Friday, March 31, 2006

So much more to look forward to

This week has been so BEAUTIFUL and went by so fast - I am so glad that spring is really here, and I am going to LOVE summer doing this job. Plus all these interesting things keep happening to me.

I was speaking with my boss today about random doggie things, and I was like "Shit, Nora, the other day I saw a dude taking a dump on The Mountain." Not only was she not surprised, nor did she gape in horror, she calmly said "Was he homeless?" and when I explained how well-dressed he was, and that I didn't think so, she said "I love The Mountain."

Apparently, summer on The Mountain is extremely eventful - last spring Nora saw a middle-aged man hiking through the woods (and as I explained, these woods are pretty thin, especially in springtime) wearing nothing but a hat and some sneakers. Hiking through the woods. In the middle of the city. Lots of people running and biking and walking their dogs. Naked. And I get Crapper Man.

I need to start carrying my camera everywhere - I'm missing WAY too many photo ops.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

May I preface this post by saying - EEEEWWWW

Before I write this post, I have to say that Cass Winthrop is on Law and Order tonight (not as Cass Winthrop, but the actor who played Cass Winthrop) and he's playing the bad guy, and detective Fontana just gave him a swirly. It really made my day.

Another thing that made my day was what happened in the park today.

It was a lovely day today, about 15 Celsius with a nice breeze. I took my mini-group of dogs to the Mountain and we were off for a fine romp. The Mountain is Mount Royal park, and if you've never been to Montreal it's kind of like Central Park, only a huge mountain in the middle of the city. There are trails, and bike paths and people bike, run, walk doggies, and even cross-country ski in the winter. It's really beautiful, with winding groomed trails that are bigger than most streets in the city, plenty of trash cans and benches, and a gorgeous view of the city below.

We made our way up the first straightaway on the zigzag path, and met some lovely puppies on our way. We stopped to talk to someone who was concerned I was cold in my three-quarter length sleeve t-shirt. I told him I was fine, and that we walk at a brisk pace so I get quite warm. He continued ahead, but I kept my eye on him because I found him slightly creepy. As we wound around the first hairpin turn, he took off on one off the bike paths that go straight up the mountain. I watched until he was out of sight, then we mosied on. One of the doggies (whose name is Number Nine, isn't that kinda strange? And the dog I walk her with is named Samba. Samba and Number Nine. But they don't live together, and aren't related, they just take walks with us and live next door to each other. I wonder if Number Nine's family named her that hoping they would be friends. Hm.) took a poo, which I picked up diligently. When I looked up to find a garbage can, I spotted one not far away, but what I saw almost right behind it really threw me off.

Beside a tree, right off the trail I saw something horrific (like three feet off, and by "off the trail" I literally just mean off the trail - there are no bushes or anything, not even any grass at this time of year.) There was a dude squatting and taking a dump.

I wasn't sure he was actually taking a dump at first, because he was squatted really low, kinda like he was examining something at the foot of the tree. He looked normal enough, wearing a nice parka and a tuque. I was on my way to throw my doggie doo bag in the trash can when he stood up. To clench off his business. And to wipe himself. Like ten feet away from me. Gross.

Needless to say I veered away from the trash can pretty quickly, opting to hang on to my doodies until I came across another garbage. I didn't look back to see if he bagged his doodies, too.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A rant, but with a little perspective

I had a bad day today.

Even though the sun was shining and it was warm out, even though I did not get rear-ended, nor did I get any traffic/parking tickets, I just generally didn't feel like leaving the house today and so I spent most of the day thinking "When exactly is this day going to end? This is the longest day of my life." What would I have done if I had stayed home? I'm not sure if it's spring fever or what, but I am in the mood to: a) bake bread, b) wash all the walls and curtains, c) organize our spare room and pull out stuff to sell in a yard sale, d) finish knitting Charlie's sweater, e) do umpteen loads of laundry so I can hang them on the clothesline (there's nothing like clothes hung on the line - even if you do find beetles in your socks every once in a while), and an endless list of other little chores and tasks.

