Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas round-up - the Grande Finale

We are finally home from our hectic Christmas week. I am totally exhausted, as usual, and am looking forward to relaxing all weekend with Sexy Boyfriend. And doing laundry. Lots of laundry.

We spent the last few days trying to get all of our visiting in. I spent the morning of the 27th shopping with my sisters, which was fun and we all bought stuff, mostly clothing. Then I went out for dinner with SB and his friends. Yesterday was Grandparents Day. We hit my Papa's house for a visit and lunch, then my step-grandparents' house to see their tree, then dinner at SB's grandparents' house with the rest of his family.

This morning I got up at 6:30 to get packed and ready to go. I got all my stuff together and then me and my sisters cuddled into bed to watch TV until Sexy Boyfriend came to get me. When he got there he took most of my stuff out to the car, but I decided to help him. I picked up a large paper shopper bag full of gifts in one hand, and three bottles of wine in the other hand. I stepped onto the front step, took the first stair, and my feet barely hit before they slipped out from under me because of the 4 inch sheet of ice coating the step. My legs flung straight out and I bounced off the middle step (via my shoulder blades) and landed on the cement, ice-coated walkway on my ass. It knocked the air right out of my lungs, and I couldn't catch my breath. Sexy Boyfriend was too scared to touch me as I rolled to my knees and kept heaving and weezing, so he started swearing and kicking the ice off the step.

After almost passing out twice, I got inside and laid on the sofa. My sister told me to take some Advil, but then we called my mom at work and she told me to search in the bathroom for her prescription of Tylenol 3 with codeine. Actually, she told my sister to go look, but she didn't, so I went and found it, and had to sit with my head between my legs on the toilet to avoid passing out.

Needless to say, the ten hour drive was excruciating, when I wasn't zonked out on codeine. I felt really bad cause Sexy Boyfriend had already driven the entire trip home, and then today he had no choice but to drive the whole trip back. Plus I was sleeping over half of the time, so it was pretty boring for him.

I'm sure tomorrow I will barely be able to move. So far there is no bruising, but I can't see avoiding that considering how hard I hit, twice. The good news is, I didn't break even one of the three bottles of wine.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas round-up (up to now, anyway)

The drive was not so bad. The added space of the SUV really made a difference - the dogs were able to spread out, and we made a nice little bed area for Simon on top of the suitcases in the back. He did not stay on that bed for the whole trip - he kept sneaking up to the front to lounge in my lap. But even that was not so cramped as it usually is in our tiny Jetta.

We have been thinking of buying an SUV, specifically a Ford Escape, and as luck would have it, that's the rental that we got. It's pretty awesome. Sexy Boyfriend has been testing the 4WD on it by randomly driving over snowbanks in front of our homes. So far it hasn't gotten stuck once, which speaks well to how it will perform on uncleared Montreal streets when you end up parked in a snowbank.

Christmas has been fantastic - lots of yummy turkey and a lobster-roll lunch at Sexy Boyfriend's house. We opened our gifts last night, and everyone was really happy, my little sister especially. She had asked my mom for an iPod mini, and in October my mom called me asking my advice. I told her that if that's what she really wanted, she should buy it right away because they were being replaced by the Nano. In November, when my sister reiterated that she was pining for a mini, my mom told her that they were sold out everywhere and she couldn't get her hands on one. My sister then did some research online to find out that my mom was telling the truth. So, when my sister opened her last gift to find a pretty blue iPod mini, she freaked. She actually broke down crying, which made the rest of us cry. It was so cute.

Other than that, things were normal and uneventful. Presents, food, laughing, drinking, it was super fun. Oh, and our Christmas tree randomly fell over while we were snacking on spinach dip. We were sitting around our kitchen/dining table, and the tree is in the living room which is open to the dining area. I forget what we were talking about, but I was looking directly at my sister, when I could see the tree leaning and falling directly behind her head. Not only did a few ornaments get smashed (surprisingly few, actually), but my mom had just watered the tree that afternoon and the water poured onto all the gifts. Luckily no one had any books or anything paper that got washed away. My sister got an ugly scarf, though, and we're going to tell everyone it got ruined in the flood.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Doesn't it just make you feel all warm and fuzzy?

