Monday, May 31, 2004
The Triplets of Belleville
is unlike any other movie I've seen. It's incredibly visually engaging, but that's really about it. The story is interesting, but I have a feeling that it's only that fascinating because of how it was told. It's a strange story too, something that looks like a dream, with loose associations and jumpy lines. I would watch it again but it's not something I would want to own. Well maybe it is. Let's just see how much it turns out to be on previously viewed. Plus, I'm going to have to get the edition that has -some- English in it. This one, while it professed to have English audio and subtitles didn't. It was all in French. Not that there was all that much dialogue in the movie, it was easy enough to follow along, still there were some parts where it would have been nice to understand what they were saying.
Jim's dad left after the movie because he wasn't feeling well. That was not going to stop us from preparing and enjoying the planned dessert though. The idea was that I would blend all the frozen berries that were in our freezer with cream and then re-freeze it. Then we would eat this sorbet-type ice-cream with melted semi-sweet chocolate. Great idea and it worked...eventually. I broke two pins off the base of my blender because I wasn't careful as I was trying to shake up the carafe. So now instead of having five pins that fit into spots in the motor that would turn the blade there are only three. My scraper got ground into the mixture as I was trying to push the fruits that were at the top towards the spinning blade. I lost grip and it went down. Don't give me that look either, I've done this dozens of times and I know how to do it so that that doesn't happen. It just so happened last night. Luckily there wasn't much in the blender at the time, everything had to be thrown out.
The kitchen is in complete and absolute destruction because there's bits of blended berries everywhere, there's the mess from the massive breakfast and dinner that I cooked. To add to the chaos, the clean dishes that were drying on the rack is also covered in bits of berries and chocolate. Due to the fact that I'm unemployed, it's up to me to whip this place into shape. I'm just so absolutely thrilled. I have better get started soon too just because I have linguistics homework that I have to tackle and I agreed to meet someone before class to compare answers and notes. Then again, perhaps there are more important things to do. Writing this entry, for example. *sigh* I guess there's nothing more to do except to hop to it. The bedroom's been a mess for a while and it's only because there's Mary Kay products all over it. Technically, that makes it my fault. I'm just wondering how to locate illegal immigrants to offer them gainful employment. Oh well, until then I guess I'll just have to do my own housework.
posted by Joie! at
Sunday, May 30, 2004
This is Your Future
So Jim went to get his Career Aptitude Test Results yesterday and one of the things that he scored highly on was "Plumber
". Not that there's anything wrong with that, he also did well on "Radiologist
", "Audiologist/Speech Language Pathologist
" (which are two very different careers, I'm pursuing the latter!) and "Chef
". Looking at the range it seems like they just kinda told him that he'd be pretty much good at anything. Not quite. I sat with him as the career counsellor
explained the results. It made me really curious about what my results would be like. I'm not sure I want to spend $140 to find out, but we'll see how my Mary Kay business goes and I might just go for it.
I'm just worried that the results will come back and tell me that I will make a terrible Speech Language Pathologist.
On a completely different note, we rented Scary Movie 3
to watch last night. I would recommend it to anyone. There are for sure some parts in the film that you are not sure you should be laughing at, but there's the fun of it I guess. Get the DVD version because there's the alternate ending, which adds quite a bit to the movie. You can tell why they used the ending they did for theatres, but the alternate ending is very enjoyable to watch all the same. As I was googling for the link to the Scary Movie 3 website, I noticed this
. I wonder if it's really as legal as it says it is. If any of you out there is going to try it, please let me know. Looks like something I might want to get into.
Jim and I have been having a little trouble getting back on the Atkins diet
. Our little foray into the forbidden has become a week-long hedonistic culinary adventure. Well, that's overstating it a little. We've just been having alot of Tim Horton's doughnuts and Tim Bits
as well as various foods made out of potatoes. Of course we were also having the requisite bulk candy from The Real Canadian Superstore
which oddly enough doesn't seem to have an official webpage. Oh well, they have relatively cheap gas and they give you 3.5cents back in Superbucks for every litre that you pump. Beats paying what the other gas stations are charging. We hope to be back on track by Monday. We also hope that we have not gained back all/more of the weight that we had lost while we were being good. To be honest, the Atkins diet is the easiest diet I have ever been on, also the most effective. The only thing is that Induction is rather limiting and high carb foods are much cheaper than the alternative. Not to mention all the convenience foods are high carb (and the low-carb versions of them are expensive and not too advanced in the taste department). Couple of things that will NEVER be allowed on Atkins are my ultimate comfort foods: Congee and Instant Noodles. I had instant noodles last night. Boy was it good. If any one tries to tell you that instant noodles and avocadoes don't go together, you can give them a swift kick in the groin and laugh while they are on the ground hurting.
On another completely unlrelated topic, the Canadian government's student services branch
has granted me $9350 towards my education in the coming school year. It's not a scholarship, it's a loan which won't accrue interest until six months after I graduate. I have to be really careful with the loan considering that grads are now carrying more debt than ever before, and having more trouble paying it off due to an iffy job market. Scary job market out there right now. I just hope that it's not going to last.
One more thing. The more astute among you will realise that there's something different about my blog. Tell me what you think. I haven't enabled commenting for nothing you know.
posted by Joie! at
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Mid-Terms and Interviews
Yesterday was a big day for me in terms of things that I had to get done. I had an interview in the morning with 1-800-GOT-JUNK
which I think went well, though I don't think I got the job.
It's very chilling when you are in a group interview and the people in your group are all over-qualified for the position. It's just basic inbound call-centre work but there were people there with accounting certs, Bachelor degrees in Science, computer certs etc. I looked around and got the sense that I should just work on my pHD so that I can get a job at Starbucks. Again, I think that I was one of the people there with the most relevant experience, which would count in my favour. Not to mention I thought I interviewed pretty well, with more concise answers than everyone else, but that evaluation is coming from a pretty biased perspective. This interview was just for them to figure out if they wanted to bring me back for a second interview, not a group one this time. If they do, they will call me before 5pm tonight.
I'm looking at my bedroom floor right now and there's Mary Kay products in boxes convering most of it. I just called my director to make an appointment to speak with her about getting my business off the ground. She was saying that me losing my CallTrex job was the perfect opportunity to turn MK into my full-time position. I think it's worth checking out at the very least, just because there -is- unlimited potential in this business, if I know how to swing it. Which is what Liz is going to teach me to do... Plus the car is really something to work toward. I was not going to do anything with MK until mid-June which is when I will have no more summer school/Bach Youth Choir, but maybe I will start sooner.
