- Why did they cast Steve Martin (who I generally like) as Clouseau. Peter Sellers is irreplaceable. He really is. Part of the joke of the original movies is that the lead actor is a Brit playing a Frenchman. An American trying to be a unintelligible Frenchman (and failing at it) is not funny. It's just sad.
- The physical comedy seems incredibly forced. Sellers was great at making things seem unscripted. The trailer for this movie just looks like another yawn-fest of scripted physical comedy.
- Kevin Kline. Barely seen in the trailer. How can he compare to Herbert Lom? He looks too much like Steve Martin, with different colored hair. Dreyfus doesn't have a moustache. And Dreyfus' trademark twitch - how is that going to come off?
- Where's Cato? Instead they put a gendarme with Clouseau (Jean Reno) and do the whole attack thing between those two. No Cato? Come on!
- Beyonce? Enough said.
- The Pink Panther diamond is not diamond-shaped and does not come on a ring. It's oval-shaped.
- The movie's original release date got pushed way back to Feb. 10th. Hmmm, wonder if the studio has any faith in it? Don't think so.
Friday, December 30, 2005
That's been my week, folks. It's been pretty damn crazy. I have been getting 7:45am wake-up calls. 10:50pm calls. It got so bad today that I decided the whole "working from home" idea I had was not the best plan, so I packed up and headed in to my office, where I've been going flat out since I got here. I am going to hear that damned cell phone in my nightmares for the next few nights, I'm convinced of that.
Did I mention that I have no idea how I am going to find the time to go to Florida after Christmas next year unless I cease being a department of one? If next year is like this year, I won't be able to go. Seriously. I have to figure something out here.
I was even working last night when I was supposed to be attending a retirement party for a co-worker. I put my foot down and left to go to Suwanna for dinner. Then we stopped back at the house because we'd forgotten something, and I had 4 missed calls, so I had to stop and work again before heading out east. Insane.
I managed to return one of my 3 copies of the Vertigo DVD last night, as well as some garland I had bought at Wal-Mart that I didn't need. No sense in wasting $20. Wal-Mart finally got smart and sent all their returns to the last 6 or so cash registers, instead of the usual mondo-large lineup at the customer service desk. Actually, last night was the quickest I've ever returned items post-Christmas. Wait a few days after Christmas, an hour before the store closes, and you can get through pretty darn quickly.
Since we had some extra time after the returns, we headed over to Marks where John got some pants, another fleece shirt and a belt. I got another pair of Ms. Liberty work gloves. We also hopped over to Canadian Tire where I picked up some more sets of bubble lights. My younger brother informed me that he may want a few sets next year so I decided to get myself a few more to replace what he may take.
After the shopping we headed over to the theatre to see The Producers. Very funny movie, I laughed out loud quite a bit. Very enjoyable.
Been renting movies from Blockbuster over the holiday season. Every one I have rented has had problems. It seems we rent a movie after the person who likes to put thumbprints over the DVD. What idiot doesn't know that you do not put your fingers all over the surface of the DVD? It's really aggrivating to be watching a movie and then it gets interrupted by digital breakup, and suddenly you're 3 scenes ahead. Grrrr.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
So, let's see. What's been going on. Leading up to xmas was pretty damn busy. The day John got here, we spent that evening relaxing and glad to see each other again. We rented 40 Year Old Virgin, and after all the build-up from friends, etc., it was kind of a let-down. I laughed, but it wasn't as funny as others had led me to believe. The rest of the week was filled with me working, John working away at his to-do list, and family obligations. Friday was the group xmas party, which people seemed to enjoy. I was pretty busy hosting that but also had time to open some presents. A big thank you to those I exchanged gifts with. Thanks for thinking of me!
Saturday was Christmas Eve and also good snowman snow, so John was able to make his first snowman. As he mentioned on his blog, playing in the snow *is* tiring. We headed to church for 4pm, which was comfortably full but everyone had a seat. I later heard of other masses that were more crowded than standing room only. After church we headed home for a minute, I wrapped the last of the gifts and packed up the presents for my uncle, cousin and grandfather, and then headed out to the valley to my uncle's house. Supposedly the annual xmas eve gathering was being hosted by my mom and uncle at my uncle's house, but my mom was nowhere to be seen. Another uncle said she had called and said she'd gotten "lost" (which is apropos for my mother) but as the night wore on and she was still "lost" it was obvious that she wasn't going to show.
On Christmas Day John and I got up and opened presents from each other before my brother came over. John got me a variety of gifts :) In my sock were some very Liz-useful items. My other presents were the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection (watched 2 movies from it already, so happy to have gotten that), the Duran Duran live DVD, another cd and DVD. In what has turned out to be the funny thing about xmas this year, I received 3 copies of U2's Vertigo tour DVD. People seem to know what I like, I'll say that :)
My gifts from my Dad included a very special gift. It is a bear made out of my grandmother's first mink coat. My grandfather had it sitting downstairs in his cedar closet, and a relative of mine knew someone who made bears out of them. So my grandfather donated the coat to the cause, and Dad sent it away to be made. What a great present and keepsake.
[John is yelling from the other room that he'd better have a good write-up on this blog. I told you you rock. I meant it. Now get back to work on that shelf :P ]
My other big present from Dad was an XM Satellite Radio. With the 80s station. I've had it on quite a bit, and as soon as a song comes on I name it. So I've been walking around the house just saying the names of 80s songs. I also got Name That Tune 80s Edition, which is a DVD game, so it's been a very 80s Christmas for me. Now I just need Jay to come over and play the game with me :)
I received some other presents as well, but those are the highlights. The best present is having John here for 2 weeks. Thankfully only 1/2 through.
Boxing Day was spent in the laziest fashion possible. After driving my brother to the airport, I came home and we watched 3 movies. We watched Must Love Dogs (cute movie, we both like John Cusack), Being Julia (Annette Bening was great, the rest of the movie was meh), and Marnie from my new Hitchcock set. Then it was time for Monday Night Football, which on this coast starts at 10pm as opposed to John's usual time of 6pm. We were too tired to make it through to the end of the game, but by the time we turned off the TV it was pretty assuredly a New England win.
On the XM 80s station, they play 80s movie trailers. They just played one for Dirty Dancing. I love this radio!
Yesterday was a fairly lazy day as well. We hung around the house until mid-afternoon and then headed over to the Risk-a-thon. We stayed for a few hours and played a round of Kill Dr. Lucky, which is always fun. Need to try my Devil Bunny Needs A Ham game soon. Any game with ham in it can't be all bad, right? :)
Today I've been working from home, dealing with a few issues but not too bad. The biggest annoyance is that my VPN connection keeps dropping and no one can figure out why that is. Argh.
Tonight we are headed to Vito's and then a Seadogs game with T-L and Van. John's first exposure to live hockey. Should be interesting. Tomorrow night we have to stop by a retirement party for someone I work with, then off to Suwanna for dinner. Sometime this week we want to get out to see The Producers. Then Saturday night is New Year's Eve... already. The Holiday Season always flies by so quickly.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
We took the tree out of the bucket of water in the garage only to re-discover that the trunk needs to be squared off. And that I don't have a saw. I will have to borrow one from Dad tonight when we head to his place for supper. A phone call from Dad last night offered us an invitation to salmon dinner. Not much of one for salmon am I, but John's going to give it a try. I'll have steak instead. We will attempt to get the tree in the house and at least partially decorated tonight after we get back from Dad's. I'd rather just go to bed, I am exhausted but Christmas is a time of endless preparation.
John's been busy knocking items off the to-do list. We need to squeeze in a run to Kent at some point to go and buy a different closet rod so I can finally get that put up in the basement.
I got a couple of things in the mail today. First was the replacement water filter for my fridge, since I have reached 80% used stage, time to reorder. Now I am prepared when it runs out. The other item that came today was a box from John's sister, which we were instructed to open immediately upon receiving it. Inside were 3 games, for various numbers of players. We have yet to crack them open and read exactly what they are all about, but they all look good and interesting. Thanks Mindy!
I went back to the eye doctor yesterday. He said my left eye looked clear, so I don't have to keep treating that anymore. The right eye hadn't improved, so he gave me stronger drops for it. Or should I say ointment. I have to drop ointment into my eye 3 times a day now. It seems to be working better than the last stuff, but since it's an ointment, it's blurring my vision.
