Thursday, May 29, 2008

(I was) Gone (for a while)


I was gone for a few days, and it wasn't just because I couldn't think of anything to post.

The past weekend was Memorial Weekend here in the states, so I was busy having a good time. I ate a lot and drank a lot over the course of the weekend, I actually ate some really good food. Ended up at an English Pub on Sunday (it wasn't quite the same as the Slap and Tickle), and played some darts. I haven't played darts in a long time, and it really showed. We then headed over to the pool hall and played a game of snooker, I wasn't all that great at that either, but I could remember the rules, and was able to guide the lads through the game.

The last couple of days at work I have been in a class called "Team Leader Facilitator Training". It was a great class, and even throughout the long days I stayed focused the whole time, which is really saying something, as I am very easily distracted. Now I am back at my desk, wrapping up my current job before beginning the new one on Monday.

I'm really looking forward to the end of the work day today, as I'm going out for dinner with 2 former colleges. One is my ex-boss, and she is just great, she's one of the nicest people I've ever met, the other is a guy who was a project manager on a project from a few years ago. About 4 years ago, we were all on the same project, and took a business trip to Germany and Barcelona. We had such a great time, eating, drinking and generally being merry and goofing around. I'd tell some of the stories, but I have found from experience, that they just don't seem as funny to anyone else as they do to us. I am sure tonight will be full of reminiscing and lots of laughs.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You Inspire Me


Some days I find it very hard to find something to write about in this here blog. I am just not sure what people would find interesting. Lately I don't really feel like I've been doing much interesting either, so I'm struggling to find inspiration.

How do you guys always manage to find something to write about?

What do you use for inspiration?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I wil follow you



The conversations that I hear on the MAX (Portland’s light rail), are quite often rather interesting. Today was no exception, other than it was more of a monologue than a conversation. A guy and a girl get on a couple of stops from my work, they sit down behind me. The girl is chattering away (seemingly to herself).


Why am I following you?


You said you were going to take me home, and now I am following you.


I’ve been fantasizing about spiders a lot lately.


Spiders are quite good thing to be thinking about.


You can think about good spiders and bad spiders.


I was thinking about having a spider party.


Invite everyone, all of my friends and his friends.


All the spider friends.


There’d be no drugs.


Well there could be drugs, lots of drugs.


Crazy drugs.


We’d all sit in the dark like spiders.


Everyone would come over after not sleeping for a week, and we’d all fall asleep, like spiders.
Why am I following you?


You we taking me home, but now I am following you every where.
I can go to the store and get my diet pills.


Now there were lots of pauses in this conversation, and I am not guaranteeing that I got it word for word… but it’s a little odd isn’t it?


The guy that she got on with (the one that she apparently was following), didn’t say a word, occasionally he’d talk to the other girl next to him.


I just thought I’d share.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sun Lotion in my eye...


I ended up having to go to the doctors yesterday. I was having issues with my eye. It wouldn’t stop tearing up, and it was stinging. Well seems that the sunscreen that I got in it, caused a burn… isn’t sunscreen supposed to prevent me from getting burnt? The one advantage is that I got the day off work, however, I didn’t do much other than play final fantasy.

My eyes still hurting a little today, but its no where near as bad as yesterday, and I’m no longer running a fever, which I was yesterday, and I am back at work. Also its raining today, so I have no need for sunscreen today, thank goodness.
Compared to last week, this week is a quiet week. I don't have much of anything planned. Work is also going to be pretty quiet as I am finally moving into my new role, which means only one job to do instead of two, that makes me very happy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

In the Palm of Your Hand


I was just over at British Speak and and I see that relax max has been giving me some link love, so I thought I should actually sit down and write something.

I finally got to have some fun last week, and that is the main reason nothing was posted on my blog.

It began with a "country fair" at work on thursday, this meant free beer, bull rides, tattoos, palm reading, popcorn, corn dogs, arts and crafts, and goodness knows what else. However, we had lots of sun begining on Thursday too, and my fair skin got very burnt, there wasn't really any shady spots for me to be hiding in.

