Saturday, December 08, 2012

Our latest adventure

I know, I know, I know. I have been lax on my blogging duties. To be honest, with work and my class for my Master's program, my ass has been downright kicked. I have decided to take a break with the classes for next semester, I've been so stressed out, not eating, insomnia, it's all I can do to get through the day some days. So what do I do to add to that mess? I decide to embark on real estate adventures. Perfect timing.....NOT! For those who are not in the loop, we own (the bank actually owns) a couple buildings and we have 7 apartments that we rent out. The purpose of this is to have some kind of retirement plan, once the buildings are paid off, we'll have a steady income. Since neither of us will have much of a pension and I have never done well in the stock market, real estate is our plan. So we live in a fiveplex and we have another triplex. We bought the triplex ten years ago and it has provided a steady cash flow which helps us with our monthly nut. However, the building has appreciated quite a lot, so that the return on our equity is like 3 percent. A little better than the bank, but not great.

So I decided to look at numbers south of the border. Average home prices in Canada are about double what they are in the states. The numbers up here suck. What I am seeing down in New Hampshire are numbers similar to what they were here when we bought the triplex ten years ago. This property was the one that got me so excited about selling the triplex and investing down south. I'm sure that will not be the one that we buy, but when I checked out rents vs. prices of rental property, there are some really good investment opportunities. My goal is to get a 10% return on investment, which, from my observations, seems totally doable. Yay!

So last week, we called up our favorite real estate agent, put the triplex up for sale and in less than a week we had an offer. After countering, counter countering and counter counter countering, we had a deal. If all goes well with the inspection and financing, we'll close in January and I will start probing properties in the states. I have always done well with real estate and am very excited about this new venture. But there is no rush. We have our amazing Asia vacation coming up in March for our 20th anniversary and with a few extra bucks in the bank account, it's gonna be all that much more fun.

So now you are all caught up with me. I know y'all want a little Georgie porn, so here ya go. Mwah!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This n That plus Georgie porn

So Serge got a new camera. It was supposed to be our camera since I had a gift certificate to be applied, but he messed that up somehow (Did you push "apply gift certificate"? Apparently not.) and ended up paying it all himself. It takes really good pics though. The impetus for this was the upcoming TV show. None of our cameras do video well at the moment AND I discovered that if you're in the USA, you will not be able to watch the tv station's episodes on line. So we will take a video of the show so we can keep it.

One more week and it starts airing. I've noticed that often times some of the contestants end up on other shows to talk about the experience or the food. Ugh. I don't want to again, too dang stressful. Also, there is a public choice where people vote for contestants to come back. Please please please let it not be me.

Can you believe it, two blogs in the same month. Remember when it used to be everyday? I don't know how I did that. I have had a lot of time off though. I saw three movies this week. Argo, which I highly recommend, is a great true story and even though you know how it's going to end, it still keeps you on the edge of your seat. Kind of like in Titanic when you knew they were going to hit the iceberg. Really well done.

Then I went to see the Perks of being a Wallflower. Meh. I saw so many raves about it. It wasn't very funny or dramatic. Maybe a super light version of Ordinary People. Then today, Serge and I went to see Paranormal Activity 4. If you like the series style, you'll like this one too. So many chills and jumps and the last ten minutes was awesome. Serge still thinks the first one was the best. (When we both jumped off the couch and shrieked at the end.)

We had dinner last night at mother in law's house. Here is Georgie again, thinking he's a lapdog. I've told you about the yawning right? He must yawn hundreds of times per day. It's a really bizarre habit. Even when he's all excited about getting a coookie or going for a walk, a yawn will suddenly possess him. Strange 37 pound dog.

Let's see, what else? Gotta big week starting, another English immersion with my fourth group of nurses AND I start my next class for my Master's program. So, lots of homework coming up. The class is called, The Psychology of learning - how students learn. Should be at least interesting since it is related to my work.

Not sure when I'm going to do Thanksgiving. We missed the Canadian version and I have the turkey in the freezer so I guess I can do it anytime between now and the American version. Can't think of anything else except that I HATE that you closed your blog Rox. I already miss it and keep checking if you came back. Poo on you, at least send me a chatty email. Finally, here's a last shot of Georgie at MIL's house. He sat there looking at something for the longest time. Wonder what it was....

