Saturday, December 30, 2006

Naked Man Not Included

We do a lot of "what did you get" in my family at Christmas time. Not because we attach a lot of importance to things, but because we really like it when someone gets/gives the perfect gift. I got some truly great stuff this year - my friends and family obviously know me well. I still remember the year that I got pjs, a comforter, an electric blanket a body pillow and a fleece nightgown. Apparaently I spend a lot of time sleeping!

This year, there was a perfect gift - one of many - that I neither gave nor got. A friend of mine got this bath thing. It is like a table that goes over your bath. I had pictured one in my head as I've always wanted to try playing crib in the bath. OK, not always. I wasn't born wanting that. Anyway...

This thing had a sort of easel thing for a book, a wine glass holder and a sculpted candlestick. How cool is that? I'd love that. All it needed was...oh wait, if you've read the title, you know what was missing. Although I suspect Peter would have been very upset indeed if he'd been given a naked man to go with it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


People may not use the word drivel, but they sure spout the stuff! Besides, I use the word drivel. I just did. Twice. Thrice if you count the title! Ha!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Good-bye Orson Scott Card

It is a very bad day when someone you admired - or more correctly, whose writing you admired - turns out to be a jerk. I loved his books, but I may on principle get rid of them. I am bitterly disappointed Mr. Card.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Beautiful but Naked

I have a Christmas tree. A beautiful Christmas tree. Tall, full and then most beautiful deep green you could ever imagine. But....

It has nothing on it. It's naked as a Jay bird. In a series of inexplicable incidences that may or may not have involved elves, the box of decorationsfor the tree has gone missing. Now, the lights gone? No problem - cheap to replace and we've decided to use the ones that normally go on the outside tree to save even that little expense. The incredible sadness here is the ornaments. Each year we choose a new one to add to the collection, and we remember where and when we got most of them. There were a bunch that I got from when I taught pre-school, a bunch of home made ornaments - you know the kind, pictures with macaroni frames? - lots of oraments from friends, all with special meaning to us. I don't mind losing some of the glitter and if the lights needed to disappear, well, fine. But can I have the ornaments back?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

By the Power Invested in Me...

Lots of wedding stuff to tell, but today’s entry will be on the almost boo-boo. My son did a reading at the wedding, and he was practicing the night before. Or rather earlier in the morning, as it was after midnight. The lateness of the hour is one of the two excuses I am using for what I did. He read the whole thing, and then asked “what do I say at the end again – this is the word of the Lord, or the word of God?” I told him they were both wrong, he was supposed to say “so say I”.

I’m actually at the wedding, mere moments before he reads when it occurs to me that I hadn’t set him straight. I meant to, but the getting ready situation was hectic, and I forgot. So while I was impressed with how well he read, my pleasure was tempered with worry that he would indeed end it with "so say I". Happily (does my own son not trust me?), he thought to ask the minister before the ceremony started. Seems he felt "so say I" was iffy. Phew. Because that would have upset my sister. But it would have been funny, yes?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Me? Really?

Apart from the fantastic food and the well-planned wedding, the whole mini-trip was enjoyable. Brought back new games, got to hang out at the ocean (yes, it was snowy and cold and windy but it was still the ocean!) and...unexpectedly...flirted with left right and centre. Ok, maybe more left than right, but still. It was a nice counterpoint to the whole feeling extra single at my sister's wedding vibe that I was feeling going out there.

Brought back lots more than games - most of it edible. Or drinkable. Flying out of Victoria I was thinking "well, if we crash (or get taken hostage) we've got tea, bacon, cheese, crab, smoked salmon, Branston Pickle - which only the desperate hunger of trying to stay alive in a crashed plane on some hard-to-rescue-from mountainside could make appealing - chocolate, various English oddities, and two Fry's chocolate bars. We may starve eventually, but the first bit will be great!"

And maybe a trip to the Balearics.

Sometimes in life you ask for too much. 'Tis in our nature. But you know what I want? To go toboganning on the weekend. And a million dollars would be nice too, but the sledding is what matters.

Not enough sex in Saskatchewan for lack of TIME?

I don't buy the Leader Post. Sorry, I just don't. I get my news online, thank you very much. I never did like the Post and I happen to like the world view one gets reading the BBC web site every morning. Nevertheless, I do sometimes read the Post if it is in the coffee room and I've read every single other option.

Yesterday I read that the people in Saskatchewan are having less sex than they used to, and less than their neighbours. Apparently, people are TOO BUSY to have it as much as they want to. Too busy? Honey, I can think of a hundred things worth putting off because time is short before that would make it to the list: vacuuming, dusting, laundry, dishes, ironing, shoveling the driveway, letter writing, getting rid of a thousand pieces of spam mail...LOTS. No sex because you've got no partner...ok. You're deathly ill...also understandable. In traction in the hospital - yup, we get that. But TIME? What is wrong with you people?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stupid Unruly Mouth Part Deux

When you're in an high class establishment (you have to read it that way, with a snooty accent to boot), and a waiter - in a tux! - offers you and the woman you're talking with oysters (with a wink and a nod, telling you both that they're purported to be an aphrodisiac) don't, if you want to maintain your classy facade, blurt out "no thanks: she doesn't need one and I don't want one".

Her husband, at least, laughed. Because he got it - they were working out the details of how soon they could ditch the party and get back to the hotel. What with having a weekend in a nice hotel and grandma looking after the 18 month old baby and all. The last thing in the world she needed was an aphrodisiac!

Umm, is it just me?

We did a lot of fine dining over the wedding trip - and I didn't have to pay for any of it! Apparently, tradition dictates that parents of the groom pay for the rehearsal supper. I believe our rehearsal supper was "so...anyone feel like pizza?", my sister's was far classier. Classy, I guess, as classier implies that there was a modicum of class in the pizza supper. Anyway...

We had another supper, at yet another fine dining establishment and there I was, reading the menu, not a wanton thought on my mind when I came to "Pork Duo" and "Salmon Three Ways" and they both struck me as things more likely to be found in the Kama Sutra. So are they, or is it just me?

It isn't about you!

There is a woman retiring this week after like a bazillion years of crazy employment. The crazy being 50% the place, and 50% the woman herself. She didn't want any fancy retirement thing, which is fine, so the committee is having an afternoon tea thing. The theme is tea and chocolate. They are hiring a bunch of people for the catering, including yours truly. I would have done something anyway, I think, because I've known the crazy lady for a while.

The committee is asking me to make biscotti. Which I do well, don't get me wrong. But...I know the retiring woman doesn't like it. AT ALL. She finds it too hard on her teeth, or dentures. More likely a combination of both but you get the point.

So I told the committee that, thinking that they could choose something different. Or better yet, let me choose: I've brought lots of things in to the office over the years, and I know what she is especially fond of and what she isn't.

Didn't work. They want biscotti, damn it, and they're going to have it. So I said fine, but I want the retiree know that it wasn't my call. I mean, who wants to think that the only caterer you actually know made the one thing you really dislikes? I was told that the committee liked biscotti and that's all that matters. And here I thought it was all about the retiree. Wrong again.

Mr. And Mrs.

Ah, the wedding trip. Where to start? At the beginning, with the flight ‘o farts, or at the end with the non-alarming alarm?

How about we just discuss the flight there? I flew out on Wednesday (and May-b I’m going to have to make you some incredible mushroom meal to make up for the cold and early drive - Thank you for doing that!), from Regina to Calgary, then Calgary to Victoria. I arrived in Victoria just as they were canceling all sorts of flights. We were the last ones in that day – but we didn’t go into Victoria as planned, we stayed in Sidney. The storm was just that bad. Even here they might have closed some highways, I think. There? Total panic bordering on mass hysteria. They were canceling flights in and out of Vancouver, too, so it wasn’t just the island being snowed in.

On a side note, given that the last giant snow storm they had was ten years ago, which is coincidentally the last time I was there in December, don’t you think the city of Victoria should pay for me to go to Hawaii in December 2016? It would be cheaper than the cost of another winter like this one!

The flight from Calgary to Victoria was bumpy, but it was better than the flight to Calgary. See, the thing is, the guy one row ahead and one seat over from me was…under the weather. Or maybe he just eats a lot of beans. Whichever it was, the entire flight was punctuated by AUDIBLE (which would be ok if they weren’t also SCENTABLE*) explosions of gas. Eventually, people started making sounds of disgust – or despair – every time he let one rip. The guy he was with finally whispered (he was directly ahead of me, so I heard him) “Dude, ya gotta stop”. To which the poor man replied “If I had any control over this, do you think I’d be doing it in the first place?” Poor guy. By the end of the flight, he was despised by all, and he knew it. On the plus side, I didn’t have a lot of time to spare in Calgary to make my connecting flight to Vcitoria, and I’ve NEVER seen a plane empty so quickly!

*Not sure if that is an actual word. But it should be.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nepal. Or Alberta.

The current mindless job I'm working on has to do with Rural Telephone Companies. I've just done Mountain View Saskatchewan, and I'm wondering where that might be. Alberta? BC? Switzerland?

Yeah, I know

Yes, it's a bit of a misnomer on both counts, isn't it? But...I'll be able to tell people what the blog is called without getting the "kama a WHAT" look from them. I just liked this title better, is all. So there.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Just Another Manic Monday

Where am I? At home. Why? Because I have the kind of cold that makes you alternate between curled up in a ball of misery in bed and floating in a death-like stupor in the bath. Why is this awful? Because there is stuff I have to do today - and it won't get done, so tomorrow I'll have to be brilliant and efficient. One or the other I could have mastered, but both? We'll see.

(If you're wondering why I am even posting, instead of sleeping it is because there are problems with getting the kids from my dads to their other grandparents. They did get to Victoria safely, but the remainder of the trip didn't happen due to bad weather, and I am supposed to talk to them at eight this morning to try to work something else out. Which means ten o'clock here, I think. Because admittedly my brain is not up to par).

PS: thinking of changing the blog name. I love it, love how it sounds, love what it means but it's a bugger to tell people, and impossible for them to remember how it is spelled.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Blink, Damn you!

I spent part of this afternoon in a presentation – a presentation that humoured me, although that was not the intent. Here are some of the things I learned today:

If your eyes are too dry…blink more.

Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is pretty serious, so a much better choice is to not get it at all. (Hmm. It’s a choice? Is there a point at which you think to yourself “what should I do – change how I work, or get CTS? Think I’ll go with the latter”? Does that work for other things? “Chemotherapy is pretty serious, so it would be better not to get cancer in the first place”).

If you need bifocals to see with don’t use them when you’re looking at the computer screen.

Arrange to have a pregnant video display policy. Now that one was just silly. Yes, I know she meant policy for people who are pregnant who use computers for long hours, but that is not what she said. So I laughed. By myself, apparently no one else found it funny. But it was a thick crowd; no one laughed when someone asked if was safe to sit on large balls. And again yes, I know what they meant, but it was still funny!

Drink lots of water. Not, as you may be thinking, because your body needs water, but because “the more you drink the more you pee, and then you HAVE to get up”.

Totally profitable afternoon. I guess I am grateful that I didn’t have to pay for attending. (Interestingly enough, she started the whole thing off with “apparently I’m qualified for this because I took a course on the internet. Whatever”. Should have guessed RIGHT THERE that it was going to be a roller coaster of fun!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Affordable to whom?

So there I was, reading the December issue of Bon Appetit when up comes an ad for a gorgeous stove. Beautiful. Truly, I lusted. And in the little blurb it was referred to as beingin the "more affordable factory assembled range". The price tag for this beauty? This affordable beauty? Eight grand. Yup, eight thousand smackeroos. I figure if you can afford eight thousand dollars for a stove, why go bottom of the line? I mean really, how much more expensive could top of the line be? Me being me (something I like to do whenever feasible) I had to find out. Turns out if you don't have to worry about money and you want top of the line, you can get their best baby for thirty-four thousand dollars. American. Plus tax. And Delivery. And Installation. Thirty-four thousand dollars. Even if I won 18 million dollars in a lottery I'm pretty sure I couldn't bring myself to pay thirty-four thousand dollars for a stove.

Bad, Badder, Baddest.

Bad: I took my cell phone into a meeting. I didn't think this was bad; I turned the ringer to vibrate, so if it did ring, no one would know.

Badder: It rang - or rather buzzed. I squealed. The kind of squeal that happens when your derriere's been pinched.

Baddest: Well, I couldn't just let them think I occasionally squeal for no reason whatsoever, could I? And they were all staring at me. Which was nothing compared to the reaction I got when I said "sorry about that - my pants are vibrating and I'm not used to it".

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Coulda been poopy.

I am, for the most part, pleased that they redid the entire street that I live on. It is beautifully smooth, and I'm gonna take up rollerblading. Yes, I am. Ignore the laughter of my kids, they'll get over it. So yes, mainly good things here. Except...

The workers appear to know when I have migraines. The day the machine with the giant metal disk came to tear up the sidewalk and bottom of my driveway, I was home with a headache. And here I thought bagpipes would be the worst thing to have to hear when you have a migraine! Oh so sadly wrong.

The day they put the final layer of asphalt done I was also home with a migraine. In the bath, in the dark, hoping the pain would go away. I was quite...startled to be bombarded with what turned out to be shampoo and conditioner bottles from the shelves. Turns out the pavement pounding machine made the whole house vibrate and things were jumping off the shelves all over the house. In the fogginess of the headache, my first reaction to the flying bottles was to leap up screaming, thinking a murderer had somehow entered the house whilst I was underwater. Because you know, that's what murderers do first: throw plastic bottles at you to render you unconcious. Even with a migraine I quickly twigged to what was going on, and the screaming stopped. But all in all, a bad experience. Nevertheless, the road is done and life will return to normal - whatever that is for me!

Or so I thought. Turns out that there are some sewer things that need to be done. Which means that from 3:00 am this morning until 8:00 pm tonight - NO WATER. No flushing, showering, bathing, dishes...nothing! Until eight tonight, curse them.

So this morning we brushed our teeth with water I'd run last night, spitting into a bowl in the sink. We all waited to get to where we are going today to use a bathroom, and whilst we did all shower last night before bed, I still feel somewhat unwashed. Ick. Maybe this is the last of the road repair interruptions. Maybe.

Oh, wait, I have one more rant: the notice that they sent to tell us to not run water was put on the doorknob. They didn't ring the doorbell (and we were home all night), and if I hadn't been taking A. out to play some games, I wouldn't have known not to run water. So we would have showered, pooped, done dishes and probably some laundry too. And, according to the notice, if you do any of those things while they're working whatever you have done will "flood back into the home". Yup, that would have been JUST what I wanted to do today, clean up flooded sewage from the basement. So I am going to phone the contact number they gave and suggest that perhaps in the future they could ensure that people actually GET the notice. Perhaps even a day or two before the shut down.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Men and their things

Nope, TOTALLY not what you thought this was going to about!

I just thought I'd mention, so y'all can remember, there are only two men in the world that can pronounce "thing" as "thang" and get away with it: Delbert McClinton and John Hiatt. If you think more need to be added, you have to get my permission. I am the protector of thing pronunciation.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Captain Picard

Don’t you think that as my sister’s soon to be mother-in-law lives in the same neighbourhood as Patrick Stewart that he should be invited to the wedding? Just to be neighbourly, of course. And because baldness rules! Or because they haven’t invited any single guys at all. AT ALL. The buggers.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I'd be rich were it not for...

Boardgames, Lingerie & Kitchen Gadgets. None of these, you'll notice, fall into the category of "necessary". Like food and air and stuff. I have this recurring nightmare where I'm on some news expose and the world finds out how much money I've spent on these things. These lovely lovely things.

You'd think I'd have the willpower to stop, yes? But...but there is always one more game or game expansion, some bitty piece of underwear in a colour I MUST have, and kitchen gadgets are tools, not toys. Sigh. I don't things are going to change any time soon. I don't think the sickness is under control just yet. So keep quiet about this, ok? Thanks.

An Angel? Really?

If you’re one of the people who read this blog on a semi-regular basis, you’ll recall that I mentioned my crazy blue coat, and that one of the things that I said about it was that is was huggable. So here’s the story.

I was in the mall, wearing the fluffy muppet coat when a woman with a little girl holding her hand came up to me. The woman asks me if its ok if her daughter asks me about the coat. No problem, thinking it would be a muppet comment. But no, the philosophy went thusly:

May I hug you?
(Big Hug)
You are so soft!
What are you?
(Silence from me. I mean, really, what am I? What is anyone?)
Are you...are you maybe an angel?
Not today honey (I keep forgetting not to call other people’s children honey) but you sure are!
Thank you lady. Bye.

This made my whole weekend last weekend. What a thought - Angels aren’t white and winged, they’re furry, and really really blue!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Whither, mad maiden, wilt thou roam? Far safer 'twere to stay at home.

I’m an idiot. And it’s two –fifty. That’s how long it took me to figure out I’m an idiot. So when I go to take boys home at three-thirty I’m not coming back here. Which is the smartest thing I’ve done all week.

On the plus side, next week is a short week, with Friday being a statutory holiday. Long live three day weekends.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stare all you want, I don't care!

I love my not-quite-winter winter coat. It is total madness, but it is the most gorgeous shade of blue. And it’s cozy. And apparently huggable. But…it is very furry. Sort of muppet like furry. Can I carry it off? Who cares – it was five buck at Dot’s and I LOVE it! Actually, part of what I love is the way people stare at me and/or the coat. Total shock and amazement, seasoned with poorly hidden horror. Maybe they think I killed a muppet for its skin? Naw, it’s just that crazy a coat.

Is opportunity knocking?

The space next to the games shop in my neighbourhood is available for lease. Or maybe rent. It’s pretty small; too small for a café, but big enough for a bakery. And the mall is accessible, with parking. Is there cosmic significance in this?

Monday, October 30, 2006

And then it's her turn

So just as a line from A. made me laugh on Friday, M. had a line that made me laugh on Sunday. We were driving to Safeway and we came upon these two women. As we drive towards them, M says
"look, those ladies are dressed for a hallow'een party" (Long pause. And then we pass by them)
"or maybe for church".

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Favourite Friday Line

A (hands templed in front of him) : "I am not ascared of the house of Bronwyn".

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I've been BURGLED!!

I’m not particularly upset at being robbed, I am more…puzzled. Someone – or someones – has stolen my city garbage bin. For a lark? Well, ok but how drunk or stupid do you have to be for garbage can purloining to be a lark?

I phoned the city (because there is NO WAY I’m phoning the police over this) – and the woman I talked to was bewildered, but helpful. Apparently someone from waste management will give me a call. I, however, must curb the mystery reading and watching Numb3rs and Criminal Minds. Because it did occur to me that with numbers stamped on the side of each bin, if my bin turns up on the edges of town with a body inside, someone other that a city waste worker will be turning up on my front step.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Poisoning people, plate by plate.

Having three separate sets of dishes (no wait, that would be parts of three separate sets) of dishes for years, when I got a gift certificate for Home Hardware one of the things I got was a dish set. Corelle Hearthstone, Chili red, in the round. Nothing to go wrong there, right? I’d have matching dishes the next time people came over. As if anything that I touch can have nothing go wrong! What were you thinking?

Because when we got the box home, it was short one of everything. Clearly – although there was nothing on the box to suggest this – we got the box that had been used for the display. And since Home Hardware is at the far end of town, I had to wait until I had time to make the trip. They did, at least believe me. Not hard to do as the set was right there, on display!

So we decided to have people for supper, to use the lovely matching set. Which did happen, once. Because a mere two weeks after their inaugural use M. broke one of the dinner plates. So we have three of the Chili red, which makes it like the other sets that are not really sets.

I really did want to have things match, though, so I thought I’d buy the set I’d seen at Wal-mart. Same colour and shape, etc. But the box I’d seen was gone. In its place, though, was a warning about Corelle Indigo blue dinner plates, yellow plates and chili red lunch plates. Unsafe levels of lead, DON”T USE THEM. You’re killing your kids.

So my set was minus a dinner plate, and four lunch plates. Wal-Mart did have dinner plates in Chili red, but square. Huge and square, as it happens. So big that the cupboard doesn’t close. I bought two, and if we have the Hingstons over we can still match, I’ll just give my son and Grae the giant plates. Maybe I’ll buy one more, and we can have three and three. Or find a whole set somewhere (Home Hardware?) and use the giant plates for serving platters.

