Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Not a big deal, in the normal course of business. In fact, I thought the half-hour training session was a waste of time. I can follow a menu, press 1 for "yes," 2 for "no" without anyone telling me what to do in advance.
What struck me is that if our receptionist isn't available, I don't know how to answer the phone and transfer a call.
Furthermore, it isn't expected that I should know.
That blows my mind.
I have always been a worker bee, ready and willing to do whatever task that needs to be done to the best of my ability, including filing, answering the phone and operating the postage machine.
It occurs to me that I am no longer a worker bee. I'm a manager. I don't have to lick my own envelopes any more.
But, part of me is still 24 years old and is completely amazed that somebody is willing to pay me a whole lot of money to play with spreadsheets all day. Because spreadsheets are fun, not work.
Honestly, I'm sure that one morning, someone is going to figure out that I'm just a little kid pretending to be an adult, and I that I really can't be trusted when I'm not being supervised.
Once again, I do indeed love my job.
This was not a good week.
I seriously overspent my little $100 budget. To the tune of about $320 over.
I'm almost afraid to do the math. The receipts are sitting in front of me, but perhaps I'll key them into the spreadsheet tomorrow.
However, I can justify it. As I always can.
I spent about $95 on groceries. There was an excellent deal on chicken breasts, and I got 19 of the suckers for about $27. That's good planning, and will save me a few bucks in the weeks to come. I hope.
I spent approximately $160 USD on heavy-duty winter-wear that's going to arrive in 8-11 business days. Standing at a bus stop for 30 minutes this morning, and then the five minute walk to the office convinced me that the clothes I have are not sufficient, and if I am going to work for Construction Inc. for the next 20 years, I'd better have some proper winter clothing. The coat and boots were on sale, and the dollar is strong. So there.
Then, there were some other expenses, which are private, and the benefits will be realized over a very long time. 'Nuff said.
On the up-side, I returned an item that was unsuitable, and that's $60 or so back in my pocket.
Not included are the prescriptions to keep the migraines and the crazy away and the monthly bus pass (not included in the $100) . Really, the last week of the month is expensive, no two ways about it.
Scout is going to the vet tomorrow, and that's going to be another $200. Having cats ain't cheap. The little stinker is worth it, though.
A told me once that lime green is one of her favourite colours. Now, I always try to find something with lime green for her. Just because.
The most amazing part is that A's actual birthday is today! And I kitchener stitched that second toe yesterday. I'm on time, though I won't see her until she gets back from her holiday, lucky thing. But, yay for me!
She is out right now with the rest our friends enjoying cake, conversation and all sorts of other good things.
A, my wish for you is to have the very best of birthdays and all sorts of good things in the year ahead.
Monday, January 28, 2008
I, naturally, have learned this the hard way.
Very rarely do I actually want to go out with anyone I meet when I've belted back a few. There is nothing worse than screening my calls because I'm too nice to actually tell a man that I think he is unattractive, in fact is rather stupid and that I would rather die alone and penniless, surrounded by 15 or 20 cats than pursue a relationship.
Furthermore, if he is a man I would like to see again, I hate waiting for him to call. I would much rather do the calling myself. I'm ballsy that way.
Sometimes, though, I will cave and give out my email address. In the interests of keeping the peace, and not being the instigator of fisticuffs. I abhor violence.
That is what happened on Friday. Despite my attempt to clearly explain that I am very busy, do not give out my number, am not interested in dating right now, and that it is my policy to not date ANYONE from this particular watering hole, I gave out my email address JUST TO SHUT HIM UP. I mean, the begging and pleading gets tiresome after a while. A girl can only listen to so many compliments, after all.
So, now I am desperately wishing he would email me, so I could tell him what he refused to listen to (and I'm pretty sure I know why he hasn't, but that's a story for another day).
