Friday, October 29, 2010

Full time over, yay

He's going to get lots of attention now that I've got my life back. My schedule is lighter until mid-January so me and my Georgie are gonna hang out a lot more. I've got to get him more exercise since he has gained 8 and a half pounds, or 30%, since we got him a little over a year ago. We've already reduced all cookies to half-cookies and reduced the meal time quantities of food as well. I've been trying to get Serge to stop feeding him in the morning, but he refuses. He may be right, Georgie does have a mean streak and I'd hate to see him chew the sofa or something.

Serge is better this week although he had other episodes like the one on Sunday (minus the anxiety) and just goes and lies down when it happens. The few times it did happen weren't as severe as last weekend, thankfully. The doctor never called, and he assured us that he would call even for the minorest of things. So that would mean everything was normal. Today is the first day since that he's said, "I feel good today." So there's that. I'm not so fixated on the finding a diagnosis as much as I am just wishing it away. Wish with me, won't you?

This week I listened to talk radio on my commute. There were mostly topics of interest solely to Montrealers and on Wednesday they were talking about something with the immigrant situation here when a caller called in and in his discourse said something like, "Well jews control hollywood," in response to how immigrants are portrayed in the movies. It wasn't said with animosity either, just kind of matter of factly. The radio host got irate and told the caller it was the most heinous anti-semitic comment he'd ever heard from a caller and chewed him out and hung up. I would imagine it's a bit of an exaggeration, but how is it a hostile comment? What about saying the mafia controls the construction industry in Quebec? (which is a real story up here) Does that make me a mafia hater?  If I said gays control the fashion industry, would that be homophobic?  I don't get it, could someone explain?

The weight loss is coming along nicely, I'm almost done, just a couple more weeks I think. Unfortunately, and I can't ignore the fact any longer, my hair is thinning, especially at the crown. And here I thought I was going to escape that particular masculine roulette outcome. This time, even the barber mentioned it, ugh. Oh well, nothing to do but own it. Okay one more thing before I go. Coffeedog sent me this this week and it made me squeal. And I learned what a dirty sanchez is. I feel so edified now, lol. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weird weekend

It was all going along nicely, hanging out with the dog, catching up on household chores and doing some hard core puttering. Saturday, I went across town to buy fresh corn tortillas so I could make taquitos with the roast Serge had made on Friday. I couldn't find ripe avocados anywhere though, it's a fickle fruit, so I had to buy prefab guacamole. Can I just say that there are very few things that are more divine than homemade taquitos fresh out of the frying pan? Orgasmic, I'm telling you. I totally blew the diet but it was sooooo worth it.

Then on Sunday, I got up as usual and did my morning routine and took Georgie out for the long walk. It is always super quiet here on Sunday mornings, hardly anyone out except for the early birds walking their dogs like me. But almost no cars which is odd when you live in a big city such as ours. When I got back from the walk, I came in and there was Serge lying on the floor with the phone next to his head. He said, "I already called 911."

There is pretty much nothing worse to come home to except if he had been unconscious. He was convulsing and explaining that he felt super dizzy and thought he was having a stroke. I grabbed his wrist and his pulse was like a scared rabbit's. I knew he was panicking so I tried to calm him down while trying to hide my own panic. Seconds seem like hours at times like that. The paramedics arrived and made sure his vital signs were okay. They were unable to determine a cause but worked hard to make him calm down and slow his hyperventilation. Then it was onto the stretcher and into the ambulance. Over the course of the next few hours, he had repeated episodes of dizzyness and spasms all through his body. By the time the doctor saw him (7 hours later - triage prioritizes and his life wasn't in danger) he was just a little dizzy and no more spasming. This was a good sign because a stroke doesn't do that and the other thing they were talking about (don't know in English) doesn't get better that quick either. The paramedics thought maybe it was a pinched nerve in his neck but the doctor didn't. Finally, they took a bunch (a bunch!) of his blood, sent us home and said if there was anything to be concerned about, they would call us this evening. If they call, there will be an update to this post. I did like that the doctor gave a bit of a lecture about the cigarette smoking. I hope Serge will put a new priority on that. Anyhoo, can't let an event like this go by without a picture, can we? Here he is on the stretcher waiting his turn. We managed to laugh a bit too. Hug your loved one right now! You never ever know, you know?

