Friday, June 30, 2006

Update on the fly

I realized I didn't post anything about my garden last weekend, and it's unlikely I will again this weekend, since I'll only have access to dialup. The short story goes something like this: there are no more flowers on the roses, the portulaca have several new flowers of buds between the two of them, the cosmos are going to explode into flower any day, and the sage seems to be doing better.

My kitchen is a mess, and I haven't done laundry in a while. There's nothing I can do about either right now, so I have to let it go, even though it's stressing me out to the point where I didn't sleep well last night.

Who ordered all the rain? Couldn't you have spaced the delivery a little more evenly? It's poured rain here every day this week. On the other hand, it's been a lot cooler this summer than it was last year. So far.

'Scuse me a sec... my porridge is beeping in the microwave. I've been making it with vanilla soy milk lately, and it's actually not vile.

I'm still trying to decide if I should accompany my mother when she drives my sister back to Owen Sound on the weekend. On one hand, it's going to be a round trip all in one day, so that's almost eight hours of driving on top of the 5.5 hours it takes to get home tonight, and the 5.5 to go back to Sudbury on Tuesday. On the other, maybe I'll get to share the driving! The one sure thing that will convince me to do it is if I were offered some sort of incentive, like, say..... a stop at DQ on the way back?

More consistent posting next week! In the meantime, happy Canada Day/happy Independence Day!

Husky flag

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My mind is a strange place to live in

Here are some phrases that have gone flitting through my head in the last two weeks. I've wanted to write blog posts around them, but alas, nothing is forthcoming, so I'm just putting them out there.
  • Set phasers on "Maim!"
  • Beef and chocolate are two great tastes that probably don't taste great together.
  • I wonder if Rachel Ray would be so perky if she switched to decaf crack.
  • And that's when reality and I parted ways.
  • Speedo Guy was in the elevator last night, but he wasn't wearing a speedo.
  • Why weren't we advised about the addictive properties of funk?
  • Captain, request permission to kick your ass.

I do have knitting updates. I started knitting a pair of mittens a few weeks ago, and got the first one done in less than a weekend. It's the second mitten that's given me issues - I've started knitting it twice, only to get past the thumb and realize I cast on the wrong number of stitches (too many, then too few). So, to avoid further frustrations, I'm knitting some squares for Cynthia's Warming Grace project. Then I went on a stitch marker-making frenzy a few weeks ago, and I have some markers for her prize bin, too.

Okay, I'm tired now. Off to sleep!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A librarian, a priest, and a whole bunch of graduates walk into a bar...

Well, that was a delightful weekend. I went home Saturday morning, which I normally hate doing because then the whole day feels shot. Not this time for some reason. Maybe it was because I got to be an Only Child for the whole weekend - woo-hoo! Anyways, Saturday wasn't all that exciting, except that my mother and I watched Nanny McPhee, which was adorable. Loved Colin Firth, who I'm normally "meh" about*.

Sunday morning we went to the first mass said by a former classmate of mine. He'd been ordained the day before, and the church was packed with former parishioners and family members. Given that the two of us were the biggest know-it-alls in our grade 7/8 class, it's not the least bit ironic that I became a librarian and he is now a Jesuit**.

Sunday afternoon was spent fetting and frolicking with various relatives who were either graduating from some educational institution or another (university, high school, elementary, and junior elementary) and my aunt and uncle who were celebrating a significant wedding anniversary. It was great fun, and I wish I was still there.

Yesterday was pretty quiet. I cleaned out my car, vacuuming several driveways worth of gravel out of it, and cleaning up other spills and such. Also, watching the end of the Italy-Australia game (d'oh!) and the whole long Switzerland-Ukraine game (*yawn*). Today's drive home was fraught with interruptions - I went to leave this morning, only to find that one of the barn cats had her kittens under my car, which ended with my laying on my stomach in order to grab them and put them in a box in a safer spot. Then I stopped at Ikea in Vaughn, and an hour and a half and less than $100 later, I continued on my way home.