He's a smart man though. He didn't give me his number, because he KNEW I wouldn't call. He's got to get some points for that.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
"Hey Misstea, I was wondering if you were playing a cruel joke on me by tempting me with a homemade gift from you...because nothing had come for so long! But it has arrived!! And I really must very profusely say, "Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!" This is such a wonderful pair of socks!! I thought you were going to maybe make something like those loose fitting pink and blue "granny slippers" with really thick yarn...you know, the type that won't allow your feet to fit into your shoes after you put them on. But these are really great!! They fit perrrrrfectly.....and I can still get my feet easily into my shoes! They're not too tight and they are very warm! ....and my feet get cold!! I frequently wear at least two and sometimes three, layers of those grey wool winter socks on my feet on these days. But, with THESE socks, my tootsies have been oh so snuggly warm with only your socks over my other white socks!! And they are such a cool swirly blue color, too!! They're beautiful, Misstea. They actually make me happy to put them on because the color is so radically different from the standard white Wal-Mart socks I have worn all my life. You are very talented, I can tell. They fit perfectly and I will get lots of use out of them for sure. In fact, I will be more than happy if you made me another pair......really soon!! Also, the birthday card you gave me was very lovely as well. It was small in size but packed with a big message and thoughtful words. Thanks again Misstea. Together they made a great gift."
To which I responded:
"OK, I guess you like the socks. I would not renege on a promise. I may be, and frequently am, late, but things get done. I could tell you were a little hesitant. You have only experienced bad knitting. I don't do bad knitting."
Last night, I got this:
"Yes, I have truly must have been a victim of bad knitting....and didn't even know it. And now I actually think I am beginning to understand why you do knit. I'm think I'm becoming a believer, Misstea. Wouldn't it be really crazy if you were to get my heart fully committed and have me start knitting too? When I like something Misstea, I can bring a lot of energy to it!! But I think I'll need a few more knitting experiences first. Something tells me, and I hope I'm right, that there is more of this in my future. "
About "something tells me, and I hope I'm right, that there is more of this in my future." I can only say: WTF?
I hang out at a crappy, scummy bar. I like it. It's simple. All I want is a steak sandwich and a beer (or six). Perhaps some bull-shitting about the trivia game. The ladies restroom is clean (though I think it needs a second soap dispenser), the beer is cheap and cold. It's just a place to hang out, because I don't like cooking on Fridays.
Remember Cheers? Call me Norm. Only, I'm female and better looking.
So, why does every stinking man new to the place think that I am there looking for the love of my life?
I don't care that you have an EVENT to go to, and you need a classy, sophisticated date. I am busy right now, you know, living my life and not waiting for you to come along.
Furthermore, if you are looking for a classy, sophisticated date, do not ask a candidate how old she is. That's rude. Never mind the obvious bad decision to ask a woman in said north-end bar.
You don't know who I am. The way you are going, you never will.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I just wrote it out, and am taking it to the out-tray right now.
This is what I said:
Imagine my surprise when I opened the mailbox to find a package from you. It was the last thing I expected.
So, thank you, thank you, thank you for your thoughtfulness. I am touched that you remember how much value I place on having things that belonged to the women in our family.
I will most definitely make that rug, someday, with my great-grandmother's tools. When I do, I will send you a picture.
Once again, thanks for thinking of me.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I could have gotten a drink from the uncle of whom we do not speak, but I declined. Seeing as I was standing right beside my father, and my uncle practically ignored HIS BROTHER, I was not taking a drink from that man.
You would think that for a formal banquet, booze would be supplied. After that little exchange, I certainly needed one.
Cheap-ass farmers. Sheesh!
However, given that, and the conversation I just had with N, I think it's time I fired up the still and started making some hooch* again.
Who's with me?
*My version of "hooch" is home-made wine and beer. Completely legal. I am not Hawk-eye, and Chez PeePee is not the swamp. But it's close. I think the cats are Major Burns and Major Hoolihan.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, but when I think about it, the miserable weather and a huge assignment worked in my favour. I simply didn't have the time or the energy to do anything, you know, after spending fourteen hours sitting on my ass in front of a computer.
The total: $107.07
While I overshot the goal, I am still pleased. I kept track of every penny. It was the two fast-food meals, tonight and last night, that put me over the edge. I'm going to be packing a lunch and a dinner for those long days away from the house from now on. It will help my pocket-book, and my digestion. I feel yucky after too much grease, unless I'm hung-over.
