last half of December 2005

Here’s an interesting picture
2005-12-30— Posted by: allegra

March of the Penguins
2005-12-29— Posted by: allegra

We’re currently watching March of the Penguins, which is definitely family viewing. Paul is off to work. I have finished all of my laundry and put it away. (It’s the putting away part that is so remarkable.) Brooke picked up a copy of the mandolin music for O Brother Where Art Thou for Keith (which he will be paying for today, I piously hope). I will be returning the accordion and some other stuff to Peggy’s place today (sorry Peggy, can’t keep the accordion).

Jewel Staite’s blog is full of her sister’s babies, it’s extremely cute and funny. Anybody who wants to can access it off Serenity is #25 in rentals and #3 in sales. No frikkin surprise there.

Keith is juggling three balls without looking. Wow.

Gave Phyllis the Globe and Mail Christmas crossword… her eyes sort of glazed over, and why not, the puzzle and clues are two pages across. I am massively in Sudoku land, but I’ve never progressed beyond an easy one.

Stuck 222 dollars worth of fluids in the vehicle yesterday. The tranny fluid was… uh… rather dark in color; the oil was crispified and the rad needed flushing in the worst way. Now the vehicle is much happier, although the joy would be complete if the spark plugs were changed.

Penguin colonies are NOISY.

Today I make file folders for 2006 and clear out the plant room, which will be easier than it sounds cause most of the stuff in there is just plain garbage.

Make mine wild
2005-12-27— Posted by: allegra

A risk benefit analysis of wild vs farmed salmon.

Had a simply wonderful Boxing Day meal yesterday; fed Phyllis, Glenn and Maggie, Jessica D, Keith Kate Paul and myself. Spaghetti squash, mashed taters, bowling balls (brussel sprouts) and a big big hunk of roast pork with sauerkraut. Man, it was tasty. For some reason I completely forgot ALL the fresh vegetables I prepped (Radishes? Carrots? Celery with extra crunch?), so, guess what, I had salad for breakfast this morning. Actually salad and coffee isn’t a bad way to start the day.

Today Paul’s at work and I have the car so I will be trying to think of something that doesn’t involve a hellacious amount of walking but is reasonably touristy for Phyllis; I’m thinking the Sun Yat Sen garden, or is that the imperialist running dog garden, I can never keep it straight. Also, laundry. Why does laundry keep happening? And why are there so few clothes I want to wear even when they are clean? I am puzzled.

Ironing for peace?

Bizzzzarre. Much in this universe puzzles me. Sigh.

There is way too much attractive sugar in this house right now.

Relatives visiting
2005-12-26— Posted by: allegra

Today we pick up Phyllis, Paul’s mum, from the airport (actually we have to be there in about 40 minutes….) and Katie is off on her shopping trip with her gal pal Jessica D.

Yesterday’s Christmas gathering included *yeah yeah yeah* BROOKE, who magically reappeared from her family gathering up the Valley with her mighty might banjo. And it included Keith singing Angel Band with us (the lyrics are in the mighty mighty Rise Up Singing) as well as Down in the River to Pray and Big Rock Candy Mountain. Down in the River to Pray is one of those songs that generates intense heat amongst the people all trying to play it all at the same time (the time signature is bizarre, frankly) so I cut the comedy and said, “We’ll all have a LOT more fun if we sing it a capella,” to which Brooke said, “Works for me” and that is what we did. So we could concentrate on enjoying it rather than futzing with adding and deleting beats.

Anyway, the singing stuff from O Brother Where Art Thou was as much of a Christmas present as Keith could have asked for, so along with the wonderful turkey dinner (I made salad… and brought pineapple. Did you know that fresh ripe pineapple goes really well with turkey? I didn’t until last night.) Oh, and I brought smoked salmon pate and Peggy thankfully had bikkies to put it on, and I garnished them with italian parsley and avocado, so there, extremely festive. Later on today, or is it tomorrow? I am feeding Phyllis and Glenn and Marilyn. Pork Roast I think. Haven’t seen them for ages, me happy. There is WAY too much chocolate in my life right now, although Cleo’s shortbread cookies, as far as I’m concerned, could be piled hip deep and it wouldn’t be enough. Jessica D’s mom made rum balls. My tongue wants a vacation from sugar. Dax bought Katie a piano chord chart for Christmas and it is now hanging over the keyboard in the livingroom. Is there anything else I can jam in here???? More later, of course.

Keith at his blue belt grading
2005-12-25— Posted by: allegra

2005-12-25— Posted by: allegra

Let’s try this again…..

enough sleep
2005-12-25— Posted by: allegra

Now we clean. Grisly, eh? Helluva way to spend Christmas.

Shown are all my Granny’s descendents and spouses. A respectable sized mob. Aren’t the boys adorable???? They were so well behaved at Earl’s I kept rubbing my eyes and wondering how we were related…

2005-12-25— Posted by: allegra

It’s a rather festive time of year…. my grandmother turns 90+, my parents have their (gasp! choke… Wheeeehueeeeze!) 49th wedding anniversary, and some guy in a sweaty costume scares children while shaking bells and making noises that sound like rude references to working women.

