Archive for June, 2008|Monthly archive page

Definitely a no good, very bad day for JL

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

I was working at home today and Jean Luc was sitting beside me on the couch when suddenly he started twitching and then he went into a full seizure. We’re talking tongue hanging out and all limbs spazzing and spit everywhere.

I think it lasted a minute and half or so, enough time somehow to leap over the couch, run to the kitchen and grab some honey, put it on the roof of his mouth, rummage through my bag for the vet number and run back to try to calm him before it subsided.

Called the vet and told them I was coming in, got dressed and rushed over.

His blood sugar was very low and he’s lost some weight. He was panting and still disoriented and an all-around mess. And he was so quiet. Usually, I get an earful from the second he’s in the carrier, through the whole visit and up until he’s back in the carrier to go home. When, of course, he becomes blissfully silent.

Here’s what he got at the vet’s:

- two blood sugar tests

- a vial of blood drawn FROM HIS JUGULAR

- all of his nails trimmed (cuz, he’s having a hell of day, so why not go for the full monty).

Good news is that if it’s a sugar problem, then that’s controllable. Bad news is that the blood tests may reveal there’s something else going on (thyroid maybe).

Either way, freaked me the hell out and left him quite rattled. Poor guy hid out in a closet for a couple of hours after I got him home.

Del and Phylis get married

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008


Apple. Tree.

Monday, June 16th, 2008

I missed posting on Father’s Day because my father and I were busy trying to get some breakfast and some additional chores done before he went home.

I get my early gene from him, so we were up and ready to go at about 6am on Sunday. We waited a whole hour before venturing to a diner for his Father’s Day breakfast (I know how to treat him right: that means bacon and some eggs). 7am is a good time for breakfast, except, apparently, if you are a diner in Waterloo, Canadia and it’s a Sunday morning.

Went to diner #1 and it didn’t open until 8am, so we drove across town to one of our favourites and it didn’t open until 8am either, but by then it was almost time so we waited. That got us both ranting about these lazy people in the retail and restaurant industries who can’t be bothered to offer their services when WE want them (and as Melle can attest, this is a fairly easy thing to do). 7am is a reasonable hour to do business.

It wasn’t until we realized that if everyone was on our schedule that would mean more traffic and more people that we’d have to interact with, and neither one of us likes the people all that much.

So we shut up and ate the rest of our home fries.


Friday, June 13th, 2008

I am living in a storey-and-a-half house in the hills up north and the whole town is doing a parade but I don’t want to participate so I go to sleep. I wake up to the sounds of digging and motors and go to the window where I see a whole group of leather-clad people with flowers in their hair destroying my lawn.

I go downstairs. Turns out it’s Gene Simmons, who is a member of an itinerant gang of motorcycling artists. They are “beautifying” my lawn in honour of a former gang member who lived there. I wander back into the house trying to figure out what to do, when I notice there are some drips from the ceiling.

Suddenly, the whole ceiling is like a big sponge letting go and there are drips and flaking plaster everywhere. Now I’m really ticked off because my father told me that I could go another year before I needed a new roof, so I call him up to yell at him. Only he doesn’t care that everything’s wet and tells me to go put some “superglue” up there until they have time to take care of it.

With my house and yard completely ruined, I wander up a path into the hills in behind it.

When I reach the top, the itinerant motorcycling artists are showing their paintings and all of them are of the flowers that used to be in my garden.

Maybe CTV didn’t *really* win

Thursday, June 12th, 2008


Thanks, Melle


Update: The video was a very funny poke at Canadia – Stephen wants to purchase the theme song and sully it with American things like the Stars & Strips & hotdogs & “puching beavers in the face”. However, youtube had to remove it because the folks at Viacom/Comedy Central are asshats.

I can paint flowers on them

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

One of the things I really wanted to do at the new house was upgrade the gardens. After I got the neighbour to pull everything out of the front garden with his 4×4, I put in my first “adult” garden that I spent real money on.

I was very excited because I even tried to account for things like Ph in the soil, and the amount of sunshine and colour-matching and everything. This is way beyond my previous garden attempts which consisted of finding or stealing pieces of plants from friends or garden sales and plopping them in the ground wherever I have some space and hoping for the best.

It includes a rhododendron. Only now the rhododendron is all droopy and curled up. I thought maybe it might have something to do with the fact that it’s rained almost every day for the past week. So I did some googling and it might have something called “crown rot”. The garden sites say if it does, I might as well rip it out and give up and I can’t plant another rhodo in the same spot.

This is why I should have given more serious consideration to Plan B: namely, fill in the space with pretty rocks.

Felicitations and hardy well wishes

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

for a sweeeet birthday for Ms Melle.

It just ain’t right

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

CTV has purchased the rights to the HNIC theme song from under CBC. Apparently, a deciding factor was the acrimonious relationship between CBC and the copyright owner. For non-Canadians, the HNIC (Hockey Night in Canada) is like our second national anthem. You want to stop a bunch of Canadians in their tracks, or maybe uncover the Canadian infiltrators in your area, blast this puppy out a window. They have to stop and get a big smile on their face, and lookfor someone to pummel into a corner. It’s the law.

CBC owns hockey on Saturday nights here, and that song is the call to the couch, and the thing that brings tears to your eyes and a quickstep to the heartbeat during the playoffs. It’s absolutely linked to Ron and Don.

And now CTV wants to use it on broadcasts on TSN? That ain’t right. We all know their commentary sucks and the visuals are all wrong and the hockey games they show are on the wrong night!

As a friend (and many others) suggested, about the only new theme song we’ll tolerate better come from The Hip (just about anything in their discography, probably, but Courage seems appropriate) or Stompin’ Tom (and you know which song that is). Even then, I don’t know if hockey fans will recover.


