September 09, 2009

Models for Jesus

Some of my student loan money materialized in my bank account this morning, and to celebrate, I paid my tuition!

Just kidding. Really, I went to Chapters between classes and got some Terry Pratchett's that were missing from my bookshelves. You can never have too much T.P. That pesky tuition will get paid later.

ANTM - I'm keeping an eye on Amber, super Christian girl, who cries and sings about Jesus at the drop of an imaginary hat. MODELS FOR JESUS! They help people...in poorly defined ways.

First french class today, and the obligatory "introduce yourselves in french" exercise. And the teacher did everything in french, which - after a summer off, and one measly french class under my belt, I am proud to say I understood the gist of it. Mostly. I'll tell you this, though. Working in a bilingual work place half the summer didn't help one bit. She never said anything about mayonaise.

Greek and Latin are fun, I like languages so much better when I'm not expected to speak them. And the course on Native Peoples of North America is going to keep me nicely enraged every Tuesday and Thursday. Seriously, if I had a time machine, I'd spend the rest of my life going back in time to kick pompous old white men in the nuts. I've seen the Butterfly Effect, I know you've got to be careful about changing the past - you end up with no arms, and Amy Smart is a drug addict/prostitute. No one wants that. But a little nut pain - I think I can inflict that without drastically changing the course of history.

Oh, apparently Amber and the Models for Jesus are going to save the world. Look out, 2012. She's gunning for you.

September 08, 2009

Snakes on a plane

Motherfuckin roaches in my motherfuckin bathroom, yo.

I'm not kidding, this roach last night was at least 3 inches long...ok, maybe only one inch long, but every time I think about it, he gets bigger. It had been a quiet three or four weeks at chez nous. Thank god, because Gord's mom was here and I know she has some roach trauma in her past, and I didn't want her to have PTS while she was visiting. Thanks roach-bitches, for that little detente. Much appreciated.

But they lulled us into thinking we'd won, and the very next day after Chris and Murray left, we saw one...then another...one more...finally culminating in the 3 foot long, giant ass roach that was crawling down the bathroom door last night when I was going to pee before bed.

And my man, with me squeeling and flailing ineffectually, my man kept his head, took control of the situation and with one hand killed that 8 foot tall motherfucking roach. I am so proud. I may one day breed with that man. Just so his mad roach killing skills get passed on.

But now, I can only step inside our bathroom if I fling the door open, scan the room for visible roaches before entering, then look behind or under everything in there. And even then, I'm still too freaked out to perform. Thank god school has started again. I need somewhere to pee.

August 30, 2009

What he said

Afterword
by Timothy Findley

Maybe it would be best not to read this until The Diviners has had a chance to sigh and to settle; until you, yourself, have had a chance to sigh and settle.

My friend and I have a rule when we go to plays and movies: neither of us is allowed to talk when the play or movie is over if we perceive the other has been upset or moved by what we've just seen. Surely there's nothing worse than somebody breaking in on your own reflections with: "Wow! What a piece of garbage!" Or even with: "Wasn't that terrific!" It doesn't really matter whether the voice breaking in agrees with you or disagrees. The point is, the only voice that matters when an experience is over is the voice of the experience itself.

A psychologist once remarked that what we experience in dreams can be just as affecting - whether for ill or for good - as what we experience in what we call "reality". Books can hit us hard - or leave us cold. We can set the book aside and say: "I forget." Or we can close the covers and know we will always remember what is between them. Books, like dreams, are essentially private realms. Nothing should be allowed to detract from each person's right to read a book privately and to interpret it freely in the light of what each person has experienced and knows of life. This is why what we receive from critics can be so dangerous. Not that critics are inevitably wrong; only that critics forget, too often, to remind us they speak only for themselves.

That's what I was trying to get at here, and managed to say so poorly. The fact that everything I have to say has already been said, been said more clearly and articulately....strangely liberating. And this right here is why I feel so sorry for those people who don't read, who deliberately chose not to dream, not to experience, not to seek out those rare moments when the words on a page reach out and give your soul the gentle fist bump of understanding. If more people would just pick up a good book - not "a book that lies: a book that clouds or obscures the truth with sentimental claptrap or mind-easing platitudes", maybe there would be less Dr Phil and Prozac, a little more sigh and settle.

August 10, 2009

Singularity

The winner of Julie & Julia is.....Trace! Woohoo! It's easy when you're the only one to enter. So, just email me at hourstimes@gmail.com or you can contact me through Etsy if you prefer, at HoursandTimes.Etsy.com, and I'll get that out to you asap. Enjoy the book, and prepare yourself for crazy food cravings while you read it. Maybe stock up on some cheese before you start.

August 06, 2009

Julie & Julia giveaway

So sometimes, just when you are whining and complaining about your stupid job cutting into your book buying time, you get lucky and win a book from Pickles on Pizza (she's having another giveaway, go enter!), and it makes the whole day better. Especially since it was Julie & Julia, which I've wanted to read since I saw the movie trailer - because the book is always better than the movie, and the movie looks pretty good.

The book arrived yesterday, and since I was working in the quiet, air conditioned peace of the bookstore, with hardly any customers, I read almost uninterrupted and I finished it this afternoon. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and desperately want to cook something - maybe those garlic mashed potatoes with garlic cream sauce. There is no such thing as too much garlic.


Now comes the hard part, because this is absolutely a book I'll read again, but I'm bound by the laws of the blog book giveaway to pass it on. Leave a comment below and I'll draw a winner on Monday, and send it on to the next lucky blogger.

Crap-urday

Last Saturday I got called in to work, because a coworker had water in his lungs, a legitimate medical emergency, or because said douchebag wanted to spend the weekend at 'the cottage'. If you've got a cottage to go to, why are you wasting your time - more importantly my time - pretending you want to work at a minimum wage job that you can never be bothered to show up for?

I wasn't supposed to be there, sweating in impossible heat, swatting flies off of food, and dealing with dickhead teenagers - I was supposed to be having a late brunch with Gord, going book shopping and sitting in the shade at Westmount park reading one of my new books all afternoon. Add to that the fact that it was the busiest day ever, non stop for 8 freaking hours, and I got nauseous from not eating all day, and I was pretty much Dante from Clerks, screaming "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" in my head for 10 hours.

The only thing that could have redeemed that day is if my ex had accidentally had sex with a dead guy in the bathroom. In fact, pretending that he had got me through the evening.

July 27, 2009

Yeah, yeah

Listen. I spend all day saying the exact same thing over and over and over again.

"Thank you. Have a nice day" Monday thru Thursday

"Merci. Bon journee" Friday thru Sunday

I am both bored and boring. I can't wait for school to start so I can quit talking to people and sit mutely in an anonymous class and doodle my brains out. Loan money well spent. Stick figures coming along nicely.

I will post pictures of the apartment just as soon as my cats die and I can remove the tinfoil from the couch. It's a hideous and effective way to keep them from mauling the furniture, and it means there's only about 8 years of this left. Until the next damn cat. The only room that is remotely decorated is the bathroom, because all it takes is a shower curtain and a bathmat. Everything else is done in 'abandoned unpacking effort chic'.

The kitchen still has a pervasive funk about it that we have decided is maybe the stench of bad paint - is that possible? That or our roaches need a bath. We've washed the cupboards down with bleach three frigging times already, and it won't go away. So I'm going to try repainting them, and worst case scenario is that our kitchen will then smell like funk and fresh paint. Yummy! Who's eating out?

We were thinking of going to the Heroes of Woodstock concert until we got some details - $70 tickets, $5 rented lawn chairs, no photography, kids arts and crafts, keep off the grass, oh yeah, and all the good acts are dead - so we're going camping that weekend instead. I'll make a Woodstock playlist and keep my ipod charged. Hopefully after 3 days of outside, no forced kindness to strangers and a lot of Janis Joplin, I'll feel more human and more like communicating with you all again.

Until then, I'm afraid the best I can do is:

Thank you. Have a nice day!

July 13, 2009

beep beep

Saturday I was lazy. I decided to drive to the metro and go to work from there. This was supposed to knock 40 minutes off my trip home, since I wouldn't have to wait for the bus. The best laid plans...

It rained almost all day Saturday. I was soaked right through by the time I got to work, and worked the whole 10 hours in wet shoes. It was the most fun ever. Until I got off the metro, and the fun really started.