Monday, October 01, 2012


* Been a while since I did one of these. Feels all retro and stuff.

* I have a lot of free time this session. The contracts didn't line up like they normally do. I've got 2-3 days of work per week. I'm not gonna stress about it, just enjoy it.

* Seeing movies is one way to enjoy it. Yesterday, Serge and I took in Looper, an interesting tale involving time travel and telekenesis. We are still confused about one scene, but it kept us blabbing about it well after it was finished.

* Today I took myself to see Step Up Revolution. I was the only person in the theater. Weird. I have a major new crush though now. OMG every time he was on the screen, I melted.

* Not going to post his name since I'm probably not allowed to post the pic. Even though it's already on the internet. He is the male lead in the movie. It was really difficult to focus on the plot when he was on screen. Woof.

* Got the holiday weekend off too (Canadian Thanksgiving). We are going on a little road trip off the grid. Should be some really nice fall foliage scenes. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. We are taking Georgie with us. Speaking of the little monster, here's a little Georgie porn.

* He's been especially needy this weekend. I worked three intense English immersion weeks back to back so he must have been missing me.

* I have been smoke free for 51 months today. According to my stats, I have NOT smoked 46599 cigarettes since I quit.

* Serge on the other hand, has picked the habit back up. He decided to smoke while we were in Cape Cod since there were other smokers among us. Then when we got back he requit. But that only lasted a week. Now he's back to a pack a day, sigh.

* The diet is going awesome. I look good naked again. Yay! Still two pounds to reach my goal though. Should be done with that this week or next.

*  Oh yeah, and on Saturday we went to POUTINEVILLE, a fancy poutine restaurant and yours truly ordered a salad! Admire, wont you, my phenomenal restraint. Meanwhile my dining partners ordered poutines with chopped up corn dogs in them! Okay, I got a bite, but that was it.

* My current English shows are Glee, Parenthood, 30 Rock, Big Bang Theory, Amazing Race and waiting for Smash to come back. Are there any I need to be watching that I'm not?

* This was fun. Maybe I'll write more with my light schedule. In the meantime Mwah, and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Taste of Fall

Hiya peeps. Long time no write. Sorry about that. I'm still making it about once a month though at least. Today it was 42 degrees when I took the dog out. A real first shot of fall. I like it. I think last time (I'll go check...) yes indeed, last time I was here, I was facing two unexpected weeks off. I ended up going down to Ogunquit, Maine with a friend for a couple of days. It was beautiful, just like I remembered it, but the water was still too cold to go swimming.

As you can see, it was gorgeous. There is another photo though that I'm not posting here that David took of me on the beach. OMG, now I remember why I stopped taking my shirt off. There's a pot of jelly over my abs. So as soon as I got back, I started the diet again. I'm going to get my bod back if it's the last thing I do.

We did a big clean up and reorganized our office. Threw a bunch of things out and discovered a disc with some old photos on it. Found a pic of how my stomach once looked. THAT picture I will post here, haha.

What's funny is that I remember I hated this picture. Not ripped enough, lol. Ah how our criteria mellow over the years. Anyway, motivated. Lost 3 pounds in two weeks already. Yay!

Serge and I also went for a couple of hikes at local nature parks. The first one didn't allow dogs, but I found out the municipal nature parks do allow dogs, so today we took Georgie out and he absolutely LOVED it. We need to take him more. Of course now he's a total blob meister. Here's a Georgie pic for ya.

We had an election too and the separatist party won but not a majority. Whew. I hate the xenophobic rhetoric up here from the hard line separatists. The francophones will swear up and down that they just want to protect their language and culture, but the flip side of that coin is xenophobia because what they are really saying is that they are afraid those that are non-francophone will alter or take away what exists now. Fear based = phobia. Anyway, I was pleased they didn't get all the power.

I guess that's about it. Work season is back on and I've got my second group of nurses tomorrow. 15 students so it will be a busy week. Thanks for stopping by and see you next time.

Friday, August 24, 2012

OMG an update!

