Monday, June 30, 2003

Painting with the windows open is so much nicer than the alternative.

Last week, when we were painting the bedroom, it was really hot and muggy and I had to keep the windows closed and the A/C on. This morning, I painted the bathroom with the windows open and the fans going. I'm not nearly as giddy from the fumes as I was last week, and it's drying way better. Well, sort of.

It's a long story but here it is ....The people who owned the house before us did little or no maintenance on it. We figure our house is about 55 years old. We knew, moving in (in October 2000), that we'd have to replace the roof and we did this within the first 3 weeks of living here. Because the roof was way overdue to be replaced, there was some dampness in the attic and the second floor. We left the upstairs rooms alone for the first winter, not wanting to paint before the place had a chance to dry out. In the spring of 2001, we painted the guest bedroom, it was a hideous, bright yellow (it had been a child's bedroom) with teddy bears on the walls. Even the floor was painted banana yellow. Last year, we went to work on the bathroom. The toilet tank was not insulated so the floor around it had been damaged due to moisture. There was no ventilation fan so the ceiling was pretty yucky. Last summer, we had the floor and ceiling replaced in our bathroom. We did this just as the weather got really humid and didn't want to paint and finish it off during the heat of last summer. Mark's been working on the walls this spring. They needed a lot of patching and sanding. On Saturday and Sunday, he finished off the sanding and I started painting this morning.

I got all the "cutting in" done within an hour. When I started rolling the paint on the ceiling and the walls, it went pretty smoothly. We got really good paint at Home Depot. I noticed, as I was finishing up that the paint was bubbling in a couple of places. I started to feel sick to my stomach. Almost the entire bathroom had been sanded and it never occurred to me that they may have used oil based paint in there. It's looking like there are 3 or 4 spots that we'll have to sand in the morning before I can put a second coat on. I'd hoped to get it all done today but I want to really set before we sand it. All I could think at the time was that I'd have to sand the whole bathroom and prime and then repaint the whole place.

Fun stuff huh?? I had a minor melt-down last night. We were up to our eyeballs in plaster dust, it had settled through the entire house and I just could not see an end to it while I was cleaning. It seemed that the more I cleaned, the bigger the mess was. Mark was awesome though, he took down the plastic sheeting, vacuumed the stairwell and calmed me down. The dust finally started settling once the sheeting came down (we had covered the doors up stairs with it). I just could not see how the house would ever be clean again. I felt that bad about the mess.

Part of what I was feeling, I think, was because we went out yesterday and bought new living furniture. We didn't plan to do this. I had needed to get some new batteries for my camera and we went to the futureshop for them. We started out looking at stereos (we were planning to get ourselves a new DVD player with surround sounds, SACD, MP3, etc. for Christmas). Futureshop didn't have what we were looking for so we just got the batteries and headed over to the mall. We knew we couldn't do anything at home because Mark was waiting for the last of his patch work to dry in the bathroom. We parked by the Bay when we got to the mall. I don't often go to the mall but whenever I do, I usually end up looking at sofa's in the furniture department at the Bay. We desperately need a new sofa and chair. We live on an old futon sofa and a chair that belonged to the living set my parents got when they were married in 1966. Something drew me into the back corner of the department and I found myself standing in front of a beautiful Bauhaus set. A navy sofa with a coordinating navy and green chair. They were almost 1/2 price. I had no intention of buying them but we ended up doing just that (they have don't pay anything 'til June 2004 on right now). I think that my melt-down was because of the money we spent (or would do, in June 2004) and partly because I could not envision bringing brand new furniture into a filthy pig-sty house.

This morning, the dust had totally settled, I got the first coat on the bathroom and the downstairs is totally cleaned. I slugged my guts out this afternoon scrubbing and polishing everything. It looks pretty good. The guest bedroom and our freshly painted bedroom are still covered in a fine layer of plaster dust but it's not too bad. I'll probably clean them tomorrow while the second coat of paint dries.

I'm so grateful for Mark. He let me have my cry, my moment if you will. He listened to me, calmed me down and was totally rational about everything. I love that he can do that for me. I think that I do that for him too and that's why we're such a good team. On Wednesday night, we'll be a team with a new sofa and chair in our living room. Of course, now the living room needs painted but that will have to wait for the fall because I do not want to spend my entire two weeks holiday from work painting. We'll also need a new area rug and coffee table but the sofa and chair are what we needed most. The rest will have to wait until I can get up to IKEA in Nepean again (did I mention that I also need new bedside tables and lamps for our bedroom?).

All in good time. I just keep adding things to the list...the nice thing is though, that after 2.5 years, this house is finally starting to feel like our house, bubbling bathroom paint and all.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

We so slept in this morning.

Not like, ew, it's 8 a.m., better get up. More like, hey, it's 10 a.m., yikes!! I don't even remember the last time we did that. We had to have needed the sleep though of we wouldn't have slept that long. I'm thinking it must have been the work yesterday and the lack of oxygen to our lungs from the plastering.