I walked to my car and realized that the remote starter for my car had got wet and wasn't working. The beautiful thing about my car starter & alarm system is that you have to use the remote starter to open the car, or it sets off the batshit insane alarm for 10 minutes. Putting the key in the door doesn't shut it off, nor does putting the key in the ignition. You have to 'beep beep' the door unlock button, or you will not be moving the car. I know. Best system ever! I've encountered this before when the remote starter crapped out on me and it took 5 weeks to get a new one ordered because it's an old alarm system. At that time, the guy at Visions told me there was a magic 'kill switch' and I swear to god I tried that 15 times on Saturday night, and then, maybe got a bit aggressive and pissed off at standing in the rain with my car alarm blaring, and the kill switch cord got unplugged. I don't know how that happened. At that point, I said fuck it, caught the bus and went home.

Sunday, thinking it may have dried out, Gord tried the key fob starter thingy and it played its little jingle bell song that implies it's working. So I went out before work to try to beep the car open. All lies. The little jingle is a ruse. It didn't work, and I ended up just setting the alarm off for no reason other than to piss off the neighborhood. Bus home, change clothes, bus to metro to work, etc.

Today, I resolved to find a car fixing place that would uninstall that piece of shit alarm system that doesn't shut off and won't let me drive my car, and to make good use of my CAA membership. I found a place 3.4 KM from where the car was parked that would lobotomize my car. I called CAA for a tow. I explained the 'car not moving' issue, and asked for a tow. I took the bus to the car and waited for one hour. A roadside assistance truck with no towing capacity showed up and a very helpful man got out. I tried to explain the situation, but my french and his english were incompatible, and I couldn't seem to mime 'tow' with any success. That, or he decided I was a complete idiot and just hadn't thought to try using the key to open the door. He turned the key in the lock, and the alarm went off. More button pushing, more alarm. He took the battery out and shook it. When the stupid little jingle went off, he smiled triumphantly and tried the buttons again. Tried the key in the lock again, lather rinse repeat.

5 alarms later, he tells me I need a tow.

The fuck, you say. Gosh, if I'd a known that I'd have FUCKING CALLED FOR A TOW.

90 minutes and a short burst of rain later, tow truck shows up, car alarm will be lobotomized tomorrow and I feel perfectly justified in getting that Quarter Pounder meal on the way home. I knew living this close to a MacDonalds would be helpful. And now, if you'll excuse me, I think a very long hot bubble bath is in order.

Cockroach count = none today or yesterday, dead or alive. Silver roachy linings. And if they're just getting better at hiding, I'm fine with that.

July 10, 2009

The War on Bugs


The consensus seems to be that the roaches will win this war, which is disheartening. But thanks to PK, I can at least be grateful that these buggers don't fly, and aren't big enough to 'thud'.

Thanks Kel. The posters will help keep up morale in the trenches.

Besides the bug problem, the apartment is...well, who cares. It could be the fucking Plaza, and I'd still only think about the bugs. The tasty but expensive news is that I really don't feel like cooking, lest some stray crumb tempt more damn bugs into the house, so we eat out a lot and there's a fabulous Greek place just down the road.

It's my first day off in 9 days, so I slept in til noon, watched some tv in bed and caught up on all the entertainment news. Really uninspiring day, and I'm relishing it. For anyone thinking of working in the food service industry - just don't. Low pay, crap hours that get doubled on a moments notice, dealing with that most hideous of beasts 'the public' - now I know why Gordon Ramsay is so foul mouthed and short tempered. Thank god for the bookstore job and greek take out, or I would be the most miserable girl in town.

Honorable mentions in the fight to save my sanity go to:

The Fripe-Prix and it's $2 books. I discovered James Herriot last week, and spent many blissful hours on Yorkshire farms instead of in a roach infested Montreal apartment.

The Wire - we're always late catching good tv, but that's ok, because we can download entire seasons and there are no inconvenient week or month long breaks between episodes.

Glee - I can't wait for this show to start. It's the Dorito's of TV, cheesy delicious.

Fat, purry cats snoozing in the sunlight.

July 09, 2009

Fuck karma

Wondering where I've been the last 2 weeks? Our new place has roaches. I've been cleaning and killing, cleaning and killing, cleaning and killing, every day after work. The problem is I don't know where they're coming from. We really only see them in the kitchen, but every damn thing in there has been moved, cleaned, bleached, scrubbed, roach sprayed, bleached and cleaned again, Gord caulked all the cracks around the kitchen on the weekend, and there are still one or two of those damn things every night.

Because of the cats, we're using pet friendly roach spray and chinese chalk and I'm about to go to the hardware store for some powder to put in corners and under appliances. I am losing my mind. I can hardly stand to eat in the apartment, even though we've put all our food in tupperware containers. Normally, Gord and I are pretty bug tolerant. Spiders and beetles are scooped up and set gently on the grass outside, moths are left to flutter themselves to death against lightbulbs, and none of these tiny creatures bother me. But there's something repulsive about roaches, and we have become ruthless killers. There's a sick sort of triumph when I spray one and watch it die. But killing them individually isn't fast enough. I need a roach genocide, and I need it now.

June 28, 2009

Stay classy, Edmonton

Times like this, I'm so very relieved I no longer call Alberta home. Are the cops in your town a little blue these days? No problem. Gather ye porn stars while ye may, and have them flash their tits at the officers. It's bound to raise their....spirits.

Sheesh.

And what with July 1st being moving day for most of Montreal, we're going to be sans internet until Saturday. This way, we will have no distractions when we should be organizing the new place. I'll see you next week with pictures of the new apartment!

June 27, 2009

Anger, Canadian style

There's a kind of tradition in Canada where political protesters arm themselves like clowns and throw pies at the reining jackass mayor, premier or prime minister. And there's a tradition of police officers, politicians and courts getting all super fucking serious about it, and prosecuting these pie throwers to the fullest extent of some ridiculous sentiment that says a politician shouldn't have to suffer the pain and torment of momentary embarrassment.
Seriously? Remember the bullet proof glass surrounding Obama when he was inagurated? You think that was there for pies? A little bullet proof sneeze guard on the salad bar of political figures? Uh huh. And I love that the Alberta stance is that it doesn't matter how much it costs -

Robertson said Alberta Justice takes these types of cases seriously and the cost of prosecution, which is not calculated, is never a factor.

God knows it's not like they could take that pie prosecuting money and spend it hiring nursing staff for hospitals, or throw it at any of the other problems in that backwards province. Nope. Best that money goes to making sure Dave Bronconnier, Ed Stelmach, Ralph Klein and the devils other minions never again know the sweet fluffy kiss of a pie thrown in protest.


Ralph Klein, Inglorious Bastard.
No permanent damage done.



And as for claiming that there's nothing funny about it - YES. Yes, there bloody well is something funny. 1 - seeing Stephen Harper with gobs of Boston Cream Pie falling off his doucheface..why, I think that would be the BEST DAY EVER. And 2 - how delightful! When a Canadian gets really, really mad, steaming mad, I'm not going to take it anymore mad, it's the definition of funny that our weapon of choice is a pie. Shouldn't they know this? Don't all politicians go to clown college?

June 25, 2009

To dance again

Busy little bee lately, what with the packing and the cleaning that is too boring to talk about. I had a super fun time in the pit of despair this morning. Good old Wal-Mart and their post apocalyptic looking shelves. I've never been in a Wal-Mart that wasn't a complete mess, and it shouldn't surprise me that it took 3 trips around the store to find a fan. Had to do it, though. It was so hot last night that Gord and I took ice packs to bed. And I can't believe they're selling humidifiers in Montreal. Cause it's not humid enough here? By mid-afternoon, it's like breathing soup. Can't wait for that basement apartment. It's got to be cooler...

Other than that, nothing new. Jobs are good, they pay the bills. Haven't cut myself again, found a really good place for Vietnamese, a kind of meh place for Korean, and the Flames have a new head coach who might actually make them work out their power play issues. Read my first Robertson Davies, Tempest-Tost, quite enjoyed it, although the ending seemed a bit abrupt after just reading David Copperfield. I love that Dickens winds up the story by telling what happened with every single character, nice and tidy like. And no matter how bad things are in the middle, there's always a happy ending. It's not true to life, but trust me, I'm not looking for a dose of reality when I reach for a book. I just want to be entertained, and forget for a minute that I work a crappy job which requires a uniform and a name tag, or that it's a billion degrees outside and everyone stinks of armpit, or that Perez Hilton is a giant whining douche who should just take his lumps and shut the hell up.

Know what else helps you forget your troubles? Tap dancing Voldemort.



If you're impatient, skip to the three minute mark and enjoy.
You can watch the entire musical on youtube, it's long but oh so funny. I love this Draco Malfoy.

June 20, 2009

Addiction

I am an addict. That's how you start at one of these meetings, right? State your name and your shame? So I have an addiction. There are a lot of mornings I can barely drag myself out of bed when the alarm goes because I was feeding my addiction all night. When I'm red eyed and out of it at work, I mumble something about "not sleeping very well", but that's a lie. The only reason I'm not sleeping is because of this damn addiction.