So sorry to have been remiss in my blog duties, but it's summertime, time to shirk responsibility and rejoice in the warmth. Which is what I've been doing. Well, except for the working part. As I mentioned before, I landed a summer contract to teach those on unemployment whose lack of English communication skills were ostensibly the last obstacle for them to find a job. Well I can tell you it certainly isn't the only obstacle. I started calling them my Welcome Back Kotter class. I just received their evaluation of the course from them which they fill out in an anonymous format. While most of the evaluation and comments were positive, there were a couple that just gobsmacked me. Here I'll show you one:

Vous acceptez trop de race surtout des maudits arabe. Ceci créer des conflits dans la classe. J’aurais aimé être juste des Québécois. J’aime pas les maudite crisse de race.

Um, racist much? I didn't have much trouble divining who had written such a thing. Sadly, such attitudes persist in every corner of the globe. That said, I did have a few bizarre moments in the class, most notably when, let's call him Mutlag, looked at me and chortled, "You don't really believe the holocaust actually happened, do you?" I had to affirm that yes, yes I did. Thankfully, we left it at that. Anyway, it was an interesting experience spending nine weeks with them all day every day.

Once the contract finished, it was time to travel and have fun. First up was New York City, a family vacation to celebrate my stepdad's 75th birthday.

We stayed right on Time's Square and each morning I could hear the screaming from the crowd outside the Good Morning America studios. Too. Many. People. Luckily, there was a subway stop nearby to whisk us away to other parts of the city. We dined like kings thanks to the parental units and saw Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana, a show that will move to Las Vegas and replace the Elvis show there. At least I've heard so.

We also scored some off broadway tickets to Forbidden Broadway, a musical that spoofs all the other musicals on Broadway. We made a rather somber tour of the 9/11 memorial which was pretty impressive. The security screening was quite rigorous. Another neat thing we did was tour the Space museum where we got to see the space shuttle up close (though sadly we weren't able to go IN the shuttle) but we couldn't get a good picture because it's too dang big. This one was cool from the exhibit inside though:

One thing I noticed in NYC that really irritated me was that there were no recycling bins anywhere! I'm so used to Montreal now where there are always two sides to the garbage bin, one side for mixed recyclables and the other for true garbage. C'mon New Yorkers, get with the program.

Serge and I also went to Brooklyn on the free ferry to Ikea and tripped around the Red Hook neighborhood. Also, we took the subway out to Coney Island, a place I've wanted to visit since I was a kid. It was kinda sad and run down although it looked like they were embarking on a major renovation of the site. If you are friends with me on Facebook, you already saw lots of family shots on the trip. (Rox please get back on FB) A great trip despite the oppressive heat.

Next trip was my Vegas junket with my Vegas Junket Buddy. We spent four days playing and eating and seeing another Cirque show, Zumanity. VJB and I didn't take any pictures dangit. I've only had one other trip like this where it seemed I just couldn't lose. So much fun to put twenty bucks in and take a hundred out of a machine. And this happened several times. I think I spent a total of $300 and that includes taking VJB out to the show. Zumanity was great because it was Cirque's X-rated show, 18 and over only. It was hilarious and dirty and filled with acrobatics too. Hard to explain, but definitely worth the detour.

The day after I got back from Vegas, we jumped in the car with Andy and drove down to Boston to our friends' place. Oh my but did we drink that first night. I didn't go to bed until 4 in the morning. (!) The reason we went down there is because we had planned a weekend in Provincetown. We wanted to break the drive up so we wouldn't have to do the 9 hours all at once.

I was SOOOOOO hungover. Andy said I didn't look it, but I can sure see it here. The weather was nice that day and we nursed hangovers at the bar and had a fancy schmancy dinner at 10pm. The next day was kinda sucky weather-wise. We went on a walk that ended up taking us three hours to complete. And we had parted with no food or water. Lame. Then we went into town and toured the big monument commemorating the Mayflower's stopping point before they finally settled on Plymouth as the settlement choice.

We climbed all the way to the top. When we got home, Serge mapped our travels on foot that day. We had done 8 miles plus the tower, much of it on sand. Boy were our legs noodly the next day.

The last night we had another fancy dinner and crashed pretty early. Spent another day at our friends' place before driving home Monday.

