Friday, March 31, 2006

Road Trip

I spent 2 days this week driving around with a suitcase in my car, not knowing when I was going to have to get up and leave to go to the Evil City. Because it was Halifax that I was going too, all hell broke loose this week, equipment kept breaking. Finally I was able to leave on Wednesday around lunchtime. Didn't arrive in time to be able to do any work that night, but at least I finally managed to get there.

That night I met up with Cyn, whom I hadn't seen in quite a while. We had supper at Subway and then did some shopping around Bayers Lake. I got to see her and Roomie's new apartment. Really, really nice spot. They truly lucked out in finding it. It's only 3 years old and seems to be very quiet. Roomie didn't get home from work until about 11:30, so it was a late night for me as I wanted to meet him since I was down there. He seems like a great guy :)

Thursday I spent working all day. I visited all the locations, got to see lots of people I hadn't seen in a while, got to see renovations and changes also. I managed to get everything I wanted done in one day, which was nice.

Both days I had breakfast in Bedford at Great Canadian Bagel. Really miss not having one here. Their choco chip bagels are the best.

Met up with Cyn again last night at the Halifax Shopping Centre, where I finally found a shirt to go with the skirt I bought in Moncton a few weeks back. After that we hit supper at Jack Astor's, where I had steak. Really looking forward to BBQ season. We finished supper and hit a few more stores. Cyn got an amazing sale on a couple of items at Cotton Ginny and I got 3 things at Jacob Connexion. Mare: the regular Jacob store opened in Mic Mac a week ago. Didn't have time to make it to Mic Mac though.

Got up this morning, had breakfast and then hit the road. I had stops in Truro, Amherst, Moncton and am now back home again. On my way home I got a call from Fredericton, so now I have to leave in about an hour and meet someone between here & there to exchange broken for working equipment. I've been driving all day so I am not looking forward to hitting the road again, but I am only going as far as Welsford.

Also during my drive home my older brother emailed me to tell me he & my sister-in-law are making a whirlwind trip home today. He's buying a new truck and is coming down to pick it up. I hope they bring some of the wedding pictures with them so I finally get to see them... and my creepy red eye. I rarely get to see my brother, even more rarely when he comes here, so it will be great to see him again.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


I've set a date for the annual viewing of Jesus Christ Superstar at my place. Since I will be away at Easter, I don't have any kind of large Eggstravaganza planned this year. Just a simple evening to come over and watch JCS, sing along if you know the words (Jay knows ALL the words), and participate in the kick line.

I've decided pretty much the only night I can hold it is Sunday April 9th. That leaves time for people to recover after the Moonchildren cast party. It won't be a late evening, we'll just watch the one movie, as most of us need to go to work the next day. I am thinking a 7pm start time for the movie, since it's just under 2h long.

I haven't had people over since Christmas. It's been a while, so I think it's time to host some fun again. Comment here if you know you're coming.

Garbage, garbage, garbage

A couple of weeks ago I recommitted to walking 10,000 steps a day. Just a personal goal, mostly for health reasons since I get no other forms of exercise. At lunchtime I walk from my office to the end of Harbour Passage and back, which is about 1/2 hour. On the weekends and after work, I will walk varying lengths of Manawagonish Road, from my house, cutting through Island View School, onto Manawagonish to Purdy's Corner (where it meets Manchester Ave). Walking to Purdy's Corner and back takes me a few minutes over an hour.

Last weekend, something caught my eye. I started to notice just how much garbage was lying all along the sidewalk and side of the road. Some of it blown there by the wind after crows attack the bags on garbage day, some of it carelessly thrown on the ground as litter, some of it just now coming to light since the snow has melted away. It became the focus of that day's walk, how much garbage I was seeing and eventually it felt like that was all I was seeing. It felt like walking through a dump.

Yesterday I decided I was going to do something about it. I knew I wouldn't be able to get every single piece of garbage along the route, and also didn't want to trespass on people's property, but I was going to pick up what I could along my walk. It wouldn't solve the problem, but it would definitely help in some small way. At the very least, I wouldn't have to keep seeing that gross hairbrush.

