Thursday, March 31, 2005

Short stuff

Brief posty goodness:

There was a thunderstorm here this morning. It wasn't very long, but it did cause a radical change in the air pressure. And we all know what that means, don't we? Headache. I went back to bed, slept for an hour, and went in slightly late this morning. No biggie. It's gone now. I did try and write another review this morning, but I couldn't look directly at the monitor because it hurt my eyes, so I need to edit it (again) before I post it.

I burned my knuckle making soup tonight. Pretty sure it was the steam, but I may have accidentally whacked it on the side of the pot. It still hurts a little, but the soup was really good. (It's leftover-veggies-and-gravy-and-turkey-from-Easter-dinner soup.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Books update

For all of you reading this through Bloglines* or other news aggregators, or for those of you playing along at home who wandered off in search of tea while I was writing about something that was of no interest to you, like curling or knitting or my idea of a perfect, yet totally geeky birthday, and started thinking about what else you could do in the kitchen while you were there and missed the saga of my "Books I've Read" site - to update with Blogger or not to update with Blogger?

*whew* That was a long sentence.

Anyhoo, I've taken decisive action while putting off working on my taxes or anything else productive. I got rid of the Blogger version because it was too much aggravation, and have gone back to the good 'ol plain HTML version.

But now that I think about it, how will you know when I've updated it, or posted a new review? Maybe I should have done like Julie and made a blog for my books**.

Nah. You can just come here and check it occasionally. They're personal reflections on the stuff I've been reading, and I don't mind sharing it with y'all.

Right! Where was I? Updates! Yes, I finally got around to posting an "About" blurb, and several more reviews. I'm up to mid-February now, and will be posting March's list sometime after Friday. The total number of books I've read or listened to so far is 26. Plus! I made a button for it an put it on the right, below the TSF button. Easy to find, easy to click on!

I didn't do any reading tonight - I watched Scrubs and The Office (US) instead. Tomorrow night is Lost and Godiva's, the new show on Bravo! about a restaurant in Vancouver.

*All 8 of you. No, wait - 7 of you. I'm the 8th. Yes, I subscribe to my own feed. How else would I know if the feed is actually working, or that I've spelled something simple like "is" as "os"?
** Note to Julie: I like the title! Please post a review soon!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Post-Easter post

Blogger's acting weird tonight. Please, please Blogger - let me post this!

For the second time in a week, I've abandoned posting for a few days. This time it was because every free second this past weekend was spoken for. It's all a colourful blur now, so let's just leave it at it was busy. It was great seeing everyone again since it had been SO LONG since we'd all been together last. I freely admit I was having one of those emotional rollercoaster-y PMS moods - I don't get them all the time; mostly it's just cramps - so if I bitched at anyone this weekend, I'm sorry. You probably deserved it, but I shouldn't have said it out loud (I kid! I kid!) Headway was made on my costume for the recital, and I borrowed Denise's sewing machine to finish it. I got more sequins at Len's Mills for cheap (like, fifty cents a metre!) and two balls of yarn, which brings the total number of balls of Paton's Divine I have to six. Which is almost enough to do something with.

I don't have much energy tonight. We lost at curling, even though I threw a couple of sweet shots. I've done some unpacking - the perishables went in the fridge as soon as I got home, and the laundry if in the basket. The rest can wait until tomorrow. The only thing keeping me up right now is half a peanut butter and jam sandwich, and it's telling me that it's feeling neglected. I guess I'll finish it and go to bed.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Hobby updates

As I mentioned earlier this morning, we won this week. Last week, we played our former teammates and tied, thanks to a spectacular fourth end when we scored five points. Rock on (heh heh)! The week before that, we also won. It sucks that we've finally gelled as a team so close to the end. However, I've earned the nickname "Parking Lot" because my "burners" (heavy weight rocks) tend to really move. In fact, I took out rocks on the sheet beside us one night because the collision produced such a chain reaction, one of the rocks took off in a completely random direction. Hilarious!