As mentioned above there was a couple of palm readers at the fair. I've never had my palm read before, so I figured what the heck. She was spookily accurate, it began with her telling me "well I can see right away that you are a sensitive person, you care a lot about other people and their happiness and will put them before yourself". She then went on to say, that I live to be in love (so true!), that I am a bit of a rebel. It ended with her talking about my relationship with wbf, and she couldn't have been more spot on there either... like I said... spooky :)

I don't remember doing much Thursday evening... I think we watched a movie, yup we did - Two for the Money, it was rather good. The rest of the weekend consisted of drinking, dancing and more drinking. All in all not a bad weekend.

Yesterday a friend came over, and we started to watch the Soprano's. We are going to get together every sunday afternoon and watch them all. Until yesterday I'd never seen any of them, the wbf has seen them all, and needless to say, this was his idea. We watched the first 3 episodes last night... so far I like it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Unite for Human Rights


Today is the day that bloggers unite and talk about Human Rights.

I chose to talk about human rights for LGBT folks, as it’s a subject near and dear to my heart.
If you’ve been by my blog before, chances are that you know about my involvement with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Friends network in my workplace.


I got involved in this network primarily because of the legislation that exists in the US and many other countries which prevents gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks from being able to do the same things that a heterosexual person can do. This ranges from healthcare, benefits, employment rights, rights to marriage, taxes – and that is just in the US. In some countries people can get the death sentence because they are in love with a person of the same sex. It amazes me. Why should someone’s sexual orientation require them to be treated differently? The map below shows LGBTI rights around the world. It really shocks me.


Photo source: http://ilga.org/

Its not just a matter of legislation. For many people the inequality comes from having to hide a part of their life due to a fear of how their community/workplace/friends and family will react. Back in February 2008, Lawrence King an eight grade boy, was murdered by a class mate. Hehad asked his friend to be his valentine, this lead to him getting shot by the same friend. Whattype of world do we live in, when showing your love gets you killed, when there’s so much homophobia that even an eighth grader is so frightened that he shoots a fellow classmate?

Small wins happen in the fight for GLBT rights, but for every win there seems to be a set back somewhere else. Last year Oregon finally managed to get the Domestic Partnership bill into effect, however, the fight continues today to keep it there, due to concerns of an appeal. If Domestic Partnerships are removed, it voids any domestic partnerships that have already been registered in the state of Oregon.

Its quite hard for me to keep this short, as there’s so many things that I want to say, but instead I will just give a few suggestions of things that that anyone can do that will make a difference.
- Find out more about what’s happening in your community.
- Know your local legislation.
- Walk in, or attend your towns Pride Parade.
- Stand up against homophobic slurs.

If you are interested, here's some sources for more information:
HRC

Speak Out

Public Agenda

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Doodle Week - Day 7: Doodle Mad


Today is the last day of doodle week, and this is my final doodle. Its supposed to be mad, I don't think this is really mad, a little crazy perhaps but not mad.
I just like it, so I thought I'd share it.

Its a sunnier day today

Walking to the bus stop today was much more pleasant. Its' sunny! Woo Hoo!

A Hard Days Night

As you can probably tell from the lack of posts (other than doodle posts) lately, I have not really been around so much. Truth is, I have been working too hard. My normal mantra is “work hard, play harder” but lately its been pretty much just work, work and more work. I have my regular job, and then I have another role that I am doing as a “stretch assignment”, basically an opportunity for me to get some experience in a different area.

On top of that I am kicking off our company ally program part 2, coordinating our company booth for the upcoming Out and Equal Workplace Summit this September. I have a craft fair to attend tomorrow, where I’m going to exhibit some of my items. I recently moved so have spent the past 3 weekends, unpacking, cleaning and shopping. If I am not shopping for shoes, I generally don’t like shopping, so it gets classed as work too. As of this week however I am planning to get my life back on track!

I am really feeling the need to have some fun, as you know from Monday’s post I went out with friends on Friday, and that was fun. Last night it was a friend’s birthday, and we had a surprise birthday party for him. He turned 55, not that you’d believe it, he is still very young at heart. My favourite quote from the night was “oooh, I’m 55, I am slow, I go the same speed as a truck”.

I am not sure what it is at the moment, whether it’s the people I am partying with, or something I am giving off, but I seem to be getting invited to naked hot tub parties, and getting felt up much more than I have done since I graduated from university. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining , just curious as to why all of a sudden.

I get to have some fun again this evening as its Happy Hour day, my favourite day of the week, and I took Friday off work, to celebrate another friend’s birthday with her. Not sure what’s planned yet, but I plan to spend the night dancing my crazy dances at 80’s night.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gloomy day but pretty flowers.

