Thursday, January 31, 2008

When in doubt, do a meme

* Link to the person that tagged you.
* Post the rules on your blog.
* Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
* Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
* Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website

I can't remember who tagged me, or I'd link to that person. Additionally, there are a bunch of rules that came with this meme (see above). I tend to ignore random rule making, I mean, why does the fork always have to be on the left, you know? Anyway, the gist of this thing is that I'm supposed to share six non-important things/habits/quirks about myself. All the rest I'll treat as optional. This is much harder than it looks, I'm sure I've shared more than enough about myself over the last years. To come up with six quirky things that I've not already mentioned is tough. But here goes.

1. I do this much less these days, but I've been known to groom my toenails with my teeth.

2. I avoid eating certain things because they cause me to regurgitate hours later. I used to have fun with this little quirk and show whomever I was with what had gurged up in my mouth. The look of horror as they identified bits of the lunch we had eaten two hours ago was priceless. You know what though, people really didn't like being subjected to that, so I've stopped. Another part of the kid in me squelched.

3. It doesn't really matter where I sit the first time I eat in a restaurant, though on subsequent visits, I usually pick whichever table I ate at before. Something securing about that for me.

4. I am a coupon cutter, clipper, and user. 2 for 1's are my favorites.

5. At crowded movies, I choose a side aisle seat. At sparsely attended ones, I sit in the middle.

6. I don't drink sugary drinks because I swear they make my teeth fuzzy. This alone will probably save me from diabetes.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Student funnies

Student: Richard, I can't come to the class next week because I have a formation.

Me: Ooh, does it hurt?

Student: (long pause) I'm sorry I don't understand.

Me: What kind of formation do you have?

Student: The boring kind.

(Formation means "training" or "training session" up here.)


Me: You look different this session, have you lost weight?

Student: Oh no, I cut my hairs.

Me: Really, how many did you cut?

Student: (long pause) A few thousand I guess.


Me: Did anyone see any good movies over the Holidays?

Student: I saw "No Country for Old Men."

Me: Ooh, I've heard about that. Was there a good plot?

Student: (long pause) It wasn't that kind of movie.

(Plot sounds like a derogatory term for vagina up here.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Usually I know the cost of things

I was talking to a buddy yesterday, one of the other English teachers, and he asked me if my guy is coming soon. My guy is the guy I procure hemp products from who apparently is known for providing much more. At least that was how he was introduced to me way back when. I only have one particular interest, so I have never inquired as to other items available. Anyway, my buddy asked me if my guy could get coke, and not the drinkable kind. I told him I supposed so since his nickname is "a little bit of everything". Then he asked how much it cost. I had to laugh, "How should I know, I don't even know how to refer to the quantity. But I know an eight-ball is a lot." Then I told him the story of the eight-ball of coke.

I must have been 20ish when after working an evening shift at the Hyatt, some workmates ended up at my place having a few drinks. One of the guys there that night was David, a busboy with a strange tale of how he had become a moonlighting drug dealer. It seems he stumbled upon fifty grand worth of crystalmethamphetamine in a bag in an empty phone booth out in Palm Springs. Instead of turning it into the police, he moved to a different city (ours) and sold it to live. He made connections and became a dealer. He worked as a busboy, he said, as a cover - he really didn't need the job. Thinking back, I'm wondering if it was all bullshit, but this is not where the story ends. We drank a few, everyone left, and I went to bed.

