Monday, May 31, 2010

This and that

Since it's a slow news weekend, I'll catch you up on our latest addition to the bedroom. In the picture you see the new window that we had installed between the bedroom and bathroom. If you'll recall, we bought this place from a pornstar and he and his wife had "fixed up" the building to be some kind of brothel. At least the two studio apartments were. They were all decked out with tasteful (okay cheesy, but not raunchy) nude photos of themselves. Anyway, in our apartment which is the one that they lived in, they made it so there was an opening between the shower and the bedroom. Fail. This made it so that you could never really have a poo in privacy because anyone could poke their head through and have a look. And of course sounds and smells travel easily through open spaces. We always thought it was weird and now finally that hole has been plugged. We opted for clear glass instead of frosted for two reasons. One, they wanted like $250 more for frosted glass and two, we liked the idea of being able to cusotmize a design on it. So what we've got now is a (I don't know how to call it) stained glass look applied. It's translucent and easily removable. It's nice to have a shower now without all the cold air rushing in from everywhere too.

I was flipping the other night and happened by Fox news for a moment. Somebody was shrieking some kind of non-truth, but I can't recall exactly what, and I just thought why don't they make their slogan "Biased and Proud"? I mean at least I could respect them a bit more. Fair and balanced? Hardly.

Oh my gosh you guys, I got the nicest email ever yesterday from someone who stumbled upon the blog by misclicking a link on someone's blogroll. He then whiled away his Sunday reading the archives and sent me a nice letter of appreciation. My favortite part of his letter was this: I have spent my complete whole lazy Sunday (well into this nightly hour) reading your blog. Laughing out loud, caring, chuckling, link-clicking, crying, being jealous, not caring that much, relating, whining, farting, deciding I want to move to Canada, clicking 'next page' religiously, summarizing yet another year of your blog to my boyfriend, being mesmerized, reading some more and finally decided to write you this quick message.
Thanks so much Peter for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed it!

Finally, some Georgie porn for ya. Happy Monday peeps. I'm off to work, enjoy your day off Americans!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cute explosion

What're you taking a picture of? Huh, huh? I'm lookin' at you.

I posted some pictures last weekend on Facebook about the Just for Men treatment I did on Serge. It was Serge who read the directions but I who applied the hair dye. What he failed to mention was that I was supposed to take pains to avoid getting it on his skin. I didn't want to miss any hair so I slathered it on good and thick and it got onto a good half inch of skin all around the perimeter including his eyebrows. He ended up having to use the potscrubbing side of the sponge to get it out. So now he has black hair. It looks good as long as he is shaved because his facial hair gives it away. I think it makes his blue eyes "pop" more than usual.

Here he is with Georgie and the little toy giraffe that Georgie found outside in November. He carried it all around on his walk and then brought it into the house. It's still one of his favorite toys and a gift of the universe.

I went on a big walk yesterday during my lunch break and passed by the new Place des Festivals which is in the performing arts district of town. It's been a good year and a half of torn up cityscapes but the result is appealing. They're still cleaning up the surrounding area too, but I think they are trying to get much of it done before the jazz festival begins.

There were a couple seedy blocks nearby but they are slowly gentrifying the area. This I believe is the oldest strip club in the city (We have more per capita than anywhere in the world) and they are fighting expropriation. But you can't fight city hall right?

Hence the title of this post. How can you not melt in the face of such a creature? Explain me that. Uh-oh, it's happened again. My students' poor English is rubbing off on me. I've already accepted the use of take instead of make with the word decision, but now I'm infected by "explain me". At least with "take a decision" I know it's acceptable around here since I've seen it numerous times in the newspaper now. When I met Blobby a couple weeks ago he wrote that I'm getting a Canadian accent. When I called my friend Em back in California to dispel such a notion, I was surprised to hear her confirm it. 10 years of percolating here changes a person.
I saw someone wearing this shirt yesterday. I WANT ONE!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Skip me

Because I really don't have much to say. Normally I post Wednesday morning but I had tossed and turned (it's really hot here) and then fell back asleep only to wake up 45 minutes before I had to leave. The suckiest way to start the morning wouldn't you say? I think it's the hottest day here that we've had in several YEARS. And this is only May. This could end up being a summer to remember up here. I got home a few minutes ago to a hot house because the elecricity had gone out this afternoon and even though it came back on, the A/C has to be manually restarted.

