Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category


Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

I visited my friend yesterday on the farm, where she’s raising ducks and chickens for sale/eggs. It was very exciting but I think the chickens could smell the city on my shoes – they were very interested in pecking at them.

One chicken – whom we think is a girl – has decided that she is special. She jumps onto my friend’s arm when my friend comes to feed all the chicklets, and likes to be carried around like an accessory dog, and she even likes a little scritchin’ (the chicken, not my friend).

However, there is this one little duck that stole my heart. He came out of the egg with a bent neck, almost a complete 90 degree angle. Looks very uncomfortable. But he’s running around with all the other ducks, and eating and drinking and generally getting into mischief just like everyone else. Neither my friend nor the incubator thought he’d make it through the first night, but there he is.

I’d make a terrible farmer, cuz I’d want to name him Bob and make friends with him.

The right to blog

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

A friend of mine moved to China with her family a few weeks ago. Before she left, we talked about her setting up a blog so that she can keep in touch with friends and family in Canada and Sweden.

We were talking today and I asked about the blog, and she told me that she hasn’t been able to get one set up. No access to WordPress, Blogger, Blogspot…or Twitter, Facebook …

I mean, I knew that the government of China blocks Internet content, but it made it more real. And then I got indignant on behalf of the 1,325,639,982 people or so that are there and effectively gagged. They have no right to blog. Just think about all of us who can jump on and blog about our electric ass, or our cat, or our thoughts on healthcare. They can’t do that. They can’t read what we read, or have the opportunity to know what we know. That’s deplorable. This is the same week that Obama hailed China as an economic partner (with no strings attached to human rights abuses).

If you want to know how to get around it, btw, sounds like the best approach is to create a blog account outside of the country and these use a POP connection to email in your entries. I’ve offered my friend some help to do just that.


Saturday, September 26th, 2009

As I mentioned, one of the gifts I got for my BD was a custom-made canvas to go in the “nook” in my living room.

Here’s a long view. I’ll see if I can get a close-up on the morrow.

Doors, portals, scotch and Tom Robbins

Doors, portals, scotch and Tom Robbins


Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Spent last weekend at Diva Cottage in Wasaga-Vegas. The motley crew this year included 5 women and a rather large dog.

We started off Friday evening with a bit of wildlife education. Namely, two juvenile racoons wandered into our fire pit area while we were there. One of them was very interested in Melle’s feet and wouldn’t leave. So we used our survivor skills: banging pots & pans, yelling “F off, racoons!” and flashing camera flashes. All of which succeeded (finally) in getting them to climb a tree a whole 5 feet away from us.

Of course, a little later once the dog had arrived, and he was sleeping on his bed by the fire, another one tried to mosey in for a look. He went from dead sleep to treeing the scared shitless racoon in less than 2.5 seconds. And not even a bark, just a ridiculously low growl that I’m sure comes in handy when he’s hunting lions on the African steppes or something (he’s a Rhodesian Ridgeback – GORGEOUS!).

On Saturday, he marked the perimeter rather liberally, and we’re sure that contributed to the dearth of racoons that night.

Anyway, there was much drinking and eating, like every 2 hours eating. And then more drinking. And a party game that I totally sucked at because the names were all pop stars and my inner geek/nerd came out so I didn’t know who the hell they were talking about.

We did get some exercise – like, walking on the beach with mugs of coffee *cough* and not wine, as was surmised by the old guy that was yelling at us. And the dog did the most awesome run-by on a few people, which we found hilarious, though it was probably not so hilarious to the recipients to see a 120-lb dog barrelling at them full speed and turning away just inches from knocking them on their asses.

Also, cold. Very cold at night. But I was in charge of FIRE, so we had no fears. The girls seemed to think I was a little to enamoured of putting more wood on, but I think anything under 6 feet is still pretty humble as far as fires go, and I didn’t even use any accelerants.

Got home Sunday afternoon just in time for a nap. Oh, glorious nap.

Weekend so far

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

In Canada and the US, it’s Labour/Labor Day weekend – the last long weekend of the summer.

Friday night, Melissa, Melle, Andrew and I went to a Psychic Fair – we sat in on a Tarot 101 seminar and I got to draw a card – which turned out to be The Star – so the woman told me that because it comes after the Tower, I’ve “fallen” from a very great height and am moving now toward serenity, which would be alright by me, since I could hang out with Mal and the gang, and River could teach me how to fight, and that would be all kinds of awesome. But somehow, that’s not what I think she meant. My favourite “expert” has the apt moniker of “Crystal Wind”, and how can one argue with that – besides she’s a Certified freakin’ Tarot Reader. Overall, it was excellent entertainment and prime people watching.

