2005/12/29

Well, Merry post-Christmas to you all, and Happy anticipated New Year.

Sorry for freaking out so many of you with the last post, and thank you to those who called or emailed to question me as to just what the hell was going on. In short, I had come out of a meeting that angered me, and I just put down on paper (as it were) the thoughts that were running through my head -- something I've been doing less and less lately, which frustrates me sometimes.

I did start writing a story one day a few weeks ago, and who knows how that'll go. I really need to get around to actually fleshing out that story I had started so long ago. I have the characters, I have the setting, I have the 'rules' set out -- I just don't have the conflict for them to undergo. And, having finished a book that had no real conflict in it, that was just a screen capture of someone's life for a week (yeah, I'm a geek), I know that that isn't necessarily the nicest book to read... especially if you really don't care about the character being profiled and maybe want to smack him, but can't really justify the impulse.

Oh yeah, run-on sentences make me hot.

I think I've lost my previous fan base, which is pretty depressing. Maybe it's just the holidays, or maybe it's the fact that I'm not updating as regularly as I used to, but it saddens me. Part of my lack of updates stems from the fact that my current cubicle arrangement has people entering my cubicle behind me, and perfectly able to see everything I type -- which is not exactly conducive to the salacious updates that you've come to know and expect from me.

I've also been spending crazy amounts of time on the couch trying to finish various craft projects. I made mittens for my paternal grandfather, mittens for the Smooshy, a toque for the Smooshy, and a large mystery present that I can't talk about yet because it hasn't been delivered (or even finished, really; I have a buttload of ends to sew in).

Apparently the 'save as draft' function has changed, or it just hates me. Whatever. I'm going to wrap this up right now, 'cause I have bullshit to do. This ties into my last post.

2005/12/22

Dear You,

Fuck. You.

No love,
me
I had a dream this morning that I was shopping in a CD store. I was looking through a rack of CDs, and there was a cat underneath the display poking at my toes. When I woke up, Thena was around my feet.

About a week ago, just before waking up (I could feel myself panting and my heart beating quickly as I came into consciousness/after I did wake up), I had a dream that I came home to my apartment and my door was partly open, as was the inside door (which in reality doesn't exist). Knowing it was the wrong thing to do, I opened the door and looked inside, to see my place being ransacked. I must've made a noise or something, because suddenly a large man with a head of curly blond-ish hair was at the door, holding an X-Acto knife like a dart. He didn't say anything, but the implication was clear, and I was afraid that he was going to throw this thing at me and get me someplace important.

Even in my dream, I wasn't concerned about my possessions; that's what insurance is for. I was more concerned that my cats were lying around the apartment, sliced open.

Although realistically, I know Venus would run and hide; Thena would probably hide also, but maybe not.

And no, when I awoke, I was not being menaced by anyone with pencils, pens, or other similar implements.

I just wanted to share that for now; more later.
My country is pretty awesome:


CBC.CA News - Full Story :
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Swingers clubs not harmful to society: top court
Last Updated: Dec 21 2005 02:52 PM EST
Clubs that allow group sex and partner swapping do not harm Canadian society and should not be considered criminal, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Wednesday.

The high court, which was ruling on two Quebec cases, said Canadian standards can tolerate the activities, even when they are done amid spectators.


Interior of a Montreal swinger club
The judges, in a 7-2 ruling, said the test for indecency is the harm it causes, and not simply community standards.

The ruling says, for example, there was no evidence of anti-social attitudes toward women or men, no one was pressured to have sex, no one paid for sex and nobody was treated as a sexual object.

The cases involved two swingers clubs in Montreal that allowed sex acts that included swapping.

One case involved James Kouri, owner of a club called Coeur a Corps.

He was convicted by a lower court on two counts of keeping a common bawdy house and fined $7,500.

YOUR SPACE: Letters on the Supreme Court ruling

The other case involved Jean-Paul Labaye who ran a members-only club called L'Orage.

He was convicted of keeping a bawdy house and fined $2,500.

At the Court of Appeal, however, the cases took different turns. Labaye's conviction was upheld while Kouri's conviction was overturned. Now the Supreme Court has given a favourable ruling in both cases.


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Copyright © 2005 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - All Rights Reserved

2005/12/19

An article on the abortion issue that I thought was rather well-written:

From The Leader-Post (Regina):

Abortion issue should be personal, not political

Abortion came to the political forefront in the United States recently with President George W. Bush's nominations to the Supreme Court.

The battle was joined again.

Now, more than ever, we need to recognize that there is no single Christian perspective on abortion, no single ideology that passes scriptural muster, no one correct way for people of faith to think about this issue.

Some will try to make it simple, with slogans and shouted Bible verses, but that is just bullying. Like any other significant moral issue, the issue of abortion won't be resolved by demonizing those who hold opposing views, by making it artificially yes or no, or by bowing to the loudest shouter.

In my view, we must separate the decision to have an abortion from the politics of allowing legal abortion to occur.

Abortion is a personal and pastoral matter, more wrenching to the woman or couple involved than outsiders realize. Abortion isn't a casual form of birth control, but a difficult decision made by a variety of women for a variety of reasons, usually under stress.

My wish for any woman considering an abortion: a caring pastor, caring family, accurate information and a competent physician. By politicizing abortion, one sector of organized religion has abandoned its primary role as pastor and caregiver. How many women will seek religion's care when they know to expect the scorpion of judgment and condemnation? When abortion touches your life and your family, you need information, counsel and sound medical advice.

In my opinion, abortion doesn't merit the fury or political centrality being accorded it. Of the many moral issues that could merit our attention, abortion seems less frequent in occurrence than incest and addiction, and less damaging to the human community than, say, racism, systemic poverty and genocide. And yet, on this one issue, people square off angrily, and powerful institutions spend lavishly to sway public opinion and policy.

I think abortion is to our society what wearing the veil has become to Islamic fundamentalists: a way to balance a society's moral ledger by forcing something on women. I urge you to read Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi's poignant account of Islamic fundamentalism in Iran, where morality police forced women to wear the veil and to give up personal freedom, arguing that the future of both religion and state depended on it.

In my opinion, something similar is going on with abortion. The focus is entirely on women (not the men who impregnate them), on denying women a personal freedom, and on punishing women who are poor and vulnerable.

I don't buy the notion that abortion, politically, is about the sanctity of human life. If that sanctity truly mattered to people, then we would hear similar outcries against capital punishment, alcohol and drugs, tobacco, guns, warfare and other known threats to life. I think the abortion issue is about women's freedom, not about theories of life.

Nor do I buy political arguments on behalf of children not born. If we truly cared about children, we wouldn't be reducing health-care benefits, chipping away at government safety nets, exposing children to exploitative entertainment, or allowing children to spend 61/2 hours a day being electronically amused and intellectually deadened.

I don't doubt the sincerity of most people who care about abortion. I do notice, however, that opposition to abortion centres based on improving someone else's morality, a practice that Jesus cautioned against. I wish the same zeal could be applied to larger and less safe issues, such as allocation of wealth.

I also notice that some religious and political leaders use abortion to amass power. They mislead their flocks by making abortion a litmus test on faith and belonging, not to mention distorting the political process by using abortion as a wedge issue to blur the separation of religion and state.

- Tom Ehrich is a writer, consultant and leader of workshops. His book, Just Wondering, Jesus: 100 Questions People Want to Ask, was published by Morehouse Publishing. An Episcopal priest, he lives in Durham, N.C. His Web site is www.onajourney.org

2005/12/12

Sheesh, I try to do what the audience requests, and still I get nothing. That's it, 17-paragraph update about Buffy on the way for you guys.

Actually, I went out dress shopping with some of the ladies on Sunday, and I found a calendar of Spike, and a calendar of Buffy (the cast). I was tempted, but I think I might try my luck on the after-January 1st sales of calendars, as is my habit. I can't quite justify spending $20 on a calendar that I can get for anywhere from $5-10 a few days into the new year.

I'm looking forward to Christmas this year. I happened upon a pretty good second gift for my sister yesterday, so the immediate family is all taken care of. All that remains are my grandfathers, my nanny, a few friends (who don't know they're getting gifts, so even better), and the Smooshy... although he's quite positive he's getting slippers for Christmas, so I'm going to get a good laugh when he and I do our gift exchanges.

I picked up a couple of books in order to try to use up one of my three Chapters gift certificates. I'm back into wanting to read critique-style books, so that was a bit more of my theme, although it did only account for one book (I was in a storefront Coles, instead of a Chapters). I finished reading "Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs," by Chuck Klosterman, and it wasn't too bad. I also polished off "East of Eden," by John Steinbeck, and turned that into my book club pick for January. It's long, but good.

Right now I've picked up "The Catcher in the Rye" for about the fourth time and I've made some decent progress this time. I have the feeling I'm going to wind up disliking the character at the end, but we'll see. I have a problem with the disaffected youth that seems to saturate the market lately (and in years past; this isn't exactly a recent book), and I've ranted in the past about movies and books with these characters, so I won't bother. I'm trying to stay open-minded, but so far I think I just want to smack Holden Caulfield.

I've been compiling my list for Christmas cards, so if you get an email from me requesting your mailing address, that's probably why. Conversely, if you want a Christmas card from me, feel free to contact me at litterboxjen at yahoo dot ca and I'll see what I can do. I also have to pick up some gifts for a Secret Santa gift exchange I'm doing through an LJ community I belong to, and I have to get that done yesterday-ish.

Last week and a bit this morning, I spent time going through an ATIP request that we were releasing, checking to see if there were any issues that we might have to address. The ATIP was (or seems to have been for) emails received on a particular issue. These emails came from the general public, who comprise the usual assortment of folks who are educated on the issue and have valid points to make, and those who have read a hysterionics-inducing article here or there, and are reacting accordingly.

