Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mental Health Day

So I'm sitting here, waiting for my landlord to come over with my new toilet seat so that I can then promptly hop in the car with my pot of jambalaya and my baguette tucked under one arm and hie me to Hamilton for Cell.

Thus endeth Sick Day. I took a Sick Day! My second ever! And I could have gone to work if I'd pushed myself, but I decided that I was tired of pushing myself, and the stupid cyst is finally nearing the end of the healing (go, go gadget antibiotics!) and the side effects are very irritating, and I just didn't want to go to work. So there. Despite the tendency to justify this over and over and a lingering feeling of guilt, I enjoyed my day. Got some shopping done, drained regularly (I know , you don't need to know that) and had the time to make dinner for 10. Good times.

I've been quite productive over the last few days. It all started on Sunday, with a knitting lesson at the Knit Cafe with Deena. We learned how to make baby toques (very cute). I had no baby to model on, so...

You can imagine how popular I was for this, and how many takes it took. But he's so darn cute.

Then, after working on the hat for a while, I was overcome by a fit of productivity, and made myself a needle case. It took about 3 hours, most of that spent trying to get the sewing machine to work, taking it apart, oiling it, rewinding the bobbin, untangling messes, only to discover that it was all the fault of my cheap-ass thread. Don't try to use cheap-ass thread in a sewing machine. Heartache, headache. Anyway, the fruit of my labour:

Pattern is from Stitch 'n' Bitch, pictured alongside. And here's what it does:

Note the needles. I am so excited about this thing it's unreasonable.
The same day, we learned to double knit, which is its own terribly exciting thing, that I will have to talk about later, because I'm late! (surprise!)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Is this sad? I think it's sad.

Just now, I was in the doctor's office, to ask whether I need to continue taking these stupid pills (yes I do). I was sitting up on the table there, waiting, with the door open to the hallway. I sat looking at the two chairs in the room thinking that they would be more comfortable than sitting on the table, dangling my feet as they slowly went numb, when I realised that I could hear a patient in the other room.

It was a little boy, moaning over and over, and kind of crying a bit. And (for once) I didn't feel annoyed by it - I recognised it. I said to myself, "Huh. Sounds like that kid has an ear infection." Just then, the doctor went into the room, and starting talking about what medicines he was prescribing for the ear infection. (why, yes - the walls are very thin - why do you ask?)

I remember getting very nasty earaches and infections when I was little. And moaning and crying just like that. And, even then, as a little kid, feeling like a bit of a moron for doing it - yes, everyone knew I was in pain, and no, the moaning wasn't making anything any better - but I just couldn't stop because it hurt so much and made me so miserable and something had to come out of me or I would die from the unfairness and pain of it all.

During my last one, I remember my father taking me to the clinic, where we waited hours in the waiting room, then were moved (only now do I think of the possibility that they moved us because I was driving everyone crazy) to wait for an even longer time on some chairs in the hallway. I remember just laying down across two of the moulded chairs, feeling the hard, cold plastic grow warm under my cheek, feeling the tears run sideways across my face and into my hair, wishing it would all just go away - when something gave way inside my ear. Suddenly, I could hear again, and the world was unnaturally loud. The pain subsided as if by magic - not gone, but at least I could see that it was losing the battle.

And that's when the doctor called me into the exam room.

It all came back just now, listening to the kid cry - I knew instantly what he was feeling, and my heart went out to him. I wanted to stick my head out into the hallway as they were leaving and tell him that I knew what he was going through, and how much it really, really sucks, but that what the doctor was saying was true, and someday he would have his last ear infection, and life would suck just a little bit less.

