Thursday, October 30, 2008

Message

Jiffy's uncle, her dad's brother, died last week. It was sudden and he was only 51. I met Jiffy because we went to the same church in my hometown. Her dad was the preacher there, although he's now at a different church somewhere else in Ohio. Jiffy and I became such good friends that my family became her family, and vise versa. I even went on a cruise with Jiffy and her mom and some of their extended family when one of her mom's cousins got married. Somewhere along the way, our dads became pretty good friends too. They enjoyed each other and had a lot of respect for each other.

So, I sent a little message to Mr. O the other day, expressing my sympathy and sending a couple quotes that I really like (one of them from Victor Hugo). I got his reply yesterday. It made me cry. It still does. I just thought I'd share.


Thanks Suzy...your thoughts and love for us are special to us...a real help. I enjoyed the quotes. Surely Hugo was one of the greatest authors ever. I read Les Miserables...awesome! I felt like some of his stuff nearly qualified to be in the Bible.It's been tough on me...losing my brother. The youngest of my siblings, Tammy, died two years ago. Then Adrian, who was the next youngest. I was closer to Arian because of much more time we got to spend together. So...I do miss him.I know that you are well acquainted with grief. Do you know that I still think of your dad so very often...I miss him still...like it was yesterday. I have never known another like him. He blessed me all the days I knew him...his memory blesses me still.I love you, Suzy. My love to all yours as well.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Work

Well, it's official. I'm going to be finding another job.

As I was leaving on Friday, I stuck my head into Kim's office to say good-bye. I casually asked her if Paul had said anything more about hiring another person. She said that they hadn't talked about it. I said that it had occurred to me that tax season isn't that far off! She said "yeah, I know. But we haven't talked about it." So... nothing new for the weekend.

This afternoon I was in Paul's office for a couple other things, so I just asked him what was going on with hiring another person. He said that he'd told the HR person at the head office to hold off on finding someone new because of the turn-over this past summer. Okay, that makes sense. But then I asked him about him wanting someone with a designation, since Kim had mentioned that at my review. He said that it was true, although he wasn't sure what level of designation they would need. He said he was also considering whether or not the new person would even be located in our office or if they'd be based out of the head office in Calgary. So it was pretty obvious at that point that I'm not going to have that job. I did ask him what made him decide that the person should have a designation. He said that when he got to thinking about what all the person was going to be doing, he felt like they needed to have a strong financial background. After that I just said "Okay. Thanks," and left his office. I was tempted to ask when he was going to get around to telling me all of this, if I hadn't asked, but I knew if I did that, he'd be able to hear the anger in my voice, and I didn't want to do that.

So, that's the deal. On one hand, I'm really disappointed. When I started this job, I was so happy to feel like maybe I'd finally found a place where I could stay for a while. The longest I've been in a job since college is only 2 years. I want to find a good job and be there long-term. And now I won't be able to do that with this job. On the other hand, at least now I know what's going on. I'm not going to say anything to Paul or Kim or anyone else that I work with about leaving. I'm not in any particular rush. I was actually in a good mood after I talked to Paul because I didn't feel any pressure. I still want to do a good job for however long I'm there, but I don't feel like I need to prove myself anymore. I don't feel like I need them to think that I'm capable of doing that other job. I mean, at this point, if they think I'm incapable (which maybe they already do), who cares?

Fortunately, the economy in Edmonton is still in pretty good shape, which also helps me not feel stressed about finding another job. I think I'll be able to find something good. And as long as I have my current job, what's the rush? I just have to make sure that I'll be okay with whatever happens job-wise, so that nothing messes up our trip to Texas at Christmas. That's my only big concern with this. Not so bad, right?

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Friday, October 24, 2008

To tie you over...