At least the apartments have been rented. One little fly in the ointment though, the girl who signed a lease for the one bedroom couldn't put 50% of the first month's rent down for a deposit (because I don't get paid until next week, she opined) so she showed up with a measly hundred bucks. Quebec is like noplace else though. Here we are only allowed to ask for the first month's rent up front, and we're nice so we only ask for 50%. Back in California if you want to rent a place, you've got to come up with first month, last month PLUS a security/cleaning deposit that you may or may not get back at the end of the tenancy. None of that is allowed here. Serge seems to think it will be okay, "Not everyone has $300 in their account you know."

All the people I know do, but then again, most of the renters are younguns in their 20s. I may not have always had $300 in my account at that age, but I could always get my hands on it one way or another. Anyway, I think it's a bit risky to sign a year long lease with only a hundred buck "guarantee" but we're tired of the calls and the visits so we're risking it. The girl has stellar credit, so at least there's that.

Sweat is dripping onto my tanktop from my face so I'm going to go stand under the now fired-up A/C. Supposed to be cooler tomorrow. Yayz. (Oh my God, I just typed the thing I hate. Putting a "z" instead of the "s" for the plural. It's infected me!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

This and that

It's been a long time since I've driven a convertible. Since my college days when I ran around with a Triumph Spitfire (such a fun car, such a piece of shit car) in Southern California. Now that Serge inherited the Cabriolet, I'm rediscovering the fun of driving with the top down. Not with Georgie though, I'm afraid he'll jump out at the first sign of a lady doggy passing by. Or a man doggy, any doggy will do for him.

Look our blooming jasmine made a berry! When it started to shrivel, I tasted it and Serge shrieked at me. (Truly shrieked, I thought he'd become a woman for a moment. Not that there's anything wrong with that.) "Check to see if it's poison first!" I ignored him and tasted the sweet fruitiness of it. I didn't eat the whole thing since he made me scared. When I got around to checking on the internet about the berry, I found that he was right. Deadly. Fatal to humans. Good thing I didn't eat all of it.

Say hi to Emile, or as I prefer, mimi. Our friend Dan adopted him, though I use "him" rather lightly since he's had his nuts removed. It's weird though because they didn't remove the scrotum, just the nuts, so he has a little empty nutsack back there. We were over there for a bbq on Saturday and kept daring each other to touch it. None of us were brave enough. Nice cat though and very distinctive looking.

Georgie's not a real man either what with his removed testes. Thankfully, his scrotum is not really there. I don't know if they cut that off during castration or if it shriveled or what. I'm just glad he doesn't have an empty skin and fur bag dangling there.

The weekend has been full of apartment showings and ad postings. I went and bought a "For Rent" sign to affix to the front balcony of the upstairs apartment. This is the first time we've done that and it already generated 3 calls and two visits. We do live on a busy street so it makes sense, but we've always been successful advertising on the internet so didn't need it. I'm feeling much better about the whole thing. The fickle renters are leaving June 1st (a month early!) but I've got a hot Frenchman to take their place who will come today to pay. And yesterday, we had two girls that claimed serious interest in the upstairs apartment. Hopefully one of them will submit an application today and we'll get all of this business squared away. It was supposed to be a nice long relaxing weekend but landlord duties have trumped all that. Oh well at least it's in the 80's! For once it's a truly happy Monday. I hope yours is too.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Crankypants with a touch of gratitude

*I've been on this breakfast kick this week. Cheez-whiz on pumpernickel with sliced avocado and cracked pepper. A glass of apple-grape juice to go with. Yummalicious. Dietarily sound? Not so sure.

