Sunday, May 31, 2009

This n that

I had one of those moments yesterday, you know the kind, where you're so full of joy that your heart just wants to explode. In this case, sky, music and spring conspired to whip me into rapture as I walked through the annual sidewalk sale on the Main. (Blvd St-Laurent) I was listening to Lily Allen and then Sophia Milman which I had just bought in the morning on itunes. Bought a shirt ($125 marked down to $15) and some underwear. Yeah, underwear. I'm rethinking my whole going commando in the summer thing. No matter how "done" I think I am these days, there always seems to be a hidden drop waiting to spill if you know what I mean. Plus there was the whole pants splitting open episode when I sat down last week. I'm still too traumatized to talk about it. There was this great moment at the sidewalk sale. Thousands of people were there not so much for the wares, but more for the annual bonding experience of heralding the arrival of the summer season. Many people brought their dogs out with them. They were all making me smile. Then there was an overweight elderly black lab tied up to a pole and when we locked eyes he started wagging his tail and lifting his feet up and down, dancing if you will, in place. Aw, I thought, he doesn't see so well but he must think I'm his owner. I went over and pet him for a little bit. I'm sending some love to sara through him, I thought to myself.

Later my feet started hurting again so I went home. Been having the oddest pain in my left foot (mostly) that is really annoying. It's like the top of my foot is on fire. Of course the doctor is the last resort so I went to the internet first. It was irritating that when you put in "top of foot pain" you get all these stupid hack sites that only exist to make money from google's adsense program. I ended up on WebMD and tried out their little symptom diagnostic tool. They should warn hypochondriacs because sheesh, you put in burning feet and you get everything from your shoes are too tight to brain tumor. I'm hoping my search and purchase of shoes last week is the cause but the symptom is nerve related and you know the deal about nerve damage. That shit's permanent. Anyway it comes and goes and doesn't seem to get better or worse based on walking on it. I'm hoping my lifelong health strategy serves me well this time. Ignore it and it will go away on its own.

Friday, May 29, 2009


* I just realized I'm paying for my miles with my airmiles credit card. It comes out to $500 that I pay via the annual fee for a round trip domestic ticket based on how much I use it. I'm actively seeking a no annual fee card now. CAA is in first place at the moment.

* Somehow quitting smoking turned me into quite the lush. It's been fun but now I'm getting worried about myself, and more specifically, my waistline.

* I don't want a bulbous red nose. I don't think that would be becoming on me.

* We cruise in 9 days!

* I can't figure out if it's life that is getting faster and more complex or me who's getting slower and lamer? Is it like this for you too - too much to do and not enough time? Too much do and not enough be. Hopefully this summer will rectify that.

* I noticed on my soup-for-lunch thing that the serving size on the nutrition information label is half the quantity inside. Ridiculous! It's obviously a soup-for-one container. I guess they didn't want it to look like it had three fourths of your total salt intake for the day on there. Very misleading.

* Ugh, I'm in evaluation hell. All I really want to say is: Yes you are a worthy person, yes you could improve as can we all. I hate it because with language, there is no standard way of learning (though there are teaching) nor standard speed with which language is learned. Some people are just more adept at it than others. Why should they get all the praise when it comes easy? Again, I just want to give everyone an A if they showed up and participated. Unfortunately I can't.

* I think exclamation points should be banned on facebook. Even I'm getting carried away with them. A sentence like "So-and-so is going to the store" should not be completed with an exclamation point, and certainly not three of them!!!

* I wish I had been born 30 years earlier. I think I would have loved being a travel agent. Honestly I just love researching and planning travel.

* Saying I love my life feels much better than saying I hate my life, regardless of which is more true.

* Flying round trip to Los Angeles or round trip to Honolulu is more expensive than flying to Los Angeles AND Honolulu (multi city ticket). I don't understand the logic, but I took advantage of it. Look out Hawaii in January!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tricks and treats

