Thursday, July 31, 2003

Holy smokes this week is flying by. It's funny that I say that because yesterday seemed to be the longest day of the year. I was having trouble with my back yesterday and couldn't stay home so I had to suck it up and get through the day at work. Thank goodness for ibuprofen. I'd have been pooched without it. By about 3 p.m. I was a little wonky and by the time I got home, almost incoherent. I'm feeling better right now, which is a good thing because I get really grumpy when my back bothers me. Fortunately it's not often and (usually) not for very long. What bugs me is that I feel fine otherwise, I just can't walk or move. Walking and moving are generally things I enjoy doing.

Not much is happening today. Work's been very busy lately and I'm getting LOTS of stuff done. That feels good. What often happens to me is that at the beginning of the week, when I'm looking over the to-do list which I compiled on Friday afternoon, I get overwhelmed. I'm almost always sure that there is no way that I'll get everything done and yet, usually, I do. Yesterday, amidst the blur of pain and ibuprofen I freaked myself out a bit. I had myself convinced that I would never get out from under the blizzard of paper which was engulfing my desk. This morning, less drug-addled and more rested, I realized that I had accomplished a lot more than I thought I had and was actually in good shape. I even reduced the items on my to-do list to less than 5. I will definitely be done on time tomorrow afternoon, able to enjoy the long Simcoe-Day weekend.

We don't really have big plans for the weekend. We're not going to Caribana or anything. Mark's working on Saturday and Monday so I'll probably just chill out around the house. Maybe do some work in the garden and definitely get into a couple of books I've started recently. Most of all, I just want to veg out and get over my back injury. If some laundry and weeding gets done in the process, cool!

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

I think I live in a ghost town.

There are, literally, no cars on the streets, it looks like Sunday morning on a long weekend. The only people, besides Mark, me and a few folks in my office, are the only folks under 60 who are left in town. I'm pretty sure everyone else is at Downsview Airport for "sars-stock." We just saw some clips on muchmoremusic and there is no way that they have 450,000 people there. There are too many big empty spaces between people on the field.

I can't imagine driving up there and dealing with insane traffic for the Stones. I mean, seriously, the Guess Who? Tea Party? Blue Rodeo? Give me a break. The only band on the whole bill worth seeing is the Flaming Lips and I'd rather see them in a venue where the sound doesn't bite (oh yeah, if Much is taking their sound from the board, it's terrible). It did look pretty funny when folks were booing and hurling water bottles at Justin Timberlake though. I like that!

Probably by Friday, things will get back to normal around here but at the moment, you could roll a bowling ball down the main drag without hitting a car. It's spooky, but I like it!
Last night was a lot of fun. We had a wonderful dinner with my brother and his new sweetie. The meal was absolutely delicious and the company was fab. We ended up being up way past our bedtime though. We drove them back to my folks’ place at around 9 p.m. (our bedtime). My folks live about 20 minutes from us so it took almost an hour to go there and back.

Because we were already up late and were kind of keyed up, we decided to watch Coronation Street (which we had taped earlier in the afternoon – I didn’t want to wait any longer than absolutely necessary to see Richard kill Maxine!). They handled the murder with little gore, I thought. It was like, less Tarantino, more Hitchcock...not a lot of blood and it was over quickly.

Our Maxine - dead as a doornail!

Afterwards, we watched the result of the wildcard round of Canadian Idol, we had also taped it earlier. Both 22-minute shows were tension filled. I was happy to see that not only did Emily not get killed (which was Richard’s full intention – Maxine was just an unfortunate, but necessary, victim), our very own Ryan Malcolm made it into the top 11. The votes were too close apparently so they decided to take on an extra finalist and do a top 11 instead of a top 10. I think that both choices were fabulous!

Toya Alexis and Ryan Malcolm

I did not get into American Idol at all but Canadian Idol has got me, hook, line and sinker. It’s so nice to see a guy from my hometown (and even my "home" suburb actually – Amherstview – where my folks’ still live) make it so far. I also think that the caliber of the talent is much higher than in American Idol. I generally hate this type of thing but the kids in the Canadian version, with a couple of exceptions, can really sing. It’ll be interesting to see how much further Ryan goes.