Saturday was spent working on the yard – including a trim of the gargantuan bushes at the back of my yard. Basically, I take a ladder and push it up into the bush in a vertical. I have to climb it straight up carrying an electric hedge trimmer and kind of force it into the bushes for stability. There were a couple of times I wasn’t sure if the trimmer and I were going to go up successfully or come down to earth in some spectacular work incident. Then a little bit later, I tried to trim a huge bush near my back porch and I was using an extendable tree trimmer to reach the top. Well, the thing got stuck and yanked back …into the window pane on the porch. It’s an old single pane slider, so I’m going to have to try the Habitat Restore for a replacement, or else my Dad will be ordering some new windows ahead of schedule. Thank the construction gods for duct tape in the meanwhile.

Then today, Melle and I finally got around to going for a hike in Elora Gorge – it’s a conservation area on the Grand River about 1/2 hour outside of Waterloo. Each little trail is not that big, but there’s enough ups and downs along the way to get a good walk in. And we only broke the law twice – once wandering on to private property, and then another that involved an ungraceful scooch under a fence.

From Elora Gorge – August, 2009

Check out the album if you want a look.

The Woz, curries, astronauts, art, dead art, baseball and rye in a cup

Friday, August 21st, 2009

I’ve been trying to keep myself busy and distracted this week. Mostly thinking about JL regardless. I miss him very much, but I’ve had a lot of friends checking in and making sure I’m okay, and this has been very much appreciated. Hardest part right now is coming through the front door and he’s not there. I think I’ve actually called out “Bumba?” once or twice before realizing why he wasn’t blocking my way into the house and meowing.

Monday morning though, the Woz was in town and Communitech hosted a breakfast at which he was the keynote speaker. It was as one would expect: some rambly, sometimes funny anecdotes and then a blast of passion about why the interface and design are so important in whatever you are engineering–even if that’s the number of holes in a motherboard that not many will notice and even fewer will appreciate. It was quite amusing to realize that most of the brain power in K-W were in one area, as Melle pointed out.

Tuesday was birthday day, but definitely low key. It was as much a missed anniversary as a celebration. But birthdays must be had, so Melle and Melissa and I went out for some curry on Tuesday night–I had some crazy shrimp dish (“Sambal”, I think, related to peppers or spices) with tomotoes and it was very good. Melissa gave me some very awesome scotch glasses that have astronauts whose lifelines are shaped in a heart. I mean, science + scotch is really the bomb if you ask me. And they were wrapped in purple bubble wrap! Bubble wrap is a wonderful thing, but purple bubble wrap is twice as nice.

Melle and Andrew commissioned a good-sized canvas by a local artist and it will go above a bench that I have in an alcove area of my living room. It’s pretty fab. I guess Melle had to give an idea of what themes might work, so she came up with “random old doors, literature, scotch, moorish architecture, conspiracy theories, earthy colours with a lot of dirt in them, Tom Robbins, and nature”. And that’s what I got. Colours are perfect, and there’s a lot of interesting detail. I promise I’ll take a picture once it’s hung to show you.

On Wednesday, Melle and I met up with Andrew (who was already in Toronto for a filmfest) and two other friends to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the ROM, followed by some pretty awesome Thai food and then a Jays game. The Dead Sea Scrolls were dead. And very tiny. They had a series of exhibits set up before you actually got to see the scrolls. I discovered a fraud – well, really they had two coins in the wrong spots when you looked at the detailed drawings compared to the coins themselves. They were so tiny it was difficult to spot the difference, so I think this is evidence that I have the same level of competence as a trained archeologist. They should take me on a dig or something.

The people-watching was pretty good. There were what appeared to be church groups, at least one Chassidim family, then more average folks. I pretty sure we were the only ones making jokes about the resemblance of oil burners to hash pipes and enjoying the pictures of the original restorers in a room with full sunlight, using scotch tape to piece together pieces of scroll with a cigarette in hand. That’s conservation, people!

After that, we wondered around the dinosaurs once we found them. Melissa was thrilled that Melle sent her a pic of dessicated poo. And I’m pretty sure we saw an ROUS skeleton in the supersized mammals section.

Then we wandered down the street and picked a random Thai place for dinner. Since we were eating at old people time (i.e. before 5pm), we got this awesome dinner combo that included a really good soup, a spring roll, a bit of salad and a main course. I had curried chicken and green beans. All the dishes were fabulous and the bill was probably less than what we paid for parking.

Then it was off to the Jays game. Melle got us really great tickets right at the rail in the 200 deck of right field. The Jays lost (which made about 60% of the audience in attendance very happy), but the most important thing is that Andrew obtained for me… a cup of rye! Sure, I could have had beerz with the rest of them, but as you well know, I’m a hard liquor kind of girl. Apparently he went into the bar and asked if takeout was allowed. The bartender said yes, so then he asked for a double-shot of rye in a cup. She said, “and?”. He said, “and that’s it”. I highly recommend it for any sporting event.