I also contacted Corelle; they’re mailing me new lunch plates, and sending a sticker back to send them the toxic ones we had been using.

You want to PUSH me? Well...O.K.

I went to Winners on Saturday, ostensibly to look for some turtlenecks but really, whose to say what one could end up buying?

I did, because I felt obliged to, go through the sweater section. As I was looking, a woman wanted to get past me. Being the polite Canadian that I am, I backed up to give her some room to get by. Not, apparently as much room as she needed, as she shoved me backwards into the rack. Now, I’m sure she meant to be mean and pushy (it didn’t look accidental. It looked more like she didn’t care one way or another who or what was in her way), but as it turns out she did me a favour. Ha! Being halfway into the rack I noticed something incredibly snuggly against my arm. Sort of like those incredibly soft stuffed toys you can get, or those fluffy comfy socks. I pulled it out and it was a sweater…my size… in sea foam green.

How great is that? And just the cuddliest thing ever. I almost wanted to make it into a pillowcase but felt that with my inability to do so much as hem a skirt I should probably just leave it as it is. I’ll just have to keep in mind when wearing it that it would be bizarre to continually caress my own arms muttering terms of endearment.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Sunday Afternoon Head Trauma

I had high hopes for Sunday afternoon, really I did. I had several possibilities in mind:

Going to Lumsden, to play some Cribbage (before I forget how to play altogether)
Going somewhere for a walk in the country
Board games, if my kids were home
Chocolate, in either sense of the word (I never said they were REALISTIC possibilities)
A walk with Lexi at the off leash park
Hot chocolate and a good book
Tea and a really good book
Tea, and writing a chapter for a really good book
Getting the laundry done (I also never said they were high hopes for fun things)
Cooking supper for somebody. No particular somebody, just felt like cooking
Sushi making with A. should the kids come home
Really long walk with the music that makes walking a serious work-out

What really happened? A headache, and an attack in the bath.
What was that? An attack? Yes, and here’s the story:

I had a headache, and when it started to get worse I decided to take the last of the Motrin and have a bath in the dark. This might have worked, but soon into the bath a rumbling noise started from somewhere (hard to tell direction when your brain hurts and you’re in the dark) and the house started SHAKING. And one by one bottles of shampoo and conditioner started coming of the shelves, most of them managing to hit me in the head on the way down. I started yelling, which sent the dogs outside the door CRAZY with worry, so much so that Lexi was making a serious effort at breaking in. Even though I’d stopped yelling as soon as I realized what was happening.

I’m glad that the dogs care enough to try to save me from being attacked - albeit from generally harmless plastic bottles - but the noise! Adding to the barking and the shaking was a horrible grinding sound. I lurched to the front door to see what on earth was happening, and it turns out that they City was putting the final layer of asphalt on the road in front of the house. The pounding machine – or whatever it is – was the house-shaking culprit. It was also making the grinding noise, as it spewed out hot asphalt. I thought about going somewhere else to sleep, but even that wasn’t a choice, because they were at the end of the driveway, effectively sealing me in. I ended up going to bed with ear plugs in and several pillows over my ears too. (Ha! To all who mocked the six to eight pillows I usually have on the bed. They were needed!). Not the best solution, but better than nothing. Much worse than anything else on my list of possibilities, including doing the laundry!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Shirtless. But not in Seattle.

One of the things I like to sleep in is a flannel shirt, man sized and well worn. (That was sleep in, not with!) The last one I had - given to me so long ago I have no idea where it came from. The Snooks, maybe? - is, well, dead. I decided it was beyond worn when I put it in the wash, and it came out in five pieces: the collar, two sleeves, the main body and one strip from where the button holes are. So it has served me well. But now it is really truly gone. Tis no more. Not even as a rag. Burial at three, wake at four.

Now before you get all commenty and stuff, they really do make great nightshirts. When they’re old, there is nothing softer than flannel that’s been washed a bazillion times. And if you get a man size shirt they’re long enough to allow you to go out and get mail or start the car without alarming any stray neighbours. (See? I’m starting to think about neighbourhood etiquette). At least they’re long enough on me. The Sisters of Loveliness would be half naked. Curse them and their model-long legs.

The problem is that I need a replacement shirt. And it isn’t something that one asks friends for. Although now that I think about it, the sisters of L. loaned A. one when he was in Oklahoma!, so maybe they have spares hanging around. Or I could mug someone. Or – and really, this is the solution – I could BUY one, the way regular people do, and just let it get soft in its own time. Then I’d be just like all those regular shirt buying people.

This post is a clear reflection on the boredom of the day. So no, you don’t need to intervene; I haven’t gone round the twist. Yet.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Two Hands. Plus one.

On hand A, there is the fact that it turns out that the problem with the new computer is...EVERYTHING. CPU wrecked, motherboard screwed (which sounds like a title to some sci-fi x rated film) hard drive dead. A pretty bad hand, oui? BUT...

The other hand is that because it wasn't a virus causing problems, or software, the whole thing is covered by warranty. Yeah!

The third hand is that the guy said "really bizarre that this all happened", which is almost EXACTLY what the Sasktel guy said when he couldn't find the dead line to replace to make the phone work. He ended up having to just do a whole new line. So I am a little concerned that these things are part of the weirdness of stuff that happens to me all the time. Although really, if it happens all the time, it isn't weird, is it?

Friday, October 13, 2006

A Relationship, of sorts.

I keep thinking I’m single. But maybe, just maybe, I’m not. After yet another trip to the dentist – which ended up not even being for what I thought it was for – I realized you could almost say I’m in a relationship with him. Oh, c’mon: he leans his leg against my arm, stares at me intently the whole time, rests his hands against my face, his fingers are always in my mouth, and every now and again when he has to reach across to get something his chest brushes against my cheek. Shouldn’t all that count? He’s cute, too. I think. I’d have to see him out of the office. And be able to recognize him. I’d know him for sure if he was upside down wearing a mask. Yeah, stew on that for a while.

And here I thought I didn't need it.

Our home computer has some serious emotional issues. Every time you try to talk to it, it freezes. If the kids want to play a game on it, it freezes. It is just an unhappy frozen expensive dust collector. HOWEVER... it is still under warranty. So we took the tower back to PC Place. Please let it not be a virus - warranties don't cover virus and software problems.

The real thing is, I would have said that I didn't use the computer much. I would be wrong. I can't tell you how many times I've stopped to turn it on, only to stand there wondering what it was I was planning on doing. I want it back!

I have my seemingly weekly dentist appointment today. This one, though, I'm happy about. I lost a tooth once (no, not in a fight. Say you didn't think it was a fight), and I just found out that the dental plan here will cover 100% - or at least close to 100% -of the replacement (which, I have to admit, it one of the good things about this sucky job). So I won't have a trailer trash smile for my sister's wedding!

The only remaining question is do I go home after, as it is my EDO today, or come back to work and bank some time for some future emergency? Because I run in to sudden emergencies all the time. Or so it seems.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Thanksgiving 101

I have learned things this Thanksgiving weekend, things that I apparently needed to learn. So I’m going to share them with you.

I’m not ready to open a café.

Wanting to write and being able to write are two wholly different things.

Being able to write and being able to write well are also two wholly different things.

If I don’t get cracking on the Christmas baking brochure, I will not have much of a baking season.

Chasing a dog that is trying to run with a turkey carcass is not as funny as it sounds.

Hot chocolate and board games with your kids on a rainy afternoon is a wonderful thing.

No matter how serious or painful the injury you sustained was, if it happened because you punched yourself in the face, your children will laugh their heads off even as they’re checking to see if you need help.

Before you make more than one pie for Thanksgiving, you should make sure you have someone to give the spare pie to. Two desserts for three people doesn’t work. Particularly after a really good meal.

If the friends you might normally cook for are visiting their aunt, you might not need an 18 pound turkey.

I need to either:
a) get a turkey buddy. Sort of like an F-buddy, but instead of having them around for the occasional booty call, I can call them when the turkey is done, to save myself the bi-annual turkey hack ‘n slash.

b) go to butcher school, and learn how to carve a turkey. Because all the books and magazines I’ve tried to follow have done NOTHING to remedy the disaster that is the end result of turkey carving as done by me.

I also need to clarify that NO, I don’t have the first type of buddy either, May-be. I woulda said so. I was just using it as an example, ‘K?

Life is sweet when you’re watching a good movie and eating great seafood in excellent company. (M. was at the Stones on Friday, so A. and I got to eat scallops with no fear of poisoning my girl. It was a great night).

Life is even sweeter when those near and dear to your heart are hale, hearty and happy.

Mahalo a le Bon Dieu for a great Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Does Bush EVER think about what he is saying?

I was reading about the Amish school shootings, and came across what Bush had to say about it:
Speaking during a visit to a school in Stockton, California, President Bush said Tuesday he was "saddened and deeply concerned" by the recent school shootings.
"Our school children should never fear safety when they enter their classroom," Bush said.

Personally, I've never feared safety.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Girls and Shoes

I love my daughter, honest I do, but sometimes she just slays me with her worry over my appearance (which is apparently something between homely and hideous). We’ve even had a talk about not saying anything if you can’t say something nice.

In an attempt to see if the kids would like to do one week with me, one with their dad they spent a whole week with him, from Sunday afternoon until the following Sunday after A.’s football game. (Turns out that a week away was a failure for all of us.) I mentioned to M. that I bought shoes while she was at her dads. And the conversation went something like this:

So, I bought some shoes while you were gone.

You bought shoes? ON YOUR OWN?

Umm…yes and no. I was on my own, but I had gone shoe shopping with May-B the day before and she had picked them out.

Oh, that’s ok then. What colour are they, can I see them?

They’re tan, and yes, they are in that bag, you can see them.

Well. These aren’t tan, mum, they’re camel (which, bizarrely enough, was what May-B called them). And I could have guessed you didn’t choose them, ‘cause they’re really cute. But they’re kid size. What are these foamy things for?

They’re to keep the shoes on, because they’re too big for me.

Too big? You’re a freak, mom. And these heels, can you even walk in these heels? Did you even try to walk when you tried them on?

Ok, we’re done here. Go find some chore to do, you little monster.

She may be a monster, but she is my monster.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I should have cleaned house.