And, that was another unexpected side-effect. I'm rationing the wine, and, it turns out, even one drink affects my sleep and digestion. I'm going to try evenings sans drinky-poos more often. Who knew?
Now, for clarity, I will not be reducing this week's budget by $7.07 to catch up. The goal is to top up the home-improvement kitty, not punish myself.
And, so, a new week begins. Dad is in town and will be buying my dinner tomorrow. Yay for me!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
After a delightful evening of knitting and laughing, I was going to finish my assignment and go to bed.
Problem is, the assignment is at the office. I forgot to email it to myself. I have the text, the notes, the supplemental readings, even a fine selection of pink highlighters. The actual document? Not here, where I am.
Guess what I will be doing early tomorrow morning? Not work, that's for sure.
Monday, January 21, 2008
The next morning, I got up, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and found more references and emailed them away, convinced he would see the error of his ways.
Later that day, I received his polite, clever, thoughtfully worded response that pointed to six more references in the text (as opposed to my lowly two).
I just read them now, changed my answer and submitted the multiple choice portion of the assignment. I was not entirely convinced, but drowning in the sheer volume of information, I lost the courage of conviction.
You know where this is going... my original answer was correct.
That man so is buying me a drink if we ever meet.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Awww! My Parker is so sweet.
So, I got it all photographed, uploaded in Ravelry, and stuffed in the china cabinet. The fact that the cabinet is stuffed to the gills reaffirms my resolve to not buy yarn for a while:
Note the spindle in the bottom left, above. It hasn't been used in quite some time.
There are so many yummy things there that I desperately want to start about 12 new projects. But, I'm determined to finish a couple things first. Plus, my class is going really, really well (I am amazed that I am able to say that) and I really don't want to wreck this groove.
And on that note, I'm going to tackle another assignment question right now...
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I'm late to the party, but I'm adding myself to the "knit from your stash in 2008" bunch of knitters out there.
I'm going to try to follow the rules that Wendy set out in 2007, for her resolution to knit from her stash.
And to take it even further, I've been inspired lately by Mother of Chaos. She is trying to get her family finances under control, and for the next few weeks, she is limiting her discretionary spending to $100 per week (including groceries and gas. Note: this is a family of six. Wow!). Since I spend well over $100 a week on liquor and other consumable crap, I find this amazing. If a family of six in California can do it, so can I.
I am going to try and limit my weekly spending on entertainment, groceries, taxis, liquor, and all other discretionary spending to $100 until March 15. That's my exam day, and after that, I will deserve a treat. Weeks will go from Thursday until Wednesday, in order to fit with my school time-table, which is the rhythm that my life is grooving to, these days. Ergo, this will begin today.
This will be hard for me. I'm a social person that craves going out. I adore good food and fine wine. I am not used to denying myself. If I want something, I go out and get it.
But, I'm a 35-year-old professional accountant who earns good money and is tired from living paycheque to paycheque. I want a home, not just a place to sleep, and that requires money. I want to travel, and that cannot happen if I piddle every dollar away on something just because it tastes good. There is no one to look after me when I am old. I cannot depend on anyone else. I have to stop living in the moment, and start thinking about the future. In a serious way, instead of throwing a few bucks away every month and feeling good about that paltry effort. I want a savings account with money in it. I want to maximize tax-advantaged (that's a word I just made up) retirement savings.
Over the past year, I learned to own my life. Now, it's time to start owning my money.
It's bloody well time I grew up, and started practising what I preach.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
That's right, one hour and forty minutes later.
Part of the problem is that Winnipeg Transit's service to more remote areas of the city is absolutely abysmal after 7 pm. I just missed a bus, and the next one wasn't coming for forty minutes. I wasn't happy about that, but I had my knitting so waiting wasn't a problem. Waiting was indoors, and therefore reasonably comfortable.
My problems began when I got on the bus with the right route number, sat there for seven minutes, and then just as the bus was pulling away, another bus, with the same route number, and my destination rolled by.
I was convinced that I was on the bus going north, and it appeared that I was on the south-bound bus.