My time on these emails reinforced a few beliefs I have had:
* A tragic number of people in this world cannot write.
* A tragic number of people in this world believe that fucking swearing, CAPITAL letters, exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!! and condemning us to purgatory (instead of Hell, where it's reputed that all the cool folks go; I'm destined to never be cool), will somehow make us consider their remarks with extra weight and thought. It's like the guy who, when rebuffed by a lady he fancies, calls her a bitch and a dyke. Granted, swearing at the boys who turned me down got me where I am today, but I'm frequently the exception to the rule.
* What else? Oh yeah: people are fucking nuts.

I would quote examples, but although the information is now in the public domain, I've always made a point of keeping my work and this blog separate (more or less; I don't tell you where I work, although I do acknowledge that I work, and the general industry), and I don't feel right posting what are essential private comments. In addition, I'd have to edit them so much to keep my work out of it that the point would be more or less lost in some cases. Plus, I'm too lazy to go through 500+ pages of material to share the 5-6 gems of which I speak.

Because these emails are 'private', the folks who are associated with this issue had to contact each of the citizens who emailed or wrote in and ask if we could share their names with the ATIP requester. A vast majority said no (or their names were removed anyhow; I'm not sure how it worked), so there were a lot of greyed-out email addresses and names. That's cool, I respect a person's right to maintain their anonymity (and I practice this myself). What I did find somewhat funny were the few folks who asked to have their names blacked out, but then also had included newspaper articles or some such that they had written and had published that gave their name in the byline. Again, public domain information and so on, but why not just keep the first one open as well, and maybe just ask them to black out the second half of your email address (i.e., your ISP or whatnot). Ah well, probably more issues I just don't really know about, and that's okay.

I'd continue on in this vein, and with things I actually meant to write about, but it's now time for me to depart. I get to decide if I want to do more shopping, or just go home and be lumpy. I think lumpy wins tonight -- as it so often does. Here's also hoping my torrent download has completed! :)

2005/12/08

As a follow-up to the post that no one has read (or so I am choosing to assume), the Hamilton Spectator has another article here.

Here is the first little bit. Go to the link to get the full article:

Stop quizzing women: College
By Dianne Rinehart
Special to The Hamilton Spectator
(Dec 8, 2005)
The Ontario College of Pharmacists has advised its members to stop asking invasive and personal questions of women seeking the morning-after pill.

Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian met with the college yesterday and it agreed to stop using the controversial guidelines issued by the Canadian Pharmacist Association.

2005/12/07

Ranty, ranty...

It’s very possible that I smell pretty today, although I’m not entirely sure I can tell. I bought a new body wash and lotion yesterday, and they smell like toffee – a bit like slightly burnt toffee when I use the body wash, but still very tasty nonetheless. The body butter is pretty nice, too; it seems to be helping my poor winter-sucking legs out.

This is my shallow post, in response to my more in-depth one, it would seem. However, I could always get into issues.

Let’s see… latest news I’ve read has some pharmacists who were refusing to issue birth control to their clients (here and here were the original sources I used), which I wrote about back here, are now being punished (reference here). What can I say, but that this encouraging at least for Illinois-area women. Although I should clarify; these pharmacists are being taken to task for not selling the morning-after pill; other pharmacists were refusing to sell birth control pills.

Now, one line in particular from the article confuses me somewhat: ”Walgreen policy says pharmacists can refuse to fill prescriptions to which they are morally opposed — except where state law prohibits — but they must take steps to have the prescription filled by another pharmacist or store, Bruce said.”
I’m curious… what other prescriptions, aside from perhaps Viagra or its derivatives, would be something to which people would be “morally opposed’? I mean, it’s not as though pharmacists are dispensing medications made from clubbed baby seals, or ground-up baby parts, or anything of the sort, right? Why is it that moral opposition always seems to concentrate on sexuality? Would there be pharmacists (perhaps Jehovah’s Witnesses?) who were morally opposed to dispensing anti-rejection drugs for someone who had had an organ transplant, and would refuse to dispense them? Wouldn’t the outrage and furor be loud in a case like that? Why is there only a murmur when it only affects one gender, or happens to be something that affects sexuality?

Grr. Getting myself somewhat worked up here. I wonder if these same pharmacists happen to keep the condoms behind the pharmacy shelf and require their patrons to request them, so that they can then deny them. I wonder if these pharmacists ‘allow’ their wives to use birth control pills. I wonder if they use condoms in order to prevent pregnancy.

I understand that some people consider life to begin at conception, or some people even consider the egg and sperm to be living, and so they feel that birth control pills, by preventing an egg from implanting, to be impeding life. I’m not about to get into an argument with someone over when ‘life’ begins. But I have to wonder… for those people who believe that life begins before conception – do they mourn when they have a wet dream? Do they mourn a woman’s period? Am I just talking out of my ass without properly looking up anything I’m talking about and only working off of vague recollections?

Yeah, sorry. I haven’t spent as much time writing this missive as I did the last one on this subject. :) Needless to say… I’m cheering the fact that Walgreens is punishing these pharmacists. For a woman in need of the morning-after pill, time is of the essence, and being denied access to the medication, or not being told where else she might be able to obtain it, is terrible.

Speaking of morning-after pills… the Canadians aren’t entirely blameless in this situation, either. There have been several articles I have read on this subject, but the link I’m providing is to the Hamilton Spectator’s article, because it’s the one I bookmarked from work. I can’t guarantee how long the link is going to be active, I’m afraid, but if it disappears, well… there are plenty of places to find similar information, I’m sure.

Anyhow, the Canadian Pharmacists Association, who, if I’m interpreting this correctly, design the guidelines for the pharmacists across Canada, which requires pharmacists ask women for: their name, address, the date of their last menstrual period (as opposed to what other kind?), when you had unprotected sex, and your customary method of birth control. Not to mention, this information is going to be stored in a computer, and as the editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal points out, can be subpoenaed.
Now. On the one hand, I don’t really care too much about people reading my medical history. For the most part, it’s a pretty boring litany of the regular complaints – occasional ear infections, a personal history of benign skin staph infections that all babies get and some simply don’t get rid of (yay me), colds that went on to long, annual checkups, and lately, the dreaded PAP smear. Whoop-de-shit. Granted, there is some information in there that I choose to reveal to a very short list of people that I wouldn’t necessarily feel like having emblazoned wherever this kind of stuff was going to be emblazoned (I imagine it would be more of a problem if I wanted to become a political figure, or a religious one), but on this same one hand, I overall don’t care too much about it becoming public knowledge.

However… on the other hand, I do care to keep my personal information personal, I don’t like the U.S. policy of huge openness and transparency (a favourite government buzzphrase now) in the interests of protecting myself from apparent terrorist threat, and I don’t feel that anyone has the need to or ought to know when my last period was, when I had unprotected sex, and what, if any, form of birth control I regularly use.

On the one hand, I can see that this might be a ‘good’ way of tracking women who are irresponsible and regularly have unprotected sex, and maybe trying to convince them that using condoms or some other form of birth control might be in their better interest.

However, on the other hand, this type of risky behaviour is not something women engage in alone. Men are typically very eager and willing participants in the sex act, and if this is consensual partner sex, then fucking make sure you are using something.

It’s one thing if the woman fucks up on her birth control – be it the pill, the patch, the sponge, or whatnot – or takes some medication or herbal supplements that interfere with a hormonal birth control product. This type of thing does happen, women are human, and mistakes get made.

But if you know for a fact that your partner is not on any kind of hormonal birth control, then ‘just risking it this once’ is a dumb fucking idea. Use a condom. If you can’t come easily with a condom on, their either fuck until you want to come and get a blowjob/handjob/finish yourself off, or practice beating off with a condom on so that you can manage it. Try different condoms. Try putting lube in the condom. Get more foreplay before you start fucking. Experiment. But don’t just risk it, because in the end, I’m sorry, but I do believe that it is easier in one sense for men to walk away from a pregnancy or a baby than it is for women. That’s another point I could go off on, but that’s not my current rant.

If a woman is raped, then I fully support her in her quest for the morning-after pill, an abortion, or any other type of recourse she might choose to take. If she chose to keep her baby, then I fully support that notion, too. I don’t know if I would want to in that situation, but, and I knock wood as I say this, it’s thankfully not an issue I have had to deal with up to this stage in my life.

From the information I have read on rape victims, it’s my understanding that it’s difficult enough to pick up and go on with your life. Reporting it to the police and having to repeat your story over and over again is difficult enough, let alone suddenly be presented with a pharmacist who – though they may be only following guidelines – is asking you when you had this unprotected sex, and what birth control you usually use. This is being done as a way to ‘counsel’ women. Does this mean that the pharmacist, or the CPhA is going to take on responsibility to counsel the women who have been raped? What do they see as ‘counselling’ anyhow? Talking to women about responsible birth control? Does this include the women who are already well-versed in birth control and maybe forgot to take a pill one day for whatever reason? Or is this being reserved for the women who use nothing? Will there be a seminar that women are forced to endure before being dispensed their medication, or simply a pamphlet? A sermon from a pious pharmacist who only knows the answers you give him or her, and not the possibly mitigating circumstances?

I like to think that if I had been raped, and a pharmacist started asking me these kinds of questions, I'd get angry and yell at them. "When I had this unprotected sex? Oh, I didn't have sex. I was fucking raped. And no, it wasn't because I asked for it, I wasn't wearing a short skirt, I didn't flirt with the guys, etc... Rape isn't about sex, it's about power. This asshole felt he needed to have power over me, and so he took his cock and he fucked me without my permission. When did this happen? Two days ago. And as you can see, I'm just over the moon about it. Thank you very much. Can I have my fucking drugs now, so that I can reduce the chance that in addition to violating me, making me go through rounds of personal questions with strangers such as yourself, making me go through sexually transmitted disease testing to ensure that he didn't give me something that could fuck up my chances of having children with a future husband or of having something like HIV or AIDS, and making me feel like shit, this asshole didn't also impregnate me with a child I didn't choose to have at this time?!?"