Linguistics 200 mid-term was held last night and I think I can damn well get better than 90% on that thing. It's just something that really piques my interest and is therefore not a chore to study. I think that this fall perhaps I will see the Linguistics advisor about going for honours. I mean my average is certainly high enough to go for it and there's no reason why I shouldn't. I figure the only way to combat a crappy program is to be the best in it. The way I see it, the best of the worst must be at the same level of the worst of the best. Either way I'm still in the "best" layer, which matters for Grad school anyway. Along the same vein, the student loans people called yesterday and told me that I will know whether I have been approved by tomorrow afternoon/evening. I don't think that there's any reason why I shouldn't be approved especially because I applied really early too. *groan* I guess that's another reason why I should start selling Mary Kay ASAP.
What a disjointed entry!
In my job search I signed up with a tutoring agency. My last job fell through, the mother didn't call me back but now I have another potential job for English 10 and Social Studies. I think I might be able to wrangle it into an interesting Summer Position. I mean I can still get jobs from co-op so as long as I can combine my MK and my tutoring I might just give up on this whole Call Centre idea for good. I know that from this paragraph it sounds like I don't think I will get a position at 1-800-GOT-JUNK, but the truth is I really think that I can get a second interview, I'm just not getting my hopes up about it.
I'm just going to stop writing right here, the lack of continuity in this post is driving me insane and I can tell that it will only get worse with length. I've said mostly what I've wanted to say so...yeah.
Oh, one more thing, Jim's Triops died yesterday of no apparent causes. I think it was nine days old or something. I guess that's what you get for eating everyone else that hatched after you.
posted by Joie! at
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Considering that I'm not working, a long weekend really shouldn't be of any particular importance to me. But this one was just amazing. Thank you Queen Victoria
(it was her birthday).
So Saturday was the pre-release tournament for Magic: the Gathering
which wasn't so much fun as it was productive for me. I think I'm going to be okay for my mid-term because of it. Then Sunday was a nice and lazy day. Due to the fact that I had to go off Atkins
to eat chicken porridge because of my stomach bug, I have to go back on Induction to get back on it. Jim figured that this was a good time to have pizza and beer and doughnuts and ice-cream just because he would have to go back on Induction with me anyway. So we had one hell of a barbeque at the beach with his dad. There was potato salad (I make a mean potato salad and if you think you will be seeing the recipe here any time soon, think again) fresh wild sockeye salmon with tartar sauce and chinese bakery buns with butter...all sorts of good stuff.
Sunday was also supposed to be the day we were cleaning up just because Jim's dad was coming over after the barbeque to watch Big Fish
. It was more of a day to find excuses not to do stuff around the house, which was fine by me. We got some things done and managed to re-locate the mess to the bedroom, the door to which was kept closed (therefore the mess was entirely hidden...) so all in all it wasn't too bad. Big Fish is a pretty good movie. The stories in the movie were just quaint, enjoyable stories but visually it was so stunning. The images presented on screen were rich and vibrant, I just couldn't look away. I could watch it again and again just to look at the movie. I don't think it was received well by critics but I have to disagree. I guess the stories -could- have been a little more profound/artsy but I don't think that was the point of the movie at all. I wonder what kind of nightmares Tim Burton
has with the kind of vision that he's got.
Monday was the best day of the whole weekend though. Jim's dad has these awesome kayaks. They aren't made of fiber glass like those hard, candy coloured things that tourists rent in Malaysia. They are flexible so they undulate when they go over a wave and they can be dismantled and fitted into a backpack if ever you wanted to take it somewhere exotic to paddle. Not to mention that the seat in the kayak us a sling seat that's slightly inflated so it's confortable as hell. He's also got a sail that he can attach to either of them so he would paddle into the wind and just spend hours cruising back and enjoying the scenery. We didn't use the sails but Jim and I both got to use his dad's kayaks. Jim's dad rented a kayak from EcoMarine
in Granville island (one of those candy coloured hard-shell ones) and we launched from a little dock there. Granville island is really an islet so we had nice sheltered, calm water to paddle in. I was in the Kahuna
and Jim took the K1
. The Kahuna is two feet shorter than the K1 and it felt like it was almost made for me, it was so easy to handle. Plus, both boats have rudders which makes it so much easier to turn than having to paddle hard on one side.
When we docked Jim's dad had to paddle back to EcoMarine to return his rental and Jim and I thought that we would be able to load up the car while he was doing that. When Jim's dad was taking the keys out of his pocket to hand it to us on land though, he dropped it into the water. The water wasn't very deep but it was very green and while I could've probably swum to the bottom, I would not have been able to see anything once I was there. The water was also really really gross anyway. The thing was that there were keys on that key-chain that would have just been a bitch to replace. Like the security deposit key from the bank or the key to his tool box at work. So Jim got a long pole with a hook at the end from the boat shed nearby and started trolling at the places where we thought the keys had dropped. It really was a shot in the dark because we couldn't see the bottom and in the shock that ensued after we realised that the keys might've been lost for good none of us had the presence of mind to remember where the keys were dropped. At least we knew that because the water was so calm that the keys would have dropped straight down. Jim managed to hook alot of things from the bottom of the water but not the keys. His dad came back from EcoMarine with a magnet on a string. The both of them tried tossing it over the area where the keys could be but with no success.
When it comes to kayak days I'm not much help. I don't know how to pack the boats/prepare them for storage and I'm not strong enough to be very useful in loading the boats onto the car/carrying equipment. So I suggested that Jim and his dad go ahead and load the car and I would troll for the keys. Both Jim and his dad keep spare keys in their wallets in case they do anything stupid with the keys that they keep on their keychain. You know, like drop them in the water or something. For a while I was doing what they did, only with the pole so that I could control where the magnet was. I hooked the string on the hook and was moving it around the area that I thought the keys had dropped. I got a few things. Scrap metal, batteries, hair pins. This was getting ridiculous and we were all getting hungry. So I closed my eyes, held the scene clearly in my mind of where I was standing, where Jim was and where his dad was in the kayak in my mind and tossed the magnet. Just then Jim and his dad were coming back down to the dock so I turned around to look at them. I didn't even see where the magnet fell, but when I pulled it up again, the keys were attached to it. It was really unbelievable. There are things that your subconcious knows better than your concious if only you let it take control. I've always been a firm believer of that and this incident has just reinforced this thinking.