My work day started off pretty crappy. I walked into my office and noticed my university diploma, fallen off the wall, and the glass of the frame smashed all over my desk. Apparently one of my co-workers overzealously threw a box of paper on the floor and hit the wall on which the other side was my office. My diploma was on the next wall over, but the force was strong enough that it knocked it off the wall. I was not impressed. I spent half the morning cleaning up tiny shards of glass, without the aid of a vacuum. The only vacuum we have in the office does not have attachments. Thankfully the diploma itself was only nicked in a couple of places, so it looks ok.
I paid $10,000 for that piece of paper. I don't want anything happening to it.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I have another eye appointment at 4pm today. The eye is looking better, but it seems to be a very slow process. I am interested in what the doctor is going to say today.
I checked on his flights. Instead of arriving at 6:11am, the red eye arrived in TO at 6:49am, giving him an hour to get through customs and change terminals. I won't be surprised if I get a phone call saying he's missed the flight, but he will have his boarding pass so they'll have to page him.
So it will be a crazy morning of rushing home, getting his jacket, getting a car wash because I can't see out the windows, getting to the airport and hopefully he arrives on time.
And somewhere in there I have to get some work done.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
I drove up to the house, discovered that the city plow had been by and created a large enough bank that I wasn't able to get in the driveway without first shoveling. I got out of the car, looked down, and saw that my rear tire was as flat as flat can get. Great. I just got them on Tuesday. Knowing I wouldn't be going anywhere for the rest of the night anyway, I shoveled out the end of the driveway and put the car in the garage.
This morning I got up and the craziness just seemed to start right away. I took my shower and then called for help with the tire. While I was waiting for help, I had a call from work with a user who couldn't log in, so I helped him through that. Help arrived for my tire and it got pumped up enough for me to take it in to the store.
Got to the store and realized it would have to wait for a while, so I decided I'd get a lift back over to my office. Put in some time there, and before I knew it, it was time to leave and pick up my car and then get to my eye appointment.
I got over to the store but my car wasn't ready yet, so I got a lift uptown to my eye doctor. My regular doctor is out of the country, so I saw another doctor. He took a good look around at both eyes. They are not infected, which is good, and he said this redness is not serious and will likely go away, it just appears inflamed. But, since I am very prone to cold sores, it is also possible to develop them in your eyes, which can be more serious. Usually this happens in both eyes, and now my left eye is starting to go red as well. He gave me anti-inflammatory drops, which I am to take 4 times a day for 4-5 days, then I have to go back Tuesday afternoon so he can monitor my progress and make sure it hasn't turned into something bad.
I am not fond of eyedrops. I am not used to putting anything in my eye, so when I go to put the drops in, I kind of freak out a little bit. Unfortunately I don't have anyone else around who could put them in for me. By the time John gets here, I'll be done the routine, and hopefully won't look like a freaky character from Star Trek. Nice way to greet your bf, who has traveled across the continent, with a creepy-looking red eye.
I did manage to get a bunch of presents wrapped last night, and also realized that I need more items for my brother's sock. I heard a story today of someone who went to Mark's Work Wearhouse and the lineup was close to the back of the store. I think I will try to stick with buying the rest of my items on the relatively calm West Side.
I am still debating whether or not to head to Moncton on Sunday. I really want to get some stuff, but I loathe the 3h of driving it will take, and the crowds involved. I guess it will depend on the road conditions and how my eye is doing. Looks like snow tomorrow. Guess I'll be going straight home after work and avoiding the roads.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
This got me to thinking about how I hadn't yet cleaned the surface mold off the bookshelves in my basement. Last night I decided I'd better get that cleaned up, so I put on the gloves and mask, got out the bleach and away I went to the basement. I was right in my original thought that the shelves were garbage. There is mold actually in the pressboard, so they're shot. Sucks, but at least I know. I don't know if this will help my apparent allergy, but I needed to get it cleaned up anyway.
If it's not mold that has been causing this reaction, I wonder what is? Maybe I'm allergic to winter.
In what has turned out to be great timing, I got new winter tires yesterday. Good thing too, as this morning's drive into work was a good test. So far they do seem better than the previous set I had, so that's good. The last set were nice tires, and expensive, but not so good in the traction dept. This time I sacrificed speed rating for traction, so I guess I'll just have to slow down on those corners.
Oh, and speaking of red-eyes, only 6 more sleeps!!!
Looks like a pretty packed weekend coming up. Saturday morning Dad and I are heading to the tree farm to see if we can still get a fresh tree to cut down. Only thing is, there may be too much snow hanging around on them. We'll see how it goes. I have church at 4, then in the evening is PSXX. Sunday I am considering a drive to Moncton, since I'd like to get some stuff from Costco for the xmas party, and need a Leonidas run. I don't have any work issues in Moncton right now, so it looks like I won't be needing to make any work trips. Monday night I have to spend doing last minute prep before John gets here, and baking something for work. In December, everyone in the office takes a turn bringing in a treat.
Other than the 26th and 27th, I have no time off while John is here. This incredibly sucks, but there's not much I can do about it. I am working from home the 28th, 29th and 30th, but have to be near my PC and phone at all times, so I literally can't leave the house. Unless, of course, things are really bad and I have to go in to the office. This is the first time I've ever had to work between xmas and new year's, I've been lucky until now.
I had intended on wrapping presents last night, but the mold cleaning took up my time, so that plan got ditched. Some time over the next few nights I will have to get that done.
Monday, December 12, 2005
It's been a jam-packed weekend. Another wedding has come and gone, this one being #9 for me. My duties are done.
I arrived on Thursday with SIL picking me up at the airport. We ran a couple of errands and then busted the cleaning ladies who left early. They were supposed to have stayed 3h and it appeared they had only stayed two. That evening we had supper and started to decorate the second tree. Yes, second tree. In the more formal living room (now full of the furniture my brother was repainting, and it looks terrific) has a more formal-looking, 11ft tall tree which is full of SIL's decorations. In the family room, my brother had a smaller tree and took that one to decorate for himself. Brother and I decorated most of that tree that night, while SIL and her mother prepared gift packages for the wedding guests staying at the hotel.
Friday was basically full of setup for the rehearsal party. They decided to hold it in their house and have it catered, with a couple of servers. We cleaned up the house from the night before and set up for the party. Friday was also my Dad’s birthday, so my brother & fiance had decided to get him a cake. It was covered in saran wrap and left on the counter. At some point that afternoon, there was a big cat-sized dent on the cake. The cat was not everyone’s favorite animal for the rest of the night, and got sent to the basement for the rest of the night.
We were late getting to the church for the rehearsal, and then my younger brother & gf fell behind and got lost. Since my younger brother was the best man, we needed to wait for him to get there. He arrived and we got straight to work on the rehearsal. The priest seemed really nice and funny. His health hasn't been the greatest, having had a quad bypass not too long ago, but he made out fine.
The rehearsal party went well, but I was admittedly feeling a little lonely being there by myself, most everyone else was coupled and knew each other. I stole away a couple of times to just be by myself and check email. I've also been having problems with my eye being red the last week or so, and it got to bothering me that night, so being in the dark and resting it helped a bit. The bride and groom presented gifts to the bridal party and parents. I received a really nice silver bracelet, and SIL had also gotten me a snowflake pin that she said her sister was going to wear in her hair, so I thought I’d see what I could do with that as well. I went to bed earlier than my brothers since I had to be up earlier in the morning.
At 6:30am on Saturday, my alarm went off and I got up to get ready. A short shower and packing of a few things and I was ready to go by 7am. SIL and her mother showed up to pick me up from the house (SIL stayed in the car so she’d keep the not-to-be-seen-by-groom tradition). We headed off to the hair salon for our 8am appointments. Ugh. 8am!! I had a stylist who did speak English, but I don’t think she was all that comfortable with it, so we didn’t chat a whole lot, but she did a great job with my hair. She asked where I was going, what I wanted (didn’t have a clue, really, except for the fact that I needed some volume.) She also asked if twists were ok, and I said sure. I was pretty easy-going about it, since my cut doesn’t lend itself to doing a whole lot of styling options. The stylist did compliment the cut though, so I will have to make sure to pass that on to my regular stylist. The salon, Samuel Augustin, was pretty large, likely around 30 stylists, separate colorists, manicurists. Shampoo sinks that they could actually stand behind and wash your hair. Very nice spot. They are moving in January to no doubt a better spot.
At the end of my appointment, the stylist tried to work in the snowflake pin, but it was too heavy for my fine hair. So, I ended up buying a clip there that worked well and I had to tell the bride that it wasn’t the same (she would have noticed eventually, she’s pretty detail-oriented.)