Monday, July 28, 2003

I love the smell of freshly mown grass. I hate the fact that the diesel smell from the huge ride-on lawn mowers that they use on campus makes me sneeze.

Freshly cut lawns just smell so summery. Ours will probably smell like that later on today. It was just way too wet to cut on the weekend. It looks great though, it's so green and lush looking. It's a different world entirely from last summer. Last summer at this time, we had a dead, dry lawn. The only thing that was remotely green were the large thistles that somehow grow in the hardened ground.

Many people I talk to have been complaining about the lack of heat and sunshine this summer but I'm enjoying it. It's sunny most days and almost always breezy and we've had very few days that were too hot and humid. Last summer was horrible, it was almost impossible to function in the heat. The heat made it impossible for us to get anything remotely resembling real work done around the house. By comparison, this summer, we've completed SO many tasks that we'd been putting off, I sometimes forget I'm in our house. It's really looking good. It looks good to me anyway, compared to what it looked like before.

On a sad note, Bob Hope passed away, at the age of 100. In a way, it's hard to imagine that he lived to such a ripe old age. On the other hand, he will remain eternally young in my memory,singing and dancing in those old "Road" movies that I grew up watching (mostly on Sunday mornings, after church). Rest in Peace Bob, goodness knows you deserve to!

Sunday, July 27, 2003

The weekend's just flown by!! I feel good though. Almost everything on my to-do list is now crossed off. The house looks great, I feel rested and all is good. Other than cleaning, organizing and hauling stuff to goodwill (and a couple of trips out to the store) the weekend was quiet so there's not much to report. Hope a good weekend was had by all!

Friday, July 25, 2003

Fall was fleeting, it's summer again.

I'm sort of grumpy today because my allergies are driving me nuts and I slept in this morning. We had a really late night last night and it threw us right off of our schedules. The grounds guys have been cutting the lawn around the office and the grass and diesel smell is making me sneeze my head off.

That rain we had yesterday was brutal. We got 39 millimeters in an hour. We had so much rain in fact that it knocked our home phone out of service. I love the logic of the phone company, "so, you can make outgoing calls but you don't have a dial tone?" I'm like, "HELLO!! I'm on a cell phone!" From the same company, it's not that they can't tell that from our records. The nicest part of is the "thank you for choosing Bell" remark as you hang up. It's not like we have a choice, not for local service anyway.

A technician was there this morning apparently and partial service has been restored. We have phones upstairs but not downstairs. Apparently there was a short in the box that connects the line to the house. I'm pretty sure that we don't have one of those fancy dancy new-ish jacks in our place (the ones that have the little plug so you can see your line coming into the house -- I had to have one installed at my old place). If they have to do anything inside the house, it could get expensive. Or it might not, you never can tell.

A few years ago, they started charging an arm and a leg for anything a technician has to do in your home. They tried to sell me a "maintenance plan" this morning, so they could gouge me every month instead of once in a blue moon. I know that the problem is with their equipment, not ours, so I'm hardly going to buy what is basically an "extended warranty." I'm not Homer Simpson stupid afterall. I guess the phone company likes to think that we are all that stupid, afterall, everyone who works for them seems like they are!

The technicians however, do not work for Bell, not anymore anyway. They are contracted from other companies although most of them used to work for Bell and got fucked over by Bell so I've had experiences where the technicians have done stuff for free that they probably should have charged for. They reason that Bell should provide it anyway and I tend to agree, particularly when it saves me $85!

Thursday, July 24, 2003

It feels like September this morning.

It's not cool like the fall, it's actually really hot and muggy. It feels like those early September days when the kids are heading back to school in the rain, and it's so hot and humid that the windows in the buses fog up. It's been raining here all morning and it's very dark outside. On my way to work this morning, businesses looked all lit up, glowing like they do in the fall, just before the time changes. It sent a shiver down my spine as I thought about how quickly the summer is passing by. Even now, as I type this, I have an extra light on in my corner to brighten things up.

