Sunday, February 28, 2010

Toilet paper meme

I don't go in for memes much. Don't do them nor read them. I don't know why. Maybe because they are masturbatory at best and narcissistic at worst, but either way, they're really solitary activities. All that said, I'm still going to do one because I couldn't resist the topic. It's all about the buttwipes. So here goes:

1. Toilet Paper: Over or Under. It doesn't really apply at our house because we use the 20 year supply of toilet paper that we inherited when we bought this place. Since it's a huge industrial type roll, we've mickey moused a system. I guess according to the picture, technically it would be under.

2. Who replaces the empty roll in your house? We both do. It only happens every three months though due to the size of the roll.

3. What do you use if you run out of toilet paper at home? That's never happened in my life. Do people really let this happen? I can't imagine.

4. Seat up or down? It's always down at our house. And we don't have a lid.

5. Do you leave the door open? I never close the door unless we have guests.

6. Does your love leave it open? He usually closes the door unless he's going pee pee. One funny thing he does is disrobe completely for number 2. On the odd occasion I've barged in on him (which he strongly dislikes) I've been highly amused at the pile of clothes on the floor and his nakedness on the throne. (And he's gonna kill me for telling you. So shhhh.)

7. Do you always check for toilet paper first in a public stall? If I'm there to poop I do. Of course job number one is to avoid pooping anywhere but home. Still, there are times.....

8. What do you use if you run out of toilet paper in a public restroom? Can't say this has happened either. Surely I would have told you all about it if it had. Hypothetically though, I'd probably rummage around in my backpack for napkins and in the absence of my backpack, I'd waddle out to grab some paper towels. If there were others in the bathroom, I'd humbly ask (or shout) for assistance.

9. Do you wait until you are alone in a public restroom? No. People are so fussy, as evidenced by the question itself. For the record, 99.99% of my visits to public restrooms are for urinating. I have no hangups about urinating around others.

I got this one from Jeep Guy. Feel free to participate.

Friday, February 26, 2010

This n that

Lots of rain and snow up in these here parts. Not too cold though, right around the freezing mark. Practically balmy for February. I'm off for a few days and then have a couple of big work weeks followed by two weeks in España. This trip we're taking is a gift from the parents, something we all did together (except for Serge) 27 years ago. I think that trip lit up my desire for traveling for life. It will be interesting to see how the place differs from my memories of it back in 83. We will be staying in Valencia for the most amazing festival. Falles en Valencia. That was the thing that impressed me most the first time we went to Europe. (The original trip was a 7 week Germany, Spain, France and Italy trip. A bit long.) The last night when they burn all the paper mache effigies and the whole city looks like it's on fire is something I'll never forget. Awesome.

I loved this picture I got at the doggie park yesterday. There weren't too many people there due to the weather, but Georgie played plenty with those two (I think they are) boston terriers for a long time.

That health care summit. Wow. I don't see how the sides can reconcile. It seems the Republicans are steadfast in their belief that health care is not a fundamental right, whereas Democrats think it should be. I fail to understand the heart of a person who believes people should only be cared for medically if they can afford it. And what logic is there in letting insurance companies decide treatments. I suppose the doctors are just advisers, and it's the insurance company administrators who know best, right? The system is broken and it's just gonna stay that way it looks like. That picture from the Olympics was funny. I pay through the nose in taxes up here, but I'm certain if I moved back to the states it would cost me more overall if I took an individual health insurance policy. Yep, I just went and checked. If I got similar coverage as here (actually impossible because there is no co-pay here) it would cost me $644 a month. If I would even be accepted, as I am an ex-smoker. I hear ex smokers are having more and more trouble getting insured. $644 a month and I've been to the doctor once in ten years. And the insurance industry whines that 12 billion in profit isn't enough. Broken broken broken. Happy to be in Canada.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


* We have two garages but we only use one to park our single vehicle. There is a no parking sign in front of the garage that we use, but not the other one. Serge gets really bent out of shape when someone parks in front of that garage, while I really don't care. Serge even threw an egg on the one girl's car who is a frequent "offender". That was funny because she obviously never washed her car as the residue lasted for months. Anyway, he gets really clipped about it as though that's our "reserve" spot. I told him just to buy another no parking sign if he feels so strongly.

* We're supposed to get anywhere from a slushy rainy mix to two feet of snow this week. I'm really hoping for the former.