We left the salon and headed back to the hotel, where the bride stayed the night before the wedding, and where the reception was to be held. We ordered some lunch and then the makeup artist arrived to work on the bride, maid of honor, me and the bride’s mother. She asked what I wanted done, I told her I never wear makeup so to keep me fairly light on the amount. It came out looking great – so great in fact the bride revised her opinion of what she wanted done to herself. It was a strange day for that really, I had many people coming and telling me how great I looked, but I felt kind of embarrassed by it because it wasn’t “my” day. Tell it to the bride! Don’t think about me.
While we were all getting the makeup done, the flowers arrived. Small calla lilies were our bouquets. The bride’s was to be red, the other two were to be off-white. When the box arrived, they were all red. The bride was pretty mad, so she called up and ragged them out and they agreed to send over replacements. The bride’s bouquet can’t match the maid of honor and the bridesmaid – what kind of florist is this anyway? She had a bad feeling about the centerpieces so she went downstairs to check on those – the look on her face said it all when she came back. They screwed those up too. They were supposed to be pointsettias in a low, oblong dish so people at the tables could see one another to talk. They ended up being tall regular pontsettias in flower pots. The florist got another phone call and another ragging out, but there was no time to replace the centerpieces. Just one of those things that inevitably go wrong at a wedding – there’s always something.
With that crisis dealt with, we got dressed. The photographer had arrived early, so we kicked him out of the room so we could dress when there was another knock on the door. 3 of us were half-dressed and the bellman had arrived to move the luggage from that room to the bridal suite. We hid in the bathroom while the maid of honor let him in and took the luggage away. I got into my dress for the first time since I had it altered, and it fit fine, but for $70 I was kind of hoping the seamstress would have at least cut the loose strings off at the bottom where she had hemmed it. *rolls eyes
Once dressed, we headed down to the bridal suite for pictures. They took some beautiful shots of the bride standing in front of the window. I was in a few of those with the bride as well. Also her mother and her uncle, who was the one to walk her down the aisle (her father passed away a few years ago.)
Timing went really well all day, so we finished pictures and headed downstairs to the limo to get to the church. It was snowing a bit, but we decided it was dry enough on the ground to wear shoes and not mess with boots. It was just enough snow to make for a pretty, white wedding. In the limo and away we went.
We arrived at the church right on time, just waiting a few minutes until we were told it was safe to come in. The way the priest had organized the entrance was having my brothers stand in the aisle at the back, and not to turn around. Then the parents, then the bridal party, then the bride & uncle. We rushed in, took off coats, and away we went. The wedding itself ended up being smaller than they thought, with 57 confirmed guests. With the wedding being in December and being a fair distance away from our side of the family, most of them couldn’t make it. We had one aunt (and cousin) and one uncle out of a family of 9 on my mother’s side who were able to come – thankfully. I understood why most weren’t able to make it, but it was still a little sad to see that more weren’t able to. My grandfather on Dad’s side was able to come, which was great. So we had a few from each side of my family, at least.
With the bride & groom both being Catholic, we had a full mass, but it was no longer than a usual mass, really. Technically it likely didn’t “count” but I told myself it did, as I had no car and no opportunity to get to church for the rest of the weekend.
The wedding began, and quickly we realized there was a problem. The first reading, which was done by the bride’s best friend, wasn’t actually on the podium to read. There was a misunderstanding around those of us who were reading – we assumed the readings were being provided, but the priest assumed we’d be bringing them… please hold while the priest went to his office and grabbed the file with copies of the readings. He came back without the correct first reading (which was just a poem) but at that point we just needed something, so she read what the priest handed her. My reading was 1 John 4:7-12, straight from the Bible. Since I was going to a church, I assumed I’d be reading from an actual bible. That assumption proved wrong, so the priest had also grabbed a bible when he went to his office. I read from that with no problem. Thankfully I’ve been to mass enough times that I knew how to properly end the reading. I also read the intentions, and remembered not to say “N. and N.” instead of the actual names of the bride and groom :)
The music was provided by a 3 string trio. There were also two singers who worked with my brother. Little did we know they couldn’t find a piano accompanist so they substituted guitars. This may ring a bell to you from my numerous comments on how much I hate guitars in church. These ladies were completely out of tune for one of the songs. When the priest motioned for them to sing the Lamb of God, they just stood there shaking their heads. Uh, ok, guess there was a little miscommunication there.
The priest did a couple of neat things. When preparing the eucharist, he brought the bride & groom up with him at the altar and gave them their bread and wine. He also brought all of the bridal party up at the altar for the signing of the registry – granted there was only one groomsman and one bridesmaid in addition to the best man & maid of honor. I think it must have made for a nice picture. The priest also just let my nephew sit on the edge of the altar, and he remained relatively well behaved. A few episodes of looking like he was talking to himself and lying on the floor looking at the ceiling, but all in all normal behavior for someone who is 5 1/2.
After the signing of the register, a man quietly came halfway up the aisle. It was a cousin of the bride, whose main source of income is as a professional bagpiper. His gift to the bride & groom was to play at the wedding. They both thought this was a nice idea, and my brother insisted that only one song was to be played, even if it had to be played over & over again, it had to be that song. So, everyone was piped down the aisle to Scotland The Brave. It was pretty cool. Outside we all gathered for one large group picture on the church steps.
The bride & groom headed back to the reception in a rented Hummer (my brother’s idea, of course). We headed back to the limo, myself, the mother of the bride and her mother, as well as my younger brother (the best man.) They took us back to the hotel, where we seemed to take forever getting all of the pictures that were needed. The wedding guests were also getting mushed in with the attendees at a couple of Christmas parties, so I couldn’t tell who was there for which event. Anyway, with the pictures finally done, the bride and groom started the receiving line (which they did by themselves, I liked that) while the bridal party waited until the end when we were introduced by the emcee/DJ.
While we were waiting outside of the room, the DJ and assistant came over and talked to my brother. Turns out this was the owner of the company, who normally only does really expensive events, but his wife (who was his assistant) and he had decided to come to the hotel and make a weekend out of it. So he had the services of a normally very expensive DJ. My brother was quite happy with that.
Now we were ready to be introduced and I had been told it was going to be to “special” music. The wedding party was introduced over the Indiana Jones theme, and the bride & groom to the Star Wars theme. Go figure, for those of you who know my brother!!! The maid of honor had to be introduced by herself, because her husband, the other groomsman, suddenly got sick and had to go upstairs to one of the rooms to spend the rest of the evening in the bathroom. Their son had been sick that past week and that was where they had caught it from. Thankfully they didn’t get sick until after the pictures.
The wedding reception was one of the most classy I’ve ever attended. The music during dinner was all rat pack-era and swing music, mixed with some classy versions of Christmas music to suit the season. Very nice, and very non-Maritime. Nothing hokey about this wedding *at all*. The meal was 5 courses, we started with a mushroom pastry, then leek soup, then a pasta and roll of something, then mixed greens (aka Lawnmower Salad), then main course of very tasty chicken with peppers and one small roasted potato, then a crepe with vanilla ice cream and strawberries inside. Then later there was the wedding cake to eat. I had some even though I wasn’t hungry because it was the wedding cake and I wanted to try it. Very delicious. So yeah, a lot of food, most of it I didn’t really like because I am a plain eater, but it certainly fit the tone of the wedding.
Amongst all of the courses of food there were various speeches. My younger brother made a great speech as best man. He didn’t have anything written down, but just spoke from the heart about how much he looked up to his brother. The maid of honor made a nice speech, in between having to check on her sick husband and then later getting sick herself. The bride’s uncle, who had walked her down the aisle, made a speech about the couple, and my Dad also got up and spoke about how happy he was and how much of a great time he was having. Last speech was my brother, thanking everyone for coming.
Once the food was done, the bride took an opportunity to go to the bathroom. In the middle of this very classy wedding, all of a sudden the music changed and this reindeer mascot came in with people in red jackets that said “Security” on the back of them. The DJ played “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” and the reindeer danced with a few people while “Security” handed out these little business cards and very quickly told us all something in French. I just sat there in consternation, not knowing what in hell was going on, why someone had crashed the wedding, and kept watching the door to see if the bride was going to come back and freak out!! We found out after the reindeer & entourage left that it was a Don’t Drink & Drive campaign called Operation Red Nose, a volunteer service where they will drive you home in your own car after a xmas party or holiday event. Made a lot more sense after I found that out, but at the time I was like, why in hell is there a reindeer crashing this wedding reception? I had never heard of it, but it’s a great idea. It’s in use in northern NB and Oromocto, but none around here.