As I also mentioned briefly this morning, I'm in a recital in May. Half of me is totally digging it - it's like being eight years old all over again, and getting ready for your first ballet recital. Except when you're eight, you don't need a gold-covered bra or ankle-length skirt you're certain you're going to trip on at some point during the show. Where was I? Right - it should be fun. I need to make most of my costume, but I don't have fabric for the skirt yet. I'm debating on what colour to make it - my main veil is red, but since half the class has a red or reddish veil, I may make an orange one. My scarves are red and white, and I think I'll be wearing the red one. Right now, I'm leaning towards a black skirt with orange accents, but possibly an orange skirt. Maybe white. Meh - I'll decide this weekend.

Sadly, not much to report on this front. I've finished one of Dad's socks and have started the second one. The mitten I frogged still isn't finished because. . . well, I've been lazy. And I'm not sure where it is. I don't want to start anything until I've finished the sock, but I plan on making a sweater with the Patton's Up Country when I'm finished.

Books I've Read
I haven't tried playing around with the Blogger version of the Books I've Read site because it causes me much frustration. But I've posted the backup file, and I'm up to the beginning of February now. I should post my email addy over there in case you want to comment on anything.

Back to the salt mines...

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like seven or eight projects creep up on you and jump out from behind your desk at the same time. You'd think you'd notice them because that many of them make a lot of noise - there's always one that can't help snickering, or the one that steps on a twig, making an ominous snapping noise which always alerts the other party to their presence. Oh, you can't forget the clueless one - there's one in every group - who asks "What are we supposed to be doing again?" while the others try and shut it up.

Anyways. Today at work was a lot like that. I think it was worse because I didn't think about work at all yesterday, and now the chickens have come home to roost, so to speak. I didn't have the luxury of putting it out of my mind and going back to my book or my knitting because it was sitting there on my desk. All seven or eight of the projects. And-- DAMN IT! One of them just knocked over my water! And there's another one taking off with my favourite pen. GET BACK HERE, YOU LITTLE RUNT!

Update from the Birthday Girl

Thanks to everyone who emailed me and called me yesterday! I officially turned 29 at sometime around 2pm yesterday afternoon.

I haven't posted about the festivities yet, so I'll start with the weekend. Sunday morning I went to my first group rehearsal for the dance recital in May. Afterwards, I went home and had a nap and overslept, meaning I had to rush to shower and change in order to pick up Karen. The two of us plus Jenny went to see Hotel Rwanda at the cheap movie theater downtown which is also showing arthouse films a couple of days a week (can I tell you how irritated I am that I'm missing Sideways next week?) It was a powerful movie, one that left all three of us with a lot of questions and topics for discussion afterwards. And nightmares.

We tried to go to three restaurants for supper - Cafe Korea, the Mexican restaurant by the Farmer's Market, and 100 Georges - but they were all closed. In the end, we went to Montana's, which was pretty deserted but our waitress was lots of fun, except when I had to wear the antlers while they sang the birthday song.

Monday - boring. We did win at curling, so "woo-hoo!" to us :)

Yesterday was glorious. The sun was shining and it was lovely outside; my birthday gift to y'all! I spent the day alternately reading and doing stuff in the kitchen, which was exactly what I wanted to do. I finished three books, made strawberry mango sherbert, and shortcakes, and went for a walk. Very relaxing, all in all.

Now I'm back to work for two days, and then off for Easter. Ahhh.....

Thursday, March 17, 2005


In Canada, we have this unofficial holiday to celebrate Heritage Day. The reason it's not official yet is because a date has never been set. So, what happens is that every employer sets it differently - in my organization, our Heritage Day is taken on our birthday. Since my birthday is next Tuesday, I get the day off. (And since Friday is Good Friday, it's going to be a short week for me. W00t!)