After kayaking we went to Burgoo
for a lunch/dinner meal. It's such an awesome restaurant and we just kicked back and had the best food in the world. We were all ravenous because it took a good long time to find the keys and we only had time to have breakfast (two chinese buns with butter each) before we went out. We ate on the patio and the weather could not have been better. Such a beautiful day, I can't wait to do it again. It's back to the workweek now and I have to putter about and get things done. Like the dishes from the picnic, or folding laundry. Not to mention that I have to study for tomorrow's mid-term, read another John Bellairs
book and prepare for my interview tomrrow. I've landed and interview with 1800-GOT-JUNK
which is the fastest growing company in N. America and the biggest trash removal service. I'm going to be a Customer Service Representative
at their call centre which is nicely located at the mouth of Granville Island. This would be an awesome job to land!
posted by Joie! at
Saturday, May 22, 2004
I went with Jim to the Magic: the Gathering
pre-release tournament. They hold one of these whenever a new set comes out to give the biggest geeks the first crack at the new cards and a chance to play them against each other for even more cards. Great marketing strategy. The only reason I tagged along is because I needed to do some studying.
Let me explain. Between this
and the cats and my secret endeavour there were just too many distractions at home for me to possibly get any studying done. Not to mention that this place is once again in need of housekeeping which would mean that I couldn't take study breaks in good conscience because I would feel obligated to clean up. Initially Jim asked where I thought I would be able to find a place to study amidst the frenzy that is pre-release tournaments. I said "the girls' bathroom..." hee hee hee. Seriously though, I holed myself up at the nearest Subway
and did what I needed to do to make sure that I'm on track for my mid-term on Wednesday. Then I watched Jim play the draft tournament (if you want this explained, write me) which he won. He's won his last four draft tournaments now, this guy is getting good. I'm very impressed.
I've decided that I will not go for the job that I'm offered at Abstract Promotions. I am going to call them and tell them that I'm not even going to keep my Tuesday appointment. I think about it this way. They want me to put in 10 hour days dedicated to selling Sprint's services. If I dedicated even six hours of my Mon-Fri I would be able to earn a car with Mary Kay in about 3-4 months. Might as well do Mary Kay seeing as how I've already signed on to the company and have make-up lying in boxes in my bedroom waiting to be sold. I was going to wait until after Linguistics 200 wrapped up before I started, but there's no time like the present. Plus, I like Liz (my MK director) alot more than the people I met at Abstract Promotions. See my previous post re: why Abstract Promotions left me with an unsettled feeling.
is starting. They play it every night at 9:30pm and I'm seeing the coolest episodes. There's more to say but it will have to wait.
posted by Joie! at
Friday, May 21, 2004
So I just got back from the 'Secondary Interview' stage at a promotions company. I didn't get a very good impression of the company to begin with. For one thing the company's name (Abstract Promotions) wasn't on the floor directory next to it suite number. Also, the office was very sparsely furnished and it looked like it could pack up and disappear in an hour. It is a large company, but I cannot find a website for it. Apparently this particular office has been in place for 8 months now, yet it looks like it was set up yesterday.
I don't think it is a scam company at all, I'm just saying that all these things combined is making me wonder if I really want to sign on with them. Basically this place is somewhere that larger companies out source their promotions to. It's huge out east and is only just making its way west. Currently it only has one client: Sprint Canada
. What this means is that they have exclusive rights to promotions and marketing for Sprint. This in and of itself is huge. Now my job with this company would be to promote Sprint's services door to door. Previously, the only telephone service provider in BC was Telus
. It had no competition and got away with terrible customer service and rather stupid prices. Now that the industry has been de-regulated, Sprint wants in on the BC market. I get paid solely based on the number of people I can get to swtich to Sprint's services. Nothing changes for them. They get to keep their old phone number etc. They just get a lower bill. I also get bonuses for signing them up for package deals (cell phone, internet, land line, long distance). What troubles me is that this company expects me to work 10 hour days. There is no salary, only comission. I have been told that the average sales person makes $100-200 a day. Think about it, that's pretty sweet.
This system is called direct marketing. It's the same system that Mary Kay is based on. It's a very stable business system with unlimited potential. Which now begs the question: why don't I just do Mary Kay? With Mary Kay the average 2 hour class brings in $200, not to mention re-orders. I will shadow one of the top sales reps on Tuesday, but it looks like I probably won't sign on with this company. I'm not much of a sales person and bothering people at home to deliver a sales pitch is not my idea of a great time. Then again, I don't want to judge it before I've seen it in action, which is probably why I will turn up on Tuesday to see 'A Day in the Life of...'
On a lighter note, I have been signed on by a company that manages extras for TV and film productions. Vancouver is a real hot spot when it comes to movies and film (X-files? Minority Report?) and this place says that I could probably get work once or twice a month. It's not something that can be counted on as a steady job, nonetheless, it would be interesting to break up the monotony of every day life/work(?) and go stand next to some famous people and get paid. What better things can you be doing with your spare time anyway?
Meanwhile my job search looks rather promising. I've dropped off my resume at some rather large and established call centres. I have to wait about two weeks before anything will happen apparently but that's alright. I need the time to work on my Linguisitics course anyway. Jim's been a real doll about all this, but I can't help but think of all the stupid financial decisions we made (Fort anyone?). Then again, we can't really be blamed for it, not knowing that I was going to lose my job. Right now I got through these strange periods where I just feel shame and guilt. I feel like a can't nail down a job even though the reasons that I lost my last three jobs had nothing to do with my job performance. In fact, I've exited all three with people clamouring to provide glowing references for me. I still get the 'unemployed loser' feeling though, and after a while, that's hard to shake. Still, like everyone says, you are what you think you are and I think I'm a highly skilled and readily employable young lady. Well, at least I'm trying to convince myself that I am.