Speaking of breathing, recently, we have been spending a more than average amount of time at the Home Depot. I know that they are an evil, big corporation and we probably shouldn't shop there but they always have exactly what we need, in stock, and (usually) at a price we can afford. I like the Depot because of the potential you feel when you are there. Exploring the aisles, you see things that can spiff up your house with just a little elbow grease, and some ready cash. It's not a bad feeling at all. What is a bad feeling is the Harvey's smell. I hate that they have that Harvey's in the front of the store. I used to like Harvey's. I think that they make a pretty decent burger. Every once in a long while, Mark and I will indulge in a fast-food treat. I realized yesterday that since they stuck the Harvey's in the front of the Home Depots, I've not had Harvey's. The ventilation is really poor and that sick burger / grease smell just hangs in the entrance of the store. I really feel for the cashiers who have to work with that smell hovering all over them all day. It makes me feel sick. What makes me gag though is seeing people lining up for the burgers whenever we're in there. I guess there is no accounting for taste when it comes to stuff like that.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Yikes. We've been working on our bathroom, all the live-long day!

Or at least it feels like that. Poor Mark, he was sanding it for like 3 hours this afternoon. He looked like a snowman when he finally emerged from the dust. I'm sure how much good the mask did that he was wearing but I hope it made a difference.

Despite the fact that I vacummed the entire house several times today, and totally scrubbed the bathroom, our house is a disaster area. It looks like Woody Allen sneezed a huge bag of coke all over the place! A fine white dust has settled everywhere. No matter how much I wipe it up or try to keep ahead of it, I can't. I've finally given up and will clean the whole house again, top to bottom, once the painting is finished. What a mess!! It will look good though, eventually. This Monday, I'll be painting...Lemon Grass on our bathroom walls. It'll be so much nicer than the pepto bismal pink that's on it right now. I'll post some more before / after snaps on my fotolog when we're done.
It's an absolutely gorgeous summer day here.

There is an amazing, million dollar breeze, blowing through the house. The sky is blue and there is no haze or pollution to be seen. Just lovely!!

Here's another silly, Saturday quiz, have fun!
You are Peace
You are Peace.

You are at peace with your self and the world
around you. You have balance in your life and
exude tranquility from every pore of your body.
People are constantly asking you "what is
your secret?"

What Emotion Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, June 27, 2003

Today's Friday Five, hot off the press:

1. How are you planning to spend the summer [winter]?
I'm on a 2 week break from work right now. My busy time at work is through the summer months so I take my holidays early. This year, we're just working around the house. This week we painted the bedroom, I'm painting the bathroom next week. This weekend I plan to do a lot of stuff in the yard. In between, I'm taking it easy and just enjoying getting some long-overdue chores out of the way.

2. What was your first summer job?
My first summer job was babysitting. From the time I was 11 until I was 16, I babysat every summer, for different families. My first "proper" job was as a cashier in a grocery store when I was 16. I worked there for 4 summers and throughout the school year too.

3. If you could go anywhere this summer [winter], where would you go?
If I had a good chunk of time off this summer, I'd love to hop in the car and take my time driving across the country, from Ontario to Salt Spring Island.

4. What was your worst vacation ever?
I haven't had a lot of proper vacations but the "worst" one was probably when I was 10 or so. We went to Toronto to see the Zoo, the Science Center, etc. I remember that my mum got really sick and we had to come home. I remember being more worried about her than being disappointed that we had to cut our trip short.

5. What was your best vacation ever?
The most recent proper vacation we took was last summer. We took a road trip to the maritimes and I loved it. Mark and I toured around Quebec and New Brunswick and PEI. It was a lot of fun, the scenery was beautiful and we didn't have a schedule or anything so we just chilled out and enjoyed ourselves. I'd love to go back.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

I posted some "after" pictures on my fotolog. I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about the paint. Now that the bedroom is sort of done (there are still some odds and ends of things to finish up), we're going to start in on the bathroom next.

The actual painting wasn't too bad, I missed my bed though. The spare room is okay but it's not the same as being in our own room. I'll be glad to get back to normal tonight.
The painting is all done. The tape still needs to come down and the room has to be put back together but it's done. I can't believe that we got through it during this heat wave. We plan to do the bathroom this weekend. I'm hoping that it'll be nicer for that. It was tough not being able to have the windows open. The A/C kept things cool but the fumes were a little much at times.

Just to amuse myself this Wednesday morning, I've done another it is:

You're a Diamond. You seem like a cold and an
unreachable person outside, yet you are
beautiful inside and outside. You may be
stubborn at times. You act with grace and
elegance and you are a precious asset to all
your friends.

What Jewel Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Happy Hump Day all!

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

This-or-That Tuesday:

1. Surf sites at random, or have a set list of regular reads?
Yes. I have a regular list of blocs I read but I like to surf different web rings and discover new pages.

2. Do you visit mostly blogs, or news or other sites?
Mostly blogs. I do read the news online daily too though.

3. Do you go online every day, or just a couple of days a week?
Yes, if we're not traveling, I am online everyday.

4. Do you allow comments on your blog, or not?
Yes I do and so far it's not been a problem. I have noticed that some folks have experienced problems with spammers.