Anyways, I've been trying to find an appropriate way to spend the day. I knew it would involve a lot of "it's all about me"-type activities, but that's as far as it got. On Tuesday this week, I got a notice from Chapters that a book I'd preordered just after Christmas was on its way to me - a whole week before the official release date! Tonight I picked it up and did a little happy dance because I know what I'm going to do on my birthday - re-read Liquor and read Prime!

I haven't been this excited about spending a whole day reading for a while now. The last time was a few years back when I read Tanya Huff's Keeper Chronicles - Summon the Keeper, The Second Summoning, and Long Hot Summoning. I'd ordered all three at the same time, along with a couple of other items. Inexplicably - and this is what I dislike about Chapters, that they send your order in chunks as soon as it's available instead of waiting until everything is ready - they sent me the first and third book in the first parcel. I think it took me an afternoon to read the first one, and I was hooked. Unfortunately, it took a few weeks until I got the second book.

Because I wanted to savor the experience, I waited until the weekend to read the last two books. I remember I did all of the housework and other weekend-type stuff on Friday night so I wouldn't be distracted. All week, I'd take the second book off the shelf and read a page or two, and then quickly shove it back so I wouldn't be tempted to finish reading it while standing there. I read the second book on the Saturday and the third book on the Sunday. And oh, what a fabulous weekend it was!

(Since then, I'll always associate those books with foggy summer weekends, Sam Roberts' We Were Born in a Flame, and Funky Monkeys - a banana, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a cup of milk, and liberal amounts of Bailey's.)

So, you now know what I'll be doing on Tuesday. I'll also be eating popcorn* and mangoes** and drinking coffee***. I may also indulge in chocolate-dipped strawberries****, if I can find a basket of berries that doesn't look too scuzzy.

*Not a secret code for delicious chocolate truffles rolled in cocoa powder.
**Not a secret code for double-chocolate chip cookies.
***Not a secret code for espresso with whipped cream.
****Not secret code for chocolate-dipped strawberries. Oh, wait. Yes it is.

For Pender, and anyone else who likes Llamas

Check this out.

(Oh, and we were playing ball hockey. Great fun, especially in about a foot of snow.)

Kiss me, I'm full of blarney!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

I did wear green to work today, as did Karen and my manager. Everyone else forgot (heh heh heh). But there was no green beer today, or cabbage and corned beef. My mom used to make a boiled dinner with cabbage, potato, turnip, carrot, and some kind of meat product (was it ham?) It was yucky, so I didn't really eat much when she made it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Tuesday, sweet Tuesday.

The visit with my sisters and parents on the weekend was great. I enjoyed the trip, and I'm looking forward to going home in two weeks for Easter.

My new printer is finally hooked up, and it works wonderfully. It's nice to have a printer that works at long last.

I've got about a dozen things I still want to work on online, so I'm going to leave you with the top 15 most played songs on my iTunes. (A few weeks back, when I did the hard drive format, I did away with the four or five different audio programs I was using, and switched over completely to iTunes. So far, I'm quite happy with it.)

1. The Littlest Birds - the Be Good Tanyas (32)
2. Sad Eyes - Liam Titcomb (27)
3. Take Me Out (Live) - Scissor Sisters (25)
4. Accidentally in Love - Counting Crows (24)
5. No One Takes Your Freedom - DJ Earworm (24)
6. Trouble - Pink (24)
7. Alert Status Red - Matthew Good (22)
8. Filthy/Gorgeous - Scissor Sisters (22)
9. Mr. Brightside - The Killers (21)
10. God is a DJ - Pink (19)
11. Watch Your Money - Waking Eyes (17)
12. In A World Called catastrophe - Matthew Good (16)
13. Booty Call - G. Love (15)
14. Maggie May - Rod Stewart (14)
15. Debonair - The Afghan Whigs (13)

I'll reset the counter and see how things look in another couple of months.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Sticks and balls

On Monday morning, the teachers and students of Waverly Drive P.S. will return to their school to find evidence of an epic battle that was fought in their parking lot. The puddles of slush and mud will bear slash marks and footprints, and even a few imprints of a fallen few.