We took the ferry to join my parents, my uncle and his wife and child and daughter in law and grandchildren, my brother and my grandmother at a meal at Earl’s on Blanshard in Victoria. (Talk about easy directions. Uh, get off the ferry and drive until you see a building on the left with two large scabrous fibreglass parrots). We ate ourselves into a pleasant state of repletion (which science fiction novel did I steal that from?) took family pictures, and just plain had a mellow, mellow time. Now we are home again, and we’ve fed the cats including the Pokester, are grabbing a quick bite, and we’re going to settle in and watch Serenity with Joss Whedon’s commentary.

Tomorrow morning we will have the present opening – TamTam’s prezzies – and we will also have the opening of the cash envelopes, a fine family tradition – and then we will attempt to clean the house to the point that a woman who was raised with proper standards of cleanliness (ie, my mother in common law) will feel welcome here. I figure we should get up around nine, have a leisurely breakfast, bash at it all four of us for a couple of hours, and then knock off for dim sum, or maybe a pizza. Paul is making hot rum toddies.

I bought gifts for three people this year. I’m not allowed to say who I bought one of them for, but I bought presents for Katie’s mom in common law Suzanne (she really really liked her gift which I have been jonesing to buy her since Mike first showed it to me) and for Keith, who is foregoing money for a digital voice recorder. All things considered, I did a pretty good job of keeping my hands in my pockets this Christmas. Paul bought me warm socks and brightly coloured cotton tights for Christmas. Warm fuzzies, darlin’.

Karl and Cleo brought us Christmas cookies. Yum. I will return fire, ahem, provide an exchange, when I get around to cooking biscotti early next week.

I am really in a remarkably happy and relaxed mood, and hearing Alan’s voice on the phone (all I need is Hanukkah gelt! give me Hanukkah gelt?!) was the flourish at the end of the day.

A happy, warm and filled with soul-friends Christmas to you all! I’ll have pix of the family celebration when I’ve uploaded them.

2005-12-23— Posted by: allegra

Saw Bryan P for the first time in about a year at the Golf Course last night. I said, speak to me of your first born son (first grandson, both sides of the family) and he whipped out his laptop and gave me a slide show. His 3 month old son is among the cutest babies ever ever ever. Ever. Ever. He looks like a cross between a cherub and a leprechaun, Then I said, so, uh, speak to me of your wife’s labor and delivery, and of course, you ask a new dad this and whoo hoo, an hour goes by like nothing. I know, I’m sick, but I just love the grisly detail, and you never get to talk about it often enough when it’s that new, and I know from past experience that he’s a hell of a raconteur.

In attendance otherwise were a small horde of past and present fellow workers, including Mike the Perfect Master, Rob B, Dave, Brian C and Chari, Ian and Sarah, Susan N, my Paul, Tony Z, John B, Otto-man (it was great to see him) and Jerome and Shannon. Ah. Wonferdle. It was just the kind of gathering we all desperately needed.

Then Paul and I went home and went to bed. Paul slept like I’ve never seen him sleep, which after four days of nights was a plus.

How very provoking
2005-12-22— Posted by: allegra

Grrr, aargh. My brother just sent me a link to his “I Hate Victoria Drivers” blog, and it’s alternately hilarious and wonderfully written. Visualize using your turn signal. Indeed. In space, nobody can hear you scream “Use your ****ing turn signal, you ignoramus!”

If anybody wants to see the link, lemme know.

Wounded Keith
2005-12-22— Posted by: allegra

Keith had a belt test today. He got clipped during sparring practice, but he has a good feeling about his grading, and will know in about three weeks. Doesn’t he look entirely cute, and sort of James Marstersish? Sigh.

I’m not even going to say what the video is called
2005-12-22— Posted by: allegra

Found this. Perfect. Alan, I’m assuming you have already seen this. Christmas carols for the new age. Or not.

????? uh uh !!!!
2005-12-22— Posted by: allegra

I have no idea how to describe this video. It’s by turns deeply disturbing, very artistic, almost erotic in a majorly creepy kinda way and you should definitely watch with the sound on. Bendy bendy bendy girl. For sure. Yeah. Ow.

This is Giles
2005-12-22— Posted by: allegra

He introduced me to Don Ross, Sherlock (a computer logic puzzle which I still play) and I got some free computer help too, long about ten years ago in Montreal. He’s always been a wonderful photographer, and this self portrait of his, taken in 1991, is one of my all time faves. He’s screaming, just in case you’re wondering about the symbolism. He’s living in Georgia. He has mentioned that being a normal Canadian in the heart of the gun-toting south has been interesting and challenging. I got permission to cross post this from his blog.