5. Do you shop online at all, or at regular stores?
Mostly online.

6. Have you ever done online bill-paying/banking, or not?
I do most of my banking online and have done for years.

7. Which news site do you prefer... or Or do you prefer some other one?
Ew, neither. I like the NY Times or the CBC sites.

8. Live chat rooms, or message boards?
I prefer message boards. Live chat rooms require a larger time commitment than I can make.

9. Instant messaging or e-mail?
I use both but prefer e-mail.

10. Yes or no: have you ever met, or at least talked on the phone with, another blogger? If not, would you want to? Why or why not?
I have not but there are a few folks who I would love to meet.

Monday, June 23, 2003

The painting is going very well. The first coat is on and it looks good. As we've been painting today, it's occurred to us that at some point, there was wallpaper on the walls that has been painted over. I am not sure how many layers of paint are on the wallpaper but you can sort of tell, now that the new paint is going on.

I worked on it this morning on my own. I did the baseboards and some of the picky stuff and when Mark got home this afternoon he did the overhead cutting in while I rolled. Those old walls just sucked the paint up. We're going to let it dry for 24 hours and get the second coat on tomorrow afternoon. I posted some before and after photos on my fotolog.

Because it's so stinking hot today, I kept the A/C on and the windows closed. As a result, I got a little silly from the paint. It's latex paint and the fumes aren't bad but by the time Mark got home this afternoon, I was basically stupid. I'd try to stay something and totally wrong words would come out. It's weird. The same thing started to happen to Mark after a couple of hours in there. It was kind of funny actually. I mean, I thought it was funny when it happened to me. It's amazing what stinky stuff will do to your brain.

We're off out again to the Depot for another gallon of paint. We used about 1.5 today and I'm sure I'll need that much again to get the second coat on and the touch-ups. I never realized how much the green was bugging my ass until it started to disappear!!

Sunday, June 22, 2003

The weekend has passed like a blur.

We spent a good chunk of the day in Home Depot, and another good chunk, working on the bedroom, getting it ready for paint. We haven't painted our bedroom since we moved in. It's been institution green (ceiling and walls - ewww) with beige window coverings. A couple of weeks ago, we bought oak plantation blinds for the window and today we purchased Raspberry Glaze paint plus a new ceiling fan. Mark did all of the prep on the walls today. Together we emptied the room and I got rid of most of the was pretty grungy behind the furniture.

Tomorrow I'll spend my first official day of vacation working on a long overdue project. I'll post before and after photos when we're finished. I'm really excited about this. I know it's just a little bit of paint but it's going to be so nice when it's finished!

And one more thing, in case you hadn't noticed (and really, I'm not sure if you've been here before or not)...I've changed things around a bit. Lost the pink boxes (not that they weren't lovely -- I liked them, was just time for a change) and have a more summertime look I think. Afterall, it is now officially summer.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

I have not been writing much lately. I mean, I have been writing stuff but none of it is really interesting. I think it's because I've been so busy lately. I guess that is good though. Being busy enough with your life that you don't have a lot of time left over at the end of the day to write about it.

One thing that I have been doing while I'm being busy is taking pictures. I have been taking a lot of pictures lately. I've been posting them on my fotolog and having a lot of fun with that. If you haven't set one up for yourself, you should. It's free and it's a lot of fun. Also, there are a tonne of beautiful photos out there that folks have been taking and posting.

I just started a 2 week break from work and should have some more time to write and take pictures and I'm looking forward to it. We have a number of things we're going to be doing around the house while I'm off. I'm very happy about doing creative things, both as far as the decorating inside the house that we're going to be doing as well as stuff I'm doing in the garden.

I think I'm going to go chill out and watch Canadian Idol (yes, I love how bad it is!!). I know it's not creative but sometimes, you just need to veg!

Friday, June 20, 2003

The Friday Five is a little hairy this week:

1. Is your hair naturally curly, wavy, or straight? Long or short?
My hair is very thick and heavy. It has a bit of a wave in it but mostly it's straightened out by the weight of it. It's quite long, about 1/2 way down my back.

2. How has your hair changed over your lifetime?
Soup to nuts really. Short, long, perm, coloured. You name it. I've never bleached it or shaved my head but I've done just about everything else.

3. How do your normally wear your hair?
Either pulled back in a single braid down my back or in a pony tail. When it was a bit shorter, I'd wear it up in twist or with a clip but there is too much of it now.

4. If you could change your hair this minute, what would it look like?
Last month, I did one of those ivillage makeovers and posted the picture on my blog. If you missed it, you can see the before and after here. If I was feeling brave enough I'd do it like this right now.

5. Ever had a hair disaster? What happened
I've never really had a hair disaster. Looking back at old photos, I'd say that some of my choices over the years have been a little too...uh "trendy" to not look ridiculous right now though.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Hump day is almost over.

I was back at work today and for the most part, felt a lot better than yesterday. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll be back up to speed, 100%. I didn't do much yesterday at all. Mostly rested and hung out around the house. I slept like the dead last night and could hardly believe it when 5 a.m. rolled around this morning and I had to drag my ass out of bed.

