Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I'm throwing a pity party and everyone's invited

Yup... like the title says, I'm throwing a pity party. I'm doing this here to serve a couple of purposes... I'm hoping if I blog it, I'll get it out of my system quickly and be able to move on and function somewhat normally for the rest of the day/week/month/undetermined period of time. I'm also going to own up to something.

So... an old friend, part of a group with whom I had a falling out 3 years ago and the only one who seems willing to get over it and be civil (nay, even occaisionally friendly) has just announced she's pregnant. 11 weeks. Conceived on her honeymoon.

I'm thrilled for her. Honest I am.

But at the same time I'm a wee bit bummed. Why? Because (and here comes the owning up... cherish it, there will likely be no further references to it)... we've been trying for a considerable amount of time and we're having difficulties. The kind of difficulties that require significant intervention. The kind of difficulties that lead to being heartbrokenly jealous in the midst of being happy for someone else. I imagine I'll go through something similar in a couple of weeks when I go to another friend's baby shower.

So, now on to bigger and better things... A couple of weeks ago, I started a 'letter writing campaign'. No, not petitioning companies and governments to mend their ways and stop doing things I object to... 'cuz I generally only do that when I think it might amount to something (I'm something of a champion 'letter of complaint' writer ;) )... but social letter-writing. That lost art involving actual pens, actual paper, and actual envelopes! It all started with a group of gals online who were looking for 'pen pals'... so I joined the fray and now have 3 pen pals on there (I've written to 2 of them so far)... and that got me thinking about an old friend with whom I shared letters for a 4 month-stretch back in '94 (13 years ago... what an oddly appropriate number *laugh*)... so I wrote to him, too (having recently reconnected with him thanks to FaceBook). Well, last week I got my first pen pal letter in the mail... and I see from a facebook status that there's a good chance I'll be getting a letter from my old friend, too :) That put a smile on my face this morning... it's so nice to get mail that's not a bill or junk... and it's even nicer to look forward to hearing from an old friend in a real letter... not some hastily typed short email or wall post or online message of any kind, but a real letter... written on real paper with real ink. Maybe it's just because I'm crazy, but I think there's far more of a connection with someone if you're writing actual letters that require thought and planning and effor than if you're just using electronic media.

Anyway... I'll focus on the prospects of lots of fun mail over the next while to distract me from the pity party ;)

Have a great one, folks! (assuming anyone actually reads this damn thing)

Monday, July 30, 2007

When did the weekends get so short?

Another weekend over. Another week begins. I remember when Monday used to arrive and Friday was a dim memory... lately it seems like Monday arrives on the heels of Friday and the weekend is a figment of imagination. Even on the weeks when D ISN'T working on Saturday and we actually have a full weekend together *sigh*

This weekend, for all that it was alarmingly short, was actually a decent one.

Saturday we went to a surprise party for the husband half of a 'couple' friendship... his "big 3-0"... I think we qualify as old now... D's 30th was last year... mine was 3 years ago... ah well, I'm told that life goes on, so I'll just roll with it *laugh*

Yesterday we finally got back to the zoo... haven't been there since March, I think? It sucks, we got memberships, we live closer than we did a year ago, and we hardly ever manage to get there. But Sunday morning we got up decently early, grabbed the cameras, and headed off on a hunt. I'm disappointed with most of my pictures, although D assures me I've got some good shots... I think I've got camera envy *laugh* But... I'll have to make do for a while yet. I suppose I can always borrow D's camera if there's something I especially want to get. (how the heck did 2 people end up with 5 decent cameras in addition to a couple of 'idiot proof' point and shoots? 2 film SLRs, 2 digital SLRs, and a higher-end digital point-and-shoot... and this is just an occasional hobby! Hell, we go to weddings and events and leave the camera in the car if we even remember to bring the damn thing with us *laugh*)

Next major hunting expedition? September up North. We're going to a cottage camp North of Manitoulin Island... near Whitefish Falls if that means anything to you... close to Killarney Park. Gorgeous area, and I'm hoping we'll get some fall colours while we're there, so keep your fingers crossed! Even if we don't get fall colours though, I'm looking forward to shooting up there... there are some absolutely outstanding landscapes with all that rock and water :)

And now I'm back at work... where hopefully by the end of the week I'll have a job description *laugh*

Friday, July 27, 2007

Potentially busted...