Swinging is legal in Canada
2005-12-21— Posted by: allegra

Jumping Jimmy Christmas!!!!! We may be the retard at the family reunion, as per Tucker Carlson, but by Goddess we know how to have a good time.

Happy happy news

Annals of crusty old buggerdom
2005-12-21— Posted by: allegra

My father, who had surgery on Monday, and is getting out of hospital today, will be WORKING tonight. I’m telling the kids it’s so he can pay for their Christmas presents, in an effort to get them off their asses and email him. He’s walking pretty much pain free, which was the whole idea behind seeing the sawbones in the first place.

Saw the trailer for Pirates II Dead Mans Chest last night, looks amusing. Well, hopefully Paul is on his way home so’s I can have the car. I’m spoiled, spoiled I tell you.

I neglected to mention that Paul bought king crab legs on the weekend. The fridge was so full that we left them on the back deck. We ate em. Yum.

enough sleep
2005-12-21— Posted by: allegra

The top figure is a regular helicoid. The bottom is a Genus One Helicoid…. you’re welcome. Photo credit Indiana University.

a study in contrasts
2005-12-21— Posted by: allegra

I worked in the morning, and I went to Glenda’s funeral in the afternoon, and I went to Chronicles of Narnia in the evening, and now it’s almost midnight, and I’m bagged. Night all.

enough sleep
2005-12-20— Posted by: allegra

pOp sailed through the operation, as anticipated. So I have one fewer thing to worry about. And the laundry is working again, and that’s good. I feel like I’m time looping through season 6 of Buffy. Really, I need a new hobby.

I’m going to Syriana tomorrow.

I finally got around to it
2005-12-19— Posted by: allegra

A couple of weeks ago Tom U tried to tee up dinner with me and Paul, and while we were nailing down dates and what to bring, Paul ‘offered my services’ so to squeak, in producing a TORTE. Five years ago, Paul bought me a spring form pan to make tortes with, but it did not have the desired effect. I remained torte free. Now, I can say that my torteaphobia is over, and I have now produced a light, fluffy and wonderful torte, which was a fitting end to the stellar meal Tom fed us, which consisted of his take on a Waldorf salad and home made Pad Thai (note to Patricia, eat your heart out, baby) the construction of which I viewed with the avidity I usually reserve for porn. has a new animation of President Bush reviewing the past year. It’s pretty funny.

If a President stands up in public and admits to shredding the constitution, can’t somebody start impeachment proceedings? Really, it’s appalling.

It didn’t actually freezing rain today so far so I am going to grab the car whenever Paul gets home.

Must jump in shower. This time I’ll turn on the water, just as a concession to my coworkers.

Winter in Ottawa
2005-12-19— Posted by: allegra

It’s enough to make you want to skate to work on the canals. 1/7th of the fleet went out of service during a snowstorm. If you inspect the picture closely you will see four, count ’em, four, jack-knifed articulated buses. Leo sent me this, of course! With the title “Why you live in BC.”

For those of you who may not be aware, I grew up in Ottawa, so the word “Schadenfreude” DEFinitely applies here. Umlauts not included.

Not enough sleep.
2005-12-18— Posted by: allegra

I may have posted this pic before, apologies if I have. The title is “Impending Doom”.

The breadth, depth and scale of my ignorance never ceases to fill me with awe. I do NOT have kidney problems, although it seems I have some ‘equivocal’ test results which will need to be followed up by the pokings and proddings with which those of us over 40 are so intimately familiar. What I DO have is referred back pain, which is feeding into my abdomen in a fashion which mimics colic. The rest of this medical disquisition I’ll keep off line. Suffice it to say that the number of moments during which I am pain free is very small, and I’m being very sparing with the T3s. I have learned that pain makes me boring.

In other news…..

A brief history of Santarchy. Just so you know, I don’t approve, strangely enough. The way you fight the commercialization of Xmas is NOT TO F*CKING BUY ANYTHING. Like me.

This has not stopped Paul from buying stuff, including stuff for me. Sigh. Honestly. Okay, okay, Keith, I am getting off the computer. Today I cook a torte for Tom U. Wish me luck, I haven’t done it in 15 years.

Dear Mom
2005-12-17— Posted by: allegra

Since nobody but my mother appears to be reading my blog these days, I will return to its raison d’etre; here’s a place where she can find out what’s going on with me.

Well, it’s been an interesting week, mOm. You told me not to talk to you about work even before I started Dis Here Blog Here, because you found it alternately perplexing and boring, and by damn, you’re right (yes, I’m paraphrasing, and for any others reading this, you already know my mother wouldn’t say it in those exact words. Actually, she’s just outgrown the whole notion, being cheerfully retired).

Work IS alternately perplexing and boring. That isn’t going to stop me from talking about the surface stuff, though.

