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?

Open Letter to Steve,

Dear Steve,

I know you are threatened by the fact that Iggy is taller than you, but PLEASE. For the love of god, pull your head out of your ass, and get to work on something USEFUL. No, attack ads don't count. I know they're fun, but you're like the unpopular kid in high school who somehow managed to get elected class president, and now you're trying to cancel the senior class trip and make science fair mandatory. CUT IT THE FUCK OUT. We all just want to go to Six Flags, and you're ruining everything.

Try to download a new operating system, RoboHarper. Maybe something with Smileys.

You sincerely suck,

Yours truly,
Much of Canada, Except Alberta, They Still Like You For Reasons I Can't Fathom.

So much for that theory

Apparently, you can be too poor for the good toilet paper. The environmental costs are too high. This is why I don't bother making resolutions at New Years or any other time. There's always something that comes up that negates the whole thing.

Like this article that implies using soft toilet paper is the equivalent of driving a Hummer.
The environmentalists say regular use of soft tissue paper is flushing trees from Canada's ancient forests down the toilet and causing as much global warming pollution as someone who drives a gas-guzzler.
You know it's bad when these stories show up in the Calgary Herald, a city owned entirely by oil & gas. So when we finish the super deluxe tp I got on Friday, we're going back to recycled. We're just going to have to do some product testing to find the least objectionable. I'll let you know when we discover the best of the recycled tp options.


March 02, 2009

Blowing your mind, old school


video


Gord and I went on a walk down memory lane last night, via youtube, and rediscovered all our favorite cartoons. We can only hope that Disney wasn't adding subliminal messages to the shows to create an entire generation of sleeper agents.

And, you can clearly see how my early exposure to cartoons planted the seeds of a love of power ballads. I'm not ashamed anymore, I had no choice!
 

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