But I can't know that, since I haven't been raped. But I'd like to think I'd do something like that. Of course, I often think of having conversations like that, but I rarely do. I'm actually a lot nicer than most people realize, surprising as that is going to sound. I think of many worse things than I ever actually do or say... much as I'd like to. But moving on.

I took the morning-after pill once. It’s a bit of a misnomer; there are two pills that you take 12 hours apart. Guess what? They’re not fun. It’s essentially a huge dose of birth control pills, and it made me nauseous enough to spend a day at home. Most women are not doing this sort of thing for fun, I will go out on a limb and assure you.

Finally… I’m frustrated with the blame and judgement that seems to get assigned to women for taking responsibility of their sexuality. People make mistakes, and fuck up on their birth control. It happens, don’t judge them. If it happens often enough, then sure, I think they should switch methods of birth control. I applaud my girlfriend who recognizes that she would never remember to take the pill, and uses other methods of birth control. Good for her.

Someone who has unprotected sex. Okay, they’re dumb. But as I said, it’s not just the woman’s fault. The guy needs to take responsibility and put on a condom, even if it might affect the sex. Guess what? It can affect the sex for us, too. But there are men I know who have never had sex without a condom, even if the woman is on the pill. Good for them; they’re being responsible.

Someone who has been raped. Don’t even get me started. It’s not your business to know this. The question of when you last had sex may be medically necessary, in order to ensure the pill is being used when it would still be effective – up to 72 hours after sex has occurred – but that can be achieved with a simple caution or advisory from the pharmacist before they dispense it: “I need to tell you that this is only going to be effective up to 3 days/72 hours after sex has taken place. If it has been longer than that time, then this pill may not/will not help you.” Then, depending on their response or lack thereof, dispense it anyways. It’s not as though this is a drug that can be used recreationally (to my knowledge, at least).

And although I’m sure I have more to say on the matter, I’m going to wrap this up with one final point. I find it ironic that the CPhA wants to counsel women who want the morning-after pill, but they publish a patient guide that includes, in the 2006 guide at least, tips for better sex in later life. That somehow just strikes me as … not quite right. Maybe I’m reading too much into this.

The moral:

Men: you are also responsible for birth control. Use condoms, or make sure your partner is on something.

Women: speak the fuck up. If you’re not on something that will prevent babies, make sure you use condoms. Insist on it! If he won’t, then either do other things or nothing at all.

2005/12/02

On friendship

I’ve wondered at various times what it is that makes someone a good friend, and how much we happen to owe our friends.

I like to think – as does everyone, I’m sure – that I’m a fairly good friend. I’m loyal and honest to my friends, and I support them in the things they choose to do, even if I don’t necessarily agree with the path they’re taking. Sometimes I’m the first person to speak critically about my friends, which I think confuses people. I believe – I know? – that no one’s perfect. I have a list of faults a mile and a half long. But I think that being able to see and speak to someone’s faults and care for them regardless of how much they drive you crazy sometimes is an important element of friendship. You’re friends with someone because of their good qualities, and you accept them with their bad ones – you just learn how to deal with them, or ignore them as works for you and your friend.

When I disagree with something that one of my friends is doing, I will usually not say so to them. I feel that it’s their life and their choices, and it’s not necessarily my place to speak out. If pressed, or if I feel it’s very important, I will tell my friends once how I feel. Whether it’s saying that someone’s significant other treats them poorly, or that maybe they should save up more money before doing this or that, or whether they should stop sleeping with that person and here’s the reasons why I feel that way… I say it once. I figure after once, you know how I feel on the issue, and I don’t want to be that friend who’s harping at you. Plus, if I go off on a tear about how much I hate my friend’s significant other after they break up, and they get back together again… won’t I feel like an ass.

But sometimes, friends need support. This is normal, and part of being a friend is to be there for them. But I’ve always wondered where that line is meant to be drawn. While I would be there for any of my friends in a minute, that also depends on my ability to be there for them. I believe that first and foremost, you have to look out for yourself, because when it comes down to it, everyone looks out for themselves first. I will be there for the Smooshy anytime he needs me, and I am there for any of my other friends should they need me, but if my life is going through hell, and your life is going through hell, I’m very sorry, but I have to ultimately look out for me first.

Maybe this is a selfish position, I’ve never really been sure. But I also think that surrounding yourself with emotionally needy people is a sure-fire way to wind up exhausted, drained, and with nothing left over for you… which in the end means nothing left over for your friends. If you want to look at it that way.

Most of my friends are, technically speaking, adults. I have friends who are soon-to-be parents, I have friends that are married or engaged, I have friends that live on their own or with roommates, and I have friends who still live at home. Most of these friends are within a few years on either side of being my age (25, if you haven’t been keeping track). On a grand scale, I don’t try to judge my friends’ situations; everyone has their reasons for living at home/with roommates/on their own, and everyone has their reasons to be parents/married/living with someone. I’m very happy for many of my friends, have no doubt. But there are also others that concern me.

I believe in independence, regardless of gender. I believe that anyone who is regularly employed and living out of their parents’ home should be able to manage their financial situation with some measure of success. This means being able to pay your bills on time, and ideally pay down debts and even put aside some savings. I’ve never presented myself as the picture of fiscal responsibility, but I’ve never had a month where I feared being kicked out of my apartment or losing any of my utilities or luxuries. I know I’ve been very fortunate in the employment situation, but having seen many friends go through different employment situations (and having worked a minimum of two jobs since I was 17), I think that being employed is usually not a difficult thing to do. I’ve had friends with very unfortunate situations, and I have sympathy for them, but that’s partly because they are also independent and spent many days straight looking for work.

I guess I’m a tough friend. My sympathies tend more naturally towards those who try to help themselves. Whether this means going on EI; working a shit job to have an income; living with roommates because you can’t afford a place on your own; working outside of your industry in order to have an income; breaking up with someone who isn’t a right match for you; taking your medications, whatever they might be (no babies here!); whatever… you have to look out for you.

Yes, friends are there to support you. Yes, friends are there to provide a shoulder for you to lean on when you need it, or advice when you want it, or even just a kick in the ass when you need it (or they think you do)… but what it all boils down to is, after a certain point in time, you’re considered, for better or worse, to be an adult. You have to look after you. You have to pay your bills, find yourself a new apartment, pick up your groceries, see your doctor, see your dentist, go to work, get your bus pass, shave your face, wash your clothes, and so on and so forth, all by yourself.

It’s not your friends’ responsibility to hold your hand while you do laundry. It shouldn’t be up to any of my friends to remind me to take my birth control pills (although the Smooshy is certainly within his rights to remind me, if he wants to. I don’t need it, but he’s allowed). If I fuck up and forget to pay a bill on time, or don’t put the money in the right bank account, or forget to get the cats to the vet… well, ultimately that’s my problem, and no one else’s.

I don’t know, maybe I have a cynical view of friendship, maybe I have low expectations for what kind of support to receive from my friends, or maybe I’m just more independent than I think. But I think that being an independent person allows you to be a good friend, because you know how to look after your own stuff and can help them look after theirs – but not do it for them.

Friends are wonderful. Friends are necessary. Friends are great to have around you when you need them. But sometimes, they have their own stuff to deal with, and I think it’s perfectly justifiable for them to look after themselves first, and me second. Or third, or fourth… or whatever. That’s why I like to have several close friends around me. One, it feels nice, and two, it means that I’m not relying on one or two people to be everything for me. Hell, I can even lean on my folks if the need should arise, but I’m fortunate enough to have a fairly good relationship with them.

Of course, I’m also fairly introverted, and there are plenty of times that I haven’t really wanted to talk about bad stuff that’s going on. Sometimes I prefer to just process it internally, or write about it. Whatever, I’m going off-topic.

For those of you that made it this far… what are your thoughts on friendship? Am I way out on my own in this, or am I, as I frequently do, just rambling and enjoying the sound of my own voice?

2005/11/29

There are a number of issues that have come up over the last while in the news that I’ve wanted to comment on, but haven’t really had the time or energy. Christmas is coming up soon (in case you weren’t aware), and I’m doing my best to get through all of my various projects for people. Ah, poop, I just remembered that I have to get something for my trainer. I also want to make a batch of fudge or cookies to bring in to work and give around to a few people. It’s kinda nice working at an office during Christmas.

For the most part, I’m almost done, I think. I still have to get something together for my mom’s parents (although I do know what I’m going to do for Puppy), and I need something else for the Smooshy, I think, but otherwise, I either know or am ready for most of my list. I picked up a few things for people in Saskatoon, so that kinda helped a little. :)

I spoke with my friend JJ the other night on the phone. He’s out in Langley right now, and his trip is continuing fairly well. I had to catch him up on all of the recent news, and he was surprised to hear that I had a boyfriend and a motorcycle. Not sure which came as the bigger surprise. :) It was good to hear from him, and he mentioned that he’s going to be flying home for the holidays, and will be playing couch-surfing, so I (think I) told him he could probably stay here for a bit. I’d have to do some cleaning up, which my apartment desperately needs anyways (and I’ve been saying that for a coon’s age), but it should be do-able.

I’m also slowly getting over my dread disease; I suspect I’ve said that already. I still feel kinda rough when I wake up in the mornings, but I think my throat is finally starting to open up again. It’s a strange and scary feeling, swallowing liquid when you can’t fully breathe and feel as though you might suffocate. Definitely not something I could say that I enjoy on a regular basis. I’ve been taking some sinus meds to see if that might help, but who knows anymore.