The next morning, I went out to get the morning paper and there on my doorstep was a bag of white powder. A pretty decent sized bag at that. (Later, I found out it was an eight-ball, a quantity I am still in the dark about. Visually though, I remember the size of that bag of powder.) Well, I knew who that must belong to, how could David be so careless? We'll see what he says at work today. I brought the little bag into the house and put it in a drawer. The whole day at work, David didn't say a thing and didn't seem to have a care in the world, so I didn't say anything either. After work, I called my on-again off-again boyfriend (8 years of that nonsense) who had quite the nose for such things and told him of my windfall. I may have still been blabbing to him on the phone when the front door opened. He had come right over to check it out. It took us two days, but we did it all. Both of us bloody-nosed and gnashy-toothed out of our minds. I'm sure we had some rockin conversation as that's how I used to poo-poo the drug. "What, you pay $50 to have a good conversation?" Even so, the whole event has achieved a patina of misery around it, indeed, I have never purchased coke since that event. It's kind of like rum, I can't drink it due to it being the first alcohol that I got sick from. I've had a line or two offered to me over the years, and that has been fine, but I told my friend that I had no idea how much it costs these days, and now he knows why. As do you.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Putzing and knitting

Back to the grind today. I did some intense putzing around yesterday. Tripped over to the library to get some more cd's. They only allow you to check out 3 at a time, so I've been going every day, slowly reacquiring my music library that I got rid of before moving here in 2000. I have very few regrets in life, but selling all my discs for a quarter a piece is one of them. Some of the albums can't even be found anymore unless you want to pay a hundred bucks for a used one off ebay. After that, we had some brunch with Dan and came home to putter some more. I'm almost done with the ribbing section of the socks, so I thought I'd make a video of it. I'll need it in the future when I forget how to do the ribbing. Actually, there is a marvelous site which I use whenever I need help with knitting. It's aptly titled knitting help dot com. Her videos are very close-up and have helped me loads.

Have a swell day everyone!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

This n that

It's my last day of freedom. Tomorrow, I'm back to working five days a week. It's time, I think 5-6 weeks off is the perfect amount of time to recharge one's batteries. In France, minimum mandated vacation per year is 5 weeks which seems quite understanding of the human condition. In the states, I was brainwashed into thinking vacation was a luxury instead of a necessity. Even here, two weeks paid vacation is the minimum all employers must provide for the employees. Of course, I'm not an employee, I'm a contractor, so I get none of the compensation, but I do get oodles of time off.

So begins my 17 weeks of steady work. After that, we're going on our vacation of a lifetime, cruising the mediterranean and seeing Paris and Rome. I say vacation of a lifetime because it's more expensive than anything we've ever done, and possibly more expensive than any trip we'll ever take again. The part I'm looking forward to the most is Pompeii.

Yesterday, I said goodbye to a good friend who is moving back to France. I'm sad to see her go, as we enjoyed the company of her family. Before the kids arrived, we went camping together each summer, and I looked forward to doing that in the future once the kids got older. But no, they got fed up with (employment, climate, lack of friends&family) it here and are fleeing.

I'll miss you Marie-Annick. Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Go little bean, go!

I've been talking to the universe. Usually, my communication with the universe is limited to giving thanks, but this time I'm asking for help. Anne Lamott wrote that there are really only two prayers, "Thank you!" and "Help!" Unless you're praying to the devil I suppose.... Anyway, as I said, I've been asking for help for one of the voices in the blogosphere. I don't know how this happened, but I became so emotionally invested in the fertility struggle Patricia has been going through that I can't stop thinking about it. You see, she's pregnant. Not earth-shattering news in most circles, but after years of trying and treatments, in her world, it is. And now there's a little speed bump in the process and all we can do is sit and wait. And pray. All I keep thinking is "Go little bean, Go!" (the baby is the size of a bean presently) The doctor gives a 50/50 chance of survival and so I'm asking for help. For her, and for the little bean, who will have the lovingest parents imaginable. This morning as I put the little piece of my breakfast bagel into the spirit plate, I said, "Okay, I know I've only ever said thank you before, but if you can get on over and help that little bean, I would be so grateful." Then I went to the computer and google mapped her house (we exchange xmas cards so I have her address) and said, "There, that's where the little bean is."

Friday, January 25, 2008


* I didn't know this, but I learned that caffeine causes miscarriages. It makes sense though, the first sip often sends me to the toilet.