So, stupid me, it has JUST dawned on me that my own asigned SGF may read this blog... so if you do and you've now figured out my secret identity... I'm sorry :( But I'm still having a blast sending you stuff, so do me a favour and let me maintain the illusion that you don't know who I am? Thanks *laugh*

I'm looking forward to next month... I've got me a new SGF assignment, so I might actually get stuff! Not that I wasn't already looking forward to next month... 2 birthdays, a baby shower, and CIRQUE! (so far)

Anyhoo... off to rip my hair out over this damned campaign. When am I going to find out who I can pass it all off to???? I wanna know NOW!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Flakey - part 2

Well.... contrary to expectations... blogging yesterday didn't miraculously make a parcel show up. And still none today. I have, however, confirmed the identity of the girl who's supposed to be sending me things, and I know she's got time to play on facebook, so one would think she'd have time to write a card and mail it, or say something on the forums. But no.

So today I posted something in the thread devoted to this 'game'. I mean, I don't want to add to anyone's stress levels, especially someone who's getting married in just over a month, but it sucks being told to expect something in the mailbox that doesn't show up.

At least with the pen-pals thing I have decently low expectations... it's more casual, the commitment is just to write sometimes. And I've already gotten my first pen pal communication, and hope to get at least one next week, too. I've sent a few things off into postal limbo... I know one of them got where it was going, so I expect another one did as well (it remains to be seen if that one will yield any response, though, it was more of an unsolicited contact and I'm not 100% sure it's a welcome one *shrug* Oh well... life... I hear it goes on).

So... now I wait. Do I get contact? Do I get reassigned? Do I pretend it doesn't bug me and just take pleasure in sending stuff to my own assignment? (which reminds me, I need to send another one tomorrow so I know it'll get there before the end of the month... August will be a busy month for both of us, but I don't want to get all slacker on the girl... she's much too fun to send stuff to :)

And, on a completely different topic... I, yet again, want to strangle the over-zealous dumbass who clipped Chloe's claws before we got her. Whoever it was cut them too short (I expect they bled and caused the poor snuggle-monster pain), and now she gets very stressed and twitchy when I try to clip her claws. She did well tonight... I got 4 (of 10) done before she started pulling her paws away, flinching, and growling. Guess I'll try for the other 6 another time... or two times... or 6 times... *sigh* Poor kitten is sticking to the carpet in the basement, though, so it's got to be done soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Flakey people suck

So... one of the online forums I'm involved with has a "secret girl friend" (SGF) exchange going on. It was set to start June 1st and run 'til the end of the year. Everyone who signed up was assigned someone to send to and was in turn assigned to someone else, so everyone should be both sending and receiving... 2 cards and one 'gift' (target range $5 - 10, but discretionary) per month.

Now, some gals jumped the gun and started in May as soon as assignements were out, but the official start was June 1st. I've been having a blast sending cards and little things to my SGF... and while part of that is finding things to send her (which is far more fun than I expected), part of it is her very enthusiastic online response when she gets something. She, as far as I know, has no idea who is sending things to her, and although I might send a clue or two, I don't plan on revealing myself until Christmas.

I, on the other hand have recieved absolutely nothing. Not a card. Not a 'gift'. Nothing. And I'm pretty sure I know who has me. Apparently her June gift got sent back to her because she had the wrong address. And rather than re-send it, she figured she'd add to it for July. So I've had some "private messages" in my account on that site asking what kind of books I like and telling me that she now had a shoebox full of stuff to send. She also said she'd mail it last Tuesday. Now, unless she's in a VERY rural area, the Canada Post delivery standard for inside the province is a maximum 4 days. And I suspect this gal is in the Ottawa area... not exactly VERY rural (by VERY rural, we're talking float-plane to get there). So if it was mailed on Tuesday, it should have gotten to me on Friday... yesterday at the latest if she missed the Tuesday pick-up. Nada.