Regardless, I was at work. And I didn't feel like it. So traffic seemed ten times heavier than usual. And my half-hour walks seemed to take twice as long, even though I know thirty minutes is thirty minutes. It was so warm, my jeans felt hot and sticky. Pedestrians kept randomly wandering into the street because, hey, it's spring, so I guess that means everyone is walking now and cars suddenly don't exist. I got into a shouting match with a lady in one of those scooters from The Scooter Store, because she was annoying, and I'm sure she was only using that scooter because she was fat, not because she was handicapped in any way. The annoying dogs seemed even more annoying than usual, pulling and jerking me around until I thought I wouldn't be able to walk upright anymore. One dog had an embarrassing bout of diarrhea, which is the worst thing for a dog-walker because it's impossible to pick up, but people still look at you like you're disgusting. Hey, guess what? Dogs shit outdoors. They piss outdoors too. But we don't pick up their piss because it's a liquid and that's impossible. Sure, it's bad for grass (worse than poo), and it smells bad, and since you can't see it you probably just laid your picnic blanket down in a huge puddle of it and now your PB & J sandwiches have an extra little P in them. But you can't pick it up, and you can't see it, so people just forget about it. Well, when shit comes out like piss, guess what? YOU CAN'T PICK THAT UP EITHER. So, just because you can see it, it is still against the laws of physics to have it removed. Unless you have a hose to wash it away with, then fuck off and move along.

Anyway, so these among other things made my day interminable. But you know what? This day was still probably 200% better than my best days at IKEA, and Gap, and probably both of those best days put together. I didn't even break into tears. Not even once. So when my bad days are still this good, I guess I have a whole hell of a lot to be thankful for.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I won The Big Prize

Last Wednesday Sexy Boyfriend and I had Chinese food. Our fortune cookies were actually good this time, no stupid quotes or weird random adages, but real fortunes. Sexy Boyfriend's fortune said "Your hard work will soon pay off". Like two days later, he closed a big deal at work that he's been working on forever.

My fortune said "You will win the big prize." I of course set out on regimen of lotto tickets and scratch tickets and Rolllll up the RRRRim to Win, but alas, all I got was a forceful bump in the rear from an old man. A week has gone by, and I have not won $20 million dollars, or even $5 on Bingo scratch tickets, or even a free donut with my coffee.

Then, today, one week later, I came home from work with pee on my leg (later), and the phone rang. Apparently, I have won the Big Prize! I signed up online to win tickets to a snowboarding event this weekend, and lo and behold I won! Four tickets, value of $180! So, it's not $20 million, but it's a prize, and it's pretty big, and it's something I wouldn't spend money on myself. I'm pretty excited!

In other news, I took my Great Dane to the park today, and because she is shy around other dogs, I generally have to follow her around everywhere to reassure her that her interactions are indeed mandated in the Rules of the Dog Park, and that it is completely normal for all the doggies to be sniffing her ass (if they can reach). While petting her on the head and urging her to participate in a group game of "KILL - BITE - BARK - KILL", a lovely male Rottweiler snuck up behind me and peed all over my leg. I laughed it off, and his owner reprimanded him and apologized, but really at that point I didn't care. I spend all day with dogs. I don't freak out when I discover a hole in the baggie. I have no problem wiping their drool with my bare hand and then wiping it on my pants. Dog stuff is okay by me (kid stuff is a WHOLE nother story). Then we got into the car and realized that I had not been peed on by just any normal dog. I had been peed on by Dog Whose Urine Comes From Skunk-like Glands. God it smelled bad. And I had three more appointments after that one, so I was paranoid that one of those dogs would be upset that I had been marked by some other dog and then would try and mark me themselves. Then, I had to go to the grocery store on the way home - so I hope the smell had dissipated by then. Who knows, right, cause when you stink you usually can't tell, only the people around you notice.

So, here's a photo of my baby darling who was worth being peed on:

Sunday, March 19, 2006

So now I only have one pain in my neck

So, it's been three days since the accident, and I am feeling 90% better. I still have a bit of a sore lower back, but my neck feels better (on Friday when I woke up I felt like I had been lifting barbells with my head my neck muscles were so tight). I think I was a bit concussed, because I've had a raging headache for three days straight which pretty much only goes away when I'm sleeping or drugged. Like I've said, I'm pretty sure my brain got a good thwacking, so I expect it to take a little while to pop back into shape. It's all good, though, and I'll be back to work tomorrow.

Yesterday I took my Gabby dog to the dog park to give myself a bit of a test-run with doggies. She's a terrible test-runner, though, cause she's so gentle, but we played a bit of fetch and tug, and I felt fine. She is so funny around strange dogs - she whines at them as if she's asking permission to play, and they're like "dude, what the hell is wrong with you?" She was trying to chase a little Jack Russell around the park, but she was very tired, so she would chase for a bit, and then stop, and wait for the dog to circle back around towards her. Ya, for sure she's my dog.