The DJ asked the bride & groom if they wanted to open up the music a bit after the meal was over and so people could dance. There were the usual wedding stereotypes of the “couple who can dance” and the “clown”, who also posed for a picture with the reindeer.
After all of that, I was pretty wiped. I then had my Maritime moment, which consisted of me in my bridesmaid’s dress, driving home in an SUV. Did I mention I hate going to weddings by myself?
The next morning I got up and cleaned up a bit around the house. I vacuumed, washed the sheets on my bed, fed the cat, did a load of towels from the bathroom we had used, and put the kitchen table back in place. My hair didn’t survive the night, so I hopped in the shower and then headed over to the hotel for brunch. My younger brother had a 9am flight out, so he was already gone, and my Dad dropped by for a minute before his flight out. Brunch was again full of fancy food, most of it I didn’t recognize except the calamari which I had a little bit of. I did manage to get a few dessert pieces and a croissant at the table. My brother came by while we were standing in the buffet line and asked where the eggs & bacon were… an expensive fancy brunch really isn’t my family’s style. In the end, the bride’s mother treated us all to brunch, which was extremely nice of her and I was also hugely thankful that I didn’t end up paying for a brunch I hardly ate *embarrassed look
After brunch, we packed everything up in the car and truck and headed back home. I spent the afternoon packing and watching some football. I used Air
Monday, December 05, 2005
The word invoice is in quotes. WHY? Is it only pretending to be an invoice? Does this company really refer to it as something else, but are putting it into terminology their customers can understand? I thought the word invoice was a pretty universal term.
I think I should send them back a "cheque" for the "payment" of this "invoice."
Christmas decorating is a lot of work, but I always love the result so much that I can't avoid doing it. I love the glow of the lights and it just seems to bring an extra sense of comfort to the house.
This is the first year I've decorated outside. A modest attempt, but at least I am no longer the only one with no lights. I found my brother yesterday and he came over to help me get the lights higher up on the gutter. I bought some clips and put lights along the porch railing. That's all I will do for now, as that in itself cost $50-60, not to mention the ensuing electricity bill. 'Tis the season!
I'm a big believer in the multi-colored Christmas lights. Personally I think all-white lights are boring. White light is what you have all the other times of the year. Having all one of any color is just not up my alley. The more variety, the more festive. So the sets I bought have 7 different colors (including purple) and I am quite happy with that purchase. While I like the idea of the LED lights, in that they would last longer and cost less to run, they just don't have that twinkle to them. At a time where it's hard enough to get excited about Christmas, I decided to stick with the traditional and go for the standard 7W lights.
The only major decorating item left to do is the tree. No fake trees for me, not if I can help it. Yes, they're messy, but now that I don't have to bring it up a flight of stairs and through an apartment anymore, it's nowhere near as bad. In through the front door and walk a couple of feet, and that's it. And I have a great vacuum system to clean up with afterward. Last year, I went with Dad, stepmother & stepsister to a tree farm at Oak Point and we cut our own trees there. Well, to be accurate, Dad cut them down with the chain saw. It was funny to see a bunch of families out with manual saws having an old-fashioned tree cutting, compared to my Dad, with his chain saw. It seemed quite fitting :)
I get a 3 day work week this week, as I have Thursday and Friday off to fly to Montreal and get ready for the wedding. I'm hoping part of this "getting ready" stuff includes a trip to Costco... I forgot to buy something last time I was there. Tonight is my work xmas party, which is at the Ale House. Tomorrow night I have a spa appointment and then dance class, if I feel like it. Didn't feel like it last week, so I don't know. Wednesday night is packing for the trip. Going to be an interesting suitcase full of good coats & boots - supposed to snow all weekend in Montreal. Or maybe rain. It's kind of hovering. Easier to deal with snow, though, so I hope it snows.
I hope the alterations on my dress turn out ok. I'm not worried about the seamstress, just that I hope I don't need additional alterations. I should be ok though.
I don't think that's fair at all. Just how much babying is going to go on? There are some legitimate needs, like for a quiet room or such, but you still have to write the exam.
I'm tired of the seemingly endless examples of people being babied through life. The "my kid doesn't do anything wrong" or "everyone's a winner" scenarios. What kind of generation are we creating, anyway? No one ever loses? I'm sorry, but when you can't pay your hydro bill, NB power doesn't come along and say, "Oh, it's *you*. I know you're really a good person, so we won't cut you off this month." Real world, people. You don't always win.
Radio contests - why bother? You're going to give them the prize anyway, what's the point. That pisses me off.
Exams are basically a test of performance under pressure. If you can't handle the pressure of a 2, 3 or 4h test, then how will you handle the pressure of the work environment, no matter what type of employment you have? Since leaving university, I've been faced with deadlines and crises that I had to resolve as quickly and accurately as possible. Exams taught me how to prepare, how to concentrate, and how to get the job done. But I am glad I don't have to do them anymore.
I had to write four 4h exams worth 100%... of my career. I'm biased, but no, I don't want the person next to me getting through a course because they had the luxury of doing a project. In life, some people pass and some people fail at many things. I didn't pass that set of exams, despite taking it twice and studying my ass off. I wasn't babied into passing, no one offered me the chance at doing a project. Either everyone should get the option, or no one should.
Different people are good at different things. I was not good at accounting, so I didn't pass those exams. I went forward and got a different career in something I am good at and [most days] enjoy. Learning happens from failures, maybe more so than successes. If you never stick yourself out there when there's a chance at failure, how do you expect to learn?
Friday, December 02, 2005
Is there any way I can get this to work on my now WinXP machine? Emulator? Something? I LOVED this screen saver. I still have the CDROM, but it seems to be useless to me now.
Anyone have any ideas?
For the last week or so, I have had the typewriter from Sesame Street stuck in my head. I have no idea why, seeing as how I haven't seen one of these skits for ages. But I keep hearing "Noony noony noony noo, noony noony noo..." Very odd.
After playing a bit of Christmas music last night, while making some CDs for Jenn, I also have the Benny Hill Christmas Song stuck in my head. It's not actually called that, but it sounds like it could have appeared on The Benny Hill Show. It became a family favorite after Mum bought this CD of Christmas music. You never know what gems you can find in the bargain bin!
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Speaking of deserts, Jenn checked the PO box over the weekend and lo and behold, I am now the proud owner of some maps of Tucson. A little late, but what the hell. It was fun to look at the map and realize a) how much ground we covered when we got lost; and b) how large Tucson really is. The section of Tucson in which we spent the most time was actually North Tucson, which has its own map. We've decided we definitely want to go back there, it's a special place for us. And we certainly know the streets of North Tucson quite well. :) I miss the cacti. My desktop is currently a picture I took from our "Kill Me in the Desert" hike through Sauguaro National Park.
Got some more xmas shopping done yesterday. My uncle is complete, all of his things were ordered online and are on their way. My goddaughter is also complete, with a DVD on its way from Amazon and a cuddle pillow being sent to the Sears pickup area at New System Laundry, just up the street from my office. I swear, I don't know what I would do without online shopping anymore. There is just so much available, without having to run all over the city looking for things. Especially in a city with fewer choices such as this. It's great if you have time to go uptown or out East and look around for things, but I do not have such amounts of free time. The fact that I can order stuff online and get it delivered to me is a huge help.
Now that I am closer to being finished the shopping, I must set up Wrapping Central™ in my basement. I have to wrap an item for the work Yankee Swap, which is taking place at our office Christmas Party on Monday night. We're having it at the Ale House. Prime Rib supper for me!! Also I have to wrap my older brother's presents so I can take them up to Montreal with me next week, and while I am there, I will wrap my nephew's presents that I bought last weekend and just left in Montreal. Wrapping is the part of xmas that I actually do enjoy. It feeds the OCD to get the paper fitting just right and taping things down. I am not as picky or as creative as some when it comes to wrapping, but the gifts always look nice & neat.
Got a phone call yesterday saying my cell phone, which had been sent away for repair, was back and ready for pickup. I have missed my phone (been using a loaner) but I have not missed its crazy antics. It would freeze and stay at 1:04pm for the rest of an afternoon; it would not respond when I pressed buttons; it wouldn't shut off a few times. I'll be glad to have it back and working again.