* We got Cirque du Soleil tickets for the new show (still unnamed at this point). All the new shows start here and then travel around the world. We got a couple seats for a 4pm show in early June. I love the idea of a 4pm show. We can be home by dark.

* Showerhead in French is shower apple.

* Were you as traumatized as I was when they showed that luge guy having his fatal accident? I just can't understand why they did that. It reminds me of Dirk's blog title. Too disgusting to contemplate, too compelling to ignore. (And I'm sad that he changed his header. For the longest time it was a closeup of a cameltoe. Now it's rotting teeth which is definitely worse.)

* The light is definitely getting more springlike. Actually, it's the same light as we had back toward the end of October. But back then it was waning, so it was depressing. Now that it's gaining in strength and heralding spring, it is uplifting. Perception indeed is reality.

* Georgie isn't the brightest of the bunch, but I swear he reads my mind. Here he is as I was getting ready to head out the door yesterday. Somehow he knew I wasn't taking him. (In which case, he'd have been crying and jumping.)

* I start teaching a couple of new evening classes next week. I hate teaching in the evening since it encroaches on martini time. I take them though and tell myself, "It'll be good for you." And it probably is, but I still don't like doing them.

* Montreal is infecting my speech. I've caught myself saying "take a decision" and "open the computer" and "take a coffee" just this week alone.

* We watched Paranormal Activity the other night. I LOVED it! It was creepy as all get out and the constant shivers ricocheting down my body were so cool. I used to hate that feeling, but now it's kinda nice, similar to that which I get when someone caresses my scalp. I wouldn't like it if it were due to something scary in real life, but knowing it's just a movie made it okay. And at the end? Even though we had predicted it, Serge and I both screamed loudly, and then cracked up. Gotcha!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rambling nothingness

My intensives are over so you would think I'd be an eager blogger. Instead, all I want to do is blob around. Four whole days without a post. That's some kind of record around here, vacations notwithstanding. Truth is, there's really nothing of note going on. Here's what I wrote yesterday to suggest what to write about this morning.

Butt kicked
intensives over
pay fuckers
nasal drip forever
Snow finally
income tax
tenant bathroom

And yet, when I look at that list this morning, I think, "Meh, so boring." Oh well, I guiss there's nothing to do here but let the boringness begin. So yeah, my butt is pretty kicked, but in a good way, all three of my intensive groups went quite well and though we have a few follow up half-day courses to do, I can go back to a more regular routine. One lovely thing that happened was that the college "forgot" to pay me for some of my work and when I asked about it, I was paid for it, plus the current work, plus the future work. About 6 weeks went on one paycheck. I should be happy right? Well, guess what happens when they put 6 weeks pay on a two-week pay period. You get taxed as though you made all that money in two weeks. (The program assumes you make that every two weeks.) So they took out 42 percent of my pay. About ten percent of my annual salary, in fact. Oh sure, it's possible I'll get some April 2011. Then again, I may not. I've worked up the preliminary calcs for filing this year, and I can't believe we owe many thousands again. I figured that since much of my income was made with withholding done, I'd be good this year. Nope. At this point, for every dollar more I make, I get to keep 60 cents. I told Serge yesterday that my goal is to make less this year. It really is demotivating.

What else is on that list up there? Oh the nose thing. Yeah, I got over my cold weeks ago but I've had a little drip going on since then. It's like a leaky faucet that never closes completely. Is this normal? I hope not, because it's getting pretty old making sure I have kleenex on my person at all times.

We got a few inches of snow this week. Just enough to make it pretty again. The snow had gotten awfully dirty lately and this new layer makes everything seem so pristine and clean. Georgie really digs the snow and now the ice. There have been some freeze/thaw cycles lately which makes chunks of ice in the snowpack. He loves to dislodge chunks, carry them around, throw them in the air and finally gnaw on them.

On the way home Friday, I was listening to talk radio and they brought up Elton John's musing that he thought Jesus was an intelligent, compassionate gay man and he asked the audience if that was offensive. I suppose there's nowhere one can hide from sanctimony. So many people claim to know the will of God. Man alive, there's nothing meek about a fired up Christian. One of the callers basically said that homosexuals spread disease, so we should eradicate them. Here! In Quebec! Sure he was a cranky old guy, but still.

