Friday, October 30, 2009

And so it goes

So there was an awkward moment yesterday at work. I arrived early as I always do to prep the room and maybe read the front page of the paper. One of my students was already there waiting when I arrived and he told me he always left home early to beat the traffic. I had poop pressing at the door as I unlocked the classroom and we entered to put our things down. Then I said, "I'll be back, I've got to go to the restroom." To this he replied, "Me too." Okay, I thought, I'll just lock the room behind us and I hope he's only got to pee. But no. We went into the only two stalls side by side, mere inches apart in physical space, and let the fudge fly. I prayed that it would slide out blissfully silent but no, it shouted out of me like a backfiring car. Luckily, his was equally vociferous. Of course, neither of us spoke nor made reference to the event afterward. Still, it was awfully awkward. I suppose if I had been in the military, it wouldn't have phased me.

Today's my last day with the health classes. Yes, all of my classes have been canceled from here on out due to the freaking H1N1 outbreak. It's going to be impossible to replace that three grand and I am pretty bummed about it. There was no contract signed so it seems I'm SOL. It's making me rethink my decision to change jobs if the rug can be pulled so swiftly out from under me. Fingers crossed that Serge will score another contract between now and xmas. I guess as of Monday I'm semi retired for the rest of the year. (I'll still have four hours a week.) Plenty of free time, no money to take advantage of that. Looks like I'll be playing lots of free scrabble on the net.

On the other hand, there are some great travel deals the second week of December usually. Maybe we can capitalize on the situation and go to Cuba for a week. I mean my credit card company keeps sending me these checks that you can use to borrow at only 2 percent interest for a year. So that's like what, twenty bucks per grand to borrow for a year? Surely I can do that. This is probably just fantasy talking though. Some gig will probably present itself, knocking as I am on wood, which of course I wouldn't refuse.

Plus all that puppy love is free. Georgie's gonna love all the walks he'll be getting. Happy Friday peeps!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This n that

I'm just popping in real quick to say hi. I'm in the middle of my second intensive immersion week I'm doing for the social workers. It's going quite well. Yesterday at the end of class we were doing an activity where I put some words on the board and one person sits at the front of the class with their back to the board. All the other students had to describe the words and get the person in the hotseat to say them. The category was parts of the body and the girl in the hotseat didn't know the word wrist. The students were trying all kinds of things to jog her memory. One guy shouted out, "It's the thing that gets exercised the most when a guy is single!" I do love me some bawdy. She never did get the word but we all got a pretty good laugh.

Ah that Georgie. He ate a cushion yesterday. Well he didn't actually eat it. He tore a corner open and then destuffed it. Serge wasn't happy but I reminded him that at $7.00 that cushion cost less than a regular dog toy. We had gotten a pair of them on sale last summer.

I'm sure there's more but at this hour I can't think of anything else. Time to hop in the shower and skidaddle. Happy hump day peeps!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend update

Exiled to the patio for piddling. He knows he was bad and stares glumly from that corner. He had done great for four days with no accidents whatsoever and then when we had company over he let loose. We don't leave him out there for long but it still tugs at the heartstrings. Have I mentioned the fartbombs the little guy makes? Oh my oh my. How could such a small creature have so much gas? The sears your eyeballs kind of gas. Good thing we are in love with him.

We made a seafood feast Saturday night for a friend who just broke up with the boif. We had sushi and mussels and tuna tartare which is the picture below. In the morning I took Georgie to the vet to get a rabies shot ($10 but it's $43 to walk in the door before the ten dollars) and when the vet examined him I asked about the poop eating. He said that if the dog smells anything that survives the digestive process, they will snarfle. For example, he said, if the dog eats some herbed spaghetti sauce, he will probably eat that shit up on exit since some of the herbs will pass on through. He suggested trying different kinds of food to see if that would help, and that the cheaper food has more corn filler that doesn't always get digested. (I take everything as though there's something in it for the vet, believing as I do that most things are a racket. {Hi David} I saw the $80 bags of dry food in the lobby.) He also informed me that there is a product called Forbid available at the reception if we can't solve the problem. Actually, after just having read the description, I kind of want to try it, erm, on the dog of course.

