Tuesday, November 18, 2008

For those of you who haven't seen me in a while....

prepare yourself.


Since May, I have lost 30 pounds.


Actually, I'm officially at like 33, but that's not important to you. What is important is that I will be different the next time you see me from the last time you saw me unless the last time you saw me was 1997.


I haven't been blogging about it because I am famous for writing about stuff I'm going to do, and then I don't do it, then I feel sick even thinking about it (revisit: writing as a career....)


But, this is one thing that I have kicked ass at, and I'm proud of, and yay. My body actually feels better, and I do have more energy for activity than I used to, but the point of this post is not all the wonderful things that have come with weight loss for me.


The point is, my body is different then last time I was this weight. I'm not sure where I am losing the weight, and where I am holding the weight, but right now I am ten pounds heavier than I was in high school (the last ten pounds I aim to lose, by the way) but my body is different. My chest has shrunk. And my legs are smaller. I feel I know this for a fact because I am fitting into a smaller size pants, and bra, than what I wore in high school.

But I am ten pounds heavier than I was then.

Where is the weight hanging out?

I can probably chalk the whole thing up to vanity sizing, I guess, and that would probably be the answer that would drive me the least batty.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Disconnected

I started crying five minutes ago because I was watching eTalk daily (stay with me) and they were talking about this week's Giller awards.

I didn't even know the Gillers were this week.

Who am I? What has happened to my interest, passion, and ambition for literature and writing? I have been reading All the Pretty Horses for two months now and McCarthy is a god to me. I bought 7 summer novels and four of them haven't left the shelf.

More importantly I haven't written a thing in longer than I would like to admit.

My biggest fear is that I will never do this. But I am getting closer to the point where I will be ready to admit it to myself that it's not going to happen. And if I was enjoying what I was doing instead, I may feel differently about it.

But for now, it is embarassing and it is heartbreaking.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

You know the saying about finding a penny and picking it up?

I don't think the same thing applies to $20 bills.

Last week I was having a great week. Monday was great. Things were going smoothly. I felt semi-relaxed. Also, Tuesday morning gas went down to 98 cents a liter, and then while on a walk Tuesday I found a $20 bill on the sidewalk. I felt like I had won the lottery! 98 cent gas AND $20???? Ridiculous! What great luck!

Then things started going downhill.

One of our employees informed me she would be cutting her hours back to max two days a week. This after we JUST (literally, two days before) hired a new girl to replace another employee whose last day was Friday.

Then, we had a client who decided, 45 days after service had been provided, to make a service complaint so we would adjust her bill. This complaint, 45 days after service had been provided, coincidentally came three days after the first interest charge had been applied to her account for non-payment. Hmmmmm.

Then we finally sent out our new contracts, which is going well, actually - everyone is very understanding and easy-going. However, I totally didn't think about the impact on my day that receiving responses to about 300 emails would have on my day-to-day. And also trying to keep track of who has responded "I agree".

Friday, our new employee's last day of training, she called in sick. I was terrified she was fixing to quit on us, but no, she started all by herself yesterday and that has been going well.

Today, one of our employees got hit by a car on her bike (the bad luck - it's spreading!), which is how she gets around. She is not hurt, thank heavens! But, her bike needs serious repair. We will lend her a bike, but I am soooooo worried she is going to feel crappy tomorrow and not be able to work. The schedule is so full, I have no idea how I will manage it if she can't work. Fingers crossed. She seemed fine, though, so hopefully I'm worrying for nothing.

And when I got home today, I found that my cat had thrown up on my *pristine* white sheets. They are soaking in spot treatment right now.

Anywho, all of this to say, if you see a $20 on the sidewalk, think twice before you pick it up. I'm also too terrified to spend it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

And then the snow fell, and then I died.

Wow, either I have zero readership or you guys really stink at travel advice!

I have had yet another complaint from the peanut gallery (this time NOT Mummy - thanks Mummy! - but SB! that's right, I'm calling you out!) that not only do I not post enough, but that when I do all I do is complain.

I would beg to differ. These last posts have been full of joy! and exuberance! and excitement! at the upcoming nuptials (finally!). And the rest, well, that's my life, and when something is really fantastic, I'm not stewing about it with a seething need to get it off my chest, I'm enjoying it. And when something sucks and makes me want to hang myself from our balcony, well, then I see it as prudent to try and write about it to work out my feelings before actually knotting the rope. So, I think that you could take my lack of posting as an indicator that life is pretty swell.

This week is not swell. This week I am tempted to sell my condo and buy a shack in the woods and never leave except for milk and eggs and good wireless connection. And this week is long. And it snowed this week.

So, keep those (or at least one) honeymoon destination ideas coming, be thankful you aren't a small business owner, and dig out your mittens and hats.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not ready for winter

I am very sad that it is almost November. Because then the snow comes. And then I want to crawl into a hole and die.

It has come to my attention (thanks Mummy) that I haven't updated in a while, so here I am. Life seems very boring lately, so I don't have a whole lot to talk about. Work is still annoying as ever, but the contracts are finally going out this week, and then it's all about strategizing for holiday time.

Our wedding venue is booked, as is our photographer, and we are speaking with the DJ this week. Dress is ordered (I went to try it on again a few weeks ago just to see for undergarments, but it still felt 100% perfect). I think we can relax on the other details until the spring. Yay!

On October 5th SB and I ran in the CIBC Run for the Cure, which was awesome, and we have photos and a super funny video of me which I have to upload some day. Since the run, I have been trying to keep up my running fitness and hopefully improve my time so I run 5K 2-3 times per week, aiming for 5 days per week. I have a really hard time committing to anything 5 days a week, for some reason.

I guess that's all - I told you, boring!

Oh, hey, how about some audience participation? We need to plan a honeymoon, but since our wedding is in the middle of September, the Caribbean is out (pesky hurricanes). We're open to suggestions - to date we have a list of: Greece, Italy, Hawaii, Pacific coast of Mexico, Napa Valley. There is also the possibility of a "long weekend" type thing away in the fall, then a hot spot vacation in the winter if all else fails. Where would you go on your honeymoon if you could go anywhere?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Things that just keep dragging on

1. Venue booking - we are still negotiating because SB is so thorough. Thorough is not efficient. Thorough takes a very very long time and gives me panic attacks that he has pissed someone off. In the long run, thorough will most likely be the smartest way to go about things, but it is the most damaging to my mental health.

2. Photographer booking - see above, except they are keen and prompt to respond, so we are stopping by to sign everything and make our deposit tomorrow.

3. Changing a contract for my work clients. We have significantly changed one clause out of two contracts, and changed the format and some of the wording on both. However it has taken us approximately 100 years to do this. Or two weeks. I think I am so impatient because I did the initial write up in English, and have been waiting for SB to translate it to French, and tweak it. I am so glad I didn't have to try to translate, and even more thankful we didn't have to pay someone else to do it, but holy mack I want to send this thing out and forget about it.

4. 90 minute hot yoga classes. When you have had two coffees, a diet Pepsi and about 3 Tbsp of water all day. Holy eff I was dehydrated! I'm such a moron. But, at least I went, something is better than nothing :)

5. My Bell cell phone contract. We have been counting the days until May 24 2009 since June 3 2006, because that is when our contract is done and we will be done with these morons. But, wouldn't you know it my Blackberry from 1957 is slowly deteriorating (it now hangs up on people randomly! Awesome! So professional!), so we may be cancelling early anyway and switching so I can get a new phone. It turns out it isn't as expensive to cancel as I had imagined, PLUS the rate plans at the other company will save us about $100 a month. Sweet.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Still nothing yet....

We did meet with two venues. We loved the first one. We tried to book it, but turns out the coordinator we spoke with is out of the office at the moment. WHEN IS SHE COMING BACK?????

I'm going nuts over here! They have blocked off a date for us, but we are ready to finalize/confirm/reserve/pay up suckah. Now. Yesterday. Actually, a week ago tomorrow, but who's counting the days, really?