Thank you all for your comments on my last post. I really do appreciate it. Master and I have done a lot of talking and things are definitely changing around here. However, it's going to take me a long time to type it all and I sure don't feel like doing that on a Friday night when I'm tired! So, I've got a picture to tie you over. Master and I drove out to Elk Island on Wednesday right after work. I felt like going and told him that he could come with me, which he did. We had the first part of our big talk out there, standing by the main lake in the mostly dark with a few bison not far off. (I've discovered that I like hearing the bison run. I think it reminds me of hearing a horse run, and that's a good thing.) By the time we left the park, it was completely dark, darker than I think it's ever been before when we've been there, because - of course - it's getting darker earlier. Anyway, we saw 4 or 5 porcupines in various spots along the side of the road! I stopped and got out to take a few pictures of one. Most of them didn't turn out that great because it was dark and my headlights were the only light, but the last one I took was pretty dandy, if I do say so myself. This was taken right before he raised his quills and ran away!



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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Downhill Rambling & Venting

I'm not having a good day. I don't even feel like I'm having a good few days... week... whatever. I spent half the weekend being upset with Master over various things. It's all little stuff, but it ticked me off. We had a big long talk Sunday night. It might've been a good talk, but I'm not sure. There's a lot about my being here that's different from what I expected, and not usually in a good way. We talked about the nature of our relationship and how it's not what either of us expected or what we want for us. We talked a little about the kids and how they're not what I expected. I didn't get the chance to spend a lot of time around them before Master and I got married. He told me that they were good kids, and I believed him. He meant that they're good kids in that they do well in school and they're not involved with drugs or alcohol or anything. Yes, I agree with that. But to me, someone can do well in school and know better than to take drugs, and that doesn't make them a good kid if they are rude and disrespectful, if they treat others like crap, if they're not willing to take any responsibility for themselves and their actions. It might be an intelligent kid, but not necessarily a good kid. The truth is that half the time, I don't like living with the kids. I know that sounds horrible, but it's the brutal truth. (And if I can't tell the brutal truth on my blog, then where can I?) I know Master's done a lot to try to improve things, and the kids are better than they were a year and a half ago. I guess I just feel like it's not enough. And I don't have any real hope that it'll ever be where I'd like it to be, partly because some of it just doesn't matter to Master like it does to me, and partly because he still doesn't seem to be consistent enough or tough enough for it to make a difference. I feel like, and have a fear that, I'm not going to be totally at home until the kids are gone. I still feel like it's mainly their territory.

Anyway, after that talk Sunday night, Master and I were okay. Yesterday was fine. But then I didn't sleep well last night. I had trouble getting to sleep and then woke up around 4 AM and never got back to sleep. My eyes hurt right now. Master didn't sleep well either. On my way up to have my shower this morning, I stopped in the kitchen, where Master was cleaning his glasses. There were 2 bottle of Windex next to the sink, which is where he keeps it. The one bottle was basically empty with a little at the bottom, but probably not enough to even spray any more. The other, "newer" bottle only had maybe a fifth of the bottle left. The old one has been there for a little while and Master hadn't done anything with it. I'd even moved the old bottle in front of the newer one twice, hoping that he'd figure out to do something with it instead of just starting to collect mostly empty Windex bottles on the kitchen counter. But no. So this morning, I asked him if he was finished with the old bottle. He said, "Oh yeah, I guess I could empty it into the other one." Ya think? So he did. I don't remember what I said after that, something about not collecting Windex bottles on the counter. Master said, "Well I don't have time to notice all the details all of the time." I wanted to say, "You can't even notice most of the details most of the time!" What I actually said was, "Fine, next time I'll just do it myself." Master told me not to get cranky. Too late! This drives me nuts. I know, a Windex bottle isn't that big of a deal. But it's just part of the trend, really. There are always little things, little messes, that get made and no one ever cleans up, including Master. Finish off a roll of paper towel? No, don't throw away the cardboard tube, just leave it on the counter. Make a bag of popcorn and put flavouring on the popcorn, leaving a bunch of flavouring on the counter? No, don't clean it up, just leave it there to get spread around and make more of a mess. Leave a drop or two of pee on the toilet seat? That's right, don't wipe it off, leave it there to dry because that's not disgusting at all.