One day last week, spouse went out for something and I told him to bring me back a treat. In my mind I pictured a drumstick (ice cream, not chicken) but then felt guilty about that so I added, "Something little." Now I probably should have known better than to add this little additional instruction, because spouse is notorious for doing the opposite of what you tell him. It's why our toilet seat has no lid and the bathtowels are brown. (How are you going to spot an, erm, spot if the towels are brown?) To counter this little trait of his, I tried linguistic psychology tricks for a while to suggest things. You know, couching recommendations in phrases like, "Do you want to....?" or, "Do you think it would be a good idea to...?" but nowadays I don't even try because I get two words into those questions and he snaps, "No." And then there's whiny me, "But you didn't even hear what I was going to saaaaaaay." That whole dynamic wasn't really working for me, so I stopped trying. Anyway. What little treat do you think he came home with? It was something I'm sure we've never eaten together. Hershey's chocolate bar with almonds, excuse me bars, in fact five bars all lined up in a package. OMG. And he remembered about the nuts. I can't really see a reason for eating chocolate unless it's riddled with nuts. I've never voiced it, but after so long together I think you subconsciously know things about the other. That, or he went into the depanneur and selected the largest and most opulent sugar thing he could find. I'd call him a twerp but we sat and ate four of them right there on the couch one after the other and the last one I hid in the drawer for a special treat later. I'm sneaking it into his lunch today.

Reader Art turned me onto this site. Though I find many of the names and attendant sounds hilarious, I think my favorite is "tuna melt madness" followed by "I don't know".

Monday, May 25, 2009

Big Turd

Serge put up a new, no clue what it's called, railing canvas. Except this time it's a product specifically made for this. A couple years ago he fashioned one out of a painter's tarp and riveted little eyeholes for attaching. The trouble with that was that it got covered with mold and looked dirty. This is supposed to be waterproof so hopefully that won't happen again.

Oh how I giggled when I saw this. No papal poking people, lol.

I was all charmed yesterday when we were sitting around with a friend on the patio noshing on guacamole and rosé and Serge said that I was his best friend. Totally unprompted or anything. You don't know how rare that is. We had been talking about how we're bad friends because we don't call and invite people to do things so if you want to be our friend you kind of have to do all the work and we end up losing friends that way. (Runon sentence anyone?) By way of explanation he said that we're best friends so we don't really go after more.

What candy bar did I just eat? (See video below for answer.) And is the bottom of my face getting bigger? Weird. I went shoe shopping last week too and none of the 11's fit me. I ended up buying a size 12. Do our feet get bigger as we age? I thought we shrunk except for our nose and ears.

Well it's a regular old workday up here. Happy Memorial Day to my peeps down south.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Totally nothing

Well will you look at that, I have nothing to say. Really. No exciting excursions or events have occurred in the last couple days. The best part of the day yesterday was reading the newspaper cover to cover on the sofa over coffee. There was a big piece on the Rwanda genocide in '94 because a guy was convicted for war crimes here who was responsible for killing and raping hundreds. There were other stories from witnesses too. Apparently, the witnesses have to be cloaked as they are still being assassinated in Rwanda. Everybody there is supposed to act like nothing ever happened I guess. Anyway, that event reminded me why holocaust museums are important. Genocide seems to be part of our nature, so it's best to remind people how to avoid it.

Our yard has succumbed to the dandelions. Honestly, if I tried to rip them up I think there'd be three blades of grass left. They are so sturdy. I cut them down last week and they just double up on you when you do that. It is a field of yellow flowers now.

This was in my spam file but I found the subject line so compelling that I had to click on it. It was, of course, still spam. I did not click on the link in the email thankyouverymuch. I kind of liked "infinitely remanded monotony" too. That's how life seems sometimes.

In related news, someone found my blog by searching "dog turd is better than guacamole". Though I've written on both and photographed both, I'm sure I've never shared that sentiment.

See, I told you I had nothing to say. Move along now.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Coupla snippets

* Marketplace busted the colon cleansing phenom on their show last week. I giggled every time she said poop. It's gross, but hard to look away. Here watch.

* We had our first 80 degree plus day of the year yesterday. I was reminded how crowded this city really is. One tends to forget over the winter.

* I find this ad campaign rather irritating. There are unlimited incoming calls for Jesus. Yeah, tell me something I don't know.

* I had a good chat with one of my students yesterday as we had lunch during our final class. We were talking about culture, religion and upbringing and discussed the different ways we indoctrinate/brainwash our children. For example in America, we tell our children that they can do/be whatever they want. If they can dream it, they can be it. I talked about how I felt this was BS and if I had children I wouldn't push that message and instead push the following message: Find something you like doing and that you are reasonably good at and then try to do that. After all, not everyone can be a major league ball player.

* In contrast to America, he said that in Quebec they infuse kids with the idea that they are not superior to anyone else and if it turns out they have a special talent or skill, they should keep that information private. The result of this, he felt, was somewhat of an inferiority complex and he vowed that he would not instill this in his children.

