Sunday, September 30, 2007

barely there

our internet connection sucks right now.

we didn't have one at all, all day yesterday.

I'm a little cranky and tired cuz I worked yesterday and then I was sick last night.

no fun huh?

on the good news front, I felt better this morning and went out for groceries this afternoon.

Mark got some electrical projects almost completed today.

it's boring but it's what's happening around our house today.

who has more fun than people, I ask you!?

Friday, September 28, 2007

a really very long day

I was at work this morning at 7 a.m.

I left the office at 5:30 p.m.

At 6:45 p.m., I was back in the office for stuff I forgot.

I'll be really happy when tomorrow is over.

Really happy.

Oh, this is cool, to me anyway:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

one of the things to make you go...

...that sounds about right...

This article really resonated with me. I hear this stuff from my colleagues at work all the time, the ones with kids I mean. They definitely do a whole lot more than their husbands do. It's very interesting:

September 26, 2007
Economic Scene
He’s Happier, She’s Less So

Last year, a team of researchers added a novel twist to something known as a time-use survey. Instead of simply asking people what they had done over the course of their day, as pollsters have been doing since the 1960s, the researchers also asked how people felt during each activity. Were they happy? Interested? Tired? Stressed?

Not surprisingly, men and women often gave similar answers about what they liked to do (hanging out with friends) and didn’t like (paying bills). But there were also a number of activities that produced very different reactions from the two sexes — and one of them really stands out: Men apparently enjoy being with their parents, while women find time with their mom and dad to be slightly less pleasant than doing laundry.

Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist working with four psychologists on the time-use research team, figures that there is a simple explanation for the difference. For a woman, time with her parents often resembles work, whether it’s helping them pay bills or plan a family gathering. “For men, it tends to be sitting on the sofa and watching football with their dad,” said Mr. Krueger, who, when not crunching data, enjoys watching the New York Giants with his father.

This intriguing — if unsettling — finding is part of a larger story: there appears to be a growing happiness gap between men and women.

Two new research papers, using very different methods, have both come to this conclusion. Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, economists at the University of Pennsylvania (and a couple), have looked at the traditional happiness data, in which people are simply asked how satisfied they are with their overall lives. In the early 1970s, women reported being slightly happier than men. Today, the two have switched places.

Mr. Krueger, analyzing time-use studies over the last four decades, has found an even starker pattern. Since the 1960s, men have gradually cut back on activities they find unpleasant. They now work less and relax more.

Over the same span, women have replaced housework with paid work — and, as a result, are spending almost as much time doing things they don’t enjoy as in the past. Forty years ago, a typical woman spent about 23 hours a week in an activity considered unpleasant, or 40 more minutes than a typical man. Today, with men working less, the gap is 90 minutes.

These trends are reminiscent of the idea of “the second shift,” the name of a 1989 book by the sociologist Arlie Hochschild, arguing that modern women effectively had to hold down two jobs. The first shift was at the office, and the second at home.

But researchers who have looked at time-use data say the second-shift theory misses an important detail. Women are not actually working more than they were 30 or 40 years ago. They are instead doing different kinds of work. They’re spending more time on paid work and less on cleaning and cooking.

What has changed — and what seems to be the most likely explanation for the happiness trends — is that women now have a much longer to-do list than they once did (including helping their aging parents). They can’t possibly get it all done, and many end up feeling as if they are somehow falling short.

Mr. Krueger’s data, for instance, shows that the average time devoted to dusting has fallen significantly in recent decades. There haven’t been any dust-related technological breakthroughs, so houses are probably just dirtier than they used to be. I imagine that the new American dustiness affects women’s happiness more than men’s.

Ms. Stevenson was recently having drinks with a business school graduate who came up with a nice way of summarizing the problem. Her mother’s goals in life, the student said, were to have a beautiful garden, a well-kept house and well-adjusted children who did well in school. “I sort of want all those things, too,” the student said, as Ms. Stevenson recalled, “but I also want to have a great career and have an impact on the broader world.”

