Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Live from the N.B.

We decided late on Saturday that we would indeed take this week off from work to go home to New Brunswick for a little downtime before we take over the business. So, we left on Sunday and drove all day. It was the first time in a long time that we drove down during the daytime, and Sexy Boyfriend got a really funny sunburn from the sunroof. It probably wouldn't have been so bad if I had been able to keep my eyes open for more than five minutes and actually take turns driving, but we won't get into that. Anyway, he ended up with only the right side of his face burned, because the sun was beating down through the roof. It looks normal enough now, but was kinda funny on Sunday night.

I've been taking it easy, and yet have been very busy. Yesterday I ran errands with my mom all day, then had dinner with her and my sister. After that, SB's family had people over for dessert, so I went there for the evening and picked up my other sister, Sara, at work at midnight. Today, I drove my mom to work, then subsequently turned around to pick her up because her boss told her to take the week off and have fun visiting. Then I drove Sara back to work, then changed into a tank top and helped my mom stain the deck. This was an "entire afternoon" activity, whereas I originally thought it would only take us a couple of hours. My shoulders are now killing me, both from hunching over and painting on the stain, and also from the massive sunburn I got, which I know is bad for me, but it just hurts so good.

After deck staining duties, it was time to put streaks in Rachel's (the youngest sister's) hair. I was terrified, but also very into it. It was super fun and I took a really funny photo of her with a combination of foils and cap, which I will upload when I get back home to my computer.

Then I made pork tenderloin dinner for my family and SB, and now I'm finally just chillin'. I am so glad that it's not Christmas time, because it's always stressful to take vacation then, but I feel like so far my vacay has been pretty jam packed with exciting goodness.

Only five vacation days left. Scho Schad.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I think I killed my dog today

I either added or subtracted a year from her life. Today was "Take Gabby to Work Day", which was really fun and exciting for everyone involved. She was huffing and puffing before we even picked up the first dog. One dog was totally into her smokin' ass, and kept sniffing her incessantly. She kept up pretty well with the other doggies when we went to the dog park, and was really into the whole sitting in the back with everybody thing while we were dropping everyone off. But when I came back from leaving the last dog at his house (a Portuguese water dog with a severe underbite - so cute!), she had hopped in the front seat and was looking at me like "Ya, so we're going home now, right?" So, while I had a cat appointment I took her to our office and dropped her off for a rest.

When I went back to get her, she was pretty happy to see me, and our last walk was really fun and she was really into it, but now that we are home she has planted herself on the sofa and is sound asleep. Like, I think I could yell out "the kitchen is full of treats, come and get it!!!!" and she wouldn't even budge. I'm hoping to bring her along quite a bit when I start doing group walks regularly, because she's getting to that age that she's put on quite a bit of weight, and diet changes aren't helping. But, I'm also kinda scared that she's going to die of a heart attack or something from over-exertion.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Procrastinator extraordinaire

It's finally here - the 2006 edition of our vacation photos. From like four months ago. They are super poor quality due to the fantastic camera we had access to (because ours was stolen by baggage gremlins). You can see the photos here. Not super exciting, but some great shots of our resort, for those of you who didn't believe all my ranting and raving about how wonderful it was there.

This week we will be crazy busy getting stuff ready for the business changeover. Finally we will have a phone number and a PO Box, so finally we can get some business cards and promo stuff made. Sexy Boyfriend is installing our accounting software on his computer tonight so we (he) can get a feel for it before the changeover date. I say he is getting a feel for it because, although I'm good with computers, he is good with business, and can probably set up some of the stuff more efficiently than I can. It would also take me quite a while to teach myself how to use it, and then more time to set up.

