Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I was hesitant to use the treats as a training tool despite knowing that French bulldogs as a breed are typically motivated by food. Treats notoriously have lots of empty calories which can cause obesity in dogs, so I was thrilled to find some natural treats at my local Pet Valu that are simply freeze-dried cows liver and nothing more. And the dog loves them! So does the cat, for that matter. Also, Jacques isn't eating nearly as much as I expected he would so I figure a few nutritious treats won't kill him.
Having said all this, I really hope I haven't jinxed myself. I've been lulled into a false sense of security by this puppy before--remember the first 24 hours? I will remain cautiously optimistic until he can prove himself over the next several days.
In the meantime, please head over to my photoblog and vote for your favourite picture of Jacques. Sadly, I couldn't convince Jax to pose with him....
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The other reason I had to get a larger tree was I've accumulated a tonne of ornaments. I try every year to get a "special" ornament and these have grown to a large number which just couldn't all fit on a 3 foot tree. Then, last year my Mom gave me the family collection of "special" ornaments so now even my 4 foot tree seems to bend under the strain.
So why did I forgo the tree this year? A few reasons--I am concerned about the potential danger to Jacques who is a quick little bugger and might do some damage to it or himself if I let my guard down for even a second; I won't be here at Christmas, I'll be in Huntsville with my brother and his family so I will get my fair share of tree there; My Honey isn't able to come home for Christmas this year since he's used up all his vacation time so he won't be here to appreciate it; and lastly, it's been a tough year with more losses than I care to name and I just don't feel like it.
Now I know some of you will think these excuses are just that--excuses. You'll think it would be good for me to put up the tree, embrace the Christmas spirit and chase away the blues with tinsel and lights. I appreciate your concern, but I'm here to tell you you're wrong. There's nothing more depressing than putting up a tree by yourself that no one (besides yourself) will see and then taking it down by yourself after Christmas when the sugar-high has worn off and the reality of 3 more months of freezing cold and snow is setting in.
By not putting up a tree, I can worry less about my dog, I can get my fill of Christmas cheer back in Huntsville without the work of putting up or taking down the tree, and lastly I don't have to look at all those "special" ornaments that will flood me with bittersweet memories of Christmas's past with my Mom. I'm just not ready for that. Instead, I'll be making new memories with my adorable nieces and my wonderful brother and sister-in-law who really need me there this year to bring the festive and not the sad and depressed.
So, instead of having my own tree, I've installed a Photos of Christmas Trees widget on the right-hand side of my blog. Here I go, bringing the festive! You're welcome.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Today I had to go back to work so Jacques was left to his own devices. As far as I can tell, he didn't get into anything he shouldn't have and didn't destroy his bed, his kennel or any of the plethora of toys I left him with. Mind you, he was confined to the bathroom so there wasn't much he could get into. I came home at lunch to feed and water him but other than that he was on his own for just over 8 hours.
Jax is still handling things like a champ--I have to say he's doing way better than I thought he would. We had a nice snuggle on the couch tonight while watching TV. It would appear he's forgiven me for "the interloper."
Didn't get the best sleep last night--Jacques woke me up 3 times to "do his business" so I'm absolutely exhausted and going to bed. Right. Now.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
We had a good play-time in the living room whereupon Jacques again raided Jax's toys, discovering items long since forgotten. Speaking of Jax, he's pretty much behaving completely normally now--he's back to being his snuggly, needy self and he's eating normally, too. He still hisses at Jacques and keeps his distance for the most part, although he is daring to come closer. He's not sniffing/tasting the air as much and he seems perfectly content to nap on the back of the sofa while I sit on said sofa and hold Jacques. Hey, if this is as good as it ever gets then I'm a happy camper!
At 10, Jacques and I went to visit my Dad and his wife (aka Grampy and Grammy). They were babysitting her niece and all three of them instantly fell in love with Jacques. Unfortunately, Jacques promptly christened the living room carpet, despite my excellent plan to bring a dry but used pee pad and making sure he knew where it was right away. He proceeded to pee on the floor a total of 3 times. Granted it wasn't much--just a few dribbles--but I was getting frustrated. He had been doing so well at home but here he was going all over the place! I was glad I'd not brought any food or allowed him any water which probably helped to minimize the damage.
