December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!


I never feel right celebrating the New Year in winter. I feel like it should wait for that spring day when you go outside and take a deep breath and remember there are days when it's actually warm and sunny. The first day you notice a little green haze on the trees. But then, how would people know when to get drunk? We'd all be celebrating at different times, and what about the places that are on permanent summer?

I remember spending Christmas in California one year and it threw me right off. All my senses were on high alert, because everything was wrong - the air, the scenery, when the sun set. I may be the only Canadian who doesn't want to move south to retire, who revels in the long nights of winter.

There are celebrations in Old Montreal tonight, but seeing as the wind chill is a balmy -27, I think I'm staying in with my guy, and we'll ring in the new year with the Sopranos. We've got 2 episodes to go, and things are unraveling so fast. I don't want to say who, but somebody died 2 episodes ago, and I'm still processing the shock. They lull you for 6 seasons, trick you into believing that Tony is a nice guy, and then BLAM! The last 5 episodes are a slap in the face, Clint Eastwood screaming "HE'S A PSYCHOPATH, YOU IDIOT!" How'd you fall for the nice guy act? And to think I felt sorry for him when he got shot.

Irony?

I'll never be sure what really is ironic, thanks to Alanis...

I wanted to share some heartwarming news stories with you guys to close out the year. I know it's been tough with that shit coloured economy and who knows whats coming in 2009. So I googled 'good news 2008' and the first site listed is the Good News Network, and they have the Top 10 Good News Stories of 2008 - perfect! I click, and when I tried to go to the article, I get this


When times are tough, the real entrepreneurs charge money for good news. And how insincere does that 'sor-ry' sound?


December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas

It's been a while since I posted anything, but I assume everyone has been too busy with the holidays to notice.

Gord and I had planned on getting Chinese food from General Tao on Christmas Eve, still being burnt out from all the cooking and baking we did over Thanksgiving. But they're closed til after New Years, so we had to improvise. Since we've been working our way through all 6 seasons of the Sopranos, we have been asking ourselves a lot of questions, the main ones being what the hell is ziti, and why aren't we eating it?

So here's our Christmas Eve Ziti, and as a bonus, it's vegetarian so you aren't even killing anything. A few last brownie points with Santa, maybe.

1 bag of rigatoni noodles (we couldn't find ziti noodles)
1 jar ofTomato and Basil sauce (we should have had 2)
1 bag of spinach
1 cup of Ricotta
1 cup of Parmesan
2 cups shredded Mozzarella
1 Egg
1/2 cup of cream

Cook the noodles for 8 - 10 minutes. We used 1/2 the bag, and had leftovers for 3 meals. Add tomato sauce (save a little sauce) & 1/2 the parmesan to the noodles. Layer 1/2 the noodle mix in a 9x13 casserole dish.
Mix the Ricotta, cream & egg together and layer over the noodles.
Cook the spinach until just wilted with a little garlic & oil, and layer over the ricotta. Top with the rest of the noodles, remaining sauce and cover it all with the mozzarella and remaining parmesan.
Bake in a 350 oven for 45 minutes covered, and 15 uncovered.

You know there are no pictures of this. We ate it all. And I'm not going to take a picture of my ever expanding belly and post that for your amusement. Lets all just assume that noodles and tomato sauce and cheese make a delicious, death free meal.

Besides the food, Christmas was good. We spoke with our families, opened gifts, watched the Muppet Christmas movie and watched the rain come down. It's been warm and rainy the last few days, and now we're under a severe wind warning. The windows are banging and clanging, the wind is howling, and we're tucked up under fuzzy blankets with no greater plans than to make cocoa at some point.

We've got 8 days of freedom left and then it's back to work and school, alarm clocks and timed lunch breaks. Oh my.

December 21, 2008

four days

We went down to Place Royal for the movie yesterday, got there early and were able to watch them set up the screen - and watch one guy get squashed when the inflatable screen fell on him.
We had delicious overpriced cappuccino's at a cafe - at least it wasn't Starbucks, so we were supporting local business.
We didn't stay for the whole movie. Once I couldn't feel my toes it was time to leave. I took some terribly shaky video with my cell but it's hard to even tell what is happening, so I won't post it.

And today its snowing. We might get 30cm by Monday and its snowing so hard, I can't even see across the road. I think a day like this calls for chili, or maybe stew. Hot, homemade biscuits and mugs of cocoa with marshmallows melting on top. And now I've made myself hungry.

December 20, 2008

The dogs of Christmas

Roxy
(it's not the hat, she's always that happy)

It's that time of year...people start getting all sentimental. It's especially hard this year because we aren't seeing any of our families. Gord and I have both broke the mold and mentioned to our siblings that we love them. That's what a little distance and a lot of missing will do to you.

Not for us the insane puppy love at mom and dad's, or the family traditions. We'll miss the treasure hunt for presents, and the annual Christmas Eve fondue while watching White Christmas & Christmas Vacation for the 300th time :)


Tess
(It's not the hat, she always looks that sad)

No family board games with Chris and Murray and Megan, no Snoopy drooling and snoring and taking a swipe at me for petting her wrong.

No tequila shots...uh, I mean, coffee and quiet conversation, with Darren & Monica, who must be hating the weather in Edmonton right now!

Not for us the groaning tables - yep, that's tables, plural - of Frank and Linda's. I'm going to miss the company, and the entreaties to eat more. Mostly the company ;)

Rudy
(you could put anything on her head and she'd smile if you told her she was pretty)

We love you guys, we're sorry we can't be with you in person, but we are thinking of you and missing you!

I'm leaving you with my favorite puppy of all time, and best wishes for a safe and happy holidays!

Mikey
(He had 2 eyes, but there's not a single picture where you can see both)

December 18, 2008

seven days

Today I had my training at the bookstore, it went ok. My next shift is Jan. 5th, so I hope I don't forget everything over Christmas. More importantly though, I managed to parallel park in a giant snowbank without getting stuck. Parallel parked. I do that now. You may not need to speak french to live here, but by god if you can't learn to parallel park you won't make it.

Gord and I have been watching the Soprano's, so if you notice an increase in swearing on here, it's not me. It's just that I have a very impressionable mind. That, and I'm having intense cravings for pasta 24/7.

We're supposed to get a couple snow storms this weekend but if Saturday is clear we're going to Place Royale, where they will be showing The Nightmare Before Christmas on screens set up outside. We're taking cocoa and blankets, and if we get cold, we'll just think of our families back in Alberta with a high of -24. You poor frozen people. Stay inside!

December 17, 2008

Myths and magic

I got a job today - it's only for January, working part time at the Loyola campus bookstore for the back to school rush. But I don't have to wear a uniform or 'business casual', so I'm happy.

I go for training tomorrow for 4 hours, and then they'll schedule my shifts around my classes so I can take the shuttle back and forth. It's great that Concordia has a free shuttle between campuses, because the metro doesn't go anywhere near Loyola, and if I learned anything from Calgary Transit, it's to never ever ever plan your life around catching a transfer, because it's the holy grail of public transit. A freakin myth, is what it is.

Gord is at the bank switching his account to the Montreal RBC near us, because apparently they haven't realized that money isn't real anymore. It shouldn't matter what branch you use. These days, money is just numbers in a computer system. The last time I talked to a banker was in 2005, for craps sake. And yet, I've been spending and earning money the last 3 years....how'd I do that? A little plastic key and magic money boxes, that's how.

December 16, 2008

Baby, it's cold inside

There's a howling wind outside that is creeping in the windows and curling around my feet. I've got to look into some of that window shrink film, but for now I'm relying on 2 sweaters, socks, mocassins and a blanket. This is why cats are no good. If Mikey were here, he'd be snuggled up next to me and radiating heat. Where are the cats? Being all selfish, sleeping in the laundry baskets.

Good news - I won a blog giveaway from Emerald Arts! :) YAY! Check out her etsy shop, she has some very cool toys, prints and kits. My favorite is this one - I felt like that earlier today :P

I've opened a shop on Artfire, it's pretty much the same sort of site as Etsy, but the fees for sellers are a set $7/month - no listing fees or anything! Plus, at the moment it has a lot fewer sellers so you are more likely to come up if people are searching for your products. At the moment, there are only 406 items in the Photography section, and 8 of those are mine :)

I'm hoping this site will result in some sales, even if it's only one a month it would pay for itself. And the listing process is WAY EASIER than Etsy. I'm just saying. It's worth checking out.