Friday, October 22, 2010


What are you lookin' at? Man, he has been keeping me sane this week. I swear I have not had a moment to myself since last Sunday, but it is so great how he greets me and knows the routine so well. Morning walk is right after my shower. He wakes himself up goes out with me and then, according to Serge, he goes back to bed and sleeps til 10:30.  When I get home, he waits for me to change out of my work clothes and then we wrassle for a bit on the bed. Round about 8pm he reminds us it's time for his evening walk. Serge takes him out (usually, I had to do it Tuesday) during the afternoon. Tomorrow, I'll take him for a long spell at the doggie park.

So it was the week not from hell really, just one of those weeks where you are just bouncing off the walls busy. We had two fires this week. One in the dryer which wasn't technically a fire, yet, but combustion was definitely in progress. What's weird is that I went and checked on the laundry for no reason really as they had only been in the dryer for 15 minutes. I never do this. This is one of those uncanny intuition things that probably saved the house from burning down. Giant plumes of smoke came out of the drum when I opened it, shrieked for Serge, and ran to open windows and get a fan to blow the smoke out of the house. We took it apart and sucked all the bad lint that had accumulated. Then a few days later, the Convectair wall heater caused a small electrical fire that Serge heard snapping and crackling from the office. Turning the heater off solved that, but there is a big charred area now in the thing. That particular model is $600 to replace. It's the one next to the patio door in the kitchen so Serge is lamenting how cold it is when he smokes with the door open. True, there was ice this morning on the patio.

One more week. Then my life will get back to normal. Some of my students are nurses in the hospital who are sometimes obliged to work 16 hour days. And they have a family with kids, work full time every week plus overtime often. I just can't imagine. Unless you absolutely love what you do to the extent that you like it more than any other activity in your life, then that is not worth it. I suppose if I could get paid for playing Scrabble, I would do it. But I don't want to really do anything 40 hours a week, except sleep. Anyway, one more week of full time and then it's part time until January. Crap, I shouldn't say that, it's almost like daring the universe to make me have to take a bunch more hours before Xmas. I'll try to post a weekend update later Sunday, have a good one peeps!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lovely fall weekend

Okay all you haircut picture wanters. There you go. Pretty short again even though I said I wanted to keep it long when I was in the chair. It's fine though and easier to coif in the morning. This picture was taken out at Mont St Hilaire where we took our visiting friends for a hike on Saturday. Unfortunately, the sun didn't come out, but we still got some nice pictures out of it. Our friends from Boston who used to live near us in Long Beach came up for the weekend. Bryan's camera had this neat setting for fall foliage which really made the colors come out nicely. You can click to enlarge as usual.

If only there had been sun, eh? Still, it was a nice group shot down at the lake. On Friday we had a humdinger of a storm, two inches in the rain gauge, and lots of high winds. I thought that that would bring all the leaves down, but there were still lots clinging onto the branches. Near the top of the summit, many of the trees were bared though.

This is looking down from the sugarloaf summit. Still a lot of fiery oranges and reds down there. We talked about Glee quite a bit since we're all gleeks. When Daniel was over the other day, we watched the latest episode (we watch each episode twice - at least) and he pointed out a consistency problem. The lockers have the hanging combination locks, but no one ever removes them. In fact, the players fake it if you pay attention. Anyway, now it's impossible not to notice this. The set people should make the lockers be the built in combination lock kind, or have the actors actually remove the lock and open the locker like reality. This is going to drive you nuts now, I promise.

On the mountain, most of the trees had yellowing leaves. It made for quite the scene. I loved kicking the leaves up. I don't know if I can use the new word I learned, pulchritudinous, to describe the scene, but if I can, it certainly fits. Incidentally, a student asked me what it meant, and I had to admit I didn't know. Not a frequent occurence but humbling nonetheless. The student had it in a newspaper article and even in context I couldn't figure it out. It means physically beautiful.

