Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oh yes it did

It snowed all day yesterday. Unbelievable. It was 17 the day before (63F) and then it snowed all day long. Accumulation would have been higher on the ground but the sun is good at melting it rapidly at this time of year, even through the clouds. There's still a couple inches on the ground this morning but it's switched over to rain now.

You probably heard us all groaning yesterday via the various connectivity venues - blogs, facebook, twitter. Gosh twitter, I haven't gone there in ages. It just seems like all the "important" tweets make their way into the regular media anyway so what's the point. I've tried, but I just can't get into it. I still Facebook every morning though. Is it okay to use FB as a verb now? It's the natural next step, don't you think?

Not much else to say, as usual, there were things I wanted to mention but now I'm blanking. I know, this is what pen and paper are for. Oh I know, did you catch Randy say "shit" on AI last night? I had to stop and rewind a few times to be sure. He said something like, "You've really hit your zone on this shit." Serge said he must have said "show" but after rewinding and analysing, it was definitely not "show". I wonder if the censors caught it. I bet Randy didn't even realize it. I should probably post that clip but I've already uploaded a Georgie video so that's what you're going to get. So get on the getting.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Weekend update

Another day, another Georgie pic. Just when I think he can't get any cuter, he does. The converse is also true, since just when I think he can't get grosser, he does. Case in point, yesterday he was toying with a little brown object on his doggie bed and Serge went to get it from him (he likes to bring sticks and such in the house and Serge doesn't like the mess) and then made a kind of GAH shriek. Twas a little turd (of his own) that he was playing with. Serge went out (after washing his hands) and found the half eaten movement on the patio. Why Georgie, why?

I also took him across the street yesterday to get his nails clipped. What a big baby he was. Just seeing the clippers made him howl that hilarious beagle howl. Both the groomer and I were laughing helplessly. He acted like we were jamming him with needles. He sure hates it so it takes two people to do it. That, or you have to sneak up on him while he's asleep or groggy and clip one or two before he gets wise to the operation. But that method takes me about a week to get the job done.

Saturday's meet up with the gang from our vacation in Cuba was fun. Everyone came over to our place first to have a drink and then we all went out to a restaurant.

We watched the last available season of Weeds over the weekend as well. With the way the season ended all cliffhanger like, there will obviously be another. Too bad we have to wait another year to find out what happens.

Other than that, we mostly blobbed around though we did manage to do a little work around the house as well. We're trying to pinch a few pennies before our little New York City junket a week from Friday. Oh and I lost a client. Sadly, I suspect it is discriminatory in nature. Everything was going along swimmingly until he asked a question about my wife. I had to correct him since I'm married to a man. After that, cancel, cancel, cancel and then evasive weirdness on the telephone when I tried to reschedule. Yeah, yeah it's his loss except why is it me who loses money?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Double heinousness

That's his favorite spot now. He can spend hours out there with his nostrils fluttering as he reads the smells on the wind. I wonder what it's like to "see" the world through odor as he does. Despite his drop dead cute factor, his farts are still the most violent slap-in-your-face assaults you can imagine. It causes us to shriek, "Georgie, NOooooooo!" every time. I thought maybe they'd mellow, but they're still as heinous as ever. Good thing he's adorable, eh?

Speaking of heinousness, I went to the dentist to have five silver fillings gouged out and replaced with the newfangled composite stuff. Obviously I was not looking forward to the experience. When I first got there, they had to numb half my face. The nice cute dentist said, "I'm sorry about this but if we want to stay friends..." Then they put a "dam" in my mouth which is hard to explain but basically kept my mouth stretched open for the next two hours. The assistant put her ipod on the docking station and had a mix straight out of Alley McBeal going on as they went to work gouging out the old silver fillings. The dentist sang while he worked and it was like I was in an episode of Nip Tuck. The drilling and grinding went on and on and on. At the end, I was dubbed a "good patient" I guess since there was no whining on my part. The result is satisfying, no more silver on the bottom teeth and the little sensitive spot no longer is. Unfortunately, this little two hour episode set me back almost $800. That's a week in Cuba folks for two hours in the dentist's chair. I really am in the wrong business.