We left around 12:30, Jacques thoroughly worn out and nodding off in the car (despite the pee issues, my Dad and his wife absolutely adore Jacques and can't wait for another visit.) Back at home he again ate all his lunch and I left him to have a little nap while I snuggled with Jax. After an hour or so I let Jacques out for another romp in the living room but this turned out to be a bad idea. After briefly playing with a few toys and taunting the cat, Jacques started to sniff and circle suspiciously. Just as he was about to "assume the position" I chased him back to the bathroom and corralled him onto the pad. After a few escape attempts he eventually made a small poop on the pad (just barely) so I let him back out to play. Well, the next thing I know he's crouching again, this time on the carpet. I quickly scooped him up and brought him back to the pad, but he frustratingly refused to go. By now I've finally smartened up and I leave him in the bathroom for a while. His accident in the living room is small--only a few drops--but it's a wake up call. He's still a puppy and now he's feeling confident enough to test me. Clearly we still have a long way to go with this training business.
Unfortunately the set-backs didn't end there--I got a call from the vet and apparently Jacques has an intestinal parasite. It's pretty common and easily treated but it's probably the cause of the diarrhea he's been having. At a cost of about $25 I have to give him a pill every day for 10 days at which point he should be cured. There's no risk of it being transmitted to me or the cat but I do have to thoroughly clean up his poop to prevent him from reinfecting himself.
And lastly, Jacques has really bad farts. And I don't mean "oh isn't that cute, he farted!" I'm talking eye-watering "silent but deadly" emissions of noxious gases. On the bright side, now I can blame mine on him.
To finish off, here are a few pics I took of Jacques this morning playing desperately with all the cat's toys:
That's it--bite him right on the bum.
Aaaaaaand the diarrhea's back again. Big time. So for now, Jacques is confined to quarters (ie the bathroom) until further notice.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Anyway, Jacques went to bed very well and I was smart enough to set the alarm clock for 1:30am at which time we got up and he did a pee (no accidents!) and then we went back to bed. He slept through to 7 again and then right away did another pee and poop on his pad (yay!) while I got Jax fed and the coffee on for me. Unfortunately, the poop was, well, "loose" shall we say. I was a tad bit dismayed but he seemed to be feeling fine so I didn't worry about it. I did start worrying when he refused to eat--he had some water but he wouldn't touch his food. I left it with him for about 15 minutes and then gave up.
After that I decided to let him roam the living room a bit--he'd already peed and pooped and since he hadn't eaten anything I figured we were safe for a little while. Jacques frolicked and took off with Jax's toys while I snapped a few pics (head on over to my photoblog for a peek) and Jax eyed us warily from the safety of the dining room which I had blocked of with a baby gate. At one point, however, Jax decided to take a closer look. Jacques of course took this as an invitation to play--not what Jax had in mind. Jacques playfully "barked" (I put this in quotes because his bark is so quiet and non-eardrum-piercing that I'm a little embarrassed to actually call it a bark) and sorta darted toward Jax. Well, Jax decided that was a little too close and gave Jacques a good swat with his (thankfully declawed) left paw. Evidently Jacques is a very smart little puppy because he correctly interpreted this bell-ringer as a sign the cat was not in the mood to play and he backed off post haste.
The rest of the morning was uneventful and at 12:30 (after unsuccessfully trying to entice Jacques to eat) he and I took a little trip to the vet for a quick look-see. After scoring a clean bill of health (and thoroughly charming the vet and her staff with his good manners and even better looks) we took a swing by the parking lot of my work-place (where he charmed a few of my co-workers and showed off his adorable new winter jacket) an finally arrived back home for a nap.
While Jacques dreamed his puppy dreams, Jax and I had some alone time on the couch. He's much more snuggly today and that makes me very happy. He's also not hissing at Jacques unless the dog intentionally comes toward him--before he would just hiss if the dog was in his vague general vicinity.