It’s telling that there is also a happiness gap between boys and girls in high school. As life has generally gotten better over the last generation — less crime, longer-living grandparents and much cooler gadgets — male high school seniors have gotten happier. About 25 percent say they are very satisfied with their lives, up from 16 percent in 1976. Roughly 22 percent of senior girls now give that answer, unchanged from the 1970s.

When Ms. Stevenson and I were talking last week about possible explanations, she mentioned her “hottie theory.” It’s based on an April article in this newspaper by Sara Rimer, about a group of incredibly impressive teenage girls in Newton, Mass. The girls were getting better grades than the boys, playing varsity sports, helping to run the student government and doing community service. Yet one girl who had gotten a perfect 2,400 on her college entrance exams noted that she and her friends still felt pressure to be “effortlessly hot.”

As Ms. Stevenson, who’s 36, said: “When I was in high school, it was clear being a hottie was the most important thing, and it’s not that it’s any less important today. It’s that other things have become more important. And, frankly, people spent a lot of time trying to be a hottie when I was in high school. So I don’t know where they find the time today.”

The two new papers — Mr. Krueger’s will be published in the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity and the Stevenson-Wolfers one is still in draft form — are part of a burst of happiness research in recent years. There is no question that the research has its limitations. Happiness, of course, is highly subjective.

A big reason that women reported being happier three decades ago — despite far more discrimination — is probably that they had narrower ambitions, Ms. Stevenson says. Many compared themselves only to other women, rather than to men as well. This doesn’t mean they were better off back then.

But it does show just how incomplete the gender revolution has been. Although women have flooded into the work force, American society hasn’t fully come to grips with the change. The United States still doesn’t have universal preschool, and, in contrast to other industrialized countries, there is no guaranteed paid leave for new parents.

Government policy isn’t the only problem, either. Inside of families, men still haven’t figured out how to shoulder their fair share of the household burden. Instead, we’re spending more time on the phone and in front of the television.

This weekend, I think I may volunteer to do a little dusting.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

on things I dislike

do you dislike nickleback?

do you dislike manufacture pop starlets who are more famous for their shenanigans than for their songs?

me, I dislike nickleback. I feel like I'm not alone in this.

me, I also dislike little pop tartlettes. again, I feel like I'm not alone in this.

you, reading this, probably don't like these things either. I would imagine then, that you may have amused by this, I sure was.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

go bryce go!

bryce drumin', fancy tuxedos, Grant makin' Elvis faces, dancing girls and a big finish!!

I wish my Tuesday was this exciting but sadly, it was not.

Once again, I must try to live vicariously through the smugglers.

When everything else seems to be in the shits, some fun rock'n'roll can always shake it out of you.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Princess Zhaodi

Princess Zhaodi
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Happy Monday!

Is your week off to a good start?

My day was full of ups and downs. At one point during the day, I looked at a friend of mine and made the "f" face and said "ff-ff-ff-ff-ff-fudgsicles!!!" Frustration was what I was feeling. It comes and goes, like the tides.

Fortunately, at the moment, it's gone.

One of the ups from today involves finding long lost people or rather, finding one and possibly finding another.

I'm hoping, anyway.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

bye bye bad girls

Probably 4 years ago (I'm guessing), the W Network started showing "Bad Girls" daily. For a while I taped the shows and really enjoyed them. Unfortunately, W only had the rights to the first 2 or 3 seasons so I went for a very long time before I was able to see Seasons 4 and on.

Eventually, I was *ah-um* able to locate the remainder of the series. In total, there were 8 seasons plus some Christmas specials. Last year, at the end of the year, I had 4 weeks off and I spent some of the dreary winter days watching marathons of Bad Girls. I really enjoyed the show. It was intriguing and, at times, disturbing. I'm not entirely sure how accurate a picture it painted of life behind bars in the UK but I really enjoyed it.