On the upside, I'm really glad that it's Thursday. I had the toughest time getting up this morning, probably because of the dark. I'm looking forward to the weekend because I have a lot of stuff planned. We have made this huge pile of stuff at the bottom of our stairs at home. Stuff for Goodwill. I want to totally clean our spare room now that the boxes and stuff that were there are now gone. All the work we started when we were on holidays is coming together and we're getting really organized. I'm really happy about how it is all shaping up. In the fall, we'll paint the upstairs landing and the living room and the house will look really good. I also want to get outside and do some more weeding. It's been kind of rainy here off and on for the past couple of weeks so I've only done minimal amounts, between storms. It's usually only nice when I'm at work, go figure huh? If I manage to get all the things done this weekend that I'd like to, the house should look really good, inside and out!

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

I’m at work right now. I have to say something. I love my little cubicle. It’s not exactly a cubicle though. It’s really a corner of a room; I even have a window. A huge window with a deep windowsill that we can put plants on. It’s very bright and cheery. As I have mentioned before, the building I work in is almost 200 years old so the ceilings are very high, and the windows are huge.

I’ve been working in this space since the end of March. I have it organized exactly the way I wanted, I was even allowed to order some new furniture for it. I have my desk, which is “L” shaped. My computer sits in the corner of the L, to my right, I have a big bulletin board and to my left, a shelf. Behind me, in the corner of the room, I have another shelf installed (in the corner). A table and second chair sits below the shelf on the north wall. This allows me to have a student in to help me when things get really busy. I have a large cabinet installed on the east wall (this holds most of our supplies and it locks up so I can tuck things away and out of sight in it).

Prior to moving upstairs (we’re on the second floor), I worked in the front office of our building. I couldn’t really put anything up on the walls when I was down there and I could definitely not wear headphones and listen to music down there. I had to settle for listening to the CBC on the radio, at a very low volume. Now, in my bright and cheery little corner, I can listen to the radio with my headphones on, or my CD player. I can listen to whatever I want, whenever I want, as loud as I want to.

The reason I wrote about my cheery corner this morning is because I’ve been listening to music, quite loudly this morning, through my headphones. I’m listening to a CD I purchased while I was on vacation but hadn’t had a chance to review until this morning. It’s lovely. It’s so good in fact that it inspired this long winded post about my workspace. The post may be boring but this CD is not. It’s brilliant. It’s beautiful and fun and a perfect summertime album. It’s the new New Pornographers CD, Electric Version. There’s just something about Carl Newman’s voice that makes me happy. I think you should all run out and buy it, quick as you can. It’ll make you happy, trust me!

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

This week's This-or-That Tuesday: Audience Potpourri Participation!

1) DVD or VHS?
Definitely DVD. Preferably with a lot of extra stuff!

2) Best Literary/Movie villain: Voldemort (Harry Potter) or Sauron (LoTR)?
Not having seen or read these, can't say. Sorry.

3) Meat: rare or well-done?
Really rare.

4) High Speed Internet-Cable or DSL?
We've got High Speed Cable at the moment.

5) Women: 1-piece bathing suit or Bikini?
1 piece.

6) To be fair--Men: Boxers or briefs?

7) Beer or Liquor/Wine?
Depends on my mood. I don't actually drink much.

8) Coke or Mountain Dew?
Diet Coke.

9) In honor of my 10/18/03 nuptials: Morning or Afternoon/Night Wedding?
Early morning, while the sun's coming up.

10) Carpet or Hardwood Floors
carpet. They're easier to look after.

11) American cars or foreign?
Foreign, definitely. Preferably Japanese.

12) Cutest TV Twin: Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen?
Neither. They are both the spawn of Satan.

13) Coffee: Caffeinated or Decaf?
Caffeinated. Black and strong and only one a day.

14) Thought-Provoking Question of the Week: Computers: Do they make life better or worse? Why?
Computers have definitely made my life better. I can do my banking, comparison shopping, heck, regular shopping, work from home, play games, listen to music, watch tv or movies and keep in touch with my friends with a computer. Also, Mark and I met online. Without a computer, we may have never met, and that would be too sad to think about!

Monday, July 21, 2003

Everywhere I look, I can see summer camp campers.

On our campus, every summer, there are a number of camps. Science Camps. Sports Camps. Make Web Pages Camp. Cyber Sports Camp (play sports and make web pages). Arts Camp. Adventure Camp. There are a tonne of kids on our campus right now. Add to that, the hundreds of people who are here participating in conferences. The place is absolutely buzzing.

