Friday, December 31, 2004

Go Canada!!

If you haven't already done so, please visit to donate to the relief efforts.

Canadians donate $20-million, mostly on-line, in record time
UPDATED AT 9:12 AM EST Friday, Dec 31, 2004

CALGARY -- Canadians have pointed and clicked their way to an unprecedented outpouring of donations this week, as the age of instant giving hits its stride and speeds the efforts of charities to get desperately needed supplies to victims of the tsunami disaster.

Individual Canadians have donated more than $20-million to five of the country's largest charities in just 3½ days. Nearly two-thirds of that amount had come instantly through the websites of the Canadian Red Cross, Care Canada, Oxfam Canada, Unicef Canada and World Vision Canada .

Technology author Rick Broadhead was one of the thousands donating through the website of the Red Cross, which raised $9-million on-line from a total of $14-million in individual contributions. It took only a few seconds to fill in his contact and credit-card information, he said. "It was just very slick."

The mood at the Red Cross and the other four charities is the same: astonishment at the record-shattering pace of fundraising and delight that such a large amount of money will be available so quickly. "It's amazing," Red Cross spokeswoman Jo Williams said.

This is much more than a numbers game, however. The huge amount of cash means charities will be able to move more aggressively to get crucial supplies such as oral rehydration salts to those who have survived the initial onslaught of the tsunamis but are at risk of perishing in their wake.

"There's no question. It saves lives," said David Agnew, president and chief executive officer of Unicef Canada.

World Vision Canada said the surprising surge in on-line donations will allow it to do more, and sooner. "Things that might have been on your wish list are now on your reality list," spokeswoman Judy Burrell said.

The pace of on-line donations was so fierce that it crashed Care Canada's website for about an hour yesterday, although the charity quickly beefed up its computing power and continued taking contributions. At World Vision Canada, employees were asked to avoid browsing their organization's website to prevent on-line donors from being shut out.

In just three days, Oxfam Canada has collected nearly as much for the tsunami relief effort as it did over a two-week period for a similar effort in Rwanda. Mark Fried said the $1.1-million that has come in, two-thirds of that through on-line donations, could eventually double, setting a record for the organization.

Mr. Agnew and officials at other charities say they aren't sure why Canadians have given so much, so quickly. Certainly, part of the answer is the scope of the disaster, with tens of thousands dead and a dozen countries devastated. Many Canadians have personal and family ties to those nations.

Intensive media coverage of the tsunamis' toll is a factor as well. Those shocking images came at a time when many Canadians were home for the holidays, and perhaps in a more generous mood, Mr. Agnew said.

Unicef and other charities clearly see the Internet as a major part of their massively successful effort. Media publicity of their websites has helped, but the larger reason may have to do with the comfort factor: Newfangled technology has become familiar and embedded in Canadians' lives.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I was so saddened to read about Jerry Orbach's passing. He was a terrific actor and he'll be missed in a big, big way.

Jerry Orbach dies Star of "Law & Order" and Broadway died Wednesday of prostate cancer. He was 69.

December 30, 2004

Photo of Jerry Orbach
Jerry Orbach, the laconic, sharp-edged Det. Lennie Briscoe on NBC's "Law & Order," who came to symbolize New York City as much as any actor of his generation, died yesterday in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan at age 69. The actor, who also made his mark on stage and screen, had been suffering from prostate cancer, for which he had been treated since his diagnosis last spring.

A spokeswoman for "Law & Order" said there were no other details about Orbach's illness, but his death clearly stunned colleagues. In early December, when his condition was first publicly revealed, Orbach's manager, Robert Malcolm, said that he was expected to recover. Orbach had been set to play Briscoe in a "Law & Order" spin-off, "Trial by Jury," which is expected to launch in March.A show representative told Bloomberg News that the show will continue with the addition of a new cast member.

"L&O" creator Dick Wolf said in a statement, "I'm immensely saddened by the passing of not only a friend and colleague, but a legendary figure of 20th century show business."

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said in a statement, "Jerry Orbach was a personal friend to me and a friend to all New Yorkers."

Orbach, who joined "L&O" in its third season (1992-93), remained a constant and unifying presence for a decade. (At his request, he left this past season.)In a Newsday interview last year, he said "a lot" of his own life was reflected in Lennie: "My character's very human, fallible. ... But Lennie's tougher than I am, and he carries a gun. I'm not a recovering alcoholic, and both of my children are alive. Lennie's into fast food; I'm very aware of nutrition."

Orbach's "Law & Order" performance was so persuasive and indelible that it has tended to obscure his Broadway career, which included playing Billy Flynn opposite Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon in the original production of "Chicago" in 1976, and 1969's "Promises, Promises," for which he won a Tony. Broadway dimmed its lights last night in his memory. Off-Broadway, Orbach was also the first of many El Gallos in "The Fantasticks," which closed in Jan. 2002 after a 42-year run at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village.

Born Jerome Bernard Orbach in the Bronx in 1935, his father was a former vaudeville performer, and his mother a radio singer. As a teen, his family moved to Illinois, where he picked up acting and made contacts (he briefly chauffeured Mae West). He later trained under Herbert Berghof and Lee Strasberg. He returned to New York in 1955 and starred on stage in "The Threepenny Opera," and landed his first screen role in "Cop Hater," based on an Ed McBain 87th Precinct novel, in 1958.However, it was "L&O," Broadway (and Off-Broadway), along with a handful of movies like Sidney Lumet's "Prince of the City" (1981), that firmly and irredeemably established Orbach in the psyche of many New Yorkers.

Several years ago the New York's Landmarks Conservancy named him one of their "Living Landmarks."

"He was as honest and straight ahead as the day is long and he was also no BS," said Bill Finkelstein, an executive producer of "NYPD Blue" who also worked as an "L&O" producer. "He took me into his dressing room when I first got there and basically said, here's who my character is, here's what I like and I don't like. You got it, kid? ... What he basically said is, I know your pals through 'NYPD Blue' and this isn't 'NYPD Blue.'"

Orbach married Marta Curro, an actress, in 1958, and they were divorced in 1975. He married Elaine Cancilla, a dancer, in 1979. Along with his wife, Orbach is survived by two sons from his first marriage, Anthony and Chris. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

This story was supplemented with an Associated Press report.
Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

like normal, only better

I've said it before and it's very likely that I'll say it again: the best thing about getting really sick is that normal feels soooooo good.

For the past few days, both Mark and I have suffered with a weird bug. At first, it felt like a stiff back, then it moved to the front. It was like having a sick stomach but it only felt bad on the outside (ie you didn't lose your appetite or suffer any nausea). The pain was unreal though. It felt like someone had kicked you in your pink bits and in the kidneys and made you do 1000 situps at the same time. Lovely huh??

Thank goodness for heating pads and ibuprofen is all I have to say. Sadly, I think that Joe has come down with it now and it's hitting him even harder than it hit the two of us. Happy holidays huh?? Spreads joy and cheer and germs and bugs to everyone.

One thing that made me smile today: I haven't had to take any ibuprofen for the past 12 hours. Trust me, this is indeed a huge deal and definitely something worth at least grinning about!!

Monday, December 27, 2004

holiday wrap-up

The holidays aren't officially over yet, I know. New Years is just around the corner but honestly, in our house, we don't pay it much attention. Because I work at a university, to me, the new year always feels like it starts in September. Also, Mark always works on New Years so we haven't officially celebrated it in a few years now. The biggest chunk of the festivities for us though, is done with for another year. Part of me is always a little glad to be on the other side of it, if I'm honest.

Christmas day was really nice. We slept in a little bit, although it wasn't too late, Mark had to get the ham into the oven. I finished up the wrapping I needed to do and made up little bundles of baked goodies to take out to Mum's. I did up some for her and dad, a bunch for her neighbour (who is a lovely lady with two "very lovely girls") and some for my brother and his also lovely girlfriend (boy I like lovely a lot huh?).

We arrived at the old homestead mid-afternoon, just in time for dinner. My mum had done a turkey with turnip, brussel sprouts, carrots, potatoes, stuffing, two kinds of salad, veggies, pickles, cheese, home made rolls. You name it, it was on that table. Everything was delicious! For dessert, there were tonnes of different cookies and squares and cakes. Rebecca (my brother's girlfriend) had baked these amazing sugar-free pumpkin tarts. They just melted in my mouth. My mum had baked cookies galore, squares of all kinds, fruit cake, fudge. Holy smokes. I had contributed sugar cookies, Holiday M&M & Pecan cookies, Yum-Yum squares (like a butter tart), Fudgey Coconut squares, Chocolate Chippy squares and something new that I tried this year, Hershey hugs melted on pretzels, topped with a M&M. The last few days before Christmas I was feeling really lousy with a cold so I didn't do as much baking as I normally would but what I did do turned out pretty well.

Photo of Christmas goodies

After we finished filling our faces, we had a nice visit. Mark was working on my mum's computer (it seems that the network card is pooched so we'll be replacing that later this week). We had made Pat some DVD's for Christmas so we watched some of those while my dad and Joe watched Lawrence Welk Christmas shows on PBS. Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without our annual Lotto ticket scratch. Each year, for the past several years, we have all exchanged packages of those holiday scratch tickets that the OLCG sells. It was a scratch-tastic good time. Mark and I won $14 and Joe won $9. I think that Pat and Rebecca took in almost $30 but I'm not sure what their final figure was.