So here goes. All those times I don't call you back, or even come to the phone when you call, all those excuses for not going out with friends, all those bloodshot mornings..it's because I'm reading. Half the time it's not even a new book, so I don't have old 'have to know what happens' as an excuse for blowing you off, or showing up late. I'm addicted and would rather be home with a book than pretty much anywhere.

Oh, I slay me. But I was thinking about this today, because one of my coworkers is a smoker, and god love him, I don't begrudge him a smoke break, but why the special consideration for that particular addiction, while my plight goes unnoticed? Do you know how much happier I'd be at work if I could take a 10 minute read break whenever I needed to chill? I might never come home bitching again. Ok, that's a stretch, but there'd be fewer 'quit fantasies', that's for damn skippy.

June 18, 2009

I am a computer genius.

What I mean is, I successfully unscrewed one screw, removed my old video card, slid a new one in the slot and replaced the screw. The computer did not blow up, although it did beep to let me know I hadn't pushed the new video card in far enough the first time. Tough job, but I was equal to the task, and I am ridiculously proud of myself. I look at computers and cars as though they are likely to blow up in my face if I do anything out of the ordinary, so this was a big step for me. And I attempted it only because my brother still lives 3,000 miles away instead of down the street where he belongs.

And I got a 2nd job today, didn't even apply for this one, at the university bookstore. It's 10 - 3, Monday to Thursday, and I'll be able to walk to work once we move. The only way life could get better is if those 25 hours a week were enough to pay the bills and save some for school. As it is, I'll most likely be working weekends at the finger cutting job, but it will pay off if we can fly home for Christmas. And if the stars align, maybe I can pick up an old film Hasselblad cheap...people are practically giving them away in favour of digital madness. Suck it Blogger, I'm spelling 'favour' the Canadian way.

June 17, 2009

Auspicious beginning

First shift at actual place of work today - the last three weeks, I've been in 'super incompetence training'.

First task = Fail. Cut my finger, bled on sandwich. Just a little, but blood is not an acceptable condiment. Sterilize, and try again.

Mission details = I understood about 30% of what people said to me in french, which is also a fail, even in Delburne.

First level completed with help of super nice coworker.

Tomorrow's mission, should I choose to accept it, is to sleep in and enjoy my day off with Margaret Laurence, The Fire-Dwellers and an iced capp. Top off with So You Think You Can Dance, and it's back into the fray on Thursday with a new sense of where the edge of the blade is, and how not to touch it. As for language, I have decided that this is the Summer of Mime. I'm stuck in a box. And would you like a drink with that? How's your sandwich? Oh, it's windy here.

G'night, and dog bless.

This is not a mime.

June 15, 2009

The subtext of every rap song ever



If you liked that one and haven't already seen it, check out Jon Lajoie's Everyday Normal Guy. It's gotten 9 million hits on youtube, though, so chances are I'm the last to know.

PS. Amanda -just in case, this is NSFW :)

Quibbles

We're watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I actually like this show, but sometimes, it's just a bit much. Gord just explained the criteria to me: every family has a tragic death/debilitating illness, plus someone in the family has to do some selfless job, like fireman, or first grade teacher, noble work, but the pay is shit, and their house has to be a complete shit hole that is literally falling down. And I get that there's poverty and things beyond your control that you really can't take care of. But if your front door blows off in the wind, walk your ass down the road, pick it up and put it back on, fer christs sake. Cause there's no guarantee that Ty Pennington and his just hopped out of bed hair are going to roll down the road and build you a better house. Not having a front door is the equivalent of walking down the street with your zipper down. And if you can't afford the 4 or 6 screws it would take to put the door back on, "borrow" them from a neighbor. Oh, oh, right. You don't want to ask a favor of anyone. Nope. You'll just have your sad, no door house until someone famous shows up and convinces the whole damn town to build you a new house while you go on vacation. And then you'll come home and the contractor & his staff will have set your kids up with scholarships. But don't ask for a little help when you need it. I'm sure Ty will get to everyone eventually.

And the other quibble - there's community spirit busting out all over when the tv camera's are rolling, and everyone wants to help this poor family that everyone loves (and probably knew nothing about until the tv crew rolled in and explained the situation)...but where's the help when there's no tv crew around? Sure, maybe we can't all get Sears to comp us furniture, can't rebuild a house in 5 days, but there's plenty could be done before things get to such dire straits. And we've all walked past houses in our neighborhoods that look every bit as bad as the ones on this damn show. But instead of thinking, "Wow, I bet the people who live there have a sick kid, and can't pay their hospital bills, and the mom or the dad is a hard working first grade teacher who just isn't paid enough, and I wonder if there's anything I can do to help out?" Nope. We walk by and think "Probably crack heads. Ruining the neighborhood. Those sons a bitches deserve a falling down house."

And now I'll get off my high horse, because next time I walk past a condemnable house, I'm not ringing the bell and asking how I can help. Probably crack heads. And if not, well...we have health care and Mike Holmes in Canada.

June 12, 2009

I have a blog?

Oh yeah.

I think I've been interacting with so many people in the real world that when I come home, all I'm capable of is hiding in the bathtub with a book. Blessed silence. Only, I've gone and done a very stupid thing. I packed all my books in a fit of 'shit, we're moving in two weeks-edness' and now I have nothing to do but play Sims 3. (or clean the house...but you know what? Gord does that. He's a good little monkey, he is.)

My brother sent me a link to a blog, and what I thought was going to be funny (like the time my Unabomber Sim died of bathroom desperation) turned out to be kind of melancholy and eye opening as to the hardships of Simlife. And real life, I guess. You can check out the story of being homeless in Sims 3 here.

June 06, 2009

Open Letter to Joss Whedon

Hey Joss,

I just watched the last 2 episodes of Dollhouse last night, and they were awesome. Really great work you guys are doing on that show, and I'm so glad you got a second season. Bringing Wash in - awesome. Helo - still the coolest guy in the universe. Even notXander is shaping up to be quite interesting. All in all, I've only got one complaint.

The eye gouging. WTF, Joss, WTF? And why are the guys from Firefly always the eye gougers? First Mal turns Xander into a pirate, then Wash starts doing it... Seriously, is the whole crew of the Firefly coming back as evil eye gougers in your shows? Whose next? Zoe? River? Shepard!? Not Kaylee, please not Kaylee.

So here's to a great second season, where everyone comes through with eyes intact. That's not too much to ask, is it?

Sincerely,
Semi-rabid fan

PS. I think the Buffy movie remake is probably going to suck it, don't you?

June 01, 2009

Pants of lard

The french word for homebody is 'pantouflard', and I can always remember the pronunciation and meaning because it sounds like 'pants of lard', which is what I've had the last few weeks. It's been rainy and chilly, and I've wasted a lot of time playing the Sims, which has added zero value to my life and yet, I can't stop.

I'm still 'training', so I go to 'work' for 3.5 hours a day, which is just enough to mess up the day and leave me cranky. I had to restrain myself a few times from explaining to my coworkers that I am only bilingually challenged, not mentally challenged. It must be a good job, though, because most of my coworkers have been there for over a year, and the managers have 12 years between them. I think that's unusual for fast food.

Other news....nada. My Sims are doing well, I haven't killed them off yet. I haven't taken a hammer to the Wii Fit yet. I haven't finished my mom's birthday present yet. I haven't started packing yet. I haven't done laundry yet. I'm going to go get started on some of that.

Ps. Dr Phil says don't text and drive.

May 25, 2009

Je ne suis pas mort.

Ok, I cheated and had to look up how to say that. 2 weeks in Calgary and all my french disappeared. I had my first training shift today, and it went ok except when some unsuspecting francophone walked in and was greeted by my confused and helpless smile. Other than that, it went well. Nothing too hard, don't cut yourself, wash your hands, smile, smile, smile. Ah, the food industry.

Trip home was good, too. We were kept busy just trying to catch up with people and spend a little time with everyone. I have pictures, and I've started scanning - remember I still haven't gone digital yet - and I'll post them on Flickr eventually. It was strange, and we both kind of felt like we'd never left. After 3 hours of driving in the black hole that is Westhills, I had all my old road rage back. Highway 2 never changes much, but I'm pleased to tell you they've taken down the Russian Brides billboard, so that's progress. Other, less pleasant progress - we were approached by a very jittery woman in the London Drugs parking lot by our old house, she was trying to sell her cell phone - presumably so she could buy some more crack. That's right. The epidemic has spread, it's no longer contained in the downtown area. Sad days, Calgary.