Honestly, what is wrong with me? I did everything BUT clean house yesterday. As long as doing dishes and laundry doesn’t count as house work. I read, had baths (yes, plural. Shut up), went to Starbucks to read – pointlessly, as it turns out* - sent frivolous emails to all and sundry, stared at inanimate objects and wondered if I should do something about them, baked for people, thought about new recipe possibilities…all of this when there was housework clearly needing to be done. So instead of a clean house to go home to, there is a house with work to be done waiting for me. Blast.

*B.F.S. was there. So despite being buried in the back corner, with people boxing me in, he saw me, climbed around/over the people, sat on the windowsill and complained about work. Until I finally had to say – and even with people being truly irritating, I am not good at doing this – that I was there to read and relax and he needed to go away and let me do that.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Overheard at A.'s Football Game

I was sitting on the stands, and there was one guy next to me, an empty seat behind me and a women sitting next to the empty spot. A third guy came over, whom she obviously knew, and sat behind me. The game starts. The game goes on and I get increasingly angry and ready to kill if necessary (yes, I do occasionally get upset), all warrior-woman and everything. They should ALL be happy I wasn't carrying weaponry. Not that I am likely to ever do so, but still...

Just at the point that I really need comic relief (A just went into the game for the first time...40 minutes into a 48 minute game), the guy behind me says he's cold, needs a jacket and he up and leaves. Instantly, guy beside me turns around and says to the woman "man, does he ever stink! What's his deal?" to which she replies.... "Well, he works with dead things, so it really isn't surprising". Beautiful. Works with dead things.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

But I NEED those!

If you’re craving something you can’t have, you should replace it with something that makes you happy that you can have. That’s my belief for the day. So if you’re in the mall and you really want licorice, or chocolate, but can’t have it, get something else. Like lingerie. Because if you don’t have aqua coloured underwear, or peach, you should buy some, right? Or if, Maybe, you have seventeen tank tops, you should really buy three more and make it twenty. Doesn’t that make sense? Not that I’m trying to talk anyone out of having more tank tops than the Tanks ‘r Us warehouse (where you can get not only tank tops, but the French LeClerc and the Japanese T-90), I’m just saying twenty is a nice even number.

Freedom of Information & The Information of Freedom

I like an interesting speech. Rather than sitting and making grocery lists in my head, or writing bad poetry, I get to listen to someone that knows how to speak with interest and enthusiasm. Nice break in the day. So why, at yesterday’s lecture, in a fairly large room, do I end up sitting next to crazy lady? (I’m sure you’re thinking that she could be thinking the same thing. But I behaved perfectly, the whole time).

Every single point she agreed with she’d nod and whisper “yes, yes, yes” which made our end of the room sound like we were either a) playing with snakes or b) making a porn film. And every now and again she’d mutter “privacy, security”. And she spent a lot of her time rocking back and forth. Normally this would be ok, but the chairs were really tightly packed, and I was trying to write notes, and her constant movement made that difficult. I would have moved, but she arrived late and it was one of the last seats available. So, I left the routine nut house that is my job, went out in public and spent the afternoon next to a non work-related nut.
Go figure.

Monday, September 11, 2006

There wasn't even an earth shattering Ka-boom!

You’d think that the highlight of last week would be almost burning down the house (all that actually happened was my getting an electrical shock – which left a mark – the melting of an adapter and black scorch marks on a plug in. Oh, and an exploding necklace), but really, the best thing was a trip to the dentist.

It’s ok May-B – I won’t talk about burning flesh here, ok? It was just a cleaning session, that twice a year trip to tooth heaven. Except they had an emergency part way through and had to postpone half of the process to this Thursday. I think my dentist and my ex are in cahoots, trying to mess up my Thursday evenings. Is that possible?

Anyway….the cool dentist thing is that if I had money, amongst the many things that I could do would be instead of having a ceramic inlay to replace a lost tooth, I could have a Titanium insert. Titanium, embedded right into the jaw. Awesome! Cost? A mere $2800.00. But hey, I could eat marbles! Wouldn’t that be worth it?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Yes or no?

Something terrible has happened. Or maybe it hasn’t. And embedded in that very lack of certainty is my current madness. A friend MAY have done something awful. But maybe not, maybe I’m only imagining it, and reading between the lines. But I can’t ask, can I? I mean, if they didn’t, they’ll feel terrible that I even THOUGHT that they would do such a thing. And if they did, they’ll feel terrible that I figured it out. Or not, which would make it worse. So now I’m going to have to stare at them, to see if guilt is written all over their face. I see that saying all the time, but I’ve never actually seen something like “Guilty as sin” tattooed on a face. “F***”, yes, “Guilty” no.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Your dog's crazier than mine. Possibly.

I am, for the most part, used to my own neighbours thinking I’m crazy, but now…now I have to face the possibility that MayB’s neighbours think the same thing.

A. and I looked after her dog and her house this weekend. I myself went the extra mile and looked after her cold as well. Because snot-filled, cranky and crazy is a good way to spend a long weekend. It is, right? I mean I’d hate to think I’ wasted a whole weekend.

The only real nutbar in this story, though, is Mayb’s dog. If, when I get there, someone is home – even if it isn’t L. or MayB - she barks like crazy. If the house is empty, she is nowhere near as miffed. Sort of a “well, I guess if you’re the only one willing to be here with me I won’t bark my fool head completely off”. When someone is there, say my son, house sitting, she goes NUTS. I went on Sunday morning to take A. back to his dad’s, and the dog barked for a half a minute at nine thousand decibels, glared at me, threatened me with imminent death and then – coward that she is – went and jumped on A in bed, to let him carry out all the threats she’d made (As it happens, he wasn’t so happy at being woken up, but he neither barked nor threatened).

And walks? You know how most dogs go crazy at even the hint of a walk? Well, the best I could manage was a Walk ‘n Carry. She wouldn’t go for a walk from the house, but if I carried her (hence the sideways looks from the neighbours) to the park, she’d play around and then happily walk back. So that’s what we did – I’d carry, she’d walk.

Eating: yes, MayB’s dog has issues there, too. She’s female – human or canine, we all have eating issues. Anyway… she picks up one – ONE – piece of food from her bowl, carries it into the living room, drops it on the floor, looks at it, stares coolly at me (“think you’re going to get my piece of kibble? Never!”) then eats it. Then she goes back to her bowl and does it all over again. Can you imagine if we did this?

Hey, where’s crazy uncle Larry?
In the family room, eating a carrot slice. Aunt Maude is in the bedroom with a spoonful of soup. I think crazy grandma may be out back with a raisin.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tasty Treats and Things That Suck

And boy, if that doesn't get me more than one or two new readers, nothing can! Down to Business:

I’ve never been Wonder Woman – ok, except to that one guy, and yeah I do own a lasso that’ll make you tell the truth, but other than those two things no – so it should come as no surprise to anyone that there are aspects of running a small business that I suck at.

(That was grammatically awkward – the small business doesn’t suck, there are just some bits of it that I’m not so good at).

Todays suckiness is pricing. There are some basic formulas for working out what to charge for something based on the cost of ingredients. That’s what makes Tiramisu expensive – mascarpone costs more than three times what you pay for cream cheese. But it is a whole different story when you have something whose base cost is low, but whose PIA factor is high (PIA -or as A. says PITA - is for “pain in the ass”).

I have got the whole Grissini thing worked out. Grissini are thin crispy Italian breadsticks that are so yummy that every kitchen should keep a jar of them handy for snacking on. The problem is that while the basic cost is low, they are very fiddly to make, and it took a lot of experimenting to get them just right. Not to mention that you can’t get them fresh anywhere in Regina, so perhaps rarity should figure into the pricing. Probably can’t get them fresh – or this delicious! - in Saskatoon, either. At the Italian Star boxed and shipped from Italy, yes, but fresh, no.

So how on earth am I going to work this one out, to see if it is worth making them commercially? On the hand opposite the high PITA hand (which is itself opposite the low cost hand) there is the fact that they bake quickly, and I can do three trays at a time, with 20 or so per tray. Maybe even more, if I worked on it. I hate this stuff: I just want to cook!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pardon me?

You know, I made something of an effort today to look passibly nice - meetings this afternoon, and I thought it wouldn't be appropriate to arrive wearing a t-shirt and fluffy socks.
Which is what I wanted to do.

Anyway...I wore something that matched (I'm not TOTALLY non-girly, I can sometimes figure stuff out), and did the hair combing teeth brushing thing we all do - well, almost all - and I even managed to find shoes that suited the skirt. Anyway, here is the one remark I've had:

“That’s a very pretty outfit. You’re not really that bad looking you know”. I mean, ok, she truly thought she was giving me a compliment, so I didn’t mind, but still!

Friday, August 18, 2006

The best conclusion ever.

OK, so here is this story off the BBC - great story, until the last line. Laughed myself off my chair when I read that. I'm guessing they put it in to highlight the evil designs of dark chocolate. Milk chocolate must be less evil. I've been conned; I always thought the darker the chocolate the better it was.

US man survives chocolate ordeal

The vat was full of dark chocolateA 21-year-old US man ended up in hospital after spending two hours trapped in a vat of chocolate, police in Wisconsin said on Friday.
The man said he had climbed into the tank before becoming trapped waist-deep in chocolate, police chief Randy Berner told AP news agency.
However, other reports suggest he was stirring the chocolate when he fell in.
Rescue workers and staff at the Debelis Corporation used cocoa-butter to thin out the chocolate and pull him free.
"It was pretty thick. It was virtually like quicksand," Captain Berner said.
"It's the first time I've ever heard of anything like this," he added.
The worker said his ankles were sore after the incident, and he was taken to a local hospital where he is recovering.
The accident involved dark chocolate.

What will it take for something to go according to plan?

I would be interested to have, at some point in time, an event go exactly according to plan. I had to go to the dentist this morning to get, I thought, permanent fillings on two teeth that had each had a root canal and temporary filling.

First off, it turns out that one root canal was only a PARTIAL. Why? Why did I get all frozen and stuff and not get the whole thing done? What it means, however, is that they can't put a permanent filling in yet, and I'll have to go back and get the root canal finished. Apppointment is for October, so I have lots of time to think about how fun that will be.

