Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Happy New Year's

Well, it's finally all official, it's the end of the year. Big flipping deal huh?? Mark is going to be heading to work at 4 a.m. so we're actually up past our bedtime as I type this. I was going to write some big piece and reflect upon 2003 but I'm feeling lazy, and sleepy so I'm not going to do it. So there!!

Anyway, for all you party harty folks who are putting on the goofy hats and shakin' what your mommas gave you tonight, enjoy!!
In the days immediately following Elliott's death last October, I read a lot of stuff on the NME chat forums about the actual circumstances of his death. There were a lot of rumours and speculation flying around that, quite frankly I didn't want to believe. Looks like maybe, just maybe, the rumours weren't too out-there. I read this, this morning:

Unclear if Elliott Smith committed suicide
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles coroner's officials say they can not determine whether the stab wounds that killed Oscar-nominated singer-songwriter Elliott Smith in October were self-inflicted.

An autopsy report on Wednesday appears to leave the nature of Smith's death, which was initially called a suicide by Los Angeles police, an open question.

The body of Smith -- who earned an Oscar nomination and widespread notice for his 1997 single "Miss Misery" from the film "Good Will Hunting" -- was found in October at his Los Angeles home by the musician's live-in girlfriend.

Coroner's spokesman David Campbell said Smith, 34, died from two "penetrating stab wounds" to the chest.

"The trauma that he sustained could have been inflicted by him or by another and the coroner has not been able to make a determination," Campbell said.

Campbell said toxicology tests found no illegal or controlled substances in Smith's system. The singer was apparently taking anti-depressants and medication for attention deficit disorder at the time of his death but was not abusing them, Campbell said.

He said the case would remain open and that coroner's officials would revisit their findings if additional information surfaced.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department said homicide detectives also would "look again" at Smith's death following the autopsy report. He said the case was initially reported to the LAPD as a suicide.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

On sitting around the house and not showering...

Not that I'm obsessed or anything...But today, I've sat around the house in my jammies all day without showering. It's gross, I know, but I did it anyway. I had a nicely lazy day, it felt pretty good after having to be out and around people yesterday.

I wasn't a total sloth though. What few Christmas decorations I had put up are now down. I'm amazed at how much bigger the place looks once you take down all that garland and holiday crap. I mean, the crap looked okay but it's nice to see it go for another year. I haven't packed it all away yet but at least it's all in a laundry basket upstairs, instead of sprawled all over the living room. I also hauled a tonne of books downstairs today too. Almost all the books are now in the living room, ready to be shelved in their new spots. The front bedroom is almost completely empty now. Yay me!

We went out to get the rest of our groceries after Mark finished work this afternoon. I'm glad we went today instead of tomorrow. Tomorrow it'll be drunken idiot time at the mall. I never understand why folks get all knotted up about New Years. As my brother says, it's amateur night. He also says that about St. Patty's day and he's right. Morons who never go out or have fun the rest of the year, fell pressured to do zany nutty "fun" things on New Year Eve. It's just another night to me. Why would I want to go out to a bar on December 31st? Everything is over priced, over crowed and underwhelming. I'd rather stay home and chill out, thank you very much.

If that makes me sound like a crabby bore, I don't really care. Maybe I am a crabby bore, but at least I won't be hung over and filled with regret about spending too much cash on a Wednesday night on Thursday morning. As I mentioned in last week's Friday Five, for me, new year's is in September, when the students return. I'll probably spend tomorrow doing the laundry that I didn't do today (cuz I was busy being a no-christmas decorations sloth) and trying to sort out our computer room some more. Talk about your rock'n'roll party person huh?? Jealous yet?

Monday, December 29, 2003

Boy I write more when I have more time

How's that for a grammatically incorrect statement? Not to bad huh?? It's true though, I've been spewing out tonnes of crap here over the past few days.