After the dog park, we went for dinner because my Papa is in town. He and his wife are staying with his wife's family, and they invited us over for dinner at five o'clock. I fell asleep on the sofa after the dog park, and Sexy Boyfriend was at the office. I woke up and it was five to five, and he still wasn't home. So, of course, we ended up being 45 minutes late. I hate being late. I made sure he made it clear when we got there that it was his fault we were not on time. No one really seemed to care, but it really bothers me that he's always late for things, and then makes me late as well. Grrr.

Today, I'm just going to take it easy and try to take some drugs on my last day of rest before going back to work.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Another argument for Senior Citizen driving tests

So, my morning was the worst morning I've had in a while. I made my lunch (frozen dinner, heated, in a thermos) and started the car. Drove down the road and got a coffee, a Coke for later, and some throat drops, and went on my way to work. It was just after ten. I decided to take a different road to work, to see if it was any faster than my regular route. It started out well, and I was about halfway to my destination when I had to stop at a red light behind a Toyota Echo. I was shuffling through songs on my iPod trying to find something suitable. We were on a four lane street, but during non-peak times, the curb-side lane is for parking, and was full to my right. Just as I found an appropriate song, BANG.

I was slammed from behind, and my car was pushed forward so that I hit the Echo, although not very hard (so softly, in fact, that I didn't even remember the impact until me and Sexy Boyfriend were inspecting the car later.) After the initial bang, I then heard a scraping and more banging to my right as the car that hit me proceeded to sideswipe three parked cars (including a meter-reader who was in his car writing out a ticket), and then rear-end the Echo in front of me.

I was shocked for a second, and when I saw that the meter-reader was calling for police, I immediately called Sexy Boyfriend, since I have never had an accident and it's been 11 years since my Young Drivers instructor explained what to do when if I was ever in one. He told me he would be right there, so I hung up and got out of the car.

The driver of the offending vehicle was already out of the car, and I was INFURIATED. Not only were his glasses thicker than my thumb, but he was at least 87 years old. I'm not even joking. I thought he was broken when he got out of the car, but that's just the way he walks. He was bragging to the cop that he had been driving for 66 years (I'm not even exaggerating, it was really 66 years) and had never had an accident. I would argue that he never had an accident that he was aware of. Then he tells the cop that he couldn't stop - that he pressed the brake down as far as he could, but the car just kept speeding up. Yeah, so that wasn't the brake, then, I guess.

Anyway, I'm pretty much fine. I have a terrible headache and my lower back hurts, but so far my neck is okay and all that stuff. I feel like I may have a concussion cause I'm pretty sure I felt my brain smash into my fore-skull, but so far no puking or black-outs. Unless you count the drug-induced stupor I put myself into when I got home to get rid of my back pain.

Who needs a winter hobby anyway?

I really hold our annual vacation south sacred. Almost the second we get back, I start surfing the internet to compare the reviews that other resorts are getting, and researching which beaches have the best sand. I start hunting for swimsuits in September (although I'm still not motivated enough to start dieting in September so I have a little less muffin top hangin' out of my two piece.) I look forward to it all year, especially when the snow starts falling.

On my never-ending quest to get Sexy Boyfriend to buy me some snowboarding gear, I finally got him to go take a look at the snowboard I want. He hummed and hawed while he inspected it, and every other board there, plus all the bindings and boots. Then said "Okay, let's go." We shopped for a bit more, and when we got back to the car he said, "I'd be willing to buy you the snowboard if you're willing to give up Cuba next year and take a ski vacation instead."


The whole point of our winter vacation is to GET OUT OF THE SNOW AND COLD, not run towards it like idiots! The point of the snowboard is to make the weekends pass faster in between summer and our vacation, and then our vacation and summer. There should be no mixing of snowboard and vacation. No mixing at all.

So, I guess I'm not getting a snowboard, which I'm pretty bummed about. We can still go snowboarding, but rental equipment (well, rental boots) pretty much freaks the hell out of mel, so we'll see how that goes. Plus, each time I've rented nothing ever really fit quite right and I ended up feeling uncomfortable the whole time. We'll see what ends up happening.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Not your father's polygamy

Wow, so I've been pretty busy. But I'm back!

My sister was visiting for the past week, so I was busy entertaining her, plus working. I think she had a pretty good time - we hung out, visited a museum, shopped, etc. And I think she got plenty of rest time while I was at work. I sure had lots of fun, but was pretty exhausted by the end of it. Which made me really happy that last night was an AMAZING TV night!

