Friday, September 28, 2001

Friday, bake sale, chimney sweeps
It's been a busy morning already! At 7am, the chimney sweepers showed up to clean the fireplace, the first one I have ever had. I asked the old tenants if they had cleaned it this year and they said "no", what I should have asked was "have you cleaned it ever?". The guy said that it probably hadn't been cleaned for 10 years. It's clean now. We also discovered that we have no flu door, the knob that sticks out of the fireplace spins freely. We also have to let the landlady know that her cap isn't up to code and it needs something else that I can't remember at this minute. We can use it as is as long as we make sure the the damper is open and that it stays open. We paid for the cleaning, but certainly cannot pay for the neglect over the years. If all goes well, we can have a fire tonight. The guy told us that the fires have to be hot for the first hour to heat the chimney and reduce the risk of creosote collecting which can cause chimney fires. I think that we can manage that! This also means that we will probably be using the livingroom more, right now it is the room that the cats sleep in.
I made cookies last night and have brought them in for the bake sale. I hope that people like them and don't take a bite and spit them out saying "I paid for this?". I did make them a bit chewier than usual, so hopefully they aren't undercooked.
Funny blog design Bitchquick

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Neat! I'm reading White Teeth, too. Julie lent it to me with high praise. And the incredible thing is, this is Zadie Smith's first novel. What a debut!

Yesterday I tuned into the interview of Robert Fisk on HomeRun. He gave a very thoughtful, unnerving view of the making of a fanatic. It's too bad we don't hear more from people like Fisk on the major media, which have been providing virtually indistiguishable--or worse, sensationalist--coverage of the attacks. There was a media critic on the show a day earlier talking about how you saw the same images, the same analyses of the events from channel to channel. I had to agree--there's been very little diversity in view or coverage from what was shown on CNN. So anyway, hat's off to you Rebecca, for a great interview!
Is the week over yet?
After work I went downtown to the Indigo bookstore and bought White Teeth, our latest bookclub book, and the first Lemony Snicket book in the series. I read the first ten pages or so of the Lemony Snicket and it looks very good. It's not higher reading, some words are explained, but it looks promising. Now I'll have to go back to Club Price and get the others....... After Indigo we went to Chapters to spend a gift certificate on a Photoshop book. They didn't have the book, so I had to order it. That was a drag because Indigo had a bunch and Indigo bought out Chapters so technically they are one store, but one store that still hasn't figured out how to take the other's gift certificates. I should be getting the book within the week, so I'm not that annoyed, it's just that I want it NOW. The inner child will have to be patient.
I was supposed to make a sauce for lasagna last night, but I wasn't feeling that great last night, so that's been put off until tonight. Of course I also remembered that tonight I have to make oatmeal cookies for the bake sale we're having at work tomorrow. I hope that I don't have to work late. The deadlines for the projects are starting to woosh by. We got our first look and a new installer yesterday afternoon and it's vile. I'm not sure why they wanted to replace it, the other one was fine. We're still planning on getting our stuff done on time, whatever we can document will be done by tomorrow. I have little hope that the product will be ready in its most completed form though....

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

The STC meeting went very well last night. The speaker did run a bit long, but besides that I had a good time. Over the summer a few people I know lost their jobs, one just last week. It's very sad. The market for our field is quite slow right now, two years ago tech writers were being solicited by headhunters at work, now we're in the same boat as everyone else.
Just a few more days and the quarter will be over and the rush rush of the deadlines will be replaced by all the release dates being pushed back-but we'll have delivered on time!!! This is important because bonuses are given quarterly and tied to what you accomplish, what your team accomplishes and what your department manages to deliver. I think that myself and the team are doing ok, but I fear the department. Luckily, that's a very small percentage right now........