I have been on the road since 9:50 a.m. this morning. Me?! Lay around the house and not shower until 2 p.m. cuz on my holidays dammit. Last week, I was supposed to get together with my lovely friend Kristin. Unfortunately, my head was full of snot and I felt like crap that day so I didn't get to see her. When I realized that I may not get to see her at all while she was home (her folks live here but she's at school in Alberta these days) I was pretty bummed. It was okay though because she was going to be in town until New Years Eve and I had a second chance to see her. We went for coffee this morning and had a great visit. While we were in mid-coffee (well, I was in mid-coffee, she was in mid-chai-latte with a big ass piece of wonderful smelling cinnamon), a mutual friend of ours, Leslie, arrived. Leslie's here in town but, for many reasons, I'd actually seen Kristin more recently than I'd seen Leslie (I saw Kristin last when she was home last Christmas -- sad but true!). It was great to see her. She had her two small children with her. I'd not seen them in a good long time and couldn't believe how much they had grown. I mean, I know that kids grow and stuff but when you don't see them very often it's a big deal. They're really nice, well behaved kids. We had a really nice visit, it was good to get caught up on stuff.

By the time I left I figured that I'd have a ticket on my car. I'd parked on a side street and had actually put money into the meter but I was an hour past when I should have been gone...When I walked toward the car I could see a ticket under the wiper blade. It wasn't a ticket though, it was a 10 minute "grace period" card from the parking Nazi girls. I couldn't believe that they didn't give me a ticket. They must have been filled with holiday spirit (yeah right) or something. Whatever it was, I was just so happy that a) I hadn't run out to feed the meter and b) I didn't get a ticket. That's totally a first in downtown Kingston. The meter people are just total pigs about downtown parking (and they wonder why the downtown core is dying and folks prefer to shop at box stores in the township --- it's the free parking baby!).

Happily ticket-free, I sped out to the west end, land of box stores and free parking (although you do have to pay a deposit on your grocery cart there...What's up with that?). I had to pick up some stuff for us and for Joe. I had already loaded the car with Christmas gifts for some west-end friends and decided to call them to see if they were home. I'm sitting in my car, in the parking lot of the grocery store. I can see across Highway 33 from where I sit and am looking at their house (it backs onto Highway 33 -- you can see the grocery store from their back yard) and my phone will not work. It starts to connect and then drops. So very weird. I head into the store, get my shopping and, whilst walking back to my car, try to call them again. Again, I can see their house...This time it connects but I get that weird, fast busy signal thing. The groceries get thrown in the car, I start the car, try to call again...again, no connection. Too weird. As I'm going by their house anyway, I pop in and fortunately, my friend was home. Everyone else in the family was out so she and I had a great visit over a couple of cups of tea. It was actually kind of nice to be just her and I for a while. We don't usually get to visit without a lot of other people around. She told me that her phone never works when she tries to call home from the store either. I figure it must be something to do with the railroad tracks that run between her house and the highway...Or they live in some kind of Bermuda triangle of cell phones zone.

After that, I had some more errands to do and traffic was crap...I was so glad to get home. Being sociable and friendly is way more difficult than sitting around the house and not showering.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

the road to Ottawa

I love road trips. I particularly love them when the roads aren't too bad. On Christmas day, my brother mentioned to Mark that he had obtained some extra computer parts through a work contact. Pat didn't have a use for them but thought that Mark might be able to. Pat dropped us a line on Saturday to say that he would pop them into the post for us. Given that the weather has been positively balmy lately, I called and told him that we'd just pop up and get them on Sunday.

The drive up was so nice. Almost no transports of Quebecois on the road. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those big anti-Quebec type of Ontarians. I have friends and family who live in Quebec, mostly in Montreal. We have actually enjoyed some of the visits we have made to Quebec but I tell ya, the majority of Quebecois who drive on Ontario highways are a hazard to themselves and everyone around them. I mean, it's just down-right scary watching them weave in and out of traffic on the 401.