I'm happy to report that I got the new Fountains of Wayne CD today in the post. It's called "welcome interstate managers" and I'm sure it's brilliant. Fountains of Wayne are brilliant and I'm all ready for this to be my summer 2003 CD (just like Utopia Parkway was my summer 1999 CD -- along with Wilco's Summerteeth).

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I feel pretty crappy right now. I hardly slept a wink last night and feel really yucky at the moment. Mark felt like poo all day yesterday and I suspect that I've picked up whatever it was that he had then. He's feeling better today, still not 100% but better, he's at work now. I'm planning to go back to bed once I've called in to work (I'll be doing that at around 8 a.m. or so). I have a feeling that if I can get some good sleep today I'll be right back to normal tomorrow. I'm stiff and sore and have a headache. I was completely exhausted last night and fell right to sleep. A couple of hours later though, I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. Not really, I mean I did but it was only for 15 minute intervals. Not good. Some sleep will do me a world of good, I know this.
This-or-That Tuesday, for June 17:

1. Newspapers or magazines?
I read a lot of both but only online (usually).

2. Books-on-tape or regular books?
Regular books. I've never done the book on tape thing.

3. Paperback or hardcover?
Trade Paperback only.

4. Fiction or non-fiction?

5. Sci-Fi/Fantasy or romance novels?
Neither genre can hold my interest.

6. Borrow from library or buy books (either new or used)?
I like to buy, new and used books, frequently. I don't read them fast enough anymore to borrow from the library.

7. Subscribe to magazines or buy on newsstand?
I generally subscribe if there is one that I really like. I'll buy off the stand if it's a special magazine collector's edition or something that I really want.

8. Current best-sellers or classic literature?

9. Read books once, or re-read favorites every so often?
I love revisiting old favourites once in a while.

10. Here in the U.S., we have two hot best-sellers...former First Lady Hillary Clinton's memoirs, and the new Harry Potter book (coming out June 21). If you had to read one, which one...Hillary or Harry? Why?
Probably Hillary because I've not yet read any of the Harry books and don't have time to read all the previous editions before the new one comes out.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Have I mentioned lately that I'm starting two weeks vacation on Friday? Yeah, I know, I probably have. I'm not wishing this week away or anything but I'm really looking forward to it.

Funny thing is though, today just flew by. I have so much stuff to get off of my desk before I go that it felt like one moment it was noon and the next thing I knew it was 4:15. It's busy in a good way though and I really do like my job. It can be a lot of fun. Of course, like any place you go, there are office politics. I find that if I can keep my sense of humour and my tongue planted firmly inside my cheek, it's manageable.

Yesterday was a busy day. I spent the best part of the day in the garden, working. Tonight, looking over what I got done, I'm pretty impressed. Our yard is starting to shape up. It going to take a long time to undo 20 years of neglect but we're poking away at it. My day is catching up with me as I type so I'll toddle off to bed. 'nighty-night!!

Sunday, June 15, 2003

It's chilly right now but it felt like summer last night.

After dinner, we took off to Gananoque to the casino. It's been open for over a year but we'd only been once before. Part of the reason we'd not been back is the smoke. Kingston now has a no-smoking bylaw in public places but Gananoque didn't adopt it. Also, it's a really tiny casino (the smallest one I've ever been in) and we didn't remember seeing a non-smoking section (the Hull Casino has a huge one!). We went fairly early in the evening and figured that the smoke wouldn't be too bad because there wouldn't be as many Americans as usual because of the SARS scare. We were right about that. When we pulled into the parking lot I only saw one car with New York plates on it, and another from Massachusetts.

When we got into the building, we discovered that a small back corner was designated non-smoking. Now, personally, this doesn't make sense to me that you have to walk through the entire smoke-filled room to get to the non-smoking part but I take what I can get. Anyway, we each had $20 to spend. I love the slot machines, I'm not a table games kind of person. Mark loves the poker machines. Unfortunately, there weren't any poker machines in the non-smoking section. We had a really good time anyway. We ended up playing the twenty-five cent machines and, after an hour of playing came out with a dollar more than we went in with. It was a lot of fun. We drove back through Gan and along highway 2. It was still light out when we left (we left while were up the loonie!) and we were back home by 8:30 or so.

We'll probably do that again over the summer. It was a great time. I mean, I always enjoy casinos but it's way more fun when all it cost you was the gas to get there!

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Go Woody!

Woody Allen Promotes France in New Video
By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK - America's leaders may have quibbles with France, but Woody Allen is in love with it. And the American director is one of many celebrities proud to say so.

Long popular in France, he appears in a promotional video aimed at luring tourists back to the land of champagne, now that the war in Iraq is officially over.

"I don't want to have to refer to my French-fried potatoes as freedom fries and I don't want to have to freedom-kiss my wife when what I really want to do is French-kiss her," the 67-year-old New Yorker says in the seven-minute film produced by the French government, titled "Let's Fall in Love Again."