Sunday, June 8th, 2008

It was hot and humid all day. A bit overcast, but when the sun came out, it scorched.

The storm finally broke about 15 minutes ago, and I went out to the porch and saw a bolt of lightning followed immediately by thunder that shook the house. Then I stepped out a bit to feel the rain and smell it. It’s all earth and green and cool and lovely.

Then I came back inside with the next kaboom.

I love summer storms.

Nom nom, Nimes

Friday, June 6th, 2008

France: Day Six in Nimes and Last Night in Montpellier

Another continental breakfast – fruit cocktail and tea. So, Carcassonne is the clear winner in that category. We caught “a” train to Nimes but not sure if it was actually the train we purchased a ticket for. In any case, we weren’t asked to leave, so it was all good.

There was a gaggle of junior cougars (just checked, I guess that’s a misnomer since they are solitary animals). Among the crassest individuals I’ve seen in a long time. Burnt out hair and body jewellery. Putting on make-up on the train and bitchin’ hard on someone. As we left the train, one of them spit on the stair. Classy, as I said.

Nimes streets proved to be about as much fun as Bezier (aka drunken Medieval city planners), but overall, it was clean and seemed quite nice.

Nimes ArenaThe Arena is the biggest outside of Italy that is still operational and it has a great history. At various times the arches have been filled in so it could be used as a fortress, and/or a castle. Now it’s got little tents in it for some kind of market, and apparently they still hold concerts there. Oh, and the feria (bullfights) are held there too.

We were following little signs for the self-guided tour and came upon a “gladiator demonstration” for a group oNomf school children. All of them were taking pictures of two 20-something guys who were going at it in full “300″ gear. The little boys were cheering for bloodshed and the little girls were blushing. Melle and I were casting lascivious glances at the actors. We just kept muttering Nom nom and taking a few pictures of our own.

From there, we managed to find the temple. This Roman temple is very well preserved but it was a pity that it was under construction, since we could really only see the front of it. Nimes TempleWe did go in, where they have a movie theatre showing a pretty cheesy 3D movie of the history of Nimes. They’ve uncovered some interesting old roman planning in the area around the foundation, so it would be good to see in a few years.

We went around a few streets using the “I think we go this way” method and got close to the park–Parc Le Jardin. Turned out to be a pretty amazing 18th Century kind of thing, and in the middle was Diana’s temple, which is a ruined Roman temple. Some monks used it for a while in later years before it fell apart.

I read also about a big “Tower” that was somewhere up on the hill behind the park, so we started what turned out to be a billion steps and paths upward until we found it. The tower is also in a bit of disrepair but they’ve bolstered it with a circular cement stair up the middle. I got about halfway up before my head pretty near exploded, so trooper Melle got to go to the top and take pictures.

Apparently the tower was almost collapsed in the 18th or 19th Century when some guy read one of Nostradamus’ prophecies and thought there was treasure buried under the tower. I guess he took out some of the foundation trying to find it :)

Mosaic floorSince we had a ticket for a specific time home, we were judging on when to head back to the station and thought we had enough time to hit the cathedral before going to the station. On the way, we grabbed a baguette with ham and cheese from a street kiosk, where I’m pretty sure I saw a drug transaction go down between the vendor and a local teen. Anyway, as I mentioned, Medieval streets and all that. After some twists and turns and swearing we were going West when we were going South, we found the cathedral. This one had some amazing floor mosaics and was compact but nice.

Then to find the train station. Well, we looked at the map and went down, and then realized we had really gone up. Found an old man walking his dog beside a church and he was quick to tell us that he didn’t have his glasses. He got us a little ways on the right track but it turned out we needed to go left and not right at some boulevard. Result being that we were speed-walking the last couple of blocks to get to the station on time. Hot and sweaty by the time the train pulled in as this was probably the warmest day of the trip yet – a gorgeous 27 or so and sunny.

Back to Montpellier, a quick break at the hotel and then back to Place De La Comedie where there was a health fair going on. We had a cafe and people-watched for a bit and then tried the Polygon (the brand new shopping center). If the fashions are coming this way, look for lots of peasant blouses in a store near you soon.

Moroccan BandThen we sat down at an ice cream place. Melle had some crazy chocolate thing and I had a milkshake that cost about 7 Euros (like, 11 dollars) – the ribbons on the straw were free. While we were sitting there, we could hear some kind of oompah band with snake charmers off in the distance. Turned out to be this really cool “Moroccan” band that had brass and drums and one authentic looking Moroccan. They were rockin’ it and the crowd really enjoyed themselves. They were even decked out in fezes and curly elf shoes. A great “last” impression of Montpellier, although there’d be one more…

Later at dinner we saw some commotion on the square and then, all of a sudden, about 100 people stopped. It was totally a “freeze” as the Europeans call it – what we’d call a flash mob. Melle and I were about the only people there who knew what they were doing, so it was quite neat to see what the reaction was from other people walking by.

Then we had our last meal, last bottle of wine, and a very nice-on-the-eyes waiter. We watched the peoples walking by and took our time with the coffee.

I set the BB for 4:50am. I wake up, look at the tv which is 15 slow, and figure out that the BB hasn’t gone off and that the taxi will be there to pick us up in 20 minutes. SHIT. Get Melle up. Get dressed. We still made it to the lobby before the taxi did (cuz we’re smart people who take a shower and pack the night before). The trip home was basically a couple of flights, hours of waiting at Paris CDG, and a lovely car trip with Andrew at the end.

Jean Luc was glad to see me, and I was glad to be home.