Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shooting the breeze

Candid self-portrait. Georgie was busy with his chew thing so I got down on the floor. He is so adorable but then I take a picture like this and there is definitely an unflattering look to him sometimes. Funny we both are a bit jowly in this shot too.

I really don't have anything to report but we mustn't. let. the. blog. die.  Week two with the health and social workers is going well though they are a bit more unwieldy and difficult to reign in at times this week. What part of "speak only in English" don't they understand? I smile and poke fun and make jokes to keep them in the target language but maybe I should put on my mean teacher cap and start expelling them from the room. Nah, they're adults, if they want to speak French and believe they will speak English better with that method, they can just get back to me on their improvement that way. One thing I've observed is that the young really do catch on more quickly than the old. Everyone improves but it takes longer for the oldsters. If I want to learn Spanish I better get (re)going on that soon.

We were practicing the future conditional today and they cracked me up. What will happen if you don't treat constipation, I used as an example. They tossed out "you'll get a stomacheache", "you won't go to the toilet" and my favorite, "you'll be full of shit." Laugh, we do aplenty.

All the trees are in their festive fall regalia, the eye popping yellows especially right now. It seems a bit early to me as our peak is usually the 10th of October. Every year is different though. It's been pretty warm but they are turning early so what does it all imply? What I really want to know is how high the wasps are building their nests this year. Apparently, and it's just impossible that they "know" this but they do, they build their nests on the tree trunk and if it's low, we won't have very much snow and if they build them high, we will have oodles of the white stuff. After ten years up here, I am firmly in the camp of please not oodles.

What erlse? Work is good, Georgie is good, Serge is good, the house is fine, the renters are good, money is fine, health is good, the weather is cool and lovely. I am in love with it all. My prayer today is a big fat THANK YOU! Happy ordinary day peeps!

Monday, September 27, 2010

That was fast

It always amazes me that there are people who work 50 weeks of the year like I'm doing these weeks. Then the weekend is at least a day of chores and if you're lucky a bit of relaxation can be had on Sunday. I remember working like this in the past but I haven't in over 10 years and believe me I have no plans to go back to it. That I have to do it for 12 or so weeks of the year is fine. I have no problem working five days a week, it's just a drag when it's ALL DAY every day for five days. There are plenty of you rolling your eyes I'm sure, but the truth is I love my life. Most of the time I'm bursting with gratitude too.

We essentially did nothing this weekend. The chores got done, but it was gray and drizzly most of the time so we didn't really go out except for a couple hours yesterday to look at sofas. There must be quite a markup on those things judging from the herd of salespeople that descend upon you upon entering the store. My line works well. We're not buying today, just having a look around thanks. They were good at leaving us alone then.

The most interesting thing though was a little chat I had with friend A who informed me of the latest life tidbit for her. Seems that a few years ago when the family was all helping out with the infirm grandmother, her mom snooped around her house when she wasn't there and found a little hand written will, opened it and read it. In the will it's stipulated that no money will go to mommy because of her lack of interest in her life. (Essentially calling her a bitch without saying it.) So mommy kept this to herself for these years and now after the death of stepdad and a possible inheritance forthcoming for A, mommy throws this piece of information in her face. Wow, how do you crawl out of that one? Serves mommy right for snooping, but one doesn't want to lose out on a windfall because of it, you know? I told her it reminded me of my mom when she found out I was gay by snooping in my room and reading my papers. Mommies just can't help themselves eh? I have learned that it's better not to snoop because you might get hurt in the process. Better not to know and be happy than know and be unable to reveal that because of how you gleaned the information. I remember once I steamed open a greeting card that was on the counter at my boyfriend's house. It was made out to a hometown friend. Imagine my grief at reading the line "I don't have a boyfriend and my love-life is on the back burner right now." And this was the one I was head over heels in love with. That was a difficult piece of information to keep to myself.