Tonight will be the beginnings of setting up Wrapping Central™ and digging out the Christmas decorations. I am still undecided about what to do on the outside of the house. I may get some lights; I feel a little left out being the only one who hasn't "decked" outside. This weekend will be the big decorating weekend inside for me, as I have to get it done before I take off for the wedding. I like having lots of lights inside the house, it makes things feel special. The crappy part is in January, when everything has to come down. It feels so stark and empty after that. But for now, happy and cheerful and multi-colored.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
We need to decide on a venue for New Year's. I'd prefer not to host since I'm doing xmas, and I have no time off this holiday season, so one party is enough for me.
Monday, November 28, 2005
In short: Christmas sucks. Wish it was still about Jesus' birthday and people still went to church.
Concert: was great. I sat down the whole time, but that does not mean I had a bad time. It was a more introspective concert, with Bono doing a lot of speaking about poverty. Highlights for me were "Until The End of the World" (which is just a great song anyway), the dedication of "Stuck in a Moment" to Hutch, and the closing with "Bad", where Daniel Lanois joined the band on stage. Great show. Can't wait to get the DVD now, but have to wait because it's on my xmas list. If I don't get it for xmas, I will pick it up at some Boxing Day sales.
I came home to find that mine is the only house in the court that does not have any outside xmas decorations. I don't own any, not yet anyway. I have the colored spotlights to put up, at least. It will save on electricity. This weekend coming up will be decorating weekend. With the wedding fast approaching (less than 2 weeks away), I am running out of time in which to get things done.
I had my dress fitting for the wedding. Here's a picture of the style. It's close to this color, actually. There's beading on the top section, which is satin, that you can't see here very well. We have matching satin shawls because it will be cold. Somehow I don't think that will help me in the heat dept, but at least it'll look nice. The bottom part is a crepe kind of fabric. I like the dress, and hope I have some kind of event to wear it a second time.
Did some shopping while I was in Montreal, but not as much as I would have liked. I went armed with a list and ideas, but just couldn't find what I was looking for a lot of the time. Sold out, picked over... the usual for this time of year. I came home last night and ordered 2 presents online, hopefully they show up in time. I still need one last big blitz in order to get the bulk of it finished. I am contemplating skipping class tomorrow night and getting that done instead. Tuesday night is a better time to shop than Saturday.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Spent Thursday in Moncton for work, so that was 3h of driving. Took lunch and tried to do some shopping, but for some reason I was having a very unlucky time finding the stuff I needed. I only ended up with one DVD, a magazine, and some Advil. So much for that.
Friday saw me getting up early and driving to Grand Falls, with a stop in Fredericton on the way up. 6h of driving on Friday. 1000km in 2 days. The work didn't take that long, it was just that I needed to be there to do it. I was pretty toasted by the time Friday night came around, so I stayed home to rest. Chatted a bit with John but couldn't stay up too late because I was tired.
Saturday morning I attempted to sleep in, but now that the cold is here, as soon as I wake up I have to start the stove, then go back to bed while the house warms up. Didn't get much more sleep, so I picked up Angels & Demons and read that for a bit. Borrowed it from Chris and have been trying to finish it for a while. Between yesterday & today I did manage to get it done. I really liked it, granted a book full of Catholic stuff is bound to appeal to me anyway.
I managed to walk for an hour on each day this weekend, so I am proud that I didn't slack off despite the colder weather. It has made my legs very sore today though, I have the heating pad on them right now so I don't feel like I'm walking around like a penguin :)
Went to church yesterday, where our new furnace was finally working. It was nice & toasty warm for mass, which was a nice change compared to the last few weeks.
Last night I went to see A Christmas Carol. Great job everyone! I really enjoyed the show. Sorry I didn't come backstage afterward, I just didn't feel like dealing with the stupid security people.
I am still tired after this past week. I am not looking forward to the start of this week. My crazy dance instructor has decided, since we started class late and have missed a few weeks, that she's going to cram as much dance time in before xmas as possible. So I have to dance for 1.5h tomorrow, 2h Tuesday, 1.5h the following Monday, and 2h Tuesday and 2h Thursday. I am going to die. Or drop out. That's too much. I have been dragging my ass to class as it is, and now she's going to kill me with dance. This isn't fun anymore. 1h a week is fun, and enough that I am not too tired afterward. 5.5h of dance next week is not my idea of fun. I have a flu shot on Tuesday. This means my arm will be sore for the rest of the day. Which means I will have trouble dancing and swinging the veil around at class on Tuesday night.
I seem to be behind in my communications with people. If you haven't heard from me, it's not personal and I haven't forgotten you. I had a very lethargic week this week, and just basically didn't feel like talking to anyone. Maybe this week will be better and I can catch up with people.
I leave on Thursday for Montreal. Friday morning I have a dress fitting for my bridesmaid's dress. The wedding is just under 3 weeks away. Hard to believe it's that close. No one has heard from my mother about whether or not she will attend the wedding. Either way, it will be tough on my brother. If she doesn't show, then he has to deal with the disappointment of his own mother not coming to his wedding. If she does show, he has to deal with the fact that my mother, father and stepmother will all be in the same room. Have no idea what will happen.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I am looking at getting my nephew some kind of active toy. My brother suggested that he might really like one of these, as he's always trying to bounce on other balls that aren't made for that purpose.
I feel pretty good about getting my nephew presents like these. Sometimes I feel like kids just can't be kids anymore. The simpler the toy, the better. You get to use your imagination, instead of having someone else's imagination forced on you, like watching TV. You could imagine you are in the Bouncing Ball Championships, and you're racing to the finish line! Or, you're the tire on a truck that is driving down the road. You get to exercise your body and your brain.
Monday, November 14, 2005
My weekend was eventful and uneventful. I crammed all of the events into one day.
Friday was incredibly lazy. I don't think I even got dressed until after lunch, and I wasn't even sick. I woke up, watched TV I had taped during the week, stopped to observe the 2 minutes of silence at 11am. I really can't remember doing much of anything on Friday. It was a nice, lazy day off.
Saturday was the big day crammed full of stuff. Dad picked me up just before 9am and we hit the road for Maine. We hit the border around 10am at Milltown. Decided to avoid the traffic at the main crossing. Wise idea, as it was backed up. We were driving with a small enclosed trailer, so the border guard wanted to look inside. We said we were going across for shopping, and she got this scared look on her face and said "are you going to fill it?" when she looked at the trailer. Hehehe.
We hit the Airline at 10:10am. I know this because it meant I missed stopping at the Post Office by 20 minutes, grrrr... but we had a deadline. However, when we were over halfway through the Airline, my older brother called and said he had to turn back and get his fiance's passport, so they were going to be an hour late. GRRRRR. I could have waited the 20min and stopped at the Post Office. Too late now.
With the extra time we had on our hands, Dad and I decided to go into Bangor and knock a few stores off our list. We headed to Sam's Club, where I got a 3-pack of Christmas Kleenex and Dad got a few things for himself which I took as presents for his upcoming birthday and Christmas. This shopping with Dad thing is pretty good, because he's extremely hard to buy for. Yeah, he knows what he's getting, but at least it's stuff he wants. We went to buy gas at Sam's, but since he had mailed in his membership renewal and they hadn't yet received their money, they cancelled his account and wouldn't let us get gas. Boooo. Your cheque's in the mail!!
We then headed over to Borders, where I picked up a gift for someone and Dad got a Maine map. We both have multiple maps of Maine, but of course none with us, and the shortcuts to Sugarloaf are better found when you know the actual route numbers. So armed with the map and me as navigator, we headed for Sugarloaf. Was kind of nice getting back to being my Dad's navigator, he trusts me with that duty since I love maps and am not directionally-challenged like my mother. Dad could have found his way there without a map, but we didn't want to make any incorrect turns and wind up late.
Getting off the I95 and onto secondary and lesser highways held some interesting sights. The first thing that caught me off guard was snow - the further we went, the more snow that was on the ground. Not just a skiff of snow either - enough that it was 7°C out, but there was still lots on the ground. You could see on the side of the road where it had been plowed recently.
As we were driving along, we happened to see 2 birds on the side of the road... birds? Those are hens! A couple of chickens had escaped and were hanging out on the side of the road. Next we were driving along and all of a sudden there's a racecar trying to turn onto another road, but he's going so fast that he drives straight into the ditch! I did a double-take, as I wasn't expecting to see a numbered race car driving along and wiping out. Very strange!
We got held up at some construction and my older brother called. We were supposed to meet them at the hotel on the mountain, but they were having staff meetings and the dining room was closed. So much for that plan. We met them instead at the gas station at the entrance to the ski hill. We swapped the trailer for my long-awaited kitchen table & chairs, which fit into the back of the truck without even having to put the seat down. SUVs suck gas, but they sure come in handy sometimes. For those who are interested, Sugarloaf opens next week. All of the runs looked snow-covered.