December 15, 2008

Hey Universe....Suck it.

Have you ever got an innocuous letter in the mail only to open it and get a bitch slap that sends you reeling?

Yeah, I got one of those today. Here I am, thinking I've got my school costs all covered and no worries and I get a letter basically saying I'm not getting the money I was counting on. Thank god I was able to call right away and got someone very helpful on the phone. I'm always pathetically grateful when someone kind answers the phone. Anyway, this lovely young lady calmed me down, and she thinks it can all be cleared up with a new application to Alberta Student Loans, and hallelujah - I may still get an edumacation after all.

And thank god I have very few problems in life that can't be cleared up with a phone call, a desperate plea for help and listening to Sweet Jane on repeat. (Velvet Underground, not Cowboy Junkies. That version will make you want to slit your wrists. Not helpful.)

That, and Scrooged is on tonight. Nothing cheers me up like old school Bill Murray.

Mmm, bacon

A vegetarian and an Albertan enter a bar...

"So you can't eat steak anymore?"

"No steak"

"So, just hamburgers then?"

"No, no hamburgers. Hamburgers are made from meat."

"Pork is ok, though, right?"

"No, it's not."

"Wow, you're only allowed chicken? That's rough"

"No, chicken is not a vegetable."

"Well, then, fish? You eat nothing but fish? That's crazy."

"What's crazy is that fish aren't vegetables either."

And at that point, the person you're talking to looks as worried as if you told them you have a terminal illness and they drop the subject for fear of overexerting you. They stand anxiously by, waiting for you to pass out so they can administer a meat IV and save your life. Amused the hell out of me when I was a vegetarian, especially with my grandma who would forget between visits and we had this exact conversation at least 3 times.

I've gone vegetarian a couple times in my life for moral reasons. I figure it's hypocrytical of me to eat meat if I can't stand the thought of blood, can't think about where the meat came from, and don't think I could bring myself to kill a cow myself. Feedlots and chicken farms have bad reputations, I read Fast Food Nation and couldn't look at meat without thinking about how much feces was in it....If I have to shut my brain off to eat it, why not just eat food that doesn't gross me out?

Well, because my brain isn't always in charge. When it comes to food, the tongue wins. And the thing that always gets me back on the slaughter bandwagon is not steak or filet mignon (never even had that), it's always and forever bacon. So crispy, so greasy, so delicious. I feel like I'm breaking the law every time I eat it, it's so good. The heroin of meat. Someday, I'll be found in an alley, grease dribbling down my chin, a dirty frying pan and 5 empty packs of bacon by my side. I will have died happy.

December 13, 2008

Damn you, Google news.

You know it's bad when even the Edmonton Sun is admitting there's such a thing as climate change, and that maybe, just maybe, people could do something about it.

Let's panic. Plant more trees! Stop driving your car! Sit in the dark with the tv off! Eschew all plastic! Duck and cover!

Clearly, I'm not helping. You can check this out or try this guy. He scared the crap out of me when I was a kid - The Nature of Things music always convinced me that the end was near, and nothing I could do would stop it. Thank god he's less doom and gloom and more 'how-to' these days. Oh, and there's one other little thing we could do - get a Prime Minister who gives a shit. Hey, I went a whole week without mentioning anything political. That's pretty good. Now, if you'll excuse me I have to go give my car to a polar bear.

Yes, those are monkeys.

We got our tree on Thursday and decorated it this morning. We spent Thursday and Friday stringing popcorn for the tree. It was a time consuming task, but it will pay off in the end - now we can floss while we eat.

All the Christmas presents are wrapped, except for mine (Gord has them hidden in the closet, but I won't look because I'm not 5), cards have been mailed, tree is trimmed and edible - we are good to go.

I'll leave you with a picture of our cat, looking fat and happy, and I hope Christmas finds you the same :)

The Rain Song

1. Put Your ipod on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
5. Tag at least 5 friends.
6. Anyone tagged has to do the same, because fun pointlessness spreads like a virus.


If someone says, “Is this okay?” You say?
Rival

How would you describe yourself?
All the Things You Are

What do you like in a girl/guy?
Simply Irresistible

How do you feel today?
Someday Never Comes

What is your life’s purpose?
Kyrie

What is your motto?
Ring Them Bells

What do your friends think of you?
The Tenth World (?)

What do you think of your parents?
Always

What do you think about very often?
Isobel

What is 2 + 2 ?
Shine

What do you think of your best friend?
Another One Bites the Dust

What do you think of the person you like?
Since You've Been Gone

What is your life story?
Everytime You Go Away

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Urgent

What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Highway Girl

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Ancestors

What will they play at your funeral?
When I'm With You

What is your hobby/interest?
Well You Needn't (ZOE!!)

What is your biggest fear?
Don't Worry 'Bout Me

What is your biggest secret?
Blowin' In the Wind

What do you think of your friends?
Took It All

What will you post this as?
The Rain Song


Tagging everyone who reads this, you know you want to.

December 12, 2008

Drumroll, please

Digital Misfit is the winner of my first print giveaway! Congratulations :)

Thank you to everyone who entered, and I'm sorry I can't send you all a free print. But, since I loved getting all those great comments - I'm becoming a compliment addict - I will be doing a giveaway a month, so please check back in January for the next one.

And now, I've got a pile of Christmas presents to wrap, so you'll have to excuse me for a while :) I have to find my dvd of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and get wrapping, or no one will get their gifts on time!

December 11, 2008

Ice sculptures and polar bears

Guess what happens when 8 inches of snow is followed by a light rain? Uh huh. Everything outside is encased in ice. Branches, leaves, fences, cars...all coated with about a 1/2 inch of ice. It's beautiful, but just ever so slightly inconvenient.

I had to chisel the car out before I could drive it. I almost couldn't tell which car was mine out there, they all just looked like humps of snow. When I finally got the car back from Canadian Tire last night, our neighbors were gathered around one of their minivans trying to hack it out of the ice.

On the plus side, we no longer need to worry about the polar bears. There's plenty of snow and ice in Montreal, and they can live on the roofs of cars - little ice floes with meals inside.

December 10, 2008

We have snow!

There's about 8 inches worth of Christmas cheer, sitting on the trees outside. I've got to go get snow tires by the 15th, so I'm waiting for the Canadian Tire to open with my fingers crossed that they aren't sold out of the right size. I shouldn't have left it so late, but what with spending a crapload of money getting the Honda to pass the out of province inspection, I've had to wait for funds to replenish.

I spent the night painting and listening to power ballads on my ipod. Oh, and I 'Rick rolled' Gord while he was playing hockey. Who knew I had such terrible taste in music that I would have Rick Astley on my ipod? And why did I bring that up?

There have been some great comments on the giveaway post, and there's still time to get your name in for a free print....friends & family, you can enter too. Unless you've all abandoned us out here in the cold. I know we're not coming home for Christmas, but isn't that a bit harsh?

I also have to mail Christmas cards today and drop off a bag for the food bank. One of the grocery stores here sent around paper bags to be filled for the food bank, and they were going to come pick them up on Saturday, but I think they forgot our block. I was pleased to see that at least 1/2 the people on our street had bags out, though. I remember the apartment building we lived in back in Calgary put a box in the lobby for food bank donations, and you could tell people had just cleaned out their cupboards of the stuff they were never going to eat. I think the box sat there for a month with a lonely can of saurkraut and a box of noodles before it was taken away. I don't want to point fingers and say nyah, nyah, people are nicer in Montreal....but. Nyah nyah.

(that goes for us too - I didn't add anything to the lonely box either. I was 'too busy' or some such nonsense.)

December 08, 2008

Giveaway


I'm having a giveaway! All you need to do to enter is go to my etsy shop and leave a comment on my blog about which photo you like best. Make sure to leave an email address so I can contact you, and on Friday, I'll pick a winner and send you whichever print you chose. The giveaway is open to every one, doesn't matter what country you're in. :)

December 07, 2008

The last bit of politics for a while

Gord and I went to the pro-coalition rally in Montreal on Saturday (I don't think there was a pro-government one going on in Quebec, but I didn't look) and these are the best signs.

I'm not saying I agree - Harper clearly doesn't have the ability to choke people with his mind, because there would be no one left alive if he could silence all who displease him.