The story lines were realistic at times, at others, far-fetched. Earlier today, I watched the last Christmas special from series 8 and I must admit, I feel a little sad. I spent a lot of time scrounging around for episodes that it feels weird to have seen them all now. It's just a tv show I know but, after 8 seasons, you can really get attached to the characters. I supposed I'll just have to find something else to watch while I do laundry huh?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

an ill wind

kingscourt sky
Originally uploaded by Julep67

I wish I could say "gross" a la Stewie Griffin, he really says a good "gross."

When we got home from Napanee we were both physically ill. We went out there to do some errands and have breakfast (we hadn't been out for breakfast for a while). When we walked out of the restaurant, we could smell manure. This isn't uncommon. The restaurant is at the top of a hill, it was windy (a hot wind, very weird). We got into the van and headed off to do our errands.

Rather than dissipate when we got into town, the smell got stronger. The hotter it got, the stronger the wind got and the stronger the smell of shit became. We literally ran from the van to the stores. It's made us both feel sick.

I'm not sure where it is coming from but I can't imagine for a second that breathing that in anymore more than we did is healthy. I feel really sorry for folks living in Napanee, that shit is nasty.

Friday, September 21, 2007

a little friday treat

I've been enjoying all of the sesame street clips on you tube this week.

I found this one today and it just made me smile. How can furry happy monsters not make you happy? These monsters are so dramatic when they get sad but boy, those happy monsters can dance!!

Don't be glum kids, dance along with the furry happy monsters!!

creeping towards autumn

Apparently, summer is almost over. I see leaves starting to turn colour but seriously, we had to close up our office this afternoon and turn on the air conditioning. It still seems like summer.

In my office, we're all still wearing summer clothes and sandals. I'm not complaining at all, it's just odd. Good but odd.

So the weekend is here. As I type this, Mark and Andy are in the back yard pumping out the last of the water from the pool. Mark was only able to drain so much of it last weekend. I think our driveway is a little higher than our backyard so the water couldn't push it's way out of the pool once it got too low. Should be empty soonish I think.

This morning, I was surfing around, like I do, and I discovered that our next door neighbour, the gravel thief, the "hey I have to be sawing something with my table saw all of the time" guy, has put his house up for sale. Not smart really, to list your house when the street is closed to all but local traffic. Also, they don't have a sign on the lawn either, which is odd.

They have only been in the house, I'd say, about 18 months. They have a butt load of work to it, including putting a pool in the back. We're convinced thought that they aren't flippers. I think that stealer man's wife is not well. We get the gist from her that they sold up a place in the country to move into town to be closer to the doctors and stuff. Maybe they're moving into a condo.

Whatever the case, I'm not sad to see them go. Gravel thieves.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

more better

today was definitely more better than yesterday.

I feel drained though, tired. I think it's leftover from yesterday and I'm sure it'll pass. Work should be full out nutso busy for at least the next 6 weeks. Pacing is important, this is a long distance thing, not a sprint.

Because I think that Ms Winehouse is so very talented, I keep an eye out for news about her. So far, she's not become another cliched pop music casualty. I found this clip of her performing at the MOBO Awards last night. The Sun didn't have much good to say about her performance and, I'll admit that it was shakey in parts. Even still, a shakey Amy is so much better than all of the inter-changeable, high-gloss, over produced, cookie cutter pop starlettes around today. At least I think so anyway.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Today was a very long day.

I worked at an event this morning and I had to be on site at 6:30 a.m. I was there around 6:20 a.m. but had been awake since around 4 a.m.

Long day indeed.

When we got back to the office, post-event, it was busy. Very busy, exhaustingly busy but the good kind of busy. I actually don't mind the pace but I do find that by the end of days like these, I feel rather drained.

I went looking on you tube for a version of John Lennon's God, performed by him but I couldn't find anything I liked. Both Mark and I like this cover of God which was recorded for the "Darfur" album - buy a copy if you haven't already, the good stuff out numbers the shit and it's for a good cause. I wanted to hear it and share it here because I had to quote a line from it in an email I just finished writing.

