28 June 2005

In the mix

It's Tuesday.

This is a short week because Friday is Canada Day. I may make it even shorter. I am spinning my wheels with very little I can actually work on right now. It seems like everything I was doing has gone into someone else's hands, so I'm left here waiting for decisions.

This time a year ago, I was in sunny Prague, on a wonderful vacation with my family. I'm starting to realize how limited my travel options are about to become. I'm looking for a condo right now, because I want to move out in the fall. Living at home is wearing a little thin, especially when home is 25 minutes away from everything I do and everyone I know. I have a car, so it's not a huge deal, but it definitely limits my spontaneity.

Sunday I met my cousin for lunch. She was in town for work and it was out only chance to connect. Afterward, I met Foo and we discussed our options. She suggested swimming or a movie -- something to escape the humidity. But my bathing suit was at home in the 'burbs, so that limited our options to one. We saw Madagascar, which was entertaining, but I think I would have preferred to be doing something active. So, I either need to carry a bathing suit and towel with me at all times, or I drive an hour round trip to get what I need. And I can't afford the commute.

Back to travel. I want to go to Italy. I don't even know what I want to do or see there, but I want to see it. I've heard great things about it from my parents and Lani. Nayana's interested in going, and it wasn't too hard to convince Andrew that it could be fun. It's the money, though. And moving out is going to affect that a lot. Everyone tells me that I won't be able to travel once I'm on my own. I don't know if I believe them. I know it will be difficult, and take longer to save up the money, but why shouldn't I be able to? It's what I want to do with my money.

I can see how being an adult is difficult, and a lot of hard work, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun.

26 June 2005

24 June 2005

Here's how it all ends

So, after many hours of seething, wandering around not getting anything accomplished, sucking at the report I was trying to write and getting chastised for the suckiness, going for a walk to "soothe" my unquiet mind, I got an e-mail. From the SC prez.

"Can you call the caterer and ask them about...?"

Yes, I agree with your reaction. WHAT?!?!

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. In. Out. In. Out.

I made the call.

I am many things, but stupid, doormat, or schmuck are not labels I would generally apply to myself when someone launches verbal projectile vomit in my direction. Generally, I react right away, and I was surprised at my self-restraint when I was being attacked. But the powers that be intervened and gave me this wonderful opportunity to come out on top.

This is how it went:

I waited an appropriate amount of time before making the call. Then I waited until the SC prez was alone in her office. I walked up, knocked on her open door and waited for an invitation to come in.

I sat down, and said, "I made the call and got the information you requested, but before I tell you, we need to get a few things straight."

I listed my demands:
a) Not barging into my cubicle and verbally abusing me. "You are not my boss. I am not your employee. I don't consider that appropriate under any circumstances (she does it to her staff all the time) but you and I are essentially equals, and that will not happen again."
b) Respecting that I have other work to do. "I told you twice that I was on a deadline for my boss and asked that you come back later. It was inappropriate for you to not respect when I'm working on something, and unfair that you wouldn't give me a chance to defend myself when I refused to engage you at the time."
c) Not calling me a liar. "Maybe there was a miscommunication, or misinformation, but I did not intentionally mislead you. I am not a liar, and if you want anything accomplished from me, you will not accuse me and then expect me to work with you."

She interrupted a lot, but I kept going. I kept my voice calm and stuck to my guns.

And she apologized. She admitted to being wrong about the first two, said she didn't think I was a liar and apologized for "accidentally implying" that I was kicked off the Social Committee. She asked if I was still going to help with set up for the staff summer party.

I did. And not because I'm a big masochistic sucker, but because I really did want to help.

I will be limiting my involvement in the SC for the duration of her term (end of March, or April). But I'm going to stay involved because I like it. I like finding ways to make the office fun.

The party was last night and it went well. The game we had planned got screwed up, so it was a little frustrating. But I ate lobster, drank lots and feel fine today (a day off!) so I consider it a success.

23 June 2005

I really don't invite this stuff

Yesterday was quite the day.

I was fired for the second time in my life.

The first was from working at a major office supply box store for something I wasn't responsible for. I didn't really like the job, but it sucked.

Yesterday I was fired from volunteering.

I'm on the Social Committee at work. I was asked to join in the winter, even though my job at the time was tenuous at best. I was happy to oblige. It sounded like fun.

Well, a few weeks ago a new SC president was chosen by acclamation (no one else ran). She's more of a despot than a committee leader. She consuults us nominally, and then goes ahead and does what she wants anyway.

For example, after weeks of complaining about the cost of out summer party meal, she decided to offer everyone free drinks (even though we don't have the budget for it). She also "agreed" that hiring a dj would be too expensive, but rented a stereo system, instead of letting someone lend their own.

Yesterday was 6 days past the deadline for our catering contract to be renewed. After asking her to send it in, I finally went ahead and did it myself. I have a good relationship with these people, they were cutting us a deal, and I wasn't about to let this woman's incompetence ruin that.

So, I faxed it off (which was well in my authoirty since I was the contracty contact), and sent the committee an e-mail to that effect.

I got an e-mail back from the SC prez, demanding how I could do that without consulting anyone/giving her notice/etc. I wrote bck outlining the WHOLE process of the contract, includng the numerous times I'd asked for her input.

Shortly thereafter, she burst into my cubicle, accused me of being a liar, and proceeded to rip me a new asshole (which, as I understand from Robyn, is quite unpleasant). I wasn't listening, though. I had headphones on and was working on a deadline for Don. I asked her twice to come back when I was done to talk about it. She said, "No. You're done. We don't need you." And stormed off.



Part 2 to follow.

20 June 2005

This is true

And well-written.

How to Blog.

Courtesy of Tony Pierce, via Raspberry Sundae.