I was walking to the bus stop, and its a rainy gloomy day in Portland. I looked over where I was walking, and saw the flowers, even though its a rainy day, there's still a splash of colour, and I know the brighter days are just around the corner.

Doodle Week - Day 6: Doodle Abstract


Well, according to Claire, I could do pretty much what ever I wanted here, and the above, is aparently, whatever I wanted to do.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Doodle Week - Day 5: Doodle Day Dream

Here's my daily doodle for doodle week. This is quite typical of what I'll doodle during the day, whether I am in meetings or on the phone, or just trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing.

My phone actually cooperated today and sent this right away :) woo hoo - way to go phone!

Man Eater


I have been having a serious lack of fun lately, too much work and not enough play makes Caroline a sad sack.


However, on Friday I was able to go out for dinner and a couple of drinks with my friends Meghan and Sandra. Its been a while since we all got together. We used to be good at meeting once a month for girls night, but the 3 of us are so busy. Meghan with her full time job, school and arts and crafts, me with my 2 jobs, ally program and arts and crafts, and Sandra with all her stuffies. We all have boyfriends too, so that doesn't help us on the spare time front.


Anyway, we decided to go have a nice dinner, so we headed to the NW 23rd area, and walked to the first place we saw. The waiter came over with our food menus, and more importantly, the martini menu. There was a martini called a Razz-a-tini, it was impossible for me to say this without doing a small shoulder shrug/jiggle, I am not really sure what it was, but it was amusing. I of course ordered that, with the jiggle. Meghan was after a Mandrini, however when she ordered it, it sounded more like man eater. (Not sure how she managed that, but the waiter nicely picked up on it). Sandra, boringly, order a cosmo. Off he went to make our drinks.


We started the whole catch up stories, the poor waiter had spent quite a long amount of time freshly sqeezing orange juice for some lady while we were busy selecting our drinks, just as he was about to begin ours, she came over and brought it back, it wasn't sweet enough... the poor guy. Needless to say, we then asked for ours to be freshly squeezed, and promised him we wouldn't send it back. Maneater, and freshly squeezed became the buzz words for the evening.


It finally ended up with the waiter telling Meghan that he would add some freshly squeezed man juice to her drink, no sooner did this statement leave his lips, than he went bright red, and declared that "well that didn't come out right!".


Yup, thats what happens when you let the 3 of us out of the house.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Doodle Week - Day 4: Flower

This flower is on my whiteboard at work, its actually been there all week. I often doodle on it, it rarely has work on it. :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday, May 9, 2008

Doodle Week - Day 2: Monster


This is my doodle of the day, he perhaps is a little too friendly looking to be a monster, but monsters don't have to all be scary you know.
If you want to join in on the doodling fun go to http://stickfiguregrrl.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Kitty has a home

Looks like kitty has a home now, and that makes me very happy. She'll be an indoor cat with 2 other buddies. I just hope they all get along.

Doodle Week - Day 1: Self Portrait

For sure not the best doodle, I am not good at drawing people, but I tried. This, is me, with a paint brush in one hand and a pint in another. You'll see my two kitties, and cat number 3 (the rescued cat, who's still waiting for a home). My knitting is floating in mid air, as it keeps nagging at me to get a baby blanket finished!

I doodled this once I got to work, then I remembered that I left my camera at home, so the photo's taken with my camera phone, which makes it look worse than it did to begin with. I then tried to send this doodle from my cell phone directly to this blog over an hour ago, but it still hasn't arrived, so I posted it to facebook, then to here instead. However, the photo may end up making it here again from my initial attempt, so my apologies if this photo is featured twice.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Kitty Update

I just got back from taking the kitty to the vets, its a girl, and shes about 6 years old, show's how much I know about the feline furries.

I have found a home for her, worst case she'll be living in a barn, but I have another couple of options for her, and hopefully they will work out well.

She's such a sweet cat, she's very affectionate, and I hope she'll be able to go with someone who'll love her.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Moving On (to another cube?)


I had all sorts of ideas for a post yesterday, but was distracted by finding the kitty, and now I can't remember what all the great ideas were. That will teach me to write them down as I think of them, instead of trying to rely on my crappy memory.

I don't really feel like I've done much to write about the past few days. All I've really been doing is working and running errands. There is no rest for the wicked as they say. Not sure who they are, but they do say it.