Joining Allen are other Francophiles, including jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, Paris Review magazine editor George Plimpton and star chef Daniel Boulud — all appearing free of charge.

Also praising France in the video is Chris Jensen, who visited the country with fellow New York City firefighters after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack — at the expense of French tourism officials.

"The firehouse hasn't been the same. It's too bad we can't use the wine," Jensen says in the video, after his group was treated to a French culinary session with chef Paul Bocuse while in France.

The soundtrack includes "J'ai Deux Amours" ("I Have Two Loves") sung by the late Josephine Baker (news), an American who lived in Paris and presented the Vincent Scotto song at a 1930 Paris revue.

The video promoting France was shown to media representatives in 14 U.S. cities, in hopes of spreading the word that Americans are welcome in France — their visits eased by special travel and hotel deals.

France was a hard sell as a tourist destination for some Americans after French leaders opposed U.S. plans to go to war with Iraq.

One Web site published a list of French companies to boycott, while merchants selling French wine to Americans urged consumers to keep buying French wines.

Relations between the two allies reached their lowest point in decades.

In the first quarter of 2003, amid a bad economy and a general fear of travel during wartime, there were an estimated 15 percent to 20 percent fewer Americans visiting France, compared to the same period a year earlier, according to preliminary statistics issued by the French Government Tourist Office.

Last year, about 2.7 million Americans visited France.

The French-American friction followed last year's reaction to a spate of anti-Semitic attacks in France. American Jewish groups advised Americans attending the Cannes Film Festival to speak out against the incidents — or to stay away.

Allen, who is Jewish, showed up in Cannes and said that he "never felt the French people were in any way anti-Semitic." Now, the director says he hopes the two nations will put their differences behind them.

Recently, President Bush — headed for the Middle East — stopped in Evian, France, to meet with French President Jacques Chirac. The two men smiled and shook hands for the cameras.

For his part touting France, Allen stood in the courtyard of a Manhattan theater, and said: "The United States and France have been great friends and great, great allies going back many, many years."

His defense of France is timely: In his latest comedy film, "Hollywood Ending," Allen plays a filmmaker whose latest movie bombs at home and is a hit in France. His agent tells him: "Here, you're a bum, there you're a genius."

The filmmaker responds: "Thank God the French exist."

Woody Allen
It's Saturday!

Yay! We hd a great lazy morning, slept in a bit and Mark left for work a little later than he ordinarily would. I've just been bumming around the house a bit not doing much of anything.

We had an amazingly huge amount of rain fall on us yesterday and through the night so my hopes of working in the garden are shot to shit. Partly because the ground is totally saturated and partly because the mosquitos have taken over at the moment. I'm a real bug magnet, if something bites, it's going to find me and settle in for a nice meal. With the west nile "issue" and all, I figure I'm better off inside puttering.

I have puttered yet but I plan to do some laundry and maybe a couple of errands in a bit. Hope you get to have a nice, lazy Saturday too!

Friday, June 13, 2003

It's such a dark and lazy morning, I almost forgot about this week's Friday Five, here it is:

1. What's one thing you've always wanted to do, but never have?
Visit Europe. It's on my list of things to do.

2. When someone asks your opinion about a new haircut/outfit/etc, are you always honest?
If it is a good friend of mine, I'll be honest. If it is someone I don't know that well (or don't care about), I'll tell them that it looks goods, whether it does or not.

3. Have you ever found out something about a friend and then wished you hadn't? What happened?
Yes. I once found out some rather intimate details about a friend's personal life. It changed my opinion of her and honestly, I don't respect her anymore. I am not a prude (trust me!) and I don't care what folks do in their personal lives generally. I won't get into the details of it but it was made clear to me that she was a really reckless person who couldn't have any respect for herself.

4. If you could live in any fictional world (from a book/movie/game/etc.) which would it be and why?
I would love to live on Coronation Street. I like the idea of living in a busy street like that, with a grocer at one end and a pub at the other.

5. What's one talent/skill you don't have but always wanted?
I wish I were musical. I love music but have no musical talent of my own to speak of.
Ontario rocks!

City Hall issues same-sex marriage licence
By Sarah Hammond / Friday, June 13, 2003 - 07:00

Local News - Kingston City Hall issued its first marriage licence yesterday to a same-sex couple following a landmark ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Jennifer Hannah, one of the organizers of this year’s Kingston pride parade, and her partner, Tina Tom, received the licence from the clerk’s department.

“It was very exciting to be the first people, but we don’t even know if we want to be married,” Hannah said. “I guess we [got the licence] because we could, because we now have the choice.”

On Tuesday, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry in the province, touching off a rush of licence applications and some same-sex weddings.

Hannah said she and Tom didn’t realize the decision had been handed down by the court until a friend from Toronto called to ask their wedding date.

“We turned on the news and of course it was all over the news, and then Tina said, ‘Hey, we should go down and get a licence,’ ” Hannah said.

Hannah said the spur-of-the-moment decision felt great.

“I was a bit nervous because I was expecting some confusion or resistance,” she said. “But none of that was true. Congratulations were offered.”