The workload isn’t going down, but I’m managing my time better. We had a departmental company Christmas Potluck yesterday (it’s okay, we can say that, as most of us are either atheists or much quiet about the religious feelings). I brought shrimp, GG brought lasagne, Patricia brought HOME MADE TIRAMISU CHEESECAKE, which prompted multiple orgasms (well, so you’d figure, from the noise) in the Finance group, G brought traditional Christmas potato salad (I had seconds…), GD brought buns, & Lindsay brought something healthy (couscous salad, which I didn’t have seconds of because I ladled out enough to begin with). We laughed our asses off telling funny stories, announced an instant tradition and went back to work well pleased.

The all staff meeting was Thursday. The MP3 that was posted of the proceedings has been extremely popular because the Capo di Tutti Capi swore at timecheck 6:55. Everybody with a soundcard and headphones has heard it. What’s really funny is that the big boss did nothing to erode his popularity by this fluff – if anything, we are all quite happy to have something real happen at one of these meetings, even though the rest of the content was very bad news. No bonus this year. As for next year, although I believe we’ll do better, the posted requirements for meeting our bonus would entail that we stop ordering office supplies, start selling prepaid to space aliens, and send hefty guys with semi automatic weapons to kidnap all the people who have signing authority at our customers and keep them in a room with a big pile of blank cheques, while simultaneously killing all the people who would call accounts receivable when we go out past 90 days. When everybody I know at the company who can do math (and there are a lot of engineers) say that what’s being asked for is either ludicrous or impossible, I relax and say, whatever. Twas ever thus. Our company is like an elephants’ graveyard for CEOs; it will irk me that the one who appears to be the most personable, capable of understanding the business and results driven will hole his boat on our many pointy coral reefs, but it sure won’t surprise me. I guess the Board ENJOYS doing executive searches. This wouldn’t surprise me either. The depths of human masochism and depravity are abyssal.

On to other, more cheerful topics. The music was marginally better at the company holiday cheer party (what, you thought I’d stop talking about work? Pish tosh) this year than last, and the food was just as good. I actually danced with a number of individuals and then pulled the pin around 10 pm. Knowing that you’ll likely be awake at 4 am with tremendous pain makes you want to go to bed early. And sure enough, long about five I woke up with the Pain Signal coming in from the same Bat Station. I will be seeing the doc this morning when the clinic opens. I need to get this bug identified and killed, and get a referral to a kidney specialist.

Katie went out drinking last night and Keith went to the internet cafe, but they both appear to be back in the house. Keith departed last night for CAC, as he said – Computer Assisted Catatonia. Katie spent a very pleasant afternoon Christmas shopping with her Dad. I have declared a moratorium on Christmas, but that doesn’t stop Paul, who has even put a rather Charlie Brownish light decoration in the hawthorne tree out front. You’d think after all these years he would have lost the capacity to surprise me, but he never does; and as I cheerfully admit my addiction to novelty, this is a Better Thing among all the Good Things.

Glenda’s death continues to have ripples through our lives. Her funeral arrangements were, apparently, fairly clearly laid out in advance. The funeral is Tuesday afternoon; I’m not going to the viewing on Monday because I’d prefer to do the show of strength thing with the other friends and employees at the funeral.

I heard from Tori last night… she is well and conferred with me about Mike’s Christmas present. That I’m not buying anybody anything doesn’t prevent me from acting in an advisory capacity.

Lessee. What’s going on in the world.

Stretchable silicon

Humans in England for 700000 years.

Why narwhals have horns.

How bottle gourds got to the Americas.

Better image search than Google?

Personalized Web Search Engine.

Video search engine.

Lots of pain
2005-12-16— Posted by: allegra

Well at least I had one day with no pain. Up at 4 in agony, resolved around 6, back in bed and just barely able to post before I leave for work. Jolly.

First half of December 2005

Ms. Tylenol and Mr. Cipro are on the job
2005-12-15— Posted by: allegra

I went to see a doctor Wednesday morning because I was in so much pain I didn’t feel safe to drive. After a two minute wait at the clinic I got a doctor who believed me when I said OW, inspected my pee and said YUK and wrote a scrip for three days of Cipro (until the culture comes back), which meant that from the time I decided to see a doctor to the time I got antibiotics into me was about an hour. Then I drove back to work, sat in the cafeteria, slugged down some Tylenol, and then floated up to my desk and attempted to work for the rest of the day.

During the course of the day I found out we have a work wiki (!!??!!) and I will be pursuing this information next week. But I’ll have to download Firefox. Interesting.

After work I ran into the Energizer VP and we had a full, free and frank discussion about serial numbers. This is going to prevent me from looking like an ass at the All Staff meeting this morning, so I’m really glad I talked to him, and I gave him a heads up about an issue which may potentially bite him, forewarned is forearmed etc.

So I’ll go back to my first question for the Capo di Tutti Capi, which is how’s the product rationalization going? Zow.

Check this out, forwarded by a colleague.

Woke up this morning pain free. I may be, like, frisky for Christmas.

Helped Katie deliver papers last night. One more delivery to go, thanks be to the Blessed Virgin.

I have no functioning laundry at home. I’m starting to cross dress out of sheer desperation.