I drew the line at picking up cigarette butts, snotty kleenex, used condoms, the pregnancy test (that was more disturbing than the used condom) and I wasn't sure what my position would be on needles, but I thankfully didn't find any. What I did find was an old shirt, beverage containers, plastic forks & spoons, two beer bottles in the school playground (one broken, one not), cigarette packages, an old hairbrush, plastic bags, pieces of fake flowers from the cemetery, bottle caps, packaging from various products sold at MediTrust Pharmacy, and the most popular item of the day was most definitely plastic straws. Apparently no one likes to hang on to straws.

By the time I hit MediTrust, 15 minutes into my walk, my bag was pretty much already full. I kept cramming stuff into it as I went along. Stopping for garbage added about another 1/2 hour onto my walk. I know it's a good thing that I got that much garbage off the sidewalk, but at the same time it's also very depressing to have picked up that much garbage and yet still left so much more behind (especially in front of Curves/MediTrust).

I guess I had been living under the false impression that littering was no longer a popular thing to do. What I really don't understand is why. Why is it so hard to hang on to that used kleenex until you get home? Did you really put that much snot on it? Wrap it in another kleenex and stick it in your pocket. It won't kill you to hang on to a used kleenex. I promise.

I guess these people just don't care what they are doing to their environment. They don't care that they're making it look like a dump and they are polluting it. All, I think, out of laziness. It's pretty sad when you can't hang on to a pop bottle until you get home, instead throwing it out your car window or just dropping it on the ground. What do you think happens to this stuff? It's sad that some people still haven't learned to clean up after themselves. Sorry there aren't any garbage cans along Manawagonish Road, but that doesn't mean you can treat it as a dumping ground.

One of the worst in terms of offending litter that I see (less so on the West Side, but more of the litter on Harbour Passage) are the *&^%(& Tim Horton's coffee cups and lids. By looking at Harbour Passage, you'd think there was a self-destruct mechanism on these cups, that if you don't drop it as soon as you're finished with it, it will kill you. These paper cups & plastic lids outnumber any other kind of litter I've seen during my walks on Harbour Passage. What really saddens me is that there are at least 4 garbage cans on the path. The laziness and/or carelessness of some people to not bother holding on to their empty coffee cups a bit longer until they reach the garbage can is just astounding to me.

After this effort, I then concentrated on my own yard. Not being a littering person, any garbage that was in my own yard was usually blown there from someone else's yard. In my yard I found plastic bags, Halloween candy wrappers, 3 tennis balls, 1 other black ball, a kids' watering can, and a Corelle plate looking to be in perfect condition other than being dirty. Not sure which neighbor it belongs to, but I may try to clean it up and find its owner. Sad that there was that much garbage that had floated its way into my yard. At least it is much cleaner now.

There was one disturbing thing that I found in my backyard, way at the back beside my neighbor's fence. The largest poop I'd ever seen. I don't know if I want to know what animal created that poop. I've seen dog poop, and cat poop, but this was no ordinary poop. It was scarily-large poop. Probably a good 2" wide poop, and I am not exaggerating. I have no idea what's walking around in my backyard when I'm not looking. I may not want to know.

So after my weekend of trying to make a small corner of my world less filled with litter, I do feel like I succeeded at the task. I hope you're placing your garbage in a garbage can, or even better, recycling as much as possible. I'm going to continue to do my part.

Personal DNA

I come out as a Concerned Analyst.

I always end up as some kind of ANALyst. Geesh. ;)

Saturday, March 25, 2006


I opened up my comment options a bit. Use "other" and you can sign your name to it without having a Blogger account. You can't enable "other" without also enabling anonymous, so we'll see how it goes.

Monday, March 20, 2006

So much for that

I just lost my Immigration contact due to a layoff. Damn. I don't know if he'll still get in contact with me or not. I am likely the least of his concerns right now.

I'm going to Disneyland!

I don't know what it is lately, but time just seems to be flying by. Unfortunately that also includes the weekends, and does not include time between visits with John.