The most fabulous tuna tartare that I made. So easy too. A little mayo, a little rice wine vinegar, a little sesame oil, a little chili paste and a green onion. I think I've eaten tuna every single day for a week. I should probably cut down on that (mercury) but it's so good.

Last night Daniel came by to faire un tour and have a cocktail after our Spanish lesson. During the lesson Georgie was in my lap and at a certain point he was feverishly licking his anus. Serge, upon noticing this, barked at Georgie, "Heyyyy!" Georgie stopped licking his anus and then started licking my hand. "Thanks a lot, Serge," said I. Then I remembered Daniel was coming over so I said, "I'm going to touch Daniel when he comes in." And touch him I did. Later when Serge told Daniel what I had done, he called me a "Maudite peau de vache." I stopped and thought about the translation for that and could not fathom where such an expression would come from. Maudite is "cursed" but really any curse word could go there, peau de vache though is cow skin. Cursed cow skin is what he called me. Of course they think the expression raining cats and dogs is equally ridiculous.

Could you please stop moving while I try to sleep on your stomach? Sheesh. Hey I realized something yesterday. I remember when I was in French class and came across the word jouaient and had no clue how to pronounce all five vowels in a row like that. (It's the verb jouer - to play- in the l'imparfait third person plural) Well what do you know, English has a word of its own that does the same thing, but I only realized it playing scrabble. Miaou which is a variation of the cat's meow in the past tense. The cat miaoued and miaoued. All five vowels in a row. Easy peasy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


* Ain't he the cutest. I've got to take him into the vet this morning to get him a rabies shot. That way we can take him with us when we go down to Boston to visit friends for American Thanksgiving. Apparently the pound vaccinates for everything but rabies and the shot has to be done at least 30 days before crossing the border.

* It has been a crazy week. I did 39 teaching hours (teachers know this is ridiculous) and wrestled with the idea of flying back to California. That's because my dad's wife died this week. Sad news for the family. COPD is a terrible way to go and I'm glad she is no longer suffering. I wish I could take away daddy's suffering too but as we all know, the only remedy for that is time. Rest in peace Judy, we will miss you.

* That was the Wednesday call and then on Thursday I got a call about a friend's ex-husband who had been murdered. What a trip. Nobody ever calls me on my cell phone (and that's fine by me) so two death calls in a row make for the creepy.

* We had a little snow (again) on Thursday but now the rain is back in force. We've already had an inch overnight and it's supposed to continue until this evening.

* Georgie has been in Serge's hands this week since I've been working morning noon and night. He claims that he's been eating his own poo. This would make the vomit episodes he displays make sense. I've woken up two nights this week to the sound of heaving. Both times I managed to get him off the bed before the upchuck. I still managed to step in it though in the morning. Gah!

* Why would a creature eat his own excrement?

* This weekend is for power relaxing. I've got another intensive week to do so I've got to take care of myself. The one I just did went really well. Yesterday, one of the students said to me, "You know Richard, I really didn't want to take the English class and I thought it was going to be a long, boring week. But because of you, I feel like I had a vacation and loved coming to class every day." I'm pretty sure they learned a few things too.

* I've got little else. All I've done all week is work and sleep so there is nothing else in the news department. I hope y'all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Popping in for a quick hello let's talk about me

I'm just popping in for a quick hello. Classes are going swimmingly but boy am I wiped at the end of the day. And the traffic, ugh, the hideous, hideous traffic of doom. Okay it's not as bad as the 405, but yesterday it seemed like an obstacle course to get to work where everyone else conspired to hinder my forward progression. I seethed numerous times but then calmed myself down by reminding myself that the only person suffering from the seething feelings is me, and then I was able to discard the hatred. It's really when I'm on the road that I most often think, "People SUCK."

I was so proud of Georgie yesterday. When he's had his accidents I've picked him up and taken him outside to a corner of the patio and set him down. Yesterday morning when he woke up (he never gets up when we do, he always lingers in sleep mode for at least half an hour) I opened the door and he went right to the spot where I've been putting him and did a major piddle. Oh the love and kisses and cookies that rained upon him. Good dog!