When we left Kingston, it was quite mild and you could tell by the way that everything was sort of moist, that there had been a very heavy fog through the night. It was sunny and clear though so we took off shortly after 8 a.m. The closer we got to Ottawa, the foggier it got. You could tell by the way that the trees and buildings were covered in frost that the fog had just burned off in some areas. Ottawa being in a valley though, it was totally foggy overcast. While we were traveling North on the 416 (from the 401, into Ottawa), we saw a deer. Well, I noticed but didn't shout out to Mark, he saw it too. It was jumping into our lane of traffic and (thankfully), we didn't hit it. Hitting a deer on the highway is one of my worst fears. I have heard so many stories about folks hitting deer, the deer coming through the windshield, hooves flailing. Getting decapitated by a deer is not the way I'd like to die. Thank you very much. All that aside, we got into to Ottawa in record time.

Pat lives in a super cool apartment right downtown. From the outside, it looks like a pretty shitty old house. It is located next a parking lot and across the street from one of those big ass apartment buildings. You'd never think that it's actually really nice inside and that's advantageous in terms of folks not bothering to break in and stuff. He had done a really nice job on the apartment. He's picked up a lot of very cool music posters and had a lot of photos up on the walls. Since we were last there he's obtained a new sofa and a really funky arm chair. It's super cozy and as I said before, super cool. On the way to his place, you have to drive right by the IKEA store in Nepean. The Nepean IKEA is the closest one to us so we usually go whenever we're in Ottawa. I noticed that the parking lot was not insanely crazy full when we drove by (at 10 a.m.) so we decided to go. Pat came with us too, which was fun.

The only things I actually intended to pick up were candles (they have crazy-cheap, unscented candles in all shapes and sizes at IKEA so I like to stock up when we're there) but, of course, we got more than just candles. Mark and I found really funky lamps for the bedroom. I've been wanting to get matching lamps for our bedside tables. We painted our room in June and are still in the process of putting it back together. The lamps we got are called Grono and I really like them. They are cool and simple and they throw a lot of light. Mark also got 2 lamps for his computer work bench, a blue Morker and a small clip on lamp that was really cheap. As it usually happens, the light bulbs for the lamps cost almost as much as the lamps themselves but we stocked up anyway. We're such suckers!!

We also started looking at coffee tables and bedside tables. At the moment, we're using an old trunk for a coffee table in our living room. We bought some really nice living room furniture in June (a sofa and chair) but still haven't gotten around to getting a coffee table for it. As we hadn't measured, we didn't bother getting anything...Same deal with the bedroom. We bought 2 dressers from IKEA about 18 months ago. I really wanted to get the bedside units to match them but they don't seem to be carrying that line anymore. Typical...and not entirely surprising. The hardware for the drawers sucks ass and we're in the midst of having to repair the dressers as they didn't' survive being moved across the room when we painted. We have these old crappy (but functional) bedside tables that have been handed down from one of Mark's relatives but we really want to replace them. We did find something that was close to what we wanted but we weren't sure about the size. They looked way taller than what we needed and I didn't really feel like getting bruises on my hands and arms in the middle of the night from them when I'm reaching for my glasses or a drink of water.

Pat got lucky though, he got a pair of really cool end tables for his apartment for $30.....not each but for the pair, score huh? After we shopped, we ran him home and tried to take him out for lunch. He wouldn't come with us though, try as I might to bully him into it. We ended up having excellent dim sum at a place that came highly recommended by Pat's fabulous girlfriend Rebecca. She has excellent taste in men, and in was a lovely meal. While Kingston, as a city, has a lot of things to offer, good dim sum is not one of them.

After lunch, we headed for home and were lucky to be traveling the whole trip in daylight. I'm glad to be home actually, all that running around is tiring. It was great to see Pat though and now, Mark may have enough parts between what Pat gave him, and what we have around here, to put together a new machine for my parents. They have my old 486 and they aren't online. My mum is taking a computer course right now though and learning about internet stuff and XP so we'd like them to have a better machine and to get online. We'll drag them into the 20th, errr...21st century eventually, come hell or high water!!

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Winning stuff is cool!!

Friday night we decided to go out for dinner and I called Mark's dad to invite him out with us. He didn't feel up to going out that night but he told me that he'd like to go out the next day and felt like doing some gambling. I guess this was going to be like a "big night out" in lieu of going out for zany New Years fun.

