Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Not-So-Merry Christmas

My younger brother is, again, back in the hospital. It's the safest place for him right now. His swelling/bloating is so bad that he can't wear anything on his feet and his clothes are too tight. His kidney biopsy results came back and thank God the damage isn't progressing as fast as they thought. The kidneys are inflamed but he is not in dialysis stage yet, and they are giving him a new drug that will try and get him under control. The drug is new and not extensively used yet, so that is why he must stay in the hospital so they can monitor its progress. He won't be leaving the hospital this time until the fluid retention is gone, which means he will be in the hospital over Christmas. He also has MRSA, a form of staph infection, which means you have to dress up in gown, mask and gloves in order to visit him.

His "loving" girlfriend is still leaving tomorrow for Ontario, despite his poor health and hospital admission. If John were in the hospital, I wouldn't be leaving him behind. But at least it will be better with her gone -- she won't encourage him to ask for early discharge or get into any arguments.

So I guess this means I will be packing up some Christmas dinner and taking it up to him at the hospital. We can't bring his gifts up to him because he can't really use them, and with the staph infection, it's better to have as little exposed to it as possible.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Meme

Stolen from Mare & Kowy. First meme I've felt like answering in a while.

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate. The only opaque beverage I like. I don't like eggs, even nogged.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Actually, neither. Santa would leave unwrapped presents on the couch, in the same room as the tree.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Colored all the way. I dislike plain white lights. They're BORING. Christmas is colorful in my world.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope. I don't need mistletoe to get kisses, I just ask John. :)

5. When do you put your decorations up?
Following Nana's rule, December 1st. As a kid, we never decorated until after my Dad's birthday on Dec. 9. Lately I will begin decorating on the first weekend after Dec. 1 as I don't have time during the week.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Hmmm, good question. Likely turkey.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child:
The year my dad gave my mom her sapphire ring was memorable. It was the happiest I'd ever seen her. Also, the year my younger brother opened up a present and saw that it was clothes, then chucked it over his head and kept on going with the other presents. Or the year my older brother caught my younger brother downstairs in the middle of the night, called out to him, and my younger brother ran screaming back upstairs and slept in way past the wake-up time.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Our Gr. 4 teacher deemed it her duty to tell us. I found out about the Easter Bunny after seeing a receipt. My mom had asked me to go through a stack and forgot she had written "Easter Bunny" on it.

9. Do you open a gift on christmas eve?
I used to, but I don't anymore.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
Usually with a lot of frustration. By the time the tree makes it into the house, I'm tired and frustrated. As for decorations on the tree, I like lots of lights, and there must be Bubble Lights. I prefer real garland to beads. I have many ornaments that were gifts or mean something, so it is always a very personal tree.

11. Snow! love it or dread it?
Right before and during Christmas, I love it. After Christmas, no thanks.

12. Can you ice skate?
Yes, but I have weak ankles and don't last too long before needing a break.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
The year I got my first TV for my room. I still have that TV, it's in my office at home. I asked for one for a couple of years and was so excited to finally get one. And it was a color TV!

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Spending time relaxing. It's so stressful leading up to Christmas that I really enjoy the break from work and shopping and preparations.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
I don't really have anything specific to Christmas. I usually only do moco cakes around xmas.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Spending Christmas Eve with family, usually my mom's side. We used to host big parties with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins. This year I am not sure if anything will be happening, which makes me kind of sad. Hopefully something will develop.

I also always make a point of watching A Charlie Brown Christmas and The Grinch.

17. What tops your tree?
A star.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
I'll admit I am selfish; I do like receiving. But I take great pains with giving and work hard to make sure I don't give a crappy gift.

19. What is your favorite christmas song?
Good King Wenceslas

20. Candy canes:
Tasty, but only the traditional ones. Flavored candy canes = yuck.

21. Favorite Christmas movie?
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

22. What do you leave for Santa?
We used to leave cookies & milk. Sometimes a carrot for the reindeer.

But? But?

There will not be a Fromage 2006. I was looking forward to more Ed The Sock skewerings of videos.

Monday, December 11, 2006


My brother made it through his biopsy today without problems. He seems to be doing ok and can go home tomorrow. Phew.

I went to the funeral parlour tonight in support of a co-worker who just lost her daughter. The lineup took an hour to get through, the amount of people there was incredible. She seems to be holding up fairly well considering the situation. I can't imagine how horrible it must be to lose a child though. Keep her in your thoughts/prayers.

I received notification tonight that my blog is now eligible to switch over to the new beta version. Great! Only when I tried it, it notified me that it couldn't process it. Apparently I have too large a blog, with posts and comments combined. Yay. So I'm stuck in the old version until they get more support for it.

I had some very confusing conversations about life insurance today. I signed some paperwork to increase my policy, but it isn't finalized because I didn't have a void cheque with me. After a conversation with my Dad tonight, I'm not convinced I should have proceeded with it. Since I still haven't handed over the money, I have time to take the paperwork and consider my options. I think I will do that. Despite (or maybe in spite of) my past financial background, I find investments of any kind to be very confusing. I don't fully understand them and I don't think I asked enough questions of myself today before going in to see the agent. I think I will take some more time to think things over.

It's in cases like these where I feel kind of dumb. I feel like I should know more about financial things, seeing as how I studied them for years. I guess that explains why I didn't make a good accountant. I just don't like admitting that because I worked so hard toward it.

Scott, Mare and Jack came over to help hang my outside lights on Sunday. Thanks for the help! My house is now finished being decorated, with the exception of getting a tree. That task will be next weekend's project. Dad is taking me up to the tree farm again, past Browns Flat, to cut one down. With the chain saw, of course. :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Caution: contents under pressure

Just because a bottle of water is not carbonated does not mean that it is not under pressure. I exploded one on myself this morning at work. It was funny, after I cleaned everything up.

Saturday is my Dad's birthday, but I hope to still be able to make it to the Pub. Been a long time and I could use some karaoke. I could use some fun, period. Between my family crap and work crap, I'm not really having a good time anywhere.

I started my decorating this week. I have all but two sets of lights up inside. I need to purchase another timer, slap them up in the window, and then I'm all set. I did an online shopping blitz this week and now have most of my presents purchased. All that is remaining is to buy a couple of things for John's sock, and to do the bulk of the purchasing for my grandfather's sock. I should be able to knock that stuff off in one trip. Wrapping Central is set up in my basement. Still need to talk to Dad about going to get a tree, perhaps next weekend.

2 weeks to go until John arrives. I am really looking forward to some more quality time together. I'm glad it isn't as long between visits this time.

Oh hey, I got some news this week. I have a meeting for work that involves me going to Las Vegas at the end of February. Haven't been to Vegas before, and it is within driving distance of John. Something to look forward to in the middle of winter.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Help with lights

If anyone could spare the time this weekend, I could use some help with my outdoor Christmas lights. I just need to get two strings along the gutter of the front of my house, which involves a ladder, and not something I can do myself. My very tall younger brother usually helps me with that, but he's not well enough to stand on a ladder right now.

If you could lend me a hand, please let me know. I'd appreciate it!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Tired, already and still

Wow, am I tired. I just got back from vacation and already I could use another one. In the couple of days I have been home, events have been going so fast & furious that I definitely know I’m not in Kansas (or California) anymore.

My brother’s diagnosis of Lupus has been met with his unrealistic expectation that he will get better. His condition will not improve, but according to the doctors, it is quite manageable. Unfortunately his home situation is causing stress that isn’t helping, but he refuses to stay anywhere else for a while to rest and get away from the tension. He’s an adult and has to make his own choices, but he’s making poor ones right now. It’s difficult as his family to not step in and take over and just start telling him what to do. He doesn’t seem capable of taking care of himself. I keep waiting for the mechanism to kick in that will make him realize he needs to smarten up and straighten his life out. He has made a couple of positive steps this week, so I am hoping that trend will continue, if he can just stay out of the hospital. My mother had to take him up to the hospital again last night because his blood pressure was dangerously high. The doctors were checking for risk of stroke from blood clots, but they did eventually send him home.

I got stuck in Montreal coming home from California on Monday night. While I was angry that they wouldn’t hold the plane for me, it did give me a chance to see my older brother and sister-in-law. I haven’t seen my SIL since April and my brother since my grandfather’s funeral in June. It was a quick visit but any visit is good with them.

My older brother and SIL have actually decided to come home for a visit this weekend, and it will give him a chance to talk to my younger brother in person. YB looks up to OB, and it will make YB feel better to have a visit with OB. They are flying down tomorrow and arriving in Fredericton, so I have to drive up there to pick them up. With the possibility of bad weather, I wrote to my Dad (who is on vacation) and asked to borrow his truck for tomorrow, in case I need it.

I have not been feeling very well since I got back. The mental stress with all of this family circus has been taking its toll already. I am also jetlagged and feel like a cold may be inevitable. I feel like I could sleep for a couple of days straight.

One positive thing that happened this week with regards to my brother’s health is that he was able to finally reach the clinic in Boston and make an appointment to go down the second week of January. They specialize in diabetes but also look at your overall health. He’ll get better attention and more doctors who know what they’re doing.

