Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Signed, sealed, delivered!

Okay, maybe signed, sealed and enroute to it's destination is more like it but good-fricken-bye to the regulatory return and hello camping!! :)

We leave for Algonquin tomorrow for four days of fun in the sun, and if you couldn't tell by now - I'm pretty excited.

As part of the trip we're also planning to do some Geocaching.

Kev got an early birthday present from my family yesterday, it included a bear knife. Yes, you read that correctly, a bear knife, and just in case you missed it, this is especially funny because he was just saying earlier in the day that this guy is his hero and wondering if he should buy a bear knife for our trip.

I'm just going to hope we don't encounter any black bears. Have a great weekend everyone! :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Happy Birthday, Bunny

The elder of my two younger brothers, Bunny, celebrated his 20th birthday on Wednesday of last week, actually I think he pretty much spent the entire week partying and celebrating the birthday but the two official celebrations included an outing at a new club downtown on Wednesday night and then a BBQ in his honour at my parent's place this past weekend.

No longer a teenager, yet not quite an adult in the eyes of my parents places him in a very weird predicament, but he's making the most of it, heck I got through it and so will he. :)

He's about to enter his second year at York U and is on the dean's honour roll, he's also been working at the Ontario Science Centre as a summer student and also part-time through out the year so altogether I'm kinda proud of what he's doing with his life, but don't tell him that! ;)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Team Mona Lisa

By the time Friday rolled around I'd had about as much of the return as I was willing to take so it was a good thing that, other than tying up a few loose ends in the morning, the return was pretty much ready to be submitted to my boss for review. I submitted it around 9:30am, and sent him an email saying it was ready, he mentioned he'd be reviewing it on the weekend and will get back to me on Monday with his comments and any additional issues. Yay!

With that out of the way it was time to turn my attention to our floor group activity taking place at 10:30am - we had no idea what was involved but knew that it was going to be based loosely on a "Da Vinci Code" theme. Earlier in the week we were divided into groups and given t-shirts for all our group members, we were given $10 spending money (per group) and told we had to create a group t-shirt - we were also told that at the end of the competition there would be a prize awarded to the group with the best t-shirt. In the beginning we had all sorts of lofty ideas about transfers and logos and whatever else for our t-shirts that is until we realized that our $10 wasn't going to buy much... we actually ended up not spending the $10 and donated it instead to the BMO Fountain of Hope charity organization. :)

Coming up with a name for the group was easy, we'd ended up with 8 group members after a few people opted out of the group... so we decided to go with Team MONA LISA, we typed the letters into MS Word and using wingdings to determine the corresponding symbol we each drew that on to the back of the shirt with a fat-tip black marker. On the front of the shirts we had printed pin-ons of the Mona Lisa with various facial expressions - mine had her with her tongue sticking out, another had her pulling on her ears and making a face - the expressions created lots of giggles. We fastened her to the shirts with some decorative brads from my scrapbooking supplies and we were ready to play - the game itself was tons of fun... we had word searches, riddles, giant sudokus and a game of jeopardy - then it was back to the boardroom to use the letters we won from each of the games to solve the final puzzle. We didn't win the final leg of the puzzle but we did win best t-shirt and I got a $10 GC to spend at FCP.

Turns out they had also ordered lunch for everyone so I had something to eat and then left the office at 2pm to start the weekend. :)

Friday, July 21, 2006


The little voice in my head was telling me this morning that I should get ready a bit earlier and take a ride in to work with Kevin but after not sleeping well last night [it was odd, I woke up twice and I usually never wake up at nights] I decided to sleep in and take the bus instead.

I got to the bus stop and again the little voice said to wait for the Express bus, but I looked up the road and no bus was in sight so I jumped on the regular route bus. I went towards the back as I usually do and was about to take the only seat available [between a woman and a kid] when the woman motioned for the kid to sit in the seat closer to her, all's well the kid moves over and I take his seat - he's now sitting next to me, his mom to the left of him.