See, it's all little stuff, but it all adds up to laziness and not caring and not paying attention. And it makes me want to scream and pull my hair out. Why don't I feel at home? Because this is the dirtiest place I've ever lived, including when I was in college! Yeah, I could clean it all myself, but why should I? I clean up after myself, I help to clean common areas, but I refuse to be the house maid to people who don't care and wouldn't be at all grateful, with the exception of Master. I won't do it. So I've learned to just let some things slide. I think that's why the little things piss me off so much. I know that no one else is going to think to vacuum the little couches in the living room. I know that no one else will bother to clean the tub. But is it really so much to ask to do the little things that take practically no effort and time?

I've told Master a few times now that if he wants to take care of me, take care of the other stuff first. Take care of the house and the kids. On the surface that sounds like I'm so selfless or making myself a martyr or something, but the truth is that, there's less for me to think about and do if they all take care of their stuff. I'm happier and more relaxed if the kitchen isn't a wreck because no one can be bothered. Stuff like that. I want Master to take care of me, but first I need him to do the things that I can't. I can take care of myself if/when I need to. I can't tell the kids to clean up after themselves or whatever. And if they don't do what they're supposed to do when they've been told to do it, I can't punish them for it. It drives me crazy when they kids don't get punished because Master isn't paying attention or doesn't feel like dealing with it. Isn't that your job as their parent?

This is one of those days when I just wonder... did I make a mistake? Did I compromise too much in moving here? I love Master and I want to spend my life with him. But why does it feel like such a struggle sometimes?

Not helping in all of this is that I'm starting to not like my job so much. When I was hired, I was told that it was with the plan of me learning the job I'm in now and then moving to a different position, one that basically doesn't exist right now, and someone new would be hired for the job I'm in now. Paul has some new things that he wants Kim to be able to do, so this new position would be taking over some/most of what Kim does now. I thought that sounded like a good plan. It all started off well - I like Paul and Kim and I liked the challenge of learning the job. But really, this job is a lot of somewhat mindless stuff. I'm at the point now where I'm rarely challenged, so I'm getting bored. Last spring, I asked what kind of timeline I should expect for moving to this other job, just because I like to know what to expect. I was told it would likely be summer. You know, this summer that's already over. I know that they were given the money in their budget to hire another person, so money's not the issue, especially since we had a kick-butt season last spring. When I had my review with Kim back in July (Paul's my boss, but Kim's kind of my manager, if that makes any sense), there were a few things she wanted me to improve on, but said that overall I was doing a good job and that they were happy with me. So it's not that they think I'm crap. And I've made an effort to do better at the things she mentioned. At the end of that review, I asked again about the other job. She said that Paul had said something about the person in that new position maybe needing a designation (kind of like a CPA in the States). I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach, because if that's the case, then I'm basically screwed out of that job because, of course, I don't have a designation! When I left a bit later to go get lunch, I called Master in my car and just cried. I haven't asked about it since, and neither of them have said anything. I'm sure they know something, Paul at least, if not Kim too, but nobody tells me anything. So, I don't know if they've decided to hold off on hiring another person and I can still move into the new position, or if I'm screwed or what. You know, if I still have the chance of moving into that other job, then I'm okay with staying in this one for the time being. I like this office and the benefits and everything too much to just throw it all away. However, if something has changed to where I have no chance for that job, then I'd really like to know that. I'd probably stay here through next spring and the end of tax season, but then I'd be looking for another job. I don't want to spend the next 30 years of my career being bored. I'm capable of more than what I'm doing here, and I think I deserve something at least a little better. More than anything, I just hate being kept in the dark, and I don't feel like I want to keep asking.

I'm really tired.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Random Bits

I know I haven't blogged much lately. Sorry. It seems that I either don't have the time or inclination when something's actually happening that I could blog about, or nothing's going on. So I'll try to do a little recap.

