Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It's a girl!

Congrats to Lisa and Marcus! And welcome to little Emma!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

What is that glowing orange ball in the sky?

It is stupidly gorgeous outside today, 6 degrees and sunny. It's the kind of day that makes you believe spring has finally arrived, even thought there is still a week of March left, and the weather in April is a total crapshoot. People are out walking around in t-shirts and light jackets, and are as smiling as much as I am.

The long dark naptime of the soul I've been feeling since January is coming to an end. I'm less moody and am more energetic. I'm feeling happy and giddy about stuff, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for good things to happen to good people - it's just good karma, people!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Seven things meme

Seven things to do before I die:
1. Get a passport
2. Knit a sweater
3. Live in Halifax for another two (or more) years
4. Find my soulmate
5. Host a fabulous martini party
6. Own my own house
7. Fit into a size 18 again

Seven things I cannot do:
1. Fit into my prom dress (which, not a terrible thing - it's a hideous green)
2. Make witty small talk
3. Drive over the Burlington Skyway without having mild anxiety attacks
4. Figure skate
5. Stop buying books before I read all the ones I have
6. Get over my fear of hospitals
7. Find it in my heart to understand or forgive bigots, misogynists, homophobes and/or inconsiderate drivers

Seven things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1. Eyes
2. Sense of humour
3. Politeness
4. Level-headedness
5. No facial hair
6. Good cook / likes to cook
7. Appreciates the musical genius of Rufus Wainwright

Seven books I love (only seven?):
1. Stephen R. Donaldson, Mordant's Need (technically, two books - Mirror of Her Dreams and A Man Rides Through)
2. Tanya Huff, The Keeper Chronicles (okay, more cheating! This one is three books, Summon the Keeper, Second Summoning, and Long Hot Summoning)
3. Poppy Z. Brite, Liquor (and Prime and The Value of X and Drawing Blood)
4. Neil Gaiman, Stardust (and Neverwhere)
5. Terry Pratchett (I can't pick just one, and the list of the ones I like is too long)
6. Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential
7. Gordon Korman, Jake, Reinvented

Seven things I frequently say:
1. "Let's not and say we did."
2. "Uhhhhh....."
3. "Oh, so that's what the kids are calling it these days!"
4. "Tinfoil!"
5. "I read somewhere..."
6. "Bite my shiny metal ass!" (from Futurama)
7. "Make me!"

Seven movies I've loved:
1. Tank Girl (let the mocking commence!)
2. New Waterford Girl
3. Wilby Wonderful
4. The Empire Strikes Back
5. The Lord of the Rings trilogy
6. The Last Unicorn
7. Finding Nemo, Willow, The Dark Crystal, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Mystery Men, and Yellow Submarine

I'm not going to tag seven people, but feel free to do it if you need something to write about.

Beep beep

Know what I spent five hours of today doing? Five hours of my life I'm not going to get back? Five hours I had to spend reading Mordecai Richler, because I didn't think I was going to be that long so I brought a book I didn't think I would like so I wouldn't waste too much time reading it?

Getting the brakes on my car fixed. All of them.

Turns out it wasn't just one or two of them that needed fixing. The front two were all gummed up, and the back ones were wearing thin. Or something like that. Basically, it was probably better that I follow their recommendations since, hey - brakes are kind of important. And I know squat about how brakes work. I like being secure in the knowledge that when I want my car to stop, it's going to stop without having to hit something in order to do so.

Oh! And I got the oil changed yesterday. This weekend is shaping up to be all about the car maintenance.

Sockapaloooza Update #2

Three weeks later, and I have almost one whole sock!

Sockapaloooza update #2

I can't even begin to tell you how pleased with how I'm doing. All of the other socks I've started, whether I finished them or not, haven't progressed this far this fast. I'm loving Jaywalker, and I'm loving the fact I've avoided "laddering" (the loose stitches that form between needles when knitting on multiple double-pointed needles).

(See update #1)

Friday, March 24, 2006

May be worth mentioning

Since I didn't have to be at work first thing this morning, I was going to write about how I taped the men's long program at the World Figure Skating championships last night and watched them when I got home (since I didn't have to be up early, but we've already visited this point. Moving along....)

I would have mentioned how sick to death I am of the CBC showing Dubreuil and Lauzon's wicked fall at the Olympics. We. Get. It. She fell and was hurt badly. Every time I watch that clip, my hip throbs in sympathy.