But I didn't.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

You know you wish you were me

Clearly, too much of my life is consumed with watching television.
People are talking about how they go out and do things after work, or watch movies on evenings during the week, and I think ‘Wow – how do they manage that? I don’t have nearly that much free time in the evenings.’ And then I realize that really, I do have that much time, but it’s all spent watching T – TV that’s on right then (like cartoons during dinner (6teen, Simpsons) or CSI reruns (yay for Spike TV) or silly sitcom reruns of Raymond (hate that it makes me laugh sometimes) or Seinfeld (which has become an integral part of society’s collective consciousness in a way that’s almost creepy)) or TV that was on last night, or the night before, and is now on tape.
Here’s my TV schedule – try to contain your horror and disgust.
8 pm – Simpsons (if it’s a new one)
9 pm – Family Guy (ditto)
10 pm – Grey’s Anatomy (MUST see, but taping is acceptable)

7 pm – (dinner hour) watch reruns OR Grey’s Anatomy on tape (If I already watched it, but it was a really good episode, I may watch it again, fast forwarding to the best scenes)
8 pm – Corner Gas
9 pm – Prison Break (I find this show almost painful to watch, because of the poor dialogue, some boring characters, and because my arms get tired suspending all that disbelief)

Tuesday (This is THE night for TV, which is inconvenient, because it’s also the only night I go out regularly – but what can you do? You can’t tell your discussion group, “Oh, no – Tuesday won’t work because House is on opposite Amazing Race, and I can only tape one at a time.”)
8 pm – Bones (this is an okay show, that I keep watching in hopes of better days)
9 pm – House (LOVE this show. Hugh Laurie always brings the snark, and he does it so well that I could melt – or punch him in the nose. I bow before the talent, at the very least)
And usually, Amazing Race is also on at 9 pm, which become problematic, as mentioned above. Luckily (?) this season is sucky, so I’m bypassing that. I’m a bit worried about next season, though, if it goes back to its usual awesomeness.

7 pm – Watch Bones and House from the tape, since I’m usually not home for them live. As with Grey’s Anatomy, I’ll rewatch an excellent (or even pretty good) episode if I’ve already seen it
9 pm – Lost

Thursday: (Another busy evening)
8 pm: Now, 8 pm on Thursday can be challenging. I’ll sometimes watch (or rewatch) TV from earlier in the week, especially Lost, if I taped it for some reason. If not, I’ll often watch ‘Everybody Hates Chris’, but it’s really just ‘eh’ for me. So sometimes I even have to find something to do that doesn’t necessarily involve the couch.
9 pm: CSI (Ah, that’s better)
10 pm: ER (still being watched, but now more out of loyalty than out of interest)

Friday: (Friday’s an easy night.)
9:30 pm: Hot Properties (which I do enjoy, but my main reason for watching is because Pamie writes for it, and I feel a strange connection to the show because of that)
And that’s my week. Sad but true. You can add to this schedule my reading of the TWOP recaps, each of which takes almost as much time as watching the show itself, and there are recaps for House, Prison Break, Grey’s Anatomy and Lost. Oh, and I download every week’s episode of Veronica Mars, because it’s not on any channel that I get. I haven’t watched many yet, but they’re there, waiting for me to get through the rest of my hectic, vicarious schedule.
And of course, you must add in the occasional Simpsons, Futurama, or Family Guy episode on Teletoon, plus every now and then I'll squeeze in some DejaVu type stuff, what with the Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie on the weekends.
I don’t know if I’ll survive Sweeps.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Yay! Now, I know that I have a LOT more work to do, and I haven't even begun to think of such things as heels and toes, but I seem to have at least gotten the hang of the double pointed needles. Although I'm sure that I look like I'm wrestling a very strange, very large spider when I'm doing it.

No matter. I am happy with my progress.


Let me geek out for a moment and talk about how much I love that I can check my voicemail at home over the internet. It starts with a little email in my hotmail inbox from Vonage, telling me that I have a new voicemail message waiting for me. The excitement is ignited. (Here's a small wish right here - I would like to be able to click within that email to get the message. It's such a small request - get on that, would you?)

