Thursday, February 26, 2009

a proper moment of silence for Pauline

I just heard the sad news about Wendy Richards passing away. It's not unexpected but sad, all the same.

Mark and I always laugh at her, well at Pauline whenever she'd talk about her "proper family" or having a "proper meal" or doing a "proper load of laundry." It was always a proper load of bollocks. The Fowlers were as messed up as everyone else, Pauline just thought she hid it better than anyone.

Wendy gave us many many years of enjoyment on Eastenders. I can't imagine how difficult this is for her family and friends. Rest in peace Mrs Fowler, you'll be missed.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

seven and the ragged alligator

how goes your hump day?

my day is trucking along nicely although I'm a little worried about Mark. He got slammed with another migraine this morning - it's not shaping up to be a great week for him. I can't get over how quickly my time has flown today. I think it's because I've had to spend a lot more time on the phone than I normally do.

to help count down the time, I thought I'd share a little video with you. A blast from the past - I hope you don't mind the dents.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

lazing gracie

lazing gracie
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I would love to be sprawled out on the floor at home right now.

Not that I am getting sick (because I refuse to) but everyone I talk to at work (on the phone - fortunately, they are up the hill in another building) is sick.

Before lunch, I was feeling really achey and cold and congested so I took some cold medicine I had in my desk drawer. I'm feeling a little spinny from the drugs now but not as achey.

After being sick for basically the whole fall with walking pneumonia, I will not get sick again.

it's not happening.

won't allow it.


take that, nasty germs!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

sushi man

Mark waits for sushi
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Mark's head appears to be floating around the restaurant in this photo. Today I'm sure he'd rather that it was detached from his head. This morning, just before he came to pick me up to take me to work, he had a lady in his taxi who, because she was running late, decided to spray herself with perfume in the taxi! He instantly went into migraine mode and was sick to his stomach when he got to the house. People are so inconsiderate. Never mind that most taxis are kept scent free because they take a lot of folks to and from various medical appointments, you would think that she'd have asked if was okay before doing it. When I got into the cab to go to work, I could still smell it. It was very sweet smelling, just gross, almost banana-y but really fake vanilla-y banana. Not good.

My computer at home has been acting up for a while now and we've been nursing it along. On Friday evening, it started overheating. On Saturday, the sound card died. Before we could figure out if it was the CPU or the sound card causing the issue, the whole thing died. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to back everything up before it happened so I've not lost any data at all. We're both just really irritated by the idea of having to figure out what is going on and then buy the parts to get it up and running again. I'd really hoped we could have avoided this until the summer but sometimes you just can't control crap like this.

Other than doing errands and chores and eating sushi (oh, and playing with the dogs of course), our weekend was pretty quiet. Good quiet, relaxing quiet, fun quiet. The only thing I can think to complain about right now is the computer thing. In the grand scheme of things, that's not so bad, is it?

Friday, February 20, 2009

mr smartypants

Just the other day, Mark and I were talking about Dig Circus. I was telling him about a frosh week concert that they had done here on campus, in the early 90's. The bill was Thrush Hermit (on their first tour), Dig Circus and headliners Sloan.

In the middle of Dig Circus' set, Larry, the singer, shaved his head onstage. I was helping friends with the show and I remember the guys getting bitched out by Sloan about the hair on the stage. Dig Circus was one of my favourite early 90's bands and my friend Jane and I went to see them every time they were in town and we usually had them come by the radio station so we got to know the guys a little bit.

Early this morning I learned via Facebook that a former band member, Jamie Julien had suffered two strokes and was in hospital in Melbourne, Australia. At noon today, I found out that this morning, Jamie passed away. I feel really shocked and numbed by this. He was a young guy (I think a couple of years younger than me) but he touched many lives during his short time on this planet. Apres rock stardom, he had become a fundraiser and eventually founded Public Outreach.

I hadn't seen Jamie in years but I'd never forgotten him. I still have a tape at home somewhere of one of Jane's radio shows that Jamie co-hosted with her. She hosted an 80's show called "Careless Memories" and I remember that the pair of them were yucking it up together for the whole show. He was a funny,friendly, sweet, incredibly positive person and he'll be missed by many many people. So sad, too soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sam's TV

Sam's TV
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Sometimes, in the evenings, at home, when I'm playing with the dogs I think that it would be really cool if they had their own reality show. In reality, no one but us would find it very interesting I'm sure.

I can't believe that it is Thursday already. I took an extra long weekend (I was off on Tuesday as well) so my working week is really short and is flying by. Makes me think that it would be so very nice to be able to afford to work just 60% time. Or not at all, not at all would be really nice. I keep meaning to buy lotto tickets but always forget. It's not that I don't like my job, because I do. I just think it would be more fun to be at home with the puppies and Mark.

