since my vocabulary and writing abilities pretty readily give me away. My co-worker noted as much and apologized that there wasn’t really anything he could do about that.

What I told my co-worker was this: I have no idea what it would take to get fired there. Pretty much everywhere else I’ve worked I’ve known exactly what it would take. And at the really fun companies, the answer is “nothing”. Good times… Those environments require a great deal more skill and mental acuity from the average plebe. Favour to curry, politics to manoeuvre, and daily figuring out how low down you need to keep your head at any particular time.

I also seem to have a better grasp than most people there about who and what really drives the bus, and how much influence us plebes really have (i.e. not much). I’d had a previous off-the-record conversation with the same co-worker, who’d noted that several of my suggestions had been brought up in the planning meetings for the project (i.e. before I’d submitted my input), but they had been diluted, discussed to death, shot down, or just generally committee’d into oblivion by the time the project plan was finalized. And at the end of the day, the project plan ended up being mostly about what the CEO thought was a good idea.

Hmm. Perhaps, then, I am not fearless because I speak my mind. Perhaps I am fearless because I am willing to pipe up and say to a group of people whose job (not surprisingly) turned out to be ignoring their own common sense and basically writing down what the CEO said, that they were right in the first place. 🙂

Culling the past

Just finished going through a stuffed plastic folder containing sheaves of old letters.

I am currently entertained by how much snail mail I used to get… from invisible internet friends. Ahh, irony. There is only one letter from a person of whom I have no recollection. I was a bit surprised by how many there were from a couple people I don’t recall being all that close to.

Also, does everyone write that much (bad) poetry, or just the people I knew? Crikey.

And really, it’s always nice to read that you’re smart, beautiful, funny, missed, desired, and loved… even if it was a decade ago…