Thursday, October 31, 2002

Happy Halloweenie!
Greetings ghouls! Today is the day when I miss working downtown and taking public transit. I didn't see many people in costume this morning on the way to work, it's hard to see them when you're in a car looking at other people in cars. Steve and I got a little behind schedule this year and didn't get a pumpkin, so we're going to give it a miss this year and just go for a walk to look at the other houses. Our neighbours don't participate, so not many kids come to the end of the street, especially because we don't have a porch light. Last year it was super cold and rainy and not many people saw our pumpkins. I got all sorts of candy, and we only got a few kids. Then there was the little bastard who kicked our pumpkins down the street.
Some people go all out with their houses. Maybe someday we'll have fun neighbours who want to participate. Until then, we'll have to content ourselves with a couple of brave, desperate children and live with the halloween scrooges......

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Cough, hack!
To the lady who used lemon-scented body spray in the locker room: everyone enjoys inhaling lysol after a workout, thanks so much....

Nice Tomatoes
The owner of the little corner produce store I go to seems to have attended a "get in touch with your inner salesman" seminar. The usual background radio station elevator music was replaced by Vivaldi. This wasn't unpleasant, just mildly odd and unusually loud. When I got to the cash, the owner was ringing up my purchases and pointing out the good prices and excellent quality, size, etc. of his produce. Normally, he just smiles and is genial, but doesn't talk very much. Why is he suddenly so proud of his avocados? When I got out of the store, I looked around the block for another store opening up, but didn't see anything.

Is it just me, or is leaving work in the dark a bit depressing?

Monday, October 28, 2002

Coat check
The search for a winter coat has been postponed indefinitely due to the dearth of attractive coats that don't make me look like a large-bottomed lady of the evening. I went out with Bill Friday night. We went to her coat place and then hit the department stores, nothing. Everything was wool, long, and uninspired. I saw a couple of nice trenchcoats, but they were spring/fall coats, which wasn't the point. Saturday, I continued the search at a mall and found nothing. I'm giving up on getting a new coat this year in the hopes that next year's coats will be more dina-friendly.

Put a coat on barbie, you'll catch a disease
I find this lingerie barbie thing a bit disturbing. I read in the paper this morning that they're in the FAO Schwartz toy catalogue. Why would I give a child this? Will a Christina Aguilera skank barbie be out in time for Christmas?

Happy birthday Guislaine!
We had a great birthday dinner with Guislaine last night at her birthday restaurant, but today's her official birthday. Have a great day babe! Your lingerie barbie's on back order :-)

Friday, October 25, 2002

Out to a shew
Went to the Just for Laughs Cabaret last night to see the Working Woes show. It was a very eclectic group of comedians, musicians and spoken words artists raising money for immigrant workers. One of my friends was performing, so that's always a reason to go outside. After Terence, I think that my favorite was Catherine Kidd. She did a wonderful spoken word piece about a bi-polar bear. The ending was a bit weak, but the imagery was unique in some parts and she has a great speaking voice. I am in awe of someone who can stand up on stage and do a 10 minute performance without forgetting anything or stumbling, and even remember to sound good and move around in a way that adds something to the story. How do they do it?

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

A boy and his cake
Today was Robert's birthday and we went over for a little cheer after dinner. Three year olds' faces have a magnetic attraction to cake....yes, I will be saving this to show your first girlfriend


Steve also realised his life long ambition to be a fireman, something which is just fine with me, I just wish they'd given him a bigger uniform (only slightly bigger mind you :-))


Bye bye Scott....
Scott's leaving today, sigh, we will miss him....The guys are going out this morning for breakfast and then picking up the essential bagels and stuff to take home.
Steve has his first meeting for his trial job this afternoon. I bought him a new shirt for the occasion. Last night we put in a fire and watched The Count of Monte Cristo. I liked it. Guy Pearce was the baddie which was a change, they glossed over some of the moral angst though.
I was hoping that people would suggest coats or coat buying locations, maybe a few places to find boots. Come on guys! Help me shop!