I'm starting to shake off the bug that I got at BCYC. At first everyone thought that it was food poisoning, but food poisoning doesn't hang around for this long. I'm still on chicken porridge and my stomach grumbles if I try to deviate from that fare, but I like chicken porridge and I'm not sick of it...yet. Below's a picture of me at BCYC 2004. The guy I'm looking at is the walking Hallmark card Richard Nace
and I'm pretty sure he was telling a funny story. The blonde girl in the background is Krista, who went to school with Jim and the bald guy sitting in front of her is Benn Whitwell, who officially saved BCYC 2004 (he was the bass that signed up that harrowing Tuesday night).
posted by Joie! at
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Back to your regularly scheduled program
Day 2 of the job search. Considering that it has hardly been 24 hours since I've applied for everything I'm not expecting to hear anything back yet. To be honest, being summer right now, I'm not expecting to hear anything period. Either way, I still have Mary Kay and I really should set up a meeting with my director so taht we can start to plan my business and get it off and running. Who knows? It might be so successful that I wouldn't have to work at a regular job at all. I mean, what's more flexible than your own business?
Yesterday the cats hid my glasses. This is particularly disturbing because if my glasses are not where I left them (or in the general vicinity anyway) I can't exactly -look- for them. So I spent all of yesterday in a half-blind stupor, which is very good for appreciating both sight and a neat household. The apartment is in semi-disarray right now, with unfolded clean laundry, stacks of dirty laundry and a slowly growing pile of dishes. I don't want to do anything about the dishes because we had tuna last night and everything smells terrible.
Today is my errands day. I figure that two days is enough spent moping around the house. (Not that I had any choice really, BCYC left me and several others with a nasty case of food poisoning in which we were all pretty much chained to the couch) I have to go to CallTrex and get my final cheque altrered (it says "Hanna Tan" not "Johanna Tan") and pay Tom for Fort. I'm also going to talk to Tom about getting my old job back, although I will be honest with him and let him know that I'm really looking for a job with lots of down time which would let me study. That's certainly not something that Pet Habitat can offer me, but what it can offer me is a regular cheque. I'm pretty firm about not wanting to return there, but who knows...if I get enough hours I can't say that I won't.
BCYC 2004 was amazing this year. Barring that the conductor was quite full of both himself and annoying Hallmark platitudes I had quite an awesome time. The people this year were friendly and open and I got them to all sing Happy Birthday to Jim over speaker phone (in full harmony no less!) after I explained that I was missing his 21st birthday to be there. It says something about the kind of people that were there that I was comfortable making that request. I also had the chance to play psychiatrist which is a wicked awesome game. If anyone wants to play it drop me a line. This game works best with people who have never played it and don't know anything about the game. All I'm about to say is that they got me asking some pretty incredible questions and there were answers that I didn't really want to know about. I hope this same crowd shows up again in Duncan for BCYC 2005 and that the food poisoning won't!
If anyone's wondering, I'm eating a strict diet of chicken porridge and nothing else. I know I'm blowing Atkins, but I really can't stomach anything else. I will go back on induction once my stomach rights itself again.
posted by Joie! at
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
So I know I haven't posted in a while and I know that I post daily Mon-Fri without fail and it would take something really huge to prevent me from tap tap tapping my post.
So on Thursday morning I go in for work at usual. In 20 minutes they call a meeting in which they inform us that because there is no more money we are all out of a job. Effective now. What was the worst thing about all this is not that I'm out of a job at the moment (which is unpleasant in itself), it's that I would probably never, ever find a place like CallTrex to work ever again. It was a warm, open and friendly place. With good people. I'm actively engaged in a job search right now. I remember the last time I did this I got multiple callbacks in a short time. Now that it's summer I'm not sure I will have similar success, but my resume is respectable and I'm not applying for anything I'm underqualified for. Worst case scenario, Tom at Pet Habitat
will give me my job back.
We've named Pumpkin Fort. I like it to be short for Fortinbras, but we really haven't decided yet. Other options include Fortunado and the like. Suggestions are welcome. Fort's one reason I'm kinda glad that I never saw the CallTrex thing happening. If I did, I wouldn't have gotten Fort and that would have been a grave mistake.
posted by Joie! at
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Rhapsody in Pumpkin
I'm not surprised that we brought Pumpkin home. In the back of my mind somewhere I knew that once we were both playing with him knowing that we had the option to bring him home we would. I'm talking to Jim online right now, because he took the day off work to take the Career Placement Test. Apparently Pumpkin is going to the bathroom all over the place. He's a litter trained kitten, but it looks like he doesn't recognize the litter pan that we have set up for him as a litter pan. (It's really just a shoebox lid with litter in it) I'm not too worried about it because I know for a fact that he knows how to use the litter. The main thing now is getting a litter box that he will recognize. We cannot get him into the habit of pissing all over the place.
Jim's not thrilled with the name Pumpkin so I'm welcoming cat name suggestions. So far from starting a post on Neopets
I've gotten one good suggestion (not that I expected any more than that): Rhapsody. My only concern is that it's not a very masculine name. Rhapsody has started me thinking along the lines of something musical, which is always nice. Jim's idea is to find "cat" in as many different languages as we can and find one that sounds good. It -would- be amusing two have two cats whose names mean "cat" in some language. (Gato is Spanish for cat) The only problem with that is that I haven't yet found "cat" in a language that I like. (Not like the language but the sound of the word as a name)
On a heavier note, there's been a schedule shuffle at my work. Next week I'm getting one less shift and I have to work the whole long weekend. I'm really depressed, I was looking forward to having that time to spend with Jimmy. I just hope that I get my weekends back soon. It really helps me recharge and refocus for the upcoming week. Plus there are obligations like housework when I'm home alone. Granted I don't often fufil those obligations but shirking them just makes me feel guilty and irresponsible. On the flip side, it might mean that our house will be better kept. Not much of a consolation though. We've been able to keep the place better looking than we ever were able to with the last place.
I can't help but feel paranoid about this whole change. I've been a regular Mon-Fri for about a month now. The paranoia stems from the fact that I brought up the whole Overtime Issue
. I'm wondering if I'm getting subversively punished for bringing up the issue of more money. This isn't the kind of company, but then again I really haven't been around long enough to know for sure. I actually asked Jen why I was suddenly working weekends and she said that it was time to switch it around a little to make it fair. No one said anything about "shaking up the schedule" and indeed I'm the only one who made the move from weekdays to weekends. (no weekend people were moved to weekday, besides, all the weekend people are people who asked for weekends) Lisa had a good point though. I really should wait for the next few week's schedules to come out before I start spinning conspiracy theories, but I'm sure it's perfectly human to think the way I'm thinking.