It's that special time of year when we pile Sexy Boyfriend, myself, gifts for our two families, suitcases, two dogs, a cat, plus all their gear into our Jetta and drive for ten hours to spend about five days of eating, drinking, shopping, laughing, but mostly schlepping from house to house to house trying to make sure that no one gets their feelings hurt that we are not part of their holiday celebration.

It's generally a stressful undertaking, and usually leaves me feeling drained. I love seeing my family, and I love the holidays, but cramming all the holiday goodness that two families have to offer into a limited amount of time can be quite taxing.

At least this year we have rented an SUV for the drive, so we'll have a little more room and hopefully at least that part of the trip will be a bit more relaxing. I'll be sure to let you know. If I haven't taken a gun to my head because I can't take the endless meowing anymore.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Today is the first day of the rest of my life

After several months of blogging, and hoping against all odds that It will happen (seeing as how we had a falling out last month regarding "unauthorized clicks"), It has finally happened. What is It?

I am a Google search result.

I can now be Googled.

Google me right now if you want.

Well, finish reading this post, then Google me.

I found me on Google by typing: "ebb and flow" "sexy boyfriend" and I was the first result.

Try it.

Sexy Boyfriend found me on Google by typing: ebb and flow sexy blog, and I was the first result.

Try it.

I'm so excited. I feel like randomly putting in stuff and seeing how far I am down the list. I could probably spend a whole day doing that.

This almost makes up for my whole falling out with the Google AdSense people. Actually, a week after I sent them a strongly worded letter about how silly they are, they sent me an email back welcoming me to re-submit for AdSense, that maybe they were a bit harsh, maybe they over-reacted a bit, and that if I could attest that I did not, in good faith, contribute to any shady clicking activity, that they may re-open my account. I didn't reply, and I think that actually listing me in Google searches is AdSense's way of trying to make up with me. AdSense had a meeting, and it was like,
"Jules is really ticked at us, she didn't even answer our email. We should do something really great for her for Christmas."
"That's a great idea. We could send her on a free trip."
"We could send her some gift cards so she can go shopping."
"We could send her the money she actually earned during her time on AdSense."
"Hey, I know, how about we just crawl her site so she can be Googled?"

It's almost the best Christmas gift ever.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas comes a little early.

Yesterday was the first big Snow Day of the year. I'm talking like three feet of snow. Drifts that are taller than me. We headed out at like quarter to eight in the morning, in a futile attempt to get me to work. Usually it takes me about 2 minutes to get on the highway. Yesterday we couldn't even get on the highway. There was like six inches of snow on the roads, even though traffic was pretty heavy. We actually got up the on ramp, but were unable to merge in because the traffic wasn't actually moving. So, we just drove right back down the off ramp and came home. I estimate that my time of arrival at work would have been about 2pm - my shift was 9-6. So, I stayed home with Sexy Boyfriend and we had a lazy Snow Day.

This morning, we woke up and looked outside. Most cars on the street were plowed into the snowbanks, which sucks and usually takes at least an hour to dig out. It's one of the things I hate the most about living in the city. However, this morning, something magical happened. Someone had dug our car out for us. The front and the side of the car were clear enough so that we could drive out, and they had written a message in the snow on our windows. The driver's side window said "Les Lutins" which means "The Elves" and the windshield had "Joyeux Noel", or "Merry Christmas". It was the nicest thing to wake up to ever! The only thing that could possibly made it better would have been if it was Monday morning and we were running late to work. But nonetheless, thanks Lutins, we are very grateful!

I have five more shifts left at work, and have lost a bit of my enthusiasm. I feel less tired and stressed when I go there, though, cause I really care less and less about what they think. I'm generally spending a lot of time helping customers and communicating with the associates, the two things I love best about the job, because I know I'll miss these aspects when I leave. And I'm also shopping a lot, cause I'm definitely going to miss the discount.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

My mom thinks she works for the CIA

The surprise is ruined.

