Monday, June 26, 2006


I spotted this sign on the way to the grocery store yesterday.

Funny how a sign that's so common, so familiar, can give such a completely different message when it's turned upside down. It made me smile, anyway, so I thought I should share.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Infestation Memories

I was talking to my friend Jodi yesterday. First, about Jodi. She and her husband Ken are the only friends I have who have a barn. And it’s chock full of critters. There’s a llama, two donkeys, two pygmy goats, two chickens, and, as of yesterday, an Arabian horse named Della.

Jodi and Della

And, of course, then there are the in house animals, which include a dog and three cats, and, temporarily, another mum cat and her four kittens.

But that’s not what I was going to talk about.

The thing that inspired reminiscence - and an entry, for that matter - was the mention of fish flies. Jodi was having to pick the fish flies off the laundry hanging in the yard before she could fold it all.

Before I go any further, I have to point out that, yes, most other people call these 'mayflies', but to me they always were fish flies, and so they always will be. Whatever they are, they're ugly.


Every June, fish flies invaded Windsor and the towns nearby. Every flat surface under a light was completely covered by the bugs every night. Lazy, worm-bodied bugs that wouldn’t move even if you banged against the wall or floor, opened the window or flapped your hands near them close enough to touch. The only way to get rid of them is to physically remove them. Luckily, their big, ugly triangular wings gave them a convenient handle. You could pluck them off the window by their little wings and fling them off into the air. And you had to do it if you wanted to open any door from the outside. The only time in my life I voluntarily touch insects. (except maybe ladybugs) In the really bad years, they would coat the windows of convenience stores so thickly that you couldn’t see inside. They would blanket the ground so that it looked like a grimy, grey carpet that would flicker disturbingly when the wind blew across the thousands of wings.

Some random memories of fish flies:
  • The ‘bad’ kid in my class collecting all of the fish flies off our classroom portable walls and dropping them into a jar full of Raid.
  • The time I ran down the street in my socks to catch the garbage truck, realising only after I’d run several houses down that the fish flies had come in the night. It was like a nightmare – trying to find some way to get back to the house without again having to endure the walk across what felt like fluid-filled rice crispies.
  • Having to remove at least ten fish flies from the screen door every time I wanted to get into the house.
  • The tunnel leading to the Boblo Island ferry, which had an added element of horror – the sudden ability of the fish flies to surround you on ALL SIDES.
  • The fight to park strategically away from all parking lot lights when working night shifts in order to avoid having the car invaded by the little winged fiends come morning and the pitiful shakes of the head at the ‘newbies’ who thought they’d lucked out with a great spot.
  • The worst job at the fast food restaurant - scraping the fish flies off the windows and walls every morning, and, worse, fighting to keep the drive thru windows clear enough of them so that the servers didn't have to lean across bugs to give people their food.
  • And finally, my shock when visiting Calgary. I woke one morning to find fish flies on my balcony door, and when I moved to remove them, they crawled away! Freaky, non-lazy, motile fish flies! Aiee!
The weird thing about my relationship with fish flies is the fact that I completely forget about them every year until I see them again. They’re magic.

This is the kind of entry that results from a weekend without enough caffeine.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Good Stuff

You know what's a good way to get a smile on your face? Free stuff!

I was sent these by Purl over at Knit and Plenty. She has some great knitting doodads, well worth a look.

Another good way? Drooling over yarn.

Ever since the first time I was at Romni Wools, I have been thinking about this wool yarn, sitting there, calling to me from its cushy basket, near the back of the store. It's just so many lovely shades of blue and purple. It looks like a really bad bruise. But in a good way, and before it starts to turn that sickly yellow and green.

I finally succumbed to its siren song and went back to Queen West last Friday. I love summer hours - short Fridays are the best.

I'm only hoping that the rest of this summer will allow me to keep doing summer hours. Because it looks like this summer is going to be crazy busy. But, rather than dreading it, I'm looking forward to being back in a place where my days are full and varied. It looks like I'm going to be in Dunnville for 2 or 3 days a week, back in Toronto some days, and doing some travelling all kind of scattered through there. I don't know how it's all supposed to fit together yet, but hopefully it'll be fun figuring it out.

In the meantime, I need to get a whole lot more sleep.

And Jodi, if you're reading this - I did notice that the citronella was drooping. I just watered it. :)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I Love Short Projects

Katja (Modelled by Mozart)Would it be wrong to consider having a child only for the modelling services?

This was such a fun project - and fast.

Katja from the back
So now the whole lot of stuff is ready to go. I have the jacket and hat, this pretty little halter, and some of the children's books that are a must for every kid, including Goodnight Moon and The Paperbag Princess.

I love shopping for other people's babies.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Don't worry - the dark green yarn is only there temporarily
I am officially knitting the cutest thing ever. Just thought you should know.

I'm having trouble getting into my head that there will be a person this tiny - small enough to fit into this little piece and the rest of the top. The pattern looks pretty manageable, and now that I've figured out that crochet cast on (following some crying and possibly the throwing across the room of a few small objects), the rest should be painless.