I don't remember now if I've mentioned this before or not, but Master and I are going to Texas at Christmas to spend it at my granddad's. Mom and Brother will be there too. Originally, Master and I were going to fly to DFW and then drive a rental car with Mom and Brother to Lubbock (about a 6 hour drive). But then we discovered that it was going to cost $2,000 for the two of us to fly! So now we're just going to drive to Lubbock. It should be an adventure! Of course, since we're driving instead of flying, Alice and John now have the option of coming with us. (Ricky's mom doesn't want him going anywhere with us, especially to spend time with my family. And she says that Master is a horrible father for not spending Christmas with his children.) Alice originally said that she wanted to go, but then changed her mind a few days later. I think she got to realizing that not only would she not be able to work and earn money, but she wouldn't have her computer for a week, and her cell phone won't work in the States, so she wouldn't even be able to text people. That's just my guess. John wanted to go, though. I wasn't sold on him going, but then he said that the reason he wanted to go was to meet more of my relatives... and he wanted to go someplace warmer. But Master and I made a big deal of telling him that he'd probably get bored (because we'll be in the car for 4-5 days total, and 3 days of hanging out at my granddad's, which isn't necessarily exciting), and he initially said that's okay, he'll take books and stuff. But now he thinks maybe we don't want him to go, and he's more worried about being bored. So... we'll see. We don't know yet whether or not he'll be going.

From about 6:30 PM Tuesday evening to 6:30 AM Wednesday morning, I spent 11 of those 12 hours in bed. It's kind of a long story as to why, but the short version is that I only slept about 3 hours Monday night, so I was super tired, went to bed after work on Tuesday, and slept longer than I thought I would that evening. I lost the whole evening, but I felt great Wednesday morning!

Monday was Canadian Thanksgiving, so of course Master and I were off of work. We went for a walk at Elk Island. We were going to go for a longer walk, but the weather wasn't cooperating. However, because the weather wasn't great, and we were on the south side of the park where there's only one trail (Yellowhead Trail cuts through the park), we had the place to ourselves. So Master had me pull up my shirt and unhook my bra so he could grope me for a while in the woods! It was great! I think we're going to find more private spots there, even though we might have to wait til next year to do it. :)

Master had the idea a while back that, since I can't buy my Diet Lime Pepsi here in Canada, maybe I should try buying limes and putting them in my normal Pepsi. What a brilliant man he is! And what an idiot I felt like for not thinking of that myself. lol I've had lemon slices in my pop at restaurants before, so I knew I liked that, even though I didn't like Lemon Pepsi. So, last week I bought a couple lemons and a couple limes. I still haven't managed to cut up the limes and try that, but I did cut up the lemons and it's super yummy!! So, if you're a pop drinker, but want a little twist, try cutting up fruit! Master actually tried it with an orange, because he likes orange-flavoured stuff. He thought it was okay, but I'm not sure he liked it enough to do it a lot. He let me try a sip, and I wasn't impressed. But it's still a good idea!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Houston Hurricane Planning

Brother sent this a little while back by email. I thought it was pretty funny. Enjoy! :)

During Hurricane Season (June 1 to November 30), you could turn on theTV and see a weather person pointing to some radar blob out in theGulf of Mexico and making two basic meteorological points:
1. There is no need to panic.
2. We could all be killed.

Yes, hurricane season is an exciting time to be in Houston. If you're new to the area, you're probably wondering what you need to do to prepare for the possibility that we'll get hit by 'the big one'.

Based on our experiences, we recommend that you follow this simple three-step hurricane preparedness plan:
1. Buy enough food and bottled water to last your family for at least three days.
2. Put these supplies into your car.
3. Drive to Nebraska and stay there until Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, statistics show that most people will not follow this sensible plan. Most people will foolishly stay here in Houston. We'll start with one of the most important hurricane preparedness items:HOMEOWNERS' INSURANCE: If you own a home, you must have hurricane insurance. Fortunately, this insurance is cheap and easy to get, as long as your home meets two basic requirements:

(1) It is reasonably well-built, and
(2) It is located in Nebraska.