Mark worked today and when we finished, we went out to do a couple of errands. We finished the errands a lot earlier than I thought we would so I called Joe to see if he would like to go for dinner earlier than we had planned. Joe wasn't hungry yet so I suggested that we head to the casino first then, and have dinner afterwards. He agree and we picked him up and headed to Gan. We aren't big gamblers but once in a while, we like to go to the Thousand Islands Charity Casino. It's a pretty podunk little place but it's less than 30 minutes from our house and we usually have fun when we go.

Every time we go to the casino Gan I can't help but think about how hard the Kingston city council must kick themselves in the ass. Kingston could have had a charity casino but council wouldn't approve it. Gan snapped it up and they have been rolling in moola over it ever since. The parking lot is almost always full, I was talking to a fellow from Gan a while back and apparently a big new spiffy hotel is going up right near the casino. I'm pretty sure that they'll expand the casino too (it's really small) when they can. It's just a little goldmine for Gananoque and Kingston council just could not see that. It's too bad too, I think that casinos get a bad rap most of the time. The old argument that folks with gambling addiction will get into trouble if they have easy access to a casino is just bullshit. If you are a gambling addict, you can find stuff to bet on anywhere, anytime, casino or no casino!

One of the errands we had done earlier in the day was to drop off some Christmas presents and a tin full of cookies to our friends Tam & Paul. As we were going out of the door, Paul handed me a penny he had found (thus making it a lucky penny) and told me that if I won, he'd like a 5% cut. I laughed and realized that I was sans-lucky penny in the coat I had on (I usually keep a lucky penny in my pocket but had switched coats that morning).

The three of us split up pretty much when we got to the casino. We each usually just play with $20 and see what happens. Mark likes to play the video poker machines, Joe is a nickel slot guy and I'm into the quarter, three line slot machines. I put my $20 into the machine so I started off with 80 credits on the machine. After about 5 minutes, I was down to 65 credits and was feeling pretty bad about the whole thing (even though I transferred Paul's lucky penny from my coat pocket to my pants' pocket before I checked my jacket). I gave the machine one more shot at redemption and won, my credits went up to 115 (from 65 -- so that's like $10!!).

An ever cautious gambler, the kind that the casino hates, I know, I cashed out and went to see how my boys were doing. I found Joe in front of a nickel machine, not doing too well...Mark was at a poker machine and was up to about 581 credits. He cashed out and went looking for another machine and while he was doing that, I tried my luck again. I put $1.25 into a machine and won again...So now I'm up to around $33 (from $20 -- not bad huh?) and I decide to just quit. Again, I'm cautious. I know it's boring but hey, it's who I am! So I find Joe again, and he's just not having a good night. He moves over to a poker machine to try that. I walk around the corner and see Mark sitting at the machine directly in front of his dad, he's up again on this new poker machine so I leave him to it and go see Joe again. By this time, it's getting close to "dinnertime" so the crowd is thinning out at the machines. Joe was getting pretty frustrated and he's like, "here, take all my coins and dump them into the first machine you find." I move to the next poker machine, which is set on some kind of fruit and animals version of poker(?) I dump his 7 coins into it, press the button and blammo, I win back Joe's $20 plus a little extra. When we all cashed out, I had won $15, Joe was up $7.25 and Mark had won like $180. It's so nice to walk out of there with more cash than when you went in, even if it was just $15!! I felt kind of goofy smiling so much on the way home but winning is just SOOOOO much more fun than breaking even!!

Friday, December 26, 2003

It's the year-end Friday Five:

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year?

Changing our lifestyle in such a way that the result was my losing over 70 pounds in 9 months and (miraculously) keeping it off for the past 3 months.

2. What was your biggest disappointment?

Not losing any weight over the past 3 months...Although, when I think about all the shit that we've been going through, maintaining the weight loss was pretty cool.

3. What do you hope the new year brings?

Less stress and more weight-loss (do you see a theme developing here friends?).

4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? If yes, what will they be?