* Stupid fickle renters. The guy upstairs is moving so we offered the couple living downstairs in the furnished studio the opportunity to move up there. They decided to take it. So we've been working on renting their unit which is usually pretty easy to do. Then yesterday they let us know that they changed their mind and want to move somewhere else. So now we have two apartments to rent. They did sign a lease until October but are signing a new lease with someone else this weekend. Arrrgh. Pain in the ass people. They are on the hook if we can't find someone for the studio (but we will, there's always a market for the furnished units.) But since we haven't advertised the one bedroom until today, it might be hard since most people have already chosen where they want to live for July 1st.

* Crazy July first is when everyone moves up here. All leases are supposed to be written from July to July which causes a ridiculous clusterfuck every July. I'm going to work really hard not to stress about this (totally against character) and trust that the universe will comply.

* Remember that Indian guy who said he hadn't eaten or drunk anything in 70 years? Well, he passed the two week observation test in the hospital. During that two weeks he never ate, drank nor used the toilet. Results of the biology of what's going on will be coming in the next months. "If Jani does not derive energy from food and water, he must be doing that from energy sources around him, sunlight being one," said neurologist Sudhir Shah.

* It's supposed to be in the 80's for the next week. I may have to turn on the air conditioner even. This is unheard of in May. But I'll take it.

* He is so over the constant photography. Not one of his cuter poses, but still rather regal don't you think?

* Still no fingernail appearing. It's been off for 10 days. Does this mean I'll never have a fingernail again? I thought for sure I'd see something growing by now.

* This is supposed to be poop related, but all systems are functioning splendidly at the moment. Perhaps not so true for these people.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Five Years

Is a really long time. That's how long I've been plugging away at this blogging thing. I've been telling myself all year that I just have to make it to five and then I'm off the hook. Oh how I've fantasized about shutting down the computer for good, but the reality is that I'll keep doing what I've been doing albeit with less compunction. I should probably switch up the template too after all this time. We'll see.

In five years there have been periods of drama and lulls of calm, much as I imagine you all have experienced in your lives. There have been funny stories and sad ones, jokes and deaths and various other notations that really fill the notion of web log. I'm glad I've done it, having a record of events is nice when you want a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Also, I can direct people to certain posts instead of having to rehash a story. Especially the Road to Montreal which details how I ended up in Canada in the first place.

A few statistics:

Post with the most traffic is the one about how to make french fries.

Post with the most comments is the one where Sara passed away.

Funniest post is a toss up between Love Is and The Ball, the latter of which I was regaling family members with in New York. Poor Serge.

If you've been around for the long haul, you probably remember the saga of Nude Dancer which gave oh so much blog fodder, but which cost me oh so many nights of sleep. So glad that water has passed under my bridge.

Funny too is how we change as we get older. Even in the last five years, many of the things on my 100 list are no longer true. For example, I LOVE alcohol now. Perhaps a bit too much lately, hic. I own a cell phone even though at the time I was certain that I'd never own one again. I think we only really know ourselves one moment at a time.

Thanks to everyone who stops by and reads my humble (or egotistical) writings. I love you all dear audience!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend update

I told Blobby that they should have a poutine and a Montreal smoked meat before they left town. Just talking about that made me hanker hard (just made that up) for a poutine. Luckily the place that has the best in town (imho) is just around the corner at the Old Montreal Pool Room. We walked over there with Georgie and sat outside in the beautiful weather to eat it.

I got mad at cocktail hour because when I went to get the ice out of the freezer, what did I find? The ice cube tray had been put back with one cube left. Some things you let go, but some things require calling people out on. Here's me calling Serge out on it. That's his "who me" look as he eats the chips I just served him.