Georgie couldn't come with us on the hike since pooches are not permitted. He was good though and didn't chew anything up. He loved having four daddies for the weekend. He consumed four times the treats I suspect.

Here's a nonsequiteur, how would you like to know how to make your disposable razors last twice as long? My dad mentioned to me a while back that it's not the number of times you use your razor that dulls the blades, it's the water. Never being one to believe something just because someone said it, I tested the theory. Instead of rinsing the razor and putting the little plastic thing back on, I dried it with tissue and blew on it first before putting it away. Instead of the usual 3-4 weeks I used to get, I get 9 weeks out of the blade now. Your mileage may vary of course, but it definitely makes a difference. Try it yourself and let me know how much money you owe me : p

It's been a lovely week off (except Wednesday) and now I've got another two intensive weeks to do. These are my advanced groups so it should be a bit easier for me, but I've also got three evening classes, so I'm gonna be pooped. If you don't see me around much, that's why. Don't worry though, I'll be comin around again before you know it. Have a great week peeps!

Friday, October 15, 2010

This and that

The door stays closed now. During the warm season, we leave it open and tolerate the houseflies, but now it's too chilly to leave it open. Our average high is 12 degrees now (54F) so no more in-n-out every two seconds. He's very patient though and doesn't bark or howl, he just scratches at the glass a bit.

When we were walking him Wednesday night we stopped across the street to wait for the light to change and there was a spectacular collision before our eyes. One SUV was waiting to turn left and another SUV plowed into him at at least 40mph. Both cars completely totalled 15 feet from us. We were both so shocked we just stood there staring for a good ten seconds before we went out to see if the drivers were okay. They were, and I think airbags are to thank for that. I timed it and it was a full 7 minutes before official help arrived. Too long. The guy who hit the other guy said he simply didn't see him there. I understood immediately, at night with the various lights and a confused depth perception, this is what can happen.

Got the hairs cut. I think my barber knows how to do two kinds of haircut. Buzz cut or the one I got, the lesbian cut. I told him I wanted to keep it long, but just to refresh it and clean it up. Remember when I said I could put my bangs in my mouth? Well now I can't put them in my eye. It's fine though, I've been going to this guy for 9 years and he told me yesterday that he has been working alone in his little one-chair shop for 33 years. People stop by and chat him up all the time. It's like he IS part of the neighborhood. Serge said, why don't I go to a real coiffeur instead of a barber, but I'm too loyal to do that. Plus I like the price - $12.

We have friends coming up to visit this weekend from Boston. (And are bringing taquitos and apricot stilton from Trader Joes - score!) Same gang we spent the weekend in Ogunquit with. Should be fun. I'm planning to take them to the top of Mont Ste Hilaire Saturday, where hopefully we will still have some fall color to enjoy as well as spectacular views of the St Lawrence Valley. I'll be kid kodak (as the quebecers say) and come back with pics. It has been a nice week for me, I only worked one day but the next two weeks are intensives with the nurses. I hope to finally get caught up on blogs today, it's just impossible to keep up when I do the intensives. Have a great weekend peeps!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

12 of 12

Got up before sunrise as usual these days. I don't get up particularly early, between 6 and 6:30, but the sun is coming up later and later. The sun is at that sweet spot where we can see it rise from the horizon in the tree gap. It is traveling to the right pretty swiftly and will rise off camera to the right around Christmas time.

After blobbing on the computer for a bit, I took Georgie out for his long morning walk. He found a friend in the park. Most people let their dogs off so they can frolic like I used to do with Sara. I just don't trust Georgie to mind me though and would hate to ever see him run into the street. Shudder to think.

Breakfast time. I've been "poaching" the egg in the microwave and have found the magic 53 seconds to get the perfect doneness. I have a little ramekin from a creme brulee that works great with microwave plastic wrap. Just pierce the yolk first.  I used to wrinkle my nose at the runny yolks, but as in everything in my life, I'm mellowing and have gotten more flexible. Still, this was a bit runnier than usual.

