Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The Honourable Member for Winnipeg South, Rod Bruinooge is reportedly the head of a secret parliamentary committee that appears to be aiming to criminalize abortion.
That is wrong.
A woman should never, ever be required to carry a fetus to term, if she is unwilling or unable. I don't care if the woman in question is 17 or 57. If she doesn't want it, or is unable to care for it, or is the victim of unspeakable violence, a woman should not have to risk her life to bear a child she does not want or is unable to care for.
Period. End of discussion.
If I were pregnant, and felt that termination was my only (and right) choice, I would want to have the procedure in a safe environment.
Criminalizing abortion will not end abortion. It will just send abortion procedures and providers underground or south of the border. Mr. Bruinooge, you've got some 'splaining to do. You can expect my letter shortly.
Either abortion remains legal, or you (and I mean you, Mr. Bruinooge) can bear the next unwanted baby that comes around. Then, maybe (and that's a big maybe) you can tell me what to do with my body.
Seeing how much joy they got from sitting around and yakking with me for a couple hours makes me think that it is something I should do more often. Really, it wasn't really that much time out of my life, to drive an hour down the road and make two old fogies insanely happy. It's the rest of the family that drives me crazy. I actually like my grandparents.
And did we ever talk. We talked about the gang problem in the inner city, violence in Africa, how I'm doing at work, the differences in accounting designations, knitting, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and acoustics, how Anglican services are strange but nice (they are soooo not Anglican, and neither am I), how Christmas was nice because they had holopchi and borscht, not turkey and dressing. We talked about their children (one of whom is my mother), plans for their funerals, genealogy. We talked about just about everything.
They spent a great deal of time talking about how interesting it was that my brothers are such engaged fathers. They were baffled by seeing a father jump up and take his two-year-old daughter to the bathroom when she yelled "PEE!" at the top of her lungs (it would be terrible to get the Dora panties dirty, doncha know).
I told my grandparents that I expected no less of my brothers.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Dad: You're right. You know, I was doing...(a job, on a thing that I don't understand) and I was talking to this nice young fellow (whose expertise is also a thing that I don't understand) and he gave me this doohickey.... and then he asked me to make some other doohickey (by the way, my dad is a blacksmith, and a damn fine one) and I told him that was a fair exchange. The fellow said no. I gave you a gift. I want to pay you for the doohickeys.
Me: Dad. You just received a gift. You don't value yourself enough. You are a good man. You are deserving of gifts.
Dad: Oh, well, I just like to work hard...
Me: Dad. Shut Up. You deserve a gift.
Yes. Dad. You deserve gifts. You are a good man. You are the best man in my life. Don't sell yourself short. Please.
Me: And guess what? Jesus was probably black!
Dad: Yeah, and honestly, being born in a stable was a blessing! That was divine intervention. It was quiet, without the drink and the gambling, and nice clean straw is better than whatever passed for a bed in the day.
Aaaw Dad. I agree that Jesus was a pretty cool guy. No argument on the hygiene either. That's a pretty sweet perspective. Makes me want to believe.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
I don't know this story (I remember a story about sentient brown wrapping paper), but when one of my Ravelry peeps put the call out for destinations, I responded. Here's a diary of how Flat Stanley and I spent our Saturday (frankly, it was nice to have company).
Flat Stanley was disgustingly under-dressed, but Saturday was a nice day - only -16C, with the wind chill making it -33C. That's the nicest day we've had for a week, here in WinterPeg.
We started off at Portage and Main, a well-known landmark. It is the windiest corner, well, anywhere as far as I know. What makes it special is that this corner was immortalized in a song (Prairie Wind) written by Randy Bachman and performed by Neil Young (there's sound, so be warned when you click those links):
Stanley was unimpressed that this famous intersection is not pedestrian-friendly. We had to go underground to cross the street.
Then Stanley decided that he was under-caffeinated, so we stopped at the Canadian landmark that is on every god-damn corner, and got ourselves a coffee.
I took pity on poor Stanley, and we spent a few moments indoors. We checked out the statue of Timothy Eaton (and rubbed his toe for good luck, as is tradition):
Sadly, though, it was back outdoors, down Memorial Boulevard to have his photo taken in front of the Manitoba Legislative Building. He very kindly included me in the photo:
At that point, I looked at my watch, and realized we were going to be late for my shift at the yarn shop. So, we hoofed it down the road.
Stanley was not impressed with what a country girl like me considers a nice stroll:
He was all “fuck that shit, I’m not getting out of this bag, lady, you enjoy yourself.” So, I did:
I took pity on him for a moment, but then made him get out of my bag to have his picture taken in front of the oldest curling club in Winnipeg. Curling is an adults-only sport if there ever was one – until recently, smoking and drinking were allowed on the ice. Sadly, I never got the hang of it.