And, because I'm a good daughter, I left my laptop with my mother for the week, since I'm going back on Friday. She's been thinking about getting one, so now she has one to play with. Which, I'm sure, will result in several phone calls to ask the ineviable questions:
  • How do I open [insert name of program]?
  • Does it have a modem?
  • Who the hell is that on the desktop picture? (Because, of course, I only remembered halfway home that I'd forgotten to change it. Duh.)***

* All the Mr. Darcy/Mark Darcy fans who are composing hate mail as you read this should just chill out.

** For everyone playing along at home who just said, "And...?" Jesuits have a reputation for being the most intellectual of all the orders. Never get involved in land wars in Asia, never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and never debate a Jesuit about the finer points of religious doctrine.

***Right about now, Mom is reading this on her desktop computer and glancing nervously towards the dining room, where I left the laptop, asking herself, "Do I really want to know?"****

**** Meanwhile, my sister is killing herself to get to the laptop to find out.

Friday, June 23, 2006


I just reread my last two posts, and I've realized that they suck. And I can't think of a single way to make them any better, except to say that: 1) I'm sorry I'm not up to snuff this week; and 2) I'll try to do better next time.

It's cyclical - there are times when the words are right there and they are jostling to get out. And then there are times when I can sit and stare at the screen and wonder what happened to all my ideas, which appeared to have vanished into the ether. I do have an epic/soul-baring rant or two I want to get off my chest, but I don't know if this is the venue for it. One of them has been stewing since the early spring, and has recently come up again. The other is something that's been bugging me for years.

On one hand, maybe they're getting in the way of me writing anything else. They are poised at the tips of my fingers, eager to escape through the keyboard and onto the screen, but I'm holding them back and are therefore preventing any other stories from escaping. Or mangling them badly when they do try to get out.

On the other hand, maybe I'm just being lazy. I've felt like a bump on a log the past few weeks, with just enough ambition to keep my apartment habitable (and my plants watered, of course!)

I got four books from the library this week. I read one, read the first chapter of another and decided it was crap and I'm four chapters into the third and want to cast it aside for the fourth, which is really the one that I wanted to read in the first place. But I don't really feel like doing that, either. Bleah.

This too, shall pass.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Five blisters

That's how many blisters I got in Ottawa over the weekend. Ouch. OUCH.

This being my last trip to Ottawa for the foreseeable future (my regular hosts, Julie and Randal, will be going to Japan for a year to teach English, in 36 days.) (Incidentally, did I punctuate that sentence correctly? I was trying to say "they'll be leaving in 36 days, and will be gone for a year." So why didn't I just say that instead?)

Anyhoodle, I arrived Friday night, and we didn't do much since it was quite humid and Julie and I were both tired. We did take Rion for a walk, and met some very friendly dog owners (and their dogs) in the park.

Saturday Julie and Randal had a course they had to attend, so I was left to my own devices. What started as a trip to the parking lot to pay the fee for the day ended up being a three and a half hour trip to the Byward Market, where I drank juice and iced tea, browsed in the bead store, did some damage in Lush, bought a lovely silk purse, bought strawberries (which I forgot to bring home - note to Julie: don't let them go bad!), and got lost in the Rideau Centre on my way home. Once back at the apartment, I napped, showered, and took off to meet my hosts at the Earl of Sussex (which I keep wanting to call "Duke of Earl"). I had to wear my good sandals because my sturdy ones gave me mega-blisters on the backs of my ankles.

The crowd was a lively one, and the first question I was usually asked after, "Hi! I'm so-and-so - you are?" was "Where are you teaching in Japan?" Which, when I replied in the negative, was usually followed up with, "Oh, so you're an alum - where did you teach?" I got in the habit of responding to greetings with, "Hi! Rebecca - I'm not teaching, I'm not alum - I'm tagging along with them tonight" and pointing to my hosts.