And now Gord and I have put ourselves on a strict no politics diet for a couple days. It's driving us crazy and we're going to get ulcers long before Jan. 26th. So we're concentrating on Christmas.

We spent some time today manufacturing gifts for our families. That's right, weep into your Monday morning coffee, family. It's all handmade, with love and thrift. Because we care enough to make your gift by hand? Because we're poor? Get used to it. Gord's a jazz musician and I'm "self-employed". Just be happy we aren't sleeping on your couch, eating your food and promising to look for work just as soon as this rerun of Family Guy is over. Isn't that the best gift of all?

December 06, 2008

I'm in a Treasury :)


Click here to check out the lovely Canadian themed treasury by TMCPhoto. She's a photographer from North Vancouver and has some beautiful shots of the northern lights. It makes me a little homesick, even though I lived in Calgary for the last 9 years and only saw the northern lights when I was at my parents place. As convenient as it is, as nice as it is to get pizza or chinese food delivered, I don't think I'm ever going to be a city person at heart. When I think about buying a home, it's always in the country somewhere.

Besides, if we live in the city, I don't think we can get a goat. And if you have a goat, they can mow the lawn and fertilize it at the same time. How could you refuse such cuteness when it's also so useful?


Right now we have cats, and they're good for nothing except destroying our furniture and stinking up the place, and we still (usually) love them.

December 04, 2008

Arg

I get that Michaelle Jean didn't have a lot of options, but January 26th? Seriously? Harper will have pulled battlebots out of his ass and annihilated Dion by that time, unless he's cannibalized by his own party first. And half the jobs in every province but Alberta will have disappeared.

Granted, we can all move to Alberta, work at the Burger King in Fort Mac, live in a cozy cardboard box for the holidays and choke on the irony of reenacting the Christmas Story - the disenfranchised poor, reduced to begging and treated like animals.

Merry Christmas to you too, Parliament.

Advice for breakfast?

"No one likes to be told to grow up. It's insulting. But these are always the answers. They will always be the answers. The only answers. There will never be any other answers. Grow up. Behave responsibly. Fight for your rights. Take care of yourself and each other. Be proud of yourself ...

"You know, it isn't meant to be easy, life. I don't know why it isn't meant to be easy, but it just isn't, so we might as well get used to it and try to find things that give us a certain sense of pride. We must create ourselves as something we can live with."

- Larry Kramer

I think I need to read that every day when I wake up, just as a reminder. And then every hour or so. A couple times before bed. Maybe get it tattooed on my arm so I have to read it whenever I reach for anything.

How can I not love a man who got banned from his local grocery store? How awesome is that? I tend to idolize people who radiate conviction, in the hope that it's contagious.

It'll be settled soon, right?

I was mentioned on another bog today, for the first time ever! Wendy at The Rugged Moose had some lovely comments, and she brought up a great point when she said:

"I think politics is like sex and religion. I usually only talk about those topics to people that I know extremely well, since they are able to put it into the context of who I am as a person - the topic doesn't define me."

It's true, in real life I tend to avoid all mention of politics unless I'm talking to Gord or my brother because I know we pretty much agree on everything, and when we don't, we care about each other too much to let it come between us. I sure as hell don't want to lose a friend over politics, and so I avoid it altogether because I don't want to fight with anyone.

But then, isn't that the problem? We assume that if someone's politics are different than ours that we can't possibly have common ground, especially in countries where there are only 2 strong political parties. Everything becomes polarized into right/wrong, good/bad, black/white. And you end up thinking, well, I'm a good person and I vote Orange. That must mean that anyone who votes for Purple thinks the exact opposite of me, and they must be wrong/stupid/naive/bad people.

The truth is usually somewhere in between, and instead of thinking in terms of black and white, or even shades of grey, shouldn't we admit we live in a complicated world with a thousand shades of many colors, and no one is ever going to be right all the time. That is mostly why I support the idea of a coalition, because it means there is no single person steering the country according to their predjudice. And I admit I'm completely predjudiced against him, but I honestly don't see Stephen Harper trying to bring people together. He's got a clear vision of what he thinks Canada should be and he doesn't seem interested in other points of view.

And I don't care what anyone's politics are, we're all just choosing the path we think is most likely to keep our basic needs met. If you think a political party is a threat to your ability supply food, clothing & shelter to your family of course you can't vote for them, or see eye to eye with anyone who does. What a sad, sorry state for our politicians - there's not one of them that a clear majority of us look at and trust. We really are in a bad habit of choosing the lesser of 2 evils when we vote. So here's my real Christmas wish - I want a politican who offers real hope and inspiration to my country.

Do you think Obama can manage 2 countries?

December 03, 2008

Attention Albertans!

Please buy your cocaine from a trusted drug dealer. Some unscrupulous person or persons operating in the province have laced the drug with a dangerous substance. Shocking, I know. Cause otherwise cocaine use is safe as houses.
I know you'll all appreciate the warning, especially this part:

"The province has issued a cocaine warning after several people who used the drug became sick."

Not "hey, don't use cocaine at all, you bloody idiots.", just a friendly reminder that illegal drugs aren't quite as safe as a sealed bottle of Tylenol from the pharmacy, you know, in case you FORGOT.

It reminds me of the day our biology teacher told our class that if we smoked, we were more likely to die. Not "more likely to die of smoking related illnesses like lung cancer", just 'more likely to die'. As though we were all immortal once, but for that first puff of cigarette smoke. Now that I think about it, I've never smoked. Snaps for living forever. :)

December 01, 2008

Voila!


My first attempt at watercolors. The photo is a bit blurry, sorry. It's a bit, uh, angrier than I intended, but what counts is that I finished it. That's a first since....high school art class? Back when I only finished/handed things in because I had to pass the course.

I have a tendency to start a project, become horrified at how it looks nothing like what I intended, and either destroy or bury it. The difference here is that I didn't have a plan when I started the painting, just kept adding a layer of color, then frisket, then color...etc. And also, I got fed up with my inability to finish anything and just sucked it up and kept going. It was like the training montage in a sports movie.

I think the satisfaction of finishing it more than makes up for the lacklustre product. Now, if I can only get as addicted to that as I am to potato chips....

In other news, unless someone gets a papercut, there's a very bloodless coup in the making. The one thing I don't understand is that people in the news and on the streets are saying that Harper was elected by 70% of the population. It's been a whole 6 weeks, so I guess it's easy to forget that the last election had the lowest voter turn out in decades, and that only 59% of us bothered to vote. Of that, the Conservatives got 38% of the popular vote. Even my wonky math can't make that out ot be 70% of Canadians. And they're talking like Harper has only been PM for 6 weeks, golly gee, give the man a chance. HELLO, he's been in office since 2006. He had a chance, he's done nothing good, he gives me the fucking willies (look in his eyes and tell me you don't get a little creeped out) - I'm looking forward to a change.

November 30, 2008

Malfoy, the Amazing Bouncing Ferret

Last month my mom sent out a huge box of watercolors, paper, brushes, books & dvd's. I finally pulled them out tonight and am trying my first watercolor painting while watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I need something to do while I wait for colors to dry.
So far, I've put on 2 color washes and I may have permanently glued the bristles of one brush with frisket. I'll post a picture of the finished result - unless it sucks, in which case, I never posted this. You heard nothing.

I found out today that Ikea sells Christmas trees for $20, AND they give you a coupon for $20 off a purchase of $75. I checked and our neighborhood has a tree recycling program, so we just have to leave the tree by the curb on the pick up days. If I can talk or trick Gord into braving Ikea, that's what we'll do. And we'll just chain the cats up in the closet or something til new years. Mwahaha.

November 29, 2008

All I want for Christmas is... a new government

There were tantalizing news stories about a no-confidence vote that would take Steve out of office and put in a coalition government. I thought we'd already had our vote of no confidence. What the hell else do you call it when only half the population bothers to vote? It ain't the ringing endorsement Steve seems to think he got.

They should just challenge the Conservatives to a hockey game, winner take office. Canadian politics are usually so boring, this could really liven things up. Guaranteed to get a bigger audience than the debates did. Add a rockin soundtrack, and it's just like that Canadian classic, Raccoons on Ice.

I've had a couple more sales and added more photos to the shop. It seems black and white prints are the most popular, and this one of the tree will probably be my best seller.



And the weather channel keeps promising snow, but it hasn't hit yet. In preparation for real winter, we've been experimenting and have discovered that stovetop cocoa recipes are a thousand times better than the powdered tea kettle stuff, so now we're cocoa snobs.