Didn't have much to do last week. Thursday morning I drove to Fredericton and dropped off my passport application. I should have the passport back by the end of the month, so that should be fine. Also did some work while I was there.

Friday night I met up with Jenn, Stew and Joanne for supper at Swiss Chalet. Our server seemed to be caught in the middle of some kind of ordering system malfunction, so our food took a while to be ordered and to be brought to the table. Not too big of a deal though, as we had lots of time before heading uptown for Sight Unseen. Since we had a few extra minutes, we stopped by Old Navy to look for some jeans for Joanne. I found a white tank which I hope will go with the skirt I bought in Moncton. Still need to try the two on together.

Not being a drinker, I didn't really do anything for St. Paddy's Day other than wear green. I didn't mind missing the "festivities" to see Sight Unseen. I really enjoyed the revolving stage, I thought that was excellent. I hope it can be used for other productions as well. Kudos to Scott T on his performance and I kept thinking of Dre every time I looked at the costumes :)

My weekend otherwise consisted of doing laundry, chatting with John, reading, dropping by Zellers for some sale items before the vultures picked it dry, and waiting for my weekend flyers. I was annoyed yesterday - my flyers still hadn't shown up by 9pm last night. Weekend flyer delivery is supposed to be earlier than Sunday night. Cripes, I know people who get their weekend set of flyers on Friday night.

Plans continue for John's move here. It seems like every time we get one answer, it invokes another whole series of questions. John's next step is to call the Canadian Consulate office in LA, whereas I am trying to get a lunch meeting in the Evil City with a friend of a co-worker who works for Immigration. There are so many questions we need to have answered that it is almost paralyzing. I just hope we can soon get a plan in place that will at least give us some more direction.

I still don't know whether or not I'll be headed to the Evil City this week. The laptop I am waiting on for repairs has not been fixed yet. Whatever parts they are waiting for seem to be takig a long time. If I don't get the laptop back by tomorrow, I'll have to delay the trip until next week. Not that I am itching to go to the Evil City anyway.

On the trip front, my second day in SoCal has been reserved for a trip to Disneyland. John's sister will be home for a visit, so I will get to meet her and her family, as well as see his mom again. I didn't make it to Disneyland last time I was down, so it will be interesting to see. John says I will find it a lot smaller than Disney World, but it doesn't matter, really, since I get to go around saying "I'm going to Disneyland!" like I just won something :) After a day at Disneyland, the plan is to meet up with John after he finishes work and go to Medieval Times for dinner. I've driven past that many times while in Florida, but we never went to it, so I think it will be fun. My only concern about the day is being able to stay awake. I hope I can adjust a bit more quickly this time. I don't want to pass out in my plate of food during the jousting :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Casting the Dallas movie

HEADED TO DALLAS: Per Variety, 20th Century Fox's big-screen version of CBS' Dallas picking up steam, with John Travolta being eyed to play J.R. Ewing, Jennifer Lopez in the role of Sue Ellen Ewing, Luke Wilson as Bobby Ewing and Shirley MacLaine playing Miss Ellie Ewing.
(from E! Online)

[speechless expression]

It's sounding Pink Panther-ish to me...

No more Whammies

The host of Press Your Luck, my favorite game show growing up, died yesterday in a plane crash. Peter Tomarken and the Whammies entertained my younger brother and I every day. Click here to visit a great tribute site. Ah, the memories!

"Big bucks! No more Whammies.... and.... STOP!" It was classic mindless muttering, in the days before Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and the "well, it can't be C because I was born in Utah in 1956..."

"Big bucks? I'll show you big bucks!" [Whammy then brings out an elk].

No more Whammies, indeed.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The turtle creeps along

I had a moderately busy weekend, more self-imposed than anything else.

Late Friday afternoon I took the Haunted Car in to get the clicking noise fixed. Decided to wait for it, it only took an hour. While I was there I chatted with my sales guy about my increasing mileage. Going to keep an eye on that and see what I can do about not going over and paying the penalty.

