Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Checking in from the West coast

We had a lovely Christmas holiday in the Pacific Northwest which afforded us the opportunity to make a day trip to Victoria BC. Even though people shots are inherently more interesting, I thought this was the best shot of that day. We were up there for a week and it basically rained the entire time except for one glorious sunny day which just happened to be the day that we had planned to take the ferry across from Port Angeles. We walked around the city and soaked in the British atmosphere, complete with double decker buses everywhere. A couple of other things reminded us that we were in Canada. One was that when I ordered iced tea, it came to the table sweetened. Yuck. I had already forgotten that it's nearly impossible to get plain unsweetened ice tea up there. Secondly, and I love this, the server at the restaurant that we went to for lunch asked how many checks we would like when she took our order. This doesn't happen in the states even though the technology makes it so easy now. Indeed, when we had lunch at Elliot's, arguably one of the finest seafood restaurants in America, we were told that that policy was one check per table. How's that for customer service? I'd call it a big fat fail.

Had a good time with the family. Baby bro and I, as usual, tried to gross each other out constantly. I believe he was the big winner this time. No need to go into details but suffice it to say if you know me, you know that is quite a feat. We spent a week with the folks in a rented house and I would have sworn that only three days had passed when it was time to go. I'd say the hallmark of having a good experience is the inability to judge the passing of time.

I though this was amusing. It was at the start of a trail near where we were staying. With a forest full of animals pooping everywhere, I didn't really see the necessity of picking up after your pooch. Not only that but with the constant rain, it would be washed away rather swiftly. I don't really think embarrassment is really a concern. If Georgie is any indication, it's more of a welcome addition to the buffet.

Now we are hanging out in our old stomping grounds, Long Beach, California. Yesterday was gloriously warm and sunny. Today is expected  to be as well. We feel so smug watching the East coast people digging out from that blizzard. Montreal was spared apparently, but not from the hideous cold. We will stay here until New Year's eve when we will start the next leg of our journey. More on that next week. I hope you all had a marvelous holiday and if I don't get a chance to get back here before then. Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Au revoir

Here's our holiday picture we sent out. It's hard to read Georgie's shirt but it says, "I love poo no matter what you say." That wasn't my idea, it was Serge's but since it was so fricking true, I didn't protest. Something else we've discovered is that he likes the yellow snow too. He snarfled up a pee snow ball the other day. One can only hope that someone spilled their lemonade.

We're off today for our annual holiday junket out west. In a few minutes I'm going to take Georgie to jail camp where he will be well taken care of. (They better for five hundred bucks.)

Posting will be spotty around here for the next three weeks. I may be a little more present on Facebook though. Here's wishing everyone the happiest of holidays. See y'all on the flip side!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Autumn in Montreal. I bet you can't wait to buy your plane ticket. Actually, it's wonderful for skiiers. I took this picture while we were on our journey to get to the bank.

It should have been so simple. Go out to the car, drive to bank and come back. Well, we went out to the car but the key wouldn't turn the lock. So we walked over to the shopping center to buy de-icing fluid to squirt into the lock. Serge, as you see above, picked up a carton of milk while we were at it. The de-icing fluid worked and we de-snowed the car's windows and bumpers and tried to leave. But the car wouldn't move. It seems there was a layer of black ice and the front wheels only spun. We worked on breaking up the ice for a good half an hour before we finally dislodged the car and were on our way. Total time to go to the bank and come back? An hour and a half. Serge put the de-icing fluid in the car and said, "We need to keep this here." Obviously, we weren't thinking clearly. The next time the lock freezes, the de-icing fluid won't be much good staring at us from inside the car now, will it? Once that dawned on us, the de-icing fluid came into the house.

I think I've already shoveled more and it's been colder than it was anytime last year. And it's technically not even winter yet. I shudder to think how it's going to be when we get back from vacay. I have been here for several "brown" Christmases, those years where there is no snow on the ground. It's pretty much a foregone conclusion that this will not be one of those years. I don't mind the snow so terribly much, though I'm learning the local tradition of despising it, but it's the cold that really chaps my hide, both literally and figuratively. I don't think I'll ever get used to sub zero temps or sub minus twenty temps Celsius. Not fun.