So anyway, sorry for the lack of pics and scintillation, I'm back to the grindstone this morning. Georgie is sitting next to me waiting for me to shower so I can take him out. I'll pop back in round about Thursday. Have a swell week everyone.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nuttin much

Serge fell asleep for a spell last evening but Georgie was having none of that. After all it was getting close to his late walk, and there will be no missing that if he has anything to say about it. He eventually roused Serge and we went out for our regular stroll. He would have gotten mad if I had woken him, but he's much nicer when Georgie does it.

It's the last day of my first week long intensive. I'm pooped already! I have four more of these to do and yet the calls keep coming in, can I do another evening course, oh and can you do a Saturday course for us? I hate turning down work but I'm at the point that I must say no or I'll end up falling apart. So the answer until November is a big fat NO.

I suspect the blog will be rather light for the next month seeing as how I'm up to my neck in work. Unless the universe provides fodder (not that I'm asking.) I don't even have any funny tidbits for today. The most exciting thing I can think of is that I've lost ten pounds already. Last night I measured the jigger and realized that my alcoholic beverages were 30% less that I was calculating for the diet, which explains why it didn't take as long as I thought to lose the weight. Only five to go, yippee! Today I get to go to lunch for Chinese food and I've been looking forward to it all week. What a treat that will be. Maybe I'll actually feel full for the first time this month.

The sunrises have been lovely lately. I'm up at pitch black now so I get to see them every morning. Hope everyone has a nice weekend. TGIF!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quick question

These squash we inherited are huge! It's hard to tell from the picture since there are no other objects in it for perspective, but huge huge huge, they are. My question is what kind of squash are they and what do you make with such a thing. Saute it up like sliced zuchini? Bake and scoop out the innards a la spaghetti squash? Skin and puree and make soup? There's probably enough to do all three. What say you?

At the doggie park on the weekend, a lady there commented that Georgie was a bagel and cream cheese beagle because he doesn't have any black coloring only the tan and white. I immediately thought it was the greatest name - Bagel the beagle, and wished we had named Georgie that. Maybe next time.

I'm in the work blender now, doing week long intensive courses with the medical personnel. My first group is fun but I'm already behind on the paperwork. In fact I should be marking papers instead of writing this. Better go. Have a lovely week y'all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Just a little Georgie porn for you. Even though the poor little guy is castrated, he still gets little hardons, especially when he just wakes up from napping. Also it doesn't stop him from trying to hump the other dogs, though I know this is more of a domination thing than a courtship thing.

The new evaluations of property values came out this week here in Montreal. Every three or four years (four in the present case) property values are reassessed and then a tax rate per $100 of value is applied. Taxes always go up but not at the same rate as the property value and thank heavens because the building we live in went up 31% in value since we bought it four years ago. And here I was worried that we had bought at the top of the market. Nope. Still I'm kind of worried about how much taxes will go up. Our friend down the street (literally) has a condo that appreciated only 13%. Why the huge disparity just a few blocks apart? Obviously his tax increase will be smaller than ours. Do you know someone in town? Know their address? Well then you can find out their assessed value by visiting this link.  Some might be irritated at you knowing this information but it's public nah nah nah nah naaaah nah.

Hey remember that whole guvmint check snafu? You know where we filed and sent a check, didn't notice the check didn't clear, then got a notice that we hadn't filed so we refiled, paid the penalties, were told the penalties had been waived blah blah blah? Yeah well we received back in the mail our original check with a letter stating that "due to circumstances beyond our willingness, we were unable to cash the check and could you send another." Bloated. Inefficient. Beaurocracy. And they had snarled at us that we had no "proof" of having originally mailed the check in the first place. We actually felt lame and guilty and the whole time it was their stinking fault. Beyond our willingness really cracked me up though. What a load of horsestool.

