Friday, June 28, 2002

What's the big deal with I just looked up a book from my summer reading list. Indigo/Chapters has it for $25, Amazon wants $47! Not much competitive threat there. Both are hardcover by the way.
My invisible hair
I finally got sick of my long hair and had it cut last night. It is at least 2 or 3 inches shorter and I now have bangs. So far, only one person at work has noticed, and he was more, "there's something different...." than "hey, you got a haircut, looks nice". I probably could have told him that I shaved my beard. The funny part is, when a guy gets his hair cut (what? a whole centimeter?) everyone seems to notice. I am starting to suspect that my hair has some sort of ignore-the-mop-field around it.
Woo hoo long weekend two!
Has everyone seen the beautiful weather forecast? Break out the sunblock and go play outside! We have a full weekend of wandering and relaxation planned, should be a blast!
What's everyone else doing for the beautiful Canada Day weekend? I know that Elizabeth is on her way to Ontario even as we speak to spend some time with her family.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Let the jazz begin!
It's the first day of the Jazz fest and I plan to make it down to some of the free shows for a change. When you live in a city with a lot of great festivals, you never seem to take advantage of them as much as you should. I recommend them to people new to the city or visitors, but usually ignore them in favour of staying home on the balcony. One of the things I'm most grateful for is the fireworks competition. I love fireworks, and we have one of the most wonderful shows every summer. Belgium is this Saturday, perhaps we will go to the Old Port and have a look....

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Watching the lettuce grow
I had a very uneventful evening. I had planned on reading, but instead ended up spending a whole bunch of time in front of the computer. I planted some lettuce in between rain showers. I bought these seeds that are placed between two pieces of biodegradable paper. You don't have to worry about spacing them out. I liked them because for once I could see where the seeds were in the soil. We should see something in about two weeks. Lettuce is easy and fast, I like that in a vegetable. After a one week hiatus, I am returning to the gym tonight after work. I am calling upon my powers of guilt to get me back there increased by the fact that I ate out Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, great big meals full of yummy calories and covered with creamy sauces and butter. Time to pay the elliptical trainer a nice, long visit.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

I wonder what happened to the seventh dwarf??

Caroline sent me flowers!!!!
You gotta love long weekends
Long weekends are just too darn short! Friday night was the STC summer banquet. Steve passed the crown of supreme ruler on to Howard and everyone had a great time with amazing food and free drinks! It was hot and humid. We took a quick tour of Bill's house which was also really hot, but really nice. I look forward to seeing it again when I'm not sweating buckets.
Saturday I slept in and then went out and got some flowers for the deck. I also picked up a hanging cherry tomato plant. Atwater Market was beautiful, tons of flowers and the renovated canal. I promise that I will go back and take pictures when my hands aren't full of perennials. That evening we met Kathy and Ralph for supper on Prince Arthur. Everyone was out and it was a wonderful evening. We had a nice meal and good conversation. Afterwards, Steve and I stopped at a used bookstore and I picked up a couple of old German phrase books and a small book of all kinds of reference knowledge published in England in the 60s.
Sunday, the folks came in and visited and brought the outdoor cabinet and tomato plants. We had some lunch and visited and after they left we had the storm. It was really wild. Hurricane-force winds and driving rain for about 15 minutes and then it was gone. The park across the street is a wreck, huge branches were felled. One fell on a car across the street from our house (the car was illegally parked). After the storm, we went out and had Indian food with Maggie and Andrew (for Maggie's birthday).
Monday we didn't sleep in that much and I planted the flowers and Steve did laundry and fiddled around with his cards. Maggie and Andrew came by for a short visit with the boys and then Steve had a long nap while I read in the livingroom. It was the perfact lazy day. Later, we went out for a walk and had some ice cream and just hung out. I doesn't get any better, just wish I didn't have to get up so darn early this morning.
Happy Belated Birthday Maggie!!!!!!
Is it any coincidence? Ice storm redux
What a glorious long weekend it was! You couldn't have asked for a better day yesterday right? You could if you had no electricity from roughly Sunday evening 6:00 p.m until 4:00 a.m today. The up side was you didn't need to worry about getting cold, but you did need to think about keeping the contents of your fridge and freezer cold. By noon yesterday any outlet close to our house that had it, had run out of ice. I managed to snag the last 3 bags at two different outlets. Since ice was inadequate for the freezer, I wound up by taking the contents of the freezer to my mother-in-law's place.