Alright, enough of my whining, I'll stay inside as much as possible cozy and warm and hang out with my boys. I'll leave you with a spot of Georgie porn.

Every time we take him out for a walk it's like Christmas. He jumps repeatedly in his excitement. Three times a day and it never gets old (for him).

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 of 12

I'd say Serge sleeps with me about half the time now. I have no idea how the choosing works. I always go to bed around 10 and he stays up a variety of minutes later than that. If he sleeps on the couch I don't get woken by snoring but it's also nice to sleep next to a warm body. I feel guilty saying it's better when they're out in the living room, but it's true. Always someone (Georgie) pulling on the covers.

Got a haircut. I kept getting bed head from wearing my tuque so I told him to get rid of it. I love how easy it is to "do". I look in the mirror ready to apply a comb or gel or what have you and then realize, a la The Fonz, that it looks just fine. Those nipple hairs though, that's another thing entirely. A trimming I will go.

After the shower, it's long walk time. The temps were much warmer than lately so Georgie didn't need any booties. How about that stink eye though? There's a lady who invented little ornaments that hang on the tail and cover the "eye". It's an interesting idea until you consider what happens to the ornament at the key moment of defecation.

On our walk, we passed by this car with a sign on it. It says he/she lost their key, please go around me please, thanks for understanding, sorry. I guess this was intended for the street sweeping or snow removal people. Would this work in your neck of the woods?

Yeah well, here neither. Still, I wonder about the people who give the tickets. You see the poor guy has lost his key, probably doesn't have much money or he'd have found a solution, the car is on a little industrial street with ample parking and there was really no harm done. I'm going to ticket the bastard anyway. Only doing their job? That's a good little city arsehole.

Shortly after we got back, it began to snow. It really came down for a couple of hours and gave us about 4 inches. I was getting nervous because we had our Christmas dinner planned at the in-laws and driving would have been dicey if it hadn't stopped and turned to rain.

It was a workout day. Even though the diet has officially concluded, I still might want to lose a few more pounds. That doesn't seem likely though, given the time of year.

I finished my workout, saw that the snow was letting up and went out to shovel the walkway and in front of the garages. Can you believe it? Do we need to paint giant NO PARKING signs? Is it not obvious that a) it's a garage door and b) there is a clearly posted sign forbidding the parking of your car there? Oh how I was frosted. Serge didn't want me to call though since this is the first time this particular car has done this. I put an uber-nasty note on his windshield. Sheesh!

The snow had stopped and it was just raining a bit when we toodled off to mother-in-law's house. They don't do nearly as good of a job clearing the snow out in the burbs. It makes for a pretty scene though. It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

She always decorates the table (and the house) for the holidays. We ate like pigs. I'm just now noticing the crudite served in Christmas tree shaped dishes. It was a bit early to celebrate, I agree, but we are leaving next weekend and spending Christmas in the Seattle area.

We exchanged a couple gifts. Here's Serge showing a gift that we will certainly put to good use. He usually breaks one or so per month so it was an ideal present.

I liked hanging out with the dogs too. They both wanted to be on me and were jealous if one was and one wasn't . That's MIL's dog "Tigars" which translates loosely to "little guy".  We went home stuffed to the gills and watched a bit of tv before bed. All in all, a lovely day.

To see other people's photographic take on the day, visit Chad. Sadly, this is the last month he's "sponsoring" the  project. Hopefully someone else (not me) will pick up the baton.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Post number 1492

Although he loves the snow, he's having a tough time acclimating to the frigid temps. Last year was like the winter that never was with little snowfall and balmy (for winter) temps all season. I kept saying that if every winter could be like this, I'd be very happy. Well, it's already colder than it was last winter and it's still Autumn! Anyway, his little feet hurt and then he limps so I bought him some booties.

It took him a while to get used to them, ie to stop trying to pull them off right away. They have little velcro straps to put them on and the tighter the better. The back booties stay on nicely but the front ones tend to come off after a while. He is so darn cute with them on though.

