Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Plans have changed

When my sisters and I were much younger, we had a Commodore 128 (with 64 emmulation mode!). One of our favourite games was a Barbie game, that in retrospect, had to be the most sexist game ever. The game went like this:

Barbie, who was as immobile and plastic on the computer screen as she is in real life, is standing around her house, when the phone rings. Surprise! It's Ken! Ken is calling to invite Barbie, his go-to gal for lame-ass events, to go somewhere. Usually, it's boring stuff, like playing tennis, going on a picnic, or going to the pool. Sometimes it's to the prom (which seemed normal at the time, but makes no sense now. They weren't in high school, so did they just drive around looking for proms to crash?). Whatever it was, Barbie always responded with a chipper, "Gee, that sounds like fun!" Then Ken would tell her he'd pick her up in an hour, and hang up.

Now came the challenge - getting Barbie ready for whatever it was Ken was taking her to. She'd drive around in her car, and you'd stop at the shoe shop, the hairdresser's, and various clothing shops. You could change and colour her hair, or change the colour and pattern of the clothes and shoes - but she had to be back home in an hour! Which is soooo unrealistic - everyone knows that it takes two weeks of solid prep time for Barbie to pick out the perfect ensemble to go play tennis.

Once she got home, one of two things would happen. Either the doorbell would ring and Ken would whisk her off to some boring function, or the phone would ring and it would be that pansy-assed coward Ken, calling to cancel. "Gee Barbie, plans have changed, would you like to go to the [insert event]?"*

Because we played this game so much, "Gee Barbie, plans have changed" became a catchphrase in our family - a way of saying that something we had planned to do had undergone some retooling, and we needed to replan. And it was a fun way of boring aquaintances with stories from our childhoods, so, y'know - two birds, one stone, and all that.

All this to say that the plans for going home this weekend have changed. Not drastically, but changed nonetheless. My sister and I in the roll of Barbie, and my mother in the roll of Ken (sort of). The original plan was that I was going to stop at her place on my way home on Friday night, Saturday morning we'd hit the LYS in her neighbourhood, and then we'd proceed home. I'd get my hair cut Saturday afternoon, and then we'd hit the LYS's there.

My sister called this evening to say that my mother has been dropping seriously heavy hints about wanting us home Friday night, so we altered our plans accordingly. She, her husband, and my younger sister will head home Friday evening, and I'll head straight home Friday night. It's actually a better plan, since it required a detour to get to her place. Plus, we'll have Saturday morning to hit a few LYSs, get my hair cut, and then hit a few more. Plus, I won't have to worry about the blueberry perogies thawing out over Friday night, and I can cook them up when I get home.

*Incidentally, if you put Barbie in a bikini or skimpy bathing suit and heels, it was guaranteed that Ken would take her anywhere, even if it was to the prom. Asshat.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Book club verdict: Wicked

Just back from book club. The unanimous verdict of all members (the three of us) was that of profound disappointment. There were so many plot points left undeveloped, and so many opportunities to tie things together were ignored. It was flat and unengaging, and there was very little that got us excited enough to want to keep reading [I've typed that sentence three times, three different ways, and it still doesn't sound right].

The discussion took us slightly over 45 minutes. The rest of the evening was spent playing Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, at which the host thoroughly rocked mine and the other member's asses.

The next book we'll be discussing is Lamb by Christopher Moore, which I've read but it was long enough ago that I'm sort of fuzzy on some of the plot.

The Snickers Prophesy

I'm watching late night television, and I just saw a commercial for Snicker's. It's the Rube Goldberg-esque one where a string of events happen to this guy who just ate a Snickers, and ends with him being elected President. The slogan is "If you eat Snickers, you could be President" (or something like that).

So that's how Dubya got elected!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Another post about my bad mood

Guys? Consider yourselves very lucky that you didn't accompany me to the market this morning. Thursday I was grumpy, yesterday I was mildly irritated. Today I was downright foul. I'm seriously PMSing, which doesn't usually happen - most of the time I get cramps and call it a day. But this is one of the other times, where I become a right royal bitch about two weeks in advance.