They did do the permanent filling on one side, though. And all seemed to be going well, until I heard the following words (words no one should ever have to hear):
"I can't get the base down as it is. Give her some more freezing, and fire up the laser. I'm going to burn some flesh off of her gum line". So that's what they did - refroze, which hurt way more than the first needle did, and then, although I couldn't feel anything, I could still smell things. So I sat in the chair and tried to cope with the scent of my own flesh being torched. Not my most favourite Friday ever.

Not the worst, though, not the worst.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.

So on the one hand, here is the totally cool thing that happened:

No wait, preface first: I had to have the front yard dug up last summer to get the sewer line replaced. Now sadly, the pipe replacing people didn’t slam the earth back to its pre-dug up shape, so I had a giant coffin thingy on my front yard. This year (as suggested by City Work 12774) I planted potatoes. They took an initial battering from the dogs before we moved the leashes to the back yard. A few of them took a hit from my son and his friends who apparently MUST take the most direct route to the front door, regardless of what stands in their way, and almost all of them got mauled when the tree that was eating my house came down. They lived, and I’ve been caring for them most tenderly ever since. There, that is the preface.

As A. and I were coming home on Saturday, we saw a sign in our neighbourhood that said “Free Sod – Take from Pile”. Well, divine intervention or what? I can’t afford sod, my yard was a sodding mess, so I did what any sane person would do: I pulled up all of the potatoes. Poor things, they tried so hard, and here I harvested a month or so too soon. But free sod! So I spent the rest of the day until games time moving sod from their house to mine. And then Sunday A. and I killed ourselves getting it down. I didn’t have a roller to make it look perfect (there are some things a Saturn can’t do, and bringing home a rental roller is one of them. I couldn’t bring myself to ask anyone with a truck for help. It just seemed wrong to ask people to get out of their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes just to come over and help me with the whole sod moving, sod laying roller flattening extravaganza. But I did get a deal on the sod – bread for sod. I think I got the better deal, yes?

So that is the good thing. But here’s the other hand: I am loading the sod into a borrowed wheelbarrow, and it is hot and heavy work. The people whose sod it is are in their garage, relaxing after their own very hard sod laying (they did all of both yards, front and back), when their parents arrived. I am just putting the forth roll on the wheelbarrow when grandma says to me “My goodness, don’t you have a man to help you with that?”

Possible answers:
“Yep, I got me a man but he’s out back a’swillin beer, and I ain’t a gonna interrupt that”

“I done divorced the man I had, and I’se too pudgy for the one I wanted”.

“Man?? (sobbing) My man done up and died on me, and I’d just about gotten over it 'til now. I don’t think I kin go on livin”.

Unfortunately all I did was say "nope" in a very surprised voice. Old bat. Stupid old bat. RUDE stupid old bat.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mahalo for the gift, dad, and you're welcome boyo!

Your parents handed you all sorts of genetic mush as a free gift to get started in life. At least mine did, maybe yours held back.

One of the things that my dad has told me came from him is the ability to sleep anywhere, should I be sufficiently tired to want to. I’ve seen him fall asleep at loud family reunion things, so I’m guessing he certainly has the genes for it. I’m also willing to believe that I do too. For the most part, it is a great gift. My heart goes out to those of you with insomnia. It occasionally sucks, too: I slept through the entire opening act at a U2 concert, three rows from the front stage, a stage that had huge towering amounts of speakers. I only woke up when someone stepped on my head in an effort to get closer to the stage. My ex-husband was with me (boyfriend at the time, but I eventually married him) decided not to wake me up because he found it funny (perhaps I should have seen at this point that this relationship was a mistake). It sucked because I ended up being a fan of the opening act (The Waterboys) and I haven’t had a chance to see them again.

I discovered last week that I have passed that particular bit of DNA on to my son. One morning, at about ten (and yes, he went to bed at a fairly normal time, eleven, I think), I went into his room to get him up. (He hadn’t answered when I knocked). He was sound asleep. Not so odd, you say, for ten in the morning, considering he is a teenager? Well, consider these factors:

The window was wide open, so were the drapes, ergo room brilliantly lit.
City workers were doing stuff to our driveway, so, working mere feet from his open window were:
An earth tamping thing
An asphalt mixer
A weird grinding asphalt spewer*
A bulldozer
Half a dozen guys, with shovels, yelling

Next door, maybe ten feet away they were tearing up the neighbour’s sidewalk with this giant whirling rotating metal disc thingy that was making my brain convulse it was so loud.

All this the lad slept through – do I know how to pass on good DNA or what?

*Yes, that is the technical word for it. I swear.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It could happen to anyone

How many things in my life could be prefaced by that, I wonder? Anyway: I had a two hour root canal this morning, and I...well, I fell asleep.

Wait a second on the judgement here folks! There was something not going according to plan (something else that seems to happen a lot in my life), so they took another x-ray mid way through the procedure and then went to discuss it. I was tired, the office was cold, the xray thingy was like a heavy warm blanket...and I dozed off. Just about hit the roof when they came back, too. What woke me up was the dentist's hand on my face - scared the bejeebers out of me. which is good, because I'm going on vacation tomorrow and I'd hate to be bringing bejeebers with me.

Also in the lovely world of fun times at the root canal - Has this thought ever run through your head when you're sitting in the dentist's chair:
"gee, his thigh is hot"?
Because it ran through mine, and it wasn't even in the sense that you'ren probably thinking. Just the way that he was sitting, his leg was resting against my elbow and forearm, and the weather here (today being the day the earth caught fire) is sufficiently horrible that it was uncomfortably hot. Not unpleasant, though. Far be it from me to ask hot (literally and figuratively) dentist to move his leg. I'm not stupid!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Get thee hence, Satan!

Oh, God is so going to be mad at me. I am envy ridden. Or lust ridden. Maybe even both!

M. and I went to a friend’s house on Monday to deliver a thank-you bottle of wine (her husband had notarized something for me at no charge, and at the last minute). This was the first time I’d been there since the kitchen renovations.

Now the house was lovely even before the renovation. I remember when they did the flooring: gorgeous hardwood imported from Quebec for living room floor, continuing up the curving staircase. Lots of big windows, lots of warm wood. Great house! But now…

Oh my word the kitchen. Beautiful cabinetry, granite countertops (and a huge island, also granite topped), open airy space and beautiful appliances. Is it wrong to want to hug a stove? And a fridge? They bought a stainless steel fridge, it is huge, and all shiny and stuff. And the stove; not sure if it is an actual Aga, but it is certainly in that style. Gas stove, lots of burners, a warming plate, warming oven. I want her stove! And her fridge! I’m going to burn in hell over kitchen-envy.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The OED let me down.

When reading, if I come across a word I don't know, I have to look it up. RIGHT AWAY. It doesn't matter if I'm in the bath, or in bed, or in a tree in the backyard, I go find a dictionary and look it up.

Now, the thing is I read a lot. No, really, a LOT. Always have. Consequently, I am not often stumped. This morning, though, I came across a word I didn't know. Sometimes you can figure stuff out just given the context it is used in, but not this time.

As this happened at work, I grabbed the Concise Oxford Dictionary and looked it up. Not there. Hmmm. Well, it is the concise version, after all. So online to the complete Oxford Dictionary. Not there either. At this point, I'm thinking either the author made the word up, or it is a different word altogether, and I'm trying to define a typo. Except it doesn't look like any other word that would make sense in the sentence it was used in. Last resort: google it. Et voila! (in Merriam Webster, no less. I can't believe the OED let me down).

So, the word? "Apolaustic". It's a great word, too. Means "Devoted to enjoyment". There, that can be your something new learned for the day. You're free to go back to bed and still feel you've accomplished something for today.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Baggin' it

I was driving past Vic park today, and there was a guy on the sidewalk, peeing. Into a bag. Now on one hand, eewww, peeing in public. On the other, I kinda want to commend him for peeing in a bag, and not onto people, or the street. On yet another hand (I could have three hands, it could happen), it was a Safeway-esque bag, so if my experience (with the BAGS, not peeing in public. Idiots) is at all common, the pee will be in the street soon anyway, because there is always at least one hole in every bag. Not a problem if you're putting gorceries in the bag, big problem if you're peeing in it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Saskatchewan Chainsaw Non-Massacre

There was a tree growing into the edge of the roof of my house. On Sunday, the offending part was cut down, and guess what? I got to use a chainsaw! (When I told A. on the phone, his response was "who was insane enough to allow that?" M. wouldn't even come outside and watch). I've decided that it isn't something that I'd do on a regular basis, but at least I've done it! Yeah me!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I won't have you trick me into any kind of randy sex talk!

That quote will only make sense to those of you that I’ve loaned the tape “A Bit of Fry & Laurie” to, but it was too perfect to forgo. The thing is, if you get embarrassed at the least little thing, you might want to skip this post. And I’ll probably just pretend that no one I actually know in person reads my blog.

Last Thursday, standing in the driveway talking to my neighbour (with my girl listening to everything, ears twitching), I was invited to a Home and Gift party. This is a Tupperware-esque party, sort of a cross between Pampered Chef and Candlelight. I agreed to go – why not? It was a chance to visit with grown-ups. “Also” she says, glancing nervously at M., after that there is a…more…intimate party”. Can you stay for it?

Hmmm. Am I being invited to a lingerie selling party? (Hooray!), a love shop type party? (to use when?) or some weird sort of neighbourhood swingers party? (in Whitmore Park? Not likely and no thank you). I glance at M. and mutter “yeah, sure, I guess”.

Now in my head I’m thinking “oh come on, it’ll be fun. A bunch of women getting together laughing and having fun. I’m not some 20-something year old that can’t talk about sex in front of a bunch of women”. Yeah. Like there are 20-somethings these days that CAN’T talk about it. What era am I living in?

So; first party if fun. M. is away at a movie, I’m on my own. I bought a couple of pastry scrapers, some cool pastry bags and a tiered cooling rack. The rack alone made the party worthwhile: lots of cookie cooling space without using up tons of counter space!

Fast forward to party number two – which turns out to be a sex toy party. So I give myself another talking to, and stay seated. Now let me clarify things here: I have nothing against sex. It is, to the best of my recollection, a wonderful thing. It’s watching someone go on and on about various toys and their uses that I can’t cope with. There were two older women (older than me, everyone else was in their 20’s), one of whom looked like she might be shopping for her part time job (honestly, skirt that short? Make-up that thickly laid on?), the other, well, I’m pretty this party wasn’t for her. She wasn’t invited, actually, but decided to stay after the first party, just for fun. Because, and I’m not kidding “imagine what my church ladies will think!” Good Heavens, now there’s an interesting bible study in the making!

