Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mardi (tres) Gras

Has it been a week already? Man oh man, time flies when you're not paying attention....

This past weekend, I helped my sister and brother-in-law move to a fabulous new place. They were both so excited, and rightly so - it's big and bright, there's lots of room, and several people can stand in the kitchen and swing their arms at the same time and not hit each other! (At the old house, maybe one person could do that, but there was a good chance they would hit the walls.) Because almost everything got done on Saturday, I came home on Sunday.

Yesterday was spent entertaining and being entertained by a co-worker's friend who was in town. We made it out to the Korean restaurant in town, where we were pleased to discover (or at least, I was) that they serve a variety of Asian dishes, including Pad Thai, Vietnamese spring rolls (oh so tasty!), dumplings, and some curry dishes. And bubble tea - sweet, sweet bubble tea! How I've missed you and your tapioca beady goodness!

Last night was the East Coast Music Awards. I thought I wrote last year about how much I love them, but I think I was hallucinating about writing it. Anyways... they were hosted by the Trailer Park Boys, and the whole thing stank. I watched maybe ten minutes, and it was a painful ten minutes, let me tell you.

Now I'm going to work on my sockapaloooza socks. I've decided I'm going to do the Jaywalker pattern.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Is that a propeller in your pocket?

(Or are you happy to see me?)

Okay, wacky title for a ten minute post, but it's the best I can come up with at the moment.

I finished my knitting olympics project on... Saturday night? Yeah, I'm pretty sure it was Saturday night. The handwarmers, they are done - read more about it here.

This Friday I'm heading to Guelph to help my sister and brother-in-law move, weather permitting. I mean, for my drive down, not the move - that's going on, regardless of whether or not my sorry ass is there to help them. Anyways. My mother has already claimed me for the unpacking-and-organizing-the-kitchen team, as well as lunch crew. My job is to keep my sister fed so that she doesn't get cranky. Although, I suspect she's going to get irritated with me eventually if I keep following her around with a tray of muffins, telling her that it's been ten minutes since I last saw her eat something, and isn't it time she eat something else, and don't these muffins I made just for her look delicious?

The Olympics are almost over, which makes me a little sad. I'm a bit of a junkie now - I get up and watch for a little while before getting ready for work, then I watch when I get home from work. I'm very happy the women's hockey team won the gold medal, and I'm pretty happy with our output in general.

Wow - I didn't really accomplish much in that ten minutes, did I?

Love me, love my playlists

I've got two trips in the next couple of weeks, both heading south to visit family. They keep saying they miss me, so I'm going down to test that theory this weekend when I go help my sister move. Love you guys! Miss you too!

Therefore, I need tunes for the drives. I haven't downloaded much since before Christmas, so I may go all crazy and make a playlist sometime before Friday. In the meantime, I thought I'd revisit an old playlist.

This one was all about the Scissor Sisters - I think it was around this point I decided I liked them. They were campy and fun, and reminded me of the bastard offspring of The Village People, Eurasure, and The B-52's.

Take Your Mama - so much fun. Guaranteed to pull you out of your deepest funk.

Filthy/Gorgeous - vampy. Should be a song in The Rocky Horror Picture Show sequel (if there is ever to be one).

Comfortably Numb - I will confess that I don't like Pink Floyd. At all. But for some reason, I like Pink Floyd cover songs, and especially this one. I think I saw this video long before I heard of the band - I saw it not that long ago and had a moment of deja vu.

It Can't Come Quickly Enough - the song that evokes memories of Eurasure tape-of-a-tape my sister had, and we listened to often many, many years ago.

Laura - more campy fun!

Better Luck Next Time - every time this song comes up on shuffle, I always want to skip it. But then the first verse starts and I get over it.

And there are others on the playlist...

I Am Stretched Out On Your Grave (Sinead O'Connor) - haunting, but with a celtic-techno beat you can dance to!

So Pure (Alanis Morrisette) - fun video.

Bitch (Meredith Brooks) - I think every woman has a day where this song is their theme song.