Then we started emptying the living room to make room for the new sofa. Georgie hungout in the bedroom watching us. There's not much else to add, so a little tidbit for you. While I was chatting with the nurses last week, somehow and I swear it was not me, but the subject of bowel movements came up, oh yes because people call who are worried about their elderly parents who don't poop every day. You don't have to poop every day but everyone thinks you do, I was being told. So of course I had to ask. How long is it normal not to poop? 5 days is in the normal range, she said. Can you imagine? You'd have to have a stick to break it up after five days, right?

So both couches fit cozily in the bedroom. We really don't need two (or one come to think of it), but since they both fit, there's no rush to trying to sell it. Serge likes the idea that he can sleep on the couch in the bedroom too. Perhaps someone with a need will appear and we can give it away. That's what we did with our 36" TV. It was in the bedroom but we never ever used it so a friend's nephew was off to college and needed a TV. Gave it to him. Feels good to do stuff like that.

What to do with all that leftover turkey man? I made a 13 pound bird which prior to eating the thanksgiving dinner was precisely the total weight loss I'd made so far. Okay so that's why the stairs are easier now - I'm not carrying a turkey with me everywhere I go. Oh yes, back to the original question.

Why turkey sandwiches of course! Mine is on the right because I love a bunch of crunchy onions on mine. The butterball is so perfectly juiced that you don't have to salt or pepper the meat, it's moist and flavorful. They've got a customer for life if they don't muck it up. Anyway, totally nom nom nom.

The delivery men are here! Before Serge let them in, he said to me, "I hope they don't ask us to help them."  That was pretty funny because not two minutes into it, we were being asked just that. Turns out we had to lift it up over the patio railing and it took four of us. Then it was too big to fit through the patio door opening so we (well I just hid and watched Serge get all manly) had to figure out how to get the patio doors off. I kept thinking about how we can never move from this place and what a pain in the ass it will be.

I let the men do their thing and decided to get Georgie out of there since he was kind of bugging them. He's such a good boy riding in the passenger seat. I can't get him to wear the seatbelt though and if I brake hard, he goes flying. Obviously, I try to avoid that.

Okay I'm getting sick of it, the long hair. I can put my "bangs" in my mouth. That's a record for me. Love the feel, but the look is bumming me out. I'm gonna go in but I don't know if I'm going to ask for a little freshen up while trying to keep it long or if I'm gonna tell them to cut it all off, #3 on the top and #2 on the sides and back. Probably won't decide until I'm in the chair.

Back from the park and it was all done and set up. Georgie promptly jumped up and drooled which made Serge resemble Joan Crawford. It's super comfy but we need some accent pillows. One of the things we liked was that the cushions are all sewed in so the shape should keep better. Of course we can't turn them should we sully either. Risky. We got out the afghan and the quilt to protect it.

Dinner was, yep you guessed it, leftovers from Thanksgiving. I ate like a bird (yuk yuk yuk) though since I stuffed myself yesterday and gained a pound. Of course the highlight of Tuesday is Glee! Hope you enjoyed this month's 12 of 12. To see other's photoshoots of today, visit Chad's blog.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canerdians. So much to be thankful for, beautiful sunrises for instance. October seems to be the month of the awesome sunrises. I checked the archives and the best pinky mauve ones are always in October. So yeah it's Thanksgiving and I'll be putting the bird in the oven later this morning. I went out and got the pre-stuffed, cook from frozen Butterball turkey since it was so good and easy last year. Fixings this year include mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, caesar salad, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin bread with cream cheese filling for dessert. The diet is off today.

The diet was off on Saturday too as we went to my favorite restaurant in town Au Pied de Cochon. We tried something we've never eaten before - bison tongue. What was strange later is that I bit my tongue pretty badly and I immediately thought it was some kind of karma. I haven't bitten my tongue like that in many many years. It's still sore this morning and tongue wounds heal quickly. Anyway, it was an awesome meal for our 6th wedding anniversary.