I've been refreshing all the wrought iron over at the other place this week. It's a heinous job and I don't wish it on anyone. I almost bought this new system that promised a 4X faster paint job at 3X the price. There is a cool video - lemme see if I can find it - here it is, showing the difference. Well, spendthrift and skeptic that I am, I elected to do it the old fashioned by hand way. It's LONG! I spent all day yesterday over there and I only got the third floor done. Serge and I are going over today to try to finish. Don't envy us too much and have a lovely weekend peeps!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hump day haps

It takes a lot to get him to this point. A good hour of running around and playing "chase me" with the ball he found in the park. We've been going every day because for the next six weeks I'm going to be balls to the wall busy with work. I make about a fourth of my annual income in this late Sept to beginning of Nov window so he'll just have to understand. I had a terrible dream last night that he had escaped and when I found him at the dog pound, they had already agreed to sell him to someone else since they only hold the dogs for 48 hours. (not true IRL) Then I had to say goodbye to him as the new owner was there picking him up and calling him "Snoopy". When I woke up, I was relieved to find him snuggled up against me in bed. I rarely have nightmares, but I think that qualifies.

We've been watching a lot of movies lately as well. Mostly art house flicks and lesser known titles. Much of the time we understand why the movie didn't become a blockbuster - there are a lot of lame flicks made, especially in the "gay" title section. But one movie really did it to me. Serge refused to watch it because he doens't watch "dog" movies. It was called Kachi. Have you seen it? I cried more than in Marley and Me but not it the same way. In M&M it was a sad, sad cry, while in Kachi, it was a cry of love for the loyalty of that dog. I really loved the film and that it was a true story made it even better.

We've had our computers for five years now and Serge ordered a new one for himself which he has been busy squaring away. Once he's done with that, I'll inherit his (it has more memory and a bigger hard drive) and mine will go to MIL I believe. One thing we discovered with the printer is that for five years every time we have a print job a window will pop up on my computer asking for a confirmation of the print job. It doesn't matter from which machine the print job is submitted, you still have to accept on my machine. Well, after five years we finally noticed the little box to check "do not show this window again". Five years of lamity people, it's got to be a record.

The last little tidbit I've got to share with you is something I learned this week. Your brain knows if you have real sugar in your mouth or fake sugar. When you are chewing something in your mouth, your brain is already giving instructions to the body based on what you're tasting. Regardless of whether or not you actually swallow, balls have already been gotten rolling in the body. For example, they had runners gargle with sugar water and sugar substitute water and then spit it out. The real sugar runners performed better because the brain anticipated the new energy source being ingested. So the brain knows even though, and especially with the new kinds of sugar substitutes, we can't tell with our conscious brain that it's not real sugar. Cool huh?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

12 of 12

You can't plan a shot like this, but once in a while you get lucky. Georgie gets quite excited in the morning "begging" me to take him out for our morning walk. He knows we don't go out until I shower and dress, but he whines and whimpers nonetheless until I actually do those things.

It was a workout day so I added an egg to my usual toast and cheez whiz breakfast. I always give the last bite to Georgie because I'm so well trained that way.

He finally gets to go on his long walk. Our circuit takes 25 minutes to complete, longer if we stop for him to sniff and play with friends. He cracked me up though because he thought a knot on one of the big trees was a squirrel and attacked it. Eyesight is not his keenest sense.

Then it was down into the dungeon to do my workout. During my two week workathon I didn't work out and I lost some strength. It will be a couple more before I get back to where I was. Three weeks off means atrophying will occur.

Then I got in the car, crossed the St Lawrence river to the South Shore where the college is to make all of my copies for this session. She made me 3700 copies (I've got 60 students so about 60 copies per) and never jammed once! And she was the one I wanted to KILL last semester. (In French it's a she.) She must have a good doctor.

Back over the bridge to the city. It was a gorgeous day which is why I decided to do my photoshoot then since today was predicted to be gray and gloomy, which it is. It was probably the nicest remaining day of the summer. I spent a good hour sunning on our patio with the Saturday paper, which up here is the big one of the week.

I had a light lunch because I'm dieting and because we had a dinner party to go to in the evening. Georgie's manners are sometimes lacking. I know that's my fault, but he's so darn cute I can't get mad at him.

