Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Grumble grumble grumble and then: Hole-y smokes!

Don't you just love it when someone primly commands you to do something you were just about to do since a) it's part of your job and b) you're a professional writer/editor with 20 years' experience and c) you know what the !&@# you're doing?

I went in to work early this morning because I had so much to do, and was greeted with a terse little email telling me I had to get my Xyz manuscript to the VP by end of day. Yeah. I knew dat. Cuz, like, I created the schedule.

That's all. Just having a grumble after a very long day. Also my son really doesn't like daycamp because it's too noisy. Kids screaming and crying. He looked tired and worried tonight. I just want to wrap him up and keep him with me all the time. And my little brother is having a hard time and he finally called me and told me he is sad. I wish I could protect him from everything too.

Some weirdness: Hole-y smokes! I rode my bike to work this morning, and rode it home this evening, and there was one more house - poof! Gone. It was there this morning. By the time I passed it on the way home, there was nothing left of it but some rubble, and all the trucks and equipment had packed up and left for the day. Weird!

I've got to take some pictures of all the holes that were formerly houses that I see on my route to work. It's incredible.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My first job


Charlie and I took a long walk this morning, and stopped and sat on a bench for awhile to take a little rest. We both sniffed the air. Charlie asked, "what's that smell?" and I smiled. Pipe smoke, Amphora Red. Here's how come I knew.

My first job was at Medical Centre Drugs, and I was about 14. I cleaned the shelves (endlessly) in the pharmacy, got rid of expired meds, counted pills (by 4s), and hung out with the pharmacist. I even got to ring stuff in, and OMG I loved that cash register; it was one of the old ones where the buttons stayed down, and to add you used the side of your hand. It was so cool. I learned how to count back change, and balance the till at the end of the day (one time carrying $26,000 in my school bag to the bank to deposit the money). I even got to set up window displays.

Sweeping the sidewalk early on a Saturday morning while other stores around us opened up too made me feel very grown up. This was life.

Mr. Everett, the pharmacist I worked with most (there were two), was semi-retired, and an artist. He was shortish, as I recall, but very dashing. He smoked his pipe (Amphora Red, which I remember because sometimes I'd have to go out and pick it up for him) while we worked, and chatted with the customers. He was neat and kind and had the most beautiful handwriting I'd ever seen. Still to this day I do my 9s like his - curled, rather than a circle on a stick.

I made $2.15 an hour. And even though I enjoyed my next job scooping ice cream more in some ways (too many sick people coming in the door), I think I was pretty lucky with this one.

The photo is of one of Mr. Everett's pastels, a wedding gift from my parents. (There's glass over it; hence the reflection.) It's Lake Muskoka, and if you know the way out to Port Carling from Bracebridge, just past Milford Bay, you probably know this spot.

Friday, July 25, 2008

No-see-ums

This is an actual piece of a photograph of the office building I work in. Cropped to protect the innocent (namely, me :o)

Look at all the windows!

About 15 minutes ago, I walked around the office trying to look out one of these marvelous windows and discovered that at least, for the time being, I can't. There's someone in the boardroom with the door shut, and all the offices have their doors shut as well - and all the offices on this floor are on the outside. So if you're a lowly employee of my ilk and level, you don't get an office.
To be fair, I can peek through the striped frosted glass in the offices where the occupant is absent. But otherwise, I'm shut in, view-wise.

I know I've complained about this before, but usually the boardroom is empty and one or two office doors might be open, so total shutout is rare. But jeez.

Not being able to see out: That's not nice!

PS: I'm working this weekend due to the fact that my bo*s didn't cover my biggest project while I was away as promised. Also not nice, but since I've already whined about it, I will accept my burden with grace (can't you tell?).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Just sittin' here for hours on end

... meaning, I'm back at work. Hour after hour after hour.

Oddly enough, coming back to work after our wonderous vacation did not stress me out or give me an anxiety attack - I'm thinking the meds have kicked in for real - but it just seems amazing to me that we all have to sit, sit, sit at our computers for so bl**dy much of the day. I am bored, bored, BORED! And my bum is a bit numb.

I'm not kidding about the meds. It's almost like a little switch has gone off.

I know I'm feeling calmer about things that usually cause me anxiety, such as packing to leave from vacation. I'm usually weepy and dreading the car trip and making sure I've got a flashlight and what would I do if my husband suddenly became incapacitated while driving and could I steer the car to safety though the power steering doesn't work if you turn off the engine and is Charlie's car seat really going to protect him and I could stand an amputation but please don't let me die and leave my precious family.

