Friday, October 31, 2003

Happy Hallowe'en

In keeping with the spirit of the day, here is the spooky day version of the Friday Five:

1. What was your first Halloween costume?

I couldn't tell you. I'll have to ask my mum when I'm talking to her on the weekend.

2. What was your best costume and why?

My best costume was a clown costume. My mum made it and it was FABULOUS. It was a jump suit that zipped up the back, made of patches of different fabrics. It was big enough that I could wear it over my winter coat and it had a really cool ruffled collar. I think I was probably 5 or 6 the year that she made it for me.

3. Did you ever play a trick on someone who didn't give you a treat?

I don't think so. We would only go to houses that had their lights on and seemed to be shelling out candy.

4. Do you have any Halloween traditions? (ie: Family pumpkin carving, special dinner before trick or treating, etc.)

We moved into our house in 2000. Before that, we'd lived in apartments and never had to do the shelling out thing. The only Halloween "traditions" that we have adopted is that we do shell out to the neighbourhood kids and I put up these cool orange mini-lights in our kitchen and at the side door of the house (the one we want the kids to go to)

5. Share your favorite scary story...real or legend!

I'm not really into scary stories. If you want to read some really scary shit, I'd suggest that you check out the Ban Trans Fat Website.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

It's the eve of Halloween and all the big ass displays are out, all over the neighbourhood. Some of them are really good. I particularly like the houses that have "grave yard" motifs where the fake stones are mixed amongst candidates signs for the upcoming municipal election. Very cute.

We're giving out chips and cheese puffs this year (doritos and cheetos to be exact). I'm expecting over 100 kids. We'll see what happens. Should be lots of spooky fun and fortunately, it's all over by 7:30 p.m.!

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Hump Day Musings

It's Wednesday and I'm brain dead. I've been feeling really stupid for almost a week now. Do you think that it's possible to get a brain cold, like a head cold but in your brain? If it is, I think I have one. My brain is just not working properly this week.

Might be the rain (hhmmm...Milli Vanilli just came to mind --- yuck!) causing it too. Yesterday we saw the sunshine (briefly) for the first time in almost a week. Today's it's dreary and raining again. Oh well, at least Jamie's getting a MBE!

Its Pukka as Naked Chef Gets Royal Honor

LONDON (Reuters) - Jamie Oliver, the British chef who rose to fame with his Naked Chef television series, dressed up on Wednesday to receive an honor from the queen at Buckingham Palace.

Oliver, who cultivates a cheeky chappie persona, was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth in the summer in recognition of his services to the hospitality industry.

The chef, whose trademark phrase "pukka" (good) is almost as well known in Britain as his cooking, has become something of a culinary phenomenon. His cookery books are best-sellers, his television shows are watched by millions and Hollywood star Dustin Hoffman has said he wants to make a movie about the 28-year old.

Oliver was given the honor after recruiting and training 15 youngsters to work in his restaurant.

The would-be-chefs were filmed as part of a hit television series called Jamie's Kitchen. Viewers followed the trainees as they struggled to cope with basic cooking, threw tantrums and generally tested Oliver's patience. By the end of the series the group of apprentice chefs were cooking for Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Monday, October 27, 2003

I don't often have my shit together enough on the weekends anymore to post on either Saturday or Sunday. I mean, I don't not do it on purpose, it just doesn't seem to happen that much anymore.

The weekend was nice. The extra hour we picked up yesterday was much appreciated. We didn't do a whole heck of a lot which was what we had intended. It rained almost all weekend and it is still raining right now. It's pretty dreary. I did a lot of errands and running around on Saturday morning and did laundry yesterday. Fun, fun, fun huh?

On Saturday afternoon, my back was bothering me so I lay on the heating pad and watched movies on cable. The first one was Fubar. I know that I'm probably one of the last people in Canada to see this but I never got around to seeing it when it was in the theatres. I thought it was pretty good, you can tell that it didn't cost them a lot to make it but the characters were really authentic. I know that I went to elementary school with guys like Dean and Terry. They are probably still wearing their AC/DC tshirts and untied, high-top sneakers.