I'm resolving to do a few things:

- to continue with the decluttering of the house that I began in late 2002. We've got the big stuff out the way, I need to go through the closets and corners and really get into the nitty gritty of it. Our house is too small for much of the crap we have. As much as I hate to admit it (because that mimbo carpenter really bugs my ass), the show Clean Sweep has been a big inspiration to me recently.

- carry on with the stuff I started in 2003 with regards to fitness and health. We've sort of fallen into holiday malaise over the past couple of weeks but come January 5, bootcamp starts all over again and I'm looking forward to it. The best I felt over the past year was when I really in the zone as far as my exercise regime went.

- finish reading the pile of books I have sitting in the living room. Until I finish them, I don't want to buy any new books!

5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

It's just another night to me. I work at an institution of higher learning so the new year always seems to start in September for me. Mark will be working all day on the 31st and again really early on the 1st so we'll probably just go to bed at our normal time.
Okay...if on boxing day 2004, you hear me say "let's go to the mall...just for fun" please feel free to punch me, hard. We went out to see what was happening today. We did get an amazing deal on a refurbished computer that we'll be harvesting for parts but other than that, it's just insane out there. Oh well, I guess it's just part of the holiday "fun" or something!?

Thursday, December 25, 2003

For all intents and purposes, Christmas is now over for another year...for us anyway. I mean, we have a few people who we'll be seeing over the next few days but the biggest part of it is now behind us.

We spent the best part of the day at my mum's (well, from about 11:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.). She likes to have her big meal at midday and that suits me down to the ground. We had a nice meal and then exchanged gifts afterwards. A big part of our holiday involves the exchange of those scratch ticket packets that the Ontario Lottery Corporation puts out so we end up sitting around the table scratching our tickets for a couple of hours. We visit while we scratch and it's all very civilised and cordial.

A lot of fun was had (I think) by all today. We got some really nice gifts this year, lots of little nifty/useful things and some fun stuff (like CD's, DVD's and cash). I gave Mark The Office Season One, Mr Show Season Three and Run Ronnie Run. My brother Pat gave me a copy of Heartworn Highways (which looks like it will be fucking brilliant!). Mark gave me a bunch of stuff from my amazon wish list: Sopranos Season Four, South Park Season Three (a lovely surprised as we had rewatched Season Two last night -- The Charlie Manson Family Christmas Special rawks!!), The Best of Arliss and a box set of three John Hughes films -- Sixteen Candles, Weird Science and The Breakfast Club. So, as you can see, we'll have a lot of stuff to watch this winter....yay!!

Speaking of which, I can hear the soothing sounds of the Mr Show floating up from downstairs so I'll dash now. Hope you all had a great Christmas!!
Happy Christmas kiddies!!

When I woke up this morning I recalled how, when we were kids, we would be up and sitting in front of the tree at 5 a.m. (or earlier if we could). This morning, all I wanted to do was roll over and sleep some more...however, there is stuff that needs doing before we head over to see my folks so I'm up.

It didn't snow last night (even though the weather dudes and dudettes promised it would) so we're having a very green and mild Christmas here. Hopefully the sun will come out and it'll turn into a really lovely day.

Whatever the weather, have a good one!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

It's beginning to look a lot like... March?

If it gets any warmer outside, or rains any more, I swear that we'll be mowing our lawn on Boxing Day. It's ridiculously nice outside right now (even with the rain). It's insane. Our backyard, which was covered in a beautiful blanket of snow on Sunday, is slowly turning into a small lake. Merry Christmas huh?

our backyard

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Despite the post nasal drip, I got some baking done today. I just had to stop what I was doing like every 5 minutes to blow my nose and then wash my hands. I got Sugar Drop Cookies, Yum-Yum Bars, Almond Coconut Cookies and Coconut Fudge Bars made. Tomorrow I'm doing Shortbread, Rugelach, Gingerbread cutouts and probably one or two other things. Yay me. I knew that doing the baking wouldn't be too tough. I enjoy baking and, I must say, I'm pretty good at it.