That was during last night's walk. Can you believe I got them at the dollar store? Well actually now it's the two-dollar store. They used to have a ceiling of one dollar pricing but now they've doubled that. It has increased the variety of offerings in the store and I've really liked the expanded pet supply section. The same thing at the pet shop is twenty bucks.

All this snow has been aggravating. I dug a space for the car in front of our garage door and I haven't been able to park there. Why? Because f$*%ing as$*%les feel that it's okay to park in front of someone's garage. Even when I went out and bought "No Parking" signs and posted them on the doors, someone parked there. Unbelievable. I've got the towtruck guys on speed dial now. What is wrong with people?

We were able to rent the apartment that is going to be vacated in February. Have I mentioned this? I think so. Well, there were a few calls, one of whom was the biggest pain in the butt and I knew after two minutes on the phone with him that there was no way I'd be renting to him. Basically, he was trying to negotiate a remodel and a lowering of the price without ever visiting the place. He eventually did visit and he was an old hippie queen who just loathed the carpet, paneling, paint etc. etc. etc. We didn't even give him an application. In the end, a nice ex pat American couple, both dancers, took the place. They work for an Indian casino down in New York every weekend but love living and teaching dance in Montreal. The girl's name is Chelsea, the first person with that name I've ever met.

I bought chicken milk. In case you don't know what that is, that's what they call egg nog up here. We have had a bottle of rum on the counter for over a year that someone brought over, and since Serge and I don't really like rum (except the super aged kind) we don't drink it. I figured if it's wrapped and camouflaged in egg noggy goodness, we'll hardly notice.

Have a great weekend y'all!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Snow and politics

We got our first big snowstorm of the year. They had predicted 2 inches and we ended up with a foot of snow. I haven't seen them this wrong on a snow forecast in ten years. Fortunately, I am a weather geek and I did see it coming so instead of driving to the hinterlands Monday for my afternoon courses, I took public transportation. Apparently the afternoon commute was a three hour drive for most people. Even with public transportation, it took me an hour and a half, but so what, I got to read and play games on my ipod instead of feeling frustrated and nervous driving in a winter storm. Georgie just loves to romp in the snow. I tried to take a video last night but it came out too dark. Above you see him rooting around looking for his toys buried in the snow on the back patio. It has been snowing since 1pm Monday and it is still coming down this morning.

It's been disappointing watching the gridlock in Washington. I was watching the talking heads on TV the other day and it was pointed out that compromise is political suicide for candidates, so instead everyone digs their heels in and no governing really happens. Plus, no money is pouring into candidates from corporations over social issues like marriage equality, so those issues don't get addressed. It got me thinking on how the system could be changed so it could actually work again. Yesterday's "deal" extending unemployment benefits coupled with tax breaks for the top 2 percent seems wrong on all kinds of levels to me. Shouldn't one of those have paid for the other? Here are some of my ideas, naive as they may appear.

1. Voters should be qualified. You have to pass a test to become a citizen, but not if you're born in the US. Why not? This may sound elitist, but why do simpletons get to shape our country? You have to pass a test demonstrating your knowledge of the issues and candidates' platforms to have the privilege of voting.

2. Corporations are not people. They should have no business shaping the debate. Individuals should be the only supporters of candidates.

3. A viable third party needs to gain seats in Congress

4. Term limits. Not just for the president, but for everyone in Congress. Once your term is over, run for some other seat. This would lead to more compromise and less intractability on towing the party line.

5. Votes need to be weighed differently. Why do 80 year olds have the same vote weight. The younger people have to live longer with the legislative consequences. So, 1/2 vote to those 18 -30 (immaturity penalty), full vote to those 31-55, half vote for those over 55.

6. Wealth inequities will lead to civil unrest. Thus a maximum wage should be in place. Say at 50 million. If the rich want to avoid the 100 percent tax rate above that amount, they can give the excess to charity.

7. The only TV ads when running for office should be the candidate speaking to the audience. If they're gonna smear, they'll have to do it face to face.

Any one of these would improve the gridlock. What do you think? I don't even have to care about this since I am a citizen of Canada, but it's hard to watch your homeland wither.

