Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The little plum that could...

My old friend Lisa from library school and her new hubby Marcus are having a baby. Currently it is "plum-sized", but apparently in about 6 more months (if I can count correctly), it will be a full-sized baby.

Lisa, many years ago in library school, could do a mean Axl Rose impersonation after a few glasses of wine and a few plates of food (preferably steak fondue). Her child will certainly have a stellar role model and I wish her and Marcus all the best :)

Monday, August 29, 2005

In Memoriam...

Xena, Warrior Kitty Princess
Xena, Warrior Kitty Princess

A good cat who put up with us for over seven years. You were taught your keen hunting skills by practicing on my kitten-sized teddy bear. Later, once accustomed to the thought that you did not have to hunt in order to survive but merely had to meow plaintively and constantly from the dining room (where your food was placed on a buffet carefully out of the dog's reach) until someone fed you again, you enjoyed your food with such relish that a new metal food dish with heavy bottom was procured for your use so that you could no longer bat the bowl to the floor when the food it contained was not fresh enough for your liking.

Never really a fan of dogs, you were reluctant companion and tolerant housemate to the beagle Tyler. He will miss having to sleep on the ceramic floor in the hallway next to his comfy dog bed because you have chosen to nap there in his stead, and danger befall the dog who might try to join you there! Luckily, Tyler was never so rash, the memory of your first meeting and the "friendly" swat across the nose which he received from you still standing out fresh in his mind.

Xena in target practice
You once bit the vet, and you hated car rides (with a passion). But you liked snuggling up next to Mom when she was reading late at night in the family room (and, apparently, sleeping on her head). You would sit outside the bathroom when she'd be so mean as to leave you on the other side of the door. For many years, there was a basket in the middle of the dining room table in which you liked to nap, and it will be a while before we stop putting magazines on the dining room chairs in a (failed) attempt to prevent you from sitting on them.

While you often pretended to be a grown-up, mature cat, you were like a little kid on Christmas Day when you were allowed to frolic in-between the presents under the tree, batting the tree ornaments (all the non-breakable ones put at the bottom, of course) and darting through the crinkly tissue paper. There were also some stellar kitty presents through the years: the most popular involving some kind of furry rodent on a long string or catnip-filled knit mice from Nova Scotia.

Content to be a housecat, though curious about the outdoors, in Kitty Heaven, Xena, may you finally be able to catch those birds you were always keenly watching through the kitchen window...

A loaf of bread, a container of milk, & a stick of butter

Today Randal & I went and did a rather large grocery trip. It was right before dinner, and I'm sure everyone knows how those grocery trips always turn out. We bought a truckload of food. It all started when we saw hamburger patties and thought, "Ooh, let's have burgers for dinner." Then, in the frozen foods aisle, right outside the freezer full of perogies, our dinner plans changed. Finally, a third time just up the aisle from the cookies (where I'd made a pit-stop for Eat-the-Middle-Firsts) as we walked past fixings for tacos.

So we get everything home and put away, and Randal starts frying up ground beef for our tacos when he asks if we have any sour cream. Of course, we do not. It is after 8:00 by this point so our usual grocery store is closed. However, there is a smaller (more expensive) one right around the corner from where we live, so I volunteer to run over and grab some sour cream.

Back home we finish cooking dinner, I run down and put some laundry on (despite recent protestations I may have made to the contrary, I did in fact get one load (of 7) done). Back up, dinner is almost ready. We crack open the sour cream, and the seal is broken!!! Gross. I had forgotten to check it, in my haste.

So down I run again, sour cream in hand, to the neighbourhood grocer. I walk up to the girl at the counter (different person from when I'd been there before), and say, "Hi, I just bought this about 20 minutes ago and the seal is open."

She looks at me aghast and replies, "That's DISGUSTING, lady!"