At the end of the day, leaving campus is becoming increasingly difficult. Soccer mum's in vans double park absolutely everywhere, picking up their campers. Apparently, upon giving birth, you are issued a parking permit which allows you to park wherever you want, for however long you want, if you are dropping off or picking up children. Never mind that it is potentially dangerous (not to mention inconvenient). These suburban mums don't seem to grasp the concept of driving in city traffic. They are some of the worst drivers I have ever seen. I am usually quite mild-mannered but these women have driven me to foul bouts of road rage this summer. It's not fun.

Summer used to be peaceful on our campus. The bulk of the students would leave town at the end of April. Inter-session victims would take spring and summer classes but the place was really quiet. There weren't any line-ups, anywhere. Parking was not a problem (in the winter it's a horrendous problem!). Over the past few summers, there has been a large amount of construction on our campus. Two new buildings opened in 2002. There are about 4 buildings either under construction or under major renovation on campus right now. To say it's noisy and smelly around here would be an understatement.

I shouldn't complain too loudly. Summer is fleeting and before I know it, it'll be September again. Somehow though, I'm really looking forward to seeing the purple people return! They're noisy and they're smelly but, in comparison to construction and children, they don't seem so bad!


What's your sexual appeal?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, July 20, 2003

The weekend ended up being very relaxing.

Mark and I just hung out and took it easy, it was really nice. I watched a fair bit of ole TLC too. I'm really into What Not To Wear. When I first started watching it, I really hated Wayne & Stacey (the hosts). The more I watch it, the more I like their approach. They don't criticize people's bodies, they just help them dress them better. Everyone I've seen looks so much better when they are done than when they started. I can't always say that for the Makeover Story. I have a new found respect for Wayne and Stacey and am really really enjoying the program. More than I thought I would.

Hope you all had a great weekend!! I thought I'd end my weekend with a quiz, even though I have green eyes, apparently, I should have something different:

Blue Eyes

What Color Eyes Should You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, July 19, 2003

I'm not a religious person really. I was raised in a Roman Catholic home and attended Catholic school for 14 years but I never really bought into the dogma. I have a hard time understanding how people can basically turn their brains over to some invisible "higher power" and just adopt a set of rules and regulations that someone made up a million years ago. I believe that you reap what you sow, that you get what you give, in karma I guess.

Something I've been thinking about this morning is about big business, conservative governments and the environment in the US. It's well known that big business is bed with the government. It's also well known that the president of the US is a religious nut bar who is doing really stupid things in the name of some invisible deity who tells him what to do. I got to thinking that if someone believes in a "god" and also buys into the theory that this "god" created the world and everything on it, wouldn't you want to protect and nurture the planet, the gift that your "god" gave to you? Wouldn't you not want to blow up parts of it, cut down other parts of and would you not want to do everything you could to make it a better, more peaceful, healthier place to live? Wouldn't tearing up the soil and committing acts of terrorism on innocent people be considered an act of violence against your "god"? If god was actually around and keeping on eye on things, don't you think he'd have done something really bad to these bozos who are throwing his name around as justification for acts of war.

As the weeks pass by, and the weapons of mass destruction go undiscovered, it becomes more and more obivous that the attack on Iraq had nothing to do with Saddam and his boys and more and more to do with money and oil. It's sick and wrong and I don't feel good knowing that I was right about it all along.

I think the fact that "god" hasn't struck GWB dead in his tracks is proof positive to me that a "christian" god does not exist.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

This is a very sad day for anyone who loves books:

Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author Shields Dies at 68
By Leah Eichler

TORONTO (Reuters) - Pulitzer-prize winning author Carol Shields wrote in an afterward to "Dropped Threads," an anthology of women's stories, that her own experience had taught her life is not a mountain to be climbed, but more like a novel with a series of chapters.

The novel that was the life of Carol Shields closed its final chapter this week, when the author died at the age of 68 after a long battle with breast cancer.

"She died of complications from breast cancer," Anne Collins, publisher of Random House Canada, said on Thursday.

The author of more than 20 books, 10 of them novels, Shields focused her writing on the lives of ordinary, middle-class people, specifically women.
After years of writing, she finally garnered international success in 993 for her novel "The Stone Diaries," a fictional biography of a woman who drifts through the role of child, wife, widow and mother, bewildered by her inability to understand her place in her own life.