November 28, 2008

Puppy Cam!

Have you seen this yet? The most adorable thing ever. Cause what's better than a puppy?
6 Puppies! Right now they're all sleeping in a big pile, and the one with the yellow collar is kicking one of them in the head. So cute!


I made a sale!

Actually, I had 3 sales today, which is so much better than I'd hoped. Granted, friends and family have placed orders and it's possible they like me more than they like the pictures and are being wonderfully supportive - not that I'm complaining! Any sale is a good sale, and I'm not too proud to take your money. But there's one from a complete stranger which makes me happy. And, she's from Texas, so I get to learn all about customs forms, and get that hurdle out of the way early. I have the orders all packaged and ready to go - I just need to trek to the post office and ship them out.

We also got our first Christmas card in the mail, Gord has gone through 2 cartons of egg nog, I crocheted myself a toque - if only it would SNOW, it would be nice and Christmasy.

November 27, 2008

Finally!

My Etsy shop is open for business! I've only got a few photos up at the moment, but I'll have more in the next few days. And everything is on 1/2 price until December 15th - not a bad time for a grand opening sale, I hope ;)

Here's a preview of some of the photo's I've uploaded:



Not a very coherent theme, yet, but it won't be so jumbled when I get more photos up and can sort them into sections.

We've been busy little beavers here - besides the Etsy shop, we're working on Christmas presents that I can't say anything about in case our families put 2 and 2 together and figure out what they're getting this year. But I will assure you that we won't be trying to ship a box of poutine, or smoked meat sandwiches or BBQ chicken. We thought about it, and decided we'd rather eat all that food ourselves.

And all our snow is gone. Now we have muck, and it got on my cute new boots. I hate that moment when your new shoes get dirty for the first time, but after that I forget all about it and go trucking through the mud without thinking.

November 22, 2008

Don't worry

We're not dead, just boring.

I'm having a hell of a time getting the cello envelopes I ordered for shipping photos, they keep getting stuck at customs and sent back. So I ordered some from a different company, and hopefully they will be here next week. I don't want to cancel the original order, because the guy has been really good about resending the package but COME ON. It shouldn't take over a month to get here.

Bet you didn't miss the whining while I was away.

We're heading up to the Dollar Cinema today to finally see Dark Knight. With $2 admission and $1 snacks, we can get in and get popcorn for the price of renting, and there are some movies that have to have a big screen. Anything where a semi flips over is in that category. I wasn't a huge fan of the Batman Begins movie, but that's probably because Miss Katie Holmes distracted me every time she was on screen. I can't wait for her memoirs to come out. Will she explain what happened those days she went missing?
Granted, that link is for Fox News, but still. Can you recover from a lobotomy in 16 days?

November 18, 2008

Great

The Conservative government is trying to protect free speech, especially hate messages. Cause god forbid we not be allowed to spread hate messages in this country, it would violate our right to be asshats. But never fear, we've got the King of Asshats in charge, and he won't let us down.

Oh, and they also want to criminalize abortion which is totally awesome. Who needs a licensed doctor, we all know you can perform a DIY abortion if you just drink a 26 of Jack Daniels (this tip from some idiot girls in Red Deer). Fucking awesome, Steve.

Anyone placing bets on how long before they want to revisit the legal definition of marriage?

It wouldn't be quite so bad if we could have a count down, like the US. But who knows when King Asshat is going to call another election?

November 17, 2008

Goop

Nablopomo is kicking my ass.

We have a car again, just in time to avoid the gentle freezing rain and flaying wind outside. We did a massive grocery trip so no one needs to worry about us starving over the winter. We cleaned the kitchen and ate donuts. The stuff of legend right here.

I don't want to overload you with excitement so I'm off.

November 13, 2008

Yep

Got the car back yesterday, mostly fixed. Window goes up, window goes down. Have to go back on Friday to get the windshield replaced. And then we can register the damn thing in Quebec and finally drive around again. Which is good, because the cheaper laundromat is too far away to walk to.

I read all of Breaking Dawn today, and I think I'll start the Poisonwood Bible next. Used books are the way to go. I got 6 books for $37, which is about what I would have spent on Breaking Dawn new.

And if you've got that song from the Sears commercial stuck in your head and can't identify it, it's
Donna and Blitzen by Badly Drawn Boy. Hooray for Yahoo answers.

November 10, 2008

just like dating.

In preparation for the bookstore, I've been reading book reviews. What I tend to do is start with books I haven't read and then try to read a review by the same person of a book I have read, just to see if our taste is the same. This in itself is bad policy. I've stumbled onto Harry Potter forums and found myself wondering if some of those bloody morons had even read the book. How dare they be so stupid and like what I like? It taints the whole process and I need a brain shower after reading some of the comments. And at that point, I remember that I hate reviews.

One, because I am a creature of absolutes, I either love something and refuse to listen to any criticism, or despise it and want nothing to do with it. I have owned books that weren't good enough to sit on the shelf with the other books. They sat on a table, or the floor until I got rid of them. And I've yet to read a review that doesn't come off as a cold dissection of what used to be a living, breathing story, even if it was favorable.

Two, because reviewing books or movies is (to me at least) the equivalent of going home after a night out with your friends and ripping them to pieces. You don't treat your friends like that, and I don't treat my books like that. Would I google someone before deciding to be friends with them? It has never occurred to me. So I'm going to stop doing it to books.

So where does this leave me? The tried and true method of going to a bookstore, waiting for something to catch my eye, maybe it's the title, maybe (god forbid) it's the cover, we make a little small talk, I read the first page - is it worth taking home? Is this book sponge worthy?
And sometimes I'm wrong and I picked a loser, so I trade it in for a better book. Just like dating.

whoops

Ok, so I was down and out with a cold the last few days and haven't blogged at all. Sorry! There wasn't much happening, unless you count unplanned pregnancies, anorexia, cutting, school shootings, break ups, make ups & hook ups....yes, I watched all 7 seasons of Degrassi: The Next Generation in 4 days. This is what happens when I don't have any new books to read.

I was feeling better today, so we went out to the used book store down the street but they don't open til 11. So we went back at 11 and there was a sign up saying they weren't opening until 1:30 today. So we stopped at Chalet BBQ and came home. I'll try the bookstore again tomorrow.

And, the car should finally be fixed on Wednesday, drivers side window and all. Drive thru, here I come.

November 05, 2008

Spider!


We have a giant spider outside our living room window.

For the first time ever, I envy Americans. Their president is a great man, while we have...smarm in a sweater. Although, to be nitpicky, I wish Obama were a stronger supporter of same sex marriage. I know, you can't have your cake and eat it too....stupidest saying ever. When was the last time you had cake you didn't eat? As bad as 'you made your bed, now you have to lie in it'. Of course you made your bed before lying in it. Weren't our mothers always going on about cleaning our rooms and making our beds?

I think the weather must be changing, because I've had a headache the last 2 days. If I ever write my memoirs, I'll have to put in a special thanks to Advil Liquigels for getting me through the tough times. But if we get snow that stays it's all worth it. I can't wait for a real winter for a change, instead of the scuzzy brown and grey Calgary winters. The weather last year was so erratic we couldn't even go skating, it was either 40 below or thawing. Remind me of that if I start whining about the cold.

November 03, 2008

One Month

Last night Gord and I were discussing how long we could be dead in our apartment before someone noticed. The landlady already has the check for Decembers rent, so she wouldn't notice anything for a while. We say hi to our neighbors when we see them, but we don't really know them. We certainly aren't having bridge nights with anyone. My parents usually call every 2 weeks or so, same with Gord's mom. But if we didn't answer, they would probably give us a couple days to call back...so our best guess is 3 - 4 weeks.

Good thing we both want to be cremated, because the cats would have eaten our faces.

In other, less morbid news...

I registered for 2 classes today and I'm waiting to see if I can get into a French class.

The US election has given me an ulcer. Thank god it's all over tomorrow.

I'm in the process of rescanning every single negative. Again. Because I'm an idiot.

If Gord and I have kids, we may move to France just so they can get an education without declaring bankruptcy.

November 02, 2008

Sunday, lazy Sunday

The package at the post office was Fable 2, which I picked up on Friday. Gord and I had planned to watch all 3 Ginger Snaps movies on Halloween, but....I played Fable, played Fable online with Kel, played Fable some more, until I was too tired to watch movies and went to bed.