* Oy, the don't ask don't tell debate again. Why doesn't the media point out that in military corps where gays are integrated, there have been no issues. Honestly, the straight men are so scared of being ogled in the shower or something. To that I say, "Get over yourself." Honestly, I want nothing more to do with a straight man sexually than I do with my parents.

* So clever that Homer.

* I'd have more but time is short this morning. It's the last day of my hellish schedule, hip hip hurrah. Hope everyone down south has a splendid three day weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Idol reader handrail

I feel like I'm the only one up here watching American Idol. None of my students have anything but feigned interest in it, but I thought this was one of the best seasons. The final two were certainly the finest in my mind of all these years. Serge and I were pretty surprised at the outcome because it seemed like Adam had more of that star quality thing going on. My remark was, "America votes for bland again." I wonder what the gay thing had to do with it as well. I wouldn't be surprised if last Sunday's sermons had Kris's name dropped from the pulpit. Best not to think of that though. Best to be professional - Congratulations Kris!

What else. Oh, I saw a GREAT movie night before last. The Reader. I know this is old news but gosh I was moved by this film. And the nudity! That was almost Shortbus in its graphic depiction of sex. And I cried like a baby too, as it turned out to be somewhat of a tearjerker. If you haven't seen it, rent it.

There's somewhat of a brouhaha up here over a woman who was ticketed because she didn't hold the handrail while riding the escalator down into the subway station. Aside from the police obviously having better things to do than monitoring who is and is not holding the handrail, who wants to touch that vile germ filled rail? I mean thousands of people a day touch it. Anyway, I had no idea I was breaking the law each and every day. I feel like such an outlaw, smirk.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pavilion of infinite pleasantness

I finally found some cookies that are peanut butter centric. As I've mentioned before, there are no Nutter Butter cookies up here and if you want traditional peanut butter cookies, you'll have to make them. Must be something cultural in Quebec. I do know that Quebecers think of peanut butter as a breakfast item. Something to decorate the toast with. Anyway, these are not so bad but why oatmeal? And why Pirate? Was this a pirate recipe?

I took another stroll through the botanical gardens Monday. At this time of year you can go every week and you'll see something different. Later blooming tulips were in presence and you know I can't resist a shot of those beauties. The lilacs were all in bloom too though they are less photogenic. Just walking through the grove of lilacs made me drunk on their fragrance.

The apples and cherries were in full regalia, I was so happy to visit at just the right time to see them so fantastically festooned. They don't smell though, they just look pretty.

I noticed this sign in the Chinese pavilion. That's pretty much how I feel about the botanical gardens. Then my inner teenager came out. It made me smile and think what a great euphemism for the pecker. How about this for a pick up line: Wanna come over and check out my pavilion of infinite pleasantness?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy happy to the blog and more

Today is a holiday for those of us North of the border. I forget what the holiday is, I just always think it's Memorial Day since that's the US holiday next Monday. I'll go check....okay it's Victoria Day or Queen's Day though here in Quebec it's called Patriot's Day. I don't really care what it is because the important thing is that it's a day off. Yayz. There's another reason for celebration too (for yours truly anyway) because it's the bloggy birthday. Yup four years old now. I find it hard to believe that I've been doing it that long, this hobby that stuck. At the beginning I tried harder to come up with clever phrasing but now I usually just write whatever comes. Kind of like this paragraph. I always tell myself I'm going to quit the blog on its birthday but then I don't, who knows, maybe 5 will be the magic number.

I read yesterday that on average we get 20% of our calories eating out. I thought that that sounded like a lot but when I calculated my percentage, I came up with 14.3%. (3 meals per week out of 21) For me it's usually two lunches out and then either a breakfast or dinner at some point on the weekend. How about you? Are you above or below the average?

Saw Star Trek at the IMAX yesterday. It was fun even though there were more than a few inconsistencies in the plot. I suppose we're supposed to overlook that. The phrase "suspend your disbelief" comes to mind. At the edge of your seat moments I kept telling myself to relax since we all know the characters endure. I love any story with time travel which this one has (and is how old spock meets his younger version) but there was the same plot paradox as in Somewhere in Time. That is that Scotty develops a formula to beam someone onto a vessel going warp drive, but Spock comes back from the future and gives the formula to Scotty. So where did the formula originate? Same thing in Somewhere in Time. She gives him the watch that he gave her when he went back in time. So where did the watch originate? Anyway, I hate it when they do that because I spend all my time turning the conundrum over in my head instead of paying attention to the film.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

This n that

I brought home some mustard from the market yesterday because I wasn't sure if we needed any. When I got home I realized we had six jars in the fridge. I felt pretty lame but luckily it's the cheapest of condiments.