Usually, it manifests itself as what I like to call my "anti-people" mood. I don't like being around crowds, and the littlest things make me grit my teeth and lower my head. Like, at the market this morning - if one more person had stopped in the middle of the walkway just one more time, there would have been mayhem. Elderly ladies with carts - at whom I normally smile and let in front of me! - were cutting me off left, right and centre, and taking their damn sweet time about it, too. The perogie place only had one bag of blueberry perogies left, and I'm not going to have a chance to get more before I go home next weekend. And let's not go into the mentality of the drivers in the parking lot (or Sudbury drivers in general...)

It was no better at the grocery store. I think I said the f-word more times in ten minutes that I usually do over the course of a month. And again with the getting caught behind people who walked down the middle of the aisle and stopped for no obvious reason. It took for bloody ever to find the Brita filters, and the Wheat Thins were on the bottom of the cracker shelves, behind a box of some other kind of cracker that some idiot was too lazy to put back into the right spot.

When I got to the checkout, the guy in front of me was arguing about a bag of trail mix, so someone had to be dispatched to fetch the two kinds plus the price label. The guy behind me almost ran over my foot with his cart and kept pushing my groceries further down the belt. I turned around to glare at him, and it was some middle-aged dude with unkempt facial hair and an Abercrombie and Fitch t-shirt - there are so many things wrong with that image, that I don't even know where to start.

And when I get home? I'm missing a bag of groceries - the one with my cereal and the *&$% Wheat Thins.

I'd barricade myself in my apartment for the rest of the afternoon, but the laundry is threatening to take over. *sigh*

Bjork and Alice Cooper

I saw the video for Bjork's latest, Oceania Saturday night. The song itself is okay, typical Bjork - lovely soaring stuff. But the video itself was gorgeous - I can't describe it very well, but it was visually stunning.

And I also finally saw the Office Depot commercial which features Alice Cooper. Man, I laughed my arse off!

Friday, August 27, 2004

The bitch is back

Could I have picked a worse day to oversleep and wake up with a headache and nausea? Today was my four-month review, and dashing in five minutes late wasn't how I wanted to start the day. The review went well - I'm not as flaky as I think I am, and there were only two suggestions about my work so far. And I got laughed at because I was freaking out about being slightly late - I stayed a little later to make up for it.

Generally, the last two days I've been in a foul mood. Yesterday I snapped (sort of) at one of my co-workers. I wasn't really mad, I just didn't want to reorganize the back office because I had stuff to do. So I was grumpy most of the day, and because I was tired most of today, I was still slightly grumpy. The couple behind me at the grocery store tonight almost felt the full force of my wrath - who the jeezly hell cares when egg salad officially becomes egg salad? The sounded like teenagers - "Well, I asked Jackie, and she said it was when you put it on the bread!" "Jackie told me it was when you added the mayo!" OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! Shut up both of you! And tell your kids that the next one to whine about potato salad vs. coleslaw is going to be banished to a realm where all there is to eat is potato salad and coleslaw!

So tonight is for staying in and taking out my frustrations on Wicked. Less than 100 pages to go - woo-hoo.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Peaches and reading

This morning when I got up, the peaches I bought at the market on Saturday had infused my apartment with a wonderful, peachy smell. Before it became the sickly-sweet smell of rotting peaches, I made them into peach crisp. Yum! I will have to get more tomorrow so I'll be able to make peach crisp for the book club on Sunday night.

Book club - we'll be discussing Wicked. My thoughts so far? It paints the Witch as a completly sympathetic character (but I'm not finished it yet), and it has served to reinforce my dislike of The Wizard of Oz. But it's boring me to tears! I want to read something else! Give me a chicklit book! Something fluffy that doesn't require deep analysis!

Right. Now to tinker with the page for the twenty minutes I have left until I fall asleep at my desk.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Watch out for the drop clothes and the wet paint!

As you may have noticed, this site is under constant construction. At least for now. I FINALLY figured out how to add a third column and put it on the left had side. And format it using CSS. Go me! Coming soon - blog links! (I've spent the better part of the evening assembling them; tomorrow comes the fun task of setting them up on the page.)

