Friday, February 24, 2012

What Did I Tell You?

This is a shot of the "walls" of my cubicle.

After ranting about being back in Cubeland a few posts ago, I realized that you could only truly appreciate my suffering if I gave you some visual aids.

There you go, and sorry if I ruined your day.

Don't worry, I'll keep posting pics of other things in Cubicle Land. Just in case you ever think you've got it bad, you'll only have to refer back here to cheer yourself right up.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Reading/Writing (and 'Rithmetic)

I should be reading. I joined that book club. Our first book to read is When She Woke, by Hillary Jordan. I'm perhaps one-quarter through it.

But I'm not feeling too interested, so reading it is a bit like homework. I'd rather write, any day!

When I think of the books I've read that I couldn't put down, this book pales. But it's hard to find books like Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, or E. Annie Proulx' The Shipping News, or Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres. And then there's Pride and Prejudice, hand's down the book I've read the most times over (as an adult). Need I mention Barney's Version?

I couldn't even tell you the number of times I read, and reread books as a child. Books like Anne of Green Gables (and all that followed), Black Beauty (I still remember how the pages smelled!), The Black Stallion series, and all the Lad of Sunnybrook adventures. Not to mention Beany Malone. But I'm showing my age.

Now those are books. When I read A Thousand Acres, it was like a revelation to me. That such simple, straightforward writing, such simple words, could convey such intensity, could make me understand the depth of what the characters felt, was boggling.

And Margaret Atwood is a genius, nothing more to say.

It's interesting that movies were made of both The Shipping News, and A Thousand Acres. The movies don't come close to the books, although I did find The Shipping News in movie format somewhat entertaining.

I'll have to search far and wide for a book that will be worthy of reading, when it comes my time to pick for the book club.

I've also been doing some math tonight. My son put his iPod up for sale on Kijiji, and within 1/2 hour he had an interested person who just came by the house, looked at the thing for about 30 seconds, then handed Alexander $150.

I've already popped the funds electronically into Alex's bank account.

My, times have changed since I was Alex's age, and baby-sat for an entire evening, only to receive $3.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wedded Bliss

Today is my 3rd wedding anniversary with hubbie #3. If you believe things come in 3's, then I guess I'm due for one more nice occurrence today :)

Champagne with laundry, perhaps?

What can I say?

I do know one other person who's been married three times. But other than her, I'm out on a limb here as far as friends in the same situation: Anthony just LOVES cracking his fave joke about it whenever he can. The one about how much I like being married.

I must, he says. After all, I keep on doing it.


Anyway, it's Monday. Tonight is laundry night. That's how we'll celebrate.

But I don't mind. My life is so blessedly full, I haven't even time to do little things like celebrate personal milestones.

But I figure I've got about 5 more years at high-speed. And then, my mother will be gone, either to another residence or another plane of existence. And both Alexander and Kathleen will be off to University or globe-trotting, or whatever.

I get the very strong sense that Alexander will go to another city for university. And Kathleen may or may not follow suit, but in any event, in five years, she won't be needing me hanging over her shoulder. Nor wanting it, I bet.

So that's when I'll celebrate personal milestones. Right now, I'm too busy enjoying life. And laundry.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The GM of Being Back in CL

As you may have noted, I've not been posting much lately...been too busy.

I'm back full-time with the government, in cubicle land. If you've never worked in CL, you are fortunate and ignorant of the way it can suck the life right out of you. Cubicles, to the uninitiated, are the crappy government equivalent to offices. Not.

The cubes are built of grey and purple (I kid not) fabric boards that are intended to form the impression of some sort of "office" space around you. The carpeting in this building is a frenetic zig-zaggy green, black and brown (again, no kidding. How could I make this up?) Filing cabinets are purple (not bright Barney purple, but a truly degrading tone of dullness...purple mixed with a lot of grey), walls are light grey or off-white, and the lighting is the coup-de-grace. Flourescent, hidden behind dimpled plastic covers. We all look ghastly ill, sickly with a sickliness that only the undead can appreciate.


Fail. I had to repeat it.

I feel like I'm a miniature being, surrounded by vomit-toned leggo. The "walls" provide little privacy, due to the fact that they only reach about 5'6". So tall people can walk by and look right over into your cube. And of course, sound reaches you with crystal cubey clarity.

Then there's the fact that the cubes have no doors, so it's pretty much open air onto the "corridor" which is formed by the fabric walls of hundreds of cubes, all piled storey upon storey, like some creepy ant or termite hill housed in ash-grey, death-toned concrete.

I'm on the 4th floor of a 21-floor building, surounded by other tall and medium-tall buildings in a sprawling government complex in the middle of Kookytown. The complex was built in the 1960s-70s, and the architecture is particularly depressing (to my mind, anyway).

I wander through the acres of land making up this bureaucratic beehive (I walk to and from work, and try to get out at lunch-time, in a bid to retain sanity), jaw slack with disbelief, wondering at the moronic, dystopian mind-set that resulted in this: the ugliest, most inefficient, suicide-thought-inducing design of monstrous, ill-knit buildings, parking lots and grassy expanses (why are empty grass expanses with lone picnic tables dotting them so terrifyingly sad?).


To top it off, my cube neighbor is a troll. Like clock-work, every day, promptly at 9:30am, she pulls out a bag of raw carrots and begins crunching.

Due to the airy "ceiling" of CL, every chewing movement of her mandible is clearly available ad nauseum to my delighted ears. And oh, she chews.

She chews with vigour, with open-mouthed alacrity, and more-over, with such tenor it's frankly alarming. Hasn't she suffered hearing loss yet from a life-time of what is clearly a raucous (to put it mildly) business for her, the business of eating raw vegetables every morning? And who the hell eats carrot-sticks every single day at 9:30, anyway?

My cube-troll, that's who. Being back in CL is enough to bring on the GM.