Today, on two separate occasions, I felt violated by the beliefs of others. I am sometimes made to feel uncomfortable stating mine so I don't. I can only imagine that this would be a thousand times worse if I were living in the states. It doesn't happen very often and for it to happen twice in one day is not normal. Right now, I don't have to just suck it up so I won't, I'll just share this with you all.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

no water and no gas makes me ...something something

I swear, if I was a five year old boy, I'd be in heaven right now.

There are like a zillion trucks on our street right now. The water main construction took a bad turn today. From the eastern corner of our street to our western next door neighbour (the thief!), the work crew had to drill down 8 feet into solid limestone. In front of our thief neighbour's home, the limestone ended and now the works crew is into mud and sand. It's not as noisy working in that but it's way messy.

This morning, while I stood outside waiting for Mark, I saw steam coming out of a big hole in the street. I didn't think that this was good at all. I'm not sure if it's related or not but they made a big hole in the gas line and apparently, the gas leaked into the neighbourhood for about 5 hours today. They also damaged the existing water main so, for quite a while, we had neither water or gas.

Needless to say, we went out for dinner tonight. Our water was restored but the gas is still off. I'm really glad at this moment, that our water heater is fueled by oil. It just must be a "dumb" day all around. Mark and I actually overheard a guy at the table next to us (at Denny's), ask if they served breakfast. At Denny's. I'm guessing that this guy isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Monday, September 17, 2007

yip yip yip yip

my phone did not stop ringing today. well not much anyway.

at least it seemed that way. when I was talking on the phone, it didn't ring. sometimes though, that little red message light would start blinking while I was on the phone.

I'm popular, I suppose.

Had a busy day, that kind of busy where you don't realize that it's lunch until your rumbling stomach tells you. It was a good kind of busy though, the kind of busy I actually like. Accomplishing stuff is what I did, some stuff anyway, and that felt good.

On the way home tonight, I noticed lots of folks standing on the sidewalk along Division Street, outside of Beamish-Munro Hall, watching a giant mechanical pair of scissors eat away at the remains of the Jock Harty Arena. It was very a very "Scarfe" moment. Dusty too, not Springfield but the construction variety. Progress in motion.

One more thing, before I go, there are many many reasons why I don't generally watch Awards shows (I will sometimes make an exception to this rule for the Oscars but only if I've seen over 75% of the nominated films in the major categories). I woke up this morning to news that just reinforced why I care so little about awards shows: 30 Rock beat the Office for best comedy?! All I could think was, wft!?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

blast from the past

For years now, I've been trying to find copies of "wait 'til your father gets home." My brother and I used to watch it when we were kids and I'd love to see how it holds up now.

Today has been busy and not. Both of us have been puttering around the house. Mark was far more ambitious than I. He started the tearing down of the pool project. It's a big muddy job and I'm really grateful that he does it cuz I would if I had to but if I don't, I'm just as pleased as punch.

The fair is on, just down the street and while the barker shouting "Do you wanna go faster?" are tempting, so far we've avoided going. We must be getting old I guess.

Friday, September 14, 2007

friday night dinner?

sound good? if they are lucky, maybe they can sit on the towel and watch tv while they eat it!

snoozing fish

snoozing fish
Originally uploaded by Julep67
When I was a kid, I used to really like "octopus's garden." I remember singing it a lot, at the time though, I have a feeling that the inspiration came more from sesame street and less from the beatles.

Sometimes, when I watch our fish, I hum the tune and sing along in my head (don't want to scare them cute fishies with my horrible singing now). They are cute and while they live in a tank and not "under the sea" I sing the tune anyway. Of course, I always think that fish live in the sea, rather than under the sea, cuz under the sea is all mucky and rocky and it's not easy to swim in rocks and muck.

However, to argue with Ringo would be not be a good thing, especially when he is the only cool beatle left!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

jock harty arena

jock harty arena
Originally uploaded by Julep67
For weeks now, I've been meaning to take some photos of the front of the "new Jock Harty" before it's completely gone.

Over the summer, the guts of the arena were removed and at the moment, only the outer walls seem to remain. These walls are still very much attached to the PEC though, which is open for business. Maybe on the weekend I'll get over to the blasting site and take some shots of the hole.