That's all my news - the weekend was pretty boring - lots of business shopping and TONS of cleaning. Saturday night we went to see the DaVinci Code, which I really enjoyed. Obviously not as much as I loved the book, but I think if I had seen the movie first I would have been blown away. I still don't buy Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, but Jean Reno, Paul Bettany, and Ian McKellan were really impressive. Audrey Tautou was okay, but I was pretty disappointed that her character was kinda dumbed down for the movie. All in all, it's worth the $10 admission for sure.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Spring is in the air

I can't remember the last time I loved spring this much. Maybe it's because I'm actually out in it, smelling the new blooms, feeling the fresh air and cool spring rain, instead of stuffed into a cubicle wanting to rip my eyes out. For weeks now I have been walking dogs, and I'll randomly smell lilacs, and I look all around but there are no lilacs to be seen. I thought maybe I was going nuts until about a week ago when all the lilacs started to bloom, and I saw that all those pointy, cold looking trees in the neighborhoods I frequent are actually beautiful bushes that were just waiting to explode in bloom.

When I was in elementary school, I used to walk to school every day. On the corner right before we reached the school, the house had a giant lilac tree, and people would always pull off blooms as they passed by to bring home to their moms. It became quite an epidemic until one day, when I was in the first grade, there was a school-wide warning issued to leave the damn tree alone already. Coincidentally, we also had a neighbor with a big giant lilac tree. This neighbor loved me - she gave me cheese cloth once when I caught a butterfly and wanted to keep it in a jar, and she also paid me $10 one week to collect their mail while they were away. Anyway, this neighbor offered me to cut off some of the lilac blooms. So, I took some for my mummy, and some for my nanny, and some for my teacher. My teacher was Soeur Margot, and although she was a nun, she didn't wear a habit since I went to regular public school and religion is not allowed in public school. However, even without the habit, she was scary as hell - on more than one occasion she crossed the line with regards to disciplining students, and was also the source of my best friend's agonizing stomach aches, which kept her home from school so much she almost had to repeat first grade.

Anyhow, so I brought some lilacs for my teacher. I vividly remember how proud I was to give them to her, and how lovely they smelled. I also vividly remember the feeling of surprise and hurt when she berated me in front of everyone for taking lilacs from the house beside our school. I think this is the moment when my inability to hold onto my shit when I'm upset officially engrained itself as standard behavior on my part.

I'm glad that I gave up my ability to keep composure, but was able to keep my love for the smell of lilacs.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Hands over my ears in horror

I've been kinda running around like a chicken with my head cut off this week, hence the lack of posts. We've been throwing around ideas for the business, trying to work all that stuff out. It seems like every time I sit down I think of something else that I absolutely can't forget to consider.

Yesterday was my first baby shower in a very long time. It was for a friend who used to work with me at IKEA and who is now a teacher - I haven't seen her for a while, and she looks so great, so happy, so settled. Our friend, Chag, was the hostess and she did an absolutely amazing job. There was a full-on spread of little appetizers that were super yummy - the kind of thing I love to do but just can't seem to organize. We had little zucchini fritters, herbed parmesan chicken pieces, a tuna salad in endive leaves, smoked salmon rolls, stuffed mushroom caps, and various salads and hummus trays. I'm sure I've forgotten something, but how could you not with so many great dishes? So yummy! She also made some pretty spectacular cakes, which were impressively decorated. We decided that she and I will have a baking day sometime, and Ems will be the designated spoon-taster.

The shower itself was fun. There were a lot of soon-to-be moms there, in various stages of pregnant bellyness. I'm sure I've mentioned that children make me uncomfortable (thank goodness there were no babies there), but one thing that makes me even more uncomfortable is hearing anything about any kind of birthing processes. It makes me squirm, and sweat, and basically want to run from the room. During a break in the present opening, conversation turned to things like people having their waters broken with giant hooks, and people having family members looks at their vaginas while a turkey was being squeezed through it. I could feel a cold sweat beginning when Ems nudged me and said "Jules, how about we go get a coffee?" Later, with talk of umbilical cords falling off, I felt another nudge and a "Jules, I need to go for a smoke, come with me."