* I remember as a kid getting enraged and crying. It was a cry-rage thing which led to tantrums of arm and leg flailing. When I see other kids perform this act, it makes me laugh. Odd.

* The last time I cried when I was a kid, I think I was 11 or 12, I can still remember it clearly, I melted down crying because my father had raised his voice at me (delicate child I must have been) and then he mocked me for crying, I can't remember what he said exactly but I think crybaby was part of it. That was it, I didn't cry again until I was in my 20's.

* This week, I noticed they added little TVs into the elevators in the IBM building. Genius, now I don't have to pretend to read the Otis patent number or awkwardly catch the eye of other occupants. Plus, I couldn't think of a better example of "captive audience". Next will be urinals and toilets, you just watch.

* I got the jist of my schedule yesterday. Not bad at all. I was panicking for nothing. I can't believe how everything is falling into place once again. Yay!

* We bought olives for our martinis the other day. They were on sale. We like the green ones with the little red pepper in it. So we got them, and we both disliked them. Serge said they were garlic olives. I said no, "there's a red thing there, so it's not garlic." But something strange about the appearance of the red thing now that I really got a good look at it. I went to check the jar. "Stuffed with pimento paste." Those rat-bastards. And into the trash it went.

* I got Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66 from the library. Oh my god I love this music. Here's an example.

* This space was reserved for an unfleshed out snippet. When I fleshed it out, it was dumb.The replacement snippet was altogether lame as well. Please excuse me for any inconvenience caused.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Coffee chat

If you're like me, and I'm sure many of you are, you spend a fair amount of your coffee time perusing blogs. Me, I (I can't help doing that repeating subject thing, it's the Quebecois phrasing rubbing off on me) both write the blog with coffee, and then immediately check updated blogs until I've got to get on with my day. It's become a solid routine that I have become addicted accustomed to. It feels all cozy, this routine, like Lucy and Ethel sharing coffee in the morning. What is there to chat about, scheme about, gossip about?

Let's see. Serge took the day off yesterday which was a lovely thing. I feel far less guilty about blobbing around the house when he's home doing it too. I spent hours and hours working on my itunes, ripping more compact discs and making playlists. I had knitted four more rows on the socks when Em called to chat, fascinating conversation, little of which I'm allowed to reveal. Twas juicy, it was. She did help me identify a terrible trait I've had lately called "negative forecasting". I was telling her that I was pretty sure I'm crazy because I found myself visualizing standing in front of the rental board trying to evict the new tenants for non-payment of rent while they pleaded for more time with their infant. Somehow, my brain had taken me down some "what if" road to the point where I was visualizing that. The tenants don't even move in until March, and here I am disastrificating it. Anyway, now I have a label for it and I'll be on the lookout for it. Em said to treat that voice like a cranky old relative, an aunt with Alzheimer's for example, and shush it with love. I'm going to try that too.

I'd love to chat more but there is an urgent need to evacuate a certain portion of my body. (See how delicate I can be?) Have a lovely day everyone.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Picture day

As I headed out yesterday in the snow, I decided to take some pics. It has been a while since I've posted any pictures. This is outside Bonaventure metro station. The storm was just beginning. We got 6 inches by the end of the day.

The metro seemed eerily uncrowded after my class at 10:30 in the morning.

Outside Prefontaine metro station, you see a familiar brand. Perhaps the letters seem wrong to you. They're not. It's Poulet Frit Kentucky.

The fire hydrants stand out like cherries on a sundae.

This 24 hour resto near our house has some tacky tropical displays outside. The tree is not real.

Here's the train tracks I cross over to get to and from the metro. I always stop and look for a bit. You really can't see far when it's snowing out.

I got home and skyped mom in California. She got the kids up on her lap so I could see them. Almost like being there. You can click pics for larger versions.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I'm out of here early this morning to work my one class this week. Total salary for the week - seventy dollars. Next week though. Next week is looking more like it with 6 more classes due to start. (See, now you can always know my salary, just multiply the classes.) Last session, I took on 12, but that was too much. I'm shooting for 9 or 10 this time.