But I can even top that retardation with this bit. Here's how retarded I am. I bought a concert ticket for myself and then subsequently purchased a plane ticket for a flight that leaves the day of the concert. Neither is refundable. I'm going to try to sell the ticket, but I may end up having to toss in in the garbage, boo hiss.

Well we finished Six Feet Under. It cost $91 to watch the whole series. We probably should have just bought it. Now what will I do every evening? Honestly, we've watched nothing else for the past month. I guess I can catch up on 30 Rock and Old Christine now on the digital recorder. It wasn't until the very last episode that I realized that Michael C. Hall is not the Nate character but the David character. To be clear, spouse was (still is) lusting after the Nate character, or Peter Krause. When spouse finds me cute, he calls me Nate now. I feel depressed in that post vacation way, you know, it's all over and there will never be anything like that again. I've got to go back to that blog post to find other suggestions because it sure is fun to be able to watch the next episode whenever you want and not have to wait a week like on regular tv.

People were wondering out loud if I just record the news as a matter of course. Actually, it's the DVR that does that. It quietly records whatever you are watching just in case you want to back it up and listen to something again or pause it or whatever. That's how I am able to make videos of stuff I see on the news. Once I change the channel, the machine discards the recording.

Friends are in town and came over to make us dinner last night. It was yummalicious. Here's the main course, pork parmesan with potatoes and veggies. The starter was a to-die-for seafood chowder. AND, there's a bunch of leftovers. This morning we're off to catch (a true) matinee showing of Star Trek on the IMAX screen. Happiness.

Friday, May 15, 2009


* Look who sent me a belated xmas gift! Isn't it just perfect for me?

* I remember once driving back from Vegas with the ex listening to music when all of a sudden ex blurted out, "You've touched your face 17 times in the last minute!" He was filled with derision when he said it. It reminded me of something spouse said the other night. He noticed that I have trouble sitting still and said, "You never stop moving, do you?" At least he wasn't filled with hatred like the ex.

* I read an interesting article about the US health care system. It said that the #1 competetive disadvantage for the US is that 16.2% of GDP is spent on health care with another 3% for litigation. In countries with universal health care, it runs about 10% with no litigation.

* Interesting to note as well that the profits realized by the US health care companies exceed the entire cost of Canada's system.

* I always thought I was deficient in some way because I don't have very many strong opinions. I am a major flip flopper too. I am the eskimo that you could sell ice to. However, now I consider this an asset. Committing yourself to an opinion means you've closed your mind. I like to keep mine open. My favorite way of thinking of late is, "Who cares, we're all going to be dead in 50 years anyway."

* As a result of the above, I am now willing and able to eat green bell peppers.

* Did you know a male pig's orgasm can last up to 30 minutes? 30 minutes! Sadly for them, the vast majority are slaughtered before getting to experience this. (Wild pig now figures on my reincarnation wish list.)

* I've got one more week of super busy ness and then about 6 weeks of half time followed by 2 glorious months off. Can't really complain about this career.

* If taking multivitamins impacts in no way your likelihood of dying, why is it such a huge industry? As soon as I read the results of the long term study done on multivitamins, I stopped taking them.

* Here's more zaniness. You should never skip breakfast but you should only eat when you are hungry. The problem is that I'm never hungry in the morning. I've been skipping it lately and now lunch time is so much more fun.

* This bit from the news last night made my eyes well up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

12 of 12

Tuesdays see me starting work at 7am. Luckily, I slept well on Monday night so I was in good shape for teaching. Often times I'm sleep deprived for this class because I stress about having to get up early and then I wake up in the night and can't go back to sleep.

Usually on my morning break on Tuesdays, I go down to the library. But since it was the 12th and a beautiful day, I took a walk around Old Montreal and the Old Port. I was surprised to see one of the locks drained. This is an old tugboat on display.

Looking north on McGill blvd. I love this city.

I had never seen a police boat here before. So festive, no? I would expect clowns to come off this boat. Of course the RCMP uniform is pretty clownish.

The new Cirque de Soleil shows are always trotted out here first. The new one is bug-centric and it's called OVO. We did not get tickets this year.