We only had 2 trick or treaters, which is good because our doorbell sounds like a fire alarm, and it gives me a heart attack every time. Imagine having that go off in the middle of a scary movie. Although none of the Ginger Snaps movies are that scary, and I have a pretty low threshold for scary. We watched the movies yesterday and ate leftover candy, popcorn and gingerbread (very good recipe, but I doubled the spices, and added 2 tsp of cloves.)

Tomorrow, I have my advising appointment with Concordia, so I can register for classes, have to call about my student loan and I will probably get a call from the car repair place and find out what it's going to cost to fix all the little things I need to get fixed so I can register the Honda here. Damn out of province inspections. Thank God it's Sunday, I can't do anything about any of that, so I'm going to play Fable and forget about such stupid mundane things as money.

October 30, 2008

BSG! And random crap.

The fifth season of Battlestar Galactica will air on January 16th, 10 episodes, so it will end March 20th. Thank goodness. Kelly got us addicted to this show just before we left Calgary, and I can't take another canceled show. It's bad enough thinking that Joan and Adam aren't together any more.

I was going to start watching Merlin online, but CTV is going to be airing that in Canada in January, so I needed something else to do. That's when I discovered Hex, it's British, preposterous and highly enjoyable gothic fluff

I got my Quebec drivers license today. I don't think I'll ever switch provinces again, because there's too much paperwork involved. Why can't we just have a national drivers license and health care and vehicle registration system? And, why can't optometry and dental be included in the health care plan while I'm at it? If you're going blind and your teeth are falling out - you ain't healthy. Who do I talk to about that? George Strombolopolous? (I spelled that right on the first try. Just bragging.)

October 29, 2008

October 28, 2008

All about food

We made pumpkin soup tonight. I always intend to take a picture but somehow when the food is ready, it's all about the eating. It was a pretty good soup, but next time we've decided to saute the onions and garlic first, because it was just the tiniest bit boring. Good thing we had grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it.

And now, I'm watching House with a hot chocolate with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of rum. Yum!

I got my photo mailers today, and there's a package for me at the post office that I have to pick up - if it's the cello envelopes, I'm in business. If it's the soap I ordered I'll smell much better and if it's Fable 2, then I will be AWOL for a while. The best thing I've heard about that game? You get a dog! Even a digital dog is better than no dog at all.

And the inspirational challenge song has been posted - I've got some work to do :)

Ps. If Cuddy really tries to keep that poor girls baby, she deserves a cane slap.

October 27, 2008

Hooray!

I got my acceptance letter for Concordia today! I'll be studying classics, with a minor in art history - or the other way around, it depends how terrible I am at Greek and Latin. I'm pretty sure the inclination I have right now to study political science will wear off right quick once the US election is over. God, I hope it does. Can you imagine how dry those classes would be? At least with art history, you get the occasional nekkid person.

Now...how to pay for this edumacation?

Horror Stories

In honor of Halloween, I'm going to share some of my favorite scary stories.

When I was about 8 or so, Dr Dean Edell was on the news talking about what happens during labour. He drew a circle on a big sheet of white paper, and "blah, blah, blah tearing..."and he drew a big jagged line, like so
This was bad enough, but then he starts talking about how that jagged tear is hard to stitch up, so the Doctors like to make an incision, like so.
Well, woohoo for you, doctor. I don't see anyone waving a scalpel around your scrotum. You wouldn't be so blase about a little incision then.

The second horror story comes from junior high when a friend of mine informed me that, what with all the pushing during labour, you might just poop in front of everyone. I haven't got over that embarrassment and I only imagined it happening to me.

The third horror story comes from working the photo lab. People take pictures of the damndest things. Some guy took a picture of his wife either during or just after childbirth, cropping it so all that's in the picture are her legs and bloody carnage. I swear, it looked like someone had popped a flesh colored inner-tube, sewn it to her crotch and tossed a jar of chunky spaghetti sauce on her. I will never forget that image. And there's no coming back from that, Keigel be damned. I bet you anything that woman is still walking around town in floor length dresses because she can't find pants to accomodate her inner-tube.

And to those who offer up a C-section as an alternative to inner-tube carnage...Let's think this through, shall we? Real women are not the magical pregnant Barbie who's plastic pregnant belly just pops off and out comes the baby, and hey, you've got your figure back to boot. There's no 'alternative route' for that kid. They cut a hole through your gut and rip it out. How on earth is that any better?! When there are all those babies already on the outside. So yeah, I'm pro adoption, and thank God Gord is too so he will never offer me up to the baby gods on a shit and carnage splattered table.

As far as adoption goes, I don't see what the big deal is. 1, I've never ever ever in my life held a baby that I wouldn't have gladly taken home (if I were ever in a position to give it a decent life, and we're not, don't anyone start freaking out and knitting booties.) And 2, of all the people in my life that I love, exactly none of them have burst forth from my loins. I think I can manage to love a couple more 'strangers'.

But then....there's an awful lot of paperwork that goes with adopting, isn't there? Maybe we'll stick to dogs and cats for now.

October 26, 2008

Clint Eastwood

as a director, he doesn't so much tug on your heartstrings as rip them out of your chest and slap you across the face with them, screaming "DO YOU FEEL THAT?? WELL, DO YOU, PUNK?!. And all you can do is cower in the corner, weeping and hoping he goes away soon.

That is why I will probably not go see The Changeling.

October 24, 2008

NaBloPoMo

I joined the NaBloPoMo site, which isn't the crazy voodoo it sounds like. It's just a trick to get us all posting every day for a month, because if you do something for 30 days, it becomes a habit. So it's a good thing it's not in February.

If you're slightly insane, or just insanely ambitious, you could try Nanowrimo, which is National Novel Writing Month. If you are thinking of writing a novel, there's a fantastic book, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (honestly, you should read anything of hers that you can get your hands on) that unfortunately did not propel me to write the great Canadian novel, but that's not to say it wasn't worth reading. My lack of literary follow through may be more my fault than hers.

Shop talk

I spend a lot of time in the Etsy forums. What am I doing there? Am I storing up info for when I finally open my own shop, or am I romancing the dog? I'd like to say it's the former, but those political posts in Etc. get me every time. And I can't claim that it's going to help my business at all if I watched this today. But...I have got a lot of good information off the forums, and I thought I'd share some of what I've done to get ready.

I got an email today from Overstock.com that my photo mailer envelopes have shipped. Really? Wow, that's great, only 8 days after I ordered them. And the EBay business (Express Shipping Supply) I contacted about combining shipping on 2 different sizes of envelopes has never replied, even though they stated on their site to email and ask about combined shipping. I'm not really complaining, because I'm not 100% sure my photos are ready for sale - I can tweak some more... But I'm never going to open if I wait to be 100% sure of myself.

I have an Epson V200 scanner so I can scan my own negatives and art prints up to 8.5 x 11, and after reading many forum posts, product reviews, and banging my head against the wall, tearing my hair out, finally decided to get the Epson R1900 printer. It will print up to 13 x 19 inches, has great reviews, and was just outside what I thought I could afford, but I did want to be able to print larger than 8 x 10, so....I bit the bullet and so far I am completely happy with it. (just don't ask about the 3 hours I spent trying to install it on my old laptop. When I gave up and tried installing it on the new laptop - 1o minutes. I swore a little.)

I prefer this to finding a photo lab. I worked in a lab, and it's not that they can't do great work, it's that getting the same color and density every time is nearly impossible (don't get me started on the reasons why, I have Vietnam syndrome about this) and I remember the hell we used to go through with professional photographers wanting us to just "do what you did last time". Like we were TRYING to do it wrong, just for shits and giggles. The amount of stress and wasted paper was insane. There were people who flat out refused to even touch orders if they came from certain customers, just because they knew they'd get shit from them. We may even have unkindly referred to one woman as 'that bitch'. And I don't want to be 'that bitch' for someone. So part of it is control - I can be as fussy as I want about color matching without driving anyone else to use profanity. And honestly, I don't think I'd complain about photos from a lab knowing how hard it is to get it perfect for someone else, so I'd end up with pics I wasn't happy with just because I didn't want to say anything.