I am still not sure I can get through this without laughing my head off, or making horny 14 year old boy remarks when in walk several women…with their boyfriends! WTF? NO ONE brings guys to these things, that’s the whole point. So now I am doubly unsure what to do. So I stay.

Lucky for me, the first half of the presentation is for lotions and stuff. Some of it bath stuff, so useful regardless of whether you’re bathing with someone or not. And some of it has alternate applications. Trust me, though, I don’t think penis numbing cream as a solution for itchy mosquito bites is ever going to catch on.

I’d like to know whose job it was to name some of the things, or even to come up with some of the ideas. Vibrating bath tub sponge? (Oh I am so sad; my first thought was “how would you clean the tub with a vibrating sponge? And wouldn’t cleaners wreck it?”).

There was some pretty cool stuff; the honey dust was one that looked fun to me. Probably the only time the words “dust” and “fun” can be used in the same sentence. Not that I bought any – but should I end up with a honey who wants to be dusted, well, ya never know. Lots of oil based things, bath salt things and chocolate things. Chocolate really does go with everything. And I thought that was a cooking maxim!

We were almost done part one of the party when the doorbell rings and in walks my girl. AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Quick grab of the shoulders, turn her around to face the other way and out we go. I even left my purse and a cheque from someone who had ordered kitchen things on my order sheet behind. So I can’t even say that I’ve been to a sex-toy party. Half a one, yes, and nary a toy in sight.

At least I got away without spending money on something that I wouldn’t be using, anyway. I had already spent an hour in the afternoon sorting out the half of my dresser that I keep lingerie in. (Three drawers for underwear, three drawers for everything else. No wonder I’m not married – where would he put his stuff?) I had to cull old things, to make room for new things. I realized when I was done that I had a drawer of everyday stuff, a drawer of more fun stuff that I nevertheless wear all the time and a drawer of stuff that I’ve never worn, ever. I was appalled. I know other women that do this: buy things they never wear – shoes, clothes, etc. But do guys? I can’t see a guy buying a pair of shoes and then not ever wearing them. I hope I’m not the only one with a collection of things never worn, ingredients never used, tools that remain pristine in the tool box. ‘Cause I’d hate that.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Possibly the dumbest thing ever.

Which is saying something, I hear and see a lot of dumb things. Anyway:

Yesterday afternoon I took M. and a friend of hers for some vacation-esque fun. We went to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, and Government House, a short drive in the country and pizza when we got back to town. Now, just so you know, we had a good time. They behaved well, we all enjoyed what we did, so don’t judge the fun by the complaint, ‘k?

I understand averages in life, so I am aware that there are…people who are dumber than average to balance those that are smarter than average. So I don’t waste much time contemplating the things people come up with, but Sweet Saskatchewan Lobster there are times when I do gape in shock. Or just laugh my head off, depending on the mood. And let me tell you, dear readers (or perhaps I should say dear reader), yesterday was one of those times.

For those of you that may not know, in the museum First Nations Gallery there are several dioramas to look at. One of them is titled “Fishing in the Qu’Appelle Valley”. Tipis, fish, people, canoes, fish drying on racks, the whole shooting match. There were two other people in the area, and they came over to look at the fishing scene. At which point I hear (I swear I am not making this up – she really said it) “Oh. Did the Indians know about fishing back then?”

So I laughed. Not to be mean, but because apparently I have insufficient self control. But honestly, even if she had been totally ignorant about fishing in general, and first nations entirely, did she really think that fishing was a recent invention? That for thousands of years people around the world looked at the pretty things in the water, watched other animals like bears eat them and never thought to catch them? Fishing, the invention of modern man, I can just picture it.

“Yes, Watson?”
“What are you doing with that stick and string?”
“It has occurred to me that fish, if caught and cooked in some manner involving say butter and fresh herbs might make for some mighty fine eating”.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


M. wanted to try some type of melon that wasn't one of the big three, so I bought a Sharlyn melon at Safeway. It had white flesh, which was odd, but it was very sweet. Sort of a honeydew-canteloupe cross.

This made me wonder just how many types of melons are there out there? I remember a fruit juice chain in S.A. that had at least a dozen to choose from, so I decided to get a definitive answer. And because I'm really clever, I Googled "Melons". Hmmm. Not so clever after all. And so begins a new day.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More window/mirror shenanigans

Along with the woman obsessed with her own prettiness, there is a skinny skinny skinny blonde woman obsessed with the fear that she's gained weight. She pats her stomach - no wait, there is no stomach: she pats her pelvis - and turns back and forth just in case she's gained a jellybean's worth of weight. The sad thing is, she isn't thin, she is skinny. The personification of the Cadbury Thins bar.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Clean 'N Dirty

I have an issue with time, here. Every now and again (once a day, and one time TWICE in a single day), I'll go outside, take my shoes off - if indeed they were even on in the first place - and wander around. I stretch a bit, feel the grass beneath my feet and breathe in the fresh air. I swear the air in here is jsut circulated over and over, with no intake from outside.

I was asked today if that was "fair" to the company; spending a minute or two outside for no particular reason. I laughed, as this person is one of the few smokers we have here, and there are WAY more smoking breaks taken than fresh air breaks. Ick. Going outside to get polluted air is how I see it. Apparently though, that's "different". The smokers are going outside for a reason. I, apparently, am going outside on a fancy. Trust me, if I could have anything on a fancy, I'd choose something involving more than two minutes on the grass outside.

In the end we agreed to disagree. Actually, this person agreed to disagree, I agreed to see them as insane.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Whack Job!

Here's a thing to try - it's called a Google Whack:
Google something, and keep changing it until you get just ONE result. Not no results, that would be easy. One single result. Not as easy as one may think, but fun. Fun in a kind of a "Lord is my office job ever boring" kind of a way.

And if you're kind and thoughtful, and interested in filling in some of my down time with stuff to read, you'll comment with whatever you came up with for your Google Whack.

Pass or Fail

I don't know if I have a stong enough work ethic to keep me sitting at this stupid desk today. I can hear a kayak calling to me from the Marina. (In winter my bed talks to me, as do the covers, begging me to stay in bed). Sun, a light breeze and an afternoon paddling around - how can I say no?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Yet another post for today, because this is crazy!

I have an office filled with huge lovely windows. I have an armchair to sit in on breaks, some neat art and my calendar is a French picture-a-day calendar. All in all an ok office, if one has to be in one. And this one has bills to pay so I do have to be in one.

The most interesting thing about this office though is the windows. They are windows to me, but mirrors to those on the outside. Now I know that everyone knows this on some level, but for the most part people walking by just seem to see them as giant mirrors placed there for their pleasure. Which as it happens is my pleasure. If they knew I could see them, I wouldn’t find the windows anywhere near as interesting

My current favourite is this really nice looking woman that works on some other floor of the building, but parks on the road behind where I work. She ALWAYS stops to check herself out on the way to and from her car. Yes, always. Once she even stopped and took a full minute of contemplating her own lovely self:

“Boy, am I pretty. I’m the prettiest girl here. I bet everyone else wishes they could be as pretty as me, but they can’t. I am the prettiest person in the whole city, and people love me. I think it makes people happy just to look at me and enjoy the prettiness. I feel sad for all the non pretty people, their lives must be so sad. But they can always look at me and be happy again. Who wouldn’t be happy seeing such prettiness? I’m almost doing a public service with my prettiness”.

Unfortunately, what she doesn’t seem to realize is that the smug self-satisfied expression that seems to be permanently affixed to her face negates the whole nice looking thing.

There is a building being put up next door, and once morning, a construction worker stopped to…re-arrange his package. Worried that he might decide that it was a good place for a bathroom break, I stood up and rapped on the window. Scared the be-jesus out of him! Hated to do it, but watching some stranger peeing in public first thing in the morning is not on my things I want to do list. He had to be stopped.

Why mention this now? Because mere minutes ago there was a couple kissing outside my window. He had a ring on his “I’m married” finger, she didn’t. May mean nothing, may mean everything, but in the meantime they need to STOP. It isn’t a mirror, ya morons!

Reality and Fantasy

I just got harangued by a little old lady. Little and old, at least. Shuffling along with a walker, on her way to the IGA next door. I was just coming back from scoping out the fruit to see what new dessert the restaurant should have. I was reading, and she stopped right by me and started in on how dangerous reading and walking was, and it would serve me right if I got hit by a car.

Now, there are two problems with this: I was on the sidewalk, not the street. The carless sidewalk. And I do look up when it's time to turn into the driveway of the office. I mean, if I were on safari and wandering the veldt reading and not watching where I was going, well fair enough. Let a lion eat me. But on a sidewalk, with no driveways or side roads I figure I'm pretty safe.

The second problem is that I was in the book WAY too deep. Normally I read something simple at work - ever since I found out that my co-workers mock me when I read at lunch, because I don't seem to have a clue as to what's going on. They left me once (boss included) at our morning coffee break reading away, just to see when I'd realize that it was time to go. (If you must know, I didn't notice until the early lunch people arrived in the coffee room). So I try to stay away from the deeply absorbing books. Today, however, I was at a compelling part of a decent book. It's set in Rome, and the main character is a shape-changer. The paragraph I was on was describing her difficulty in keeping her alternate self hidden when she was out amongst the people. I was thinking how cool it would be to have your human eyes change into wolf eyes when you're talking to someone who was annoying you. And that is the point that the woman started her harangue. So I'm totally confused - what happened to Rome? Where are the soldiers that were chasing me? What happened to the escape route taken to avoid the soldiers? Who is this woman, what does she want and can I make my eyes look like wolf eyes to her?

So I stood there staring in confusion, and let her have her moment of chastisment. She came from the retirement home on the north side of the office - I may be the only person she gets a chance to yell at all day, so perhaps in the end it was a good thing to let her have her say.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Victoria, I love you.

Ah, Victoria, if only I could live there right now. But I can’t, so a visit will have to do.

It was a very quick trip, this time, the main intention being to meet my sisters intended some time before the wedding. I did, and I like him. I knew he makes her happy, I can hear it in her voice when we talk on the phone. With the visit I was able to see that she makes him happy as well. An excellent match!