It did wear me out a bit, what with still getting over a cold and all so I'm going to toddle off to bed now. 'night!

Monday, December 22, 2003

Holiday madness kept me away from the computer for most of the weekend. Today, I've been feeling like hammered crap. This head cold thing is getting out of hand. I've just felt terrible all day. Luckily though, our holiday shopping is all done and I got everything wrapped yesterday. I haven't baked anything yet but, if I'm feeling better, I should be able to get it done over the next 2 days.

I'm sick to death of hearing / reading crap about the new lord of the rings movie. I was seriously feeling like Mark and I were the only folks on the planet who didn't want to see it when I read Zorbs blog today. At least we're not alone. I mean, I guess that I can be happy on some level for these lotr fans. They look forward to these movies, they loved the books and now it's over. Yay for them. My feeling is "it's just a movie!" The only holiday film that I'm remotely interested in seeing this year is Big Fish and even that, I think I can wait until it shows up on the movie channel.

I guess I'm just too stingy in my old age to give the theatre that much money for a movie ticket, not when we have 2 digital cable boxes here at home. Oh well, bah humbug huh? I must just be grumpy because of the sinus headache I've got.

Yesterday, I took some photos of the snow in our backyard. We had been out running errands and I just happened to have my camera with me. When we got home, we noticed that our garbage can had blown from the side of the house into the back yard. When I went to retrieve it, I noticed that there were snow balls all over the lawn. They were different sizes and had been rolled, it seems, by the wind. You could see tracks in the snow but no footprints (at first we thought that maybe some kids had been in the yard). I guess that the heavy winds blew some of the snow off of our spruce trees and then, they collected some of the dusty snow that had fallen over night. Here are some pictures I snapped of it, strange but true:


Friday, December 19, 2003

Yikes!! It's Friday again, here's the Friday Five:

1. List your five favorite beverages.

Water, strong black coffee, Diet Coke with lime, fresh squeezed orange juice, cranberry juice.

2. List your five favorite websites.

All the sites listed in my blog roll,, The New York Times online, Blogger and All Music

3. List your five favorite snack foods.

Wowee Maui Skinny Sticks, clementine oranges, bananas, Royal Gala apples and anything chocolate.

4. List your five favorite board and/or card games.

Not that we play too often but I like Scrabble, Monopoly (we have the Coronation Street version), Trivial Pursuit, Cribbage and Solitaire.

5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games.

We don't have a games system but I like playing FreeCell Pro and Tetris on our machine. Back in the day (yes, I am a child of the '80's) I loved hanging out in the arcade and playing Frogger, Centipede and Tron.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Happy Thursday kids!!

Well, the sinus/cold thing that was kicking my ass all weekend seems to have reappeared. I've spent the better part of today being stuffed up and just generally feeling like a sack of poopie. Not fun. I guess that spending yesterday running in and out of stores in the rain didn't do me any good. I just would like to get through one holiday season / festive situation without a head cold. Is that too much to ask?

So, today I was sent a link via a listserv I'm on. The link was a for a Music Nerd Quiz. I scored 76.3285% and am, according to the quiz, a "Hardcore Music Nerd." I'd be interested in seeing how others scored. If you take it, let me know how you scored, please?

So, other than feeling crummy and taking a quiz, I didn't actually do too much today. I have a tonne of Christmas baking to do but I haven't started it yet. I did bake a couple of loaves of bread in my bread machine today though. Hopefully that will make me feel like starting it tomorrow. I always enjoy it once I start, starting is just the tough part!

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I spent the past two days (yes, entire days -- like when it was light out!) shopping. Yesterday, I did a bunch of errands with Mark's dad in the morning and spent the afternoon running errands for us (like groceries and other sundry stuff that is non-related to the big holiday next week). Today, I did holiday shopping. I was out from 8:30 a.m. until late this afternoon. I think I got it all done though.

The weather was kind of nasty here today. It started out raining and then turned into wet snow. Fortunately, the snow didn't accumulate so the roads were pretty good. It looked a lot worse than it was so I think it kept a lot of folks out of the shoppes. This was good for me though because the traffic wasn't horrible, I managed to get parked every place I went to and I think I have just about everything I need.