It is highly aggravating because we have to complete this booking before booking the photographers (who, by the way, are available, yay!) and the DJ and all the other crap.

In more important news, I bought my dress last week. My wedding dress. It has been purchased. It will arrive in six months. My dress. *sigh*

I will keep you posted regarding the date thing.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Looking like...

This thing is finally going to happen.

SB and I are getting ready to set a date. A wedding date. I know, hello from the land of the perpetually engaged, we're moving on out.

We had The Discussion a few weeks ago, and things have been moving along since then. We will visit some venues next week, and hopefully finalize The Date.

I'm already feeling some stress, which is probably ridiculous, but whatever. I really want to finalize the date because I have a very specific photography studio in mind, and if we don't get them, I will lose my mind, I think.

That being said, I don't want to rush into a venue that isn't just right.

Then there is The Dress. We have done one round of shopping, and I think I found The Dress. It is slightly over budget, so I'm hoping to find it cheaper somewhere, or to talk down the lady I originally spoke with. Or a cheaper dress that is better. Which is unlikely. Going out for Round 2 next week.

So that's what's going on here. Big stuff. Making autumn very busy and crazy, but I am so happy and excited that it's worth it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Posting to pimp myself

Hey all! I am running a 5K in a few weeks, but that isn't even the most exciting part! I am doing the Run for the Cure, which is to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research. I really want to raise more than SB, who is also running, so sponsor me! Just click here:

https://www.cibcrunforthecure.com/html/participant_search.asp

Then, search for me (if you are a lurker and would like my first and last name, comment me your email address and I will send it to you).

Thanks all!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm sorry

I know it has been a long time since I posted. Sorry about that.

A not so funny thing happened a few weeks ago. Friends from NB were visiting, and they spent a few nights with another friend, then one night at our place so we could wow them with our culinary prowess and also drink copious amounts of wine.

About half an hour before they were supposed to arrive, they called to let us know that when they went out to their car someone had smashed in the driver's side window and stolen a borrowed GPS unit they had in the car.

Luckily for them, we are the masters of bad things happening, so we were able to help them arrange to get the window fixed, lend them a car to get to a family event they needed to go to, and file a police report in case they wanted to claim it on their insurance. AND we were still able to pull off a fantastic dinner too. They were in awe of how unstressed we were, and I held back from listing all of the horrible horrible things that happen to us on a regular basis. The things that if they happened to normal people on a regular basis they would sell all their belongings and be happy to live in a cave somewhere, far far away from civilization and the evil that is humans.

Cut to a few weeks later, and someone does the same exact window smashing on our work van. Nothing was in it to steal, but it still took a whole day for me to arrange everything. Luckily I had had a test run just a few short weeks prior.

Then on Thursday we received a card from our friends - a thank you card, for all of our hospitality, and for helping them out in such a stressful situation. And a totally unexpected gift card for the Keg, probably our favorite place on earth.

I guess I wouldn't want to be away from all humans, just most of them.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Is anyone else obsessed with Watchmen?

No, not the nineties band. (Who I actually quite liked in the nineties, but then where did they go?)

The movie, Watchmen, based on the graphic novel.

We saw this preview when we went to see The Dark Knight, and I was absolutely stricken by it. I have never even heard of this graphic novel, which apparently came out in the 80s (take THAT nineties Watchmen), but this movie looks amazing. I have never picked up a graphic novel in my life and I am dying to read this one, but don't see it available at any of the usual suspects (chapters, indigo, etc) so may have to search in used bookstores.

It is the same director as the movie 300, so it is really stunning. No huge names in it (Billy Crudup is the biggest, I think, and some kid who was in Harry Potter). The trailer gives me chills every single time. It also helps that the music in the trailer is awesome - a Smashing Pumpkins song that was originally much faster, but has been slowed for a really eerie feel.

Watch the trailer here. I watch it almost daily.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Here's something that's extra fun...

We went to a lovely barbecue on Saturday at my friend Christina's house. We had a fabulous time, and left later than we had planned, which meant that I had to visit some kitties later than I had planned, but it was all good because we had a fabulous time.

We arrived home around 12:30 to find some drops of some weird substance on the floor. It kinda looked like.....pudding? Except kind of chunky and light brown/marroon colored. It was not poo, too thick and brown to be blood, didn't smell. A mystery substance. With drops all over the place. There was also some brownish spots on our ~white~ duvet. SB took Gabby out for her walk because she is old and he likes to walk her first quickly then take Charlie for a longer walk.

While he was gone I did some investigating, and lo and behold, Charlie's neck had exploded.

Let's back this up a bit.

A few years ago we took Charlie to the vet because he had always had this little lump on his neck, but within a space of a few weeks it had seemed to double in size. The vet poked it and said it seemed like some sort of benign something that was surrounded by infection (the infection which made it double in size) so we did a round of antibiotics and it shrank. She told us that if we noticed it grow again, to come back.

It's been a few years, and I guess it's been growing at such a slow pace that we didn't even notice his neck was full of pestulant disease until it EXPLODED ALL OVER OUR HOUSE.

The lump is probably the size of a golfball, and the hole that ended up in it is about the diameter of a pencil. I spent a couple of minutes squeezing out grossness until I almost vomitted, and then SB came in and I told him about the EXPLODING NECK and then he took over cleaning.

Of course it was Saturday night, and Sunday none of our regular vets are even open, so we had to take him to the emergency clinic. SB called and the wait time was about half an hour, so rather than wait for daytime Sunday, which is probably what a lot of people would do if their dog's neck exploded in the middle of the night, we decided to get it over with while the getting was relatively quick. Because Gabby is a whining old lady, I didn't want to leave her alone in the middle of the night to wake all of our neighbors just because she felt left out, so SB took Charlie alone.

Now we have a twice daily washing and medication regimen which seems okay but is still totally gross because the wound is healing. Charlie totally doesn't seem to care at all about the whole situation, except that his meds make his poo soft.

I had noticed the past week or so he had been really grumpy, and he bit me in the foot last week. I guess I would be grumpy too if my neck was fixing to explode.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Snapshots from my week

1. I am in love with HGTV and the Food Network. I have always loved watching them like on a Sunday or something, but lately I've even been watching in primetime. I can't get enough Flipping Out, Location Location, Relocation Relocation, Kitchen Nightmares, Restaurant Makeover etc. I wish there was a live feed of Jeff Lewis's life. I wish I could be best friends with Kirstie Allsop, that crazy Brit from the Location Location show. If I could marry one of the HGTV guys, it would be Igor from Restaurant Makeover - he can fix everything and cracks me up.

2. Thinking about going back to Bikram classes - they opened a new studio down the street, so it's much more convenient, plus I have been running and am in better shape to start out so can kinda jump in (hopefully) with less recovery time between classes. I love the way that Bikram changed my body the last time I was a "regular", but even more I loved the way it improved my mood, which is something I could use these days.

3. I think my neighbor is conducting kick boxing classes in the condo above us. I hear what sounds like banging and hopping around all day long. Dude, the floors between us are concrete - what are you doing that makes me able to hear you? and why are you doing it every day?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

the root of it

Another birthday has come and gone. Meh.

Actually, Saturday night was amazingly fun - dinner out with my ladies. I wish one of us had a birthday every week because we have such a great time when we get together. They spoiled me, as always, not only with their lovely and thoughtful gifts, but with their presence, love, and laughter.

Monday, my actual birthday, was underwhelming. SB and I had lunch together, which was great, then in the evening we did a rousing round of groceries. Probably my least favorite thing in the world, and there we were for two hours grocerizing. Ugh. We made up for it Tuesday night by visiting a French restaurant I've been dying to try for months and months. The food was fantastic, plus it's bring your own wine which is always a bonus.

And that's the story of my birthday. SB asked me yesterday when I was going to blog again, and I said I would when I had something nice to say. And those are all nice things. Fantastic things. But my heart is hurting.

