Saturday, January 30, 2010

Well crap

I can't believe how long it's been since my last post. The whole week has been a blur. Part of it is that I came down with another lousy cold, or perhaps it is an extension/relapse of the one I had in Hawaii. Whatever it is, it sucks big donkey dicks in the sky. And makes me cranky too. This morning found me with voluminous quantities of crusted snot ringing my nostrils. Lovely. I've also been working long days all week and even though it has been a great success, I'm papooped. Whining is my current coping strategy, obviously. Hey, when the British and Australian bloggers say "whinging" to mean whining, are they pronouncing the first g? I've never heard it uttered, only seen it written, and then of course it seems totally wrong. It must not be though because I've seen it many times.

Serge figured out what was causing his hives. Champix. He's been on the "stop smoking" medication for a while and as soon as he stopped taking it to see if that might be the cause, no more hives. I wish he would develop an allergy to the cigarettes instead of the smoking cessation medication, but what are you gonna do?

We are in the deep freeze here too. Below zero (F) all day yesterday and today with wind chills in the minus twenties. Even Georgie is reticent to spend any time outside. Yesterday on the radio, the announcer talked about the wind chill warning and how it's dangerous to venture outside and then the next commercial was for the Snow Festival at the park, bring the kids and have some fun. Excuse me but nothing is fun at minus 20. Nothing outside anyway.

Thanks for stopping by y'all and pardon my curmudgeonliness. Hope your weekend is a nice one.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Coupla pics

Serge has been getting hives frequently over the past few weeks. Sometimes he gets a rash but often times his lip swells up like this. The other day it stayed swelled up like that the whole day but usually it subsides after a couple of hours. There's not much you can do about it, though the nurses told me yesterday that his system is too acidic and he should avoid sugar and juices.

Georgie sure loves to play in the doggie park. I am getting a bit worried that he will understand that he can jump over the fence now that there is a decent snowpack on the ground. I know he could jump it because it's lower than our sofa which he jumps up on from the rear. Hopefully he'll never find out.

Here's what I craved and ate the other day after having been gone on vacation. Nothing says Quebec like this greasy plate of poutine. I read the other day about a new Mexican fast food place up here (another idea of mine stolen) that is making a Mexican poutine with salsa instead of gravy. I'm gonna have to give that a go sometime.

It's so hard to get a crisp clear picture of him since he never stops moving. Oh we've got loads of boring sleeping pictures of him, but awake ones are always a bit blurry. This one made me laugh because it looks like his head is too big for his body. Plus the sad eyes. So cute.

I'm into the second day of my week long intensive so I won't be around the internetz much. And I still haven't even gotten through the blog list after coming back from vacation and it's been nearly a week. So if I haven't been around to visit, don't take it personally, I'm just majorly behind on everything. Have a lovely week peeps.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Trip Tidbits

* Well that slideshow thing seemed to work real well but it used up a quarter of my allotment so I don't think I will avail myself of it in the future. I'm not going to post any more pictures since they are all there now.

* As for security while traveling, everything was the same for domestic flights within the US but when we went through US customs and immigration here in the airport in Montreal, we were forbidden to bring any carry-ons and forced to check them. Then after going through the security checkpoint, everyone had to be patted down in a second checkpoint. Here's the thing though. They pat you down everywhere except the crotch. Lame! That's where the guy hid the explosives. Wasn't that the whole point of the patdown? To prevent crotch hidden items from getting on the plane?

* A couple days before we left LA, I bid on a room near the airport since we had an 8am flight out to Hawaii. I scored the Crown Plaza for $43. Then when we checked in, the girl had a dyslexic moment and gave us room 1121 which was an occupied room. She should have given us 1112, an unoccupied room. The occupant was pretty surly when we barged in on him. When I went back to the front desk, the girl was so sorry she comped our parking and breakfast.

* We had a pretty long journey going to Hawaii as well. There was a 4 hour layover in Honolulu after a six and a half hour flight from LA. We took an island hopping flight to the Big Island. Then we took a cab to our hotel. A thirty minute ride was $95. The most expensive cab ride we've ever taken. At the end of our stay on the Big Island, we took a shuttle back to the airport which ended up being a private car anyway for 2/3 the price of a taxi.

* Did I mention we were both sick going to Hawaii? We were on a steady diet of throat lozenges all day and I could barely speak. It wasn't until we went swimming in the ocean and we gargled with the seawater that it started getting better. Still, if you have to be sick somewhere, paradise isn't such a bad place.

* I felt fatty the whole time since I'm still not used to this new(ish) non-smoker body I have. I was convinced I had put on 10 pounds during the trip but when I got home, the scale said I lost 2 pounds.

