the_siobhan: (shock and awe)
I have so many issues with our current government, but I have to point out when they do something right. This is a fucking amazing story.

From Chechnya to Canada: The Secret Escape For Young Gay Men.

And my workplace recently announced a big donation to Rainbow Railroad, so good on them too.
the_siobhan: (dinosaur)
D took me out to the pub last night for a couple of pints, and they were playing music as pubs tend to do.

So I have a new earworm finally.

the_siobhan: (steps)
I am incredibly prone to earworms. I get them very easily and a bad one can last for weeks if not months. I sometimes wonder if it's related to the tendency towards intrusive thoughts; if the wheels for "step in front of the train, step in front of the train, step in front of the train" just happen to fit in the exact same grooves as "a three hour tour, a three hour tour, a three hour tour".

Last week Michael Pagliaro played at the CNE and thanks to hot weather and the resultant open windows I got one of his songs stuck in my head for a week. This week it was Trooper, no thanks to the co-worker who keeps a radio playing on her desk tuned to some awful baby-boomer station. It's been 70's CanCon all month in here.

(You know Astrid, I keep thinking about the bar manager you told me about who thought all Canadian music sucks. I was aghast when I first heard that, but if she went to high school at the same time I did, she might actually have a point.)

I desperately need to go listen to music with chainsaws in it. Or wash my brain out with bleach. Something.
the_siobhan: (flying monkeys)
One of the phrases I never really anticipated having to say out loud is "Please don't feed the cats on top of my laptop".
the_siobhan: (goatse)
Before Axel decided to spice up my life by scaring the living shit out of me, I had a pretty good weekend.

A while back I had mentioned to BC that I wanted to research wine-making because one of the stories I'm writing has a vineyard as the setting. This gave her the brilliant idea that we should go on a wine tour. So bright (OK, maybe not so much with the "bright" on my part) and early (very, very early) on Saturday morning she picked me up and we drove to Niagara-on-the-Lake. There a bus picked us up and drove us around to a selection of four different wineries.

So have done a wine tour once before. I'm pretty sure that it was when I lived with BC and Ldot, so we're talking over 12 years ago. I remember it as a handful of people following somebody around who guided you around the property and talked about the wine making process before delivering you to a cool shaded barn where you could have a few glasses of wine and maybe buy a bottle or two. Every once in a while a new car would pull up and after a while, or when there were enough people who were interested, they would start another tour.

So things have changed a bit since then.

The first winery we visited was the biggest in the area and it was the only one that actually walked us into the vineyard and through the fermentation rooms. They ran the tours like we were at Disneyland. There was 23 in our group, and there were multiple groups all following in each other steps about 15 minutes apart, it was well-organized and very tightly timed. The "barrel" room where they do the tastings had over a hundred people in it.

The second winery had multiple tasting rooms, and our group was brought into one where a bartender taught us how to do proper tastings with little plates of meat and cheeses - and when our time was up we were hustled the hell out of there stuffing the last of the crackers into our cheeks because the next group was waiting. Wineries three and four were straight to the tasting and buying things.

Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of fun. We got to drink some really nice wines I wouldn't have otherwise tried out (including some very tasty and very expensive ice wines.) The people who served us were all super lovely. I guess just didn't expect it to be quite so much of an industry as it is now.

The other thing that was noteworthy about the event was the other people on the tour bus. We were picked up in two stages, most of the people getting on the bus on at the same time we did. There were about 15-18 women and one man, and the guy was so uncomfortable. He kept talking about how he was the only man there and at one point he said, (I shit you not) "Where are your husbands?"

When the bus picked up the remaining half-dozen people at a second hotel there were three men in the that group and then he made a big deal about that, greeting them very loudly and talking about how relieved he was. BC and I are watching all this, and I kept turning to her and hissing, "Straight people are so fucking weird".

Then when we were walking through the first winery the men were competing with each other over who could hold the doors. Seriously at a couple of points one door were being held open by two guys at the same time, both of them going, "I got it," to each other over and over.

Then at the end of the day on the drive back to be dropped off a bunch of the women were singing loudly along with the radio, which was tuned to some station playing top 40 songs from 20-30 years ago. Think Bryan Adams and Neil Diamond.

So, you know. An educational day even if I didn't get to ask a lot of questions about wine making. I forget sometimes how socially insulated I really am. I almost never hanging out with normal people and their ways are strange and mysterious to me.
the_siobhan: (shock and awe)
One of the guys I work with was born in 1995.

I have to go lie down now.
the_siobhan: (on fire)
It's been a really wet summer so far - this is the only day this week we haven't had/aren't expected to have thunderstorms. Water was coming into D's apartment at one point so we dropped some money credit on getting some additional waterproofing in the basement, and cross fingers/knock on everything, it seems to have done the trick.

Apparently I have a peak number of words per week or something, because the more I write outside of DW/LJ, the less I write here. So yay for being non-blog productive I guess, but I do feel like I should be making some attempt to keep up with the posting. Especially since this is pretty much the only social thing I really do these days.

