Thursday, March 30, 2006

Or not... (RANT warning)

Apparently there have been a number of screw ups. We will NOT be filing for permanent residency any time soon as they are out of numbers in my applicable class (don't ask). It could be months before there are more, or it could be years. With no way to predict. I am so livid at the moment, you can't begin to imagine it, nor can I talk coherently about it yet. At any rate, the job hunt has just begun. I am *SO* out of Forest. The hunt will be encompassing both countries, with a very strong eye on coming back home to Canada. Know anyone who needs powder characterization?

Mood: Supremely Pissed, scared and angry

It’s Done! It’s Done!

The last of the paperwork finally arrived for our Permanent Residency applications. We got everything together last night, did all the copying and photographs. The bundle is almost an inch thick! I brought it all in to work this morning, being really thrilled with myself, and ready to go hyper, only to discover that our HR rep. isn’t here today. C’est la vie! I’ve spoken to her though so she will send it out ASAP tomorrow morning by FedEx to the lawyers. It turned out to be a good thing I reviewed all the paperwork one last time last night though. Our current visas expire on May 1st. So we’ve also emailed the lawyer about how we should handle that. Worst comes to worst, we’ll make a quick weekend run back home and do the TN visas again for a year. We’ve been assured (and we all know what that’s worth) that actually getting the permanent residency should take well less than a year. Wohoo! I’m absolutely thrilled about it. I think Brian’s still a little stunned we’re finally at this point. Or it could be just that he’s actually going to be able to go to work again! (Evil Grin) In other positive news, the lawsuit my company has been fighting wrapped up earlier this week, and while a decision isn’t expected until June, from all accounts it went squarely our way. Now I just need to have our stock price shoot up and I’ll sell off all those options! And Mikey got his cast off! And I have a happy, healthy new nephew! I'm full of good news today!

Bouncing back to work….

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Welcome William Ronald

Finally a boy amongst all the babies! William Ronald made his entrance yesterday evening after a somewhat difficult labour. Welcome to the world little one, and know you are loved!
Uncle Brian and Aunt Heather
Who promise to post photos once we get them...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What a Weekend and Month!

After spending the last three weekends in Conneticut for ConnCon stuff, this weekend we stayed home.  Well... sort of.  This past weekend was I-Con 25 at Stonybrook University.  Brian was sick as a dog and decided to skip it this year (and was probably very wise to do so).  He spent most of the weekend sleeping and is starting to feel better.
Joanna, Jon, Neal and Tina were all up from New Jersey for their annual pilgrimage.   I got to see them at varying points over the weekend, and had a great dinner with them (and Bruce and ?Amanda? I'm horrible at names) at John Harvard's on Sunday night.  Much talking and joking around ensued.
This was the first year I did any of the panels.  It was really interesting.  Unfortunately, one guest I was really interested in skipped a bunch of his panels, but they were still interesting!  I met a number of authors I read regularly and some I'll have to pick up.  I did discover that it is possible to really like an author's work, but absolutely dislike him in person!  I also managed to meet Spider Robinson, and got a great autograph in my copy of "Lady Slings the Booze" for my dad's 60th birthday this year.  I also got a cute one for me since I was wearing my "Canadian girls kick ass" t-shirt.   
I brought my stitching for the panels.  I finished off the majority of the stitching on one of the birth announcements and started the second on Saturday.  Unfortunately, I started out in the wrong part and decided to put it aside until I could check it out at home.  Turns out it was okay, but I didn't get back to it until last night.  On Sunday, I took my newest WIP, the Frog Prince quickstitch from HAED.  This would be the one I had a lot of problems with last week. I tried to link to it directly, but there's no direct link. Click the title and scroll down to see Frog Prince. It's just different from most of what's out there, and I thought it was cute. I don't like a lot of HAED's designs, they're not to my taste, but some of the absolutely are to my taste. Once I pulled out the birth announcement last night, I discovered it was saveable so I got it mostly done last night. I should finish it at tonight's stitch'n'bitch. I'm so loving having that to look forward to!
Gotta run!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I'm proud to present...

No, not my little neice or nephew, we're still anxiously awaiting his/her arrival, and he/she is in NO hurry...

The Tuesday Night Stitch'n'Bitch!