The whole thing got resolved yesterday and after all the math worked out I am entitled to 2 hours of overtime after working 104 hours in a pay period (16 days). I checked the math and I couldn't find anything wrong with the calculations but it still doesn't quite seem to be right, you know what I mean? However hard I tried though I couldn't find anything wrong with the calculations. On the other hand it's not like I could have taken the sheet and started scrutinizing it right then and there. To be fair, this company hasn't started making money yet (break even target is this September) and I know that we are barely making payroll so I don't want to make that much noise about it. I just sincerely hope that I'm not being paranoid about this whole thing and that I've been moved to weekends because I did specify that in my availability and because for now they need me there and I'm the best person in that slot. I'd hate to think I was being "punished".
I know several lawyers who are our clients who acutally prosecute cases like this...hmm...
posted by Joie! at
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Pumpkin and Late Nights
So I've started attending the evening classes for Linguistics 200
, the only class that I still have outstanding from the 5 week migraine fiasco. So the arrangement that I have with my prof is that she will disregard all the coursework that I had already completed and that my amended grade will be taken from the work that I will perform in this class (Mon & Wed, 7pm-10pm). Which means that I will sit for all the quizzes, complete all the assignments etc. While this adds another 10-12 hours to my week's workload (I'm hoping to get alot done in between calls at work) it also means that I have a much better shot at doing well in the class, because of the new structure she has set up for it and also because it's a Summer course, which helps my focus. I'm kinda concerned that I haven't been contacted about the Introduction to Musical Theory
just because it -is- distance education and I can't do anything about it until they tell me what to do. I think I will call the instructor today at lunch.
Jim's going to take the Career Testing Package
at the UBC Women's Resource Centre
(which is apparently not just for women...) tomorrow. I'm so glad that he's finally able to do this. He's been seeking career counselling/guidance for a very long time now, but strangely enough it's not as readily accessible as it should be. He was chasing down people at unemployment centres (all this while he's been working at Kobelt
) calling phone numbers that were given to him but were no longer in service etc. His story is a long and stupid one and I don't care to recount it. I'm just glad that he finally will get some help with his direction. He also managed to bargain the testing fees from $250 down to $140. Gotta love him.
Tonight Jim and I will be going to Pet Habitat
to look at the orange tabby. If we bring him home, I'm going to call him Pumpkin. Our concern is that if the cat is too old, Gato would absolutely rip it to shreds. Jim's really hot on the idea of a second cat though and I'm just enamoured with the orange cat. Not to mention that I'm starting to spend less and less time at home, which is supremely unfair to Gato. Jim's thinking of getting some sort of deal where we can return Pumpkin if all our efforts to socialize the two cats are unsuccessful. I think Tom might go for it if we agree that the cat is not fully refundable. Perhaps we could pay $50 and return the cat if neccessary?
posted by Joie! at
Monday, May 10, 2004
All Things Considered
Last night we invited our neighbours over for wings and ice-cream. We invited them over before we realised that the last episode of Survivor
was on. Thankfully, they weren't opposed to watching it and what a show it was! The person who I felt should have won the show didn't, which wasn't as big of a shame than it would have been given the situation. I like the Big Twist
that they inserted at the end though, giving the viewers a chance to vote for one out of the 16 all-stars that they feel should get a million dollars. I think it would be a good idea if we all Vote for Rupert
. Rupert is probably one of the worst Survivor players ever, in the sense that he is not very adept at playing the game. On the other hand, Rupert is the one person out of the 16 that I would love to see get 1 million dollars. Sure, you could probably draft some pretty compelling arguments about someo f the other players, but I've run them all through my head and my mind is made up.
Survivor aside, it was really fun to have people over at my place. we were all talking about everything under the sun and I can see myself hanging out with these people on a regular basis. Perhaps even a trip to a water park or Playland
. I don't want to look over-eager though and I'll be waiting for them to make the next moves but it's been a while since I've enjoyed the company of people my age and I'm really really liking it. Not to mention they love getting together and playing board games which is a deliciously cheap alternative to a night out on the town. Plus it's more fun to get drunk when you know that you can take the lift down two floors and be in your bed in 10 seconds.
The conversation last night got 'round to cats and kittens. Both couples have two cats each and I was lamenting about how I would love two cats. Jim would love a kitten and then we remembered that there's one kitten in Pet Habitat
. It's an orange tabby, male, and very affectionate. Incredibly adorable and I've always wanted an orange cat. In case anyone was forgetting by now, Gato hates other cats. But if we get a kitten that's young enough, apparently it would not be as difficult to introduce one to her. The orange one at Pet Habitat is a little too old for this purpose but these kittens
aren't. Jim's really hot on the idea of another cat, but there are so many things to consider.
Gato will not gladly share her domain with another cat. She and she along is the queen of the universe and has been known to scare off cats three times her size. What will she do to a cat a third of her size? Plus, I will not have alot of time until about June 20th. The problem with waiting that long is that we are already approaching the end of the kitten season as it is. Waiting until then would mean that wouldn't be any kittens for us to choose from, really. It is also very selfish of me to think in those terms too considering that Jim will be home in the evenings, only pulling 8 hour days in which it would be no trouble to keep the kitten in the bedroom and Gato outside. Again, Gato will not appreciate being restricted in her domain. There is also the issue of having two cats it would be harder to move and travel should we have two cats. Cats are 20 year commitments and Jim and I certainly hope to devote a year or so to travel in the next little while. I'm sure his dad will have no problems taking care of one cat. But two cats?
There's a very strong argument to having two cats though. Once they get over the initial "you're in my space" issue, they become fast friends. I think it would be invaluable for Gato to have a friend of her own despite the fact that I love the idea that she's very much my cat and follows me all over the place. I'm not at home all the time and perhaps she needs more company than what I'm able to give her. I'm thinking about it hard and I'm going to place a few phone calls today to see what options I have available to me. I love Gato and I wouldn't love her any less despite the fact that I have always wanted an orange cat and that kittens are so cute. I'm just wondering if getting a little orange kitten is not as bad an idea as I initially thought it was.
This week will also be the week that I'm stuffed wit activities. They are better planned than the last 60 hour week that I pulled, however, and all the activities are absolutely voluntary. If I do end up getting a kitten, it will be the second year in a row that I get a cat and then jet off to choir camp. It's a rather worrying pattern to establish, but I think my kitty will be okay for three days without me.