Okay the tenant bathroom is falling apart at the other place. Seems when the shower was put in, they didn't use the proper hardibacker and grout so water infiltration happened for years. We have to strip the enclosure of tiles and redo it. Luckily, Serge found someone to do it and it's going to be finished today. The money, she is a flowing.

T-minus 19 days until Spain. Peace.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A quick pop-in

When I got to work Monday, I looked up and saw what looked like a rainbow. Except it wasn't raining, it was snowing. So I guess it would have to be called a snowbow. It was a first for me. Apparently it's pretty rare, so maybe it's the only one I'll ever see. Pretty neato, eh?

Yesterday I had to review all the verb tenses in class. Then I had to show how they shifted when reporting what someone else said. For example, "I'm hungry." What did Torn just say, I didn't hear him. Oh, Torn said that he was hungry. I think I may have confused them more than I cleared things up.

My cuties. Always fun to come home after a long day at work. Today is especially brutal. Out the door at 8 and back at 9:30. At noon we'll be halfway to the weekend. Woohoo!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekend update

It was a pretty lackluster weekend. Serge and I don't observe Valentine's day, not that either of us dislikes flowers, candy or lovin', it's just that it's such a made-up day for the purpose of selling those items. So we don't buy them. Still being rebels in our forties I guess. I wonder when we're gonna really grow up. We did get some work done though and I started on the taxes. I have the privelege of doing the tax return for two countries. One country, we are married, and the other country I have to file single, since my marriage doesn't count there. So charming to be reminded of that each year. Up here, there is no distinction between hetero or homo, married or common law spouse. If you make a home together, you file together.

Georgie got a couple good afternoons at the doggie park. It's so amazing how much energy he has there when all he seems to do around the house is blob around. That's not true actually, he does spend a fair amount of time out on the patio, but I think it's more for observing the neighborhood happenings. At home sometimes he reminds me of a teddy bear sitting stoic on the couch or bed. He does this new thing lately where he comes in the shower to look at you while you're showering and then he licks the water off the side of the tub, the tile, and the shower curtain too. At first I thought he was going to come all the way in, but he never does.

Sunday was hard because I ate too much Saturday night and had indigestion dreams all night. I got up around 4 to start the cavalcade of bowel movements that ensued. Here's a pic.

I think it's the tartiflette that did it. (Fried potatoes, 0nions, bacon and ton of cheese) I know it can't be right but I weighed 4 pounds heavier than Saturday when I weighed myself Sunday morning. But maybe it is right, I'm fairly sure I expelled a similar quantity of matter yesterday.

I'm off on a new group intensive this week. I thought it would slow down after that, but things are shaping up to be pretty full until the end of March. AND, I've had a few inquiries for lessons from my business, including one from a long ago contract. And of course we must not forget, Spain in less than a month! I have to practice my Spanish. Have a swell Monday.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

12 of 12

It's been a few months since I've done the 12 of 12 thing. That would be because we were in Cuba on December 12 and Hawaii on January 12. You saw all those pics, just not in this format. I remembered about it being the 12th just as I was getting ready to leave for work. I snapped this on my way out the door. You can see Serge's explanation on why he's sleeping on the couch on last Sunday's post in the comments.

I'm doing intensives this week and next which means a half hour commute out to the suburbs. It's trafficky but nothing like those going in the opposite direction, toward the city. The day started out bright and sunny like it had been all week.

This week's workplace.

Since it was Friday, the last day of the intensive for this group, we went out to lunch together. They all had to speak only English and I had to only speak French. They always get a kick out of that.

After lunch, it was time for our final activity - watching a movie in English. Who can guess what we are watching? I'll give you a hint. It was from 1973.

By the time we finished the movie, it had clouded up. This is on the drive home. Montreal is off in the distance behind the little mountain (looks like a hill from here) on the left.

Serge at work. At home. Which is really the same thing for him.

Where's Georgie? Oh there he is, amusing himself outside. He can spend hours out there by himself running around.

I had to run over to the market for a couple things which means I walk over the railroad track bridge. I know Java likes this shot. Still pretty wintery around here.

Came home, made some dinner and drinks, fed Georgie, and here he is waiting to go outside to do his business. He's still trying to eat his turds now and then. How can something so cute be so disgusting at the same time?

TV time together in the living room.

We watched a movie, J'ai tué ma mère, which was excellent. Even Serge liked it and he is a hard sell.