Jacques and I just spent some time playing on the floor and he (finally!) ate some dinner, but he's still having diarrhea issues which I hope will clear up by tomorrow. At least he's still pretty consistently going on his pad and doesn't appear to be sick. I'll set the alarm for 1:30 again and see how things go.
Here's a pic from Jacques first trip to the vet:
No shots of him in his new coat today--the weather was crappy and neither one of us wanted to hang around outside. Maybe tomorrow...
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Jacques arrived at about 6pm last night and Jax was not impressed. Jacques was greeted with hisses and growls--not exactly a warm welcome. But there was no violence; in fact Jax was very friendly with the breeder, letting her pet him even. So long as she wasn't holding the dog. Jax was having none of that--he gave the dog a wide berth and I can't really say I blame him. He didn't run an hide, though--he hung around the whole time which I count under the "victory" column.
After the breeder left, I took Jacques over to what will be his domain for the next several weeks--the bathroom. I want to make sure he's fully house-broken before I let him have unfettered access to the rest of he apartment (except for the bedroom, of course.) I put down a pee pad and immediately he went pee and poo on the pad! I was thrilled! I let him acclimate to his crate and toys--he took to one particular chew toy right away so I put it in his crate and he gradually followed it in. We experimented with closing the door a few times, but he didn't seem to mind that one bit.
While all this was going on, Jax was watching us and occasionally hissing but he made no attempt to jump over the gate and enter the bathroom even though I knew full well he could if he wanted to. I left Jacques alone in the bathroom with his stuff for a while and spent some time with Jax but he was too keyed up to snuggle for long. At around 9:30 Jacques was clearly worn out and went into his crate with no fuss, did a little "decorating" with his blanket and promptly fell asleep. I brought him into the bedroom with me so I could hear him whine in the night (if he had to pee, which I knew he would) and off we went to sleep.
Now, this is where I made a mistake--I didn't set my alarm to wake up in 4 hours (how long I figured Jacques would be good for until he had to pee again) and just assumed I'd hear him whine and that would be enough to wake me up. Sadly, it wasn't, mostly because he didn't whine he just sorta snuffled and that was too quiet for me to hear until it was too late. I did wake up, but he had already peed (I think I just missed it) but I whisked him off to the bathroom anyway and that was a good thing because he promptly pooped on his pad. Once he was done his business we went back to bed and he settled down and went back to sleep almost immediately. He slept right through to 7 when I woke him up, no more accidents! And he went pee and poo right away on his pad immediately after I let him out of the crate. So, It would seem we might have a handle on this house-breaking thing after all!
Jax has been much more relaxed around Jacques today, which has filled me with hope that this will be less painful than I had feared. Jacques is fine to be left to his own devices in his "area" which encompasses the bathroom and the hallway, although he pretty much sticks to the bathroom. A couple of times he's whined and sorta barked for attention, but that was short-lived once he realized I wasn't coming. This makes me feel much better about leaving him alone for a few hours while I'm at work and leads me to believe he won't bark too much and be a nuisance to other tenants. He also hasn't had a single accident, going to the bathroom on his pad every single time. I'm not prepared to give him free-reign in the apartment yet (it has only been one day) but I'm very encouraged.
We went out to Pet Valu to get him fitted for a halter and a warm coat and he was very well behaved and didn't pee at all in the store. He's not a fan of his leash so we'll have to work on making a positive association for him. I might try taking him outside tomorrow with it on and bring some treats. I'll take a picture of him in his little coat tomorrow so you can see how freakin' adorable he looks in it.
As for Jax, he's spent most of the day either on the window sill or on the dining room chairs. I've really tried hard to give him lots of attention, petting him a lot and trying to encourage him to snuggle when Jacques is in his "area", but he hasn't been very receptive to snuggling. He's still eating well and he seems very calm so I'm hoping this is just his way of punishing me. I'm sitting here eating my dinner right now and he's making no effort to come over and check it out which is very unlike him. But all things considered I think he's doing very well with all this and it gives me hope he'll eventually come around. The first 24 hours have gone way better than I could have hoped--keep your fingers crossed the next 24 go just as well.
I spoke too soon--Jacques just pooped on the floor in the hall. It's a good thing I'm keeping him where I can easily find his little "presents."