As I said it was a lovely day and here is a shot of the Bonsecours Market. Nowadays it's full of galleries and tourist shops.

The old world architecture of old Montreal.

Bixi is here! We now have a communal bicycle system around the city. You can pick up a bike and drop it off at another location. You pay an annual $78 membership and then every ride of 30 minutes or less is free. I haven't signed up yet, but I may.

Then I set up the classroom but had enough time to do the NY Times crossword. I can only reliably complete it on Mondays and Tuesdays. The rest of the week is usually too hard for me.

Then across town to my afternoon class. All the cherries and apples are in bloom all over the city. Then again, so are the dandelions.

After work, I headed down to the village to have a drink with friends. Here is the newly refurbished subway exit for the Beaudry metro station. Very Star Trek, no?

Finally, we had dinner with said friends. I think we overdid it on the wine because I'm still a bit wobbly this morning.

To see what others have posted for the day and to read about the 12 of 12 project, go here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pinched from Rox

20 things that make me happy

1. Banana bread (like the batch I made and nearly completely consumed yesterday.)

2. Skipping the commercials (the TIVO like device has changed my life.)

3. Catching the market when the price rings up wrong (they have to give you the item free by law, last week I scored a big ol bottle of Cheez Whiz which scanned at $8.19 but was marked $7.99 on the shelf)

4. Guacamole (avocado, onion, lemon juice, cilantro and salt)

5. Winning Playing word games (scrabble, scramble, boggle, lexulous, etc)

6. Sudoku (once a day at least)

7. Seeing the nico-slaves outside smoking in the rain (silent gloating = happiness)

8. Bombay Sapphire (to quote myself, "what you need for the happiness mood.")

9. Catching a grammar/spelling stickler with an error and not mentioning it. (I like being reminded that everyone is human.)

10. Arriving at the platform right when the subway arrives (a little win in the casino of life)

11. My Ipod touch (I think I would suffer extreme withdrawal were I to lose it)

12. Music, Youtube, Computers and Blogging. (Maybe I should just call this "multimedia")

13. Survivor (I don't want to ever go on that show, but I'll watch every one they make)

14. Skype (it's got to have saved me thousands by now)

15. Impending thunderstorms (I'm jonesing, we haven't had any yet this year.)

16. Smiles from strangers (giving and getting)

17. All things Reese (please bring back the bar)

18. Dogs (7 months down, 5 to go until I'm allowed to have another)

19. Laughing at farts and poop (the vestiges of a teenage mind)

20. Traveling (doesn't matter where, it just has to be away from home)

Kay, now it's your turn.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The third deadliest sin

Dinner last night was killer. Big juicy steak with guacamole and salad with my new favorite combo, crumbled bleu cheese and raspberry vinaigrette. After dinner, I turned to Serge and bowed my head and started the following conversation:

Me: Honey, I've got a confession to make. I had a moment of weakness.

Serge: You had sex with someone!

Me: No, no, no. Nothing like that.

Serge: You smoked!

Me: Bite your tongue! I did not smoke. Now try again.

Serge: Hmmm...... You bought ice cream?

Me: You're right! Third time's the charm. So, you want some? It's Rocky Road.

Serge: Okay, but bring me the Goglu too.

Yeah, so ice cream is a pretty big sin in this household. Right after infidelity and falling off the smobriety wagon. We consumed half the tub and now my tummy hurts this morning, so it's a good thing that such purchases are few and far between.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Confectionary edification

Up here, even though we are so close to the states, there are certain things that you can only find up here. This works vice versa too I suppose, for example we can't watch any comedy central programs from the states unless we watch them via the comedy network in Canada. I can't get Paydays up here nor Nutter Butter cookies. If I were younger and still in my candy consuming years, I'd hate that there aren't things like Tangy Taffy and Big Hunk and Abba Zabba up here. Perhaps I would have enjoyed learning about new candy items, but at my age I'm not really interested in tasting new tooth rotting concoctions. (Unless you buy me some, of course.) Anyway, I just wanted to show you Americans what candy is available only across the border. My mom loves Coffee Crisp which I had never seen until I came here. I still haven't tasted it, but I bring some to mom now when I visit.

It looks to me like a coffee flavored kit-kat bar but maybe I'll try a piece from mom's stash next time.

This is a really big chocolate bar. I don't think Shaq is any longer on the package. Apparently there is nougat inside the chocolate. Haven't tried it, I'm thinking it's like a Babe Ruth, only bigger.