Happy hump day peeps, the weekend is in sight!

Sunday, December 05, 2010


* Let me in, let me in, let me in. Then three minutes later it's let me out, let me out, let me out. I don't think his short term memory is all that great.

* Our good tenants have decided to buy a house (good for them!) and so are leaving at the end of January. It's a great apartment at a good price but February 1st is not the ideal time to rent a place here. Not only is it in the midst of winter, but up here, most people move in July. I put an ad out on the internet yesterday and we got two calls. Here are the details.

* I got this graphic via We Move To Canada and I thought it charming that the majority of Americans do not consider Serge and I (and Georgie!) a family. And when I say charming, I mean insulting. I guess if we adopt a kid, we become a family. Serge and I discuss adoption at least once a year and we always come to the same conclusion. It's too much work and we're too old now. Anyhow, once again, happy to have become Canadian.

* On the positive side, did you see that "what would you do" segment on ABC Friday night? They had actors play out a teenager coming out to one of the parents. The actor parent doesn't take the news well and lambasts the teenager. It was interesting to see how bystanders reacted. Personally, I found it very difficult to watch. Even thought they were actors, it hit too close to home. If you haven't seen it, here it is.

* Georgie decided to jump into bed at two am last night and vomit. Why???????? I let Serge stay there and went off to finish sleeping on the couch. Gross.

* Gas is at $4.74 a gallon up here. Insane. We are an oil exporter and just across the border, it's 2.75 a gallon. What gives?

* I still haven't had poutine yet since finishing the diet. The line, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" keeps haunting me.

* On our upcoming holiday travel extravaganza, we are planning to go to California Adventure, the sister park to Disneyland. I'll be fine if I never go to Dland again, but I'd like to at least see the other park once. Tickets are $76 apiece! Geez. Ten years ago, it was $24 for residents and now it's triple that. And you still have to pay for parking and eating.

* Our friend Daniel bought a business. It's a small artisinal pasta manufacturer/distributer with a gourmet grocery storefront. He has had it for 25 days and has worked as many. Welcome to being your own boss. We visited yesterday while they were making lasagne. Very cute place and we are wishing him all the best success.

* These xmas decorations cracked me up. All down the boulevard, these "candles" lit the way. Am I the only one who sees peen?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

One pic each

He has readopted his place before the window on top of the sofa. I picked up a throw blanket at the dollarama so his peen gunk wouldn't mar the microfiber. Not that he's constantly oozing gunk, since he usually slurps that up for himself. Yum.

For the first time in many years, I have made my self imposed deadline for finishing shopping and xmas cards. Got them mailed out yesterday on the first of the month. What a nice feeling having it all done. I got all mad at Serge though because yesterday he chose our xmas card picture as his profile pic on Facebook. He has since cropped and reposted part of that photo but I like the final product to be a nice little surprise when the card is opened. Later, I'll post the pic here too.

Serge got a belated bday gift. It's a rice cooker. He's 44 by the way. It's probably not going to get used all that much. Uncle Ben's microwave rice pouches are so fast and easy and delicious (should be getting paid for this but am not) there really isn't any need for such an appliance. But the rice cooker was pretty easy too. Just throw the stuff in and the cooker does all the rest. It "knows" when the rice is ready regardless of how long you've set it to cook. Cool.

Since I'm bored and have nothing to say because I haven't been writing things down to remember to say here, how about a few expressions and their French counterparts. I've probably done this before but am too lazy to look. It's raining cats and dogs translates to it's raining ropes. Boy did it too. We got like three inches over the last two days. I'm spaced out translates to I'm in the moon. This happened to me on the bus yesterday. Totally in daydream land, I went several stops past my intended exit point. It cost an arm and a leg translates to it cost the eyes of my head (although they also say it cost me an arm, but there is no mention of leg.) The straw that broke the camel's back becomes the last drop that made the vase overflow. I kinda like that one better than ours.