The battle was hard fought, and attracted warriors from as far away as Ottawa, Sudbury, Owen Sound, and Toronto. It pitted husband against wife, sister against sister, friend against friend, stranger against stranger. Alliances were formed and the line in the snow was drawn and crossed.

But once it was all over and the snow had settled, a truce was negotiated and the weary combatants retired to the mess hall to feast on fresh bread and hot chili (a vegetarian version was also made available).

We had quite the time yesterday afternoon. The temperature hovered around the zero mark, and it snowed most of the morning. The parking lot was covered with fluffy snow and was very slippery, and no one had thought to bring a shovel to clear the surface. Fortunately no one was hurt. Very seriously.

At the end of the day, Team Napoleon ("The Ligers") defeated Team Pedro. It was close, but I don't think we kept score after the first hour or so. Some things haven't changed from when I started playing, like Denise and Rachelle being on different teams and eventually fighting (not seriously - what started with snowballs ended with stealing each other's hats and filling them with snow). A couple who have been good friends with my sister and her husband for a few years were also on separate teams, and it was funny to watch them arguing good-naturedly about what would happen if the one scored on the other.

Supper was good. Since most of us were from out of town, we weren't able to contribute much to the affair. A few locals brought some munchies, and we all ate well. The plan was to hit a bar-type establishment after supper, but it took a while to get everyone moving again (a combination of being full and being exhausted from running around all day). I was the only one who didn't go because I was dead on my feat, and I knew that the loud atmosphere of the pub would only make me more tired. Instead, I stayed home and cleaned the kitchen, showered, and retired for the evening.

This morning my sister made breakfast for everyone, and we watched The Emperor's New Groove while eating. The rest of today has been spent in decadent sloth with my parents, who came up this morning. Rachelle heads back tonight, and I'm leaving in the morning. It's been fun, and I'm looking forward to next year.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Book Club Verdict: The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

It's been almost a week, and I keep meaning to post the verdict of out last book club. Only three of us made it, but we all really liked it, with some qualifiers.

None of us really felt sorry for Bridge, the girl at soccer camp. Her coach should have known better, and we felt that she was foolish. None of us would have been friends with her in high school, mostly because she was so driven and focused we wouldn't have been able to relate to her. Our verdict was mixed on Lena - some of us felt she was stuck up, some of us felt sorry for her, but we agreed that she should have told her grandparents the truth sooner.

Carmen was the one we felt the most sympathy for. Her father was a toad for not telling her sooner, and for not going after her when she ran away. And we all really liked Bailey, the girl with leukemia and helped Tibby look at things in a new way.

Except for Bailey, we did note the complete passiveness of the secondary characters in each girl's story. They were wishy-washy and barely reactive, and mostly frustrating.

It sounds like we didn't like it that much, but we really did enjoy this book. Our next book is The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, which I started reading a while back but never finished. It's slightly surreal and full of that strange British humour that makes Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy so amusing.

"Are you sure you didn't hear anything?" "Yes, I'm -- wait, what was that?"

(The title alludes to the titles of this post and this post. I'm trying to create a suspenseful theme for my posts that don't really have a point.)

The drive down was relatively uneventful, except for the crazy traffic when I left the Vaughn Ikea. I'm a country girl, and city driving makes me crazy. Long story made only slightly less long, it took me an hour to get back to the 407. And then more traffic, but not for long.

I also went to The Bookshelf, the cool indie bookstore in Guelph. It took me an hour and a half to find something, but since the books are in the car, I can't remember what the titles are. One was a McSweeney's book (yes, I couldn't stand Eggers' personal book, but I'm addicted to McSweeney's. You should all be reading it.) Oh, the other was a Drawn & Quarterly issue.