Yesterday morning, we took a new network card out to mum's to see if that would help the problem. Her machine didn't like the card we brought but, while Mark had it offline, he cleaned up a bunch of spyware and some viral crap that she'd picked up somewhere. He also installed Norton 2005 for her.

In the afternoon, we took a drive down to my Aunt & Uncle's in Smiths Falls for their annual Boxing Day open house. Usually, Mark's working on Boxing day but because it fell on his regular day off, we were able to go. It was really nice to see my mum's family (this aunt is my mum's sister and her husband -- mum's brother, my godfather, was also there). We didn't stay too late because Mark had to work today but we were there long enough to have a nice visit with folks and have a bite to eat.

The ride home was a little scary. It was snowing a bit and the wind was pretty wicked so visibility on the highway was pretty poor. By the time we got home, we were both pretty happy to be there. There is nothing like a day out on the road to make you appreciate the clutter and chaos of your very own house!!

One thing that made me smile today: On the way home from my aunt's, we stopped in Gananoque at the Casino. It was so cold when we walked across the parking lot that my eyes were watering (and the tears freezing on my cheeks). When we got to the door, all bundled up and frozen, I actually got carded. I had to laugh, when I told the guy, "um, well I'm a Centennial baby, do you still need to see some ID?" He didn't know what I was talking about and, fortunately, seemed embarrassed when I explained that 1967 was the Centennial year in Canada. Anyway, the visit was good for me. I won $14 big ones baby!

Friday, December 24, 2004

happy ho, ho, ho

It is snowing here. They told us that we'd have a green Christmas. Much like the rest of the year, it seems that the folks at Environment Canada got it wrong once again.

When Mark finished up work this afternoon, we had to do an errand on the other side of town. The stores were closed by then and I really expected it to be deadly quiet outside. The traffic was insane. Visibility was crap and the roads were slick. I couldn't believe that so many people were out running around in the stuff. I was really happy to get home tonight.

We are up kind of late right now because I was finishing up some baking. We got sucked in to watching "Bad Santa" on TV and couldn't stop. Most nights, we're in bed by 9:30 p.m. at the latest so this is very strange for us, being up until midnight.

Tomorrow, hopefully, we'll sleep in a bit. We are spending the afternoon at my mum's but don't have to be there until after 3 p.m. I still have a couple of things to wrap up and Mark's cooking a ham (to take to mum's) in the morning but other than that, it should be a relaxing, happy Christmas day.

Whatever it is that you celebrate, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday weekend!! Right now, I'm off to bed!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


The window installation people are here. Right now, as I type this, the old windows have been removed and the new ones have been popped in. Here is what the new window in our front hallway looks like so far:

Photo of our new window in the hallway

Right now, they are working on the second biggest project we have for them, our patio door. It's a huge door and some of the wood around the existing frame has rotted so they are working on that right now. The new windows look terrific though, they are currently sitting on the floor in the dining room:

Photo of our new patio doors, awaiting installation

The temperature in the living room is a frosty 46 degrees but it's worth it. Everything is going really well so far. They should be finished with the inside work shortly and have most of the outside trim work done before they leave tonight. Yay!!

Monday, December 20, 2004

frozen and deflated

It was very very cold this morning. Right now, it's only very cold. The sun's out and that tends to make a difference. When we left the house this morning, it was minus 33 with the windchill. Of course, about a half a block from the house, we realize that one of our tires is flat. Not a nice way to start the week, is it?

Backing out of the driveway, I thought something was weird, the car wouldn't accelerate but I figured that it wasn't completely warm. When it still wouldn't go on the street, we both knew something wasn't right. Fortunately, we were right across the street from a church and I was able to get into the parking lot, and off the street. Mark got the donut out of the trunk and changed the tire while I sat in the car trying to get CAA on the phone. 17 minutes later, I was still on hold and he had it fixed so we turned around and headed back to the house. About half way home, we realized that the other front tire was flat. I was able to pull up in front of our neighbor's house and leave it there. I was almost frozen. Stupidly, I had just pulled on some wool socks and sandals so my toes were really cold. I will never, ever ever, take Mark to work again without proper shoes on.

I waited until after 8 to call CAA and didn't have much trouble getting through to them. I was told it would take 3 hours for a tow truck to get to us (we wanted to get towed to our local Speedy -- just around the corner). The truck arrived in 25 minutes! Talk about service huh?? We have to pick the car up in a little while. We needed to replace the two tires, to the tune of approx. $400. On the bright side, it could have been much worse. The tires were about at the end of their natural lives and the cold caused them to soften. This could have happened to us on the highway, if we had gone out of town on Saturday like we'd planned. I'm really relieved that it didn't happen that way.

One thing that made me smile today: The window installers were supposed to be here today, putting in our new, first story windows. Fortunately, they cancelled due to the cold. I just cannot imagine having the house wide open in this cold today. They'll be here tomorrow though and I can't wait. Drafty windows be gone!!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

fish and chips

Never underestimate the restorative powers of a plate of fish and chips. When Joe learned that we were not going to Toronto, he decided that he'd like to go out for fish and chips, "if I was feeling up to it." I pretty much dragged my butt around the house all day and, around 4 p.m., decided to have a shower. I felt a lot better after the shower so we went out. After our meal, which was delicious but a lot more grease than I needed to ingest, I felt much better. So much better that I decided to take advantage of it and go run a couple of errands.

The stores were actually pretty empty for the last Saturday evening before Christmas. I was pretty surprised. While we were looking for a couple of gifts, we found a copy of the new Bill Hicks Live DVD. Why is it that you can always find things for yourself when shopping but never for the people you're supposed to be shopping for?? Anyway, we picked it up and watched about 2/3 of it last night. I had only ever heard albums of Bill Hicks. Watching him live was an eye-opener. I realized how much of what he did was in his actions and in his face. I had heard some of the bits before but watching him perform them was like hearing them for the first time, all over again. It was sort of bizarre to hear him talking about the "war" (not really) in Iraq and Bush. What he was saying 12 or 13 years ago was accurate then and now. He really could have been talking about the current conflict and administration down in the states. Seeing how brilliant his live performance was makes it all the more heartbreaking that he died so young.

Anyway, laughter and fish and chips are the best medicine. I'm still stuffed up and coughing my head off today but I'm not feeling anywhere near as crappy I did yesterday. Thank goodness for small favours huh??

Saturday, December 18, 2004

sickie sick, sick sick

I have a cold. It was bugging my ass all week. On Wednesday morning, I couldn't breathe so well. On Thursday afternoon, my elbows and knees started burning for no good reason. Yesterday I felt a bit better but was moving a little more slowly than I normally would be. Today, I'm definitely sick. I woke up with a pounding headache, totally stuffed up and generally looking like hammered shit. It's good that I at least look like I feel huh??

We were supposed to be going to Toronto today. Friends of mine have organized a big anniversary/reunion party tonight but there is no way that I can make it. I just cancelled our hotel reservation and sent my friend James an email to let him know. I'm really disappointed about this. I'd been looking forward to this for a few weeks. These are super fabulous people that I almost never get to see and I would have had a chance to see a whole bunch of them at the same time, in the same place.

In any event, I'm planning to crawl back into bed. I have to run Mark to work, and then stop off at the iga for a loaf of bread (there is no way I'm baking today!) and then, back to bed. What a fun way to start my two week vacation huh??

Friday, December 17, 2004

happy friday

Yesterday was sort of insane but we all survived. By 6 p.m. last night, the entire basement was packed up. It looks pretty funny right now actually. I came in early this morning to get a few things done before they disconnect our printers. Fortunately, a few weeks ago, those of use who didn't already have laptops were given them so we'll all be working together in a meeting room today. I'm just so relieved that everything is ready to go, you have no idea.

It wasn't until around 4 p.m. yesterday that I realized things were coming together and that we'd actually get out of the office at a decent time. Earlier in the day, I had visions of us being there until 10 p.m. or later. I have a feeling that I may actually (shock horror!) get some work done today. Not that the packing and moving stuff isn't work but it's not the regular kind of every day stuff that we're all responsible for.

One thing that made me smile today: It's almost too early to tell honestly. Right now, the one thing that is making me smile is the smell of my coffee!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

happy hump day

I'm definitely fighting some kind of loser cold or something. This morning when I woke up I could barely breath. It is actually sort of typical for me. Traditionally, I get a bad cold right before the holidays. It just adds to the holiday fun!!

Things at work today are kinda nutty right now. We're in the middle of packing up our entire office. At some point on Friday, the entire basement (where our unit's offices are located) will be completely empty. At the moment, I am having a really hard time picturing it. We have to literally empty every closet, cupboard, shelf. It's a huge job and, at the moment, I'm having a really difficult time picturing it. In the middle of all of this, we're trying to get some work done. It's not easy. When we get back from the break, in January, it'll all have been totally worth it as we're getting new paint, carpets and furniture. Right now though, it's all very stressful.

One thing that made me smile today: This morning, in the midst of all of the chaos, we had to go to a large group meeting with our Executive Director. When we got there, she had cookies and hot cider and a lovely little gift (a candle) for each of us. It was very sweet and thoughtful and a total surprise.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

great day

I've had such a terrific day so far. I say so far because I've only just gotten home from work and I know that the day is far from over.