Right after that, I had to go teach a class. The (I want to say novacaine, but surely it's something different now) anasthetic hadn't worn off though so I couldn't speak properly and I couldn't even feel when drool came out of my mouth since the whole bottom of my face was numb. The students had a good laugh anyway.

Do any of y'all use bloglines as your blog reader? I do, but they were down for two days this week. I felt cut off from my peeps. They are back up now, so I'll try to catch up this weekend. Today we're having a reunion with all the Cuba friends we made back in December. That should be fun. I don't know about the rest of the weekend, but I suspect a good amount of sloth shall be had. I hope you enjoy your weekend too!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Title of post

This morning, I have to go to the dentist to have several of my old fillings redone. As you can imagine, I'm not looking forward to it. Some of my fillings have been in place for 30 years so it's normal that they should be redone. Nowadays, they don't use the silver, instead opting for some kind of plastic material that needs to be replaced in five years. That's a nice little trick of the industry, insuring repeat business like that. Reminds me of Apple's earbuds.

The guy upstairs has announced that he's moving out of his apartment. We told the Brazilians downstairs about it and they have decided to move upstairs so now we will have to find a tenant for their unit. Their unit is easier to rent since it's a furnished studio with electricity, heat, cable and internet included. But Serge and I were thinking that perhaps we could rent it out to tourists over the summer and make a little extra dough off of it. That might be a lot of trouble though, always having to be around for arriving and departing tourists. We'll think on it.

I thought that there was a third paragraph but after having spent a good twenty minutes ruminating, there really isn't anything to add. If you are kinda new around here, go read something fun from the archives, like this.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Just some more drivel for ya

Here's a pic as promised. I took this one because he was bugging the hell out of me trying to climb onto my lap. It's not like I'm a monster or anything but after a couple hours on my lap, my legs hurt. He doesn't seem to understand that and keeps trying to climb up anyway. It looks like his nails are getting a bit long in this pic. I don't mind clipping them but he doesn't like it and Serge refuses to help me hold him still. Serge is too squeamish to be part of this activity. Honestly I think it's the queeniest thing about him, this nail clipping squeamishness. Anyway we just discovered that Mondou (like PetSmart) across the street has free clippings for your pet once every two weeks. So I'll be taking them up on that service.

The weekend was quiet, bordering on boring, and the weather was dreary as well. We hung out on the computers mostly, and I daydreamed on travel sites. See, what I like to do is pick a place I'd like to visit and then see how thriftily the journey there can be had. I was really surprised to see that we could fly round trip to Australia for a thousand bucks. Well now we can't, that sale ended yesterday, but that has got to be the cheapest I've ever seen that flight.

Did I ever mention how ridiculous the prices were at the hotel we stayed at in Madrid? Because they were not just laughable, they were insulting. For example, if you wanted two eggs brought to your room, not a whole breakfast - just the two eggs, you'd be charged 19 euros plus the 5.50 euro delivery fee, plus the gratuity. Oh and we were really hoping to get a few things laundered but when I saw the prices I just couldn't do it. 7 euros to wash your socks, 16.50 for a shirt! All of the prices for cleaning the garments were more than I actually paid for the garments. So I just bought some shirts instead.

What else? Oh I don't know, I was pretty alarmed when I saw the news and that 2/3 of Americans (according to ABC news) took the story of Adam and Eve as fact. When I hear statistics like that, I tend to think all is lost. I bet that figure would be less than ten percent among Quebecers. I just don't get how people do that leap where the book is "the word of god" even though we can all agree it was penned by men. I mean it didn't just Samantha Stevens nose twitch into existence after all.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Wow, so much feedback on such a banal topic as laundry. I suppose since it's one of those inevitable chores done by young and old, rich and poor alike. Well, not the uber-rich, surely they have staff for that. Speaking of laundry, another strange thing I've noticed is that there are always one or two unmatched socks at the end of the job. We leave the loners on top of the dryer and many times a match will be found on subsequent washings, but there are always a few lonely socks left over anyway. Once in a while I'll find one stuck inside my pants when I put them on, but I suspect there's a mini black hole in the dryer that absconds with the bulk of them.