After Fubar, I watched White Oleander. What a huge piece of crap that was. I thought that the acting was good, particularly Alison Lohman but the story was boring. I heard very good things about the book and I may read it at some point but the movie was not interesting at all. The girl was having a bad life, we get it. Sheesh. I just didn't find that I could actually care about any of the characters in the movie (except maybe the kid from Almost Famous).

The final movie in my heating-pad-film-festival was Waking Up In Reno. Now, Made in Manhattan aside (I tried to watch it but couldn't get through the first 30 minutes despite the presence of the lovely Frances Conroy -- it's SOOO bad), I will watch anything with Natasha Richardson in it. I think she's fabulous. I thought that Waking Up In Reno was cute and it made me laugh a couple of times. Billy Bob Thornton was really believable as a slimy car salesman who is fucking around on his wife with her best friend. I don't think much of his musical ability but I think he plays a good scum bag better than most. Now don't get me wrong, this will never be a big cinematic classic but it was cute. I mean, hey, Tony Orlando was in it! Thinking back, all the ibuprofen I was taking might have made it seem better than it was. It was silly but sometimes you need a silly movie, especially on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

The pills and laughter must have worked though because I'm feeling much better today than I have in a couple of days.

Friday, October 24, 2003

I'm still feeling a little sick about Elliott Smith. I was on the NME Elliott Smith chat board yesterday and there was a variety of rumour / speculation flying around about the circumstances of his death. Some folks are suggesting, and I must admit that the thought did cross my mind when I heard the news, that he may not have taken his own life. Whatever the case, it won't bring him back.

Other than that though, it's not been much of a week. Work's been busy, as per usual. It's Friday again but there's no Friday Five this week. We were invited to a wedding in Boston this weekend but aren't going. It's a cousin from my dad's side of the family. He's a really nice guy and I hear that his fiancee is a lovely girl but we just couldn't afford a thousand dollar weekend right now. Mum and dad are going, they're actually driving his folks and sister down with them, they're all leaving this morning. Hopefully they'll have a fun and safe weekend, it's a long drive.

I have housework and laundry to keep me busy this weekend. Mark's working tomorrow so I'll try to get everything sorted out tomorrow and we can have Sunday off to veg out. I could use some time to be brain dead this weekend, I'm looking forward to it. All this thinking I've been doing the past few days is hurting my brain.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

So many times over the past 13 months, I've sat in front of my computer, writing in this blog with my eyes full of tears and a huge knot in my stomach. I remember doing that when Joe Strummer died and when Wesley Willis passed away. I sobbed and wanted to vomit and I feel that way right now.

How can Elliott Smith be dead? I just feel sick. I know that if he did kill himself, it was not an easy thing to do. A good friend of mine committed suicide around this time of year in 1996. He was unhappy, felt tortured and frustrated by life. For him, a chemical imbalance caused him to live life as a guinea pig, going from doctor to doctor, prescription to prescription. The process either turned him into a zombie or made him feel worse. To end his life was to end his suffering. For him, there was no alternative. I believe that dead is dead and with death comes peace. All your demons are gone, the pain is over. At least I know that whatever demons haunted Elliott, they've died with him. RIP Elliott, I can't describe how much I'll miss you.


Singer-songwriter ELLIOTT SMITH has died - with suicide the suspected cause.

The singer passed away yesterday (October 21) at the age of 34. His body was discovered by a friend in his Los Angeles apartment. He had a single knife wound to the body.

Smith was then taken to Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center yesterday afternoon (October 21), where he was pronounced dead.

Born in 1969, Smith loved music from an early age. He released five albums, the most critically acclaimed in the mid-90s, titled ’Either/Or’ and ’XO’.

His most mainstream success however came when his song ’Miss Misery’ from the film Good Will Hunting’ was nominated for an Academy Award in 1997.

At the time of his death Smith was working on a new album, which had a working title of ’From A Basement On The Hill’, which was set for completion later this year.

Elliott Smith

Monday, October 20, 2003

Happy Monday!

I don't know why I do but I constantly marvel over how quickly time passes by. I guess it's because when I was a kid, the year seemed to take forever to pass by. As an adult, one who plans events for a living and is always looking ahead on the calendar, the time just whizzes by.