For those who asked. Plus it's not all that bad looking. Well it's bad looking, but not revolting or anything. Good thing too because it'll probably be months before it looks like the others.

It rained overnight Friday and in the morning I saw that it had via my rain gauge. I thought, "At least it did it while I was asleep." Then I realized that's the first time I've ever had that sentiment. Growing up in Southern California meant that rain was a rare event and one that I cherished. I lived for rainy days. Now, after ten years out here, I've become blasé about it. And what excites me now is what Southern California weather usually is. So the graphic above has made me excited about this upcoming week.

I took him on a really long walk and then he was all tuckered out. He spent all afternoon on the couch all curled up like this. I swear he sleeps 18 hours a day, that dog. This is a plus in my book.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

This and that

Look! Drinks with Blobby from Blobby's blog. He and his other half are enjoying their first visit to Montreal. Hopefully they'll get to meet Georgie this weekend as well. I see that he beat me to posting this picture (and at 2am no less) but that's okay, never too many pictures I always say.

We watched the dreadful 2012 last night. Well I didn't even watch all of it. My eyes hurt from rolling back in my head so many times that I decided to go to bed early. Even though I hit the hay at 9:30, I didn't wake up until 7am. Sweet!

That finger wound from Georgie that didn't look all that bad on the previous post? Yeah, the nail came completely off. I thought the nail grew out of the cuticle but it seems kind of like it's regenerating from the nail bed. Weird. I took a picture, but you don't want to see mangled flesh.

Well I've sat here a spell and there doesn't seem to be anything else (of course shortly after I publish I'll probably think of something) so why don't you get off the computer and enjoy this fabulous weekend. (Fabulous because it's work-free!)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

12 of 12

Aha, I caught you sleeping with Georgie. They stayed like that until I left the house. So cute.

My injury caused by Georgie's teeth. It doesn't look all that bad, but a rotting flesh odor was coming from under the nail which Georgie's tooth had wedged under while we were playing last Thursday. The night before he kept trying to eat my finger because it smelled like "food". When I googled around for smelly wounds, I found some terrible gangrenous images. This scared me so I called Infosanté, and the lady almost made me go to the hospital. I convinced her it wasn't that bad but I promised to go to the clinic first thing in the morning to have it looked at and to get a tetanus shot.

The clinic was in the big complex near my workplace. I read the paper and watched the giant fountain while I waited. I got there at 7:30 and was out at 8:45. There were 9 people who had gotten there ahead of me. The doctor said that I should keep monitoring and soaking it in salt water and that it would probably be fine since it was a dog. Only 5% of such wounds from dogs get infected while 85% of such wounds from cats do. Dirty cats.

Then I went to work and taught a class. I didn't have time to make a sandwich before I left the house so I bought one (a rare lunchtime occurrence) and it was FABULOUS. I want this tuna salad recipe, but I doubt they'll part with it. It's from a little mom and pop counter set up at the YMCA.

After my sannywich, I took a walk around old Montreal and noted the rather quiet streets. It's a tourist madhouse around there in the summer. All the caleches had nothing to do. What do we call those in English? Carriages?

I know, I cut off the top of my head. It's hard to aim when you take the picture yourself this way.

I was a bit surprised by the giant naked bodies poster (peen included!) And this at the science museum where thousands of children go every day. I see no problem with it, but it's times like these I know I'm not in America.

Speaking of which, how much is that penis in the window? This always catches my eye (of course) when I pass the Bali art shop.

Do you think it was coincidence that the World Day Against Homophobia sign was directly in front of the famous Catholic cathedral? I bet the Pope would not be amused.

I finally finished my classes but THEN I had to get in the car and cross the bridge to go to a meeting at another school where I work. Ugh. Took me 45 minutes to get there in the terrible traffic. Then the meeting went long and it was a bunch of teachers bickering over their methods. I fully admit I have a ginormous ego, but I was no match for some in that room. Sheesh! At least I got dinner out of it.