For my main course I had the legendary foie gras poutine. Talk about rich, the french fries are fried in duck fat. Oh and someone next to us ordered the pig's head for 2. It was served whole with a giant knife sticking out of it's head. I thought it was a bit over the top, but definitely made an impression. Anyway, I had gone below the psychological 180 mark with the weight, but then went back over after this meal. Cue the sad trombone.

It's peak fall color time around here. It got pretty windy yesterday so a lot of leaves are down. It sure is pretty when the sun is out and the forest on Mount Royal is all technicolor. The only downside to all the leaves is the hidden turds. I think (bad) people take this as an opportunity to be lazy and not pick up after their pooch since the stool blends in with the leaves. I've had two smelly surprises this week.

I don't know how this happens. We went out to buy a new shower curtain and somehow we buy a sofa. I blame Serge, but like he said, it's rare that we agree so readily on an item, so we took the opportunity. We decided against leather and went with the model and fabric you see above, the only difference being that the chaise portion is oriented the other way, on the right. They're going to deliver it tomorrow, so I'm sure it will factor into this month's 12 of 12. We've had our current sofa set for 9 years and we are going to keep one of them and put it in our bedroom. We'll try to sell the other.

It wouldn't be a proper Sticky Crows post without a picture of the boys. He's such a love bug. Georgie that is. He's loving having me around this long weekend and I'm sure he will hang out in the kitchen with me today waiting for the scrap fairy to send vittles to the floor. Have a great Thanksgiving or Columbus Day peeps!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Why I'm not (or at least don't think I am) an atheist

Well the short answer is because life is more interesting that way.

Earlier this week there was a lively discussion on Facebook on the topic and so I've been marinating with my ideas about it. Here's what I've come to believe. I used to be quite the atheist, and when I look back at how I derided the lack of mental prowess of those who follow organized religion, I feel rather embarassed. Only weak-minded people would believe in such poppycock I used to think. I still think there is a lot of truth to the notion that people become religious in order to cope with their inevitable death. But I no longer deride. Everybody is just trying to get through the day like I am, and if following a particular spiritual path is helpful, great. I certainly don't give much respect to those who condemn who I am because of some words some men wrote in a book over a thousand years ago. But the belief in a higher power is A okay in my book now. And here's why.

Throughout the history of mankind, there have always been people with very rigid ideas. I call these the "I've got it all figured out" people. It's comforting, I get it, everything being settled and decided like a cozy warm blanket. It's just not particularly intelligent to have it figured out because a) you don't and no one really does and b) by definition then, you're close-minded. Think about it. Those who mocked the emerging evidence of a round planet is a good starting point. Certainly it was clear to everyone that the Earth was flat. Our eyes don't lie, right? However, time and time again, we have discovered the existence of things that are not discernible with our 5 senses. Things like magnetic energy (which birds can sense) electrical energy, the atom, viruses and the list goes on and on. Certainly our road of discovery has not been conluded. And so first and foremost I try to keep an open mind about things. The natives didn't see Columbus's ship because they didn't believe in the existence of such a thing. I certainly don't want to miss something holy or miraculous because I don't allow for the possiblity of it.

Recently Stephen Hawking came out saying God doesn't exist because gravity explains the existence of everything in the universe. I'm paraphrasing but I thought it was funny because isn't gravity then a kind of god? It certainly rules most of our movements all of our lives. Pretty inescapable too. I spent a week thanking gravity for my existence. Of course then we must ask the where and why and how of gravity, being the nosy, inquisitive beings that we are. We still don't know. Then there is the sun. I love that there is not a molecule in our bodies that wasn't forged in the furnace of the sun. Bam, another entity to thank for my existence. Are gravity and the sun sentient beings? What about "mother" Earth? Who knows but it's fun pondering what if....

And then there is the mystery of life itself. Every single living thing on Earth has a little life code called DNA that rules our existence. It really is not plausible that this biologic computer code of millions of proteins strung together just popped into existence by accident in the primordial soup. It had to have originated elsewhere or with some kind of help. Maybe we owe our existence to scientific aliens. Wouldn't they then by definition be a sort of god?