After that, we went out for dinner - and by this time, the second pair of sandals had chewed up my feet in different spots. They were thong sandals, so I have a matching pair of blisters between my toes. Aren't I lucky?

Sunday was breakfast at Eggspectations, followed by a very long drive home because I wasn't comfortable with either pair of sandals. But! The blisters are starting to fade now!

And that, my dear readers, was how I spent last weekend. This weekend - Chez Mere et Pere, La Premiere Week-end.

The management wishes to apologize for the incovenience


A couple of weeks ago, I was updating my reading list on the sidebar, and in a moment of absent-mindedness, deleted half the template. Trust me, dumb stuff like that takes talent - which I have in spades. Happily, I still had the template code backed up in a file, so I just copied and pasted the missing code into the template.

A few days later, I noticed a chunk of the template code was missing. Like, gone - completely. I thought I'd fixed the problem, but maybe I hadn't. But I was sure I had! So, copy and paste again.

The past few days, I noticed there was something odd about how the page looked, but couldn't put my finger on it until tonight. When I went to open the list of blogs and noticed the list wasn't there.


Twice, I copied and pasted, and twice, Blogger ate the code. I sent them a message about it since there wasn't anything in the help areas; but in the meantime, I had to get rid of the movie section, since the template I'm copying and pasting from still has the what I was listening to section. Whatever.

We'll see what happens now.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I am the coolest kid you know

My swag from the CBC arrived yesterday. I got a t-shirt, some stickers, and a cool sheet of magnetic words.

Here I am modeling the t-shirt:

DNTO Swag*

Thanks CBC!

*Quite possibly the cheesiest pose ever.

An earthshattering kaboom

Something just had the shit blasted out of it over near Copper Cliff.


I've felt blasts before - when I used to curl, they would be doing blasting every night around 7 in the tunnels below Copper Cliff, so I got used to the sound and the rumbling. This must have been close to the surface - it was rather loud and the jolt was pronounced. I wonder what it was?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Honey, I'm a roll of concrete clover

We'll start with the new tonight:

The spider plant has a new shoot coming out from the middle.

Spider plant - new growth

Its colour is also much better than it was when I brought it home. At first, it was a pale green, but it's a much healthier green now.

The basil is getting stronger. I may need to stake it up soon.


And what's the general consensus on how to pronounce it - BAH-zil or BAY-sil?

The roses continue to show off.


There are a few new buds coming along, but not nearly enough to replace the ones which are finished now. Ah well.

On a down note, the flowers on the one portulaca are finished. I pinched one of the dead flowers and the water was dark scarlet. There's one new bud on that plant, and another new one on the other.

The sage plant doesn't appear to be all that happy.


The picture's kind of blurry, but some of the leaves are turning yellow. I may turn the planter around and give them some more time in the sun.

Even more HCYWAPO - Ottawa Edition

(At the Lieutenant's Pub Pump* oops!)

Me: Hey Randal [Julie's boyfriend], what's that you're drinking?
Randal: It's a Sweet Tart.
Me: Oh well - you are what you drink!
Randal: In that case, it's a Grumpy Motherf**ker.

I'll try and write about the rest of the trip sometime in the next few days.

* Which, for some reason I kept calling "The French Lieutenant's Pub" much to the amusement of the locals.

Friday, June 16, 2006

More hilarious conversations you weren't a part of

(I'm not rubbing it in that you weren't a part of them, because I'm sure you would have enjoyed just as much as I did. I say it in more of a wistful tone, as if to say, "See what you're missing? Wish you were here!")

D., a friend of Lise's:

"Creamsicles? Everyone loves creamsicles! They're like the mafia - you can't say 'No' to them!"

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


In lieu of actually posting something coherent, here's a list of things.