Oh yeah, we successfully rented the unit yesterday. The person we selected (all three had decent credit, so we called the first to have applied) declined our offer of the apartment which was mildly irritating, since we had spent 12 bucks to run each credit check. So person number two snatched it up and came over to sign the lease. Last time it took us 2 months to rent that apartment out, this time it took two days. I don't get it, but no complaints.

It's buttfucking cold here. I'm going a bit stir crazy and am actually happy for the excuse to leave the house this morning. Supposed to snow all day which I will try to find festive.(Though it's starting to feel as hard as finding mold festive.) In somewhat related news, my butt is hurting from sitting. In the house, I'm pretty much sitting or walking. Actually it's long periods of sitting punctuated by walking. I've been inside for 12 days now. I have always loathed the idea of a desk job and here I am spending almost all my free time at my desk. I think that's irony. I always forget exactly what irony is, because it's so easy to confuse with coincidence and bad luck, but I think I've got it there. (And if I don't, you'll tell me. I'm not looking it up again.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Landlord diaries

It was a crazy day yesterday. I cajoled Serge into posting the apartment for rent on kijiji. For those of you who don't know, kijiji is like Craigslist but in French. We had already gotten several calls from the Craigslist ad, but I like to reach the widest market, hence my cajoling him to post on Kijiji. Within minutes of him posting the ad, the phone started ringing off the hook. We decided to show the apartment for one hour between one and two in the afternoon. We had over 10 visits and at the end of the day we had four applicants for the apartment. This morning there are 10 more inquiries by email asking for a chance to visit. We'll run a check on the current applicants and if all goes well, we'll have a signed lease this evening. With all this response, I can't help feeling we priced the apartment too cheaply, but this is good to know for next time.

Two of the applicants refused to put their social security number down on the application. It's not impossible to run a credit check without it, but personally I'm put off by the attitude. You want me to enter into a $10000 contract with you, but you want to make it difficult for me to verify your credit history. One of these applicants who refused to put the ss# is on unemployment too. But don't worry, he wrote, he's got seven months left of unemployment benefits and surely he'll find a job by then. Oh and he's living at mommy's house and his reason for moving is "seeking independence". Still, we liked this guy in person, so he may end up getting it. I suppose we'll just take the one with the best verifiable payment history.

I was saddened to learn about Suzanne Pleshette's death yesterday. I have always loved her gravelly smoker's voice. So it wasn't too big a surprise to see that lung cancer had taken her. Another reminder to me about the terrible bad habit, and the necessity for extricating myself from it.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This n that

Well, I imagine we are headed into a recession. It's already touched me because one of our major clients has decided to cut back after lackluster holiday sales of their goods. English courses are always the first to go when money is tight, and poof after 2 and a half years there, we got the axe. Another company cut the number of classes in half. Oy. I'm going to have to hustle a bit more for work this year it looks like.

Oh and everyone wants a tuna noodle casserole recipe. Who knew? So easy. Boil 16oz of egg noodles for 8 minutes. While it's boiling, mix 12-14oz of tuna with a can of cream of mushroom soup and a cup of grated cheddar cheese. When the noodles are done, drain them and then mix them in with the tuna mixture. Put it all in a casserole dish and then sprinkle a cup of crushed up potato chips on top and stick it in the oven for 25 minutes at 350F.

Yesterday we started showing the apartment for rent. We only had one flake. Even though we tell people to please call us if they change their plans because we have to drive over to meet them, some people don't seem to care. Anyway, there were a couple of responsible people who showed up, but no takers. When we got home, the downstairs tenant came up to report his DVD player didn't work. He lives in a furnished unit. We got him a spare DVD player that we had and took his to tinker with it. You could hear something rattling around in there but the little drawer wouldn't open. After a few minutes of dicking around with it, it opened and there was the DVD Superbad inside. It must have belonged to the previous tenant who has returned to France. I was thrilled and forced Serge to watch it with me last night. He wanted to hate it, but he couldn't help laughing at it either.