Most of the photos I took with my Canon Elan II E, it's a film camera not digital and it takes fucking beautiful pictures. It has a 28 - 105mm lens, which gives me a decent amount of zoom, not quite macro, but for that I can always borrow Gord's Fuji Finepix S9000 with the 28 - 200mm lens. His also takes great pictures, but I love my camera and will probably use it forever. The only benefit of digital that I can see is that you don't have to have negatives developed, and I do use Gord's camera when I just want a quick photo of something to post on the blog.

The scanner does a great job, and I can set the resolution very high and get great quality scans. This is much easier than getting a lab to do it for me, because I remember we used to charge $1 a scan for a basic scan to get a 500KB file, which is too small for me. I've saved money having the scanner just from the negatives I've scanned so far.

Paper may be the death of me. I'm still tweaking photos and paper, but I'll let you know what I end up going with. I'm intriqued by this Velvet Fine Art paper, but good god, is that expensive. It may be something I wait to introduce after I start making some money (knock on wood).

Great news

So I heard from mom and dad last night and it seems mom won't have to have chemo at all! Woohoo! She's got to take pills - tamoxisomethingorother - for a year, but her ultrasound and bone scans are all clean. Which is great news, because losing your hair mid winter in Alberta would have been damn chilly. And there's that whole 'cancer sucks' aspect as well.

So now, both my parents have had their freaky scary brush with death, more than once in dad's case, and come through ok if not unscarred. I'm going to assume for a little while that they're done with the medical emergencies and imagine they are going to stay healthy until they die of extreme old age in the very, very far off future.

October 23, 2008

More pretty things!

Birthday flowers from mom and dad

Now I know what mom was doing on her walks around the neighborhood - reconnaissance. Thank you guys for the flowers, they're beautiful! I'll call again tonight and see if I can catch you at home.

Since they're so deeply stupid, I have a feeling our cats may be confined to the bedroom until the flowers die. I caught the black one eating a stargazer lily once, and those are supposed to be poisonous. She didn't die, but clearly she can't be trusted. And the grey one is a shit disturber at the best of times. Say goodbye to your freedom, furballs. We have rigged up a system of corralling them in the bedroom. Since our door doesn't actually shut all the way due to crazy Escher-like floors, we have to use bungee cords to connect the bedroom door to the closet door to the fridge door. They'd have to be Steve McQueen to get out of that lockdown.

Presents!

Gord got me this ring for my birthday, and it's so pretty. It's nice every so often to get something that has no practical use. Other than bills and groceries, the only real indulgences I have are books and movies, and I don't consider those luxuries, they're brain food.

I also heard from an old friend in Calgary that I'd kind of lost touch with, and she is having a concert for a friend of hers, Carrie Hryniw, and you can listen to her music here.

I don't really get homesick, but I am often peoplesick. It's not as gross as it sounds.

You say it's your birthday

Yesterday was a great birthday, Gord and I spent the entire day at the movies. Because there's nothing I like more than candy and stories, and when you see one really good movie it's hard to walk back into the real world. So we saw the Secret Life of Bees, Gonzo: The Life and Works of Dr Hunter S Thompson, and W. Strange mix. We were originally going to see Religulous but then I caught a review of Secret Life of Bees and decided I wanted to see it instead. It really follows the book so much more than the previews let on. From the ads, I thought it was some stupid watered down feel good movie, and it's not. Nothing wrong with that kind of movie, but I can't stand it when someone makes a movie of a book and changes the whole feel of it just to make it more marketable.

Gonzo and W were both good biographies, both very sympathetic to their subjects. In Hunter S Thompson's case I can understand it because he's a cultural icon, one of those completely insane over the top personalities that can get away with anything just because of who they are, and it was all done by friends of his. In W's case, it just seemed like Oliver Stone has gone soft. I'm not saying he should have crucified the man, but he didn't even mention the 'hanging chad' controversy, there was no mention at all of the 2000 election. The movie seems to say that he's a decent guy just trying to prove his worth to his father, and that he is unfortunately surrounded by the devil (Dreyfuss as Cheney) and his henchmen. I can understand having some parent issues, but starting a war...might be overkill. Next time, try therapy.

October 21, 2008

Tom Petty was right

The waiting is the hardest part. Things I'm waiting for right now:

Sushi rice to be done

Shipping supplies to arrive so I can start my Etsy shop

And the worst, for the Flames 9 MINUTE PENALTY to be over. 9 freakin minutes. Hockey gives me ulcers. It's a good thing I only care about my 2 home teams.

October 20, 2008

When I grow up

No, not a response to that god awful Pussycat Dolls song....




I took dance lessons as a kid, tap for 5 years and jazz for 2, and it really helped me out. Not with grace or confidence or anything, but for those 7 years it gave me a quick and easy answer to the worst question ever "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

I think the first time I heard this question was just after I started Grade 1. And even at the time, I thought it was stupid. What the hell kind of response do these idiot adults expect to get?

"Well, I just learned how to print my name, so I'm thinking I'd like to get a doctorate in neurobiology, but I'm also very interested in International Politics, so...I'm keeping my options open. I figure I don't have to pick a major till I'm in Upper Elementary so I have some time to figure things out."

WTF? When you're 5 all you know about the working world is the jobs your parents do (and even at 5 I knew there was no way I was going to be a banker or accountant) and all you know about yourself is that you like cartoons and apple juice. Yeah, lets build a career around that. I had no idea, but I wasn't the snarky little wonder that I am now, and I used to just tell everyone I wanted to be a dance teacher to shut them up. And how sad is it that as you become an adult the only way you can attempt to relate to another human being is by the verbal equivalent of the butt-sniff, so you can rank the other dogs according to pack status.

But I was thinking the other day how horrible it would be if everyone had to stick with the career they'd picked as a child. Here's how it'd go down:

Every single man on earth: Fireman.

90% of women would be princesses, and the other 10% would be in mental institutions thinking they were ponies.

October 17, 2008

Is there a little blue pill for this?

Check out the depressing figures from Fair Vote Canada, and try not to cry. More people voted Green than voted Conservative in Alberta, and yet Alberta elected 27 MP's and the Greens got 0.
Smells like bullshit to me.

I don't see what the difficulty is in changing over to proportional representation. It's not like it isn't used successfully in other countries, so why don't we just ask them how it's done, and voila? Presto change-o, Harper out-o? Or at least back to a weak minority. I like the idea of all the parties represented in the House of Commons, because I don't think any point of view is ever 100% correct. So the more debate and discussion, the more diversity we have in our government, the better.

October 16, 2008

Yesterday


We ordered some stainless steel water bottles from Mountain Equipment Co-op, and they arrived yesterday. So far, they have kept my water cool overnight, and I'm not drinking any Bisphenol A with it. Health Canada has so far only said that the chemical is bad for babies and banned baby bottles made with polycarbonate plastics. But 50 years ago, they probably told people it was ok to smoke, so I'm hedging my bets here. And anyway, the bottle would work as a good bludgeon should I ever have to defend myself. Multipurpose tool.

And, I was bored and mom left me with a ball of wool, so I made these:

Because crocheting thumbs is hard, and I might find myself warming my hands over a garbage can fire someday. Now I'll blend in.

October 14, 2008

We voted.

Here's hoping it wasn't a complete waste of time.

In Calgary the voting booths are mostly run by seniors. This is a nice way for them to make some money, etc. etc., but it's a bit frightening since Kelly volunteered one year and had to remind his partner how to count many times through out the day. HOW TO COUNT. I'm not picking on the seniors here, but if the main reason for you being there is to count the votes, you'd better be damn sure you know how to count. Maybe the majority of Albertans don't vote Conservative, maybe it's just a little old lady conspiracy. They were probably swayed by that sexy cardigan of Steve's.

And here's some random pictures of our neighborhood.

Happy Thanksgiving


Gord made this from scratch. From an actual pumpkin. It's delicious, especially with a little vanilla gelato on top.



There was also a chicken - turkeys are too big for 2 - and beans and stuffing, but who cares about dinner when you've got pie for dessert?

We had a quiet day at home for Thanksgiving, except for having to run to the store to get poultry seasoning. And then it took a good 15 minutes at the Metro to find poultry seasoning. We were beginning to think French Canadians didn't use the stuff...and how the hell else do you make stuffing!?! But we found some and dinner was saved. We never did find a can of cranberry sauce, though, so it's a good thing we didn't have turkey, because the one without the other is an abomination. And I made my first ever successful batch of baked beans. They took forever, but they're tasty.