It's a huge hole. The blasting at times shakes our building in a huge way. Some days, the tremors are small. As the Jock Harty disappears and the hole gets deeper, it's hard not to get more excited about the Queen's Centre. It's still years away from being completed but I can almost envision it now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

who the hollyoaks omnibus is that?

hump day deserves a little vicky to lighten things up.

enjoy (I sure did)!!

tree shroom

tree shroom
Originally uploaded by Julep67
There is a small house on the corner of our street which has been vacant for about a year now.

When we first moved onto this street, there were a bunch, "characters" is probably the most polite way I can think of to describe them.

We found out through our next-door neighbours (the very cool ones, not the ones on the other side who feel that they have some kind of a right to steal shit from the construction site - grr!!) that a large group of neighbours had banded together about the group of "characters" on the corner. This happened just before we moved in. The group was renting the house we learned. The landlord was trying to get them out of the house and the tennants started to make a mess outside, make noise, basically become the neighbours from hell. I guess our neighbours went to the city about it the noise and the mess and eventually (around the time we moved in) they became quiet.

Neither Mark nor I noticed anything during that first summer that concerned us. We kept hearing from friends that the tennants had removed all of the eletrical stuff, ripped out of the pipes, destroyed the drywall, basically had reduced the house to a shell. Now, this seemed silly to me because they were still living in the house!! All this while, apparently, the guy who owned the house was going through the tribunal to get them evicted. Around the time that they were to be evicted, they got up on the roof and painted, in huge white letters, "HAMC - STAY OUT." Yeah, cuz this house was suddenly a biker home? I don't think so. Their weak attempt to scare folks off didn't really work.

Over the winter, the house was empty and it was put up for sale. It sold pretty quickly, "as is" obviously. It's on a small corner lot and we thought that one of the adjoining neighbours may buy it up and extend their lot. Last night, I noticed that the windows (what was left of them) had been removed and tonight, the roof is gone. Finally it seems, the new owners got permission for demo. It'll be nice to see something nice and new go up on the corner.

I've grown tired of reading weak warnings from make-believe bikers every day. As much as I complain about the construction on our street, sometimes noise and the progress that comes from it, is a good thing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

box elder bugs

what are they?
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Thanks to everyone who helped solve the mystery of the red bugs.

I'm happy to learn they are basically harmless and that you can't suffer an infestation from them because, apparently, they won't breed in the house.

There is a bumper-crop of them this year. They are annoying and kind of dopey more than anything. The swarm was a bit frightening to see last night.

That many of one kind of bug just didn't seem right to me!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

what are they?

what are they?
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Red bugs.

Have you seen these? If you live in this part of the world, I'm guessing that you have.

We first noticed them last summer, around our front porch. They seemed to arrive around the same time we purchased some decorative bark chips for our flower bed so didn't think much of it.

This spring though, they are everywhere. I no longer think that they are from the bark chips, they are all over town.

Weirdest thing is, we have no idea what they are. If you know, could you please tell me? They are harmless I think but they are weird weird weird.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

busy but boring

Today was rather uneventful for us. The day was busy, we kept busy doing errands and projects and catching up on all of that stuff that you neglect during the working week.

Fortunately, Mark's knee is much better today. He is taking it a little slow and is noticing that if he moves in certain way, it gives him some problems but it's much much better than last night.

For some reason, it was hotter than stink here today. Really hot, muggy too. Not as muggy as Friday but the sun was intense. I think that all of the running around in the hot that I did today wore me out because honestly, I'm ready for bed now.

Thought I'd share this though cuz I thought it was really cool. enjoy!

Friday, September 07, 2007

the big apple pie factory bakery

the big apple pie factory bakery
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Mark's knee is messed up tonight.

When we woke up this morning, he said it felt funny and for a moment, he couldn't put any weight on it. Eventually, whatever it was stopped, and he was "okay." Tonight when he picked me up from work though, he was in a tonne of pain.