My fears were confirmed when the bus I wasn't on turned north, and mine went south. So, I transferred at the next reasonable point, and immediately got on a bus going downtown. My luck seemed to be improving. I even got a quick transfer downtown, on the route that stops two blocks from my house (it's only about -500 degrees right now. I don't want to walk or wait. Given a choice, though, I'll walk).
Finally, I thought it might be time to compare the length of my ribbing to the first sock.
Shit, over-shot it by a quarter-inch. I spent the entire final bus ride tinking.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Anyone who has known me for more than five minutes knows that I get overwhelmed by details and then can't find what I am looking for.
For example, if you are in your seat at a football game, and I have gone on a beer run, the whole section will have to shout at me that I am going the wrong way when trying my way back with the beer (it's true - this happened at the Labour Day Classic in Regina, a couple of years ago). Being extremely drunk only exacerbated a normal situation for me.
Or, at Folk Festival, I could be on my cell phone, talking to you, and you are jumping up and down, waving your arms, telling me that you are beside the big tree, the only big tree within a quarter mile, and I will not see you.
I try to arrive at restaurants ten minutes early, so that people will have to find me. Even if there are only three people in the entire place, I will go sit at the bar and have a drink because I think I'm the only one there.
It's really quite sad.
The point of all this being, I went to Home Depot yesterday. It was a recipe for disaster.
My list was not extensive:
- furnace filter stuff, whatever it's called
- Brita water-filter - the kind that goes on your tap
- dowelling to stake a plant
- a new exterior floodlight (replacement bulb)
- some sort of opaque window covering for my bathroom, so I can get rid of the mildew-y blind
- new mop head
- shower curtain rod
- something to use as a litter box (Rubbermaid container, most likely)
What did I leave with?
- Artscape window film (this one I did find by myself, thanks very much).
- Furnace filter stuff
- Brita water filter
I needed so much help to find those three items (and in vain, the floodlight) I left before I pissed off every staff person in the place. (Though in my defense, Home Depot doesn't have the blue furnace filter stuff, so I was shown some white stuff that works just the same. I bought two).
I am quite embarrassed that an otherwise highly intelligent person is reduced to stupidity when in situations involving other people, or well, merchandise.
I immediately, and sincerely, apologize for giving all women a bad name. I personify the stereotype that a woman has no business being in a home improvement store.
The next time you hear some man spewing about how women are helpless and shouldn't be trusted with a power tool, you can blame it on me.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Seriously, if you came here to hear funny stories of drunken knitting and flirting escapades, well, I got nothin' for ya. I think the last time I flirted was back in November. It's been a long dry patch, and that's not going to change anytime soon (I do realize that to flirt, one must leave the house. I'm not leaving the house for much these days).
For example, tonight I am going to begin an online discussion on how e-commerce and the internet have changed how companies do business.
And knit some socks. With w(h)ine.
Carry on. Feel free to not check in for a while.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Things are hard, around here, but never drinks.
Since my actual knitting time has been severely curtailed, I'm thinking about all the knitting I would rather be doing than what I am actually doing right now. I realize there's a correlation here.
I'm a pretty good, fairly experienced knitter. Pretty fearless, too. If I really want something, I will try it. Several times, if need be.
That said, there's tons I haven't tried, and lots I haven't finished. Tons more I want to do.
So here is a list, in no particular order, of things I would like to tackle in the next twelve months. Some of these have been mentioned before, but I reiterate them, so that I don't forget.
- Putting in a zipper (I'm thinking of you, cabled hoodie).
- Lining a bag.
- Knitting with beads.
- Multiple (or at least two) colour stranded knitting.
- Socks for Brother J (when I facetiously asked him if he would wear hand-knit socks, he dropped all pretense of joking and told me his shoe size (as if I didn't know). His birthday is February 19, so I had better get going on that).
- Socks for Brother B (because my brothers were created equal, and when his wife was moaning about not finding nice mittens for the baby, he said "Duh, get Misstea to knit some"). Also, birthday is March 23. Nicely spaced, that.
- More socks for Dad. Just because.
- A scarf for my knitting teacher.
- Juno. Because I love, love, love skinny yarn on bigger sticks.
- Socks for knitting friend J, because she bloody well deserves them.