We had an all-day professional development session, off-site today at work. Everyone in the organization (for the most part) attended. It was absolutely fabulous. I have to admit, I've had a lot on my plate just recently and we're all snowed under getting ready for the latest office moves. This was not an activity I was looking forward to, in fact, a little part of me was dreading it and was looking for ways to get out of it.

The day was broken up into a key-note address in the morning, a one hour training session by various groups of staff (from other areas which I don't know much about) followed by several different, 20 minute round-table sessions, also with co-workers. I'm always amazed at how much I can learn about other areas of the organization that I'm not directly involved in.

We shared our table at lunch with a very cool prof from the History Department so the conversation was lively, fun and really interesting. During the afternoon, I went to a 2 hour workshop with a conflict mediator. Again, it was a terrific session and I got a lot out of it. I took a tonne of notes too, so many that my fingers were sore from writing. I'm such a wuss about writing now. I almost never write anything by hand anymore. It's sort of funny how much computers have changed how we do even the little things.

One thing that made me smile today: So many things made me smile and laugh today that I couldn't possibly name just one. I love days like this!!

Monday, December 13, 2004

wet socks and a bad attitude

You can sort of tell what the tone of your day will be when, in the first 15 minutes of being out of bed, you spill a gigantic cup of water on the floor (while attempting to make the bed -- did I mention that it was 5 a.m.?) and proceed to walk right through it, with socks on. Yep, it wasn't going to be pretty.

All day, it felt as if everything that I touched fell colossally to shit. Of course, only about 1/2 of what I touched went to shit but, it still felt pretty bad. Work is totally chaotic right now. About 1/4 of our stuff is in boxes, about 1/2 of it is strewn all over the place, the remaining 1/4 is stuff we're actually working on. Everything has to be packed up by the time we leave the office on Thursday. I'm sure it's going to happen but getting there from here is going to be a challenge.

Luckily, things have been much more settled since I got home. I'm relieved about that because I just didn't need to come home to any drama, not tonight. Hopefully the worst part of the week is behind me and it's all good from here on out.

One thing that made me smile today: Dinner. It was yummy. I really enjoyed it. Mark is an amazing chef and although he didn't particularly think he did a good job on dinner, I loved it. We had whole wheat pasta with a tomato/turkey sauce. It had lots of peppers and garlic in it and we had enough left over to thrown in the freezer for a lunch later in the week.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

not so lazy

I fully intended to sleep in again today. It was so nice yesterday, why not attempt a repeat performance?? Why not indeed. I was up at 6 a.m. By 7 a.m., I was putting my second load of laundry into the machine. By 8 a.m., I was into my 2nd cup of coffee and my third load of laundry. With everyone asleep I got a lot done. I'm not complaining but getting stuff done in silence isn't nearly as decadent as sleeping in. It's almost responsible. Yuck! I even managed to get my CSS homework done. What a good girl huh??

Oh, I also fully intended to not leave the house. Bah!! Go to the mall, go to several...get stuff done. Fight the crowds, trudge through slush. Fun huh?? Jealous yet?? It wasn't so bad though, we did get a lot done. This afternoon we even managed to be lazy for a couple of hours and watch some tv. I guess it wasn't a totally responsible day after all.

One thing that made me smile today: For a fleeting second, seeing the bottom of my laundry hamper. Simple things amuse simple minds huh??

Saturday, December 11, 2004


I feel absolutely dopey right now. It's a very nice kind of dopey though, I like it a lot. I had such a good sleep last night. We totally slept in too, not something I do very often any more. It felt terrific. I haven't even gotten out of my jammmies yet. I guess I will soon though, we're supposed to be going out to do some errands.

The Glads didn't make it into town last night. It wasn't because of the weather though, Jim was sick. Hopefully he's feeling better today because they have a show in Ottawa tonight. It would be fun to go up for that but the weather is still pretty crummy here. We haven't heard too many cars going up and down the street so I'm not sure what shape the roads are in right now. Anyway, if you have lots of sunny, warm, healing vibes to spare, please send them Jim's way. Being sick is no fun!!

One thing that made me smile today: Looking out into my backyard this morning. After the freezing rain last night, it snowed. The snow is stuck to everything and it looks amazing. Really fake and gorgeous. I don't like to shovel snow but it sure is pretty to look at!!

Friday, December 10, 2004

finally friday

Why do the busiest weeks sometimes feel like the longest ones? This week should not have felt long at all, what with having Monday off and me going to a party yesterday afternoon. I'm guessing it's the change in the weather. The sudden appearance of winter can make the days feel very very long.

The Glads are supposed to be playing here tonight. Well, not at my house actually but here in town. It's one of my brother's bands and they rock!! I'm not sure if we'll be seeing them or not though. The forecast is very very bad right now, both here and in Ottawa. If they do make it in, they might not make it home tomorrow (not if the forecast is accurate anyway). Fingers crossed kids, that they get here safe and sound.

One thing that made me smile today: Getting to and from work safely today. The roads were slick and icy and seeing our driveway tonight made me smile like you wouldn't believe!!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

another party

Today was our annual office holiday whoop-dee-doo. Fortunately, they scaled it back this year and it was a very pleasant experience. We're a pretty big group now (about 110 people) so having a cocktail party/reception type of thing made visiting and moving around the room a lot easier than our traditional luncheon. Also, they held it on campus which it made it a lot easier for me to get there and back. I know, I'm a big baby sometimes but I really hate having to go off campus in the middle of a busy day. I must say, it was very very nice of our VP to pay for it all and I'm pretty sure that a good time was had by all.

One thing that made me smile today: The entertainment for the above mentioned party was Canadian Idol finalist, Elena Juatco. She sang three songs to us and that made me smile... I mean, I thought that she was very generous with her time and it was nice that she could do it and all but the reasons I was smiling are possibily not the ones you might think.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

back to the grind

Work was really really (really) busy today and I'm a little brain-dead at the moment. Here are a couple of those lovely meme things to keep you occupied though:

Monday Madness - December 6

1. What's your favorite TV show and why?

I guess it's Coronation Street. I enjoy watching the characters and plots evolve. I love the way the show is written and I've been watching it since 1987.

2. What's your sign?


3. Why is common sense so uncommon?

I have no idea. My dad was big on common sense and he hammered it into our heads. I guess not everyone else in the world was as lucky as we were!

4. What are 5 great things about your life partner?

He has a fabulous sense of humour, he's really intelligent, he always puts me first, no matter what, he's a fucking fabulous chef, he can make me feel better, no matter how crappy I feel.

5. Why do you blog? Are you a writer at heart? Is it a passion? Or because it's en vogue?

I used to read and write a lot. As life got busier, the reading and writing fell to the side. A couple of years ago I realized how much I missed it and I started this blog, with hopes that it would get me writing again. It has forced me to write on a regular basis but I'm not sure that anything I write these days is particularly interesting. I do it anyway though. I figure if I keep at it, eventually something good will pop out of my head!

6. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

How much is the woodchuck going to be paid to chuck the wood?

7. Fiction or nonfiction?

A little of both. I like a mix.

8. If you were an animal, which animal would you like to be, and why?

A dolphin. Dolphins are smart and get to swim around all day. I like swimming and I like seafood so I could totally handle being a dolphin.

TV Tuesday - Week 34 - What'd you watch?

1. What's your favorite thing you've watched in the past week?

Sunday night's Arrested Development episode. That show makes me laugh like nobody's business.

2. Have you found anything new you liked/disliked?


3. For those who had access to them, did you see any really cool parades on TV?

We watched the Hollywood Santa Claus Parade on Sunday night. KTLA was broadcasting it. It was a terrific parade. Much better than the Macy's parade (the coverage was pathetic).

One thing that made me smile today: Not falling on the ice. We had freezing rain off and on almost all day today. The world is like a giant skating rink outside and I managed to not fall on my bum at all today.

Monday, December 06, 2004

long weekend: day 4 of 4

It is really really cold here today. Bitter actually. The wind felt like it could rip your face off, you know that feeling?

The snow we received on Friday is gone though, it rained last night. I don't miss it. I mean, it's pretty when it's on the ground but it was a little too early in the season to be seeing that much of it on the ground. Sadly, it looks like it's starting again. I can only hope that it doesn't accumulate. I really don't feel like shovelling.

If I sound grumpy, I shouldn't. I've a great weekend so far. I got a lot of running around done, things that I've been meaning to get to for ages. We picked up a new phone for Mark today too. His old one was on it's last legs. He got a LG phone as a hardware upgrade through Bell. It didn't cost us anything (or rather it won't -- we get back what we spent on it as a credit on the bill) and it's very cool. It sounds fabulous, like a land line. It's amazing how much the technology has changed since we first bought our cell phones 3 years ago.

One thing that made me smile today: I got my hair cut and it feels great. I had let it go way too long between cuts and the weight of my hair was starting to give me headaches. I should do it more often but I don't. Anyway, being light-headed never felt so good!!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

long weekend: day 3 of 4

I could easily get used to having a four day weekend. Seriously. Today was pretty lazy. Beyond baking a loaf of bread and doing some laundry, I did very very little all day long. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy it, big time.

Hope you had a lazy Sunday too!!