If you'd like to see other 12 of 12s from around the world, head over to Chad's blog and check the comment section for this project.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I can't really express how tickled I am that finally this year we are not getting clobbered by snowstorm after snowstorm. Even the good side of getting a snowstorm, having a free "snowday", doesn't happen up here. Everybody works no matter what. I think in the ten years I've been here, they've only suggested working from home once. That was the day I saw people cross country skiing in the streets because the buses stopped coming. They didn't cancel service but all the buses got stuck until they could be dug out. Of course getting dug out here is pretty easy since they've had thousands of rehearsals. Since we came home from Hawaii three weeks ago, we've had maybe two inches of snow. I think this will end up being the sunniest February ever too. Love it. I also love the squealing by those getting clobbered down south. I know gloating isn't nice, but gloating and chortling I am. It's an act of gratitude, really.

Serge and I went out shopping on Sunday for phones for the house. Our old ones are acting up and he wanted a new set. So he bought a set at Costco but when he set them up, the answering machine portion of the ensemble didn't work. He called the help line and they troubleshot (shooted?) but couldn't solve the problem. So he went back and exchanged it for another set and of course, the exact same problem happened. It seemed most likely a programming problem. It would play the outgoing message partially and then stop and hang up. Weird. Anyway, after two tries and trips over to Costco, he decided to buy elsewhere. So I took him out. We checked Walmart first because they are a good gauge of good prices. We don't want to BUY there though. We checked the Source (Radio Shack), La Baie, Zellers, and Bureau en Gros (Staples) which is where he finally found the item he wanted at a good price. I felt like I was tutoring, but don't tell him that.

During the shopping excursion, my pants split open in the back. They've been getting tighter and tighter but you can only blame shrinkage for so long. No, it's time to own up to the new blubber butt. So of course we had to shop for some pants. Well, we didn't HAVE to, I mean, I was wearing opaque long underwear, so there was no skin, nor nasty hair business showing. But what better excuse for buying pants than when you split them open? So I bought pretty much the same make and model and the same size. I should have bought a size up probably, but my fragile ego is not ready for that yet.

When we got home we both cut each other's hair. See Serge has been bugging for a long while now about needing hair clippers. I know that hair clippers are a sucker buy, I mean really, how often are you going to use them. Well, when he bought the telephones at Costco, he also came home with the deluxe hair clipping set. Oh you should have seen how I rolled my eyes when he showed me that. Still, I figure we deserved to get some return on this wasteful expenditure. The kit even came with a (can't think of word) giant bib item to protect you from falling hairs. So we played barber and cleaned each other up. I figure we made half of the price back already. Happy hump day peeps.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Georgie in the park on Sunday

When I got up this morning, I didn't see Georgie. But then I noticed Serge on the couch using the cushion as a blanket. I can't believe they are both sleeping like this. It's awful cute though don't you think?

Georgie cracked me up yesterday. We were at the doggie park and he was running around like usual until he started seriously sniffing the ground near me where another dog had peed. This is easily evident in the winter as the snow-covered ground looks like a bunch of kids did some string painting with the color yellow. So he was sniffing a stripe near the fence and then lifted his leg to pee on the fence. For several seconds he stood there but no pee was coming out. Suddenly a large brown orb appeared from his anus and tumbled down his leg. He cocked his head in that what's-going-on way and then realized he was shitting and assumed the squatting position to finish the movement. So cute, so dumb. But I love him still.

Well this is it for a while. The next two weeks I'm working all out every day. Kinda like normal people. I don't understand how y'all work 40 hours a week year after year. It kicks my butt to do it for one week! But it's fun too, by the end of the intensive sessions, we've all bonded like family. I'll try to pop in during the week, if only for a quick photo or some such thing. Have a lovely Sunday.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Happy Friday

This gave me a chuckle. Classic advertising fail. But I suppose if you really needed their services, you wouldn't notice the error.

The comments on the shopping ethics post were funny. It was the same when I talked about it in class along with an article I have about a guy finding a hundred bucks on the ground in a parking lot and being conflicted about keeping it. (I would have had no confliction at all.) My students were like you, ranging from the prudish to the jaded. The lawyer was interesting, she said it's not stealing in the eyes of the law unless intent can be proven. Having worked as an undercover security agent prowling for shoplifters, she said the big problem is not the occasional cashier mistake, it's the incredible number of shoplifters that cause much more loss. As for "honesty", I'm as honest as can be if I know you. But I couldn't care less about the shareholders of a giant retail chain. A mom and pop store would have been totally different. A corporation has no obligation to be moral or ethical, their only objective is to generate a profit, regardless of the bullshit mission statement. Consequently, I have no moral obligation to them either.