* When we toured the Big Island, we visited the Mauna Loa macadamia nut processing plant. We tried some chocolate dipped squid which is very popular with the Japanese tourists. Remember this. If you're ever having sweets or desserts among the Japanese, beware, because there's often fishiness involved. We bought a couple cans of nuts and ate them during the trip. Then yesterday when I looked for them at the market, I saw that they stopped carrying them here.

* When we got home, my Magicjack was waiting for me. I ordered it before we left and after setting it up yesterday, it works pretty darn good. I picked a Socal phone number but it looks like I can call anywhere in Canada and the US for free. (Okay, not free since the device is $50 a year, but still.)

* As I mentioned before, we really tied one on the last night in Honolulu. (At the end of the slideshow from the last post, there is a video of us getting ready to go out that last night.) At the karaoke bar I sang Urgent (badly) and Serge sang a Karen Carpenter song. You know the one that starts out "Long ago....." I have a video of that one, but I've been admonished not to post it.

* It was a great trip all around. There were good meals with family and friends, a couple of hikes, plenty of relaxation on the Big Island and the Disneyfied excitement of Waikiki. I was ready to come home though and yesterday I had a poutine as a homecoming treat. Now I've got a month straight of intense working and then in March we're off again. More on that to come.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Long journey home

We made it back home after a very long journey involving three planes and 5 time zones. I toughed it out yesterday and stayed up until 7 and then popped a couple melatonin to reset my internal clock and slept 11 hours. I had been up for 30 hours straight, and this after having drunk like a fiend and sleeping only 4 hours on our last night. Oh my oh my that last night, so much booze and sex. We started out by going to the top of the hotel with the revolving rooftop restaurant for a sunset cocktail (or was it two?) before going to Nobu Waikiki for the chef's tasting menu. ($110 each but if you ever get a chance, it's exquisite. Get this mom, the "amuse bouche" was toro tartare.) The waitress suggested the house label wine "Nobu Chardonnay" and that was the first (and last) time I've ever ordered a wine without knowing the price. Later, when Serge ordered a second bottle, there was momentary discord since we've never had two bottles with dinner before (and we were already severely in our cups). Still we finished it and when the bill came there was another momentary discordancy, but what the hell it was our last night in paradise. The wine was seventy bucks apiece. Then we made our way to a little hole in the wall gay karaoke bar where they had a guy giving chair massages (you sat in a special chair while he massaged). We each had one, sang songs (shudder) and really did up that last night. There was a guy's email in my wallet the next day (he wanted a copy of the pics we took) but it wasn't until I reviewed the camera that I could remember who that was. Yes, we were seriously polluted. So then we had to deal with the aftermath of that while traveling home. I don't recommend this formula of traveling, especially when red eye flights are involved.

The best part of the whole day yesterday was picking up Georgie and how he howled (cried?) when he recognized us. He was so happy to come home although the kennel guy said he loved it there and stole everyone's heart. We already knew this about him, that he loves everyone and everything and this makes him compatible with most living things. Anyway, he fell right back into his routine back home. He's still sleeping as I type which is how he hangs. He loves to sleep in.

Serge has been posting pics on facebook along the way, but if you're not his friend you can't see them. I'm not in control of who he friends and doesn't so I'm going to have to put up a few pics later for you (Probably Saturday). For now, here we are on the last night before heading out.

Update: Slideshow here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Update from the tropics

I hear that it's quite cold where we live. This is the constant gratitude inducer while we while away the week in Hawaii. We are on the Big Island, technically the island of Hawaii staying at the nicest resort either of us has ever stayed at. Seriously. You know how they post the rack rates on the inside of the door of the hotel room. I know only fools pay those rates, but on ours it says $600-$900 per night. Of course we paid a fraction of that, less than a C-note per night. (I love you Priceline!) And they even gave us an ocean view room. Okay it is partial ocean view, but still. We leave the door open at night and the sound of the waves crashing lulls us to sleep. Oh and the room is bigger than the studio apartments we rent out back home. (On a side note, it seems like whenever we fall into a fantastic vacation situation, tragedy strikes elsewhere in the world. Our hearts go out to those suffering in Haiti. ) Our resort is on the largest sandy beach on the island and I've been body surfing every day except yesterday.
That's because we took a tour of the whole island. 280 miles on a tour bus with a dozen stops. The highlight was the volcanoes national park of course. Behind me there you see the toxic gases spewing out of Kilauea. There is no lava flowing at the moment, the rangers explaining that the volcano is in a state of pause. The guide was really good and talked the whole time about the flora, the history, and the legends that abound here.