Since we couldn't eat at the hotel, we drove back to the next town and had lunch together. My future sister-in-law noticed my necklace that John had given me for my birthday, so I showed them that and a picture of the two of us - she said we made a nice-looking couple :) I also showed them a couple of ideas I had for my nephew for Christmas presents, and they liked one of them and suggested another that may be good. A trip to Toys R Us will be in my future this week, I think. I'd like to get my brother & nephew's presents bought and wrapped so I can take them up to Montreal either at the end of the month when I go, or when I head up for the wedding. Nice not to have to worry about shipping this year. After lunch my brother changed the headlight in his truck while my Dad supervised and SIL and I chatted while shivering - it was none too warm. Then we said our goodbyes, and left for the return trip. I think Dad was sad to see it be such a short visit, he commented that he doesn't get to see my brother enough.
Our way back was less eventful, being close to sunset and then dark. By the time we hit Bangor my Dad was pretty tired. I was going to take over driving but we were closer to Bangor than he thought by the time he mentioned it, so he plowed on. We hit Bangor Mall first, and since I was in Christmas shopping for other people mode, I was able to buzz through the mall in about 50 min, as one store was out of what I wanted to get someone for a present. Waited about 10 min for Dad to come back to the truck, then we headed over to the new Kohl's. Nice store. I picked up some stuff on sale - a Halloween tablecloth, placemat and towels that have gravestones and says "Halloween Rocks" at the bottom :)
Next we headed to Target, where I bought a couple of Christmas decoration-type things, but didn't find much else to buy. I went looking for a specific item that they were all out of. This seemed to be a recurring pattern for me on this trip - I'd go look for something, and the store would be out of stock. Actually a lot of the stores looked pretty picked over. Bombarded by Canadians on their long weekend. A quick stop at Home Depot to see what they had for closet rods yielded nothing I wanted to buy.
Last stop was Shaw's grocery store. They had turkeys on for 49¢/lb, so I got myself a 14.5lb turkey for $7 US. Go US Thanksgiving! That will make a nice xmas turkey. Also loaded up the cart with the usual stash of muffin mixes for breakfast, my favorite marinades, and (of course) IBC Rootbeer.
After that, we hit the road. My Dad plowed through the Airline in 1h 10min. Not much traffic at 9pm on a Saturday night, but we did manage to hit a coyote. I had my eyes closed and was resting, when Dad muttered something. I opened my eyes and all of a sudden there was something right in front of the truck and we drove over it like a speed bump. Dad said the coyote had crossed the road, and was clear of him, but at the last second doubled back in front of the truck. Would have done damage to my car, but the truck was high enough that it just ended up being more of a speed bump than anything else. Ka-chunk. Sorry coyote :(
We crossed the border at Milltown again, and the guy had us come in and pay out HST but that was it. Thankfully we didn't have to get into a discussion about the table. Yes, it was obviously a used item, but we had no slip of paper from Customs saying it had been brought over from Canada by my brother. No fault of his, though. He did stop and ask for that, but they wouldn't give him one. Said just to call the border crossing if there was any trouble. Yeah. Because you're going to remember the guy with the table? Because you'll still be working the crossing later tonight? Anyway, thankfully not a problem.
Getting back on the highway home, we noticed some hubub ahead. Someone had hit a deer, which was still lying on the side of the road. It didn't seem like anyone was hurt, no one was frantic. They were just kind of hanging around waiting for the authorities or a tow, I think.
We arrived back home at my house and put the table together. Unloaded the truck of my shopping finds. Chatted quickly with John to tell him I'd arrived safely at home, and then crashed. It was a long day and I was exhausted. Wished I could have made karaoke but I was too tired (and likely too late by the time I got home.)
Sunday I got up and went to church. They are still having issues installing the new natural gas-powered furnace, so the church was pretty cold. We made it through mass in 40 minutes, as the priest didn't really do a homily in the interest of not keeping us in a cold church too long. After that I came home, and kept on top of the fire to get the house warmed up. It was a slow start yesterday, but soon enough I had it nice & toasty.
While I waited for the house to get a little warmer, I kept myself moving by cleaning up the table. My brother had been storing it out in his garage, and had been using the garage to do some sanding, so every piece was covered in dust, and just had some general wear & tear gunk on it. I took some Murphy's Oil Soap and water and went over it all in detail and got it looking nice & clean. Spent the rest of the day doing odd cleaning, chatting with John, and watching some football. I am still on top of the league right now, with John 1 point behind me. Tonight's game should be interesting.
This week sees me heading to exotic Grand Falls... I am dreading that. Trying to pick a day to go when it's less likely to snow. Also have to head up to Moncton on Thursday, which is good - I'll be able to knock off some more xmas presents for people at Costco.
That's what I'd like for Christmas. A Costco in Saint John. Someone get on that, will you? :)
I never get headaches, but apparently I have one this morning. It's made me quite cranky.
Rant: I am not referring to anyone specifically with this rant. Just general malaise. So don't think I am referring to anyone personally.
I get extremely stressed out this time of year. I wasn't born with an "I don't give a fuck" switch, so I am incapable of buying presents for people without caring whether they like what they get or not. Of course, not everyone thinks this way, which means I put hours upon hours of effort into thinking of presents, shopping for them, wrapping them, delivering them. The presents I get in return often don't reflect the same level of thought and preparation. Some of them can be downright crap.
I don't care about receiving the most expensive presents. It's the fact that no thought goes into some presents. I'd rather people spend money on the less fortunate than get me a crap present. Wrap up a Mars bar and give me that for xmas, and I'm happy. It's my favorite chocolate bar, won't sit around the house going unused, gathering dust and getting in my way. And it shows me that you know me well enough to get me something I really enjoy - even if it only cost $1. The fact that someone sat down and consciously said "hey, Liz really likes this, I should get it for her" is worth more to me than most things.
I sat last night with my list of things bought, left to buy, and the usual empty spaces for people who are impossible to buy for. Eternally frustrating. This saps my love of Christmas down the drain. I care too much. I could just get these people some crap present... but I can't. It's just not in me to do that.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I'll be heading through before the post office opens and won't be back until after it's closed. I have 3 packages there waiting and was hoping not to have to make an extra trip.
Who knows, those long-lost maps of Tucson may be waiting for me too :)
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
I don't have my camera with me right now, but I will post a pic later.
Wow. They are absolutely beautiful. I don't know what to say other than thank you.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
We spent the morning lounging and having breakfast, as the evil clock decided to go at double-speed. Then we headed uptown for a special treat for John. He got his head shaved with a straight razor - something that he can't get at home. He was quite pleased with it and I think will be looking forward to getting another when he comes back at Christmas. We then headed to the Market and Brunswick Square, and picked up a couple of things for him to take back home. A quick stop at my office to take my phone off call forward and then we were off to church. Unfortunately the furnace is still in the middle of installation, so it was still a tad cold, but should be complete this week. Coming out of church my former pastor stopped me to chat, as he was in town for a funeral. It was nice to see him again.
On our way home from church we stopped and got some Chinese food for supper. We sat and ate that while watching an episode of Coupling. Go leftovers :)
After supper we made the wise decision of packing him up before getting too comfortable during the rest of the evening. Knowing how my couches like to swallow people, and that we had planned on watching a movie, this was indeed a wise choice. So we reluctantly packed everything up in his suitcases to be ready for the early morning flight.
Earlier in the day, he had gotten water in his ear and it had been affecting him ever since. We tried to get it to drain, also used olive oil, but to no avail. He couldn't hear out of his right ear. Either the plane flight home was going to make it better or worse. I hope he made out ok.
We watched Sideways last night, as he had never seen it before. I think he liked it, maybe not loved it, but liked it. I kept asking if anything looked familiar and where things were in relation to Irvine. A little like the geography aspect of watching Sideways :)
Last night we also sat down to book his flights at Christmas. It's a lot easier trying to work things out with different options while we were both looking at the same screen. He wanted to fly back through the airport closest to him, but again the times and options out of LAX were cheaper and better, so it looks like that is the route he will be taking. Another red-eye here, and a great flight home that has him leaving here late morning and arriving there around 4:30pm.
We got a bit of sleep last night but not a great amount. I was either upset, or unconscious and having some crazy dream about everyone in Toronto who was on a highway just dropped dead in their cars. Very weird.