Now in the mornings I'm usually totally out, of it so I don't pay attention to my surroundings. About 20 minutes into the bus ride however, I notice the lady sitting opposite me staring intently at the little kid to my left so I look over, and that's when I saw it, the kid was covered in pox sores - he's got CHICKEN POX pretty much everywhere! Some of it are scabs, some are still wet and seeping and he's scratching it under the sweater than his mom is using to hide his feet [his head and upper body is exposed and when I say it's everywhere, it's everywhere]. Not only was I sitting next to him but I am also sitting in the same seat he was in a few minutes ago.

I freak out in my mind... but remain calm outside. I didn't want to just get up and walk away so I waited until the opportunity presented itself and I moved away. A lady on the bus probably saw what was happening and told me to be careful, not sure what I can do to be careful now though, what can I do, it's already happened.

So now I'm scared shitless than I am going to wind up with a case of chicken pox, I've never had it before and I don't want it either. Turns out too that my doctor is not in today - apparently if she were I could have taken a blood test to check for antibodies, if no antibodies, then I can take some kind of drug to prevent it, so with her not being in I'm probably going to go to a walk in clinic and see if they think I've been exposed long enough to warrant the test and some preventative medication.

This blows.

Monday, July 17, 2006


I feel bad for civilians every time they get caught up in the middle of a war, but this most recent surge of events in the middle east has left me more puzzled than concerned - and for a number of reasons, not the least of which is why we are having an all out war over two kidnapped soldiers. Haven't the two sides [Hezbollah [I won't say Lebanon] and Israel] kidnapped and traded prisoners before?

With a Canadian focus though, and what also has me puzzled, some of the media have estimated that we have about 40,000 Canadians currently in Lebanon seeking evacuation. Now the total population of Canada is 33,098,932. In comparison with our American neighbours the total number of Americans currently in Lebanon: 25,000, total population of America 298,444,215.

If you did the math you'd probably be wondering why we have so many Canadians currently in Lebanon, are they all vacationing at this point? I hope so, 'cuz honestly I'd really hate to think that they are all holding Canadian citizenships merely for convenience, of travel or otherwise, or in times of sickness, all without working or paying into the same tax fund that will now be used to bail them out.

I hope a resolution comes quickly before this escalates into something that neither side is probably prepared for.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Coffee Time

I organized a coffee break today for a dear older woman that's my cube mate at work, she's leaving to take up another position on the floor and I'm going to miss having her right next door.

She's like the mother of our group, she's got kids our age and she always has a treat of some kind for us, if she's not picking cherries and bringing us bags full she's whipping up some cool Filipino delights and bringing them for us. On my birthday she had given me a lovely vase with a pair of orchids, she's just a warm, caring woman.

We got her a gift and a card and I'm hoping that our group head will organize some kind of lunch for her, but so far nothing has come down the pipes - so with today being her last day officially on this job I wanted to gather everyone to give her a nice send off. We had a nice time sipping coffees and chatting at Tim's - for the most part I like most of the group that I work with especially the older folks, they always have the fun bank-stories to share about the good old days.

So yeah, Rose is leaving but at least she won't be too far and it means a promotion for her - one that she totally deserves.

On the up-side, given that my other co-worker is still reviewing the F/S and my notes, it means there's no point in me sticking around today so I'm heading out at 2pm [summer hours] - also, I've asked her if she thinks that she'll be done over the weekend, maybe we can come in then, she said she doesn't think that she'll be working the weekend, so... happy weekend to me and I brace myself for the sh*t to hit the fan next week. I can hardly wait until Monday morning when I'll have to literally drag myself out of bed to come in to deal with it all.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Those late phone calls

Last night I spent about two hours on the phone with someone that I love and care very much about. A good part of those two hours was spent with her in tears or near tears as she recounted the ups and downs in the relationship she is in. They've been married for over 20 years, have grown children and are both working normal jobs to make ends meet - in a nutshell life can be stressful. It seems some days are good days where they can talk without arguing, but these are rare as the other 80% of the year they argue, heated words are exchanged back and forth - sometimes things die down after words are exchanged but other times he completely loses it and starts to use his fingers to jab at her face or head - which leaves bruises. This unhappy, constantly arguing living situation has been going on for years, but the physical abuse is once or twice a year at most, despite that, she hasn't confided in anyone - afraid of what people will say, she hasn't filed a police report as she's afraid FOR him. He doesn't know she's having the conversation with me. She's fed up of always having to put up a front for everyone that doesn't know just how rocky their relationship is.