Friday night I spent at home, devouring a book and then chatting with John after he got home. Saturday I did more reading and went to church.

Saturday night was the Rob Thomas concert. Really good show, although the sound wasn't the best where we were seated. Free food and no wacky weed made up for that, though. Anna Nalick's opening set was good, she seems to be a decent live performer. Rob's set was really good. He played a lot of his new stuff, which I enjoyed hearing - I had bought his cd when it first came out. He rearranged a few Matchbox Twenty songs that turned out really well. I actually liked the new arrangement for If You're Gone better than the original. The highlight of the evening though was definitely the cover of Bowie's Let's Dance. I love that song anyway, and it was a total surprise when they started to play it. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the 5 minute bass solo... I don't mind songs being extended when they're live, but when the interlude is so long that I've forgotten what song they're playing, I think that's a little much. All in all a good show, I'm really glad I was able to procure the tickets. Next up for concerts is INXS, for which I have very high hopes.

Sunday I got up and cleaned. And cleaned. And cleaned. I stripped the bed, washed the sheets, and washed a new set of sheets I bought when I was away. I turned the mattress. I cleaned and dusted the dresser and nighttable. I vacuumed the whole main floor of the house. I cleaned the desk in my office. I dusted the living room. I cleaned the bathroom. I vacuumed baseboards. The only thing I didn't get done was mopping the floors, but dammit, after all that, I was ready to go to bed around 7pm. I took a break in the middle of the day to walk up to the drugstore. I haven't been walking much the past month, between the weather and being sick, so all of that walking around yesterday is taking its toll on me today.

I have to go to the Evil City for work. I thought it was going to be this week, but it looks like something got delayed, so that trip will get postponed until next week. Good parts: get to visit Cyn, get to go to Costco. Bad part: I have to go to the Evil City. Halifax and I don't get along.

After work today, since I was already on the East Side, I stopped at Wal-Mart to look for a couple of things. After today's visit, I've decided I'm not going back there unless there is something specific I need that I can't get anywhere else. I can't seem to set foot in that store anymore without being around a whole bunch of stupid people, in a crowded aisle... conditions always ripe for Wal-Mart Rage. Today's adventure was standing in line at the checkout. Stupid-ass lady just took her bags and left her cart right there in the middle of the aisle, right in my way. I smashed it out of the way. Not a mature response, I'll admit, but I was pissed. You have to walk right by the cart corral in order to leave the store. There's no excuse. She just left it in my way to have to deal with. So I smashed it down the aisle out of my way. After that, I decided it wasn't worth my frustration every time I go into that store. It's on the other side of town, out of the way for me. There are plenty of stores on my side of town that I can frequent, so that's what I'll do. If Wal-Mart builds a store on this side of town, fine; I'll consider shopping there. But I'm not going out of my way to the other side of town to be frustrated buying kleenex. Just not worth it.

I then headed over to Winners, where I spent what I think was 20 minutes looking for a picture frame and coming out of the store with nothing. There were plenty of frames, but apparently I am incapable of deciding on one and picking it out. Libras are notorious for not being able to make decisions, and I definitely live up to that part of my sign. I looked over the frames... ugly color. Too girly. Too plain. Too many scratches. Too dark. Too heavy. I'm pretty sure it was my indecision and not a lack of decent frames. I wanted to print and frame one of the pics of John & me from my last trip, but for some reason none of the frames looked right. So I still don't have a frame, nor do I have any idea what kind of frame I want. Maybe I should just tape it to the wall.

Last but not least today, I got someone to sign my passport application. Now I just need to get it up to Fredericton some day this week. Weather's not looking the greatest for tomorrow, so it will have to wait until later in the week. My passport pic looks bad, as is the requirement for passport pictures. It could look worse. Think positive.