The couple hurried to get a licence because they’re worried the court ruling may be stayed, Hannah said.

“I’m a little skeptical – we’re waiting to see if it’s going to be challenged. But it’s still been a really good experience,” she said.

Julie Darke also praised the ruling.

Darke, who is a pride committee member and the sexual and gender diversity co-ordinator at the Human Rights Office at Queen’s University, said homosexual couples who want to have their relationships recognized and valued the same way heterosexual relationships are have cause for celebration.

“The kind of legitimacy that it gives our relationships really does help counteract the shame that many lesbians, gays and bisexuals carry about their sexual orientation,” she said.

Even if gay couples don’t wed, getting a licence is a symbolic victory, she said.

“In some ways it seems like the castle is finally crumbling,” Darke said. “We may have reached some critical threshold in terms of court decisions and public opinion.”

The pride parade this Sunday in Kingston is one of the core events of pride month, and has been organized by the Kingston Gay, Lesbian,

Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Committee. There will be a few small floats, with the majority of the parade participants marching through the streets.

Ken Watson, co-chairman of the pride committee, said he thinks the appeal court decision fits nicely with the theme of the parade, “Honour the past, build the future.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first gay organization established in the Kingston area.

“There were a lot of people putting forth a lot of effort, for a long time, to achieve this victory,” he said, adding that whether or not someone chooses to take advantage of this new privilege, it’s a symbolic victory for the gay community.

“It’s a statement that same-sex relationships are of equal value,” he said.

According to John MacTavish, co-chairman of the pride committee, the parade is also a good opportunity for those who support the queer community to come out and show it.

The parade allows the queer community to come together and be able to walk in strength, he said.

“It gives a voice to our community,” he said. “And it shows the diversity within our community.”

MacTavish said this year’s theme was chosen to recognize the contributions of individuals who helped foster the queer-friendly environment that exists in Kingston today.

Other cities across the province hold pride parades throughout the summer, but Kingston is the only city to organize a pride month for its queer community, according to MacTavish.

The day of the parade, people can gather at 12:30 p.m. in McBurney Park. The wading pool at the park will be open from noon to 4 p.m. with a lifeguard and there will be craft tables and booths set up with information about services available to the queer community. The parade begins at 1 p.m.

Pride parades have been held in Kingston for 13 years. The first parade was organized in 1990 after a handful of people made the first “Pride Stroll” down the sidewalks of Princess Street in 1989.

In 1991, the Kingston police chief issued the first parade permit closing Princess Street and since then up to 300 have taken part in the festivities.

It rained on the parade last year, but an estimated 250 people still showed up, MacTavish said.

“It really showed the commitment of the community to still go through with it in spite of the weather.”

Thursday, June 12, 2003

So, do you wanna know how to make people nervous? Walk into their grocery store and start taking pictures of merchandise with your camera.

I swear, that's all it takes. Managers, stock boys, cashiers, they'll all be running around, worried and nervous and wondering what the hell you're up to. We stopped off at the Kingslake IGA on the way home tonight. Mark wanted to get a bottle of Fresca. I didn't really need or want anything but I had my camera with me and I pulled it out, turned off the flash, and started snapping (if you're interested, I'll put some of them up in my fotolog tomorrow). I was completely oblivious to what was happening until Mark said, "turn off your camera, let's see what this manager-type is up to." I turn the camera off and keep it at my side. I look up and see the store manager looking at me in a weird way and then running toward the far side of the store. We proceed toward the check-out and I'm chuckling about how they must think that we're committing some kind of supermarket espionage or something. Mark told me that he had seen the cashier running to this guy and whispering something to him and that's when it started. We walked by her as we neared the front of the store and she looked at me with this terrified look on her face. It was pretty funny. I took a couple more snaps while Mark paid for his pop and then we left.

I'm sure that they're shitting themselves now. Thinking that we were from head office or some such stuff and that we'll be reporting back that their pop wasn't displayed properly. Funny how something so innocent can become so sinister huh?

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Hump day is almost over. I have 7 more days of work until my 2-week vacation from work. We're not sure if we are going away yet or not. If we do, it'll probably be for a couple of days, to Quebec. We definitely want to finish our bathroom renovation and paint our bedroom. Last summer, we went away for a whole week, and it was nice, but we don't want to do that this year. I think it'll be more relaxing to stay closer to home and get some stuff done around the house.

One thing I'm looking forward to is getting out and taking some more photos. Just of architectural stuff around town. I've had my camera for about a year now and I'm enjoying it more and more all of the time. I've noticed (and corrected) a huge number of typos in the past couple of minutes so I'm going to wrap this up. I'm really feeling pooped right now. 'night all!

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

I'm getting to a point where, unless something is the natural smell that it is (like food cooking or fresh cut grass or oranges etc.) you should not have to smell it. I cringe when I see commercials for those plug in air refreshers. They don't smell like anything in nature, and they are warm, cooking plastic. Yuck. The brand new soap dispenser in our office washroom broke the same day it was installed. The soap leaked all over the counter and now the bathroom stinks of fake roses. I think that soap and stuff should be unscented. I'm sick of smelling all these chemically induced "refreshing" scents everywhere I go.