He's sitting on the sofa right now, magic bag on knee, taking some ibuprofen and watching tv. I hope he's feeling better later, it would suck for him to be laid up with a bad knee all weekend.

Other than that, not much news here except for the fact that it's September and after dark and the humidex should not be in the 30's at this time of day, at this time of year.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

super destination car rental

super destination car rental
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I had a special treat at lunch today.

This afternoon, I met a friend for lunch, we ate our brown-bag specials on a bench in the sunshine. About 1/2 through lunch, the parade of thundermugs marched right past us, en route to the park. For the first time in a few years, the frosh had a gorgeous sunny day to build their creations in. They are calling for rain on Saturday. I guess when you're in that pit of slime, a little rain won't matter that much.

Campus was a little noisy today which was nice. Yesterday, by the time I got home, I thought my head would pop off. It didn't, which is nice because I may want to one day wear a hat again. I'm still having a hard time realizing that it actually is frosh week again and that classes start up again next week and that fall is almost here. I'm not in denial, just surprised.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

isn't she lovely?

Despite everything she's been going through lately, she looks and sounds remarkable. I hope she's on the other side of whatever it is that has been haunting her.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

flowergirl mackenzie

flowergirl mackenzie
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I booked a vacation day to add onto the long weekend so I didn't go into work today. Given how messed up and turned around I got over the weekend, I didn't mind staying home today.

This morning, I got up at the normal time as Mark was heading off to work. Also, I wanted to get some laundry done before the work started outside at 7 a.m. You just never know if they are going to shut the water off or not.

In the end, they did not but I had my laundry and a couple of other chores done early, which was nice. I don't think it's overly optimistic to guess that we might be back in our driveway by the weekend. Our next door neighbour (to the east) is back in his tonight. We noticed that dump trucks were delivering the big chunks of limestone which had been hauled away a couple of weeks ago and slowly, the hole is being filled in again.

It's a really big hole. I imagine that between what they are doing to the east of us and how long it'll take to fill things back in, it'll be at least the weekend. Having spent the past couple of weeks climbing over trenches and large pieces of machinery, I'll have a whole new appreciation for our driveway when it returns, guaranteed.

Monday, September 03, 2007

too much of a good thing

My nap turned into a coma.

I woke up about an hour ago.

It's the middle of the night (sort of) and I'm watching decorating shows.


I can't imagine that I'll make it through the whole of today without some other kind of nap or snooze or rest.

My internal clock is completely turned around. It's weird but I don't feel too horrible, just a little groggy and disoriented. We both missed dinner last night too. I hope Mark is feeling okay when he gets up.

Man, this is weird. I actually slept for 10 hours, in a row.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

sleep is my friend

We left the wedding last night at around 10:30 p.m. The speeches were just over and the slideshow (which I worked on and would have liked to have seen) had just started.

The reason we left so early was simple, we needed to be back up at 4:15 a.m. this morning. Yeah, 4:15 a.m. We had offered to take the newlyweds to the airport so that they could go on their last-minute honeymoon. It made sense to offer, Mark's a driver, he knows Toronto better than he knows Kingston and oh yeah, we don't drink so we were the only folks at the wedding who weren't either going to be hung over or still drunk this morning.

The bride & groom were still tipsy when we picked them up at 5 a.m. They slept all the way to Toronto. I felt bad waking them but we had to. They are en route to somewhere sunny and we are en route to bed.

I cannot recall the last time I was this tired. Honestly though, we had a great day in Toronto, it felt good to help them out (this is a girl who I have known for 20 years - since she was 3 - and who I love so...). I'll feel better about it later though, for the moment, I need a nap, in a big huge way.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

bustling bride

bustling bride
Originally uploaded by Julep67
...just popped home between the ceremony and the reception for a bit.

one of the benefits of living "in the hood" I suppose.

The ceremony was lovely, the bride was beautiful, her mum was too. Everyone's happy, it's all very sweet.

Oh, and the priest spoke of seepage.

More tomorrow, I'm sure!