Monday, April 25, 2011

This and that

We've been eating a lot of artichokes lately. It may be my favorite vegetable although asparagus is a close contender. It just occurred to me that those are the two vegetables where it's perfectly acceptable manner-wise to eat with your hands. Maybe that's why I like them - a little tactile experience in addition to the taste and texture. Georgie usually sits next to Serge as he is more apt to give Georgie treats at the end of the meal. (I'm grinchier in that way, but on the other hand, I take Georgie to the doggie park which Serge never does.) Georgie follows the fork as it paces between the plate and the mouth. Often there are two strings of drool dangling from his maw in anticipation of possible morsels of wonderfulness.

I had my second class with the truckers. They're a good group of guys. The two "nuls" as we say up here didn't show up for the second class. They were probably intimidated by the general level of the others in the class or dissuaded by the 3 hour drive they have to make to come to class. Probably a little of both. We'll see if they show up next week. 

As I said, plethora o artichokes. I made an awesome osso bucco this week, a double batch so we had it two nights in a row. The bone marrow is so amazingly good, ranking right up there with foie gras for me, and SCORE, my husband doesn't eat it, so I get it ALL.

Well that's about it for now, there's lots of drama going on in our friend's lives, stuff I really shouldn't reveal here, but things are calm and undramatic chez nous. Here's wishing you likewise. Later~

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just blather

Very little to report from my neck of the woods. There's always the weather to mention. Winter just doesn't seem to want to relinquish power to spring so we keep getting snow/ice pellet/rain storms blowing through. I thought I was done with the long underwear, but I've had to wear them the last couple of days with these ridiculously below normal temperatures.

We went out to dinner last night to La Guadalupe, the mexican joint that has awesome food but very slow service. We split a ceviche, oh my god it was so good, and then I had a giant chile relleno while Serge had some kind of fajita thingie. Both were exquisitely delicious. Gotta love those family recipes. I ate every last bit off my plate and then realized I had crammed too much into my stomach and it took hours for that discomfort to subside. Hours! It's been ages since I've done that to myself. This morning I refused to step on the scale.

There's an election campaign going on up here in Canada. Ours take a month while already down in the US, the campaigning is starting for 2012. I much prefer the Canadian election method. How many Americans, I wonder, are aware that we are going to the polls up here? I'd wager very few. It's not their fault though, I've seen zero mention of it in the US media. Canadian media closely follows the campaigning in the US. We are choosing between the current Prime Minister's conservative party, the Liberal party, the New Democrat Party which is very left, and the Bloc Quebecois whose mission is to make Quebec a sovereign country. I loathe Harper (the current PM) as much as I loathed Bush and I am really crossing my fingers that he doesn't win a majority government. Still, if Harper were a candidate in the US, he'd probably be more liberal than Obama. It's just how it is up here.

I don't have any new Georgie pics to show. He's been a good boy though. He finally learned how to lie down on command. It took me months but he finally got it. I wish I'd had my camera a couple of days ago. We went to the dog park and he got all excited by a giant poodle or labradoodle and they went romping down to the swampy end of the park and just writhed around in that stinky mud. The other owner and I were shouting at our animals who were of course ignoring us. He was so gross I didn't even want to let him in the car to come home. After his bath, he smelled good again. If you've made it this far, I apologize for wasting your time. Sometimes, life is kinda dull, what can I say?

Sunday, April 17, 2011


* First a little Georgie porn. Serge did some research and is fairly sure Georgie is a Lemon Beagle. He found this video with a dog that could have come from the same litter as Georgie. Same howl too.

* Took the car in to get the oil changed and the summer tires put on. Of course they called back with things that needed fixing. So nine hundred dollars later we have new tires and a new muffler.

* They also informed us that the disks for the brakes were rusty. I said, "Really because it's you guys who installed them last year, 11,000 kilometers ago." The disks have a lifetime warranty but you have to pay the labor. Suddenly though, according to the mechanic, it wasn't a big deal if I didn't notice any braking problems. Why does capitalism so often equal ripping people off?

* I started the truck driver's course yesterday. They were sad that I wasn't a young 24 year old female. I didn't out myself though, they are at such a low level, they don't need to be distracted by such information.

* One funny thing came up though. Apparently, some trucks are equipped with (illegal) toilet holes so that on long hauls with a partner, you can plop down and squeeze one out. I was aghast. We laughed at the prospect of brown matter hitting the windshield of the poor hapless driver behind. And then we laughed some more at the thought of the windshield wipers smearing it all over. Can you imagine?

* It snowed yesterday. Also, ice pellets for a couple of hours. At least there wasn't much sticking going on.

* Georgie got all excited though and tore around on the deck slipping and sliding all over the place. He's a blur in the shots I took.

* I keep waking up too early and missing that last cycle of sleep I need to feel good. Three days in a row now. Ugh.

* Finally did the taxes for Canada. And for the first time ever, I'm getting a refund. It'll just about pay for the tires and muffler.

* We started "Big Love". We're almost done with the first season. It has hooked us but there's something creepy about it. I feel sorry for the women. But I can't look away. I guess that's because it's good story-telling.