I would have mentioned how every time Evan Lyscek skates, he always seems to be at death's door. Fractured hip? A case of the flu requiring IV? A serious upper respiratory infection? Check, check, check.

Also worth mentioning was how shocked I was that Sandhu managed to skate relatively well. And how awful I felt for Buttle. And how when the announcer mentioned Weir was skating with back spasms, I felt myself seizing up. (When he fell and didn't get up right away? I started whispering, "please get up! Please get up!" Having been there, done that on several occasions in the past, I know the feeling.)

Other things I would have mentioned:
That I have to get the oil changed in my car.

That there's a flapping sound when I apply the brake, but I won't because then I'll get the parental phone call, "What kind of sound? How long? What is it?" (Like... flapping. Since Monday or Tuesday. I'm not sure - maybe the antilock brakes?)

To Cynthia - I promise I'm going to do that meme! I'm halfway done already!

But, since I was pokey and didn't get around to any of this before work today, I guess I won't.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Important life lessons

This goes out to Julie, J. and Bex (and Karen T.!): since we're all turning 30 this year, one of us has to hit that magic number first. And, lucky for you, it's me.

In our 30th year, we're going to learn a lot of important lessons along the way, so let me share the first lesson I learned as a 30-year-old:

If you're going to start baking at 11:30, make sure you're not too tired to read the recipe carefully. Otherwise, you'll have the batter in the pan and be thinking, "Huh. This stuff is awful thick," before realizing you forgot the cup of boiling water that gives the batter a more batter-like consistency. Then you have to scrape it back into the bowl, getting the batter (which has the consistency of marshmallows at this point) all over the counter, the floor and, mysteriously, in your hair*.

* That last one may be unique to me. I'm talented - what can I say?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Greet me warmly, I'm one-quarter Irish!

(My mother's mother was Irish - everyone else is French)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm home, safe and sound, and want to sleep. And eat. Not necessarily in that order, though.

Today's best moment, in the airport in Thunder Bay: a group of high school students were getting back from a March Break trip overseas, and two weary chaperons were following a particularly rowdy bunch. The first one turned to the second and said, "Where are their bags?"

The second chaperon responded, "Who cares? They're the responsibility of their parents now."


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Normally, I don't obsess over my stats that much. I average about 150 - tops! - visitors a week, and I'm pretty cool with that.

I get my stats notification this week and look at the numbers. Over 200? And starting on Monday, it completely exploded - from and average 20 visits a day to almost 60? What gives? Checking the logs, it appears there's a large number of visitors coming from the CBC website, specifically, The Hour. Huh?

Apparently, if you link to their web site, they link back to you, which is pretty cool. Very nice of them, in fact. I'm tickled by the attention I've been getting. Tickled, I say. Hee hee! That tickles! Stop...stop tickling! I CAN'T BREATH!

*Whew*! That's better! Thanks guys! You rawk!

(And hi to all the new visitors!)

(And I'm still on the road. Tales of my various flights, hotel adventures, and pictures to follow sometime soon.)

(Aaaaaaand, because sometimes I'm a complete and utter spaz, I accidentally just posted this to the Team Canada blog. Gah!)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Need purse advice? Turn to the Internet!

I'm going on a business trip on Wednesday (let's call it Excursion Around Northern Ontario, Part the Third: The Northwest Redux - I'm looking forward to it, as long as it doesn't snow), and need serious help. About other things besides the obvious!

I don't know which purse to take.

Here are the candidates, with a brief description and pros and cons of each.

Purse #1: The Everyday Purse

Purse 1

This is the purse I use on a daily basis. It's big enough to hold my wallet, camera, cellphone, iPod, in addition to at least one paperback or a small knitting project (like, say, a sock). I got it a few years ago in a funky little shop in Port Dalhousie.

Pros: It screams "I'm unique! I'm an individual! I have funky, eclectic tastes in shoulderbags!" Plus, it holds lots of stuff.

Cons: What it doesn't exactly scream is "I'm a professional!" And it's fraying and a little worn in spots.

Purse #2: The Boring Purse

Purse 2

This one is more professional. The strap comes off and I can carry it around like a handbag. It's brown leather and it looks nice. It doesn't hold much, but it has pockets for what it does.

Pros: Screams "I'm a professional!" Is a good purse for polite society and going out. Like I mentioned, converts from a shoulderbag to a handbag.

Cons: There isn't a lot of room in it, and tends to get heavy fast. Also, it's bulky and sticks out and gets caught on things. I don't usually take the strap off because I'm afraid I'm going to put it down and forget it somewhere, which is bad, moreso on this upcoming trip because of the distances I'll be traveling.