Legend of a Cowgirl (Imani Coppola) - when I used to use Puretracks, I downloaded this song. When I had to format my computer, I had to burn it to a CD; when I went to put it back on my computer, it wouldn't let me because it felt I had copied it to one too many devices. Give me a break! Oh, and I quite like this song, too.

Shoop (Salt n' Peppa) - This song reminds me of a friend of mine from university. She was bubbly blond, a party animal, and perky as all hell. I hadn't really thought much of this song, but she was in the habit of singing along to it. Eventually, it got stuck in my head, and whenever I hear it, it always makes me think of her.

Take on Me (a-ha) - Okay, another song with memories attached to it. The first summer I ever went to Cape Breton, I heard this song, like, a million times. I even saw the video a few times, thanks to the satellite dish my aunt and uncle had (and it's still one of the coolest videos ever). This song will always remind me of sitting around the basement with my cousin, his best friend, another cousin from Ontario, and my sisters. (The other song we heard a lot of was "You Spin Me (Right Round)" by Dead or Alive.)

Voices Carry ('Til Tuesday) - How many other people, on first hearing this song, thought that the chorus was "This is Carrie"? Or, alternately, "This is scary"? I went through both until I finally figured out she was saying "Voices carry." And it's one of those angsty 80's songs which make me want to dig out a pair of leg warmers and a neon scrunchie to put my hair in a ponytail on the side of my head. But that's just me. And maybe Pender.

She's So High (Blur) - I like old Blur, pre-"Song 2"* days. Probably the first Blur song I heard back in grade 9, when I started listening to the cool "alternative" station. (In grade 11, when I had the bestest locker ever - mostly because I had it to myself - I had a picture of the band in my locker. It was just a small one, cut out of a copy of Seventeen someone had given me.)

OneTwoSix feat. DJ Teranova (DJ Liquid) - Okay, I have days where I like this song, and others where I think, "ugh! What was I doing when I downloaded it?" If you like the Chemical Brothers, you might like this one - it's repetitive, almost trance-like.

Hey Girl Hey Boy (Chemical Brothers) - funny, didn't I just mention them? Heh. Also trance-like, but less annoying than the previous song.

Let Forever Be (Chemical Brothers) - I like this song, but I can't remember which Gallagher brother does the vocals on this song. Is it the drunk one or the useless one?

*I actaully have a funny story about Song 2. My friend Kim had just got Napster (this is back a few years) and called to ask me what the name of the Blur song with the "woo-hoo!" was. I told her it was Song 1, and when she downloaded the song it turned out to be a Japanese version of "If You're Happy And You Know It (Clap Your Hands)". Julie eventually gave us the proper song name.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


The week, which started on a low note and got worse as it went on, was ultimately salvaged at the end. The bright spots which made everything else a little more bearable came from a couple of places.

The first two were the arrival of a couple of parcels. The parcel from Giselle, all the way from the mostly square state, arrived on... Tuesday? Yes - Tuesday. Or wait, was it Wednesday? Anyways - it was a box of previously enjoyed (and soon-to-be-enjoyed) chicklit books, some Nerds rope (anyone else having flashbacks to childhood?) and a cute little mirror.

Parcel from Giselle

The second parcel came from my mother, and that came Thursday but I was only able to pick it up yesterday. It was the Valentine's Day cookies she hadn't told me she was sending, but were welcome all the same.

Parcel from Mom

And no, I'm not sharing. I'm sorry, but these are too special to share, let alone show you.

Thursday we had yet another snow storm. The whole province had bad weather Thursday, but our started mid-afternoon and lasted until the early morning. There's something about being home during a snow storm, knowing that you don't have to go out, and you have enough provisions at home to get through. So you spend the night just watching the falling snow and listening for the snow plows, certain that you'll have to go into work tomorrow (but secretly hoping you get snowed in, and all schools and places of business will be closed in the morning.)

When I ran out to put my Zip movies in the mailbox* I took some pictures of the accumulation from the last few storms. The one picture I forgot to take was of the crosswalk buttons on the corner; until Thursday, you had to crawl over a snow bank to get to them. Yesterday, I had to dig down about half a foot to find them. Oy.