Yesterday in class we were talking about different pills scientists might develop and one of them was the personality pill. Some people wished they were more confident, less shy, more diligent or less cranky. When it came to my turn my first instinct was to state that I would change nothing, but they wouldn't have it and said surely there was some quality I had that I could improve. So I said that I wished I were less nervous when I'm in front of a big group like them. And then I told them that even if they couldn't see it, I was totally nervous Monday morning when I met them and always have trouble sleeping before I start any new class. They were flabbergasted. Apparently my actor's training hides it well. But really, does anyone ever truly overcome stagefright?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


It's all Georgie all the time around here. I forgot how much figurative space a dog occupies in one's life. Unless I'm engaged at work, my thoughts are consistently centered on the little guy. And I'm learning more and more about him as we go. I'm certainly his master (this both pleases and displeases Serge) and he seems like he's becoming a lap beagle. He always wants to be parked in my lap when I'm seated. This is fine except that it starts hurting after a while, him being 33 pounds and all.

We live across the street from Mondou, a place that sells pet supplies but no actual animals. Georgie loves to go in there (you can bring your animal in) and get treats from the staff. He ripped apart the colorful octopus that we bought him last week in about a day. Yesterday, I got him a "strong" toy. It's still going to get destroyed but the stitching and nylon fabric will make it last longer. One nice thing they have over there is a dog washing station and it's absolutely free! What a great marketing technique. Talk about added value.

I keep thinking he's fully housetrained but then he does something to refute that. Like peeing in the middle of the bed. I wanted to kill the little fucker. I think that's the biggest "fuck you" a doggie can do aside from outright biting you. Anyway, we walk him enough and he has plenty of patio time that he shouldn't be doing this in the house. He peed right in front of me the other day and I whacked him and then felt terrible about it. I have no business whacking my little amour, but I kind of lost my temper. I pledged to myself that I wouldn't hit him again.

It appears he doesn't snarfle up dog turds like Sara used to do, but cat turds are a whole nother story. He loves finding those buried treasures. I think it's pretty gross and avoid doggy kisses for hours afterward. He does cry quite a bit when one of us leaves the house but luckily it only lasts around a minute. I tied him up outside the convenience store so I could grab something and you'd have thought someone was out there cutting him up with a knife. The piercing cries he was making made me think that tying him up is probably not the best idea - especially if he can't see me.


In other news, I'm on the cusp of the crunchiest crunch time of the session. I'm doing back to back intensive week-long courses for the nurses the next two weeks. That means that I'll be largely absent from the blogosphere because I will have no time. I don't even have net access on my lunch hour. I'll try to post here and there nonetheless, maybe a Georgie pic if nothing else. If I don't get around to say hi, don't take it personally, I'm just balls to the walls busy. Mwah and that goes for all of you!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


It snowed yesterday. Little flurries all day long wafting about. You probably heard all of us groan, "Already?" I can remember 70 degree days at this time of year but not this time it seems. Ah well what are you gonna do. (I find it interesting that blogger accepts gonna as a correctly spelled word.) I was out teaching yesterday and it was one of those days. I got all the way out to my class when I realized that I hadn't brought my ipod. (Blogger has highlighted hadn't and ipod as non-words) Good thing I had left early (to shop for a scarf) because I had just enough time to turn around and go home and get it. I need the ipod for the listening exercises in class. So it was an hour and a half of driving instead of a half an hour. Yuck. Then after class I had a two hour window until my evening class. I had to cross the island to the South shore during rush hour. It wasn't as bad as I'd feared and took me an hour. That gave me time to aquire some sustenance so I went to a greasy diner and had a blt with fries. (Blogger agrees that blt is correctly spelled.) Then I had three students show up out of 16. Why do people sign up for a class and then not attend? This I don't understand. Georgie was alone in the house for four hours which was a first. Yay, no pees, no poos, no damage. I'm falling so hard for him that I keep thinking that he's going to get sick and die or something. How could he be so perfect? Ah well, better enjoy the ride while we can. I'm off today, so I'll be damned if I don't go shopping for a new scarf. It's coooold out there!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

12 of 12

On my morning walk with Georgie, we saw the colors of autumn. Mount Royal (Montreal's Central Park) is in the background.

Because it was such a gorgeous day (they don't last long or appear frequently, it is indeed raining this morning again) I insisted that we go for a walk on the mountain. This is at the lookout on the downtown side. That muffin in the background at the far right is the mountain we hiked a couple of weeks ago.

This is the cross at the top of the Mount. It's lit up white at night except when a Pope dies. Then it is purple.