Yesterday I was in a training class at work, "Achieving High Performance", it was pretty much just about how to set a personal vision, goals and objectives. It also gave advice on how to manage time, network, get mentorship and stuff like that. I already do most of these things, so i'm not sure I got a whole lot out of the session, other than me taking another look at what I want to be 5 years from now. Which I do quite a lot anyway.

I like to plan 5 years out, but I don't really plan my days or weeks. Seems I just like to have an idea on the destination. I don't really care how I get there. I was like that when I was backpacking too. I knew I was going to New Zealand and Australia, but I didn't know what I'd do, or really where I'd go once I was there. I did however, have an amazing time while I was there.

I'm so busy at work today, that I really don't have much of an idea what I am doing, but I have just remembered one of the things I was going to write about.

You may have seen a previous post Song of Happiness: 99 Red Balloons - Or actually 200+ Multicoloured Balloons, about one of my co workers birthdays. Well we had another one last week. It was his birthday on Friday, and he took the day off work.
After some quick discussion regarding what we could do, we decided to clear out his cube and relocate him. It went much better than we could have forseen. We packed up his stuff and moved it to another area, to an empty cube. We then left empty boxes in his "normal" location.
We caused a little havoc, you'll need to scroll to the bottom then work your way up :) ...

From: Michael
I don’t think the hoodlums that moved me there will pay rent so I have retreated to my free cube in the sales neighborhood. I can’t wait for the next person’s birthday!

Mike

From: Ingrid
Happy Birthday, Mike! Boy, do I miss the Sales team!!! Nothing like a great prankJ

From: Gregg

Vicious? No. Vicious would have been our original idea of putting the contents of your cube into beer coolers, and floating them out in the lake...

From: Alan

Mike, thanks for applying for the job. I will notify staffing to setup a panel interview. If you are selected for the position you can stay in the cube. In the mean time we will need to charge rent. Since you are from Texas we will be able to give you a special rate of $1000 a day. Please give $500 to Chuck and $500 to Jim each evening.

Chuck/Jim, please deposit in the OM/DL beer fund.

Look forward to you joining the team.

Alan

From: Michael
I just assumed that I would be a natural pick for the position!?!?

Actually, it appears that I am the victim here… of a vicious birthday prank!

Mike

From: Alan
Hi Mike, seems you have moved into Siva’s old cube. Unfortunately that is an OM/DL cube and will be used for Siva’s replacement. Please can you move out again. We are interviewing now for that position and expect to have it filled by the end of May. If you are looking for a new cube you need to get with Jennifer. She will help find you one.

Thanks

Alan

From: Jennifer

Ok - I didn't move Mike -- HE should be in the cube in the next neighborhood -- next to Tim --


Alan - Would you please talk to him and see what has transpired? and then let me know? Thank you


Jim - Thanks for your help.

From: Jim
On the desk there is a picture of Mike and his wife…

From: Jennifer
Can you confirm who moved in there? If I'm right that cube was ABC11-- at the window - next to Jim --

MY records show it to still be open -- SO if someone has moved in there I wasn't aware of it.

Jim - can you help us here -- did someone move into this cube? Do you know whom? Thank you

From: Alan
Hi Jennifer, Chuck just told me that someone has moved into Siva’s cube. Unfortunately I need that cube for Siva’s replacement.

Thanks

Alan

Monday, May 5, 2008

Abandoned


I was walking home from work this evening, and I walk underneath a highway. There was a box lying there on the curbside, and as I walked past it, it started to meow. Of course, there was no way I could just leave it there, its a suprisinly hot day today here in Portland, besides, it just didn't feel like the right thing to do.

So I picked up the box and brought it home. Of course this was purely impulsive, based on my reaction, that I couldn't leave the kitty there. I hadn't thought much of it through. I knew I couldn't keep it in the house, as I have 2 cats, and until this fella has been to the vets, I don't want to risk it. So he/she is out on the balcony, with some food water, and a cat carrier, should it choose to sleep.

Its a hot day, so I think it should be OK there this evening, but I am a little concerned. Of course the animal shelter for my area is only open from 10 till 6, so I missed out on that for the day.

I just don't understand how people can do this, I feel so bad for the poor cat, but at least he has food and water for one night, I just don't know what will happen to it after today, but I can't take it in. I already as I say, have 2.