I'm on an extended long weekend. I took Friday and today off from work and am enjoying it a lot. Mark took today off too so we've been getting our house ready for winter. Yesterday we did a bunch of stuff outside, gardening mostly. Cleaning up flower beds, trimming back bushes and trees to prevent them from banging against the house in wind storms this winter. This will be our 4th winter in this house and this is the first time (I think) that we're going to be properly prepared. Mark put the air conditioners away yesterday, today we're going to be sealing up some windows and weather proofing things around the house. We could really use some new windows but that's not in our budget for this year. We did put screen doors on our front and side door this spring so that should help cut down on some of the heat loss we were experiencing on the main floor of our place. Last winter, it was pretty frosty at times. I also don't want to pay the city any more than I absolutely have to for our gas and electric this winter. I'm cheap, it's true.

I think that the best part of today is going to be spent doing nothing. I've tidied up already, Mark's taking the "yard waste" to the community composting facility as I type this. I've got to finish up the laundry I started but other than that, our day is free and clear. I'm looking forward to putting my feet up this afternoon, it'll be a nice break for both of us!

Friday, October 17, 2003

Where did the week go?

I've taken today off from work and have some errands to do. Between them, I have to take Mark's dad to his doctor's appointment this morning and I have one this afternoon so I'm sure the day will zoom by. Luckily, I got to sleep in a little bit this morning (very nice!) and am going to enjoy a leisurely morning until I have to go out at 10:30 a.m.

Here's this week's Friday Five:

1. Name five things in your refrigerator.
Natura Organic Soy Milk with Calcium, Billy Bee Fat Free Honey Mustard, Astro Fat Free Yogurt (a 12 pack, assorted flavours), Presidents Choice Low Calorie Cranberry Cocktail and 2 bunches of broccoli

2. Name five things in your freezer.
Various flavours of no-name freezie pops, a box of Boca Burgers (with Onion), a can of no-name frozen orange juice, a package of ground turkey and several ice trays

3. Name five things under your kitchen sink.
Extra pots for my plants, a bag of ice melt from last winter, windex, dish soap and paper towels.

4. Name five things around your computer.
My digital camera, a Seventh Heaven Records coaster, the telephone, my Visa Bill and a rubber stamp in the shape of a butterfly.

5. Name five things in your medicine cabinet.
Aleve, Echinacea, Lemon flavoured lozenges, plax and extra hair bands.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

thinking about terry underwear...

After listening to DCW almost non-stop for 2 days, I popped in "If You're Feeling Sinister." It's been a while since I listened to it. I was reminded of it on the weekend while I watched Pumpkin. Thinking about it now, it was somewhat appropriate to watch a movie called "pumpkin" on Thanksgiving. Pie aside though, there is a really cute scene in the movie, where "Stars of Track and Field" is played. I think I heard the Gentle Waves later on in the film but I can't say for certain.

The movie was really cute. I didn't have any expectations about it (or a clue about the plot) when I started out watching it. I was flicking around the channels, saw Christina Ricci on the screen and stopped. I missed the first 2 minutes I think but it wasn't far enough long that I'd not bother with it. The premise of the film is that a sorority girl falls in love with a developmentally challenged boy. It was funny and sweet at times. I watched a few movies over the weekend actually. Being brain dead makes for good movie watching I think. I saw In the Bedroom and Real Women Have Curves as well. Pretty good choices I think. I enjoyed them much more than if I had stumbled upon Bubble Boy or The Ring which were also on the Movie Channel over the weekend.

It's rainy quite hard at the moment, it's dark outside too. The leaves that have fallen onto the pavement are sticking to shoes. Somehow, listening to "Me and the Major" is making me feel like it's sunny and warm outside. One should never underestimate the awesome power of a pop album!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

I'm back to work today, just taking a quick break for lunch at the moment.

I was on a roll with a bunch of financial stuff and wasn't going to stop but I have a weird scratchy thing happening my throat and the beginnings of a sinus headache bugging me so I figured I should stop and eat. I have soup today and am hoping that it, in combination with an aleve will make me feel better.