I was/still am very distraught after talking to her, I can't help unless she wants me to help, she doesn't want me to say anything to him - yet. Talking to Kev about it after I got off the phone I was trying to explain the dynamics of the relationship she's in. For the most part the entire family is confrontational in their tone of speech, just the manner in which they may ask each other for a banana is enough to start an argument because of the tone and choice of words, hence it's not hard to envision why things can escalate to the levels that they apparently have.

I just don't know what to do about it, I told her last night that I would like to talk to him to - first of all tell him not to do it - and secondly that if I ever hear or see evidence that he has, I'll report him to the cops. But she doesn't want me to say anything to him, yet. What's she waiting for? The next time that it happens? I know they've been married for so many years that she doesn't want to get the cops involved, she just wants him to stop doing it. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that she's faultless in all of it, obviously the exchange of words provoke this kind of behaviour and she's capable of being vicious with her words but at the end of the day it doesn't matter who says what from dawn until dusk, if yelling and screaming is the way you communicate that's fine [you may need counselling but it's not a crime] but when it comes to physical abuse you've just stepped over that line.

I just wish, for her sake, that I could just talk to him to make it stop but I still have to respect her need for me to keep this between us until she's ready to accept some help.

Current Mood: Concerned

And breathe...

So yesterday, after I'd gone about as far as I possibly could with the big regulatory return I'd blogged about last week sometime, I gathered it all together and took it over to my co-worker who was supposed to be working alongside me on it, I told her I'd gone about as far as I can go solo, that I had made a list of questions I had and can we set a time to review them.

We sat down this morning to review the questions, then decided that since she hadn't looked at the project in the first place and mostly couldn't follow along it might be best for her to take a look at the financials on her own then once she's familiar we can proceed. The problem with all this isn't that I have been working on it alone so far, the problem isn't that this return is due at the end of the month, the problem isn't that the reviewer [our boss] will be on vacation on July 24th and 25th and that I'm on vacation July 27th - 31st, the problem isn't that my boss [like us] has never looked at this return before and so will likely need at least 3-4 days to review this return which puts us at giving it to him on July 18th the latest, the problem IS that if she hasn't looked at it yet, then she's likely going to need the next few days to get familiar which means that she won't even have the time to look at the questions/issues until the 17th, which means that we have a day to turn around any correspondence with external parties and complete the return for review - which won't happen because turn around time with these folks is about 5 days or so - some of them are in the US and Ireland AND most of them might even be off on summer holidays.

So today, I get to sit around and work on other none time sensitive stuff while she looks at what I've done so far. I've done my part, I've told her to let me know if she has any questions or if there's anything I can do to speed up the process, beyond that my hands are tied. Yet I'm still responsible for us meeting the deadline and my camping trip is probably going to get shelved if this continues.

Yes, I'm frustrated, and just needed to vent.

Current Mood: Very annoyed

Monday, July 10, 2006

Zidane, I like the guy.

I wrapped up the soccer pool today. It's not likely, but just in case you haven't heard as yet, Italy won.

Oh and Zidane head butted Materazzi - if it is indeed true that it was a racial comment that provoked it, then I have no issues with Zidane. The Italians always try to win the cup whichever way they can, but to upset one of soccer's great legends in the finals of the world cup show that they have no respect for anyone. I personally would have slugged him, and drew some blood. ;)

But back to the pool, Marcus and Kevin came out on top for the first round so we took them out to lunch today. Kevin, being true to form, decided he was going to MBCo and Marcus joined him... I think they ordered the steak sandwiches off the menu - $27 and 27mins later they both agreed that the food was way overpriced for what they got, oh and that they were still hungry - needless to say Bruce, Roop, Wotjek and I had a good laugh.

But at least now they can say that they've tried MBCo

Current Mood: Amused

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Would I have been happier there?

Sometimes I wonder what I gained from picking myself up and moving to another continent.

Sure, there's the argument that people around me have a better life as a result of me moving, my family can live a peaceful life here without the constant worry that they'll be robbed or killed, my brothers have better opportunities here to make the most out of their lives, but what really has changed for the better for me.

Before I moved here in 2000, I had finished university, finished my internship stint at Barcellos and was working on completing my ACCA. Within a few years I could've reached the top rung of the ladder career wise, bought a house, married and quite possibly become a mother... and all probably before the age of 25.