I found it odd that nearly everybody who was out was restored fairly quickly. However, in the Anglo enclave where I live, (note it was St. Jean Baptiste Day) there were 43 alleged work crews working on the problem. We called Hydro about 4 times yesterday and each time we called we got a different answer. Not once did I see a Hydro truck anywhere. However, I did see Videotron trucks buzzing around.

What was particularly haunting were the sounds of generators going at houses that had them. Neighbours did share their power with others. I found the whole thing very reminiscent of January 1998 and I can't say I felt warm and fuzzy. I felt warm all right but not in the least fuzzy.

Anyway, I finally heard the evidence of the work crews at about 1:30 a.m. when I heard chain saws going and some peculiar beeping noises. Finally at 3:50 a.m. the light in the bathroom next to our bedroom went on and all of a sudden we were bathed in light. Then I discovered that the fridge had leaked water all over the kitchen floor (bags of ice melting in the fridge and condensation from the ice bags). So I had a mess to clean up at that ungodly hour. (I also have hardly slept now for 2 nights...a total of about 6 hours...Sunday night I kept listening for the power to come back on as I did last night and am not a happy camper this morning.)

There is a thunder storm in the forcast today and I am keeping my fingers crossed that some tree doesn't fall down and start the whole thing all over again.

I hope that Canada Day is less stressful.

Friday, June 21, 2002

STC dinner
It's the last night for Steve to wield supreme executive power over the Montreal chapter. After this he becomes just another past-president curmugeon ("...never did that when *I* was president"). I will be taking pictures of the banquet at Hurleys (program coordinator's that love pubs are the best) and putting them up some time soon.
Frodo rocks!
We saw Lord of the Rings again last night and it's just as fantastic the second time. I did find the final fighting scene harder to watch this time though. Also, let me tell you that the Eaton Centre theatre is no place to watch a long movie. My legs were all cramped up and my butt was asleep by the time it was over. Of course, the Paramount upped the price of a ticket, so frugal movie goers like myself will have to put up with limping out of theatres. Steve bought our tickets earlier that night, but we managed to walk into the theatre and watch the movie without giving anyone our tickets. Too bad you can't do that at the Paramount.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

I'm seriously thinking that my husband missed his calling as a film reviewer.
Trips ahoy!
Business trips that is. My company has been threatening to send me and a few colleagues to a)New York and b)North Carolina. They have been telling us that there are trips planned, but we have yet to see the physical evidence of trips such as plane tickets or hotel reservations. Initially, I was supposed to be in New York this week and next week, but that plan seems to have floated off without a trace. Now I've heard that we'll be going to NC the second week of July and then straight on to NY in order to meet some deadlines. What are the odds? Anyone care to wager? Why can't my company have urgent business in New Zealand?

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Movie Tuesday
This is turning into a movie week! We went and saw The Importance of Being Earnest last night and it was a delightful bit of fluff. They adapted the play very well and added some fun visuals. Tomorrow I might go and see The Lord of the Rings again with Steve and Guislaine. I'd like to see the trailer for the next one that they now include.
The sun is finally back! Everyone is delighted and alive again after walking around being soggy for a week. It's incredible what a bit of sunshine does to lift your mood. I'm going out to lunch today with Bill, we're going to the little Indian place around the corner. Yay Indian food!!
****Lunch was very good, now I have to stay awake until 5.....
Do you recognize that big yellow ball in the sky?

After what was it, 5 days of rain with intermittent lighter grey (to cheer us all up), we actually have a day that resembles summer! Wow! Hurray!
So is everybody in a better mood today? I know I am! I want to go out to play!

Oh yes, in this brighter sunnier vein, yesterday our HR department announced that we would be getting raises effective next week. (These were the ones we were supposed to get in January, but didn't for all kinds of convoluted economic reasons. Instead we got those now notorious letters telling us whether or not we would have job next year.) They (the raises) aren't much, but it's better than nothing...something like this summer, which until today, hasn't been much, but if we get it now, it's better than nothing!