And we are all caught up now. It's been a pretty hot summer, probably the hottest since I've lived here but we seem to be over the hump now, mornings are cool again. I was supposed to start a new contract this week but that has been put on hold so now I find myself with two unexpected weeks off. What to do, what to do. Stay tuned for that.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

June recap

Serge was going through an old box of photos from when he was young and came upon this photo of the Olympic stadium without the tower! For those of you who don't know, the tower is the largest inclined structure of its type in the world. It was supposed to house a fabric roof that could be retracted in the summer. Trouble is, the roof never really worked right. It took a thirty year cigarette tax just to pay for the thing and it loses millions annually. If only they had just stopped it here in the picture. Of course we wouldn't have the iconic symbol either.

It's been quite the month for me. I started an English immersion group with 16 students and we are spending nine weeks together this summer, all day, five days a week. After three weeks, they have made so much progress and are really into the learning process. They have been very supportive too as I filmed the tv show last week.

God what a trip that was!

The first day was blinding anxiety but by the last day, we were a group of five friends having a lovely dinner together. Of course I can't reveal the results or anything but I think we all feel like winners since we each made four new friends who passed through one of the most intense weeks of our lives together.

I already put this on FB but after the night I cooked, I was so exhausted that I passed out on the couch. I don't remember being asleep but Serge said I was for a good 20 minutes. Thanks darling for documenting it. Every day of the week we were summoned to a different place in the city to be interviewed and get our reaction to that evening's menu. Then we met at the next participant's house for dinner. When it was my day, the crew arrived at around 1 and from 2-4pm I prepared my dinner. I finished with about 5 minutes to spare but everything went as I had planned. I can't really go into more details, you'll just have to watch the show when it's aired in October. It's available on the internet once it airs.

I don't think I slept for more than 5 hours any night and I was also WORKING.....unlike the other participants. It's amazing how much you can do when adrenaline is coursing through your veins. I'm looking forward to a more tranquil July.

Also, we have been dealing with the apartments turning over. First we had the three bedbug infested apartments to treat. It seems Guy likes to drag things he finds in the alley into his apartment. Then the girl who painted her kitchen ass brown without masking or anything creating the ugliest room ever ( but it was yellow, she opined when we asked her about it) has cost us hundreds of dollars. Then it was the two furnished bachelor apartments that had far fewer furnishings than when the tenants arrived. No towels, no spatulas, can openers, and one of them had no knives left. Really? We can't ask for a deposit so it's just the price of doing business I guess. But it always makes me think that bad thought: people are pieces of shit. Again, I'm looking forward to a more tranquil July.

How about a pooch pic for smiles? Have a lovely month peeps.

Friday, June 08, 2012

DC 'n stuff

Wow what a month I've had. So many things going on at the same time. Let's start with work. I just finished up a contract with a lovely charming young woman today and the last two days I've also been in the studio doing some voiceover work for the ESL textbooks. It's related to that job I applied for but didn't get last month. When I inquired about who got the job, I was told, "Someone from McGill with no experience." McGill is a big university here. So it made me wonder what I had said wrong in the interview. Monday, I start a nine week full-time contract for people on unemployment. Apparently their last hurdle to entering the job market is their lack of English communication ability. But between you and me, it's more than just that that makes it difficult for them to find employment. Ahem.

I got THE CALL last Wednesday before our getaway. More on that at the end.

Last weekend, Serge and I had a very well-deserved weekend getaway to Washington DC. We drove down to Burlington after I finished my class last Thursday at noon. We had a little extra time to spare before our 7pm flight so we went into town and bought shoes. We both got new pairs of New Balance (for those who value comfort over fashion) for less than HALF the price they cost up here. Plus no sales tax on shoes in Vermont! Cool beans. It was kind of long getting from Dulles into Washington DC. We finally checked in at about 11. I asked if I could buy some wine somewhere and that's when I learned that there is no wine sold except at (closed) government stores and there was no mini bar in the room either. So we went to the restaurant across the street and had a couple glasses before they closed along with a yummy calamari. We would have had more, but they were mopping the floor. We took the hint and went back to our room.

The room was so big. It had a fridge (would it have killed them to stock it with wine?) and stove that we didn't use. Basically a large bachelor apartment. With the free wifi and the extensive free breakfast buffet, this room was a steal at $70 Thanks Priceline! Before going to bed, we checked the email (bad idea) to find that one of our tenants downstairs is going to break her lease because she has a bug phobia and has seen a couple of silverfish. Plus she knew we had just left for the weekend. It infuriated me so much that I lay there all night stewing and didn't sleep a wink. Not a happy start for me.