We were unable to get our favorite sushi, so it will be another year before we get any rainbow rolls. Damn you, Renzo. Damn you and your vacation. No Tubby Dogs either, so I'm seriously considering getting some squeeze cheese and making my own A-Bomb. Successfully avoided my old office, spent a great 3 hours at my old Indigo store, and played a lot of tile rummy. It was sunny when we landed, rained off and on the whole 2 weeks, and snowed our last day. Hence the tired old saying "if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes." It's trite and it's true.

We also played a lot of Wii Fit on our visit and got addicted. So when we got home, we picked on up. Shut up, we're both employed now. I've never spent so much time flipping off the tv. I hate that little wii board. When I made a Mii at my brothers house, my Wii fit age was 43. Holy shit. I am happy to say that I passed all 5 balance rounds in the body test on our machine, so my Wii age is now one year younger than my actual age. So death by tripping is not imminent, and one of these days, I will successfully avoid all the cleats and panda heads.

Gord and I got home last Monday and both had the week off - we just started working today. I had a piddly little 4 hour training shift, and Gord is somewhere in our neighborhood painting a house, I think. Maybe he's stuck up a ladder, scrapping old paint. We had big plans for last week, we were going to go enjoy the sunshine and being back in Montreal, but really all we did was sleep. And sleep. And catch up on Breaking Bad. I reread the old Dragonlance series, which is kind of awful, kind of awesome. I even watched the straight to DVD movie version, and it was also awful/awesome = awfome. On Kelly's recommendation, I'm reading the Death Gate cycle, which he claims is better than Dragonlance. Maybe it's just the fond memories I have of Dragonlance from when I was 12 and read them for the first time, and got completely hooked on fantasy and read very little else for the next 10 years....but one book down, and the Death Gate cycle isn't really growing on me. I have 6 more books to go, though, so I'm sure some literary barnacles will form somewhere.

And that's it. I'm sure more interesting stuff happened in there somewhere, but I need a nap.

May 03, 2009

Vacation mode

We've been doing liver exercises this week, in the form of beer, vodka and the last of the birthday rum in preparation for our visit home. Not that everyone in Calgary drinks all the time or anything. Just being prepared.

We have achieved bachelor fridge, in that there's only a single lonely onion and a bunch of condiments in there. And enough milk for morning coffees - no one can expect us to make it to the airport at 7AM coffee free.

I've set the Etsy & Artfire shops to vacation mode, and the cats to sleep mode.

looking forward to airline peanuts and in-flight movies starring Kevin Bacon, or maybe Michael Keaton....OOoooh i hope it's Multiplicity.

And with that, it'll most likely be 2 weeks before you hear from me again, because where we're going - we don't need blogs.

May 01, 2009

First of May

I don't know if it's warm enough where you are, but you can always keep your socks on.


April 30, 2009

Finally, the whining comes to an end

I have a job!!

And since it's bad juju to blog about work, that's about all I can say about that. It's not painting, so no climbing a 3 story ladder and scrapping old paint off for me. Can't say I'm super bummed about that, but it may have been nice to spend the summer outside for once. Hence the archaeology degree, yes? Once I get that, I have a feeling I'll be working outside all I want.

And now, lunch. Gord is making bacon superfries, and after that, we're going to have a little cardiac arrest. Yum!

April 29, 2009

Shutterbug

I got it! Muahahaha. I have been secretly coveting a new camera for a while - the Colorsplash, and I finally broke down and bought it on Monday. We went to Photo Service down in Old Montreal on Monday to see if they had any in stock, but they didn't. They offered to order it in for me, but it would have taken about 10 days, and we're leaving for Calgary on Sunday, and I really wanted it for the visit home.


So I searched the internet to see if there were any in stock at any camera shop in Montreal - no luck. None in Calgary or Ottawa - I would have driven 2 hours if it were available. But I did find it on Adorama for $60 + shipping, which brought it to $95, but for immediate gratification, I didn't mind. And it came this afternoon, just before we were leaving to go to the Botanical Gardens. You know how you have all those annoying little things happen just before you leave? You can't find your keys, or the phone rings or whatever, and you hate that it's holding you up? If I hadn't stopped to open my mail and respond right away, I would have missed my camera delivery. Serendipitous.

Anyhoo...I love this little camera. It's incredibly low tech, and I know that everyone but me has gone digital, but it looks like it will be a lot of fun. It's got a colored flash wheel with 4 slots, and it comes with 12 different colored flash thingies to tint your photos. As for going digital, that's why I bought the film scanner. The best of both worlds right here, Miley. I'm excited about taking photos again, which is good, because DAMN. My Etsy shop needs some new goods.

The 10 Rules of Lomography
1. Take your camera everywhere you go.
2. Use it anytime - day and night.
3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it.
4. Try the shot from the hip.
5. Approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible.
6. Don't think.
7. Be fast.
8. You don't have to know beforehand what you captured on film.
9. Afterwards either.
10. Don't worry about any rules.

Here's a Flickr slideshow of Colorsplash photos, enjoy!

April 26, 2009

My Hometown

In 7 short days, I will be on a plane headed home, and it's got me reminiscing about all the people & places I've missed over the last year. What to do first, where to go...


Like, do I want to stop by my old office and see which illiterate alcoholics are still there? It really galled, taking orders from people who didn't know their there's from their they'res. Two, too, to irritating. Your illiterate, yes you're.

Do I want to check out my old C-train stop, which was the site of a bloody rape & murder the fall before I left? Do I want to go crack-spotting or perhaps play another round of Crazy Hobo Bingo? If I'm downtown, I can do both! It's awesome in my hometown.

Like this one time, I was on the bus, innocently reading Winnie the Pooh while Gord watched a crack deal go down. Like the time we were going to paint pottery, and the well dressed man pulled out his crack pipe, and gave us the stink eye. Crackheads - they're not always homeless! Yet.

Or that beautiful summer day, we went downtown in the evening for a stroll and an ice cream, and shared our bench with a guy who smoked his crack and had a little argument with a homeless woman. (Under the I - crackhead. Under the G - angry homeless woman.) Good times. Awkward times.

There's the sweet hungry homeless guy that Gord gave $5 to once, who thanked him profusely and said
"You watch, man. I'm gonna take this money and go right across the street and buy a slice of pizza. I'm so hungry, man, you saved my life, thank you, thank you...I'm gonna get a pizza right now."
So Gord watched, and the hungry man whose life he just saved did walk across the street, stop beside the door of the pizza parlor...and walked past it, to meet the crack dealer in the alley behind it. Isn't it great when you can really help someone?


There are places that have a special meaning, too. Like my little brother's first apartment in the city. It was on good old 16th Ave, home of Peters Drive-In and the meth lab next door that could have blown up at any time and killed him. And then I would have had to hunt those bastards down, wreak bloody vengence on them and wear their bleached skulls around my neck as a warning. I'm just glad Kelly moved out of that place, because I don't have the physique to pull off a necklace of skulls. I think you have to be 6 feet tall, thin and exotic looking - Iman could pull it off. But not a chubby quiet girl with glasses, who looks like a slightly stunned librarian. So, thanks, operators of the meth lab next door, for getting busted and shut down before you blew up my brother. Your card is in the mail.

And there's our old apartment, where I slept through my first walk by shooting. I remember it well. I was napping on the couch one Monday afternoon in September and I heard 4 shots. Woke me up. And I thought to myself, "That can't be gunshots, this is Calgary, for Christs sake". I thought it must have been...some other loud bang, four times in succession. But then the neighbors were yelling about gunshots, and so I thought, "OK, gunshots. But certainly not that close..." Turns out it was the apartment across the courtyard. Someone had walked up the path, fired 4 shots at the third floor balcony and run away. Since it was right across from us, we got to watch the police check out 'the scene' all night, and they even came over to ask if we'd seen anything. It was just like Law & Order, which always sucks since Briscoe left.

So when people wonder why we left Calgary, what do we say? It's not that Montreal is perfect, but the homeless are bilingual which gives it a certain 'je ne sais quoi', the family next door has an elderly weiner dog with a mean underbite instead of a meth lab, and the only drug use I've encountered on the street has been pot. I'll take a pothead over a crackhead any day.

But, you know. It's gonna be awesome to see friends and family. We're looking forward to it, really we are.

April 23, 2009

Recap,

Sorry for the radio silence. The last few days have been stressing me out. I'm surprised I still have hair. I wrote 2 finals this week. Mythology was relatively easy. French was a quagmire of confusion and self-doubt, as always. I kind of hate that language. But it's over, and I don't have to worry about passe compose, future proche, imparfait, etc etc etc, until septembre. Je suis libre!