Winter gear. Our big rain event washed away all the snow. But soon the snow will come and stay for oh, I'd say about 4 months. I'm looking forward to when it does so I can take Georgie back to the doggie park. Last time I took him, it was so muddy and gross and he came home drenched in the stinky doggie park mud. It's really peepoo mud which is quite vile. I didn't even want to let him in the car but we had to get home so I could bathe him. We'll go back when the ground is frozen with a nice layer of the white stuff on top.

There you go, a dispatch from the three of us. Have a lovely day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Diet /Off

I've done it. I got rid of those 20 pounds I've gained since quitting smoking 2 and a half years ago. I've never really done a "lose weight" diet before since there was never really any need. I was always the one who could eat and drink anything with weight gain immunity. I learned not to gloat about this fact though since most people don't have that kind of metabolism. Well, now I don't either. You never really appreciate something until it's gone eh? So here are a few observations I can make now that I've reached my goal.

1. There really was no secret to losing weight. Ingest fewer calories than you burn. All I did was count calories and stay under my daily "budget" which started out at 2400 per day and then decreased to 2280 as the weight came off. Apparently the skinnier you are, the fewer calories you need.

2. The easiest way to lose weight probably would have been to quit drinking, my new favorite vice. I am a firm believer in having a singular goal though, and losing weight and teetotaling would have been too hard. I would have failed on both endeavors. So I drank, I ate ice cream (one tablespoon per day) and even had french fries (once) and pizza (one slice, twice).

3. I had a pretty regular chip habit with happy hour time and I had to cut that out. I couldn't find any low cal chips (probably an oxymoron, that) so I switched to carrots and celery. When I did have chips, I limited myself to a dozen. I will forever beware of chips now. So damn good (Hello Miss Vickie's Jalapeno!) but might as well just inject the lard into your love handles.

4. Oh my god do avocados have a ton of calories. My favorite fruit too. (It's a fruit, I just checked.) If you have chips and guacamole at a Mexican restaurant, you probably shouldn't eat anything else as you'll likely have had over half your daily calorie budget.

5. Salt makes your weight go all wonky. It's true. One nice thing about using Loseit.com, the app for the iphone, is that not only does it track calories, but also nutrients including salt. If I suddenly gained two pounds in one day, sure enough, I had taken in too much salt. (Once over 5000 milligrams, yikes!) Water retention will happen.

6. You have to be willing to feel hungry. In this consumerist world where "want" leads to "have" with such ease, we are not used to denying ourselves. Luckily, I've had a lot of practice with denying myself so it wasn't so bad. But numerous times every day for 3 and a half months, I have had hunger pangs. Still, those are nothing compared to nicotine pangs.

7. Mozzarella is the cheese to eat when dieting. It's way lower in calories than any of the other cheeses.

8. It is much better to have useless pants in your closet because you have lost weight. They are almost like trophies now. The useless clothing I had in the closet because I had gained weight was like Shame staring at me every day.

9. Restaurant food is the dieters worst enemy.

Now that it's over, the real trick is going to be to keep the weight from creeping back on. Luckily, loseit has a maintenance program. Sadly, I'm only gonna get 250 calories added to my daily budget.

Recompense? I see POUTINE in my future very very soon.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Funked out

Since I haven't taken any pictures since the xmas card photo shoot, you get to see another one that didn't make the final cut. If it weren't pitch dark still outside, I'd take a picture of the lovely blanket of snow that has fallen overnight. Everything is so quiet and white. Although we have snow, it hasn't been all that cold thankfully. I've been watching with horror the temps in Alberta, at one point the temperature in Calgary was the second coldest place on earth after the South Pole. Poor them. I hope that air gets modified before it makes its way over here.

Remember the Holiday Inn I scored for forty five bucks a night? Well I did it again for Palm Springs and really hit the jackpot. We got the Renaissance right there in downtown Palm Springs where you can walk everywhere for forty seven dollars a night. We stayed at that hotel before it was renovated when we used to attend the annual White Party so I knew what a major score we got. On the website, the lowest guaranteed internet rate is $175. I love you Priceline!