June was the month of Working All The Overtime, but that's not being offered in July. So instead I signed up for NaNoWriMo again. Because I am allergic to spare time or something.
the_siobhan: (on fire)


I am suffering from a chronic case of having nothing interesting to say.
the_siobhan: (goatse)
Apparently Shoppers Drug Mart is now selling homeopathic remedies. I picked something new off the shelf and it wasn't until after the receipt was long gone that Axel read the fine print on the packaging. This is fucking annoying. I tend to assume that something I buy at a drug store has an actual active ingredient of some kind. Apparently not.

******


I read this article yesterday about scientist who been successfully inclubating lambs in an artifical womb. It's being researched as a therapy for severely premature babies who usually have serious health defects as a result of not cooking long enough.

So that's pretty cool on it's own, but the comments were full of people talking about what will happen once the technology progresses to the point that an artifical womb can be used for the entire process. Some people had some interesting things to say. But the one thing that I totally disagreed with was the number of people who said this would embraced by the pro-life camp as an alternative to abortion. I'm convinced the exact opposite will happen. Because if a woman can put the unwanted pregnancy into an artifical womb and hand it off to somebody else then she's not being punished nearly enough for having had sex, and that's really what the organized pro-life movement is all about.

On the plus side it will probably get rid of the "she shouldn't be allowed it's my baby too" MRA types, because in the vast majority of those cases they don't actually want the kid either.

******


I'm on my second week of working overtime and I'm logging into the systems right now and don't waaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

******
the_siobhan: (flying monkeys)
I swear, I get the most random LinkedIn invitations.

Today it was from some guy who does anger management counselling. And I'm like, so, what are you trying to say?
the_siobhan: It means, "to rot" (Fester)
I kind of meant to use my vacation as a chance to catch up here. Instead I did travel, sick, sick, sick and travel. And then drunk, where I posted a couple of things but mostly forgot anything I wanted to talk about.

I used to do all my updates from work, but not so much now. Things are crazy busy at work and there is never enough time. They have even started offering us overtime hours lately which is... just really not something they've ever done before. I'm taking all the hours I can manage of course, because money.

Having two whole weeks off to so my own thing was So. Nice. I spent most of it being productive of course but I still got to go to Montreal and Guelph and hang out with people.

I wish I had more to talk about but life without money ends up being pretty boring.

aftermath

Apr. 16th, 2017 12:08 pm
the_siobhan: (vertical hold)
I managed to get about 1200 words pounded out between posts and conversations. Not bad.

My hangovers these days mostly consist of just being really really dizzy. I was standing in D's apartment this morning feeling something falling over and completely unable to tell if it was me or something else. As it turned out, it was his laundry basket sliding off the stool.

So it's the last day of my vacation. Apart from the being sick for the entire freakin' time, it was still a productive couple of weeks. I got to visit some lovely people, and we got a a bunch of stuff done around the house.

I think a chill day of just hanging out is in order.

Man, I really don't want to go back to work tomorrow.
the_siobhan: (on fire)
Work has been bonkers. A new department that we've taken over who have never had a workforce team before, so not only are we taking over all their tracking and reporting we are walking them through a massive cultural shift. A brand new software piece that is shall we say, a little buggy at implementation. And half my co-workers out of the office for training for six weeks.

All of these things are happening at the same time.

We still have tons of stuff to do at home, but I'm so wiped when I get there that half the time I end up just sitting and staring at the open box while little invisible birds twitter around my ears. Like I can't even comprehend what I'm looking at, never mind figure out what to do with it.

But starting Friday I'm on vacation for a week, in training for two days and then off for another week. I am literally counting down the hours.
the_siobhan: (goatse)
Drunk writing night suffered from a failure to launch due to a 2-day migraine. I might try to do it another time, it won't be the first time I fudged the date because the calendar one didn't work out.

I am also dealing with bronchitis for the second time in six months and I am awake half the night coughing so I feel like hammered shit. Axel got his CPAP and now I can sleep in the same bed as him but he can't sleep in the same bed with me. I am just so done with this meatsuit. Or perhaps I should say this meatsuit is just so done with me.

Budget stuff is finished and it's ugly but survivable. Unfortunately it means any plans to do pretty much anything that costs money will have to wait. Still I feel a lot better that I know where we stand, and I know that we're not going to lose the house and end up sleeping the park any time soon. We're getting a chunk of tax money back which will help. And I've been ebaying stuff with the faint hope that I might make a few bucks there, but I'm not counting on it.

I'm in my second week of training at work, which just happens to be taking place at my old work location. Man, I had forgotten how much I hate that shitting bus. In the 10 years I worked there the trip went from half an hour to 45 minutes. Now just over a year later it's well over an hour. But taxes are bad, right?

Setting the clocks back this week may have saved my fucking life.

So. Settling into the new normal.
the_siobhan: It means, "to rot" (Fester)
If I need cheering up the best way to do it is punk rock.

So last night the lovely D took me to see Stiff Little Fingers at the Horseshoe. Their shows are always notable for being one of the few gigs I go to where I'm not the oldest person there by a long shot. Somebody was rolling around on top of the mosh pit and I'm standing at the back calling, "That's how you break a hip!"