I have one more year to thirty, which is possibly the most depressing sentence I've typed in my whole life. I never thought turning thirty would bother me, but now as it approaches, and I take stock of my life, this is not where I thought I'd be. I may not be the most ambitious person, but it doesn't mean I didn't have goals for myself, and as thirty approaches those goals seem ever so far away, and I feel completely jammed up in a life that is totally preventing me from even taking a step in the right direction. I know I have a lot of good things, and a lot of great things, but I'm not who I want to be, and sometimes nothing is worse than being disappointed in yourself and feeling like you can't change it.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Four pigeons pigeoning

Have you ever seen a baby pigeon? Until about a month ago SB and I hadn't. Now we can't get rid of them.

A lovely pigeon couple decided to roost above our storage area - the lattice on our neighbor's side had a hole in it so they had easy access. They built a nest, and before we could get rid of it they laid some eggs in there. Being not blackhearted assholes, we left the nest alone until the babies were hatched, but one day two weeks ago we saw them teaching the babies to fly and decided with our neighbor that it was time for them to go.

We cleaned out all the nestages, which included a lovely half-ripe egg which cracked and I don't even want to tell you how horrifying that was. Ugh. SB pulled out all the nest, and re-rigged the lattice so they couldn't get back in there. Bye bye pigeons.

But, no, not really. Because now they are confused because they are pigeons and therefore dumb. Now they just fly around our parking lot, landing on the telephone wire/our back steps/the balconies of the people across the way and coo coo coo at us all day. They aren't even afraid of a our cat, nor are they scared of the sander the guy has been using to refinish our decks (which is another annoying matter altogether, since it has been two weeks we can't use our deck grrr.)

Help me be rid of these pigeons. I have read that we need to twine some CDs together on dental floss and hang it like a mobile - they will be scared of the shininess and will go away. SB doesn't want me to hang CDs because he thinks it's ghetto. Umm, more ghetto than pigeon shit everywhere? No sir, I think not.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Diggin a hole

I have had a hard time writing here lately because I have not been happy. I could be happy. I probably should be happy. But I am not happy. And I hate always being the Debbie Downer.

Adding to the melancholy, this week has decided to be my late-breaking Friday the 13th of 2008.

Monday morning one of our employees returned to our car, which she uses for work and which was parked on the street, to find out that we had been victims of a hit and run and the whole front alignment was wrecked. They hit the tire (turned away from the curb, as YD instructs, to prevent it from rolling back should it come out of gear), which caused the wheels to do a pigeon-toed kind of thing. Not drivable. Now we are waiting for it to be fixed, but the appraiser still hasn't seen it yet because yesterday was a holiday here in our fair land.

This morning I awoke to find that my dog was paralyzed. Just half of her. The left half. But she could still feel pain, just had no strength or movement. So, every time I tried to help lift her, she would nip at me or yelp or both. I managed to rig a sling using a towel, but she didn't like that, and, being only one person, I couldn't both lead her forward AND support her with the sling. I also spoke with vet and the pain meds dosage she takes for her arthritis already is the max dosage she can have for the day, so there was no relief I could give her there. She couldn't get up from wherever she was, and every time I went to do laundry or to the bathroom she would panic that I had left her and would start yelping bloody murder. Oh, and did I mention that she is also deaf? Ya, so I couldn't even call out to reassure her.

Right now she is doing much better - she can get up without help and walk around, although we're discouraging that. The vet thinks it was either some rare spinal condition or a slipped disc. I have already decided that there are no more surgeries in Gabby's future, so neither are treatable with anything but rest and pain meds. So, SB and I have to carry her in the sling up and down the stairs to take her out to avoid further injury.

Add this to my already dismal mood, and I pretty much want to crawl into a hole right now. I am very glad that she is better, but know that there will probably be much more of this in our near future because she is not a pup anymore. Right now she is laying in the hall whining and yelping because SB has taken Charlie for a walk. She can't hear me whistling at her, so I best be getting up and letting her know she's not alone.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Did I ever tell you about that time....

When I'm pretty sure I saw Johnny Depp? I actually had to just google his name to make sure I spelled it correctly, so that can tell you how much of a superfan I am, but nonetheless...

When we were in Paris, we had a pretty fantastic day when we just wandered around the Marais area and the area around Les Halles and Pompidou. Near Les Halles, there is this actually pretty ghetto carousel (comparing it to the one near the Eiffel Tower), and while walking past there pretty much as fast as I could to avoid all the children, I'm pretty sure I saw Johnny Depp.

As most people know, JD lives in Paris with his wife and little girl, but I figured the chances of seeing anyone famous during our visit was slim to none (we missed Lindsey Lohan (sp?) by this much as she was in Paris while we were at Versailles). Anyway, I was trying to follow SB through this weird park area trying to find the Pied du Cochon, when I saw this really cute little girl and her maybe dad who looked kinda like Johnny Depp. In the split second that it took me to walk by them I thought a) I would be a total tool to ask for a photo since I'm not even sure it's him and I totally don't have time to stop and take a better look because I will lose SB and b) that guy looks exactly like Johnny Depp except his hair is kinda weird and he is wearing weird sunglasses.

I kinda forgot about it, until last week I was watching the MTV Movie awards and he was there, and he had EXACTLY the same hair as the guy I saw in the park, although it looked freshly died a darker color.

This would lead me to conclude: I practically made out with Johnny Depp in a park in Paris.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Just asking for a bloody nose

I watched the most bizarre show last night - I am still trying to wrap my brain around it.

The show was on TLC and was called The Running of the Brides. It was basically a show about the annual bridal gown sale at Filene's Basement. Filene's is a store similar to our Winner's, where brand name labels are sold at super-reduced prices. The gowns they were selling were designer gowns, for example one Amsale was regular priced $3000 and sold for $500.

Okay, so people want a bargain. Totally understandable, and so I see the original motivation.

The brides start strategizing way ahead of time, and they organize "teams" - one of the teams featured had between ten and fifteen people, but most brides went in with 5 or six close friends and family. In spite of the advanced planning, no one really has an original strategy, they all basically do this:

a)get there early to get a good spot in line
b) when they let you inside, bride grabs an area that will be the team's territory
c) team members grab as many dresses as possible and bring them back to the territory (all of the dresses had been removed from the racks within less than two minutes - literally - this time I am not exaggerating)
d) team members are then delegated as things like dressers, protectors, barterers. Some team members were wearing bike helmets, and everyone wore their hair pulled back just in case the elbowing and hair pulling got out of hand

The bride strips down to the least amount of clothes she feels comfortable in (most had on tanktops and biker shorts, but some were in bra and panties) and the dressers pop the dresses on them one after the other. They decide very quickly whether it's yes, maybe, or no. Yesses and maybes are kept aside, and noes are sent out with the barterers to trade with other teams. Protectors have to make sure no one is sneaking in and stealing any of the "yes" or "maybe" dresses, or worse any of the dresses that haven't been tried on yet. All of the women featured in the show had not only tried on about 50 dresses each in less than two hours, but had also chosen "the dress" in that time.

Am I nuts? Nothing about this is appealing to me, except maybe the discount part. Being half naked in public. Sorting through stacks and stacks of satin and tulle and giving each dress about one minute of consideration. Plus, one of the teams had flown in from Jacksonville, Florida (the sale was in Boston. That eliminates the entire "bargain" aspect of the entire exercise!

I want my dress-buying experience to be relaxed. I want a large, roomy dressing room and I want people to bring dresses to me. I want lots of choice, but I don't want to try on a hundred different things. I want the sales person to know what they are doing and be able to intuit what I am looking for after just a few tries. I want people I care about with me and I don't don't don't want to feel rushed.

Is that crazy?

Oh, and I want the dress I finally choose to be on sale. Please.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Daily Doldrum

We've been back for over a week now so I am back in the old boring routine. I do feel like I have a better attitude after our nice relaxing break, but I still can't help but be mopey about being back to work. Things there are slightly tenuous. All I can say is that I am so sick of dealing with everyone else's problems. Tired of it.