It doesn't look like much but that's not actually all of it, it's just what I squeezed into the photo. I still have to sort it all out and wrap it up. I think I'll stay put tomorrow. I want to get some housework done and then this weekend I'll start my baking. I'm not doing a lot (well not as much as last year) but I'm going to do a few things. I like to give it away as gifts to some folks (if it all turns out anyway). I know it only comes once a year but it's such a lot of hoopla and running around. I really look forward to it just being over and done with every year. I'm not quite Bah-Humbug but not exactly overly excited about it either.

It was kind of sick actually, watching folks in a haze shopping today. Many people looked like zombies wandering around. I'm just happy that I won't have to spend too much more time out amongst them again. I know that I feel like a zombie tonight so I probably looked like one too. I know that by the time I was finishing up, I'd started mumbling to myself as I walked up and down the store aisles. You know it's time to go home when you do that!!

Monday, December 15, 2003

Happy Monday!!

Boy did it snow here. Lots of it. We just spent the best part of 2 hours digging out and it's still snowing!! Hopefully it'll end soon and the sun will come out. I love a sunny bright day after a big snow storm.

So I'm officially on vacation. That's right kids, I don't have to go back to work until January 5. I'm pretty happy about it. I still have to do our Christmas shopping and stuff but at least I have over a week to get it done. I don't actually have much to do so it shouldn't be to terribly bad. Anyway, let's start the week off with a quiz, just for fun:


Which month are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, December 13, 2003

This morning, the phone rang kind of early. I was sitting in the living room, sipping coffee, Mark was getting ready for work and I was half-watching a movie on TV. My dad was on the other end of the phone and he sounded pretty excited. He wanted me to go to the computer and check the winnings for the Super 7 last night. He had 5 out of 7 numbers. I hung up, ran upstairs and checked the site. He won $135.20. I had to call him back and tell him that it wasn't thousands he won but rather, tens. Shouldn't you win more than $135.20 for 5 numbers? Sheesh. I mean, it's better than a kick in the balls but I felt kind of bad having to tell him that it wasn't a big payout. He sounded pretty happy but still.

Friday, December 12, 2003

It's back! Here is this week's Friday Five:

1. Do you enjoy the cold weather and snow for the holidays?

It doesn't really matter to me, one way or the other. I live in a place that gets cold and snow on a regular basis at this time of the year. Ideally, it's nice to not have to shovel out on Christmas morning but if it happens, so be it. It's been my experience the past couple of years that it was actually too cold to snow and it was just sort of grey / green / brown.

2. What is your ideal holiday celebration? How, where, with whom would you celebrate to make things perfect?

My ideal holiday celebration would be for Mark and I to go away somewhere, alone. Preferably somewhere warm and sunny where we didn't have to be bombarded with tacky Christmas decorations, tinsel, gifts, overcooked turkey, crowded stores, hideous traffic and fake sentiment. Basically, anywhere that we could be alone and literally away from all the holiday hoopla would be a dream come true.

3. Do you do have any holiday traditions?

I guess so. On Christmas day, we go to my mum's place and have Christmas lunch, exchange gifts and spend a couple of hours scratching lottery tickets. It sounds really odd but we actually all exchange those $10 packages of tickets (in addition to "traditional" gifts) and then sit around, after the food and torn wrapping paper is tucked away and scratch our brains out.

4. Do you do anything to help the needy?

Not in a hands on way but there are a couple of local charities that we support.

5. What one gift would you like for yourself?

If money wasn't an issue, I'd love for us to take a trip away somewhere as a holiday gift. See item #1 for details!

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I'm still here. It's been almost a week since I last posted. I guess I haven't posted this week for a couple of reasons. One would be that I've been really brain dead recently and thinking up something that is cool and/or nifty and/or interesting to post here would require more energy than I can muster. The other reason would be that there isn't much happening right now that I actually feel I can discuss here. Hopefully that will change soon.