The book went on to win a Pulitzer prize as well as Canada's Governor General's Literary Award. It was short-listed for the Booker Prize.

As a result of her success with "The Stone Diaries," Shields was able to buy a summer home in France, nicknamed "Chateau Pulitzer."

Another of her novels, "Larry's Party," won England's Orange Prize, given to the best book by a woman writer in the English-speaking world.

In her final novel, "Unless," Shields turned her attention to Reta Winters, whose eldest daughter, Norah, runs away from home to Toronto, where she lives on a street corner, wearing a sign on her chest that reads: "Goodness".

The novel explores the meaning of goodness while focusing on how women have been sidelined from the literary establishment, an issue that long consumed Shields.
"It took me a long time to realize that they were left out. Even when I was a graduate student in the 50s I hadn't caught on. I very gradually realized how women were colonized to an extent and how we still are," Shields told Reuters in an interview in February 2002.

"At the millennium, looking back, I thought: 'oh my, we haven't come far at all from those days in the '50s.' Woman are still enormously excluded in a kind of unthinking way. And yet, many can be persuaded that they are included," she said.

"I don't see that we've made much of a step toward the inclusion of women. And it is so subtle, it is almost a gentle exclusion. We hardly awaken to it. But I have."

Shields personally felt the sting of her work being sidelined. Early in her career, her writing was dismissed by critics as being too domestic.

"When I first started publishing novels in the '70s, there were reviews that called them 'domestic' novels and 'women's' novels, and spoke of them quite lightly. But, you know, that didn't bother me at all because I knew the lives of women were important, and I thought these critics were wrong and I was right," she said.

"I think it's time that we acknowledge that we all have a domestic life. Every person in the world has a domestic life but you wouldn't know that reading Hemingway. I love domesticity. I love the idea of home and I think that is, in the end, what serious novels are about: the search for home."

Shields was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1935 and moved to Canada at the age of 22. She began publishing poetry in her thirties and went on to write plays, essays, short stories, novels and a biography of Jane Austen. Her work has been translated into 22 languages.

A former professor of English at the University of Manitoba and chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, Shields lived the last years of her life in Victoria, British Columbia, on Canada's Pacific coast, with her husband, a retired engineering professor. She was the mother of five children.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

For once, a quiz that has finally, accurately, represented who I am:

morally deficient
Threat rating: Medium. Your total lack of decent
family values makes you dangerous, but we can
count on some right wing nutter blowing you up
if you become too high profile.

What threat to the Bush administration are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
We had some actual, bonafide rain last night. I know this because the thunder woke me up. I almost never wake up from storms in the night. Partly because I'm a deep sleeper and partly because we have a window air conditioning unit in our bedroom, it pretty much blocks out any noise from outdoors.

Everything is looking a little greener this morning too, which is nice. After having been cut on Sunday, our lawn was getting that mid-July, burned to a crisp look that is so very popular in our area.

Recently, I've been wondering about passports. I don't have one, Mark had one but it expired about 8 years ago. We are most likely going to be invited to a family wedding in Boston in October. The last time we went to the states (last October) we didn't need one. We drove across the border at Hill Island, NY and just had to show our drivers license and birth certificates. There were a few more questions from the border dude at that time than we'd noticed before (it was our first post-September 11, 2001 journey south) but nothing major. I've been hearing lately though, about folks getting asked for passports at the border now. I don't know that I want to go to the fuss and bother (not to mention expense) of getting passports just for a weekend in Boston. On the other hand, I may want to be ready just in case someone gives us a free trip to Paris or something.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

This-or-That Tuesday, the July 15 Edition:

1. Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck?
Bugs Bunny, all the way.

2. Tom or Jerry?
mmm...Jerry I guess.

3. Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck?
Donald Duck. I love the hat!

4. Rocky & Bullwinkle or Boris & Natasha?
Boris & Natasha. They're just way more interesting than Rocky & Bullwinkle.

5. Road Runner or Wile E. Coyote?
Wile E. Coyote. He was more entertaining by far. It's funny to watch people hurt themselves.