Goodbyes are painful, and this was no exception. Although being fully capable of living on my own, and - more recently than before - enjoying it a lot of the time, I had very quickly gotten used to having someone else around. A friend of mine said to me that our time together is condensed. That is very true. It seems in some ways like he was here for a lot longer than a week, and in other ways he was barely here any time at all. Technically speaking, this week was our second date, but certainly not in the typical sense. We had to cram a lot more into one week than the typical relationship. You don't often take someone to meet your family on your second date. Everything went so well this week. Again there was that sense of things being easy. We have an understanding with each other that I can't explain, but I've come to value it greatly.
His flight was at 6:40am this morning, so we headed off to the airport around 5:30am. Checked him in, listened to the agent describe what he had to do in Montreal so if he didn't hear with his ear, I could repeat it. We sat down and just stared each other down for the next 10 minutes until he finally had to go to the gate. We said goodbye. I walked out of the airport crying. I got in the car and tried to keep it together, because it was dark out and I needed to drive home safely. I wasn't doing such a good job at that until a thought popped into my head, that I won't share here, but I felt instantly more calm, drove home safely and went back to bed until around 10am.
He's flying over the middle of the US right now, hopefully not in too much pain because of his ear. He lands around 3:30 and then has to get luggage and be driven home. Hope to hear from him between 5-6.
Then the fun begins. Where I become Benguiat Frisky and he Calisto. Where we calculate 4h time zone differences again. Where we're apart. It sucks, but it's better than not having him in my life at all. So I take what I can get, post his Christmas itinerary on the fridge, and look forward to seeing him again.
Friday, November 04, 2005
It's been busy this week. I had actually planned on the weekdays being less scheduled than they have been, but it didn't turn out that way. Many people to meet, see, and talk to have meant a lot more scheduling than I would have liked. Maybe Christmas will go a little more slowly and with some time to just curl up on the couch and relax together.
It seemed like an endless wait between September 18 and October 28, especially the final two weeks. Now the trip is almost over, and it feels like it's gone by way too quickly. At the same time, it feels in a lot of ways like I found a missing piece that has always been here.
This was an important week for me. After having only spent 2.5 days together in Tucson, where we were both "on vacation", having him come here and plunk him into my life to see how it would all work out was something I needed to do. I had my reservations. I've been a single girl living alone for over a year now, with a distinct set of rules that can best be described as "anal". My last experience at living with someone, while there were great times, also came with a lot of put-downs and lack of respect. I never wanted that to happen again. This is only a visit and not truly living together, but I can still see a huge difference compared to my past.
Most of the things we truly appreciate are small. I can't tell you how much it means to me that when I come home after work, the outside lights are on because it's dark. The house is warm because he has the fire going (and usually hotter than even I prepare). There is someone there to greet me with a big hug and a lot of love. I get the impression that my house is going to seem very cold and empty next week, and for the next month or so.
I have been spoiled rotten this week. I hope I have earned and deserve it - part of me doesn't think that I do.
I am beyond lucky to have such an amazing person in my life.
I don't want you to go either.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
John has been here a few days now, and things have been great. He's detailed our adventures on his blog, so I won't repeat all of that here. It is so nice to have someone around who actually wants to help me do things, and having that someone be a bf is a great added bonus :)
Tonight is dance class. I am starting to feel less than enthusiastic again about it. I don't know why. I don't feel like practicing. Last week's class was cancelled due to the impending wind storm. This week I don't feel like going *at all* because I have company. Maybe it will pick up for me again in the next couple of weeks.
Just heard that a hook fell off the wall at home and took some paint with it. Argh!
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Been a busy week this week.
Work exploded yesterday. Fun. Hope to God that doesn't happen after John gets here.
Monday I ended up going home sick around 11am. Had been feeling crappy all weekend so it was to be expected. Spent the afternoon on the couch resting and watching more of Coupling. Love that show.
Since I was home, I decided to throw a load of laundry in. To my surprise, when the dryer finished its cycle, things weren't dry. So I had to place a service call on the dryer. The repairman came yesterday just before I left for work (which was nice of him, as it saved me an extra trip home). I guess my dryer has not been venting properly so it overheated and blew a safety switch. Replacing the switch and the service call would have cost $100, but was free under my extended warranty. Nice to have extended warranty on large appliances you can't carry in to be fixed.
While I was out running errands at lunch yesterday, I ran into my Dad, so I mentioned the dryer problem to him. He came by yesterday to take a look at how we could change the vent, and he's coming back over today to move the pipe, so the dryer can fit back in the limited space that is there. Dad also removed the big roll of carpet out of the garage, I decided I wouldn't be using it. That will make room for me to store the lawn mower and soon, the Christmas tree. Which reminds me, I had a dream last night that I was picking out my Christmas tree. Weird. But that must have been where it came from.
With the dryer pipe work going on, it finally forced me to clean some stuff up in the basement. Also took a look at the bookshelves with mold on them. It looks like the mold is just "on" them, not growing "in" them, so if I clean it up with the proper cleaner, everything should be ok and I shouldn't have to throw them out.
I also decided on a smarter thing to do with my landing at the bottom of the stairs. I wanted to recarpet it, but decided it would be smarter to wait and do that after I am sure I am not going to have any more flooding problems. This should have occurred to me earlier, but better late than never. The plan is to take up the tackless strips and lay a nice rug down on the cement, which if it gets wet, can easily be cleaned. While I was out at Superstore this week, I stumbled upon a really nice green rug, so I went home and measured the area, and went back and bought the rug. Close to perfect fit. Thing is, I also saw a Berber rug, same size, that would go well there too. And for fun I stuck the green rug by the door beside the fridge, and I really like it there. So I may soon be the owner of 2 rugs. I think I like the green one upstairs too much to move it now. It's a lot longer, and I can walk with wet boots on it further in past the door than the small rug I had there before, which was blue, and didn't really go.
I heard back from the international chain with the crazy shipping. They wrote and said it was so high because they send it via registered mail. They say since it's the same as cash, they have to send it via registered mail so it wouldn't get stolen. I don't really know any other company that does this. Still ridiculous. You should offer me the option of normal shipping, and I assume the loss if the thing gets stolen. I'll take that risk over paying half the cost of the gift card itself in shipping. Assinine.
I had something really great happen to me yesterday. While I was over chatting with my boss, he asked me about John's visit and we were chatting about that. I mentioned I had to get him a winter jacket, especially if he comes back at Christmas because he will need something warm and doesn't own anything that heavy. My boss just got a shipment of jackets in as promo items and gave me one. Like a really nice Marks Work Wearhouse jacket. Nicer than the one I was going to get John to look at while he's here. That was the most expensive thing he was going to have to get, just to visit here, and now it's taken care of. That was so awesome of my boss to do that, he said I worked hard. It's nice to know I am appreciated and this was a great perk.
I still have a few things to do around the house tonight before John arrives tomorrow. Have to vacuum. I am tempted to leave that for him to do, as he tells me he really wants to see what this central vacuum system is all about, and that he might have to try it out. Mwahahaha! Er, I mean, yeah, really interesting. So yeah, vacuuming, moving a couple of things around, need to pick up one more grocery item, do a bit more laundry once the dryer is back up & running, and then I should be all set. Wonder if I'll be able to sleep tonight?
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Come on. It's a GIFT CARD. It fits into an envelope that can be mailed for 50¢. I understand the concept behind the "handling" section of the cost. Sure, you need someone to grab the card, print out the envelope, get postage on it and drop it in the box. But really, it's not $12 worth of handling. If an employee makes $12/hr, it does not take an hour to perform this task.
What a rip-off. Sorry to the person I was going to get this present for, but I refuse to pay that much for a gift card. I'll just have to find another present for you.
Monday, October 24, 2005
- to get back into remission
- someone from near there who will work with her today to get a van
- to board the blob ship that is hovering overhead
- to increase her votes from 25% to 50%+1
- some more shoes!
- to toughen up
- a shoulder to cry on
- the dough
- your help to understand tar
- a rehearsal disc for her Grease cast to sing along to
How did they know I needed more shoes? The wonders of the internet :)
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Headed to Moncton on Wednesday and did obligatory stop at Costco. Got some food for the upcoming Pumpkin Carving Party, so I think I am pretty much all set. I have pop (even Pepsi, Scott T!!), chips & dip, cheesies, cookies, cupcakes with special sprinkles, huge-ass bag of carrots and dip, as well as Halloween candy. I think I got that covered. If anyone wants to bring anything hot, that's about the only thing I haven't covered. Even without that there is plenty of food, so just bring yourself and your pumpkin and carve away!