Things are a little tense around the office at the moment. A good friend of mine was fired on Thursday afternoon. No one quite knows where to look or what to say it seems. I'm just keeping my headphones on and my head low. I don't really feel like being chatty and friendly when I'm still pretty upset about it. I talked to her this morning and we'll planning to get together on Friday for coffee. It'll be good to see her. It's was really strange to walk by her desk this morning, knowing that she wasn't there.

I know that this kind of shit happens all the time, no matter where you work. I guess we're probably "lucky" that it doesn't happen more often than this in our office. I know some folks have to deal with this kind of thing all the time. I guess it's the price you pay for not being self-employed. Working for a big company, you get lots of benefits in terms of insurance and vacation but you also have to live with the fact that control over your career is often out of your hands.

Back on the DCW band-wagon. I'm still listening to it and still loving it. The songs that jumped out at me upon first listen (Roy Walker, Step Into My Office, Baby and Stay Loose), I'm still really loving but I'm also SO into Piazza, New York Catcher and Lord Anthony. I was really nervous about this album. So many bands that I fall in love, prove to be a huge disappointment by album 5 (if not well before). Belle and Sebastian have, once again, surpassed any expectations I may have had. I can not urge you strongly enough to pick up a copy of this CD, it's just wonderful!

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Speak of an excellent new album and ye shall see an article about it in the Sunday Times:

A Band for Laura Bush to Love

The new album by Belle and Sebastian, everyone's favorite Glaswegian folk-pop septet, arrived in stores last week looking and sounding suspiciously like a Belle and Sebastian record. It has a cover photo of a glowering hipster and a quirky title, "Dear Catastrophe Waitress," that telegraphs the band's debt to the 80's Brit-pop heroes, the Smiths. It features a dozen very pretty, very old-fashioned songs that depict the romantic travails and pop culture obsessions of post-adolescent bookworms. And like everything Belle and Sebastian has released, it will doubtless be regarded by the 100,000 or so people who buy it with something approaching religious veneration.

Belle and Sebastian is the Little Band That Could. It was formed on a whim in 1995, to take advantage of free studio time offered in a state-sponsored music business class, and in the years since has watched its popularity take off while flouting nearly every music business dictum. The band has refused to appear on magazine covers, and almost completely ignored the music of the last three decades. Its wintry orchestral folk may be one of the most delicate sounds ever embraced by the rock audience; few musicians have stirred such ardor without once raising their voices or leaning into a power chord. Its lyrics, meanwhile, disdain typical rock subject matter. Let other bands sing about sex, drugs and dancing; on "Dear Catastrophe Waitress," Belle and Sebastian has cornered the market on bibliophilia. "I took a book and went into the forest"; "Our aspirations are wrapped up in books"; "The only freedom that you'll ever really know/ Is written in books from long ago." Here is a band that Laura Bush could love.

By rights, Belle and Sebastian should be viewed as a kooky diversion: music to make tea by, or to pipe into the den while settling down with a volume of Samuel Pepys. Instead, the band finds itself the object of one of pop music's most rabid cults, the darlings of an international audience that fills the Internet with exhaustive album exegeses and original Belle and Sebastian-inspired short fiction. Spend a little time surfing fan Web sites and you begin to worry: should a band that has never discovered the distortion channel on its guitar amplifiers or played a rugged beat be asked to shoulder such extravagant devotion?

"Dear Catastrophe Waitress" (Rough Trade) will do little to shake the faith of Belle and Sebastian's partisans. The band's fifth full-length album is its tightest and most tuneful; Belle and Sebastian has smoothed its ragged edges without getting slick. Crucially, "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" restores the lead singer and chief songwriter Stuart Murdoch to center stage after an experiment with a more democratic setup. "Breaking off is misery," he sings in one of the album's several wry looks at lost love. "I see a wilderness for you and me/ Punctuated by philosophy."

Early in 2003, word leaked out that Belle and Sebastian had gone into the recording studio with Trevor Horn, the legendary British producer with a fondness for synthesizers. For some months following, the Internet buzzed with rumors that the band was pulling a Dylan-at-Newport — junking its acoustic guitars and taking a wild stylistic left turn. Were Belle and Sebastian going electro?