I called to speak with my mother the other night, and got my sister first. We have been conspiring ever since I decided to take the other job to surprise my mother - we wouldn't tell her that I will actually be home for the Holidays. As soon as we said our hellos she said "Did you tell Mom you were coming home for Christmas?" I said no. "She asked me if you were coming home, since you are finished work on the 22nd and the only reason you were staying in Montreal was for work." How did she know I was finishing on the 22nd? I hadn't spoken with anyone from home after giving my two weeks' notice, so hadn't told anyone the precise date. "I didn't say anything, I don't know how she knows. Maybe she's just a super-suspicious person."

When I got my mom on the phone, I finally officially spilled the beans - partly because if she's already suspicious, chances are she'd figure it out by next week, and partly cause I knew that if she took the time and spent the money to send our presents here and then we hauled them all the way back she would be alternately ashamed of my inefficiency and ticked that we made her go to the trouble of sending them.

Me: "How did you know I was finished working on the 22nd?"

Her: "I read it on your blog."

She has NEVER mentioned reading my blog before. It's like she's some kind of blog spy, like she thinks my opinions on the blog differ from my real-life opinions and that she will find out something really juicy if she just bides her time and silently gathers reconnaissance. She must be disappointed that I write pretty much exactly how I speak, and that I don't really keep a lot of secrets.

Well, now she's learned. She's ruined her own Christmas surprise. And blown her cover.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The neverending dinner party

Saturday night we went to a dinner party at Sexy Boyfriend's boss's house. In attendence: Me and Sexy Boyfriend, SB's brother R (who also works with SB) and his girlfriend D, SB's boss and his wife, and their son.

I was working until 6, and we rushed home so I could do a quick change. They live about twenty minutes from our house in an area not serviced by the bus or metro, so we gave a lift to R and D. We arrived there around twenty after 7. The food started coming out around 8. It didn't stop until 2am. I had to work at 9 on Sunday.

The company was good - there were lots of laughs, and lots of stories. The wife doesn't speak a lot of English, she mostly speaks French so it was nice to practice French in a familiar setting instead of just at work, and I think she enjoyed practicing her English as well.

The food was okay. She tried really hard, and the dishes were pretty elaborate. However, they mostly ended up too salty, too sweet, too sour, etc. It was a five course meal, so props to her for making it all look so great, but...

By the main course, I couldn't stop yawning. It was around ten thirty, which is almost my bedtime. I calculated that with dessert and coffee, we could be out of there by twelve. I tried to avoid slumping into my potato and stayed away from wine and I smiled and nodded and kept my eye on the clock.

And then came the cheese course.

And then came a rousing game of Scattergories.

And then came dessert.

I thought it was never going to end, and I just wanted to fold my arms on the table and lay my head down. I could barely keep my eyes open, and was dreading Sunday morning. We finally left around two, and I got to bed around two thirty. A nice five hours of sleep. For me, who usually requires at least eight to function minimally. Ugh.

So, yesterday was excruciating, and I came home, flopped on the sofa, fell asleep watching the Survivor finale (!), was forced awake by Sexy Boyfriend because he knew I would kick myself if I missed it, and went to bed at my normal time of 11 pm.

From now on, no more dinner parties when I have to work the next day. Unless everyone else has to work too. Otherwise, restaurants only. At least they'll kick you out at a decent hour.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I have a confession to make.....

I am a closet knitter. I love knitting. I love the repetitiveness. I love the patterns. I love the little knubby I get on my middle finger from working the needles, kinda like when you use a pen too much. I love surfing the internet trying to find the perfect pattern for the perfect project and then throwing myself into said project non-stop for like a week.

I am just not so great at actually finishing projects.