17 June 2005

I'm on Matthew Good's blog!!!!

No one would know it was me, unless they knew who I am.

A few days ago he asked fans to send in pictures from his shows. I sent in a bunch from his show here at the now-defunct M.C. in May 2004 (the 2nd of his two shows I attended). He used on of my stage shots, and the one Red took after the show when I was getting his autograph at his bus after the show.

When I checked to see if he had posted anything, I saw MY picture as the sample next to Fan Photos.

Check me out!!

08 June 2005

Life is Short

You know, at 26, I can't exactly claim that life is rushing by, but I am suddenly aware of the fact that it's almost mid-June.

My grandfather, at 88 + 1 day moved into a nursing home. He made the decision himself because he finally realized that he's not up to doing it all on his own. I went up the weekend of the move to help. The old house (that he built himself) essentially looked the same as it did on my last visit 6 years ago (bad granddaughter), but as Mom and I were cleaning, it was obvious thta this was not the house my grandmother (who died in 1996) kept. Things were getting worn and frayed, the vacuuming wasn't done, the laundry was done rarely, the fridge was scarcely stocked with low-quality foods. It made me sad that this is what it came to for him. Granny cooked grand meals -- mostly with boiled root vegetables, but she didn't skimp on anything.

It has occured to me that this didn't happen because Grandad is lazy or it's "just old age". It snuck up on him. One minute he was 23 and getting married, then he had 3 grown children, then he retired, then he had grown grandchildren.... Blink -- you're 88.

He was married for almost 55 years. And then he was alone. He didn't want to leave his house, his community, his church. He was comfortable where he was. And then it snuck up on him again. "I can't do this anymore."

And he shouldn't have to. After 88 years, he deserves to have someone cook for him, and help him with cleaning and laundry. The sooner he lets someone do this for him, the longer he'll be around.

I've been joking that I want to sign up for a home now, but in reality there's too much I want to do with my life.

I'm trying to learn to let go of the crap that's happened. I'm trying to be mindful of other people's feelings. I'm trying to relax and not fret over things I can't control (ha, ha). I know I can't do it all, I know I'll backslide all the time. But I know I need to do these things to make me happy.

Life is what happens when you're making other plans. I don't want to spend so much time planning that I miss the important moments; like sitting on the couch with deadwriter watching TV, talking and laughing with Foo, reading an e-mail from Nine, or chatting on MSN with Lani.

Life is laundry and grocery shopping.

It's student loans and credit card bills.

It's being late for work (every day) and staying late to make up for it.

It's fighting with your boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend/father/mother/brother/sister/whoever and wanting to punch them, but loving them anyway.

It's "I really meant to call, but forgot."

It's friends moving away -- to the other end of the province, the country, or the world.

It's your dog dying, even though he's the best thing that ever happened to you.

Life is full of shit, but without it, you wouldn't know how good you had it.

Life is short. And I don't want to waste anymore of it planning.

02 June 2005

That being said...

As much as I'd like to be able to look back and say that it all happened differently, I'm too big a believer in things happening for a reason.

Yes, that means the negative consequences, too. Like the belief that drove me to believe that if I was ever going to have sex in a relationship, I'd have to get it out of the way first.

Believing in things happening for a reason means taking the bad with the good. That's not always easy to see when you're in the middle of the bad -- like a painful break-up, or a stressful week at work -- but if you reflect back, and see where you came from, it usually turns out for the long run. I had to date some assholes to learn how to identify them in advance. I had to live with a sociopathic roommate, and hang out with manipulative friends to learn to spot these people in advance and keep them out of my life. I had to hate my parents for years to learn how to appreciate and be friends with them.

This shocks some people (and others wonder why I waited so long): I had sex with the DebtMaster 5 days into our relationship -- one week after I first met him. And I got drunk to do it. At no point in time did anyone ever indicate that I should wait until I was comfortable with myself, or anyone else, before taking the plunge.

Again, that didn't help. And it didn't take long for me to learn to hate sex. That, really, is the saddest part. Sex is something that should be enjoyed by two mutually consenting adults. It was only by eliminating it from my life completely (both voluntarily and involuntarily) that I learned to respect it, and eventually found my way to enjoying it.

But I covered this in my last post.

I guess my concern for others comes in when they can't see their mistakes, or they take ownership in defiance -- "This is my mistake and I'm going to make it if I want to."

How many times I did that before I decided to listen to people who've experienced similar things, I don't know. But all of that taught me to listen to other people; that their experiences have valuable lessons, and that I don't exist in a vacuum, where nothing else applies.

Things happen for a reason, and maybe someone else's reason is to help you avoid the same pain.

My brother had an excellent MSN name recently: "Don't bother to watch what you say. People are endlessly ingenious at being offended."

a) Exactly.

b) It points to people not wanting to listen to others: unless they're saying what we want to hear.

No one is saying that you can't run your own life, but external input isn't a bad thing. Taking advice isn't a bad thing. Some of the wisest people in the world take advice. And if you have the faculty of deduction, you can generally discern good from bad. And if you can't, you have a much bigger problem.

There are those who take it too far and don't blink without consultation (btw, it's a good thing -- if your eyes dry out, you can go blind). But I've learned that there's a balance. And if you pay attention, there are clues that you'll learn to identify when it's time to get off the "bad time" train.

Long story short: I did make some bad choices when it came to sex. I'm lucky that I figured it out before I had a chance to do more harm to myself -- or let someone else harm me. But it's definitely not a route I'd advocate.

A lady on an Oprah show said, "Doubt is your best friend. If you have doubt about what you're doing, then you need to stop and reevaluate whether you're really ready." Wish I'd known that 7 years ago.

So, while I don't have a great story for how it all panned out, it got me where I am. And I'm certainly not disappointed with that.