My dad’s surgery has been put over until the 19th December. Keep your fingers crossed.

And some good news
2005-12-14— Posted by: allegra

Janice sailed through the surgery. I got almost as much in the ‘gorey’ detail department as I wanted from Alan, whose voice on the phone was a welcome event last evening; Janice was having a restorative snooze. I imagine I will get more when we visit them over New Years’; but in the meantime, I am facing forward and thinking about my dad.

I worked from 7:10 until 8:10 yesterday, that’s am to pm, Snively. And it’s still piled to the ceiling. Anyway, it’s late and I have to get out of here and go back to work. I am planning on working more reasonable hours today. Like maybe only until 6.

Give someone you love a hug today.

A eulogy of sorts
2005-12-14— Posted by: allegra

Glenda Haist died today. That’s a little picture of her up in the top corner. She was one of the most honest, decent, hardworking and loving individuals I ever met; her fortitude during her hospitalization and under her many personal trials, which I will not enumerate, was an inspiration to those of us who were lucky enough to know her.

Her generosity spilled over onto all of us. You could count on her to help plan a wedding or a wedding reception; she bought wonderful gifts, and brightened the office with her charming, often made-by-her-mother outfits, which sported pussy cats and Santas. She had a sharp word only for people she thought should know better, and held herself to a higher standard than just about anybody else.

I called Mike and Tom U to tell them; Mike was flabbergasted and Tom taken aback. Paul was shocked and upset when I told him (he had a big hug for her the last time he visited her), as was Katie, who had gone with me to visit her in hospital as well.

I’ll say only three things. Diabetes is a scourge. We must love each other while we can. She will be missed.

Updating the basement and the DSM
2005-12-13— Posted by: allegra

The basement, where the flood was, is shaping up nicely. The subfloor is now in and Paul is insisting on putting in laminate flooring. I so do not want to put in laminate flooring, but I suppose as long as we have cats it makes sense. Paul also wants to put laminate in the kitchen, and on the stairs, etc. Whatever makes him happy – I just get to help pay for it, I don’t actually get a say in what happens, or what it looks like (I personally think the laminate in the dining room is hijjus). After all, if Paul REALLY cared what I think, we would have had a functioning dishwasher in the upstairs portion of the house some years ago, hm? Now he is going to take me to task for whacking him in public, and I say, bring it on. The dishwasher that is. Yes, laminate is easier to clean. It’s also much noisier and a lot colder. I suppose I should look on the bright side – Paul has given me an opportunity to present him with an undeviating stream of complaints (Dunnett reference, points if you know which book) for as long as we’re in the house. There, that’s better.

A small but vocal minority of American psychiatrists think that racism and bigotry which cause employment and emotional difficulties to the person so afflicted should be classified as mental illness. I don’t know what about this notion is more appalling – that we’d trust a bunch of Jew doctors to diagnose it properly, that racists could use it to spring themselves from legal difficulties, or that racists could use it to force employers to keep them on because “it’s illegal to discriminate against people with mental disabilities”! I already have an abiding distaste for psychiatry but this bids fair to push distaste past the door of loathing. I guess that makes me mental, big whoop. Oh, and by the way, the reference to the Jew doctors was in response to a story about a woman who was deathly afraid of Jews, and knew she needed help, but wouldn’t go to see a psychiatrist because… well, what are the odds? We all know what the problem with racial stereotypes is. If I meet one more self satisfied, suffering-insensitive white person, I’m going to really really have to whine.

One of the techs sent me this
2005-12-12— Posted by: allegra

If you look at this, you will understand the life of tech support.

enough sleep
2005-12-11— Posted by: allegra

Head part III
2005-12-11— Posted by: allegra

Now in a bug veil. But you should see her in a flying helmet. Tres chic.

head part II
2005-12-11— Posted by: allegra

Dressing up
2005-12-11— Posted by: allegra

So, here’s the styrofoam head I acquired with thanks from Tori, dressed up with a special hat. I was thinking of taking it in to work, and then realized that the message I would convey having this perched over my desk might not be all that welcoming. Accurate, perhaps, but not welcoming. I wanted also to leave it with a “frankentine” card on the desk of one of my beloved coworkers, but I’m not sure he’d either get, or once having got, appreciate the joke. Actually, there is precisely one person I could leave it with, but that’s because he gave me a zombie card last Valentines day, which I will treasure forever. The next two lines I had to delete, which is too bad, because they were rather amusing. ‘s tragic, having ta mind my mouth.

enough sleep
2005-12-11— Posted by: allegra

wonderful pix

Katie and Paul are off doing what is hopefully her last delivery of local papers. We got the computer back from the Krankenhaus – it was riddled with viruses, but appears to be all good now, and we’re not using Norton Antivirus anymore.

I’m in the middle of a major Buffyfest.

John is off filking at Cindy’s place. I didn’t really feel up to it – my cold has got me all sniffy and hoarse.

