Sunday, February 29, 2004

Consistency, corporate domination - same thing

Went to the brand-spanking new Star*ucker's here this morning for some good coffee and to pick up today's NYT. I've been reading more of it and the new yorker just to make up for my geographical handicap. This coccoon-thing is working so far. :-)

Friday, February 27, 2004

Tulsa is okay

Tulsa is okay. I'm seriously sheltered right now. I work during the day, full time, from home while emailing and calling people in the Boston office. When B gets home, we do stuff together and when we hang out, we go to the respectable irish pub in town (one of those that have imported the woodwork from ireland)... so, it's Boston-lite. I've met his friends here before and I like them all a lot. You'd like them, they enjoy the simpson's, the onion, conan, the daily show... so, I'm cool with the crowd.

I haven't caved and signed up for Tivo yet, but I have had bouts of Tivo envy. I have no self-control whatsoever and would *really* not leave the house if I had more TV access. And the high speed internet is a godsend.

I just opened mail from Elections Canada - they tracked me down here and I returned my status update to them. I don't think I can vote, actually, since I've been out of country for so long - I thought they had a 5 yr time limit. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Grumpy, he must be feeling better

Cathy said last night that Stripo was doing okay but was pretty grumpy - nothing too surprising, I guess. Good that he's improving though.

I finally got my membership at the University gym and I'm going to work out tonight with Brendan (and get a tour)... it is brand new and has a bunch of nice equipment, so I'm keen on using it.

Weather here is grey and cold today but I played tennis on Sunday outside in shorts and teeshirt... in 75 deg weather, so it varies. I don't want to hear how nice it is down in Phoenix. :-(

Monday, February 23, 2004

Oh, my dad was in critical care over the weekend but should be getting out soon. They wanted to make sure all his organs were functioning properly (good thing to check, huh).

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Gi-normous Aneurysm

I just heard from my sister about an hour ago that my dad is in stable condition and the surgery seemed to go well. His aneurysm was bigger than they thought (7.5 cm) but they got it patched up.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Nothing has happened yet

No good Oklahoma stories yet... aside from the scary cast of characters at the Walmart last week but I firmly believe that scary people are in Walmart's everywhere. I generally try to avoid Walmart but needed to pick up 2 file cabinets and they had them (2 dwrs) for $25 each... what can you do? I don't have a problem buying the odd thing there but I won't be doing my grocery shopping at the Walmart "Neighborhood Markets" since I was reading that those stores are driving down salaries in the supermarket business. That's the reason that unionized supermarket employees down here are on strike. I thought the whole "living wage" idea was something that would catch on more than it has. Much as I hate the slickness of John Edwards - he had a great catch line about there being "two americas" - one for the wealthy and one for everyone else. Besides, I thought he was the only democrat running who could beat George Bush in the next election. La la. Oh, I definitely need to get cable, I miss Jon Stewart too.

I should probably go and unpack some more of my crap. Man, I have a lot of crap. I brought bags and bags of stuff to Goodwill before I left Boston and I probably still have a bunch of old clothes and books to purge. I still have t-shirts from high school. Not good.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Birthday Weekend

Nice to have a weekend birthday and get to relax on the actual day... bought a nice 9' by 12' area rug for the living room yesterday afternoon. I loooove the dark-stained hardwood floors but at the same time, I'm worried that our stuff will scratch up the floor. No sooner did we get the rug home and all set up, did Brendan cook a very nice dinner with an excellent birthday cake afterward. We invited company over at the last minute - Brendan's friends Chris and Ashley came over along with Jen (from Dallas, dating B's friend from MA, Jim) and Paul (Brendan's old roommate). Ashley has the same birthday as me *and* we found out last night that she and Chris got engaged... so we had them over for my cake and 20 (+1) yo Port :-) (except the preggers one, of course). Twas good. Very good.