Would that it were so. Instead, Mr. Horn played nice, nudging the 1960's-obsessed band a few baby steps closer to the present day — they've made it all the way to 1978 — and encouraging a bit more stylistic range. On previous albums, Belle and Sebastian's sound was circumscribed by folk-rock and lounge — a winsome mix of Nick Drake and Burt Bacharach — but on "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" the band tries other genres. The album's first single, "Step Into My Office, Baby," is a gusty piece of British invasion pop, complete with a fuzz-toned guitar and galloping Paul McCartney-style bass line; "I'm a Cuckoo" borrows its chord progression and melody from an unlikely source: Thin Lizzy's "Boys Are Back in Town." I'm not certain the world needed to hear Belle and Sebastian's gloss on Philadelphia soul, but it's here.

The band still does best when it does dainty. "Dear Catastrophe Waitress" includes several songs in Belle and Sebastian's classic mode — with Mr. Murdoch's voice drifting mildly over strings, horn fanfares and gentle acoustic-guitar strumming — and these rank with the prettiest things it has recorded. The music is rooted in folk-rock basics — minor chord progressions, three-part harmonies, chiming guitar arpeggios — but every song has its surprise: a soulful horn break, a sudden octave leap that aims for the heartstrings.

Of course, if sweet melodies alone were the source of the music's appeal, Belle and Sebastian fans would also be James Taylor fans. But with Belle and Sebastian, the words are the thing; in Mr. Murdoch's lyrics — crammed with knowing references to literature, rock bands, movies, interior design, coffeehouses and bars, fanzines and fashion plates — indie rock fans find a romantic vision of the lives of indie rock fans. More than perhaps any other music scene, indie rock thrives on the desire to be part of an exclusive club — a fellowship built on mixed tapes, samizdat publications and superior taste. Mr. Murdoch's diction may be elevated, but his lyrics are as densely coded as the most slang-thick rap, and the message they broadcast to Belle and Sebastian fans is flattering: you are in on a marvelous secret.

The band, meanwhile, continues to play to the hilt its role as lovable geek-chic mascots. The group's name is taken from an obscure French cartoon about a boy and his dog. For years, the band built its mystique by refusing to grant interviews or pose for photographs; its members appeared in album photos in disguise, wearing Victorian waistcoats and fake mustaches. Recently, Belle and Sebastian has become less camera-shy, but it still strives to project an image of cuddly eccentricity. When the group arrived in New York to play a concert in August, journalists were summoned to Shea Stadium to conduct interviews during a matinee game between the Mets and the Colorado Rockies. Mr. Murdoch, it seems, has become a huge Mets fan; the new album includes "Piazza, New York Catcher," an acoustic ballad that pays tribute to the Mets slugger. Where else would Scotland's most famous band meet the press but in the cheap seats high above the third base line?

Belle and Sebastian may be cutesy, but some ill will lurks in its songs. Mr. Murdoch is a wit, but he is not particularly funny; he tries to imitate Morrissey, the Smiths' arch-aphorist, but he lacks Morrissey's willingness to make himself the butt of the joke. Listening to "Dear Catastrophe Waitress," you get the feeling that, deep down, Mr. Murdoch believes he's the smartest guy in the room.

In song after song, he sings sneering put-downs in the sweetest possible voice; the archetypal Belle and Sebastian hero is a misunderstood bookworm, bent on avenging the slights of adolescent tormentors and ex-lovers — which may explain something about the band's appeal to an audience that revels in militant nerdiness. The new album's showpiece ballad is "Lord Anthony," the tale of an arty schoolboy who is bullied by his intellectual inferiors. "It doesn't pay," Mr. Murdoch croons, "to be smarter than teachers, smarter than most boys." Belle and Sebastian comes on softly, but it has scores to settle.

Shannon Stapleton for The NY Times
I feel very well rested right now. I totally slept in this morning. There is hope for this weekend yet.

Dear Catastrophe Waitress

I've been listening to Dear Catastarophe Waitress on repeat this morning. I gave it my first proper listen yesterday afternoon and it's brilliant. I also got a copy of the new Elvis CD (North) this week. I quickly listened to it yesterday and it's good but boy howdy, DCW is fucking brilliant. It's absolutely beautiful and I'm really loving it. We're debating about whether or not we're going to go see Belle & Sebastian when they play at Massey Hall next month. There are a couple of reasons why I'm hesitant to book it. Firstly, it would be an expensive weekend for us, $100 for tickets, $100 for gas up and back plus accommodation and meals while were in the big city. We're looking at like a $500 weekend AND I have to work, in Toronto, the following weekend for an event so...I'm not sure. It's a lot of money right now that we can't really afford and the timing is pretty bad for us.