One thing that made me smile today: Sleeping in past 8 a.m. It's not something I do very often but I totally enjoyed it!!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

long weekend: day 2 of 4

Today didn't feel much like a day off. Mark worked this morning and I ran errands. When I finished running my errands, he called me because he had finished for the day. I picked him up and we ran more errands. It was crazy busy but it was okay. We got a lot of stuff done (which is good). Tonight we're going to pop some corn and watch Monster on the movie channel. Hopefully I'll not fall asleep half-way through!!

One thing that made me smile today: Everywhere we had to go today, we managed to get parking that was ridiculously close to the door. Shocked the hell out of me and actually made me smile!

Friday, December 03, 2004

long weekend: day 1 of 4

Mark and I have decided to not do a crap load of holiday shopping this year. First of all, we can't afford it. Second of all, does anyone really need all the crappy crap that we give them for Christmas?? Scaling it back makes sense and my family seems to be in agreement with us.

Having said that, I spent the best part of today with my mum. Shopping. Yep. Today we woke up to our first major snow fall of the season. I'm happy to say that I'm not afraid of the snow anymore (I used to be a VERY nervous winter driver) so it didn't really intimidate me. Mostly, we were shopping for stuff to bake with. I had decided to give away baking to some folks we would normally buy something for (it's usually appreciated whenever I have done it in the past). We must have been at Costco for 2 hours and we got some great deals on our baking supplies. The nice thing about going with mum is that we split some things (like nuts and the like). She and I also got purchased some small gifts. Between Costco, Zellers and Shoppers (if I watch the flyers closely), I'm not finding that my sprawl-mart boycott is causing me any problems as far as shopping goes. A new, bigger sprawl-mart is scheduled to open here, early in the new year. It's my plan to never set foot in the place. They are just far beyond evil, it's disgusting. I literally cannot shop there anymore.

So, now I have most of what I need to get my baking done. I'm probably not going to start it for a week or more though. I like to do a marathon baking session right before Christmas and get it all done at once.

One thing that made me smile today: I found out that our new windows will be installed before Christmas. We ordered new windows for the first floor of our house and they are actually on their way to Kingston as I type this. We should have them installed the week before Christmas (around the 20th I think). Yay!!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

on course

For the past 10 or so weeks, I've been taking a web creation course through work. It's 2 hours a week for 16 weeks and it's been really good so far. This is not an advanced course, in fact, some of the folks who are taking it with me have never seen html in their lives. I knew that the start of it would be slow, mostly review but I'm actually learning stuff along the way. I'm not surprised by this. Everything I knew about web creation was stuff I figured out myself. Now that we're past the basics it's getting really interesting. I'm actually learning why some of the stuff I do, works.

The week's been really busy for me. It flew by at a crazy rate and I was seriously considering not taking tomorrow and Monday off (I have them booked -- trying to use up unused vacation days). Fortunately, I got a lot of stuff done today and I think I'm going to take them. It's not like I can carry them over to the new year anyway.

One thing that made me smile today: Not having a party to go to. Doesn't that sound terrible?? Reading it, it looks bad to me. This week has been kind of weird though. At work, our director retired this week so there have been receptions big and small held in her honour. It's been nice for her and folks are sad to see her go but honestly, it's been difficult to be away from my desk for them. Hopefully things will get "back to normal" (whatever that means) soonish.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

sad but not completely unexpected

We laughed our asses off at his "how to roll a joint" segment on Monday Report last month (I still have the mpeg around here somewhere). Rest in peace Pierre.

Beloved author Pierre Berton dies at age 84 at Toronto hospital
Tue Nov 30,10:41 PM ET

TORONTO (CP) - Author and broadcaster Pierre Berton, "a great Canadian voice" whose numerous books on history and culture contributed to the nation's collective identity, has died at age 84.

Berton died Tuesday afternoon at Sunnybrook hospital.

"I think he was like the godfather of Canadian history," said his longtime friend, agent and manager Elsa Franklin. "People respect the fact that he fought for the country, in a sense, to make people aware of it. And he loved the country."

Franklin said Berton had an enlarged heart, congestive heart failure and diabetes, "so these things take their toll."

"He did what he could and he was still writing, but the last two weeks he just went downhill. And the heart just wasn't pumping."

Berton was in York Central Hospital until recently, where his wife Janet was also hospitalized for a broken hip. He was moved to Sunnybrook hospital Monday and died of heart failure Tuesday, surrounded by many family members - including his wife in a wheelchair, Franklin said.

While he was at York Central he said at one point "Well, I'll get my typewriter and I'll write some poetry," Franklin reported.

In a statement, Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson, who was also a CBC colleague years ago, called Berton "the most remarkable writer of Canadian historical events in the last 50 years."

"So much of our nationhood and our collective identity as Canadians were created by him. His extraordinary origins in the Yukon, his adventurous life as a newspaper man and his ability to bring to life all of the events which shaped us as a country can be seen through his works: The National Dream, The Last Spike, Vimy and The Arctic Grail put into words what we are, for all time."

Prime Minister Paul Martin extended his sympathy to the family and said "his passing silences a great Canadian voice, but his work will live on to enrich the lives of Canadians for generations to come."

"His ability to chronicle the life and times of our great nation was without peer," Martin said in a statement. "His love of Canada, its people and its history, and his personal attachment to the North (were) vividly expressed in his numerous books and writings as a journalist."

Berton had a long and varied career, publishing 50 books, working as a newspaper columnist, Maclean's magazine editor and as a broadcast personality. In every role, his trademark humour and eccentric take on the world was evident - as was his trademark bow tie, bushy white sideburns and dramatic cloaks.

"His contribution was bloody enormous. He was the giant of the Canadian writing scene," said author Farley Mowat.

He said one of his fondest memories of Berton was of a frigid winter evening in the late 1950s, when Mowat was having "a very difficult time of it" and sat despondent in his Jeep outside Berton's home.

Mowat says Berton brought him inside and stayed up until dawn listening to his "sad stories." He believes he would have frozen to death had Berton not intervened.

"He was imitated by many. I don't think anybody surpassed him in doing what he did so well, which was to be a journalist with passion and integrity."

Betty Kennedy, his fellow panellist on the CBC show Front Page Challenge, said she and so many other people will miss Berton terribly.

"He had a great loyalty to friends, to causes, to things that had happened in his past," she told CBC. "I can remember at one point when he was at the height of his fame and he was dashing off to attend a Boy Scout jamboree. And I said 'A Boy Scout jamboree?' and he said 'yes, without the Boy Scouts I can tell you that I would have been a juvenile delinquent."'

George Anthony, who also worked with Berton on Front Page Challenge, said he was unique - one of a kind.

"I will remember Pierre Berton as great fun, a brilliant mind who didn't take himself seriously, and an incredible communicator. He was just a wonderful writer and totally accessible to every walk of life."

Author Alice Munro, at her B.C. home, called Berton "such an important writer in the days when there weren't any."

"He was also an enormously generous man."

She said he was very businesslike when he used to come to her family's bookstore to sign books, "but he was very unsparing of himself."

"He understood the book business very well - not just his own books, but other people's books. He wanted the whole business in Canada to prosper."

Writer Alistair MacLeod said Berton "made the history of Canada come alive."

"He emphasized the importance of our history as distinct from American history or British history or French history. ... And without having written down that record of life within this country, we would all be poorer," MacLeod said from Windsor, Ont.

MacLeod said Berton was instrumental in encouraging Canadian writing in all its forms.

"He made it possible for a lot of younger writers to believe that you could write in this country and that you could be successful at it, and that the voices from this country have something to say."

Not only was Berton compassionate and a prolific writer, but he also had a good sense of fun.

As recently as October, he appeared on the CBC satire show, Rick Mercer's Monday Report, offering tips on how to roll a marijuana joint, recommending his book The National Dream as an excellent "rolling surface" and warning about the perils of a loose joint. He said a less-than-firmly rolled spliff could leave unsightly toke burns on one's bow tie.

Berton also told the Toronto Star that he had been a recreational marijuana-user since the 1960s, saying he'd reached a stage in his life where he didn't "give a damn" what he said or what people thought.

Mercer recalled asking Berton to appear on his show after hearing rumours that the elderly Canadian icon liked to smoke pot.

"I just called him, and asked him if he would come on the show and teach Canada how to roll a joint. He immediately said 'Yes, come up to the house. I'd be happy to do so,"' Mercer said.

Mercer spent the day with Berton at his home in Kleinburg, Ont. The comedian called the time spent with Berton one of the highlights of his life.

Mark Starowicz, the CBC producer who created the epic documentary Canada: A People's History, as well as The Greatest Canadian series that ended Monday, said Berton was "the greatest nationalist of our generation."

"We are all the children of Pierre Berton," he said in an interview.

Starowicz, whose parents displayed Berton's complete works on the mantel over their fireplace, says Berton added life to a past many Canadians had previously dismissed as dusty and dull.

"He took history out of the hands of the academics and breathed life into it and gave it to the people."

Canada's National History Society established the Pierre Berton Award in 1994 for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history.

"As one of the original board members tells me, it was probably the shortest and least debated discussion in the entire history of the society," said the current president and CEO Deborah Morrison.

"Literally within 1½ minutes, they had set up this award program, determined its cash value and the first recipient was Pierre Berton."

Morrison said he also agreed to be the group's patron, and "ever since then he's been very much devoted and actively involved in helping to grow this award."