Friday, January 18, 2008


* I got the new upgrade to the ipod touch. Now I have maps too! And it will calculate directions from where you are to your destination. Only 20 bucks, and I can scratch GPS off my list now.

* It's been a funked up week. As in I've been in a funk. Don't know why really. Probably the impeding reality of returning to work.

* The only thing I really use facebook for is playing scrabble.

* I made a family casserole recipe that required 5 items. Tuna, noodles, cheese, mushroom soup and potato chips. Turned out delicious.

* Do you ever have that thing? That thing where in certain conditions you see an amoeba-like shape shifing as if on your eyeball? And then when you try to focus on it, it scurries off to the side, and you keep doing it, darting your eyes this way and that to get a really good look at the thing? Mine is always the same shape, and I've managed to "look right at it" a few times. It's rare though.

* The snow is losing its magicality but we still have three months to go before it's gone. How can I find the magic once more?

* Is it just me or is everything boring lately? Boring news, boring tv, boring weather. (I told you I was in a funk.)

* I worked up a preliminary tax return. The news is bad. Serge said "You have to make more money!" He's right, but what other job has 20 weeks off per year? Maybe I'll have to take a part time job this summer. Le sigh.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Evil, greedy bastards

The girls who were robbed before Christmas called us yesterday. They would like to break their lease and move out. They don't feel safe now and want to leave. I can surely understand the sentiment, but it isn't easy to find renters in the middle of winter up here. They're responsible for up to three months if we're not able to rent it, but if history is any indicator, it will be rented in less than a month. Today I'll have to post ads and pictures and show the apartment the rest of the week to prospective tenants. Sigh, there's always something when you're a landlord.

Serge and I fantasize about going back to being renters. Life was so carefree then (But could we have appreciated that fact? No, no we couldn't). If something went wrong, all we had to do was call the landlord. Of course our attitude toward the landlords was that they were evil, greedy bastards, always raising rents and never fixing things in a timely manner. I feel bad about that now that I know what it's like on this side of the fence. A picnic, it is not.

I hate how everyone thinks you're rich if you're a landlord. Ha! 85% of landlords up here are like us, small potatoes, handling 3-7 units. Working toward having some kind of stable income at retirement age when the building(s) are paid off. I just keep telling myself to keep my eye on the prize. I'll be telling myself that for the next twenty years too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fecal information

Here's my favorite page in this book I got for Christmas. Who knew "number two" had so many types? Still, when I saw this page, I nodded with recognition at each one. Most days, I produce types 4-6, but types 1-3 make an appearance now and then, usually when I'm on vacation. It's interesting to note that type 1 has spent the most time in your colon, while number 7 (what we refer to around here as "shitting water") has spent the least time there. What you want though is number 4. The perfect turd. It slides out effortlessly and doesn't leave you with that annoying feeling of having left something behind. It has spent just the right amount of time incubating in the colon. I feel smug this morning as I've just finished producing type 4. How about you?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I had to get out of the house yesterday. The housecleaner was coming and I had to flee. My first stop was at Mexibec, to have a taco salad. It's not authentic, but it does the trick when hankering for Mexican food. My second stop was Starbucks in the village. It was so lovely. As big snowflakes floated down outside the window, I settled into the overstuffed chair in front of the fireplace with my newspaper (the most interesting tidbit was that Orange County, my birthplace, is now going to pipe recycled sewage that has been transformed into potable water to its citizens). Outside, passersby went about their affairs, some looking into the windows, others oblivious. There were no female customers during my visit. I'd wager all the men were gay as well, each one entering, and surveying the scene. Though everyone surveyed, some were more clandestine than others, taking an interest in the flower arrangement on the mantle for example, or squinting as though they had spotted a friend outdoors. It seemed the older the gentlemen, the more overt the scanning of the crowd. Being Monday at lunchtime, there wasn't much of one, but there were several hotties, who after disrobing layers of winterwear, enjoyed their hot beverages wearing much-too-small tank tops. I whipped out my cute little thing, which as you know I've dubbed my ipod touch, and tried to check the blog. There were many connections available, the most humorous of which was the "starbucks-sucks-shit" network. Definitive evidence of a geek with a sense of humor right there. A song I don't know the name of, nor understand because it's in Portugeuse, came on the ipod and my foot started tapping uncontrollably. Hey wait a minute, was Larry Craig wearing an ipod in that Minneapolis airport bathroom? Cuz, that might have been a good defense.