Finally get to go home. Took me 9 minutes going back. That's because the roads were practically deserted. Everyone was home watching the hockey game.

Even I had to turn it on. And guess what, we won! The subsequent car honking lasted for hours all over the city.

To see other versions of this day in other cities, check out Chad's blog.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back from the big apple

And it was quite the whirlwind vacay too. I got this shot in Chinatown where you just had to ask yourself how this barber shop's name should be pronounced. The added sticker grafitti made it into art. Of course I took lots more pictures. I put those up with captions on Facebook in an album over here. This isn't our first trip down there featured on the blog so the photos were the usual suspects - skylines, food, Times Square etc. What was really awesome was our hotel room. We booked at the Affinia Dumont, touted as an all-suite hotel, to which I chortled, "I wonder what suite means in New York." Well it turned out to mean a giant room, at least double the size of our last NYC hotel room, with a full kitchen and awesome views from the room. If we can, we'll always stay there now.

By chance before we left, I happened to catch an announcement from Joemygod asking if any couples were interested in being shot for the Pride magazine 2010 photo layout - he was looking for ten couples. I raised my hand, pick us! and he did so we did it, very hungover but they can photoshop that away can't they? Our little segment had us blowing bubbles and I'm curious how it will turn out. I'll let you know when I do.

We made our usual shopping stop at Century 21, a total madhouse worse than I've ever seen, so we only bought shoes. When we were paying, I told the girl I didn't need the box and she, in that snapping fingers kind of way said, "We don't keep boxes, you can throw it away outside." She then put the shoes in a huge bag and stapled it shut. She might as well have said, "Shove that box up your ass." The attitude would have rankled me but it was so New York, I just laughed.

We saw a show of course, Next to Normal, which won this year's best musical Tony award. It was hauntingly beautiful and I cried twice - definitely not your typical feel-good American musical, but that's what I liked about it. It was like if they made a musical version of "Ordinary People." At one point Serge dozed off and I had to elbow him. This is not because he didn't like it, it was just his nappy time and that took over during a slow point. He was horrified and asked me if he had snored when we got out. He was relieved when I told him no.

We spent most of the time hanging out with family who were there for my cousin's graduation from NYU and a Montreal friend of ours who just happened to be there at the same time. She had booked a package tour by bus and her friend that she booked with missed the departure (and forfeited her $) so Emilie spent a lot of time running around carousing with us. Twas fun.

Yesterday we got up at 5am, took a 7am flight, drove two hours from Burlington VT to get home, picked up the dog, Georgie boy! and then I had to work a couple hours. All this after having gone to bed after midnight, and after having drunk copiously (and performing certain acts in front of the window - how many telescopes were trained on us?) so it was all I could do to keep it together for work. At least I got my 8 hours last night. Now it's time to S, S and S and head to work. Great trip all in all.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


Boy I sure am getting lax in my blogging duties lately. Is this a foreshadowing of things to come? Probably. Five years might be a good lifespan of a blog, I don't know. Maybe it's just that when life is bland (and I mean that in the most positive sense) there is less to write about. I could get creative, but I think I worked the creative writing bug out of my system a good two years ago. I now know that I DON'T want to be a writer. What I really want to be is retired, but at 44, that's still in the realm of fantasy.

I was stopped by the police the other day. I had just been touting the fact that I hadn't gotten a moving violation in Quebec and then as I was speeding down a local street, I heard a little siren and looked in the rear view mirror. Uh oh. The police didn't park behind me but rather pulled up next to me and rolled down the window. Without wagging his finger, the police officer told me I was driving too fast and that the speed limit was 40, not 70. (These are kilometers per hour.) I didn't know what to say and stuttered out an, "I'm sorry, I 'm sorry" in French. Noticing my English accent, the officer said in English, "You drive too fast." I understood then that I wasn't going to receive a ticket and so I blurted out, "Merci, de rien." LAME. They took off but I felt like such the retard for saying "Thank you, your welcome" like that. At least I still have a clean driving record up here.