The good news is, I have tickets to see two of my favorite bands this summer! Wolf Parade will be here in August, and although it's a general admission show we're going. I hate general admission, mostly because I hate people, and hate when people get pushy. I like having my seat so at least they stay out of my personal space. But, I love Wolf Parade, and the last GenAd show we saw with them was pretty great.

Next weekend we are driving to Toronto to see REM! Woohoo! It will be our third REM show, and this time we will be 10 rows back! I had a chance to by second row tickets, but wasn't sure how enjoyable it would be to sit that close. I mean, ya, being close is obviously awesome, but I don't want a sore neck. I want to enjoy myself. Hopefully I won't regret it, but I think it will be great either way. We will be so tired, though, since we will drive there on Saturday (6 hours), stay over at my uncle's, have the concert Sunday night, then drive straight home because we both have to work on Monday. Ugh. But I know it will be worth it, and this will be my birthday present :)

That's all the news here. So boring compared to Paris posts, right?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A few days late...

Sorry. I got sidetracked with all the relaxing and the vacationing. As promised, some photos from the Versailles palace:

A beautiful hall that is not open to the public, so we actually got a fabulous photo:

An interesting fashion choice:

(yes, those are open-toe, in case you were wondering).

There are gorgeous statues everywhere - just like at home!



The highlight of the day:


Some teenager dropped her cell phone, and SB was the only eagle-eyed observer who noticed. She was running around with a group of other teen girls, and SB chased after them to give it back. My hero.

The whole Palace was pretty amazing. I had been before, but didn't do the audio-guided tour, which was really interesting. I wonder if I can download a copy of that somewhere so I can figure out which photos are from which rooms?

The number of photos we have are completely overwhelming me at the moment. I am very glad I took the time at the end of most days to sit down and label them all, but sharing them is a bit slow. I have posted some on facebook but believe me, there are hundreds and hundreds more. Hundreds. I promise I will never make anyone sit and look at every single one.

I'm quite glad we took so many photos. We have tons that are viable framers, and, coincidentally, we have three giant walls in our main living area with no photos on them. The lady with the socks is a prime candidate for the head of the dining room.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Paris - Day ????? who cares anymore? it's PARIS!

Well, actually, this post is about Versailles, but whatever.

Dudes, if you have an abundance of airmiles, this is what I recomm
end doing:
a) plan a trip to Paris when flights are cheap

b) rent an apartment in the city that is reasonable and that has internet and a washer and dryer
c) go on your 10 year anniversary (*or any anniversary. Or your birthday. Or because you are hot.)
d) Use all the airmiles you have accumulated in the previous year to take a one-night's stay at a 5 star Westin hotel located 10 feet from the Queen's gate to the gardens at Versailles.
e) Pay a surcharge to upgrade your room and get breakfast and dinner included.


These, my friends, are the steps to eternal happiness and bliss. Or at least they are the steps to a very very fine evening.

We stayed at the Westin Trianon Palace and Spa. It was literally steps away from one of the gates leading to the garden (actually, our gate was closest to the Grand and Petit Trianons and Marie Antoinette’s “domaine” – for those of you who have seen the movie). This was our view of the palace gardens:


Those are sheep there. SHEEP!

I have rarely in my life had the opportunity to stay at a truly luxury hotel, but it is soooooo worth it. The people smile at you even when your hair looks like crap. They apologize for everything. They wipe your ass. No, they don’t do that, but I bet they would if you asked them to. And you wouldn't even have to ask in a nice way.

We arrived, dropped our bags, and then went off to explore the gardens, since they were announcing rain for the following day. We were enamored by the sheep on our walk to the Grand Trianon, probably because I am addicted to animals, and also because I love the scene in the movie when M-A is playing with her little daughter and the baby lamb. We didn’t see any lambs, but we saw this guy, who had a bad haircut:

The grounds are so beautiful, and so well maintained it is incredible. We ate lunch by the Grand Canal, which was fun except for these people:

who caused a raucous the whole way down the canal splashing and yelling.

After lunch we took our books to the other side of the canal, which was in the shade, and read/napped. We originally situated ourselves a bit closer to the palace than we were supposed to, and eventually the French RCMP came and shooed us away.

After our nap, etc, we went into town to buy the essentials: wine, iced tea. The end. Actually, we probably would have bought two bottles of wine but I forgot to bring my bag with our extra cash and we only had like 9 euro.

At the hotel, I took a big long bubble bath here with a glass of wine:

While SB took a nap in the Heavenly Bed:

Sidenote:

I love the Heavenly Bed. I would love to marry the Heavenly Bed. If anyone would like to buy me a Heavenly Bed, please do so. It is so comfortable. The mattress is perfect. The linens are soft, and satiny. I did not want to leave that Heavenly Bed. Not even one bit. A photo:

I will see you again one day, HB. XOXO

End Sidenote.

After cleaning up and making out with the Heavenly Bed, we had dinner at the Veranda restaurant. It was fantastic, except for one thing. We had taken the “dinner included” package, and no one at the restaurant seemed to know what that entailed. It was annoying when we were ordering, annoying when we waited for the bill (drinks were not included and we had a bottle of wine), and annoying when we saw a small surcharge on our room charges the next day. But I was able to put all that aside (SB was too, but not before he detailed our issues to the front desk clerk, in actually a very nice way.) The food was friggin amazing. SB had: seared tuna with marinated leeks and onion, then a chicken cassoulet with green beans, onion and cabbage and finished with a cheese plate. I had: tomato chevre tarte with cucumber pesto with this mindblowing bottom crust of nuts and something else that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but that was extremely pleasant, lamb neck (I know, I had a hard time with the “neck” part of that for some reason) with the BEST damned mashed potatoes ever and probably something else on the plate that I forget, then, THEN my friends, there was an apple crème brulee, which was not your regular little broiled crème in a pot. Non non. It was a little free-standing pillar, with a scoop of the most flavorful apple sorbet I have ever had. It may have been infused with some sort of crazy apple cocaine. And the whole thing was flanked by thinly sliced dried apple chips.

As if this dinner was not enough, SB had brought a bottle of champagne with him which we had up in the room to celebrate. Then I tucked into the Heavenly bed and had the best sleep ever! And by “ever” I mean “in my whole live”. And by “in my whole life” I am probably including the womb, because I tend to be a cool sleeper and I hear the womb is quite warm.

Tomorrow I will post about our visit to the Palace.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Paris Day 7

Another jam-packed day with tons of walking! My feet are killing me!

First, we headed over to the Eiffel tower to finally climb that sucker. I am terrified of heights, so this was not something I was really looking forward to, but SB was dead set on it so, chin up, away we went.

To get to the very top of the tower, you buy your tickets on the ground, take an elevator to the second floor, get out, wait in another line then take another elevator to the top.

We waited in line for our tickets for about 20 minutes, which I think is pretty reasonable. While in line, the signs said that access to the top was temporarily closed because it was full - we asked the lady at the info desk and she said it will usually stay closed for about half an hour to let it empty out a bit, then they will open back up, and you can buy the ticket to get to the top on the 2nd floor. Well, about two people ahead of us they opened it back up, so we were able to buy our tickets right away, then when we arrived on the 2nd floor there was no line for the 2nd elevator and we went right up without waiting. So good because I do NOT do well in lines!

SB right after they reopened access to the sommet:

At the top we hung out for a while taking in all the different views (SB at the railing, me a few steps back....). It was nice that we didn't go on the first day we arrived because we were able to pick out all the monuments we had already visited without looking on their little guide.


After the tower, we walked over to the Pont d'Alma, which is where Princess Diana died (the tunnel where the accident was is right under the pont).

Then onto the metro back to Montmartre where we had our requisite dinner at McDo - drink sizes are smaller, fries are just as great, burgers just as un-fresh as at home. Oh, and a very weird unisex bathroom.

