Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's that day again

Everything's so quiet. Everyone's holed up it seems, digesting Christmas and preparing for end of the year festivities. It's been a tranquil couple of days for us too. Spent most of yesterday at MIL's house and got a lot of knitting done. Tonight, party boy upstairs is having another one, and it's sure to be loud and late. I don't mention our other "neighbors" much but he is one of them. Most weekends he has a party that goes late. The clomp clomp clomping is disturbing, but it's the weekend so we just deal. We'll probably step out tonight, though I really loathe going anywhere public on this day. Everybody gets so messy and I (sniff, sniff, snob) don't care much to be around messiness.

It was terrible when I used to work in restaurants on this day. Invariably, some woman who had (unbeknownst to me) been eyeing me would insist on KISSING me on the LIPS at midnight. I don't think I have quite the same effect on women these days, but it reminds me of the time Serge and I went to Jackie's wedding (a bartender at the place I was managing). After several hours of champagne, the bride came up and french-kissed me and whispered, "I still wish it had been you" in my ear. It was a matter of three minutes before I had said my goodbyes and got out of there.

Then there was the time I was drenched with bottles of champagne at midnight, a case of employee enthusiasm gone wrong. I had to close the place squishing around in those clothes. God I was pissed.

I really have no big expectations for this "holiday", so I shouldn't be disappointed. And I guess it's requisite to wish everyone a happy new year, so consider that done. I'll see you all in the year of James Bond, the only 007 year any of us will know. (Excepting of course any centenarian readers.)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Snippets: What I learned in 2006

* First and foremost, that I am always capable of accomplishing more than I believe.

* Perhaps consequently, that I must put limits on my "doing". I have (and only just started) begun to learn how to relax my mind.

* How to meditate.

* That no matter how genuine a person seems, it is entirely possible that they are lying.

* What an anxiety attack is. I had always pooh-poohed the existence of them, until I had one.

* That hemmerhoids cause itching. (Sure the commercials mentioned it, but I reserve the gift of my belief until I have experience.)

* That there are a huge group of interesting, good-hearted individuals in the blogosphere.

* How to take and edit movies from my camera.

* That there really is no bad or good. Only what is.

* Many, many words in French and English. I don't keep a list, but I will in 2007. I love me a good running list.

* That my farts could be mistaken for egg sandwich.

* Why it can snow when there are no clouds. (Only at temps below -20C/ -6F, and it is called diamond dust. It just materializes out of thin air. )

* That I can ride my bike thirty minutes and be in the company of deer.

* How to make carmelized onions. (Thanks John!)

* What it's like to visit Miami, Puerto Vallarta, Cozumel, Jamaica (blech!), Grand Cayman, Ottawa, most of New Brunswick and a refresher course on Big Sur.

* That the older I get, the more the days seem precious, even as they slip ever more swiftly by.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

This 'n that

Well we went to the rental board yesterday and filed the eviction request for nude dancer. He's been absent for over a week now, so we haven't had a chance to pitch options to him. The hearing won't be until the beginning of February, but I don't know if I'm willing to wait that long. We'll just have to see if he shows his face around here anymore. If he doesn't, we might just take things into our own hands and empty his place. At least the animal has been rescued. Yesterday, the SPCA came and took away the poor cat. They have to wait a while to see if the owner wants to claim it (hahahahaha), and then it will be put up for adoption. We had to send a certified letter to him informing him of the action taken but he will never get this letter, nor go to pick it up at the post office. He has a dozen such notices on his kitchen table amongst the detritus.

Some of you remarked about my skinniness in the videos. Well, that's what stress'll do for you, however real or imagined the stressors are. There was a day last week I forgot to eat dinner. Plain forgot. The following morning I was ravenous and realized I hadn't eaten in 20 hours. Don't worry though, I polished off the pumpkin pie yesterday and there's still the pecan pie and the ice cream log in the freezer to get through. A little insulating fat would be welcome about now as it has turned much colder.