I finished my joe and went down into the metro tunnel to zip across town to catch a movie. I chose Juno. It made me cry. I love a good cry movie, especially this kind, where nothing tragic happens, just the stinging bite of reality so excellently portrayed in the film. After the film, I came home and the housecleaner was still there. Ugh. She cheerfully told me that in deep cleaning the couch, she had found $22.48 in change and put it in a dish on the kitchen counter. I think she likes to stay until Serge gets home, since she's someone he works with. They shot the shit for a spell before she left and then we ate BLTs. Watched some Planet Earth. Unexpectedly, we had sex. All in all, a nice day.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Superbad flying

When we flew out west, the first plane we took was on Air Canada. Many of Air Canada's planes are new and outfitted with personal TVs in each seat. Ours was. They had loads of movies, tv shows, documentaries and other programming available for each passenger to choose. Of all the upgrades I've seen for passenger flight, this has got to be the finest. It makes the hours fly by and you can see that movie that you've been wanting to see. For me, that movie was Superbad.

Have you seen this movie? It has got some of the nastiest dialogue that had me giggling from the opening scene. I kept shrinking in my seat, sneaking peaks around at other passengers to see if they could see what I was laughing at. There was only one quick boob shot in the film, but the foul language was, well so foul, that I kept worrying others could hear it. I have not laughed that much at a film in a long time. It's pretty much male adolescent humor, and if that's your thing, I highly recommend it.

The rest of the time, we were stuck on United. United does not have the personal viewing system for their passengers. They have several communal TVs hanging down from the ceiling. I banged my head on them every time I embarked and debarked. They played films I had no interest in. Nor did I have interest in putting on the headphones used by the passengers before me. We did notice next to the bathroom door an ashtray with a little cigarette emblem on it. Right next to it, there was a No Smoking emblem. As you might imagine, this ashtray does not inspire confidence in the flying apparatus. How old is this hollowed out barn anyway? I remember smoking on a flight in '84 so I'm guessing the plane was at least 25 years old. United also wanted to charge me $150 for a seat with more legroom. I asked at check-in, since I'm so freakishly tall, if I could get an exit or bulkhead row. Sure, if you pay for it. So we were stuck in the last row on all the flights, the very last one next to the toilets. And next to the confidence inspiring ashtray.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I can't, I didn't, I won't

I just cannot readjust to the time here. I've slept 10 hours a night for the last three nights. I know that's not totally healthy, but god it feels good. I also haven't left the house, though I almost had to yesterday when I was making a recipe. It called for "baking powder". I had "baking soda" but not powder. I decided to use that instead, to decent results. What's the difference anyway?

I didn't post yesterday because I was determined to catch up on the blogroll. Geez some people are prolific (I'm not mentioning names, you know who you are.) it took me hours to get through. Obviously I can't make 500 comments or it'd have taken me weeks, but at least I feel all caught up on the doings of the blog buddies.

I won't pay much attention to the election press and posts. It's already permeating way too much media space, and really, can't we just wait until the darn candidates have been decided? I really didn't know what I was missing until I moved up here. We never know exactly when an election will take place, and when it's called, there are 30 days of campaigning before it's held. All the nonsense crammed into four weeks - as it should be. It all seems like so much navel-gazing to me, this years long fixation with the presidential election in the US.