It's a gloomy weekend here weather-wise and they are even mentioning the "s" word for tomorrow. I think they're full of it. You know that volcano that's wreaking havoc in the skies of Europe? Well all I can think of is how that cloud, if it grows and persists, can lower the temperature of the planet quite handily. I want it to stop because I'm fully on board with the global warming. I wouldn't if I lived in the Maldives of course, but what were they thinking setting up camp on a sandbar in the middle of the ocean anyway?

It was a bittersweet week for us in terms of television. Glee is back and we are major gleeks (as should you be) and both Serge and I squealed with delight at the closing Vogue video. But then we were sad when the last episode of Ugly Betty showed on Wednesday. I hope they make an Ugly Betty movie. Then last night we rented season one of Nurse Jackie and got sucked in pretty quickly. It's a good thing only the first season is available for rent up here or we might have lost the whole weekend.

I know I know I owe y'all a Georgie pic. Next time I promise. Have a fab weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Question of my day

Okay let me ask you this. When you toss your clothes into the receptacle, floor, area or room where they wait to be washed, in what format do you leave your shirts? I ask because I always toss them in the hamper right side out whereas Serge always tosses them in inside-out. This is probably due to how we take off these garments. We're talking tees and undershirts here. I pull mine off from the neck which results in the shirt remaining right-side-out while spouse pulls from the bottom and up and over his head resulting in the inside-out bullshit. The reason I have a problem with this is that it is my job to fold and put away the clothes. (If you recall, we've solved a large source of marital discord by coming up with the machine pact - he loads them and I empty them. This goes for dishes and laundry.) Now when I have broached the subject with beloved marital partner, he informs me that he does that on purpose because it "washes them better". Now I might go along with this logic if he tossed everything in inside-out. But he doesn't. His jeans are right-side-out, as are his socks (thank the baby jebus) so his logic is rather faulty.

I have been known to exhibit a little civil disobedience in the matter by simply folding and putting away his shirts in the same format as they come out of the dryer, but mostly I try to find my loving place and turn them right-side-out before folding them.

What suggestions would you give? Should I just keep my mouth shut and fold the clothes and take the extra time that HIS require to do properly? Should I stop folding his properly in protest? Is there some way I can convince him of his faulty logic? How does it work in your household?

Monday, April 12, 2010

12 of 12

My two boys. Serge loves to sleep on the couch (and I'm definitely not opposed, the whole be to myself! This is what a long term relationship looks like) and Georgie digs that spot as well.

All I see is the new paunch and the detritus littering the mirror.
I don't know why I do this to myself. Baby brother says I have body dismorphic syndrome or something like that. All I know is that I'm fatter than I've ever been in my life even though others may consider that skinny. I hate this machine. Incidentally, it read 189.2.
After my shower, I kissed the honey goodbye. He was already up and at em (although unshowered since he slept in his clothes.)

Morning class in the burbs. It was a beautiful sunny day. Why do we only get snow days and not beautiful sunny days that cause a mandatory day off of work?

Look what Serge got! A lovely gift from the step mom. Everyone has been so generous in our lives this year. We feel guilty about it even though I KNOW guilt is useless.

The ham, the ham. See over Easter time they had a special on the brown sugar spiral sliced hams at the market. (Kinda like honey-baked hams) We've had like 10 meals out of it already but it never ends. We are giving it away to everyone we can. I don't think I'll eat ham again until the holidays.

Off to the downtown area for afternoon classes. I do so love our city.

Then off to the school center so I can submit some paperwork and make some photocopies.

The most heinous part of my job is dealing with this machine. I caress, I speak in soft doting tones, but still she smites me. She's evil I tell you, evil.

Then I came home and ran into the upstairs tenant who is vacating his apartment in a couple months. I went up to take pics. He has a much better view than we do from his apartment. Still we have a much bigger and better patio.

The day is done. Time for a drink. Current fave, vanilla vodka and tonic. I prefer the stoli or absolut but all that's available up here is the smirnoff version. I toyed with the idea of joining VUBOQ on his month of sobriety but since I only found out about it this morning, and the bottles of booze on the counter called out to me, I crumbled. I'll go ahead and have an extra one for him.
To see other people's versions of this day, go see Chad.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

This and that

It's a beautiful Saturday morning here in Quebec. This follows a pretty gloomy week of clouds and rain. We had some wild thunderstorms the other morning where the sky turned so dark that all the street lights were triggered on. It's extremely rare to have t-storms this early in the year up here but I suspect it's related to the changing climate.

