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Archive for April, 2002

30 Apr 02

retrorob

so, i guess i’m feeling a bit retro at the moment, so i updated my obsessions to sort of reflect this. microserfs is my alltime favourite book, by my alltime favourite author (douglas coupland), and as i mentioned the other day, i just picked up the rushmore dvd, finally. if you’ve never seen a wes anderson movie, stop reading this now, get in your car, and go rent one (royal tenenbaums, rushmore and bottle rocket all kick my ass).

ok, so if you’re back from the video store, i’ll tell you some more fun stories. oh wait, i don’t have any. so, you’ll have to deal with it.

so yeah, my meetings today: i feel like i spend most of my work life in meetings right now. about a year and a half ago work was pretty much the same in that regard, except i used to leave all my meetings feeling exceptionally angry and frustrated because they were directionless and accomplished nothing. i dont feel that way anymore usually; my frustration, when i feel it, comes from someone overruling our decisions or changing our direction without necessarily having all the information. it makes me feel completely useless. anyway, the point of all this is that our director will be making his proclamation tomorrow about the last few weeks of effort. it could end up being a bad day tomorrow.

i felt really good after this afternoon’s meeting as well because, once again, i feel a bit vindicated. some suggestions i made about how to manage computer labs months ago have finally been accepted as being right, and that’s the direction we’re moving in now (after a brief interlude into something i thought was a bad idea)…and, as a bonus, it looks like i’ll finally be more in control. i really hate the feeling of having to rely on someone else to do my job.

oh, and the leafs just beat out the islanders. it’s a good night.

30 Apr 02

rob vs. the evil corporation

today was a blur of meetings, but i feel good…just tired. i’ll post more later, but for now i just wanted to show everyone that i’m being paid off by an evil corporation for trying to poison me. it’s no million dollar settlement, but hey, free dummy. [aside: a nice shiny canajun nickel to anyone who can identify that reference. add it to the comments section if you know.]

my yummy prize:

steve suggested i go to costco and pick up the biggest box of jos louis i can find. how foolish to not specify! i’m set for months…or until i get poisoned by a year old jos louis again.

currently spinning: the dandy warhols – country leaver

30 Apr 02

matching toques: the next big thing

so yeah, i can’t believe i forgot to mention this earlier: kingston’s own “freaky twins” (as dubbed by brian at work) walked by our office window today. they’re really beyond description, and i think i may have been the last kingstonite to have seen them. they’re not really twins…they’re a mother and daughter of indeterminate age (although the mother looks at least 40 and the daughter is of school age) who dress identically. it pained me to look at, but i had trouble looking away. all i can really remember now is that they had matching orange toques on and matching backpacks. it made me really sad actually: i can’t imagine what that girl will be like when she grows up. i wish i had a picture of them so i could post it here…it’s really beyond description and my words dont do it justice.

currently spinning: the heavy blinkers – you can heal

29 Apr 02

gonads in the lightning

i’m feeling guilty tonight. mitch was moving this afternoon/evening and i didn’t help. i normally would, but i wasn’t feeling up to the following:
(a) dealing with a group of people
(b) dealing with moving mitch into sarah’s old place
(c) dealing with sarah’s ex-housemates

yeah, it’s completely bizarre…mitch is moving into sarah’s place. it was a complete fluke. anyway, hopefully she’s not pissed at me…that’s bad friend behaviour.

anyway, today was the first day of post-supervisory life, and it’s already a bit of an adjustment. i mean, my supervisory style was laid back to say the least, but i was a bit irked when i found out my staff was going to be looked after by someone else (with me in a “secondary role”). the reasoning was basically to give me more time and focus, while also giving someone else a role in the “new system”. anyway, the summer staff started today and they arrived at 8:30, as they were supposed to. i was running late and got there at 8:35, and their new supervisor was nowhere to be seen…and their work area wasn’t even set up. i probably would have done it had i been here friday afternoon, but clearly no one else did either. so, steve and i grabbed a couple computers for them and set them up…and their supervisor arrived at 9. i would have felt really embarassed if they were new to the department, but both of them have a pretty good idea of how things work around there. anyway, it was hard to sit by and watch this (and other things along the same vein that developed over the morning that i won’t get into).

otherwise, i spent some time doing geeky stuff today, researching ADSI (active directory something something) and a few other win2k things. there’s lots of learning to be done this summer, and i’m finding it difficult to make progress thus far because i’m ALWAYS waiting for someone before i can move forward.

oh hey, i’m also looking into security cameras/webcams for our computer labs. any suggestions?

robin‘s icq n/a message last night was “popular mechanics for broken hearts could help me now”. how apropos. and what a great song too.

oh! and i just found out that my friend briar is coming to visit me on wednesday. she’s from peterborough like me (although i don’t hold it against her), but she lives in alberta now. i havent seen her since canada day last year (july 1st for you poor souls who aren’t canajun), so that’s exciting. wheeee!

i also got my pay “raise” today, and if i hadnt been expecting it i wouldn’t have even noticed it. let’s just say it’s not very substantial. i also got a couple months of retro pay in an attempt to make up for the fact that i did 2 jobs for almost a year without a raise like i was promised. fab.

so anyway, the last thing i’ll say for now is this: if i’m icky or blah or boring to anyone in the next couple days, i apologize now…and i’ll make it up to you soon.