On the uber rational front, as scientists keep peeling away at the onion of our existence, some bizarre theories are being pointed to. My favorite is the block universe theory which a majority of quantum physicists are leaning toward which essentially says that the past, present and future all exist simultaneously and that all movement is illusory. We are really just living the turning pages of a really big book, each page a moment in time. This would have profound implications on destiny and explains the Oracle's statement in The Matrix when she tells Neo, "You've already made the choice, you just have to understand why." And I love thinking about the possibility then that I chose to ride this particular life, having checked it out in advance before jumping in. I feel like I chose pretty well.

Then there is personal experience. I have seen both a UFO and a spirit. I have told the UFO story here I'm sure but the spirit story is personal and you probably wouldn't believe me anyway. I'm sure I wouldn't have seen her if I didn't believe in the existence or possiblity of such entities.

I feel like the existence of an all powerful, all knowing creator is unlikely, but I feel that there is much more going on than we know now, more powers and forces at work that we cannot detect. I for one am going to keep my eyes and heart open in case I do have a chance at detection. I think I'm going to go rent Big Fish again. I love the message in that movie because it's similar to what I'm putting out there today. Peace.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


* My second attempt at paella looked great and tasted delightful. Unfortunately, I didn't cook the rice quite enough so it was kinda al dente. The lady at the shop convinced me to use the "best" brand of rice to make it, but this was a mistake as it absorbed the chicken stock more readily. I should have taken the tried and true brand.

* People are already wearing gloves up here. Let's not exaggerate people.

* I forgot to put gas in the car yesterday and this morning I see they've hiked the price ten cents.....per liter. This is like if overnight they bumped it up 38 cents a gallon. F*ckers!

* Guilty pleasure = Dancing with the Stars.

* I have about seven minutes to finish this post which is fine since I have basically nothing else to add.

* On Mondays I have the hideous evening commute from hell. I decided to try a longer route home distance-wise but faster time-wise. Wouldn't you know it there was a multiple mangled body accident on that route. Thwarted! I did alright putting on my Zen cap though.

* I love the crisp autumn air. Especially after this suffocating summer we had.

* The diet is still going strong. I love it! There really is no magic to it. Eat fewer calories than you expend and you will lose weight. You could just eat cake all day as long as it's not over your calorie limit and you'll still lose. The trick I suppose will be keeping the weight off after. Anyway, this is nothing compared to quitting ciggies.

* I'm in my third intensive this week and next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday I have a light schedule. This is good because I've gotten a bit cranky. I find myself commenting negatively on many people's driving skills, or rather lack thereof. Courtesy is a lost art, I'm afraid.

* Poop at the door. Must go now. Peace.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


The view out of the home office window shows how the city maimed the giant tree. I suppose its topheaviness made it a wise move, but I bet that really hurt.  It gives us much more light in the late afternoon since the sun sets behind it. Before, it totally blocked the light. Also in the foreground you see the sumac turning colors. The seedy cones it produces feed the starlings well into the winter.  Oh and speaking of winter, the new forecast came out and though temperature wise it's supposed to be milder than normal, snowfall wise it's supposed to be a humdinger. This is from the accuweather Canadian blog:

Sigh, we are in the "very snowy" purple stuff. Maybe it's time to buy the real snow plow. I hate to part with $600 to avoid some good exercise, but then again, shoveling induces heart attacks. Georgie will be in heaven though. He's definitely not a summer dog and doesn't do well in the heat. And he loves to bite the snow so we should have some fun with that. Guess we need a Georgie pic since we're talking about him.

He hasn't been happy for a couple of days due to all the rain we've had. Over three inches. Yesterday we got soaked on the morning walk. Silly me thinking the storm had finished. Of course we got to the furthest point on our trajectory when the sky opened up and dumped buckets on us. Then he smelled like DOG so bad, Serge had to give him a bath. He smells all perfumed now and his fur is all smooth and silky.

Today I've got to do some chores and then we are having a little dinner party. I'm going to make paella again, which will make my second attempt. I hope it's as good as the first time.  I'll take pics as usual. Y'all have a lovely weekend!