Lastly, we took a walking tour with New Tours - they are a company that give free tours and you pay what you can. It was really great - the tour we took was specifically Montmartre, and our guide had a degree in Fine Arts specializing in art history so was very passionate about the subject matter. We saw the house where Van Gogh lived, two cafes where he hung out with other artists, and the building where cubism was born, where many artists shared studio space. It was pretty amazing!

On this tour we also saw Sacre Coeur up close, Le Moulin de les Galettes (which is the subject of a famous Renoir painting), and the cafe des Deux Moulins from the movie Amelie. I think we will go back to the cafe - they actually have a great Happy Hour special AND WiFi, so I'm all over that!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Paris Day 6

Wowie we did a lot today! Even though we got a late start because we slept in a bit and had a long brunch at the apartment, we still managed to jam a lot in in one day!

First, we did a load of laundry. Sounds uneventful, however SB threw all the laundry in together and in there was a navy shirt from Banana Republic that I had never washed before. Now, usually when I buy stuff from there it is pre-washed and colorfast, so even if it had been me throwing in the laundry, the same thing would have probably happened. All of my white socks and undies are now a lovely teal-blue, and three of SB's plaid shirts are now navy, grey and teal when once they were navy grey and white. Oh well, I guess it could have been worse. It could have been a red shirt.

After that we went to the Pere Lachaise Cemetary. We wanted to see Jim Morrison's grave, but also had heard that the cemetary was quite beautiful. And while it was gorgeous, it was also very hot, and I was also severely creeped out by being in a cemetary.
For the record, I don't ever want to be buried in a cemetary. The whole thing totally creeps me out. I felt really uncomfortable there, even though it was so lovely and a lot of the monuments were really spectacular.
After the cemetary we went over to "Les Iles" - these are the two small islands on the Seine between the two banks of the city. Ile de la Cite has the Notre Dame Cathedral on it, and Ile St. Louis is where a lot of old mansions are located.

First we walked around the west end of Ile de la Cite, where Sainte Chapelle is, the Palais de Justice/Conciergerie and the bird/flower market. We were hoping to buy some seeds to bring home and plant, but since it was Sunday a lot of the flower vendors weren't open and the only seeds we could find were brands we can buy at home.

Next, we took a gander inside the cathedral, which is amazing,
On our way to Ile St. Louis, I tried on a beret, but

It was a really tight fit on my big giant cranium.

On Ile St. Louis we stopped for Berthillon ice cream, which is famous, then walked back along the water and saw where Heloise and Abelard lived.

We had dinner on Ile de la Cite (really great steak frite!), then went to the Eiffel Tower to watch it light up.
I am making a funny face because SB wanted to get the tower looming above us, and I hate when he takes pics of my double chin. So I was exaggerating sticking my chin out.

There were so many people in front of the tower! Everyone had brought picnics and the lawns in from of the Peace monument were packed. As the sun was setting the vendors who sell the mini Eiffel towers started passing with bottles of wine and champagne, but we had brought our own beer. There had also been some kind of incident at the peace monument and one of the giant panes of glass was shattered. We have a client who does mosaics so we picked up a few pieces for her. No one who was there knew what had happened, but I hope they can fix it!

Once we were installed in a nice spot, we waited for the lights. They keep some spotlights on all night so the tower is visible but every hour on the hour for 10 minutes they turn on these sparkly lights that are really beautiful.

Then back home, sleepy and with very very sore feet. Tomorrow we may actually climb the Tower finally.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Paris Day 5

No photos today - we only took a few and I am too tired to upload them.

We took the day to visit the St. Ouen flea market which is at the very north of the city. It didn't take that long to get there, but once we did it felt like we were miles away from our little Parisian heaven. It felt more like we were in Havana than in France. Buildings were gross and dirty, people were dirty and smelly(er) and so so rude. I've never been so nervous travelling. The market itself was kinda interesting - mostly upscale antiques, some refurbished, some not, all overpriced, and you really shouldn't buy anything unless you know what you're looking for and can really judge if it's worth the price. I saw some awesome antique typewriters and cameras, but $$$$. Eric kept getting distracted by big giant paintings and huge clunky pieces of furniture and I had to keep reminding him that there was no way we could get that home on the plane. We also met a few little dogs that were owned by the shopkeepers - they were all very cute and sweet. (sidenote - dogs here are so well behaved. It's doggie heaven!)

We had lunch at a place called Chez Louisette, which all the guidebooks recommend. They have live singers who trade off sets, but we sat very near them and it became a little bit too much because it was so loud. The food was okay, but pretty pricy for what you got, and they were out of half of the menu. I guess they can get away with it because the place is so popular.

After that we made our way back to the metro so we could get back into the city. On the way to the metro I got spit on, I'm pretty sure. Either that or something dripped on my head, but it felt like it came from the side where a bunch of hooligans were gathered. I think it was the only time in my life when I was content with ignoring them and getting the hell out of there, whereas normally I would shoot my mouth off. I also didn't tell SB until we were safely seated in the Metro because I know he would have freaked at them.

All in all, I don't recommend making the trip. Unless you are looking for some kind of specific antique. Or foreign biological matter.

We then returned to the apartment for a break - SB wanted a nap, and we had several options in mind for the evening. He ended up sleeping for like three hours (which I shouldn't have let him do, but I knew he'd be super grumpy when I woke him), then by the time we ate and got ready it was about 10:30. We took the opportunity to take a walk up to Moulin Rouge then walked up and down Clichy checking out all the little pubs and bars, and some of the signs in the sex shops. They're really funny because they are either owned by foreigners who can't translate or they try to dumb down the french so tourists will be able to get the gist of what they are offering. We were back home by midnight, and tomorrow is Pere Lachaise Cemetary, and maybe some ice cream by Notre Dame.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Paris Day 4

Also known as the day my shoes did me wrong. More on that later.

We started the day off late. Again. SB uses his Blackberry alarm, and he is in charge. Allegedly it went off at 7:30, and then he reset it for 8:30, and then it went off again and he nudged me (I have no record of said nudge), but turned the alarm off rather than press snooze. So we woke up and it was 10:15. We were originally going to go up the Eiffel Tower this morning, but scrapped that for now. To make up for it, SB made eggs. They were so good that I forgave him very quickly.

We mosied on over to the Arc de Triomphe after finding our friendly neighborhood Starbucks. As a side note, the coffee here is super good, but even when you ask for an espresso allongee, it is still teeny tiny compared to the caffeine I need.

So, the Arc de Triomphe. So beautiful. Probably my favorite landmark in Paris.
We did a fun thing where SB stayed at the top of the Arch and I ran down on the Champs Elysees because I had had enough of the heights up there. Here I am:
This is when I began sensing a little discomfort in my foot. Some rubbing/blistering that my Merrell cute shoes were causing, which they had never caused before even though I had worn them many many times. Once SB finally walked down the 600 million stairs to the top (am I the only person who thinks 9 euro per person to go up to the top and you have to take the fucking stairs is just a little fucking over the top? The whole Louvre is only like 9 euro everyday.) we went to the pharmacy and I fixed some bandaids up with the hopes that all was not lost.

Then we moseyed on down the Champs Elysees, which was okay but kinda boring. We also went down de la Montaigne, where a lot of the designer shops are. I would never go inside, because a) I would hate to waste the time of the lovely salespeople since there is no way in hell I would be buying anything and b) I don't need my nose rubbed in what I can't have. But I thought it would be fun to window shop. Their windows were SUCKY. So boring. Harry Winston didn't even put any items in their windows, just pictures that looked like they cut them out of magazines. I was so disappointed.

We had dinner on Champs Elysees, then headed on over to the Louvre, where SB met his new girlfriend:
That's okay, though, because earlier, at the Arc de Triomphe, I met my new boyfriend:
My feet were done for after the Louvre. I didn't even have the wherewithal (sp?) to get to see Venus de Milo. I am hoping beyond hopes that if I slap on some bandaids tomorrow and some socks and a different pair of shoes that it will all be okay.