More happiness about the Magicjack. When someone leaves you a message (yes, a voicemail box is included with your $50 annual fee) you are sent an email with a .wav file of the message. I love the convenience of being able to know if anyone's called just by checking my email inbox.

The weather has been pretty nice here. All the precipitation has remained south and although it's chilly, the sun has come out every day and it's slowly changing arc higher in the sky is heralding the spring. It makes me feel grateful.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Shopping ethics, or the lack thereof

Hey look who was passing through town yesterday. It's Franck who was on his way to Prince Edward Island. He had just been ice fishing in the far North. Come to think of it, I never asked if they had caught any fish. We had a quick meeting at the village Starbucks before he was off to the airport. The nice sunny day belies the frigid temps, though it wasn't too too terrible.

Later, Serge and I were at the shopping center and we had to go into the drugstore for a couple of toiletry items. When we met back up near the checkout, Serge had a new dvd player in his hands. Before I could protest, he said it was only 40 dollars, but then I protested anyway reminding him that we have a perfectly functioning dvd player, it's just the remote control that doesn't work (since Georgie ate it.) His retort to any purchasing protest is always the same, "I'm buying it." Knock yourself out, I then think. So it's our turn at the cashier and she scans all of our stuff and I notice that she doesn't scan the dvd player. The total is still over fifty bucks (we bought shampoo, vitamins and cold medication etc.) and as Serge is getting his money out, I'm thinking, "Don't say anything, don't say anything." And then he says it, "Did you scan the dvd player?" The cashier then said, "Oh, you got that here? I didn't know we carried that." And then she scanned it for us. Outside I said, "I can't believe you." Serge, not knowing to what I was referring, started to defend his purchase of the dvd player again. "I don't like having to get up and use the buttons on the machine instead of the remote. We needed it." I said, "No, no, no. Not that. Why did you ask her if she had scanned the dvd player?" He said he rued it after he said it, but that he is an honest person and proud of it. Sheesh. He never pays attention at the cashier, if they give him correct change or not, if the price scans correctly or not, but the one time he could actually score something, he blows it. Ah well, it's his money. I'm sure some of you will think less of me, but a cashier forgetting to scan something is not my issue, and I would never bring it up. Cost of doing business. You do know the ridiculous markup on everything you buy, don't you? I'm glad the honey is so scrupulous though, even though it's expensive that way.

Monday, February 01, 2010

This and that

Serge made this great thing the other night. It was a mountain of crepes layered with ham, cheese, and brocolli. He made some kind of herb citrus sauce too and it was just delicious. Then when he was cleaning up, he broke the crepe maker the crepe maker broke for no ostensible reason. It was a pretty old hand-me-down and we were worried that maybe they didn't make such a thing anymore, but lo and behold, Amazon of all places carries one. Our friend Dan has made crepes at our house a couple of times, always off the cuff, but last time I watched what he concocted and wrote it down. Since he wasn't measuring I eyeballed and came up with approximately this: 3 eggs, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup milk, a bit of orange zest and a smidge of salt. That's for dessert style, so you'll want to lower sugar and up salt for meal style crepes.

The weekend was pretty dull. I was puny and sickly the whole time, but it's just a cold I tell myself and then push through to do all the things I'm supposed to do. Chores, lesson plans, walking Georgie. We got out of the house a bit on Sunday, when we had a late breakfast and trip to Home Depot. Of course half way though I had to torque but I held it successfully until we got back home. Kinda like cigarette cravings, the urge eventually passes. Unless of course we're talking the squirts and then the only recourse is release, hopefully in a nearby public facility.

I've been really resisting acknowledging the eye failure going on with me. I do not want to succumb to having to wear glasses when I read, because the more you do that, the more you need them. Stave off the inevitable for as long as possible. The key is light. Usually I can avoid getting out the reading glasses if I find a bright source of light. We picked up a couple at the home depot, little spots at our desks that are perfect for reading things like instructions or directions which always seem to be in the smallest typeset possible.

Happy Monday peeps, only 4 more days to the weekend.