Other than family issues, not much else has been going on. I aim to try and decorate for Christmas this weekend, before things get any busier. John shipped me his old TiVo, which I have installed and it seems to be working quite well so far. I am feeling the usual bout of loneliness after having been with John for a week. Welcome back to reality, which contains cold weather and stress.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


It seems to be a pattern that when I go away, something unexpected goes wrong at work, and my brother winds up in the hospital again. I am now 2 for 2 on this trip. My brother went back into the hospital today and they think he has Lupus.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Quick update

We saw Casino Royale yesterday, very good movie. My only complaint is that Daniel Craig mumbles a little bit so sometimes I wasn't able to catch what he was saying. What really surprised me was the couple in front of us who brought their two children, age range of 3-5, to see the movie. At first we thought they had come into the wrong theatre, and perhaps meant to see Happy Feet. But no, they brought their kids to see Casino Royale. Responsible parenting at its best. From the utterances of other children in the theatre, they may not have been the only ones to do so.

We had a good lunch at Macaroni Grill with Chris & Cynthia before the movie. It was nice to see them again, and I'm glad I could provide them with some real Maritime maple syrup. I brought some for John too, as well as the obligatory vanilla 1/2 Moons.

Last night we took a quick trip to Target to pick up a couple of things, and then stayed in. I almost passed out around 8pm, but I managed to keep myself awake until 10 in an effort to adjust to the time. True to form though, my cell phone went off at 5am. Listen to my voicemail message people, I'm on vacation!!

I'm on my own today since John has to work, so I'll be hitting the stores across the street. Hopefully I will see some good xmas presents for people I have left to buy for.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday morning in SoCal

I arrived without incident yesterday at LAX, actually landed a little bit early. John was there waiting for me, and asked if my trip was uneventful, which it was because I don't have his travel bad luck.

We drove back to OC and stopped at Subway to grab some lunch to take home and eat before heading to Costco. I can't explain the discord that comes from hearing Christmas carols being played in Subway and then stepping out into 27°C sunny weather. It seems like an alternate universe. John says it's not right to be hearing carols this early, because they should be waiting until after Thanksgiving.

Caly is not thrilled with my presence, as usual. She's been a fairly good cat lately, especially since John has been locking her up in the bedroom when he leaves the apartment. There have been some times recently when he's forgotten to close the door, but she hasn't gone out and peed in the living room. However, when John left for the airport yesterday, he forgot the door, and she left a nice, wet paper towel in her usual spot. She knew I was coming and expressed her displeasure, I think.

We headed to Costco to get some steak for supper, and discounted movie tickets. I quickly got distracted by the allure of Costco, and we managed to leave without the movie tickets, so we had to go back again and buy them. Teasing me with the Costco trips! I need to go back and spend longer in there so I can look things over.

Last night we headed to church and grilled some steak for supper. I managed to stay up only until 9pm, which actually isn't too bad considering I had been traveling all day. I tried to sleep in this morning until about 6am, but didn't make it past that. Not bad though for my first day here.

Today we are headed to Yorba Linda to meet up with friends and see Casino Royale. I'm looking forward to the movie, I think it will be good.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

One leg through

Well, I'm sitting in the airport at Montreal. The first leg of my trip is done, and now comes the 6h flight to LAX. I'm going to try and sleep through most of it.

The first flight was uneventful, I actually had the seat beside me empty so I stretched out and slept. Customs agent asked me when I was getting married and if it was on this trip. The baggage guys were again very friendly.

This trip kind of crept up on me, if that's possible. Work has been steadily busy, and the days have been droning on in the same pattern of work, sleep, work, sleep. I'm glad it's vacation time so it will break up the grind.

I've been busy getting ready for winter so I don't get caught doing things at the last minute. The driveway markers are in the ground before it starts to freeze. The winter clothing is now in my closet and the bucket of hats & mittens is upstairs. I took my boots and shoes in to be repaired and re-heeled. I sprayed them all with weather protectant as I do this time every year. When your footwear is expensive, you need to take good care of them.

November is always the month in which I do the bulk of my Christmas shopping. I am finished shopping for my nephew and mother, and my Dad because he asked us to make a donation instead of getting him a gift. I have one thing bought for each of my brothers, so I just need something to put with it. I have a few things for John, some of which I shipped to SoCal and will bring back with me on this trip. I have a couple of things bought for my grandfather, but still need more for him. The only people I have nothing for yet are my cousin/goddaughter and uncle - I am still waiting on a list from each of them. I will hopefully get a good chunk of remaining shopping done while I'm away - I took 2 suitcases this time. :)

Well, almost time to board. Better hit the bathroom!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A tree made for me!

Look! It's like they made a tree just for me! On sale at Wal-Mart.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Influences on a young mind

I had a memory float back into my consciousness the other day.

It was one day in Grade 1, and I was trying to get people’s attention for some reason. I don’t remember for what reason, but I think it was important to me and not some kind of attention-grab. It may have even been an attempt to help the teacher get the class’ attention, but I can’t be sure. The memory is somewhat fuzzy, but I do recall the feeling of what it was like to be up on my desk, with everyone below. I don’t remember the specifics of my getting in trouble, which of course I did, for standing up on my desk and likely yelling or speaking in some fashion to get everyone’s attention.

From that time on, I can only recall a couple of instances when I had gotten into trouble at school, for very minor things. I remember myself as being quiet and reserved, pretty shy, always chastised for being “smart.” My motto was (and still is, to an extent), be quiet, follow the rules, and you won’t get in trouble. I have to wonder how much that incident with the desk influenced me to form that rule and become who I am. What would have happened if the teacher hadn’t been there, and others started listening to me and followed what I had to say? Would it have affected my personality in some way? Would I be a more outgoing person? Would I be more of a leader and less of a follower? Would I take more risks?

I have always had a huge issue with acceptance from other people. Being “smart” meant that I was different from the rest, and to compensate for that, I tried to fit in as best I could in other ways. I always tried to follow whatever was the latest fashion trend, usually with poor results – no matter what I did, I could never get my hair to do anything like anyone else (some of you may recall my mentioning that I never got invited to the Hair Convention, where all my peers were taught the current “in” style). I always ended up separated from the pack, a fact that my mother pointed out to me one day when she said “no wonder you have no friends.” I know that statement had a huge impact on me, but I don’t know if my mother even recalls having said it. Since that day, I have tried to do anything to make myself acceptable to others. You can’t make people like you, but I have always tried to make myself as agreeable to others as I can… but I still blame myself when someone doesn’t like me. In my mind, it’s never their loss, it’s mine. I know that my view is backward, but I have never been able to fully correct it. I think I am slowly but surely working on it and getting better at it.

I worry about someday having children, how impressionable they are, and how many ways you can influence them negatively. We are not perfect, therefore our children are not. But it makes you wonder how the simplest of comments or actions may somehow have a huge impact on the person that child becomes. What would happen if I made a comment to my child, a comment that I might consider innocent, unimportant, or forgettable, but the child absorbs and reacts to it in a different way? I may have just changed that child for life without even knowing it. This thought alone is enough for me to steer away from the idea of having children. Add to that my perfectionist and OCD tendencies, and I think I’d go insane. For now, I will stick to my plan of not having children until I’m ready to handle the responsibility. I’m just not there yet (and possibly may never be, who knows).

In the meantime, I wonder about the events in my childhood that shaped who I am. Or maybe I was just that crazy girl in Grade 1 who stood on her desk on day.

I knew this would happen

Once the TSA announced their new air travel requirements, I knew something like this would happen.

Yes, it's a website for travel size items. Yes, they are offering free TSA-approved bags with your order. Unfortunate that they can't spell Ziploc correctly, considering there is a picture right there beside the text.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

A big Happy Halloween to everyone!

I can't seem to stay awake today. I've absorbed other people's tiredness and now I feel like pulling a George Costanza and sleeping under my desk. Well, not really, but it's a nice thought.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Oh, the horror! The HORROR!

Last night I decided I'd better check on my pumpkins, see how they were doing. Little did I know, for they had turned into Zombie Pumpkins.

As you recall, I stood out in the rain, dedicatedly shopping for pumpkins a couple of weeks ago. Apparently two of them went moldy. The soon-to-be Bon-o-lantern has a bit of mold on the stem, but I hope that's the only place it is present and I can get at it with bleach. At least the pumpkin I had bought for someone else was ok. I bought 3 for myself thinking, well, if one rots, I'll be ok. I didn't expect 2 of the 3 to rot and the 3rd to look like it was starting.

So there I was today, scouring the West side at the last minute for pumpkins. The Pumpkin Patch only had zombies. Sobeys didn't have much left either. I did manage to dig through the pile at the Superstore and found one, and found another at the Co-op. They're smaller, but still look pretty good for carving, other than a short stem. Beggars can't be choosers at this point.

A disappointment, to be sure. These were decent-sized pumpkins with good stems... but were defective at the time I bought them, so it was only a matter of time.

I hope the pumpkin crop is much better next year.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

No! Not again!

Why, Andy? Why?


I'm glad I got to see the 5 of them in concert together while it lasted.

Monday, October 23, 2006

For those who seem to have all the answers

This entry does not refer to the regular readers of this blog.

My current situation with John, being geographically far apart, is difficult. We make do as best we can. It's hard being asked every single day how things are going when you have no news to share. It just serves as even more of a reminder that we are apart, something of which I do not need to be reminded; I am acutely aware of that. I am dealing with a whole range of issues in trying to get him here, including time, thought, emotion, and paperwork.