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Winterizing
We've had a taste of winter for the past few days. Sunday night it snowed a bit, and yesterday and today have been very cold. I decided that it was time to give up bare legs and skirts and reached for my tights this morning. I'm starting to think about getting ready for winter and what I still need to do before the snow falls. I was hoping to get a new coat and boots this winter, maybe a new scarf. Anyone know where I can find a stylish, grey, warm trenchcoat-like coat, preferably with a zip out lining? I still have to clear off the back deck. I got rid of most of the flowers and plants, but there's still a few things to put away or cover. Then, of course, there's the bi-annual organizing of the clothes, packing up the summer clothes and finding all my sweaters, making room for bulky clothing and seeing what fits and what's too ratty. Last but not least, I still have to take my car in for her winter check-up and oil treatment. I was also hoping to get a few tiny paint chips fixed before the winter salt turns them into rust spots.
Books!
I was naughty and checked out the Indigo site yesterday at lunch. I found several books in the bargain section that looked interesting, including two cookbooks and a $4.99 book for the bathroom. How could I resist? I also picked up Salt, which I have wanted to read for a while.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Weekend roundup
What a busy weekend it was! Friday night I organised a surprise party for an old friend who is moving to Vancouver. We went to Hot & Spicy, yummy food! She was surprised and we had a great time. Scott, Steve's brother, made his way to the restaurant from the airport. Saturday we did a bit of shopping at Club Price and the Atwater Market and had a quick nap before heading over to Terence and Irene's place for dinner and conversation. Irene made a fantastic lamb stew and all the fixins and surprised us with these warm chocolate cakes with hot running chocolate inside - wow! They were from a Nigella cookbook. Terence gave us a demonstration of their Dolby Theatre Sound system. We were watching a battle scene from Gladiator, and you could hear individual arrows, it was incredible. Good thing that they don't have a downstairs neighbour most of the time. Sunday was a lounging day. I finally finished the comforter cover that I started last year. I borrowed my Mom's sewing machine because mine old contraption is stuck on zigzag. I don't know where she stored hers, but it was really musting smelling and gave me a sneezing fit. Scott and Steve played with a friend Sunday night, and then Scott developed full stomach flu late last night. He's feeling a bit better today, but Steve was up and down last night, so I'm a bit beat and probably also fighting off a cold and stomach flu. Luckily, the coffee at work seems to kill everything :-)
It's a below normal temps day out today, last night we even got a tiny bit of snow. The guys are going to build a nice fire and watch movies and stuff, if it wasn't for the plague at home, I'd be a bit jealous.

Friday, October 18, 2002

Strange sitings
Driving through my neighbourhood this morning, I saw a woman crossing the street from one apartment building to another wearing a white terry bathrobe and carrying a towel and a bath brush. Is the water really that much better on the other side of the street?

Snip, snip
I went to the hair dresser last night at a salon I'd never been to before. Becca suggested it as a nice place, she wasn't kidding. I got a head, neck, and shoulder massage from my hair washer! The hair dresser was very nice and gave me an excellent cut (although I screwed it up this morning) and the prices are VERY reasonable! I was shocked and amazed. The service was fantastic, I'm definitely going again! As a bonus, they use Aveda products, so my head still smells all aromatherapeutic! I think I just made up a word....
Thanks Becca!

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Metamorphosis

Ever had a time in your life where you felt alienated from just about everyone?

I don't know what it is, but I find that for the past few months or so, I've been like a character in one of those intense introspective novels (think Philip Roth, early Mordecai Richler and -- in the extreme -- Kafka) who cannot connect with others, who finds every normal human pursuit both laughably pitiful and unbearably touching.

I'd always thought that this (literary) state was a kind of midlife crisis that (fictional) men with no real-life domestic duties indulged in.

But now it's me waking up as a giant bug and listening to the "normal" people on the other side of the door. I mean this only figuratively, of course. My own family life is still the same warm, intimate and life-sustaining bubble it always was. But I always thought the happy family life was an extension of my increasing comfort and happiness in the larger world.

So what's up? Am I crazy, depressed, or is this my very own midlife crisis?

I feel a change is in the air, like I'm approaching something rather large as I walk with outstretched arms through a thick fog.

The weirdest part is that I kinda like it. Perverse.

I know this isn't regular coffee ring fare. But I got rid of my own blog, so you may have to put up with this every now and then. On the positive side, if I really am going crazy you can watch.
Where's Delilah when you need her?
I've been trying to get my hair cut for several days, and my appointment keeps getting cancelled because of sick hair dressers. Now, I completely agree that I don't want a man with stomach flu leaning over me with scissors, but when I decide to get my hair cut, it's generally looked like crap for at least two weeks, so now I'm really overdue...
Hey Maggie, got that bowl and scissors ready?
In other news, my tooth is smooth and patched, my dentist is good to me :-)

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Wake-walking through sleep
A week ago I saw a beautiful animated movie called Waking Life. Sort of the movie version of Sophie's World, it follows a guy who travels to a new city and meets all kinds of people there, each embodying a philosophical or religious school of thought. It was written and directed by Richard Linklater of Dazed and Confused. It's hard to tell which is more breathtaking with Waking Life: the visual treatment (the scenes were filmed, then painted over) or the way the characters explain their philosophy for laypeople like myself. It left me contemplating certain ideas and phrases for a few days afterwards.