I'm using my sister's laptop, friends of theirs are over, and we've been playing classic Atari games on the Playstation and watching Anchorman. Now going out and painting the town a reddish colour, except that all the womenfolk here are tired, and the menfolk (both of them) can't think of anything to do that will excite us. I also didn't bring enough yarn to complete either of the knitting projects I brought. There are plans afoot to go on a yarn crawl on either Saturday or Sunday morning, so I'll have to wait until then.

One of those "whack yourself upside the head" moments again

I don't know what posessed me to, at 11:15 the night before a road trip, decide that I should turn the Books page into a blog rather than a plain old web site. It meant I had to redo the style sheet and the content page, and none of them are getting along with Blogger, and nothing seems to want to be where I tell it to be.

Since I'll be away for the next few days, you will just have to take comfort in the fact I FINALLY finished A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and took great pleasure in tossing it over my shoulder. A Complicated Kindness has been, so far, the balm to sooth my aching psyche. I'll fix the damn thing when I get back.

Be good!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Things I've done that you probably haven't

I've been reading what other people have been doing that I haven't, and I realized that I lead a pretty mundane life. It's not very exciting, so there's probably not much that I've done that you haven't already done too.

When I sat down and thought about it, I managed to come up with a fairly respectable list, including:
  • Had my picture taken with a couple of Japanese tourists at the Columbia Ice Fields in Alberta (somewhere, I'm someone's souvenir. Terrific.)
  • Fenced with a member of the Canadian Olympic Fencing team (granted, he was twelve at the time. But he was good, even back then.)
  • Went skating on the Rideau Canal after midnight.
  • Was challenged by an MPP to assign him his Dewey Decimal number (in response to a button I was wearing at the time: "Librarian terrorist - get out of my way or I'll catalogue you!" For the record, I don't remember what number I gave him. Possibly I suggested that he was #1.)
  • Played hockey trivia with a dozen other people while standing in line to meet a famous author.
  • Been alone in a deserted airport in the middle of nowhere (well, okay - Dryden. But the airport really is in the middle of nowhere. It's a pretty, quiet sort of nowhere, though, unless you're downwind of the pulp mill in which case you'll wish you were somewhere else.)
  • Broke my leg falling out of a moving vehicle.
  • Confronted an escaped prisoner. (He was looking for his lawyer.)
  • Had a panic attack while crossing the Confederation Bridge (aka "Span of Green Gables" aka the bridge from PEI to New Brunswick. I'm afraid of heights and open water, and there was plenty of both.)

Calling all math geeks! (UPDATED)

I came across this math question on my break today, and it's been driving me batty:


I liked math, and I used to be able to rock these kind of equations. But it appears that in my old age, memories of the Hallowe'en party in 1999 have pushed out how to solve for x. Here's what I have so far:
  • First, we multiply everything inside the brackets with everything outside the brackets:
    • 24x2-16x-9x+6=1
  • So, now we group stuff and add other stuff together:
    • 24x2-25x=-5 (because if you subtract the 6 from one side, you have to do it to the other side as well.)
  • Here's where I start forgetting things. I want to get rid of the x's, right? So I divide both sides by x, correct? Thus, I have:
    • 24x-25=-5/x (Yeah, I skipped some work, but I was getting tired of writing the tags to make the "2" superscript)
  • I left the scrap of paper I was using to work on this at work, but do I put all the x's on one side now, and put the -25 on the other?
    • 24x+5/x=25
Actually, I think I had something completely different. I had several somethings completely different, but that was this afternoon. Can someone tell me how this crazy formula ends? Denise? Lisa? Help?

(Update: I am an idiot. As Jen very helpfully pointed out, I got it wrong. Oh so wrong. I was trying to solve the equation as a quadratic equation, but it quite obviously isn't. For those of you playing along at home, a quadratic equation would have had both sets of numbers in brackets.