Today we 86 the christmas tree and decorations. Ditto for the christmas music and left over sweet potatoes. We've eaten turkey at every meal since the 24th, and turned the remaining carcass into soup. Frankly, I'm sick of it now. (Still, it's amazing how many meals you can get out of a $20 bird.)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Toilet talk

When we first moved into this place, we were quite taken by the amenities that came with - fancy appliances, central vacuum, and the "silent toilet" as Serge put it. And it's true, when you flush this toilet, it makes no sound since the water from the tank enters the bowl from below the water line. Now I would never notice something like a "silent toilet", much as I don't notice a dirty toilet, but spouse, the one with taste, notices all these things.

However, there is something I've noticed that I don't like about this toilet. It doesn't evacuate all the turds. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the purpose of the toilet? Evacuating the turds? This toilet is good at evacuating the bulk of the turdage, but always seems to leave a morsel behind. This tends to be embarrassing when you have visitors. (Particularly those who choose to do number two.) Now personally, I avoid defecating if at all possible in any toilet other than my home's. Still there are times one must do the deed when away from home. For me, clothes shopping works better than coffee at nudging the fudge. Maybe some people experience this "nudging" while visiting others. Our friends seem to, lol.

So then last night, I was telling spouse about my dissatisfatction with the turd evacuation device in the bathroom. And you know what? He said that I was mistaken, that there is a little chipped porcelain at the bottom which has become stained and thus gives the illusion of remaining turdage. In actuality, all the turds are indeed evacuated. He said we needed to change the toilet because of the chip. And this is where he made the big mistake. You see, if he had let me go with the illusion, we would be getting a new toilet. But for chipped porcelain? No way. He's still got a thing or two to learn about me.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Visual holiday recap

Everything was splendid

Here's a look around before the in-laws arrived.

The money shot of the night. God we were stuffed. We finished off the night with word games and Uno.

Today we spent a fabulous Christmas day outside. Then I came home and edited together this video.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Time's up!

I hope you're ready! I'm cookin' a turkey today for the in-laws. And stuffing, and pecan crusted sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole. Of course we have to clean the house too, but I'll leave spouse to that - I seem to be dirt-blind.

We went up yesterday to check on the cat. No water again. At least nude dancer left the ripped open sack of cat food on the floor for the poor thing. And the stench! Cleaned up the cat box (again) too. There was a long letter on his door from his ex. She was worried about him, knew things weren't going well and "please don't disappear like last time" and "please let me know your new address for real, not like the fake phone number you gave me". Also, she had received the divorce papers and she needed to talk to him. This put a human face on his situation (whatever it is) and I actually felt some pity for the guy. Still, we have a plan of action.

Next time we see him (we are changing the entrance code to the building to force him to ring our bell) we are going to give him three choices. Well one choice really, it's just the manner of proceeding. We are going to tell him that we want him out, and that we will get him out. 1. File a request for eviction with the rental board, as we have enough evidence now to support the request.(they are closed until Wednesday.) 2. We change the lock and empty his apartment. It will be up to him to sue us in civil court for wrongful eviction (once he's out, the rental board has no jurisdiction.)We also have a strong case to defend ourselves there. 3. You sign this paper cancelling the lease and you get out by the end of January. Don't pay us a thing, just sign the paper and get out.

I feel pretty strongly that he will jump at the chance for number three. But we'll have to see his reaction. This is my first goal of 2007 - get nude dancer out!

But I feel sad too, this is probably his worst Christmas ever.

I hope you and yours have a splendid holiday!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Spouse endures Christmassy pestering

Really, he was singing the song just moments before I picked up the camera.

Also, the French words spoken:

T'es fatiguant calisse! = You are annoying, chalice!

T'es con. = You are a fool.

Toi, t'es con. = It is you who is the fool.

Friday, December 22, 2006


* This is the shot that made the Christmas card.

* Watched "the Devil Wears Prada" last night. It doesn't matter what Meryl Streep does, she is perfect in every role.

*I learned this week that Kimodo dragons can procreate without copulation. Actually, several lizard species can do this. It is not a miracle.

* I've been cracking myself up all week saying, "The ferret ate my baby's toes."

* The phone number nude dancer gave me was indeed a phony.

* When you watch the sunset, you're watching the past. Actually the sun has already set because the light from the sun takes several minutes to reach us.