After a fairly barefootish-ish departure, I arrived in Vancouver in time to get the bus to the 1:00 PM ferry to Schwartz Bay. It was FANTASTIC. I spent every single minute outside, met a lot of people (including a woman who spoke Spanish, and she was from Spain, not South America or Mexico). Our conversation was limited by my lack of speaking Spanish, but I do understand a fair bit, so we did communicate in a strange sort of a way. Saw lots of birds – cormorants, gulls, eagles – and a herd of seals, their black-spotted grey bodies playing in a bay just as we started into the Narrow Passage.

One of our traditions is a drive around the Saanich Peninsula when I arrive. Dad drives, and I get to look at all the tall green things. What are they again? Oh, yeah, trees. Huge forests with tons of trees. I think I’ve been in Saskatchewan too long!

We went in to Victoria and met my sister for supper. It took tons of hints and lots of giggling, and then an outright “notice anything” before I twigged to the engagement ring on her finger. Silly me! I knew it would happen before the end of July, I should have checked her hand first thing. In the end, though, I’m just happy to see her so happy.

After supper we went to her place to drop my stuff off, then to his place for the big meeting. I am happy to report that he is a very nice man, and I am thrilled that the whole move to Victoria thing worked for her. Perhaps I should consider doing the same!

We went for a walk, hoping to find a coffee shop. Lots of Star Bucks open, but nothing local. Tons of people out and about, though. Tourists, mainly, from three cruise ships that were in. We listened to some really good street musicians, wandered around, saw things and just enjoyed the beautiful evening in a beautiful city. Stayed up to late, of course!

Sunday was not really a sleep-in day, because my sister and her fiancé wanted me to meet their church, and his mom. So off we went to St. Matthias. Very nice church, and I got te meet their friends and family. Matthew (so I don’t have to keep calling him “her fiancé”) took my sister, myself and his mother out for lunch at a waterfront restaurant. Excellent fish, and we had a cheese plate as an appetizer. Yum!

We then took his mother home, and went for another drive. Saw Patrick Stewarts house, but not the man himself. (He lives in the same neighbourhood as Matthews’ mother). Bugger.

Sunday night was out birthday supper (we’re not twins, but we do share the same birthday, June 8th) at Dunsmuir Lodge. Is see this place all the time, when I fly into Victoria. As you leave the airport there is what looks like a huge house hidden in the middle of the hill opposite the airport. Great food, and I really enjoyed sitting at the window and looking at the water and the misty hills in the distance. Dad and I took the little car home, and Matthew dropped S. and the luggage at his place later on in the evening.

No sleep in Monday, either, but then this was a holiday to do stuff, not sleep! Dad always goes out for coffee Monday mornings with his buddies, so we went to. Some I’d met before and some I hadn’t, but all of them were perfectly charming. (Can one still use the word charming?).

The rest of Monday was a hair appointment for me, and shopping. The hair took forever, but it feels so nice to have short hair. Unfortunately – and typically! – I can’t make it look as perfect as the hair guy did, but such is life. I’m glad it looked great for one day, though, because my sister beat me to a fantastic coat. All I can say is that after the wedding, I hope I get a chance to wear it somewhere. Not sure where, as it is a jewel toned sapphire blue, fitted at the top, and full length with silver butters down the front. And I mean full length! Every time envy raised its ugly head I thought about the hair. (I’m still worried about the people who may have heard me chanting “she has the coat, but my hair looks great” over and over again. Then again, it was likely no stranger than anything else going on. Lots of interesting people in Victoria!).

I did buy things, too. Can you guess? Yup, no surprise, lingerie and a game. A peignoir that I couldn’t resist and a game from Interactivity games on Fort Street that I should have bought the last time I was in Victoria. I need to do something somewhat less predictable. Although the former purchase ended up being a perfect match to my room makeover, so clearly that was a wise purchase. But that coat, I want the coat!

Monday night I think supper was toast, which is what we had on Tuesday, too. Afterwards we met with friends of theirs from church, and I made dessert. The strawberry thing, of course. But now I have this bottle of Stoli strawberry vodka in my cupboard. I’m going to have to come up with some new thing to do with it.

We went to a play Tuesday evening, “Maggie’s Getting Married”, at the Langham Court Theatre. It was funny, and I enjoyed myself. Very late when we got home, and again for Wednesday no sleep in. I had to get my sister to a conference, and then on to Sidney to get packed and on the plane.

As usual, Victoria didn’t disappoint. I hope that next time I have more time, as I didn’t see everyone I usually do whilst there, and didn’t do some of the things on my list.

Oh, yeah, one other thing worth mentioning: Matthew is the Chief City Planner for Langford. We went on a drive on Bear Mountain, and his boss the City Administrator, was at the house they are building (“they” being the administrator and his family). We got the full tour, and all I can say is that I hope I can see when its finished. Gorgeous view, quiet street, lovely house. Lots of those tree things again. I wish I lived somewhere with giant forests nearby. Someday!

So there – backwards in order, but that is the trip in a rather large nutshell.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Can I be an elf when I grow up? I've got the room.

I’m not sure what to do first – the greatness of Victoria, or the really cool thing that happened when I got back? I guess chronological would be best. I mean, it even has the word logical in it. Must be the right choice.

No wait – my life never seems to progress in the most logical fashion, so I’m doing it backwards. Yes, I went to Victoria and it was great. More later. So, coming home:

It took longer than the original plan, so it was quite late when I got home. And not only had it been raining for days when I left, including the day I actually left, but it was pouring when I got back. Were there any sunny days in my absence? I got home cold, wet and muddy. I took the dogs for a walk and then (wetter, colder and muddier) I returned home. Brushed my teeth, and opened the door to my bedroom…but it was no longer my room. It was a piece of paradise!

My house sitters, La famille Hingston, had given me a bedroom makeover. It desperately needed a paint job – the three yellow walls that went with the yellow and blue wall paper hadn’t been painted since I moved in in 1995. They had asked about this at last year's birthday (I went to Victoria to meet my sister’s intended and to celebrate our mutual birthday). I thought they meant, well, paint. It needed paint. They had three prints that are the same genre as (but not this specific one) this:

(Bugger. Can't make the picture work. Suffice it to say it is elf/fairy/fantasy all in blues).

They wanted my opinion of the blues in them. Yup, I love blues. We’ll work out the time sometime. Except I never went anywhere until May, when I went to Edmonton. But they were away that weekend too. Apart from which, it was really a job that perhaps they shouldn’t do. Painting is not something I’d volunteer for. But let me tell you, as well as being wonderful and kind and funny (in three entirely different ways, oddly enough), they are also tall, beautiful (again, in three different ways) and TALENTED! Who knew?

So my room: gone was the flowered wall paper, which I liked at first but had in the past years been feeling as though I had a nursery for a bedroom. Instead all four walls are now this amazing blue. The furniture is moved around, quite effectively. They made blue drapes which not only look great but also (did you three do it on purpose?) make the room really dark – a huge benefit if you get migraines.

There is a new night table. To be honest, thanks to my TOTALLY LACKING housekeeping skills, my previous night table was actually a stool. This is an true table, with a cover. A cover made with the same material as the runner on the dresser. A runner which cleverly hides the flaws that are inevitably found when the dresser is a hand me down of a hand me down of a hand me down. Now it looks all new and pretty.

The three prints are all framed and hanging, and the night table – and dresser – have really nice candles in blue and green glass dishes. I’ve never actually had a light in the room (other than the overhead one) so I’ve always only used candles. The old candle holders let the wax drip, making of mess of the table, er, stool. The candles in the dishes won’t do that. And in the corner where, for two years I’ve had a dead plant hanging from the ceiling, they hung this neat metal lantern thing (yes, for candles). It is a totally cool fairly medieval looking bedroom. Did they look at how many fantasy books are in my bookshelves? (Also clean, organized and moved to a new spot in the room), or perhaps the type of movies I like? The dreams that I have where I’m a warrior elf…they know about those, maybe that was the inspiration for the fairy/elf/fantasy room? Maybe though, just maybe, they know me that well.

I thought – initially – there was one thing missing. Why wasn’t Naveen Andrews, or HIM, or the Rock, or Oded Fehr or even Mark Harmon not part of the décor? And then I realized it wasn’t that the room was missing a guy, it was that I needed a totally cool medieval gown thingy to wear in it. Something like the one I had just bought in Victoria. Perfect timing. I even wondered if they were in cahoots with my sister, but she was as surprised as I was when I phoned her to tell her about the room.

All I can say in conclusion, is that A) I’m going to need Ky’s mailing address and B) those Hingstons better be prepared for being cooked for on a regular basis. ‘Cause they’re AWESOME. I’d put the whole thing on a level with how wonderful it was to go on Safari in Africa. And let me tell you, going on safari is an absolutely amazing experience. Merci, Al, Bronwyn, Ky and Lyn.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Edmonton, Part Three

We arrived in Edmonton at the hotel with enough time to eat, shower and get dressed for the wedding itself. It was a very nice wedding – very low key, none of the crazy expensive dancing camel weirdness that so many weddings seem to have these days. Also, unlike the bride at the last wedding I went to, the bride didn’t pass out drunk before the evening was over.

We checked out early the next day because we planned on spending the day at the West Edmonton Mall. I am not overly fond of mall life, but given that we’re not likely to be there again, it seemed fitting that we should spend some time there. And boy, did we spend some time there! Eight and a half hours in total.

Now, before you wonder how anyone could spend that much time shopping, I should clarify: we spent that much time at the mall, but very little of it shopping. We ate breakfast there, and then went on the rollercoaster. WOW! I sat with M., who was white-faced and silent the whole ride. (Which, by the way, was the most time on a rollercoaster that I’ve had. They weren’t stingy at all, none of the 40 seconds and you’re done stuff here). A. and I hooted and hollered the whole time. Great ride, and despite having eater minutes before, no one was sick.

The next stop was the much anticipated (by M.) Build-a-Bear workshop. The woman who started the thing (they had her biography there) was told it would never work but let me tell you, there were four tills working non-stop the whole time we were there. M. spent all of her holiday money there. That place must be making money hand over fist.