Oh, about the road didn't happen. We stayed home and did errands and puttered around the house. It was nice and just what we needed.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Well, no Friday Five today. I guess I don't need a Friday Five to write a post on Friday. I could sum up my week here but I don't think I'll depress you all with that. Everything is just happening all at once and it's getting to me. Today is a much better day than yesterday. Yesterday was particularly stressful, for many reasons but it's not really something I can talk about at the moment, not here anyway.

I can honestly say that I haven't even seen the news this week, or heard it, or really even read much of it. This is sort of odd because I'm usually all up on what's happening. I'm just a little brain-dead and out of sorts I guess. I have Monday off which is nice. I had originally booked off next Friday but our office holiday luncheon thing is happening that day so I figured I should go. After that though, I'm off work until January 5. I'm so looking forward to the break.

I'm not sure what we're doing this weekend. We were thinking of taking a road trip and then decided against it and now, weather permitting, we're thinking of another, much shorter one. Tomorrow I'll probably just stick close to home and try to get some stuff done. If we go anywhere it'll just be for the night, probably Saturday. We'll see. I think I've rambled on enough though.

If you are in the Ottawa region, The Glads are having a CD release party tomorrow night. The details can be found on their page. Rock on, sisters and brothers!

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

The sun is shining here today and it's freezing cold. It snowed last night and this time it seems to be sticking around a bit. The nice thing about it though is that the sun and the snow put together make stuff super bright and sparkle-y. It's actually really pretty.

Well, for the first time in a while, I'm really excited about some stuff. Unfortunately, I don't feel that this public spot is the best place to discuss them but, hopefully soon, I'll be posting all about it here.

Both of them are things that I'm looking forward to, that I hope I will get to do and talking about the specifics of them may end up jinxing them (yes, I'm a little superstitious...and a little paranoid at times). When I can though, I'll fill you all in. Yay for looking forward to stuff!!

Monday, December 01, 2003

Monday, again. Ugh!

The day is winging by though, rather quickly. I got a lot done yesterday around the house, actually we both did. Mark did a bunch of repairs that needed to be done to the side door and the motion sensor / flood light thing. The other night, we had a wicked wind storm. The screen door hadn't been properly closed and the wind took it and banged it against the flood light. It smashed both light bulbs (fortunately the fixture wasn't damaged) and messed up part of the door frame. It's all fixed now though and he got some weather proofing done around the door and in the laundry area of our kitchen. I think it's going to be pretty cozy down there this winter, much better than last year at any rate.

A couple of weeks ago, Mark moved two big bookshelves (and all the books too, what a guy huh?) down from our spare bedroom into the front foyer. At first I wasn't too thrilled about the spot he put them in but I really like it now. I emptied one of the two remaining smaller bookshelves and took the books downstairs. I managed to weed out a bunch of old school texts and stuff and have 3 boxes of books to go to Goodwill. I had thought about putting some of the newer stuff up on eBay but I just want rid of them. The past few times I've listed stuff on eBay, I've had a tough time selling anything so I haven't bothered in a while. I also boxed up a couple of boxes of knick-knacks and other misc. stuff. I should have room on one of the shelves that was previously covered in knick-knacks for the remaining books. This also means that we can give the two smaller shelves to goodwill as well as a set of end tables that we no longer want.

We're not 100 per cent sure but it's looking like Mark's dad will be moving in with us sometime in 2004 so we just want to be ready for that when it happens. It's a great exercise too. I'm really getting good at tossing stuff out. We just have too much stuff and all year, I've worked on decreasing clutter in our house. It started out as a resolution in January and it's actually something that I've worked on all year long. I was really good with my resolutions this year actually, I kept all of them. mmm...odd. That's never really happened before and I just now realized it. Neat!

When I'm off work for the holidays, I intend to tackle a couple of closets and weed further. I want to go through the kitchen cupboards again too. Some stuff that I repacked last spring I'll go through again and see what I can get rid of this time. Every time I go through stuff, I find more things to chuck. I don't know how two people could accumulate so much junk but I'm having fun getting rid of it all.