Purse #3: The Smaller Shoulderbag

Purse 3

It's small and neat, and I use it all the time in the summer. As well, I know at least four other people with this exact same model (Hi Julie! Hi Thistle! Hi third person who I've forgotten who you are but I apologize for doing so! Hi Robin!).

Pros: Small and portable, which is good if I'm already going to be lugging around a briefcase and a suitcase. Will hold the absolute essentials, which is good if I'm going out for dinner or something.

Cons: Somewhere, my sisters are looking at it and having the same reaction - "It's a summer purse! You can't use it in the winter!" Which probably means I need a smaller winter purse. And have you noticed that word I keep using to describe it - small? Yeah. Its size is a liability (what with the putting down and forgetting of things.)

Purse #4: The Big Bertha

Purse 4

This is the one I used on previous trips because it was big and doubled as a briefcase. Hell, it's big enough to fit my laptop in. I can fit everything from purse #1, plus a hardcover book, maps, and snacks in it.

Pros: Like I said, big. Roomy, even. I can't lose it or forget it somewhere. If I go souvenir shopping, I can pop everything in here until I can get to my suitcase. Or I can put important stuff in here and save room in the briefcase. Did I mention the size?

Cons: I'm already bringing a big briefcase for my laptop (it has wheels!) - why do I need a second laptop-carrying option? Plus, the size means small stuff tends to get lost in the bottom, if I put my wallet in the pouch on the inside, it keeps collapsing, the iPod fits in the cellphone pocket, which means the cellphone usually ends up lost at the bottom, and the more room I'm allowed, the more I find stuff to put in it.

Which one do you think I should use? I think I know which one I'll end up using, but I won't say anything until you've had a chance for input. It's too late to buy a new one, but is there anything I should look for in my next purchase?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Be Aggressive! B-E Aggressive!

This past weekend was the annual shinny tournament, hosted by my sister and b-i-l. And once again, it was a blast. Unlike last year, there was no snow - in fact, it was sunny and warm enough that some participants didn't wear their jackets. Also this year, my sister in Owen Sound couldn't make it, and I'm not aggressive enough to try and steal Denise's hat and fill it with mud. Plus, she wasn't wearing a hat.

This year, the winner of the Furthest Distance Traveled to get to the game went to a friend of Mike's sister, who came all the way from New Zealand. Not specifically for the tournament, but it definitely beat the Ottawa contingent by a few miles.

In a change of pace, the post-game meal wasn't chili this time - it was lasagna and peirogies, both homemade. There was much feasting and groaning, and much, much discussion about what bar(s) to hit Saturday night. Once again, it was an argument I didn't participate in, since I went home with the couple at whose house I was staying. Breakfast this morning was another feast, and the drive home was alternately sunny and foggy, but I made it home nonetheless.

And here is your 2006 Shinny Team - we forgot to decide on team names this year.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


*No, this headline is never going to get old. Learn it, live it, love it, people!

Apparently, the Pope now has an iPod nano. It came loaded with classical music and special Vatican Radio programing.


What the Pope needs is some music that will help bring him into the 21st century, help him relate to the kids today.

Ministry - Jesus Built my Hotrod
Perfect! They have an appropriate name, AND the song demonstrates how our Saviour is with us at all times, and helping us whenever we need it.

Marilyn Manson - Personal Jesus
Even though he looks like Satan, Mason tells us about how important it is to have Jesus in our everyday lives.

Rufus Wainwright - Gay Messiah
The Pope, like many other Chrisitan leaders, apparently labours under the assumption that Jesus doesn't like gay people. I know they're wrong about that, but just in case, Wainwright sings about the Messiah who is coming exclusively for homosexuals.

AC/DC - Hell's Bells
Need a reminder about what happens to sinners when they die? These "bells" of hell will ring out to remind you to stay on the path of righteousness!

Joan Osborne - What If God Was One Of Us
Well, He may actually already be one of us - ever think of that, Benny?

The Charlie Daniels Band - The Devil Went Down to Georgia
Which explains a lot.

Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil
See what happens when you sympathize with the Devil? You become inexplicably attractive to the opposite sex, you drink and do a lot of drugs, and become millionaires with throngs of screaming fans. Wait... is that supposed to be a bad thing?

B-52's - Love Shack
I think all places of worship should be called "love shacks" from now on.

