Wednesday, December 31, 2008

for the ladies

on this last day of the year 2008, i do not even feel badly that my professional productivity has gone to pot since my personal productivity has hit an all time high and i am busy planning a non stagette stagette. to make it more professionally ethical, i am getting help from my colleague so at least that is something to ease my conscious.

things are coming together (as they always do) and it is shaping up to be a stellar night. not for a few more weeks though. first i have to survive new year's eve, a wine drenched ladies' night christmas regift party, and another week of work.

perhaps my upbeat mood is the result of the most generous gift i received this morning. everybody loves a student loan repayment!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

listy listy

i am back at work after a nice and relaxing few days off full of reading, movie watching, and general laziness. it did not hurt that the weather was crummy and my head/chest cold has returned so i am trying not to feel guilty about not doing a whole lot of anything while i was away from my cubicle.

and since i am back at work and managed to be rather productive this morning, that means a blog post for the internet just so it knows that i am still promising that i have not disappeared.

as always, here is a list of things that have been on my mind:
  • how, in 2008, is is ok for israel to fire rockets into groups of civilians in the gaza strip? i admittedly do not know the intricities of the conflict between israel and hamas and i do recognise that hamas is a terrorist organisation that has been elected into some legitimate form of government, but it just seems like a pretty obscene use of force for the israelis to have killed 350 people and for hamas to have killed 4. what is more frightening is the response that the 'extremists' in the arab world will have.
  • i got a super fantastic new camera for christmas. it is so fantastic that as it is not sitting in front of me at the moment, i cannot tell you the details of its fantasticness, just that i am very excited to learn how to use it and take some snappity snaps.
  • i am a movie going machine lately and have seen Seven Pounds, which is a good piece of entertainment (although it disturbed my sister). will smith's constant scowl/grimace kind of got a bit distracting (i think it is the same one he wore through the Pursuit of Happyness). i have also seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which was awesome. that Cate Blanchett is sure something.
  • i also had my annual viewing of Love Actually. then i immediately wanted to uproot and move to london.
  • i keep daydreaming about beach vacations, i think it might have something to do with this cold snap. not sure if you can call it a 'snap' if it lasts weeks though.
  • i went to the mall yesterday and managed to earn money, which was nice. it was more of returns and price adjustments, which is not exactly earning money, but it still felt good. economic downturn, be damned!
  • i have no plans for new year's eve. and the thought of moving around the city that night is enough to make me want to stay at home with the huge book i am in the middle of. then again, someone may convince me to go out and ring in the new year, if only to say good riddance to these last months of 2008.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

still here, i promise

really, i am.

i even had a few ideas for posts. and even starting drafting them. but until i get back to them, here are a few tidbits:
  • Australia is not such a long movie and it has great big screen movie star kisses, cheesey lines at just the right moments, and hugh jackman on horseback. it is worth the sitting time just for that last bit.
  • tis cold. so cold in fact that i bought a pair of uggs. i know that there are other brands that are cheaper, but i just felt like i should go hard or go home. however, they are so cozy, i would eat them if i could. and hugh jackman on horseback. yum.
  • yesterday my friend was telling me how her nose ring once fell out during a meeting and she had to casually cover it up and we chuckled. then this morning, i yawned during a training and drooled on my shirt! seriously, who does that? i didn't even know it was possible.
  • i wrote my spanish placement exam and they said i have a good handle on the language. i guess they were not considering my big capital letters saying, '¡NO ENTIENDO EL SUJUNCTIVO, AYUDAME!' but at least i remembered to put the ¡ in there so it makes it at least punctually correct
  • i don't know what all this talk about an economic downturn is about, i have spent more money in the last few months than i have in years. pish posh.
  • somalia's still crumbling, if anyone cares to notice.
  • i could really go for a beach holiday. is it appropriate to follow that last comment with this one?
  • it is if i also say that i am in the middle of Zanzibar Chest, which is fantastic and i wholeheartedly recommend it even though it is not my policy to recommend a book before i am done with it. but it covers the chaos that is somalia and other african historical bits and bobs while the author relays his experience as a white kid in africa and then a foreign correspondant in war zones.
  • i am not sure if i have ever recommended it here, but Emergency Sex is also a great read. similar idea. more un, less reuters than the other book, but same conflict zones. same appeal to me, the reader.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

greenest pastures

the past few months have been tumultuous, to put it lightly. and during the last week of tumult i have been thinking a lot about where i am and where i am going. both physically and in all other ways.

my feet have begun to itch and i have been thinking about all the places i could go and might see one day. it worries me that i will always have a dull ache of an urge to pick up and run off to areas of the world that are different, dangerous, or somehow interesting. and yet, it is the experiences that i have had over the past few years that i end up talking about most with people i meet.

thoughts of potential adventures are at the front of my mind today because a colleague of mine asked me this morning if i would be interested in working in the middle east because his old boss was harassing him to take a job and he was trying to pawn it off on someone. at the moment, my answer is a vehement no, but it is nice to know that opportunities will always come and it will be up to me to accept them or not.

and, for the moment, i am content right where i am. even if the details are yet to be ironed out and i have no idea what it is that i do at work or when it will ever begin to make sense (or if i even like it), i have no intentions of uprooting and sailing away on a ship like an 19th century woman out to explore the colonies and write books about exotic species of flowers while her governor husband civilizes the natives.

besides, i have spanish classes to take, weddings to attend, a car to drive, two jobs to wrestle, and a shopping habit to fund.

the world better be ready when i do decide to dart off somewhere, because crumbling democracies seem to follow me around the globe!

Monday, December 01, 2008

this might just get interesting, after all

canadian politics promise to become a little more interesting this week, with a potential coalition in the works between the liberals and ndp with a little help from our friends, the bloc quebecois.

i have been following this story and the facebook status updates of friends saying that this is undemocratic and i am not sure that i agree. if, together, more people voted for the liberals and the ndp than the conservative, then wouldn't a combination of them represent more of the electorate than a minority conservative government?

it sounds a bit simplistic and theoretical when i put it like that, but that is my initial thought.

perhaps i would be more miffed if i had voted conservative and supported them, but maybe this is a way to get around the ineffective minority situation that brought us to an election in the first place. at least, if two parties have a formal agreement to get along for a year then maybe parliament can actually get something done. and the netherlands has some sort of magic minority system where the leading party never has a house majority (it is explained in the book Infidel, actually) and they must always make coalitions to form government.

now, if dion has said he is stepping down and the other yahoos are all gearing up for a liberal party leader fight, then i am just not sure that this is going to work at all. but so far, i am liking it.

and thanks to k for the reminder that today is world aids day. last year on this day i was in a small coastal town in kenya, where they had banners up and a little street parade to commemorate the day. i also remember i was lathered in sunscreen and working on my equatorial tan, drinking diet cokes to stave off the 40 degree heat. i could go for a little of that right about now.

seasonal favourites

lite 96 was playing christmas carols this morning! this will surely improve my christmas spirit. i love a good christmas tune.

i'm throwing out the ipod and sticking with dieter's radio for now!