I am also desperately wishing to catch a case of finish-it-up-itis. There's lots on the needles around here, some of it long overdue.
- 2 Christmas sweaters, which had better be done soon, before two little girls outgrow them.
- A beret, hopefully completed before winter is over.
- Pink cardigan, which is desperately needed in the office sweater rotation.
- Sea-silk stole.
- The fingerless mitts I started a million years ago (well, last March), and actually have never blogged about.
There's a few things going to be frogged, as well. Just not loving them right now, so the yarn can be a skein until it tells me what it really wants to be. Mostly socks.
Then, there's socks to be made, for gifts, for fun, for the challenge. I put the list on Ravelry.
Realistically, I can see finishing a couple things, and then going on a sock-making binge.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
That said, I fall into that self-reflection trap that so many of us do around this time of year. Over the past few years, I've just said I'm going to try and do something better. Something achievable, but still a stretch.
For example, my resolution one year was to cook more. It worked. Took me three years, but now I cook just about every day. I went from maybe eating at home once a week to eating out just once a week. I'm actually pretty proud of myself for that one. I certainly eat far better than I used to, but I don't think I'm saving any money by eating at home. I don't really scrimp on groceries. I've always thought that it doesn't matter what a food item costs, as long as I'm actually going to eat it. Throwing food out, no matter how cheap, is bad value. I'm all about getting value for my money.
Another year, my resolution was to reach out. That is, to not wait for people to come to me, but for me to initiate conversations, to make the phone calls, to be the person who keeps in touch, instead of the person always on the receiving end. That resolution is still a work in progress, but generally, I'm a lot better than I used to be.
This year, after a whole minute-and-a-half's thought, my resolution will be to go home more. Notice I'm not saying that I will go home every month, or that I will spend x hours there, but just that I will go home more.
I realized that this was a pretty important thing because over the holidays, the babies weren't too sure who I am, and weren't at all interested in playing with me. Since I am not the sort of person to force my attention on someone, especially a very busy toddler or two, I let it go. But, those two little girls are amazing, and I want to be a part of their lives. I don't want to be re-introduced every time I see them, every three or four months. I want to know them, and conversely, them to know me.
My dream would be for the girls to run for the door when I show up as enthusiastically as they do for Granny (I realize that's a wildly optimistic hope, but, it would be nice to get a hug and a kiss, instead of screaming for Mama).
So, that's what I'm going to try to do. Essentially, it means making my family more of a priority, instead of going home only when I have nothing better to do on a long weekend. I'm going to try and be a better, and more present, daughter, sister, sister-in-law and aunt. When I say it like that, yikes! That's a pretty tall order.
But I'll try. That's all I'm saying. I'm not going to do this, I'm going to try to do this.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
So, for the past few years, I've opted out of New Year's Eve. I buy myself a half-bottle of champagne, turn on the TV and try to stay awake until midnight. If I'm particularly tipsy, I'll crank up some tunes and dance around the living room (which happens on an alarmingly frequent basis, actually). Sometimes I'll even make myself a decent meal (perhaps even a meal that requires the oven and the stove to be used).
It's a ritual that I've gotten fond of, and it never even occurred to me to do anything else this year.
I had the big idea that last night that I was going to write a wonderful, meaningful year-in-review type blog posting. Something in tune with the reflection we all go through at this time of year, whether we want to or not.
So, I sat down with my glass of wine at 4 pm and proceeded to read a bunch of my own archives. It has been a crazy year, and a certain amount of reflection is actually kinda necessary. But, I never got around to writing that post.
At about 8, I called my study buddy in Regina to touch base on our assignment (which I have not even done the reading for, so needless to say, I was no help, whatsoever), and we wound up yakking for four-and-a-half-hours.
That's right. I spent four-and-a-half hours on the phone with a man I met once (a week ago, on Christmas Eve, because he happened to be in town and wished to have a face to match the name). And, you know what? It was a freaking great way to spend New Year's Eve - sharing stories and discovering common areas of interest with a potential new friend. It was a very special end to this particularly craptastic year and an awesome beginning to the new one, where things can go nowhere but up.
Happy New Year, everyone. I hope that wherever you are, you are doing what you want to do.