Thursday, April 29, 2010

I miss the elevator

We don't have an office on the third floor anymore, so no more belly dance practicing elevator rides. And I'm kinda missing it. I do sometimes work on a Turkish shimmy when I'm walking if there isn't anyone around but it's not the same. And there is nowhere - people around or not - nowhere to practice chest popping.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pretty as a Picture

I put winter clothes away and brought summer clothes out over Easter. And for the first time in years, instead of having to keep on box of summer things away because everything was too small, I've been able to fit the dresses as well as filling the box with winter things that are too big that I will be giving away. Woot!

So here I am, at work on Boobquake day wearing a lovely pink and black dress. I know it's pretty, that is. No one else does because I've had to bury myself in the spare sweater I keep at work. Big warm and bulky, which is good. It is FREEZING in here. I guess I put the winter clothes away a little too soon. Spring on the prairies - always a surprise.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

When sleep deserts you

There are some good things about not being able to fall asleep. Not, unfortunately, if falling asleep is a real problem but if it is a rare occurrence then some good can come of it.

First, if you run a bath at four in the morning, NO ONE bothers you. There are no requests for car borrowing, money loaning, permission granting, cheque signing, snack finding, cookie making. You can have a full hour of sheer bliss.

Also, if breakfast is your favourite meal to make (as it is for me), you can make crêpe batter at five and let it sit for a full hour before cooking them up. And then you can do things like…

Take a handful of brown sugar, and liquefy it. Carefully! Then pour in whipping cream. Being careful not to be burnt by spitting sugar, naturally. Then you whisk it to creamy smoothness, add apple chunks, some cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt. Yes, you read that correctly. Caramel + salt are a lovely combination. In time, once things have simmered for a while you can cook your crêpes, fill them with cinnamon toffee apples, fold them up, drizzle some syrup on top and maybe some whipped cream and then a few maple flakes and then – well, then you stop. Because it’s just breakfast, not some competition.

Have to say waking people up with a hot breakfast already made is more effective than a bucket of cold water. The best, though, is baking something like cinnamon buns. Then people actually walk out of their bedrooms of their own accord, like hungry zombies looking for buns, not brains.

I’m a bit worried about supper. I figure if I stay awake that long the best I’ll be able to come up with is the suggestion that perhaps we should all fast. NOT a good choice with one of the “we” is a teenage boy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More than Words

I’m on my second Victoria Clayton book. I’ve decided to make a list of all the words I’ve had to look up, so I can post it whenever I’ve finished with the spate of Clayton reading.

I’ll probably find that instead of reading too much I don’t’ read anywhere near enough. Every time I’ve come across a new word the head voice (the one that is always quick to remind you that you’re not pretty enough, smart enough, kind enough, rich enough, skinny enough….it’s an endless list, almost) says “Betcha Ky knows that word. Allison probably does too. You’re an idiot”.

Some of the words I’ll never be able to use (kibe), but at least I’ll know what they mean! You know what I would like though? I’d like jargon from the 20’s to make a come back. I’m dying to call some guy a cuddle cootie.

No sugar tonight in my coffee

No sugar tonight in my tea. Or tomorrow, or the day after or the day after that. I've become so used to eating a healthy balanced diet- 12 weeks as of the 12th of April! - that I need a new challenge. I went an entire year with sugarless tea. I didn't enjoy it as much as sweetened tea, but when I went back to sugar in my tea I used a lot less, so it was a good plan.

Now, however, there is a lot less sugar in my diet overall so I don't think it will be as difficult an adjustment as it was the first time. We'll see in a few weeks: today is my first day of unsweetened tea. And if you were going to suggest artificial sweetener that's ok, I've already tried them all.I can always taste the chemical aftertaste with them. Better to have nothing than a cup of bitter metal tasting ickyness.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New music on the Box

Seems my most recent new discoveries music-wise (say for the last couple of years) have been either things that The Boy has added to my ipod (like Prodigy) or stuff from shows like Bones. The latter means a lot of weepy songs.

I'm including three. I've never looked at the video for the first, because I don't want to know what the guy looks like. His voice is so awesomely grief laden that I don't want it ruined by some cheerful chubby faced singing teenager. Because you never know what you'll find behind the voice these days. Anyway, the song (and the band, because I love their stuff in general) is She Just Wept.

I also really like I Hurt Too by Katie Herzog. And yes, I cried during this episode. Many times. I'm a baby.

One more? Why not. So, also from Bones, You by Fisher.

Say What?