1. I love Alton Brown. He cracks my shit right the hell up.

2. My car is giving me more grief - it appears there's a leak somewhere in the vicinity of the gas tank. There's a garage which shares the rear parking lot of my office, and someone came over and took a look at it after work tonight. He declared it safe to drive home, and suggested I drop it off in the morning for someone to have a more thorough look at. Still, it was very troubling to find this out, as I have three major trips planned over the next three weekends, and it took three of my co-workers to talk me off of the ledge at work this afternoon.*

3. It always bugs me when I have car problems because I don't know what's wrong, and I always feel like an idiot trying to explain it to the mechanic, no matter how sympathetic and patient they are. I think I understand how some of the librarians feel when they ask me computer questions and tell me they don't know anything about them.

4. There was a bit on The Sunday Edition this weekend, where Michael Enright was talking about a friend of his who came home from her niece's wedding shower in tears because the girl had decided to take her husband's last name. My initial and continuing reaction is, "Oh, get the [bleep] over yourself, honey."

5. You must go take a look at Dave's (figurative) baby, Armada (which, inexplicably, I kept writing as "Amanda"). It's a new literary journal, and there are some good stories in there.

6. If you ever find yourself in Parry Sound, you should seriously considering having lunch at Hanson's Mad Hatter Cafe. They make the best sandwiches, and the bread is fabulous.

* Granted, the ledge is more like a five foot drop off the back loading dock, and it was more along the lines of the four of hanging over the railing, trying to see if we could either smell gas or see any spots under the car.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I never promised you a rose garden

Week two! And no dead plants!

Earlier this week, I bought a sage plant to round out the Herb Tarleks.

Sage joins the lineup

I moved one of the rosemary plants forward, so both are in the front, and put the sage in the empty spot. So far, so good - both plants are doing well, and the rosemary doesn't appear to be suffering from its move.

On Thursday night, I finally planted the roses.


They're doing well so far.


Some of the buds are pink, and others are orange, but they're all pretty.


Everyone else seem to be in good shape. The lavender exploded on Monday, and now there are seven or eight flowers on the one plant. The other two have several buds.


Only one of the portulaca is flowering, but the other one has a bud.


And the rest are healthy, too.


Friday night, there was a frost warning. The temperature went down to the low single digits (!!!), so I brought all the plants inside.

Plant party!

We had a blast! We watched a couple of episodes of Angel, an episode of Supernatural, and part of a Rufus Wainwright concert DVD. There was talk of making popcorn, but no one was ambitious enough to actually get up and do it. Later, I had to get up once or twice in the middle of the night to tell them to keep the noise down, and in the morning I had to break up an argument between the basil and one of the cosmos about whether a flush beats a straight in poker (...yes?) They stayed in again last night because it was still too cold to put them out, but there was much less noise. The Lavender Ladies wanted to join in the book club this afternoon (I was hosting this time) but since they hadn't read the book, they didn't really have anything useful to contribute.

And thus ends this update.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The CBC brings me fame and fortune yet again

If you're familiar with the Saturday afternoon program on CBC Radio One, Definitely Not The Opera, you'll know about the Lost in Translation quiz. Essentially, lyrics from a song are run through a bunch of translators, and finally translated back into English. The object is to guess what the song is.

Last weekend, when Alex Trebeck was on the show, he read the translated lyrics*. I knew immediately what song it was - Elvis Costello's "Veronica" - and emailed in my guess less than 30 seconds after the bit ended. I've entered a few times before, but this was the first time I was so certain I knew what the song was.

Thursday I got an email from one of the associate producers of the show. "Just in case you're a winner, could you send us your address?" It wasn't much of a confirmation, but I did start keeping my fingers crossed.

So, this afternoon I made sure I was home before the show started, and waited anxiously to hear them announce the winners...

And I was one of the winners!

(If you were listening to the show and doubt my claim, my last name was pronounced as "La...Quoi?" Like that, with the question at the end.**)

w00t! Thanks, CBC! You rawk!