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Saw Lemony Snicket too, Dina, and it does look intriguing. Love the illustrations. I'll check it out next time I'm at Indigo. Sounds like promising bedtime reading for Camille. We're already big fans of the Time Warp Trio series by John Scieszka.
Saw a series of books by this author at Club Price last night and was interested. Unfortunately, the first book wasn't there.Lemony Snicket
A for effort, but still so very, very sad....I'm referring to the title gif, not the design.Column with Contents
It's raining...
We got lots of rain happening here, it would be a perfect day to sleep. I got a free sample of that hand cream from Air Canada when I went to Chicago. I flew in on Mother's Day and every woman got one as we "deplaned". I heard this word recently, is it real? We don't say "decared". I think that you can get the honey dust at a store on the top floor of the Eaton Centre. It sells sensual items and joke gifts. I know that they sell that product line there.
Steve and I did some of the stuff that we didn't get a chance to do over the weekend, some extra cleaning and another load of laundry. We also made a quick run to Club Price for some basics. As usual, you go in for catfood and coffee and come out with $200 worth of stuff. Actually, it wasn't that bad, we stuck to the list pretty well. It was interesting to note that they have Christmassy stuff out already, decorations, candles, chocolate and the like. It also reminded me that we have to get Halloween candy. For the first time in many, many years, we will have kids coming to the door Oct 31. We'll also have to get a pumpkin. I love carving pumpkins. When Caroline and I were rommates we use to get a pumpkin every year and carve it and toast the seeds and then eat them until we were really sick, it was great!
It's the STC Wine and Cheese tonight, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and watching Steve make his first presidential speech.

Monday, September 24, 2001

Went to Fruits&Passion on St-Denis on Friday during my search for the amazing Honey Dust you got at your shower. Just had to tell you about this amazing hand cream they have now called Cucina. It's supposed to be for cooks but it smells so delicious I want to dive into the stuff! Check it out!
I'm the Pirate of This Ship
I want to play with a pirate ship and cannon, too! Maybe if I got it for Samuel's birthday... Just saw Steve's pic and welcome address in Connections. Yay, Steve!
It was a good weekend, but a little tiring. Saturday we had a quiet morning and then Maggie came over and I coloured her hair and then we went out for a quick run to the mall where we got gifts for Colin, Maggie's son and my godson. His birthday is today, and Maggie and Andrew had his party on Sunday. Steve and I got him a pirate ship with little pirates and a canon that shoots a canonball, it's really neat, I think that I want one! Saturday evening was quiet, we went out to supper with friends and then Steve went out gaming and I vegged out completely on the sofa. I like to just rest my brain from time to time. I have absolutely no idea what I did all evening, some reading, some tv, but no brain activity whatsoever. Steve had to go into work Sunday to appease his boss, so I got up with him and drove him to work. Seeing as how I was up and out of the house, I took the opportunity to go to the Atwater market and spent about an hour wandering around and buying some veggies and apples. This is my favorite season, I love fresh Quebec apples! I got cortlands yesterday and they are so good, I had two yesterday. I have also discovered that this last remaining unpaved parking area around the market is now being condo-ized, so if I want to go to the market I will have to go very early or parking will be a real pain. It's better in the morning anyway, less people. In the after noon I went over to Maggie's and we watched Colin opening things and had cake and got caught up with Rebecca, and Terence and Irene. We stayed for supper and after that I dropped Steve off and went straight to Danielle's place for the bookclub. Got home at 11 and was so tired getting up this morning. I have lots to do this week, we have a release Friday, so tons of stuff to do. Busy, busy, busy!