Instead I chose to come here, where your degree is recognized but it's not enough, where a designation is needed if you plan to reach the top of the ladder, where you're not given all the transfer credits you should receive because UK Accounting Standards are totally different from Canadian Accounting Standards - which is obviously a problem in Canada but not Guyana where most everything is still patterned after the British, where a third of your income goes towards taxes to help pay for services for which you don't even use, where a house and marriage doesn't happen until you're a few years shy of 30, where kids is out of the question for even more years because who can afford them really, and even when you think you can afford them, you can't, because inevitably they'll see the face of their daycare provider for more hours than they see yours... and that's not really affording them.

So yeah, sometimes I do wonder what I gained from leaving home in the first place, maybe it's the whole peace of mind/safety thing, at least here I don't usually spend alot of time worrying about a break and enter and possible loss of life of those that I care about, or maybe it's the fact that I did right by my brothers, Bunny's in his second year at York now and Stefan got 13 A's and 4 B's this term at school. At least some amount of good came out my move, right? What does it matter if I gained anything out of it or not.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Canada

Kev & I decided to join the gang for the annual trip out to Hawestone for Canada Day this year, it looked to be a very promising day for fun and relaxation and I even brought Stef along to get him out of the house for a bit.

As expected we had a good time, I even braved the water and stayed in for a bit. The day was also insightful, I discovered that I’m probably the only girl in the group that loves very bright and colourful underwear [read: LaSenza’s summer collection addict] and that I've never stopped to consider whether any of the clothes I buy will actually look good with my skin colour. I’ll usually wear anything, as long as I’m comfortable and the style appeals to me. I mean, I think I look good in brown, but I’ve never stopped to think what colour might actually look hideous on me, this is something I’ll probably stop to ponder the next time I try stuff on, but back to the outing –sorry about the tangent - we headed over to Brewery Bay after, and I had the Chicken Parm meal and the famous Cookie Skillet [which I shared with Stef]. The cookie skillet didn’t disappoint, it was yummy. Matt’s parents joined us for a while and we left a while later, managing to make it back to the cars before the storm hit.

We got to my parents house around 8pm to drop Stef off and I got to take a peek at the work my dad has done so far on their bathroom, it’s coming along nicely, he’s finished the cupboards, changed the toilet and completed the walls except for a bit of trim. I think he plans to do the floor next.

Mom packed me up with some curried fish [she even saved me the mango seed :) - and lots of ochro] and we were off, I was pretty pooped and just wanted to be home, plus I’d started cramping really badly on the way home, I did the math in my head and realized I was going to have a visitor for a few days and she was probably showing up tonight. Great.

So anyway we arrive at home and Kev heads for the couch saying he’s not feeling well, I didn’t take him seriously because I figured it was probably because he’d spent the day in the sun and he was probably just fatigued. About 10 minutes later I realized that I was wrong, he started throwing up and that continued for the entire weekend. I got on the phone after the first bout and rang my parents asking them to bring me some Gravol – they brought Andrews, Gravol, Kaeopectate, and Gingerale. He took the Andrews and then promptly threw it up, gave him the Gravol, it stayed for about 4 hours then at 2:30am it came back up – I decided to call Telehealth Ontario at that point – diagnosis --> mild food poisoning or a stomach bug – stop all medications, let him hurl, one sip of water every five minutes.

Now I usually brace myself for the cramps and head to bed lying in the fetal position to deal with the pain, but I realized with Kev being sick I didn’t have that luxury tonight so I popped an Advil and went back to concentrating on him.

By Sunday night he was doing better, and he’d started having solids again, the vomiting had stopped and the fever was broken but the diarrhea didn’t check so I called Telehealth again, 24 hours having passed. They recommended that I introduce Gatorade and bananas, and brace ourselves for a spell of 4-7 days. Thankfully we’re both out at work today, he’s doing better but still uneasy... and I've made a mental note to buy a thermometer as I couldn't tell the nurse what his temp was, just that he had a fever.

I don’t think we’ll be going to the Ontario Science Centre tonight after all but they’ll be other opportunities. For now I’d just settle for one good night of sleep. :)