We didn't have any family around, but I got a call from mom and dad on Saturday, Gord talked to his mom on Sunday and his grandparents on Monday, so we were 'gone, but not forgotten'.

October 09, 2008

Down with butterflies.

I grew up hearing about acid rain and holes in the ozone layer, and the three r's meant reduce, reuse and recycle. It didn't do much for my peace of mind when I was little, and I thought the grown ups had destroyed the planet. So it's very hard for me to take anyone seriously if they don't believe in climate change, or that human activity has had an adverse affect on the planet. It's those butterflies in Tokyo that are to blame, or maybe beavers. There are conflicting reports...

It's also hard for me to believe that people want to put nuclear power in Alberta.

Yeah....you know what else I heard about when I was growing up? Chernobyl.

But lest you think the wind in Lethbridge alone could power all of Canada, consider this - if one of those windmill things fell over, it could crush some unsuspecting grasshopper, and then we'd all be complicit in its murder. Who wants that burden on their soul?

October 05, 2008

You can't honestly like this person?

"It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act."

"For taxpayers, however, it’s a rip-off. And it has nothing to do with gender. Both men and women taxpayers will pay additional money to both men and women in the civil service. That’s why the federal government should scrap its ridiculous pay equity law."

"I don't know all the facts on Iraq, but I think we should work closely with the Americans."

"It will come as no surprise to anybody to know that I support the traditional definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, as expressed in our traditional common law."

"The time has come to recognize that the U.S. will continue to exercise unprecedented power in a world where international rules are still unreliable and where security and advancing of the free democratic order still depend significantly on the possession and use of military might."

"You have to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from Eastern Canada; people who live in ghettos and are not integrated into Western Canadian society."

"America, and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world,"

Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack o-n our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society... It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.

“Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status.”

“Universality has been severely reduced: it is virtually dead as a concept in most areas of public policy.”


All quotes from our illustrious PM.

A note to Steve: Me and my second rate country DESERVE BETTER.

More propoganda, anyone?

A few sites to check out before you vote - clearly biased against a Conservative government, and I'm not pretending otherwise. Hey, it works for Michael Moore. Can I get my Oscar now?

The Real News has some interesting videos, like this one on Canada's bumblefuck of Kyoto. Or this one, on whether or not we really are becoming more Conservative - we're not, btw, but because we don't have proportional representation, our government does not reflect this.

Power Up Canada has some good information and as overwhelming as it is to think about climate change, it is only going to get worse the longer we pretend it's not happening.

And also, because its funny, and because I think older people are more likely to vote Conservative, check this out. And then ask yourself why none of the Canadian party leaders are ever anything but Caucasian.

I know it's typical of Canadians to feel like the government is beyond our control, that we vote and nothing changes no matter who is in office, so why bother? The thing is, voters outnumber elected officials and we can bully them into doing what we want them to do. That's kind of the whole point of an elected official. Politicians depend on public support, threaten that and you've got the upper hand. Send a letter

Dear Guy:
Do what I want or I won't vote for you or your party ever again. I mean it.
Here's what I want: yada yada yada.
Sincerely,
Concerned Canadian in your riding.

If you want to be slightly more effective, you can try getting lots of people to send the same sort of letter asking for the same thing, or you can organize a protest, or a something, or a whatever. Probably whatever it is you want, there's already a group out there trying to make it happen and they could use your support, so you don't even have to initiate anything. Just join in. Easy peasy. It all hangs on you doing something that indicates what is important to you - bitching at your tv, or at a family bbq doesn't cut the mustard.

I don't know what it is that you might be concerned about, or what direction you want the country to go in. That's why you vote, it's the one time every so often that the government asks "how am I doing?" and you can say, "Frankly, Mr Harper, you stink." Or even "Hey, Steve, I like how you talk about money all the time. I heart money too. Lets be pals." if that's your thing. And I promise I'll only kick you one time for voting Conservative. One time.

October 04, 2008

We left the house!

Yep, we left the house yesterday to go to a movie. We saw Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and it was a great movie. The previews pretty much played all the jokes, and the rest of the movie is more low key than the usual 'teen night out' movie, but it's got great young actors and the drunk blonde steals the movie. Not an easy feat with the talented Michael Cera in the mix.
The only downside is that for most of it, I was stuck thinking "For the love of God, get rid of that gum!". You'll understand when you see the movie.

And there's a very important vote coming up, if you missed everything else this week you have to check out the Hockey Anthem Challenge. Who cares who the next PM is, we need a new hockey song. Priorities, people. Get it together.

October 03, 2008

Caribou Barbie sucked me in.

She's just so familiar somehow. I remember an SNL skit before Bush was elected the first time that had Will Ferrel playing Bush frolicking in the background with a BALL OF YARN. That's what people thought of him prior to the election, and it still boggles the mind that a country so hell bent on democracy would let the tampered results stand. But I guess they've gotten used to a leader who is folksy and uneducated and out of their depth. You do not want someone who is 'just like us regular folk' running the damn country. In charge of 'nucular' weapons. You want the most intelligent goddamn person you can get your hands on, because running a country is NOT the same as running your household.

Why don't they nominate Matt Damon? Because he can pronounce 'nuclear'. Also, I find it hilarious that the Matt Damon clip has so many more views than the ACTUAL news. Go America, not knowing what's relevant.

The only thing Sarah Palin might contribute to foreign policy is my plan of having all international conflicts resolved by hockey games.

Holy Fuck, Alberta!

You might elect a NON CONSERVATIVE.

Suck the Canada!

I overate the debate and am now sick to my stomach. Again, I'm referring to the Canadian debates.
Stephen Harper's pat response to every criticism seemed to be that his government was miraculously increasing funding to every single area... and a big fat lie.
I don't know about Gilles Duceppe, but at least he really loves his province. Which is more than anyone can say for Stephen "Canada doesn't stand for anything" Harper. I was really pleased to see Elizabeth May at the debates, and I hope this has shown those stupid old ladies in Calgary that the Green Party is not about smoking pot. I think she knows more about politics than Harper, and it's a damn shame that she isn't in a better position. Layton and Dion are fine by me because they aren't Harper, and short of praising Steve, they can do no wrong in my eyes. Sorry. That's what happens with party politics.

The Conservative plan to put young offenders in adult prision sounds like a terrible idea to me, and I hope to everyone. And nothing Harper said in the debate indicated that he cared about the root cause of crime, just "Punish the Offender".

I don't like his stance on the environment either, claiming that if we dared to tax the oil companies, they would leave Canada and take their jobs with them. Yeah, right. How many places in the Western world have oil? Uh huh. Like 3. And only Alberta is producing at the moment, so I'd say we have them over a barrel. Get it?

I do like Elizabeth May's comments that we need to shift our thinking. It isn't 'free' to pollute, there is a cost. If we taxed the buggers that were, say, slaughtering 500 Canada geese with an unreported oil spill in Fort McMurray, we could cut taxes for, say, people who were riding the poverty line and worried about paying their rent. Hmm.

And I learned some interesting facts.
One - Harper chose to make a 45 MILLION dollar cut to arts funding. Wow. Right before the election. So the Conservatives have lost all the support they had been gaining in Quebec with that move. For a hilarious take on this, watch this video.
Two - the average income for an artist living in Canada is $10,000 - $12,000 a year. Fucking fry guys at MacDonalds make more than that. Don't think this changes my career plans. It just means that even if Stephen Harper showed up tomorrow and gave me a puppy, I couldn't possibly vote for him. And puppies are the pinnacle of happiness, so this is serious.

I DID NOT SAY "TITS"!!

September 29, 2008

Bilingual

Gord and I were talking tonight about how we were both worried about moving to Montreal without knowing any French. We thought maybe every interaction with people would be a struggle, that everyone would hate us because we had made little effort to learn the language before moving here...and how relieved we were after our first stop at the U-Haul building. We were greeted by the Montreal standard "Bonjour, hello", and the man behind the counter spoke perfect english and was helpful and friendly. That's when I knew things were going to be just fine here.

One of our first days in Montreal, Gord went for a walk down Sherbrooke late at night, getting a feel for our neighborhood. A young man burst out of an apartment building and ran over to Gord, asking a question in frantic French. Feeling terrible that he didn't understand, Gord had to admit that he didn't speak French, and couldn't help. The young man quickly rephrased his question in English.
"Do you have a condom?"

September 28, 2008

You know what would be awesome?