* This was the creepy clothing store I passed while shopping yesterday.

* To avoid ground knuckle, don't push with the cheese, simply pull lightly with the grater.

* Favorite blog line this week: "You're short. Own it." (From Farmboyz)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Development of a phobia

My last massage took place on a cruise ship. For the bargain price of $120, you could have a "rejuvenating" massage and hot oil treatment. The little brochure promised things like relaxation and "enlivening one's senses". It failed to mention that the sense they'd be enlivening was pain. The spa visit was the one big splurge we did on that trip, and this is how it went down.

I arrived at my appointment and was shown into a room with lots of little oils and lights and soft music playing. I was told to get undressed and put on the towel and get onto the table.

"Helga will be right with you."

Helga? For some reason I thought the masseuse would be a male. And further that males would do males and females would do females. I was there waiting, hoping Helga was some swarthy Greek male name. And then she came in.

"Hello Richard how are you today?"

"Fine thanks," I said as I was trying to place her accent. Not quite German, perhaps some stern former Eastern Bloc country like Sadistivakia.

"I vant you to try and relax Richard, and remember a little bit of discomfort iss normal."

I immediately reacted by thinking oh no, she is going to hurt me, and now she is telling me not to be a baby. Of course then I couldn't be a baby, and didn't feel confident enough to tell her the truth: I just wanted to relax and feel all tingly and stuff. (Dirk's story reminded me of Helga)

She started by digging her dagger fingers and knuckles into the flesh of my shoulders, "Oh my, but vee have a lot of tension here."

There were two voices in my head at this time. The first just wanting to say "ouch" and "stop" but instead sufficed for a tear, unseen, trickling from my eyes. The other enraged, bellowed, "Of course there's fucking tension, you are bruising every inch of my flesh."

This went on and on to each part of the body, " I never see someone vith so much tension in their muscles, you are going to hurt for a few days, but that is good because all the toxins are coming out".

Detoxifying? Had I missed that part in the brochure? Who said anything about detoxifying?! So Helga is here to squeeze every last toxin out of my body while I'm on a cruise ship being a perfect lush?!?!

Afterward, I got the added joy of her attempt to peddle lotions to me. Bwahahaha. I don't do lotions Helga.

Anyway, it scarred me. No more massages for me. Ever. (I might make an exception for Em, but only if she gets on a plane.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

This n that

I gave my last classes of the year yesterday. Normally, I would fully rejoice at the upcoming two and a half weeks of off time, but I'm afraid of the tendency to fester about things when I have too much time on my hands. Especially when there are things to fester about. I'm working on keeping everything in perspective, it's only money after all, and I know that we will get through this and come out the other side with a learning experience worthy of any lost money. In the meantime, it's peanut butter and jelly for lunch, soup and baguette for dinner. Thankfully, I like those meals.

I spoke with beloved relatives yesterday, a conversation spirited by martinis on both ends of the line. I laughed a good deal. In the end, I was told to quit whining and to look at the whole learning experience angle of this. I pointed out that I didn't like what I was learning, to whit, you can't trust anybody. It's hard to love and distrust at the same time. I know there must be a way, but it seems like you have to kill a part of yourself off to do it. (Quit your whining!, lol)

Spouse and I decided that we are not going to give each other gifts this year, but we are going to go to a spa next week, him for a massage, me for a pedicure. After all, things don't matter, experiences do.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Damn, the saga continues

Boy, the SPCA doesn't mess around. Within two hours of me emailing them, someone was here for an inspection. They will be taking the cat if nude dancer doesn't show up by Friday. Since we are taking care of it for now, they don't need to "rescue" it. The poor thing cries all the time so I brought her down to meet Sara. They carefully inspected each other and no blood was shed. I think it went quite well. Mostly the cat just wanted petting. I would take the cat as a pet but spouse has been talking about a year free of animals for quite a while now, and I figure I should honor that. Sara is on her last legs anyway. Sniff.