He was much more comfortable in the yarn shop. He warmed up with the Freedom Wool and Malabrigo worsted:
After my shift, we flew home, and relaxed for a bit. With wine and a smoke:
Stanley is a mooch. He was bumming smokes the whole time.
But, soon, it was time to head off to the pub(s).
We ran into Santa:
And a naughty Santa he was! He spanked me, because apparently, I have not been a good girl. Seemed to be good buds with Stan, too.
And we found some buddies:
Well, Stanley and I got home about 3:30 AM, and needless to say, the two of us were useless Sunday. But, we had a wonderful time with all my peeps!
I think I need some downtime. I don’t think I can handle the pace when Stanley’s around.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I received my bonus today. It is much larger than expected (actually, I didn't expect one at all).
No raise, and I am "management" and therefore earning at a level where a cost of living raise isn't warranted. Cool. No biggie. I'd lose it all to tax and increased pension contributions anyway.
More good news:
Boss Man wants to pay all my education costs, even the university program I didn't get into and the repeat courses. Given the associated tax deductions, I'll probably come out ahead.
So, all this money is seriously burning a hole in my pocket. All the things I've wanted or needed over the past couple months can happen.
- Ipod (though the existing one has recovered, with the exception of the back light)
- Work shoes
- Bras (sometimes, being a girl sucks. Underwear is expensive, and the girls are getting to the age where they need a little help)
- SAD lamp
- Lighter winter coat (for, you know, the not-quite-so-miserable days)
Or, I could just clear my overdraft. Which is probably what I will do. Sigh. I really would prefer yarn, books and CDs. Or go to Sock Summit 2009.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Ten (yes, 10!) people have left in the past month. More have lodged formal complaints about a certain manager that prompted me to make my own career move, more than a year ago.
Incompetent people are being promoted. Talented people have left.
Boss Lady is retiring early, sacrificing valuable pension contributions, in order to escape the toxicity.
I'm sending Jr. all my HR contacts in the morning. Everyone deserves fruitful, rewarding work, in a workplace that is healthy. My girl doesn't have that now.
If I was hiring, she'd come and work for me.
Construction Inc. is a very, very good place to be. Wouldn't trade it for anything right now, even though the walk from the bus stop in -40C weather is not pleasant.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I was running out the door when I heard, "I hope you blog about it!"
Clearly, this blog has been lacking the funny and stupid lately. I think I can help y'all out with that.
First, the funny:
Star Wars: The Saga Begins (by Weird Al Yankovic)
Embedding is disabled, so you must click that link. That's going to be my next karaoke song. It will be awesome (also, how did I not know about this until yesterday? I love it!).
Second, the stupid:
I was in bossman's office last Friday, admiring his ipod.
I have an ipod. Nothing wrong with it. Bossman's ipod was just newer and nicer. I said that I wanted a new one, but couldn't justify it, because there was nothing wrong with mine.
Flash to Monday morning: I've sent my ipod through the washing machine and the dryer.
It may recover. It may not. I might be getting that new ipod. Twice the capacity, half the price of what I paid, three years ago. Technology sucks.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Clearly, it's not perfect - I did drop a couple stitches (see upper left), but still, five minutes!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
I've been very distracted, this past week, by the sound of Newsworld in the background as I've been trying to study (I finally gave up and shut it off. After the Governor General's decision).
I have a few things to say:
Mr. Harper: You are a bully. Stop it, or I will take your toys away from you and send you home. Don't make me speak to your wife.
Liberal Party of Canada: Either get behind your leader, Mr. Dion, or dump him. You pick.
Mr. Layton: This is as close as you and your party are going to get to having a real voice in Parliament. Don't screw it up.
Mr. Duceppe: Can I move to Quebec? How's the farming out there? I'd like to bring my family with me. All 10 of them.
Ms. Jean: I don't envy you. I don't think you made the right decision, but you made a careful decision.
I am quite disgusted with all of the parties right now. I usually like minority governments. I certainly didn't like the last one. This one's not shaping up much better.
I'm not as freaked out about the economy as others are. Mostly because I think it's a long overdue correction. I'm sitting pretty, in a house that I bought at a reasonable price and I go every day to a job that compensates me well and isn't disappearing anytime soon. And if it does disappear, I'm in the right industry - accountants are always in demand. We deliver bad news, and we are good at it. Furthermore, I'm not planning on retiring for another 30 years, so I'm not worried about the hit I've taken on my investment portfolio.
But that doesn't mean that I'm not worried about my fellow Canadians. The ones who are working in manufacturing and forestry, and don't have the skills to move into other industries. The ones who hoped to retire, and just watched the retirement kitty tank. The ones who just got a good job, and might lose it now, because we are all freaking out.
To all of us: Please, stop freaking out! Let's take every day as it comes (I'm looking at you, market investors) and not have an extreme reaction every time it looks like a financial forecast or 3rd quarter results might not be as rosy as you predicted.
