Thursday, June 26, 2008

Open mouth, insert foot

I was sitting outside at lunch today, which is my normal habit, now that my ranting has paid off and we have a picnic table.

One of the dispatch guys was sitting there as well, and we were chit-chatting. About general stuff. Plans for the long-weekend, the weather, yard-work, the new costing software, GPS systems, etc.

Then, out of the blue, he says to me, "You don't like men very much, do you."

Without thinking, I said, "I like men well enough, I just don't respect them."

And that, I think, explains a whole lot about me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My neighbours think I'm crazy, and they might be right

I was outside tonight, having an extreme workout while mowing the back yard, and mentally drafting a blog post.

We all know a blog post is unexceptional without pictures, so I sat down, in the middle of the yard, to take what I hoped was an artistic photo of how happy I was to be mowing the lawn.

Umn, yeah. Sexy, not so much.

Right then, the neighbour across the back lane, walked out... to do something, I'm sure, I just don't know what.

I gaily waved, and continued talking my photos.

I have no true idea what they think of me, having never spoken to any one except the son, but I'm pretty sure any one with a lick of sense would think I'm insane. Really, who takes self-portraits with the weed-whacker? Only me, I am sure.

This is more the look I was going for: Strength, confidence, and hand-knitted socks.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Social gatherings at Chez Peepee may result in hangovers.

Classic illustration of using the "suck-hose."

Two of the finest girly pals in the whole world.

Pinot Grigio. A lot of it.

Not a stitch was knit. And I don't regret a moment of it, either. Even the headache today.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My bank card fell down and can't get up

To comfort myself, during the last few mad, mad weeks of studying, I did a little shopping. And then I did a little shopping to celebrate finishing the exam.

I keep telling myself that buying stuff doesn't make me happy. But it does. Sigh.

So, I try to make thoughtful purchases instead of buying crap.

Plus, most of my yarn purchases get turned into gifts for other people. I shouldn't feel bad about that. Right?

So, here goes:

I happened to be online when the Ravelry store went live (I suppose there are some advantages to being in front of a computer, all the time). I wasn't able to get my disagree (1) t-shirt and tote bag, but I'm pleased with the beer glasses and vegetable bag (which is used for knitting, not vegetables).

In my on-going effort to convert the masses, I took my colleague to Ram Wools to look for her next purchase (she was blown away, at the size, the variety and the prices). I told her that knitting wasn't a cheap hobby, and that she should get over it. While there, I saw for skeins of discontinued (maybe?) Inca Silk at 50% off (whoops, I guess I fell off the no-buying-yarn-unless-it-is-sock-yarn wagon). I had wildly optimistic hopes of making myself a tank for an upcoming wedding. Um, the wedding is a week from now, and I have only swatched. Whoops again.

Following is the Yay! Exam is over! yarn:

Why do people go nuts for Noro? This is why:

Amazing colours. Having achieved success with it in a wrap, I will now make socks.

When purchasing this yarn, about four hours after completing my exam, I was like a kid in a candy store. I hadn't allowed myself to look at yarn for a while. And indeed, I hadn't even been to the world's greatest yarn shop. My friends were rather amused. And perhaps a little bit scared.

Friday, June 20, 2008

All Seized Up

My Grandad, the best man in the entire world, used to say that he was all seized up, just like an old engine. Especially when he found it difficult to get moving.

I’ve been feeling that way a lot lately, and I decided that this kind of pain was more than my stiff upper lip could take.

So, I did something I’ve never done before.

I went to see a chiropractor (on the advice of my doctor. I’m no fool).

The moment will become legendary for the following reasons:

1. I truly didn’t know that chiropractors actually do crack your back. I screamed. Mostly in shock, but a little pain, too.

2. I told someone, in all honesty, that I did not trust them, and that they were on indefinite probation (I normally keep those thoughts to myself, unless I’ve been drinking).

3. I spent half an hour in a windowless room with a man and there was no funny business (my medical professionals are women. For a reason. I want to talk about my physical issues with someone has the same plumbing I do).

I felt great after that first session, for a bit. Then the pain went shooting down to the bottom of my foot.

The next day, I hurt everywhere.

And the following day.

Today, I went back. Because I’m trying to be open-minded, dammit (and oh yes, I’m desperate).

He asked me if I trusted chiropractors now. I said no, but I was thinking about trusting one chiropractor.

Then, he cracked my back again! Four times!

I’m not feeling any pain right now, but it could be due to the really large glass of wine I am enjoying.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Doin' ma bloggy thing

I've had loads stored up in my head lately. Things unrelated to studying and work.

Now that the weather is not cooperating (I had planned to do a decent job at cutting the grass tonight, but the rain has prevented me from doing so) I'm sitting inside.


So, I suppose it is time for a story I've had up my sleeve since last November.

The scene: a very, very crowded country bar, close to last call. The crowd is pretty mixed, but leans to the young side.

The main character: a tall blond in a cocktail dress, looking pretty fine, sitting beside the dance floor, all by herself, because she can't find people in a crowd. She's finishing her beer and going home, if no one finds her (incidentally, the people she's with (colleagues, not friends) don't know that she easily gets lost).

