Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Smell the smoke

I have quite a lot to get done at work in the next four and a half weeks, and I’m already starting to make the kind of mistakes that happen under stress. I’m just lucky I talk to my client often enough that I always find out about the meetings I’m poised to miss before I actually forget to show up.

On a note both positive and negative, I had an interesting lunch session with another Business Analyst at my company. I did not get any radical suggestions from her, but she has suggested that I use bullets and more developed templates to decrease the verbiage in my documents as much as possible. If it works, it could potentially save me time, but on the other hand I have to get it working first.

Can anyone else hear the hamster screaming for help?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

How'd That Happen?

I think my eyelashes are going grey... and not in a sensible way, either. Just the outside tips of them!

My body has already started to betray me in a myriad of little ways (my scars don't fade anymore! and my ankles don't heal as quickly) but I think this signifies the beginning of a long, slow decline.

Now I'm going to be watching my back... (ha, ha, ha, pardon the pun)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Offended Dignity

Had the most fantastic belly laugh last night, and now I’m going to share it with you, even though that will do even more damage to my poor cat’s dignity.

I was lying in my bed, reading quietly, when a strange noise tickled my unconscious and made me look up. The noise quickly resolved into the sound of a cat scrabbling its way inside my underwear drawer, which I had left open ~4 inches. This is not an entirely unusual sound, as my cats like to curl up on soft piles of clothing, better yet if they can hide inside dresser drawers while they are at it, so I resolved to pay it no mind. However, only a short moment later, the noise transformed itself into the sound of a cat frantically trying to escape being stuck inside my underwear drawer – Katie had managed to get her head and shoulders inside the drawer before discovering she was stuck. My assistance was not required, as through the application of brute force she managed to free herself, only to overbalance off the edge of the dresser drawer and plunge the three feet to the floor below.

I couldn’t keep from laughing, and the look of offended dignity she cast at me was so grave that I laughed even harder; in the face of which she couldn’t even stalk off stiffly as if to say “I meant to do that!” She ended up standing there in a huff, alternately looking away in humiliation & anger and glaring at me for noticing.

Poor kitty ;-(

But never fear, she came up for some petting later and I soothed her ruffled dignity, so all is right with the world again.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Bringing the Swing!

For all of you out there who like swing dancing, I highly recommend the Ottawa Swing Dance Society’s Friday night parties. If you know what you are doing you can probably skip the introductory lesson part from 8:30-9:30, but after that you can swing all night for just $5.

Luke and Mika and I went this Friday, and even though there was a bit of a gender imbalance (weighted towards women) it was easy to find people to dance with; besides which the announcers commented that they’d never had such a huge imbalance.

Sadly, it turns out that the moves and dancing skills you need to know to dance socially on a crowded dance floor are somewhat different than those required for taking semi-private lessons with a single partner; I was very rusty!

The other thing I’ve discovered is that I need to learn at least one type of swing that can be done to slow songs; most of the more experienced dancers there were doing the lindy hop to the slow songs, and my other option would be triple-swing, but I’m not really comfortable in either.

Someone did teach me the basic for the lindy hop though, which should decrease my confusion for the next time.

If anyone is interested in going, I’d always be up for company!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Never Give Rides to People From a Suspected Crack House

Gee, it seems so obvious in retrospect…

However, it was so wet and icy this morning, and the woman leaving next door seemed so pathetic (and so obviously not going to get anywhere) that when she asked me to give her a lift to the corner, I said yes.

Next, I made a critical mistake. I left her in the car while I walked back to the house to drop the salt can back in the bag of salt (this took less than a minute).
Then we were on our way and I dropped her at a bus stop.

When I got to work, I discovered that my wallet wasn’t in my purse. Not being 100% certain I hadn’t left my wallet at home, I waited until lunchtime and went home to search my apartment. No wallet.