And speaking of pearls of wisdom, I sent one to Zefrank and heard back from him! On his site, he called for gems you heard as a child. On seeing some of the words people sent in about various orifices, I remembered important words my Dad told me: Don't pick your nose, kid. Your head will cave in.

Words to live by.
Sloth wins
What did I do last night? Did I go work out? Did I work on my sewing projects? Did I clean the bathroom? Nope. I sat on my behind and watched tv, thank you very much.....
I lost a part of a tooth Monday at some point. I'm waiting to find out when my dentist can grind it a bit so it's not so sharp.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Long weekends are too short
It was a fantastic weekend! On Saturday we started cleaning out the dreaded spare room-it was floor-to-ceiling junk, now it's just floor-to-half way up the wall. We went over to Maggie's in the afternoon to pick up something for my Dad and checked out the new and dejunkified basement. It was a useless space full of junk a couple of weeks ago, now it's a playroom and organized area for tools and laundry. Good job Maggie!
Sunday we hopped in the car and drove up to the townships to visit the folks. We had a nice Thanksgiving lunch (ham this year) and then drove to my grandmother's for a visit there as well. We drove home in the rain and were beat by the time we got home.
Monday we drove to St Bruno and went for a walk on the mountain. It was a perfect day, cool, sunny and clear. There were a lot of other people doing the same thing, but it wasn't crowded on the trails. here's a couple of pictures of a beautiful day.


We had a little snooze in a field after, and then went downtown and watched "Spirited Away", a wonderful movie.
I'm tired and a bit stiff this morning and wishing that I had a few more days off....

Friday, October 11, 2002

Planet of the tech writers
Our department is supposed to be moving next week. They wanted to put us in an old part of the building that even the security guards didn't know existed. We went up to have a look, the area was dingy, poorly lit, and the offices were deserted, but not empty. It looked like something out of a sci-fi movie where most of the life on the planet's been obliterated. There was even a flickering light at the end of the corridor. To get to this little wasteland, you have to climb these swaying metal stairs. The only thing that it was missing really, was a sign that said "Beware of the Leopard". It was depressing, we didn't want to go there. Luckily, our boss decided that we are not going there, but where we're going to end up next week? Who knows?

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Whites whiter, brights brighter!
I do not have a picture today, but the washer is a very pretty, white, shiny box. There are a few more dials than I expected, but Steve had pretty much figured it all out by the time I got home and explained it to me. He even saved a load of laundry for me to do, yay!
After this, the rest of the evening was dull by comparison....really dull.

Stand up straight!
I see this girl walking to school almost every day during my commute. She's about 14 I'm guessing and is not the prettiest, slimmest girl on the planet, but that's not the point. Her posture is absolutely hideous and makes me want to scream "Stand up straight girl, you look like a schlump!" out the car window. She walks like she has a hump, I kid you not. It is so unattractive and seems to mirror, or perhaps enhance, the somewhat dejected, loser look on her face. I didn't have the greatest posture in high school either, and it showed up in some of the pictures. If only I could go back in time and say, "you, mediocre-looking girl, if you just stood up straight and felt a little better about yourself, you'd change your whole appearance". Good posture exudes a confidence that attracts others and says, "hey there, I'm a winner" to people.
So stand up straight and proud high school girl, show the world who you are!

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

The Five Secrets to a Great Relationship

1. It is important to find a man who works around the house, occasionally cooks and cleans and who has a job.

2. It is important to find a man who makes you laugh.

3. It is important to find a man who is dependable and doesn't lie.

4. It is important to find a man who's good in bed and who loves to have sex with you.

5. It is important that these four men never meet.

(sent to me by the washer fairy)
The washer is coming!!
They called last night, and the washer will arrive sometime today between 8 and noon, yay!! The only thing that compelled me to come into work was the need to pay for the darn thing. Pictures I'm sure will follow....