Yesterday we woke up to freezing rain and the city hadn't adequately salted the roads so there was all kinds of slipping and sliding. I watched across the street as the bus turned the corner but the back of the bus continued the turn and smashed into several cars like they were toys. Thank god we weren't parked in front. I wish I'd had the camera rolling. It was similar to this video taken in Seattle last week.

Got some bad news about my mother's health on Thanksgiving. The worst words you can hear are irreversible and progressive, but those are the words I heard. It was my brother who insisted she tell me after having heard about it from his dad (my stepdad).  She didn't want to worry me. She's taking it well, but I'm all funked out about it so maybe she was right. She's out on the high seas for two weeks fishing for the big tunas right now. Her dream is to land a 300 pound "super cow" and I really hope she gets it this time.

Have a nice weekend y'all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Slightly poopy post

Well we did our annual Christmas card photo shoot and although this one did not win the day, I sure liked it. The final will be shown here another day. Serge has to get his photoshop on to further enhance the holiday qualities. Georgie was very well behaved, probably due to the too tight shirt he was wearing. Serge erased Georgie's peen but I don't know how to do that on my computer so there it is.

Last time I went to the vet to get Georgie's vaccinations, Serge had been nagging me to ask about the anal glands. See, we've never had a male dog before and have heard about anal gland woes. Well it turns out, both male and female dogs have the anal glands and they could all develop problems with them. The vet was nice and gave me a lesson on how to check. Feel around 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock and if there's any hardness or a ball, there may be a blockage. Georgie was just fine. If we see him scooting around on his anus though, I'll know just what to check.

Shall we make it a true poop post? I was cracking up the other day over the "pooping pope" which is one of the figurines this year out of Catalonia in Spain. Apparently, tradition dictates that those in the news are represented in full defecation mode. Now, why didn't I know about this? Every year, new pooping figurines are created and become instant collectibles. The article on the tradition claims that the purpose is not to mock those celebrities but rather to pay tribute to them. They also have Michael Jackson and the Dalai Lama this year. Last year they did Barack Obama of course. I'm not a collector of anything, but this might just change that.

Booked a few hotel nights in California between Christmas and New Years. I used Priceline as usual and decided to go for a three star hotel because four stars charge for parking and internet and usually the three stars give you those for free. So my first bid was $45 per night and I won. This means I bid too much most likely. We got the Holiday Inn for three nights and according to their lowest guaranteed internet rate, we paid 37% of that price. Score!  I'm going to do the same thing for Palm Springs but I can't decide if we want a resort or just a lowly three star. I think we'll wait and see what the weather has in store while we are there.

To all of my American friends, here's wishing you a warm and food filled Thanksgiving with family and friends. Although I'll be working, I'll have you in my thoughts. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday morning blather

He played a lot with another beagle in the park yesterday. Here they are sharing a stick. There were sticks everywhere yesterday because the day started off with a thundersnow squall line that really kicked up some dust. The owner of the other beagle just had to tell me how cute mine was. I never really know what to say. Thank you isn't really right since I have nothing to do with his cuteness. Usually I say something like, yes people say that. It's better than, "I know," isn't it?

Went to see Harry Potter on Friday. My strategy worked too. See when a really big film comes out like HP, the French cineplex will show the original version in one of the theatres, basically for the francophones who are bilingual enough (and don't like the dubbing enough) to watch in English. I was probably in the only theatre in North America where it was showing and there were only about 40 people there. Honestly I had my whole row to myself. There was a line around the block for the French version which I'm sure was the same down at the English cineplex. As for the film, I loved it. Am I a dirty old man for liking the shirtless Harry?

In spite of the rash of disappointing news here and elsewhere, I'm in surprisingly good spirits. Here in Quebec, there has been a year long spate of corruption related stories coupled with the rise in taxes stories which tends to make me and my compatriots bitter. Although we are the most heavily taxed jurisdiction in North America, we get to look forward to a hike in the sales tax to 15.5 percent, a soon to be announced rise in property taxes plus a new tax on car registration and a new health tax to pay on our tax returns. All the while our politicians are in bed with the mafia and envelopes of cash are exchanging hands all over town. It makes me wonder where my envelope of cash is. Still, I've got enough food to eat and loads of free time at the moment so I'm enjoying it. I can't help feeling like the travel budget is getting pinched though. Look at me, privileged white guy moaning. Okay I'll shut up.

