Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend update

Serge says I fall asleep in front of the tv quite often. I never remember really being asleep, just the need to go to bed (and brush my teeth). I couldn't believe it when this picture was in the camera. Not only am I asleep but Georgie is sitting on me as though I'm the throne.  Georgie has been different since we brought him back from the kennel this time. For one thing, he is far more vocal now. He doesn't bark per se, but he howls far more often when he wants something or when he sees a big hairy dog outside. He's always howled at them but it seems more fervent now. Also, I had to take him home from the doggie park early yesterday. He was being very aggressive with the other dogs, trying to dominate the smaller ones and snarling and snapping at the larger dogs that were trying to dominate him. All the while howling at them all. It was the first time I felt embarrassed by my dog and so I picked him up and left.

I remade my work calendar yesterday and it looks so scary for the next couple months. So many classes to give! And they are coming down from the college at my lunch hour this week to discuss picking up more classes. All of this is great but when I look at the calendar, I feel anxious. It's that old immature feeling of, "I just want to bang on my drum all day." By the way, was that code for masturbation? I've always wondered.

We went out last night to a restaurant whose specialty is oysters. Serge and I have pretty much sworn them off after several tries, but Dan, who came with us, tried three cooked versions, plus one in his martini. If you have to doctor up the oyster with goat cheese and barbecue sauce, you really aren't featuring the oyster. I tried a "gingertini" for the first time and it was quite good. Serge and I had mussels and fries which I had purchased prior via one of those "groupon" type deals. Dan also ordered mussels and what was disappointing was that he got far more than we did. The restaurant didn't serve what had been promised with the groupon deal (one pound of mussels), and it was obvious when it was served. Dan clearly had double the portion. We spent loads of other money on drinks and appetizers so they really should have honored their "deal". Instead, we left feeling a bit cheated. When all was said and done I realized we had gotten about a 12% discount on the whole meal, yet they shorted us about 50% on the main course. So instead of wowing us and inspiring us to come back, we feel like going somewhere else. So. Marketing fail.

I will try to pop in this week but I'm working every night except Friday this week in addition to the full-time day gig. If I don't get back here until the weekend, I apologize. Here's another Georgie pick to tide you over. Have a great week!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Head still spinning

Yes, busy as can be. Work work work work work work work. This is the time of year to do it though since it's so heinous outside. Although it's been ridiculously cold (Monday, the car refused to start it was so cold) the huge dumps of snow have occurred South of us, so at least I've been spared much of the shoveling duties the last couple weeks. It still seems to snow a little bit every day though so I have to brush off the car every day. You can really have fun judging people in winter. It takes maybe two-three minutes to brush all the snow off your car but there are many who don't. They hop in the care and take off and let the snow blow off and blind other drivers. It's illegal not to brush your snow off, but there's never a cop around to enforce that. Also, I notice a lot more scofflaw behaviour. People ignoring road signs, turning when not permitted and many running of red lights. It's like people know it's too damn cold for enforcement of laws.

I really should be getting in the shower now. I have to leave in 40 minutes. I got some good news that I picked up another group of nurses which was unanticipated. And then yesterday they asked me to go on an English "retreat" and accompany a group to a hotel stay for the weekend in the Laurentians. That's what I call a real paid vacation. But again, busy busy busy.

What else? State of the Union speech was dull. It's almost more fun when everyone is slinging hatred at one another. Almost. The Canadian dollar is remaining steadfastly above par with the US dollar. Georgie thinks pooping is a game now. A race game. Can we grab the poop before he snarfles it up and swallows? Yesterday, I won the race but one little turdlet escaped my grasp and before I could recover it, snarflage. Ugh. He can be so vile.

Sorry for the disjointed nature of these ramblings but I'm late and really must go. See ya on the weekend.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stylish blogger and random things

It seems I've been tagged with a little meme that goes with the "stylish blogger award". Blobby, thankfully, tagged me so I now have to write 7 things about myself, link the person who tagged me and then tag others. I don't like tagging others though so this particular chain link of the chain letter ends here.

1. When I was a kid, I went through a hamster phase. Creative naming was not my forte though and when I got two of them for Christmas, I named them Tiger and Tigger. When Tiger died, he keeled over but his heart continued beating for hours. I kept hoping he would wake up, but no. The dead never wake up.

2. In class this week, and I know this technically not about me but since I was there I'm gonna tell you about it - when I asked for new vocabulary the students had learned from the articles I had assigned, one girl said "anus". I couldn't remember any mention of anus in any of the articles I assigned so I asked her to say it again. "Anus," is what she said again. So I started to explain the defecation hole to the class. Horrified, she said, "Noooo, it means nasty or terrible." Like a good student she had looked it up. I had to walk over to her desk to see the word. Heinous. Ahhh, that explains it. Francophones have the dangedest time pronouncing those aitches. We had a good laugh at that one.