Now, for the fun part. I’ve already cancelled all of my credit cards, cancelled and replaced my interact card, and filed a police report. Next, the hassle of replacing my driver’s license, health card, air miles card, video store cards, goodlife card, etc, etc, etc.

I really hope that I’ve made a mistake and I’m going to go home and find my wallet in some out of the way nook or cranny of my apartment. It would make my life so much easier, not to mention my faith in humanity.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

That's Your Fault!

Karen greeted me yesterday with the news that by bringing “Must Love Dogs” over to watch the other night, I had somehow sucked her into the world of online dating… I disclaim all responsibility for this new habit of hers.

Though it was kinda fun drinking port and chatting with strangers; way more fun than I’ve ever found that sort of activity solo.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Platforms; Better Late Than Never, But…

It turns out, after all of my ranting to some of you that none of the parties had a cohesive platform, that in fact none of the parties had released their platform until this week. Now I’m going to have to sit down and read all three!

This whole strategy of releasing the platforms a mere week and a half prior to the election date makes me suspicious. What have these parties got to hide? They can’t possibly have been surprised by this election, can they? Surely in a minority government situation all parties should be keeping one eye on their campaign for the next election?

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Had my first game with my new ulti team last night. Apart from an inauspicious start where I furthered my reputation as someone forgets her footwear at least once a season, we had a really great game against Green (or Powder Blue for those of you who have actually seen their shirts), in which we tied 16-16.

I think I like this female captain thing :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pain is Good

If I just say it often enough, maybe I’ll believe it.

I signed up for and attended Kelly’s Speed, Quickness, and Agility class yesterday. I knew I was letting myself in for a lot of pain, but wow! was I not mentally prepared.

It really wasn’t that hard, a dynamic warmup and a circuit that included 8 stops, which as a newbie I was expected to complete three times, then take a long break, and then complete another three times.

It was a nice theory, but by the time I was finished the first three sets, I could barely breath, my throat was raw and inflamed, and I couldn’t get enough air. Fortunately for me, someone suggested going outside. I was able to at least stop coughing after breathing the clear, cold air, and I didn’t completely wimp out. I continued to do two more laps of the circuit.

The circuit consisted of 10 calf jumps, a ladder rung exercise where you pattern your feet into and out of the rungs, a 6-cone cutting exercise, throwing a medicine ball to a partner 10 times, sprinting the length of the field, shuffling around a box (always facing one direction, so that you have to shuffle in each direction and run backwards), attempt to beat a partner in racing from the middle to a cone 5 meters away on the right, across to a cone 5 meters away to the left and back to the middle, and then throwing a medicine ball into the air three times.

I’ve certainly done much harder workouts in my past life of insane athletic training; between my workouts with the Ottawa Lions and those at Acceleration Ottawa. It just goes to show how much I need this training.

So say it along with me, “pain is good, pain is good, pain…”

Monday, January 09, 2006

Addiction Satisfied!

I was so exhausted last week that I napped every day at lunch time. Then I had the foolishness to schedule a session with my accompaniest for NATS at 9:30 Saturday morning, which I followed up with a complete lack of judgement in reading until 2 am Friday night.

I had delusions of accomplishing something useful on the weekend, since I’d deliberately stayed home every night last week with the intention of cleaning the office, but I failed once again. Instead, after the singing, workout, and shopping with younger brother, I slept for several hours, and then finished off Season 5 of Gilmore Girls. The addiction is dead!

However, I can expect to succumb once more after Season 6 is released on DVD... long live the addiction!

Fortunately for me, Season 6 is currently being aired on TV for the first time, so I’ve got at least a 6 month window of safety. All those stacks of paper in the office must be shaking in their boots.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Apparently Single People Should Not Watch Gilmore Girls

To quote a friend who was sarcastically declaiming an ex’s reaction to relationships, “It’s too hard!”

Last night I had to cry when Luke broke up with Lorelei. And watching enough episodes to get to a good part for Rory and Logan didn’t help either. When you are in a relationship, watching Gilmore Girls reminds you of all of the good things about your partner. When you aren’t in a relationship, it just makes you want to be in one (and btw, not just any relationship, but an airbrushed TV-style “he’s so perfect for you” style of relationship).