Speaking of television, Nardwuar is probably a lot more entertaining to most folks than my dogs would be. I was happy to see that he interviewed my gal Kathy Griffin and the wonderful Lily Tomlin recently. Yay Nardwuar!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

stray dogs being killed in Baghdad

If I was smarter, I wouldn't watch this stuff. Unfortunately, I did watch it and it made me so sad and angry. It really makes me appreciate how lucky we (and our dogs) are to live in this part of the world. I'm sure that the folks who are responsible for this aren't any happier about it than we are but there must be a better way to deal with this problem.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

doggie week

sam and a dog park friend
Originally uploaded by Julep67
We've been having a great, dog-filled week this week.

On Monday afternoon, when Marked picked me up at work, both Sammy and Gracie were with him in the van. This might not seem like a big deal but it was huge for us. This was the first time that Gracie rode in the back, in the doggie hammock, with Sammy. Ever. Every other time that she's been in the van, I've had to hold her because she was so nervous.

It was the cutest thing, she loved looking out of the window and when she got tired, she just curled up on the seat and watched Sam be his silly self. We had a couple of errands to do so they were in the van for probably 40 minutes (I'd run in places and Mark would stay with them - I will not leave dogs unattended in a car for any length of time).

Last night was Westminster night in our house. We had DVR'd the Monday night coverage and we watched it last night (don't tell me who won - we're watching last night's coverage tonight). It was so much fun. The Eskie who won best of breed is from Caledon, Ontario. Very cool.

Tomorrow night, I'm off to the focus group for our off leash dog park pilot project. It should be interesting to see how the discussion goes. Part of me isn't looking forward to it but I really want to make sure that the best interests of our dogs are being considered. I feel it's really important to have an area for smaller dogs (our dogs are easily intimidated by some of the really big dogs at one of the parks).

So yeah, this week has just about completely gone to the dogs but I don't mind it one little bit. Honestly, I can't imagine it any other way!!

Monday, February 09, 2009

monday funk

I would have loved to have stayed home with the dogs today. I'm at work and my day is going well but I would have loved a long weekend. Next weekend is a long weekend, I know, and wanting 2 in a row is just greedy but still, some days I'd just rather hang out with the puppies than face the world.

The weekend was good. We stayed close to home and got some chores done, which was nice. It was really mild around here over the weekend and a lot of our snow melted. yesterday, Mark was able to get a lot of the ice on the deck chopped away so it's almost bare/clean right now. I think that Sam and Gracie actually liked the icy snow but they also like to chew on rocks so they don't always have the best judgment / taste when it comes to stuff like this.

Yesterday we watched a couple of movies "Zach and Miri Make a Porno" and "Milk." Zach and Miri was a little disappointing. We're both big time Kevin Smith fans and usually see his stuff in the theatre but, for whatever reason, we didn't see this one there. It was funny enough, typically Smith. Given that the cast spends the bulk of the movie trying to make a porno, we were given totally classic Smith and company coined film names (the parody names of the Star Wars movies were my favourites) we both laughed a lot but something was missing for me. I will say this, if you're not a fan of his movies or you have a "delicate ear" and cannot laugh at really filthy, stupid jokes, this is not a movie for you.

Milk, on the other end, I enjoyed. I thought that Sean Penn was brilliant in it. The story was compelling and the film looked like the 1970's. I particularly liked the use of new footage from the era (I love when movies do this, one of the best examples of this I can remember recently would be the media coverage of the death of Princess Diana in "the Queen"). I think it tells an important story that not everyone is familiar with, it documents a struggle for gay rights that continues to this day.

On that note, I'll share this little video with you and encourage you to go sign the online petition at the Courage Campaign website.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Friday, February 06, 2009

bed voyage

on his new bed
Originally uploaded by Julep67
In this picture, you can see Sam sleeping on his bed. Sam's a big fluffy dog and he has a big fluffy bed. It's pretty large actually, probably 4 feet by 4 feet. He sleeps on it, in our room every night. Every morning I put it into the kitchen. Sam and Gracie spend their days either in the kitchen or outside (they now have access because of the cool doggie door Andy made us). They both like sleeping on it during the day. It's big enough for both of them to stretch out with room to spare - like I said, it's BIG. Now, I would never have imagined that it could fit through the doggie door - I think that the doggie door is about 18" across.

Yesterday, before I left for work, I closed the kitchen door because it was too cold for the dogs to be out. When Mark got home in the afternoon for a break, the sun was out so he left them with access to the doggie door.

Recently, when we get home at night, I've been finding one or two of my rag rugs from the kitchen, outside on the deck (or in the yard) along with doggie toys. Last night when we got home, 2 rugs and a couple of toys were outside and so was Sam's huge ass doggie bed. I have no idea how they got it outside, there is no way that it went through the doggie door. We think that the latch may not have been on the door so they were able to push it open and drag the bed outside.

It was quite a feat however they did it. They were both pretty pooped last night so it had to have taken a lot of effort for them to get it done. I guess they're really wonder dogs!!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

don't make me tap the sign

don't make me tap the sign
Originally uploaded by Julep67
As you all know (if you're regular readers), we love the off-leash dog parks here in Kingston. Actually, we love one particular park which is very close to our house. The property it is on is being redeveloped and we're not sure how big the dog park will be.