Later in the evening, I saw flashes of light and thought there had been an accident on the street below. Then I heard the thunder, and saw a few more flashes. So - turns out we were having a thunder storm, but with snow instead of rain. Cool. I was supposed to go to bellydancing, but nearly got blown over in the parking lot, and ended up staying home and watching men's figure skating instead.

Emmanuel Sandhu did about as well as I expected - the less I say, the better. Shawn Sawyer was solid, and had a good skate. And big, giant kudos to Sudbury boy Jeff Buttle, who won the bronze medal! His reaction to the results were priceless, and I'm quite happy he won. (A little part of me was also rooting for Johnny Weir, who ended up in 5th - kid, you had me at the orange glove named "Camile". Better luck next time!)

Even though the sun is shining out there today, it's a positively frosty -17C out there. I'll be spending the afternoon working on my knitting Olympics project (which is about 65% done - here's a photo of the finished half; more pictures later on.) Speaking of which - the knitting Olympics have been getting a lot of attention recently. Last night there was a piece on The National on CBC about it, and there was a segment on Fresh Air (on CBC Radio 1) this morning. There have been other sightings, so go us!

And I also made chocolate ice cream, with Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa bars. That I'll share with you.

*Verdict: The Good Girl: D-; Bubble Boy: B+

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

There ain't no cure for the wintertime blues

Mark this date on your calendar - I'm about to do something I've never done before.

Admit that I'm sick of winter.

Don't get me wrong - I'll take the cold and snow and ice over the heat and humidity of summer any day. It's just that over the last few weeks, I've noticed I've been moody and short-tempered at least five days a week. It's like having low grade PMS (without the cramps and with the occasional headache) almost constantly since before Christmas.

Yes, the days are getting longer, I'm walking more than I was, I'm trying to eat better and I'm trying to avoid things I know will drag me down, but I still seem to want to come home and hide in a corner with the blankets pulled over my head.

A trip somewhere sunny and warm would be nice (lucky, lucky Dave!), but besides the fact I'm not really interested in heading south to warmer, tropical climes, I can't really afford it right now. Without going into excessive detail, let's just say I'm expecting interruptions in my work schedule over the next few weeks unless something happens to bring certain people back to the bargaining table - and soon!

So, for now, I'm just going to resist the urge to indulge in retail therapy and pints of Ben & Jerry's, since both options won't end well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Day-to-make-single-people-feel-guilty

This has been an absolutely stellar day. I wore black out of protest, thinking that my office partner would also be wearing black out of solidarity. Not so - the little traitor wore red. Humph. (He did bring me a Kit Kat bar, so all is forgiven!)

The two pounds of cinnamon hearts I brought only appealed to Karen and I, so we spent the day taking three or four at a time, but there's still about a pound and 5/8ths left. (I'm thinking I'm going to make ice cream with the rest - how does that sound?)

At lunch, I drove Karen and another co-worker to Wendy's and my Frostie overflowed in my cupholder. And then all over my desk. I nearly dozed off several times during the afternoon, despite having gone to bed at 10pm the night before, and getting up at 6 (and still managing to be late for work).

Then, when I went to the bank, the ATM machine ate my bank card. I went to call the 1-800 number and discovered I had no time left in my account. Topped that up, got the card cancelled, and proceeded to use my Visa to buy milk.

The bright spot in all this is that my next two movies from Zip.ca had arrived today - The Good Girl and Bubble Boy. I'm ending my day with two Jake Gyllenhaal movies - really, how bad a day could it have been after all?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Stickin' it to the blog

Seeing the title, you're probably thinking I'm going to skewer (ha!) someone else today. Ah, not so! I'm doing a roundup of my knitting progress so far.

Raspberry Alpaca wristwarmers:
I'm almost finished the second one - I'm past the thumb hole and the end is nigh. No pictures, however. Oh, what the hell - there's a nice snow drift on my balcony.

Raspberry alpaca wristwarmers

There. See?

