Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Um, hello

Friday, October 18th, 2013

to the three people who still have this in feed reader, etc.

It’s been almost a year since I posted, and I’m making no promises, but I may have something to say in the next while, so I’m dusting off the site.

What I have I done in a year?

Some travel for work and for pleasure: to Italy, Denmark, England (below), and I’ll be back again to Denmark again before the end of the year.

As usual, some work got done around the house. The backyard is a work in progress – trees gone and fence is the next step. Also put in a new front door, that makes an awesome noise like a Star Trek door but smells faintly of petrochemical caulk (Dad only likes the old school stuff).

Went to 4 Stratford plays this year. Absolutely loved Waiting for Godot, and gained a crush on Scott Wentworth playing Jewish icons (Shylock, Tevye).

Saw Neil Gaiman give a reading, which was very cool.

Lots of meals with lots of lovely friends. Launched a huge project at work that ate up most of the summer (that wasn’t so nice). So much more that won’t be chronicled here.

In any case, we’ll see what happens :)


Friday thoughts: August 31, 2012

Friday, August 31st, 2012
  • The only thing uniting all of the candidates running for by-election in my riding is their sustained ability to annoy me with phone calls, and useless pamphlets in my mailbox.
  • There’s a series of commercials for some tooth-whitening product, where a woman with Hollywood whites “goes on a sudden road trip” with her girl pals, and gets invited last minute to a movie opening, and THE FIRST THING SHE DOES, as she is still on the phone accepting the invitations, is CHECK HER TEETH. Presumably she agrees only because, in each case, she has two hours to whiten the hell out of her teeth some more. Really?
  • How long do you think it took for the person who booked Clint Eastwood for the Republican convention last night to get fired?
  • The appropriate forms of address are Mr Johnny Cash and Nikola Fucking Tesla.
  • The Sedum are turning pink. This is unacceptable.

I love charming old men

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

I was at the medical lab first thing this morning for blood tests. The upside to free medical care is it’s free, and we can get regular tests to make sure we’re healthy. The downside is that medical labs are very busy. Place was packed. No seats left.

Enter charming old man and his wife. Everyone is half-catatonic. No one has had breakfast. And we’re all waiting to have someone stab us with a needle. So he waits for a bit then asks if anyone would like to sing. A little ditty or something, he says. His wife pops up from the corner, “No. You will not sing.” He smiles.

The he sidles up to me, “If the blood tests work out, we’re going to get married.”

“Ah, ” I say, “hope the courtship was as per–you’ve done flowers, dancing, dinner and all that?”

“Oh yes, ” then louder, “anyone want to come to a wedding? We’ll take gifts. And money. Money would be good.”

Then to me, “she’s a real catch, that one.” Nodding to his wife.

Simple wishes

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

There’s an amazing art installation in New Orleans. Blackboard paint. Some chalk. An opportunity to complete the sentence Before I die I want to ___________________.

There’s a few “famous”, but mostly people want something grand, or intimate or fun. I find hope in this.


Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Harper pollster: Hi, I’m calling on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I was wondering if we will have your support…

Me: Put me in the category that says Stephen Harper is a narrow-minded bully.

Harper pollster: In, ah, so you wouldn’t vote for him.

Me: No.


I forgot “petty”, though.

5 Reasons to Shovel Late at Night

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

If you’re in a place that needs shovelling.

  1. There’s time to have a nap first.
  2. Sometimes a neighbour does some of it for you, like your sidewalks.
  3. It’s more likely that the wind dies down. Who knows why?
  4. No glare on the snow means no sneezing or blindness.
  5. No one can see that you are wearing purple socks, old sweat pants, a mangy hat and a gortex that’s 3 times too big for you.

bee-loud glade

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

In the summer at my Grandmother’s house, along a dirt track between the houses, there was a bank of yellow flowers. Black-eyed Susans, I think.

On the hottest days, the flowers buzzed with bumblebees. Hundreds of them flitting from one to the next and adding to the sound of the cicadas and the lurch of a big rig every once in a while on the highway at the end of the track.

In order to be a part of the summer gang, which was reconstituted every year as a collection of local kids, summer kids and whomever came up from town, each one of us had to pet the bumblebees.

It was scary, especially when younger, to think about touching a bee. No matter what kind, there was the thought of a stinger. But if you got it just right, with just one finger, and gently, you could feel the buzzing down to your toes. And you knew it was going to be a great summer.