Saturday, December 4, 2010
He's a French bulldog and his name is Jacques.
French bulldogs are great for apartment-dwellers like me--they don't need a lot of space or exercise and they generally don't bark very much. They are small dogs--adults weigh around 20lbs--but they think they're large dogs so they don't have the tendency to yap a lot like small dogs often do. I've been over to my breeder's house several times and I haven't heard the mother bark at all and the puppies very rarely. They do make the snorting and snuffling sounds typical of bulldog breeds due to their smooshed-in faces.
In case you're wondering what French bulldogs look like, they're much smaller than English or American bulldogs and their ears stand up instead of folding over. When mine's full-grown, he'll look much like this guy, but right now he looks like this:
It's going to be a lot of work and I probably won't get much sleep over the next several days, but it's something I've been thinking about for quite a while now and I'm well prepared for what's to come. I know many of you will think I'm completely mad for doing this and maybe I am. Look at it this way: it will make good blog-fodder!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I miss you. I knew I would and I'm not even surprised by the intensity, but living it is harder than I thought it would be. I still listen to that voice message you left for me--I feel so lucky to have that connection, to be able to hear your distinctive voice so strong and happy. I was worried I would forget--forget your face, your hugs, your laugh--but I can remember you so clearly it's like I just saw you yesterday. But you've been gone 10 months now, and in some ways you've been gone even longer than that.
Happy Birthday, Mom. Today I celebrate your memory and your legacy. I celebrate your strength of character and strength of spirit. I celebrate all that I have learned from you and all that you still have to teach me.
Today, I celebrate you.
Friday, October 8, 2010
The bad news is it cost $1438.12 to fix it.
Well, at least I have friends willing to fight over my pancreas...that's something to be thankful for...right?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
And the cherry on top of the sundae? The clutch went on the car today.
I've always suspected the clutch was on its last legs but I've had more than one mechanic assure me it looked fine. Clearly that was not the case. As I type this, my car is sitting in the parking lot at my place of work, unable to budge without assistance from what will assuredly be a very expensive tow truck. A tow truck I'm going to have to call tomorrow morning to come pick it up and take it to a mechanic who will hold it ransom until I pay up. And pay I will. Dearly.
Anyone want to buy a kidney?
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
So, here's the list--feel free to co-opt this idea yourself since many other bloggers have already done it so it's not like I'm being original here.
Day 01 → Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02 → Something you love about yourself.
Day 03 → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04 → Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06 → Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07 → Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10 → Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11 → Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12 → Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13 → A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days. (write a letter.)
Day 14 → A hero that has let you down. (letter)
Day 15 → Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16 → Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17 → A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18 → Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19 → What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20 → Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21 → (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22 → Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23 → Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24 → Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25 → The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26 → Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27 → What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28 → What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29 → Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself
So, starting with Day 1--and for the record, don't expect a post every single day for the next 30 'cause that's just not how I roll--here's something I hate about myself: I hate my desperate and pathetic need to be the centre of attention. I like to think I'm a confident person who likes who she is and believes in herself, but my perverse need for attention stands in stark contrast to that perception. I try very hard to be less of an attention-whore, but I just don't have as much fun socially if I'm not dominating the conversation or having all around me hang on every word of my fascinating stories Fortunately I'm blessed to have friends who don't seem to care and love me anyway even though I hog the spotlight, but I still feel like a dick the next day when I realize how much of a jerk I was. I really beat myself up over this but I can't seem to stop.
Well, that was fun! Let's hope Day 2 can keep this momentum going!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Then Guy and I dropped My Honey off at work, Jess off at home and then continued our shopping adventure. First we hit Target for some essentials (my mascara is half the price there that it is at home) and I picked up a couple of pairs of fall work pants and a birthday gift for my niece. Then we went downtown and walked Castro street, visiting Therapy and a few book stores where I got a gift for the
And so now I'm home, getting ready to head off to work. It's always hard for me to come home from Cali but Guy's experiencing withdrawal for the first time today. It's gonna be difficult for him to go back to paying LCBO prices for wine and Zehr's prices for cheese, not to mention no Rasputin! Poor Guy...he just might have to move there.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
We had an awesome time--the wines were delicious and the panoramic vistas from these mountain wineries were absolutely beautiful (pics are coming, I promise!) We bought a few bottles at the second one we visited but really I was holding onto my money for Bev Mo (my Mecca). After the wine tour, we checked into our hotel, had a wee nap and then headed out for downtown Santa Cruz. Jess and I found an adorable little sock store where we had no choice but to buy a few cute pairs, then we hit a store that sold Chinese silk clothing, purses and decor accessories and I (of course) bought a purse and picked up a little something for Katie who's looking after Jax for me while I'm out here.