We gave all our renters gift certificates to the market. We know of no other landlords who do this. I call it a goodwill expense that will pay itself off in friendly interactions with our tenants. I couldn't bring myself to include nude dancer though, even though I wish I were a big enough person to do something like that. But I can't get past the fact that the fucker owes us $725 and abandonned a cat.

Get this. Just now as I write this (4:30pm yesterday) a truck pulls into the yard and starts unloading a couch. Where could this be going? I go open my door and there is nude dancer in the stairwell. He comes into my apartment (at my insistence) and tells me he's been at the hospital for a week for serious depression, he broke up with his girlfriend a year ago and he should have his pay Thursday (the 21st, the end of the grace period according to the rental board) and he saw the notice from the SPCA and he would be cleaning up his apartment, and blah blah fucking horseshit. I gave him the cat food and litter that I bought and told him it was 10 bucks. I also told him that he should have called us about the cat, and he responded in the fake contriteness of an adolescent, "I know." (head bowed in "shame")

Then he said he had a new cellphone and left without giving me the number. I went up to his apartment and asked him for it in front of his moving friends. If you can't pay rent and you're laid up in the hospital, how do you get a new cellphone? (what I should have asked) It's probably a fake number anyway, him and his "rotted teeth" buddies howled when I left with the number. Then they left and nude dancer has not returned as of this morning. He was here maybe ten minutes in all. I guess we're the Man and they're sticking it to us. Sigh.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Googly and stuff

The blog searches leading to by blog are interesting. While "how to make perfect french fries" is still the number one search leading here, "window peeping" is a close second now. I'm number four if you google the song "let it snow" and I saw a new one yesterday, "blocking my peehole". It made me wonder if the person's peehole is obstructed or if the person would like to obstruct it. I get all sorts of "sticky" references too. It all seems so random, I got a hit from a search for "hemmroidectomy" (sic). I'm pretty sure I never wrote that, perhaps it was a commenter.

But then I thought about how random my own searches are. In the past week, I have googled "hip displaysia dog", "Aspirin dosage animal", "Exquisicorpse", "Telescopic horse penis"(don't ask), "Pigs dogs smarter", "SPCA", "Self realization fellowship", "Kundulini energy", "Weight of an olympic bar", "Teach English Inuit", "Supralapsarianism", and "Everyone says I love you music". Yesterday, while playing Scrabble, I was incensed because someone used the word purslane. I had never seen that word before (cheater cheater!), so of course, it had to be googled. Turns out it is a fairly common edible plant. There are even recipes for it. (The person probably wasn't a cheater.)

Often times I'll find someone's blog via a search. I end up getting a story about how the phrase I entered in the google box had reference in their lives. Many times, it's a perspective quite different from my own. Many times, it is the same. I love that in all this randomness, there is also a kind of connectivity, the chaotic path of each life careening and crashing together in the ether. It's like a shadow of our connectedness.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Tagged by LBB

"Each player of this game starts with the '6 weird things about you'. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “you are tagged” in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

1. Each night before going to sleep, I listen to the weather radio. This is a special weather band radio you can get at Radio Shack. Government issued weather forecasts and conditions are broadcast on three frequencies. I've been doing that for over 30 years and it might possibly be my oldest habit. Sometimes I fall asleep with it on and spouse has a phobia that the telescopic antenna is going to poke his eye out one of these days.

2. I hate putting anything on my skin. All my friends know this. Dry skin? Get that lotion away from me. And I use nothing but barsoap for body and face. In fact, my entire skin care regiment consists of Lever 2000.

3. When I am walking, I have dialogue in my head with the trees. "Well, you are looking mighty fine this morning. What's that? Oh thank you. I bet most people just walk right by you and don't notice your majesty and your steadfastness, rooted there for decades." And then sometimes I pet them.

4. Most days I drink coffee and water and a couple glasses of wine at the end of the day. Occasionally, I treat myself to a diet coke. Then I refill the diet coke bottle with water a hundred times.