In my knitting basket, I currently have:

1 - finished mitten, blue scratchy wool. This was a test mitten that didn't turn out.
2 - one ball blue scratchy wool. Leftover from the test mitten. Maybe one day I will be unlazy enough to unravel the test mitten and knit two good mittens.
3 - one finished red mitten for a toddler - looks great.
4 - one needle holding the ribbed cuff of a red mitten for a toddler - the unfinished mate of #3
5 - one needle holding a blue, cream and striped ribbed scarf, unfinished. This scarf is made up of wools from two mitten projects I actually did finish
6 -one ball of neon green wool and one ball electric blue wool - leftover from a scarf I made for my sister. I will probably never use these colors ever again.
7 - two giant balls of cotton yarn in a really weird shade of blue. I bought it like six years ago to make an aran throw. Never happened. I started, but got fed up and I'm not sure where the unfinished product went.
8 - about twenty random balls of yarn in all different colors from a sweater I started when I first learned to knit like seven years ago. Again, not sure what happened to the unfinished sweater.
9 - random needles (knitting needles, not drug paraphenalia)
10 - one nearly finished slipper, which I'm currently working on, with way not enough yarn left.
This means :
a) I will finish this slipper with another color of yarn, just to make sure it works out, then never knit an actual usable pair of slippers
b) I will finish the slipper with another color of yarn, then knit another slipper in random colors and wear them anyway cause who cares, I'm just in my house
c) I will get pissed off when I run out of the correct color of yarn and leave the unfinished slipper in the basket
d) I will finish the slipper to make sure it works out, then buy yarn that I like, and enough of it, and knit myself the BEST SLIPPERS EVER.

I really hope this has a happy ending, or Sexy Boyfriend may just throw the whole thing out and tell me he had to cause the dog peed on it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Another hour of my life freed up each week

Well, my two weeks notice has been issued, and everything came out okay. My boss was really understanding and made me feel a lot better about leaving when I am. Most of the sales associates seem genuinely sad that I'm leaving, which is nice. They're all really interested in hearing about where I'm going next and how the dog-walking job will work. A lot of them seem almost jealous that I'm leaving for such a fun job.

I'm very disappointed with the performance of the show "Alias". I have been a loyal Alias watcher since the show started. I couldn't get enough of the twists and backstabbing and double crossing and I followed closely and faithfully. But ever since the whole Bennifer fiasco started between Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, the show has sucked. I'm not sure there is a direct correlation, or if it is just a coincidence, but it's really terrible this season. It doesn't help that they cut out Michael Vartan's character, who has been my TV boyfriend since the show started. If your plotlines are going to be boring, at least provide me with some eye candy, please.

Anyway, so after changing nights several times (a sure sign a show is going down the toilet), it has been announced that they are cancelling the show. I'm kind of glad, because that means I don't have to feel guilty for not watching (when you have like five years invested in a show, it's hard to stop watching), but I'm also sad because it's ending on such a crappy note. I think that J.J. Abrams is putting all of his efforts into LOST, and unfortunately we Alias fans are left to suffer.

I think it's sad that I have such strong opinions about TV.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

For when you need to go tobogganning and get a great tan

Tomorrow I am giving my two week's notice. I got a better than expected offer from the dog walking company, and I am super excited about it. I will start with them the first week of January, and they are perfectly fine with me taking my trip to Cuba two weeks later. They rock.

But I'm stressed about giving my notice tomorrow. My last day will be December 22nd, three days before Christmas, technically the busiest period in retail. I feel bad about leaving them before Christmas, I feel guilty, and I feel stressed. Unfortunately, my family does not live close to me, and having the opportunity to spend Christmas with them is worth more to me than whatever resentment my fellow management team may feel towards me. But, I'm still stressed about telling them, and my stomach is in knots and I can't sleep. Remember how I mentioned before that my boss has a mean streak? Ya, I'm a little worried she's going to turn on me. My friend Syl says I care too much. Maybe I do, but being cognizant of that does not make the stomach cramps go away.