We had dinner at a fascinating place--it's part lounge and part restaurant and the lighting was so dim I had to use my flashlight app on my phone to read the menu! It vaguely reminded me of New Orleans, despite never having been there. The food was spectacular and we had a couple of cocktails that were delicious and unlike anything I've every had before. We finally stumbled back to the hotel and quickly called it a night as we had to get the working folk back to town in the morning at a reasonable hour.
Yesterday, Guy and I took a road trip to Carmel by the Sea and Jess very generously (and perhaps foolishly, depending on whom you ask) loaned us her Cooper Mini which I now love with every fiber of my being. It was so fun to drive! My favourite memory of yesterday will be zooming up the Pacific Coast Highway in Paolo (that's what we named him) with the windows down, the sunroof open and the late-afternoon sun reflecting off the ocean.
We wandered around downtown Carmel a bit then had a nice picnic down by the beach. We frolicked in the surf and took a tonne of pictures (I promise!) and generally had a fantastic day. I could go on and on, but the pictures will speak for themselves.
When we got home we all went out for sushi and then drank wine in the hot tub. What a life!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Today we had a fun-filled day in San Francisco, visiting Fisherman's Wharf and the Mission. We obviously had to see the famous sea lions at Pier 39 and although we didn't get a chance to ride a cable car we did catch a glimpse of a few of them. We also did a little shopping at the Sketchers store on Mission and the Rasputin music store on Powell.
You may not know this, but finding parking in San Fran can be challenging. I was able to find good parking pretty much everywhere we went and this was just about the best part of the whole day for me. We ended the day by hooking up with friends and grabbing dinner at Bossa Nova, a great little Brazilian tapas restaurant on 8th St. We just got back and we're all exhausted. No rest for the weary, though--tomorrow we're off to Santa Cruz for a wine tour!
Friday, September 17, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
We had traveled down countless roads together, had even been in a few scrapes and jams. And boy had we weathered our share of storms. But whenever I needed her she was always there for me and I knew I could count on her to never lose her cool.
She came into my life at a time when I really needed her, and today it was time for her to move on. It was hard for me to admit that I didn't need her anymore, but as fate would have it, I knew someone who did.
That someone is My Honey's cousin and now she's the proud owner of my old Mazda.
Treat her well, Kath, and she'll never let you down.
Friday, August 13, 2010
So? "Hot" or "Not"?
Thursday, August 12, 2010
And it was spectacular.
Now before you all start calling me names, let me make it clear that the person I cheated on was my hairdresser. And he really should have seen it coming because I cheated on my previous hairdresser with him 7 years ago. Once a cheater, always a cheater.
I have been going through a hair identity crisis over the last year and it finally came to a head (no pun intended) last night. I've always had stick-straight hair my entire life (not counting a couple of ill-advised perms) so imagine my surprise (alarm, dismay) when about a year ago my hair started to get a little wavy, flipping out in ways that ruined the line of my perfect, sleek bob. This summer ("thank you, humidity!") things spiraled (again, no pun intended) out of control when the slight wave started becoming something some might call a curl. Not people with actual curl in their hair, more like people like me who don't have a curly hair on their body (no, really--not "there" either). This development has left me at a complete loss as to how to style my hair. I've tried everything I can think of but at the end I'm never satisfied.
So I decided a needed a new perspective. Enter Joe. Joe's solution? To cut my hair so short that there's no more curl left.
When I get the hang of styling this new look of mine maybe I'll post a picture. In the meantime, rest assured I like the "new me" and I'm sure you will too. I just need to get used to the feel of wind on the back of my neck again....