5. (I am going to copy what LBB wrote. It was perfectly stated. Maybe it's not so weird after all...) I stopped maturing at 12. Other than taking an interest in the opposite (ahem, same) sex, I haven't changed since childhood. As a teen and then as a young adult, I assumed one day the aging process would instill a decent work ethic and a sense of responsibility. I figured a codified adult mentality would “kick-in” at some point. I'm in my mid-30s (I'm 41!) and I'm still waiting. My biggest priorities are still: sleeping in, dodging work and responsibility, watching TV, surfing the Net, scoring good meals and dessert, playing games, working out, hanging out, wasting time and doing as little as possible. No joke, people. Honest Indian. Mind you, I don't just long to do these things. I actually DO them. I've worked part-time most of my adult life, including my present job. I still watch cartoons. I still eat candy. I still play with toys. I still contemplate what I want to be when I grow older. Between leisure time and a chance to earn more money, I'll take leisure every damn time. I've tried, but I can't give a damn about adult stuff. Who gives a shit about careers, productivity, mortgages and retirement funds, really? Fuck that shit.

6. The evidence for number five can be found in my years long fixation on Scrabble. I have played over 4000 games online, and at half an hour a pop, well, you do the math. I am not proud of this, but it is free and noodles my mind. Also, every morning I play this game.

So now I am supposed to tag six people. I don't really like tagging people. If you would like to participate, you can consider yourself tagged.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Human sewage

Well, we have finished rekeying the whole building, including nude dancer's apartment. The locksmith came yesterday so we were able to enter. I am sad to announce that the cat did not have food nor water. Even the toilet was closed. The cat was starving for attention too. We set her up with dogfood and water, today I'll go get some catfood and litter since the box is all shit and no litter. There is garbage everywhere. But nude dancer is missing in action, I only saw him around for an hour last Saturday morning. Even the old owner, pornstar, has left a note on his door demanding that he get in touch with him. We can go to the rental board on Friday. We have the key to his apartment now, so we will not let the cat die. (I want to just take her, but Spouse said no) We took pictures and a video.

I can get over the lazy messiness, but the animal cruelty is reprehensible.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Holiday snippets

* Here's another shot that didn't make the Christmas card.

* Mom always fills the adults' stockings with practical things. Aspirin, batteries, dental floss and the like. I love this.

* I avoid teaching the word "wreath". The French say it "Reet" and the Japanese "Leath". Both of these pronunciations cause me to laugh thus undermining student confidence. Best not to go there.

* Spouse is tiring of my constant playing of the Charlie Brown Christmas CD. I've played it dozens of times, as I do every year.

* I have never seen a "flocked" tree for sale up here. Maybe because the real thing is outside. Is it just a California thing?

* I asked my muslim student if he celebrated something at this time of year. He explained that he was going to sacrifice a lamb. He will go out to a farm, slit the animal's throat himself, then the farmer will skin and gut it, and he will take it home and divvy it up to family and charity. Call me crazy, but a tree and presents sound more festive.

* All the snow has melted here and none is forecast before Noel. It'll be my first non-white Christmas in 7 years.

* Despite the lack of snow, this seemed Christmassy. They had bells and they were jingling.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Something light and cheery

Spouse came home the other day raving about the new underwear he bought. He modeled them for me and I said, "Not bad, how much were they?" He said they were originally $50, but got them for $20 at the warehouse sale. I laughed, "For underwear!? That's against my religion." He talked about how they felt so good and snug and then he said, "Here, you try them on."

Happy HNT!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

This 'n that

Last night, spouse and I had THE talk about the dog. Spouse wants to prevent any suffering, while I want to wait until she can't shit on her own anymore. This time seems near. But near and now are two different things. I'll keep you posted. (whether you like it or not)

I'm off today. The semester is coming to a close and though I have scads of paperwork to do, it can be done in my robe. Also, I'm calling the locksmith to schedule the lock change of nude dancer's apt. on Friday. He'll have to contact us to get the new key. (And I'll be able to check on his cat.) This whole story is getting boring and repetetive, I know, but that's how life is - up and down, in and out, exciting and boring.