2005-12-09— Posted by: allegra

I am posting from an Internet Cafe in Brentwood Mall, which I don’t recollect ever having done before. I have the day off work, so I can collect a baby shower gift for a woman who hates me, and hang with Keith while he job hunts, and and hang with Katie while she is unhappy about various things that need not bleed onto this blog, as ’twere.

Work continues to occupy way too much of my brain.

Dined at House of Dosas last night. The four of us ate ourselves into a very happy state for $50 (but Paul and I stayed vegetarian and drank no beer, which helped). The food was beyond superlative – truly, some of the best food of any ethnicity I ever ate. Mike and Tori were in fine form, and then we headed back to Mike’s place, watched Oz/Dark Side (again, but this time it seemed like there were fewer coincidences for some reason) and then I bought a head off Tori (she handpainted a styrofoam wig stand with half muscles and half skull Way F*cking Cool and I will post a picture when my computer is up again. It is currently on top of the tv upstairs. Wonder when the tv is going back downstairs.)

Did I mention the computer is in the Krankenhaus? Did I mention that kitchen floor is being pulled up while the floor is being laid downstairs? Did I mention I bailed on Paul to run away and commit consumer mayhem? I am very bad, but fortunately Paul has just the punishment in mind for me (gd&r).

We also acquired a pencil sketch of Amelia Earhart and a piece of cardboard painted with the contents of a typical grrrl’s purse. WHICH as I suspected Katie dived onto and instantly loved.

Got the keyboard back from Daxus, with thanks. Anyway, I am overdue back home so I will grab kinder and head out, as our evil consumerism has been accomplish’d. I think we may stop at Cobb’s and get bread and maybe pick up some milk while we’re at it.

enough sleep
2005-12-08— Posted by: allegra

Man, it was axmurderworthy fog in Burnaby this morning. Other than that, nothing printable to report.

2005-12-07— Posted by: allegra

Yeesh. The Victoria trek seems to be in jeopardy because Paul is getting a cold – there’s certainly a standard lemon of a cold going around, and Paul is balking at the prospect of giving my pOp a cold just prior to surgery. Frankly, I’m in a damn the torpedoes kind of mood, but Paul is currently on the phone to Cherished Female Progenitor to find out whether it’s on or not.

I had a lovely soak and swim last night at the pool; joined by John, Peggy, Tom and Brooke. Brooke swam a mile. I only did 14 lengths, but the weigh scale purred at me so I am feeling somewhat more cheerful.

Keith is not looking for alternate employment as hard as I’d like him to, but o well. He proposed marriage to a clerk in Lougheed Mall yesterday. Cute, works in a reproduction sword shop and likes anime? He couldn’t help himself… he is alleged to have said, “Marry me… just kidding!” and for some reason this amused her. One of these days some gal is going to think, “Half in jest, whole in earnest” and then Keith is DOOMED.

I am pain free for the first time since I went to the hospital a couple of weeks back.

I’ve got Daniel Lanois in my brain this morning, “Are you wearing your colours?” Answer came there… YES I am wearing tie dye this morning. Basic black and tie dye, c’est moi.

2005-12-06— Posted by: allegra

Not Safe For Work
2005-12-06— Posted by: allegra

In the spirit of caring, and sharing, for Christmas…

Should have phoned my mother earlier
2005-12-06— Posted by: allegra

20 minutes on the phone with my mother and my resemblance to a sane human being is markedly more accurately rendered. I am going to see her for her (blessed feculae!) 70th birthday. God almighty, how DID you get that old? And there’s me old dad, springing for a meal, not knowing that at least three more, and possibly four more, people are coming for a festive lunch in my mother’s honour.

Was irrationally and greatly cheered by Jim P’s comment:

Sorry to hear your job sucks. It seems so cool from the outside. Would it comfort you to know I detest most everything about my job, especially my moronic and abusive supervisors? And Machiavelli could learn a lot from some of my manipulative coworkers.

I must re-iterate, it is not my immediate supervisor (whom I revere) whose blood I wish to use to fertilize our profit margins. No, indeed. And as it would be indiscrete and possibly actionable to describe what I would like to do and how I would like to do it, to those many, those deserving vermin, earwigs, headlice and bedbugs infesting our corporate body in these parlous times, I won’t. I greeted a new coworker today at a meet and greet session with

I’m Allegra and I’m here under duress

, and then enjoyed the meeting. Bizarre. It turned out I came away with no fewer than 8 action items, which I took care of in a single email (I am quite effective when I don’t have an ERP like a fucking boat anchor tied to my already Gargantuan ass).

SPOILER ALERT. Don’t read this if you are not a Firefly fan, it will be really boring.