I am shocked. This, clearly, was not the reaction I was expecting. I feel slightly mortified. I started to fumble in my pocket - after all, I still had the receipt in there, and there should be no reason why I can't return this sour cream for a new container - it's not my fault their product is faulty. But I have never before been berated by a cashier and, by golly, I'm not about to start now!!!

Then it hits me. The girl did not say I was disgusting; what she actually said was, "That's the disgusting lady." I relax. And she continues on, "She comes in here and opens up all the containers, breaking the seals, smelling them. The first time she came in, she bought yogurt, and I said, 'This yogurt is open - let me get you a new one.' And she told me, "Oh, no, I opened it to check." Which is fine, but if she doesn't like how it smells, she doesn't buy it and then it's ruined! Sometimes I follow her when she's in the store, so I can catch her in the act, but then she doesn't do it."

I put on my most suitably-disapproving face and tsk-tsk in sympathy with the cashier's problem. Then, as bidden, I went off in search of a sour cream container with a pristine seal. Which, I am pleased to say, did exist (I reached right to the back of the shelf, figuring the Disgusting Lady hadn't reached back that far).

The tacos were goooood. And if anyone wants to drop in for dinner sometime this week, I can't announce dates yet, but we will be serving burgers at least one night and perogies (with yummy sour cream, of course) another.

*I found this while looking for that exact quote, and it's quite captivating, and not just because it's way past my bedtime... Many many years of trying to be the one who started off with "I one the sandbox", because it didn't take me long to figure out what happened if you were second in line! (Unfortunately, my older brother figured it out first, and I still wear the emotional scars from multiple sandbox-eating moments, where I'd say "Oh yeah? Well, I SIX the sandbox!" and then gasp, as I suddenly knew what I'd be forced to say next...)

Monday, August 22, 2005


So it seems blogs can get spammed in much the same way as e-mail accounts. I just deleted 13 spammer comments of people saying "hey nice blog!" and pointing me to their site - spam, spam, spam. Now gone. Please leave comments only if you really, really do love me, and not just because your computer's algorithm for spam pulled up my blogsite address in its calculation.

* With apologies to Monty Python.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Upheavals and other such nonsense

So much (mostly not very interesting) has gone on this week. Week got off to a bad start. I had to bring my bicycle in to the shop to get a tune-up - I haven't ridden it in a while and to be honest, it is looking a bit worse for the wear. So Monday I go to do this...and someone has stolen the seat. That was the newest part of the bike (it's old and has undergone many different upgrades over the years). I was not impressed. So not only did I have to pay for a new inner-tube (which was wrecked) and minor tune-up, I had to pay for a new seat and seat POST (since the thief was kind enough to steal that as well).

Wednesday Rion went to the vet for the day to get a tooth pulled. He still had one of his baby canines.

Thursday I went bowling with some of my colleagues from my former job. It was great fun, though I remained in last place behind all the rest of them (even the one girl who listed her name on the computer board as "I Hate This Game"). I like to bowl, but man, do I ever suck. Bad part about bowling, though, was that the bar there that sells CHEAP BEER was closed! :( So we had to go for drinks afterwards at the Royal Oak on our way home - you gotta do what you gotta do. Apparently, however, I am getting too old for this kind of thing, as the next day at work, I was so tired. I just don't get out enough anymore, obviously.

Friday night I went out with two other former colleagues for dinner. Erin is still working here with the government, though with another department, and Jan is moving in less than a week back to Calgary. So it was kind of a farewell dinner, though I will hopefully be seeing Jan again for coffee later this week before she goes. Then I went to Chapters and bought a Japanese kana workbook, in anticipation of my upcoming Japanese class this semester at Algonquin College - yay!