6. Sylvester or Tweety?
Sylvester. Tweety is a punk.

7. Popeye or Bluto?
Popeye! Actually Olive Oyl.

8. South Park or The Simpsons?
I love both shows, a lot, but the Simpsons is my favourite.

9. Jetsons or Flintstones?
Jetsons. Particularly the Jet Screamer episode. Eep Oop Ork Ah-ah.

10. And finally, the eternal question asked by all good Scooby-Doo fans: Velma or Daphne?
Velma. As a girl who wears glasses, I always identified more with her.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Our lawn looks good.

Our weeds are green.

What is left of our grass is also sort of green (sort of brown) but the green weeds make everything look really healthy. Fortunately, the weeds are all trimmed neatly now and it looks like we have a proper lawn.

Personally, I like the weeds, I think they are nice. As long as they aren't thistles, they are quite nice to walk on. We live in an old neighbourhood and I don't think anyone around here subscribes to the weedman so most folks have lawns that look like ours. Well, the guy on the corner has a nice lawn. Maybe he sneaks the weedman in late at night when no one watches. Or maybe the weedman comes in the daytime, when I'm work. I just can't imagine spending that kind of money on my lawn. I don't believe in the weedman. My dad does. His lawn looks like a beautiful carpet. A green velvet carpet that never gets weeds in it. Just grass, pretty grass, smooth and lovely. Our lawn is like a bumpy shag carpet that was once green and has had green and yellow and brown paint (or playdoh) splattered on it over the years. It's okay though. I like that look.

Our city is going to be enforcing a bylaw banning evil chemical herbicide next year. It won't really affect us because we never use them (obviously). What we are going to do, because we've heard that this works, is overseed. We're going to try spreading seed on our lawn in the spring and fall and hopefully, some of the grass will take.

What will most likely happen, what's been happening all along anyway, is that the grass will grow where you don't want it (in your flower beds, up in the middle of pretty flowering bushes) and not where you do (the designated lawn areas). I've adopted a "whatever happens, happens" attitude toward my garden recently. It keeps me from going crazy with worry over weeds and that works for me...because that makes me work less in the yard.

As long as our weeds are well trimmed, I can't imagine that anyone will be bothered by them....except maybe my dad, but he doesn't come over very often so I'm not too worried.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

How come, when your body wants you to sleep in, it is wide awake? Yesterday, when I had to get up and go to work, my body could have slept for Canada and yet, today, when I could sleep all day if I really wanted to, I'm up. It's odd.

Oh well, it's Saturday at least and if I feel like having a nap later, I will! So there sleep stuff!!

Friday, July 11, 2003

The Friday Five:

1. Do you remember your first best friend? Who was it?

It was probably the daughter of friends of our family. Her name is April. I say "probably" because I remember enjoying hanging out with her when we were really little (like she was 18 months and I was 3). I remember staying with her mum & dad when my mum was having my brother (I was 3.5 when he was born).

Throughout our childhood, we would try to manipulate our parents so that we could spend as much time together as possible. We always went to different elementary schools but went to the same high school. We were probably closer when we weren't going to the same school for some reason. Eventually, she was relegated to just "friend" status and now I guess she'd be an "acquaintance."

2. Are you still in touch with this person?

Not regularly. Our mums are. Her parents are my brother's god parents and my parents are her younger sister's god parents. I saw her last summer at a bridal shower for her sister. Whenever we see each other, we just pick up where we last left off, it's a comfortable relationship I guess.

3. Do you have a current close friend?

My partner is my best friend but I have a number of close friends. I don't really keep in touch with anyone from school. Most of my close friends I have met through work over the years.

4. How did you become friends with this person?

My closest friend I met through work. I met her at my first "real" job back in 1987. She's a terrific person, fun to be around, will drop everything to help you (and brings that out in you).

5. Is there a friend from your past that you wish you were still in contact with? Why?

There isn't really anyone who I'm out of touch with at the moment who I couldn't reconnect if I really wanted to. So, no.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

This morning has evaporated like so much Carnation milk.

I don't know where it went. I came into the office at 7:45 this morning and it's now after 12. Like *snap* that!

The week's actually gone that way. Fortunately, the humidity broke the other day and it's been absolutely gorgeous here. When the weather is super hot and humid, it's almost impossible to function, for me anyway.