The next day came and as we had reserved and prepaid for our National Mall Segway tour, I dragged my ass out.. It took 15 or 20 minutes to really get the hang of it, but once you do, it's really easy - and fun!

If you ever get a chance, do it! It was a great way to see the major monuments.

We had lunch after that at a Mexican joint and then went back to the hotel for a siesta. I dozed a bit and Serge slept like the dead as usual.

Then we headed out to meet VUBOQ at Number 9 only they weren't quite open yet, so we met up at the joint next door. There were big storms a brewing and even tornadoes touching down nearby. We dealt with the inclement weather by enjoying two for one cocktails and meeting some younguns. Boozy good times.

The next day we had our Capitol tour planned. We got there early and the guy checking us in recognized us as family and winked and said, "Oh honey, I'm gonna put you on the earlier tour so you don't have to wait." Yay, family perks.

My tennis elbow was flaring up so I wore my brace. It sure is impressive when you are standing next to it. Washington DC is the only place in America where I can feel the European influence in the architecture. Inside was just as grandiose as outside.

That's under the capitol dome. I wish I remembered more of my American History because some of the details were lost on me since I couldn't remember who certain people were. Doh! The slow Quebecification of me is becoming evident. After that we toured the Library of Congress, an equally opulent structure nearby.

Then we headed over to Union Station to have some lunch. Although Taco Bell nearly seduced me, we decided on Johnny Rockets and patty melts. Nom. Then we went to the National Portrait Gallery and spent hours looking at the paintings and photographs. Not only was it free (like most museums in DC) but there was free coffee at the end! Very nice touch.

After a little down time at the room (I let Serge sleep for about 15 minutes) we headed out to the suburbs to meet some old friends who live out there. They wanted to show us their digs which was almost a McMansion. Although they seemed to imply we should stay the night, Serge was an absolute no on that so we forced them to take us back to the metro stop - a forty minute drive. Oy. Got home late and crashed.

At about two in the morning I woke up in the corridor outside my room. It was the door closing that woke me up. I had sleepwalked to go pee and ended up outside in my underwear with a pee boner and the locked door preventing me from entering. I banged on the door so much that someone in the next room poked their head out. Serge did not answer. So I went down to the lobby and asked the front desk to get security to let me in. She actually asked if I had ID before correcting herself, "Oh of course you don't." I was doing the "I have to pee so bad" dance when the security guy arrived and let me back in. I'm still grateful though, at least I was wearing underwear which I usually don't do in bed!

The next day we wanted to go the the Natural History museum and the Air and Space museum. I'll just let you know now, only one of those per day is doable. We spent over 6 hours in the Natural History museum and didn't even take in an IMAX film or it would have been longer. Very cool though.

Then we headed out to meet up with VUBOQ again and drinks and Mexican food. There were lots of boys out because the weather was just perfect.

The next morning we headed back home. Metro, bus, plane, car, pick up Georgie and finally home.

Okay so the call. I'm going on the Quebec reality show Un Souper Presque Parfait! We are doing halloween week which will be filmed in a couple of weeks. Our meal has to be halloween themed and our table halloween decorated and we have to dress up in a different costume all five days. Work has been really accomodating as I will have to miss some of my duties during the filming week. It will be aired in October of course and I won't be able to talk about any of the details of the filming until then. At first I was filled with anxiety about it, but now that's morphed into excitement.

There you have it. It's long, I'll admit, but pretend it's thirty posts in thirty days. I'll post when I can. Mwah!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dad's first visit to Montreal

I took a few days off to host Daddy-O who came to Montreal for the first time. He arrived Saturday evening and we drove home from the airport with the top down. The warm air arrived just in time. Perhaps he brought it with him from California. There are a lot of pictures like the one above as you will see. The next morning we took a little motor tour of town - first stop Mount Royal of course where he could get a sense of the lay of the land around here.

Spring was exploding everywhere and the electric green of new shoots and leaves was in evidence all over the place. Dad forgot his cap so he wore Serge's Madrid cap he got in Spain.

Sunday mornings are notoriously quiet in Montreal and we took advantage of the ghost townliness to run over to the St Joseph Oratory. Dad was really impressed with the scale of things here. The massive structures, the love affair with concrete this city has.