The Flames won the last 2 games, which means the series is tied, and I'm back on the "I heart hockey" bus. I just hope Iggy's still mad when Saturday rolls around. It would be super awesome if the Flames are still in the playoffs when we're back in Calgary. There's no high like being in town when the Flames are winning. I think even the gangs and the crack whores take a break when the playoffs are on.

I've just realized that there is about a 2 week response time to job applications, and I have 2 job interviews tomorrow for jobs I'd forgotten I applied for. Cross your fingers for me. Once I get employment, I'll stop complaining about it, and be able to blog something interesting for a change.

And...have you seen the previews for the 6th Harry Potter? It looks pretty intense, I got goosebumps. So I'm rereading the whole series for the first time since I finished book 7, and we've been watching the movies as well. I don't know how people can be satisfied just watching the movies, because they have to leave out so very much. They do their best with the movies, but I'll take the slow exposition and intricacy of the books over the watered down, rocket-through-everything pace of the movies any day. Although the movies are a nice accompaniment, and I can't picture Mad-Eye any other way now. I keep remembering who dies in the upcoming books and it's making me tear up at odd places when I read the books.

And now, it's off for groceries. The playoffs have given us stress munchies and we've eaten everything in the house, even that stale box of Corn Flakes.

April 20, 2009

Pucks in the heart

Oh office work. How did I miss thee? Let me count the ways.

...



....



Yep. Nothing like volunteering to hold down office chairs for 3 hours a week. Somebody's got to do it. Perhaps gravity doesn't work properly above the 5th floor. If nothing else, it makes studying seem so much more interesting by comparison.

First final tomorrow, so I'm spending this evening rereading all the myths we discussed in class and watching hockey. There are few things as emotionally damaging as having a favorite sports team. Watching your beloved child devolve into a homeless crack addict might be the closest thing I can think of. Did I say I enjoyed playoff season? I take it back. Wake me when it's over.

Lucky Gord gets to miss the 2nd half of the game, he'll be on the air at 11PM EST.

April 16, 2009

Damn

Chicago won the first game in overtime. Which is easy enough to do when you have someone sitting on our goalie. Havlat's on my list now. I really hate sudden death overtimes. They bring nothing but bad.

On the good news front - we got the apartment we applied for yesterday! We just have to go down tomorrow to sign the lease. In the future, when the wrong team scores in overtime, the sweet, greasy consolation of a quarter pounder will only be 2 blocks away. So that's something.

And if you can't get paid to work, give it away! I got a call back about volunteering downtown at a non-profit foundation, and am going in on Monday for a few hours.

So besides the fact that I have to go arrange a hit on Havlat, things are looking up.

April 15, 2009

Your city's on fire

We applied for an apartment today, and I really hope we get approved, and not just because it's only 2 blocks from the 24 hour MacDonalds. It's a bit cheaper than our current place, has laundry, better layout, 2 closed bedrooms, counters in the kitchen, and the bathroom is easily twice the size of our current shoebox. That, and it's close enough to Loyola that we can take the free shuttle to the downtown campus instead of buying metro passes every month. Fingers crossed and all that. The very word 'credit' gives me ulcers, and I'm trying not to think about it. Thank god it's playoff time :)

I'm starting to get playoff fever again, which is a debilitating but FANTASTIC disease. For as long as your team (GO FLAMES GO!) is still in it, you don't care about anything else. I love it, and I'm so looking forward to game 3, when those poor young boys from Chicago step into the Saddledome for the first time in the playoffs. Cause Calgary isn't just a hockey city. The second playoffs start, the entire populace is mentally right back in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals of '04, rabid, manic, obsessed, desperate. We've had 4 years of foreplay with no O, and we're losing our minds. The fact that Gord and I are in Montreal instead of Calgary is a minor detail, of no consequence. You don't switch teams just because you moved. Where's your loyalty?


And another thing to note - real fans have their own jerseys. The Saddledome is the sea of red because we all think we're on the team, not because some marketing dick passed out free t-shirts in the team colors at the door.

Another stupid marketing ploy - waving the white flag. You do know that's the sign of surrender, right? And anyway, it looks kind of sissy. Hockey fans scream, get drunk, high five, posture and punch things. Grandmothers wave hankies. Get your game face on, people.

April 14, 2009

Babysitting, no spanking.

Apartment hunt - 4 appointments tomorrow.

Job - 0.5! We are half employed. Gord got a call back from one of the student painting companies, and he'll be starting when we get back from our trip home. That takes a little pressure off.

And the weird job situation keeps on rolling for me. I applied to a babysitting company, and they want me to send in photos before they will set up a phone interview. You know what would be less creepy, guy? If you did in person interviews and didn't ask for photos. You'd see what you wanted to see, and I wouldn't think you've got something other than babysitting on your mind. But thanks for the heads up on the creep-o-meter, and don't be surprised when I don't call you back. I repeat, I am not yet that desperate.




Best news - ice cream sale at Loblaws, 2 for $6. We got mint chocolate chip and creamsicle.

April 13, 2009

Check

Cat sitter - Check

New apartment - not yet. Didn't want to bother anyone over Easter weekend. Starting again tomorrow.

Job - Just....no. No, no, no, no, no.

I went on a futile mass interview for one of those student painter jobs, and Holy Hell, people. It's PAINTING. Why do you need to know what my greatest achievement to date is? Unless my answer is "Painting every day and distributing flyers all night", how is anything I might say relevant to whether or not I get the job? I can paint. I'm willing to work. That's pretty much it, isn't it?

The nanny 'placement agency' sounded like a scam, in that they wanted me to pay $15 to be 'registered'. Fuck that, sorry for swearing, but FUCK THAT. They would have registered a mangy, rabid dog on that nanny list if he'd had $15 clenched in his teeth.

And my old friend Primerica. They call every couple of months, because I have a resume on Monster, and they leave really jazzed emails about exciting opportunities, but when I google Primerica, all I get are warnings. If I won't pay $15 to get my name on a list, why the hell would I pay $220 to be trained in the fine art of robbing ones friends and family of their savings?

Other exciting 'no french required' job opportunities - I could try to get work as a porn emailer. Yep. At home data entry jobs, ad says 'must be comfortable with adult content'. I am not yet that desperate. Not yet. Plus, can you imagine the spiraling depression if I got turned down by the porn email industry? I can too spell penis 15 different ways, just give me a chance!

April 11, 2009

Happy Easter


We're not doing anything Easter-y, no church, no egg hunt, but I just watched the Ten Commandments on Google. It was that or Ben-Hur, and I'm not sure what leprosy and chariots have to do with Easter, so Moses won. Either way, I'm chock full o' Heston, and would have preferred Cadbury's Cream Eggs. I have to believe that the '56 Heston version is superior in every way to the 2007 remake with Christian "Grab-ass" Slater as Moses. What the hell were they thinking?

We roasted a chicken for dinner and got the skin super crispy and delicious, thanks butter! And last night we tried Bofingers, not knowing it was full rack Friday, or exactly how much meat a full rack was...we're both going to die of heart attacks, I think. And spend our afterlife plagued by all the animals we ate. Mournful cows with sad eyes will follow us, and vengeful chickens will peck at our ankles for eternity. Perhaps I should rethink this 'not going to church' thing, but I have no respect for people who only go to hedge their bets. Believe, don't believe, it's all good, but fakers be damned. I'll take my chances with the army of chickens.

April 08, 2009

Hell no

It was cold and snowy today, and when I got home from class, all I wanted was a hot hot bath. Which I had, and I was happily rereading A Complicated Kindness when I noticed a spider dangling about 3 inches above my knee.

I froze. I watched the spider climb all the way back up his thread to the shower head before I could breathe again. But then the bastard started coming down again. I'm not about to play bathtub chicken with a spider. So I got out and made Gord come get the intruder. I'm not afraid of spiders under normal circumstances, but the idea of one joining me in the tub, crawling on me while I'm naked, that's just too much.

April 06, 2009

All that jazz

Gord is on the radio right this minute, guest hosting The Vault on CJLO. You can listen online, and in 2 weeks, he'll have his own show every Monday from 11 - midnight. I'm not sure what he's going to call his show, he was joking (?) about calling it The G-Spot...

And since he has to play a certain amount of Can-con he can use that time to pimp his friends from Calgary. Hello Zoe! And Loni! And Gavin, if we ever hear from you again...And his sisters boyfriends band from Edmonton, whose name/music I don't know, but I'm sure they're great. Success is imminent now you're being played on college radio. :) It's all about who you know.

He's playing the fabulous Miss Zoe right now.
Isn't she beautiful?