I'm looking forward to the weekend although I'm not entirely sure what I'm doing. At some point, I'll be doing laundry, and probably going to the grocery store...but other than that, I'm not planning much. I'm hoping that the weather stays like this because I'd love to be outside this weekend. I'm not much for being outside when it's hot and gross outside but in this weather, I love it.

And just because I was curious, here's another quiz:
Old. You'll have a long (happy?) life and you'll
die at a very elderly age. Like 80 or
something. Nothing to roll your eyes at, eh?
Probably from a disease or something. You
wanted to die young, because you're a bit of a
slug and don't have many goals, but you never
get what you want.

At what age will you die?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

It still hasn't really rained here. We had a couple of drops yesterday but they didn't amount to much. Also, I was pretty much sick all day yesterday (not fun). I'll be happy when the humidity breaks.

Oh well, that aside, here's the Tuesday This-or-That, Summer Potpourri Edition:

1. Strawberries or blueberries?
Strawberries, definitely.

2. "Legally Blonde 2" or "Terminator 3"?
Neither this summer. I don't do movie theatres anymore. It's just too expensive. Also, I hate Arnold. I will however, watch LB2 when it's on cable this Christmas.

3. Hamburgers or hot dogs?
Veggie hot dogs on a poppyseed bun, with lots of relish, honey mustard and ketchup.

4. Boating or hiking?
Boating. Motor boating specifically.

5. Suntan lotion or sunblock?
Sunblock, SPF 200 if you have it.

6. "Big Brother" or "The Amazing Race"?
Never seen either show so, neither.

7. Beach Boys or Jimmy Buffett?
Beach Boys, Pet Sounds specifically.

8. Grow your own produce or buy from supermarket/greengrocer/farm stand?
Buy it, we don't have a vegetable garden because there are too many critters in our neighbourhood.

9. Drive with car windows/top down, or with air-conditioning on?
Depends. In town, we do a little of both. In the country, we leave the AC on because my allergies can drive me nuts otherwise.

10. Go away for vacation, or stay at home?
I like to go away. This year though, we stayed home and got some stuff done around the house.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Everyday, for the past 5 days, the weather forecast has called for thunder storms. I know that Toronto got one and London got a bad one yesterday but we've been left alone. It's been intensely hot here the past few days. Our house is nice and cool thanks to 3 window air conditioning units. We have a 5000 btu unit downstairs in our living room, another at the front of the house (upstairs) in our guest room and a new 6000 btu unit (with remote) in our bedroom. We also have ceiling fans in 3 rooms and the air keeps well circulated. The government has been saying that we should not be running the A/C as it's a drain on the resources of the province and contributes to pollution. I'd feel worse about that if we didn't the high-efficiency units (they are all less than 3 years old) and we're really careful about when we run them. I suffer from allergies in the summertime and the air conditioners save my bacon, literally. I couldn't function without it.

I'll be going back to work tomorrow and it should be interesting to see what the office is like. In the spring, we moved offices so we're now in a different part of the building and I have no idea what to expect as far as the heat index goes. I'm hoping that the storms will come through tonight and clear the air and break the humidity. The heat I can handle, I don't mind hot and breezy, that's summer and it's what we cry for all winter long. I just don't like it when the sky is brown and the pollution is out of control and my eyes and nose feel like they are on fire.

I must say, I'm not entirely sad to be going back to work. It was nice to have a break away from things at the office but home has been hectic. Mark took a couple of days off with me, here and there and we spent them working our buns off on the house. As you know, we painted our bathroom and bedroom. The bathroom is now completely back together. We went out on Friday night and bought a new (lovely) 36" x 36" mirror for over the vanity. The only thing we need to do now is get our carpenter back in to install the new flooring in there. The bedroom is another story. The painting is done but I need to decide what to do about bedding (replace it or make do). I also need to buy some fabric and make us curtains to cover our bedroom door and closet door. Our house is small and we took all of the doors out of the upstairs and replaced them with curtains to save space (I also like the way it looks). The new paint in both rooms looks fabulous though. I was so happy to see the old stuff, gone.