You know, we brought this on ourselves. We got used to high returns, so traders bought and sold, to inflate the commissions and make it look like there was exceptional portfolio growth. And executives responded, by devising new instruments to finance investment that wasn't needed, except to satisfy market expectations.
Who is the market? I am. You are. The $50 or $100 every payday that is sent into a mutual fund. The 4% of your gross salary contributed to your pension (did you know that the biggest investor in Canada is the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan?). We are the investors demanding the increased returns and inflated stock prices. We brought this on ourselves. And those companies delivered. They manufactured cheap, inferior consumer products that we bought. On credit. Because we wanted nice shiny things. Just to have.
It's time to pay the piper, and I don't think anyone has figured out that we are in the band.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
To show them how much I know... wow. Not to weed out the stupid ones, or to make me crack under the pressure.
So, I stood back. Tried not to panic... and it went OK.
I'm sure I could have done more studying (frankly, my study groove never quite recovered from the frantic hat-making episode) but I don't feel too bad. I was rested. I restricted my liquids, so I wasn't uncomfortable. I budgeted my time (100 marks, four hours - that's 2.4 minutes per mark). I just wrote. And wrote. And wrote so much that my right hand was too sore to knit on the bus ride home.
In eight weeks or so, I'll know exactly how much knowledge I showed them.
Next course starts on Monday. Courier delivered my text today. But, I've got a party on Saturday, so I'm taking the weekend off. I know I'll have a sore head on Sunday. I'm starting to think about knitting for Christmas. Two new babies, after all.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I am delighted, every time, to be proved wrong. There is always room for love.
My third niece joined the world at 1:20 AM, weighing 9 lbs, 4 oz, and measuring 20 inches (incidentally, she's the smallest of the lot. The Misstea family are big people. In fact, all my nieces and my nephew (I love how that sounds!) have outweighed me at birth. I can only imagine how beautifully tall and strong they will be. Also, I love ellipses).
She too, has a name that I had considered giving a daughter, if I chose to reproduce (I really should keep my good ideas to myself).
For the first time in a long while, I can't wait for Christmas, so I can meet her!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
My sophisticated wine-labelling system.
And properly stored wine. W00T!
I think I will celebrate by having a glass of said wine.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
A long-time Winnipeg radio personality, a fellow that should be retired, is driving a freaking transit bus in order to make ends meet. The problem with elderly people having to earn a living is a discussion for another day, but the shocking thing was that he sat through a green light and grilled the two young men sitting in the front seats. He told them that they should stand up and let a lady have a seat when she got on (I had already pushed by the 14-year-old "ladies" and moved to the back of the bus, just like one is supposed to). It was highly amusing. One old codger, bringing civility to Winnipeg Transit, one lecture at a time.
(BTW, the wee shites moved. And everyone else was clearly shocked. I grinned).
Then, on bus #2, there was that guy. You know that guy. Clearly socially awkward. A little bit twitchy. Speaking into his cellphone far too loudly. (Have you ever listened to Wiretap? It sounded exactly like the guy who phones Jonathan Goldstein up at 3AM, telling Jonathan to lend him money in order to fly to Cuba for a vacation. Or whatever.)
I have never been so happy to get off the bus to purchase a cucumber and a green pepper in my entire life. Really, I had the headphones turned waaayyy up, and I still heard every word about how getting sick was all Stephanie and Mark's fault. (Shame on you, Stephanie and Mark. Now the whole bus will be sick, and it will Be All Your Fault).
But yet, I am still happy. The buses were on time. Winnipeg doesn't need rapid transit. It just needs prompt transit.
Monday, November 24, 2008
It was one of those times where I wished that I had an extra set of hands to take the photos.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Oi. It is not helpful.
This one took me a few tries:
Which of the following is outside the scope of internal auditing?
a) assessing the organization's effectiveness.
b) verifying compliance with laws and regulations
c) safeguarding the organizations assets
d) reviewing the processes involved with producing internal financial reports.
The correct answer is 'c.' Because internal audit assesses the actions taken by management to safeguard the assets and is not reponsible for the actual safeguarding of assets.
'C' is correct because it is missing a verb. "Ensuring" is the verb that should be used.
Um, hey, we're accountants. We have a duty of care to our employers to act responsibly and a duty of trust to act morally and ethically, in accordance with the relevant governing bodies and professional associations.
So, if I'm not actually safeguarding the assets, I'm supposed to tattle on the accountant who isn't getting the job done?
Apparently so. No wonder we have such a bad reputation. We're assholes.
Friday, November 21, 2008
And, I just happen to have some wonderfully smooshy yarn that isn't quite enough to make a pair of socks.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Yup, I’m tidying up the stash, attempting to corral it into one room, and sort through the scraps. I don’t think I have ever thrown out a scrap of yarn or a ball band. I found an envelope of ball bands and scraps from 15 years ago (now, if I could only find the photos, because I know I have those, too).