C'mon turtle. 30 days to go.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Haunted car

I am finally feeling a bit better today. This cold has been a killer on me. I should have stayed home on Tuesday as well as Monday but I didn't. Wednesday I went to Moncton and likely overextended myself. Yesterday I lost my voice and went home at lunchtime, trying as best I could to take phone calls; thankfully I didn't have too many. This morning I wasn't going anywhere at 7am, but after a bit more rest, getting up and unclogging, and then finally getting some of my voice back, I felt well enough to come in to work.

Something happened to my car when I went to Moncton on Wednesday. When you use the turn signal, it makes a ticking noise. When the turn signal goes off, so should the ticking. My car has decided to spontaneously keep ticking as I'm driving down the road. tick..... tick tick tick..... tick tick. No rhyme or reason, it could be any number of ticks, it could be 10 minutes since I last used the turn signal and it will just suddenly start ticking. I have an appointment this afternoon to go and get it checked out.

My car's warranty will soon be expiring. It's up in 3 years or 60,000km. I'm currently at 55,500km and the 3 years will be up at the end of May. I have a 4 year lease, so I will be running on a year with no warranty. I knew that going in, I just hope it doesn't start having a lot of problems. I have a couple of trips coming up for work that may push me over the 60,000km before the end of May. I don't want to have to pay a penalty for being over my mileage at the end of this lease, but it looks like I am heading that way. I wish I had had the foresight to choose the 24,000km/year option instead of 20,000 when I signed this lease. Live and learn, I guess. I'm not sure that I will go for a lease next time. I think I'd like to have a little more freedom with my next car. We'll see.

I took Jenn with me to Moncton on Wednesday and she shopped while I worked. Once I was done work I met up with her and she'd found me a really nice skirt that I could wear to the wedding in April. That, of course, led to the quest of finding something to put with the skirt, which led to finding a dress on sale for $15 that I am now going to wear instead. Still have the skirt, still need something to go with it, but the dress was a great score, with the added bonus of not having to buy new shoes to go with it. Since shoes cost me somewhere in the range of $200, this is a big deal.

Planning on spending a quiet night at home tonight, getting some more rest. Tomorrow night is the Rob Thomas concert, with Anna Nalick as the opening act. Looking forward to that. The tickets I got from work were for our company suite, so we'll be up in the new boxes at Harbour Station. I've only been up in that section once but it was in a different company's suite. It will be interesting to see how a concert is from up there. We're pretty much the furthest from the stage, hope we can still see pretty well. And hey, if not, the tickets were free :)

Monday, March 06, 2006


Which is basically what I've been doing since Saturday night. I started coughing during Girls' Night, which evolved into a sore throat in addition to the cough on Sunday. I stayed home from work today, feeling marginally better but not sure I wanted to be driving myself anywhere. I had no specific deadlines today at work so better I miss one day and get over this than have it drag on all week.

Thursday night was the Collective Soul concert in Fredericton. I worked a bit late on Wednesday night so I could take off around 4 on Thursday, pick up T-L and Van and head to Fredericton. The highway was clear for the most part, but I was really uncomfortable driving it that day, in part because it's a shitty highway to begin with, but mostly due to the anniversary of the deaths of friends 9 years ago who had been driving on that highway. Thankfully we travelled without incident and the weather co-operated as well.

It had been so long since I'd seen a concert at the Aitken Centre that I'd forgotten how bad the acoustics are. It's a hockey arena, not really made with the intention of hosting other events. While the band was great, the sound was so bad that it ended up ruining the concert a bit for me. I also had a giant row of speakers in my view. In the end it certainly wasn't worth $55 plus the drive, but I can't blame that on the band. What I would like to see is their new live DVD, in my living room with surround sound, and I think that would be worth the $30.

I felt bad for the band that night. I wonder if they knew they'd only draw 1500-2000 people? It was a pretty small crowd, even with student ticket prices being $25.

What was really sad that night at the show was the girl who was around 10 years old who got sick from the wacky weed smell. Her parents had to pack her up and take her home quite early in the evening because she'd gotten so sick. There's 3 tickets down the drain because some idiot decided he/she couldn't have fun at a concert without pot. News flash, jackass: smoking is bannded in indoor places in this province. Of course, you were likely oblivious to the fact you ruined this poor girl's night. Personally, I'm pretty tired of attending concerts and getting bombarded with smoke of any kind, especially pot. I wish there was some way to control it, but in a venue that is dark and holds thousands of people, there's not much that can be done.