3. I haven't had a glass of milk in probably twenty years, maybe more. Milk is for babies.

4. I'm dying to go on a cruise. It's been a couple of years and I'm ready. Someone asked me where I want to go and I said, "Anywhere." It really makes no nevermind to me. I just want to go!

5. I have worked out regularly since I was 27. In a little more than a year that will make 20 years. Prior to that I was skinny but doughy.

6. I've never shaved my head. I had my scalp ripped open by a great dane when I was a kid, and I'm thinking that scar is an ugly one. Luckily, I'm not balding either.

7. This winter has me vexed. It started too soon and it snows practically every day. When it's sunny, it's too cold to go outside. If I can make a couple extra thou this year, I'm going to buy a garage door opener and pay for a service to remove the snow in front of the garage. Then no more scraping the dang windows and clearing the gall-danged snow every day.

Thanks for hanging with me today. I will try to update in the middle of the week. They are announcing a big snow storm for Wednesday which is causing me to panic already. I'm askeered of driving in the snow if I haven't already mentioned that. Really scared. Here's a little Georgie porn to close out this post. Have a great rest of the weekend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Just checking in to say I'm alive. Work work work is keeping me quite busy, so I'll make this short. The funny thing I saw on Facebook, and I can't remember who posted it or I'd give credit where credit is due (can you search your news feed?) but I liked it and have been pestering everyone with it. It's about the importance of the comma.

It's the difference between helping your uncle, Jack, off a horse, and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

I'm sure y'all have seen that one before but it was new to me. And no I do not use it in the classroom. Poo jokes are fine though. Like today when the student kept saying it was dump or dumpy outside. I thought she meant shit but she was trying to remember the word "damp". I had a good chuckle at her expense and that's a good thing, because she'll always remember the word damp now.

I'll check back in this weekend. Toodles~

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend snaps

I paid a visit to the Spain store, L'Espagnole, where I grabbed some Serrano ham, Manchego cheese and my new favorite snackfood and martini garnish, anchovy stuffed olives. I was hoping Serge would hate them so I could have them ALL, but they seem to be growing on him too. Also, I made crab dip which is a recipe that my aunt served when we were up near Seattle, but as it turns out, I already had in the recipe book that mom made for me a few years ago. It is super yummy. This ended up being dinner for us on Friday night. 

Serge's mom came over for a visit and we hung out in the living room chatting away the afternoon. Since there were snacks on the table, Georgie was very attentive to everything going on and in order to get him to make this look, I said, "Do you want a ...?" He doesn't care how you end that sentence, he wants it. 

I also made a big batch of taquitos. I let Serge make a pot roast and then once it was chilled, I tore apart all the meat so it was a big stringy pile. Then two by two I zapped the tortillas to soften them up and rolled up the meat in them. Once done, I put them in the freezer so they would keep their shape. Then I fried 10 of those suckers up. Serge used the drippings with onions as his sauce. I can only eat guacamole with them. I was only slightly irritated when Serge said he liked Trader Joe's better. Tough titties, we don't have Trader Joe's here. We've got forty more of my version in the freezer.

It has been a cold weekend and Georgie has needed his mittens for our walks. It's so funny how people talk to him when they pass by. "What a good little boy in his mittens," people coo, all the while ignoring my presence. I was thinking on a recent walk that happiness is what happens when the things you have to do are the same as those you want to do - like for me, walking the dog. Then I realized that quite often the very fact that I HAVE TO do something makes me not want to do it anymore. I bet the gods just crack up over that little human foible.

This morning I took out Georgie and discovered that the city workers had again deposited a hill of snow in front of our garage. I definitely think I'm going to buy a couple orange cones. It's not like they can't just push it another 10 feet, because they can. They just don't pay frigging attention. The snow would have been pretty if I hadn't been so steamed up about that. Plus Serge had already shoveled it before bed, so they dumped a pile on a freshly shoveled area! Calm down now and breathe.

I came across my favorite blog post of the month. Thank god for plumbing eh?

Tomorrow, I start three weeks of intensives plus I have 3 evening courses for the other college. What this means is my presence will be spotty on the internet. I'll at least check in on the weekends. Have a great week everyone.