We had our first actual, multiple stitchers involved stitch'n'bitch on Tuesday night this week and it was awesome.  We even included some massive stash acquision as AC Moore's was having a sale of floss at 8/$1.  Jen really splurged and bought one of each, so she now joins the complete set club! Welcome my child (steepling fingers and laughing evilly). We enjoyed it enough we decided to make it a regular event, at least until Jen starts grad school in May and we have to try to find another night we're all free.  For now, I've now got plans for Tuesday nights... and I'm loving it.

On other stitching news, the first of the two remaining overdue birth announcements will get finished this weekend, probably while standing in line at I-Con.  I was also bad and minorly splurged on another pattern from HAED.  I couldn't resist.  I did my gridding and cut my fabric on Tuesday night with Jess and Jen.  I made a good start into it last night, only to discover after several hours that I made a really simple and stupid mistake.  The gridding is done in groups of 10 stitches.  The piece will be approx. 8.5 inches square, and have 18 stitches/inch.  So I counted 9 blocks of gridding, said "that's good" and used it as my basis to cut.  Yep, it's only about a quarter of the size it needed to be.  So tonight after work I picked up more fabric and will start again.  I did, however, discover that gridding on aida is pretty much painless.  I like that a lot. The HAED designs are incredibly intricate and will require the gridding.

Stupidity update...
While typing this I have just realized that I bought the wrong sized fabric tonight at the store.  Is this project trying to tell me something?

Monday, March 20, 2006

ConnCon Recap

We had a blast at ConnCon. The con itself is very well organized and
run. Absolute kudos there. The hotel was great in all respects I
experienced, although I hear there were complaints. None from me and
Brian! Our floor was quiet, and it turned out we knew one of our
"neighbours" and he's a quiet guy. All was good on that front. The
bathrooms were kept clean (unlike a previous experience), there were
actually garbage cans in each room (this time!) and the staff were
helpful. I have heard a number of complaints about the restaurant,
but we avoided them by avoiding it. After $14 for a chicken ceasar
salad the last time we were at this hotel, we avoid it at all costs.
The salad was good, but not that good… Now, the Thin Mints Girl Scout
cookies on the other hand were great. Those kids must have cleaned
up! Every slot the kids were the ones who went around to collect the
tickets and reporting forms, and once that was done, they came around
with the "cookie cart". I think the last number I heard (several
hours before the end of the con) was that they'd sold 168 cases of
cookies. Happy, often hungry, gamers sitting at a table for hours,
talk about a captive market!
The gaming went well. I played one slot and had a blast. Namfoodle
and Brother John should not be allowed to play together, we get into
too much mischief! I also played a new card game that I think I'll
have to pick up called Three Dragon Ante. We had a blast playing it,
so it's going on the shopping list. My judging went well, with one
minor exception. The feedback I got was good and generally positive.
I can't really say that I liked judging in a con environment. It was
way too loud, and I have almost no voice left. I only got to run one
mod in one of the littler rooms (the rest were in the big ballrooms)
and that would have helped a lot. I much prefer to have more time
available to keep going with the roleplaying. I WILL NOT run an
investigative mod at a con ever again. I did generally do well with
my pacing and kept to within 30 minutes of slot end, and finished 3
within the slot time. Given I've had mods run 90 minutes past the
end, I'm quite happy with that aspect. I thought I could probably run
them in the time allowed, it's nice to have that confirmed. I have at
least one player who is NOT HAPPY with me over a "curse" he received
in the mod at the last slot. It's a blessing from a good deity. The
deity's own clerics are NOT going to remove it. Get over it.

I leave you with the ugliest female half-orc in existance. I admit responsibility for the clothing, nothing else!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Back to Conneticut again...

We leave in the morning for ConnCon where we'll both be judging and having a great time with friends.  It's been a busy couple of weeks getting ready for it, but it'll all be worth while. When we leave tomorrow morning, it'll be the fourth time we've driven to Conneticut in 14 days!  Good thing it isn't far.  The hotel where the con is running is only about 60 miles (100km) from here.  Of course, that 60 miles does include getting across NYC.  We'll be waiting until late rush hour (10am) before we leave since we don't have to be there until noonish.  Brian has 6 (maybe 7) mini-mission mods that may get run on Sunday.  If I'm lucky, I'll get to actually play one of them!  They are one-shot events, so I'll have to be lucky.  I'm NOT doing any midnight madness this year, I love my sleep waaaayyyy more than that.  And no one seems to be willing to pay Brian's MM judging rate of $40/hr/person payable upfront...  For which I am glad.  A tired Brian isn't as much fun as you think it isn't.  The books are packed, the costume for Derek is sewn, the snacks are bought and I only have two more mods to finish prepping tonight!
Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Great Big Happy Dance

It's done, it's done! The mystery cross-stitch is done! I don't want to post a photo since the recipient hasn't gotten it and might read my blog, but it's done! Jen and Jess (who are both working on the same one and both started before me...) want to throttle me, but it's done! I like this feeling of actually finishing things!
Off to dance...
By myself since Brian's out running and LG game...
Tough luck for him!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Funniest story I've ever read on a blog...

