The Morning After…

We were really lucky.  Not just me and the people I live with and near, but Massachusetts as a whole.  Compared to what happened in New York and New Jersey, the damage here is total peanuts.  A few branches, some power outages, and a lot of very wet leaves all over the ground.  I can’t imagine what it’s like for the people trapped on Manhattan (so glad that certain family did not go there this week rather than their actual visit date!!!), as having seen just the edge of this storm it must’ve been horrendous.

 

We were back to the office today, which meant more productivity all around.  Lots to do, and lots got doled out and done.  So that’s good.  After a 6.30am conference call (another record) to decide whether or not we were heading in (the client was open, ergo we were on our way) we all headed in and compared stories.  The worst any of us had was a couple of hours of dark-time, but besides that we did well.

 

Anyway, another 13 hours of billing under my belt…  On with the work!

 

Sandy

So we’re still here.  The storm has made landfall, and we’ve not been washed away.  We even still have power!  But it was a bit intense for a while.  The lights got rather flickery, and the wind and rain were really lashing at the sides of the house.  Not that I really got to go out and look at it, you understand.  I was working.  Hard.  All day.  From 8.30am to 9.45pm with a 30 minute break for dinner.  Ho hum, working from home was much more fun when I could knock off at 5.15pm on the dot (workload permitting), potter through to the lounge, fall gracefully onto my beautiful sofa and watch Pointless.  Instead, I had to keep working despite the family cat (who finds laptop computers a nice warm place to sleep, and with whom I had several ‘disagreements’ over which of us actually should be allowed to use the keyboard of my work laptop – I won, in the end, but the cat sat behind me for much of the day, watching me and waiting for an opportunity…), and the two boys (who are lovely, but when you give a 9 and 4 year old boy a day off from school, they are going to get loud.  Apparently, particularly when you are trying to have a conference call…) and the hurricane going on outside.

 

Still, I got a fair bit done in terms of assessing where we are on the job, and have worked out a plan for me for the next few days to get things moving along.  My panic over a large balance which we didn’t appear to have touched either this year or last year was dealt with when I realised that it actually fell into the ‘tax’ category, otherwise known as ‘not my problem until nearer sign-off’.  Which was a relief, as I was quite sure I had never seen or heard it mentioned (justifiably, I had not).

 

And now I am PJed up again and ready for bed.  We’re all working hard, and frankly (even with the commute) it’s much easier to work from the client offices than it is at home.  Fewer distractions, and more productivity.  I am starting to count down to the end of the job, though…  Even with Florida in 12 days (woohoo!!) the client filing deadline is less than a week after I get back to Boston, so work will be crazy (I am banned from taking my laptop to Florida by management, as well as from even looking at my e-mails while I’m away – which is rather nice) either side of it, but I am SO EXCITED about seeing my lovely family, and it will be great to know that even though I am coming back to some crazy hours, it will be for at most one more week.  And THEN it will be Thanksgiving weekend, with Mrs G coming to visit – my very first visitor, and I have grand plans for trying out my tourist advice!

 

On that note, I’m off to bed.  Via an episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ on Netflix.  I know how to have fun…

Weather

As you may have seen on the news we have some weather heading in off the sea…  I would first like to reassure everyone that no-one (i.e. me) is going to be taking any silly risks.  I’ve not decided whether I’m going to try for Burlington tomorrow, but I’ll check the news first thing and decide whether or not it’s a good idea.  It’s a drive inland, so I’d be staying well away from the coast, so we’ll just see what the situation is like in the morning.  We’re filling up the baths here so we have enough water for things like loos and washing, and filling up bottles for drinking water.  There are vests and layers available in case the heating goes off, and my landlord has been cooking this afternoon to make sure there is cooked meat available, and there is bread etc on standby in case we need to all stay in.  Oh, and everyone in the house has a torch.

 

So there’s that.  Certainly not what I expected to be dealing with in Boston…  Hurricanes and earthquakes aren’t quite the norm here!

 

Oh… quick update – just heard that the client premises is going to be closed tomorrow.  While security will be on site, if the client staff aren’t going to be there I don’t think there is going to be much point in going in and working there – everyone has, I think, enough work to be going on with, and we all have e-mail access at home that we can get files from.  So everyone is going to be working from somewhere nice and safe, which is a relief.  Phew.