I had to frog (knitspeak for unravel) the QaF socks last night. I found a couple of errors in earlier rows, which really stood out. Besides, I had somehow ended up with an extra stitch on two needles, and it was messing up the ribbing. Bah! Tomorrow I finish work early, and I am going to the LYS (knitspeak for "local yarn store") to pick up some longer circular needles for the poncho, and some yarn to make a hat for a sick friend.

After work today, I rushed to the library to pick up a book I had ordered through interlibrary loan, because it was showing up as in on my record. However, when I arrived 10 minutes before closing, I was told that the book was not actually in and I'd be called when it did finally come in. Nuts. I've been looking forward to reading it since May (Tanya Huff's The Fifth Quarter).

Monday, August 23, 2004


Shout-out (or is it props? I never know which is the correct term) to Jody at Steel White Table, who sent me a Gmail invite. Here's the link to my smart-ass answer to his skill-testing question.

And now I'm all homesick for Halifax again. Even though I'm not actually from there, I got to play the part of a Haligonian for two years. Good times, those were.

Caroline's Page

Caroline's Page - the sweetest, saddest tribute ever.

If you need me, I'll be on the phone with my Dad.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

WIPs (Works in Progress)

These are all the knitting projects I have on the go at the moment:

  • a scarf, using Bernat Boa (in Mocking Bird) and some real vintage yarn that came in a bag of scraps my grandmother gave me years ago - it needs another few inches (depending on how long the vintage yarn holds out) and a fringe;
  • a poncho, using Red Heart Cozy wool (in Paprika - think tomato soup red) - I started it last night while doing the Girl's Night In thing at a friend's place. So far, so good, but I need to get longer circular needles because I'm running out of room on the current set;
  • QaF socks, in Paton's Kroy - still working on the cuff of the first sock;
  • a purse/shoulder bag using some unknown scraps I picked up in remnant bins at a few places - I've finished the shoulder strap using a yarn that's a blend of nylon ribbon, mohair, and lace (it's a bitch to knit with, but looks kind of funky when done up). The bag itself will be made with a medium-grey chunky wool, of which there is almost a full ball, but we'll see how far it goes;
  • trying to finish a halter top I started for my sister a year ago, but had to add a back. I don't know what kind of yarn it is because there's hardly any yarn left (yikes!) and there aren't any labels in the bag.
I'm also doing an experiment to see how long it takes to wear out my Modest Mouse [warning - plays music when it opens] cd. Three hours later, it's still holding up to the challenge.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Live bait

As seen on a sign driving up Hwy. 11 yesterday:


Below that:

"Get your live bait here! Crayfish! Minnows! Worms!"

And the first thing that crossed my mind was, "Holy cow! What kind of fish do you catch with hamsters?"

(Sorry - I don't have a digital camera to capture these things)

That was weird...

Oooookkaaaaayyy... I'm all weirded out now.

I wrote up the previous post yesterday morning before I left for a work-related "field trip" (aka site visit), and thought I'd accidentally deleted all the text in the body of the message. So I took a couple of deep breaths, saved what was left as a draft, and turned the computer off. This afternoon, when I went to edit the post, the whole thing - everything I thought was gone - was there.

To compound the weirdness, Firefly was in my mailbox when I got home tonight. (It was actually wedged in pretty good - it took some tugging to get it out. I don't know why the postal carrier didn't leave me a card to go pick it up).

And in other weirdness, my printer that wasn't working after the move is now working. No blinking lights, no strange sounds, nothing. The print quality is still pretty crappy, and there are lines and smudges, but I'm not printing anything fancy in the near future that I need a pristine page for.

I've been craving Coke all afternoon since I saw a co-worker drinking a can - maybe if I go look in my fridge, a bottle of Coke will have magically appeared!

Rats. No Coke in my fridge. But hey, three for four isn't bad at all.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Curse of the Online Book Retailer

I think that Amazon.ca and Chapters Indigo are conspiring to deny me my reading and viewing material.