The dog parks in Kingston were part of a pilot project so last fall, the city asked for feedback from folks who use the parks. I participated in the survey and last night was invited to a focus group meeting later this month. I'm really happy to have been asked because, having two dogs, we've got a lot to say about the parks and have a vested interest in keeping them.

My hope is that the city will allocate more resource toward them and they will become like the park in Trenton. We took Sam there last summer and it was awesome. The Quinte West park was divided into two areas so that smaller dogs could have a safe area to play in without the big dogs. Sam loves dogs his size and smaller but the really big dogs seem to intimidate him.

Since the weather turned really cold, we've not been going to the dog park but (despite the minus 20 something windchill this morning) I can feel that spring is just around the corner and I've been thinking a lot about road trips and dog parks. It'll be a little different this year with Gracie. Sam is the king of the road. He loves to go in the van because he knows that the van = something really fun. Gracie is still pretty nervous in the van. Even when we're going to the park, she shakes like a leaf and I have to cuddle her in my arms the whole way.

I'm confident though that by the time the beginning of April rolls around, she'll be fine. Gracie is probably one of the smartest dogs I've ever met. She understands most commands on the first try, Sammy definitely takes longer than that... although, there is a possibility that Sam understands and ignores it to see if he can avoid doing it. Gracie is a high energy dog but we've learned that with time and patience, she is capable of doing amazing things.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


snowy sammy
Originally uploaded by Julep67
The wind was a lot colder this morning than I expected it to be. You watch the weather channel and see that it's a minus 20 windchill but until it actually takes a bite out of your face, the number doesn't mean a lot.

On cold days, such as today, every smell is stinkier. Our over-the-fence-kitty-corner neighbours have the most smelliest fireplace ever. I think that they heat their home with it and we're convinced that they either burn garbage in it or that they have never cleaned their chimney.

Either way, I'm constantly surprised that they haven't burned down the neighbourhood. One evening last fall when they were getting it going for the first fire of the season, the entire neighbourhood was full of smoke. It was really gross. This morning, the stinky smelly stench was drifting into our house. I felt bad for the doggies because the back yard was polluted. I don't think that they minded the smell but they had the smoke smell on them when they came in from their morning wrestling on the deck session.

Campus is a bit of a sad place today. Over the weekend, a second year student died. Apparently, his housemates found him on Saturday. I met a student earlier today who was a friend of his and he seemed pretty numb. Whenever a young person dies suddenly like this, it's a shock and a tragedy. I'm not sure though why it takes something like this happening for us to say "hey, make the most of every day" to each other. We should probably remind ourselves of it every day.

Monday, February 02, 2009

a little off

late january storm
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I am happy-ish to report that our pathway has finally been shoveled. When I arrived at work this morning, it was still a mess, a frozen mess this time. The fluffy snow of last week got wet over the weekend and froze overnight last night. I did see the guy out there with his shovel this morning though so at least it's passable again. I was really worried that one of the many little old folks who visit us wouldn't be able to get to the door in the state it was.

The weekend was nice. On Friday night, we did some errands and on Saturday, while Mark worked, I did some puttering 'round the house. Yesterday was a bit of a veg-out day. We had a grooming session for the doggies. It was the first time I'd cut their nails (usually we get it done by the groomer or the vet) and it went really well. I was terrified that I would cut them (you read all the horror stories) and I had some of that styptic powder at the ready but didn't need to use it. I also was able to use the electric clippers on Sam (not on his nails, on his fur) and he was really good about it. Maybe I'll have a second career as a dog groomer one day.

As is our habit at this time of the year, we watched a couple of movies this weekend: Doubt and Frost/Nixon.

I really enjoyed Doubt. I thought that the cast was terrific and the performances we all great. Amy Adams particularly shone in this one I thought. Meryl Streep's character reminded me of the stories I heard about a nun who taught my mum & dad. Her Sister Aloysius character behaved in much the same away I imagined "Hawkeye" the chalk-eating Sister would.

Frost/Nixon was a bit of a let-down. I felt that the terrific cast was under-used for most of the film. I actually remember exactly where I was when we watched President Nixon resign (I was 7 and it was my mum's birthday) and "All The President's Men" has long been a favourite film of mine. I wasn't sure what to expect of a movie about the compilation of a television interview. Overall, I found the thing to be boring. Perhaps having just barely survived 8 years of being Bush-whacked has left me with little patience for yet another rehashing of the poor judgment and arrogance of R.M. Nixon.

Today I'm feeling a little bit off. I can't tell if I'm getting a cold or just have some February blahs. Over the weekend, I'd occasionally have a giant sneezing fit. It would pass but leave me feeling a bit out of sorts. Last night, I dreamed that I wasn't feel good and now I don't feel great. Hopefully it'll pass and I'll have shaken this foggy feeling by tomorrow. Right now, I am thinking about how nice a lovely big bowl of pho would be right now and the banana I left (accidentally) at home.