Ah, finally. I just yawned and popped my ears a little, so I might actually be on my way to hearing properly once more. It’ll be a miracle.

2005/11/25

Fortunately, I have not died. I have discovered, however, that a (near) week spent at home can get a bit dull after awhile. In addition, staying at home with no one but the cats and occasionally the Smooshy to talk to does wonders for my ability to communicate.

I did my poster presentation for my class last night. It was obvious that I was sick, since I had the physical manifestations and my brain was just a-wanderin', but I think I hit a bit of a stride towards the end. I hope, at least. But I think my mark is based more on the content of my poster than the presentation, so that should carry me out okay. If the mark had presentation elements to it, I would have spent more time preparing something, instead of just talking off the top of my head.

After class I went out for some drinks (and a plate of potato skins, which I polished off with no problem -- apparently I was hungry!) with some of my classmates, and I brought the Smooshy along. As is often the case when he gets dropped into a crowd of people who he doesn't know, he was fairly quiet, but it seemed to work okay. One of my classmates was looking at us and commented that she could tell he's the quiet one between the two of us, which isn't always so, and I told her that. :)

Oooh, potential for dirty comment in there... heheheh.

I also bought myself a printer this week, which was one of my few excursions into the scary outside world during my week of being Typhoid Jen. It's an Epson CX4800 3-in-1, and so far I love it. It has served me well so far, and the trial picture I printed of Thena as a kitten (just on regular paper) looks good.

I've managed to mostly finish one pair of mittens, and I have to do some finishing work on a few items, but I'm slowly getting around to actually completing things. Maybe I'll go back and finish the shirt I was making for me -- but that's going to have to wait until after Christmas. For now, I still have one pair of mittens, maybe some slippers, a scarf or two... I have a few things. I've actually been cross-stitching again, and enjoying that. Damn me and all of my crafts!

I had to pass on Madeleine's baby shower on the weekend (not her bridal shower, which is what I keep trying to call it). I feel/felt bad about it, but I figured it was kinder of me not to get anyone else sick, especially since I suspect I may have had a mild flu or something equally fun. Who knows. It led to me getting the flu shot today at work, for the first time ever, so there ya go.

I've collected a number of articles that I want to write about and comment on, including a rant I started many moons ago, but I haven't really had the time or inclination. All these craft projects, you see. :)

However, I did manage to drag the Smooshy out to see Harry Potter last week, and I'll ruin it for everyone... Cedric dies. It's true, and I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you, but there you have it.

I will warn people who go to see it -- don't get a large drink. Also, make sure you pee beforehand (which I always do). I had asked for my usual medium and received a large, which I didn't finish, and I still desperately needed a bathroom about a half hour before the movie ended. I learn these things so I can pass along my knowledge and wisdom to you.

For now, I should get back to work. I have transcribing to do (since I already got the rest of my work done earlier this morning).

2005/11/21

I am sick. :(

I have moved out of the massive chills/achy/sore throat realm into the sore throat/running nose (that was a new one this afternoon!) party. Being me is a joy, I gotta tell ya.

Tomorrow, I really really need to do my school project. Otherwise, I'll keep forgetting, and when I go to present on Thursday, that'll be rather awkward.

2005/11/18

I am frustrated, annoyed, potentially upset, and possibly coming down with a cold. In fact, that last part is probably a guarantee.

The thing is, I've been much more angry in the past about issues, but now... now this just adds to it.

Maybe I just have higher expectations for my jobs -- my 'careers' -- than are actually being met. Maybe my rank really is that of a glorified secretary. Maybe because I am a woman and younger (and okay, present today), I am meant to do the menial tasks.

I just find it amusing that when I originate a document, once it leaves my hands it is rare for me to see it again. But when the document 'originates' (highly unlikely) from one step above, it is up to me to ensure that it gets to where it needs to go.

Needless to say, I didn't put my name anywhere on that one. I have work of my own to do, and it's a crying shame you're too damn busy to help -- but not entirely unexpected. Colour me completely unsurprised.

I could go on, but... *sigh* What's the point? In April, this is all going to change... but April is a fuckload of time away from now.

2005/11/16

Is it just me, or is it fairly rude of someone to regularly check their voicemail with their speaker phone and office door wide open? Or to conduct telephone calls with this method on occasion?

On a totally unrelated note, I now have a work cell phone once more. Yippee.

2005/11/09

I think my 'hiatus' lost me some readers. No one comments anymore. :(

Either that, or I've grown unbelievably boring... I'd believe that. :
Anyhow, I got the sexy new computer last night and spent some time in commercial breaks installing various games and so on. The Sims 2 now runs sexy-well. Who knew it could load so quickly?

My only real concern at this point is with the monitor. Because it's a flat panel LCD, the monitor is extra-damageable, and when I have one kitty who was fairly used to sitting on top of the monitor and doing as she pleased... it's a concern. There was a plastic sheet that came taped to the front of the monitor that I'm keeping there for now; when I'm not using the computer, it stays flipped down in order to at least semi-protect the front from questing kitten toes.

I got very grumpy at the end of my workday yesterday and buggered off to the Chapters in order to engage in some retail therapy. I picked up 5 books (I think), and I'm hoping to spend some time actually reading them. I do still need to get our book club book, but since it was 45% off online versus only 30% off in the store, I figured I'd try that.

I also discovered that Terry Pratchett has a new book out, so I'm either going to have to find me a library and remember how to use it, or ... never mind, just ordered some lovely new books for me. Damn those authors for taking so long to publish. :)

I just realized that I think I'm slightly behind in my Discworld reading... either that, or I'm just confused. I think confused is a likely option.

Anyhow, I need food, and I need to do some research and I think some knitting. I (mostly) finished a mitten yesterday! I am proud of me.

2005/11/07

The Smooshy and I are losers of a new kind.

I woke up on Sunday with a migraine. I moved onto the couch in the living room to try to settle my head and the accompanying nausea. He joined me shortly thereafter (since I had woken him up deliberately, it being after 11:30 already), and we had some cereal. We then played Baldur’s Gate non-stop until about 5 p.m. or so, when we finally decided to have some dinner (digestive biscuits not being the most filling of meal replacements).

We had grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade soup, then ran out to the south end to see Chicken Little. The Smooshy feels we deserve praise, because we really did finally leave the house.

Upon our return, I ‘twisted’ the Smooshy’s arm to get him to play some FF10 (which he had bought earlier in the week to play at my place), so I could sit and knit for a little while.

Now I’m at work, and I just want to be home, knitting. Partly it’s because I bought a bunch of wool and some more supplies from my mom’s store on Saturday, and also partly it’s because knitting is more fun than working.

Ah well. After playing a bit of Baldur’s Gate II with the Smooshy in the morning, he went home to his friends and cards, and I started out on my errands… which turned into just going to my mom’s store. I brought the bike out to the parents’ house on Saturday so that Dad could go for a ride while I borrowed his car to do grocery-shopping. He wound up spending his time fixing my broken turn signal (not that broken; it just needed to be popped back out again, essentially) instead. I got to ride home in the very cold rain that had started, sans-wet weather gear, which I had considered bringing with me and decided not to (I had taken the car home to unload groceries, then had to bring it back to the parents’ place… and to get home again, I had no real options other than my bike). My mom called shortly after I arrived to double-check that I had made it okay. I had.

I spent the evening over at R and N’s place, and R and I played a bit of a video game called the Warriors. It’s a Rockstar game, which is the same company that does the Vice City games, so you can imagine the language and so on. In the Warriors, you’re a gang member, and you have to mug people and take drugs for health and beat up other gang members and spray-paint graffiti. Entertaining. :)

I wasn’t feeling too well, though; my stomach had started really hurting that afternoon while I was grocery shopping, and hadn’t improved at all by then. I was feeling pretty low as a result, and I even fell asleep for a little bit on OFK’s leg. That actually seemed to help my stomach out a little bit, at least. OFK drove me home a little after midnight, and the Smooshy had already returned to my place. We played Baldur’s Gate until about 3 in the morning (trying desperately to finish a quest that seemingly had no end), and I ate some leftover spring rolls I had and seemed to feel a lot better after that.

So all in all, the weekend was pretty good. I’d love to spend some time spring-cleaning my apartment and maybe getting rid of some excess furniture and clothes, but I don’t want to toss clothes I’ve never worn. I hate getting things as gifts, saying I’ll wear them, and then never actually doing it, for whatever reason. If only my office was warmer, I’d have a tonne more tops and pants that I’d be willing to wear in. For now, I’m going on my third straight week in just jeans, I think. Not necessarily a good thing, but at least around here no one seems to care that much.

I spoke with my dad this afternoon just before lunch, and my new computer was being unpacked even then. I’m actually really kind of psyched about getting it; there are no guarantees that I’ll be able to get it today, which is okay, but now that it’s here, I do sort of want it sooner rather than later. :) I figure that I’ll set it up on the coffee table in the living room tomorrow, and spend most of the evening getting everything installed and established the way I want… for I am a bit of a geek. I have to dig up all of my old bookmarks and so on, which will be a bit of a pain in the ass, but I kind of look at the whole thing as an enforced spring cleaning.

I just spoke with my dad; I’m definitely not getting it tonight. Ah well. He’s also bought for me a TV card, so I can watch TV from the comfort of my bed and even record shows on my computer… and burn them to CD or DVD if I want. My new computer is tasty. Of course, one has to wonder how the kitties are going to deal with it; there will be no more of this, since my new monitor is going to be a flat panel one. Maybe Thena will just go back to this or this, but she’ll have more room. No one can say my cats aren’t spoiled *rotten*.