Sheesh. I know I do not need the three meters of alpaca left over from my nieces’ first Christmas sweaters (especially since I have a whole extra skein), but somehow, I cannot bring myself to throw it in the garbage.
Then there’s the half-completed fingerless glove from some leftover Freedom Spirit. I’m not sure I even see the point of fingerless gloves, but it seemed to be all the rage, and I had enough yarn.
Also in the pile is a nearly completed sock (only about the fourth or so pair I ever started). I broke a needle (2 mm Ebay needles from Hong Kong) when I was flying back from Toronto a couple years ago, and it’s been sitting there, in a baggie, ever since.
I could go on, but instead, I’ll just post some photos.
The tidy part of the stash. Granny's china is still in the basement, and is likely to remain there until I knit some of this stuff up. No real order, except 50 g balls / skeins are on the top shelf and 100 g balls / skeins are on the bottom. The wicker basket is laceweight. The metal basket is odds and ends, mostly sock yarn. Note the handspun (mine!) on the tray. It's sucktastic, but I love it.
Bits and bobs, mostly sock yarn, destined for Noricum. She's making a sock yarn blanket and is gratefully accepting donations. Though, now that I see all that, I kind of want a sock yarn blanket of my own. I'm going to struggle with this, I can tell.Works in progress, loosely. Some of this stuff has been in progress since 2003.Needles, ball bands, more scraps. Really. How much china could I get into this thing if I got rid of all the crap? I've got some really nice china. And pottery.
It took me three hours today to buy some groceries and other miscellaneous things (including camera batteries to take the above photos) and pick up two prescriptions. I'd really like to make Christmas just another long weekend. That way the stores would only be insane for the week prior, not two freaking months.
Monday, November 10, 2008
But, that's how I'm feeling right now... there's a huge chunk of my life that I'm un-earthing - photographs, greeting cards, business cards, coasters, handcuffs covered in pink muppet fur (yeah, those hit the garbage pretty quick - that was not my idea) - and I would rather chew off my arm than revisit some of those days again.
At the same time, though, I had a dream, and I never remember my dreams. I dreamed that a fellow that I wouldn't mind seeing again showed up, and was ready to make a go of it. In my dream, I sold my house, and moved in with him.
Boxes are appropriately labelled, and stacked in the corner. Maybe I'll be ready in 2011 or so.
(Hi bossman! Are you still reading? I sure hope not. See you Wednesday.)
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Anyway, what a gorgeous scarf, if I do say so myself. I'm gonna be buying lots of silent auction tickets in this bucket, hoping to get it back.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Until today. When I got home from work (after an hour and a half's walk, thanks very much), I thought it seemed cold in here. Then, after some time had passed, I thought I would crank up the thermostat, because the wine was sitting at 17 degrees, and it's better to be between 18 and 25 degrees.
Pushed the button. Nothing. Pushed all the buttons. Still nothing.
Hmm. I thought to myself, "Man, I hope the pilot light isn't out. I would have no idea what to do, and no one to call about that one (too poor to call my handyman right now)."
So, bravely, I go down to check (still haven't figured out how to change the filter, but I can see the pilot light without opening anything). Whew! Pilot light was on. Come back upstairs, carefully avoiding looking at the mess that is the basement of doom right now.
Flip the little cap on the thermostat, and for the first time, actually read the sticker on the inside.
First sentence: This thermostat requires batteries to operate.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have heat!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Eleven boxes unpacked, and most put away.
This is the leftovers (box of cookbooks not shown. Also, how did I get so damn many cookbooks? I didn't even really cook until I moved to Chez Peepee):
Sorting out what was to stay and what was to go was simple and difficult at the same time. I mean, I know I don't need the copy of Fighting for Your Marriage that my therapist thought I needed. Clearly, that marriage is long over, and a similar situation is not likely to happen anytime soon.
Also, I have embraced being an atheist, and can safely toss all the books on meditation and spirituality that I bought when I was often asked to speak at faith-based events and lead devotionals (looking back: what the hell were those people thinking?).
I can also toss all the books I bought at yard sales, etc. for under a dollar and never was able to get into.
Some books, however, are still sitting in a to-be-determined pile. While it's unlikely that I will ever get around finishing Hobbes' Leviathan, it's handy to have around, both for making me look brainy and for squashing bugs. Plus, the Enlightenment, and indeed, most of the 18th century is my favourite period in history. I never know when I will want to look up some sort of obscure quote to support my drunken argument.
Same for my collected works of Sir Walter Scott. Who knows? Tomorrow, I may take a study break and decide that 18th century poetry (again with the 18th century! Sensing a theme?) is just what I need.