Friday, January 14, 2011


* This was a little present that we came home to. Lovely, isn't it? We have to do something about it quickly before we get cited by the city. It's really big too, at least eight feet by five feet. This is the kind of thing that makes me loathe young males. Thank you for defacing our property.

* Out in California, Serge and I witnessed a horrific natural event. It was with my dad's two chihuahuas. We noticed they were playing together when one of them abruptly stopped and went into defecation posture. The other dog was behind doing something near the rear end of the one posturing. We didn't have a clear view and we said, "Is she eating it, is she EATING it!?" and then some dropped to the grass and the other one promptly snarfled up that poo too. Yes indeed, she was eating it like it was coming out of a soft serve ice cream machine. We both groaned in disgust. A few minutes later when we told dad about it, he was alarmed, "Why didn't you stop them!?" Well, we weren't really sure what was happening until it was, and then it was over and too late. It was pretty much like this. Aren't you glad I find these things for you?

* One of the biggest changes I noticed out in California was the medical marijuana clinics that had popped up all over. On the Venice boardwalk there were pretty girls handing out fliers to get you to come in and see the doc. Got a headache, fatigue, sore back, red eyes (I'm not joking) or depression, well come on in and get your medical marijuana card and take home some weed. My friend D said all the pot dealers have gone out of business since it's so easy to just buy it from the store now. I see no problem whatsoever with it, as I maintain it's far less deleterious than alcohol on our bodies and in society. Still, I wouldn't want one of these things popping up next to my house and reducing its value.

* Something cool happened while I was gone. This blog doohickey got third place in the Canadian Weblog Awards for the LGBTQ category. Yay for recognition!

* Incidentally, this is my 1500th post.

* Have you ever injured yourself while sleeping? I don't mean sleeping wrong or waking up with a crick in your neck, no, I mean actual wound making. Well it happened to me. Somehow, I jammed a splinter up under my nail. Our headboard is wooden and apparently not splinter free. Let me tell you, this is not a pleasant way to wake up.

* I had to go clothes shopping. Especially for pants. Everything I've bought pants-wise over the last two years is loose on me. If I tighten the belt, the pants look funny and cinched. So I went to the top of The Bay where they have the liquidation center. Original price on those four things you see? $263.00 How much did I pay? About 87% off or $34. Less than ten bucks per garment. That's my kind of shopping. Real brands too, Dockers and Haggard (and why would anyone choose that name, looking haggard is probably not what we want the clothes to do) though you have to inspect carefully for stains and tears since all sales are final.

* I took him across the street to the pet supply store to weigh him. He was 33.5 pounds. This is great because the last time we weighed him, he was 37 pounds and when we got him, he was 30. Serge and I both think he looks too skinny but the vet said we should keep him around this weight. He has been particularly demanding with food since we got home. Poor little guy was starving at the kennel (per our instructions.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Finally home!

Let's see where did I leave off. Ah yes, we were getting over our sickness here in Long Beach. Everyone was complaining about how cold it was, and it was jacket weather, but the air was clear and crisp and not at all the kind of cold we're used to up here. We had lots of gorgeous sunsets on this trip. There's Em with Serge up there. This was actually the day before the hideous sickness descended upon us.

That would have been this day. We met my dad and grandma for a doggie park visit and then went down to the Balboa pier to have some lunch. Serge started getting nauseous then. It was another postcard day with snow capped mountains in the background. Remember when I made it to the top of Mt Baldy? Well that's the snowy peak just to the left of the American flag. You'll have to embiggen the photo to see it though.

We spent New Year's Eve in LA but I didn't get any good pics of that night. It was notable though because for the first time in years, I was awake at midnight. In the picture above you see the following day in Vegas with Rebekah. We had a quick two night visit and this was our carnivore dinner delight. There was two pounds of meat on that bone before we got to it. Serge was feeling generous that night because he turned ten dollars into $170 at the slot machines. Unfortunately he gave that all back and then some the following day.

Then we drove across the Mojave Desert to Palm Springs. It was snow flurrying all day and we took small roads to criss-cross the desert. I always feel so spiritual when I'm out there, it's definitely where my heart is and where I'm sure we'll end up retiring. Anywhere but Arizona that is.

In Palm Springs, we went to the Indian Canyons to do some hiking. They had had a lot of rain recently and the harsh barren landscape was interrupted by palm tree filled canyons with rushing streams in them. We did a 4 mile hike up the seven sisters trail to see the waterfalls. Very pretty.

We went down to El Paseo, the fancy schmancy shopping street in Palm Desert. So many tanned and taut-skinned retirees down there that it wasn't that surprising to see this sign. Anybody know what a "unit " is?