As I've mentioned before, I am a TV addict, and I have a satellite which enables me to feed my addiction about three times more than normal TV addicts. My night last night included the Sunday regulars: Law and Order Criminal Intent, Grey's Anatomy, and The West Wing (finally a new episode, finally Josh and Donna are getting together!), and then later on Cold Case, which I was half sleeping through, but whatever. But also, after almost two years of waiting, The Sopranos came back last night!

Sexy Boyfriend and I are Sopranos crazy, so the anticipation has been killing us, and the show did not disappoint. We got a quick view of what most of the main characters have been up to (Janice had a baby?! What's with AJ's hair?) There were two great storylines introduced, one about a mob guy trying to retire, and another about Carmella's business relationship with her dad. It ended with Tony being shot by crazy Uncle Junior, which is insane! I feel like it's impossible that he's going to die from it, but I can't wait to see what happens next!

We also watched the new show, Big Love, about the polygamist in Utah. For a first episode, where you're learning about the characters and a lot of stuff is being revealed in not-so-subtle ways, I was really drawn into this show. The three families live like modern families, but their parents still live on a commune in the "traditional" polygamist way. I felt sympathy for all of the characters, it was funny, and the premise makes it fresh. I really recommend it, no matter how you feel about polygamy.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Mish mash

I'm still trying to get into the whole snowboarding thing. The problem so far has been the weather, in that it does not cooperate and give us nice weather on weekends when a) we're both free for a whole day or b) we have no family visiting. It would be great to go one evening after work, but I REALLY need to take a lesson, and there's not enough time in an evening to get a lesson in and any amount of practice time.

However, of course, I have found the perfect gear so that I would look damn cute while falling on my ass. You can see the board I want here. I'm trying to convince Sexy Boyfriend to buy it for me, but I'm not sure that it's working. Good thing I'm not the type who gives up easily.

My sister arrived for a little visit on Friday night, so I've been pretty busy. Saturday we grocery shopped, and then prepared some dishes for Oscar night. Sunday was some shopping (okay, like three hours of shopping....) and then our Oscar night extravaganza with tons of great food and drinks and heckling the TV for five hours. Yesterday we took it easy - I had to work, and by the time I got home we just chilled and watched TV. Today she came to work with me. I'm exhausted, and it's only Tuesday. I need to go to bed early, and I think my sister can't wait to have a day to sleep.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Which is better - this one or this one ?

I have an appointment with the optometrist tomorrow. I'm pretty excited, mostly because my last pair of contacts ripped in half about a month ago which is making this freezing cold weather very difficult for my dog-walking ass. (My glasses keep fogging up all the time, so I can't cover my face too much - I think I'm getting frostbite on my cheeks.)

My first eye doctor creeped the hell out of me. Like wet willy creepy. He was older (in his fifties) and kinda balding. I was like 7 when I first starting going. He smelled funny, and I hated it when he looked in my eye with that little light-scope thingy - he had to get so close to my face I could feel his breath on my cheeks - creepy.

When I was 15, my eye doctor retired (so sad), and I got a new eye doctor who was pretty much right out of university, semi-hip in that doctor kinda way, and I thought he was pretty cute. He was the first doctor to give me contacts, and I didn't find his close-up exams so creepy. (A similar phenomenon occurred when my fat old dentist retired and was replaced by a younger one - twice a year cleanings just weren't enough anymore).

Anyway, I really got along with this new eye doctor, and was happy with his services until I moved away. So, imagine my shock when my sister told me two years ago that she hated Dr. Smith (not his real name). How could anyone hate the doctor who could give an exam in such a non-creepy way?

"He's trying to keep me from getting glasses."
Maybe you don't need glasses.
"I do need glasses, I can't see the friggin' board."
I'm sure if you needed glasses he would give them to you - he doesn't make very much money if you don't need glasses.
"Well, I need glasses, and he won't give them to me."
If anything, he would give you glasses if you didn't need them and tell you that you did, not the other way around.
"Well, he won't give me them. He has it out for me."

My mother's insurance only covers eye exams every two years, so for two years we had to hear about how Dr. Smith had it out for her, and that it was a huge conspiracy, the fact that he wouldn't give her glass. How she was suffering from headaches because she needed glasses and he wouldn't give them to her. That she wouldn't get in to university because eventually this would lead to crappy grades, and then it would all go to hell because of Dr. Smith.

When the time came for another exam, my mother made an appointment with a different eye doctor.

So, how did it go.
"She says mmmphmmmph mph."
"She says I don't need glasses."
Oh, really?
"She says maybe my eyes are just dry. She gave me some drops."