I like a book that isn’t written for grade eighters. I really hate classes on writing that insist that this is the level you should write for. Surely if we always aim for a grade eight audience eventually we’ll find that there are those that find it too lofty and we’ll have to aim for grade seven? And then six? At some point people who can read will be the elite minority. I digress. Sorry.

So yes, when an author has a word that I don’t know I am quite pleased. I look it up so I have a new word and I continue on with reading. The author I am currently reading (Victoria Clayton) is turning out to be quite the wordsmith. I’ve come across three unfamiliar words so far. It is far more usual to find three words in every hundred books read, so three in the first hundred pages of a single book is amazing. I think I’ll keep a paper in the back of the book to write things down as by the time I’d found a dictionary I’d forgotten the first word I wanted to check. The second word was tumid (in the context of the story, the first definition in the OED, "swollen". Also means bombastic). The third word, the one that made me stop right then and there to search for a definition was this: deliquescent.

Now maybe you know what this means. Kudos to you, that’s pretty good. Maybe I should learn Latin, to help with etymology. Anyway, I had to look it up. Not that the dictionary gave me an answer that solved it for me. Their definition was:
the act or process of deliquescing.
the substance produced when something deliquesces.

Ah, I see. Totally clear now. Sigh. Back to OED online. So, what does deliquesce mean?

–verb (used without object),-quesced, -quesc•ing.
to become liquid by absorbing moisture from the air, as certain salts.
to melt away.
Botany. to form many small divisions or branches.

Does this count as continuing education?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Things your mother should tell you.

You know how y'all get on my case about the...ummm... overspending on things that no one but I ever end up seeing? Well, let me tell you, I'm glad I did. Do. Whatever.

Because whilst your mother probably told you to always wear clean underwear in case you are in a car accident (apparently EMS people and trauma nurses are more uptight about clean undies than blood, gore and various bits of dismembered limbs), you know what else you should have been told?

Wear pretty underpinnings just in case, on a day when you're wearing shoes that really you shouldn't be wearing, you trip and fall landing in an ungainly heap with a torn dress. Because that would be a terrible time to be wearing ancient gray baggy underwear.

There, now you know.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

et tu pain perdu

I haven't had a McDonald's hamburger in over ten years. Or any other fast food hamburger for that matter. Why? Because they grill their burgers on the same grill they fry bacon. It isn't enough to send me to hospital with a reaction the the nitrites, but it is enough to make me very sick indeed, so no more burgers out. Same goes for eggs. If I have eggs in a restaurant (and I love an eggy breakfast) then I choose poached eggs.

The poached egg decision really started when I DID have to go to the Hospital after having egg and toast at a local breakfast place. Turned out that at the time they fried their eggs in bacon fat. Why? Because it was there, and it was cheap. I don't know if they still do but it doesn't matter, eggs fried on the same grill as bacon may not kill me, but they will certainly make me sick.

You'd think I would have worked out the grill thing, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong. I went out for supper last night, and had French toast. That in itself is odd. I normally don't pay for something in a restaurant that I make easily and well at home. Nevertheless, that's what I did. And of course....they fry their French Toast (or pain perdu as we call it) on the same grill that they cook their bacon.

Sigh. So what lessons did I learn last night? a) anything that is grilled or fried in a restaurant is likely to have some contact with bacon, at least anything breakfast-y is, b) French toast is better going down than coming up and c) fair skinned people look terrible and blotchy when they've been sick. Really really terrible, and really really blotchy.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Immature mind. In the literal sense.

Through a rather convoluted route I ended up re-reading Day of the Triffids. If you’re involved in Agriculture and/or international trade this won’t seem an odd choice. To everyone else it may be. Anyway, I re-read it.

When did I first read it? Grade four. Or maybe grade five. I’m trying to remember which teacher said she thought it was inappropriate. One of those years, at any rate. And don’t worry, not all of my reading was like that. I had shelves full of Nancy Drew, The Happy Hollisters, The Hardy Boys and Cherry Ames too. I may have been a reading nut, but I was a well-balanced nut!

What I’ve come to realize with reading it this time around is that it is a completely different book than it was the first time. Oh, sure, the words are all the same. But reading it then, it was just a story. The deeper points went sailing over my wee little head. It was like reading a completely different book this time.

And now I’m wondering about the rest of the John Wyndham books. Maybe I should read them again too? And various other authors who no doubt were doing more than just telling a story, although I won’t go so far as to agree with those who see deep political importance in The Hobbit. Lord of the Rings trilogy yes, The Hobbit, no. But I could be wrong about that. I was wrong about Triffids, after all!