28 Apr 02

a new chapter in the book of rob

well, i’m home, and i guess today marks the beginning of the next phase of my life. i left sarah in toronto so it’s now time to start moving on.

so let’s see, i’ll do my best to recount my weekend. lots happened so i’ll do my best not to forget anything good…

friday afternoon was chaotic and stressful. i went to pick up sarah at around 2 and she had SO much stuff to bring to toronto. we took a bunch of clothes to goodwill first (which was a bonus for sure because all her clothes wouldnt have fit in my car). when we got back we spent about an hour arranging and rearranging stuff in my car (i have a cavalier so it’s far from huge), and we fit everything in except for her ancient tv, so i thought that was pretty successful.

on the way to toronto my shoe got caught on the trunk release lever beside my seat (because i’m a fucking moron), so we had to pull over on the don valley parkway (crazy traffic-y) to close it. god i suck. so anyway, we got to toronto and unloaded the car (after trying forever to parallel park blindly…i couldn’t see anything out the back of my car), and took a cab to the opera house to see spiritualized+the dears. i’m a HUGE dears fan so i think i was probably the only one there more excited about seeing them than the headliners. i like spiritualized too but my opinion of them has sorta always been that they’re good background music, perfect for listening to in the dark in bed.

so, the dears kicked my ass as usual. they came out and said “we’re going to play all new songs, so if we fuck up please forgive us. forgiveness is a virtue”. i’d heard two of the songs before, and they’ve lost a bit of their british blur/smiths sound, although murray lightburn can’t help but sound like morrissey. anyway, they were great but didnt play as long as i wished they had…and the hot flautist didn’t bring her cello along, which was too bad. as for spiritualized…they were what i expected. they basically had two songs (loud and distorted vs quiet and spacey). and wow, they made murray lightburn seem almost charismatic with their stage presence…they looked down the whole time or had their eyes closed, and they never said a word to the crowd. i’ve never seen that before. i ended up leaving just before spiritualized’s encore because my back was absolutely killing me…god i’m old. oh, and at the show i saw bill priddle from treble charger (the guy who sings ‘red’). well, i didnt so much see him as i stepped on him while leaving… more on celebrity sightings later.

on saturday i spent the afternoon shopping on queen west in toronto. i bought a great new t-shirt, the rushmore dvd (finally) and a cd by neuseiland. i was trying to find some other olivia tremor control but, no luck. saturday night was kristina’s birthday party, and it was alright. we went to a pub called milwaukee’s and drank too much. it was interesting though: i was the oldest one at our table by about 3 years, and they all kept complaining about how old they felt. (the bar’s patrons were at most 19, with many fake ids i suspect). guess how THAT made ME feel.

oh, i missed celebrity sighting #2: while we were on the queen st. street car on saturday afternoon, sarah poked me repeatedly and said “look look!” turns out hayden and his compadres were walking down queen by augusta drinking coffee. yay canadian celebrities!

know what one of my favourite things in the world is? making someone laugh until they cry…man that’s satisfying. i did it to kristina while waiting for a street car after the pub (yes, it is easier when drunk). i can’t remember exactly what i was doing, except that it involved pretending that the bus shelter was a sound proof booth. it wasn’t really one of my finest moments, but making people laugh is awesome. i know, that was deep.

i have a poll question: how many people who’ve been out of highschool for 3 or more years still reminisce about it on a regular basis? i mean, i never do..ever. in fact, i pretty much forgot about highschool the day i left it. but, i found a lot of the people i hung out with on the weekend spent a lot of time thinking back to highschool. i wasn’t sure what to think of that…maybe i’m weird.

finally, one more bit of randomness before i finally stop writing:
there’s a church in toronto (i think on roncesvalles) offering animal blessings on may 5th! if i had a pet, i’d so be there…no hellbound cats for me!