What is particularly frustrating is the inability of some people to take our relationship seriously. I was on the receiving end of a comment today that went something like this: "It's hard to keep things going when you only get to see each other every 2-3 months." I already feel like hanging a sign around my neck that says "No progress on move," so to have that comment also directed to me almost sent me over the edge today. This person is married, but I am not sure they understand the concept of being engaged. The exact wording of their comment and tone was phrased in such as way as to imply that I am simply "dating" John.

Being engaged means that we are committed to each other, plan to get married, and spend our lives together. It does not include quitting because we only get to see each other every couple of months, sending the ring back because it was "too hard." If we actually did that, it would mean we couldn't commit to one another and shouldn't be getting married in the first place.

To those who ask why I don't just pick up and move to SoCal: You first. You move to another country and let me know how quickly and easily you were able to accomplish it. You sell your house, get out of your car lease, and dispose of a good portion of your assets. Figure out what to do with your RRSPs now that you'll be living in a foreign country. Quit your job and find a new one. Contemplate leaving your friends and family, who you see very often and rely on for support. Go from a very quiet, slow, and relatively inexpensive way of life to a non-stop, crowded, smog-filled lifestyle. Learn how to drive on freeways. Live in less than half the space you used to have, among two people instead of one, and pay the equivalent of two mortgage payments every month for that reduced living space. Yes, there are certain things that would be sacrficed by moving in the other direction as well, but you cannot make a flippant remark about "why don't you just move the other way" as some kind of instant cure to all of our problems.

Why can't people understand that this process takes time? Moving across your own country takes a lot of time, money, organization. Moving to another country is a lot more complicated than that. Canada does not have any immigration provisions for fiancé(e)s, making it all the more difficult for us to "prove" our relationship in order to bring him here. Getting married in order to facilitate the immigration process comes with its own whole set of issues. Moving to another country is not an easy thing to do, from all respects. Complex situations take time and dedication. In the meantime, don't insult me by demeaning the level of my relationship or making it seem like you have all the answers.

The end of an era

The arrival of TV Guide in my mailbox is always anticipated. I read the glossy sections from cover-to-cover, and place it on my coffee table for reference. Mare can always been seen picking it up and reading it when she comes over to visit. It's a staple item in my house.

I've been a subcriber since I moved out from home in 1999, and before that we purchased off the newsstand for years. The print edition has been my right-hand mag for most of my life (which means I may watch too much TV, but let's not throw stones). To this day, my mother will still sometimes call me to ask when a particular show is on.

Last Wednesday, I noticed I had still not received next week's issue. Usually it arrives Monday or Tuesday, or later if it is post-long weekend. A bell went off in my head that this is usually the time of year when my subscription runs out, but I hadn't remembered seeing a renewal notice. It was highly likely that I let the renewal get buried on my desk, so I flipped through the papers to find it... not there. I grabbed the last issue I had and looked at the date. Yes, it had indeed expired with that issue. I wondered what happened to my renewal notice, and the fact that I am a "preferred subscriber" meant I should have been auto-renewed, so I decided to give them a call.

I reached the call centre and the agent told me they "were having trouble with the renewal notices the past 2-3 months" but that I could renew by phone, so I went ahead. My next issue will be the one dated Nov. 11. I'll have to purchase the few weeks in between, but no big deal.

The next day, I received an email from John. He remembered our conversation from the previous day and had forwarded me a news item that said TV Guide [Canada] is ending its print publication next month. I was shocked, but after the news sank in, I wasn't surprised. I guess the writing has been on the wall for some time now, and it does make sense that a print edition is unable to keep up with the frequently changing schedules of the networks.

TV Guide has made a few changes over the years; some good, some bad. I didn't mind when it physcially expanded into a larger format, though some say that spelled its death. It was just a larger size, the listings were the same, and that is the most important part of the magazine. The change made about a year ago was one that almost caused me to cancel my subscription. They decided to combine the Ontario and Atlantic Canada editions into one issue, and list everything exclusively in Eastern time zones. Way to piss off anyone in the Atlantic time zone... the whole point of buying it was to have listings in our own zone. I was just about to write my complaint letter when they made some concessions and put the times in "10am/11amAT" format. I wasn't crazy about it, but at least I didn't have to add an hour every time I read the listings. This combination of regions also meant that I received information on plenty of channels only received in Ontario, and those were the stations that took precedence on the grid. It became cluttered with information that was useless to me, but the good still outweighed the bad. I will miss not having the magazine sitting on my coffee table.

What I discovered later was that TV Guide also announced that it will become a web edition. I found that quite interesting. They actually tried that route a few years back, but suspended the service for some unknown reason. I used their website very often, and was actually starting to consider using it instead of my print issue when they decided to cancel the online edition. I will be interested to see how they design it, how user-friendly it will be, and how region-specific it can get.

In a world of competition, it may indeed have a tough time competing. There are plenty of online listings services out there, even those that cater to the combination of my city and TV provider to give my exact channel lineup. At minimum, they will have to provide that same functionality. Where I think they can find their niche is to focus on items specific to Canada. For instance, did you know that Anne Heche's love interest on Men In Trees (Jack) is an actor originally from Dartmouth, NS? If the new online site can keep me informed of TV schedules as well as provide that Canadian aspect, I'll gladly switch to an online version. I wish them luck.

But please, no more articles written by Ben Mulroney.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Look at me, watching Canadian TV

I've never been much of one for watching any Canadian TV shows. Most have just not held a big appeal to me and always seem to have that hokey Canadian low-budget haze. The allure of the American networks has always been too strong to really have me consider watching an episode of Beachcombers or The Littlest Hobo.

While flipping through the fall preview of [Canadian] TV Guide this year, being encouraged by the reviewers to give a couple of Canadian shows a chance, I took the plunge. Both could be called chick shows, but conveniently I am female, which is likely why they appeal to me.

The first is a new show on CBC called Rumours. Based on the original Radio Canada French-Canadian show, its two main leads are co-editors of a women's magazine. The catch? One of the editors is a male sports journalist, only working there for the money. The writing for his character is quite funny. I've watched the first 3 episodes so far and I'm enjoying it. Me, watching the CBC for entertainment other than Just For Laughs! Imagine!

The second show I've picked up this fall is called The Smart Woman Survival Guide. I caught a mini-marathon of this show a few weeks ago and I love it. This show is definitely aimed at a female audience (it's on the W Network, duh!). It is a smart and funny show that is sort of an homage to Pop-up Video with its tips appearing on-screen. Not a show you can watch in the background or do something else at the same time -- you might miss a tip. The show has already been picked up for a second season.

I hope both of these shows can gain/maintain an audience. It's nice to see some different, high quality content for women on the Canadian airwaves. Let's hope it continues to develop into lots of other good shows.

Stop humming the Littlest Hobo theme song. I can hear you.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I ran across a new product in the grocery store and decided to give it a try.

I couldn't decide between the Brown Sugar & Cinnamon or Honey Oat flavors, so I decided to go with both. I found both flavors to be quite tasty. I don't know if they are WW-friendly, but they do have healthier ingredients than the other snack foods I eat.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Neck much better

Feels almost normal tonight.

Eye is getting better, but seemed a little blurry today. Will need to monitor it.

I've been feeling like I have either been fighting off a cold for the past month, or have developed an allergy. I've never had a [known] allergy before. I don't care to start now, despite it being a common occurrence to develop an allergy around this point of life.

I've been on a mission again lately. Both Sobeys and Superstore seemed to stop carrying my favorite grape juice crystals, the stuff I always have in my fridge and drink all the time. I was in the West Superstore on Saturday and happened to be near the product manager. Good timing. I stopped to ask him why it was no longer being carried, and he suggested I call back on Monday or Tuesday and he'd be able to give me an answer. I called back this afternoon and he said it was just a change in product number. He had found the new number for the grape crystals, and submitted an order for them while I was on the phone so he wouldn't forget. I had previously requested the item be re-stocked at two different Sobeys stores, but the Superstore is the first to give me a clear answer and solution. Hurray for the Superstore!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Look, Ma!

No cavities!

I had a successful trip to the dentist today, after a very unlucky streak of having to go back for fillings. While I like the people there, I'm glad not to have to go back for another 6 months. :)

On the down side, I awoke this morning barely able to move my neck. The heat from the shower helped this morning, but I am still not able to turn it without pain. I've been dubbed "Mrs. Roboto" today at work.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pain in the neck

No, not an expression, but a reality. I have a pain in my neck, one which does not seem to want to go away today. This pain occurs where my shoulder meets my neck, and feels like I have pinched a nerve. It seems to start when I sit up in bed, or sit up on the couch. Since nothing is pressing against my shoulder or neck, I'm not sure how to avoid this from happening... other than to not sit up with a pillow at my back. Not exactly the option I was looking for.

I also seem to have done something to my eye. Thankfully, Creepy Red Eye has not made a return (though it would be fitting for Halloween). This time seems to be an allergic reaction of some sort. While I was on the phone with John on Friday night, I rubbed my eyelid. There must have been something on my hand that my eye didn't like, and it decided to get red and swell. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I had a puffy eyelid. Very odd. Tonight it is still red, but the swelling seems to be dissipating. Hope to be better soon.