* I had this shot in my inbox this morning with the subject line "Life is Good." Serge must have got his photoshop on last night after I went to bed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

12 of 12

On our morning walk together, we look down this alley that was impassable for the last four months because it was filled with snow and never plowed. If you look closely, you can see the last vestiges of unmelted snow. 

Usually, Georgie goes back to bed after our walk. With the nice days, however, he prefers to lounge around outside.

Time to go to work. Class was on the South Shore so I had to cross the Jacques Cartier bridge.  It takes about five minutes to cross. The St Lawrence river, she is big.

In the parking lot at the school. Do you see the brown mountain? That is a mountain of snow left over from the winter. Most large parking lots in the city feature a similar brown mountain adjacent. It'll probably be there until May.

My lunch of champions. At least three times a week, this is what I consume at midday. Total cost? $1.50 Total calories? 250 

Happiness equals go home time. There's a tire in the back seat because it's time to switch out the winter tires for the summer tires. My appointment to make this happen is Friday.

Who's sitting on his perch watching the world go by? Georgie poo!

It's five o'clock and that ain't water in that glass. Well at least not all of it is water.

Chinese fondue for dinner. I don't get the allure. You have to cook each morsel before consuming. Dinner takes way too long that way. About half way through I said fuck it and started putting three or four bites at a time on my skewer. 

Sunset was lovely. I'm sad though because I learned that they are going to build a seven story condo building there, essentially wiping out our view toward the West. 

Still watched Glee even though it was a rerun.

Bonne nuit mon petit chien. Je t'aime.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Must keep head above water

That's my two boys there. I haven't spent much time with them lately though since I'm always at work. I'm heading into my eighth week with ZERO days off and I'm about to explode. I woke up this morning panicky because there is simply too much to get done in too little time. The deadline for my trucking course manual was Thursday and though I thought I had it all in on Tuesday, Friday morning I received a buttload of changes that need to be done which will eat up all day today. So when am I going to get done what I was supposed to have done today? I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other and hopefully this will all work out.

At least it's springtime. Sunny days in the 50's! Heaven. Serge opened the patio for the season. His cedars that he potted last year survived. I was certain they would perish in the harsh winter cold, but the nursery guy told Serge to saturate them well just before the first freeze and the ice would protect the roots. I didn't believe it, but it turns out he was right.

Did you know that it is illegal to leave your car unlocked here? If a cop spies your unlocked car on the street, he/she will issue a ticket, put it inside the vehicle and lock the car for you. I couldn't believe it when I heard that. Talk about a nanny state.

Here's a funny picture my student took of me with her (super bitchin') ipad 2.

Wanna kiss?

There's more, but you'll have to content yourself with this for now. I shouldn't even be doing this when there is so much to get done. Have yourselves a nice weekend.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Weekend highlights

We had such fun this weekend. I spent the weekend with 23 women and barring about 7 hours for sleeping, we were together the entire time. The best part was the incredible food that we had at our five star hotel. I would really like to visit again in the summer with Serge. I don't know if we could afford that though. My job was sort of like activities director and we played games and I gave prizes on the bus and in the evening. One of the ladies kept saying it was the best weekend of her life. How can you not smile when someone reconnects with that childhood wonder. It still lives in all of us, but if you're like me, it doesn't make an appearance all that often any more.

This was the view from my veranda. As you can see, winter is still firmly in control out there, but the temperature was in the forties, so it was pleasant for the two mini walks we managed to squeeze in. That lake was still frozen and I wanted to walk on it but since it's spring everyone advised against that. I threw big stones up in the air and they didn't pierce the ice but I didn't try it anyway. Too scared. Lots of people saw deer down at the lake. Sadly, I only saw the tracks.

As I said, the food was phenomenal. This dessert was pretty good but I couldn't resist making skid mark jokes at the table. When will my inner teenager die? Perhaps when I do. The only complaint I might have would have been the time it took to have dinner. Granted there were five courses and 25 of us, but 3 hours and 45 minutes was a bit long. I felt like I do on a long flight. The menu was very upscale and even I didn't know what some of the things were. Turns out I adore pureed parsnips.

Even though it was your basic eggs benedict, it seemed like art to me. The eggs were amazing, I don't think I've seen such orange yolks before. They told me they were supplied by a local organic farmer and that they cost triple what supermarket eggs cost. I would definitely buy those eggs if I could. The service reminded me of when I worked at the Ritz-Carlton. We had the amuse bouche at dinner, the pre-dessert, the table crumbers, the gueridon service and I realized how much I don't miss being on that side of the dining experience. The waitstaff was so kiss ass, just like I used to be. It made me feel a little bit uncomfortable with them fussing around the table all the time.

We can't have a proper post without our favorite pooch now, can we? He was so cute lying there on the couch like that. He sat there for several minutes like that so I got to take numerous pictures. I liked the look on his face in this one. Oh yeah, this reminds me, the camera is working again! I googled my camera model and "won't turn on" and I got the fix. It involved several steps of taking out the batteries and memory card, putting back the batteries but not the memory card, turn it on and take a picture on the internal memory, then take out the batteries again and replace them and the memory card. It didn't make any sense to me, but I did it and it worked! So now I can take pics again. By the way, thanks for all your kind words on the last post. I am grateful for them.