The fancy resort thing is nice, but the prices sometimes make me burst out laughing. You're kidding right, I keep finding myself saying in my head. I was hip to the scam though and brought along plenty of snacks and booze to keep costs down. Here's something. Who thought it was a good idea to make rosemary mint shampoo (I can't make a question mark cuz Serge is asleep and I'm on his french keyboard) I mean I feel like I'm tea steeping every time I use it. Weird.

I thought this was a fabulous shot of the honey. Last night we went down to the beach there and swam by starlight. I suppose we will while away today down there as well. I should probably finish up the Lovely Bones today which has been a great read. Friday we are looking forward to the Crab feast buffet. Saturday we will head over to Honolulu for a more urban experience. We're having fun and I hope that you are too, wherever you are.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ta ta California

Well, we're just about finished in California. We had final Christmas (feast of three kings to be precise) celebrations last night. Mom has a giant marlin that she caught years ago hanging in the living room and I thought the santa hat was kinda cute and unique. I'd wager there aren't any other santa marlins in town. Well, maybe in a seafood restaurant. It was a great night with wonderful food and family fun.

We also had the annual gingerbread men decorating extravaganza. Always fun for getting the creative juices flowing. In addition, they are quite yummy. I love how they make for colorful pictures as well. Can you believe we also saw Avatar a third time? We did, only in IMAX 3d this time. It was awesome though you can't really see the whole screen at the same time. Too big!

We are headed to Hawaii tomorrow but I tell ya, the weather and sunsets have been spectacular since we've arrived. This was from last night, a real knock-out. I love seeing everyone for the holidays but I always feel a bit guilty, like I haven't spent enough time with the loved ones. I suppose the only fix for that would be to move back here. Unless US immigration laws change drastically, I don't see that happening in the forseeable future. Maybe one day we can be snowbirds though and spend winters down here. That would be nice. One day. Next stop Hawaii people. Don't hate. Mwah!

Monday, January 04, 2010


It's the last day I have to wear my hat for a while. Yay! We're getting out of this frozen wasteland winter wonderland for the next two weeks. Going back home to visit the family in Socal and then an additional week in Hawaii, land of volcanos and mai tais. Of course we will have to deal with all the new security rigamarole and I'm sure border agents are gonna be just that much more surly. Ah well, I wouldn't mind a bit of blog fodder anyway.

It's that facebook thing that's going to kill blogs. I'm off right now so I can keep up, but when I go back to work, how am I going to keep up on the 200 blog posts in my feeder and the 400 status updates on facebook, every day!? No way. Oh plus I have to write a blog. Something will have to give. If there's a secret-admirer-anonymous-sugardaddy-moneybags who wants to donate to solve this dilemma by allowing me to skip the working part, just email me, kay?

Today we have to take Georgie to doggie jail. He was bad at the last place so it's kennel time for him. And we've got to pack, go to the bank, and close up the house tight. Speaking of Georgie, he was so funny the other night when Serge was clearing the patio of snow. He started barking like the dickens at Serge. I posted a video on facebook that I think you can watch by clicking here.

I know there were more things I wanted to mention, but since I didn't write them down, they've disappeared into the ether. I probably wanted to complain bitterly about the three non-stop days of snow. Or maybe I wanted to share an interesting internet tidbit. Perhaps I had a scatty anecdote. Who knows really? What I do know is that this is the last post for a while. I'll check in once or twice most likely, since Serge is bringing his laptop. No promises though. To conclude today, I give you a gratuitous Georgie shot with spouse. All together now, "Awwwwww!"

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Oh and happy new year too

We've had company the past few days, hence my absence around here. Our house isn't all that conducive to having overnight guests (one bathroom, one bed) but we've made do fine. Serge sleeps on the couch like he does half the time anyway, and I'm camped out on the patio lounge cushion on the floor of the office. Georgie has chosen to sleep with the guests the little traitor.

The picture is from our New Year's Eve pub crawl, and we look all fresh because it was the first pub. Later on vomiting occurred though not by yours truly, come on, if there's one thing we're not, it's amateurs. Well at least not in the drinking department. I think it was the common mistake of not taking into account that the beer here is about 50% stronger (ie more alcohol) than in the US. I think it was the first time I made it to midnight awake in a decade.

Yesterday we all went to see Avatar again and even the second time around it was really fun to watch. Then I made a turkey dinner from that Butterball cook from frozen, pre stuffed bird they are peddling. Awesome, I will be a customer for life with that method.

Well the guests are waking up, so I've got to go entertain. They may or may not be leaving today due to the impending snowstorm. Hope you all have a lovely weekend.