 

Anyway, brunch today was AMAZING. We went to a place called Abe and Louie’s – AMAZING (it’s a two amazing paragraph, at least, I warn you now)!!  Bloody Marys, Eggs Bennedict (I couldn’t choose between the filet mignon or the crabcake benedict, so the waiter arranged for me to have one of each rather than two the same – amazing (and that’s three…)!), wonderful coffee and lovely conversation.  It was a group of six of us from my firm, and it was fantastic!  Lots of laughter and chatting and fun.  They asked me to hang out some more afterwards (I don’t think I’ve ever used the term ‘hang out’ in a non-ironic way before…) but I had to head back here to do laundry and clean the bathroom.  After being PJed at 7.30pm last night, I think that solidifies my rock and roll lifestyle…

 

So after my exciting afternoon (which included failing epically to call both my sister and the Piggonzi family – Google Voice wasn’t co-operating AT ALL for some reason, and wouldn’t let me call anyone who hadn’t already been called… I hope it’s something to do with the oncoming storm, but who knows, and if you spotted the Doctor Who reference in there, I take my hat off to you.  Or I would, were I wearing one) I’m watching the end of ‘Once Upon A Time’ and waiting to see storm updates.  And hoping that a day at home, even one working at home with Hurricane Sandy going outside, will help the weekend to feel rather longer.  Who knows…

Weekend…

… finally started today, at about 6pm when I made it back to JP after work.  Not bad for a Saturday night…  To be fair, I’m amazed I made it through today without my head actually making contact with the table/computer keyboard.  It was the leaving do last night (thus the total lack of any blog posting – naturally I am hanging my head in shame) which got a bit epic.  Somehow I ended up as one of the last people still out (I think) and finally got in a cab at about ten past one in the morning…  then realised that while I knew I needed to get to Jamaica Plain, and knew the number of my house and the road it was on, I couldnt’ remember the names leading up to it to direct the driver.  I managed, however, and made it to bed at about 1.30am.  With a 7.30am start to get up and out to Burlington for 9am, it perhaps wasn’t my best idea.

 

Anyway, I made it in, and was FIRST to get there.  Which obviously means I was trying too hard to be on time.  But still, I got to be a little bit smug that I was the last one out and the first one in.  So there.

 

There are a LOT of very random photos from last night (illustrating once again why the combination of me, a camera and copious amounts of vodka and lemonade is viewed by so very many people as a BAD idea) which I am still filtering through – there are some nice ones of the team I’ve been working with which I will try to put up tomorrow, but I’ll save the wilder ones for Facebook…  It feels a bit odd putting pictures of people here when they don’t necessarily realise this site exists, so I’ve avoided it so far (and will continue to do so!).

 

Anyway, I’ll write more tomorrow but for now I’m off to bed.  I’ve been invited out to Brunch tomorrow with some girls from the office – luckily it’s not until 11am so I have time for a wee lie in and a call to the parents.  Guaranteed there will be more than one tomorrow, plus I will be contacting my lovely sister, Mrs G and Mrs P (and Mr P and Little Miss P, I hope!) so it will be a day of many calls – thank goodness for Skype and Google Voice!

 

On that note, I shall take my pj’ed self (I’ve been pjed up since 7.30pm – I am no longer a hard core partier… stop laughing, I totally was one once.  Maybe) to bed (well into bed, I’ve been watching NetFlix on my bed for the past three hours… blimey I need to get out more when this job is signed off!!).  Better update to come tomorrow, I promise!

Half day…

Well, an 8pm departure… We all went for dinner at a tex mex place to “celebrate” the last day of one of the managers. Sad, but fun, although the real night out is tomorrow. With work on Saturday, it could br messy…

And so to bed.

12.5 hours

That’s billable hours. 14 office hours, less 90 mins for lunch and dinner. It felt like less today, but then it was a productive day that went quickly. Which makes it a good day. AND I made it back without a pickup truck trying to change lanes through my car, which was yesterday’s unexpected roadway treat for the homeward commute… Lucky my brakes (and reflexes) are good!! If screechy under that much pressure…!