OK... so I was willing to let June slide... apparently she was going through some stuff. When July rolled around without even a card, though, I was getting discouraged. Now that we're in the last full week of July and I haven't gotten jack, I'm beyond discouraged and firmly entrenched in peeved. OK, I understand that life gets in the way sometimes and putting together a parcel is one of those things that can easily be let slide... but c'mon... it takes 5 minutes to write a card, address it, slap a stamp on it, and shove it in a mailbox. In 7 days she'll be 4 cards and 2 parcels behind on her commitment. That's just kinda flakey. And irritating since if it's who I think it is, she's been getting stuff from her SGF.

So now, the dilemma. Do I PM her and say "WTF? Did it get 'lost' again?"... or do I PM the organizer and say "can you let my SGF know that she can save her postage 'cuz I don't want to keep hoping for something in my mailbox if she's not going to send anything"?

Of course, now that I've written this, there should be something in my mailbox tonight, right? Isn't that how this works? *sigh*

Friday, July 20, 2007


Yup... another week over. And not a moment too soon! I'm tellin' ya, this whole "who do I work for? What's my job now? Who do I pass all this other stuff on to?" schtick is getting old really fast!

Had a meeting today to iron out some details of a campaign that I likely will not be seeing through to launch. It's going live in about 6 weeks, and I expect by then I'll be well and truly in the new job. Of course, my expectations have veered wide of reality on more than one occasion, so anything's possible, I suppose.

It's been a busy week for not being at home, too.

Monday night I went with Mom out to the airport to see my aunt off on her way back across the pond.
Tuesday night was Shannon's weekly gathering of fun and fabulous gals (odd... I never really liked hanging out with gals until quite recently... but these Chiquitas are hilarious and awesome!)...
Wednesday D and I went out for dinner and discussion and then ended up at a garden centre looking at very very very cool plants to get ideas for our garden and sunroom (likely not to see fruition until next year, but that's ok)...
last night I was actually home! And spent a goodly portion of the evening (having first exposed large hunks of red meat to flames in the preparation of dinner. Mmmm.... steak *drool*) preparing the rest of the gooseberries for the making of yet more jam on Saturday.

Tonight, in keeping with a week of dinners out, I'm meeting TifF (from way back in UW Residence days) for dinner. I haven't seen the girl for a few years (I don't think D and I were married yet, but we were together... so that would put it at late fall 2002, I think) and last time we chatted she was headed to London (England, not Ontario). So I was a wee bit surprised to find she's in Toronto at the moment (for another month or so). This should be interesting.

Tomorrow... a day of jam-making... present wrapping, and bag packing. Followed by a drive out to Bustling New Hamburg. Sunday, then, will be some small relaxation, the likely conclusion of my first sewing project, and D's nephew's birthday party (I suppose I really should start calling him my nephew... he's been mine my marriage for nearly 4 years now *laugh*).... then the long drive through cottage country traffic back to Outer Scarberia to collapse into bed and wake up to a brand new week of work-related insanity.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why does summer have to be so darned expensive?

This is insanity! Why does everything seem to happen in summer?

It starts in May with Mother's Day (x2) and a family birthday.... June... 2 family birthdays and Father's Day (x2)... July... 3 family birthdays, and this year a friend's birthday, too (it's a significant number, it must be marked!)... next month we've got a baby shower, D's birthday, my birthday, Cirque du Soleil (paid for last fall... but possibly another show which we don't have tickets for but really want to see... which will also involve considerable travel time since it's in London, ON and we're in Toronto). In fact, between Canada Day and mid-August (well, the 18th, really), there isn't a single week without at least one event requiring expenditure!

Don't get me wrong... I love showering the people I care about with gifts and sieze every opportunity to do so... but summer's also when all the house expenses creep up... what with buying plants for the garden and sunroom, and looking into repairs and improvement projects, and the Bug and all... why it sneaks up on us every year, I don't know, but there you go *sigh*

Madness, I say! ;) not that it stops me from buying fun things for people, or going out for dinner with friends... altough really it probably should. Many things are changing at work, but sadly my salary isn't one of them *laugh*

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

And yet again I say...

... I suck at blogging/journalling/stuff like this.

So... let's see if I can capture the highlights of the past couple of weeks.