Led Zeplin - Stairway to Heaven
Only young, fit folk need to climb the stairway to heaven - the elderly and infirm will take the express elevator.

Tom Waits - Chocolate Jesus
How sacreligious! I can't imagine what a song like this is doing on the Pope's playlist!

Johny Cash - Ring of Fire
If you're not careful, you'll end up going to hell too!

Okay, I've given you a head start - what are some other songs I should put on here?

(Incidentally, a co-worker told me George Stroumboulopoulos did something similar on his show recently. However, I can't find the list anywhere, so you'll just have to put up with mine.)

Thanks to my posse at work for the suggestions at lunch today.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sockapaloooza Update #1

After a week of knitting, which includes ripping out a good three inches and starting again, this is what I have:

Sockapaloooza update #1

Yay! Two and a half inches of Jaywalker!

(Can I just say how envious I am of people who can whip up a pair of socks in a weekend?)

(And can I just also say how ironic it is that someone in my group has chosen the same colour as me? Lorna's Laces in Gold Hills... wait, I already told you that. Sorry!)

(See update #2)

My Oscar thoughts

Gee, like it hasn't been done to death already. But I took notes, so here it is!

Jon Stewart - I wasn't sure if I was going to like him in the job as host, since it was going to put a crimp in his style. Either that, or he'd be funny but no one would laugh at this humour. Happily, I did like him, and I did think it was funny.

The cowboy montage was hilarious.

Ben Stiller and his green screen suit wasn't funny. Not even a little. Shut up, Ben. Also annoying was the music they played while the winners were accepting their awards - it was distracting!

The skit about how winners would know their time was up was amusing. Kudos for Tom Hanks for being hit over the head with a viola.

Wait a minute - Beyonce isn't singing all the nominated songs this year?

John Canemaker (Best Animated Short) thanked his boyfriend - awwww!

Someone needed to tell Colleen Atwood (Best Costumes) that she looked like she was trying to dress half her age. I mean, the sides were open all the way up, and it was very low cut. Maybe on a younger, more svelte woman, but not her.

Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell - hee. I would kill for Steve's fake eyelashes.

The fake campaign commercials were dumb, but funny. Still, Dame Judi didn't look all that amused.

Jon nailed it when he asked what was up with all the montages. Seriously. They cut people's speeches short, but there was a montage for everything. I felt sorry for Lauren Bacall - she started to loose it about halfway through, and I held my breath hoping she was going to make it to the end.

It seemed the predominate colour scheme was neutrals and ivory, which was dull, as most of the women wearing it were blond. It made them look bland and washed out. Except for Salma Hayek, who's turquoise gown was gorgeous. (And thank you for not appearing alongside Penelope Cruz again this year - it's been a few days since I've gone for a walk and I'd eaten a lot of waffles on Sunday, so I don't need any further reminders how bloated I am right now.)

(I don't have many notes after this point, so I'm winging it now.)

Steve Box and Nick Park - so cute with the bow ties for the awards! And the stuffed penguins! Also so cute!

I cannot believe "It's Hard Out There For A Pimp" won. There are a myriad of cultural and social reasons why a song about pimping and exploiting women is wrong wrong wrong, but also that the song just plain sucked. Dolly should have won, but was the picture of grace when those yahoos got the award instead of her.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, George Clooney, and Reese Witherspoon all had excellent acceptance speeches. I won't speak on Rachel Weisz because Michelle Williams was ROBBED. (So was Jake Gyllenhaal, but I can live with that.)

Lord love Larry McMurtry for wearing a "Texas tuxedo" (jeans and cowboy boots with a tux jacket).

Corinne Marrinan (Best Documentary Short) was adorable. And she got to sit next to The Clooney at the nominees luncheon - so lucky!

I can't believe Crash won Best Picture. Sure, it was a great movie, but it relied on multiple plots and a vast list of characters to pull it off. Brokeback Mountain was carried by two actors, who made it a spectacular film. Grrrr...

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Disco isn't dead, sadly

So, on my way into work yesterday I heard a Bee Gees song, and I realized I don't have enough Bee Gees in my life right now. I'm open to suggestions as to what should be my Bee Gees theme song should be. (But it can't be Stayin' Alive - be creative!)

The rest of my day was tedious. An hour at the dentist to get a root canal filled, then two hours at Canadian Tire to get my car fixed. I brought my Sockapaloooza sock with me, and ended up having to frog the whole damn thing when I realized I'd messed up big time. Argh.