Then I spent some time on the computer. Got really interested in reading about 9/11 mostly because I'm so over the "let's play victim" thing we Americans do every year. Honestly it's like we take ourselves so dang seriously but we don't give a darn about the "terrorism" we inflict abroad. 140,000 Iraqi civilians killed as well as 4700 of our servicemen to invade and seize a sovereign country for NO REASON. But we are the victims? I was hurt and angered that day as well, but after having informed myself over the years I've learned that something like that was inevitable due to our arrogant trouncing around on the planet. We let Oklahoma City and Columbine go pretty quickly, can we let this one too? I'm guessing not. It's okay if you don't agree with me, I know I'm in the wee minority on the topic.

My new friend Rita invited us to dinner and she treated us to a lovely evening with fabulous food. Here's my portion of Osso Bucco which was so tender, juicy and flavorful, it was easily the best I've ever had. Didn't this shot come out neat, too?

We had lots of boozy goodness too. A martini, then champagne, chianti, brolio, and porto. We took public transport to get there and grabbed a taxi to get home. It was a great night and I'd love to do it again sometime.

We got home after midnight! This is quite the feat for me since I'm usually sound asleep well before 10. I even stayed up and watched the rest of SNL, a repeat from 4 or 5 years ago. I didn't laugh once and I thought, "Why did they pick this lame episode to rerun." My inner curmudgeon is hatching I believe.

Serge had nightly walk duty. I had done it alone the night before so payback was he had to do it alone. Normally we do it together, a little family walk together every night. We'll get back to that routine today.

There you have it, my day in pictures. To see what other peeps around the world take pictures of on their day, visit Chad's blog.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

This and that

Georgie only likes to play with the pear, not eat it. The neighbor's tree is full of them this year. I guess there wasn't any wind when it blossomed because they are so numerous and small.  Maybe that's why he didn't like them either. I haven't tried one, they might be sour for all I know.

I'm all prepped for my upcoming intensive classes - I spend a full work week with one group and then do it again and again, then a one week break, then again and again. Five groups. It starts on the 20th and all I've got left to do is the copying. The most odious task of my profession is dealing with that machine. They have a service at the college and I could drop them off to be done for me but I worry about things getting lost and feel better doing and organizing it all myself. What's a photocopier's version of flowers and candy because that machine always breaks down on me and I need to bring presents. I already flatter and coo but that doesn't consistently work. I'll go in this weekend when nobody's there to do it all. 200 teachers share two machines so it's impossible to do it during school.

Now I don't know what to do about the unemployment. I got fifty bucks for last week because I didn't work enough. Even though the previous week I made a ton of money. So I guess I'll get some compensation during my slow weeks (like this one right here) regardless of how much I work on my busy weeks. I don't really need the money now since I worked so much in August but there it is lying on the ground, I might as well pick it up. Still feel a little guilty though sucking that government teat.

At the doggie park today, I hurt myself and have no idea how I did it. Another person in the park pointed out that I was bleeding. Indeed. I had bled all down my shirt and pants from a wound somewhere on my pinky but had no idea where as there was a ton of blood and I had no pain. It wasn't until I got back to the car and kleenexed it, went home and washed it before I saw that there was a little chunk missing from my finger. Must have been a piece of broken glass in the grass where I wiped my hand of great dane drool. It's so strange the lack of pain though. Actually, there was pain, it just didn't come until I cleaned it out.

Two more days to the weekend but mine starts NOW, youpi! Later kids.

Monday, September 06, 2010

The opposite of a snob

The glads I got from the market opened up nicely this time. The trick I now know is to keep cutting a bit off the bottom to get the flowers to all open up. One of the bits I cut off fell on the floor and Georgie pounced on it, chewed it into a million bits and ate some. It's times like those I hope his instincts are good and he won't eat poison. (Yes I know about chocolate.)