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Happy Birthday Caroline!!!!!!
Sorry I woke up your roomie this morning, I couldn't resist!
Grey day
Let me just say that we've all had enough grey skies and rain, if someone could flip the switch to warm and sunny we'd all be very appreciative. The weekend was pretty good, did some shopping, had dinner with friends, and went out to the townies for Father's day/my birthday. I was completely spoiled, the nicest surprise being the cabinet my folks made me for the deck. We're standing up next to it in one of the pictures from yesterday. We originally thought that it was for inside, but apparently they made it to endure the weather and even designed a handy place for the bbq tongs. Last night, Steve made lasagna and we sat down and watched the last bit of Harry Potter. After we were looking at the extra bits on the second DVD. I was trying to find deleted scenes, but all I found was little games and clips from the movie, it was very frustrating. We saw About a Boy on Friday, very good movie with absolutely no overacting. I recommend it, but you can wait for the video. We're going to see The Importance of Being Earnest tonight, Colin Firth, hee hee hee!

Monday, June 17, 2002

Santa Story

Okay, here goes. Maybe it will inspire you.

When I was 15, I was a punk, with all the clothes and weird (or no) hair that went along with that style-choice. I hung around with a small group of friends who were also punks. One of these was a younger guy, J. He was one of those stunningly beautiful guys that could be a model, actor or anything. All the rest of our gang were girls, and we used to talk about him and sigh and all that. He was never interested in us. He always liked the "pretty" girls with normal hair and nice clothes.

Well, we must have been the most innocent punks in the world, because one Christmas, J. and I decided that our gang's gift exchange would be at my house and our little secret for our friends was that he would dress up as Santa and give out our gifts. (we were so sweet! If my mom had only realized how non-threatening we really were -- but I digress.)

So J. came over early and I dressed him up in a Santa suit up in my parents' room while the girls waited downstairs. I had had almost no experience with guys, and only dreamed of J. in the most vaguely sexual way, knowing he would never want me. Well, we were kind of laughing about trying to get his mohawk under the Santa hat and having fun, and he sat back on my parents' bed with the Santa suit open and with his (beautiful) chest bare, and said "Before we go downstairs, we should get down." and he smiled this incredibly sexy smile. I laughed, embarrassed, and turned to walk away and he grabbed my hand and pulled me on top of him. We just kissed a little bit, and then went downstairs to give out gifts. I was bursting with this little secret all night, and then he stayed afterward and kissed me a little while we sat on the porch in the cold.

I have never had someone use the expression "get down" to describe making out since. And whenever I think about that night I feel again all the excitement and surprise of the young me who never imagined anyone would want to kiss me.

It was very fun, and did I mention he was gorgeous?

Sunday, June 16, 2002

Weekend pictures

See more
Who's got some good dirt to share so we can hear about Santa and Becca?

Friday, June 14, 2002

Speaking of Sex (sort of)

Anyone feel like sharing any real-life memories that still make them blush many years after the fact? I'm not talking about dirty talk, necessarily, more along the lines of a suggestive comment made by someone or an unexpected touch or something. I wouldn't feel comfortable talking about my husband in this way on a blog, but I often think of one memory of a gorgeous friend in my early teenage years. It involves a Santa suit.

If you dish, you get to hear it.
Passport heck
I spent two+ hours waiting in the passport office this morning. My passport will be ready in just over two weeks. I played with my camera while I was there, my study in waiting will be up sometime soon.
I want more comments about the movie post yesterday. Did everyone besides Kathy just think that I was retarded? There's gotta be a movie out there that turns your crank....share! It's Friday and I'm in need of distraction. If you do think that I'm being stupid, tell me about that too....