The 10th award was handed out last Thursday to Jack Granatstein, and it was the first time Berton missed an award ceremony.

"Jack Granatstein said in his remarks that our Canadian history was too valuable and too storied to leave to Pierre Berton alone," Morrison said from Winnipeg.

"Here we are, a week later, facing the challenge of making sure that in a Canadian world of history without Pierre Berton that all of the writers that he helped nurture are going to make sure that those stories continue to grow."

One of Berton's final public appearances was in October, when he attended the opening of a new $12.6 million resource library named in his honour in Vaughan, Ont.

Franklin said funeral arrangements are not confirmed but she expects there will be a private wake at the family home in Kleinburg, Ont., followed by a "big public wake."

Berton "lived a long and happy life and he died peacefully with his wife and family at his side," said his son Paul Berton, editor-in-chief of the London Free Press.

"He made a difference and I think he knew he made a difference."

Comments on the death Tuesday of author Pierre Berton:

"His love of Canada, its people and its history, and his personal attachment to the North (were) vividly expressed in his numerous books and writings as a journalist. His passing silences a great Canadian voice, but his work will live on to enrich the lives of Canadians for generations to come." - Prime Minister Paul Martin.

"Pierre Berton was the most remarkable writer of Canadian historical events in the last 50 years. So much of our nationhood and our collective identity as Canadians were created by him." - Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson.

"(He was) such an important writer in the days when there weren't any. He was also an enormously generous man." - Author Alice Munro.

"He emphasized the importance of our history as distinct from American history or British history or French history. ... And without having written down that record of life within this country, we would all be poorer." - Writer Alistair MacLeod.

"I just called him and asked him if he would come on the show and teach Canada how to roll a joint. He immediately said 'Yes, come up to the house. I'd be happy to do so.' " - Rick Mercer, recalling his invitation to Berton to appear on CBC-TV's Monday Report in October.

"He was imitated by many. I don't think anybody surpassed him in doing what he did so well, which was to be a journalist with passion and integrity." - Author Farley Mowat.

"He made a difference, and I think he knew he made a difference." - Berton's son Paul Berton, editor-in-chief of the London Free Press.

"He was the greatest nationalist of our generation. We are all the children of Pierre Berton." - CBC producer Mark Starowicz, who created the documentary Canada: A People's History.

"He was such a nice guy, a good sense of humour, proud, and he hated what he called anti-Canadianism, people who put Canadians down and people who weren't proud of their country, and I loved him for that." - Author and Canadian nationalist Mel Hurtig, speaking to CBC.

"He was certainly one of the most prodigious workers. I know that June (Callwood) made some reference to him not being able to not write, and I think that's quite true. He had a good sense of humour too, and he didn't even mind if the joke was on himself." - Betty Kennedy, former panellist with Berton on CBC-TV's quiz show Front Page Challenge, told CBC.

"No matter how much or how little education you've had, you can get hooked on a Pierre Berton book by page 3 and not have to worry that you won't be able to finish it. I think he was unique. He was one of a kind." - George Anthony, who worked with Berton on Front Page Challenge.

"As one of the original board members tells me, it was probably the shortest and least debated discussion in the entire history of the society. Literally within 1½ minutes, they had set up this award program, determined its cash value and the first recipient was Pierre Berton." - Deborah Morrison, president and CEO of Canada's National History Society, of the group's decision to established the Pierre Berton Award in 1994 for distinguished achievement in popularizing Canadian history.

Monday, November 29, 2004

I know it's been over a week since I've posted but honestly, I haven't had much time in front of the machine just recently. I'm back though, and my machine at home has been rebuilt and I'll be getting a new one at work tomorrow so I have no valid excuse for not posting.

To get me re-started, here's this week's monday madness:

1. How did you choose a name for your blog?

I had no clue what to call my blog when I started it. Fortunately, I was listening to Kirsty MacColl and took the name of this blog from a song of hers.

2. How many times have you changed the name of your blog?

I haven't. Once I picked it, I stuck with it.

3. How many blogs to you update regularly?

3 to 5.

4. How many times have you moved in your life?

Not too many time, 8 I think.

5. On a scale of 1-10, how stressful is moving (in your opinion)?

I'd definitely put it at at least a 7, more if you're buying/selling your home. Moving when you are renting is much easier (and less expensive).

6. When moving, do you/would you rent a moving van/truck?

I have done in the past. The last time we moved we hired movers and I would never move without them again.

7. Do you wear glasses? If so, how old were you when you needed them?

Yes I do and I have done since 6th grade.

8. What one question would you hope someone running a meme, would ask?

my goodness, I can't think of a thing!

Friday, November 19, 2004

shopping and pineapples

What a week. I'm pooped but not in a bad way.

Work has been absolutely insane just recently. I know that I say that all of the time but seriously, insane!! I can't believe it.

Today I didn't work. For no particular reason, I booked off work today. A weird set of circumstances had Mark off today too. At around noon, we decided to head south of the border, down to Watertown, NY. We had a great time. All we really wanted to do was pick up a couple of things at the grocery store (things we can't get here at home) and have lunch. We ended up having lunch, doing our shopping, and catching a matinee of the new Spongebob movie. It was GREAT!!!! I totally loved it. It actually had a great plot, lots of good jokes, everything. Fortunately for us, there weren't too many kids in the theatre (and the ones who were there, were really well-behaved). After the movie, we took a drive, the "scenic route" I guess you could say and we ended up in Alexandria Bay for dinner. Lotsa fun!!

On the way home, we stopped off at the Casino in Gananoque and we actually won $100 between us. Shopping, SpongeBob and a win, can't beat that, can you??

Anyway, right now, it's late and I'm tired so I'm heading to bed. Hope you all have a terrific weekend and Pat, I hope you had a really Happy Birthday today!!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

This sucks, doesn't it?

Ol' Dirty Bastard Dead
By Nolan Strong

Wu-Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard passed away today (November 13). The cause of death is not known at press time.

While details are sketchy, sources told that the rapper collapsed and died in a Manhattan recording studio.

The nine members of the veteran rap group appeared at The Theater at the Continental Airlines Arena for their first joint East Coast appearance in five years, in which Ol' Dirty took part.

One of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan, the 35-year-old helped lay down the foundation for some of the most influential Hip-Hop in history.

He brought an air of humor to the macho world of rap, yet maintained enough integrity to be taken serious amongst a fickle Hip-Hop audience.

The Brooklyn born rapper was featured on Wu-Tang’s groundbreaking album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

Shortly afterwards, he was shot in the stomach by another rapper during an argument on the street in Brooklyn.

He recovered and released the classic Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, which spawned the hit singles "Brooklyn Zoo" and "Shimmy Shimmy Ya," which powered the album to gold status.

In 1998 the rapper further solidified his place in Hip-Hop history. That year, he rushed out of a recording studio to help save the life of a four-year-old girl who had been hit by a car and was trapped underneath.

The next day he appeared at the Grammy Awards and rushed the stage during Shawn Colvin’s acceptance speech for her Grammy Award winning song “Sunny.”

Dressed in a red suit, the rapper told the crowd that Wu-Tang shouldn’t have lost their Grammy to Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and then uttered the now famous words: “Wu-Tang is for the children.”

In 1998 he was shot again in Brownsville, Brooklyn, after two robbers pushed their way into his girlfriend's apartment. The bandits stole money and jewelry and shot ODB once. The bullet entered his back and went through his body, all superficial wounds.

After being treated in a New York emergency room, he ignored doctor’s warnings and left the hospital.

He was arrested several more times the following year for various charges, including threatening bouncers at the House of Blues in Los Angeles and for lounging on his balcony in the nude in Berlin, Germany. No charges were filed in that case.

Later that year, he was arrested and charged with attempted murder, after police claimed he jumped out of his car and started shooting at them. Those charges were dismissed when the police failed to present credible evidence.

In October of 2000, the rapper was almost finished a stint in rehab when he made a run for it, spending a month as a fugitive, during which time he performed at the Hammerstein Ballroom in front of hundreds of stunned fans.

He left the premise that evening but was captured a short time later in Philadelphia, singing autographs in a McDonald's parking lot.

He was extradited to New York, where he stood trial. In April of 2001, he received a sentence of two to four years in state prison.

After emerging triumphantly from jail and rehab, the rapper inked a deal with Roc-A-Fella Records in May of 2003.

I'm happy to be here,” Ol' Dirty said at the press conference. “I thought I wasn't gonna be able to touch another microphone. I'm happy my eyes are still open."

The rapper also had launched his own clothing line, Dirty Wear.

The news comes as Hip-Hop community was mourning the passing of another rapper, Mac Dre, who was shot to death in Kansas City.

Friday, November 12, 2004


Yesterday ended up being a very very long day. We got home around 2 a.m. this morning. We had a really great time though, lots of fun, and the drive up and back was relatively uneventful so that's good. I got a couple of good pictures (which I'll probably post later because I can't really see straight at the moment to edit them).

This morning, we slept in until around 11 or so. The afternoon was spent doing nothing in particular. I can't actually remember much of it, I'm pretty sure that we watched a fair amount of tv. It was nice. Late this afternoon, we did errands and plan to toddle back to bed again very soon.