Oh, and also, for Jenn - need some action and the pharmacy is closed? No worries -You should get this going in NB, sex health lady.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Paris Day 3

Today was very long - we started at 8am and tried to do some laundry and get the heck out of here.... Little did we know european washers are slow as ass. We were out of here by like 9:30, cranky and coffee starved.

We joined back up with our Hop on Tour bus, featured here:We took a little tour around St. Germain de Pres, which was gorgeous. We took a chance to hop off to get a breakfast about an hour after the appropriate time, which means poor SB had to deal with hungry me. We also visited Fnac, which is an electronics store because we accidentally fried our battery charger for the Canon. This wouldn't normally be an emergency, but to be efficient, we decided not to bring the smaller lens for our Nikon. And although the 55-200 lens has changed my life, it doesn't do self-portraits at arm's length. It just doesn't.

After that, we took our bus the rest of the round, then went to Musee D'Orsay where we saw this:

And also this:

After Orsay, we were exhausted, but continued walking along the Seine to find the Shakespeare and Co bookstore, which was highly disappointing. I was expecting an awesome second-hand bookstore, but all the books seemed new. And overpriced. Blah.

We then took a little break in a park next door.

After our break, we hopped back on the bus to the Champs Elysees, to pick up some supplies. Read: bubble bath, wine and sausage. Get your mind out of the gutter.

We headed on over to a little patch of grass by the Eiffel Tower where there were very few people, a couple of ants, and a whole bottle of wine to be had.

As a side note, dudes, if you like wine you have to come here! At Monoprix (officially Eric's least favorite place on Earth - think walmart crowded, but Uniprix-sized aisles. Ugh) they have wine ranging from like 20 euro a bottle right on down to 1.40 euro. For a bottle. A full sized bottle. With a cork. We've been sticking to 2.50-4 euro, but it's all been really good, and I'm really tempted to just get the 1 euro stuff and be wasted all day.

We saw the Eiffel tower at sunset,


had a crepe au chocolat,

and dragged our asses home to climb the 111-113 steps to our apartment (SB and I have both counted, but came up with different numbers). I tried to take that bath I had been planning, but the tiny tub was not cooperative. Then I waited like two hours for them to play my new favorite song, American Boy (artist is Estelle with guest Kanye West - so good!) - now they are finally playing it, so time for me to get to bed!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Paris Day 2

Let me just start by saying that we suck at discipline.

We went to bed very late last night, and resolved that we would get up at 9ish and get the go going.

Apparently the alarm went off as planned, but SB just ignored it. And I didn't hear it at all. So, we slept until noon. Oops. I guess our bodies needed it, but still...

Once we finally got going, we hopped on to the hop-on/hop-off bus tour to get an overview of the city. We saw:

around our part of town, Montmartre:

Notre Dame:
and lots of other stuff like the Eiffel Tower, l'Arc de Triomphe, etc. It was a quick and dirty tour that basically was to give us bit of a bearing on where everything is. We had a panini on the Seine for lunch, which made SB very happy:
We haven't finalized plans for tomorrow yet, but they were supposed to include the Musee D'Orsay and the Eiffel tower. After today's little sleep in, we have some schedule adjusting to do, but hey, we're on vacation, so who cares, right?

Also, we have lots of pics of the both of us on our other camera, but we promptly fried the battery charger so we can't get the pictures out. We will work on fixing that tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Paris Day 1

So, we're pretty tired, but we are here and safe and sound.

After about 7.37 minutes of sleep on the plane, we were both pretty cranky and testy on the flight. The most super fun moments of the flight:

a) some super grumpy guy who I noticed coming out of the Air France lounge before the flight grabbing his crotch started yelling at the flight attendents before we even taxied. He had put his carry-on and a random plastic bag with a hat in it in the overhead, and the flight attendent totally squashed it. SB said he saw her trying to cram some other bag up there and crunch. Then he cranked and grumbled and generally got on our nerves about other random things all night long.

b) The lady in front of us had some kind of "medical emergency" in the middle of the night (coincidentally, right after they served our meal and it was time to get some sleep) - she was sitting in the middle of three seats. Her husband sat to her left and some stranger to her right. She had some kind of leg paralysis or something that made her need a wheelchair, so when she had her "emergency" everyone rushed to help her, then they booted out the guy sitting to her right (assface probably got a free upgrade) and then she laid down. I'm thinking of practicing my acting so I will be ready to pull this one on our trip back.

c) SB almost lost his glasses. He had hung them on the pouch in the seat in front of him to try and sleep, and I guess when he crossed his legs they went flying. After like 7 minutes of panic and serious snippyness between us he found them in the aisle. Luckily they were not crushed.

We arrived at our apartment around 3 this afternoon, so after zero sleepytime on the plane, we were exhausted and took a nap, then took a quick trip out for groceries and made dinner in. Tomorrow we have more touristy plans, but we hadn't put much in the schedule today just in case we were feeling like ass. Which we were. But it's still way better than being at work feeling like ass. Hell, I'll be on vacation and feeling like ass in Paris 6 days a week for the rest of my life!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Think Oceans Eleven, not ER

Let me preface this by saying that I have never been a huge George Clooney lover. I recognize that he is gorgeous, aging very well, and pleasantly sarcastic and witty. But he's not one of those actors that I drool over. He has never been on my list of movie/TV boyfriends.

That being said, two nights ago I had a really great dream in which I hooked up with Mr. Clooney after we met at some kind of birthday party or wedding or something. Did not re-dream this last night, regrettably, but it was really hot, and now I've got Clooney on the brain.

I'm not rushing out to watch Leatherheads or anything, but I'm just saying...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

This and That

11 days until Paris.

Yikes.

I will not bore you with the list of things I am seriously worried about, because they are all work related. Let's just say I am having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. I should keep a pad and pen by the bed so I can write down what I am worried about forgetting and then just let it go.

I would love to do a little shopping before we leave. I have accumulated a few new tops in the last month or so, but my Paris wardrobe still leaves much to be desired. I need clothes that are comfortable and not too hot because we will be walking a lot. Also need them to be machine washable, since we have a washing machine there and I would prefer to pack less and wear things more than once. Also, stuff should be kinda cute, because I would like to look kinda nice in vacation photos for once in my life. What I really need at the moment are a couple of great cardigans. Light ones that I can layer over a T-shirt, but that don't wrinkle easily so I can stuff them in a backpack if I get too hot. My friend Ems said she went looking for some cardigans last week and had no luck, so if anyone knows where we can find a great one right now, we would both appreciate it.

I got my hair cut this week too. I hadn't had it cut since my birthday last year (!), so was definitely due, but I have been struggling to decide whether I should chop it off or let it grow. Finally I just decided it need a big freshening before vacation (always a mind to what those photos will look like!) and my stylist helped me decide on keeping the length, but adding lots of layers. I'm pretty pleased, and I also know that when I get back if I feel like chopping it off for summer, the layers will still work with that too.

I have to get going - I have my dog group today which is interesting because I only have the Jetta this week. Usually I take 3 specific dogs, and then more if necessary, but this week I am only taking two. One of them is a bit grumpy when things are cramped, so even though I'm sure I could fit the three of them in the backseat of the car, I have decided to play it safe. I have been prepping for Paris the last two weeks so haven't seen them. I can't wait!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Here comes the sun!

I am so glad that spring appears to have sprung. Although it is still very strange to have such nice temperatures and yet see giant piles of snow everywhere, I think I will adjust quickly enough.

The past week I have spent suffering from a cold - totally not pleasant at all, especially since the worst of it came over the weekend and ruined a bunch of plans we had made. It was a particularly severe cold, and I even took the time to google if perhaps it was even the dreaded flu, but apparently not. I had some fever, but not a lot, and although I was absolutely exhausted I wasn't very achy. Plus I had extremely stuffy nose and sinuses, which apparently you don't get with the flu. I'm not sure I'll ever know the difference, but it was bad.