Got some extra time?
Check out zefrank. It's a lot of fun! My favorite so far is the online predate confidence builder. Warning, there may be sound. (from ni vu ni connu (Martine))

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

A visit from the washer fairy
It's official, our washer has ceased to be, it is now an ex-washer. The repair guy showed up yesterday and was able to put a screwdriver through the tub, apparently the rusted hole is not fixable. To replace the tub, hoses, and whatever else the darn thing needs and then wait for the motor to give out in a couple of years would cost the same amount as a new one. I called my friend who has worked in the appliance industry for many years and asked her advice, seeing as how I know absolutely nothing about washing machines. Not only did she suggest a good model, she also got me a discount. Thank you washer fairy, you rock!
The washer should arrive before the weekend! It's kind of exciting. I know it's silly to be excited about a washing machine, but I've never had a new one before, what do they smell like I wonder? It's white and square with knobs at the top, nothing fancy. It's also got some sort of feature that keeps it from going off balance and walking when all the towels end up on one side.

What's that smell in the air?
My temporary, soon to be permananent, office in located a few blocks away from a Kraft foods plant. When I got out of the car today, I smelled hot chocolate....mmmmm.....

Monday, October 07, 2002

Beautiful days and a tiny flood
What a great weather weekend! Sunny, windy, just cool enough for a sweater, you gotta love it! Bill was over Friday afternoon and evening playing the pirate game and watching some tv. She stayed for supper, then later we kicked her out into the cold. Saturday we didn't do much all morning, then in the afternoon I got an energy spurt and recaulked the bath tub and regrouted some tile in the shower.
Sunday we had brunch with Terence, Irene, Lyle, Maggie, Andrew, Jeannine and the kiddies. Normally the restaurant is very quiet, but a lot of people stopped in after the CIBC Run for a Cure event, so the service was a bit slow. I had waffles with fruit, so good! Afterwards, we waddled down to the Atwater Market for fresh apples, the grocery store for general provisions, and then home. I put a load of laundry in the washer and was preparing for a nice late afternoon nap when the doorbell rang. Our washer sprung a leak and water was pouring out of the bottom of the machine and flooding our downstairs neighbour's pantry and basement! Oops! It took a while to clean up, then we had to take the laundry to a laundromat and wash it there. So much for my nap! My Dad thinks that it may just be a broken hose, Steve's calling repair people today. Luckily, there's not much damage downstairs, but we'll have to take a close look at our floor to see if it's ok. I'm sure that we are not the only ones to have a flood in the laundry room and there may be some necessary repairs.
As they say, it's always something :-)

Friday, October 04, 2002

Friday!!
You gotta love Fridays. Today I'm meeting Maggie and her mom-in-law, Jeannine, for lunch. I'm still waiting to hear if I'm changing offices next week and where that office will be. I must admit that I'm growing accustomed to the dark cave I'm currently in temporarily because it's so close to the designers that I need to talk to all the time. Perhaps they will let us keep this office as a part-time space so that we don't need to run back and forth when there's a lot of work to do.
I gave in and watched Survivor last night. We also taped Push Nevada, which I think is one of the better shows this season. I'm starting to realise why I prefer British tv shows to North American. Perhaps it's just the ones that we import over here, but they all seem to have an end date. A certain number of episodes are shot and then that's it. Example, Cracker. I loved Cracker, they cast the wonderful Robbie Coltrane to play the dispicable gambling, adulterous psychiatrist/crime investigator. The show covered maybe six story lines with probably five episodes per storyline. It was a good show, but then it ended and that was it. Push Nevada will hopefully run this season and then not come back. Why must we continue shows that no longer have any life or ideas left in them? Who still watches ER? Most of the original cast is gone, and they've done everything that the show set out to do. Twin Peaks is an example of a great show that should have ended when Laura Palmer's killer was revealed. Stop flogging and give the space up to another deserving show. We'd have much more creative, entertaining tv if every show had a set life and then bowed out so another could take its place. Why do you think that most of our sitcoms are based on original British versions? North American tv producers aren't willing to take a chance and lose any precious revenue. You also wouldn't have actors making millions per episode or being type cast into one role for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

ONION WISDOM

I love The Onion, but doesn't everyone? Sometimes I find their articles so profound; for example, the ones after Sept. 11th.

I thought this one was perfect for me. This is how I feel at work. Because I work part-time I find myself keeping my enjoyment of the rest of my week from my co-workers. This temp's philosophy is pretty close to my own.