The lead in show is Sound on Sight, with our good friend Simon (Ok, we worked with him for 3 weeks at the university bookstore, and have him on facebook, and thus our contact has ended, but still....these days, that's a friend.) Where was I? Oh yeah. He's got a 2 hour movie review show with 2 other guys on Monday nights, 9 - 11. And a website, soundonsight.org. They watch the crap so you don't have to. It's a recession, who has money to waste on sub par movies?

Tonight they were talking about some really terrible horror movies, but the ones that are soooo bad you kind of want to watch them...Like, who DOESN'T want to watch a movie that discusses ghost ejaculate, and involves an elaborate entrapment set up using a fake house and liquid nitrogen? I know what I'm doing Friday night.

April 05, 2009

Why

are my Google ads for Cat Constipation and psychiatric counseling?

Do I really sound like a mentally disturbed feline with a lack of fiber in her diet?

Why is all my email spam for MLB, Viagra and Russian brides?

Am I a lonely middle aged white guy?

If I post this, what new mockery will the internet devise for me next?

Trying to find Woodstock

Break out the celebratory alcohol, people. There are no tests for 3 weeks. I'm currently studying Judd Apatow's early work, as I'm sure the early adolescence of Dr Sweets will be relevant on one of my exams. Or maybe it's just that the soundtrack on Freaks and Geeks is kick ass, and I'm burnt out from conjugating all those french verbs. My English is really suffering. Gord said something to me today, and I replied "I are?" I'm turning into a lolcat.

It rained all day yesterday, and all we did was laundry. If there's one good thing about having to trek to the laundromat every 2 weeks, it's that you can get every piece of dirty laundry done in 2 hours, using 3 double load washers and 6 dryers. We still always manage to end up with unpaired socks, but at least we've got clean sheets and undies for another 14 days.

We're in the midst of finding jobs, a new apartment and a cat sitter for the 2 weeks that we're going home to Calgary, and frankly it is exhausting. I hate phoning strangers and having to be manically cheerful. Thank god for Gord, because he's been picking up all my stranger phoning slack. While I'm not a lesbian, and I'd rather eat my own eyeballs than get married again, it would be nice to have someone here to do all those crappy jobs. The laundry, the phone calls and the paperwork, maybe some vaccuming...

What Gord and I need is a good little 1950's wife. She'd make us drinks before dinner, and iron our socks, and listen to all our problems. But I guess after 10 years or so, she'd hit the 60's, stop shaving and rant all the time about us being oppressive fascists. She'd be right, and when she packed all her newly tie-dyed shirts into a duffel bag, I'd be right there with her, trying to find Woodstock.


April 04, 2009

Do over

I'm going to redo the book giveaway, as I haven't heard from Cassandra. It's a really fun book and a great escape from reality, should you be suffering from recession blues, or 'it's rained all week' blues, or 'why the heck am I not making any Etsy sales' blues - the book won't stop the rain, fix the recession or jump start your business, but it will give you a few hours of enjoyment that will make it easier to handle all that crap. It's called "Eating the Cheshire Cat" but there is no eating of cats in the book, in case you're squeamish about that. Here's the publisher's note:

Eating the Cheshire Cat lures us into a world of perfectly planned parties and steep social ladders, where traditional rites of passage take unpredictable and horrifying turns as three girls and their overbearing mothers collide. In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, beauty is as beauty does, with axes and knives and killer smiles.

Sarina Summers and her mother will stop at nothing to have it all. Nicole Hicks harbors a fierce obsession with Sarina, which repeatedly undermines Mrs. Hicks''s ambitious goals. Bitty Jack Carlson, a nice girl from the wrong side of the tracks, is caught in the crossfire but struggles to succeed outside the confines of this outrageous yet eerily familiar Southern community. It''s survival of the fittest. Which girl will come out on top?

Covering everything from summer camp to the University of Alabama''s Homecoming game, this fast-paced and unforgettable novel will keep readers guessing until the bitter end.


So, again, leave a comment and a way to contact you, and I will pick a winner on Thursday. And whoever wins gets to give it away again and keep it moving. Need an extra incentive to enter? Tell me what your favorite chocolate bar is and I'll try to include it. Just don't pick Junior Mints, because I couldn't find them anywhere in Montreal when I wanted to make brownies. We used 4 Peps, and they turned out fine, but sometimes you just want a Junior Mint.

April 02, 2009

Re: Dumb Things

Most of the time, stupidity makes you want to strike out in strange and violent ways. Like when I used to imagine slapping customers across the face with a stapler when I worked at that place that time...those places, those times. Or just whenever I encountered stupidity and staplers in the same room. But sometimes, you get the Golden Ticket of Stupidity. So in response to Pickles On Pizza's most recent post, here's my all time favorite run in with stupidity.

About 2 years ago, Gord and I had a 2 for 1 movie pass. We went to the Westhills cinema near our old apartment, and handed the girl at the ticket counter our 2 for 1 pass, and we had our debit card out and ready to pay. She hands us two tickets and looks at us like we're stupid. We say...

"Shouldn't we have to pay something?"

She studies the pass for a moment with a furrowed brow. I imagine her brain has been feasting on pop music, text messages and entertainment news for so long that this task does indeed require 2 full minutes.

"Nope," she says, "Cause it says 2 for 1, so you're good."

Um.

Yes. Yes, it does. We bought extra snacks with the money we didn't pay to watch the movie.

March 30, 2009

Rainy Sunday Blues

Yesterday was supposed to be the day we went out, armed with camera's and fresh eyes, to wander the cemeteries of Montreal and get some incredible shots for my Etsy shop. Yes, cemeteries here have websites. I find it a bit odd, but they are beautiful.

Instead, yesterday was the day it pissed down rain all day. ALL DAY except those first 30 minutes after I woke up and thought to myself, "Yay, it's not raining! A bit overcast, but as long as it doesn't rain...". Because as cool as the photos of 'crying statues' in a graveyard would be, I do not want to wreck my camera with moisture damage and it really was a downpour for the afternoon.

So we went to Walmart instead, for shoelaces and catnip. Whoo-ee.

I finally bought Patti Scialfa's 23rd Street Lullaby from iTunes the other day. They played "Stumbling to Bethlehem" on the first season finale of Joan of Arcadia, and even though the whole scene is about her being completely alone and abandoned by God, who chooses the time when she really needs some comfort to become silent, the song is really comforting, and it reminds me of what a great show that was, and how much I miss seeing Amber Tamblyn on tv every week. She's got a new show, with Adam 'What's with that mustache' Goldberg, The Unusuals, which premiers on April 8th, and I'm looking forward to it being watchable. I hope. I know I've enjoyed every other show or movie Amber has been in, except for General Hospital, because I've thankfully never gotten involved in soap operas. That's a lifelong commitment, and I'm more of a 'doomed to untimely cancellation' girl. Not by choice, but because all the best shows are axed by idiot executives with no heart.

And that reminds me, don't watch the Dead Like Me movie. We rented it - spent actual money - a couple weeks ago, and it is awful. It was like fan fic, ie, written by someone who was familiar with the characters but did not have the talent to bring them to life. It wasn't just that they couldn't shoot in the same locations, or get all the actors back, that I can forgive. But they didn't acknowledge the rules set up in the original tv show about contacting your family, the dialogue was pathetic, no snap or humor at all, and the plot itself was clumsy and nonsensical. It needed about 5 rewrites to get it to the same level as the tv show.

But, to bring this all back around in a neat little circle, they did shoot some of the scenes at the Mont Royal Cemetary. Coincidence? Uh, yeah. I don't think I need to worry about grim reapers and gravelings.

March 28, 2009

Earth Hour




This hour brought to you by the Flames game, which considerately waited til 10PM to start.

ass blogging

There are some funny funny mash ups in there. Suck happens. Believe cats, Frederic! Boyfriends excel much head. Day made summer night. Buddy acceptable-able - he's the budget robot buddy. Battle Joss awesomeness.

Bitch, please!

March 27, 2009

The Friday Night Double Post

That episode of Dollhouse was exhilarating. THANK YOU, Joss Whedon. You took a crappy Friday night and made it shiny.

I don't know if anyone else is watching this show, but for the first few episodes, it dragged and stumbled it's way into my living room, but not my heart. Every time "Ballard" (Air quotes necessary, because we all know that's Helo) came on screen, I would think "Be nice to Helo! You don't know the trouble he's seen." Whenever notXander came on screen, all I could think was "Nice try buddy, but you're notXander."

notXander


But this episode, following in the footsteps of awesomeness that was Band Candy, actually made me accept notXander as a comic actor in his own right, not just a sweater vest dweeb in Nick Brendan's shadow. The scenes between him and the woman in charge....I will learn your names, now that you've made me laugh....were excellent. Getting inadvertently drugged and opening the drawer of inappropriate carbs - that's Joss. So much better than 'man reaction'. Mass stoning, quotable fun times and flashbacks to dying boyfriends - tv doesn't get any better. Please, FOX, please just leave Joss alone to work his hilarious, mind bending magic.