Yesterday I passed by a restaurant called "Derriere les Fagots". I swear. They even have a website. I'd be a little wary of the brown sauce, ba dum dum chh.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rainy days and Mondays

Sometimes being depressed has a sweetness to it, nudging one into reverie and if you really let go into, you can cry the cry of a thousand people. Who knows why some days you wake up knowing it's going to be a fabulous day and others just the opposite. Sometimes it's circumstances, what's happening in your life, but other times it must be hormonal or depending on your hippie quotient, chakras or some such thing. The flu would certainly do it too. But there is also a different kind of depression (maybe it's melancholy?), a cloak of blue that descends upon a person, and if the person opens up, lets go, accepts the sadness, then the merest smile, or the slightest expression of kindness will send a person into tears. (I'd like to report a run-on sentence) There seems to be a common well from which all emotions stem and once you really get down in there, they tend to all come out at once.

Have you ever seen someone laugh and cry at the same time? I mean cry crying, not because you're laughing crying. It's a trip to see that, lemme tell you. I have not done it myself. I have cried and been angry at the same time though.

Yesterday was a blue day. The dog was sick and threw up white. White is not the correct color of vomit, I'm fairly sure. Of course nude dancer (toujours absent) is on my mind, and I had some enraged paranoid fantasy that he poisoned our dog. My cheeks turned red even. And then I caught myself and began to laugh at how ridiculous my mind works and then started to cry a little. (Not at the same time, please note.) And I thought about Jill, how her day must be, and I cried a little more. It felt good to be sad in that way.

Sometimes it feels good to just feel.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Laughing and crying

A couple of weeks ago, one of my students, we'll call her Jill, had to leave class early for a doctor's appointment.

"It's nothing serious I hope," I asked.

"Oh no, it's a regular check up for my chest," she answered (while indicating to her breasts)

"You mean your annual breast exam?"

"Well, my mother died of breast cancer as did my aunt, so I go more often. I have a kind of cyst that they are monitoring. It's just a cyst though," she happily announced.

"How old was your mother when she died?"


"Wow, that's terrible, I'm so sorry. Have you ever thought about getting a breast reduction?"

Gasps and bewilderment all around the class. Okay, maybe it's not the most tenderly put question, but in my defense, this girl has veritable melons.

"Well, I mean you could get rid of the cyst, and you know, women of your size often get back problems."

Sometimes I don't know how to talk to women. One time I told my friend I thought her thighs had gotten bigger. Big mistake. Anyway. I was just thinking "clinically" as it were about a 30 year old required to get breast exams every three months. Why not just nip it in the bud?

"My breasts are not that big! You're the third person who has suggested that to me." I had obviously touched on a sensitive spot.

"Okay, they're not freakishly big, but you've got to admit they're not small!" and we all laughed to diffuse the tension.

Last week, Jill was not in class. Turns out the cyst was not benign at all, it was a very rare form of cancer. So rare that she will have 9 doctors following her case to learn about it. She starts chemo today. And that's where my heart will be.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I did it to myself

Yesterday sucked. We worked ourselves up into a froth over nude dancer and were gearing ourselves up for confrontation. Somehow, he slithered out without our noticing. I saw him come in after he went for breakfast, but never saw him leave. (Incidentally, when he came in, he didn't see me spying through the blinds. He must have removed his shoes and tiptoed up the stairs because he made almost no noise. Like a child hiding from angry parents.) At 5pm, we went up to knock on his door, and he was gone (or hiding and not answering). The cat, however, meowed, so it's okay. Speaking of the cat, I can't go accusing people of animal cruelty without proof. It's perfectly possible that he has a friend coming over to feed it, or stopping by himself while we are out at work. All we know is that he is not sleeping there, and that we see him very rarely these days.

He does have 8 giant sacks of garbage on his balcony. He has not taken his trash down to the street since we moved in, the pile just keeps getting bigger. Charming fellow.

But I hate that once again I let this situation ruin my mood for a whole day. He's just being passive aggressive by not responding to our letter or letting us know when he intends to pay his rent. Fine. Want to use the apartment for your tricks? Fine. Want to sneak around? Fine. I have no control over these things. It's one thing to know it, and another to not let it get to you. Yesterday, I failed, and I really let it get to me. In the end, it was only I who suffered. And it really sucked.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Mini update

Nude dancer just came home after a 10 day absence. We left a note on his door asking for the rent of course, but also to borrow his keys to make a copy since we don't have one. I wonder if the cat is dead. 10 days is a long time and it stopped meowing on Tuesday. He's certainly making a lot of noise up there right now, there must be quite a cleanup to do.

