Archive for June, 2007|Monthly archive page

Snorgle sleep

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Okay, the fin-sucking is cute, but notice also that he’s rubbing his feet-fins together as he falls asleep. I swear I do that! (but, with just the plain feets) It’s very comforting…


When the instructor loses patience with the student

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Scotchneat in a training session:

Trainer: So here’s our example. If _______ and _______ were in a fight, …
S: OH! A caveman and an astronaut! Caveman and astronaut!

Trainer:…no, I was thinking about superheroes. Can you name two superheroes?

S: No. Well, I can. But that’s not the correct hypothetical. It’s caveman and astronaut.

Trainer: But I don’t know who would win that one. Heh. So, maybe we can stick with superheroes?

S: Caveman. Assuming it’s hand-to-hand combat, cuz they’d be more feral, you know? Sure, the astronaut…
Trainer: And moving on to the next question… 

Things to remember when you buy a new house

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

I think, like having a baby, there’s a natural blackout response that blocks all of those things that one has to deal with:

  • hours spent looking – well, at least for me. I think I hit 30 houses, and lost two that I really liked, before I purchased one.
  • mortgage negotiations – and higher payments, of course, if you are trying to climb the property ladder. So much % this and amortize that. In the end I think they get you just because you can’t crunch another number without wanting to shove your stylish mechanical pencil into your right eye.
  • land transfer tax – I’m pretty sure no one except the Premiere knows what this is for. You have to pay it. That’s for sure.
  • real estate fees – Don’t get me wrong, it was the right decision for me to go with an agent instead of on my own. But giving away a certain % of your sale price is painful. That’s a new chair, dining room set and kitchen floor (at least) going out the door for what always feels like a bit of a write-up and some phone calls in retrospect.
  • lawyer fees – Yes. Lawyer gets his or her bit as well. Their job is to do a little search and sign some papers. They do get the lovely job of handing you the keys, though.
  • paint – particularly if you’re like me and buy a house that hasn’t been updated since Pearson was da man. Buckets and quarts and gallons of paint.
  • furniture – you always think you can’t possible need anything new, but it’s a rare thing that your current household fits right into its new walls. A cabinet here, an ottoman there, and the folks at Visa are happy campers.
  • the surprise – every house has one and it’s usually not good. Bad wiring, crappy water tank, ants. You know, some extra little surprise that the house gives up after you signed off, to let you know who’s really in charge.

When I’m here a few years from now getting houselust, somewhere remind me about this :)

I can’t stand it!

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Tocks! To be snorgled!

Say good things

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

I was out cutting the front lawn this afternoon and my neighbour from across the street stopped by to try out my push-mower, chat about my new house, find out when I’m moving…

It was typical chat and he wished me best of luck. Very nice.

Then he got in his van and pulled up before driving off:

You know, I wanted to tell you that I see you as a role model for my girls. I think they have a lot that they can admire about you and I hope they grow up to be like you. Tell your Dad he should be proud.

What can you do but smile and say thank you? And maybe pass it on.

Read your books – it’s good for you!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Taking inspiration from John Wesley, here’s why I have read, re-read and continue to read the classics (and everything else, for that matter).

John’s List:

  1. Bigger vocabulary.
  2. Improved writing ability.
  3. Improved speaking ability.
  4. Fresh ideas.
  5. Historical perspective.
  6. Education entertainment.
  7. Sophistication.
  8. More efficient reading.
  9. Develop a distinct voice.
  10. Learn timeless ideas.

My List:

  1. Become a better human. We all suffer from ignorance one way or the other. Reading brings you into the minds and lives of other people – heroes and ordinary Joes, bad people and good people, people from cultures, religions and countries different from yours. Immerse yourself in another point-of-view for a while, and you come out a different person. People often compliment me on my ability to talk in different registers, and to “get” other people’s perspective without them having to explain much. Part of that is coming from a working class neighbourhood and going to a few grad schools, sure, but I was already there before I was able to travel or go to university. And don’t be a book snob. I know John is recommending the classics, but I grow with a good detective novel as much as I grow with a classic. I’ll confess my nertitude and say I read several hundred books a year, and have since I was in kindergarten. I won’t stop :)
  2. Heal. I’m not talking self-help books, either (perish that tripey thought). My concept of grace and maturity and introspection comes from novels. I’ve experienced what happens with the wrong choices (soap-style, where the characters hide something to “protect” someone else, all the way over to self-involvement or manipulation to cowardice) and what happens with the right choices (taking the high road, facing a challenge, or NOT saying or doing something because it would hurt someone else). And in understanding those choices, I’ve put my own life crises in perspective, and been able to give myself other paths to follow, because I’ve read about someone else doing it.
  3. Get witty. Be a shiny, funnier you. And sexy too. Great dialogue inspires you to use your vocabulary and sense of the absurd. It can be a touchstone among other readers, or impress the heck out of the opposite sex. Play with language and ideas, and take the piss out of pomposity. You’ll like it.
  4. Stay young. One of the things we associate with “young” is an interest in new ideas, topical events and cultural changes. Well, you read the books, you know what’s going on. I’m thinking about non-fiction here, but the latest prize-winning novel keeps you actively engaged in what is going on around you, as does the zeitgeist of a new author. And don’t be afraid to read edgy, quirky, scatalogical and genre-defining. Maybe it’ll help avoid the Alzheimer’s too :)

I know people will ask for book lists, so I’m thinking I’ll do those in different posts, since choosing my favs is an intense process requiring scotch and research and intense discussions with Melle. Until then, read. Read.

Nova Scotia

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

I think I mentioned that I was taking my Dad to Nova Scotia, and we went and had a lovely time. No naps, if you can believe that, but then I wasn’t partying with the Harbour boys either.

Day One

Let me start off by saying that the Weather Network is a big fat liar. It said Oh, lovely. Will be 21 and sunny. More like 12 and overcast, dumbass. Good think I had a sweater handy, since we came from 32 and humid.



Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

I know I’ve been rather quiet lately and I will catch up when I have time to catch my breath, but until then, I bring you the most lick-worthy Mark Morford:

There are only two real options. One is to hold tight to the leaky life raft of inflexible ideology (hello, organized religion), to rules and laws and codes of conduct written by the fearful, for the fearful, to live in constant low-level dread of all the extraordinary changes and radical rethinkings of what it means to be human or animal or male or female or hetero or homo or any other swell little label you thought was solid and trustworthy but which is increasingly proven to be blurry and unpredictable and just a little dangerous.

There is another option. You can choose nimbleness, lightness, a sly and knowing grin to go with your wine and your vibrator and your never-ending thirst for more and deeper information. It’s possible.

Read the article

Cuz the average student is smrt

Monday, June 18th, 2007

It’s news around here that student trustees want to ban homework before exams, on the weekends, over holidays like March break…

And parents are jumping on the bandwagon, citing a need for more family time. Ooh, and then the kids would go out and play and not be obese, anymore!

Right. We’ll have kids whose vocabulary does extend past what they hear from Hollywood, and who can’t do subtraction by hand, and who don’t know the difference between a verb and an adverb, and who will use this “extra” time to hang out anywhere BUT with their parents, preferably on a couch with a bag of Doritos. Or should I say more kids.

Great idea. Fabulous. Can I go to my boss at work and use this same argument???

Happy Birthday, Ms Melle

Monday, June 11th, 2007

birthday geckoMay the head be clear, the heart be full and the stories be salacious.