How to have a good weekend

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Melle and I ventured off to Erin yesterday for a sleepover at K’s house. If you’ve never been, it’s a lovely village that has more than its fair share of gorgeous 19th-century brick main houses & cottages (and an inordinate number of bikers).

K’s house is not exception, and it is free of bikers. It has 18 inch base boards. 18 inch! And original door moldings with fancy scrolls, and wide-plank hardwood floors and a double porch. I would, in fact, contemplate offing her if I can only figure out how to get into the will first.

We were also joined by Charlie the cat. He’s big, grey, long-haired and not quite over his start as a barn cat. He’s also able to leap from the deck to the top of the fence in a single bound that is quite impressive.

We started on the drinking about 2:30pm–wine for the ladies, and scotch & ginger for me. And before you start yelling at me for sullying the scotch, I keep some cheap stuff on hand that suffices as my “rye whiskey”. It always amuses me to see it swirling around in the glass in protest for daring to bring it in contact with another liquid.

Anyway, the boozin’ continued well past dinner, though the other two switched to gin & tonic at some point. There was a threat of tequila, but probably a good idea that one didn’t materialize, since three half-naked women running around Erin might have been noticed.

We also spent some time spying on neighbours — of which one is a serial noise offender while he pushes dirt from one pile to another with what looks like a combination front-end loader & pile driver, and one of which is possibly a drug dealer, or an architect.

Though we didn’t stay up terribly late, we did manage to enjoy some Hits of the 80′s later in the evening–I forgot how much I like Echo & The Bunnymen. K made the astute observation that “Killing Moon” would make an excellent song for True Blood. Take note, Mr Ball.

World peace and summer tastes

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Melle and I walked over to Victoria Park today to take part in the K-W Multicultural Festival. There’s lots of booths with jewelery (I bought a really cool ring from Mali), and there were some neat Indian suits I would have loved to take home, but the big attraction is the “food court”, which is essentially about 20 different food vendors circling a set of big eating tents in the middle of a field.

Thousands of people circle the offerings first to get a sense for what they want to try, and if you’re smart like we are, you share the food so that you get more tastes. There were South Asians eating Turkish doner, Serbians eating Chinese noodles, Jamaicans eating Belgian waffles… We ended up having ice cream (hand made with some kind of steam engine) for our starter, followed by Ethiopian (chicken, beef, wat, egg, cheese on those cool edible flat bread kind of things that you use as your spoon that the Interwebs tells me is called injera). After that, we had some delish jerk chicken & rice, and finally a skewer of watermelon and pineapple (okay, fine, not that exotic, but it was also full sun and about 25 degrees by then).

As we were sitting there with all the peoples and all the food, I was thinking we could cut through a lot of UN red tape if we just had international food festivals now and again. It’s really hard to argue when everyone is too busy eating their “dinosaur chicken” legs and nomming on some curried goat (or, you know, lentils if the goat scares you).

You’d think that was enough meat for one day but you’d be wrong. For dinner, I had a nicely done butterfly pork chop with fresh Ontario asparagus and some Ontario strawberries for dessert. Colours and tastes of summer.

The walk each way is about an hour, and I tried out my new Keens and they worked out very well, except for the argyle pattern of sunburn on the tops of my feet – new place to put sunscreen…

Please to walk here

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

It was time for another Dad visit, and the theme this time was “the great outdoors”! Well, at least the big gaping hole in my front yard.

When I had the driveway redone, I had them remove a “sidewalk” between my front walk and the driveway that, for some reason, had been done in asphalt instead of pavers or something. Also, it ran right against the flower bed at a weird angle that went toward the garage instead of out to the driveway where it’s most likely that a visitor would park.

Anyway, since the removal, I’ve had a gaping hole there (about a foot deep) and it was just lucky that Melle or the Sheriff didn’t fall into it during our Scotch & Cigars soiree the other night.  Speaking of which, we had a smashing time with some Montecristos, some Highland Park and some Macallan. Topics ranged from the profane (work) to the sacred (junk food) and off into the wilderness (grilled cheese). Next time there will be Doritos!

Back to the hole. The plan was decided that we would remove the “sod” from a strip closer to the street and on a straight line between the driveway and the front walk, and then put that sod in the hole with some filler to make the green space up to the flower beds. You can tell that my lawn has been around for 60 years or so–the root system is about 6 inches deep.

It was a workout just to get the pieces out, never mind the 4 wheelbarrows of fill we had to shovel and tote to fill in the hole. Then, of course, also the pavers were a bit of a workout (about 80 lbs each).

However, the results are smashing. I have sidewalk, some grass (which I have to water every day for a while), plus no hole.

Job # 48 done.

Seek Simone

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

Rose has a web series!

Seeking Simone is a new lesbian web series about online dating. Follow the adventures of Simone Selkin as she dates her way through gay Toronto!

The first 2 eps are already available = wit + humiliation (yep, that’s online dating, alright).