We shall see. Perhaps we'll get lucky and win the Super 7 between now and then!

Saturday, October 11, 2003

I'm actually not having a great weekend so far.

This is likely because I'm still tired and trying to recover from last weekend; one of my best friends got fired on Thursday; I just banged my head, really hard while cleaning up the bathroom. My head is sort of pounding and I really want to have a nap.

Yikes. Thank goodness it's a long weekend huh? We're off to my mum's tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner. Hopefully I'll feel more human by then. This only getting 2 hours sleep at a time thing is not working for me...I miss sleeping 8 hours in a row. One thing I did finish today though is the following test, I found out that I'm 30% bitch. Nice huh?

Friday, October 10, 2003

ewww...the "sporty" version of the Friday Five:

1. Do you watch sports? If so, which ones?

I don't really. Sometimes, I will watch the World Series but I can't honestly say that I enjoy watching sport on television.

2. What/who are your favorite sports teams and/or favorite athletes?

Again, I don't really have one. I'm always happy when the Queen's Golden Gaels teams are doing well, either football or hockey or whatever.

3. Are there any sports you hate?

Not really, I don't actually care much about any sport but can appreciate the talent and strength that is required to excel in team sports.

4. Have you ever been to a sports event?

Oh yeah, hockey games, football games, baseball games. I can't remember when I last attended a sports event but when I was a kid we would go all the time.

5. Do/did you play any sports (in school or other)? How long did you play?

I played baseball and volleyball on teams when I was a kid. The only sport I ever really excelled at was swimming. I was a really strong swimmer as a kid. Now, I don't play sports as much as I workout everyday, biking and doing weights. I prefer to exercise alone rather than in a team environment.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Good morning all.

I had a rather unpleasant experience last night and I thought I’d share it here. On most Wednesday nights, we take my father-in-law for his groceries. After shopping, we usually go out for dinner. Last night was no exception; we went to Loblaws, picked up his groceries and headed out to dinner. We ordinarily go to one of four different places but Mark had a gleam in his eye and said that he was taking us somewhere new and that it was a surprise. About halfway to the restaurant, I realized that he was taking us to a new Chinese buffet place. We had noticed that an old abandoned restaurant in a west end strip mall had been under renovations under the summer. A few weeks ago, a sign went up announcing that it would be a buffet so Mark’s been keeping an eye on it. Yesterday was opening day.

He figured that they would open quietly, that it wouldn’t be all that busy and that we’d be able to quickly slip in and out for a meal. It was a mad house. We got inside the door and discovered a huge line-up. Looking around, we could see that they had done major renovations, the place was really ornately (but really really tacky) decorated and it was packed. In the small foyer all I could smell was paint and it was making me feel ill. We were told that we’d have a 15-20 minute wait. I wasn’t thrilled about this (I generally don’t do line ups) but Mark and his dad seemed really into it so I figured I’d suck it up and see how it went. We found a seat by the hostess station for his dad and I decided to slip outside for some air. It was unseasonably hot yesterday, this place smelled of fresh paint and there was NO air inside. I walked outside into a cloud of cigarette smoke. Mmm… paint plus smoke, my stomach was just in knots by now. I went back inside and stood by Joe and Mark. Fortunately, the line up seemed to be moving pretty quickly and I thought, “okay, this won’t be so bad.”

I was so wrong. It actually got worse. This large party came in and someone in the group was doused in a horrible, cheap perfume. Over the past few years I’ve become really sensitive to scent and perfume can trigger really violent coughing fits, my eyes water, it’s basically really unpleasant. I looked at Mark and said, quietly, “oh shit, can you smell that? Someone is wearing some really disgusting perfume, I think I’m going to be sick.” A woman turned to me, smiled and said, “It’s Christian Dior’s ‘Poison’ and it’s very expensive and it’s very beautiful.”