Fear and Loathing in Montreal

“Learn to limit yourself; to content yourself with some definite work; dare to be what you are and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not; and to believe in your own individuality.” - Henri Frederic Amiel
It's that combination of daring and resignation that is kicking my ass lately. I think I'm resigning who I am and daring myself to be all that I am not.

I'm considering having my brain removed entirely and replaced with Henri Frederic Amiel quotes. Why? Because most of his quotes make me feel better about the choices I've made. And because I think it would be a blessed relief to only have a rolodex of quotes in my head, instead of all the monkeying contadictions riding the elephantine worries.


Let me introduce my elephants. The fattest one, who bosses everyone else around, his name is "Paying the Bills". Next to him is the matriarch "Self Doubt" and that bitch is always pregnant, popping out little "What Are You Doing With Your Life", "Get Off Your Ass, Already" and the ever succinct "You Suck, Sucka". These beasts have been stampeding through my head lately, uprooting every good thought and shitting it out for the monkeys of contradiction to throw around.

The contradictions are thus: I promised myself last year when I bolted from Calgary that there would be NO MORE abandoning of dreams and taking jobs to pay the bills. There's something demeaning in doing work you believe is meaningless - and I'll be damned if there's anything more meaningless than a 10 page excel spreadsheet that needs 5 signatures to be legit, only to be redone 15 times because an illiterate salesman can't decide if he likes commas, periods or semi colons on his contracts....Man. You'd think the bitterness would have faded by now.

I promised myself I would do better. BUT. But, but, but. I have the fear. Not that I can't do anything worthwhile, but that I won't be able to find a summer job that doesn't suck my soul out of my ass. It's hard to bounce back from 'soul-sucked-out-your-ass-itis'. So what I really want is to just find a simple, repetitive job. Any work that doesn't require me to iron clothes before I go. No meetings. I have recurring nightmares about meetings. If there'd been a meeting about the wheel, we'd all still be walking everywhere.



I resolve to do this every day, and by noon, I am struck down, feeling useless and desperate enough to take anything. This is my track record, too. I always just take a job for the sake of paying the bills, and stick with it because the sickening, deadening comfort of having those damn bills paid numbs the fear. But it numbs the mind, too, and I have to resolve again every day that the fear is acceptable, that I can and will, think of some way to keep my mind, body and soul intact. Even if that means I have to take one of those numbing jobs and just clench the whole time.

ps. Mom, this is not a plea for money. It's just a little rant prior to me finding a summer job. It's gonna be ok. Really.

March 25, 2009

I have a job

interview. Ha. At a nanny placement agency. Do I want to be a nanny all summer? Um....maybe? Do I want to be homeless? Nope. Nanny me up.

Or whatever. I don't even care anymore. I just want a frakkin paycheck. I checked, and there are no summer classes that would actually be useful to take, except a french course that I can't take because it starts May 4th, and I'm headed back to Calgary for 2 weeks in May. At least a small child won't expect me to attend meetings or discuss sales percentages or fuss with an excel spreadsheet until it feels like my brain is going to dribble out my ears. Yeah, anything sans cubicle is a godsend, jobwise. Never again, pale grey walls! Never again.

And on that note, I have a hell of a week coming up and it is unlikely that I'll be blogging much. We have our second oral exam in French next Wednesday, not as dirty or as fun as it sounds. And then Friday, we have a written test. Then we have 3 solid weeks of study induced ulcers before the final exam. The more I study french, the more I loose my grasp on english. And next semester, I'm actually thinking of taking French, Greek and Latin? Please. Three months of that and I'll be a drooling lunatic, unable to speak anything but gibberish. Parents will point me out to their children and say

"You see what happens when you take drugs?"

And I'll shout back

"SKdhjerk!! NErppep krj rjeiis beoru, eriel heupet..."

Which, to my addlepated mind will mean "No, this is what happens when you try to learn new languages when you are clearly TOO OLD to abosrb new information!"

Maybe I can nanny some nice french children and they will teach me to speak over the summer.

PS. Cassandra, if you're reading - you can contact me at hourstimes@gmail.com :) I completely forgot that you didn't know how to contact me, I'm an idiot. I will send the book out as soon as I get your address!

March 24, 2009

Queasy cats and fairy tales

We built a scratching post for the cats last night, and while they have yet to scratch it instead of the curtains, they are willing to sit on top of it and look out the window. We've tied the curtains up out of reach and covered the back of the couch with tinfoil on the advice of the internet. Since they really have nowhere else to scratch, they will eventually come around and use the damn post for more than sitting on. I think. Say it with me now, "Cats suck. Dogs are better."

And now the grey one is sleeping on top of the radiator and looking adorable, so I feel almost bad for saying that. But it's true. Cats are the most selfish creatures on earth, next to teenagers.

Gord's sick with something, and I've been queasy all day, so I think I'm going to hunker down with some gingerale and read the Looking Glass Wars all night. I can't help it if kids books are so much more entertaining than adult books. Less sex, more heart, better characters. Plus, I love the reimagined fairy tale genre, and Alice in Wonderland as a political battle sounds satisfying. And if it's not, I only paid one cent for it. I love Thriftbooks, even if it does take 3 - 4 weeks to get anything out here.

March 23, 2009

Who's cuter, bears or lions?

The winner of the book giveaway is.....Cassandra, from The Plasticity of Happiness!
She has such an inspiring blog, it always makes me want to get working on something new. Go check it out, you'll enjoy it. I hope Cassandra enjoys the book, and doesn't mind the fact that she won by default :) I should have done more to promote the giveaway, but I always feel so pushy and annoying when I do any of that sort of thing. This is why I have 17 followers and no sales this month. I really need to get over myself and promote more aggressively. Blech. Can't I just make pretty things, sit back and watch the money roll in? Does anyone want to make $0 and be my agent? I'll pay you 5% of sales. That's a serious offer. Email me.

Gord and I are watching Jill Scott in the BBC's The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. I haven't read any of the books, but the show is quite good. It makes me want to go to Africa and drink tea with Jill Scott.

Short post today because I got my new glasses this week and I'm still adjusting to them. My prescription didn't change much, but still - everything is in hyperfocus and I'm not used to it yet. I keep getting distracted by the sides, they're so new and shiny and screaming "Look at me!", so I look like a shifty eyed librarian. I'd post a pic, but there are none of me and my new glasses. I don't photograph willingly, and Gord is too kind to knock me unconcious and take pictures.

March 17, 2009

Dessert post

It's the last ever episode of BSG on Friday night, and we've decided to send it off with pizza and brownies. I don't know how to celebrate or mourn things without food. If I have a bad day, I go for a Caramel Macciato. A really bad day requires a bubble bath, a new book and a giant bar of mint chocolate. The demise of the best show on tv requires an unholy amount of carbs, with cheese on top. Followed by chocolate. And then possibly popcorn.

If you have a really good recipe for brownies, please share! I've been making the same old Texas Brownie recipe for years, but it's more cake-y than we're looking for. I want those dense, gooey brownies with a crispy top. Calories, schmalories.

I like making caramel popcorn, and I'll share the recipe with you, but I've done it so often I'm not sure I remember the measurements. It goes something like this:

Saucepan on stove, medium heat.
Add butter (1/2 cup)
add sugar - white, brown, whatever you've got - (1/3 to 1/2 cup, depending on how sweet you want it)
add corn syrup....I add 2 big squeezes, probably 1/2 cup
Splash of vanilla
dash of salt

stir, bring to boil, dump on popcorn and stir. How much popcorn? I usually make 1 cup of kernels, I think that pops into 6 or 7 cups, but who knows? You can get crazy and add 1/4 cup of cocoa and 1 tbsp of coffee to the mix and make mocha-caramel popcorn. And of course you can add nuts, m&m's, reese's pieces, etc, etc, etc. You'd be surprised how much of this one person can eat, especially if there's no one watching.

I think we get our french tests back tomorrow, in which case, I will probably be looking for a new book and some chocolate on the way home...

March 16, 2009

According to facebook..




We're apartment hunting in the wrong country. Damn.


You belong in Ireland. You love the countryside and you want to spend your life being surrounded by green. You love small towns where you can relax in the pub and have a chat, and several pints! Sunny destinations aren't important for you, you'd rather be in this beautiful country, where the people are chatty and down to earth and where culture surround you everywhere you go.


I wouldn't mind living in Ireland someday, but seriously, we're just finding our feet after last summer's big honking move, and I don't want to take the cats across the Atlantic.