Thursday, September 20, 2001

Good music? Let's see... Lately I've listened to a few good ones, including the Snatch soundtrack (really good, broad mix of techno, ska and even some old Madonna), Andrea Parker (odd mix of Portishead-like breathy, sombre vocals, drum 'n bass and string arrangements but mostly works well), Del Mar (uneven mix of ambience and some chill, with Goldfrapp, Dido and many others), and some beautiful, haunting music by Thomas Otten, a French classically trained singer who sings his own strange version of Latin-sounding words, giving a gorgeously rich, Dead-Can-Dance kind of sound. But mostly I've been savouring Kid A by Radiohead. I really think they're light years ahead of any other band.
Is it Thursday already?
Wow, has this week gone by quickly! Work has been very busy and the evenings very uneventful. Steve and I have to get to work on the thank you cards soon. We're still trying to pick out a picture to send with the cards. We have a lot of good ones that I still have to scan and put up on the Web site. There's a lunch & learn today on the subject of time. We have a research person here and he's our "thinker" about directions and concepts and new product development. I think that the talk will be very philosophical and should be quite good. I've been helping him develop a manual for the new process structure that's being developed in R&D and he's an interesting person, even though he has no idea what a deadline is. Perhaps the talk about time will explain some of that.
My lunch & learn on indexing last week went very well. Despite the fact that the audience really does not want to index anything, they were all very polite and looking alert. I bribed them with gummi bears and tried to be funny whenever I could.
Music news: Steve got us the lastest Diana Krall cd. I'll let you know how it is after I listen to it. Anybody else listening to some good tunes out there?

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

Have a great time Kathy! I had no idea you were leaving so soon and I'm very jealous! Drink some wine for me! The two weeks I took for the wedding were no vacation. I look forward to next year's vacation for some relaxing and having fun. Last night I made fresh bread and lentil soup and it was really good! We went to bed early, Steve's starting to come down with something. Nothing to write about really, just a quiet evening. Today I'm working on online help, the intranet site, creating some new web graphics and finshing an installation guide. If I have time, I have lots more to do.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Off and Away

Today is my last day of work before I head off on a 3 week vacation. The events of the last week have dampened my enthusiasm to say the least and my feelings are at best mixed. However, cancelling it will accomplish nothing so my view is if you think you have been thrown off a horse, the best thing todo is to get right back on and ride him anyway.

What has made this all the more problematic was my husband was in Los Angeles all last week and I wondered whether or not he would get home in time for our departure tomorrow. He did indeed get home last night on time on a flight that he described as fantastic. The check-in in L.A. was fast, thorough and courteous. Service on the flight (Air Canada aka Air Cattle Prod) was excellent and courteous and fellow passengers for once were not even obnoxious. The biggest change is they don't give you metal knives anymore with your inflight meal you get a plastic one. Security is high and nobody is taking chances. Dorval is running very efficiently and well. I have been advised to arrive up to 3 hours before my flight tomorrow.

For those of you who don't know, our holiday destination is France. We fly from Montreal to Paris tomorrow night and arrive at Charles De Gaulle Paris Thursday morning. From there we have rented a car and are buzzing down the autoroute south of Lyon to stay at a wine village called Beaune on the Rhone River. We will stay there for a day and from there head over to a place that I stayed when I was 14 called Condrieu (also on the Rhone but further south.) Our "final" destination is in a small village in the Rhone Alps which is south east again. There we have rented a mountain top house for a week with all the amenities and our planned activities will range from wine tasting to hiking and visiting old churches and museums. We plan to finish the vacation by hiking through part of the Grand Randonnee in the Mont Blanc area (which takes you into Italy and Switzerland if you so choose) and staying for a few nights in Chamonix before heading back to Paris and home.

So there you have it, and I will be back duly refreshed and rarin' to go (I hope) after Thanksgiving.

So fellow Bloggers, have a great 3 weeks of good blogs. I am so looking forward to reading them all when I get back. I may even bore you with highlights of my trip!

Dina: I still have to develop the pictures I took at your wedding, so here's what I'll do, I'll get them developed when I get back and if you want to see them, the price will be a cup of coffee with your new cappucino machine! Is that a great deal or what? ; - ) Enjoy your new toys!

Monday, September 17, 2001

For such a quiet weekend, I'm still so very, very tired. We cleaned the apartment up a bit, it's still looking disorganized though. Our landlady is willing to split the cost of fixing the walls and ceilings up so that we can start painting and getting things prettied up. It is going to be difficult because in order to fix the walls we will have to unsettle the bits of the apartment that are settled. It's hard to get the energy to do that. We went to a BBQ Saturday night and had some fun. I showed off the pictures that people have sent so far.
In answer to Kathy's question last week, we have tried out the cappucino machine and it's really nice! I have asked Elizabeth to come over and give me some barista tips. I have also used the mixer, the rice cooker and the bread machine and they are wonderful! I have so many new gadgets that it's hard to wrap my head around it. Usually I research buying a new gadget and take about 6 months to buy it and then I play with it exclusively. Now I have so many that I get dizzy just thinking about it. People spoiled us rotten!