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I have to say, though, I was very tempted by Katie's enticing offer to avail myself of her, ah, facilities--toddler step stool and all--but there's nothing like getting all those intimate nooks and crannies clean in the comfort of your own shower. And boy did they need it! I gotta tell ya, a sponge bath just don't cut it, if you know what I'm saying. Of course you don't, and I hope you never do. The last couple of days have been worse than camping--at least when you're camping people expect you to look dirty and smell bad! I had to work, fer cryin' out loud!
Anyway, it's all over now and hopefully I'll never need to go through that again. And I'm not gonna hold my breath for any kind of compensation or even an apology from my management company. Their attitude throughout this whole debacle has been disinterested at best and downright rude at worst. Ah well, I guess things could have turned out much worse.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go shave my legs.
When I got home (and unlocked my door) I noticed right away that there were dusty footprints on my floor that weren't there when I left and that the curtains covering the slider to my balcony were open when I knew for certain I had closed them to keep the heat out. Hmm. As I made my way to the bathroom I noticed yet more white stuff on the floor, now not just dust but larger chunks of what I assumed was dried grout. Now I'm a terrible housekeeper, but that's no excuse to track shit through my place! Only I get to track shit through my place! Regardless, I just wanted this whole debacle to be over, but when I peered around the doorway it became apparent that it wasn't in fact over because, while the tiling was indeed done, I still didn't have a faucet and spout thus rendering my shower useless.
So I did the best I could this morning with yet another sponge bath and back-breaking hair washing session, but I can't help but feel self-conscious about the possibility that I might smell less than, well.... fresh. It looks like Heather is getting another phone call from me, and if the shower isn't in perfect working order by the time I get home tonight, one of you is getting a phone call. I promise I won't sing and I'll even bring my own towel.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
At this point it became pretty clear to me that there had been a visit from the plumber whom I managed to put two and two together and figure out must have been in my apartment to address the ongoing water leak issues that I though were long resolved. Since I was under the impression these issues had been dealt with--and since no one had called or left me a note advising me otherwise--I was in no way expecting this kind of intrusion.
Now it's almost 8:00pm and whoever left my door unlocked hasn't come back and I still have a giant hole in my shower which clearly prevents me from using said shower until the hole is patched, which it is becoming more and more apparent will be tomorrow at the earliest. Normally I wouldn't be too upset by having to take a sponge bath and wash my hair in the kitchen sink, but after my crazy cleaning spree on the weekend I managed to strain my back into spasm and I'm pretty sure leaning over a sink to wash my hair isn't going to improve the situation.
This better be fixed by the time I get home tomorrow night or I'm gonna be very unhappy.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
You see, every single item of clothing I got rid of today is too small.
So I'm feeling a bit defeated. I've had to accept that I'm so far away from ever wearing these items again that by the time I get back to that size (assuming I ever do, and that's assuming a lot) I won't want to wear them anyway, probably because they will be 15+ years out of style. The shoes and purses were an easier thing--most of the shoes never really fit properly anyway and the purses had seen better days and didn't have any particularly distinguishing features to make the cut. But I'm still dealing with letting go of the clothes. Some of the pieces I've had for a very long time (like, since the 90s) and it's easy to get attached to something after that long.
I must confess--I kept back one bag. Hey, I got rid of six, what more do you want from me? Geez! Anyway, I kept one bag of stuff I just couldn't bear to part with. One such item was the faux zebra jacket I wore the first year I won "Best Male Drag" at Club Ren in their annual Halloween costume contest. With a history like that, it would be unthinkable to let go. Besides I'm pretty sure faux zebra is a classic that will never go out of style...Regardless, it stays along with a few other favorites I just can't live without, even if they don't fit.
The best part of this whole thing is I can actually get into my fabulous walk-in closet unimpeded. Formerly the way was blocked by piles of garbage bags taunting me with their too-small contents. Now I can easily get to the clothes I own that actually do fit without spraining an ankle.