I just took a quick minute to look through the pics of my girls. Thena was an adorable kitten… Venus looks much the same. :) I wish now I’d taken pictures of the havoc Thena wreaked on my arms and hands though; the Smooshy refuses to believe she was anything but an angel. Although apparently she hisses at him when he pushes her off the bed… that’s something she’s never done with me. She just gets grumpy sometimes when I pick her up, and especially when I try to trim her nails. Always fun.

Anyhow, like you guys don’t know this stuff already… what else is there to report? I got nothing. I’m trying to think of/get presents ready for Christmas. I’m lucky in that I did do a decent amount of shopping through the year, so I have presents ready for some people. I probably have to add to them, and I’m sure I’ll have forgotten where I put most of them… ah, organization, you aren’t really my friend.

On a positive note, though, I am updating a bit more! Yay! I had planned on writing about how I’ve noticed aspects of my personality as I’ve gotten older, but haven’t really segued into that effectively, except in this regard. Voila! Basically, I’m going to North Bay this weekend with the Smooshy to meet his parents, and we spoke briefly on the phone about it today. He told me how it was going to run (departure times, who we’re spending time with when) and so on, and it reminded me of travelling with OFK and R. In short, I like to have a plan in mind for the day, even if it doesn’t end up happening exactly that way. I like to know what days we’re likely to do what activities, and when we’re going to leave, where we’re going to stay and so on. Maybe this doesn’t bode well for my dream European vacation, but I like to pretend it’s all okay.

I can’t tell if it’s the Smooshy reading me well, or if it’s just how he is, since this is the first time we’ll have travelled out of the city together. I think he’s getting nervous, which is cute… I’m fairly blasĂ© about it all, at least at this point. :)

According to the weather website, the temperature is going to start dropping below zero soon. Poop. This means it’ll be time to pack up the bike and get that all done. I’ve managed to buy almost everything I need to put the bike away; I still need engine oil and a cover, though. I’m somewhat envious of JJ, getting to keep riding, but at the same time, sometimes it’s nicer to take the bus – I get to read!

Speaking of which, I mentioned that I had been reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, I think. I finished that on Friday, and I think it gets a thumbs up for me. I had originally started it and set it aside, but once I picked it up again, it was a pretty fast read. Now I’m into Pilgrim, by Timothy Findley (I bought a new paperback copy of it a little while ago, since a former friend of mine had borrowed my trade copy and we haven’t spoken since… and I didn’t buy it from the cheap book store when I saw it there, since I thought I’d be getting it back from her), and it’s a bit slow-going so far. Then again, I only just started it, and it’s a rare book that manages to grab my attention straight off.

I’m finding that the Smooshy’s pilfering of my library is opening me up to wanting to read more, and making sure I integrate more of that into my time. Maybe not so much my free time, but definitely cracking open the books again when I’m travelling and so on. I think I’m going to go through my book collection soon and remove some of the older ones that I won’t be rereading so as to make more room on the shelves for the books I will be rereading – or lending to people. I also have a number of books that I’ve borrowed from folks, and I really ought to read those soon and return them. Do you think anyone would notice if I just spent my days at work reading and knitting? I could knit myself a door that no one could see through!

I did wind up picking up wool for a poncho. I do respect the comments people made, but the fact of the matter is, I need something for when I’m at work, and I’d feel a bit odd bringing in one of my blankets from home – especially as I need those blankets when I’m at home. Right now, my feet are cold, and I’m wearing sneakers and gym socks. Most days I’m wearing a sweater and another layer, and I’m still freezing; and that’s a problem I had at my other work, too. I could continue to wear large, ugly cardigans (my really ugly one I still have at home; I haven’t quite been brave enough to bring it in), or I could practice my knitting and joining together and so on and make myself something I could use at work. I think a poncho is a bit more practical than a blanket, since I’d look kinda weird bringing a blanket to a meeting. :)

If I seem defensive, I don’t mean to; I’m just explaining and I’m out of practice at writing, so my tone is all off. :)

Okay, time for me to wrap this up and post this, I think. It’s a shame I wasn’t able to use my three paycheque month the way I might’ve hoped, but at least… well, at least all of my insurance is paid up, and at least my computer exploded at a time when I had a spare paycheque coming in. Small blessings… it’s just that I wanted to go to Chapters, and I kind of want to buy a Booster Juice before I go to the gym today, and I want to buy a new printer, and then and then and then… ah well. I’ll be okay; I have been so far. I just whine. :)

2005/11/04

2005/11/02

My life, in a few updates:

First of all, my computer is completely fried. Dead dead dead dead dead. New power source did nothing for it (the old one had carbon in it and everything… very nice), and so the whole thing is toast. Here is where I respectfully request that people don’t start diagnosing it for me – while I’m feeling much better about the situation now, I believe in my dad’s computer geek abilities (he has been working with them for over 30 years), and I trust that when he says things like, ‘the drives don’t even start spinning,’ he knows what he’s talking about, he’s telling the truth, and the drives won’t even start spinning. They’re dead. It’s not just a motherboard issue, it’s not just a power source issue, and so on.

If I sound somewhat mean about this, it’s because I had a few well-meaning souls who were diagnosing my computer problems for me, and perhaps not believing me when I was telling them what was wrong. I don’t like being doubted, so I get a little cranky. I’m better now.

Anyhow, less than an hour after the official diagnosis came down, I had ordered a new system off of Dell. Stop groaning and so on; my dad’s office has had very good experiences with them, and Dad told me he wouldn’t be able to build me an equivalent system for cheaper. I was overdue for an upgrade, and while this new system won’t be of the highest quality, it will still be an awesome system. I’ll just have to spend some serious time rebuilding everything from my bookmarks to my file system. Basically, I won’t realize what I’ve lost (aside from some of the obvious, like my mp3 collection, or the three seasons of Scrubs I had on my system – build whoop) until I go looking for it.

I had been very afraid that I’d lost my digital photo collection. Back at my previous job, I had spent some time uploading my pictures to my picture site, and I had burned most of my collection to a CD in order to transport them to work. I had thought I might’ve thrown out that CD, since I had everything stored on my computer already. I’ll confess; it was the thought of having possibly lost pictures of Thena and Venus as kittens that brought me to tears at one or two points during the day.

The next day, the Sunday, my dad brought me out a loaner system, and I started to hunt around my apartment properly. There had been no point in doing it on Saturday, since I don’t label most of my CDs and I didn’t have a computer to test things in anyhow. In my hunting, I turned up a jewel case that looked very familiar, with two blank CDs in it – one with MP3s, and the other with my pictures, up until May of this year. This means I may have lost out on a few pictures of my kitchen, or possibly even a few of the kitties, but the bulk of my collection was safe. Needless to say, I was very relieved.

See, procrastinating about cleaning and so on pays off sometimes.

Though I think when I get my new system, I might go through and organize all of those blank disks I have. I can even use a number of them to restore a portion of my mp3 collection, if I’m so inclined. The Scrubs episodes I can borrow or re-download if I want. Season 2 is due out on DVD soon, so that’s one less season to concern myself over. :)

I’m also very lucky in that my final school project isn’t due until the last week of November. Well, that’s my presentation date. This gives me a bit of extra time to settle in with the new system when it arrives before I have to go full-tilt generating materials for the final presentation. I did lose one of my papers, but I have the hardcopy of it for referral purposes… it just means re-typing anything I want to use, which is good and bad.

I’m hoping that I’ll get to use the book club members as a bit of a focus group, because it doesn’t seem as though the people who said they could do it are going to do it – at least, I have yet to get back any kind of reliable confirmations. I’m looking into that now.

There’s also been a bit of drama in that the Smooshy’s roommate has discovered that he has bedbugs. The roommate and I work at the same place, so we’re both in a good position to know what to do in this situation, but that doesn’t make it any less icky. This means that the Smooshy has practically moved in with me even more than he already has, and so there’s been occasional friction as a result of that. Well, there’s been friction as a result of one thing, mainly his schedule vs. mine, and what that means for time spent together and such. Needless to say, it’s straining sometimes, but we’re getting from one day to the next.

Work is… work. I’m continuing my practice of trying not to talk too much about work, partly because I’m very fortunate in that I have a colleague that I can complain to whenever necessary, and he shares my issues and experiences them, too. We’re in this together, and while our situation is somewhat crappy, it’s nice to have someone who understands the circumstances.

The Smooshy is also great for that; I complain for twenty minutes, and he summarizes the big issue in one or two sentences. It’s great to have someone who sees my side, and sometimes sees the other person’s side, too (which I can also be good for), and supports me, even if he might privately think I’m wrong. :)

But I will say, April is a long time away.

I was going to do NaNoWriMo this month again, but now I’m not sure, given that it’s already November 2nd, and I would be starting out with catching up to do. We’ll see how the desire comes and goes. Likely goes.

I’ve been having a very hard time being motivated to do much of anything lately – or to get any kinds of desires going. I basically don’t want to do much of anything aside from knit, cross-stitch, and/or play video games. Most days work leaves me so dispirited that I just want to come home and veg on the sofa, doing one of those activities. The kitties seem to like it, since Thena can go out and Venus can relax or occupy my lap, but it’s not exactly great for getting things done. I have managed to get some laundry and some baking in, here and there, and even some household puttering, but overall, I feel fairly unproductive.

And don’t get me started on my libido, urgh. I keep putting it down to a messed-up sleep schedule, but I don’t know if that’s fair. Tomorrow the Smooshy gets to find out if his lobbying and polite grumbling to get his schedule changed will bear fruit; we’re both very hopeful that this will in fact be the case. It’s very difficult to maintain a relationship when you only ‘see’ one another for a few minutes at night and in the mornings (maybe), and on weekends… especially when those weekends often fill up with other activities or errands that need doing… and especially when his ‘weekends’ are usually only a day long.