Thursday, September 13, 2001

I've had this knot in my stomach that just won't go away since Tuesday morning. I just can't help feeling that September 11 will be one of those singular moments when we lose what's left of our innocence. I know I'll never walk on a plane again in a casual manner and I'll never feel completely safe in a crowd ever again. I find it so hard to fathom that there could be so much hate in someone to be able to do the things that were done in those tragic events.

The only solace I'm finding now are the stories of heroism that are coming out. Accounts of people helping others, like the man in the World Trade Center who went back to help someone out and miraculously made it out to find his coworkers didn't. And Meredith, who was a childhood friend of my good friend Kathleen, and who was last seen rounding up people from other floors and urging them out. Then there was the group of passengers on the plane that crashed outside of Pittsburgh, courageous, quick-thinking people who made up their minds to fight the highjackers for control of the plane. These are the stories that I try to remember when I'm overcome with the senseless horror of Tuesday's events.
Is everyone traumatised by this? I was watching, live, as the second plane crashed into the WTC, and when everything else happened as well. I feel as though everything has changed. It's all my husband and I can talk about, it seems. I feel that today, Thursday, the general mood is lifting. I work in media, so it is all that we are working on, but I feel as though people are trying to look forward now.

My friend here just found out five minutes ago that her cousin, who was in the WTC, is okay! I can't believe it. Someone called her mother on Tues. because he had found her purse. Then they heard from someone else that she had been seen on a stretcher. Now she just got an e-mail from the cousin's brother that she is okay. What are the chances of coming out of something like that?

It all makes me so sad. All those medical people were on alert and everyone was giving blood, but they're not needed. Practically everyone is dead. It's just unbelievable. I still can't believe that what we saw was real.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

The events of yesterday have made me feel sick. I keep thinking about how it could happen, it seems like a terrible nightmare. I think about the people on the planes, knowing that they were going to die, how they must have felt when they realised what was happening. The people in the buildings, getting in to work, beating the traffic, hurrying so they wouldn't be late only to have everything disappear around them. All those lives lost, all the people left to grieve. It makes you realise that you can't afford to waste a moment.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Speaking of goodies that ya got....There are some caffeine crazed bloggers (or is that blogettes?) who want a test drive of that cappuccino machine. Presumably you are making all the great cookies and cakes with your new mixer to go with the coffee. Does the kitchen look like mission control with all your new fangled gadgets? Inquiring minds want to know!
Can I please have another week off?
It's my second day back at work and it's so hard getting back into the swing of things. I have lots of work, including a lunch and learn on indexing Friday (no, I don't really have anything started yet). The wedding was absolutely perfect, I don't think that things could have gone any better. The problem was that the evening went by so quickly. Now it's back to the land of not being spoiled rotten by my friends and family. I will try to blog the wedding more fully at some point before it all becomes a blur.
Note: I used the kitchenaid mixer last Saturday and it is truly the best thing ever! I have also used the rice cooker and the rice came out perfect, I never thought that I would be able to say that. Bill is coming over Thursday so that we can try out the ice cream maker with some Billa Frozatas, yum yum hic!

Monday, September 10, 2001

Whatta babe! Loved the red dress, chocolate cake, beautiful invitations, and the dozens of other ways you two personalized your wedding and ignored musty traditions. Personally, if I were to do it all over again, it would be in a bikini on Moorea with a flower garland in my hair...
Agreed on all points! Personal, beautiful, and fun. Rrrrrrrradiant and rrrrrrrrrrrravishing! Ciao, bella!
You got some really good pictures there Dina! So much more spontaneous and real than those you tend to get when you use a professional photographer. You look good in all of them, every inch the radiant bride.

Wedding Photos!!!