Friday I had another frustrating day at work, so I was really glad to leave and go home when the time came. I don't even remember much of what I did, I think I read until John came home and then we chatted.

Saturday was a lazy day. I had told myself I would get out and walk both days this weekend, but I didn't end up getting out at all. Saturday I just had no energy, was feeling pretty unmotivated to do anything, and the inherent distance issues in my relationship were really getting to me. I headed to church and was then happy to have plans for the evening. I picked up Jenn, we did an errand and then headed to lemongrass for supper. I'd barely seen her since I got back from my trip so it was nice to catch up. After supper we picked up Suzy, headed to the liquor store, then over to Lisa's. We chatted, watched Dirty Dancing, Jenn broke out the Carmen Electra Aerobic Striptease. Good times. Then I started having coughing fits, I thought due to my being dry so I got some water, but that wasn't helping a whole lot. We drove Suzy home, picked up Stew, dropped off Jenn and Stew and I crawled into bed at 2am. Been a while since I was up that late.

Sunday I felt worse, having the sore throat in addition to the cough, so I slept in, did laundry, but didn't feel enough like doing the cleaning I needed to do. I tried to rest in the afternoon, took a nap, but at 6pm I realized I wasn't well enough to be going anywhere, so I had to call Mare and tell her I wasn't able to make it to the Oscar party. Hope everyone had fun though.

I did stay up to watch, crashing on the couch earlier in the show and then crawling into bed to watch the latter part of the show. John doesn't normally watch the show, but stayed on and chatted with me and ended up watching the whole thing. I hacked and coughed my way through it.

I did enjoy the show, here are my highs & lows:

  • Michelle Williams - Christina Aguilera called, she wants her lipstick back. Mustard yellow with ruffles? Ew.
  • Helena Bonham Carter looked crazed. Or high. Or something, just not normal.
  • Charlize Theron - giant bows went out with the 80s.
  • Naomi Watts - too bad you got your dress caught in the shredder. Nice of you to match your dress to your skin color, that way it just blended right in. *rolls eyes
  • Oscar montages suck. Academy, if you're so worried about attracting a younger audience, why are you filling an hour of the show with montages? The "In Memoriam" is fine, that serves a purpose. The rest is crap filler. The show is long enough without crap filler. Save the montages for a big milestone, not every friggin' year.
  • Jon Stewart did a good job, not outstanding, but good. I laughed. A lot of people didn't, though, and the consensus this morning seems to be that he won't be asked back. He looked nervous in the beginning, the opening monologue seemed pretty stiff, but as the night wore on he had some great lines.
  • I want one of the stuffed penguins
  • Music being played during the whole acceptance speech was ANNOYING.
  • Why, why, why did they ever think it was ok to cut short the acceptance speech on Best Picture? As I heard or read this morning (can't remember where), what was ABC worried about, starting Jimmy Kimmel on time???
So Crash won best picture. Personally, I don't think it deserved the win, but there are lots who will and do disagree. John and I rented Crash while I was in SoCal, and it left me with the feeling that LA is the worst place in the world, full of racist bastards. I just found it really depressing, and I didn't feel as though Sandra Bullock's or Matt Dillon's characters would actually change after what happened to them. It's not as though I thought Brokeback Mountain was the best movie ever, but I thought it had more redeeming qualities than Crash.

*cough, cough. Time for some more Advil C&S.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

If you don't want people to think it...

Jessica Alba, who appears in a bikini on the cover of the March issue of Playboy, threatening to sue the magazine, claiming that Hugh Hefner and the magazine's editors are trying to make it seem that she appears in a "nude or semi-nude pictorial," the reports.

(from E! Online)

Come on. You're on the cover of PLAYBOY. What do you think people are buying it for?!?!? You should have picked a different magazine if you didn't want people thinking that. Moron.