Sunday, August 28, 2011


* Always room for a Georgie pic, no? This camera takes pretty good pictures in just that kind of light. No alterations or adjustments needed.

* Love the real time traffic info in the GPS. It automatically chooses the fastest route based on traffic situations. So on Friday, it chose one route to go to the burbs and a different one to come home so as to avoid traffic jams. Why did I wait so long to get this!?

* Hurricane Irene is coming here too! It's already windy out there but they are saying we're going have tropical storm force winds and 3-5 inches of rain today. Should start in about an hour. Looking at the satellite pic, it looks like the eye is just over NYC right now.

 * For the geographically challenged, Montreal is just above the New York-Vermont borderline. For the really geographically challenged, Montreal is approximately dead center of the image.

* Though I have a couple private lessons, I'm largely off for the next two weeks. Can't go anywhere though, Serge is broke. (He'll be bitter if he sees that.)

* I found our dream vacation cruise for our 20th anniversary in 2013. It's a Hong Kong to Kobe, Japan cruise. We'll stay a few days in Hong Kong (where we met) first and finish up with several days in Tokyo. Already saving up for that. I think 2012 will be thrifty on the vacation front.

* Today is my first practice in case I get called for the tv show. I'm going to do the first and third course. The main course (osso bucco) I've done many times already. Today I'll try red bell pepper soup with sauteed foie gras on a crouton. Dessert will be mini banana cakes with creme anglaise.

* I'm signing up for a Saturday morning Spanish class. This will come in handy when we go to Spain in October. I took the placement test and was put in Level 1A. There is no class before that.

* We transferred our mortgage to another bank. I don't know how we got so fortunate, but somehow we don't make a payment in September. The mortgage transfers August 31st to the new bank and their first payment is Oct. 1st. I'm using this windfall to pay for the xmas cruise. (I already told y'all about that.)

* We signed up for Netflix Canada's unlimited streaming deal. Although it works great, the selections are all much older than I had anticipated. Case in point, the series Weeds has five seasons out on DVD, but Netflix only offers seasons one and two. We get a month for free, so we'll see.

* I'm sure there's more, but that's all that's coming to mind at the moment. Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Weekend update

There he is. Serge was handling some kind of food item which is forever bewitching to the George. When I walked him yesterday, a fully grown middle-aged man started cooing and fawning over him, "T'es bon bien beau, toi," completely ignoring the human at the other end of the leash. George has his own way of bewitching too.

At the barbecue on Saturday, the gang did a rendition of the TV show I may get on. This was their grade for the supper. Pretty good for barbecue fare. It was a lot of work! We spent basically two days preparing. I made 2 seven-layer dips, crab dip, cream-cheese and salsa filled celery sticks, deviled eggs, potato salad, caesar salad, cheese plates, and a crudite plate. On the bbq, we had burgers, gourmet sausages (might be an oxymoron, that) and marinated chicken breasts. I made the "dangerous" punch. I only drank the punch all night and boy did I get snockered. Serge said I titubais at the end. (wobbled)

While I was responsible for the cooking, Serge was responsible for cleaning and arranging furniture. He also had this idea to buy glow sticks which he whipped out after people were at an appropriate level of inebriation. Giant phallic glow sticks. Yeah. We did have about 10 minutes of rain, but it wasn't enough to ruin the party. The real rain didn't start until everyone left.

Another great thing was seeing my long lost cousin Cindi after all these years. Turns out she lives in Toronto and she popped up for the weekend to visit. Most of the guests at the party were francophones but they all spoke English with my cousin. Serge's long lost cousin was also at the barbecue so there was some serendipity there.

Someone left this garment. We've been trying to figure out who so we can give it back but no one is claiming it. It's a bit tight for me or I'd shut up and keep it. Anybody?

Finally, we have the traditional contest between Serge and Emilie, and as you can see, Emilie has won once again. She really does have a talent with this. You can imagine how much fun they have trying to come up with the vilest food combination to gross everyone out. I used to have a friend that if you showed him something like the above, he would set to uncontrollable gagging and occasional cookie-tossing. Seriously, once I showed him the foam from a pepsi I had burped up and he vomited right on the spot. Splashed my shoe even.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chitty chit chat

Anybody want to play Scramble with me? Steven? I don't get to play much now that I have like 15 Words with Friends turns awaiting every time I turn on the ipod. Scramble is just like Boggle and if you want to play, prepare to be beaten. People are really good on there but I usually end up in the top three. Another game I was recently turned on to is UNO. The app is really cool and you can play multiplayer games on local networks.

Last Sunday we went and watched the parade which was long and colorful. At one point, they had a group carrying signs depicting the homophobes lamenting our very existence. Michele Bachman's says that gays are part of Satan's plan. Nice. Note to Michele, I wouldn't hurt a flea. That other guy's quote is "protecting the transgendered is normalizing immorality and supporting mental illness". I wonder if he's ever spent a day with one, actually getting to know the person. Sigh, if everyone would just accept that we're all just trying to get through the day doing the best we can.....