At the end of our Palm Springs visit, we headed back to the urban landscape to go to California Adventure. Dad sprang for the tickets as Christmas presents and I had the best time. Mom came along as did Em and the kids. We were there for 11 hours including a little sojourn to Disneyland. The poster you see above was in the lobby for the Bug's Life 3D experience. Scat humor at Disneyland! It was a fun show. My favorite rides were the Tower of Terror and Soaring over California. I can't wait to go back when they open with the new extension of the park in 2012.

Em must have been taking the picture. We stayed until the park closed and watched the World of Colour show which was quite dazzling. There were multiple finales and we kept thinking it was over but then pow pow POW! Again and again. Very cool.

Then it was down to Camp Mama for gingerbread men decorating. This is a tradition that started with the kids. The kids are teenagers now but we keep up the tradition and get our creativity on.

Then we try to give them all away since if we have them, we will just eat them and that would be wrong. I think they would make great Christmas tree ornaments.

Food was a big theme on this trip, especially since warm weather wasn't. Here you see Oysters Rockefeller. We've tried raw oysters a few times and can never muster up feelings of affinity so we thought we'd try a cooked preparation. Meh. Still not my thing. However, I'm really starting to like anchovies. I ordered them with my caesar salad and they brought me a half dozen and I ate them all! I never would have done that as early as a year ago. My tastes are really changing.

Mom is such a great cook, and she treated us to lots of treats. This was a seafood salad we had one night. We also went out for steaks one night and the Feast of the Three Kings party included honey baked ham and mom's famous scalloped potatoes. If you ever make these, you will never be satisfied with any other version. I recommend not analyzing the calorie count, however.

6-8 white or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds
1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Place potato slices in a shallow pyrex baking dish. Add cheddar cheese, salt and pepper and toss. Cover potatoes completely with cream. Sprinkle more cheddar cheese on top. Bake potatoes in 350 degree oven until potatoes are tender. (about 1 1/2 hours)

This morning I picked up Georgie and it looks like he lost a few pounds like the vet suggested. I figure this is because they don't feed him off their dinner plates every night like we do. He's such a love muffin, I really missed him. Gonna take him out to the doggie park now. I'll get back into the blogging routine as soon as I can. There's a list a mile long of things to do and I start my intensives next week. I know it's a little late but Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Deserts are dry, not hot

Wow, time sure is flowing swiftly. Much like the chocolate in the multi-tiered fountain you see above. Guiness has certified it as the world's largest. That was in the Bellagio in Vegas. Our whirlwind tour of the Southwest US continues and I'm writing to you now from Palm Springs California. Finally, we have been treated to some sunshine and non-frigid temperatures. Seriously, it was snowing in Vegas while we were there. Before that, we were in Long Beach where both Serge and I got flude poisoning (as my friend M calls it, since you never really know if you have the flu or food poisoning but it doesn't really matter, they both suck, so this term covers it) and spent three lovely days suffering in our hotel room. Serge bounced back better than I did, my weakened immune system allowed a fricking cold to segue into my body. It might have helped had I won in Vegas, but no, lady luck was nowhere to be found.

I rented a car of course for all of this gallavanting. This was the first time I've said yes to the gas refueling option and I'll tell you why. The nice girl told me that they fill the tank at $2.99 a gallon while the average price outside was $3.22 a gallon. Well, you know about my frugality problem, I figured if I could bring it back close to being on fumes, I'd come out a winner. Well. What I didn't know is that this little pitch is a LIE. Yes, the new business model is to bald faced lie to your customers. Because while the $3.22 a gallon price quoted includes all taxes, the $2.99 quoted price includes none. And since I was renting from an airport location, the taxes amount to 24%. A more truthful statement would have been that we will fill your tank with gas at $3.70 a gallon. But of course no one would buy it then right? Basically, young workers across the country are trained to swindle you. It just makes me shake my head in disgust. Bright side? Lesson learned. (And the next time I'm given that little pitch, I'm going to mention that I don't appreciate being lied to.)

We are here for a couple more days, gonna go on a hike and shop on El Paseo tomorrow. Thursday is California Adventure day when we will visit Disneyland's sister park. I've never been so I'm looking forward to it. After that we'll camp out at camp mama's before flying home on Monday. It really is a long time to be away from home and this morning I discovered that the mortgage payment wasn't made and the renter's deposit wasn't made either. I have no idea why though I have left messages with people. Hopefully it's just a glitch and won't cause me hideous fees. I've had enough bad luck this week!

Tomorrow is supposed to be 64 degrees. Not hot, but better than any day so far. I will try to stay focused on that! See y'all soon.