Feeling almost better now, and trying to get ready for our trip which is less than three weeks away. Yikes! I have so much to do, which has been hampered by the fact that our business computer is STILL in the PC hospital. It has been three weeks since I sent it, but it is supposed to arrive back today. We have made do with my Mac and Eric's laptop, but I have been putting off tons of organizational stuff because a lot of it has to do with setting up files on the computer. The anxiety is reaching a very critical point.... But I'm sure we will work something out!

With this gorgeous weather, we have been letting our little zoo frolic on the patio while we're home. Simon is particularly interested in the pigeons that are suddenly everywhere. He sits at the window and chirps at them, and when I let him out he sits int he very middle of the patio watching all around for them. So cute. If anyone has any advice on how to keep them away, please feel free. We love our patio in the summer, and I would rather not have it get plastered in bird poo all year.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Internet TV rocks

For the past week I have been embroiled in the roller coaster of emotions that is The L Word.

Who else watches this show?

It is so fantastic - really funny, and smart and thoughtful. Very sexy too - probably as close as I will ever come to being a lesbian. I had never watched it when it was on TV because of scheduling, and now due to the miracle of the internet I am able to watch pretty much any show I want whenever I want for free.

So, I started two weeks ago with Season 1 and was instantly hooked. I just finished the last episode, and now I'm sad that I will have to wait til next year for the final episodes to air. I won't give anything away plot-wise in case there are people out there who have never watched it and now will because I'm recommending.

For anyone who does watch - who is your favorite character? Who do you hate? Who do you have a crush on?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I fell down today

Literally.

Really hard.

It was on that ice that looks like snow that is leftover on the street, and you take your step too hard, because you are sure you will squish right into it, but then whoosh, away you go. It hurt real bad - I scraped both hands and my left shin/knee. It hurts way worse than it looks, though. I didn't even bleed at all. And my hands aren't bruised or anything. Although I think I have a rock stuck in my palm, but it's tiny.

I was terrified to look down at my leg - I thought for sure I had ripped open my pant leg and would find blood gushing everywhere. But no. It's not even bruised yet, but still hurts a lot.

That's been the most exciting thing in my life so far this week. We had to send our business computer away to be fixed, which is seriously fucking with my life in a very bad way, but it will be so great to have wireless again with that computer.

I was very near a mental breakdown a few weeks ago, but seem to be back on track now. I don't think my meds are as effective this time, and am going to try to get in to see a new doctor. I'm sure the weather is having a major effect on me, but I know that it can't be all that's up. Relatedly (not sure that's a word, but I like it), I have found I love Pascale Picard and recommend that everyone listens to 'Smilin' when you are feeling down.

Last of all, we are about a month away from our trip, which I am both looking forward to and really anxious about. I am going to have a really hard time forgetting about work and all the things that could be going wrong, but I know it will be so worth it that I just need to get over it all ready.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Looking for some opinions

If you were going to hire a dog walker, and you had a baby, would you schedule the interview during a time when you knew your baby would be awake, but cranky, because it's almost nap time?

If yes, would you then hand your baby over to the dog walker, who is grimy and full of dog hair and slobber, and a dog walker, not a baby person, while you ran down to the neighbors to get your spare key which the dog walker told you you should have ready?

If yes, would you then randomly whip out your boob in the middle of being questioned by the dog walker about your dog, even though your baby wasn't fussing at all anymore?

I'm all for babies - babies mean we get to walk dogs because mommies don't want to. But I could have dropped that baby.

The dog was very helpful in the whole situation - when the baby started fussing and I had to pick her up he sat beside me and licked my arm.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I love the President!

No, not that president.

Those of us here in the great white north frequent a grocery chain called Loblaw's. Other grocery stores under the Loblaw's umbrella are: Maxi, Provigo, Superstore..... probably others out west that I am unaware of.

Anyway, these stores have a store brand called PC - the President's Choice. I don't know who this president is, but (s)he rocks my world. You want butter chicken frozen dinners? The President has chosen a recipe, and it is fantastic. Samosas to go with? The President has a quick solution (although I would love to do these in the deep fryer, but have yet to do so). Want a more natural, clumping, flushable cat litter? The President has developed a magic formula for you, and it's cheap! Cheaper than that other wheat stuff. And don't even get me started on the hot chocolate.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Winter wants to kill me

I literally almost passed out today while shovelling out my truck. I think it was a better workout than running 2 miles.

We are supposed to get more snow this weekend.

This had better be the end. Please. Please let it be the end.

I am now going to get in a hot bath.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Vacation planning is taking over my life

So the flights are booked and we found the apartment we will be renting - seems this Paris trip is really going to happen!

We have a big giant list of things we want to see and do, but if anyone has any favorite places you visited while you were there (especially cafes, restaurants, small shops, etc), please pass them along!

Our 10th anniversary is May 14th, and we will be spending the night at a fancy pants hotel just outside of Chateau Versailles - I still have to get all that booked, and we are doing that using our AirMiles, so fingers crossed it will all work out. There is a new Gordon Ramsey restaurant that is opening at that hotel as well - it is supposed to open at the end of April, so if it does we may do our anniversary dinner there. Provided it doesn't cost more than our airfare did. Which is entirely possible.

Life has been pretty boring as of late - I've been knitting socks (on my third pair) and working. This weekend is my friend Kalea's wedding and lots of our university pals are coming to town. Very exciting.

We got more snow today, so I have officially given up. I am now hibernating until it all goes away. Simon agrees.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Strike TV is actually not so bad

Before this season of LOST began, SB and I sat down and watched the entire 3rd season in two days. 23 episodes. We both had Couch Cramp (I'm currently working on trademarking that term). Now we are both even more hooked than ever on that damn island. And this season is completely blowing my mind. Last season was slow-moving, and hard to watch from week to week, and then a big giant gap in the middle of the season (watching it all at once was amazing). But this season, you spend a whole week trying to figure out WTF????? And then they blow your mind again the next week.

I'm actually watching Grey's Anatomy now because I didn't watch it all season (it doesn't fit into my Survivor/CSI/ER Thursday) and they are showing the repeats on Fridays.

Big Brother is kinda not holding my attention the way it usually does. The premise is actually cool (they are playing as couples, no individuals, so it add a whole new dynamic), and the characters are colorful (one guy has done gay porn. But he's not gay. And his "occupation" is cycling around the world. Hmm.), but I'm just not as into it as usual. I still watch, but I don't really know anyone's name

And also, we are getting a (censored) view of Dexter on CBS. I have seen the first episode and am in love with this show. But, I'm thinking of buying Season 1 and bringing it on our trip to Paris for the nights when we are exhausted, or the rainy days when we don't feel like schlepping. Plus, I kinda just want to see it un-censored. Because changing "motherfucker" to "moron" usually just gets on my nerves.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Did you see it?

Anyone else catch that new show quarterlife the other night? No? Apparently not many people did. Hmmm.

The show is based on an actual vlogger who had journal videos on youtube. Apparently her youtube stuff is quite popular. The show is not.

I think what they are shooting for is a My So-Called Life for those of us who watched that show in the nineties, trying to connect with those of us actually going through our quarter-life crisis. It focuses on a group of friends, some of whom live together, many of whom are dating or have dated or want to date someone else in the group. All of them have hopes and aspirations, most of which are creativity-related, so of course they also all have day jobs that they hate. Except for two of the guys, who are film-makers trying to strike out by making car commercials - these two are partners, but of course one of them is the true artist, and the other has a moneybags dad who has funded their start-up. Conflict ensues.

I feel like this show should be a good idea, and should be interesting. It has been a while since there has been a show that is really great that is just about people - not centered on where they work (hospital, courthouse, crime scene lab), but on the people and their relationships. Think thirtysomething.

But this show just seems trivial. I'm not sure if I've ever seen quite so many cliches packed into one hour of television. To be fair, generally the first couple of episodes of any show feel a bit contrived, so maybe it will improve, but so far I would give it a D.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Blame it on Google

I used to visit my own blog when doing my daily visits to all the blogs I read. I would just click through my Blogrolling list to see who had updated and who had not, and in visiting my own site I would realize how long it had been since I actually written anything.