One last note: Now that I have the internet at home, I just looked at my blog through the latest version of Internet Explorer. Needless to say it is way more advanced than the Mozilla
browser that I have been using at work. I will assure everyone that it looks awesome on Mozilla, and I will be pulling long shifts next week to make sure that the rest of the world using the most up-to-date browsers will be able to see that I'm not blind, that my alignment skills are not out of whack and that I have a good eye in general.
posted by Joie! at
Friday, May 07, 2004
Not that this is an original sentiment, but there's something special about Fridays. The anticipation of something earned, and something to be celebrated. I can't wait for when I'm advanced enough along my career path to make Thursdays my Fridays and Tuesdays my Mondays. For now though, I'm extremely content with a two day weekend and plan to take it reeeaaal easy over the next two days. Watching my fish tank, perhaps, hopefully with new fish in it.
On Saturday night Jim will be going out for Magic
and it will be the first night that I will have alone in my new place. I think a round of candles and bathtubs and Goo Goo Dolls is in order. Not to mention that there will not be anyone around to tell me to put the cat down because she's obviously pissed off as anyone can tell, because she doesn't like being held. Ha. I'm probably going to knock myself out playing some wicked Sim games that I bought even before I bought the computer too. I'm also making the low-carb chocolate cake tomorrow, which would be quite an adventure. I haven't baked in a while and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow night. Plus it will be the first time I get to use my 6 inch springform pans
Then on Sunday is when Jim gets to open all his presents (and have the cake) and then Sunday evening we are having the neighbours over (new futon
!) for wings and ice-cream. I'm starting to wonder if this Sunday was the best idea considering that the last episode of Survivor
is this Sunday too. It's a three hour blow-out with a two-hour "conclusion" episode then the one hour vote and reunion. Jim says that the worst case scenario would be that we would tape it and then watch it after the neighbours leave. Considering that it's three hours long, I'm not so sure that's the best idea, seeing as how both of us have to work the next day. I don't want the week blown before it has even started.
Guess what came in the mail last night? The Best of John Bellairs
. Three books bound as one. I'm more than halfway through the first one and I had to stop reading it because it's preventing me from answering the phone in a timely manner (let alone on the first ring, which is what I'm supposed to do). I think after I finish penning this entry I will start reading it again though. It's killing me thinking about the story and knowing how close I am to the climax/conclusion. The only problem is that I don't want to finish all three books the day after I received them. That's my biggest gripe about buying books, that in terms of hours of entertainment, I get severely ripped off because of how fast I read. (I can finish all the Harry Potter
books written to date in a day) Then again, I'm not going to gripe about the fact that I read fast, because it sure comes in handy with those university course readings.
On a completely different topic, coffee and tea is best without sugar and with a tablespoon (not that titchy teaspoon) of whipping cream (33%). I'm on Atkins
so fat content is not a large issue. I did some research before I decided to launch on this diet, and it seems to make much more sense than low-fat diets. I'm starting to see results, not dramatic results like those featured in the "success stories" section, but it sure beats not losing any weight. It's also deceptively easy to maintain a low-carb diet. The only drawback is having to be really careful when eating out. I digress. Right now I'm sitting at my station sipping a hot cup of strong, aromatic coffee with whipping cream in it. It's soothing, it's calming and it's certainly starting to wind me down. The perfect setup for a weekend.
posted by Joie! at
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Yesterday I received an email from UBC's Distance Education & Technology
asking if I wanted to take an online course this Summer. So I perused the course catalogue and found An Introduction to Musical Theory
. Now I have a Grade 8 Musical Theory cert....so I signed up for the course. It's not as cheap a move as it looks, I got my Grade 8 a long time ago and I hardly remember anything. I would love a little refresher course in Musical Theory and an average boost like that is too much to pass up. This and my participation in the UBC Choral Union is what is keeping my B+ average +. It also justifies my buying the computer, because this is an online course and I need it to be able to study at home.
Today I also got an email from my Linguistics prof who is letting me sit in on her classes that I may complete my outstanding course and coursework. I'm absolutely thrilled at this opportunity. It essentially means that I no longer have the burden of having to revise this course independently and it also guarantees that my grade change will be made before I have to register for this fall's classes. Finally, my transcript is going to look like it should. Everything is falling into place. Not to mention that BCSAP Online
is going to start accepting student loan applications for the 2004/2005 school year on May 17th. I have a solid plan surrounding my student loan. I just read stats on student debt and it's not pretty. Due to the current state of the economy, grads are finding it harder to get jobs within their first year of graduation (or indeed their second). The problem here is not just that the average debt is higher than before due to the rise in tuition costs, but also that the grad has to start making payments 6 months after graduation. This usually results in the grad taking a loan from a financial instituition and then working to pay that off, with the ensuing interest from both loans weighing on the wallet.
Scary stuff, but I have a good plan, not to mention the fact that I've been speaking with one of the Arts Advisors who is going to give me quite a large amount of support for the remainder of my education. She is the one that I went to see with regards to getting the "Standing Deferred"s as well as withdrawing from several courses. It's comforting to know that there are people who are willing to work with you toward your eventual goal, and it certainly makes the journey less arduous.
We spent a good 4 hours last night cleaning up the apartment. It was something that desperately needed to be done. Now it looks and feels so much better. I'm very impressed with our current state of affairs, in that we have done pretty awesome for ourselves on a relatively tight budget. The new refridgerator arrived yesterday. Apparently the one in our unit was 25 years old and is also the last one to be replaced in the building. This one is bigger (we had to alter the cupboard above it so it would fit) and seems to be working better. The old one froze everything regardless of which section in the fridge you stashed it in. Frozen apple cider vinegar is not in the least useful. Still I can't help but be impressed, I don't think any appliances made today can last 25 years. They just don't make things like that anymore. That was exactly what the building manager was lamenting about too when he carted away the old fridge.
We're going to get internet at home tonight too. Jim's just bouncing off the walls with excitement. Poor baby's gone without the internet for a good month now. The main thing about it is that he d/ls music to burn into his minidisc player to listen to at work so that he doesn't have to be included in inane and potentially brain damaging conversations. He's been listening to the same selection of music for so long though that he's stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea at work. Indulge in perverse conversation or listen to Adam Sandler's goat song another time? I'm just really paranoid about viruses. It's a brand new computer, money came right out of my own pocket...this is my baby! I don't want it getting blasted (pun intended) by some random virus! We have a 90 day free trial of Norton Anti-Virus though which gives me a good three months to find someone who would lend me their version! I can't believe how expensive anti-viral software is. I think that everyone should have access to the protection of their property. I have no use for a computer rendered useless by a nasty virus. Rendering my computer useless is tantamount to stealing $1500 from me.