My aunt (well, one of them... one of the twins) came over from Ireland. She was going to some liturgical musicians' conference that Dad was going to, so they (along with Mom and the director of the group I sing with at church) all drove down together. Much fun was had by all accounts. And when they got back, I showed off our still-relatively-new-to-us home. Much oooh-ing and aaaah-ing :)

I decided as a belated birthday present for my Mom that I'd go get some gooseberries at our local pick-your-own farm and make her some gooseberry jam. She grew up with gooseberry bushes in the bottom of the garden and her mom used to make jam every year, so there's a nostalgia aspect. So... 2.5 hours, 4 mosquito bites, a dozen or so bad scratches (those things have inch-long spikes on the stems!), and many sore muscles later, I had two small baskets of berries. Then began the "topping and tailing" of them... taking off the stems and the extra bit at the bottom. Talk about time consuming! But it's for Mom, so I'm happy to do it. And today.... today I finally made the jam. Well, the first batch, anyway. The recipe I've got makes a batch using about 1/3 of the berries, so I've got another 2 batches to go. I will say this, though... I tried a berry on it's own... not a big fan, but the jam's quite tasty!

We had a shake-up at work. Figures. Less than 6 months on the job and we go through a re-org. Not just a re-org, though, a re-org that has myself, my team-mate (W) and our boss (J) moving to work for another manager. Indeed, one that has our team dissolved so that neither W nor I report to J any more. So, after 2 weeks of wondering who I work for, or even what I do, I found out on Monday that I'm actually not going to the other senior manager with W and J. I'm staying put in a new role that doesn't have a title or a mandate as of yet, reporting to someone who hasn't been hired yet. So, I still don't know who I report to or what I do, but at least I don't have to pack my desk *laugh*.

I must say, I'm looking forward to handing off a few of the things I've got on the go... one in particular is causing me unnecessary angst and I won't be sorry to see it go to someone else. My concern (because of my warped sense of responsibility) is that it's a fairly large campaign that's going to be a rush job (for various reasons) and it's set to launch either August 31st or September 4th (long weekend). So I really need to keep working on that until I know who'll be taking it over. Annoying. My other projects are less urgent, but I'd like to hand them off soon rather than get sucked too far into them. So here's hoping that the new org chart comes out today.

Dad had his 60th birthday while they were away... so when they got back we had a big dinner out. 10 people total. Fancy schmancy restaurant (Duncan House, if you know it).

Been hitting Shannon's Tuesday Night Distraction Club with decent regularity. It's good for some laughs with a great group of gals... and it gets me out of the house. Last night 3 of us had dinner at La Papillon... yummy crepes!

My primary chat forum is doing a 'secret girlfriend' exchange. Everyone's got an assignement and we send 2 cards and 1 'gift' per month. We're in month #2 now... I'm having a blast sending stuff to my gal. Just sent my second package to her yesterday, and Canada Post tell me she should get it tomorrow. Yay! In return I've gotten.... nothing yet. Not a card, even. That kinda sucks. I mean, I understand that life gets in the way sometimes and packages might not get sent (or might get sent with the wrong address, apparently)... but it takes 5 minutes to write a card and shove it in a mailbox. :( So, in order to assure I get something in the mail that's not a bill or junk, I've also arranged a few pen-pals ;) Should be fun.

Nik came over on Sunday for a few hours. Saw the new place. Met Chloe. Oddly, Chloe and Grimm seemed to switch roles for her visit. Grimm was very social with her (even gave her some "kisses").... while Chloe wanted nothing to do with her! Very odd.

Our other little project has hit a fairly significant snag, so it's on hold for a month or so while we figure out how we want to deal with that.

We've finally got all the dead stuff cleared out of the sun-room... and we bought a hibiscus to plant in the one spot that still needs clearing (some funky palm-type thing that's just gone crazy... it grew horizontal before I started to go vertical, and as a result, it's taking up entirely too much space and really can't be 'fixed'... so it's going to get chucked).

And that's about it. Next up... BJ's birthday party this Sunday, then a surprise party not too far distant to prep for and a baby shower in August. Plus D's birthday and my own (which I'd happily ignore if I was allowed *laugh*)

So... I think that's it... caught up. Now if only I could remember to update a bit more often it might be more entertaining... and maybe, just maybe people would read the damn thing! *laugh*