26 Apr 02

here comes the weekend

explain this to me:
i was just informed by work that i am no longer allowed to do contract work for other departments at queen’s on my own time. the argument was a bit contradictory (they couldnt seem to make up their mind whether it was an issue of “overtime”, i.e. working for queen’s in addition to my normal pay would mean i’m eligible for overtime; or an issue of perception, i.e. departments may see MY DEPARTMENT offering services to some people but not others, rather than seeing ME doing it). anyway, i’m pretty annoyed about the whole thing, partly because i was sort of counting on the additional income, and partly because morale couldnt possibly get much lower at work right now.

anyway, my morning consisted of 2 meetings that took up a lot of my energy (and time), and now i’m at home getting ready to go to toronto. i’m going to see the dears and spiritualized at the opera house tonight which is pretty exciting, and i’m going to a friend’s birthday party tomorrow night. i’ll be back on sunday so you’ll have to survive without blog entries until then (not that anyone will actually notice…)

hopefully everyone has a fabulous weekend and i’ll talk to you all again soon.

25 Apr 02

the bachelor is evil

today turned out to be pretty crazy. i spent much of the morning revising our staffing plan, and from 1:30 til a little after 4 presenting it to our manager. when that was done i had to run off and pick up my car, and head to my workshop by 4:30. it was hectic and busy and tiring, but at least nothing terrible happened.

the staffing plan (i.e. how our new call centre is going to function) is still up in the air because the director of our department will have to ok it, and sometimes it’s incredibly hard to make him see things “our way”. when it’s all about the bottom line and an outdated view of technology, it makes things really frustrating. anyway, i guess we’ll have to wait a week or two for more progress to be made, but i refuse to worry about it.

the workshop i was asked to teach a few weeks ago was odd. first of all, i was never sent an agenda, location, or even time to arrive which was a bit frustrating. i emailed for it today and didn’t receive a response…grrr. finally, an admin assistant told me what SHE thought i was supposed to do. as it turns out, only 2 people were supposed to come, so it turned into an informal one-on-two help session. it turned out alright i guess.

hockey is sucky tonight, so i’m not even gonna go into that. and my god, has anyone out there seen that bachelor show? holy shit, it’s reprehensible!

boring night, that’s all for now.

25 Apr 02

people are moths

i swear, this lava lamp is like a bug light. there are constantly people congregating right outside my window smoking and drinking coffee. i want to throw my bouncy ball at the window just to see them inhale their cigarette and/or scald themselves.

and, out of curiosity, why is my office COLD today? it’s been excessively hot since i moved in. damn me and my t-shirt.

currently spinning: beulah – comrade’s twenty sixth

25 Apr 02

$2 bought me unadulterated happiness

looking out my office window this morning, i can’t help but think that “window washer in the rain” must have near record low job satisfaction scores. couldn’t it wait until this afternoon when the rain stops? apparently not.

anyway, being the bright boy that i am, i left my car at sarah’s last night and took a cab home after the hockey game. it made sense at the time, because her house is much closer to campus than mine, and i need to leave work early today to get to a workshop i’m supposed to be teaching this afternoon, and it would be far easier to drive there than to walk. i figured that would save me from driving in this morning and getting a parking ticket. unfortunately, that plan didn’t take into account that the weather forecast for this morning called for much wind and rain…oops. i started walking and saw a bus coming so i took it most of the way. i think it was worth the $2.

currently spinning: the bluetones – solomon bites the worm

24 Apr 02

my day was boring, genitals

so yeah. i wish work wasn’t so boring so i could share some fabulous stories with the world, but it’s a fact: my life is terribly unexciting. for this i apologize profusely.

i spent much of my day in meetings, preparing to present our new staffing plan to our manager tomorrow. i think we’re ready and i really hope he doesn’t shoot it down. i think we did a great job and what we came up with should work.

i went to an on-campus pub tonight to watch the leafs get beaten (by the referees actually…who calls a penalty shot with 2 minutes left on a non-penalty shot play?) with sarah and robin, and that was a good time. there was beer, there was hockey, there was yelling from other bar patrons. can’t get much more fun than that.

i got a phone call today from a friend of mine from alberta who i haven’t seen since last summer. actually, she’s from peterborough like me but goes to school at the university of alberta…she’ll be in kingston next week so she’s hoping to stop in. i’m looking forward to that…yay for visitors! i don’t get nearly enough of those.

good christ this was a boring blog entry…not even remotely funny either. quelle horreur. one thing that always makes even the most mundane sentences more funny is to add the word “genitals” to the end of every sentence. steve (my officemate) came up with that game last summer, and it really did make things more funny for a few minutes…however, i think it’s an “out loud” sorta game so i’ll spare you all from typing it. try it with your friends. hours of fun for all!

currently spinning: dandy warhols – bohemian like you

Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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