I started the woodstove for the first time of the season today. I forgot how much I missed the warmth and comfort of it. Despite my dislike for the falling temperature, I do enjoy fall. The colors, the smells, the feeling of anticipation. It's a comfortable time for me, and I'm glad it's here. It's a time where I haven't yet grown tired of making sure I'm home to keep the fire going, or being weighed down from the winter clothing. That will come soon enough. For now, I will enjoy the season.

I haven't been blogging much, as you've likely noticed, if you're still checking this site now & then. I have a few reasons for that: John and I have no progress regarding his move, work has kept me very busy, and I just didn't feel like I had anything new to say. Not that writing about my sore neck is that much of an improvement, but at least I'm writing something.

Every day for me lately has consisted of wishing for some kind of progress on John's situation, getting angry at the lack of movement, and struggling with what I can do on my end to hurry things up. The months drag on and we still have no progress, the immigration process looks very daunting for an unmarried couple, and we seem to be very much stalled when it comes to the work side of things. I continue to pray for some answers, good or bad, so at least we can have some progress. It just seems like time keeps ticking away and I feel like we're walking up the down escalator. When do we catch a break?

Work has been really busy, but I hope now that my weeks of working every night are over, maybe I can go back to coming home at a regular time again. Now I just need to work on not having popcorn for supper at least once a week.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

How much I love Halloween

can be evidenced by the fact that I stood out in the pouring rain today, shopping for pumpkins. Had to, before all the good ones were gone. Got thoroughly drenched, but I managed to find some decent ones. Slim pickings, though.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pumpkin Carving Party

October is here, and the countdown begins for Halloween! I will likely decorate the house this weekend, since I have the extra day off for Thanksgiving. May also take a look at the pumpkin crop this weekend and see if there are some good ones available yet.

My tenative idea for the Pumpkin Carving Party this year is to hold it on Sunday Oct 29, around 3 or 4pm, depending on the number of people expressing interest. Since this is the first day of Standard Time, the sun will set shortly after 6pm. This should give us plenty of time to light the carved pumpkins and still get home at a decent time for school/work the next day.

Is this a good or bad time for you? Does this conflict with anyone's schedule?

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Just wanted to say thanks for all of the birthday wishes. It's been a low-key birthday, but one well spent with John. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else (especially since it's 25 and sunny here today.)

John is feeling better after his earlier cold/flu symptoms. My brother is out of the hospital again, but I may start a pool on how long it takes for him to be re-admitted. *shakes head.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What's the message?

My brother went back in the hospital again yesterday. Dad tells me he's in good hands and no one has suggested I go home but I have to remain on guard to change my plans. I haven't been able to reach my mother because she's been up at the hospital.

John is sick at home today. He's supposed to be picking me up at the airport tomorrow for our long weekend together.

What are you trying to tell me?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Looney Tunes Vol 4

Click here to see the list of toons that will appear on the next Looney Tunes DVD set. 2 of the discs don't look so great, but the Speedy Gonzales disc looks good, and I am really happy to see "Operation: Rabbit" and "Roman Legion Hare".

Friday, September 15, 2006

Oh goody

The good news: on the 5th year I attend this conference, I finally get the king size bed I asked for. It's about time.

The bad news: The high-speed internet in this hotel is not free. It is $10/day. There's not even a free wireless hotspot in the lobby. I lugged my laptop all the way to Kentucky for this?! I'm more than slightly pissed, as you know how much I rely on the internet as my main form of communication with John. I just finished traveling all over the Maritimes and had free internet wherever I went, yet a supposedly higher-class hotel such as this resort makes you pay. GRRRRRRRRR.

Guess I'll be expensing this one, as I will need access for work as well as personal reasons.

Just ain't like it used to be

My flight to Montreal was uneventful. Not being able to take water on the plane really sucks as all that Air Canada gives you is a small glass, about 2/3 full. Going to be a very dehydrating day. I hate forcing liquid into me in a rush in the terminal before boarding, so I've avoided buying any bottles of liquid.

I stopped in the food court and had a burger, knowing that my choices were limited once I got past customs and security. By the time I finished, my luggage was waiting for me and the line for connecting passengers was pretty much non-existent. I got up to the customs agent, preparing for the inevitable dumb questions they ask whenever you have to check off that the purpose of your trip is business. She asked me where I was going, for how long, cutting me off as I spoke. She asked what the conference was for. I replied, it's for our point-of-sale software. She said she was confused and didn't understand. I told her it was a user group to discuss software. She then asked where the software was developed. I replied Nashua, NH. She gives me another confused look and says, in the US? Apparently this agent has never heard of New Hampshire. She then asked me if I was traveling by myself and let me go through.

The luggage guys in Montreal all seem to like me when I come through. I can always count on them to give me a smile and do the heavy lifting.

I proceed back through security, behind people staring at the items you can no longer take in your carry-on as though it were a shopping opportunity. I get up to the scan area and do the usual removal of shoes, unearthing of laptop from bag, and getting it all on the belt, hoping they wouldn't search both my laptop and bag like they did in SJ. My shoes and laptop came through fine, but my bag sat just beyond the gate for a good 2-3 minutes. I could see it, but I know the rule about not grabbing things until they're free of the barriers. Waiting, waiting, ok now it's coming through. I grab it but then the security guy grabs it from me for searching, after hugging and kissing his co-worker. The guy says to me, you don't look too happy about that. Well, NO SHIT, JACKASS. Do you think I'm happy to have you go through my stuff? Do you think I'm happy to not be able to take a simple bottle of water with me while I travel? Or remove my shoes? Or take out my laptop? Or have all this take extra time because as the guard, you could have taken my bag and searched it instead of smooching your co-worker? This is so much fun! YAY! Outside voice told the Jackass that my expression was because I was tired and he could search through anything he wanted.

I long for the good old days of air travel. Security is a necessary part of today's air travel, I have to agree. However, there must be a better way than having to beam with the sunshiniest smile I've got at the prospect of being searched. "You bet you sure can search through my stuff! I love it!"

My heart-on-sleeve tendencies don't help me in the least. Gotta work on my poker face.

On the road again

The time has finally arrived for me to go back and visit the "friendly" skies. Since this is the first time I've flown since the tighter carry-on restrictions were put in place, I did as much research as I could before packing my carry-on.

Despite a detailed list of allowed and disallowed items on the gov't website, I still ended up throwing my tube of chapstick away. United Airlines specifically mentions chapstick and lipstick in a tube is allowed. The CATSA website did not mention this specifically. I decided if a US airline thinks chapstick is ok, I'd probaby be fine. I guess not. I anticipated that may be a problem so I made sure the tube I brought wouldn't be missed if I had to throw it away. But it's still aggrivating to have conflicting information when you're traveling between countries.

I am quite happy to be air-traveling by myself today. Usually it's annoying as I can never leave my heavy carry-on with someone while I quickly run to the bathroom, etc. I have recently decided that it's better to travel by yourself than with someone who is so annoying you feel like punching the crap out of them. I will bear the weight of my carry-on with glee today at the prospect that I have no one else to worry about.

My brother, although he's been making what I think are terrible decisions, has been steadily growing more healthy. He started back at work this week doing half-days.

My grandfather has finally had enough blood transfusions that the doctors feel he is able to withstand pacemaker surgery. He is scheduled for this surgery on Monday as long as his check today is fine. I hope he comes through it ok and is better for it in the end.

Boarding time. I have to fly to Montreal, Chicago and the Lexington. 2-3h wait between flights. I brought lots to read!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Re-learing the relaxing

Relaxing. I need to remember how to do that. The past month has been very stressful for me, whether it be self-induced or outside pressures.

I have help at work now but it seems I am working even more than before. Even with help, I still feel buried and overwhelmed with the amount of things I need to do. I spent 3.5/5 nights this week at work, in addition to being there all day, and two days of those were travel. I am getting sucked into the vortex again. Being a salaried employee, I don't get paid overtime. I have to remember that I can never get everything done, and I am entitled to time for myself. Which, after working Friday night and not even managing to have supper, is what I've tried to do this weekend.

I spent yesterday and today reading True Believer. I hadn't read anything by Nicholas Sparks before, but I did enjoy this book and his style. It was a relatively easy read and I found myself absorbed by it. I've been commenting for weeks now on how much I needed to just relax for a week and read books. I may not have a week at my disposal to do so, but a long weekend is better than nothing.

For the first time I am not really looking forward to attending the conference in a couple of weeks. This year it has become a means to an end for me getting to California for a few days. The last couple of years have seen me teaching other users, which I admit I love doing. It's great showing someone a part of the software they never knew existed, and something that changes their outlook on their processes and procedures. I'm not sure where my melancholy is stemming from when I think about this trip. Part of it has to do with the venue. I can't say as I have longed to visit Kentucky. I'm sure it's a beautiful place, but it just doesn't hold the same desire for me that Tucson did. I had always wanted to visit Arizona, even before the "let's get together with a guy I talk to online" plan. This year it just seems like I'm thinking, "Kentucky, whoopee." I hope it proves me wrong, but I don't think anything will be better than finally arriving at John Wayne Airport and seeing my fiancé circle around 5 times before he can find a spot to pull over and pick me up. :)

I think the other part of the melancholy is just a feeling of seeing the same old, same old. Same people. Same topics. Same pressures to switch to the next big software. I have joined an exclusive customer group this year, and the conference will be my first meeting with them. Maybe that will spice things up a bit. This group meets 3 times/year, so I will be getting to do some additional travel for work to [usually] nice spots in the US. Round about February or so will be the next meeting, and it will most likely be somewhere warm. The last 2 meetings have been East, so if I'm lucky the next one will be West and again I may be able to tack on a trip to SoCal.