I spent most of the night talking to two women who sat down next to us and started comparing who-we-knew-back-in-the-day stories. D always says he is constantly flummoxed by how often perfect strangers will just walk up to me and start talking. Apparently people never do that to him, I tell him it's because he has resting murder face.

So today I am feeling decidedly underslept. Fortunately I'm pretty much caught up with all the stuff I have to get done before next week so it's OK if I'm a little disorganized.

Monday is Halloween so my co-workers decided to decorate the command centre. I made the mistake of telling them I had bones at home, so that's why I rode the streetcar to work this morning with two big bags packed full of dead things. I am now getting quizzical looks from many many people.

Tomorrow's schedule is bill paying and listing things for sale. Tonight it's video games and a bottle of wine, because I am taking the night off.
the_siobhan: (wormtooth)
Work has been absolutely nuts. They're bringing in some new software that encompasses everything from payroll to telephony and half my team is going to be in training for most of next month, me included. Of course this doesn't preclude having to do our regular jobs, which are already ramping up to get everything ready for the new fiscal year. So everybody is scrambling to get as much set up in advance as possible before we go to this training. Somehow that hasn't translated into any sense of urgency on the part of the people we rely on for information & updates, go figure.

I can handle busy at work or busy at the house, but both together... I start getting a little frayed around my corners, to put it mildly. It became known this past week that we have a big unwanted expense looming over us that we are going to have to deal with whether we can afford it or not. So I crunched the numbers this week - and crunched more numbers, and went holy shit and took out a machete and... we can do it. Just. It means no spending money on anything ever, so goodbye my weekly laptops and pints sessions for the foreseeable future. That sucks, 'cause I really enjoyed those.

You would think that lying awake at night adding up columns of numbers in my head would fill up all the space normally taken up by the random unnecessary shit my anxiety latches onto. Ha ha. No.

Deep breaths. This too will pass.

It fucking better.
the_siobhan: (Sweetums)
This morning I got to have yet another novel medical experience; an ultrasound of my heart. It was kind of uncomfortable because she had to push the wand reallyreally hard on my sternum and diaphragm and one lower left rib and I know I'm going to have some very flowery bruises later. The diaphragm was the only one that really got close to painful. Still, I got to watch and hear my heart beat and that was kind of neat. In movies your heartbeat sounds all bass and important, in real life it swooshes and gurgles. So that was fun.

I can't say that my vacation was very restful. I did manage to sort three boxes of "What the hell is this crap?" into a box to sell, (Mostly action figures. So now when I look at any site with sponsored ads it presents me with actions figures.) a box to scan & file, (95% emptied) and a final box full of things where I have to figure out whether it's worth spending the time to do something with it or just say fuck it and throw it away. Some of the things I put into the "needs more time to decide" box are old notebooks where I wrote story segments all old school, with pen and paper. I need to sit down and go through them and see if some of it might be worth mining for new material. One of them I identified as the old research I did once for a story about a reality show, so that's already been typed up and stored for later.

The point of all this is to get everything out of the storage locker before January when the lease is up for renewal so I don't have to pay any more for it. The boxes-all-over-living room is just the transitional stage. Or so I keep promising myself.

I also got some medical shit out of the way and did a lot of housework. Every time I take time off work I swear I'm not going to waste my time cleaning because it's undone within a week of going back. But then I hit a point where I just can't fucking deal with the squalor any more and I start cleaning anyway. Then I get really pissed off and drink heavily.

So it goes.

However I did get a couple of writing sessions in and it's been cool enough that I was able to do things like exercise and go for walks. So yay for fall.

Now if I can just get caught up at work.
the_siobhan: (book skeleton)
And just like that, it's fall. Glorious. Of course because nothing can be simple, the weather is making tippy. But I'll take that over not being able to breath any day.

Our next Big House Project is to try and empty the storage locker. The comics are gone but the locker is still full, packed to the rafters with everything that was stored in the basement before D moved in. Having the locker costs money + we have to reduce our expenses = we have to figure out a way to empty it.

I have a bunch of boxes of things that are "souvenirs" so those are the first thing I'm working on. Not sentimental like love letters or anything, but things like old Convergence programmes, concert stubs, the posters for the Chameleons gig, the ridiculous Wasp Factory bar bill that I made everybody autograph. I started going through one of the boxes yesterday and found a folder full of the faxes that Fiona and I used to send back and forth with my sister Dee when she was living in Grand Cayman, back before everybody had email. We had a designated time to send them so she would remember not to answer the phone when it rang and we would tell her all the family gossip and include messages to the kids. Reading them over made me cry a bunch of times.

Everything paper is getting scanned and getting turned into an electronic scrapbook. The non-paper stuff - that I'm not sure about. Maybe I'll take photos of it? I'll figure something out.

I have sooooooooooooo much to doooooooooooooooo at work. And I have to get it all done before Friday, because then I'm off for for the first two weeks of October. I plan to write every day. It's gonna be great.

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the_siobhan: It means, "to rot" (Default)
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