Me and Georgie on the Mount. He sure did love it up there. But then again, he seems to love EVERYTHING. I wish I could find that zone.

On the way back we stopped at the doggy park so he could play pack animal with the others.

Just as we were leaving I saw this boxer and squirrel in a stare down. The squirrel won as they always do.

A quick check for onion rings yielded nothing but a hotdog. See, I made green bean and mushroom casserole as is traditional and when I went to buy French's french fried onions for the top, I learned that the markets stopped carrying it around here. No, not just one market, I checked them ALL. No dice. So I thought I'd sub real onion rings. Well, they didn't have any so I improvised with carmelized onions coated with crushed swiss cheese bread sticks. Twasn't as good, but it worked. Anyway, I was trying to get a pic of my hotdog, lunch of champions, and Georgie nearly got it from me.

The bird is in the oven.

A little grated knuckle with that sir?

Serge is cutting up the bird for the feast.

Dinner time! Turkey, stuffing, company potatoes, green bean and mushroom casserole, cranberry sauce, caesar salad, crescent rolls and pumpkin pie for dessert. Delicioso!

All tuckered out. Time for bed.

If you'd like to see what other people in other parts of the world experienced on this day, go here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New dishwasher fail

Doesn't he blend in well with the autumn colors? He loves to go out on the leash and play in the dog park which we get to do on the weekends. Oh we walk him other days but it's hard to get over to the doggie park without driving and during the week there's no parking around there.

Yesterday, Serge got a bee in his bonnet about getting a new dishwasher. Ours has been broken for the last month and we shopped for them last weekend but didn't buy because Serge wants a stainless steel one and I think it's a rip-off to pay hundreds of dollars more for a silver panel. It really is a racket. Anyway, lacking agreement and due to the distraction a new pooch brings, we didn't buy anything. Well. Friday, Serge got all the back vacation pay from his old job that he was due and went out to splurge. Yesterday he put in the new dishwasher, stainless of course. When he was finished, we had the following conversation:

Me: So when you took out the old dishwasher, were you able to figure out what was wrong with it?

Serge: Yes

Me: So what was it?

Serge: Um, the plug.

Me: What do you mean? Was it plugged in?

Serge: No

Me: (Thinking what freaking idiots we are for having been washing dishes by hand all this time and neither of us thought to check if it was plugged in.) And you decided to install the new one anyway?

Serge: (nervous, eyes darting this way and that) Yes, but I'm going to SELL the old one.

Me: Hey, do what you want, it's your money you've wasted.

In the old days, I'd have flipped my lid, but now I just shrug and think "whatever makes you happy". He did discover that the new one is an inch and a half smaller inside (the depth) which he isn't too happy about, but it's stainless and apparently that's all that counts for him.

Let's bookend this post with Georgie, shall we? Here he is with Sara's old giant rawhide bone that she never was able to eat. He made quite a clamor with that thing, flinging it in the air and it banging onto the floor. I'd feel bad if the guy downstairs was up on his rent.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Sunshine and roses

It's all love and sunshine around the house these days. Georgie has turned out to be an ideal pup. He piddled only once in the house the first day and he already knows the commands sit and come, albeit only in French. Clearly he had a family before us, but since they never went to the pound to claim him, we ended up with the little guy. (He was held for three weeks and then made available to the public. Total jail time Aug 25th - October 4th.) I always look forward to coming home now to see him and he's always happy to see us.

The weather on the other hand has been majorly ucky. It feels like I haven't seen sunshine in weeks. We're nearing peak color around here so I hope we get some sun so we can appreciate the colorful display. Gray skies put the drab on everything. The last few mornings go something like this: Wake up, snuggle Georgie, stumble to the closet for my robe (peeing if necessary on the way), refuse to look at myself in the mirror, stumble less so to the kitchen to brew coffee, snuggle Georgie while it's brewing, pour coffee and go to computer for 15 minutes, take a shower, shave if necessary, dress, make a sandwich to bring, brew extra coffee to bring, snuggle Georgie and go to work, drudgery, work. Now which salient thing have I omitted? And at which moment in the routine does it occur? It shouldn't be that hard if you know me at all.