At least I’m starting back at the gym again. A bit. I’ve been this week, that counts. I’ve also been out on the bike a decent amount, and I’m fairly comfortable on it, though I do still have moments of fear/concern in turns and the like. I’m definitely not zipping through hairpin turns at 100 km/h, so you can stop worrying about that. :)

Ah well, time to wrap up for now. Anyone have any suggestions on libido-boosting? Thanks.

2005/10/26

*sigh* Rough day yesterday.

I managed to set up a pho excursion, and Ben met me at my place ahead of time. His class ends early, and his house is in the opposite direction. We text-messaged back and forth to say where we were and so on, and because my transportation was going the wrong way first, I was a bit delayed. My last message from him involved him telling me that a utility pole was on fire on my street.

Joy.

I got closer to my apartment building (I was coming over the hill as I got this message), and didn't see any huge flames or anyone out on the street, so I figured that it was okay. As it turns out, it was a utility pole almost directly across from my door, so needless to say, I had no power.

I called the Smooshy, who lives about a 10-minute walk away from me to see if he had power, and he didn't (the streetlights were out on the way over, too). About an hour later he called to let me know that he had power, but I still didn't. He came over about an hour after that, and a bit before 7 we decided to go out for dinner (since we were waiting on another friend, anyhow).

Now, I got home around quarter to 5 or so, and we were sitting in my apartment with about a half-dozen candles lit for lighting. We figured that after dinner, there would likely be a return of lights.

The Smooshy and I got back to my apartment around 8:45, and they were still working on the pole. We decided to set ourselves up in the bedroom with a whole bunch of candles and he read while I knitted. I am so cool.

We had five candles on my headboard, which made Thena somewhat grumpy when she went to jump up there and had no room. We had two or three candles on my dresser, in front of the mirror, and Venus decided to explore those while I went to the washroom. I was listening to the Smooshy talk about how it would only take one good tail swoosh, and then he was saying she was on fire.

He put it out, and she seemed a bit rattled, but nothing too awful. Some of her tail fur was a bit singed, and I could feel where the heat had removed parts of it, but I don't think it came anywhere close to her skin. The Smooshy later apologized to me for letting her get burned, and had said a few times before that that a singed tail was the best lesson.

She curled up on my while I was knitting and demanded attention, so I don't think she was too badly affected.

Anyhow, the guys in the truck drove away shortly before 10, and right around 10 the smoke alarm (electric) started whining. We were wandering around trying to figure out what the whining was (as it decreased in volume) when the lights started coming back on. Somewhere in there was also a loud pop that I thought was cats knocking over something, so I blew out the candles and started a walkabout of the apartment.

We returned all the candles to their previous locations, I found nothing out of sorts, and I watched Gilmore Girls with the Smooshy (after his shower). We talked for awhile and went to bed late, as is our habit.

In the morning, after I eventually got up (having already discussed with my colleague that I'd be late), I turned on my computer to boot while I went to the washroom. I came back to find nothing had happened, so I pushed the power button again. Still nothing. I checked out the plugs and the connections, the power bar, and tried again -- nothing.

I could still smell what I had originally thought was candles or burnt cat hair, but now realized was isolated to the computer and consists of that unique burnt electronics smell. My power source and possibly other components are fried.

I woke up the Smooshy and he did the same checks I did, but obviously can't tell anything yet. I called my dad and he's going to check it out for me as soon as I can get it out to the house.

Now, as a grand total of things that have died in my apartment lately:
(1) fluorescent light bulb in the kitchen;
(2) my floor lamp in the living room (previously died and fixed by my dad -- I don't recommend the model, which I'll hotlink later);
(3) computer and assorted components.

This makes me sad. :( With any luck, I'll be able to have it up and running by the weekend, with no loss of data. Some of it has been backed up, but not all. I'm okay with losing things like video card, motherboard, etc., because those are all older and can stand to be replaced, but the harddrive is a bit more important. I'm also very glad right now that I was able to get the last presentation date for my project, because having this on top of trying to get a project together and quickly would really suck.

Anyhow, time for me to head off. If you need to get in touch with me, use the phone! No home email access for me. :(

2005/10/25

Holy shit, I don't update enough. :P

From this month's Ms. magazine (also appears at the Ms. blog):

"When a White House reporter last June questioned why Persident Bush only calls on one women[sic] reporter during prses conferences -- although female reporters accoutn for about a quarter of the press corps -- White House press secretary Scott McClellan blamed the media: "The president believes it's important to get to those major media outlets and start the news conference that way. And if it's a question of diversity within those organizations, I think it's a question to direct to those organizations, not us."

But Bush has greater gender-awareness problems. In July, notes Salon's Tim Grieve, "Bush apparently wanted to take a question from Reuters, so he shouted out, 'Reuters man, Toby.' Only it turns out that 'Reuters man, Toby' is Tabassum Zakaria, who happens to be a woman.

"Bush immediately corrected himself, then made matters worse," continues Grieve. "'Woman -- excuse me, I can see that,' he said. 'So how long have you been on the presidential beat?' When Zakaria said that she'd been covering the White House since February, Bush told her, 'Yes. Well, make yourself less scarce.'"

2005/10/15

Your Kissing Purity Score: 31% Pure

You're not one to kiss and tell...

But word is, you kiss pretty well.

2005/10/13

Is it fair of me to say that because religion plays such a non-existant role in my life, that I am continually ignorant of and frequently forget what the religious background of my friends is...

... or is that just ignorant and stupid of me?

For example... if I can't remember if someone happens to be Catholic or Anglican, or Hindu or Muslim, am I being a racist/narrow-minded jerk, or is that acceptable, if not necessarily 'good'?

Maybe this is simply a reflection of the culture in which I live (one in which religion does not play a large role) that religion and religious backgrounds I can't keep straight, yet sexual orientation and predilictions are in the forefront of my brain.

I mean, I know there are differences between the various religions, and I'm never going to tell anyone that they should conform to mine... and granted, sometimes in my tunnel visionness I'm a bit surprised when friends from different religious backgrounds are unfamiliar with Christian customs (i.e., communion or Christmas/Easter traditions), but I don't expect them to automatically celebrate the same holidays that I do. Although sometimes I do jokingly tell N that she needs to CONFORM to our ways.

I admit it, sometimes I need reminding that things aren't the same for everyone. Just because I was raised by two parents who had two children and haven't divorced doesn't mean it's the same for all. Hell, sometimes seeing other girls in various states of undress serves to remind of me stupid little things like, 'Hey, not everyone has freckles/moles on their arms like me' or even 'Hey, people have different coloured nipples!'

Oh, I'm fucking deep. You'd better believe it.

But hey, I'm willing now and again to admit to my foibles. Not always, it's true... and it's weird that when it comes to work mistakes, although I do dwell on them, I simultaneously hate to admit to them, yet when it comes to being ignorant or uninformed in life matters, I'm usually willing to step forward and say something.

Gah. If I had all the time in the world (and a nice rich bank account and/or husband), I think I'd be a perma-student. There's much I'd love to study and learn about.

Sometimes I wonder if I've chosen the right path. Maybe I'd be better-suited to study writing, or sex therapy or something. Urgh. I think both of those would involve me moving out of the city to study, however, and I wouldn't even know if I could make it. There are many other people much more devoted to those pursuits than I. I just keep coasting, it seems.

Huh, who knew I could ramble myself into an existential crisis? I just wish I could be at home, knitting or something. I found an easy pattern for a poncho I want to make, but I don't know that my mom would sell me the yarn. She wants me to finish one of my current projects, first. Bah. When I'm sitting here at work, cold, the last on my mind is completing the sleeveless shirt I've been working on. Instead, I want me a giant poncho!

Anyhow, I think it's obvious by now that I'm only/mainly writing in order to avoid doing something else, and right now that something else is finishing up my paper. I think it's more or less ready to go, and I guess it isn't going to be worse than the version that got me the C+. :P I just wish I knew already what I was going to ask the prof when I interview her on Sunday, though. Mind you, I have highlighted some things in various articles that I've read and in her thesis that I don't think are directly answered there, so hopefully I won't be taking her over already well-covered ground.

I need more *time*. I need time to exercise, to cook, to clean, to do my crafts, to hang out with friends, to do schoolwork, to watch my shows, and to read for fun. I need time to spend with the Smooshy, to spend with the cats, to travel, and especially to sleep. I need time to find a new apartment and move and decorate and ride my bike and visit my family and write letters to my grandfather, and save money and pay off my bills.

Urgh. Living is stressful.

Okay, okay, I'm done now. Next post will be #1500, according to the Blogger count, though. That's kinda cool and/or depressing, isn't it?

Aren't you glad I'm back? So full of useful updates!

Okay, I'm gone. Stress bunny. :P

2005/10/12

Ever notice the passive-aggressive hostility that becomes the norm for how a boy treats you when you reject them?

I'll develop this more later. For now... I'm trying to extract a few more academic thoughts from my brain.

I had the thought today... I wonder if I really am cut out to do a masters. Maybe I should just keep doing bachelor degrees forever. :P

2005/10/11

One day, I will update for real.

2005/09/30

Because I'm a jerk, and to get the hits... 'Rory Gilmore Sex Boat'

2005/09/28

Okay, so I'm stressed about money right now. Anyone know of any easy ways to get rich quick?

I'm not quite at the point of taking off my clothes online for money, but it might come down to that. :P
Urp. I may have heard a minor winding up noise from the biological clock. I'm sure it's only temporary, but... uh oh.

2005/09/22

End of day three. I couldn't remember what day of the week it was this morning. :P

Today was the first day of booth bunnying. The first proper day, rather. I was there before 7:30, after picking up a bad hot chocolate and semi-grody muffin from Starbucks. For $5.30, I was definitely not impressed.