Some of you have suggested that we take the rent in trade, ie services from nude dancer. Let me tell you, I wouldn't want to touch him with a 10 foot pole. The depth of my disgust for him precludes any possible attraction. He tries though. He will answer his door in his undies, his lithe body seductively posed in the doorway. And I just think, "Loser!" Losers are not attractive. Nuff said.

And if he left his cat to die of starvation, that will be the ultimate proof of his vileness.

*Update: He just left with a trick! That explains all the noise. Went to the restaurant for breakfast. Maybe he'll come back and pay then. Yes ladies and gentlemen, we live in a brothel, lol.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Snippets n pics

* I have lost my scarf that I made. Over 30 hours of labor left on a bus somewhere. Sadness.

*Disco Santa

* One of my students is flying to the Arctic to collect a sample. Of water. From the tap of a federal building. Apparently, it must be brought back to the lab for analysis within 24 hours, and mailing could hazard it to be tampered with. Must be a human with the sample of tap water at all times. The cost? Five grand. Our tax dollars at work.

* One of my other students who is quite fervently muslim (yes, I know I'm supposed to capitalize it, but please don't kill me) bowed his head and prayed during each romantic scene in the film Hannah and Her Sisters. Apparently, it was evil for him to witness a man and woman kissing in a fictitious setting. And I specifically chose the film for its lack of female nudity. Sheesh.

* Early December at the Old Port of Montreal (taken yesterday)

* Did you know that airlines do not only discriminate against overweight people when hiring, but also tall people? I was rejected by United way back when for my freak of nature height of 6'3.

* Think you're double jointed? Think again.

* Do I care who's penis is currently entering Jennifer Anniston's vagina? No. Why is this information constantly in the news?

* I haven't ever been the best at anything. True story. (Except I guess at being me.)

* I thought this shirt was funny. However, I would scoff at anyone wearing it.

* Eggnog is called "Chicken milk" or "Hen's milk" in French. Ewww.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Off the cuff

There's nothing going on here. Work, work, work, rush, rush, rush. I got quite a lot done yesterday, little of which is blogworthy. We're coming up on the end of the session, so there are finals to grade and evaluations to pump out. Instead of thinking about all I have to do before the holidays (causing as it does anxiety and panic), I'm trying to just look at today, now. and "forgetting" what has to get done in the next two weeks. This is a strategy I'm not used to employing, but it seems to be working. Today is manageable. The rest of my life will come as it comes.

It's working so well that I forgot to think about what I would blog about today. oops. Well there you have it, off the cuff blogging at five am.

I'm putting snippets on my list for things to do today. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Inflated sense of self

I remember back in high school learning about the phrases, "might makes right" and "power corrupts." I grasped fairly easily the first one, I mean the history books are written by the winners. The second one I always felt skeptical about. And even as we saw some examples of this, I thought surely there are people who, once they found themselves in power, did not succomb to the temptation for corruption. And in my mind, I decided that power only corrupts if you let it. And when I have been in positions of power, either as manager or landlord, I have remained true to my inner belief that every one is just trying to do their best with what they have. And that everyone deserves a minimum of respect. Maybe that makes me stupid.

Now, as I look at all my students and classes I've given over the past five years, I see that power does indeed change people. In fact, the higher the position the person holds, the less likely they are to come to class, do homework and learn from the process. Maybe it's because they have built in respect (being the boss and all) at work and coming to class means giving over the reins of power to me, if only for a couple hours. When you learn a new language, you have to be willing to subject yourself to a certain degree of humiliation, since your worth is measured more by your ability to digest and use new information than it is by your title. Department heads are the worst, and they often show frustration when I point out their errors. (I point them out so they can learn from them!) Usually after two or three classes, they stop coming, refusing to better themselves. (Hey, they're already power brokers, they don't need no stinking pipsqueak teachers.) Give me a class of underlings any day.