One day, when I grow up, I too will find a partner with whom I can have that sort of relationship…

Or I’ll get a dog. One or the other.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Crisis Averted

Tuesday the tenant from Apartment 3 asked me to speak to the tenant from Apartment 5 about the excessive amounts of noise his TV was producing.

The story, as I piece it together now after the fact (and this is not 100% reliable, as much of it is surmise), is that Apt 5 started turning his TV up louder and playing it more often as a result of his frustration with the noise coming from above him.

At any rate, by the time the issue came to me, the two tenants had reached the point where Apt 5 would not always answer the door for Apt 3, and when he finally did, swore at him instead of having a rational discussion.

I should mention the fact that the tenant from Apt 5 is on some kind of disability pension, is partially deaf (especially in the higher registers) and certainly does not have all of the social skills one might wish for.

So, as a dutiful landlord, I attempted to speak to Apt 5 in person. However, as I often do, I got no response to my knocking at the door. Therefore I decided to write a letter, which I then polished and printed the next day at work, and left in the mail slot.

This resulted in a passionate knock on the door last night, where I was made aware of the full force of Apt 5’s frustration. I explained that they both had a duty to respect each other and not make so much noise that the other person couldn’t enjoy their apartment, agreed with him that he had a right to peace and quiet too, and after a few minutes, suggested that we both go talk to Apt 3.

I was really impressed by the person in Apt 3’s handling of the encounter; he was very calm, and very accommodating, saying that he understood that Apt 5 was having trouble with the noise too, and to please just let him know and he’d do what was necessary to keep the noise down. At the end they shook hands and parted fairly peaceably.

I’m not 100% convinced I’ve heard the last of this problem, but Apt 3 felt that we had probably solved it. He’s got a lot of experience in dealing with people like the tenant in Apt 5, as he works as the night manager at a local pub. All I can say is, I hope he’s right.

As a landlord, I have some obligation to step up and protect each of my tenants from any interference in their enjoyment of their apartment, and I certainly have an interest in not losing good tenants, but I don’t have any recourse if the tenants aren’t cooperative. The only action I can personally take is to use the one tenant’s complaints as a reason for evicting the other tenant, which I suspect would be difficult, especially in a situation like this where each would say the other was the offender. Either tenant could potentially call an Ottawa Bylaw officer to report a noise violation, which could result in a fine, if proven.

In the main, I just have to rely on people’s good sense. Cross your fingers.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Apparently Watching Gilmore Girls Alone is Not a Good Idea…

… It turns out I just can’t say no to one more episode. And then one more. And then one more. Suddenly it’s midnight, and I’ve failed once again to get to bed early. So much for stretching my consumption of Season 5 over a period of months. At this rate I’ll be lucky to make it to next week.

It’s quite a shock heading back to work. I feel like I have an overwhelmingly large amount of stuff to do, and no energy to do it with. To top it off, I've spent the past half hour with a muscle in my eye twitching unpredictably. Not frequently enough to completely incapacitate me, but just enough to make me have to refocus every second or two.

Hopefully the rising sense of panic will shortly contribute the needed adrenaline so that I can start chewing through the work at a respectable pace.

Actually, at this point, I’m hoping for the speed of a whirlwind. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Belated Happy New Year!

To all of you and yours, I wish the best things possible in 2005:
That you should find ways to indulge both your taste buds and your health simultaneously;
That you should find yourself getting more exercise without turning into a monotonous gym bunny;
That your friends should stay close to you, in all the ways that matter;
That your joy in your partner should grow without limit, or that you should find a partner to enjoy, if you are looking for one;
That your loved ones stay healthy and happy;
That you find ways to contribute meaningfully to your community;
That you maintain your enthusiasm for and engagement in the life you are leading :-)