I met a lady from Rosetown, Saskatchewan, and we chatted for quite some time. Once they opened up the tents, I helped a woman from some part of Alberta put together her display, and then sat behind my booth for awhile. It was freezing in the tent, 'cause they hadn't turned the heat on. Actually, I don't think they turned the heat on at any point. :P We got some hot chocolate from the hotel (good stuff!), and eventually a bunch of us moved out of the tent to get some sun. I actually had moved out to hit the washroom, but that didn't happen.

I spent a fair bit of time chatting with the deputy mayor of Riverview, N.B., about the Jennifer Teague case and so on, until they went off to the Berry Barn, and I came back to the hotel to have some lunch and have a nap.

On my way back to the hotel, I ran into my coworker, so we chatted for a bit, catching up. We'd both forgotten that we weren't staying in the same hotel, which explains why we hadn't seen one another -- plus, he's been busy with various obligations. He came by the booth later and helped me stuff some CDs, which had just arrived, and he's going to do something similar tomorrow.

I plan on going out to see the Berry Barn (Berry Farm?) tomorrow. Apparently there's something known as the Saskatoon berry, and I'd like to check it out.

I came back to the hotel to relax and watch some tv, then headed over to the mall to check out the sweaters and do some shopping. Only for an hour before the mall closed, and I sliced my finger on a hanger, 'cause I'm that awesome, then wandered over to the Pita Pit to get some dinner. Yummy, tasty dinner.

Like I said, no deep thoughts. I have too many things I want to do, and not enough time in which to do them. :P I will say, though, that watching back-to-back episodes of C.S.I., then the intro to Criminal Minds, which features a girl being abducted by a serial killer, does not do well for my peace of mind. Especially when I'm staying alone in a hotel room in a foreign city, and I already had to replace my key card once because it stopped working for reasons unknown.

I'm okay, though. I have my knitting.

Shut up.

I've also noticed that the bathroom mirror makes my eyes look really pink. I thought I just kept looking tired, but then I looked in another mirror almost immediately after, and that wasn't the case.

Oh yeah, I'm totally swamped. :P

2005/09/21

Day two has finished, and I've had a few realizations.

First, a king-sized bed is just ridiculous. It's huge and I can sleep diagonally, lengthwise or widthwise in it, and not hang off the bed. Granted, that's kinda fun, but seriously -- it's huge! Mind you, the hotel only seems to have rooms with king-sized beds, or with two double beds, so I guess it's not like they weren't listening to me when I said I only needed a double. :)

Hell, I remember when OFK and I went to Toronto, and we had queen-sized beds. I thought that was huge, as I travelled across it in the course of the night. It's true, I would -- I'd wake up, move over a little, and fall back asleep. Most nights, I fell asleep at one side of the bed and woke up at the other. Who says I hog the bed?! :) (I don't, actually -- the smooshy does. I have to fight to have space in my own damn bed. :P)

Anyhow, second, I think somewhere when I wasn't paying attention, I became a grown-up. I was walking back to my hotel room, and I realized that as far as everyone else is concerned, I'm an adult. I'm here on merits, I'm here as a representative of my organization, and no one else realizes that in my head, I'm still some child or student who doesn't know what the hell is going on. It's... weird.

I think it's also the first time I've stayed in a hotel room alone. At least, I can't really remember another time when I've stayed in one on my own.

Ah well... I slept in a bit today (well, I woke up around 8:30 local time) and awoke to window cleaners or construction people outside my window. Fortunately, I didn't sleep naked, as is often my habit. After spending some time on the computer and the phone with the smooshy, I headed over to check in to the conference. They basically told me to come back at 2:00 p.m., so I found some breakfast, wandered around a bit and did some gift shopping and grabbed some lunch. I came back to the hotel to get rid of my purchases and relax a bit, then went back to the conference to set up.

I made some friends out of the people there, people who are much older than me and therefore probably see me either as very young or as an adult of sorts (I didn't say I had to make sense), and never saw my coworker. I still haven't heard from him yet -- for all I know, he never even came! -- and so I had to set up my whole display on my own. Well, on my own but with the help of the volunteers and a few of the other booth folks. Apparently we have much more swag than some of the other tables, which is impressive, since we figured we were arriving with nothing.

It didn't take too long to set up, so once I was done, I came back to the hotel to change into jeans and comfy shoes. My feet were killing me, 'cause I haven't worn my shoes in forever. :( At least tomorrow I'll be sitting a fair bit. I chatted with my sister for awhile, then decided to go out to see a movie. It was either that or wander to the nearby Rogers/Blockbuster to rent a movie (the laptop is equipped with a DVD-ROM, lucky me!).

I ended up seeing Just Like Heaven, which I've been wanting to see. It reminded me of a book I read years ago, but it doesn't seem to be the same one.

I wish I could be interesting enough for tonnes of people to come and read. I spent awhile updating my chequebook today -- that was thrilling. :) I've been having lots of thoughts lately about wanting to write, and ideas on things to write. Nothing is really connecting, which is frustrating. I know that the first version doesn't have to be perfect, and the story can change a dozen different ways before it's final, but... I keep feeling like I should have *some* idea of what to have happen, or how to have the story move.

Maybe I should just do like Moose does, and have one story that I continuously rewrite until ultimately, it's something completely different from what I originally conceived, but I like the evolution it's undertaken.

Maybe I just don't have deep thoughts. :P

2005/09/20

Well, greetings from cool and semi-sunny Saskatoon. Actually, it's dark out now -- it's about 20 after 9 local time. This is still going to post in my time, though, so be confused or something. :)

Of course, since I'm updating in between commercials, this is going to take awhile anyhow.

So, I'm here in Saskatoon for a conference for work. I've never been to the prairie provinces, so when the opportunity arose, I took it. Of course, then my usual self emerged, and I wasn't as keen on going -- I miss my kitties, I miss my boyfriend, etc. Mind you, it's nice to be away from work for awhile...

Though in the end, this is more work than if I'd stayed home, if that makes sense. According to the conference materials, the booth that I'm manning is open from 7:30 a.m. until 5 or 5:30 p.m. That is offensive, in my opinion. I'm also vaguely annoyed that my colleague is leaving on Saturday, which I didn't know was an option -- I'm returning on Sunday, and that's crappy. Especially since my flight departs at 7:15 a.m. Yurgh.

But backing up... the flight in was fairly uneventful. I was originally booked on a 3-hop flight, but they were concerned that my transfer in Toronto didn't have enough time between flights, so they put me on a more direct flight. I was in Winnipeg very briefly, and I was going to call Jay and say hi, but I only had enough time to hit the washroom, get in the wrong lineup to board (they changed the gate), and then board. Very exciting.

Got to the hotel fine, got the laptop hooked up with the internet, and I felt human again. I'm a dork, I know. Called the folks to tell them I hadn't died in a fiery plane crash, and then had some food and decided to wander for a bit.

According to some literature I read somewhere, I found out that I'm staying in downtown Saskatoon. Here is my hotel, if you're curious. I've done a bit of wandering, and I've discovered that there are a *lot* of restaurants nearby, which is good. I'm also near two movie theatres, so I might take myself to a movie sometime later.

In addition, I discovered that there's an Arby's up the street, so I treated myself to some roast beef sandwiches. Yummy. I only had to fly halfway across the country to do it. :P :)

My wandering also showed me that Saskatoon is a bit different than Toronto, or other cities I've been to. At home, the streets get rolled up around 9 p.m., sometimes a bit earlier, depending on the location and day of the week. In Toronto, at least on the weekends, some stores start to close around midnight. Here, stores close at 5:30 p.m., or 6 p.m.... later in the week they're open later, but it's a weird feeling to wander downtown on a Tuesday night at 6:30 and have nothing open. I couldn't even find a drugstore to buy postcards. :P

Ah well... I tried to find out if my colleague had checked in yet, but they didn't even have him listed in this hotel. I'm 99% certain he's supposed to be here as well, though, so I figure I'll just run into him somehow tomorrow. We're not supposed to start putting the booths up until 2 p.m., so I'm going to go downtown tomorrow before lunch and check in, get the various details and so on. Theoretically. Basically, I'm just playing this whole damn thing by ear, and hoping to get enough sleep and/or time to myself in between.

In non-Saskatoon life... I don' tknow. There's stuff, and I've wnated to write about things, but I can't think of anything right now. My brain sucks. :) For now, though, I'm going to sign off on this and do some reading and/or knitting or something, and try and get some sleep. My body doesn't know what to think, especially since I was up late and then I slept some on the first plane. I have to give props to WestJet; their flight attendants were very friendly and funny, and the first flight I took had leather seats and the satellite tv. The tv is a good idea, but it's very difficult to hear properly, especially when your ears are half messed up due to altitude changes and so on. The first flight ended up giving me a headache that I think has finally now passed. :/

2005/09/13

Is there an easy and polite way of reinforcing to people who seem to have forgotten/not listened that I really hate being called Jennifer? I’m thinking mainly (okay, entirely) of my work environment, where I introduce myself as Jen, and I’ve told many people that I prefer to be called Jen, and they keep defaulting to Jennifer. My manager even said at one point that he was likely going to call me that many times “by accident”, because he thinks it’s a beautiful name and so on.

That may be so, but I actively dislike being called Jennifer. It grates on my nerves, and it’s frustrating to me to have to remind people of this fact, especially when I don’t understand this government compulsion to expand everyone’s names to their full length.

I mean, it’s one thing to be listed in the various search engines as Jennifer, and get called that by people who don’t know better; but once I’ve emailed you and you see how I sign my emails, or how I introduce myself, why do you keep reverting to Jennifer?