Georgie is beside me now reminding me of my morning duty. The long walk. It's a habit I've really grown to love, especially on Sunday morning. This town sleeps late on Sunday and it's always so quiet and surreal. The Monday walk is so jarringly noisy as everyone hustles off to their slave station job. I always think peaceful on Sunday and madhouse on Monday. Have a great Sunday y'all.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Piercing holes

He would be able to fly if he could flap those ears I reckon. They are terribly flappy when we go out walking in the wind like we did yesterday. He really is unbearably cute and people stop me on the street every day to tell me. You think I'm exaggerating but actually I'm understating. Often times more than once I'll be stopped on the street to be informed of Georgie's cuteness. He oughta be in commercials. Who do I need to talk to about that?

This whole computer business is taking up too much of my time. Have you noticed on Facebook that sometimes your friends sound different? When did boasting become fashionable. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the playground as a five year old and everyone is saying hey look at me and neener neener neener. I suppose the child in us never dies, but the gloatiness definitely should. Of course I should talk what with the blog and all.

Almost done with the diet, hoorah. I've noticed my shoes have been very loose lately and it finally dawned on me that I've lost weight in my feet. Not just the feet of course, but everywhere on the body. Yesterday I did the Fonz when I passed by the mirror naked after my shower. Lookin good dude. Now what was I just saying about gloatiness?

Yesterday was spouse's birthday. Unfortunately, it was my only work day of the week, 8am-7pm. So he spent the day alone and went out to dinner with his mom. I did get him gifts lest you think I'm some kind of monster. The first gift was a new set of kitchen knives. We haven't had a good set in, well, I don't think ever and now we do. All the good sets require hand washing which sucks, but we'll be good about that for a year or so and then we'll say fuck it. The second and primary gift (I splurged this year) was a Makita drill set that he has been pining after for, well, nearly ever. He keeps piercing holes in things to play with it. I've never seen someone so happy about a tool. That just isn't in my DNA. Glad he likes it though.

Not much else going on, I've got four days off and then 10 hours next week of work. Poor Serge is swamped with work from clients but I don't know how to do any of the programming so I can't help. Instead I'll go off to the movies and read my stack of books that keeps growing. I saw a powerful film the other day called Incendies which is going to be Canada's official selection for the Acadamy Awards foreign film category. I bet it will be among the final nominees. There were some pretty horrific scenes in that movie but given the war setting, that's to be expected I suppose. I cried three times during the film. Tomorrow is Harry Potter but I think I'll wait a week or so before I go to avoid the crowds. Okay enough blathering on, have a lovely day now ya hear?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend Update

I took my first stab at making Osso Bucco and despite it not being all that photogenic, it was absolutely fabulous. Serge didn't want his marrow either (the best part in my opinion) so I got to have that heavenly jello twice. It was super easy too. I even made the gremolata to go with. Serge wants it put on our routine meal rotation but I told him the veal cut is a bit pricey so we'll see.

It was fairly uneventful all weekend. I worked to prepare all my courses after Christmas and finished the bulk of it. I've got to get a few more listening exercises and do all the photocopying and I'll be done and I won't have to think about work until 17th of January. I've got a few classes for the next few weeks but those are already prepped, I've got maybe 20 hours left on the current contracts. So basically it's smooth sailing until April. A nice feeling.

We watched Toy Story 3 and Sex and the City 2.  I had seen them both at the cinema but Serge hadn't. We both loved Toy Story but for different reasons. Serge, having done a lot of 3D modeling on the computer, kept oohing and aahing over the lighting. I couldn't figure out what was so darn genius about it, but he was really impressed. Me, I just liked the story. As for SATC2, it was fine, but Carrie seemed like such a schrew. I just wanted to slap her and say, "Oh grow up for chrissake." Little whiny privileged white girl is not an attractive protagonist for me.