Bumblebees dying in North America


Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Nieces and nephews are always a great connector to people and simple things. Like talking about cool books, or sharing a funny Maru video or learning the hokey pokey for the first time (and really digging the “turn yourself about part” and making everyone who enters the kitchen take a turn as well).

The rising ring of laughter in a room full of family while the youngest runs in circles wearing nothing but his socks is a merry sound indeed.


Saturday, March 20th, 2010

While waiting for my new built-in bookshelf to be finished in the office, I’ve left a pile of old binders and conference materials and folders sitting in the dining room for a while. I decided today to go through it to see if there’s anything I can get rid of.

It was a fairly easy decision to recycle conference proceedings on web usability from 10 years ago, although I was surprised out how much relevant material there still was – either I know it or I don’t, so no need for the paper. But I also found a binder full of certificates and letters – thank you letters from bank clients (thank you for your sensitivity in dealing with my father’s estate, thank you for helping to fix the misplaced cheque so that my small business wasn’t adversely affected, thank you for always taking care of my accounts), letters of recommendation from professors, evaluation letters from my teaching practicums (she was not challenged in the class and the students respected her knowledge, humour and individual attention), and different awards and certificates. One of which is for a guide that I wrote in my tech writing days, and the guide was there too – and I must say after all this time that it’s still a kickass piece of work.

I also found the only print version I have of my MA thesis, which I did not get bound when I graduated, since I didn’t have the money. I remember “playing it off” to my peers that it was because I wasn’t into self-publishing or something at the time. Beneath that, I found a few essays I’ve kept for one reason or another. Dense and detailed analyses that, to my out of practice eye, seem astute and academically sound – how did I ever write like that?

These I didn’t throw out. But it was kind of disorienting to read about this scotchneat – a rigorous academic who could write about strange attractors & Don DeLillo, and Lacanian concepts of gender & George Eliot with equal aplomb. This scotchneat was warm, outgoing, a little crazy and a lot of ballsy.

Not that I’m not any of those things now, but let’s face it, I’m middle management in a big company. It all left me a little depressed. As Melle says, sometimes that’s just not ending up where you expected. But I think it’s also a little bit of seeing less than I want to see. I don’t get thank-you letters anymore.


Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

I went for my annual *cough* check-up today (which was 3 years in the making, but who’s counting?). Decided that I should take advantage of all of our commie-pinko-socialist healthcare and all that. Up til now, I’ve been rather ambivalent about getting the H1N1 flu shot–I’m not in the high risk group and I never get flu shots. Doctor had other plans. Doctor made me get an H1N1 flu shot. This being my first flu shot ever, I have to say I’m not a fan: my arm (particularly my shoulder) is really freakin’ sore and my elbow is achy. I think I have swine flue in my elbow. But, I know one or two people who went through the H1N1 itself though, so I guess as long as this goes away and it works, it was a good thing.

Apparently, I have the blood pressure of a teenager. But as I’m chronologically more challenged than that, I get to do a series of more tests to check that I’m not falling apart at the seams or something.

In this, my month of firsts, I also purchased winter tires for the first time. ¬†As far as winter tires go, you’d think that all Canadians have them but that’s really not true. I learned old skool: you learn how to skid and how to control you car and pump your brakes. Which is another thing: ABS is stupid. I don’t want a car telling me when I’m pumping and when I’m not. I KNOW when I want to pump and the damn car should not be making those weird shuddery noises and popping the brake when it feels like it. It’s unnatural. Anyway, the tires. So far, I’ve noticed that braking feels different and winter tires are noisy. Of course, we’ve had a gloriously warm November so far, and now I think I may have jinxed us to getting eleventy feet of snow because I decided to purchase winter tires for the first time in my life and now my car has ABS AND winter tires, which is the equivalent of saying “Hey, Mother Nature, please pelt me until I am wimpering in submission for the arrogance of these modern inventions.”

I also got switched to “smart hydro” today (being hydroelectricity, not hydro=water–I was very confused for the first few years of home ownership as to which is which). ¬†Basically, they’ve got winter and summer “sweet zones” where you pay less money for electricity usage as well as prime zones for usage, and you pay more for prime usage. With the new meter settings, they now track usage hour by hour. I think this is a pretty good concept, and someone like me, who can be flexible on when I’m doing laundry and so on, has the ability to probably save some money on my previous bills. Or it would be, except for the fact that I get my brand new gas fireplace in a few weeks, and since it uses some electricity to get the pilot going, and I will most definitely run that baby during prime hours, I’m probably not coming out ahead. And I don’t care. Fire. Book. Scotch. Seriously… life will be good.