Tomorrow we take off on a whirlwind weekend in New York. I work in the morning and then Serge is picking me up and we drive to Burlington to catch a plane. Hopefully there will be no detention at the border because the timing is tight. We will hang out with my brother and cousins in New York and hopefully see a show Sunday afternoon, get in some shopping at our fave place Century 21, and of course dine out and bar hop. What? It's vacation. Then Monday morning we fly out at 7:30 drive back from Burlington and then I work in the afternoon. If all goes according to plan. Fingers crossed for no terrorist attacks! I'll likely not post until we get back, so have a swell weekend y'all. Oh and if you want to meet up for a drinky poo in NYC, just email me kay?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Arizenophobia and stuff

I popped over to the botanical gardens yesterday to see how spring is progressing. There were gobs of tulips and flowering trees such as magnolias and crabapples. A couple lilacs had even bloomed but the majority of them will bloom in a couple more weeks from now. Also, we had our second 80 degree day of the year. Unheard of! I truly heart global warming.

Another tulip, top view.
I suppose most of you feel like I do on Arizona's new immigration law. I was talking to a beloved family member who said they didn't see anything wrong with it and I asked, "Would you be able to prove that you are in the country legally if asked?" The response was, "Why would I get stopped?" See for me that's not the point - except that it is. In other words, white non-accented people have nothing to worry about. But all those not fitting that description would be stopped frequently and asked to prove their immigration status. That's not a free society. That's an extra burden for anyone having brown skin. Anyway we all know it's hatred of the brown people that is at the root of all this. I didn't plan on visiting Arizona in the near future anyway, but doubly so now.
I'm sure I had other things to mention, but once again the thought evaporating machine has been hard at work. It's gotten so bad that I have to ask every time at the video store if I've already rented the movie that I plan on renting. About half the time the response is affirmative.
We took Georgie over to meet his new uncles yesterday. They live on the plateau (trendy neighborhood) and they are gonna watch him next weekend while we're in New York. They have a cat but there was no altercation of any kind. I bet they might even play together when all is said and done. Oh and we met the new uncles through blogging! One more plus to this whole (coming up on 5 years) exercise. I'd say happy Monday but that's pure oxymorony, so how about here's to a speedy Monday peeps!

Saturday, May 01, 2010


It really is. I mean there's nothing bothering me in life at the moment. It's a really nice place to hang out. I'm wary of becoming too complacent though since that's when the universe tends to smack you around a little. But really, it's all gratitude and sunshine these days. The only thing that really gets on my nerves are the various injustices in the world, but I'm fairly well connected to the fact that I'm largely powerless to change it, so why get all narded up. That said, it's heartbreaking to see the environmental disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hey did you see the story of the guy who hasn't eaten or drunk for the last 70 years? Or so he claims. They've observed him already for 5 days and he hasn't ingested nor excreted anything. He says the goddess nourishes him with her nectar as he meditates. They're watching him for two weeks to see if they can learn how he does it. Somehow I don't think the scientists are going to observe the goddess feeding him though. I just love things like this. Maybe James Randi will have to finally pay something out.

Here's something else that's lifted my spirits of late. The price of real estate around here. It's obscene. A five-plex went up for sale down the street that generates the same revenue as this place and it's listed for 200k more than I figured our place was worth. I know it's not real money unless you sell, but I've been looking around and the apartment blocks are selling for 15 times annual revenue. When we got into this game they were going for 10 times revenue. I think it's because interest rates are so low, even a modest return looks attractive these days. Part of me wants to cash in, but we both LOVE living where we live. Perfect apartment, perfect spot. I don't want to move. (I'd say ever again, but let's be realistic.)

Okay last thing was a site I didn't know existed but really cracked me up. There really is a site for everything these days. It's about people caught with awkward boners. Have a great weekend y'all!