I got my new GPS! After I complained to Amazon that they shouldn't be selling GPS units to Canadians from the dot CA version of Amazon that don't come with a Canadian map, they took the unit back. Plus, they changed all the units offered on their website that don't contain a Canadian map to "Unable to deliver to your shipping address". I felt good that I was involved in helping others avoid such lamity. And bravo to Amazon for taking such quick action. I've only used the thing to go to and from work so far, but it already showed me a faster way to get there! I know GPS is old news, but it's new for me!

So here is a little look around the party after the parade last Sunday. It was kind of cloudy, but Serge and I make an appearance toward the end. I had to leave soon after that because I had picked up a 7am contract (why oh why I was asking myself) for the next morning. Serge came home very late. He woke me up because he kept getting the entry code wrong on the door. Beep beep beep beep beep "shit" beep beep beep beep beep beep "shit" etc.

I'm ready for my walk now. The new command is "sing". He can now "assis" (sit), "donne moi ta patte" (shake) "l'autre patte" (shake the other paw), "couche" (lie down), "dit moi" (tell me) and now "chante" (sing).  Singing is much better than tell me which is a bark. He's gonna have fun tomorrow at our big fabulous summer barbecue. Surely he will coax treats out of everyone he's so damn cute.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

La saison s'achève

The summer season is dwindling. We had the first not-hot day and you know what that means, the next thing you know it's gonna be Christmas. And the seven month stint in the icebox. Of course, between now and then we get the loveliest season of all, fall, of which there will be more and more hints in the upcoming weeks.

Yesterday we went on the jet boating ride, my fifth time I believe, and it was as fun as ever. Froze to death the rest of the afternoon though. It must have been pretty humid because hours later my shorts were still totally wet. It is still the funnest thing to do in Montreal. Every tourist should include it in their itinerary.

Hey, they called me from that TV show, Un Souper Presque Parfait. It seems I'm on the list of contestants or alternatives and I won't know if I'm going to be on the show until the week prior. If they don't call me in the next 4 months, I didn't get on. They called me while I was in the metro station and the guy who interviewed me spoke ridiculously fast, I think I caught maybe half of what he was saying. It was like those radio commercials with the super fast talkers. Stressed me the hell out. Now I've got to practice cooking. I explained this show before on the blog in case you don't remember. I hope I get on! Fingers crossed.

Serge and I have been trying to decide what to do over xmas vacation. Friends invited us to go down to Mexico and rent a house in a sleepy fishing village. The price of the house was right, but sheesh are airfares ridiculous right now. Then we were toying with the idea of Puerto Vallarta for xmas week. The bad side of that one was a return flight at 2:50am. Ugh. We were also thinking of just hanging around Southern California like we did last year, a few days in Palm Springs and San Diego for example. That would certainly be the cheapest option but we want warmth. It's possible that it would be warm in Socal but hardly a guarantee. It was chilly last year at that time. Finally we decided to cruise out of Long Beach down to Mexico. You have to pay more for that week compared to other times of the year, but it's something we both know we will enjoy. 8 nights, can't wait. Anybody want to join us?

Sorry about being a bad blogger, I've been working and trying to finish up my current group, and get ready for September when the new groups start. No 12 of 12, I just wasn't feeling it. Next month perhaps.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Sejour à Lac Carling

Serge felt all manly after having crossed the pond on that thin log without falling. He had his iphone in his hand ready to throw to me if he was going to go down. A beaver had built a dam there and blocked the hiking trail around the lake. When we arrived at the hotel Lac Carling, we checked into our big hotel room and were pretty happy with the grounds and facility. Then I dragged him on a hike after having coated my exposed flesh with insect repellant.

I didn't get a good shot of the exterior, so these shots of the free in-room postcards will have to do. The second one is hilarious, advertising their family suite. Did they find an old box from the 70's and decide to use them up? I don't know, but the couch was exactly the same material in our room. There were a lot of little run-down type problems but nothing terrible. I think the worst thing was that although they advertised paddleboats, canoes and kayaks, they were all broken or missing oars and things. Also, if you're not into golf, there's not much to do. I had the best massage I've ever had though, and I don't even like massages.

We went with my in-laws and dressed up for dinner each night. There was absolutely no music, not even piped in music while we were there. Weird. The food was decent but they seemed a little understaffed. I don't know maybe we were bored so we paid attention to all those details more. The place was busy though and I'm sure there were a lot of Groupon people like us there. But that's the thing, if you're going to attract people to your establishment, you've got to wow them to get them to come back and speak highly of you.

Filet mignon with bernaise. Had to pay extra to get that. Was it wow worthy? Meh.