I've just finished a week with 13 new classes down at the justice department. A lot of the classes are just for people who want to practice so they don't get rusty. They are already fully bilingual. That makes it pretty easy for me. I have a couple people working in the tax evasion department. I asked if any citizen ever wins those cases where they've contested the government's tax assessment. Laughter and a big fat "no" ensued. So why the process? Also I found it interesting that they will prosecute someone who fails to pay a few hundred dollars. "Doesn't that cost way more to prosecute than the government stands to gain?" I queried. Of course I was told, but fiscal logic is not the guiding principle. The law applies to all citizens equally is the way it works. No wonder we've got deficits!

We booked a little trip (another one? I know...) to New York in May just for a weekend. Baby bro will be there and we will be celebrating a cousin's graduation. I foresee alcohol consumption. And shopping and theatre! I do so love that city. Hopefully we can meet up with a couple NYC bloggerati too. It will be the weekend of the 7th. We should have pricelined a room but instead I used their vacation package feature (save up to $500 when you book the flight and hotel!) and ended up a bit disappointed. The savings totaled $17 than if I had booked the airline ticket and hotel room separately. Plus the hotel would have been cancelable, but with the package price it's not. Wow, thanks for saving me 1.5%! I'll go back to bidding next time.

Don't have much else. News is slow, my work week is full, spring is starting to show and there's a lovely weekend at my door. I hope you enjoy it too!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Catching up

I'm behind on everything. Ever since we got back from Spain, it has been like a game of catch up and the finish line keeps getting more and more distant. That beautiful weekend didn't help either - I definitely played hooky on the sponsibilities. Like I finally got through my bloglist and then there were over 400 new posts while I was catching up. Lemme see if I can snippetize the last couple of days.
* Got two new clients who contacted me via the website. One of them lives in mcmansionville. At the end of the lesson I was paid from a three inch stack of crisp twenties. Seemed kind of show offy which was overkill. Ostentatious opulence is what they should call that neighborhood.

* Get this. I bought Christmas presents yesterday. I can't reveal what since receivers may read this blog, but it was an idea I had a couple years ago and then the dang things were sold out close to Christmas for the last two years. So I snatched them up and put a note to myself in the bag so I don't forget.
* I have a bunch of new contracts starting this week at the Justice department. Man those people are serious down there. The expression sober as a judge is so apt.

* Because of the new contracts, I bought a monthly transit pass. The last few months I've been commuting to the suburbs by car so going back to the metro is nice. Yesterday it was pretty crowded in the metro and this guy squeezed on so his ass crack was pressed firmly into my wrist. I thought that was odd.
* We watched Capitalism a Love Story the other night. Meh. I did find it interesting that the top tax rate back in the 50's was close to 90%. Who has benefited most from the 50 plus year economic expansion? The rich of course. The powers that be have been smart about it though. There will be no rebellion if a certain level of prosperity is possible for all.

* Like up here they introduced a new budget that will have a "health tax" payable annually on your tax return. In a couple years it will be $200. That's a flat rate for everyone. The problem I see with that is the guy who makes 20k a year must pay one percent of his income for the health tax and the guy who makes 200k must pay only one tenth of one percent of his. Not fair.
* During our mini heat wave I fell asleep on the couch with just a t-shirt on and Serge seized the opportunity to take blackmail pictures. They are horrifying.

* Georgie has been a delight.

* I'm sure there's more, but that's going to have to wait until next time. Work calls so off I go.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Two lovely days

It has been the two most fabulous days weather-wise in a very long time up here. At least since last September. Naturally, everyone in the city fled their cooped up homes to enjoy it. We not only broke records, we shattered them by 10 degrees C (18 F). There were lines for ice cream in April. That's something I'll probably never see again. I wanted Gelato and since they didn't have the cherry vanilla kind I like, I had blueberry cheesecake. Ooh ooh ooh, another fabulous thing was that we wandered into a specialty market and I found those French's fried onions that I use for green bean casserole. Picked up a half dozen cans I did.