Speaking of natural aromas, my dinner smells like it's almost done. Happy eats, folks!
This week's edition of This-or-That Tuesday is a great topic, TV Shows vs Movies:

1. "The Munsters" or "The Addams Family"?
The Munsters never aired in syndication around here so I grew up on the Addams Family. I must say though that I actually prefer the Flinstones' version, The Gruesomes.

2. "The Sopranos" or the "Godfather" movies?
I grew up loving the Godfather movies but I am a huge Sopranos fan. I love that that it is written and filmed. When they are in a new season, it is like watching an excellent movie, every week.

3. "The Jetsons" or "Lost in Space"?
The Jetsons but I would have picked Futurama if I'd been given that as a choice.

4. "Superman" or "Batman" (either the TV shows or the movies)?
The Batman movie from 1966, hands down!

5. "Sex & The City" or "Friends"?
I have heard that Sex & The City is a WAY better show than Friends but I have never actually seen it. Therefore, I must say Friends.

6. "The Wizard of Oz" or the "Harry Potter" movies?
The Wizard of Oz. Those flying monkey's scare me every time I watch it.

7. "The Simpsons" or "King of the Hill"?
Why even ask. The Simpsons. Of course!

8. "Grease" or "Saturday Night Fever"?
Grease. But only because I could actually go see it in 5th grade and I couldn't get into SNF.

9. Old prime-time soaps: "Dallas" or "Dynasty"?
Dallas. I used to watch it every Friday night when I babysat.

10. Not very thought-provoking this you prefer TV shows or movies?
It used to be movies but now it's TV shows. Not any old TV shows though. They have to be Sopranos or Six Feet Under quality.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

The weekend just flew by. I spent yesterday with some friends and had a great day. Today I had an upset tummy and didn't do too much. I did get out and bought two very cute pairs of shoes though. Sandals I guess, although one pair are those slip on shoes that look like sneakers but aren't.

I often wonder what people think when they stumble across my page when they found me searching for the following:


I don't like to judge. Everyone is looking for something different, I know this. Sometimes it's just hard to say "Whatever floats yer boat."

Friday, June 06, 2003

Here is this week's Friday Five:

1. How many times have you truly been in love?
Despite what I thought before, I realize now that it's just been once.

2. What was/is so great about the person you love(d) the most?
I can be absolutely myself around him and he "gets" me, completely. I can tell him anything that is going on in my head and he doesn't judge me. We have mutual trust and respect and are best friends and I think we bring out the best in one another.

3. What qualities should a significant other have?
I think whoever you spend your life with should be someone who you can respect and be proud of and who respects and is proud of you in return. It's also important to find someone who you can talk to and laugh with. You have to be able to have open, two-way dialogue with each other. If you don't have the freedom to be exactly the person you are with your partner, you may not have a healthy relationship.

I also think that they should be a good kisser!

4. Have you ever broken someone's heart?
Not intentionally.

5. If there was one thing you could teach people about love, what would it be?
Don't be afraid to take risks when it comes to love. I know that the risk is very high that you could be hurt if the person you love doesn't reciprocate. On the other hand, when you follow your heart, it can lead you to wonderful places that you never knew existed. It sounds really corny but I think that when it comes to love, you have to follow your bliss.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

It really couldn't have happened to a "nicer" megalomanic, could it?
Martha indicted? It's a good thing!

Martha Stewart Indicted
By Lia Haberman

Today on Martha Stewart Living: How to turn 41 pages of government-issued legal documents into a stunning centerpiece.

What else would you expect the lifestyle guru to do with the federal charges filed today in New York?

As expected, a federal grand jury has indicted Martha Stewart on nine counts stemming from an insider-trading scandal that could cost her big bucks or even a stint in prison.

Earlier, Stewart, impeccably outfitted in a beige trenchcoat and matching umbrella, arrived in federal court to plead innocent to all charges.

The accusations leveled at the diva of domesticity allege a "conspiracy" to obstruct justice and mislead federal investigators investigating the December 2001 sale of her ImClone shares--a day before the biotech company was to go public with stock-damaging news that the feds were giving the thumbs-down to its new cancer drug.

Peter Bacanovic, Stewart's former Merril Lynch broker, was also named in the court documents. Prosecutors allege that the broker tipped Martha off to ImClone's downward spiral after dumping shares for ImClone founder Sam Waksal. Bacanovic, too, entered a not guilty plea to all charges on Wednesday.

Waksal has already pleaded guilty to bank and securities fraud charges and is due to be sentenced next week.

If convicted, Stewart faces up to 30 years in prison and $2 million in fines.

Her attorney, Robert Morvillo, issued a statement questioning why the government waited more than a year to file charges. "Is it for publicity purposes because Martha Stewart is a celebrity? Is it because she is a woman who has successfully compted in a man's world by virtue of her talent, hard work and demanding standards?"