Lately I feel like John and I are back at Square One when it comes to moving. Things have been going at what seems like a snail's pace because we are waiting for decisions that are beyond our control. Someone asked me the other night about whether he would be here for xmas, and I didn't know what to answer. I had hoped he would be settled here by then, so I really hadn't given it much thought. Now I am throwing ideas around about going there in February. Something needs to break soon for us. This stretch between July and September is the longest we've been apart, and it has also been the most difficult. We've been talking by phone more than usual, especially after our tolerance for sitting in a chair at a PC has reached its limit. Nothing compares to actually being with the person, though. I continue to plug away at things and do what I can, but with my impatient nature, it's not easy. I would rather go through this waiting period than not have him in my life at all... but I can't promise not to be cranky that we're not together yet.

This week I am off to Yarmouth and Halifax for work. With the craziness that has been going on here lately, I am actually looking forward to getting out of here for a few days, even to the Evil City itself. A temporary change of view will be nice, and when I return, I can start packing for Kentucky, and more importantly, California.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Lunatic Fringe

Since my brother was admitted to the hospital, I have been up there every day with the exception of Wednesday (had to go to NS for work) and today (recovering from mental meltdown). It's been exhausting. He's been having some personal life issues in addition to his health problems, and those two things combined are just totally exhausting to deal with.

My parents are on opposite ends of one particular issue. Unfortunate, as I had hoped they'd be on the same page for once.

My brother's heart issue is improving and they have moved him out of the coronary unit and down to internal medicine. Apparently the staff in this unit don't bother to read charts and like to argue with you when you chase them down for the proper medication. Getting decent care has been incredibly difficult. If you don't have family present with you, I don't know how you survive in that hospital.

On the down side, my brother has been officially diagnosed with Addison's Disease. He will have to take a steroid for the rest of his life, in addition to being diabetic. The doctor says he will likely leave the hospital feeling better than he ever has, because they think this issue went undetected for a long time. So that part is good, but it will likely cause him to remain in hospital most of this week as they monitor how the steroid affects his blood sugar.

I took today off from hospital duty because I was thoroughly exhausted. I woke up early but forced myself back to sleep until 11. I did some errands. I took a long walk around the perimiter of the Nature Park, and the exercise helped to relieve a lot of stress. I watched some TV and did my laundry and ironing. It was good to have some time to myself. I'm actually not minding a Monday at work tomorrow -- work will be a welcome distraction from family problems.

In other news, I bought a new PC. My old PC had reached its upgradable limit, so it was time for a new one. I'd been putting off the purchase for quite a while, not really sure what I wanted and not wanting to spend a lot of money. While I was in Costco a couple of weeks ago, I found a PC and monitor that had both been marked down. The monitor is a 19" LCD, and it's nice having the extra room on my desk. The PC has an AMD Athlon dual core, 1GB RAM, dual layer DVD+/-RW drives, card reader, and other things I don't need but it was a lot of PC for the price, and should last me a lot longer than the lesser models I'd been looking at, so I am quite happy with it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Brother update

My brother has had a "fun" few days. First, a mistake in his medication meant that he wasn't getting enough and set his progress back. Then, his IV came out and he wasn't getting enough insulin, which was sending his blood sugar sky high. He had a test today that showed a 30% reduction in the fluid around his heart, so we now know he won't need the aspiration. Phew. He is stronger now and can walk down the hall and sit up a lot longer than before. So overall he is doing better. He definitely won't be out until next week at the earliest though. He's being sent for more tests for other things, so they may move him out of the coronary care unit and into another unit after his heart issue is substantially cleared up. I don't care how long he's in there, as long as he can get his health back under control.

There are issues other than health going on which I can't discuss here, but I am really worried about him. I hope when he gets better he will start taking better care of himself, on all levels.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Younger brother in hospital

My younger brother was admitted last night to the hospital, in the coronary care unit. He has pericarditis, brought on from his bout with pneumonia that he couldn't seem to shake. It is serious but hopefully treatable with medication. We'll know more in a couple of days whether or not the drugs are working. If they show progress, great. If not, he'll have to have an aspiration (i.e., stick a needle in his chest and remove the fluid.)

I'm going to cancel the work trip I had planned to NS this week so I can be close to home. My mom has been up taking care of him. There's not a lot I can do per se, but I just want to be around in case I'm needed.

My grandfather had a rough week last week, culminating in his loss of eyesight for a brief period. After a blood transfusion it returned, but this is not a good sign. They are trying to get his platelets up so he can get a pacemaker, but they are just not getting up high enough. My aunt is up staying with him because he's a little dizzy and disoriented at times and can't really stay alone right now.

Please keep them both in your thoughts/prayers.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Heading out of town

I have a busy next few weeks, work-wise. I will be heading out of town for most of the next two weeks. These trips are a way to intro my new co-worker as well as take stock of our equipment. This week involves trips to Bathurst, Charlottetown, Moncton and maybe Amherst. Next week is Yarmouth, Halifax, Truro, New Glasgow and Amherst if not visited the week before. Then on the last week: Grand Falls, Woodstock and Fredericton, possibly all in one day.

Unfortunately this means I will have to miss most of Theatre on the Edge. I will be able to see the Dance Collective tonight, but then won't be home until sometime on Friday. After a long week of travel, and preparation for travel again all of next week, I'm not sure if I'll be at any of the weekend events. I'll just have to see how tired I am and what needs to be done around the house.

I'll be glad to get this over with. I don't enjoy long car trips. I won't be driving, but that sort of makes things worse because I also can't read in a car. The upside is at least it will help keep mileage down on my leased car. And I can go to Costco. :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Too busy to blog

I've been too busy to blog this past week. Having finally hired help at work this week, I didn't have time to write anything and barely had time to answer personal emails. The week went fast, and I must say it's nice to have help again at work. Competent help at that. He's come up with a number of good ideas, which all involve a lot of work, but will make a lot of improvements. I'm looking forward to having a lot of this stuff implemented. I'm going to have to do a bunch of traveling in the next few weeks, taking him around to the various locations and introducing him. Not crazy about the travel part, but after that is done I should be back at home again until I head to Kentucky.

I've been very glad for this long weekend. I really needed an extra day off. Having to save every vacation day I can in order to be able to see John means that I can't take the occasional day off here and there to just relax. People keep asking me if I am taking summer holidays without remembering that vacation time is the only way I get to see John.

I spent Friday night at home, not doing anything in particular that I can remember. Saturday I got up, hung around the house, chatted with John and went to my hair appointment. After hair I went to church, where it was our first week with our new priest since the Redemptorists had left. Our new priest is a cousin of my recently departed grandfather, so there is a small family connection there. He said mass at my grandfather's funeral.

After church, I headed home to grab a few things and then up to the Peninsula for Dave & Jody's annual camp party. Thanks to Dave & Jody for hosting, and Dave for cooking my steak. :)

At the camp party, I discovered upon setting up my satellite radio that I was missing some channels. Apparently the company decided to remove some from the listing AND raise the monthly fee. I wrote them an email last night, expressing my displeasure. They gave me a standard, pre-written answer in reply. I would not agree with it, but I could understand if they had removed certain channels from the lineup and replaced them with Canadian content... but that is not what happened. They simply removed channels without any notification to their customers. I'm growing increasingly tired of being denied access to the same things as Americans, and this one I find particularly perplexing. It is a paid service, from what I understand is not subject to the same Canadian content regulations as traditional radio... so why are certain stations being blocked? Back in April, the Canadian listing dropped the ClearChannel content that was being offered in the US, which mandated commercials on certain channels. Those stations I don't miss, as I found them to be repetitive of one another anyway. But why block the movie soundtracks, tropical, opera, and hit list channels? I may be canceling my Canadian service and signing up for the US service soon. It's cheaper, even with the exchange factored in, and I would get more channels.

I just ran a spell check on this blog. Apparently Blogger's spell check does not recognize the word "blog." Oh the irony!

I finished reading Something Blue, which ended up being not as bad a read as I thought it would be. The protagonist is not the most appealing character at first, seeing as how she's very self-absorbed. Her transformation is what makes the novel worth reading. If you like chick lit, that is.

On Sunday my younger brother came over to pick up the Calais mailbox key. By the time he reached my house, he wasn't feeling well enough to drive back. I drove him home, stopped at the grocery store and Zellers to pick up a few things, then went back home to get ready for the pool party. Dad was waiting in the driveway with a giant truck full of wood -- my winter heat source. Unfortunately the truck is so heavy that it dented my new pavement. *sigh. It's still too soft to handle large trucks, but what can you do? I sought the help of Jenn & Stew to drive my car out to my brother's place so I could drop his car off to him, on the way to the pool party. That being done, I headed to the Valley.