As Lise, fellow Dal grad, book clubber and Librarian at Laurentian wrote me this afternoon:
Oh! Oh! Pick me, pick me!

If you actually did mean 8x - 3(3x-2) = 1, then your question is much
simpler: it becomes 8x - [9x -6] = 1; 8x-9x+6=1; -1x = -5; therefore x = 5.

But if you did mean to write (8x-3)(3x-2)=1, you're dealing with a
quadratic equation, and you'll have two possible answers for x (your
thought of trying to solve for x makes perfect sense, but there's a
different way of approaching it when you have x^2 and x in the same equation). Your first step is to solve for 0, so (I won't write the steps - I know you can do this part) you get 24x^2 -25x +5 = 0, and ideally you could factor it at this point, but this particular equation doesn't factor nicely with integers. So for this equation you can find the solution by the dreaded completing the square method. You'll end up with x = (25/48) +/- sqrt(145/2304); therefore x =0.77 or x=0.27. Not very pretty, but it works.

God, I am such a math geek. I was way too excited about this.

You guys are the best! Thanks! I owe you both a beverage of your choice :)

Don't you hate it when... ?

Don't you hate it when you wake up an hour before you're supposed to wake up, thinking about the really cool thing you should be doing right now instead of sleeping, but by the time you get up and make the coffee and rice pudding and sit down in front of the computer you've forgotten what it was?

Man, I hate mornings like this.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day, y'all.

To celebrate, I'm going to make an iTunes playlist, featuring "I am woman, watch me dance my ass off" type songs. Yeah, it's kind of last minute. Sorry about that.

  1. Army of Me - Bjork
  2. Angel of Montgomery - Leslie Spit Tree-o
  3. Shoop - Salt-n-Peppa
  4. No One Takes Your Freedom - DJ Earworm (feat. Scissor Sisters, George Michael, the Beatles, and Aretha Franklin)
  5. Aria - Delerium (feat. The medieval Baebes)
  6. So Pure - Alanis Morrisette
  7. I Am Stretched Out on Your Grave - Sinead O'Conner (I can't do the funky accents thing)
  8. Trouble - Pink
  9. Legend of a Cowgirl - Imani Coppola
  10. I Love Rock and Roll - Joan Jett
  11. Filthy/Gorgeous - Scissor Sisters
  12. Misguided Angel - Cowboy Junkies
  13. Bitch - Meredith Brooks
  14. Take Your Mama - Scissor Sisters (they're my new favourite bandwagon)
  15. Brass in Pockets - The Pretenders
  16. Lovely Rita - The Beatles
  17. Une Very Stylish Fille - Dmitri From Paris
  18. The Littlest Bird - The Be Good Tanyas
(I may burn this onto a CD to listen to on Friday or sometime over the weekend.)

New stuff

So, if you look to the left, you'll see a link to my page of book reviews. But don't get too used to it. I'm playing around with some CSS, and plan on changing how it looks. (It looks like shite right now, but hopefully I'll make it better. We'll see.)

(Update: Yeah, I don't know why that double posted the other thing, but it did. Oops. Darn you Blogger, darn you to heck. Anyhoodle, I scraped together my first built-from-scratch CSS form and posted it and linked the book page to it. Go look at it! It's so pretty!)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Speaking up

Today has been pretty nondescript. Woke up with the headache I've been fighting with since Thursday, managed to dull it with some Advil and a pot of coffee, went for a walk, and was linked to by Censoround. (Thanks Chris!)

(I'm not normally the type of person to speak up in times of controversy. I'm willing to accept that everyone has a point of view, and that no one perspective is wrong. I also tend to get tounge-tied and inarticulate, and end up sputtering until I think of something more intellegent than, "Well, you're stupid!" to respond with.