But then I discovered Google Reader.

I'm still not sure how to fill all the time I used to waste clicking onto everyone's site once, twice, or ten times a day. I guess I should probably use that time to update my own blog. Or do work. But mostly I spend it clicking "refresh" on my Google Reader. It's highly efficient and nifty, except when it comes to some people's blogs, who I can't get an RSS feed for.

In other news, we're going to Paris!!! In May!!! That's like two months away and I'm sure I am going to travelguide myself out by then, but I am so excited! SB hasn't been overseas before, so that is super exciting, and when I went to Paris I was only there for like two days and we are going for two weeks! WEEKS!!! More details to come about our flights, accommodations, itineraries, etc, in case anyone cares/is interested, or in case anyone has any recommendations for us. I am feeling a lot of anxiety about getting the business ready for the girls to take care of while we're gone. While I'm confident they can handle the mundane day-to-day stuff, I want to get ready some Troubleshooting checklists just in case.

As far as the trip goes, we want to sightsee, obviously, but also want to spend some time just wandering. If anyone has any lists of things we may not think of but should not miss, please let me know so I can check 'em out!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Blinded by the flashbulbs

It would appear that our mini media blitz has come to an end. We had an interview with the paper last Monday (published Tuesday), then interview with local CTV on Tuesday (aired Tuesday), then interview with paper on Tuesday (published Wednesday), then a radio interview on Sunday.

No calls today. Phewf.

Loads of free publicity, which is great, and the fact that we were the only dog-walking company interviewed tells me we are easy to find when people are looking for dog walkers, which is awesome. I also think it's really great that the issues are getting so much attention.

One of the proposed bylaws is to limit the number of dogs that are allowed to be walked outdoors in the downtown core to two dogs per person. There is talk that this will be waived for professionals with a permit, but we try not to walk in the downtown core anyway. People are annoying and there are a lot of people in the downtown core. We like to stay around dog people, and we walk in dog-friendly areas. So I doubt this will affect us.

The other proposed bylaw is to place an outright ban on all pit bull breeds and pit bull crosses. This infuriates me. Pit bulls are not the problem - people are the problem! People who get a pitty to show how macho they are and then train them to be aggressive or mean so that they can create this tough guy image. The dogs are always the losers in these situations - either they are mistreated and that is what has made them mean, or they end up being abandoned because the owners never really thought of them as anything more than an accessory, or they are destroyed because they do end up lashing out and hurting someone. But none of these problems are inherent in the breed. Some of the sweetest dogs we walk are pits or pit mixes. They just need proper training and socialization, like any other dog.

I am hoping that as people get more informed and the issue is discussed more that they will change their tune, but I'm not holding my breath since the Ontario government have successfully placed their own ban. Even though the UK did it 10 years ago and their incidents of dog bites and attacks didn't decrease at all. People with bad intentions, and people who don't know what they are doing and just ruin dogs will always be out there, they will just flock towards a different breed of dog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Next, I'll be speaking with Anderson

One of the boroughs of our fair city announced yesterday that they were going to try to pass some bilaws to regulate dog stuffs within the borough.

Some of the bilaws:
a) maximum two dogs may be walked at one time
b) ban on pitbulls

I got a call yesterday from the English newspaper and was quoted there today. Then I got a call this morning from our local TV news to do an interview with them. We met around lunch today and the interview will air tonight at 6pm (CTV for those of you in Montreal).

I wasn't really nervous, but was extremely conscious of what I said I really hope I didn't sound like a bit tool. I have to tape the broadcast because SB will probably be at work. I hope it goes okay - check it out if you get a chance.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Buy me things - I can send you a list

Have you ever discovered something, and it is so great and wonderful, but then you become kind of a little obsessed, and then you wish you had never discovered it in the first place?

This is how I feel about Etsy.

I heard about Etsy a while ago through several different blogs, but have been resisting the urge to visit it. It is a website where different sellers post their handmade goods for sale. Sound a little flea-markety? nay nay my friend. This is good stuff.

Stuff like art
Stuff like pottery:
Stuff like super cute dog collars:
There's also some yarn that looks like ice cream, which I won't post the picture of because I'm not sure how many people it would thrill besides myself.

Anyway, so I have been browsing there. A lot. SB and I have found several art pieces that we would like to get (we still haven't hung anything on our walls.... we suck). The bad part is we both choose different pieces - we have very different taste in art, I guess.

So, visit Etsy. I dare you not to find anything you like.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Not a resolution, just a coincidence

Just before Christmas, I was at my heaviest weight ever. I often mention to people when I have lost five pounds, or ten pounds, or whatever, but never mention when I have gained it. I guess that kind of makes it seem like I'm perpetually shrinking, when in reality I yo-yo like a ... well, like a yo-yo.

I'm not sure what exactly led to the big gain. I was still walking doggies four times a week, still eating a steady diet of half crap and half good stuff, but for some reason the crap was catching up with me. And all the pre-holiday imbibing probably didn't help.

Just after Christmas, SB and I went on a shopping trip to snag some boxing week deals. While I was waiting outside his changeroom door slouched against the wall, a lovely lady asked me if it was my first. I said pardon, because I was half asleep and shocked that someone was speaking to me. "Is it your first that you are expecting?" "Hey, ya, thanks, but I'm not pregnant. Thanks though, for really making my day."

I am aware that I'm chubby. I don't like it, but it is what it is. But what would prompt someone to ask a stranger such a dangerous question? I would NEVER assume that someone was pregnant unless maybe they were out to here with that tell-tale belly button protrusion. And I think the very fact that the woman would dare to ask bothered me more than the fact that, ya, I do have a belly that could look like a pregnant belly.

Anyway, since the holidays, I have lost about 17 pounds. It's slightly shocking, because I don't really see a huge difference, but the numbers on the scale they do not lie. I still haven't changed a whole lot of my habits, except I'm trying to make an effort to eat less junk food. Exercise levels have not changed at all, although it's time for me to get back on the treadmill.

I ask myself if that lady's comment was the reason for a subconcious change. I would like to think not - that I really don't care about what people think, that I just want to feel better and be fit. But I think I do care, and that her comment was more hurtful than maybe I even know.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Making me want to stab my eye out...

Charlie is whiiiiining again because he's huuuuuuungry. And dyyyyyyying. In case any of you were wondering if he still does that.


I am still obsessed with the socks, although I had to take some time off from knitting this week to actually get some work done - you know, pay our employees, put gas in my car, bathe. I can't wait to finish them - they are so darn cute!

Anyone out there have a Wii? I am becoming more and more fascinated by the concept of them and am dying to try on out, but I'm pretty sure no one rents the game consoles anymore, and I'm not sure I'm ready to commit $350 to the system, accessories, etc. without having test-driven one for a bit. So if you have one, or have played one, let me know what you think of it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A woman obsessed

I have a new obsession. It is nerdy. And I'm not sure you will understand.

I have been knitting socks.

Beautiful striped socks using thin, soft yarn and tiny little needles. The first sock took me four day, two of which were weekend days. And my office work has been blatantly ignored.

When I started knitting the sock, I asked SB if he thought he would wear those socks and he said "yes, I think I would love to wear those socks". So I SWEAR I measured his foot (actually, I had him measure his foot, because, you know) and followed the pattern for his foot's length, but somehow the sock ended up only big enough for me. So the first pair will be mine. :) When I finish them both, I will post a photo of me modeling them. They are beautiful!

At the same knitting store where I bought my sock yarn, I also found more of the cashmere yarn I made SB mom's hat and scarf out of, so now I have enough to make myself a pair of mitts!

I know, not very exciting to the average human, but these projects have taken over all my free time and I love it. I even have a sore hand from all the knitting. But it's fun to work on projects that are actually useful, and with yarn that is nice and will make you want to wear it.

Stay tuned for socks!