Georgie's been good. Took him across the street to get his nails clipped. They do that for free at the pet supply shop. He refuses to let me do it, but over there he hardly complains at all. I finally figured it out. He knows that he gets a cookie at the end of it so he behaves. I have got to remember that food is his big motivator. Does he really want to be on Serge's lap? Or is it a ruse to get to the plate on the table?

Have a lovely Monday peeps!

Friday, November 12, 2010

12 of 12

Brrr it was a chilly minus 4C this morning so I put on Georgie's new shirt for our long morning walk. You can't see it, but it says "i pood", and now that I'm looking at it, it might not be a bad xmas card - the colors are right. Oy. The Christmas word, it's become unavoidable now, people are already decorating houses up here.

Breakfast time. He always gets the last bite. I know the dog whisperer would disapprove, but it's only a little piece. Sometimes he'll "sing" just as I'm finishing whatever it is I'm eating.

I had a lunch date with Frank down in the old city and decided to take advantage of the glorious sunny day and walk there. It was a little over three miles each way. Also, it was a good way to burn those extra restaurant calories coming up. In the picture is an old church near our place. The city is riddled with such buildings.

Of course it's modern too. This is down by where I used to work until the recession and I started doing the nurses instead of the bankers.

You know you live in an old city when you see sewers made from brick! And this wasn't even in the old Montreal. I wonder if some of our water is still delivered in such constructions.

The Jacques Cartier bridge crossing the great St Lawrence river. No tolls anymore.

I happened upon an outdoor exhibit of photography outside the Berri-UQAM subway station. I liked this one.

The Place des Arts. The new theatre for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra is rising up in the back. And now you know what The Nutcracker is in French. Though if we translated word by word, it would be break hazelnut.

The (I think) St James church on Ste Catherine reflected in the storefront opposite. Like I said, riddled. In fact, this entire 12 of 12 could have been the many churches I passed on the walk.

I met Frank and the place was a beehive, much more crowded than the last time we came. After a short wait, we ordered our sandwiches (the same exact thing we had last year I believe) and OMG it was delicious. I had a panini of goat cheese and carmelized onions and it was like explosions of wonderfulness in my mouth with each bite. I would have eaten three of those easily but you know, the diet. Okay so the picture. It's the sign for the bathroom that was funny. The last thing on the bathroom synonym list was "le throne". Also odd was the little note in the corner. "Wooden door". There is only one door so there really is no cause for possible confusion. Odd.

When I left the house I thought that I might run across someone I know on the long walk. Perhaps a former student or other acquaintance. Well I ran into two. The first was the guy who built the laundry room downstairs for us. And the second was my French teacher, Madame Mila! We chatted while her husband waited patiently (Mila wears the pants) and it was just so great to see her. She told me my French was impeccable. She was exaggerating of course. We verified that all our contact information is the same and vowed to share a meal together soon. What a treat it was.

Got home, took Georgie out again and blobbed on the computer. When it was time for dinner, I decided to make fabulous fried egg sammiches. That way, I will have had a meat free day. There have been very few of those in my life. He knows we're going to bring the plates into the living room to eat so he waits there with his ears perked like that. So cute.

Pics are embiggenable. To see what others have posted as today's pictography, you can go here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Very little

Even though his little bed is right next to my chair in the office, he still demands to sit in my lap periodically. It's adorable but 35 pounds on my lap is only cute for a few minutes. After that it hurts. But oh how he makes my heart squeeze with love. Come to think of it, that borders on hurting too. Again I'm feeling, all the emotions seem to come from the same source, love and grief are simply different shades of the same thing.

Surely there must be other things to chat about. There's the little french hottie who lives downstairs now. When I say french I mean from France. He is the first tenant in all these years to take advantage of my gym equipment in the basement. This pleases me. The fact that he changes all the settings and weights doesn't. At least our workout times don't conflict, then I'd have to play the landlord card.

I fell off the diet wagon over the weekend since we had friends visiting. It really only takes one big fatty, salty meal to cause my body to blimp up. I'm still on target to reach the goal weight before the holidays though. 172, four pounds over what I weighed when I quit smoking.

I thought this was funny:

Thanks to Phronk for that. Have a great humpday peeps, I'm out of topics!