The next stop was supposed to be the pool area, but there was a bungee thing on the way. A bungee cords and trampoline sort of arrangement. Both kids wanted to try it, so I said I’d pay. No way to be able to pay for A. to do the big jump, so this seemed like a good compromise. I wasn’t going to do it myself, but A. said this may be the closest I’d get to jumping off a balcony a la Lara Croft (my favourite part of the first Croft movie) and I should do it. I wanted to hold out for an actual castle and a bungee, but in all honesty he was probably right, so we all did it. It was wonderful, I highly recommend it. If I could afford to set this up in the back yard I would. Or in a castle, but I’d need to find the castle first.

Finally, the part that I was looking forward to: the water park. I am a water baby, and so are my two babies. We spent five hours in the pool area. A. and I couldn’t get enough of the wave pool, and the slides, once we started on them were wonderful. There was one, though, that I almost didn’t do. It was one of those slide with a really severe drop. No gently sloping curve with turns and twists, just one straight slide. Sitting at the top I thought that despite my love of water sliding my fear of heights would win out. But A. was in the twin slide beside me, a couple of teens were behind us waiting, so when A. said “one, two three go!” I went. Holy Moly, that’s all I have to say. More sliding, more surfing and then we decided that we had to get the dog and get some supper.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Land of 1000 Euphemisms.

Normally I get guys. More than I get women, actually. Get as in understand, not get get. And yes, saying the same word twice changes its meaning. Sometimes, though, I just don’t get things at all. Two recent incidents come to mind.

The first one, yes, I’m an idiot but I caught on pretty quickly. I was in the kitchen, cookie dough ready to go, and I couldn’t find the racks. So there I was, slowly looking around, trying to find them. And things went roughly like this:

What do you need?
Where are the racks? I NEED A RACK.
Well. It would appear to me that you already have one.

Yes, it took a second, but I did get it. The kitchen boys thought it was hilarious. Because they’re guys? Who knows.

The second incident needs some defense before I talk about it. You know how you get one idea in your head, and you just stay on that track? Well, I make good iced tea. May-B makes better, but if I make the effort and add sliced citrus to mine it is excellent. But the only thing I have to make it in is the plastic container we used to make Kool-aid with (no more K.A., too much sugar). It’s icky. If I was going to brew really good tea, and then slice up some nice lemons and oranges, I wanted a really nice glass pitcher for it. So that was my mind set.” Need something nice for iced tea”. Off to the store I went.

I get a few other things, but I cannot for the life of me find anything for the tea. At the front by the customer service counter there are four guys. As I stand there looking like I need help, things progress thusly:
Can I help you find something?
Yes. Do you have any jugs?
(giggle) What?
Do you have jugs?
(giggle giggle)
I’m sorry…you’re trying to find jugs? Giggle. And yet more giggles.
Yes! And what’s so funny? (At this point, I look just behind me, and see a whole display of jugs, but they’re the plastic kind, and too small. I brilliantly deduce that they are laughing because I want help finding something that I am standing beside).

Oh…you’re laughing because of the jugs right in front of me. Well, they’re too small! I want something much bigger. Big (and God help me I actually used my hands here) jugs.

(Gales of laughter. So much so that I thought one guy was going to pee).
(Giggle). Jugs. You said jugs.

Light goes on in brain. I am mortified. They are vastly humoured. I leave the store jug-less. So to speak.

In a similar vein (well, similar in that I am still talking about guys, and body parts. Just a different part, and a different guy). I went to Campbell Collegiate two nights last week to listen to the kids band concerts. On the second night I was walking on the sidewalk behind a man who was with his son. They must have been going to the gym, because the son was wearing gym clothes and had a basketball under his arm. (Which begs the question: why bring your own basketball to a game at school? How different can they be?) The dad has that rumpled potato that just got off the coach look to him. He has shorts on, and one leg of the shorts is sort of ricked up. And…well…there he was, exposed to the world. So how on earth can you be outside, on a cool and breezy Saskatchewan evening and not be aware that your Johnson is out and about? HOW??

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Stop with the Googly Eyes

We all get the occasional complement at work. Some more than others, I dare say, but enough that even I get one now and again. Which is good, yes? But here’s the thing: I came in yesterday, and Chip said I looked nice. (Thanks). That the jacket I had on was very nice (thanks). That it fit really well (umm, getting a bit much here). Honestly, it fits really well and the white lace thing (which was a tank top thing) was really pretty (way too much) and that it all fit really well. (Ack! Stop staring at my chest. Which, come to think of it, is really well hidden beneath various layers of clothing. Why is Chip staring at the girls? Why is it that whether I wear daring, decent or downright Victorian clothes, Ickythickears and Chip keep staring?You’d think I have the map to the Holy Grail tattooed somewhere on them. And I don’t, so don’t ask).

There. That’s my bit for today.

Monday, May 29, 2006

A Fun Time Part Two

We left Saskatoon and proceeded to North Battleford, which was new Saskatchewan territory for me, sort of. Years ago I went there on a business trip, but it was winter, dark when we got there and dark when we left. We were picking up records, and the only thing I remember is the waterslide. The hotel had a pool and slide, and I’d packed a suit (because you never know when you might need one, even in winter), so I went for a swim and a slide. There was a sign on the door to inquire at the front desk if you were interested in water sliding, so off to the front desk I dutifully went. I no longer remember the exact words, but the gist of the situation was the front desk clerk thought it was “unprofessional” of me to want to water slide on a business trip. I said I wasn’t planning on meeting clients in the pool, the business was done and I wanted to slide. I got a few more snarky remarks about what REAL business people are like, and in the end she turned the slide on for me. Silly woman. (her, not me!).

So…new territory. May-B, who was going to see Aunt Coral (I think I got that right. Maybe it was Pearl? One of the organic gems, at any rate) somewhere beyond North Battleford offered us an overnight spot at the Church camp where her grandmother was staying. This was great, way better than sleeping bags on a living room floor. There were beds, and showers and other people and everything. The kids had a great time, and A. even joined in a game of football and took in a church service which is quite a big step for him. He is an extrovert with people he knows, but is very shy when he doesn’t know anyone. M. and I stayed in with the dog whilst May-B and A. went to the service.

We got a tour of the place, which was interesting but it made me sad, too. This is the church camp (formerly many things, including an orphanage) that the Hingstons grew up with, and it was very much like the one from my childhood which closed its doors for good this year. I always intended to go back sometime, and now I can’t. Sigh. Such is life, things change and life continues.

We got up quite early, piled quietly into the car and headed to Lloydminster. Absolutely new territory for me, so I enjoyed the drive. It poured rain the whole time, though, which kind of sucked. We stopped for gas and breakfast in Lloydminster (on the Alberta side) and continued on to Edmonton. The kids continued to behave incredibly well. Not that they’re monsters, but I thought that a long trip with three people and one dog in a small car would be difficult. My bet was that they would sleep, or just listen to whatever they had on their Ipods. As it happened no one argued, we took turns with what music we all listened to, and it was fun. They switched places every now and again and visited with me when they were in the front. I could have made a movie teaching kids on the way to behave on a road trip.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

And a fun time was had by all.

I figure I’ll split the tale of the trip to Edmonton into several different posts. It was a short weekend, but we seemed to stuff a whole lot into it. I wouldn’t want you overwhelmed! No burning vacuums will appear in any of the posts. I promise.

Edmonton, Part One:
It occurred to me on Thursday that if there was any way I could split the trip in two (without a hotel bill) then perhaps I should do that. The original plan – which was affordable, but bordered on the insane –was to drive all morning on Saturday, and back all day Sunday, one night – the night of the wedding – in a hotel.

Seeing the inherent dangers of such a plan, I got in touch with the ever-kind famille Hingston, to see if Ky could spare us some living room floor on Friday night. That would make the trip to Edmonton shorter. B. responded with an offer to travel with her to North Battleford, and actual beds to sleep on at the Church camp in what used to be an orphanage. Travel in a convoy? You bet!

Friday morning I was up and cooking super early. The bread customers were going to have to go without on Saturday, but at least there would be some Ciabatta available on Friday for them. I thought I could get ready for the trip, bake, pack, deliver and still work most of Friday. Have I mentioned that I have momentary lapses in judgment? I did get the baking done and delivered, but it took until noon to get everything else ready: Lexi to the kennel – because I am not THAT crazy – dishes done, lawn mowed, clothes packed, mountains of antihistamine taken and packed (all three of us spent the first part of the trip sneezing until the drugs kicked in), shopping done, car gassed and oil checked, etc. travel money ready…you get the picture. You probably got it a while ago, yes?

We met up with B. and her puppies (for those of you that thought it was crazy to bring Jazz, keep this in mind: I had no where else I could possibly put him, and B. had three dogs with her. THREE!) shortly after two, and with cold drinks in hand headed out.

We stopped in Davidson for a puppy water break and stretch, and again at the Smitty’s on the highway just outside of Saskatoon. We fed and watered the dogs, and then headed into Smitty’s to get fed and watered ourselves. Onward to the Battlefords!

Monday, May 08, 2006

I need to get out more.

How do I know this? I know this because I just winked flirtatiously at the paper clip help guy on Outlook. That's why. Shut up.

It is all about the fish

great moments in history
see how three presidents answered the question "what was the best moment of your presidency?"to summarize:

Carter: the camp david negotiations

Clinton: the resolution of the kosovo crisis

Bush: that time i caught a big fish on my ranch

Thanks for the above to

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware." -Martin Buber

After months of not going anywhere, things are shaping up. On the May long weekend we (as in A. M. and I) are going to Edmonton for a wedding. This will be the first long trip I’ve done with my kids on my own since…well, since ever. Even for the trips to Cypress Hills and Madge Lake I had my sister with me. So – off on adventure for the three of us – all for one and one for all!

June sees me heading west again, but sans enfants. I am going to BC to visit my dad (in Sidney) and my sister (in Victoria). I am flying into Vancouver and taking the ferry to Sidney. A bit more complicated, but I love taking that route. I’ve met some interesting people and had some interesting adventures going from Vancouver to Schwartz Bay. Gone from a Saturday until the following Wednesday. I’m going to pack as many things into that time frame as I can. Suggestions welcome!

July will see the three of us in Cypress hills for a family reunion, and beyond that…who knows? Perhaps there is indeed a secret destination that I am unaware of. Life is sweet.