It is 25 deg here this morning, getting up to 50 deg today. Apparently, Feb is a tease and it gets cold and somewhat snowy again in March? Who knows. (2/16/04)

New Place is Swank

We got a lot of oooh's and ahhh's over the house last night because it is so nice (not really anything to do with us right now and more to do with the painted walls, crown and baseboard molding, california shutters, yard, neighbourhood... just the house basically)... although, I'm definitely working on it daily...

I haven't joined the gym yet or set up a local bank account but b/c of today's holiday (holiday from all except work, that is), I'll have to do those things tomorrow - feeling like I'm hiding in a bunker. A nice bunker, but still, a bunker. (2/16/04)

Friday, February 13, 2004


So I am looking forward to this weekend to get my clothes unpacked - I've been scrounging out of my suitcase and odds and ends this past week. Aside from the kitchen (big job that B did 95% of while I was away) and the DSL/computer set-up, everything else is still in purgatory. I need to buy a couple of 2 dwr file cabinets for work stuff as well as bookcases to put everything away. I refuse to set up my $29 utility bookcase that I stained for use in college.... we're going to go shopping for shelves tomorrow for the office... :-) With any luck, we will be uber-organized by Monday. By the way, you guys were very close - my birthday is this Sunday, the day after vday - which of course causes Brendan much stress apparently. He is cooking me dinner on Saturday night and my only request has been to rent a movie and put our feet up. Nothing too out-of-this-world, but all I want is to feel like we're settled in. (2/13/04)

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Exploring the territory

As for the weekend, I need to buy book shelves on the weekend... and file cabinets... to get the office set up completely. We went to walmart last night for the file cabinets and it was a nightmare! The sllllloooowest service ever with stupid people at the cash (there's got to be a lightbulb joke about 'how many walmart employees does it take...')

So, we went to the mall last night as well (The Limited, J Crew, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, The Gap, Express) - first time I had seen some of those stores down here, so I now feel like I have a "burlington" to go to (not that I spend that much time at the malls but somehow comforting). We have to find some furniture stores though - likely on Saturday - to figure out how to get shelving for in here. They have some funky stores in a she-she area near where we live - incidentally, B drove me through the rest of our zip code and these places are HUGE! Too funny (that we live so close to that for so little)...

B is cooking me dinner on Saturday night... other than that, we'll probably rent a movie and put our feet up (my greatest desire). I was very bummed to find out that MY martini bar here that I raved about with the $3 skyy martinis, Gargoyle-esque menu, and British owners just closed last week. How, oh how, could they do this to me? That was my saving locale for a nice night out.... they flew in fresh seafood daily from the Gulf... la la... apparently there are a few new spots to check out... we'll see. :-( (2/12/04)

Heart Surgery postponed

Things are good here, but busy... I was away from work almost 2 weeks with the move and going to Toronto last week. My dad's surgery ended up being postponed a few days before the surgery but it was too late to change the ticket. I had 12 hours in Tulsa last week and then I got back this past Monday night and started telecommuting Tuesday morning. Needless to say, a little bit hectic. I can't wait for the weekend to unpack and get organized - I'm basically sitting in the midst of unpacked boxes and stuff, itching to organize... The house is fantastic - I'll send pictures when I get my digi camera software set up (IT guy at work erased ALL my photos on my hard drive as well as the driver/software - oh joy, with help like that...) (2/12/04)

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

My note to co-workers back at the office, 2/11/04:

Hi there (or maybe Howdy?) -

A quick note from Tulsa to say hello and to say that I'm all set up in my window corner office (my spare back bedroom). My contact details are below and I can be reached *at least* from 9am-6pm (EST) - that's 8am-5pm CST.

I've been in town for about 36 hours and have mostly stayed inside my New England cocoon at home. Aside from the temperature getting up to 60 degrees yesterday, nothing too different to report down here.... so far.


Response from co-worker:

do not leave the house... oklahoma is outside....

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Living in the South...