So, here is a public shout out to Ems - I will never be around moms or babies without you ever again.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Another way that babies take the joy out of shopping

Next weekend is a pretty big weekend for me - Mother's Day is Sunday, so I've been internet shopping to find something to send to the two mom's (mine and SB's), Sunday is also our anniversary (8 years together, 1 year engaged), and on Saturday I am attending a baby shower.

This will be my first baby shower since I was like ten. I don't have any friends who have had babies, and my sisters are WAY too young to have babies. Plus babies seriously freak me out. I thought that shopping for a baby would be easy, so I headed out to Gap, because that's pretty much the only store I shop at, and started wading through the Baby sales rounder and tried to squeeze around all the giant Hummer strollers taking up all the fucking space in that baby department. I found a few pieces that were super cute, and I decided to buy something that will fit the baby later on in the summer. I thought I had it all under control, until I realized that I had an armload of clothes, none of which matched the other. Pinks that were one shade darker, or not quite the same tone. Things that matched, but were two different sizes. I started to sweat.

Luckily, I was visiting the Gap where I worked not so long ago, and one of my friends, Olivia, helped me find a cute little orange and pink outfit. So cute. Then, after paying, I called Ems to confirm that I had made okay choices - little shorts, a T, and a hoodie. She said it sounded great, and she has successfully weaned and clothed two babies, so she should know, right?

Friday, May 05, 2006

A real life business person

In approximately one month, we will officially own the dog walking company. I'm still not freaking out about the actual running of the business, but the whole changeover part is really daunting. I'm so nervous that we are going to fuck something up, which I'm sure won't happen since the business is small and super not complicated, but still. Sexy Boyfriend seems to have most of the technical stuff under control cause he's a super business wunderkind, but my head is swimming when he talks about incorporation and tax remittances. I know it's all stuff I will understand once we get going, but with a timeframe of 1 month, I don't feel like I'll get it that fast.

I'm very excited to get going, but I'm sad to see my bosses go. I find them both so funny and sensible - for one of the first times ever I don't find myself constantly questioning everything my boss is doing, or their motives for doing them. Everything is straight up and flexible.

We are hoping to have about a week or so to go home for a visit before things get rolling - we'll spend the next couple of weeks learning how they have been doing business and planning any changes we might want to make, and then we will maybe go away the week before we take over. I figure we won't have the opportunity to take much time off for a while so it's probably important to take some time away, together, before we're ready to rip each other's eyes out.

So, that's what I've been up to this week.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Trying to keep my poker face

We made our initial offer on the business today, and we are scheduled to meet with my bosses tomorrow night to discuss. I feel like it's Christmas Eve. I just want to know what they have to say, what they think, whether this is all going to be wrapped up tomorrow night and within about a month this will all be mine.

I can't get over how very exciting all of this is, and how not scared I am. It makes me more nervous that I am not scared or anxious than actually taking over the business does. Meanwhile, until tomorrow night, I have to play it cool, so that my bosses don't try to raise the bid too high. They aren't like that, they are into making everyone happy in the end, and getting the business in the hands of the right person so it doesn't just fizzle out. But, Sexy Boyfriend is a man of the business world, and in Sexy Boyfriend's Mean Businessman Language, I have to keep them thinking that I can walk away from any time and haven't lost out on anything. But, in real life language, which is what both myself and my bosses speak, I really want this to happen, and think it will really be sucky if it doesn't.

Otherwise, things are normal. Work is awesome, even though it rained a lot today and I got soaked. Also, while walking Goosie today some child in the street randomly yelled out "DIIIIIIIIIARHEA!!!!!" I wish I could remember even half of the hilarious things I see and hear during the day. For example, last week I saw a lady pissing in the park, and I totally forgot to even mention it. She was squatted against a tree and everything, and was partially hidden unlike the last person I saw using the park as facilities. Then yesterday I saw a man park his car, walk into an alley behind a convenience store, and take a leak there. Not like into the alley, like two feet behind the building. What the hell is with this city and people feeling the need to get back to nature?