Tuesday, May 31, 2005

It's been a long day's night.

Hello, dear reader. I was stunned to see that i updated this not more than 7 days ago, because i could swear it's been two weeks. It's been a long week, i guess.

You know that Grammy died. You know that i had a hard time picking up the car? Maybe not. Well, suffice it to say that i went to the dealership 4 times and the Mass RMV 5 times before i finally drove away with our new car. I was hoping to leave for Maine to go up to Grammy's funeral and be with my family on Sunday or Monday, but that didn't happen. Instead, i waited in line at the RMV to find out that you need your birth certificate, passport, former non-expired licence, a copy of your lease, a copy of the yellow form (filled out previous to arrival at the desk, no less) NOT the white form, before you can get a Mass licence. I also learned that there are some pretty stupid people who work behind the scenes there, and someone should really kick them for not understanding that Third St and 3rd S are the same damned thing, and that my registration shouldn't have been delayed four days because someone double-entered it.

That all having been said, it was wonderful to get up to Maine last week. Twice.

The first time, it was sad and happy at the same time. I got to bid Grammy fairwell. I wish i could have done it in person, in some ways, but i'm glad i didn't get to. That would have meant she were ill. I wrote her a letter, and i knew it was important when i did it. That means something. And she knew i was there. And she was happy we were all together celebrating her life, remembering the songs she used to sing and the parties she used to throw. And her peanut butter cake. Oh boy, did we remember her peanut butter cake. I got to see family i haven't seen since Grampy's funeral, and this time, we were all grown up, so we got to be French and drink together. The family basically spans the east coast, so we don't see each other very often. But it is great to be reminded of how cool they are. And i even got to help Dad clean out his liquor cabinet, which i've been wanting to do for years. I was afraid she shelf was going to break.

And then i drove home. The drive was terrible both ways. I feel the need to inform the state of Massachusetts that there are still 14 miles of grooved pavement North and South on 95 that were there 3 weeks ago. That's atrocious and unforgiveable.

Then on Friday, daN and Aria and i drove back UP to Maine, this time, destination Bogland. It was a lovely weekend of walking along the scenic Friendship coastline with its rocks and ravines and streams and trees, and quiet. And the sun even came out for it! I was so grateful. This rain is starting to depress the hell out of me. We watched "Team America" and went to see the new Star Wars movie, and made coffee, and ate.

I have been blessed these past few weeks. I'm exhausted, but i've gotten to see a LOT of family and friends that it seems like holidays can't even pull together anymore. I am very tired, and very happy.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Life Goes On

Well, as many of you know, i just sent out an update with all the good news in my life. But, you have to take the good with the bad, and vice versa, i guess.

Yesterday was rough.

My grandmother died a couple days ago, which explains my reticence since. My Dad's mother -- the French one. It's funny -- i was never been that close with my grandmothers in the way that some people are. That's probably because of distance -- she didn't live just down the street like a lot of people's in rural areas. But i still love both of them very much, and i'm very sad to have that loss. She was a spritely old lady -- she mowed her lawn almost every day. She was healthy -- she could still go grocery shopping. She always came to all my plays, and if there was one she couldn't make it too, she was sorry for it. She loved singing, loved playing the piano, and i remember all the songs she used to sing with me and my brother when we were kids. My favorite was the song about the three little fishies swimmin' in a dam, swimming just as fast as they can... Grammy had a really big heart. She never got her licence or ever even learned how to drive, but she still had a car so that when people came to bring her out for errands, they wouldn't have to use their own gasoline. She just felt better having a car.

She died naturally. She was never really sick. I'm grateful that she didn't have to go to a nursing home. She lived on her own, cooked for herself, had the milk delivered, took a walk through the cemetary every day. I'm grateful that she got to live life to the fullest up to the very end. She never had to have anyone come to the house to take care of her. She died quickly. It must have been her time. That's what i would wish for anyone, including myself. That's what she wanted. But it still doesn't eliminate the shock. It still doesn't make it hurt less. With my grandfather, it was a long drawn out suffering, and it was almost a relief when he died because it ended his suffering. Grammy wasn't suffering, so it's feels like more of a loss.

In a way, i'm sadder for my Dad. He saw her a lot, and she was his Mom.
I'm really glad i wrote her a letter a couple weeks ago.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

"I'd rather be blue thinking of you than be happy thinking of somebody else"

daN and i pick up our car on Friday. Yay!!! We were hoping to do that today, but that's what happens when you don't remember that you have to get it insured before you can register it, and we can't take it off the dealer's hands until they know it's registered. Sigh. Really though, i'd rather them take car of it anyway. Dealing with that shit is such a nightmare. The only down side is that we are going to have to take the fucking B-line again. Twice.

Speaking of the B-line, check out sabrefencer.blogspot.com for some photos of me dressed as the B-line at a Villain-themed costume party on Friday night.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

We were thinking of naming it Mr. Bean... any suggestions? Posted by Hello
We Bought a Car!