Next, it's to my Vonage dashboard page, where I can see all of my calls in and out for the past several days. I click on the voicemail tab, and I see it. From a 416 number - who could it be? Not Mum, not Scott, not anyone in the Niagara area, not anyone much farther north than me. I click on the link, and the little box asks me if I'd like to open it or save it. Oh, you know I'm opening it. So it opens up in winamp, and I crank the volume (that's another little thing there - the files are a little quiet) and I learn that my weekend class at the Knit Cafe downtown will be starting at 9:30. So now I can reach over and pull my daybook towards myself and make a weekend entry.

So now how much have I revealed? I have shown that I am leaning to the geek. I have shown that I really don't get a lot of calls, or one little voicemail wouldn't interest me so. And I have shown that I have such an uneventful life that writing something on a page headed with 'Sunday' is a rare occurence, to be treasured and pondered over.

And here's another confession - I'm pretty sure I don't like Radiohead. I've read all kinds of people who love them, groove out to their melodic rhapsodies, let themselves be carried to the heights or the depths by the music, but I'm just not feeling it.

Moving on...

The snow has started. We've had a few false beginnings, where the snow looks heavy and thick, but disappears an hour later. Even last night, driving back through Oakville and Burlington, the snow seemed hard and fast, causing all the drivers to slow down - I think one person even tooted his horn at me for going too fast. I was going about 70, and the road was still pretty dry. I dread tomorrow morning, when it seems our time for descent into true Canadian winter will have come. We're supposed to get about 10 cm. I'm almost looking forward to going down to my car and not having to clean it off. No, I am definitely looking forward to that.

Okay, still struggling with the work focus thing. My goal is to work straight from now until 3:30 without a break (well, maybe a bathroom break, but that's it!). It did work last time, so my hopes are high.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Oh my darling

I just peeled two clementines and managed to pull both peels off in one piece each. I enjoy small victories.
I feel like I'm in trouble here. I went through weeks, months of work where I didn't have enough to do at work. I'd try to make up stuff for myself to do, only to be told that that wasn't part of my job, so I should drop it, or that that was really something we should get someone else to do - someone who had some time on their hands, seeing as I was so busy. Uh, yeah.
So where this has left me is in a very dangerous place. I've been spending so much time stretching and dragging out small projects so that they fill large chunks of time, that I'm now in the habit of not working. I finally have a week where I probably have enough to do to fill my time, and I'm having trouble getting off the web and getting down to business. Every random thought sends me off to Google random tidbits of fact or fiction, and every momentary lapse in concentration makes me wonder what's going on in the forum. Or whether I can peel a clementine in one whole piece.
This past weekend was a fun one. Marissa, Rosalie, Jen and I all met up and headed out to Guelph for Fair November, in what has become an annual tradition. Have to say we were all a bit disappointed in the fair - it seems to be smaller, with fewer vendors and less variety this year. But a great deal of our reason for the annual trek is our regular pilgrimage back to Guelph, seat of our memories of less complicated, but somehow fuller lives. Checking to see what colour the cannon is today (hey - I forgot to look), whether the bear is offering anything interesting to passersby (he wasn't), how far along all of the building and renovations have come. Looking back to the times when sleep was less important, money was more important (because of a severe lack) and our direction and purpose were clear.
And the Greek restaurant.
My goal today is to focus for at least one full hour. We'll see how that goes. So far - well, you're reading a blog entry, aren't you? Things can only improve.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Awesomely pathetic

This is great! You can buy a Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

The Royal Winter Agricultural Fair

As promised, tales from the Royal, and plenty of pictures.

We started out with the Superdogs, who really were Super. They were a lot of fun, although I have a feeling Jodi left with a bit of 'Super-envy.'

Next were the cows, and you've never seen so many cows in your life - well, I hadn't, anyway. Jodi got some funny looks from the farmers when she asked if she could pet their cows, but they were very sweet and gentle and seemed to enjoy the attention (the cows, not the farmers)

It was amusing to see all the farmers - tough, overall-clad, beer drinking men out there, brushing and shaving the cows, shining up their feet, with their beauty kits all laid out. The sheep were even funnier - after they're all prettied up, they get hoods and jackets put on to keep them clean. Alas, camera went wonky then, so I have no pictures of the super-hero-in-disguise sheep.