Now the plan was to go down to the old port area and take Montreal's E-ticket ride - jet boating the rapids. Imagine our disappoinment when we arrived and were told that only two departures were going that day and we had missed both of them. Being Mother's Day he explained, there were no reservations for the rest of the day. We called later that day, and the next day but there were never enough reservations to justify a departure. Bummer. We made lemonade anyway and strolled around the beautiful old port and took a tour of Pointe A Calliere, the birthplace of the city.

I wanted to turn dad on to all the yummy food things that are available up here. He got into the spirit too and bought some dragon beard candy. It was yummy, kind of like a hairy Abba Zabba. (Think hairy nougaty peanut butter crunch.) We went to a vietnamese place for lunch where dad had his first Pho, a traditional noodle soup with meat and/or veggies.

I haven't had a bite of a Beaver Tail since our friend Bob came to town in '08 and we had one in Quebec City. I just do not permit myself to have hot six dollar donuts slathered with nutella and bananas. God it was good though. If I had no self restraint, I'd have one every day. He liked it too. We were pretty tired from running around all day so we went back home and had naps and then ordered the most awesomest rotisserie chicken in town. Au Coq. Dad deemed the sauce sweet which puzzled me, I had never thought of it that way. I always think this chain would be a big hit in the states. They only serve a few things kind of like In n Out burger. The name of course would have to be changed hehe.

The next day we hiked up to Mont Ste Hilaire, a nice three mile hike with spectacular views from the top. Somewhere else on this blog you can see the views since we had forgotten to bring the camera with us. Then when we got back down to the parking area, I found my old camera in my backpack. DOH! There were actually a lot of Doh! moments mostly committed by yours truly.

When we got back to the house, Mother in law was there having a midday martini with Serge. We went over to Belles Soeurs, a nice diner place nearby where dad had crepes, Quebec style with apples and Emmenthal cheese. MIL and I had the lamb shank special with gazpacho. Yum.

Then we headed over to the botanical gardens where we learned that they are closed on Mondays. Doh! The exterior grounds were open though so we spent a good hour and a half checking things out. The tulips were pretty stunning.

Have to at least get a shot of Serge since he was with us most of the time. That evening we headed over to La Banquise, the famous place here for poutine. Serge and I had never been before so it was fun to see what all the hubbub was about. Dad had a "Mexican Poutine" which he really liked. The cheese curds are the thing that makes a poutine a poutine and these poutines were chock full. Again, yum. (Forgot the camera though, doh!)

On the last day, we tripped around town on public transit. Dad had never been on a subway in his life so he was pretty impressed. It's one thing to see it in the movies and another to ride them. We went over to the casino first and we split up agreeing to meet a half an hour later. I was happy to be thirteen bucks ahead but daddy blew me away - he had picked up a cool $140 in the same time. Winners! After that we went to the Jean Talon Market as you see in the picture. So many sights, sounds and colors, I was vicariously experiencing the city for the first time too.

One more mission, to head back downtown to pick up a couple souvenirs and to turn dad on to Montreal smoked meat. We poked our heads into Mary, Reine du Monde, the St Peter's basilica replica and oohed at its majesty.

The impressive Sun Life building is really really big.

Yay! Montreal smoked meat sandwich with poutine! (We shared it.) Eating bad is really fun. I probably wont eat this badly until I go on vacation to DC in a couple weeks hehe.

Finally, the experience we had been waiting for, a flight at skyventure Montreal, which simulates skydiving in a wind tunnel. The guys in the tunnel there are the instructors and they could dance suspended in air seemingly. We all had a blast and Serge put us all up on youtube. Me, dad and Serge. Serge and I bought the come-back-cheaper package which we need to do within four months.

Then for the final dinner, we went to my fave resto, Au Pied de Cochon and had another fabulous meal. Although we did many things, he didn't see the Biodome, Olympic stadium, Jet boating, Insectarium, Planetarium, Iles de Boucherville, Mt Tremblant, Quebec City and a dozen other things that escape me now. Plenty to do on his next visit - there will be a next wont there?