I have come to the sad realization that I'm officially old. I cannot do late night anymore; it absolutely takes it out of me. It's sad but true and I'll just have to face up to it!!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

remembrance day

Today is a particularly sad remembrance day, I think. It's impossible to separate the thoughts of all those young people who died during World War I and II from all of those poor young Americans who are in Iraq right now dying. I keep hearing about the high numbers of injuries that are being sustained while this attack on Fallujah continues. It's terrible and heart breaking and sickening.

On an "up" note, we're heading off to Ottawa in a couple of hours. Unfortunately, we were both up, wide awake, this morning at 4:15 a.m. I wish that we could have slept in at least an hour more but we didn't. I'm sure that we'll pay for it later on but right now, I am trying not to think about it. I'm just concentrating on getting there safely and having fun once we arrive.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

mid week blahs

This is a short week for me. I have booked off this Friday. Actually, I have a few Fridays booked off between now and the end of the year. I had a bunch of vacation days left over and it's one of those "use 'em or lose 'em" situations. I chose to use 'em. I probably shouldn't use 'em. Goodness knows that I have enough work on my plate right now that days off are the worst possible thing I could. I feel that I need them though, not want, need. I've been beyond stressed recently so I'm quite looking forward to all of these mini-breaks.

This Friday, the only thing I have planned is to sleep in. You see, tomorrow night, we're heading off to Zaphod's in Ottawa. We'll be picking up my brother and his lovely lady and going to see Jonathan Richman. I've been looking forward to this for a long time. We were supposed to see this show back in June but it was cancelled. It'll be a great time, I'm sure, and it'll be wonderful to see my brother again.

I know that you're not supposed to "wish the week away" but right now, the only thing that's keeping me going is thinking about a long weekend and "dancing in the lesbian bar."

Monday, November 08, 2004

Here is the Monday Madness:

Name 3 (or more, or less!) things...

1. cannot live without.

Air, water, food.

2. CAN live without, but cannot seem to part with.

Books, CD's, my computer.

3. wish to accomplish this COMING week.

Laundry, paperwork at home and gardening (I really need to finish cleaning up my flower beds before we get some snow).

4. have accomplished this PAST week.

Laundry, paperwork at the office and all of my errands.

5. ...on your holiday (or non-holiday) 'wish list.'

New flooring and fresh paint throughout the whole house, new light fixtures in our dining room and office and a new cell phone.

6. would like to change about yourself.

I'd like to be a nicer, more compassionate person. Beyond that, well, I'd rather not get into a laundry list at the moment.

7. like about yourself.

I'm basically a good person (although, like all of use, I could be better); I'm pretty smart (s-m-r-t!); I have a good sense of humour (most of the time).

8. should be doing right now instead of what you ARE doing.

Going for a walk; working instead of taking a lunch break; writing a proper entry instead of doing a meme.

9. your life that could use a little more organization.

My kitchen cupboards, my bedroom closet and my home computer's harddrive.

One thing that made me smile today: I got a new monitor at work. A couple of weeks ago, I inherited a used 17" flat screen LCD. I thought that I was a pretty lucky girl I tell ya. Today, I was given a brand new, out of the box, 19" flat screen LCD monitor. I'm also on the list for a new laptop. It feels like Christmas already!!

Sunday, November 07, 2004


So I have had a few days to mull it all over. I've cried, wanted to punch things and have given myself a few tension headaches over the whole thing. I'm letting it go though, or trying to. I'm not going to scream at the television (because that doesn't really make me feel better anyway. I will continue to listen to Air America and hear about all the good work that people are doing to counter-balance all the bullshit that will no doubt be happening. I'm also looking for a way to get more involved with the whole political scene here as well. I don't have a lot of time to commit to the cause but I worry that we could see something like this happen up here. It scares the shit out of me. I mean, we came pretty close this year to having Stephen Harper leading our country. I think that I have a responsibility to help folks make sure that we never get that close to having a nazi lead our country again.

Having said all of that, there is a bunch of weird/sad family stuff that is going on at the moment. The weird stuff, I can't really get into. It's not that I don't want to post it here it's just that I don't have the energy at the moment to write about it. The other thing, is very very sad. My cousin lost her baby on Friday morning. She discovered that the baby had actually died (three weeks before it was due to be delivered) on Thursday, she delivered it on Friday morning. I cannot even begin to imagine the heartache that she's experiencing right now. The baby was a girl and they are planning to come back here to have a funeral for her (they are living in the southern US right now).

Right now, well, tomorrow really, I'm going to try refocus my energy into positive activities. I need to eliminate a lot of the stress that I've been experiencing recently and start having fun again. It feels like it's been a very long time since we've done that. This week should be a good start, we're going to Ottawa on Thursday to see my brother and Jonathon Richman. It'll be a Remembrance Day to remember.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

say it ain't so...

It's over and I feel sick. Logically, I never thought that this could happen. I think my stomach knew the truth though because I felt sick for two days leading up to the election.

This is just so far beyond horrible I can't even say.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

happy election night folks

I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel a little queasy right now. I have a good feeling about things but goodness gracious, it's going to be a long night.

I hope that all you yanks had a safe and positive experience at the polls today. I'm very much looking forward to seeing Kerry win later tonight.

Monday, November 01, 2004


I could have sworn I heard eggs being chucked against the side of our house last night. It was a dream, I know now, but at the time it was very realistic. Halloween was fun, we had 91 kids at our door. They started kind of late and were mostly "big" kids (like, boys who can shave!) but it was fun all the same. Tonight I have to pack away my glow in the dark skeleton for another year. I'm not too upset about it, it'll soon be time to pull out the holiday lights.

t'was the night before the election...

I've been feeling anxious and emotional all day today. I'm quite worried about the outcome of the US election tomorrow and cannot wait for it to be over, one way or another. I truly feel that Kerry will win but I worry that fear will conquer logic and morons will put dubya back in office. I've never felt so strongly before, about an election that is happening outside of Canada. As a person who lives in a border town though, I hate to watch what has happened to our neighbours over the past 3.75 years. It boggles my mind to imagine what further, irreparable damage could be done by the current US administration if they are given an addition four years in office. Hopefully, we won't have to worry about it. It would be so nice to go to bed tomorrow night knowing that Kerry won. I don't expect that we will know tomorrow but a girl's gotta hope, right?

One thing that made me smile today: Finding out that there were no eggs on my house. Heck, I didn't even seen one smashed pumpkin this morning.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

return from hiatus

I never intended to be away for two weeks. Funny how that happens though huh?? The week before last was one of the busiest work-week's of the year for me. It was super stressful too. Our office puts on one of those "big and annual" types of events and it was held over the October 22 weekend. I wasn't as involved with it as I had been in previous years but I worked for a good chunk of the weekend all the same.

One of the benefits of being "not so involved" was that I was able to escape on Saturday, during the day. Mark and I took off to Toronto for what was to be a two and a half day break away. Saturday was terrific. We had a gorgeous drive to TO, saw some friends, had a terrific meal and opted for an early night. The next day, when I woke up, I was in a bad way. I had developed a cold and it had gone straight into my back (actually the top of my left hip but for the sake of argument, we'll call it my back). This is a weakness that I have developed as an adult. When I don't have a cold in my back, I'm as strong as an ox. On the odd occasion that this happens, the only thing that helps, is bed-rest and a heating pad. After a hot shower, I was feeling a little more mobile so we went on about our day. We did a couple of errands and I could feel myself loosening up, maybe this wasn't going to be quite so bad. By the time we got to our friends' for brunch, I could not stand up straight. Several hours later, I knew I had to go home. We checked out of our hotel early, grabbed dinner and then headed for home.

I was never so happy to see my own bed as I was Sunday night. This week was pretty ugly. Monday and Tuesday were spent on my back, on the heating pad. The last two days, my back has felt great, totally back to normal. Right now though, I have some kind of weird stiffness in my neck and cannot turn my head to the right. I feel old and broken right now. Honestly though, I think that this is just cold related. I still feel stuffed up in the mornings and I've had a small cough that comes and goes.

Stiff neck and all, we went to see "Ray" yesterday. I very much enjoyed it. The music, of course, was fabulous and I thought that Jamie Foxx was spookily good in his role as the legendary Mr Charles. For a long time, Mark and I had stopped going to the movies but we've now been to see two, in as many weeks. I must admit, I loves me a Saturday matinee. It feels like it's turning into something that we're going to be doing on a regular basis again.

Amongst all of this whining and crawling around, I've managed (with Mark's fabulous help) to get ready for Halloween. We don't go nuts and turn our yard in a cool cemetery like some of the neighbours do but we do put up our orange and purple light and get the skeleton and pumpkin out. I spent a couple of heating-pad-riding-evenings last week making up goodie bags. I have treats for 120 kids this year. That should be enough. Last year I had just over 100 kids at my door.

One thing that made me smile today: The time change. When I woke up this morning at 5 a.m. and realized it was actually 5 a.m., I was a happy kid. I have done a load of laundry, tidied up the downstairs and taken a few minutes to write in this blog with my found hour. What did you do with your extra hour?

Friday, October 15, 2004

finally finished

For a short week, it seemed pretty long. Actually, the time flew by but there was a tonne of work on my plate so it seemed long. Funny how you get a day off but the time you spend making it up later on the week really takes away from the break. Anyway, it's over and I'm happy.