Now, bear in mind that this woman had badly hennaed bar-hair and an ill-fitting knit dress that did nothing for her enormous butt. I could NOT believe that she would so quickly identify herself as being the smelly one. You could tell that this woman had sprayed her hair and clothing too. She obviously gets negative comments all the time. It was just rancid smelling and it was not actually the real deal, it was one of those dollar store imitation brands. I just looked at her and said, “you may think it is beautiful but it’s not very nice for people who have environmental allergies.” She said, “well I think it’s beautiful.” I looked at Mark, rolled my eyes and said, “Oh Jesus.” Quite unintentionally, I got a huge reaction from her because of this. She scowled at me, “Don’t you take the name of our lord in vain! How dare you?” I just smiled at her and said, “I can say what I like, he’s not my lord, I don’t even believe in him.” Eyes wide, she looked at me with this disgusted look on her face and said, “well I feel sorry for you, you’re going to end up in hell, saying things like that,” and walked away, toward the rest of her party. After a couple of minutes, they left the restaurant.

I was so shocked. Needless to say, we didn’t wait in the line up any more. 3 more stinky people came in and I was coughing my head off. We left and ended up at Montana’s for dinner.

I was so happy when the no smoking bylaw was passed here. I really hope that city council passes a no-scent bylaw too. Mark heard something about Halifax having one in place now. It’s a great idea. They have signs posted all over the hospitals here about scent sensitivities. I’d almost rather smell smoke than some of these cheap perfumes that folks pour all over themselves. Thinking about it later on in the evening, I really had to laugh that she “felt sorry” for me because I don’t believe in Jesus. She probably doesn’t “believe” in Darwin but I don’t feel sorry for her.

As far as the buffet goes, we may try to go again but I think it’ll be in a couple of weeks and it’ll be for lunch. They must have been doing some heavy-duty advertising on the local radio stations (we don’t listen to commercial radio – we’re a CBC only family) over the past couple of weeks. Hopefully, if we go back, we won’t get bombed with bad perfume. That was just nasty and completely offensive.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Wow, it's been a whole week since I've posted. It's been my busiest week of the whole year and I survived it. Not only did I survive it, it went great. I had a bit of a cold on Monday and Tuesday, which settled nicely into my back but it seems to be clearing up now and I'm feeling better. The back cold thing is not at all surprising when you consider the amount of time I spent, in a damp, muddy tent, on the weekend. I think it was around 20 hours or so.

I'm still a little brain dead but I'm taking a 4 day weekend for Thanksgiving. It should be nice. My house needs cleaning in the worst way. I also need to tidy up my flower beds and paint our screen door before the nasty weather arrives. Fortunately, it is supposed to be pretty nice all weekend so I should have no problem getting that done. We also are taking our air conditioners and putting them away for the winter.

Anyway, better late than never, here's last week's edition of the Friday Five:

1. What vehicle do you drive?

I drive a white, four door 1993 Buick LeSabre.

2. How long have you had it?

I got the car in August 2002.

3. What is the coolest feature on your vehicle?

The bench seat, baby. It's a great big boat of a car and I love that it's got a real front seat.

4. What is the most annoying thing about your vehicle?

In the cold, damp weather it take a while to get going. It tends to chug a bit until it warms up.

5. If money were no object, what vehicle would you be driving right now?

I'd like a VW beetle, convertible. A new one. Although our LeSabre isn't really that much wider than our old Tercel, I miss having a smaller car to bomb around in. I also hear that they have a lot of head and leg room and they look really cool.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Happy Wednesday everyone!

For the first time in days, I have a few minutes to spare. The week is sailing by and so far (touch wood -- knocking on my skull) it's been fairly smooth. We're organizing a huge event will take place over the weekend so we're hoping for good weather. Bottom line though, if it rains, it rains. We cannot get stressed out over things that we cannot control. The weather being the biggest thing we have no control over. We'd like to sometimes but alas, it's not to be.

I'm heading into the office early this morning. It's nice and quiet in there at this time of day and I find that I can get a lot of stuff done before the rest of my office-mates arrive. I've got my fingers crossed that today will be a productive day and I hope that everyone has a good first day of October/election eve!