When I carted home all of Jim's presents last night his eyes just popped! There were four beautifully wrapped packages (I used the same wrapping paper throughout) and a giant card. He started shaking and squeezing all of them trying to guess what was within. He dwelt for a while on the leather wallet package and I told him that if he could guess what it was he could open it. I started to feel bad for him a ways into the guessing process because I could see that it was killing him, not knowing what was inside. He finally got it when I told him that it's made out of something edible. The wallet is going over very well indeed. He's finding all sorts of reasons to whip it out and show it off. He's wanted a leather wallet for a long time, just because his old canvas one is just that. The only reason why he hasn't bought it is because he was waiting for the canvas one to give out. Let's be realistic here. He's had that wallet since he was 16 and not even a stich is loose. Give it another 50 years and I doubt even the seam that is stressed the most often would give out. Well constructed, but not cool. This new one is Danier, genuine leather. I'm glad it went over so well, I just hope that the other presents can measure up. Oh well, I'm pretty sure that the electric razor will be a hit too.
Tomorrow's Friday and I'm estatic about the weekend. We're going to have people over and the Survivor finale is this Sunday (which is why we're going to try and move the shindig to Saturday, so we can watch the finale with Jim's Dad). It's been a long week, and next week I will be starting both my Music 103 and my Linguistics 200 classes. Still, I will survive!
posted by Joie! at
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Someone's got a Birthday...
I spent the better part of my day at work today wrapping the last of Jimmy's presents and making his card. I made it out of half a poster board folded in half. I'm not much of an artist, but I think it looks alright.
Last night I sat on the couch after I got home at about 6pm. I blinked once and it was 9. Absolutely brutal when you lose a night just like that. Jim said that I looked tired, so he let me sleep. Would've been great if my mind/body KNEW that I was sleeping and registered the rest.
I'm so psyched about giving Jim his birthday presents. There are four in all and that giant oversized card. It's black written in with silver and gold pens. Black was the best colour poster board that I could find. The other colours were too lurid. The only problem with a card that big is that there's pressure to fill up all that space. So I daresay I wrote 1000 words in that card. Three sections. First one explaining the presents and the card, second telling him how I felt about him and third about my well-wishes for his future. On the other side I just wrote happy birthday in both English and Chinese. I'm slowly teaching Jimmy Chinese, so it's a nice touch I think.
The funny thing about birthday cards. I don't know if I'm the only one with this experience because it seems like the birthday card industry is thriving, but I must have looked at upwards of 500 cards (maybe that's an exaggeration, but I don't think so) and none of them even came close to being appropriate. I saw one that would have been appropriate if Jimmy was buying it for me, just because I have this thing about fish
, but really nothing that suited him or defined our relationship. In fact, all the ones that were made for "sweetheart" were just so sugary I cannot imgaine anyone buying it for anyone else. Not to mention that sugar is an absolute no-no on Atkins.
I was perusing eBay's Weird Stuff
listings when I came across a CD that had all sorts of stuff on it (1000 drink mixes, party screensavers...) but what really caught my eye was the "make your own lava lamp" and the pictures that they provided for said lamps were so cool. The lava lamps were made out of Absolut
and Smirnoff twist
bottles. It was beyond cool. Conventional wisdom has taught me that anything you can buy "on a CD" on eBay, you can already find online. Sure enough I stumbled upon Oozing Goo
where there are several methods to make your own lava lamp.
The concept is easy enough. You need immiscible two liquids with really close densities such that one will sink in the other, but when heated will become less-dense so it will float to the top and then sink back down when it is cooled this starting the flow-y motions. The base is made out of tin cans and 25-40w bulbs and apparently the tricky part is getting the fluids right. Reading the instructions many things occurred to me. Like is it wise to heat flammable liquids in a sealed container? Or should ordinary people be handling these chemicals? I'm still curious though and once we get our Internet set up at home I'm going to try and convince Jimmy to undertake the project of making one of these lamps.
I read the forum section and am well aware that this is not something that one gets right on the first try. I'm also well aware of the fact that not only do we have a giant rug to finish, we are also designing our own wall hangings. Still, who do you know that has made their own lava lamp? I'm just going to have to find someone who will drink Smirnoff twist. I'm not a big fan. Go look at Oozing Goo
and if you try to make one, I want to hear all about it.
I'm going home to a devastatingly messy house. I hope to have it all cleaned up tonight. I don't want to wait till the weekend. I have better things to do with my weekends I find.
posted by Joie! at
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Cardio and a Free Futon
When Jim and I went over to the neighbour's to watch hockey
we immediately told them that we wanted them over to our place once we got it in order. Then we realised that we really couldn't wrangle having 5 other people at our house just because there isn't anywhere to sit. We have the two seater couch and my black chair and three straight-backed wooden chairs. Those chairs are really for the dining room anyway and aren't really condusive for just sitting around.
Darryl and Renee had a futon that doubled up as a 3-4 person couch when we visited and I was trying to convince Jim that we should get one. The problem was that either we get one second hand, which could potentially be really really gross because you don't know who's been sleeping on it or we could buy brand new. Brand new futons are, in my opinion, over priced. It's a metal frame with a cheap mattress for $500. I paid less for my Queen size bed (frame, mattress and boxspring) and a futon only becomes a double with a foam mattress. So one day I was just standing at the bus stop waiting for the light to change when I saw an ad for a free futon. I was suspicious at first, just because the ad also had other things on sale like a desk for $25 and a dresser for $30. You have to ask why the desk and the dresser were for sale but a major item like a futon is free.
Still, it's a free futon, at the very least, I would be able to use the frame and replace a skanky mattress, or paint over scratches etc. I was thinking of all the possible reasons a futon's re-sale value would be 0 when I decided just to up and call Sunny (cute name) and ask. The deal is that Sunny is trying to get rid of her furniture. She's usually the person out of all her friends who will take in old/free furniture when they do IKEA upgrades of their own living spaces. This being the case, she has more funiture than she has floor and she's in the process of streamlining. Come to think of it, I never got the reason why the futon was free while the other furniture was on sale, but here's the deal.