A highlight was the giant vegetables. Here's the winner of the giant pumpkin contest, weighing in at over 1000 pounds. Congratulations, Norm!

The whole vegetable area was pretty neat - here's an overhead shot, that I was quite proud of - the flash wouldn't light up the scene (obviously) so I had to play with exposure, which I don't often get to do, and it turned out tolerably well. If only I could have made everyone in the place freeze on the spot for a full second, it would have been perfect.

Jodi really liked the giant watermelons. To make sure we could understand the scale of the thing, yes - that's her shoe alongside.

Another highlight were the butter sculptures. I heard that they'd melted sometimes in past years, but they seemed to be holding up pretty well this time.

And I felt it was important for me to look at the wheat sheaves on display, as I'm supposed to be learning more about that side of the business. They were pretty, in any case, even though it kind of feels silly to be taking pictures of wheat. Oh, well - it's not like I haven't taken odder pictures.

Speaking of - here's one just for you, if you're reading - you know who you are. I present: Yak Butt - in all its glory.

Yeah, you know who you are. Only for you would I take and post a picture of an animal's behind.

This was in the petting zoo, which was a lot of fun.

It did remind me of Colasanti's, although these goats weren't nearly as aggressive. I did feel for the people who were shorter than most of the animals.
A gratuitous llama shot - what would a site of mine be without pictures of llamas. I liked this guy's 'do.

Jodi, of course, was in her element.

She even got so carried away as to cheat a little on her own Lenny, much to my shock. But hey - what happens at the Royal - stays at the Royal.

Our last stop was the horses, which was somewhat disappointing. All the snooty horse people had the area around the stalls roped off, with curtains hiding the horses inside. Here's one guy who was out and about, but I wish I could explain how BIG he was. To help put it in perspective (hm - should've used a shoe) I couldn't reach to the top of that gate he's standing near. People were standing on ladders about the height of a desk, just to reach to brush the heads and back of these guys. Massive.

So those are my pictures from the Royal. Now I'm going to go put on my jammies and let myself feel sick. I've been denying it all day, despite frustrations and anger and unfairness and fatigue. I have a cold, and I have an unrelated infection (for those who know me, yes, it's another one of those) and I'm on three different kinds of medication (one that makes me loopy, one that makes me sleepy, and one that I'm told could make me stop breathing, but probably won't), and now I'm going to lie down and wish for someone to make my dinner and bring me soup and fluff my pillows and clean my house.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


I actually have a whole lot I want to get into the blog right now, but it's quite late for me, and that really won't work. Suffice it to say, it was a big weekend, with fun and games and food and cows and WORK! And right now I'm freaking out because I'm scared to death that everyone at work will think my calendar is stupid and no one will buy one except the 'pity purchases'.

Here are some examples of the months I've done up (pics only, no calendars):

Okay, really have to go to bed now. Will dream of mockery and disdain and people taunting me with money and inkjet cartridges.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Bye buy Sony

An interesting and horrifying little piece of news.

I had no idea. Way to discourage people from buying 'real' music. I don't think I'll ever buy a traditional cd again, if I have to worry about getting A VIRUS on my HARD DRIVE if I try to play it on my computer or anything other than a SONY P.O.S.

Monday, November 07, 2005


There's something about this that is both scandalous and comforting.

Don't you wish that you could be this ludicrously happy and content? I know I do. Instead, there are periods of stagnation that frustrate and times of sadness that feel like they're gradually filling my world, flooding my mouth and throat with despair, making it hard to breathe.

But not all the time. And not when I see something like this.

And don't envy the cat too much - he's actually sick of me taking pictures. The camera appears to be behaving better now, but I feel compelled to test it repeatedly. I don't like taking pictures of myself, and the cat's the most interesting thing in the apartment right now, so he's a frequent (if unwilling) subject.