So now, sadly, I have to agree, that power does seem to corrupt. It corrupts ones personality.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I have nothing to report. In fact, I am completely qualmless this morning. It's movie day again today in two of my classes. They didn't have Swimming with Sharks as I had planned to show, so I got my favorite - Hannah and her Sisters. Did I mention that I showed Somewhere in Time last week? I was rather bored to tell you the truth. I don't think movies unfold that slowly anymore in North America. And the watch always bugged me. Where did the watch come from if he got it from her and she got it from him? Bugs me.

Warning, nonsequiteur ahead. (Sorry, that was a geekburp. As was that, I'm afraid.)

I've been wondering about pedicures. I wonder if they're like massages - they sound oh so nice and relaxing but then you spend the whole time trying to prove that it doesn't hurt. The only good massage is from your lover. So I'm wondering if the idea of a pedicure (oh it'll be so tickly and wonderful!) is really not the reality, and that I'll go in and they'll rip flesh from my toes or something. Enlighten me please before I spend money for pain.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Let it snow

The first real snow of the season occurred yesterday. And we got more than they forecast which is a bonus. It was the perfect weather for holiday decorating. I sang "my favorite things" as I walked to the other place to pick up rent checks. Snowflakes were, after all, sticking to my nose and eyelashes. And the whole world is muffled when it's snowing. Even the cars passing on the street are quiet mumbles. It was rather magical. ( Come February, it'll be evil, but for now....)

I can't seem to get an unblurry shot of the tree. Must be something about the shiny ornaments messing up the autofocus mechanism. I even tried the tripod. Sure you can use the manual focus controls on the camera, but that would require the effort of finding and reading the novel sized guide with instructions. We bought the tree already bound up with wire, so it was a crap shoot as to whether it would look good when we got it home and "opened" it up. As it turned out, I couldn't have asked for more in the symmetry/straight department. And there's no big holes either. Just perfect.

After decorating, I had a chat with Rebekah via Skype. The conversation turned humorous when Serge started butting in so I picked up the camera and taped it. It was quite a long video, so I've only uploaded the first two minutes.

She goes on to show us the garments she plans to send us for Christmas, all of which, Serge approves of. And we laugh, laugh, laugh.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Getting into the season some more

I'm up before dawn. I didn't plan it this way, but I'm kinda excited about getting the Christmas tree today and kinda depressed about the dog. I got to thinking about those things when spouse came to bed at 4 and didn't really get back to sleep. I'm pretty sure this will be the last Christmas with our dog, as it seems her genetic timer has been switched to "time to die". She's over 12 years old now, and her legs are giving out and she's getting lumps all over her body. These things don't seem to bother her much, maybe because she doesn't have enough "sense" to catastrophize them in her conciousness. That must be my job.

It's turned cold here and snow is on the menu today. These are ideal conditions for getting a Christmas tree. Then it's jazzy tunes while decorating, perhaps enhanced with a festive eggnog or two. But before all that, I'll be finishing up the Christmas cards giddily awaiting spouse to wake up.

I'll also be pondering the wisdom of purchasing candy cane ice cream. You see, when I spotted it in the market yesterday, I stood before the freezer door for a good 30 seconds debating it. "It's only available for a short time!" "Your stomach isn't going to like it." "But look it's candy canes and chunks of chocolate!" "You know you wake up with a stomach ache if you eat ice cream." "But it's on sale!"

My tummy hurts this morning, but god it was good.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snippets n photos

* Interspersed with other snippets are some shots from my 45 minute walk during my break yesterday.

* I believe I have hurryitis. I've had it since I was a boy, wolfing down my food. "Taste your food!" my mother would shriek say at every meal.

* Remember giggling at the word "masticate"?

* In Quebec the equivalent for the derogatory American English term "faggot" is "tapette", which literally means "flyswatter". Makes about as much sense as a bundle of sticks.

* Shouldn't exterior holiday lights be banned? I mean all we hear the rest of the year is about the importance of energy conservation.

* A friend of mind once told me that when your "gaydar" goes off, to be careful, as there is always a second possibility - German tourists.

* Always note wind direction and intensity before peeing outdoors.