That was a little sky gift yesterday. The diet I'm on is going well. Five pounds in 3 weeks. At first I was hungry all the time but after a while it's like the hunger stops throwing tantrums and calms down. Or I got used to the feeling. It really reminds me of quitting smoking. You have this urge, this desire seemingly coming from every cell in your body and you tell it NO! Now I'm working on associating this "pain" with the gain of losing weight. I never eat enough to actually be full, and pooping (you knew I had to go here) is not the same at all. I get the urge during coffee as usual but then a tablespoon of something spatters out and that's it. All done. You know what I'm really craving? A big satisfying dump, but I guess my bod is absorbing everything these days.

Here's me last weekend with Rita on our last day together. (She said she didn't mind me posting this.) We spent 40 hours together and the time just flew by. I'd say this is the second time I've hit it off as well as someone I've taught. The first became a friend but then eventually moved to France. What's really weird? We did the Meyers-Briggs personality test and she is the first person I've ever come across who scored exactly as I do. INTJ. Not that I test everyone, but I have done it many times and this is just a rare combo. It made sense though as we were very similar in many respects. Then yesterday I got a note from Maurice whose friend had had dinner with Rita and heard about me and told him. Small world eh?

We can't let a post go by without a picture of our favorite pooch, can we? Couldn't figure out what was interesting him so much. Maybe it was anticipation of the pizza yesterday. The boys convinced me to have pizza delivered, a diet busting decision, but after three weeks of being good, I figured what the hell. I had two and a half slices. I only put a tiny bit of mayonnaise on it (a quebecois thing that really does improve the dish) but I didn't put any Cheez Whiz on it like Dan did. I'm sorry but Cheez Whiz is for breakfast. I can't believe I really eat that stuff, but I do and I like it. What's the opposite of a snob? Cause that's what I think I am.

One last thing. Today marks 10 years since I moved to Canada. On this day in 2000 we landed with Sara, two big suitcases of clothes, a box of important papers and a computer. It's hard to believe we now have a furnished house overflowing with things and a garage crammed full of shit. Our net worth has quadrupled since that day, something that never would have happened had we stayed in Socal (I don't think). Thanks universe, thanks Quebec! Here's to another decade in this great country.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Pulling it out

The sleeping beauties with the fabulous quilt. It really is time for a new sofa set though. This one is 9 years old now. Ten is about the limit for fabric sofas don't you think? And what about leather? Anybody out there can assuage my fear that leather is not as comfortable as fabric? I get the upsides of leather, durability, ease of cleaning, pretty to look at, but the downsides concern me. Sweat inducing, slippery, taunting Georgie as though it were a giant chew toy. And let's not forget the price, though ostensibly it lasts longer so maybe it ends up being cheaper in the long run. If you've got the leather furniture, weigh in won't you?

There is sometimes a bright light in the eastern sky at night and Serge has been insisting that it is the international space station. My disbelief really rankled him so he sent me this link to prove it. It's true! It's usually only there for a few minutes but it's quite bright. It's really strange when it disappears behind Earth's shadow, one moment it's shining brightly in the sky like Venus and the next it twinkles out of sight.

I called Serge out on this. Usually he keeps the recycling of "deposit" vessels separate from the other recyclables so he can give it to a certain homeless guy around here. When I saw this, I called him out on his laziness. You know what he said? "It's for my solar panel I'm making." I have no idea what is going on in that head of his, but I'm curious. He says it's for winter time. I'll let you know if anything ever comes to fruition.

You'll get a kick out of this. Remember how I've been doing a weekend contract for the last month? No? Well I have been and it's over now. Anyway, we were doing a class last weekend just one student and I and at the break I had to use the bathroom. Now we were in a skyscraper downtown with nobody in it. For the month we had never seen anyone in the building except us. As I was heading to the restroom, I did what I do at home which is pull out the equipment on the way so that once arrived at the toilet, the waste can fly. Imagine my horror as I walked into the bathroom with my dick in my hand outside of my unzipped pants as I meet face to face another person. I'm not sure the other person even noticed (God I hope not) as we met in that he's-just-coming-out-the-door-as-I'm-going-in kind of way. Me? I was mortified. I have got to be more attentive to my behaviour outside the house.

I've got a class this morning and then three days off! Hope y'all have a great labor day weekend.