March 15, 2009

Hunting Hot Dogs

We're apartment hunting again, but with a big difference this time.

1 - people call me back
2 - we can go see the damn place

Yeah, that's right. We signed a lease and moved across the country last summer without ever seeing our apartment. Big no-no. We had very few....make that zero...other options. (Of the 2 people who actually got back to me last year, one wanted us to sign over our first born child, donate a kidney each and pay 3 months up front. We like our kidneys.) We were moving, getting the hell out of Calgary no matter what. We were coming to Montreal no matter what. We didn't have jobs, or plans, or anything but the lure of low rent and a different kind of life. It worked. And our little apartment had it's charms at first.

"Oh, look! Hardwood floors!"
"Look at the teeny tiny bathroom! How cute!"
"Radiators? Where the hell is the thermostat?"

But now that we're here and we've got options, we're ready to move to a place that has laundry in the building, maybe doesn't have a hole in the living room wall, maybe has more than one drawer in the kitchen, maybe has a bedroom door that shuts all the way, maybe won't blow a fuse when you have the microwave and the toaster going at the same time....and all this could be ours for $100 less a month.

That's right, Calgary friends. We're looking at 2 bedroom apartments for $600 a month, 5 blocks or less from the metro, which would get us to school in 15 minutes on a slow day. HA! (Sorry, Kel, I don't mean to taunt you and your 45 minute hike to school.)

For those that don't know first hand, Calgary Transit runs on E-time. This means, if you wait at a stop, there will Eventually be a bus. Maybe. Unless it's raining or snowing. I once waited downtown during rush hour for 45 minutes in a downpour without seeing a single bus that was going towards my area. Talk about fucked. I probably could have walked home in 55 minutes.
Or how about the time I waited 30 minutes in -40 weather, with no bus shelter because the army of shelter hating crackheads had broken the glass 2 months ago and it hadn't been replaced yet. Those are the days you call in 'sick'. It was a huge relief when I got my Honda and could take my hour and a half (one way) commute down to 45 minutes. God, I hate that city. Too bad there are so many awesome people still living there, or I would NEVER go back. Well, maybe just long enough to get an A-Bomb. When we go back this summer, I'll take a before and after picture. The last time I had one, it really did explode. And hey, it'll be May. What are the odds it's going to snow? Just because last year....and the year before that...

We'd better pack for snow.

Book Giveaway

Back in January, Pickles on Pizza started a book giveaway with the Friday Night Knitting Club, and has kept giving away books on her blog. The rules are simple, you leave a comment on her blog and she picks a winner. When you've finished the book, you have to give it away and keep it moving. I won Eating the Cheshire Cat this month, so it's my turn to do a giveaway.

The book is great, and it came at just the right time. If it had got here any earlier, I would have read it instead of studying for my french test. I lucked out and it was waiting for me when I got home from taking the hideous test, and thank GOD! (Thank PICKLES! :)) It was one of those tests that I know I screwed up so many things, I was going to spend the whole night just going over all the mistakes and berating myself for not remembering. The book saved me a mental beating.



And, other than the timely arrival, the book is damn good. It's fast paced and strange, and there's a scene at the end of the first chapter that will make your blood run cold, in a delightful "We're in for a crazy ride" kind of way. It's funny, and I was so caught up in the book, I didn't even pay attention to Dollhouse last night. (Sorry, Joss. I did catch the conversations about the 'man reaction'. Kind of funny. That blond guy is no Xander, though. You should call Nicholas Brendan. I don't think he's busy.) Anyhoo...if you need a happy little break from reality, leave a comment below and I'll pick a winner next Sunday. If you don't win this time, you can follow the books around the blog world and keep trying :)

Good luck! And a huge thanks to Angela for starting this!

Run for your lives!

Be careful - the world is full of lurking liberals! Oh, Steve. You're such an ass. He's all smiles and smarm when Obama comes to town, but behind closed doors, apparently ALL the economic of the world, but especially Canada, are the fault of Obama and those darn lurking liberals.

Lets not point out that Obama has only been in charge for 2.5 months. It sure wasn't dear old W who had anything to do with the economy of the US for the last 8 years. And it's not like Stevey boy could have done anything to better prepare for this, he's not the Prime Minister or anything. Hasn't been for the last 3 years. Or has he....?

Oh, but you know, I just bet that every time he wanted to help the average Canadian (average Canadian Christian white male , that is), I just bet those sneaking dirty Liberals stopped him. IF ONLY! If only he'd been allowed to lock up all those 14 year old murderers and throw away the key! If only abortion were illegal! (Why, then he could throw LOTS of teenage 'murderers' in prison forever! WHEE!!) If only it were illegal to pay women more than 60% of what men make for the same job! We'd soon see a blessed change if ONLY Stephen Harper and his glorious army of old white men were really in charge of making Canada "a great nation", instead of all those lurking Liberals who have no place in a democracy.


I hope to god you all got the sarcasm there.

March 11, 2009

The Unbearable Uselessness of Gov't Websites

I've spent too many hours over the last month trying to figure out how to apply for jobs on the federal something or other, 'we hire students cause they work cheap' site. I know I set up a profile with my resume and life history and everything but blood type, cause I don't remember what that is. I know I did this before the deadline, because that doesn't happen til the 30th. I can't tell if the application is sitting in internet limbo, or if I'm registered, if I need to do something else or what. I sure as hell can't apply directly for a job. Unless I just went crosseyed and missed that part. When I click on the "MY JOBS LIST" button, there is nothing there. Which can't be right, because for damn sure I'm at least qualified to be a janitor. I think I just read something that implied in order to get certain jobs I may have to write essays on various topics to prove I can...write English? Communicate effectively? HA! Choke on that irony, government website. Choke and die.

I'll work at McDonalds. I bet I look good in a hairnet.

March 10, 2009

It's not spring

Was going to post, but I'm boring myself even trying, so I'm out! Not dead, but deadly boring. Talk to you soon, hopefully after Friday and the demise of the evil upcoming french test.

March 08, 2009

Spring!

The snow is melting, the sun is shining and I'm happy about it. The house has been cleaned, multiple hours of studying have been done, we're enjoying eating tofu...Its Invasion of the Body Snatchers over here.

I completely forgot that it was spring ahead day today. Thank god the computer and cell phones changed automatically, or I would probably have been an hour late for everything for days.

And the good news is, this semester is nearly over! Last day of classes is one month away. Cue Gloria Gaynor, I think we're going to make it.

March 06, 2009

Hallelujah

Last night was the first time in a week that I've slept more than 4 hours in a row at night, when I could get to sleep at all. I've never experienced insomnia, and I've never been properly sympathetic. I've had the odd sleepless night, but when you string 5 or 6 of them together it's hell. I thought my brain was going to boil and liquefy in my skull, or that I was going to have a psychotic break and go on a killing spree. It was almost impossible to remember things or pay attention, and Gord has spent much of his time this week talking me down from the ledge. (Not literally, you can relax, parents.)

So it's been 3 days since my last coffee, I'm drinking chamomile tea before bed, I found a bedtime yoga routine, and last night I took a valerian capsule. I only took 1, even though the bottle says 2 or 3, because I didn't know how fast they'd work, or how groggy I might be in the morning. I did wake up a few times during the night, but I felt so much better this morning, and I don't think I was any groggier than usual. I have no idea which of these things is helping, maybe all in conjunction, who knows. I'm just glad I have my brain back. I think I'll keep this regime going for the weekend, and then see if I can have a natural sleep by Monday.

And for those of you that aren't watching BSG tonight, you can always go out to the movies - The Watchmen is coming out today! Gord is taking me on a movie date this weekend, and it's going to be AWESOME.



Gord is making a tofu stirfry tonight, and it smells really good. Tofu, smells good....can't believe I just said that. Have a great weekend!

March 03, 2009

Realizations

I have that pale, pasty corpse skin with undertones of purple. It's time to start fake 'n baking or buy black eyeliner in bulk. I'm leaning towards eyeliner, if only because I've read no reports that emo leads to cancer.

I missed school. That whole week where I was full and heavy with ennui, that was me missing the learning. Aw.

Every night, I go to bed with the intent to get up, make a healthy breakfast, and not have to rush. To take the stairs, not the escalator, to get green tea or water instead of coffee, cream, sugar, doughnut, diabetes, death, all for $2.54!

Every morning I say fuck it and hit snooze.



Snooze.




Snooze.




Snooze.

Getupgetdressedgetoutgetonthetrain switchtrains gettoschool getinline.....ahhhh. Get coffee in system. Get grubby little hands on doughnut. Come on, get happy.

My dear friend Kristy always says goodbye with a cheery "Make good choices!"....I keep intending to, that counts for something, right?
 

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