Small Scale De-Evolution

I find it somewhat fascinating to observe the changes that happen as I grow ever and ever older. I'm still pretty young, but already my digestive processes aren't as robust as they once were, I have to use the tweezers a lot more than I used to, and my sleep patterns are seemingly ever-changing.

It's this last one that's come to the forefront recently. I used to be able to function on extremely small amounts of sleep when necessary. I remember a time just before finals in my first year at Windsor in general Engineering when for several weeks I didn't get more than 4 hours of sleep each night, between school, work and socializing. Maybe to make up for that time, since then I've needed my eight hours a night. I could, of course, get by on less, but it really didn't go very well. And now a new schedule - I only need seven hours, which is quite nice. I tested down to six hours last night, and that was a failed test. Today the result is a coffee consumption test, complete with twitching eyelids.

The body marks time in its own way. Most people see it as a degeneration, a degradation, as the body changes from the state of youth and fitness to one less vital and taut. And when you reach such ages where the body ceases to sustain life, that can't be denied. But earlier, when things still work, just not as well - it seems more like a resting period; a time following the body's frantic climb to the peak, like a throwing arc where the ball only touches the top for a moment, then starts to head back to the earth. It's useless to compare all bodies to how they are at that peak, as it is so fleeting, and isn't meant to be sustained.

If this doesn't make any sense, blame it on the coffee. Or on Grey's Anatomy, which caused me to stay up too late in the first place.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Moment, Please

Sadness is overtaking me. My camera may be dying. It is at the very least quite ill. I'm hoping that it's just the memory card, but I have my doubts.

Those of you who know me know how much I love my camera. There was a celebration when it finally arrived, and it has rarely left my side since that day. A recent patch of terrible dullness in my life (not rare) has meant that I've been carrying the camera, but not using it very much. This means that I'm not always aware that it's in my bag, and, well, maybe I'm a bit rough when I drop the bag or toss it unceremoniously into the car. At any rate, the occasional memory errors have degenerated into a state of constant error and an inability to sometimes just store, but often even take any pictures. And that, of course, is a camera's reason for being.

I think the camera got used to being the favoured, loved, pampered companion, and is now sulking and rebelling at being ignored and treated poorly. I feel like if only I could buy it some flowers and candy - maybe take it out to some picturesque area and have some fun, show it the sights - that then it would perk right up and start cooperating again, with the understanding that I, too, will straighten up and behave in a more respectful manner. Our fabulous life adventures could then continue, shadowed by the memory of this painful time, but somehow tempered and strengthened by it at the same time.

Right now, I'm going to see if I can't find some guidance, some method of healing this wound, mending this rift. If nothing works, then there will likely be a small ceremony later this week, possibly by the lake. Donations of photo paper gratefully accepted in this time of suffering.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Some people were just never meant to knit socks.

A Reason to be Very Excited

Memoirs of a Geisha has been made into a movie that will come out in December! You can see the trailer for it here - it looks absolutely beautiful.


Last night, my upstairs neighbours were blaring music (just for a little while, and they knocked it off just when I turned up the tv, so I guess I can't complain). What added the element hilarity was the music. My neighbours around here (the blare-y ones, anyway) are generally all in with the hip-hop, bass-y beats that reverberate across the parking lot and bounce off the other buildings. Last night it was - wait for it - the Thriller album. It started with Billie Jean, which made me think that it was just an eighties-feelin' kinda evening, but then moved into that other song with Paul McCartney, and Why, Why, which I started singing along with absentmindedly as I folded laundry until I realised the horror.