Once again I am writuing this in my pjs, so now it is time for the sleeping portion of today. Frankly you should all be amazed I’m updating this at all (as a Belgian said to me today, but that’s another story. No, really), although I’m sure my uodates were much more interesting before this job kicked off… at least they say this is the worst it will get over here. Since there arent really any more hours in the day going spare, I am inclined to believe them… here’s hoping…

14 hours…

… feels like a lot less than 14.75, for some reason.  thing is, we’re so busy that is goes very fast, which is something at least.

 

Thatc’s yiur lot for tonight I’m afraid… excuse the spelling, my autocorrect on my snazxy new phone seems to be on strike. Night all!

14 & 3/4 hours

…. at work. 7.15am to 10pm. Ouch. I’m off to bed now, I’m sure you won’t take it personally! It was a very productive day, though (apart from the last half hour, where everyone got very slightly hysterical….). On to the next…

Colours and Cooking

After an epic lie in this morning (punctuated by a lovely long phone call with the parents thanks to Google Voice – calling to the UK for 2c per minute!!) I got up just in time for the last of ‘doughnut day’ in my house – I was bad, but it was sooooo good!  Anyway, once I’d had a gorgeous glazed ‘donut’ (yummmmm, and I pointed it so it’s all ok) I wandered down to Jamaica Pond to see it in the daylight.  Dad sent me some photos of Bedford Park with the colours there and frankly, a big part of me wanted to show off…. so see below:

 

Beautiful reds…

Beautiful views…

Gorgeous Golds

Stunning.  Just beautiful!

 

After my walkabout I pottered to the shops and got some ingredients for this afternoon (and stuffing for operation highland cow!).  Then it was back to ‘the ranch’ for an unexpectedly successful Skyping session with the parents, and then a second session with Mrs G.  Great to talk to people!  If anyone does have Skype, I tend to be about on Sunday afternoons and am always thrilled to talk to people from home!

 

Next plan was bake a cake.  Now I volunteered for this, seeing as we’re trying to split out cake baking responsibilities among the audit team.  I thought I’d do a Victoria Sponge.  Then promptly bought butter instead of margerine, and was using a new oven…  It resembles cake, honestly it does.  But I’ve cut it up into small squares so it’s easy to eat, and it’s a wee bit brick-like…  Not my usual quality!  But now I know what to look for in terms of timings, and I have sussed the oven.  Hopefully the team will be willing to eat something I’ve prepared after tomorrow…  I’m taking in some apple pie (courtesy of Whole Foods) as a back-up, so they don’t lose hope entirely!

 

Then I made chili for dinner, which was ace.  Punctuated by the return of the kids, who immediately started asking loads of questions (their grandmother had given them a lot of sugar) about what I was cooking, where the cake was, what I had been doing, what did I think of their new toys, etc.  I genuinely love living here!

 

And now I’m ready for bed, having watched the latest ‘Once Upon A Time’.  I love this show.  However, it being Sunday night and me only having been at work yesterday punctuates the fact that weekends are meant to have TWO days, otherwise they feel lopsided.  I think I’m going to be more than lopsided by next Sunday if this week is as busy / busier than last week….

Lanterns and moonlight

After a full day at work (on a SATURDAY – this will take some getting used to) I was rather later than planned getting back to JP.  However, this did not deter me from getting to the lantern walk around Jamaica Pond.  I met A and her husband and two lovely kids, and we headed over with a group of families – it was really lovely, with all the kids dressed up!  There was a princess, a pirate, a Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle and a Thomas the Tank Engine pram make-over among other things – nothing like Halloween at home!

 

The pond has some buildings on the east side, where a band was playing along with some people making apple cider.  There were loads of lanterns available to buy (expensive, but it goes to a good cause – I didn’t buy one in the end, though I did think about it!) and loads of families walking around the pond – absolutely gorgeous!

 

Photos below:

Gorgeous lanterns

More lanterns!

Lanterns on a boat on the pond – the line of light you can see on the other side is people carrying lanterns around the edge – gorgeous!

 

And so, after a lovely glass of wine with my landlords, I am off to bed.  Lovely evening with A, plus met J and her new man!  And sat in the most inconvenient bench I have ever encountered……

The least practical chair in the world…

 

Night all!