Keith and I are working on a script for the Second Season Opener of Firefly. It is MAJOR fun, especially since we are introducing a “morally ambiguous” character who can go toe to toe with River and killing off the blue handed guys in the first 15 minutes. We’ve decided to be canon and leave Wash and Book out of it as living characters (except, OF COURSE) that both of them will make virtual reappearances at crucial moments. I know, it’s cheap, but when I realize that Harry Potter gets to see his parents when he’s duelling Voldemort, it comforts me. (Ie, go ahead, it’s FICTION, have fun.) Also, we’re figuring on making Inara a series regular but not a core cast member (which sucks a mop, frankly) but she did found a Companion House on a border planet, so we’re going to leave that as is and mess with it as a possible plot device.

So along with morally ambiguous dude we are thinking of a pilot to replace Wash, or have a running gag about how they keep hiring a pilot, who then screws up royally and has to be fired, and going back to River, and then hiring another pilot, etc etc. until they figure out that River IS Serenity, somehow. Like how to belabor the obvious…. Oh, and Jubal Early IS NOT DEAD (Joss hinted at this in an interview, and I danced and sang when I read that – heroes are cheap like borscht, but a great villain is a FIND). His ship has an override which Early doesn’t think about until after River is back on board Serenity (he’s so startled by the turn of events) so she doesn’t ‘read it’ on him. So the ship comes back and dutifully collects him, and then he has some interesting backstory adventures, and then returns to the scene of the crime with a really really deep thirst for revenge, a thirst so deep that he would – well, later on that one. Too bad there’s only one guy in the ‘Verse evil enough to stop him…. and he’s on Serenity’s side. Fan Fic is Fun! OOh. And Zoe will get a new love interest but she’s so stoic nobody notices except her. Did I mention the Professional Stowaway? Only one moon to go and he’ll have been everywhere in the ‘Verse at least once. And Simon will get somebody to talk to about River who actually understands what’s going on. Oh, and FINALLY, an explanation of why the Reavers kill humans and not each other, and some of their ‘instant culture’ and how they manage technology when they don’t appear to have much in the way of conversation.

2005-12-06— Posted by: allegra

Pic credit Robert Hogg, who went fishing, and had a four metre long great white shark chew on his boat. Not shown, his wife whacking the shark with a paddle, shrieking hysterically, It’s not PAID FOR you BASTARD! Okay, I made that up.

Still experiencing transports of misery in virtually all aspects of my life. Anybody who wants me to feel better should offer body work, and plenty of it, by damn.

2005-12-04— Posted by: allegra

Too adorable not to post…. the dog is in the employ of the Police, of course.

Went to the Oracle
2005-12-04— Posted by: allegra

I finished the Eyre Affair. I was about halfway into the book before it really grabbed me, but after that I was sunk, I had to finish it.

My back still hurts, but I soaked it last night. I also swam 20 lengths and have taken off a pound and half since the last time I was down there, which was startling. Dax, Kyle and Jasmine joined me and Katie at the pool. I bought them Mickey D’s afterwards because teenagers don’t believe you love them unless you feed them.

It is MUCH easier to deliver papers in daylight.

I consulted the Oracle about my job, and it delivered a very terse worded bitch slap. Basically, things suck immensely now, but anything I do will make it worse. Oh, Oh, suck it up, Buttercup.

books n things
2005-12-04— Posted by: allegra

I’ve been crying off and on for 24 hours, and screaming at everybody in the house, except for John, who has a freaking black belt. But now it all makes sense. I want to quit my job!!!! I am hating every minute of it these days, and when you’re answering customer calls, that’s not good. And when you’re taking calls because the senior managers are (sigh, deleted)…. As soon as I realized that, I no longer wanted to kill everyone in the known universe and suck the brains out of their skulls. It’s not me, it’s THEM!!!!! So it’s time to polish up the resume and get going.

Yes, I won’t be able to make as much money. But, frankly, I don’t care. It would take a miracle to make my place of employment “a place of honor” and “the habitation of heroes” again. So I am going to compose two resignation letters, one for private consumption by the select few, and the terse and polite one for the HR staffers. I can’t believe the relief I feel. I’ve been telling people for years I’ll go out of that job feet first. Fortunately, things change, your perspective shifts, and life shows signs of getting better.

Ha ha, just kidding. I’m supposed to hang in there because we’ll be getting a new phone system. If it works, all my current agony will dissolve like epsom salts in warm water. But if it doesn’t, I will quit. I can’t take much more of this. I’m not joking about the screaming and crying; I’m not joking about the lying in bed worrying and worrying and worrying about work. It sucks.

Finished the Jared Diamond book, it was wonderful. Still working on the Eyre Affair. Working my way through the Serenity movie companion (which has the original script – hey Joss, you WANTED it to be 2.5 hours long? Wouldn’t have hurt my feelings.)

Paul can’t sleep. Katie quit the paper route, but we still have four deliveries to make. Off we go. Then I’m going to buy some incredibly expensive nice food and bring it home and cook it. I’m in the mood to spoil myself.

I send hugs and nudges to Alan and Janice, currently disporting themselves in San Diego, Tom and Peggy whose last meal was a sanity saver, and to Mike and Tori – who will live together ever so briefly before she’s off to further her education in Glasgow for three months. Sigh, Scotland in January. Seeing as how she grew up in Newfoundland, she’s probably better able to cope with it than I.