If you know what stencil you want to use, please let me know in advance and I will print it out for you. The site you can visit for stencils is www.zombiepumpkins.com.
A validation, of sorts
This past week was an interesting one. On Thursday I attended a workshop put on by one of my suppliers. In attendance were a lot of the same people who were at the mini-conference I attended back on June 1st. If you recall, it was after that conference that I received the email from that guy who asked me out but I turned him down, only to start giant enormo-blog with John. Later in the evening, as I was talking to a few people, I found out this guy hits on every woman not wearing a ring. Totally disgusting and blatant guy, I am told. He wasn't that way with me, but not surprised by this news. They hadn't warned me ahead of time that this guy was like that. So I guess it might not have been the Nicole Miller suit, but at least Slimy Guy did happen to be the catalyst for starting to chat with John. And A-J for not being single. :)
Slimy Guy has probably found me on the internet and is reading this right now. He made some comment about "being able to find anyone" on the internet. I loathe people who say crap like that. Sure, most people can be tracked down and identified if you tried hard enough. But actually saying that comment makes you sound like a real creep.
Spent most of the weekend feeling like crap. Stayed home Friday night and watched Coupling Season One. Great show, I am really enjoying it. Saturday I got up and still felt like crap. My eyeballs felt like they were burning. I drugged myself with Advil Cold & Sinus and kicked myself out of the house to get some errands done, to my hair appointment, then to church. Then I came home and crashed on the couch, then later I IMed for a bit.
This morning I got up feeling like myself again, so I was finally able to accomplish some things around here... though not nearly as much as I was supposed to have done. I still haven't touched the basement. I need to clear things away from the stove so I can begin to use it. It's getting to be that time again. I did manage to do laundry today, as well as clean a few things up upstairs.
After buying the material for my belly dancing veil, I now needed it hemmed. I wasn't smart enough to buy matching thread at the same time, so this afternoon Jenn and I headed to Fabricville to get thread and her sewing machine to lend me a hand and make some hems for me. We also stopped by Frenchy's East. Jenn scored a fabulous winter coat. I scored a nice skirt, blouse, a touque, and a king-size comforter that is reversible and 2 shades of purple. All for $19. Doesn't get much better than that.
This week is starting to feel like Christmas Eve to me. John arrives on Friday, and I can't wait to see him. I've been running around trying to get stuff organized. I've never had anyone stay here with me, so that will be a very different experience. I have grown used to this being my house, used to being here alone, not worrying about how noisy I am or whether I've left the bathroom door open. This house was my fresh start, my place to be on my own again. So this will be an interesting time for me, to have a bf staying here with me.
Can't wait to actually see him in my familiar territory. Being able to have him in my home, meet my friends & family, and just be able to spend more time together is going to be so nice. Not having to sit in front of the PC to have a conversation will be a nice break too. I'm looking forward to those simple things that you can't take for granted in a long-distance relationship: sitting on the couch together, watching a movie. Eating dinner. Going for a walk.
Only 5 more sleeps :)
Friday, October 21, 2005
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
- On the verge:: of a nervous breakdown
- Tempestuous:: child
- Coherent:: what I need to be in the morning at work
- Near death:: how my mother acts when she gets sick with a cold
- Illiterate:: apparently most of the people who don't read my memos
- Why not?:: famous last words
- Period:: that time of the month
- Long lost:: brother (don't have a long-lost brother)
- Torrid:: the plus-size clothing store that Jenn found in NH and plotzed over
- Nail:: biting (which I don't do)
With my new desk and chair setup at home, I've noticed that I can no longer avoid having a chairmat. It's too hard to slug around on the carpet, and the chair is too rough on the carpet. That's why they make chairmats. Great product.
What I don't understand is the price. To get a chairmat that will work on more plush carpeting, like what I have in my house, is going to cost me somewhere in the realm of $52, and it is not even anti-static. That's for the smallest size I can find. I can get the same size, only with thinner plastic, for $20. This version will be too thin to work effectively on my carpet.
$52 seems unreasonable for a hunk of plastic. Really. Plastic is pretty damn cheap. They must be making a mint off these things.
I can buy a larger mat at Costco for $20. I have to check on whether it is the thicker variety. If it is, I think I'll be buying that one. The only problem is that it is the same size as the one I have at work, and that is too large for what I need at home. But, even if I buy the Costco one, cut one side to fit my desk, or move the desk around so I have more space to lay a chairmat down, I am still ahead.
So the morals of today's story:
- You must be able to get rich from manufacturing and selling chairmats
- Costco rocks
Monday, October 17, 2005
So after putting up the Halloween decorations on Wednesday, I managed to leave the lights turned on all night. Gee, that was a great idea. D'oh!
This weekend was filled with stuff, though it seemed to just fly by. Originally on Friday night I was supposed to go fabric shopping with Jenn for my belly dancing veil material, but she had a throat infection and stayed home to rest. Instead, I found my younger brother and set aside some time to assemble the new desk I bought for my home office. That was way more of a project than I had anticpated. We basically managed to get the "easy" part done Friday night, but by 9pm realized that it was going to take quite a bit longer to finish. Brother wanted to be home to chat with gf online, so I let him go on the promise he'd be back on Sunday to help complete the assembly.
Saturday saw me going for a walk in the rain. I've been pretty slack in my walking regime so I decided a little rain shouldn't stop me as long as I dress properly. I know now that my hood on my winter jacket is not waterproof. The lessons we learn :)
Went to church on Saturday and drove in at the same time as my aunt, so I sat with her for
The only person in my immediate family who doesn’t know is my mom. Ah, who am I kidding, my mother knows everything! She’ll be staring us down from the other side of church, wondering who that is sitting with me. I saw her this weekend at church, and she just looked sad, weak… and pathetic. It’s a shame that she’s done this to herself. A month ago, her best friend forwarded me an email that she received from my mother. In it, Mum talked about how she couldn’t understand why her children didn’t want to have anything to do with her. Funny, seeing as how she was the one who told us she didn’t want contact and was strictly our “biological mother”. Apparently history has been rewritten without my knowledge. As long as you continue to act as an irrational child throwing a temper tantrum because you can’t get what you want, no, we won’t want to have anything to do with you. Not if I want to remain sane.
Mum’s best friend was concerned about Mum, so that was why she’d forwarded me the email. It was right before I left for
Anyway, back to my weekend.
Saturday night I met up with Chris, Mare, Scott and Stew at the Ale House for dinner before going to see Lily’s Song at the Imperial. I enjoyed the show, and kudos to
Sunday was an inside day for me. I decided not to try and walk in the rain again. I started the day by baking muffins and cleaning up around the house. I had moved items out of my office so we’d have room to assemble the desk, which left the rest of the house looking like a mess. Younger brother called around 12:30 and said he’d be over shortly to continue the assembly. He arrived and we got to work. Normally I am a hindrance to these types of assembly situations, because I get frustrated very easily and have no patience. I did, however, point out to him that he had started to choose the left-hand orientation when he should have been using the directions for the right-hand orientation. Crisis averted there! We plowed away at it and finished it, with the exception of actually attaching the two main pieces… I wasn’t sure how I wanted the desk positioned, and it did not have to be screwed together to be stable, so we left that alone.
One thing I definitely need now is a chairmat. My new office chair is heavier than my old chair, and does not roll well on carpet alone. With the current positioning of my desk, I am having a hard time finding a chairmat that fits where I want it to fit, without spending a lot of money. So I am now thinking of shifting the desk 90 degrees, so my back will be to the window, and I can fit a less expensive chairmat and leave more open space in the room [see John, I do accept suggestions :)] Normally there would be glare coming through the window to hit the monitor, but seeing as how most of my PC time is spent in the evening, the early sunset means I don’t really have to worry about that right now. I’m going to take some more measurements and mull over this positioning.
I think the time for the annual hard drive reformat is soon. My PC seems to be acting sluggish for no good reason. I am going to plug some more RAM into it, which should help. Eventually the time comes when you must reformat and give yourself a fresh start. It’s about time I did a backup anyway, so that would kill 2 birds with one stone.
So on tonight’s agenda: go buy material, get some driveway markers before it gets too cold to put them in the ground, and get a couple of grocery and household items while I’m out. Also need to see if I can find some carpet remnants that match my stairwell carpet, as I need to replace what was taken up at the landing from the mold/flood issues.
I miss karaoke :(