Mark's cold is feeling much better today. Unfortunately, he smashed his fingers in a window this morning so he's in a lot of discomfort. He ended up having an unplanned day off from work today so he decided to put two of the air conditioners away. In his dad's room, the inside windows are really sticky (we have two sets of windows on each window -- it's an old house) and the big, heavy, wooden window smashed down on both of his hands.

This weekend, I think we'll do very little. He's got to get over his cold and I've got to rest up. Next week will be really nuts at work. Anyway, tonight we had a nice dinner out and we're heading to bed early. Tomorrow, we have a tonne of errands to do and we really want to see Team America: World Police.

One thing that made me smile today: We had picked up a copy of America the other evening at Costco. I finally had a chance to read a bit of it tonight and it is hilarious. If you like the Daily show, you should pick it up, it's terrific!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

the finale

So the last debate is tonight. We're looking forward to it. On Friday night, Bush seemed slightly more coherent than he had in the first debate but I still felt that he was really under-prepared. You would think that his handlers and coaches would be able to do a better job brain-washing him but I guess they can't. I find it ironic that a man who had no record in Washington, prior to stealing the presidency, can criticize someone who has been in the Senate for 20 some years. I shouldn't be surprised either, I mean, he is also a chicken hawk who will criticize someone's service record. He's a twisted fuck.

I'm fighting a cold right now I think. Everyone around the office has something and I've been trying really hard to not get sick myself. I just hate how folks won't stay home when they are barking and coughing all over themselves. It's gross and no one wants your germs!

One thing that made me smile today: Free sinus medication. My doctor gave me a bunch of samples of a nasal spray that should help with the sinus problems I've been having lately. She's the best!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

back to work

The long weekend was nice but I find that you always pay for that day off. This week is shaping up to be absolutely insane here at the office. Oh well, c'est la vie, right?

In lieu of anything better to say today, here is this week's edition of TV Tuesday: Week 27 - New Seasons

1. Is there a new show that's caught your attention? Good or bad?

Desperate Housewives. I TiVo'd the first 2 episodes and we watched them last night. I hadn't expected too much, to be honest, but we enjoyed it. It's not the best thing I've ever seen but I like the tongue-in-cheek writing and the cartoony sets.

2. Were there any season premieres you were just dying to see? Did they live up to the wait?

We always look forward to the new season of NYPD Blue and this year was no exception. It was a good episode, it set the tone for the final season. I think it's going to be a good year.

3. What's your all time favorite season or show premiere?

I would have to say that it's usually the annual Treehouse of Horror episode of the Simpsons. The last couple of years, that's been the season premiere and it's always good.

~Bonus~ Did you ever end up liking a show that you disliked the premiere of? Which show? Why?

King of the Hill. When I first saw it, I didn't really care for it. A few months later, I was visiting my brother and watched it with him and quite enjoyed it. I've been a fan ever since. I can't tell you what it was exactly about that first episode I didn't like because I've seen it several times since and think it's funny. I just must have been in a weird mood that day I guess.

One thing that made me smile today: I got a terrific deal on some Halloween lights tonight after work. I got two strings of orange and two strings of this weird purple colour. Sometime this weekend I'm going to put them up in our kitchen windows. yay!

Monday, October 11, 2004

a day late and a dollar short

We had a nice dinner at my mum's tonight. It wasn't the same as seeing the whole fam-damnily at my Aunt's yesterday but it was nice all the same. For a change, we managed to survive an entire Thanksgiving weekend without having to eat turkey which was very nice.

Other than dinner at mum's, we didn't do much. I was still feeling a little crappy so we slept in this morning again. It was so nice to be so lazy. My head is still a little weird but overall, much better than it had been. I'm not sure whether I have a sinus infection or it's just allergies or what it is. I'll see my doctor this week so I'll ask her about it then. It's odd.

One thing that made me smile today: It was great to see my parent's today. As the crow flies, they don't live that far from us but we still don't see them very often. I don't remember the last time the five us got together for a meal. Yikes, that's sad huh?? Anyway, it was a very pleasant visit and a nice meal. I'm pretty sure that a good time was had by all.

Sunday, October 10, 2004


I had the sinus headache to beat all sinus headaches today. It hurt so badly that my teeth ached. Unfortunately, this meant that we couldn't go to Thanksgiving at my Aunt's place. We have enough romaine lettuce in our fridge right now to make Caesar salad for an army.

My head's still a little whoozy but at least I can almost focus right now. For the best part of today, I couldn't read or anything. It was pretty messed up.

One thing that made me smile today: Mark. He totally waited on me hand and foot today, trying to make me feel better. He is the best.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

running around

We slept in this morning, quite late too. It was really dark and dreary when we woke up and I think that's why we didn't get up when we should have. It's okay though, I think we both must have needed the rest of we wouldn't have done it.

When we finally did get up and get moving, I called my mum. They were moving really slowly over at her place too and we decided to not bother getting together today. I'll see my Aunt and Uncle tomorrow at Thanksgiving dinner. It was kind of good that we cancelled because our day was starting really late.

Originally, we had planned to take a bunch of garbage to the transfer station. back in the spring, in our continuing effort to "clean sweep" our computer room/office, I had thrown a bunch of stuff out. Rather, I had bagged up a bunch of crap and we put it out in our garden shed. It's getting close to that time when we should be putting our patio furniture and outdoor stuff away for the winter so the trash has to be gotten rid of it. According to the city's website, the transfer station was open until 4:30 p.m. We got home at 3 p.m. from running errands. We quickly put away the groceries and filled the car with bags of trash. We got to the transfer station at 3:25 p.m. The guy was locking up the gate and the sign said that they actually closed at 1 p.m. Mark hollered over to him, asking if he knew where the landfill site was. Of course, he didn't have a clue. We decided to run over to the recycle centre because we knew that it would still be open and those guys might actually have a clue. Lucky for us, we were right. They were super friendly and helpful, although not exactly confident. I was informed that the landfill was still open but that the guy closed up at 4 p.m. and that "you'll never make it in time." After being given directions to the 4th Concession, I ran back to the car and we raced up there. We made it to the dump with five whole minutes to spare. It felt so good getting rid of all that crap. We'd already taken countless trips to Goodwill and Value Village previous to this, this was truly crappy crap-crap-crap. Now, we have plenty of room in the shed to pack away patio furniture and air conditioners. Yay!

One thing that made me smile today: When we were traveling from the transfer station to the recycle centre, we saw a huge turtle on Dalton Avenue. It was massive and we were really worried about it. We stopped our car, in an attempt to stop traffic so it could get across the street but this asshole in a sport car, pulled up and passed us, narrowly missing the turtle. We pulled up a bit and were just about to turn around and go help him out when a young guy in a pick-up truck stopped, got out of his truck and picked the turtle up. The turtle's legs were flailing and you could tell he was thinking "what the fuck buddy?? Leave me alone, I'll get there eventually." The young guy gently put him down on the other side of the road. It was so nice to see somebody do something like that. We honked our horn and cheered for him and then carried on our way.

Friday, October 08, 2004


What a week it's been. It's gone by so quickly, it's really hard to believe that it's Friday again. I'm happy but still surprised. Today was so busy, at around 3 p.m., I was sure that I was going to have to call Mark and tell him that I was sticking around until 6 or so. Fortunately, I ploughed through a bunch of stuff and left the rest. I walked away from it at my normal time. The chaos was sort of organized though so it shouldn't been too hard to manage when I get back into the office on Tuesday.

Today has been an absolutely gorgeous fall day. The sun was shining and it was very warm. I actually wore sandals to work today. Mind, this is the probably the last day I'll be able to get away without wearing socks for a very long time but that's okay.

The long weekend should be fun. My aunt and uncle are in town from Calgary. They've been staying at my mum & dad's place and we're planning to see them tomorrow. They have never seen our house so we'll have them over for the nickel tour. The house isn't really clean or anything but I'm not going to go nuts worrying about it. Most likely, I'll push the hoover around and tidy up a bit. I'm really looking forward to seeing them. The last time I saw them was Easter 2003 so it's been a while.

Tonight, the only thing we have planned is to watch the final presidential debate. I am really looking forward to it. I've never liked the Bush family and it's been horrifying to see what they have done to the US over the past three and a bit years. Early on, I got really frustrated by the news in the states and stopped following much of what was happening down south. I took an ostrich approach to it I suppose. Since the end of March though, I have been completely addicted to Air America Radio. I listen to it all day long at work. It's been so refreshing to hear the truth about what's going on.

Over the past few months, as things have ramped up heading toward the US election, Mark and I have been devouring everything we can get our hands on as far as American politics go. I've said this before, our government has it's flaws, as does any, but I think that they are a little more honest and open than the Bushes have been with the poor folks in the states. It breaks my heart that so much damage has been done by people who basically stole the 2000 election. Anyway, our fascination recently, feels like we're watching a sporting event. I mean, I understand how important it is for the entire world that Bush not be re-elected but, we can watch the goings-on with a weird sense of detachment. It's not unlike watching a really long, drawn-out, sports play-off series.

One thing that made me smile today: We have three whole days off. Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

sunny sunny sunny

It's so bright again today. It's just gorgeous, cool, but gorgeous. I spoke a little too soon yesterday about the headache. It came back again last night so I'm wondering if it's not some kind of allergy. It's really only been a problem since the leaves started falling from the trees so that may be the case.