The pool party garnered a very nice, sunny day, thankfully. A big thanks to Suzy and Chris for hosting and feeding - the burgers and cake were delicious. Despite my lack of love for pools, I did dangle my legs in for a bit and it was refreshing. That was as far as I was comfortable. :)

Today was my extra day off. I spent it sleeping in until 11am. I took an hour walk in some windy weather, which was starting to feel like fall. I got back and watched an episode of Star Trek. After that, I got to work on a couple of things that needed to be done. First was swabbing the deck -- there were a couple of dirty spots that needed cleaning. Dad may be coming over to apply the waterseal this week. After I finished that, I headed to the basement to move the 1/2 rank of wood remaining from last year. I didn't want the oldest/driest wood buried at the bottom of the pile. So I moved all of that over to the other side of the room, and will use that first when I have to start the stove again. The new wood will be ranked in its usual spot sometime this week.

Tonight I baked cupcakes to take to work tomorrow. I also read for a bit. I guess overall it was a good day off, but not long enough. I could really use a week off just to spend around the house. I have still been putting off that touch-up painting I need to do. I did buy some grass seed, finally, but haven't thrown it around on the lawn holes yet. Maybe I can work away at that stuff in the evenings this week, before I start hitting the road for work. I hate to start wishing for fall already, but since that's the next time I'm able to see John, it's on my mind. I miss him a lot.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Guy in black truck

A guy in a black pickup with a cap on the back stopped at the end of my court this morning and took a picture of my house. Possibly the house next door that is for sale as well, but I'm not sure.

I have no idea if the picture was because he likes my design and wants to build a similar house, or if he's casing the joint for a robbery. He didn't bother to stop and ask permission for the picture, so how would I know?

In all likelihood it's an innocent picture... but now I have to keep an eye on things just in case. I'm really glad I had an alarm system put in, but I hope it never has to come into play.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

More booked

I stopped by the travel agency today to see about getting my ticket changed for September's conference. It was much easier walking in knowing exactly what flights I wanted my ticket changed to. They basically exchanged my old ticket for a whole new ticket. In the end, my portion is only going to cost about $170, woot! Much better than the crazy change fees I had to pay from Seattle.

So I am now all booked to leave here on Friday Sept 15 to go to the conference in Kentucky. On Thursday the 21st I leave Kentucky and head for SoCal. I'll have 4 full days in SoCal (including my birthday), then return home on Tuesday the 26th.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Tonight I booked my ticket to SoCal to go down for US Thanksgiving. Since I booked early and am flying only Air Canada, I was able to use the minimum amount of points. $115 in taxes, but that's a pretty darn cheap flight to California. I do have to fly to LAX again, but since I arrive on a Saturday, John will be able to pick me up. Going home on a Monday will mean a shuttle to LAX since John has to work, but at least I only have to shuttle one way. Bring on the turkey and football!

Still need to visit the travel agent to change my September ticket to add SoCal on the end of it. Last time I had to deal with a travel agent to change my ticket to SoCal, she didn't seem to have a clue what I was asking, despite being what I thought was very clear, and even using airport codes. The agent who booked my ticket is on vacation, so I think I will go up there in person and try to get it changed. That may alleviate some confusion... though I don't know what's so hard about it. I have planned out the exact schedule I want. Hopefully it will not cost too much to make the changes.

I also bought a lounge chair tonight. Superstore West had a bunch on sale and I decided to nab one since it's an end-of-season sale. I doubt they will get much cheaper than their already marked-down level. It's not identical to my existing patio set but is very close. Now if we can just get some nice weather, I can relax outside on the deck and read.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Back again

I haven't been blogging much mainly because I haven't had much to talk about. I've been pretty lonely since John left, basically doing not much else other than working.

Let's see... some of the exciting things I've been up to...

I had my driveway paved, which I mentioned in a previous entry, but here are a couple of pics.

Looks pretty nice, I must say. There's a good 3" of asphalt down so it's a very quality job. Also it was angled properly to flow water away from the house. No more crater wash-outs in the back! I opted to pave the front walkway. I could have done paving stones, or something a bit prettier, but frankly, I'll never get around to doing that. This will make things sooooo much easier in winter to plow and shovel.

I called no fewer than 6 people/companies about mowing my lawn. I only heard from 2. One was a company who came the same day I called and gave me a price of $30/mow. It would take a lot of mows to equal the price of a new mower, so I knew that this would be the way to go. The second person who answered my request seemed nice enough, but there was just something about him that didn't sit well with me. I found the 10 minute explanation of how my lawn was "weak" was unnecessary and I felt like I was being criticized. He also cut his wheels on my brand new pavement and left marks. GRRR. He was going to charge $40/mow and it would increase as my lawn got healthier. I just had a feeling this guy wasn't the right way to go, so I called the first company back and said let's go ahead. They are supposed to start this week. At $30/mow, it will be worth every penny.

Despite having a lot of time on my hands, I still haven't managed to paint the post caps and touch up the ends of the porch. Need to get that done.

I bought a new Paderno pot. 50% off because of some very small dents in the handle. The 4L saucepan now comes with a handle on the other end as well. This will come in very handy when lifting a potfull of potatoes.

I went on a quest for a comfortable, sweatpant-like pair of shorts that I could wear while walking. I looked everywhere, even into SportChek and Cleve's. I ended up with exactly what I wanted from Wal-Mart, for only $10. The sport stores were charging $30-40 for what might be good quality stuff, but really, I just wanted shorts, not a logo. What really got me were the 2 pairs of brand-name shorts I tried on in size 3 and 5, both of which were way too small. I was wearing a size 2 pair of shorts that day while I was shopping. Something is way off there.

I was invited to a wedding shower for my cousin, who is getting married this Saturday. The shower was yesterday. Knowing my cousin, I knew he'd want to register at Canadian Tire, so off I went and picked up some things off the list. With the help of Mare, I also got them an IKEA napkin holder like the one I have myself. Very, very handy. I hope they like it once they start using it.
As I was leaving the shower, my cousin thanked me for the gifts. He then asked me "So I guess you're not coming next weekend?" I answered, "uh, I didn't get an invitation..." I had assumed since our family was so big that they couldn't invite everyone to the wedding. Apparently he had intended to invite me and thought he had included my invitation with my mother's... except when my mother received her invitation, she wasn't speaking to me. He apologized 3 or 4 times and said maybe he messed up the invitations. So, I have no idea whether or not my mother got my invitation and didn't tell me, and I am not going to ask because I don't want to disrupt the current good situation. I do wish my cousin had sent an invitation specifically to me and for me if he had wanted me to be there, but not everyone has a mother who sometimes disowns her children.

Things have been going well with my mom so far since we've been speaking again. We see each other at church every week, and talk on the phone a couple of times during the week. John and I took her to lunch while he was here and they seemed to get along ok. Mum and I have plans to go to a church dinner next month together. I hope things keep going well.

It was nice to have an afternoon with family yesterday, but it was yet another scenario of people asking if I've set a wedding date. Um, no, my fiancé isn't here yet, and we won't be making any plans until he is here. I'm not sure if people think I'm going to change my mind on that or what.

Yesterday was also Banana Bread Day. I made 3 loaves yesterday morning, one for Anthony (whose love for banana bread is unrivaled), one for the shower and one for T-L, who had invited me over for supper. Tonight I made a 4th loaf because I kept getting an odd number of bananas and had to buy more to have enough, and then ended up with too many. The 4th loaf will be the last for now, though. I'll take that to work tomorrow.

I came home tonight and sat down to read TV Guide when my Dad showed up for a surprise visit. He came by to look at the lawn, and we talked for a while about a whole bunch of different stuff. Finally he suggested going for an ice cream at Dairy Queen, so I hopped in the truck and we took a drive over for some chocolate dipped cones, just like the good old days. Except they were very stingy with the chocolate coating tonight, it was barely covered and very thin. Anyway, it was nice to hang out with my Dad for a couple of hours. We discussed putting gyproc in the garage, my wood should be coming soon to be put in the basement, and the next project will be getting my deck sealed. He's going to bring his new airless sprayer and it should make quick work of an otherwise tedious project.

I am working on booking a couple of trips to SoCal. One right after my conference in September, and the other in November for US Thanksgiving. I've always wanted to be down there for the Black Friday shopping, and with stores right across the street from John... it will be interesting :) I actually expect to hate it, the crowds, etc. but it's the kind of thing I'd like to see once.

I had to make a hard decision this week. Judging by how slowly things are going with John's move, and the fact that he has no more vacation time, I am going to have to save every vacation day I can in order to visit him. This means there will be no Florida trip this year. I had hoped to be able to work it out, but it just isn't going to be doable. My Dad was disappointed when I told him tonight I wouldn't be able to do the trip, as he's been wanting me to be able to use the house. Keep saving your pennies though, and hopefully we can make the trip a reality in the near future.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Fog along the Fundy coast

High 18°C (64°F) except 25°C (77°F) inland.
Tuesday: High 19°C (66°F) except 28°C (82°F) inland.

There's quite a difference between those temperatures.

I went through winter and the usual shitty, rainy spring. I paid my weather dues. I'd like summer now, please, before it's too late.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Devil Wears Prada

Being unmotivated to continue reading the book I had started, I picked up The Devil Wears Prada on Friday night and finished it this morning.