*Sorry, I wasn't fast enough to write them down today.
**As soon as there was a pause between the names, I knew it was mine. "Larocque" is a name that gets mangled on a regular basis.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I want to ride my bicycle

Everyone should go check out that crazy girl, Lisa, who is riding in the RONA-MS Bike Tour. It's a 200km trip, which is just insane under most circumstances, but she's doing it in August, when most sane people are indoors where there is air conditioning and couches on which to relax and watch TV.

Wait! She's not doing this for the hell of it, people* - it's to raise funds for the MS Society of Canada! Her goal is to raise $1000 for the charity, which is very noble and very doable. I would suggest that if you're interested in donating to the cause**, you should go read her post, follow the link, and sponsor her.

*She did last year, to which I say, "Dude! That's awesome!"
**It's tax-deductable!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

How does your garden grow?

This afternoon my mother called, but I didn't hear the phone ringing because I was on the balcony planting my new plants. "Oh, you were out in the back forty, then?" said my mother when I called her back. Ha. HA.

That said, it's starting to look pretty green out there.

General greenery

These are the small, single pots of plant, including the small clay box planter. The Lavender Ladies are doing quite well - in fact, the plant on the right is starting to flower already. Beside it are the spider plant (Spyder) and the ivy (Newton Pulsifier the 6th*). The Chives are to the right of the lavender, and they are in a separate pot so I can take them inside in the fall when it gets cold. And down front, we have the twins, the portulacas. I can't even remember what the flowers look like, so this should be interesting.

The Herb Tarleks, take two

Back by popular demand are the Herb Tarleks. Their lineup is significantly reduced due to the fact that: a) I didn't use all the herbs I planted last summer, and I felt bad wasting them, so this year I stuck with the ones I did use; and b) I waited too long to buy the herb plants and there wasn't a good selection left. Bummer. What I do have in there is two rosemary plants, two basil plants, and a mint plant. There's a space between the rosemary and the mint for something else.

The Kramers

These are the Kramers - two pots of cosmos. Get it? (They are for flanking the balcony door.)

The Rose Kennedys

Here we have the Rose Kennedys. They're 4" mini-roses which were on sale at 4 for $5. I haven't had much luck with mini-roses in the past, but I though I'd take another shot at it this summer. One thing they require is indirect sun, and I spent the day checking to see if there was anywhere on my balcony that doesn't get full sun during the day**, and fortunately, there is. The reason they're not in a pot is because I didn't have anything appropriate for them.

The Suculents

And finally, we have the suculents - the aloe, the jade, and the orchid cactus. I had them outside for a few days, but the aloe started turning brown, and the jade is red in some spots, so I took them in. The aloe has almost completely recovered, and the jade plant has a whole bunch of little buds where new leaves will grow. (For those in the know - do jade plants like full sunlight? Should I put them back outside?)

* I name all my ivy plants Newton Pulsifier, after the character in Good Omens. And yes, that does mean this is my sixth ivy plant, g/God rest the souls of the previous five.
** My apartment faces southeast-ish.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I'll show you mine

1. My Dye-O-Rama yarn came yesterday!

Dye-o-Rama yarn, from your greenery to mine!

This colourway is called Peach Sunset, and was dyed by the lovely and talented Linz of Linz Knits. Since she posted a photo of the yarn resting in her greenery, I thought I'd return the favour and show it hanging out with mine - the ivy, lavenders, and spider plants. The blue yarn is some Lorna's Laces, which I'm thinking will make a lovely cozy for Gretchen (the Mini iPod), and a square for Justin's afghan.

2. Kittens!

Love me - I'm cute!

Note to Giselle: there are more on my Flickr page.

3. Last year some time, I posted a picture I took of a double rainbow. Someone commented that double rainbows were rare. Guess what I saw last night?

Another double rainbow!

It's not as strong as last year's, but it's there.