Unfortunately, if your home is located in Houston, or any other area that might actually be hit by a hurricane, most insurance companies would prefer not to sell you hurricane insurance, because then they might be required to pay YOU money, and that is bad for business. So you'll have to scrounge around for an insurance company that will charge you an annual premium roughly equal to the replacement value of your house. At any moment, this company can drop you like used dental floss. Since Hurricane Alicia, I have had 27 different insurance companies. This week, I'm covered by the Bob and Big Stan Insurance Company, under a policy which states that, in addition to my premium,Bob and Big Stan are entitled, on demand, to my kidneys.

SHUTTERS: Your house should have hurricane shutters on all the windows, all the doors, and - if it's a major hurricane - all the toilets. There are several types of shutters, with advantages and disadvantages:

Plywood shutters: The advantage is that, because you make them yourself, they're cheap. The disadvantage is that, because you make them yourself, they will fall off.

Sheet-metal shutters: The advantage is that these work well, once you get them all up. The disadvantage is that once you get them all up, your hands will be useless bleeding stumps, and it will be December.

Roll-down shutters: The advantages are that they're very easy to use, and will definitely protect your house. The disadvantage is that you will have to sell your house to pay for them.

HURRICANE PROOF WINDOWS: They look like ordinary windows, but they can withstand hurricane winds! You can be sure of this, because the salesman says so. He lives in Nebraska.

HURRICANE PROOFING YOUR PROPERTY: As the hurricane approaches, check your yard for movable objects like barbecue grills, planters, patio furniture,etc.. you should, as a precaution, throw these items into your swimming pool (if you don't have a swimming pool, build one immediately). These objects can turn in to deadly missiles.

EVACUATION ROUTE: If you live in a low-lying area, you should have an evacuation route planned out. (To determine this, look at your driver's license; if it says 'Houston' you live in a low-lying area. The purpose of having an evacuation route is to avoid being trapped in your home when a major storm hits. Instead, you will be trapped in a huge traffic jam several miles from your home, along with 200,000 other evacuees. So, as a bonus, you will not be lonely.

HURRICANE SUPPLIES: If you don't evacuate, you will need a mess of supplies. Do not buy them now! Houston tradition requires that you wait until the last possible minute, then go to the supermarket and get into vicious fights with strangers over who gets the last can of SPAM. In addition to food and water, you will need:
* 23 flashlights
* At least $167 worth of batteries that turn out, when the power goes out, to be the wrong size for the flashlights
* Bleach (No, I don't know what the bleach is for. NOBODY knows what the bleach is for. But it's traditional, so GET some!)
* A 55-gallon drum of underarm deodorant
* A big knife that you can strap to your leg (This will be useless in a hurricane, but it looks cool.)
* A large quantity of raw chicken, to placate the alligators
* $35,000 in cash or diamonds so that, after the hurricane passes, you can buy a generator from a man with no discernible teeth

Of course these are just basic precautions. As the hurricane draws near, it is vitally important that you keep abreast of the situation by turning on your television and watching reporters in rain slickers stand right next to the ocean and tell you over and over how vitally important it is for everybody to stay away from the ocean.

Good luck!

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fruit at Work

Suzy walks into Paul's office with his travel folder for the short trip he'll be leaving on in less than an hour. Normally, Suzy inputs the details of his travel into his PDA, so she offers to do the same this time...

Suzy: Here's your travel folder. Do you still want me to input the info into your Blueberry?

Paul: keeps typing an email, trying to figure out what the heck Suzy is talking about...

Suzy: I mean, your Blackberry? Whatever fruit it is?

Yes, Suzy really is that much of a dork.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Another Day, Another... Blog Post

It's Monday. Eh. It was a blah sort of day. I just want to make it through this week because then we have a long weekend - next Monday is Thanksgiving, Canadian style.

I went to Elk Island again on Saturday to walk. Saturday was definitely the last really nice day we'll have. In fact, on my way home, it started raining as fall rolled in. I had a good walk. I think it was close to 5 km, but I can't tell for sure. I scared off a fox and a deer on my walk, but - of course - they ran off before I could snag any pictures! So these scenery pictures will have to do instead.






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