I couldn't believe it but it was 60 deg F (15 ? C) today... bright and sunny... but then it is getting cold again tomorrow. Oh well... the sun and warmth was nice to experience. (2/10/04)

Yay! DSL is here

I just set up my dsl (wasn't supposed to be active till tomorrow)... weird, this box comes in the mail and it contains a variety of implements to get set up and it is do-it-yourself (vs. the RCN cable modem hookup that is done for you). The company here is SBC with some sort of partnership with Yahoo, so everything is very slick and ties into your yahooID account but gives you a 25 MB yahoo! account instead of only 6MB. I will have to call our corporate IT help desk (in Newfoundland, as a matter of fact) to get this VPN connection working right.

Good karma on the place... like it a lot and spent this afternoon getting more unpacked since I found I wasn't able to work without getting some stuff unearthed. I went to Target and stocked up on cleaning and household supplies, then on to get groceries and fill the cupboards. We're doing pretty well but I will definitely need to shop for some new bookshelves, file cabinets and work table (or all of the above). I don't want to go nuts, but I need to organize the stuff I have here.

My car had been parked in the garage since last Wednesday and when I went to start it this afternoon, I realized the battery was completely kaput. I had to call AAA to come boost me since B was at the VA today doing therapy.... to my amazement and delight - when you call AAA here and they say it will be 30 minutes, it actually *is* 30 minutes. The guy showed up and boosted me - cool! Weird. It was 60 deg today and sunny, so I was in a bit of a culture shock wandering around town on my own to run my errands. ALSO, culture shocked because it seems like my neighbours stay at home during the day. A half hour after the garbage truck came by, the empty bins at the end of everyone's driveways were gone... ??!! Holy Twilight Zone.

Talked to my mum tonight and my dad's surgery date is set for Feb 18th. Good that it's reset soon. (2/10/04)

Sunday, February 08, 2004


I left work on Wed Jan 28th and spent Thursday through Saturday packing things up. In the midst of packing on the 30th of Jan (Friday afternoon), I got a call from my mom saying that my dad's surgery had been postponed at least 2 weeks. Since it was Friday afternoon and my apartment was completely upside down, I wasn't in a position to try and change my plane ticket until Monday while driving through the hills of West Virginia and getting spotty cell service. was noooo help whatsoever after getting nowhere with Delta... so I decided to take the trip anyway (my unpaid leave of absence from work had already gone through) and spend time with the fam and then not come back for the surgery. (2/8/04)

Friday, February 06, 2004

Wedding Planning

The wedding planning is going... slowly... but I do have a dress ordered and we have b'maids dresses ordered... I need to get cracking on a few other "details" (uh, I'm far behind on booking a DJ and photographer, but now that I'm in Toronto, I'm trying to take care of that)... yikes - there has been so much going on that has been more immediate that it has kind of fallen by the wayside, but I do need to get moving now. Thanks for asking!

Aside from that, I'm just trying to stay warm here in Toronto. Man! I forgot how much worse the winter is here.... there is a full on ft high layer of snow here from last week, with no signs of melting, and in fact, we got more snow (and some freezing rain) overnight. Brrr. (2/6/04)

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...

I'm feeling less stressed right now since we made the drive safely (over three long days) into Tulsa - even if I didn't manage to get the airline to change my plane ticket and had to fly out about 12 hours after rolling in. On the up side, I've had lots of time to hang out with my dad and show him how to use his new digital camera while he putters around the house, waiting for a new surgery date.

I'm keeping up with my work email account while I'm here to avoid surprises Monday. So, still juggling a few balls in the air but I'm optimistic about everything. (2/6/04)

Snow and magnolia trees...