A young man in a cowboy hat plunks himself down next to her: "Hey! Wanna make out?"

The tall blond: "No!"

The young man: "Why not? I'm just being honest." (whines)

The tall blond: "Because I'm old enough to be your mother!"

The young man: "Well, it's your loss." (walks off in a huff)

The tall blond is rescued by one of her colleagues. And realizes, sadly, that she is indeed old enough to be the young man's mother.

Just barely, though. For clarity.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dear sweet FSM, it's good to be done.

Exam is over. As I expected, did not go well.

But it's over. Now I can read, garden, play with my friends, and knit. I really, really miss knitting.

I want to something with really skinny sticks and string and lots of charts.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm screwed (and not in a good way)

One thousand pages.

Twelve weeks.

Five assignments.

One exam (pass or fail, there is no try).

Conclusions, after all this:

  • Don't be an asshole.
  • Assume that not everyone else is an asshole, but be prepared for it.
  • Talk, talk, and talk some more.
  • EEE - economy, efficiency and effectiveness. In every question.
  • Enterprise risk, control risk, inherent risk.

Audit programs, audit objectives, audit plans... audit, audit, audit.

I really don't care. I'm only doing this to make my mom and boss man happy. Sadly, I'm going to disappoint them.

Quick post

and then I've got to go study. Really.

I'm cramming a three-inch binder's worth of stuff into my head tonight.

Tomorrow will not be pretty.

However, some good news. I prepared and released the interim May financial statements for Construction Inc. today. Five hours ahead of schedule, a day and a half later than my goal (Yes, I am unrealistic. Wanna make something of it?) I am so pleased. My boss is pleased. The staff is pleased, now that I am not freaking out on them (Good bunch, really. Good at their jobs. They had just haven't seen me in 'full-freak' mode before).

Our owners will be very, very pleased, I am sure. Actually, I can't wait for the end of July, when the auditors arrive, and they swoon with excitement at what I have prepared (Not that auditors would swoon. Nope, not ever. It's auditors and actuaries that give accountants a bad name).

Moving on (maybe this isn't so quick, after all), I did my normal little routine when I got home tonight; wander around the property, picking up the garbage, grab the mail, inspect the flower pots and garden beds...

And we have growth!

I have eight of what I think are rosebushes in front of my house. Grew like weeds last year. No blooms. Something is budding, so perhaps there will be blooms. Trust me, I will report on this fully if something exciting happens.

Now for the garden. I planted a bunch of seeds, and it has poured rain ever since. But, something appears to be working!

I forget what I planted where (I wasn't drunk, I just didn't write it down immediately). If I get anything more than this, it will all be a grand surprise!

That's it. Only eighteen more hours until I can knit without guilt. I haven't knit a stitch since last Sunday. That's five days, and it's freaking killing me. I surely hope I can go to WWKIP after my exam. If not, there will be a solitary celebration. In a bar. With a patio.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A little pick-me-up

Whenever I'm feeling sorry for myself (which is a lot, recently) or just need a little break, I look for funny stuff on Youtube.

This one never gets old:

(warning: bad language) I must watch it least every other day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Open mouth, insert foot

In lieu of anything interesting to post, I'm going to talk about work, because it is interesting to me. And, that's all I've been doing (hint: exam is not going to go well).

It's my first year-end, at Construction Inc, and I'm a wee bit punchy. Year-end is a big deal. It's like I've been rehearsing for the past ten months, and now it's the big show. I'm on, and the audience is waiting. It's a good thing that I like to perform.

Scenario One:

Spectacular boss-man and I are walking back to his truck after taking the accounting department of one of our owners out to lunch. A "what would you like us to do, how can we help you" kind of lunch. Boss-man sees the senior VP of our parent walking in front of his (Boss-man's) truck, and hits the alarm key on his remote. The horn blares, and the senior VP jumps out of his skin.

In the middle of an intersection, I double-over and shout with laughter. So much so that the VP turns around and glares at us. Not good.

But clearly, not my fault, right?

Scenario Two:

Two guys are going out for a smoke, and I hear this from my office. I ask to go along. They graciously let me. But insist that I walk in front, so they can "view my posture as I walk" (I am much, much taller than they are, and I'm in a hurry. Standing up straight helps one move fast). As I go, I say, not meaning to shout, but I've got the voice that carries, "Don't be looking at my ass!" And our receptionist says, "too late, they are."

The President and the brother of our former owner are in the building, and the door to the office is open. I know they heard what I said.


Do you think it will help that I have improved the quality of the audit working papers by about a million percent? I truly hope so.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I shouldn't have, but it was worth it.

Some things are so important that it doesn't matter what is going on. Stuff just needs to be put aside and the important thing takes priority.

Despite my devotion to my job, the fulfillment I find in various activities, the absolute joy I take in being with my friends, even the reluctant satisfaction I find in sitting down and wrestling with a particularly grappling assignment, all these things take a back seat when family calls.

I am so glad that I took the twelve hours and went home for Mini J's second birthday.