Friday, January 11, 2008


* Now I really feel like I'm on vacation. Holidays are over and I can putter, run errands, knit, read, blog (585 posts in my reader when I got back, I'm up to the cees.) and make recipes from the family cookbooks mom made this year. (Actually it took her 3 years to make them.)

* The first thing spouse and I noticed when we arrived in Orange County was that it is the land of giant vehicles. Expeditions, Escalades and Hummers oh my.

* You know the Skymall magazine in the planes? I don't read it anymore as I get so irritated by the frivolous nature of so many of the items. Serge always reads it cover to cover. This time, he pulled on my sleeve and pointed at something. It was this. A turd freezer to aid in the picking up of your pet turds. Maybe I should start reading it again.

* In a related story, I received this book for Christmas from Laverne. I'll post my favorite page another day. (Gotta stretch out these poop blogging opportunities, lol)

* We went to the big indian (can I say that?) casino "Pechanga" while out west. Spouse and Gramma won. I donated a hundred bucks.

* One disappointing thing out there was that there is no free wireless. Every place charged ridiculous rates. 11 bucks a day in the hotel room. 7 bucks to access at the airport. Thank heavens for friends and family with wireless. See what I don't get is, why aren't the people banding together like up here, sticking it to the man and creating an unbroken hotspot all over the city by sharing their connection in a huge collective exercise?

* We have this oldish car see. It has a cassette player in it. I don't have any cassettes. At best buy though, I found a cassette adapter that plugs into your ipod. Now I have my whole library available in the car. I lovingly refer to the new ipod touch as "my cute little thing".

* I got brand new white tshirts for Christmas. Later, I bit into a tangerine, right at the top to be able to peel it, and juice spewed down the front of me. Spouse scolded me. I was confused because nothing had happened to him. It was my appearance that had been sullied and my garment that had been stained.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A few pictures from the trip

We left on New Year's Day and our first stop was Denver. I took this while we were in the "smoking lounge" waiting for our connecting flight. To enlarge any of the pictures, just click on them.

We went on several hikes. This park in LA featured some sculptures. I liked the humorous graffiti on this one.

Who's a pretty boy? This is sonny, Donna's dog.

Me and Donna on the patio. The first couple days were quintessential California. Balmy 70 degree temperatures in January.

I took several pictures such as this one. The sky was stunning before and after the big storm. This is a deserted Santa Monica beach at sunset.

The annual gingerbread men decorating party produced dazzling results again.

Here we are at Dad's house with his dog Tina. Cutest little thing ever. And a real love muffin.

On the last day, Em taught me how to purl stitch. Up until now, I've only done the knit stitch. She got me started on a pair of socks. We figure by the time I get to the heels, it'll be summer and I'll be out visiting again, and then she can teach me how to do the heel.

We spent every day visiting friends or family, so there's lots of those kinds of photos that are probably less interesting to the public. Still, I put together a little collage as I like to do after a trip. Watch if you'd like.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Home at last

Well hello there, we're back. The whirlwind California vaykay is over. Getting home with United was irritating but I shouldn't complain, at least we made it. I woke up at 10 this morning after arriving haggard at 2am last night. We vowed to take the direct flight next time.

I just wanted to check in. There's a million things to do now (I made a list called "upon return" and left it on my desk to remind me) but tomorrow, I'll post some pics. I did want to mention my favorite radio commercial we heard out there. It was for liposuction. Actually there were an astonishing amount of appearance related ads from all forms of media. Anyway, it was so car salesmanlike, "Lipo-Laser, do it NOW and no payments until 2009!" I kept giggling thinking, "Hack flesh from your body and no payments until 2009!" With all the diet ads, the get fit machines and programs, the pharmaceuticals and the plastic surgery publicity, it felt like the overwhelming message was, "YOU ARE NOT ALRIGHT THE WAY YOU ARE." Oh yeah and I saw people wearing flip-flops in the rain. More tomorrow.