Actually in all honesty, I did think about all that a bit, but - I didn't bother to check to make sure I had a flashlight, nor did I specifically determine where the cell phone was in my bag!

The big thing is noticing my inner voice that makes me think of the bad stuff about myself. For example, back a couple of months ago when I was thinking that my colleague here (who I referred to as "grunchy") was hatefully thinking of me as an old uncool hag and why was I in such a low level job reporting to someone so young, etc. She probably wasn't thinking that at all -I know she's unhappy in her job, and she also told me she had been worried about me. Or, maybe she was thinking of me an an uncool hag a little but now I just really don't care. It's easier for me now to recognize those nasty thoughts and reason them away or combat them with more positive thoughts.

The Globe and Mail is doing an excellent series on stuff like this. The piece I've related to most is a woman who pictures "a miniature scowling version of herself" she refers to as "The Editor". I don't refer to my nasty inner voice as that what with actually being an editor and seeing it as the way I make my living; not really a negative thing, but I do know what she means. Check it out.

The other good thing is that my b*ss doesn't sit right beside me any more; feels great. The bad thing is all the work she insisted I not worry about because she was going to cover for me did not get covered.

And I MISS MY BOY!

Here's something a wee bit weird. I spoke to an affable chap from our parent company in the UK today, so all day I've been feeling like I'm writing with an English accent.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Living the life of Riley



I can't say I have any problem with going on vacation, other than the fact that you can't actually live like this all the time. For one, if we did, I'd soon weigh 300 lbs what with all the Kawartha Dairy product I'm ingesting, not to mention all the sleep I'm getting.
Charlie's been skipping thousands of rocks; yesterday skipped one five times! And today, my thoughts are like those great skippers.
We're right in the middle of our holiday, up at the Little Green Cottage just up the drive from the Big Gray House on the lake. The black flies are as thick as May for some reason this year, but that's not getting in our way. The lake is deep, the sky is big and my heart is full. Technically, it's Haliburton, and not Muskoka where I grew up, but it's just next door and it sure feels like home.
We all climbed the fire tower in Dorset today. Charlie's fallen asleep early with a bit of a fever, which always worries me a bit. Otherwise, we're happy as clams. On our way back from Dorset, we saw two foxes sitting at the side of the road. Healthy and alive, I should add. The first one scampered away on seeing our car; the other one was rather laid back, and waited until we were almost by him (or her).
I've been feeling pretty calm, not much second-guessing myself, not much in the way of trembling or adrenaline. Could be the CBT; I'm trying to be conscious and recognize when I'm listening to the very-well-exercised part of my brain that likes to build a case against myself. Could be the Cipralex, but I like to think it's not. Could it be, er, uh, the vacation? I'll find out this time next week! In the meantime, I'm enjoying. The other day I slept til noon, then made brownies with Charlie, then read and read and read the perfect vacation book: The Secret Life of Bees. We've been putting honey on our toast every day since.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July


I hope all the folks I know in the States are having a fun holiday with sparklers and fireworks and barbecue and all that great summer stuff! A great big chunk of my family lives (or lived, bless their souls: Wanda and Lucille on Long Island, and my great grandmother who I never met, in Indianapolis) south of the border, and I'd dearly love to see everybody all together in one place again someday - at a happy event, preferably. Last time I saw most of them was at my wedding in Bracebridge almost six years ago, and then a month later at my brother's wedding in PEI.

So happy 4th of July to Kim in Illinois, Wendy soon-to-be in Pennsylvania, Mary and Terry in Texas; David, Michelle and Gregory in Arizona; Sheila and Dick in Michigan; Paul, PT & kids and Pam and Tony in Colorado. And to all the folks I talk to at work who lord love them better never read this blog, and my favourite American bloggers, Mary at The Eleventh, Alicia at Posie Gets Cozy, Judy at Just Enjoy Him, QC at the QC Report, and An Elephant's Gestation formerly of Countless Teaming Stars/Round is Funny.

On Canada Day, I was celebrating too - we came home from the little green cottage up north, and we went straight to my brother's Canada Day party, where we ate barbecued burgers & sausages & watched the crazy fireworks my insane brother set off in their tiny backyard. Charlie was so keyed up he was almost a firework himself. Or as he would say, a "fiyawawk!" The fiyawawk in the pic above scared the living he^k out of all of us, and every time I thought about how scared we all were - because it was so alarmingly huge for the space we were in - I laughed like a ninny.

I'm punchy with joy at the moment. I'm on holiday for the next two week! That's 3 times 5 days. Or two weeks plus one day. We're headed back up north tomorrow morning. Blackflies, black water and bliss lie ahead.