She is a sweet little girl, who really cares about the people she knows. My sister-in-law told me this story - sometime earlier in the week, Mom, Big J, his wife and Mini J were all in town and happened to meet in the grocery store. They talked for a few moments, and kind-of shopped together. Then my mom drifted off in a different direction, and no one noticed. A moment or so later, Big J said, "I guess we lost Grandma." Mini J was horrified and took off running, looking for Grandma. She was seriously worried that Grandma was lost.

And for a girl who doesn't say anything except "oh, oh!", she sure can communicate. She sends a very clear message with a pointed finger and a frown, I tell you. Her smile lights up the world, mostly because I so rarely see it (she's afraid of me, doesn't know me well).

Regardless, I take my duties as auntie very seriously, and I purchased the perfect gifts: Band in a Box, and Beginner Band Set. Makes lots of noise and doesn't require batteries. Guaranteed to drive parents crazy. And I wasn't even trying on the driving-parents-crazy part. I just wanted a well-made, non-gender specific toy that encourages creativity. Damn, I'm good at this. (Note: The xylophone has a full scale, so I banged out "Three Blind Mice," and Mini J rocked to the beat. I wish I had video of that.)

Friday, June 6, 2008

The weather outside is frightful (but it wasn't yesterday)

Yesterday, I walked out of the office at 4:20 (yes, I snuck out early, and I was 15 minutes late for work every day this week. Being on time is a work in progress, apparently), and immediately changed my plans for the evening. It was absolutely stinking gorgeous outside, so I headed east instead of west.

Meaning, I went to Canadian Tire and bought myself a new grass trimmer (note: I am penny wise and pound foolish. I cheaped out last year, bought one for $20 and a replacement spool is nowhere to be found. Apparently it is is only sold in the UK, now). As opposed to heading downtown and looking for: birthday present for a two-year-old, shower gift for a girly pal and a dress for the two (2!) weddings I have this summer.

That was a very good decision, because I managed to mow the back yard, trim it and a good part of the side yard, and dig up the flower bed to plant the perennials my mom bought me. Plus a slip that a colleague gave me. (Oh, and thank FSM that mom bought me a shovel, that was nasty work, I tell you. I don't regret giving up my gym membership in the summer, not at all).

It poured rain today, so for once, me being spontaneous and all worked out well.
Here is a bit of a view of the new-and-improved flower bed:

It looks fantastic, in my never-humble opinion. Now I have to do something about the grass, or lack thereof.

Also, I have been a demon with the gardening, lately. I planted a bunch of tomatoes, peppers and herbs before I went home for Mom's birthday, and then lost most of it to frost (because I am an idiot). I sucked it up, bought new bedding plants, and got busy after brunch last Sunday (note: six more shopping trips, and the yagon will have paid for itself).

Last year's garden box on the right, the new one, constructed about two weeks ago, on the left.

There's petunias, impatiens, sweet peas, tomatoes, basil, sage, red and green peppers for plants. I also planted zuchini, cucumber, spaghetti squash, butternut squash and pea seeds. I hope I get something from my seeds this year. That would mean, to me, that I am a true gardener, and not just faking it.

As a result of all this outdoor work, there has been precious little knitting. But tonight, perhaps, there may be a little done. Or maybe not. I might clean the bathroom instead.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I am gloomy

The classmate I keep referring to? Would have turned 36 today. Why do I remember that? It's been at least 25 years since I celebrated his birthday.

I am in a shitty, shitty mood. Suddenly, it doesn't matter that I hadn't spoken to the man in six years. I will never speak to him again. And that makes me sad. And mad (as in angry, not crazy).

P.S. I wrote a cheque last night. But not nearly as large a cheque as his employer wrote, my bother tells me.

Edited to add: I just checked my voicemail, and my brother and his wife had called to say that they were having a party for Mini J on Saturday, her second birthday. My brother, Big J, ran into Craig's dad the other day, and said something to the effect that he understood that they'd had, and I quote, "a rough time lately."

I lost it, on the phone. Completely lost it. I'm bawling right now. Why am I being so stupid about this?

I don't care how busy I am. I'm going to Nodnarb on Saturday. I have to be there. Poor Mini J. She's going to wonder why Crazy Aunt Misstea is crying.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The things you do for family

Big B just called. He wants to store his new quad in my garage for a couple of hours tomorrow.

I just spent the last twenty minutes moving shit around in the garage so there is room for it.

I am NOT cleaning my house for him. I don't love him THAT much.

But I had better find that chequebook. It appears he's serious about that quad rally.

Shock and Recognition

I was at brunch yesterday, having a fine meal and a good time. It was quiet, because I was a wee bit hungover from the night before (note: the anti-inflammatory drugs I'm taking? Great for hangovers too. Yay, me!).

To my great excitement, I saw, across the room, one of my favourite people in the entire world. A person whose family I had been discussing the night before, with the every same friend!

Then I saw that he was sitting with my ex-husband and his new wife.

Is is really mean of me to say that I think I'm much, much prettier than she is? It's either that, or I'm really, really shallow. I'm OK with either, actually.