Now if only I could stop feeling guilty about having a happy, balanced life!
Pitter patter, thud thud
Is there anything as maddening as cats who decide to start playing at 4:00 a.m.? I was woken from a very nice, deep sleep by the sound of at least two cats running up and down the hallway, one of them yowling every 3 seconds. From what I can tell, one was jumping into a cat-sized box in the hallway, crouching down, and waiting for the other cat to attack. When attacked, both cats would jump into the air and scatter in different directions, moving the box down the hallway in the mad dash to escape. At least this is what I think was happening. What it sounded like was a piano being thrown from one end of the hallway to the other followed by two elephants, one of them playing the bagpipes while running away. Repeat until you are so angry that you could easily throttle both of the furry little sweethearts (in my case, about twice, but I let it go on for longer because I really didn't want to get up). Needless to say, I'm beat today!

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Reality-show-check

I watched The Osbournes last night. Okay, I know the whole world has watched it before, but I don't have cable so it takes me a while...

It's quite fascinating in its way. I love watching families, as I guess everyone does to some extent, hence the standard sit-com formula. I'm not sure whether it's the Osbournes' normalcy or their strangeness that's most interesting. I think it's how they defy expectations and clich├ęs. Ozzy is just this bumbling, funny figure of a dad -- Oddly detached, and yet you know that he really knows his kids well, where many dads of his generation don't.

As I've mentioned before, I tend to like reality TV. Even the worst of it ("Meet the Folks", *shudder*) is a small study in human nature.
Dazed and amused
You're not the only trendsetter, Dina. Ever had one of those days when you woke up two hours after climbing out of bed? At 9:30 this morning, my spouse chuckled and pointed out that I was wearing my t-shirt inside out. This, after I took my son into preschool and spoke to half a dozen people. Then I left the car lights on--twice. And I can't even blame it on too much work. I think I'll try going back to bed and getting up again.


Food erotica
For all you food lovers, I made this wonderful discovery last week: Nigella. A British colleague at MVM had raved about her recipes and said all Britain was in love with her. Well, I can see why. For those not familiar with the Nigella phenomenon, she's a bombshell who serves up nouveau comfort and fusion food while wearing tight cashmere sweaters and leather pants. The recipes are relatively fail-proof and sound divine. But the real turn-on is the lush, glossy photos patently showing food as objects of desire. It's very interesting. (Note to all those with cooking hubbies: you might not want to share this discovery with your hon. He may not be checking out the recipes when he pores over her books.)

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

From Toyota to Toy Yoda

For all you word lovers out there, there's an amusing article on the CBC site today on misadventures with spelling and pronunciation in English. Save it for an unhurried romp through our much-loved and maligned language.

And in other news, Dave Eggers has managed to thumb his nose at convention yet again, this time by publishing his new novel himself. There's an interesting article on his decision to publish the novel and the new trend toward self-publishing on the Observer. So now you don't have to fret about enduring the crushing defeat of a publisher's rejection slip ever again. Just do it yourself!

Now if I could only find the time to write the great modern novel between taking out the garbage and scraping the playdough off the floor...
Dressing blindly
Now that Steve is at home, I get dressed in the dark. I keep a flashlight on the dresser to scrounge through drawers. I thought I was wearing a white t-shirt this morning, but I put on a pale lilac one instead. I don't think that it really goes with the brick red corduroy shirt I threw on top. Anybody with fashion sense care to give me a clue?

Home? Work? I walked into the ladies room at work just as a lady was leaving one of the stalls, her pants still undone. We both had a laugh about her feeling a little too at home. Have you ever confused office and home with embarassing results?
Laptop working!!
Well, the crappy laptop is finally working, so I'm over at the temporary office. I'm making a mental list of the things that I have to bring over from my other office. I'm going to be moving over here permanently at some point next week I think. I hope I don't get this office, it's quite dark. They don't know where they're going to put us actually, we may get stuck in another building on this side of the street. Not much intrigue going on this week, plenty of confusion though. It's that phase of the project where you irritate the heck out of the developers with questions that they can't answer.
Steve rented a pirate game for the PS2 that's pretty neat. I watched him play for a couple of hours last night, it's better than tv. You play this lady pirate who ultimately needs to avenge her father's death and find her mother's treasure (she was a pirate too before she dies). You sail your ship to all these islands and find buried treasure and fight nasty things. Steve's favorite part is the ship battles. You have to fight enemy ships and forts too. Steve likes to ram the boats, which makes for a lot of explosive crashes.
My blister is a bit better this morning, but I couldn't get into my shoes to work out last night. Did my feet grow in 7 months? What gives?