So, for those of you who want proof (I'm looking at you, Mindy) here's my newly emptied closet:
See? Nothing blocking the way to all those beautiful clothes. Here's a look at the purse collection:
Here are the bags of clothes I've kept. Some of them are fall/winter and some of them are spring/summer that are just a teensy bit too small:
See? I got rid of six and I kept eight. That's pretty good, right?
Well I'm proud of myself.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Among my favourite masters of the grain were Flying Monkey, Cameron's (from whom I obtained an "I drink local beer" bumper sticker which I wore proudly for the remainder of the evening) and Stone Hammer whose Maple Ale is arguably the best beer I have ever tasted. As far as the barbeque part goes, the ribs I had from Camp 31 probably came from a unicorn they were that magical. "Fall off the bone" doesn't go far enough in explaining how succulent these suckers were--it was like they leapt off the bone and floated effortlessly into my mouth where they proceeded to chew themselves. And by the way, if you clicked on the link I provided you are now listening to Kid Rock murder "Sweet Home Alabama." You're welcome.
If you're in the neighbourhood, I strongly suggest checking out Victoria Park this weekend. Unless you're a vegetarian who doesn't like beer, in which case I suggest checking out the Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival instead.
P.S. Camp 31 is located in Paris, Ontario and has arguably the best Southern BBQ I've ever tasted. You should totally go--I'm looking at you, Meat Club. It's absolutely worth the drive. Trust me.
P.P.S. For those of you who may be wondering how I got my beer-tipsy ass home last night, I took the bus. Incredible, but true.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
And let me tell you, today's headache is a doozy.
Right now it feels like someone is pressing their thumbs into my eyeballs while someone else is jabbing an ice pick into my right temple. No amount of pain killers will help--believe me, I've tried. All I can do it wait it out and pray for the storm to finally pass. Literally.
I can hear the rumble of thunder in the distance--by tomorrow morning it should all be better. For now, escape through sleep.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I should have known something was up back in earlyApril when I was taking pictures of my nieces frolicking in the sunshine in shorts and t-shirts. That unseasonably warm weather, while very enjoyable at the time, was clearly a harbinger of things to come.
After a brief reprieve from last week's heat wave, today we are faced with the promise of another. In fact, according to forecasters with Environment Canada, the entire summer will be a seemingly endless cycle of hotter than frickin' hell followed by a couple of days of relief followed by more torture in the furnace.
And that is exactly why I felt justified paying $1000 to fix the AC on my car. Hey, I'd like to see you in a car with black leather interior an no tint on the windows in 30+ degree heat (that's Celsius for my American readership) and see how long you'd last without AC! You can't put a price on that, my friend. When the cool, sweet breezes flow from the vents on my dashboard, I know I made the right decision.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
But here's the weird thing--I think the fries might be magic. Every single time I open the box and look at the contents I think to myself, "Hey, they kinda skimped on the fries." But somewhere between the box and my plate a miracle happens--the fries seem to double in number (I don't know how they do it, therefore it's a miracle). The fries that seemed inadequate in the box are now so plentiful they are falling off the edge of my plate. The only thing that would impress me more would be if the grease-stains on the bottom of the box were in the image of the Virgin Mary.
I think it's my destiny to figure out the secret behind these amazing, self-replicating fries. It's becoming pretty clear that this is going to require a lot of
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Today is one of those days.
While it's not especially hot out (currently 18 degrees Celsius), the humidity is at 96%. This means that you are sweaty and sticky without actually being hot. Very disconcerting. It also tends to have some other unexpected side effects. For example, this morning I thought I'd treat myself to some homemade pancakes. I've made this same recipe with the same ingredients dozens of times, but this is the first time the batter has looked like this:
Not it's usual consistency. That probably should have clued me into the fact that something was wrong, but I double-checked my ingredients and measurements and all seemed fine, so I decided to plow ahead. When I plopped the too-thick batter on to the frying pan, it just sorta sat there, taunting me:
Looks really appetizing, doesn't it? Mmmmm! It refused to bubble on top which gave me pause, but I persevered and ended up with these lovely pan-biscuits:
They sorta look like toasted crumpets. Fortunately they tasted fine, although a bit filling, so it wasn't a complete failure, but from an aesthetic standpoint I think I'll wait for better weather before trying this for company.