I had one show host who, after years of working with me and knowing me as Jen, started spontaneously calling me Jennifer. I had to eventually tell him somewhat forcefully, "I *hate* being called Jennifer." It's the same with some colleagues and friends deciding out of the blue to call me Jenny. I can't understand it.

*sigh*

I’m not getting enough sleep, and I’m apparently heading into a whiny PMS phase. I was whining last night to The Boy about how I feel frustrated that I’m doing work that I subsequently have to totally redo because someone isn’t giving me any direction. The Boy (haha, the smushy) mentioned that it sounds like he’s asking me to change things because he doesn’t really know what he wants in the first place. That’s also true, it seems. It doesn’t make my life any happier/easier.

As it’s been pointed out, I only have to deal with this until April. Then, in theory, life will improve.

But in the meantime... how can I get people, especially a bunch of senior management-types, to stop calling me Jennifer!? Shy of punching them in the nose/having a total fit, of course.
I miss updating. :(

2005/09/12

In lieu of a real update (I know, I know):

"Have it all," by Jeerem Kay

Some days I feel like crying
Don’t matter if its rain or shine
I feel like my heart was broken
At least a million times
Some days I wake up dreaming
Feels like I never even woke
Answer life’s big question
As if it’s one big joke
Maybe it’s too soon to be sure but I
Really do believe that some day we’re gonna have it all
So I try so hard to keep the rhythm of a train
Rolling right along when the ride gets rough you got to carry on
Some days I feel like singing
I sit back and just groove the day away
Maybe I pick up a guitar and play what I want to play
Maybe it’s too soon to be sure but I
Really do believe that some day we’re gonna have it all
So I try so hard to keep the rhythm of a train
Rolling right along when the ride gets rough you got to carry on
Carry on,
You got to carry on
You got to carry on
You got to carry on
Today I feel like laughing
Seems to be no reason at all
And if the world stops spinning
I’m not afraid to fall
Maybe it’s too soon to be sure but I
Really do believe that some day we’re gonna have it all
So I try so hard to keep the rhythm of a train
Rolling right along when the ride gets rough you got to carry on

2005/09/07

As further proof that this city is just Too Damn Small (TM), I ran into someone I dated off of lavalife in the grocery store.

Well, I think we went out for one date. He recognized me; I didn't recognize him. Cute, though. Nice chest/arms. Ah well, fortunately that's not all that's important. :)

2005/09/06

My poor, poor, neglected blog. Holy crap.

Let's see, a brief summary of what's been going on in my life... just won't work. So bear with me as I try to fill in the gaps of the last few weeks, 'cause that's when most of the cooler shit has happened.

First, I had a birthday and turned old. I'm now 25, and this is when things are supposed to start happening. I think. 'Cause, see, I think sometime soon I'm going to have to start being a grown-up or some other shit. I don't know, how old is a grown-up? I have friends that are grown-ups, but at what age did they get there?

Anyhow, second, in order to combat the pending doom of grown-upedness, I bought a motorcycle. That finally came into my possession for real a few days after my birthday. I still have to get my little ass over to the DMV to upgrade my M1 to an M2, which will give me legal ability to ride any road at any time of day or night, but I got the registration and other details taken care of. Second-hand vehicle ownership is full of details that must be looked after, but at least in this case, is worth it. I saved the equivalent of a year's insurance, and I got a really nice bike that I'm not likely to outgrow.

I finally have also taken some rides on it. Well, aside from the one trip up and down the street that I did the day my dad and I took the bike back to their place (I'm still waiting to get my stupid parking spot lined up). My first trip on the bike was Thursday, and it went fairly well, with a few exceptions. I did stall the bike once or twice, but whatever. I got passed by a car that I hadn't realized was there, so that was a bit scary, but has had the pleasant side effect of causing me to check my mirrors more regularly. I also at one point fell over on the bike. I was tired, hungry, and slightly lost, and coming up to a stop sign. As I stopped, I bobbled things a little, and down we went. Fortunately, I was able to lift the bike on my own, so that was encouraging. Finally, I panicked a little heading into a turn; at this point, the bike can seriously outperform me, and I don't have the confidence to go zooming around just yet. But I did get a motorcycle wave from someone, so that was cool. :)

My folks are getting my sister established for school, and taking their vacation right now, so they have a friend looking after the kitties. That friend wanted to go get her daughter set up, so she asked me to mind the kitties over the long weekend, which I did. It gave me a perfect opportunity to let them out for a run, spend some time cuddling them (Digger was *very* pleasured to get some snuggling in on Saturday – he eventually completely collapsed in my lap, all curled up), and get some riding time in. On Saturday I did a quick trip out to the Home Depot and drugstore, where two people snagged the parking spots I was going for. *grr* I had to drop off my purchases, and as I was in the driveway, it started to rain. I wasn’t feeling very confident, so I figured it was as good a reason as any to pack the bike up. Finally, I did another circuit on Sunday, where I wanted to practice some of my turns and so on. Unfortunately, there were a fair number of cars on the road, so I felt a bit rattled by that – I felt a bit as if I couldn’t slow down the way I might’ve liked, and it made me too nervous heading into turns (panicked in one again). I realized that I feel comfortable doing slower speed turns, so I’ll just work up to the higher-speed ones, and I’m treating recommended speeds as being gospel, the same as I did when I was first learning how to drive. I’m already treating speed limits as fairly gospel, ‘cause regardless of how safe I feel speeding in a car, doing 80 km/h on a bike can be scary!

The last time out, some lady tried to snag my spot at an intersection (we both went at the same time), and then I stalled the stupid bike three times trying to get across the damn intersection. I’d already stalled it earlier that afternoon at the opposite side of the intersection, and the bike wobbled on me – I had to fight to keep it upright. I think I’m pushing myself a bit too much, and it’s undermining my confidence a bit, so for now I’m going to work on scaling back a little, and trying to settle the nerves. Driving after 6:30 p.m. or so seems to be a good time of night; it’s still light, and fewer people are out on the roads.

So that’s the rundown on the bike. What else has been going on?

Well, the week of my birthday, I booked the week off of work. I figured I was due a vacation, and my week off was capped with my trip to Toronto to go and see James Marsters, as you knew.

In conjunction with my week off, I was booking plans all over the place. See, I signed up on a website, plentyoffish.com, awhile ago after I heard of it from a friend. It’s similar to lavalife or capital.cupid, in that it’s a dating site of sorts, but they also have resources for those who only want to meet friends or chat online. In addition, it’s completely free; chatting, emailing, etc., which is a nice change of pace.

I’d met a few nice guys through there, some of whom I’d even met in person and gone out on dates with, and a few others I’d made tentative plans to meet. One of them was someone who’d originally contacted me to ask questions about the motorcycle licensing process and the course, and who I’d suckered into conversations on other subjects (what can I say? He was cute, and you all know the alternate title for this site). We exchanged a series of rambling emails on all sorts of stupid topics, switched to real email accounts, and then discussed the possibility of meeting.

He gave me his number and times when it would be safe/kind to call, so one day before my lunch break, I did. We talked for an hour and a half, only briefly touching on the subject of finalizing the tentative plans we’d made (picked a day and that was about it), and then he had to be off. We spoke again the next day, though not as long, and there were several other phone and MSN conversations that took place, some until the wee hours of the evening.

We made plans for Monday of my vacation, and planned for the entire day. Normally, when I meet someone for the first time, it’s a coffee or maybe a meal; I’ve had plenty of experiences where online chemistry didn’t translate. In this case, however, neither of us seemed particularly worried about that not panning out. I had to push the plans back a bit in order to accomodate a coffee with D that never actually took place, but in the end it all worked out. We met that afternoon, and long story short, our first date ended two and a half days later.

And no, not for the reasons you’re all thinking. Perverts, the lot of you; I’m a lady.

Stop laughing. I hate you.

Anyhow, he went home Wednesday morning when I went for my gym appointment, after braving my birthday potluck dinner with friends, and thereby beginning his new addiction to Katamari Damancy. He came back Wednesday night after his shift was over, and aside from my weekend in Toronto, we’ve spent every night together since.

I know,we’re one of those couples who everyone is going to say is moving way too fast, but it feels okay and seems to be working so far. We’ve recently hit a few minor bumps, but we talk it out and it seems to be working out okay. We’re both jumping in with both feet but at the same time being somewhat cautious, because we’ve both been hurt many times in the past. I’ve vetted him past a few of my friends, and so far the approval ratings seem to be pretty good. :)

Needless to say, I ended things with Mr. Three Dates (yeah, you guys hadn’t heard of him), and allowed things with the other two people to more or less lapse. Apparently he was also dating three people when he met me; for a *huge* geek, he seems to do okay for himself. :)

We’ve also taken to making good meals together. The first real mutual meal was the night he made chicken kiev and I made an experimental pasta salad and (bad) brownies; a few nights ago was beef stroganoff and then last night was a pizza from scratch. Very thick dough, due to the dish and the recipe, but very tasty, too. :) Of course, soon it’s going to be my turn to helm the preparations, but not for awhile, as his next night off isn’t for some time yet. I’ll have to resort to feeding myself, it would seem.

Finally, even the kitties seem to like him. Venus is a bit slower at coming around, but she seems to be getting into a shy frame of mind, whereas Thena’s been pretty comfortable around him from the start. Some nights they’ve even taken to picking on him and leaving me alone, which is a nice change of pace. :)

Oh yeah, and carrying on my theory that this city is Too Damn Small, I work at the same building as one of his roommates; we even took a course together about six weeks ago. In fact, we're working on the same issue, from different ends.

Anyhow, I’ll save my Toronto story for another time. I’m starving and I still have some reading to do for school on Thursday. Stupid horrible professor. *sigh*