We're pretty covered in snow here in T.O. (Toronto) as well... about a foot on the ground when I arrived Wednesday and more just last night with freezing rain thrown in the mix. Ugh. Chock up a "pro" in the Tulsa column for having mild winters. When we arrived, there was a huge deciduous tree in the front yard that was full with thick waxy leaves still on it... I'll have to look up this strange creature growing in the front yard. (2/6/04)

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Busy week

My first chance at a computer in about a week... I thought I'd give y'all an update! Ok, so with respect to moving - Bernie helped out hugely in getting my big stuff moved into the truck on Friday. Then, Anna and Penny were miraculous in wrapping up my last minute packing, organizing and loading on Saturday, along with Camil and Hamid (and a star appearance from Peter who applied physics to the load rearrangement, preventing damage). We worked from 12 to 3:30-ish and then had some needed barbecue sustenance from Blue Ribbon. I think B and I were able to leave Arlington around 8-ish, once we had packed up the rest of the food (!), took out the garbage, and cleaned the apartment. We made sure everything was secure in the truck and drove on down to Rehoboth (an hourlong drive south).

We flopped into the family room with B's family and watched as Aston tried to get used to 2 cats, 2 4-week old kittens, 1 shelty, and 1 tibetan terrier (quite the menagerie)... Aston was hissing at these tiny kittens that were 1/30th her physical size. She just isn't used to being around other animals. Incidentally, the other animals were unfazed and couldn't figure out why the fat cat was making such a fuss.

After getting up at 8 on Sunday morning, we had a leisurely breakfast and coffee with B's parents and really took our time. I felt completely exhausted from the past week and was content to ease out of Massachusetts slowly. :-) So, we hit the road around 10:30 and drove west and south through MA, RI, CT, New York state (but studiously avoiding the city), Pennsylvania (we spent a looooong time in Pennsylvania) and finally southwest into Hagerstown, MD for the night. Day 2 on Monday started early - 7 am - and we drove west through that little horizontal piece of MD with barely room for the highway. From there, into West Virginia for lunch. Apart from the scariness of West Virginians, there was nice mild weather to greet us and a car wash very convenient to our gas/lunch stop. Needless to say, my car needed the cleaning and I managed to get the white salt buildup rinsed off. West Virginia also seemed to go on forever as we drove west and then wound down to the southwest and into Kentucky. We cut through the top of Kentucky and on into Indiana. Stayed the night just outside of Evansville, IN after driving through heavy rain and found a slight snowy glaze on everything the next morning.

Unfortunately, my passenger side door froze open when I put Aston back in the car, so we stayed in the hotel room with the car running for nearly an hour until the door was able to shut (the lovely and annoying quirks of my 96 VW). So, back on the road and we had a third long day driving through some very boring, barrren cornfields of Indiana and Illinois. Things got a little more interesting - or at least more hilly - as we crossed into Missouri. Our stop outside of St Louis for lunch fine but with it, the realization that we had about 5 more hours of driving into Tulsa. The weather was fine on this third day - cold, but fine. We laughed our way through Missouri's plentiful billboards advertising "adult superstores" in the middle of nowhere with bright pink billboards placed next to the advertisement that would say "Porn ruins lives"... an equal number of "adult" billboards and "JESUS" billboards, I'd say. Driving through the southwestern part of the state was definitely hillbilly country and there were "Ozark Family Village" signs and Exotic Animal Paradise Park signs that scared us more than anything. We continued on.

Getting into Tulsa was truly comforting when I realized just how different it was from the surrounding states/countryside. We drove through TRAFFIC (they have traffic at 5 pm!) and on to the new house. It is *really* fabulous. B did an amazing job picking out this place - I wouldn't have dared to dream for anything so nicely situated and put together. (If you're not female or a metrosexual male, skip over the rest of this paragraph.) It is a bungalow/ranch house (all one floor, no basement in these parts) with a single car garage. The neighbourhood (and yard) has large deciduous trees that will be beautiful once they wake up in spring. You walk into the living room of the house which is about the size of my old living room, perhaps, slighly narrower. It is painted a taupe colour with white crown molding and white baseboards. The large front window is trimmed in white with wide california shutters on the window and a fabric valence and trim in a lovely coordinating colour. The dining room is straight ahead through a wide doorway from the living room and is painted a sage green with a white chair rail, and molding. There are sliding doors out to the (large) backyard. Off the dining room is a cute kitchen that has very purposely (and well-done) distressed cabinets and brand new dishwasher, fridge and stove. There is a little counter and coordinated stool (covered in fabric that matches the fabric valence above the white shutters over the kitchen window). There is a door to the garage here - the garage is for a single car but it is deep and has washer and dryer in it right off the kitchen.