However, PZB and Herren's post, plus this post on, plus the "marriage is one man and one woman" lecture at church last night, have left me feeling grumpy. I wanted to say something, and so I sent the links to Chris. And you know the rest of the story.)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go calm down and get ready for book club tonight.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Canadian Idle

Well, I knew that during this round of Canadian Idol, they would be holding auditions in Sudbury ("Northern Ontario"). Turns out it's this weekend, and they're taking place a couple of blocks from here.

At work yesterday, it was decided that Karen, the youngest person in the office, should go audition and report back. Since Karen's out of town this weekend, she decided that the next youngest person (me - I have six months on her) should go.

As any member of my family who's heard me sing can testify, that wouldn't be a good idea. I can't carry a tune to save my soul, and the concepts of "pitch" and "key" elude me completely. If I did the unthinkable and went to audition, I'd probably end up on the outtakes episode, and become the Canadian answer to William Hung. And really, I don't need that kind of fame.

(Turns out I'm too old anyways. Darn.)

So, I'll be sequestered in my apartment for the remainder of the weekend, except to go to church tonight. Maybe I'll walk by and throw grapes at the kids standing in line. Heh heh.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Hey look! I'm being interviewed!

1) Leave me a comment here saying "interview me."
2) I will respond by asking you five questions here. They will be different questions than the ones below.
3) You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4) You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5) When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Courtesy of FExW:

1) What's one book that you wish everyone would own a dog-eared copy of?

That's a tough question.

I think everyone should have a well-read and dog-eared copy of Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein because a) the movie was terrible and missed the whole point of the book, which was b) a lesson in civic responsibility.

For reference purposes, I think everyone should have a copy of The Joy of Cooking because it has recipes for absolutely everything, and the instructions are great. Every woman should have a copy of Our Bodies Ourselves because it's like a user's manual for our bodies.

(Also, a copy of The Joy of Sex, because it has naughty pictures. Hee!)

2) Is Tim Horton's really as good as the hype?

Well... it's consistent. I know that no matter where I am in Canada (and parts of the US), if I see a Tim Horton's I know that the coffee will be decent, the donuts will be tasty, the chili will be hot, etc. It's pretty good compared to some of the other chains we have - if I have a choice of coffee-and-donut places, I'll always pick Tim's.

3) If you met Zoe Trope is a dark alley, what would you do?

Well, first I'd ask if she has a flashlight. Then I'd want to find out what the hell we're doing in a dark alley, and ask if she knew how to get out of here because apparently I don't remember how I got there in the first place.

Once we got out of there, I'd torture her with stories about my high school years and what I thought of the drama kings and queens like her. If she hasn't keeled over dead by then, I'll start in with stories about how boring and dull I was in my undergrad. Sprinkled liberally throughout will be tales of my elementary school years. This will continue for the next six hours, which is how long it took me to get through her book. I want her to have the equivalent time experiencing mind-numbing boredom, time that she won't get back either.

4) When I graduate, will you get me a job in Canada? Or at least give me a good reference?

Sure. I don't know how well you'll cope with friendly people, polite (for the most part) library users, an excellent health care system, real beer, a reasonably intelligent head of state, sensible government (yay medicinal marijuana and same-sex marriage!), lots of green space, and our goofy, self-deprecating sense of humour, but if you think you can hack it, by all means. You can camp out on my futon until you find something.

5) What is something you wish you did every day but don't?

Make my bed. I manage most mornings, but sometimes I let it go for a while. I also wish I was nicer to people, and that I could get out the door before 8:15 so I have a halfway decent chance of getting to work on time, let alone early.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Book blurbs (and rice!)

If you've noticed to the left, I've been posting the books I'm reading and the date I've finished them. Lest you think I go through books at an alarming rate, let me reassure you that it's because I'm a fast reader. A speed reader, you could say.