The Aero bar has always confused me. Why would I want a candy full of air. I don't want to pay for air. I want to pay for chocolate and sugar. I think the mint one looks gross, but it probably wouldn't be bad.

The eat more bar I love due to its clever name. Apparently there is nothing in the states to compare this to. It's described as a "dark toffee peanut chew". There is chocolate in it too.

Another one with no stateside version is the Crunchie. It's a sponge toffee center surrounded by chocolate. The center is brittle though, so don't let the word "sponge" fool you.

The crispy crunch is like Butterfinger, only better.

Okay, just so you know, coconut candy is an oxymoron. Gross. Seems like a Mounds bar to me, the vilest of all confections.

Finally the Big Turk. I don't know if I'll ever try this. It's a combo of chocolate and jelly. Yes jelly and that's why it's low in fat. Supposedly it's reminiscent of a steamy night in the Turkish capital. What is Turkish Delight anyway? Apparently it's that with chocolate around it.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thank you Bombay Sapphire

So a few weeks ago, we were invited to a presentation by mixologist (a new word for me) Merlin Griffiths (such a cool name and explore that site for good info) and local chef hottie Louis-François Marcotte on the hottest trends in cocktails and entertaining today. Apart from making fun friends and connections on the internet, this would be the first perk from blogging I've gotten. And it only took four years and 1200 posts. They had invited members of the media and city bloggers (like her) to the event with no obligation, but as bloggers, they know we are constantly on the hunt for blog material. Above you see the table setup as we came into the private room of Le Local restaurant in old Montreal.

Before coming into the room, we had been treated to a cocktail that was absolutely delicious and turned out to be a Sapphire Collins. (I thought it was lemonade at first.) But it wasn't made with sweet-n-sour mix, no to properly make it, you must do your sweet and sour from scratch. At each place setting we had the tools to do just that. Lemon, sugar syrup, lemon squeezer, measuring thingie and long stirring spoon. The tables were littered with giant bottles of Bombay Sapphire as well. It felt swanky.

The hosts alternated between showing us how to make cocktails and how to make simple canapes for entertaining. This one was SO good even though I can't remember how they made it. I know there was prosciutto and more. Thankfully, they included paper versions of the recipes for us when we left.

Once the presentation was over, we milled about meeting one another and taking pictures. This is me with the hosts. Serge and I can't wait to go back to the restaurant for a real meal. They were full on a Tuesday evening when we left, so yeah, pretty popular joint.

When we left, they gave us gift bags and boy were we tipsy. Serge would never let me take this shot, nor pose in such a way, sober, lol.

More fun when we got home and opened the gift boxes to see what they contained. Here's Serge's version:

And here's my version. So, who is the more entertaining drunk? I think it's Serge but only because of the whole dildo bit. Still, I am pretty slurry with my words, watch:

Now go out and buy a bottle (not YOU though) so we get invited to next year's event. It really is a delicious product.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Five paragraphs bound by tulips

I'm such a nerd whipping out the camera at every burst of spring color, but I can't help it, like the other insects I am drawn to the flowers, nature's proof of her artistic perfection. We have had such delightful weather lately (that all ends today apparently) that the arrival of spring kind of happened all at once. The tree on the shady side of the house spit out its leaves a full 8 days earlier than last year. That's what a week of 70 degree temps will do evidently. (Yawn, he's talking about flowers and weather yet again, not to mention the 3rd person reference.)

I saw an ad in the paper how the agency charged with promoting tourism in Montreal has decided to put all of their efforts (read $$$) into internet advertising, a drastic departure from past print campaigns. I had read before that they were hiring bloggers to promote the city (I'm sure I mentioned that here too) and I sent in my candidacy. Well harumph! I didn't even merit a phone call and now all the bloggers are chosen. I don't hold any harsh feelings toward those bloggers but do wish I could have been in contention. Really, not even a phone call or thank you email. Probably because I'm over the hill. (Or have a lame CV more likely.)

Here's a funny from class. One of the students was talking about their recent trip to London and in the course of his recounting he mentioned meeting a "stereotypical American", "You know," he said, "loud and overconfident." Then remembering that I was/am American, he blushed and apologized profusely. I told him not to apologize, as I certainly couldn't argue with his stereotyping.