Then yesterday morning as he looked at his boarding pass for his 5:30pm flight, it said boarding at 7:10am. What? Apparently the airline had changed his reservation and now if we were supposed to make that flight we'd have to leave five minutes ago. So a bunch of stress to finish out the trip but it worked out well, he changed planes in Toronto and got home earlier than planned. All in all a ball. Thanks daddy, let's do it again sometime!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Better late than never

* Here we are. I was so going to post more than once a month this time, but as you can see that didn't happen. Georgie's been having a hard time this week. He hurt his back or hips or something and every time he jumps up, he lets out a little yelp, "Ouch." So he stopped jumping for a few days. He's back to jumping since yesterday though. I'm not taking him back to the dog park just yet though. That's where I think he hurt himself.

* We're having trouble renting our upstairs apartment for July. It doesn't help that the current renter moved in the girl she's going to move out with so the place is a total mess with boxes everywhere. Plus the chick painted the kitchen BROWN, like dark chocolate BROWN and didn't mask anything so it looks just horrible. We've shown it to at least 20 people. One person applied but when we called her to offer it to her, she never called back. Oy.

* I applied for a job managing an ESL textbook team. Had to have impeccable English skills and blah blah blah. The WHOLE interview was done in French. Lame. Plus at the interview, they had a nice glass of water on the table with a brown bathroom paper towel as a coaster. Classy. Oh and I didn't get the job.

* My dad arrives next weekend for a quick 4 night visit. Yay! First time he's been here, first time he's had a passport. We are going to do lots of fun things. Like this

* I've been having fun with DrawSomething, an app my brother turned me onto. If you want to play with me, my user name is apparently omgpop101400635 He's better than I am though. Drawing is not my strong suit.

*  Another addicting Facebook game we've been playing is Bubble Witch Saga. Try it, it's fun.

* In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I am currently drinking a margarita. Yum. Super easy, equal parts Tequila and Cointreau and the juice of one lime. Sweet and sour mix is for losers.

* The brand new Pharmaprix is finally going to open this week across the street. Remember how I was so bummed our video store closed across the street? Well they remodeled the building for an entire year and now I'm excited about them opening up.

* I got a new client, a couple of doctors who are really motivated. Unfortunately, the week after I started, one of them went four wheeling with his brother and they got into an accident and the brother died. So, no lessons for a while.

* Serge got mad at his new Samsung Galaxy iphone wannabe. So he threw it at the pavement. What a retard. Turns out, he can just reactivate his old iphone. Hmm, when he signed up with them a month ago, that wasn't an option. They lied to him because they wanted to rope him into a three year contract - which they did. Are there no honest salespeople? Is it just a given, you must lie to sell?

* I'll try to post before June. If not I'll be back with pics from our Washington DC vacay. Only four weeks to go!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Springtime rambling

I'm still here! This pic was taken when we had that freak heat wave a couple weeks ago and broke the all time record high for March (80 degrees). Serge and I took the top down and drove up our little mountain in the middle of the city to have a look around. This particular day was the beginning of the heat wave and it got up to about 66. It was also the St-Patrick's day parade day. I can remember freezing my (I want to say tukus but don't know how to spell it) nards off at that parade once when it was 16 degrees and windy. Of course everything has gone back to normal since then with highs in the 40's. At least the snow has all gone. We may have a few flurries before it's all said and done, but doubt we'll see any accumulations.

See this is why I rarely blog. Talking about the weather, yawn. As usual, I've been super busy working every day all day and then working on my homework and lesson prep on the weekend. It just feels like I never have a day off just for me. I started reading the Hunger Games and then every down moment I had, I was glued to my little ipod touch (Kindle application) reading the three books in succession. I hate reading novels written in the present tense, but the story was compelling nonetheless, and I finished them in about a week. Then I dragged Serge to go see the movie, which he liked a lot. I thought the movie was better than the book because we didn't have to hear Katniss' constant, "I don't know how I feel," ruminations throughout the story.

As I was reading, I couldn't help thinking it was a metaphor for the world in which we live. There are those who contribute nothing to society, manipulating large sums of money to get richer, while the rest of us are essentially slaves, working our whole lives to stay alive. Sure we agree to the slavery since there is compensation, but, oh you know, the whole 99% thing.