Once I got home, I also started to worry what the wbf would say about it. I don't feel like I had an option, but I wasn't sure what his opinion on the matter would be. Luckily, when I spoke to him on the phone, he was OK about it. We'll see what conversation we have when he gets home.

Friday, May 2, 2008

(Night) Swimming


I have an amazing friend, well I have lots of amazing friends actually, but I want to tell you about one in particular today.

Her name is Michelle Macy. I find her amazing because she set her mind to doing something, which I would find impossible. Michelle has been swimming for a long time, and a couple of years ago she set her mind to swimming the English Channel. She put in long hours training, swimming in the freezing sea in Alaska, swimming at night, taking freezing cold baths, to allow her body get used to cold water temperatures. Last September, she achieved her goal. She swam the Channel in 10hours and 2 mins. I don't think I could even sit in a bath for that long, never mind swim.

She swims because she finds joy and purpose in the water. She raised an incredible $2,500 which she contributed to University of Minnesota Cancer Research Center. Her goal is to raise $50,000, and I know she can do it. She'll achieve this goal via Macy Swim for the Cure cause.

For more information go to www.macyswim.com

Good Luck Michelle!

Money

I am feeling rather jolly today. I was grumpy yesterday, not that anyone would be believe it but I really was. I've been having a bit of a grumpy week actually. Not really sure why, but it happens every now and again.

But today, is a good day, I received my $600 rebate this morning, which I actually believed I wasn't going to get, as I am not a permanent resident, but as I am "temporary" resident alien, I still qualified. Woo Hoo. I am not sure what I think of being an alien, I suppose it has to be better than being a "burger" which is what I wash in Holland, at least that's what it said on my ID over there.

So, now I can think again about what I want to spend the money on. We need a few uninteresting things for the new home, but I want to get something fun and exciting. Its been a while since I really went shopping... I don't even know what I want. Perhaps I am alreaady the girl (or in this case alien) who has everything. According to BBC America News, $600 doesn't really go very far. However, I can think of lots of things to buy that cost less than $600. To be honest though, been as the TV broke the other week, I'll put some if towards that, and the rest...

Perhaps I'll put it towards a weekend away, can you believe even though I am so close, I still haven't been to Seattle... there we go, its decided. Seattle it is :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dirty(ier than a Toilet Seat?)


By Sky News SkyNews - Thursday, May 1 04:26 pm
Your computer keyboard could be dirtier than your toilet.

A study from Which? Computing has found some keyboards contained more bacteria than the average lavatory seat.
Researchers took swabs from 30 office keyboards and uncovered a cocktail of bugs that can cause infection and illness.
Two contained staphylococcus aureus which can lead to skin infections and food poisoning.
In one case, a microbiologist recommended that a keyboard be removed as a precaution after finding bacteria readings "off the scale".
James Francis says the contamination is largely due to a lack of proper lunch breaks.
"More and more people are eating at their desks and are transferring from hand to mouth all the time. That is making things worse," he explained.
"Telephones are also a problem. We have found a lot of pathogenic disease-causing bacteria on telephones in hotel rooms, for example.
"It is often down to common sense. If something looks grimy and horrible there is a good chance it is."
Jaclyn Clarabut, assistant editor at Which? Computing, told Sky News Online people have to take responsibility for their office environment.
"People should use alcohol wipes to really get rid of the germs. The best thing is to tip keyboards upside down and watch the crumbs fall out. Once that's gone the bacteria stops growing," she said.
"If people don't clean their keyboards regularly, they might as well eat lunch in the toilet."
Contrary to some advice posted online though, office workers should not take their keyboards home and put them in the dishwasher.

(source: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/skynews/20080501/tuk-health-warning-on-computer-keyboards-45dbed5.html)

Can you believe that, I think that is gross, but its no surprise that more and more people are getting sick at work. I have to admit, that I eat at my desk about 3 times a week, and most of my co-workers eat at their desk on a daily basis. We have those air canister things to clean out the keyboards. However, I have seen those being used more frequently at spraying unexpecting people, rather than cleaning out our keyboards.

I thought that article was quite horrid so I had to share it, I just couldn't keep it to myself. Mummy always told me it was good to share :)
Yukkie, I think I am going to go clean mine out now, just to be on the safe side.

Give your keyboard some love and shake out those crumbs, and give is a clean.