Now it’s time to consult the oracle…. I will consult the oracle about my job, and a few other things. Not the Tarot… I’m leaning towards the I Ching.

enough sleep
2005-12-02— Posted by: allegra

Tom and Peggy fed me and Paul and John last night, and as usual it was yummy. Then we soaked. I did Four Whole Laps in the Pool, before my back said screw you. Didn’t go to writers group because I can’t stand the commute… I’m thinking really I want to start my own.

I am reading Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond, on loan from Scott the Zombie from work. (He’s not a zombie, he’s an engineer, but he did the Zombie Walk this past year and you know how these mental images stick. Must remember the corn syrup and red food coloring this year, I swore a mighty oath I will do it next year.) As a result of reading the Diamond book I can feel my consciousness expand. It’s better than admitting that I am also trying to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by PK Dick and that I’m dipping into Dunnett’s The Game of Kings (for the uncountableth time) or that I’m reading the Writer’s Book of Days (again, but mostly for Jack Kerouac’s advice on writing, which is the most hopped up poetry evah) all in the same time period. This plus the work reading, which is enough to make my brain explode from the lack of adjectives. Mike the Time Lord (not Mike M) once referred to me as the “adjective goddess” which gave me a happy glow in my node of nodes. Adjectives are very important.

Starting new paragraphs is important too.

The world continues to suck in new and unforeseen ways, although my little corner of it seems to be ok so far. I really think I’m in the right place for the apocalypse, however it wishes to express itself.

I will be waking up Katie now, because I’m taking her into work to pay her to do a bunch of stuff I simply can’t find time to do – which involves the usual counting sorting and stacking. Pretty soon we will be moving to a different location in the building where I work, and I have unFORTunately acquired a huge mound of crap which I will have zero room for after the move (because, like everybody else, I expand to fill the space available, except with respect to my clothes, which stay the same size while my integument ever expands). So I will be calling in my dejunking assistant, the charming and hardworking Katie.

Dave D at work sent a bunch of us links to the party platforms of the major parties and urged us to vote with our consciences on Jan 23rd. I said, But What About the Rhinos!? and his response was to post the Wikipedia Rhino link, which I recommend. Gone, but not forgotten. Don’t forget the Christian Heritage party too; they are fielding no fewer than 36 candidates in this Federal Election. Wonder if they’ll get their deposit back.

World AIDS Day triggered many handwringing articles, and I just think to myself, yeah. Well, in the 22nd century, anybody who’s left alive will likely be living in a society where women’s fertility is so tightly controlled that it will make purdah look like Wreck Beach. Just think, no more birth control. No rubber, no condoms; that means birth, fertility and disease control will be dependent on men standing over their womenfolk with pointy objects. Why no rubber? Ah, well, we’re really close to a nasty lot of climate change and a really nasty lot of rubber blight – in fact we’ve already dodged a number of bullets on this. Wrap that rascal while you can, boys. Or as a friend of Jim E’s once remarked, No Party Hat, No Puddy Tat, which you have to admit smacks of genius. Yes indeed, I’m living in the Golden Age of Godless Feminism, and I’d be a freaking idiot if I didn’t at least acknowledge it.

Tonight, beer at the Golf Course. Tom U and Jim A are supposed to be in attendance. Sigh. As I remarked to Brian C… dip me in honey and roll me in geeks.

Cry me a river
2005-12-01— Posted by: allegra

Tubby Black’s Blues.,6903,1651713,00.html

sundry and various
2005-12-01— Posted by: allegra

pOp’s surgery is finally scheduled for mid-December, yippee.

I light a candle for all my family experiencing health problems at the moment, this means you too Janice….

Katie, Paul and I delivered papers last night. May God strike dead the peeple who don’t clear their freakin’ walkways. Tried to shove the paper through one slot and heard….

MUFFLED MIDDLE AGED MAN’S VOICE: don’ want no ****in’ paper!)

Allegra: You’ll miss the Canadian Tire Flyer!

(MUFFLED VOICE: I don’ give a sh*t!)

My back still hurts.

Work is insane.

Got a very funny email of apology from Sandy for forgetting my birthday (I am at that comfortable stage of life where my birthday isn’t that important anymore so whatevah) but by way of apology she sent me a useful link about kidneys. Which reminds me, time to go drink a big glug of water.

Did I tell you that the bundle buggy exploded the first time we tried to use it? We had to deliver 106 papers from the car last night. Then we were just paralyzed, so we went down to soak at Canada Games Pool. Katie’s day was a nightmare, all in all.

Writers group tonight but I just can’t deal with the commute.

Somebody told me yesterday that they could smell my perfume. You know that cold, sick feeling you get when you have committed a gross solecism? Yeah. Perfume, as they say, is supposed to be applied with subtlety, not a spraybomb.