Thursday, September 29, 2005

and another thing...

and all my documents have moved around since MS is evil and can't move an network profile onto a new machine (I mean really! UNIX has been doing that for years and years! so pathetic really...) and ghostview is gone sigh! how many times does a girl have to download Ghostscript? this is ridiculous... and I've been working so that I could give the boss a draft of my paper before skipping off for three days of looking like my avatar minouette (sans the jaunty hat... I'm sick... there will be no hats... just the curling up in a little ball on top of pillows) and he's gone! For a 3 day weekend no less. And! M. sends an urgent message from sea about requiring cadmium nitrate to be sent by helicopter... argh. I'm not going to deal with this ... I'm gonna pass the buck. Yeah.

the greyness decends

Oh... well I guess the rainy season has begun. My mom always complained that there was no spring in T.O. There is spring in Toronto, but it's 2 days mysteriously in January, 7 in March, 10 in April and then, mid-May it's suddenly summer. On the prairie, where she grew up, there were four equal seasons. Out here in lalaland, I have come to understand the beauty of a spring that unfolds. Here, we get crocuses in late-January, followed by cheery blossoms in February, followed by apple blossoms in March (and assorted other lovelies, sequentially). Likewise, summer unfolds. So it seems like the seasons are more equal on that level, but really, it's just that spring and summer are more gradual. Really the seasons here are spring, summer, and GREY. GREY has begun. Since spring and summer are, essentially, next-to-perfect, no one really cares that we are stuck in greyness until the new year. Even I can't really feel sorry for myself. The trees do turn colour, and some pretty spectacular and multifarious I-thought-those-only-appeared-in-children's-fairytale-books style mushrooms pop up spontaneously, so there is a hint of fall. But the main feature is the wet, rainy, greyness. It's liable to be overcast for 3 months now. My colleague's mother tried to retire here, from northern Saskatchewan. Apparently she hated GREY so much she would cross off grey days on the calendar. When she got 40 grey days in a row, she moved back to Saskatchewan. That's a pretty strong statement. My grandfather had stories of his childhood in Saskatchewan, like the time the HORSE FROZE SOLID. I don't think he made that up either. So, think about it: this lady would rather have 40 below and blue skies than 10 degrees and GREY. I almost understand. I miss the fall in southern Ontario! In the winter, I actually miss snow (though we strangely had much snow last year) and definitely miss the clear blue skies.

One last thought about Saskatchewan. My officemate M informs me that he and his buddies were on a US roadtrip and his friend needed a passport to buy a drink in Arkansas, because the barman insisted his driver's license was fake, because, "There's no such place as Saskatchewan." I can sympathize, because how many Canucks can even spell Saskatchewan and claiming that it's a giant rectangle in the middle of the country is unlikely to be convincing. However, there's added irony here, since the barman was from a place called "Arkansas" mysteriously pronounced "arc-and-saw"... I mean, give me a break.

This wasn't even what I meant to post at all.

Poor cold-addled brain. I seem to have finally got the evil cold Di brought home from F&L's cutie pie kids/walking germballs, especially N, the monkeybaby.

Yeah, I just wanted to complain about having a cold, and maybe mention the rain and the new computer weirdness. I got this new computer at work and now, webpages don't update unless you press refresh. So I posted the giant pink bunny thread and wanted to post something else and I couldn't figure out why LJ kept telling me "update successful" instead of offering me a chance to write more. I can't believe this took me a week to figure out. I'll blame the cold.

I think it's just about time to walk home and snuggle with the cats for three days. Happy weekend folks.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Dr Bongosnat!


My friend Jill has survived living the epic novel known as her doctoral thesis (which she commonly described as the "sh!t sandwich"). No more continents uplifting to Mars! No more tuition! I'm not sure if the "sh!t sandwich" refers to writing the thesis itself, the miasma of PhD committee politics or is a vivid yet crude metaphor for the viscous layer in her geodynamic models of basin formation. Jill is a fabulous, funny, caring, sensitive person, with tremendous mathematical ability, a tendancy towards seasickness (good thing she's a theorist), more patience than she even recognizes, a soft heart for teaching students (aka "punks", "binkstugs", etc.) and a very interesting relationship with words. ;) Jill can spell words much much more accurately and quickly than I and has a huge vocabulary but an incredibly amusing aptitude for spoonerisms and coining new and bizarre, yet strangely intuitive words. My personal favorite (in honour of her Ph.D.) is:
"I'm turd even though I have a chordle-neck on"
I will always remember this because of the way she steadfastly continued to attempt to say how cold she was even wearing the turtleneck, despite my uncontrollable laughter. She writes that she is apparently the only PhD candidate known to have used the words "pac-man", "splot" and "scrunch" during a defense.

I was doomed to meet Jill. She went to school in Ottawa with Julia, did her undergrad and then graduate work in Toronto with me, her father worked with my brother doing geology in the middle of nowhere (midway between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg) and he also became a client of my Dad's, which seems one coincidence too many. Plus, we both have brothers named Jordie. I know we will always be friends since our friendship survived the cruise-from-hell. I miss working with her and always having a good friend just down the hall! I'm very proud and happy for her today. Woohoo! Way to go!

I hope this encourages others toiling with their theses. Hmm... that suggests another possible origin for the "sh!t sandwich" ..

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

it's a boy-cat!

Omigoodness... Whitey's a he. How we failed to perceive this over the last year is beyond me. I thought he was TC-shaped. But he's really fluffy and the anatomy is disguised. He's neutered. So Minny did choose a boyfriend. Explains a lot. Um... anyway, his nail was broken off, but is not infected. He's lucky. We have to wash it in an iodine like fluid twice a day, during which he screams bloody murder, and he is not allowed out of the house for a few days. The vet heard that we had basically rescued this neglected, abandoned, outdoor cat (by "we", I actually mean Di did, and I put up with it, since I did not want another cat, since I'm allergic to cats and he leaves white hair everywhere!) she gave him his shots and the toe-washing stuff all for the price of a single visit (without any extra charges for shots and the like).

And that's my revelation for the day.