What else? It's Thanksgiving weekend up here and I waited excitedly for the weekly circular to come out yesterday because the turkeys all go on sale even though it's not a big deal here. Anyway, they had the already stuffed Butterballs that you cook from frozen for a buck twenty-nine a pound. Score! So I'm making the bird for dinner Monday along with green bean mushroom casserole, company potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls and pumpkin pie. If I find the recipe for sweet potatoes from that place I used to work in Seal Beach, I'll make those too. OMG I just went and checked the family cookbook that mom compiled and it's in there - Pecan Crusted Sweet potatoes. Thanks mom! Now if I can only find the canned sweet potatoes here. They must have them right?

Oh one other thing, it's our 5th wedding anniversary today. Five years since we tied the knot at City Hall. (16 since we met.) We're going out to dinner tonight to celebrate. Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

This and that

Well I thought I was going to have a quiet couple of weeks but no, the college called me and asked if I could squeeze in 45 hours between now and next Friday. So today I start with a new student and I'm going to have to prep my intensives this weekend. I had hoped to spend a lot of time with Georgie but now it looks like Serge will be the caretaker. At least he's fallen head over heels with the little guy. He can't believe how "good" he has been. The trees are turning all over the city and the one pictured is across the street from our place. Loveliness.

I was checking my email yesterday afternoon when I heard honking. Not the car kind, the goose kind. So I went out back and looked up and sure enough there they were all heading south. They are so lucky they get to flee the icebox that is winter here. They were really high in the sky, I mean they are bigger than chickens but look how small they appear.

While Georgie was throwing around his chew thing yesterday, I grabbed the camera to video him in action. I think what Ed commented yesterday was right - a beagle basset hound mix. When I took him to the dog park yesterday (where he got along famously with the other doggies) there was another beagle there but he was taller, thinner and lankier. The head is a bit what, puffier I want to say. Anyway check it out and tell me what you think.

Monday, October 05, 2009

It's a boy!

For those of you on Facebook, this is already old news, but look how cute our new addition to the family is. Georgie was amongst a great many dogs at the municipal pound yesterday. When we left the house, I said, "We're just looking, we're not going to get a dog today." This is like sticking your tongue out at the Universe and saying, "I dare ya." Thank god they give you a leash when you adopt since we had left ours at home. He's a year old, fixed and nearly housetrained. He has only pooed while on a walk on the leash so far, so that's good. He tried to pee on the bathroom floor, but I didn't scold him, after all, Serge was peeing at that moment right next to him, albeit into the toilet. He probably thought that was the pee pee room, which makes him a smart doggie.

He slept with us all night in the bed. My biggest concern was if he would whine at night and keep me up. He didn't! He howl barks when he really really really wants food or hears the leash jangle. It's so cute I can barely stand it. I'm sure at some point this week I'll take a video to force upon you guys. He's exactly half the size of Sara, weighing 33 pounds. I had a few emotional ambushes pulling out all of Sara's old things but I held it together. I'm looking forward to many years of the love monster Georgie.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I made it

I survived my first week long intensive. I think the students liked it too because they said they would protest if I didn't teach the second half of their class after Christmas. At lunch yesterday they asked if I had children ( in a big class, I talk very little about myself, it's their job to practice speaking English together and my job to facilitate that) and I said, "No, I'm gay and married to a man." Of course they didn't see that as an automatic reason for not having children and then one of them told me how she was inseminated at my age (44) and why couldn't we just hire a surrogate to carry a baby for us. After all she reasoned, a child of your own changes your life. True enough, but I don't see myself with a teenager in the house while I'm in my sixties. I came home and bounced that off Serge and he felt the same way. It just wasn't our path in this life and we're both fine with that. Now a pooch is another story.

I got an email from my teaching buddy that I used to work with and commute with. He says it's his slowest session ever and that he feels semi-retired. That would have been me. This new job falling in my lap at just the right time is making me so grateful, I just can't help thinking I'm being looked after. I'm not getting rich but my needs are being met. Gratitude.

This week is another fun part of the new job. I'm basically off except for my two evening courses. I'll use this week to prep for the next intensives and loaf about. Also, I'll try to stop by the bloggers since I've had zero time slash energy this week for it. 479 posts in my queue to read. That's going to take me a while. Anyway, I'm back this week so I'll post a bit more I think. Have a lovely weekend.