To which U.S. Attorney James Comey, the chief prosecutor, responded: "This criminal case is about lying--lying to the FBI (news - web sites), lying to the SEC and lying to investors...Miss Stewart is being prosecuted not because of who she is, but what she did."

As a client of Merril Lynch and a former securities broker herself, Stewart should've known better says the government.

The feds also accuse the cohorts of entering into "an unlawful conspiracy" to obstruct the feds' investigation and making false statements "to conceal and cover up" the illicit sale of Stewart's shares in ImClone.

All along, the 61-year-old media mogul has insisted she had a standing order with Bacanovic to sell if the price dropped below $60 a share, which prosecutors dub a "fictitious explanation."

Bacanovic is accused of fabricating documents to validate the sell-under-$60 order while Stewart allegedly made changes to her phone message log to change the substance of Bacanovic's original message telling her to sell the tanking stock.

Stewart is also facing a related civil suit filed Monday by the Securities and Exchange Commission (news - web sites). That action seeks to bar her from running any public company and pay the full price for shares she sold.

Tuesday, Stewart was a no-show at her company's annual shareholder meeting but in a videotaped message said that she "grievously sorry" for the controversy that has tarnished her multimillion-dollar business, including TV series, magazines, books, merchandise and a radio show, which was based on her tasteful living image.

In a January interview with The New Yorker magazine, Stewart said the whole imbroglio had cost her about $400 million in sagging sales, declining stock value and legal fees.

All in all for Martha, this is definitely not a good thing.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Thought for today: If they don't offend you too much, stupid people can provide you with hours of amusement.
Here's This-or-That Tuesday:

1. Cats or dogs?
Dogs. Definitely.

2. Butterflies or birds?
Tough one, birds (because they stick around all year).

3. Horses or cows?
Cows. I like their Ice Cream.

4. Turtles or snakes?
Turtles have style.

5. Frogs or grasshoppers?
mmmm...they're both musical but, Frogs.

6. Lions or tigers?
Tigers. The stripes are cool.

7. Elephants or mice?
Mice. They're easier to clean up after.

8. Porcupines or aardvarks?

9. Unicorns or dragons?
Dragons. I love what the girl dragon did in Shrek.

10. Thought-provoking question of the week: You live in a rather dumpy apartment. A friend offers you a chance to be a roommate at a new place s/he is moving into, but they don't allow pets. You have a pet. Do you find your pet a new home and take the new place, or do you keep your pet and stay put?
I would find the pet a new home. This is easy for me to say because I'm not a pet person. I know that if I were actually a pet person, I'd not be able to do this.

Monday, June 02, 2003

I was right about the cold thing. Absolutely. I have allergies. I have had them for years but this year they hadn't been too bad. This weekend they sort of crept up on me. They're not too bad at the moment, I'm on the reactine so that's keeping things under control.

We completely avoided doing anything resembling yard work on the weekend although we did spend a huge chunk of time and cash at the Home Depot on the weekend. We finally replaced the window blinds in our bedroom and the bathroom. We got those oak plantation style blinds and they look fabulous. They really darken the room and will help keep the heat out this summer. We also bought a new A/C unit for our bedroom. We moved the old one into the spare bedroom and between the two of them, the whole upstairs should be really comfortable this summer. The new A/C actually had a remote and an electronic thermostat. How decadent huh? Fortunately, it was on sale at Le Depot and it's a Maytag so it was a double deal for us.

It seems odd at the moment, installing the window units and getting these heavy blinds in. It's been quite cool here the past couple of days but I know that this won't last. Come July, we'll be glad to have them keeping us cool at night.

I think I should toddle off to bed right now though. Suddenly, I've hit the wall of sleepiness. 'night all.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

I don't think I have a cold. My throat was scratchy off and on yesterday but today I'm feeling really much better than yesterday. I even slept in again today.

Yesterday was supposed to be a rainy crappy day and it ended up being a drizzly, annoying day. You know that type of rain which doesn't really amount to anything but bugs your ass when you're out running errands. Rain aside, I got my gifts bought. I spent the best part of the morning in the west end of town where all the soccer mum's and SUV driving morons live. It was not pleasant but I got done what needed to be done.

Mark ended up finishing work early so we got to spend the whole afternoon together. It was a really nice, unexpected, treat to spend a Saturday afternoon together. We went for lunch, did a couple of errands and watched more NYPD Blue first season on DVD. I'm so enjoying that. I never watched first season when it was broadcast originally so it's very nice to see it, without commercials, in an amazingly clear format. I've watched it on TV with Mark, the past four seasons but watching season one is explaining a lot to me about some of the characters. It is definitely the way to watch it, DVD. Season two will be out this fall.

Not sure what we're doing today. It's supposed to clear up but right now it's very cold and windy. I'd hoped to get some gardening done but that may have to wait for another day. Things aren't too bad since I've done so much weeding the past couple of weekends. There are definitely a bunch of things I'd like to get done but they'll wait for me if I can't get to them today. Unfortunately, there aren't any little garden gnomes who do my weeding for me. If you see any though, and they're looking bored, send them to my place!