Friday, December 30, 2005

Pink Panther

Why. Why did they remake this movie. I am huge fan of the original movies. I saw the trailer last night. Agonizing. Heartbreaking. Stupid.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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!
  5. Beyonce? Enough said.
  6. The Pink Panther diamond is not diamond-shaped and does not come on a ring. It's oval-shaped.
  7. 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.
I can't go see this movie. Instead I will sit at home with my box set of the originals and enjoy them as always.

Chesnuts roasting on an open fire

Cell phones ringing in my ear

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

You expected a lot of blogging?

My boyfriend is here, I didn't exactly plan on doing a whole lot of blogging :) Actually, right now he is dutifully looking after a closet shelf for me.

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

Time gets sucked away again

So now it's Wednesday. I still don't have my tree up, and I am throwing a Christmas Party in 2 days. Hmmm.

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

The eagle has landed

Well, it was tight timing between flights but John (and his luggage) arrived safely and 10 minutes early. I am now back at work, which is the absolute last place I want to be right now, but I need my paycheck.

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.

One of those crazy days

So I managed to leave the house this morning without John's jacket. Kind of need that. Now I have to go back and get it. It was sitting right there on the couch... argh.

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

Eye update

Driving home last night, I heard this noise. I thought, that's an odd noise, but I am driving on the bridge and I just got new winter tires on, and I am not yet familiar with how noisy these tires are. I continued to drive home, and I wondered to myself howcome my handling is so bad?

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

Red eye

So the past week or so, I've had this problem with my eye. It's been red on one side of my right eye. Not goopy or shut or anything else, just red. I thought it was stress or a lack of sleep, but I've been getting more rest and the wedding/work combo has calmed down a bit. I made an appointment with the optometrist to have it looked at tomorrow. It's just very dry, and feels tired. My arms have also been itchy and breaking out.

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

White Wedding

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 Canada’s web check-in for the first time, that was nice. I arrived at the airport in plenty of time; we had left early because it was snowing and the roads weren’t great. The flight was delayed because we had to be deiced, so I didn’t end up getting into the airport until 11:30pm, then by the time I got home and unpacked and got into bed, it was 1am. Needless to say I’m a little tired this morning, but all in all very happy to be a part of the wedding and also glad it’s over!! Now I get to focus on xmas and John’s visit – he arrives a week from tomorrow. I need to get wrapping presents!!

Monday, December 05, 2005


I just got billed for a product I bought for work. The company sent me the bill, and at the top it says:


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."

Deck the house

I spent this weekend decking the house. Started with the inside, then finished up on the outside. There are now lights everywhere. I was so tired after I was finished that I didn't feel like putting on my jacket and going outside to see it in the dark. I'll take a look at it tonight after I get home.

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.


My comments on Mare's blog re: exams.

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


I have a Looney Tunes Screensaver, made by After Dark/Berkeley Systems. Worked on Win 3.1 and my ancient Mac (OS 7.5).

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?

Strange things to have stuck in your head

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!