The whole thing has drained me though so I don't have much to say today. Because my brain isn't working very well today, here's the latest edition of TV Tuesday - Week 26 - Sports:

1. Do you watch sports on TV? If so, which?

No I don't. I will make an occasional exception for baseball but it's got to be a very good game. In our house, Mark's dad watches enough for all three of us.

2. Is there a sport you'd like to see more (or less) of on TV?

I pretty much tune it all out so it wouldn't matter to me one bit if there more or less of anything in particular on.

3. What's the most memorable sports moment you've seen on TV?

Probably the Toronto Blue Jays winning the world series for the first time. That was very cool.

One thing that made me smile today: It's kind of small and insignificant but I managed to get a couple of things off of my desk this morning that have been driving me nuts. They weren't complicated or anything, I just hadn't been able to get to them. It's a nice feeling, crossing things off of my never-ending "to-do" list.

Monday, October 04, 2004

good morning

So far so good today. I don't have a headache. I feel well rested. It's all good right now.

It feels a little strange to be wearing fall/winter type clothes again. It's definitely cool outside today and there is no way I could have gotten away with bare legs and sandals like I had done all last week. I'm not complaining at all, I like this time of the year, it's just odd, the adjustment period.

Anyway, clothes and sinuses aside, I'm really looking forward to the Vice-Presidential debate tomorrow night. I've quite enjoyed reading the post-debate who-haw since Friday morning. I'm sure that Edwards will make toast of Cheney tomorrow night. Should be good!!

One thing that made me smile today: Not having a headache. I feel really liberated right now. Having a pounding headache for days on end is no fun at all.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

lazy sunday

Because we got so much done yesterday, we were able to just chill today. It was lovely. We actually slept in a little bit this morning. I did not get out of bed until well after 8 a.m. Nice huh??

We actually did not leave the house all day today. There really wasn't any reason to and I'm glad that we were able to hibernate a little bit. I'm truly a homebody at heart and sometimes, it's nice to just close the blinds and shut the world out. Mark made us a really delicious brunch of eggs, lox and onions and then we just watched a disk full of Futurama Season 4 on DVD. It was just what I needed. I still am not feeling 100% better so I couldn't really have done anything more strenuous anyway.

Sometimes, on Sundays, you just have to do nothing.

One thing that made me smile today: Ibuprofen. My head and eyes were throbbing all day. I think it's sinuses and it's making me crazy. The only thing that helped all day was my extra strength no-name Ibuprofen. Go drugs!

Saturday, October 02, 2004


Coulda, shoulda, woulda but didn't sleep in this morning. I woke up at my normal time, around 4:45 or so. I was up for an hour or so and did go back to bed for another hour but it was by no means, the big lie in I'd planned for myself.

Instead of lazing in my bed, I got up and started into my mountain of laundry and then ran out to get some errands done. It wasn't horrible though and I was able to get a lot of stuff accomplished. I actually got all of the laundry done and packed my summer clothes away. The fall stuff is now out and put away, neatly. I even went shopping and picked up a few things for myself today, pants and tops for work mostly. It feel weird but good at the same time to be pulling out the sweaters and hoodies and be thinking about hunkering down for winter. I know that our summer is super short and that everyone always whines about the cool weather but I don't really mind it. I don't think I could live somewhere that didn't have a noticeable change in the seasons. I'd really miss the rituals I think.

One thing that made me smile today: Hanging out with Mark this evening. We both had a busy day today and were kind of wired tonight. We decided, kind of late in the evening for us, to watch the last two episodes of Six Feet Under that we'd had on tape for a couple of weeks now. It was so nice to just chill out with him, sprawled across the sofa watching two of the best hours we've seen on TV lately. I really heart Alan Ball!

Friday, October 01, 2004

the morning after

Oh my goodness but I'm tired today. Pooped totally. The lack of sleep was totally worth it: we stayed up over 2 hours later than normal to watch the debate last night. When we finally did go to bed, I had weird dreams about politics and house parties in our kitchen all night. It was very odd.

At times, I found the whole debate to be very frustrating. As I expected, as he usually does, dub-ya behaved badly. I thought that his posture was horrible and that he was so busy being defensive and sticking to two or three talking points that he missed the whole point of the debate. At the same time, I thought that John Kerry did a fine job of making his points about foreign policy, the war in Iraq and security, when and where he could. Bush was behaving badly, like a spoiled little brat who had a pout on because he wasn't getting his own way.

We watched the whole thing on PBS so I'm not sure how the other networks covered it last night. PBS seemed to stick to the "rules" as they had been laid out but I'm sure that other networks showed split screen shots of both candidates. I'm not an expert on these things and goodness knows that a) I have disliked dub-ya for a long time; b) have been against the war in Iraq from the beginning and c) am a fan of John Kerry's but, all of that aside, it seems like the good Senator came out on top last night. He definitely was cooler, calmer and much better prepared than his opponent. I am sure that the folks who work with him are thrilled to bits about the debate.

For the first time in a long time, possibly ever, I'm looking forward to the vice-presidential debate next week.

One thing that made me smile today: It's finally Friday!

Thursday, September 30, 2004

more normal

The only benefit to getting sick or just generally feeling crappy is how good it feels to get back to normal. I think about this every time that I've been under the weather. This morning when I woke up, for the first time in a while, I felt not too bad. It's nice.

As I have mentioned before, I exercise each morning during the week, before I head into the office. This morning was no exception. I will admit that I moved a little more slowly than I normally would, due to my recovering from the previously mentioned mystery illness. I have also mentioned before that I watch Dr. Phil while I move my butt. This morning's episode was, at times, both infuriating and amusing. The good doctor and his lady wife interviewed the former governor of Texas and his librarian. He's such a putz, dub-ya. In keeping with Dr. Phil's theme of "family first," they discussed the charming Bush twins and what it was like to raise them. Much like he does anytime there is a camera shoved in his face, dub-ya picked one line that he liked and kept repeating it, ad nauseum, throughout the course of the interview. In this case, his line was "ya gotta tell your kids you love 'em." Nothing controversial there is there? At the end of the interview (which had been taped at the fake-ranch in Crawford), Dr. Phil asked the audience for questions about the interview. They only actually aired two questions, both of which were pretty forgettable. While one woman stood up and asked her question, I noticed a lady sitting behind her, shaking her head strongly the whole time that the question woman was standing. You could tell that nodding lady was not a dub-ya supporter and was probably quite disgusted to have discovered, upon arriving at the studio, that she was going to be subjected to an hour of bush family values.

On the upside, next week, Dr. Phil and Robyn will be talking to John Kerry and Teresa Heinz-Kerry. I'm sure that a discussion with the Kerrys will make for far more interesting television.

One thing that made me smile today: Tonight's presidential debate. I'm really looking forward to watching Senator Kerry mop the floor with dub-ya. The little chimp won't know what to do or say without Cheney whispering in his ear or a teleprompter in front of him. It should be a good night!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

the brightness

There are several things that I really love about this time of the year. The colours of the trees in autumn are just gorgeous to me. Having to dig out old favourite sweaters to snuggle in on a chilly day is not so bad either. One of the things I like best though is the brightness. This morning, when I was driving Mark to work at 5 a.m., the moon was insanely bright. I thought that our flood light was on when I stood in the driveway but it was actually the moon. Amazing.

Just now, when I popped up (and outside) to get my lunch out of the kitchen, I noticed that the sun is crazily bright today too. The air is so clean and clear and the sky is cloudless. When I walked into the building from outside, I was blinking for several seconds, trying to focus. The sun was that bright, it was very neat.

One thing that made me smile today: Just now, as I was walking back to my desk, I noticed that there was a chestnut in the corner, near the door to our office. Our offices are in the basement of an old building. We actually have our own entrance to the building, underneath a veranda. Anyway, some silly squirrel has probably put the chestnut there for safe-keeping. A couple of years ago, I found one in a hanging plant in my back garden and another on top of the gas meter at the side of our house. It really amuses me that they think these are safe places to hide food. It shouldn't, but it does. Squirrels really are dumb.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

easing back

Well I'm back at work today. I don't feel 100% terrific but I don't feel quite as bad as I did yesterday. Yesterday I slept a lot. Like all morning and most of the afternoon. Unfortunately, last night, I didn't sleep well at all. It wasn't until about 3 a.m. that I really got to sleep. If I got up at 7 normally, this would have been okay. Of course, I get up between 4:30 and 5 a.m. so it didn't really help.

Basically I'm a little groggy so I'm not moving too quickly at the moment. The morning went by fairly quickly. I've got a long meeting this afternoon that I'm hoping will fly by. Given the subject matter that we're covering, I expect it will. We've got a lot of ground to cover in a 2 hour time frame. The problem with whatever it is that is getting me down is that really, it's more irritating than anything else. I mean, I feel run down, tired, achey, flu-y but not the flu, sort of like I have a cold but kind of like allergies, all at the same time. It makes me wish that I'd just come down with a major hum-dinger of a cold and get it overwith but that doesn't seem to be happening.

One thing that made me smile today: When I was on my way back to my desk from the kitchen, with my lunch just a little while ago, I saw a tiny brown bunny eating grass on the front lawn in front of our building. It looked a lot like the bunny that was living in our back yard for a while this summer. They are just so cute to watch. I know that they can be a huge pest if you have a nice veggie garden but I don't have one so I can appreciate them for their cutenesss and not be bothered by their destructive habits.