Monday, May 24, 2010
The California leg of the journey was wonderful as always. The famous Bay to Breakers race was on while I was there and while I did not take part, my Honey and I and a friend went to an after-party in the Haight-Ashbury area where we danced to some decent music and enjoyed the ample people-watching opportunities. Traditionally, those participants in the race who aren't hardcore runners will dress up in costume and compete for various prizes. They also tend to consume copious amounts of alcohol/drugs which makes them even more entertaining. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me so you'll just have to use your imagination.
My Honey and I flew together to Edmonton on Wednesday to join several friends (and even more complete strangers) in celebrating the wedding of Howard and Laura on Saturday. We were meeting the bride for the first time and she is a wonderful, beautiful person who is clearly smitten with our friend Howard. Laura is Mexican and Howard is Chinese so it was a colourful, interesting and multicultural event. I've posted a few pictures from the ceremony over at my photoblog and there will be more to follow, including some taken at the reception which came after a traditional ten-course Chinese wedding banquet. All together I took over 500 pictures but clearly they didn't all make the cut. I will however leave you with this gem:
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
So in closing, I'd like to thank you for visiting and ask for your patience while my life plays itself out over the next few weeks and I promise I'll be back, better than ever, after I get some focus and R&R. Hopefully you'll be there waiting for me when I get back...
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I had to transfer one of these clients to another product queue just today since she couldn't count to 3 and pushed 2 instead. I conferenced over to the correct area and got my colleague, Wojtek (pronounced VOY-tek). Wojtek was born in Poland but raised in Canada and speaks flawless and completely unaccented English. Arguably, he speaks English better than I do. When I conferenced in the client and introduced Wojtek, the client asked, "Does he speak English?" My answer: "Yes, he speaks English," but I was stuck by the sheer stupidity of this question. I'm pretty sure the ability to speak English is a prerequisite for our job since it involves talking on the phone all day to people who expect you to speak to them in English, regardless of how you pronounce your name. So here (in descending order of snark) are the answers I really wanted to give this client:
1) Yes, he speaks English, but he has trouble understanding "bigot" so make sure you speak sloooooowly.
2) No, he doesn't speak English so he'll be using a translator. But don't worry, you won't even notice the 4 second delay.
3) Yes, he speaks English but if you ask nicely he'll teach you how to say "fuck you" in Polish.
Sorry for the rant, but this really pissed me off.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
It is distressing to have a pet pass away with no warning--I feel like I've failed her as a care-giver. It makes me think about what right I have to even have pets, to think I have the right to keep an animal in captivity for my own comfort and amusement. I don't think I'll get another turtle. They are a lot of work and I'm just not sure I want to make that commitment again, but it's more than that--I no longer think it's morally right.
So long Zippy. I hope you're finally free.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
A lot has happened in my life since my last anniversary, and since I don't feel like getting into it all here I guess you'll just have to read the damn blog if you don't already know about it. I did a great recap at New Year's for those of you who want the Cole's notes version.
Anyway, let's get down to the nitty gritty, the reason we're all here: the blog candy. That's right folks, leave a comment wishing me a Happy Anniversary and I could randomly draw your name to receive a fabulous prize (no, it's not my Mom's ashes.) Now, I know a few of you don't like to feel pressured into leaving comments (which is apparently why you didn't leave one last year) so for you I'll throw your name in the hat if you either send me an email or wish me a happy anniversary in person. As for the prize, I'll give you a hint: it's related to my newest hobby.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
My Mom has been the guiding force in my life for as long as I can remember. Her personality was larger than life and she had a presence that couldn't be ignored. For a long time I was intimidated by that, I felt I could never measure up to her example. I feared her and loved her in equal parts. We had many rocky periods over the years, but she was always proud of me and never withheld her love and support. As an adult I grew a very close bond with her and learned to embrace those things we had in common and not be afraid what our similarities and differences may imply. I stopped seeing her in black and white and realized we're all just human and do the best we can with what we have.
She touched the lives of so many people--I don't think she ever realized how much of an impact she really had on all of us. I've never met anyone like her and I know I never will again.
I love you, Mom. I miss you more than mere words can convey.