To prove that I'm actually absorbing what I'm reading and not just skimming (well, okay - I did skim through Devil Wears Prada, but only because it was so gawdawful irritating) or flinging one book over my shoulder while grabbing for the next (which I did do when I went from Please Don't Kill the Freshman to Exquisite Corpse), I will start posting blurbs about what I've read. But not tonight. Not that it's too late (sort of) or that I can't think of anything to say about the first book (sort of), it's just that it wasn't a good evening to start writing about anything. I did a load of laundry (towels, mostly), and ruined dinner. I overcooked the fish and the yellow beans, and totally FUBAR'd the rice.

(See, I don't know what it is with me and rice. I've never made the perfect kind of rice, the kind that's fluffy and light. Mine always ends up sticky or porridgy, no matter what I do. Normally, that's okay because I make rice pudding for breakfast in the morning with whatever's leftover. This time, it was a monumental foul-up, and there's no way I can salvage this sticky lump of... something. I guess I'll be having toast in the morning. Again.)

Where was I going? Oh, right - book blurbs. Yeah, keep an eye on the sidebar on the left for a link or something. Currently, I'm slogging through A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. It has its moments, but if I hadn't commited myself to reading the whole thing, I'd have cheerfully tossed it aside by now.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Homesick for my adopted city

(This is something that's been sitting in my Drafts folder since last September. It was one of those Saturday nights where I spend the better part of the night puttering around the Internet until 4am because I had a pot of espresso at 10pm. I'd been listening to the radio, and this was my reaction.)


Damn you, CBC Radio 3! They just did a program featuring a writer/editor talking about why she loves Halifax, and why she stays. Thanks, guys. I haven't been pining for the place for the last three years for you to go and do a whole hour on all the stuff I miss about it. Like, Sweet Jane's, a candy store that's on a side street, behind the Fireside and across the street from Joe's Little Havana, and down the street from the wine store and the Italian market.

Other things about Halifax I miss: the market; the libraries (specifically the Spring Garden branch and the Alderney Gate branch in Dartmouth); the ferry to Dartmouth; midnight movies at the Oxford theater; the Wicker Emporium; Frog Hollow and Woozles (independent book stores); Pizza Corner (the corner of Argyle and Blowers), specifically The Sicilian; Alessandro's Pizza; Metro Pizza, specifically the heavenly steak subs; the Second Cup on Spring Garden; The Marquee Club [now, sadly, closed]; The Urban Cottage, an antiques/consignment store; The Split Crow; Thursday nights at The Grad House; The corner of Hollis and Morris on Saturday mornings; the corner of Spring Garden and South Park any time of day; the Public Gardens; The Lower Deck; The Harbour Hopper; The Granite Brewery; the view from my 26th floor apartment; cocktail parties that lasted until 4am; Canadian Martyrs Catholic Church (those wacky Jesuits!); the Clay Cafe; the sound of the foghorn in the harbour; Point Pleasant Park; Steve-o-rino's French roast coffee and croissants from Mary's Bread Basket on Saturday mornings at the market; and watching the enormous container ships going up and down the Narrows.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

My reality denies that it is after 11pm

As usual, I sat down to write something witty and insightful, but was distracted by the insidious evil that is solitaire (Vegas scoring). Damn you, solitaire! I'm shaking my fist at you!

Juice wants you to go visit his Dad's web site, and then go visit a cartoon he drew in high school. It's all part of an effort to mess with his Dad's web site stats. C'mon! What else were you going to do with that 20 seconds?

It reminded me of something my friend Josh did to a friend of his once. Josh emailed/mailed all of his international friends and asked them to send this other friend (Brendan, I think) articles, stories and pictures of monkeys. I sent Brendan a bunch of David Letterman's top 10 lists that included references to monkeys, as well as a letter from the Royal Canadian Ministry of Simians. I wish I could say that I miss those crazy days of being 14 again, except that I was in my first year of grad school when this went down, so... yay to being 23 again!

This was fun...

Guess the Dictator or Sit-Com Character

Scarily good. It took a while, but it guessed that I was Alex P. Keaton and Rudi Huxtable eventually.

(Thanks to the Librarian's Rant for this fun diversion!)