Downstairs, we got rid of our crappy old living furniture and bought new stuff. A gorgeous (and extremely comfy) sofa and chair. We also went out last weekend and purchased a new home theatre system. We weren't going to do this until Christmas time but we did it last weekend. Mark's been wanting a surround sound system and we found one that does SACD, on sale, at the Sony store. We got a good deal on it because they are getting the new ones in soon and this was the last "dream system" they had in stock. It truly does sound like you're in a theatre when you're watching something on DVD on it. We spent a tonne of money over the past 2 weeks but it was all on the house and I'd rather have done that than spent it on a holiday. Now, for the rest of the summer, we'll just watch our pennies and stay home and enjoy our backyard or, when it's rainy or too hot our new living room.

Friday, July 04, 2003

The Friday Five: The book edition:

1. What were your favorite childhood stories?
When I was a kid, I read constantly. I'd spend my entire allowance on those Scholastic book order things. I loved the Nancy Drew books when I was really little and grew into the Judy Blume books.

2. What books from your childhood would you like to share with [your] children?
I don't have any children and don't plan to have any so it's a moot point.

3. Have you re-read any of those childhood stories and been surprised by anything?
I never have. I probably should go back and look at some of the stuff I used to read.

4. How old were you when you first learned to read?
I can't remember exactly. I do remember reading to my younger brother when he was like, 2 so that would have made me 5. I could already read when I started school. Thank you Sesame Street!

5. Do you remember the first 'grown-up' book you read? How old were you?
I remember that my friends Shari and Mary Lou and Eleah and I were always reading. We started reading more "adult" books probably around the 5th grade. We were 10 or 11 and reading "teenage" books. I remember one book in particular that I'd borrowed from Shari. It was a book about a teenage girls struggles to come out as a lesbian to her parents. My mother found it and hit the roof (nice huh? -- just ever so slightly homophobic). She told me that I wasn't like this and should read such a book and she marched me over to Shari's house and return it to her.

The first real "grown-up" book I remember reading was The Tuesday Blade. It was one of Shari's mum's books and we all took turns reading it (under the radar of course). Years later, I picked up a copy of the book at a used book fair and it turned out to be the same copy we'd read all those years ago.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

The past couple of days have just flown by. I've been pretty busy working around the house for the biggest chunk of my vacation but I'm really happy about it. I'm thrilled about the painting we've done and am really enjoying the new sofa and chair we got last night. It looks awesome in our living room.

We gave our old stuff to the sally ann yesterday. We had an old futon sofa and an upholstered chair that had seen better days. I've been a throwing out mood today and have cleared the house of 4 huge bags of crap. I also have another load that I'm compiling for goodwill. The stuff is perfectly good, we just don't need it anymore, won't use it ever again and don't have the space to store it. I'm also too lazy to do the yard sale thing. When I decide I want rid of something, I just want it gone. I will sell CD's & videos on eBay sometimes. I have another big box of stuff for that actually. I'll probably wait for the fall to sell it off, in the pre-Christmas frenzy, you can get good prices for stuff like that.

I can highly recommend going through and chucking out your stuff. I find that it's a rewarding process and you'll love the extra space you can find in your house!

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

woohoo...I just found something out about it is:

Which random phallic object are you?
Quiz by Andrea.

Happy Canada Day all!!! It's a perfect summer day here. Just lovely. With that in mind, here is This-or-That Tuesday, the Summer Fun edition!

1. Lemonade or Ice Cold Beer?
Lemonade. Particularly the fizzy variety. I really like the PC fizzy diet lemonade from Loblaws.

2. Swimming pool or beach?
I'm a pool person. I like the beach but the sand everywhere gets to me after a while.

3. Long weekends here & there, or a 2-week vacation?
I took two weeks off from work (I'm just into week 2) but we'll probably have a couple of long weekends here and there too. This vacation has been used to get projects done around the house.

4. Destination: Acapulco or Hawaii?

5. Destination: Mountains or Beach?

6. Hotel/motel/B&B or camping?
Hotel, preferably in a jacuzzi suite.

7. Carefully planned vacation, or play it by ear?
We like to play it by ear. We pick a vague destination and just head off in that direction, usually.

8. Sneakers or sandals?
Sandals that look like sneakers!

9. Air-conditioning or fans?
Both, generally. If I have to pick just one, it's A/C, all the way. Although, the past few days, I've had the fans on and the windows open. The weather is gorgeous.

10. Concerts in the park or baseball games?
Concerts. I only really get into baseball when it's the finals of the world series.