She got the futon 2-3 months ago to sleep on. In doing that, she realised that her couch was a more comfortable place to sleep at night (the cushions fold away or something) and so the futon acted like a couch. Now her apartment is probably as big as mine so she really didn't need a two-seater, a three-seater and a futon. So she was giving it away. The frame was in pristine condition, the only bumps and scratches on it were made by me trying to get the frames down the stairs. The mattress had a few coffee stains on it. I think the reason the re-sale value is nil is because Sunny has three cats and four guinea pigs and the mattress is oddly lumpy. Sunny explained that when she tried to take the cover off the wash, the inside separated into the three layers that it comes in and she had a hard time getting the clean cover back on. I didn't quite understand, but when I got it home, I saw what she was talking about. So no permanent damage, but stains, pet home and an oddly lumpy mattress. I'll take it!
Getting it home was another issue. The main frame (which is what the mattress lies on) would not fit into Jim's '95 Honda Civic (not a hatchback). She lived just over 800m from where I live so I said that we should walk the frame home. Here is a map:
The rest of the frame and mattress fit into the car so the idea was that Jim would drive back and start walking back along the street until he met me so that he could help with the rest of the frame. Seriously, this is as close as I have come to a workout in a long time. I figure, it's free, so I really should not complain about it. All in all, it was an interesting venture. We assembled it without instructions and without trouble and now we have a futon in our living room. All set to invite people over this Sunday. Now I just have to get a cover for the mattress. Sunny said that Queen-sized duvet covers work great and are cheaper than futon covers. I'll look into it. My idea was just to sew my own cover with cheap fabric. I'm still waiting on Jim's dad to dig up his mother's (Jim's grandmother's) handy stitch and a futon cover is very tedious work if done by hand.
Our living room is starting to look rather dramatically different. We have unpacked our bookcase, and the new fish tank looks gorgeous. I'm excited about Sunday and I'm so psyched that we got a free futon. Oh and one more thing, Jim's triops kit
has arrived in the mail, thankfully much earlier than projected. I forgot to bring it into the office to wrap today, but I certainly will tomorrow. All his presents are now here. Can't wait to give it to him on the weekend.
posted by Joie! at
Monday, May 03, 2004
I got alot done this past weekend, but it was also immensely refreshing. I need more weekends, and I think I will commit to making sure that I get them.
On Saturday Jim and I put up signs for Mrs. Maguire's Garage sale and managed to slip away at 9:30am. I bought a nice set of three nesting tins, a deep pink with orange borders and hearts. Then we trekked over to the Coquitlam area and bought a new fish tank
from Pet Habitat
. It's a gorgeous 20 gal. for alot less than I should have paid. I have big plans for this new tank and for the old one too. After carting the tank home, I set it up Saturday and transferred my fish in Sunday.
I also managed to get my hands on a free futon. Technically I haven't picked it up yet, but I am going to tonight. Basically someone's moving from one of the apartment blocks near me and they are giving their futon and frame away for free. It will work nicely as a three-seater couch. This and the fish tank has inspired me to re-arrange my living room. I tried on Sunday night to get my act together and unpack the last boxes and do the dishes and un-clutter in general, but Beltane just left me exhausted, even though all I did was sit around in the sun.
Beltane was wicked awesome. The quest this year was based on the Russian Legend Vasilisa the Beautiful
and it was a riot. Beltane is held at Jim's dad's friend Brian Hayden
's house. It's not so much a house as it is an estate. There is a small wooded area and a creek that runs through it and two separate ponds. The quest is laid out in a trail through the wooded area and us "questers" in groups of 5-8 get to interact with the different characters in the story at different stations. The idea is that we are helping Vasilisa complete the tasks that Baba Yaga assigns her to do (on pain of her getting eaten). There's also live music with people bringing their violins and accompanied by the piano, dances by the Vancouver Morris Men
(and if you look at their list of "performances", you can actually see Beltane listed for May 2nd!) and the planting of and a dance around the Maypole, because really, it's a celebration of spring, the earth thawing!
There was also a pot luck which according to Jim's dad is always notoriously inadequate. Not to say that there isn't enough food, but that there is never enough of each dish. My Tom Yam fish quickly disappeared! I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't expect it to take so well, it also meant that Jim's dad didn't get to eat any, which is a shame. Jim's dad's barbequed prawns disappeared before my fish did though. It was so good and he made it with a curry/garlic/sauteed onions/yoghurt dipping sauce. Luckily Jim saved him some, because we were further up the line. I had such a blast watching the dances and just sitting on the grass in the sun in general. I can't wait for next year's Beltane.
All in all it was a very relaxing weekend. The best kind of relaxing because I got much done too. I'm just thrilled to bits about my new fish tank
and the sounds of water lapping is just too amazing. Not to mention the fact that the extra lights above the fishtank (just two 25w lamps) add a nice amound of light in the living room, which I always thought was a little under-lit. The light is soft and yellow and refracted by 20 gallons of water, I almost feel like my living room is a spa. I want to get a cheap bean bag to just throw at the floor beneath the fish tank so that I can read/listen to audiobooks while taking in the lapping of the water and the dancing light.
I have to admit that I'm feeling a little gulity about spending all this money. First on the computer and then on the fishtank (the whole set up after taxes and the table(s) that I had to buy to put it on etc. was about $100). I -could- argue that I didn't have to buy the fish tank, I just had to give my Rosy Barbs back to the pet store, but it vastly improves the space. There's something about the sounds of lapping water that is calming and peaceful. Not to mention the immeasurable pleasure derived from watching the tiger barbs dart among the swish swish swish of the Rosys. The computer? Well perhaps I didn't really need it for the summer, but once I go back to school, it will be invaluable. So, yeah I've been spending alot of money, but really, it's money well spent I think.
Now with all the improvements that have been made to the apartment, I can't wait for Jim to finish designing the rug (I have to complete the border, which is more work that I thought it would be). We also found out that Michaels
sells canvases which is excellent because we are planning to paint our own art work. The best part about that plan is that we can sell off our art work and paint more when we tire of what's on our walls. It's more than a low-cost solution, it's a potential profit generator! So many big ideas. For the first time in three years, I actually feel like where I live is home.
posted by Joie! at