Yesterday daN and i embarked upon a whole new phase in our lives. We bought a new car together. Yes, we put our names on a finance plan that will come out to around twenty grand over a period of five years, which isn't that long, if you think about it. Whew! The process took longer than i thought it would, and there were some unexpected expenses (things i didn't think of when i was budgeting) like sales tax, various extended warrantees and stuff that i refuse to go without when getting something that huge and expensive. So, together, we'll be able to manage it well.

The car is kinda funny-looking, but i have to say, it handles really well. The wheelbase is broad and allows for maximum control of the vehicle, and inside it is as spacious as a mini-van. The seats fold down so that if you have to move something large-ish, it won't be an issue. Also, as an added bonus, the cd player in the car is also an mp3 player -- very cool. We have a bunch of mp3 cd's, so it's nice to know those won't go to waste. This car also gets 38 miles/gallon on the highway and 25 in the city, which is HOT. That's the first thing that attracted me to this car. Also, even though it's not 4 wheel drive like i was originally looking for in a vehicle, it is front-wheel drive (easier to manage in a snowstorm) and has traction control. I'm excited.

So. daN and i are going to pick it up next week sometime. We're trying to think of a name for it. Since we haven't met it yet, we don't know if it's a guy or a girl, but it sort of looks like Mr. Bean. Any suggestions? That's what the comments section is for.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Week Two: 80% Completion

The job is going well. I have had ups and downs about it emotionally because it's not as if i've found anyone i really "click" with yet to hang out with or anything, but i did get to talking with a chick today who was going to eat at a French restaurant that just opened up in Kenmore Square. Sounds good to me! But she reached out to tell me that, which made me feel really good.

The other thing i realized recently is that this job is going to be a good lesson for me in working at a company that i don't necessarily believe in. For quite a few years, i've had the luxury of working at a place i sincerely believed in, whose mission was completely in corcondance with mine own. This place? Eh. Not so much. But it's not bad. It's performing a necessity, and it's not a pretty part of society, but society would sure be a lot uglier if student loans didn't exist.

ANyway...Week 1 was a lot of meetings and orienting myself with the company. Week two has been much better, as i've actually started doing things. Being productive always makes me feel better. And most of it's pretty menial, but you know what? I like that sort of thing. I also got to set up for a fascination conference on college admission processes and enrollment management and stuff like that. It was completely enthralling! I've always had a fascination with the admissions process. There were all kinds of interesting factors i won't get into, but had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I got to set up for it, and help the speaker, and then be there. It was a very cool experience. So, First Marblehead has given me some food for thought already.

And i've started going to the gym in the morning! It's AWESOME. I love ellipticals! They're the BEST. It's like i can run without actually putting more impact on my knees! However, they're still bothering me a lot anyway because of all the carrying heavy things i've been doing recently. That's why i finally got some weights for my physical therapy and an adjustable wrap-able cold pack to put around my knee.

So because of going to the gym in the morning, i'm very tired. Especially since i haven't managed to get to bed earlier... yeahhhh... last week i was allergy-ridden the whole time, and i emerged from it victoriously. Oddly, a weekend in Maine seemed to help my allergies, which is not usually what happens. Maybe it's because it was raining and i was inside the whole time. Hmm.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Day 2

Here is an exerpt from an email to a recently ex'd co-worker:

"my week is starting off well. it's a big company, so yesterday i had lots of orientation that failed to orient me very well, but today i had a bunch of meetings with the directors i'll be assisting, and i'm starting to get my bearings. i also typed something up for someone, and it was oddly nice to be DOING something. everyone so far is extremely nice, and the corporate environment is funny. apparently, one of the directors said something somewhat inappropriate today that caught people offgaurd. i didn't notice, and one of my trainers brought it up later that afternoon."

I guess after working at a condom company, nothing particularly seems inappropriate, except for joking about the value of human life.

Anyway, i'm enjoying myself. I have all sorts of new toys -- there will be a laptop should i need to bring it home for any reason, and i have a Blackberry! It has brickles :) What else? I will probably be doing more next week, like taking over some reports processing, etc. But for the time being, i'm still just absorbing everything about the program (which is pretty complicated) and enjoying the freebees there. Everyone in the GATE program went out to lunch at California Pizza Kitchen in the Pru today, and i got soup and salad. It was great! It was also nice to have a social setting in which to meet them all, and we mostly talked about '80's movies. I was glad that one of the directors asked me if i had any funny condom stories.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Wish me luck

Well, everyone, i'm about to embark upon a new mission in life, working for THE MAN. Student Financial Services. Doing well while doing good though, the teams i'll be working for custom-design loan programs for colleges and K-12 schools so that the schools can actually offer low-risk and low-interest rate loans to their students at a 98% acceptance rate. That's really hard for schools to find.... so that's what i'll be doing.

I was nervous yesterday thinking about how the first day would go. But this company talks about how they are proud of their "ability to attract and retain the brightest minds," and they hire new people all the time because they are growing so quickly. They're used to helping people acclimate to a new work climate. Once i realized this, i felt a lot better. I'm going to a company that is a good company to work for, and all of my interactions with people there (via email, phone, and in person) have been exceptionally comfortable and friendly. This is positive.

Does it sound like i'm trying to psyche myself up because i'm still nervous? Oh? That's because i am.

By the way, i'm glad you all enjoyed the picture. There will be more forthcoming :)