In better news, Sexy Boyfriend spoke with our travel company today and our trip is not in jeopardy. The resort we are visiting was removed from their website because they are sold out of spots. I am very excited. I really want to buy a new bathing suit. I will probably shop for the new suit whilst shopping for new long johns and winter boots for my new job. That's going to be a bit surreal.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Girl Talk gets deep - and not in a dirty way this time

On Friday night I had dinner with two of my very best friends, and one of their best friends, who by extension is someone that I like quite a lot. We went to a pub that we all like quite a bit and had some yummy burgers while we chatted and gossiped and had a few laughs. The dynamics were really fun because two of us are in long-term relationships while two are single gals.

We had a conversation about those moments. The ones that you will always look back on and wonder "What if I had done something differently? What would have happened?" One story was about a night out where the person wound up in her car with a boy that she really liked a lot, and they talked and talked and she really was feeling a connection. Then, in the wee hours of the morning, as the conversation began to dwindle a bit, she leaned back in her car seat and said "Wow, I could just fall asleep right now". She said it killed the mood, that he suddenly sat straight up and left soon after. Things were never the same from that point on. When they saw each other, which was on quite a regular basis, he was distant and awkward. She's been regretting the moment ever since, because he may have been "The One".

My moment came before I was dating Sexy Boyfriend, but while I was dating my last boyfriend. I had had a crush on another boy for quite some time, but he had always had a girlfriend, and I had always been happy in my relationship and it just didn't seem worth it. But The Moment happened right before I broke up with the boy I was seeing. I had come home for Christmas in my first year of university, and snuck into a bar with some friends. At the end of the night, as we made our way to the coat check, I ran into The Boy. He told me he was leaving in a few days for Australia for an indefinite amount of time. We kissed, the first time ever, and I left, and didn't look back. A few months later is when I started dating Sexy Boyfriend and the rest is history. The questions I have about my Moment are not "Was he The One?" because I have Sexy Boyfriend, and there is no doubt in my mind that he is my One, but I wonder what if we had gotten together? Stayed in touch while he was away, and he came back and we started dating? I would never have gotten together with Sexy Boyfriend, I would have missed out on my One. Or, even if the Moment had never happened at all, maybe I wouldn't have realized I needed to break it off with the guy I was seeing at the time, and then I wouldn't have started seeing Sexy Boyfriend.

I am thankful for my Moment, and for all the moments like them. It makes me realize that things happen for a reason. Or at the very least that good things can shake out from things that seem to have passed us by.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A significantly smaller Christmas list

Today we did our Christmas shopping, which actually turned out pretty great. Usually we spend the whole time fighting or arguing or just not wanting to make decisions, which we both hate, but neither of us ever wants to decide. But for some reason this year it's all fallen into place, and in one short afternoon we had finished most of our shopping and made a list of the little odds and ends we still need to pick up. It was actually relaxing. So weird.

From the look of the parking lot when we arrived at the mall I thought we were in for it. I don't do well when the mall is crowded - I like to have space when I shop, especially when I'm buying lots of stuff and carrying lots of bags. I need to be able to move freely, and get to the items I want to examine, and my absolute pet peeve is when you are walking through the hallways of the mall and people randomly stop short in front of you and you basically rear-end them. Or people who are stopped in a big group and clogging up the hallways while you are trying to get from point A to point B. So annoying. But today was not like that. I didn't have one moment of annoyance or "Fuck, get the hell out of my way already". Everything was eerily smooth sailing.

I also have some pretty big news for everybody, but have a few decisions to make before I announce anything. No I'm not pregnant, and no we haven't set a date, and no we haven't bought a house. But it's still pretty big news, and I'm really excited about it.

I'm getting really excited about our vacation in January, however I'm having a bit of anxiety as well. We booked our trip through the same company we used last year because we had such a great experience. This year, we decided to go to the same place, Varadero Cuba, but to a different resort. We booked the trip quite a while ago and paid the deposit, however now, when I go to their website, the resort we chose is no longer there. So now, Sexy Boyfriend has to call (cause the booking is in his name and stuff) and make sure that when we land in Varadero we will actually be going to our 4 1/2 star resort and not to some crappy replacement place for the same price.