On the left front of the house is the master bedroom, painted a lighter taupe colour with white trim and white shutters on the windows. The double cupboards have matching shuttered doors... the bathroom is twice as deep as my old bathroom with a vanity counter with 3 sides of mirrors off to the side when you come in. Straight ahead are the tub, sink, toilet and more cupboards. The freshly painted bathroom has yellow walls and black and white tile in kind of an art deco/retro kind of look. At the rear of the house is the 2nd bedroom or home office. It is painted an okay light blue and is a really good size for an office. The whole place is really great. Oh! and the floors in the living room and dining room are dark stained wood (my favourite), kitchen floors are ceramic tile, and bedroom is carpeted in off-white. I really love the place and it is about 50 yards down the road from a large pond that houses back on to (not sure if we can access it)... there are swan crossing signs on our road though. :-) A little further down in what is ostensibly the same neighbourhood, there are very huge houses on enormous lots. Walgreen's and Blockbuster are on our "corner" (large main intersection a half mile away), so very convenient. I am about 2 miles from the river which has a great jogging/rollerblading path along it.

So we rolled into South Gary Drive at 5:30 pm on Tuesday Feb 3rd. We unloaded the car and truck in an hour (!) with the help of one of Brendan's friends (keeping in mind that I didn't lift anything too heavy given my back). I set up the bedroom and the toiletries in the bathroom as Brendan went out to pick up his car and get dinner. The outside temp there was around freezing. Unfortunately, there was no heat in the place (gas company needed us to be there to come and turn on the heat) and we could see our breath in the air. We huddled around in the kitchen with oven on (we had electricity obviously) and ate pizza at about 9:30. We stayed at Brendan's apartment overnight where there was hot water and heat... those luxuries! Brendan took me to the airport at 9:30 the next morning for my flight (!) By the time I called B after my Tulsa to Cincinnati flight, it was 12:30 and he had the kitchen boxes unpacked and the gas company was just arriving to turn on the heat.

As you can imagine it was a little disorienting to get there and fly right out again... but I am sitting here at 11:30 in my pj's, about to go shopping with my dad on what would have been his surgery day while my mom is out showing a house. In the long run, it is good to be able to have a leisurely visit as he still prepares for surgery. (Looks like a check in on his blood again in 2 weeks and then surgery). I also will be trying to see my 40 yo cousin. She has always had congenital heart problems, but just sent an email yesterday saying that she wasn't doing very well. I know that she has been on the heart transplant list for years now and I'm hoping isn't as bad off as her email sounded.

Sooo, I think I'm a lot more calm now... my stuff is in my fabulous new place, Brendan and Aston are *really* getting to know each other while I'm away and he's tending to her (did I mention that he is using her for a behavioural modification experiment for a class assignment?), the drive is over with and apart from the monumental task of unpacking and organizing my quantity of stuff in my new office into a usable space, I'm feeling much, much more relaxed. Still have tons to do in changing over insurance for car, home, and medical, as well as getting up and running with work, but I'm with my honey now and we survived the most stressful part. :-)) I have to say that those walkie talkies we had on the trip were FUN. The three days of fake southern accents and commenting on the surroundings were entertaining.

I'm going to go off now and do some shopping with my dad. My 12 yo nephew (Daniel) has a hockey tournament this weekend that starts tonight and is "at home" - so down the road. I'm planning on driving through Tim's, picking up an extra large double double with a party pack of TimBits and going to the arena at 8 pm. My niece, Valerie, turned 11 last weekend, so I will be finding a belated bday gift for her today... (2/5/04)