And Saturday afternoon, Rebecca arrived! And we have been hanging out ever since. (OK, it's been 1 1/2 days, but work with me here...) Today, we went for late breakfast at Eggspectations at the Esplanade Laurier, and then we wandered around the Parliament buildings playing at "tourist". There was a Mountie on a horse! But I couldn't convince Rebecca to let me take her picture next to him. (She took a pic from afar.) After that, we wandered to and around the Byward Market. Tonight she has gone out with another friend. Tomorrow, after I finish work, we are thinking about hitting IKEA - woohoo! :)

In between all this nonsense this week, Randal & I have been trying to rearrange everything in the apartment. See, we own too much and haven't gotten around to getting rid of much of it yet. But we are in the early "weeding" stages. Now, we have finally moved our stuff into the main front bedroom and made the back bedroom, our former bedroom, into a guest room (but eventually we plan on getting rid of the bed and making it a sunroom/computer room). Currently, as I type this, I am in the "new" bedroom, and Rion is lying on the back of the couch that is in here (there's no room, really, for a couch, so we may get rid of it too) looking out the window. It's nice and cosy.

Anyway, not really that much to say, though I am out of beer and must now make a trip to my fridge to locate some more. What can I say? It's a hard life.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

If you would be so kind as to turn to page 32...

I have been a busy beaver tonight (plus a 2-hour break to go out for all-you-can-eat mussels, mmm) and have added no less than SEVEN reviews to pixxiefish in the stacks for your reading enjoyment. Which means I am caught up to partway through May! ...And now, I shall collapse in bed. G'night.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Book-reading admissions

1. A History of Western Science has fallen behind one of my bookcases (is that ironic?) and I have been too lazy to retrieve it.

2. Puppies for Dummies and Dog Training for Dummies are both on the backburner. This is not a reflection on their quality - they are both good books. But I've been reading other stuff. And the mere existence of my darling dog Rion in my life is more than an adequate reminder that I am far below the level of "Dummy" in terms of understanding dogs. (Actually, he's a very good dog.)

3. I went to Toronto this weekend by train, and read the entire August issue of National Geographic

4. I just accidentally published this post. Note to self: Do not hit the "Enter" key while updating the Title.

5. Yeah, about Item #4: I have also read most of the June (as listed) and July issues. But they are a pain to update as National Geographic does not always have a useable link to the cover. If you know of a better place I can get a copy of their cover, please let me know.

6. I have not finished Lord of the Rings yet, but really, what's the rush? I have the entire rest of my life to enjoy it.

7. As far as Item #6 is concerned, this weekend, also on the train, I read all of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, despite my announcement to the contrary. It was very good. I have the radio play (the Orson Wells version) on cassette-tape somewhere. I can't remember if I have read the book before. And I've decided that, barring late-night cheap movie rentals, the movie does not need to be viewed. (Or linked to, for that matter. This is as political as I get sometimes.)

8. I think that's it. But if I think of anything else, I'll let you know.

And now, another lame excuse...

So I got my laptop back and so far, it is working. But we'll see. And so, as promised, I went to write up a great blog about 30 min ago or so, and Blogger was unavailable! No, I'm not tech-savvy enough to do my blogging in a word document first. I prefer the crash-and-burn method (you know,the method by which I write an extremely witty blog entry in Blogger itself and then the computer I am using crashes before I have a chance to post - hasn't happened in a while, thankfully).

But now I'm tired and not in the mood ... So I shall leave you here, dear reader, until the next post, and I shall think of witty things to say next time while tinkering with my Flickr account (or playing Mall Tycoon - I haven't decided yet which is a more worthy waste of time).

p.s. Part of me is wanting to be entirely useful and figure out how to link the Flickr site to my blog. The other (larger) part of me is reverting to the diversions mentioned above instead, as likely Rebecca will give me the necessary info upon learning about my technological know-how deficiencies. I ask you, why do myself what someone else can explain to me in 12 words or less?

p.p.s. I have just become aware of the sound of thunder rolling from outdoors and Plan C is forming - it involves going to bed and, with any luck, watching a storm through the window.

Friday, August 05, 2005

A new post

I have been informed by no less than two different people in the last three days that my failure to post a new entry on my blogsite is causing them grief.

So here it is. I have posted.*

And now, I am going to bed.

*What? No one ever said my post had to have actual content.