Knitting Olympics
I have swatched the yarn I will be using. I have swatched the pattern. The only thing left to do is cast any time after 2PM.

Damn it - I've been spelling it with only two O's, and apparently, there are three. My bad. Anyhoodle...

If you go here, you can see a list of all 606 crazies of us who are participating. My Sock Sister (sort of like a TA or a den mother - she's the person I keep in touch with about my progress) is Mary (Hi Mary!) The good news is that I've chosen a yarn:

Sockapalooza yarn

Purty, ain't it? It's Lorna's Laces in Gold Hill that I got at Lettuce Knit last February, and I've been holding onto it since then. I think this is a good excuse to use it.

But I do have a confession - even though I'm in the beginner group, I've made two pair of socks and am working on the third. However, the first went well, the second were too loose, and the third have pretty much stalled on the needles (which is a shame, because I need them to knit this yarn - yikes!)

Right - that was fairly painless, wasn't it?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Today is not the day to cross me

Today, I am feeling bitchy. Catty, mean, petty, full-on, hardcore bitch. I am full of piss and vinegar. I'm touchy, insensitive, sarcastic, cynical, and there's a good chance I'll disagree with whatever you tell me, argue with you just for the sake of arguing, and call you on your bullshit. Fear me, people. I'm not taking prisoners.

Which is why when Beth pointed out the lack of personal attacks on David Emerson, I was immediately incensed. Why hasn't someone from the Liberal Party paraded in front of the cameras with a basket of weasels, and said, "Look! It's Emerson's advisors!" Why hasn't anyone called him a dipstick or a whore or worse? Why was it okay to call Belinda Stronach these things, but not Emerson? Darren suggests that she shouldn't throw stones (in regards to comments she made about Emerson), which I have to respectfully disagree with. Stronach gave the Conservatives over a year before she defected, whereas the election in which Emerson was elected as a Liberal was - what? Two, three weeks ago? She tried to work with the party, and Emerson got out while the going was good.

So, I'm going to call him on it. You, David Emerson, seriously mislead your constituents. You didn't even hesitate to jump ship. You, sir, are a coward and a scoundrel.

Monday, February 06, 2006

It's only a month or six late, but who's counting?

I cannot begin to tell you how relieved I am to tell you that I've finally finished reviewing all the books I read last year. Granted, most of them are just brief two- or three-sentence reviews, but enough to get the gist of what it was about and what I thought about it.

Part 1: April to June
Part 2: Early July
Part 3: Mid to Late July
Part 4: August to December

I read a grand total of 58 books over 52 weeks last year. There were a few slow months - November springs immediately to mind - but it still works out to a little over a book a week. So far this year, I've read five books, and I'm well on my way to finishing the fifth.

There are two things I have left to do. Firstly, post a complete list of the books in chronological order of reading, and secondly, post reviews of the books I've read so far this year. The biggest change I made this year is that I'm taking notes as I finish the books, so I at least have some idea why I did/didn't like something.

Some reflections:

One thing I didn't read a lot of last year was fantasy/sci-fi. I used to read them almost exclusively, but I'm branching out to other genres. However, this year I'm not going to worry so much about how it looks that I'm reading something by - *gasp* - a science fiction author. Plus, I didn't read any Tanya Huff last year, and I love her stuff to bits. It's time to revisit the Summoning series, I think.

I also read a lot more non-fiction, be it essays, histories, or sociologies. I enjoyed that, and I plan to read more of them this year.

The only thing I plan to read less of are books that bore me in the first twenty pages or so - more than a few of the books I finished last year were a chore to read, but I still felt obligated to do so. But not this year.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Note to self (re: Disaster movies)

Note to self: don't watch The Day After Tomorrow in the middle of the second winter storm in a week.

It's bad enough that it's -20 with the windchill and that the snow is thigh-deep on me in most spots (the first storm dumped between 15-20cm of snow, this one is supposed to dump 10-15cm). I don't need to be reminded that it could get worse.