I'd like to go see the movie some night this week (other than Monday, have to work late.) Anyone up for going to see it?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hydroseed redux

I have had 2 successful attempts at mowing my lawn, but as my Dad told me the other day, "there's a reason I gave that lawn mower away." I decided I either need to buy a decent lawn mower so I can mow the lawn without absolute exhaustion, or I need to price out what it would cost to have a company come by and mow my property.

On Monday morning, while John and I were getting up, we watched as a lawn mowing company came by and mowed 2 of my neighbors' lawns in about 15 minutes flat. Figuring a third house in the neighborhood would be an easy add-on for them, I called and left a message to request an estimate and mentioned that they already were doing two houses on my street. Their answering machine message time was too short for me to leave my phone number after I had given my name, address, and mentioned that they were already doing houses on my street. I called right back and left my name (again) and phone numbers, that their answering machine had cut me off, and said I looked forward to hearing from them. 2 days later and I still haven't heard a word from them. I'm not quite sure why I have a problem with companies wanting my business.

Learning from last year's hydroseed experience, I'm not waiting around for these lawn companies to call me back. There are too many in competition around here, there must be someone who wants my business. I have already called the company who did my hydroseeding and who currently does my fertilizer to get an estimate on mowing. I would make sense to have all of that done by the same company, but not if it costs significantly more. I am also looking through the online yellow pages to get a few more companies to call and get estimates.

If I'm going to part with my money and have someone else mow my lawn, I'm not giving it to a company who can't be bothered to call me back. You snooze, you lose.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I am getting better at not crying until after I get to the aiport. I guess you could call that an accomplishment, but I wouldn't call it "getting easier." I don't know when we'll get to see each other again because I don't know whether he'll be starting a new job or moving to NH. I've also just hired someone to work with me and can't leave him alone in a new job while I take off to SoCal. We can't make any more plans until we get a few more answers. Please please please send us some answers.

It just hit me late last night and this morning that it's difficult to wedding dress shop when you don't even know when you'll get to see each other again, let alone when you're getting married. It doesn't deserve a half-hearted attempt, so I backed out of the trip to Portland this weekend. Again my apologies if I messed up the others' plans for this weekend. I think I just need some time alone to collect my thoughts.

My Dad dropped by yesterday and we discussed a few things about my house/yard. There are some things I need his help with, such as filling in the front yard wash-out with topsoil and sticking some sod down on it. The deck was too big of a project for John to attempt last week so it still needs to be sealed -- Dad says that can be done fairly quickly with the new paint sprayer he bought. Dad left me with a weed whacker, which John used to get some of the mess cleaned up in the yard yesterday. My 3 cord of winter wood will be arriving in the next few weeks, which means I have to make sure the basement is in order so it can be loaded in.

Last but not least, we discussed the driveway and its need to be paved. Paving is pretty much the only solution to the wash-out problems I've been having, in both the front and back yards. If you've been by my house lately, you'll notice the giant crater in the driveway around back from the rain. If I don't get it fixed, it will just keep washing the crushed rock away and carving streams in my driveway, in addition to lawn wash-out in front. When I walked back in my office this afternoon, Dad called and said it was being paved as we spoke. Apparently the guy he hired to do paving at his office had some free time this afternoon, so they're paving it right now. I won't be able to drive on it for at least 24h, but it will be soooo nice to have that done, especially this winter -- no more gravel all over the lawn come spring. Not sure how much this is going to cost me yet, but it's one of those things that has to be done before things get worse.

Having John here to share some homeowner burdens has been a tremendous help. A lot of people laughed at the fact that I had a list ready for him when he got here, but what they don't understand is that before he came we had discussed various things he could help me with while here. It wasn't a "surprise, you have work to do!" kind of list. He did get to a lot of things on the list and I am very grateful. I have one small thing left to do on the porch -- the post caps I bought 2 years ago still need to be painted and attached. I'll attack that this week, before I lose my ambition. I'm looking forward to the day when he'll be here full-time, and having someone else working for me at work again will definitely take some of the pressure off.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Are you ever in your office anymore?"

Well yes, actually, I am. I happen to spend a great deal of time in my office. However, I frequently need to leave and go to the bathroom, help someone at their desk, take another phone call, drive around the Maritimes, and drop everything at a moment's notice. I am one person supporting the needs of 150 people, and sometimes I too need a vacation.

I have a landline, a cell phone, and a Blackberry. If you can't reach me, that's your problem, not mine. Don't call one phone number and complain that I never answer it without even bothering to try me elsewhere. Apparently you haven't learned that pissing someone off BEFORE you ask for help really isn't a nice thing to do.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Canada Day!

If you're coming over today, anytime after 3pm is fine. It's a bit too windy for badminton, but there is lots of deck & relaxing to do. The back lawn is still pretty soggy, so as of right now I am not putting the net up just yet -- want to see if it dries out. I have a total of 8 chairs, so it might not be a bad idea to pack a camp chair in your trunk just in case. Not sure how many people will be able to make it, that may be enough chairs or it may not.

I have lots of paper plates & plastic glasses, real cutlery, and lots of pop as well. Bring your meat and booze and I'll see you later today.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


From what I can tell, they held the plane in Chicago and John was able to make the flight. I had already contacted my brother earlier today just in case he got stuck overnight in Montreal. Would have been weird for them to meet that way, but at least it wouldn't have meant sleeping in the airport.

I am now at the airport waiting for him to land. Very glad he wasn't coming through Toronto this time - the late flight has been cancelled. The Montreal flight is listed as being on time, despite the density level of the fog out there tonight. Go Dash 8!

So glad he was able to make it here in one day. I imagine he'll be pretty tired coming off the plane. I took tomorrow off so we can spend it together. I need a day off myself, work has been so crazy lately. Oh, and I did label the piece of equipment I went digging for today. Those lucky pennies I always stop for are paying off. :)

Unluckiest traveler ever

If it wasn't for bad luck, John would have no luck at all. I just checked the status of his flight. Due to a crew change, his flight has been delayed by an hour, leaving him a 23min connection time in Chicago, during which he has to walk between terminals. United shuts the doors of their flights 15min before departure. I don't think he's going to make it unless they do arrive earlier than it says. Funny, I think he said something to me last night about there being no way his flight out of OC would be delayed...

Please cut the guy some slack!! No wonder he hates traveling.

Now that I've proven I *can* mow my lawn,

I never want to mow a lawn again. Ever. Holy crap am I sore today. Mowing semi-damp lawn with a heavy mower on an incline with no upper body strength is not fun. I got the whole front and side done, but the back still needs to be hayed. Yes, hayed. That enjoyment I leave for John. Welcome home, honey!

Today at work I get to go back in time. Circumstances have me digging through old equipment to figure out which piece belonged to which location, so that it can be re-installed and do things old-school. I have no idea if I'll be able to easily identify the correct piece of equipment. I wasn't smart enough to label them, as I couldn't dream of ever needing it again... famous last words. I guess that will teach me to label things.

John comes in tonight on the late flight from Montreal at 11pm. I hope he has an easier time flying today. He has bad luck when it comes to flights being on-time when he travels here. This trip he's opted to only have a carry-on, which should speed things up going through Customs... unless they ask why he's only bringing a carry-on for a week's stay. He also has a terminal change in Chicago, an airport he's unfamiliar with, but I sent him a map of O'Hare. O'Hare is well signed and he doesn't have to go through Customs there, just change terminals, and he has 1.25h to do so as long as his flight isn't late. He just always seems to have some kind of flying adventure to tell me when he gets off the plane... I hope it's less eventful for him today. On his flight between Chicago and Montreal, he's on an Embraer 175, which has the personal viewscreens on the seat in front of you.

He made a funny comment to me last night about looking forward to seeing the fog. I'm hoping he brings some sunshine with him instead. So far it's not shaping up to be that great a summer.

Just got an email from him, actually. He's just waiting for the shuttle to arrive to pick him up and get to the airport. It's coming up on 6am out there right now, which is pretty early for an 8:35am flight, but as we learned last time I was there, you need to be checked in 2h in advance of an "international" flight. At least he's flying out of Orange County and not LAX, so a much shorter drive.

Oh, and Caly, the apartment is not your litterbox. Be a good cat while John is gone. That means not peeing everywhere. I know this is probably too much to ask, but thought I'd try.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Canada Day shindig

I guess I haven't made any real announcement on this yet, but I'm having a shindig on Canada Day. Some backyard BBQ and hopefully I can get the badminton net up in the backyard.

I will have the usual plates, cups, condiments, cupcakes, chips, and pop. Bring something to BBQ and WW-friendly snacks if chips & cupcakes aren't on your menu. Wear your Canada Day shirts if you have them.

I guess a start time depends on Shakespeare rehearsal. Late afternoon is good if we want to do any badminton, before it gets post-supper and cold.

As far as the rest of things going on with me, there really hasn't been much to talk about. I've been working a lot and watching Season 2 of original Star Trek. That's literally it. This week I'm preparing for John's arrival -- he arrives late Thursday night. Still need a few last minute groceries, including a new variety of 1/2 moon, with strawberry as well as vanilla filling. He should enjoy that. I'm really happy I was able to find some lactose-free ice cream at Superstore for him. 3 days to go. Been a long time since he was here, I will be glad to have him back in my own surroundings again.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Just like SoCal

I am in my car, inching toward the Harbour Bridge. I'm on my way to Bathurst, but it looks like it's going to take me a while to get out of the West Side. It started backing up beside Lancaster Mall. Supposedly a tractor trailer came unhinged around the Market Square exit. Crazy.