Thursday, June 13, 2002

All A-twitter
My brother-in-law gave me Bridget Jones' Diary on DVD for my birthday. This is fast becoming one of my favorite movies. I rented it after that painful visit to the dentist and watched it three times over the next five days. Now that I have my own copy, I'm sure that it will be on often. Steve asked me why I like it so much, to which I replied, "Colin Firth and Hugh Grant".
This is a true chick-flick with a plot taken from one of the original chick novelists. Austin knew what people wanted to read. Remove the manners and pomp, and you have the basic sexy bad man and noble good man scenario that puts a twitter in the heart of a woman. Realise that underneath the noble good man exterior lurks the desires of the sexy bad man, and the twitter moves elsewhere. I don't know what all women want, but I for one can't get enough of the final scene when Mr. Darcy kisses Bridget Jones:
BJ: "Nice men don't kiss like that"
MD: "Yes, they fucking do".
sigh....hold on while I listen to that again.
"Yes, they fucking do".
Anyone else have a movie scene that makes them twitter?
The advantages of having no memory
I know that I'm getting older, but sometimes I really do think that I have some form of Alzheimers. Steve took me out for a lovely dinner at out local Indian place, and then after we went home and watched most of Harry Potter (Steve got it for me for my b-day). I saw the movie in the theater when it came out. That was only about seven months ago. I swear that I could have been watching a brand new movie. I didn't remember huge bits of it. I've read the books a number of times, so perhaps I'm confusing the books with the movie, but it was just weird. Steve assured me that we were not watching some director's cut, that this was exactly what we saw in the theatre. I feel like that guy from Momento.......
Is it me? Or am I just being a Yutz?

This morning I got 2 voicemails that were really cringeworthy, or if you prefer really Dilbertian. Here is the scenario.

I have been asked to draft up an outline for some orientation training which will be given to all new employees. I have done so and submitted it to my boss for her feedback.

Last evening she called me at 7:30 p.m. from her home in Toronto, leaving me a voicemail at work that was over 2 minutes long explaining to me what changes she wanted me to make to the outline. The second voicemail came shortly thereafter (the vmail system clearly had cut her off) this was only about a minute long, but it wheezed on some more about how I need to include a piece about my role. She also wants me to include my picture in the orientation materials so that people can identify me.

I find this a little weird. Granted I won't be out of here until next March at the earliest and they are paying me to do a job after all. But there is something about this that I find a) annoying and b) vaguely humiliating.

The thing that peeves me is why couldn't she take the few minutes and talk to me in person? (BTW it is her habit to leave stealth voicemails with everybody, but that isn't the point, I am in Montreal and rarely see her). Am I not worth it? Second, what is she trying to prove by calling me from home in the evening?

Tell me if I'm being touchy and to get over it..or is there something slightly valid here?

Feeling a little abused and neglected (as usual).

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Happy Birthday Me!!!!!!
I'm having a great day so far, despite the rainy day. I've had nice presents and phone calls and ecards. Wheeeee!

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Only a day away
Tomorrow is my birthday, I'll be 33. I think that on the whole, I'm doing ok for 33. I don't miss 22 like I did a few years ago. If my 22 year-old self looked at my 33 year-old self, she'd think that I was as boring as hell. I now appreciate that what I enjoy doesn't have to be glamorous or impressive. Having a happy life full of friends and people that you love and who love you is about the best thing in the world. My life isn't boring, it's finally full.

Monday, June 10, 2002

Say, haven't we met before?
We already know that the human male is not hardwired for skilled social interaction. Here's further proof. Jean-Luc (my other half) is on location to shoot a Rona commercial yesterday night. He looks at the lead actor and says hmmm, I know I've seen that guy somewhere. It bugs him for much of the evening, then the light bulb goes on. He walks up to him and says "Excuse me, but were you at Dina and Steve's BBQ last night?" To which Terence replies very matter of factly, "Yup." They were sitting roughly 6 feet from each other for most of the evening at Dina's b-day party. Sigh...

Oh, and in case you're wondering, you won't get a glimpse of Terence's formidable acting talent any time soon. It's for the Toronto market.
Weekend recap
What a great weekend! Steve threw an amazing birthday BBQ for me and even made a fantastic chocolate fudge raspberry birthday cake. What a guy! Much fun was had by all!! Click here for some pictures (scroll past the banners on the bottom to see the thumbnails). I still have a bit to learn about the camera. For starters, the night setting should not be used without a tripod. Being drunk didn't help either.....
We got ready for the party on Saturday and Sunday was a relaxing day with napping. Thank you everyone who showed up and especially to Steve for making everything wonderful.