We all have days like this and blinding moments of joy and embarassment.  Celebrate the life inherent in them.  I've been reading this blog for ages (hey, her name is Heather, and she's *that* funny, I have to!) and really recommend it for an entertaining read.

Okay, so I'm a geek!

Our hard drive died on the laptop, and they replaced it very nicely free of charge.  I've just installed the latest Mac OS, and man is it cool!  They have all these neat things called widgets that are "instant on" and have been developed to let you do common tasks quickly and easily.  For instance, I clicked once and up popped this window to make this post!  I'm having a lot of fun looking through all the ones available, but I do need to remember that they do use a small amount of memory so I don't want to get three million of them.  So far I'm using the Blogger one (which just resized as my post got longer), Soduku (which could be evil), Gmail (which is awesome) as well as having the calender, calculater, iTunes and weather ones.  I'm geeking out!
Thanks Mikey!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Weekend Report

We had a blast at Jay and Crystal's over the weekend doing slot 0's for ConnCon in two weeks. I don't think I've laughed that hard in ages, and I needed it! I WANT, WANT, WANT a bag of witness protection! Or at least that barrel... The new mods were a lot of fun, even with the **** ******* ** ****** getting extra attacks! That was an OR in the statblock, not an AND! =P I think it might prove to be a very interesting year for PC's that play in Bissel. Brian's working on several mini-mods for the interactive, and from what we know so far, I can't wait to play it. ConnCon should be a good weekend, I'm really starting to look forward to it. It'll be a neat challenge to myself to try judging in a serious Con environment. And they have a great setup at the location. Now if only I can get a judging schedule so I know what I can play!

I got lots of stitching done on the secret project, and am approaching 50% done! Tomorrow night is stitching night with the girls, and we're all working on the same project, so it should be neat to compare them.

My walking progress has slowed down, but I'm not surprised due to the weather. It's been cold and icy out and I have no desire to hurt myself further by slipping on ice. I took a little slip at Jay and Crystal's, but managed not to wrench anything. My back has been behaving so far, and I'd REALLY like to keep it that way.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

February Recap

Stitching Recap:
Okay, so this blog is supposed to have more stitching content, here's an update (without photos, sorry). Jess was over last night for a stitch-a-thon, and we had fun. Hopefully Jen can come for the next one. She went out with her Joey last night, the nerve! Happy Anniversary to Jen and Joe! I'm really suffering from start-itis right now and want to work on a bunch of different projects.
Queen Anne's Lace is probaly past the 90% completed stage. All that's left is all the confetti stitching in the last background section, probably about 2500 stitches total. Being that it's all confetti stitching though, it's really slow to do. And the beads, but they have to wait until the rest is finished.
Secret Project: I started a secret project this last week. I'll give percent updates, but no other info (and no photos) until it's done! So there!
The Phoenix: No work
Butterfly Song: 3 more bands complete and half of a 4th. Go me!
Titania QS: I actually worked on this while frustrated with all the confetti stitching in QAL. Except it didn't help much since it's pretty much all confetti stitching too! I put in about 10 thread lengths worth. She's starting to get a shoulder.

Weight loss recap:
Weight lost: gained 1.5 lbs I'm okay with this. I know what I am doing wrong, and I did consciously indulge a *little* this month. Now it's back to the grind.
Miles covered: 52 (Way above target! I'm now in the barrow downs, with the wights. Scary place, I think I'll have to get out of here in a hurry!)

March goals:
Finish Secret project
Finish current row on Butterfly song and 3 more rows
Finish Queen Anne's Lace
(Hey, I might as well be ambitious! We'll be away for two weekends of the month and mostly for a third, so I likely won't make it, but I can try!)
Lose 3 lbs
Walk 40 miles