Serge set up the patio while I made a plate of tapas and martinis. We enjoyed sitting outside and marveled. Honestly the day before was in the 40s and it was 80 degrees!

It doesn't matter where I am, that dang dog needs to be (dominate?) on me.

Day two of the "heat wave" and I dragged Serge down to the old port. (We had walked Mont Royal street the day before.) Like the day before Serge wanted to have a "beer on a terrace". We got lucky on Mont Royal street and found a spot. When someone got up, I started counting one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand. I got to four when the seat was grabbed. Four seconds. I didn't think we would be so lucky down in the old port since it seemed like everyone had the same idea as we did for a walking venue.

In the end, we got lucky again. The service was poor, but the people watching was awesome. There were a lot of angry customers there and the poor waitress had to deal with it. Apparently the cook and the busboy didn't show up. Lucky for us, we only ordered a beer.

I pretended we were still in Europe. I mean why not? Lots of foreign languages being spoken and 18th century architecture make the old city very European. You know what I want to know though? How is it possible that there were flies and wasps out and about? They don't usually show up for another month. Where do they come from, how do they appear so quickly? It's like magic.

Georgie loves it outside too. He spent practically the whole two days out there. Have a happy Easter everyone!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Back in the groove

The whole city is brimming with giddiness. Not only is it a long weekend, but we are supposed to have record breaking warmth as well. Yesterday we maxed out in the 40's but today we are destined for 70's. It is more common to have a snowstorm at this time of year than 70's. In fact this will be the earliest I've seen that kind of temp since I moved up here ten years ago. It's a given that we shall be firing up the barbeque. (Why does it always say I'm spelling that wrong?)

I had a nice ego boost this week as I finished the class for one of my groups of nurses. They surprised me with a card and my current fave wine (Ravenswood Zinfandel) to thank me for being their teacher. They were all so nice in the card but my favorite was, " I have had many English teachers in my life and you are the best I have ever had. Thank you very much! You have made it easier and fun. I hope you will be there for our next session." I was so proud that she used THREE instances of present perfect correctly.

Have you ever wondered where "scared the living daylights out of" came from? Well I did. There is no hard consensus but I did find out that "daylights" equated to "mental powers" at some time in the past. Interesting stuff for word geeks such as myself.

Not a whole lot else going on. One of our tenants has announced his leaving in July. This is actually great news. The city has really cranked up the taxes on us and they've gone up over $400 a year for the past three years in a row. We haven't been able to raise the rents as much so our whole operation just keeps costing more. (I know, welcome to life.) But now that he's leaving, we can bend the rules a bit. I mean the girl in the apartment next to his and is the same dimension pays over $100 more than he does. Technically, you are not allowed to raise rents to market value when tenants move out, but we may try anyway.

My goal is to be caught up on blogs but that beautiful weather is seducing me. Hopefully by the end of Easter. Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

This n that

This was a fun meal. I made it the other night as I resisted believing we weren't in Spain anymore. It was all excellent but that manchego cheese is way too expensive to have regularly. Yesterday I had my traditional post-vacation poutine (this time with smoked meat in it - yum) which is how I celebrate coming home. When I go to California, it's always Mexican food that roots me in place.

It it great being reunited with Georgie of course. Such a love muffin. He had a little pee pee accident and let go while he was at the door leading outside. Luckily I caught him while he was doing it and took him out to the right spot on the patio. He has gone there every time since. Good boy!

I know this is tacky but I just had to share. This was at the school I was teaching at yesterday. Because I didn't take the shot right (I was a bit ashamed since there was someone else in the bathroom but since they were talking on their cellphone, I thought maybe they wouldn't notice) you can't see how the poo is stacked up like a cone. I couldn't figure out how the person was sitting for the poo to go there. And where is the toilet paper? Did they not wipe? Or did they and the location of the pile prevented the water from flushing it away? Well I tried to trigger the flushing mechanism (the radar kind) but it wouldn't flush. Hmmm. Are there really those who don't wipe? It would seem so.