Going to be a long day if this keeps up. I have to drive to Bathurst, work there, then drive back to Moncton. I'll stay overnight tonight in Moncton and work there tomorrow.

Glad I have the XM for my road trip. :)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Go play in your own yard

In the last 3 days, I have had kids in my yard.

Two nights ago, I was walking into the bathroom when I heard a voice outside. The kid from the house behind mine was trying to corral his dog. They ended up walking all over my lawn. I hope I escaped dog crap. There's nothing worse than not owning a dog and still having to clean up its crap. At least this appearance in my yard wasn't intentional as it looks like the dog got away from the kid.

Last night I found kids in my driveway when I arrived home. I believe they were playing with my hose because the area beneath it was wet and had not been wet when I left the house to go get gas. They saw me coming and somewhat reluctantly and slowly moved out of my driveway and went 3 doors down to drive up someone else's driveway. Later last night, as I sat on the deck resting, a kid came to the back edge of my property, crossed the ditch, and walked his bike across my back lawn, onto my driveway, and up the street.

Tonight, I was home watching TV and heard voices near the house. I live alone, and hearing strange voices nearby on the outside of my house scares me. I looked outside and saw a second kid driving his bike over my lawn -- my $5000 lawn that I am trying desperately to keep in good shape in its tender growing stage. There are still areas, particularly in the front, where the grass is just beginning to take root. I ran to the door and firmly but not yelling told him to not drive on the grass, and told them to go play somewhere else.

Apparently my yard has become the neighborhood playground. It is also apparent that their parents haven't taught them to stay out of other people's yards. If I want kids driving over my lawn, I'll get some of my own. In the meantime, don't scare the crap out of me by going right up to my porch and going under it or whatever the heck they were doing.

This is my property. I pay for it, I maintain it, and I decide what happens on it. It doesn't include being an entertainment area/transportation path for uninvited children. You have your own yard and yards of friends. Go play on those and leave mine alone.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I can mow

I just mowed most of the front and side of my lawn. First time ever mowing. Wish it was my last too. I did ok, it's just really damn heavy because it's not self-propelled. Bag kept filling up really quickly because it was so long. Some of my land is swampy and I didn't mow it. I'm not convinced there should be lawn in places because it will always be swampy, even when it's not raining every day.

So tired. But I did it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The short version

Been doing funeral stuff the last few days. I'm glad it's over. It was great to have my brother home for a couple of days, even if it was under sad circumstances. In our non-funeral time we watched some Star Trek. I got up at 5am this morning to drive him to the airport. Then I came home and went back to bed before getting up for work.

The good thing to come out of this funeral scenario is that my mother is speaking to us again. I am approaching things cautiously. I don't want to fall back into old patterns.

John has blogged a good summary of our move status, I won't repeat that here, but if you're interested, head over there to see where we're at.

Apparently the problem with my lawn mower was that it didn't have enough gas. With help from my brother, I bought a gas tank and a weed whacker last night, but now it's raining again and I haven't had a chance to tackle either of those things. But at least I don't have to water the lawn. It's been getting plenty of that.

Raccoons keep knocking over my compost bin.

I now have a crack in my windshield that I didn't notice until after it had spread. Now I'll have to get that replaced. Car is also making humming noise, conveniently just days after the warranty has run out. And of course the crack in front end that I've had for a couple of years, which I still haven't fixed.

I am thinking of going to see The Lake House on Sunday or next week sometime. I have a free pass that is good Sunday-Thursday. If anyone is interested in going, let me know.

I think John and I will plan on having people over on Canada Day. Backyard BBQ and maybe even some badminton if the grass is in good enough shape by then. Let me know if you'd be interested in that too.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Long Day

Let me start off by talking about my day yesterday. Got up at 6:30am Atlantic (4:30 Central) so we’d be able to get to the airport in time for the minimum 2h international departure. Learned that lesson after leaving Orange County last time. We made it through everything with plenty of time to wait. Got on the plane bound for Chicago, and made it there with no problems. We had just over an hour wait in Chicago before heading for Toronto. We get on the plane in Toronto, and then are informed that the plane was being taken out of service as they had found a problem with it. We deplaned, and they sent us across the hall with another plane having just landed and we’d be able to use. We waited for the cleaners to go through, and boarded the second plane. Sat and waited. And waited. The captain comes over the speaker and says we have to deplane again, now *this* plane was being taken out of service because of some dents. We got off that plane and lined up for meal vouchers.

Supposedly the meal vouchers were good at any airport vendor – that’s what it said on the paper. All I wanted was some popcorn and pop, but noooo, “we don’t take vouchers anymore.” GRRRRR. After deplaning twice I was losing my patience.

They somehow quickly found us a third plane, which had just finished repairs (gives you a warm & cozy feeling, doesn’t it?) We boarded that plane, then had to sit and wait and wait and wait for bags to be loaded. Then we waited while they unloaded someone’s bag who had changed flights. Eventually we did take off, about 4 hours behind schedule. This meant no chance of making my 5pm flight home. We got off the plane at 4:30pm in Toronto, but with Customs, baggage, and terminal change I knew it just wasn’t going to happen. Luckily the late flight was not full and we all managed to get a seat on that flight. It was a really long day and I just wanted to get home. I’m going to have a hard few days coming up, with the funeral parlour and funeral to attend.


I wasn’t surprised by the news because he’d been diagnosed as terminal, but what is bothering me the most is going through all of the funeral-related stuff again, especially with my mother not speaking to me. I doubt this will make any difference to the mother situation. I hear that she asked my aunts, after he passed away, "Who will call my children?" Um, how about you call us yourself!!!! I am actually more upset about how to deal with my mother than I am about the death.

The funeral is Monday morning at 10am at the Cathedral. Grampy went there for most of the last 10 years or so as it was easier for Grammy to get into, before she was house-bound. The funeral parlour stuff begins on Saturday, but please do not worry about coming, I will have lots of family around and I know how weird it is to go while not knowing the deceased. My older brother is coming home Sunday around lunchtime and has to head back home again early Monday morning. He'll be staying with me since it's closer than staying at Dad's house. My sister-in-law won't be able to make it since she's still recovering from her neck surgery.

Thanks to everyone who left comments and/or sent emails. I appreciate your thoughts & well-wishes.

New Orleans

On to my trip itself. There are some comments I can’t make here about parts of my trip as they are work-related, but the meeting we went there for turned out to give me lots of info. Again I realize I have a lot of work to do.

As an aside, I also may get myself on a user group with our software provider that would see me going to quarterly meetings in the US, usually to fairly nice places. There is one next week in Orlando, but I won’t make it on the committee in time to attend that meeting. The next one may be tacked on to the beginning or end of the conference in Kentucky in the fall. I’m excited about this as it’s the best way to make myself heard with our software supplier, and I know it will provide me with a great learning opportunity; something I’ve been craving for a while now.

We landed in New Orleans on Tuesday and headed to Morgan City, LA. Along the way you could see lots of hurricane damage, leaning power poles, destroyed roofs/buildings, debris, etc. Overall things are either brand new because they’ve been rebuilt already, or they still look like they did right after the hurricane. There is a lot of damage and it’s going to take years to get back in shape.

We arrived in Morgan City and checked in to our hotel. To my delight, Tuesday night was karaoke night at the hotel bar. Other than bowling and karaoke, I don’t think anything else was happening in Morgan City that night. Pretty small place. That meant karaoke was pretty full of townsfolk, and the hosts weren’t very good at keeping the list in order, just doing whatever they wanted. Two of my co-workers joined me but did not sing. I did an average of about a song an hour, finishing up just after 11pm. Smoking in bars is legal there, so by the time I got up to do my third song, my voice was hoarse and I couldn’t sing it very well. I did get compliments from a couple of women in the bathroom, and the desk clerk the next morning when I checked out. I had the requisite drunk creepy guy tap me on the shoulder and tell me I needed to sing louder, and another come by and ask if I was going to sing Barbra Streisand. I made sure I was escorted to my room after that (our rooms had exterior doors).

I have to say, there were some great male karaoke performances that night. At least 3 really good male singers doing alt rock. Also a kick-ass female performer, I forget what song she did. Morgan City karaoke singers are tough to follow.

Wednesday was our meeting, and after grabbing a quick bite for lunch, we headed back to New Orleans. We checked in to a hotel near the airport, and then headed downtown to meet up with colleagues and see famed Bourbon St. Can’t say as that was my thing, seeing as how I don’t enjoy female strippers and I don’t drink, but at least I can say I’ve been there. We had dinner at the Red Fish Grill, but not being much of one for seafood, I ended up getting steak. I checked my Blackberry after finishing dinner and that was when I got word to call home and hear the news about Grampy.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel to drop someone off, then two co-workers wanted to go shopping, so I joined them at the mall to keep my mind occupied. I picked up a few things at the semi-annual Bath & Body Works sale. Pretty picked over by the time we were shopping. Also went into a huge, 2 level Target, but it was close to closing time so my tour was pretty short. I came back to the hotel and finished up the evening chatting with John. Got to bed pretty late and then had an early rise.

I did take some pictures, but my camera is in my luggage, so I’ll have to post them later.