The second day, Serge and I went to the big dam spanning the Ottawa river and got a guided tour that was practically private. Only one other person was with us. It was so cool! We weren't allowed to take any cameras inside but the turbines were enormous and we got to go all the way into the belly of the beast. Those things generate a lot of heat. Best part? Free baby, free! Also, we learned that 90% of Quebec's energy is hydroelectric, 3 % wind, 7 % nuclear. They put up a map of North America and Quebec is so green compared to the states and other provinces. Sure there's a lot of environmental impacts from damming rivers, but the energy source is renewable and non-polluting. In addition, Quebec's grid is totally independent of the other systems, one of the benefits of having it "nationalized". Plus we pay the lowest electricity rates in North America. Sometimes government organizations CAN get it right.

We decided to go home a different way and took a ferry across the river just below the dam. My turn to look manly (and old). It was a nice getaway and the price was right. We won't be doing any more traveling until October when we get to go back to Europe. Until then, it's home sweet home with the Georgiemeister.

Friday, August 05, 2011

This and that

Hey y'all, I'm just popping in before we go away again for the weekend. This time it's more local, a scant 90 minute drive into the woods to Hotel du Lac Carling. I loaded up on bug spray so I will be a walking deet torch. This is appropriate since I'm also a bug smorgasbord, I'll get 10 bites to your 1 so aslathering I will go. This is another of those Groupon type deals we scored. We got two nights hotel with five course dinner each night, breakfast two mornings, a welcome cocktail each plus a one hour massage each for $299. The reviews are good, so I'm excited.

Speaking of coupons, I learned a new trick when we were down in Boston. Birthday boys sister went out with us shopping for stuff and when we were in Best Buy, a lady came up to us while we were in line and handed us a 10 dollar off coupon that she couldn't use. Unfortunately, it wouldn't work because Apple products were excluded from the coupon's worth. So without batting an eye, Angela asks the clerk, "Well don't you have some other coupons lying around back there?" And the clerk started digging through the trash and found not one but two coupons, one of which actually worked. Digging through the trash people! It's going to be my new favorite line. Here's a pic of me and the genius coupon asker forer. I swear her shirt was purple but the photo says otherwise.

While in the Best Buy, I picked up (and was treated to for my bday) Katy Perry's latest disc Teenage Dream. It's become my new workout music. I have always loved pop music. Give me four chords and a rockin beat, a nice hook and a catchy bridge and I'm yours. A music snob I am not. 

My eyesight is getting to the point where I'm going to have to actually go to the eye doctor. My reading distance has just about reached the limit of my arms but that's not the problem. The problem is that I get nauseous every time I read or focus on a game on my ipod touch. Apparently this is because of eye strain and it's only going to get worse and worse unless I do something. Crap. If it was just a headache I got, I'd probably tough it out, but nausea is my weakness. Maybe I should take a gravol (dramamine) before I read/play.

So I got a nice gift certificate from Daddy-o for my bird day and I used it to by a GPS from I was all excited to get it since we could use it for our trip to the country today. Well. The GPS had all 50 states from the USA loaded into it and that's it. It took a bit of insisting, but they finally are letting me send it back on their dime. Honestly, you're a Canadian company selling a GPS to Canadians and it won't work in Canada! Fail, fail, fail.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Ordinary post

But not an ordinary dog! We are working on getting him to say, "I wanna go out." You know, like that video that went viral with the dog that whines, "I love you."  He's actually getting pretty close. Once we get it, we'll video it and put it up here. Probably be a few months though.

I can't believe it's been almost a week since I posted. The days slip through my fingers like sand, and poof, another week gone by. It's similar to how I felt with the birthday this year, didn't I just turn 45 a few weeks ago? Now I'm 46. Facebook was fun that day and I got 65 happy birthdays on my wall. That kinda made up for not getting any cards this year. Well not yet anyway, it looks like the parents' are hung up in the mail somewhere. That was the day we drove down to Boston for our friend's 50th birthday bash. They were quite hospitable and even gave us their bedroom for the weekend. They live in a cool old 1800's house in the country. I didn't get a good pic of birthday boy, but this one came out nice with birthday boy's best friend.

Serge insisted on unbuttoning that third button. I don't like it. It was quite the boozy weekend and when we came home yesterday, we drove with the top down and got a little fried. Then I realized it was the last day of Divercite so we HAD to go down to the village and join the giant outdoor dance party. What a feast for the eyes that was. Hottie McHottersons everywhere you look. I danced with my shirt off but Serge refused to do so.

Let's see what else. Oh I know, there was a gift for us from the city when we got home. The entire garage wall full of graffiti had been removed. There is not a trace of paint left on the brick. Serge had called a while back and asked about getting the city to remove it for us. The woman he spoke with was surly. When Serge inquired about the program, she said something like, "What makes you think we have a program for that?" She agreed to pass the request on but we didn't have high hopes that we would make the list. But apparently we did. Major yays.

I'm sure there's more but let's save that for next time. I'll try to be better. We are going away again next weekend too. More on that later.