This past May, I ordered two books from Amazon.ca - Keeping Current, by Steven M. Cohen (it's a book about the Internet for Librarians), and The Value of X, by Poppy Z. Brite. Both are published by American publishers, and aren't readily available in Canada, so I expected a delay. I received the Cohen book in July, and it's excellent - it currently has a place of honour on my bookcase beside my desk.

Value of X? I got another email from Amazon.ca earlier this week telling me it had been delayed another 4-6 weeks, which puts the new delivery day sometime in the month of September. It's been delayed four times now, and I'm getting antsy. Every so often, I check the publisher's page, and the preorder is sold out. I have no clue what the delay is, and I'm afraid that they're going to come back in September and tell me they can't get it and I'll be SOL.

Last week, I ordered two DVD box sets from Chapters - what the hell, they were 50% off. Futurama arrived Monday, to my delight. Firefly? Temporarily out of stock, but they will be re-ordering more copies.

*sigh* I'm not disappointed or upset with either retailer, because other things I've ordered came at nearly lightning speed. Futurama took three days, and Brite's Drawing Blood (I've named my African Violet Natty Boho, after the beer featured in the book) took five. But it just seems like there's a little grey fog around some of my orders recently.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

#*@% Socks!

I've been knitting off and on since I was young. I also crochet, and I'm much better at it, but right now, I'm going through a knitting phase. I want to be good at it, but there are still some things I need to work at.

Case and point - I'm trying to knit a pair of socks. I've named them the "Queer as Folk Kroy Socks" because a) I'm watching season 2 of QaF while I work on them, b) they're rainbow-coloured (to go along with the theme), and c) I'm using Paton's Kroy to make them. I've had to make two swatches, and neither are the correct size (but I'm going with the bigger one because I don't think the correct gauge swatch would be big enough). I know I can knit on four needles - I've done it before! - but this yarn is so small and the needles are tiny! I'm having trouble with tension, and the damned things are frustrating me to the point I wake up in the middle of the night worrying about them.

This can't be healthy. I think I'll make the poncho that's featured on Yarn Harlot's blog.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

To market, to market

On Saturday mornings, I love going to the farmer's market. It's a leftover habit from Halifax, when I'd go there for Saturday noodles, very strong French roast coffee, and croissants from Mary's breadbasket. I'd then have to decide in which room to sit, in the smaller area by Mary's or in the large hall in front of the Keith's brewery - often it came down to who was busking where. There was this one guy who was pretty tuneless, and sang angry union songs that didn't seem to make much sense. Or there were the two young kids who were wizards on the fiddle. There was also a string quartet occasionally, or a six-piece bluegrass band. My favourite was the kid on the classical guitar - he couldn't have been more than 11 or 12, but man, that kid had more talent in his pinky that most people have in their whole body.

The market here isn't nearly as big or grand as the one in Halifax. There are a few artisians, a few food vendors (Mexican, Jamacian, Chinese, and the Perogie Princess), and some farmers outside. I love getting my veggies here, and yesterday I got some yellow wax beans, raspberries, peaches (from Niagara - ha!), and corn on the cob. The raspberries got crushed, so I mashed them with some sugar for breakfast this morning. The beans are for supper tonight, and the peaches need to ripen up some. The corn was eaten as soon as I got home yesterday. I also had a lovely chat with the couple who operate the coffee stand - his mother is from Cape Breton, and we often swap stories about goings on out there.

There's something conforting about my Saturday morning ritual, and come winter, I'll miss going.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

The view from my old apartment.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Luckily I started this blog for just such an emergency

This is a test. This is just a test. This is a test of my blog, just to see what it looks like (like every new blogger doesn't do this!). If this were a real post, there would be actual content. I'm not sure what kind of content, but there you go - it would be there.

I do have another journally-bloggy thing elsewhere, and I still like doing it, but I've been coveting one over here for a while. And ten minutes ago, while scrubbing the tub, I came up with the perfect name for it. (Shout-out to a former classmate, who used to refer to me as "Larocque and Roll", which is where I got the name.) Which is funny, because normally, it takes me upwards of weeks to come up with a clever title, username, whatnot. This came to me in a blinding flash of inspiration, and I had to use it.

At any rate, welcome!