An open letter to Lee Aaron

Dear Lee Aaron,

Can I call you Lee? Awesome! I feel this sense of familiarity with you because lately, I think you've been trying to tell me something. In the past week, I've heard you on the radio twice, and this morning when I flipped to MuchMoreMusic, they were playing one of your videos.

Now, I'm not sure what you're trying to tell me, but you need to be a little more clear. Am I supposed to be heralding a return to the late 80's bir hairstyles? Or are you launching yet another comeback career and I should start telling people?

Confused, but still A Fan,
Rebecca :)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

If there's a commercial out there that's funnier than this, I don't want to know about it

I like to pinch

This commercial was playing before Brokeback Mountain last week. We must have seen it at least five times before the movie finally started, and the whole audience laughed every time (granted, there were about a dozen of us there...)

For some reason, it reminds me of my sisters.

A tribute to a friend

Three years ago Friday, a good friend of mine from my undergrad days came out of the closet. It was one of those moments where you will always remember where you were and what you were doing at the time, like when Kennedy was shot, Henderson scored the winning goal, and when the towers fell. I was working at the law library at the time, it was early afternoon, there was no one else in the room, and I'm pretty sure it was snowing. In his email, he acknowledged that some people would reject him for this admission, and he was prepared for that.

I was shocked for two reasons - firstly, because I never suspected it at all (I have non-functioning gaydar - just ask me about my two major high school crushes!), and secondly because I couldn't understand why someone would reject his friendship for such a flimsy reason. He hadn't changed anything in his basic nature - he just came clean about his sexuality. It didn't change the fact he was one of the smartest and most politically astute guys I knew, or that he was snarky and opinionated, and could sit in Tim Horton's until 3am talking department gossip with myself and another friend.

We haven't talked lately, but neither of us were good at the whole correspondence thing. I might send him a quick email to tell him what's up, and I'll get a short reply in response. However, it doesn't stop me from worrying about him every time I hear some narrow-minded bigot declare that homosexuals are evil or wrong or somehow not worth of the same rights and protections as everyone else. If you prick them, do they not bleed as well?

So, this is just to say that I hope he's okay and that he's made peace with his decision, and that next time he's around, we really need to go to Timmy's and get caught up.

Flying Fickle Finger of February

Ten minute post.... go!

Gah! I had a bunch of random things to post about, so this seems like a good time to get them all out and down on a post.

I had half a day off today - woo-hoo! Part of it was spent going to Home Depot to get a dowel to use at bellydancing (don't ask). Also got a card for my father, whose birthday is on Saturday.

For everyone who isn't interested in participating in the Knitting Olympics, but want to participate in some, small way, there's a button for you too:

Put it on your blog, and feel smug about sitting there on your duff doing nothing during the Olympics while the rest of us sit on our duffs and knit. That's okay - we won't make you feel guilty about your lack of craftiness. We also aren't going to knit anything for you, either :)

I gave up on Gods, Mongrels and Demons. I'm sorry, but I had to. It was basically an encyclopedia of odd and eccentric people, which might be interesting, but the writing was too dry and unfocused. The book I read before it was also causing no small amount of reader's block, which is maybe why I didn't try very hard, but I gave it two weeks, and... nothing. I wasn't feeling the love. So sorry. I also gave up on the book after that, which I didn't even get a chance to post - it was a book from the CBC's list of literary hoaxes. Three pages in and even I could tell it was too over the top to be real.

Technically, my time is up, but I had trouble finding the button, and I haven't run out of things to say just yet.

I was considering changing the template for this site - again. I know, I know - I just redid the bugger in July, but I want to redo the sidebars, and the font scheme, and this, that, and the other, so it felt like it would be easier to just start from scratch. However, I haven't really tried to fix things with this template, so I may take a bash at it, and save what I did get done for another time. Or, finish the modifications and give it to someone I know who was mentioning they wanted a new web site. Whatever. I like doing it, and I'm learning more about CSS when I do it, so bring it on!

"Pancakes" by Zuul's Evil Disco is quite possibly my new favourite song. And that is all I have to say about that.