My summer goal is proceeding along as well as can be expected. I would like to take this opportunity to point out that I never said that my goal was to see lots and lots of good movies. I'm keeping all expectations quite low. My main challenge is going to be fitting in any movies with complex storylines and/or subtitles. They're the hardest to watch while knitting.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Completion and Weirdness

bear jacket

Finally. The baby jacket is done. And I’m pretty pleased with how it’s turned out. There are several small errors, and I’m not entirely happy with the sewn seams, but overall, it looks pretty good.

I couldn’t use the usual model for this, unfortunately. For one, I’d hate to see the resulting injuries from trying to get a jacket on him, and secondly, it’s probably a bad idea to coat this in cat fur before shipping it off.

I was worried that the jacket would be small enough to be worn in the first couple of months. Worried, because those first couple of months are going to be July and August. But it turned out quite a bit larger than I was expecting (I have no concept of real life baby sizes), so it should fit during the time when it’s most needed. I hope.

But now I’m itching to make something summery, and I may just succumb to the allure of Katja, from It’s charming, and pretty, and involves a few techniques that are new to me, (provisional crochet cast-on? Wha?) so it means I get to learn something new. And, um, shop. Some more. I swear – more than half of my passion for new crafts and hobbies comes from the shopping opportunities. I was heavily into scrapbooking until I had all the tools I was interested in (or could afford) and then dropped it.

I’m hoping that the same doesn’t happen with my knitting. I do think it’s less likely, though, because most of the tools and toys are pretty inexpensive individually. The real danger is the yarn. So many beautiful materials and colours and stores and websites. So much potential for spending money.

In other news, my drive to work has been pretty interesting lately. Earlier this week, I saw a large inground pool liner travelling down the QEW, taking up two lanes and a good length of road, as well, with its “Wide Load” sign bearing truck convoy. Sadly, I was ahead of the convoy, and couldn't get any good pictures. I tried. Believe me.

And now there’s this.

Highway Fish

We saw it for the first time yesterday morning, on the way to work. “Is that a fish sticking out of that hole?” “I… think so.” We were running late, so we couldn’t stop to take pictures or examine it more closely at the time, but were determined to do so on the way home.

Highway Fish

Thankfully, on closer inspection, it turns out to be a fake fish, made of fabric. Now, I don’t know that that makes it any less weird, but at least it’s less smelly.

Highway Fish

Monday, June 05, 2006

It's Good to Have a Goal

I don't like going to the movies on my own.

A movie theatre full of people can be a special kind of hell. People talking, people fidgeting, people whispering, people with cell phones, people kicking. Especially that last one. And the person behind me is always a kicker. I need a companion to whom I can vent before exploding with rage at the kicker.

Plus, the previews are my favourite part of seeing a movie in the theatre. Yeah, okay - the big screen and the surround sound are great, too, but what I'm really there for are the previews. And my favourite part of every preview is the part where you lean over to your friend and do a fast, 'book-by-its-cover' judgment. "Renter". "NEED to see that." "Couldn't pay me enough."

I can't do that when I'm alone. Well, I can, but it's much less fun.

My point here is that because I've been pretty much on my own except for the occasional outing for a while now, I'm really behind on my movies. Even my renting has been sub-par.

So now, with my bestest friend the television away on summer vacation, I have decided to make this the Summer of Movies. My goal this summer is to watch as many movies as possible. Yes, it's a vague goal, but I have a short attention span, so who knows when I'll move on to something else?

In the meantime, here is where I will keep track of my summer movies. I'll only be listing the movies I haven't seen before. Here we go!

The Movies of Summer 2006

Steel Magnolias
Garden State
Say Anything
Secret Window (June 6)
The Day After Tomorrow (June 7)
Cheaper by the Dozen (June 8)
King Kong (June 9)
Memoirs of a Geisha (June 10)
Muriel's Wedding (June 11)
Old School (June 11)
Mercury Rising (June 13)
Kingdom of Heaven (June 17)
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (June 23)
L.A. Confidential (June 24)
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (June 24)
Run Lola Run (June 25)
13 Going on 30 (July 5)
Johnny Mnemonic (July 9)
In Her Shoes (July 12)
Monster (July 14)
Meet the Fockers (July 15)
The Barbarian Invasions (July 20)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (July 21)
Something's Gotta Give (July 21)
Clerks 2 (July 22)
Hidalgo (July 24)
The Squid and the Whale (July 29)
The Brothers Grimm (July 30)
Tuck Everlasting (August 3)
V for Vendetta (August 5)
Superman Returns (August 6)
Ray (August 8)
The 40 Year Old Virgin (August 9)
Man on Fire (August 12)
Le Divorce (August 12)
The Bridges of Madison County (August 13)
Mona Lisa Smile (August 17)
Sky High (August 18)
Clerks (August 19)
I, Robot (August 20)
Ocean's Twelve (August 23)
Elizabethtown (August 24)
The Island (August 25)
Jersey Girl (August 25)
Chasing Liberty (August 26)
Monster's Ball (August 27)
Inside Man (September 2)
Corpse Bride (September 3)
Ella Enchanted (September 3)
A Life Less Ordinary (September 5)
Crash (September 9)
The Illusionist (September 10)