If Xander from Buffy had his own late night talk show. Not just the actor who played Xander, but actual Xander Harris, with his I Heart Dirt t-shirt and a desk, and a parrot, and 3 guests a night.

And Andrew could be his Andy Richter.

Sweet.

I'm gonna watch that show right now. In my head.

September 26, 2008

It's because we're in Ottawa....

Stephen Harper - He Kills Kittens.


Sorry, Kel - this is Canadian election crap.

I came across an interesting site today, and it gives you the straight poop on your riding - just put in your postal code and it will list the candidates in your riding. Helpful, if you're in a Conservative quagmire like Pine Lake and haven't heard a peep from any other candidate but Earl Dreeshen. It's got a definite bias, but don't let that sway you. If you've sold your soul for 2%, vote for the man in the smarmy sweater vest who DOESN'T THINK CANADA STANDS FOR ANYTHING. And don't tell me you voted for Harper when next I see you unless you want a swift kick in the gonads.

Another thing I learned recently - vote swapping is not illegal. So, don't despair, Albertans. Your vote could make a difference in a riding somewhere - just not too close to home, you poor buggers.

In Montreal, we actually have a Liberal MP. I don't really like party politics, I don't consider myself a Liberal, but good golly ain't it nice to know that there won't be a Conservative 'speaking on my behalf' in parliament. Cause the jackass would get it all wrong, and I don't have time to hang out on the hill correcting him all the time. Well, actually I do, but I don't want to. Who's going to win the election? Voter Apathy. I've always liked that guy.


ps. I guarantee Harper doesn't look this good naked. Why doesn't David Suzuki run for Prime Minister?

"Voting based on who looks best naked? I suppose it makes as much sense as voting for the best liar."
-Gord

September 25, 2008

Break on Through

We're in Ottawa, no thanks to me or the damn Garmin.

Here's what happened. We were heading to Ottawa today, and I got in a snit when mom wanted to use the GPS thingy that she brought.

"I don't need a damn computer telling me how to leave the city, I know how to get off my own street!"
And I proceeded to take us on a very scenic drive off the south end of the island and headed towards the United States border. Oops.

So we took a long detour, and when we tried to use the Garmin, it got worse. We were at an intersection and could go straight or turn left, and it kept telling us to "Turn right". I gave up on it and decided to go with the old stand by - stick to the main roads, which lead to other main roads, which lead to big cities. We eventually found the 201 which at least lead north, then found actual signs that said "Ottawa" and after a mere hour and a half of being lost, we found our hotel.
We went to the National Gallery for a couple hours - free admission tonight. Remember that Heritage Canada commercial that Hetty King narrated, about the teachers in one room schoolhouses - "Its a very difficult passage. It's from the Bible. This is what I use to teach your son to read." And the dour old men look abashed because they can't read....I saw that picture.

And some Picasso's, a Jackson Pollock, Van Gogh's Iris, the Voice of Fire, some of Emily Carr's early work, some Group of Seven paintings and sketches...and then back to the hotel to eat Tim Hortons chili and watch Ugly Betty. It was a mulitcultural day.

The bathroom here is HUGE. Or comparatively so. Our bathroom at home is so small that you could, if you were in a hurry, pee and shave your legs at the same time. Pee in the toilet and shave your legs on the tub, I mean. You always have the option to just pee your pants, but that doesn't save time. The shower here sounds like helicopters and it was giving me imaginary Vietnam flashbacks. Then I got "Break on Through" stuck in my head, because every single movie about Vietnam has that shot of helicopters over the trees and they inevitably play one of three songs - The Doors Break on Through, The Stones Paint it Black, or Fortunate Son by CCR. Sorry, every other musician from the late 60's - apparently you did not capture the soul of the era.

September 22, 2008

Thank you Turtle, you saved my life.

Ok, so last season on Heroes some stuff happened, and apparently I don't remember any of it because tonights episode made no sense. At all. Why does Weevil think he's Peter? Why was Sylar in some black and white craptastic music video getting shot? Why is Mohinder still around? Why is Fatty Dumb Dumb Cop wandering around the desert with a scorpion on his face, why does Future-Ando think he's on Dragonball Z, everyone is coming back to life for no apparent reason, Peter's got a magic reappearing scar and a stick up his butt, Nicki's not Nicki, she's Tracy and she'll freeze you instead of kicking your ass....Did they even hire writers for this season, or are they running the show as an improv acting seminar, and the audience shouts out scenarios a la Whose Line is it Anyway? And if that's the case, can we get Drew Carey to moderate the bad ideas, please? I think they're just trying to confuse the hell out of us so we tune in each week to see if they've unraveled their tangled web. Eeeew, Mohinder has pepperoni growing on his back. I don't think I can keep watching this show if it's going to jeopardize my relationship with pizza.

In other news, the good old government is going to give me some money, so Yay for not being homeless in '08! Buy yourself a drink, cause the government isn't giving me enough to buy a round, but we should still celebrate.

Neighbors have been particularly loud today, elephants upstairs and they've turned the daycare downstairs into a disco. Those crazy French babies and their all night discos.

September 17, 2008

Tyra for Vice President

Ok, I do not normally watch the Tyra Banks Show, but its 10 AM and there's nothing else to do today. Except housework, and I'll do that as close to when mom arrives as possible. Anyway, Miss Tyra ran a preview of a teen pregnancy show that's coming up, and she asked some 14 & 15 year old girls if they were actually trying to get pregnant, and when they said yes, she said

"You guys sound STUPID.", and it made them cry. HA.

Which is why she'd be a better choice than Palin any day.

September 16, 2008

Looney Tunes at 5 AM.
Cats threatening to puke in our shoes.
Leftover chocolate cake.
Out of Charles DeLint books.

The trick is to balance the bad with the good. Cat puke is canceled out by cartoons. Lack of reading material is condoled with baked goods. That's my day so far.
You?

September 13, 2008

Damn it feels good to be a gansta

We just watched Office Space, and I had a few flashbacks to the asinine work I used to do...or not do. The hours and hours of wasted time, when there really wasn't anything to do but I had to be at my desk in case something came up. Good God, do I not miss that at all.

We're going to play Monopoly because it's the only board game that made the move with us. Perhaps we'll scope out a Salvation Army for some other games, although the SA near here looks like it was recently bombed, and was impossible to walk through the last time we went in on a furniture hunt. Perhaps the giant Value Village will be a better bet.

Talked to mom this week and she may be out on the 21st or so, so long as she's done with doctors appointments for a while. We'll see. If she makes it out, we may do a trip to Ottawa and if I'm lucky, I can throw a rotten egg at Stephen Harper. Or call him "Steve", which I hear he hates.

There's not much news, other than I got my scanner and can take uber scans of negatives. So I was scanning for an hour and playing with photoshop and some day in the future, I shall be able to sell photographs and art prints on etsy. If you haven't checked it out yet, here's a link to a commercial and if nothing else, there's some funny dancing to be seen. And Bojana and Susan, should you have some down time at the office, it's an easy way to kill time. You'll find thousands of things to covet.

Its fall, and there are new shows to talk about.
So You Think You Can Dance Canada - pretty good, too bad Miss Mary Murphy had so show up and force us to mute half the show. But the dancing is on par with the American version, so I'm addicted.

Secret Life of the American Teenager - I've seen all the episodes on Surf The Channel, but I think CBC is going to be running this in Canada, and it's definitely worth watching, if only for Molly Ringwald. Be forewarned, some episodes are going to make you really crave chicken wings.

Tried watching Torchwood tonight....meh. Some guy was brought back to sort-of-life with a magic glove (not the fuzzy glove) and there was some projectile vomiting....and we changed the channel. Terminator has started up again, and it would make an awesome drinking game if you took a shot everytime you thought "What the FUCK is going on?" or just generally wanted to slap someone at Fox for letting it air. But its good mock fodder, like the incredible Bloodrayne.

Not really looking forward to Heroes, unless they're going to step it up a notch and become laughably bad instead of just pathetic. If stupid tar tears doesn't die soon, I'm out. But please, Fatty Dumb Dumb Cop - don't ever change. If you became competent, I don't know what I'd do.

America's Next Top Model has started up, and it's the same old same old. I watch that on STC as well, so I can skip all the bullshit drama and just watch the photoshoots and kick outs. Same with Project Runway. Reality tv is only watchable if you can avoid the personalities of the people involved.

Going to play Monopoly now.
 

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