Friday, June 07, 2002

They really ought to put up a sign
They installed new self-flushing toilets in the ladies room today. I didn't notice and nearly had a heart attack when the damn thing flushed itself. I'm glad that no one else was in there to hear me scream.
More Rum!
Bill came over last night and together we attempted to adapt her tasty-yet-deadly Billacoladas into ice cream. Steve and I got the ice cream maker from Bill and her 'consort' and it was high time to put it up to no good. After we had the machine running, we threw the leftover ingredients into a blender and Bill made us yummy rum and kahlua-soused drinks to pass the time. It took all night to freeze, but it seems that we have cheated basic chemistry. We now have ice cream that requires a proof.
She's gonna kill me when she finds out I put up a picture......
Wheh! What a week! The highlight of course was the new camera that lets me do this:

Thursday, June 06, 2002

Is anyone else wondering why it's taken the media so long to start picking on Jean Chretien and why now they seem to be going at it at warp speed? Are they making up for lost time?
Goodbye Hotmail
That's it! I just received an email from hotmail informing me that after July 16, they will no longer be supporting POP mail on their free accounts, it will become a paid feature only. The only reason that I set up a hotmail account in the first place was to check my home email. I'm sick of the ads, the constant junk mail and the fact that they completely forgot to mention that when they added a few new features months ago that they reset the defaults on the personal options so that my email address and name became 'shared'. As soon as I get another account set up, I'm outta hotmail forever.
I hate waiting, I'm not a patient person. I always arrive for appointments early or on time so that I never inconvenience others, and I tend to expect the same thing from others, even if I know that they're always late. My doctor always runs late. No matter when I make an appointment, she has never seen me on time. I take this into consideration and always bring something to do or plan to walk around and get some errands done while I'm waiting. I had an appointment with her yesterday. I arrived on time, asked the receptionist how late she was running and left to do errands. I returned 30 minutes later, sat down and started to wait. I waited for an hour and a half. The receptionist left for lunch, the phone rang endlessly. I pulled some work out of my bag and did that for a while, but it's hard to concentrate when you're angry. Finally, it was my turn. I was ready to lambaste her good and proper, but when she walked into the exam room the first thing that she said was, "I know you want to kill me right now". I had my sarcastic mad comments I'd prepared during my long fume ready and now I had nothing snappy to say but, "yes". Then she told me how she's going to start being less of a doormat to patients who don't respect time constraints. After she went on about this for 5 minutes, I realised that she's never going to change, but I wasn't going to tell her that. I'll just start calling her receptionist before I leave for the next appointment.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Thanks for everything, Grandma
Just got back after being out of town for my Grandma's funeral. Did much reminiscing with my cousins about my Grandma's quirks and contradictions. She had the softest skin but was tough on anyone who tried to spank her grandkids (even when we were awful!). She loved her dirty books (Harlequin Romances) and daily prayer books. She loved Humbugs and lemon drops and liked to indulge in half a beer. She had more friends than anybody else in St. Thomas her age. She never had enough shoes or purses. Children were everything to her, and her 20-odd grandkids were all her favourite, each and every one. I felt like the luckiest person in the world this weekend as we sat around and laughed and cried about little things we remembered about her. It was real and it was good, just the way she would have liked it.
<Separated at birth
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Tuesday, June 04, 2002

I got the camera! I got the camera! I have the best husband in the world!!!
There will be much playing with the camera after work!!! There has already been much playing with the camera at work, and I'm beginning to feel guilty.......

Monday, June 03, 2002

Russki yizik?
I was at the pharmacy last week waiting to talk to the pharmacist about pain killers. I was in the 'consultation area' next to the waiting area. There was an old woman sitting down, I presumed that she was waiting for a prescription. I heard her say something, but assumed that she was talking to someone else. After a minute or so, I felt a tug on my jacket. I turned around and the woman asked me in Russian "Do you speak Russian?". I answered, in Russian "No, I don't speak Russian. My Grandmother is Russian". These are two of the maybe five sentences that have managed to stay in my brain, leftover from a semester of Russian I took in CEGEP, over 10 years ago. Goes to show you that anything that you learn is never wasted, it just sometimes takes a while for it to be used. The woman looked a bit surprised, but I shrugged and looked apologetic and she smiled. As I was leaving, she was getting up to talk to the pharmacist and I wondered whether she had been sitting there all day waiting for someone who speaks Russian to come into the pharmacy. I felt bad that I couldn't help her, perhaps I should have stuck it out for another semester.

Sunday, June 02, 2002

Look Ma, no shotgun wedding!
Nine months and one day since the big day and things are getting better all the time :-) What a lucky girl I am.....