Maybe it affected my dreams - but it was more likely the incessant coverage of avian flu, I'm thinking. (Which enrages me to no end, but maybe more about that later)

I woke up with a half-remembered dream that came back more clearly when I focused on it. Here are the highlights:

- Chickens were taking over the world. They may have been alien chickens - it wasn't entirely clear.
- People were somehow being turned into weird chicken/human zombies, with slack faces and random feathers growing out of their faces and other places.
- They communicated using eggs that travelled down the outside of people's legs, under the skin (as men in particular would not be able to lay eggs properly) and had to be cut out at the ankle. The messages were printed on the eggs in some funky sci-fi writing (so maybe they were alien chickens after all)

No more news for me.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Spider thoughts

Okay. There's a big, creepy-looking spider roaming the wall above my desk. Now, I had the option of squishing hime when he was within reach, but now that would involve hopping up on the desk and balancing precariously in the doorway. So now I am left watching him obsessively, in case he comes too close to me, or hides somewhere from which place he can later jump out at me unexpectedly. Ack! He comes closer! Something must be done...

It is done.

So why did this inspire a blog entry? Well, first off - this blog is never that interesting, so it's not like I wait for some kind of divine literary inspiration to click that little button. Second, I'm writing up a poor audit, which I always find to be a difficult and demoralizing task, that must be interrupted repeatedly (and my usual distraction isn't here today). And third, (here's a roundabout item); watching the spider made my head itchy (as watching bugs do anything generally does) and when I went to scratch my head, I hit the bump created there yesterday by the car trunk, so I thought I'd share that (yes, equally uninteresting) story in a series of others involving my recent varied travels.

Flew to Winnipeg on Monday. Uneventful flight, but I did make one exciting (for me) discovery - while I am unable to read, write, or even think hard while flying without having to double-check for that nasty air-sickness bag, I have discovered that I am able to - KNIT!! I warned you it was only exciting to me. So I spent the entire flight knitting. Which would have been fine and all, but I was stuck in a middle seat, between two well-sized gentlemen. And I had my longest needles with me (of course). So I was trying to knit with my arms straight out in front of me, my elbows tucked in at my sides, and the needles lying alongside my forearms. Try it - it's not easy or comfortable. But I was determined, and I'm pretty sure I never whacked either of them. I did get one small dishcloth completed, and a second started, tearing the yarn with my teeth, as I was of course without sewing scissors on the plane. (Never mind my 12" metal needles - they're allowed).

Winnipeg I've already spoken of, in my wine-hazed stupor. Man, I slept well that night. I should drink half a bottle of wine more often. Or not. I was almost late the next morning just because I had flung everything everywhere before bed, instead of getting it all ready for the morning rush the night before, like I usually try to do in hotel rooms. The audit there went well, and the flight from there to Saskatoon was again uneventful - and I had no seat-mate, which was super. I was able to use my elbows as they were made to be used.

Saskatoon had a bit of an unpleasant surprise for us. We woke Wednesday morning to wet, slushy snow. It wasn't too cold - I was warm enough with my fall jacket and my nice warm, ridiculously long scarf (man, I love that scarf). Despite the weather,the day was going well enough until...

We were both getting our things our things out of the car trunk. We had both pulled out our bags, and I said 'Just a sec', as I reached back in for my shoes. Guess I didn't say it loudly enough. The trunk lid came down squarely on the side of my head. It must have looked comical from a distance, but it hurt so much. I wanted to just stop and sit down and cry. And I think I must have flung my arm up in defensive reflex, because I have a really big, lumpy bruise on my forearm, but I didn't notice that until much later. It took about ten minutes for the pain to subside, and for the tears to stop threatening. I kept smiling and making jokes, but - wow. There were apologies made, and I did accept graciously, and I did offer that I may have been too quiet in my request for a moment, but it's hard not to be "underneath" mad at someone who HIT YOU REALLY HARD IN THE HEAD. So I dealt with it.

There are my unexciting stories of my travels in the sorta-west. I have to say in addition that I did not enjoy three flights in three days. Especially the last one, which was delayed by over an hour. Especially galling was the sticker on the back of the headrest in front of me, telling about how in a few months, there would be monitor there, displaying video (and audio) entertainment that I COULD CONTROL! But for now, just sit here and stare at this stupid freaking little sticker. Have a nice flight!