Over the last week, I've seen two French words used in English newspapers as though they were English words. It turns out they are English words but do YOU know what they mean? The first was "explication" which I am constantly correcting students on their use of, and the other is "abbatoir". (Blogger only thinks one of those is a real word incidentally.) Be honest now and without looking them up, do you know what they mean? Gold star for the first right answer.

Okay, I've blathered enough, Serge and I attended an event last night that I will regale you with tomorrow. It was a Bombay Sapphire event. But that's all I'm gonna say now, come back tomorrow for that. Now here look at another tulip shot. Happy hump day peeps.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Fire tuna man

It was a little scary to see smoke pouring out of the building next door. A couple of firemen went in and the others were waiting with heavy duty equipment, I suppose in case they needed to go in and chop down walls and things. In the end, the two guys who went in first came back out with the blackened hood, no doubt the result of a grease fire. Later in the day, the occupants of that apartment moved out. We were just happy it didn't impact our building at all, whew.

People were wondering how I make tuna salad. I made some more and took a pic of the ingredients. 3 cans of tuna, 3 eggs, 2 stalks of celery, half an onion, 1 dill pickle and a little mayo and sweet relish. Pepper to season. The avocado is for the sandwich and not part of the tuna salad. I also put tabasco when I make the sandwich. Also, the flyer there depicts the bed that serge and I are presently lusting over but not buying.

Serge jumped up and got the camera and took a few shots of me like this. Later when I asked him why he had taken them, (I didn't ask when he took them because I was glued to season 4 of Six Feet Under) he said it was because he thought I was cute and looked "man". Well. I certainly don't see it, all I see are the sunspots, double chin and puffy eyes. I suppose the elbow is cute enough. Happy Monday peeps.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Miserably happy

I got taken down by Serge's cold finally. I thought I had escaped but no, my throat caught on fire Friday night and yesterday I lived on cough drops. I felt bad enough to skip my workout, (which in an alarming turnabout did not make me feel guilty, only mature) but not enough to stay in bed all day. I noticed the magnolia bloomed down the street so I hoofed it over to the botanical gardens to see how things are progressing. I walked for a long time because each time I sat down I felt sickiness and then I adopted a "keep moving" mantra. As long as I was moving and doing, I wasn't focusing on how shitty I felt. This was the logic of yesterday anyhow.
There were pretty much just magnolias, rhododendrons and tulips blooming at the gardens, though I did see one cherry tree blooming. Those and the apples will explode later this week.

The bee was tired and soaking up sun. The sun makes both him and I happy. The tunes that I was listening to also made me happy. I spent a large part of the day contemplating how I could feel so miserable and yet have these little punctuations of joy sprinkled in. I decided it was a nice metaphor/reminder about life in general. I can't get the song Luz Negra out of my head. So hauntingly beautiful. Specifically this version (which is much better on the disc.)

I was all psyched about the springtime, "It's really really spring," kept running through my head so I headed over to the garden shop and bought potting mix, flowers, herbs and strawberry plants. Spent the afternoon ("amenaging" popped into my head here, but that's no word, at least not in English) potting my purchases and now looking at my patio makes me smile.

Friday, May 01, 2009


* This blog is kind of like the recession. Traffic is down 30% from a year ago. I can't believe that the french fry recipe is still by far the biggest traffic drawer.

* The tulips all popped out yesterday. It was like they were all in cahoots. Spring is really and truly here. I'm gonna wait another week before I put the jasmine outside though since frost is still possible in these parts.

* Now that the weather is warmer, I just want to play hookey every day. I have to keep the momentum going until the end of June though.

* In California a couple weeks ago I popped out to get Serge and I a breakfast sandwich and coffee from McDonald's (shutup the coffee is GOOD there and the Mcmuffins are hangover helpers) and it cost more than in Canada without even making the currency conversion. That meant it was about 25% higher priced there. Everything seemed more expensive to me in fact.

* I know why traffic is down, who could possibly care about all this crap I write? I'd love to make it more interesting, but life is pretty dull at the moment (which frankly is how I like it) and meals are probably the most interesting thing going on. This week I had killer tuna salad with avocado and tabasco for lunch every day. I just can't get enough of that combo. The only drawback is that the butt coffee is a little spicy.

* The college buds are coming out of the woodwork on Fbook. I keep being reminded of things I had long ago forgotten. I'm not so sure this is a good thing.

* This will take up more of your free time than you think. Via Matt.

* At the convenience stores here, there aren't any fountain drinks, only bottled sodas. The idea of a big gulp would probably be abhorrent here.