They called me for that cooking show again and I went in for an on-camera interview. Ugh, just that was stressful. I kind of hope they don't pick me because I don't want to be stressed out for a week. Still, the possibility of winning two grand would be nice. I'm practicing my meal for the in-laws for Easter today. Maybe I'll instagram/facebook a pic or two.

Serge has been smoke-free for almost five months now. Awesome! Here you see Georgie asking for his evening walk. He loves his routine and makes sure we don't deviate from it.

Planned a couple of upcoming trips. First Washington DC, where we will finally get to meet Steven! I'm so excited to get to share boozy good times with him. It's gonna be a blast. Plus I got a great deal again bidding for a hotel on Priceline. $70 a night for the Marriot Residence Inn. Free internet! Free breakfast! Two blocks from the metro! And they have the bike sharing system from Montreal. I haven't been since I was a teen, so I'm excited and Serge has never been.

Next will be New York in August with the family. Then I'm hoping for a Vegas junket and finally a weekend in Provincetown before school/work goes back into high gear. I'm working full time this summer so when that contract is up in August, I'm going to party hard.

There's more I'm sure, always more, but you've been kind enough to read this far, so I'll let you go. See you next month if not sooner! Mouah!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

The state of things

Yo peeps. It's been another month already and it has gone by so fast because all I do is work. And take my turns in Words with Friends. In between there is homework and of course housework as well. But the days are getting longer and the sun is rising higher in the sky and my workload is going to lighten up here in a few weeks. What's up now?

* Woke up with a similar condition to what Serge had a few months ago. ie my arm isn't working right. I have pain when I pick things up and can't lift anything heavy. Have no clue how or why. It's been a week and it isn't going away yet. I'll give it another week at least.

* Words with Friends no longer accepts the word "fag". I have mixed feelings about this.

* I forgot how much work a University course is. Ugh. The classes are fun but the reading and projects to do are lengthy. A flaw in my personality is that I don't like to do anything that takes a long time. Sometimes to do something well takes a long time and so I have a tendency to do round corners.

* Don't know that expression? That's because it's French and means roughly to do something half-assed.

* Thanks to Rox, and her illuminating me about Project Free TV, I was able to catch up on Breaking Bad, Californication and Weeds. I'm thinking I broke the law there but not sure how. The links for Nurse Jackie won't work though so I may have to buy that DVD. Dangit.

* The dang car has cost me over a thousand dollars this month. The imbeciles at Midas didn't put the tires back on right when they did the brake job and I thought they were going to fall off while I was trying to make it back to the garage. They were loose, and you could wiggle them with your hands. At least they fixed it free of charge, but no, I won't be going back there. Don't get me started on the rapists at the VW dealer. In any case, the car lock works again.

* Toyed with the idea of a sneaky junket to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, my Vegas buddy and I couldn't make the schedules mesh. Perhaps in August.

* My dad is coming to visit though. This will be his first trip to see me, first trip to Canada and longest flight. I'm excited to be able to show him the town. May weather better cooperate.

*  Here I am last week at the mother in law's place. That's her dog Tigars with Georgie. You've probably already seen this on FB.

* I guess that's about it. I hope all of you are doing well in your slice of paradise. Until next time, ta ta for now.

Sunday, February 05, 2012


* Hey y'all, it looks like that once a month thing for the blog might be doable. I've really gotten out of the habit of not only writing the blog, but reading others too. There just isn't enough time in the day for everything I have to do and everything I want to do. So it keeps getting shoved down the list.

* I'm a student now! I started the master teacher program and now I have homework. Lots of homework. Luckily, the topic is interesting and useful. We're learning how to do our craft better. I made my first concept map. It's probably not very good since it's my first one, but it was fun to make.

* I've always used No Name plastic wrap because the Glad was so much more expensive. I noticed that Glad had a much bigger version so it would last much longer and I splurged and got it. It's CRAP! They call it the cling wrap and it doesn't cling at all! Not only that but it bursts every time I use it in the microwave. Totally inferior product compared to the No Name. Just because it costs more doesn't make it better. Case in point.

* Winter has been remarkably subdued this year. Yes it's cold, yes there's snow on the ground but it's just not been extreme. I keep waiting for our penance, but the long range shows the pattern continuing. Fine by me.

* Really love the ipad 2. I've stopped doing nearly everything I did on the ipod touch and do it on the ipad now. The only exception is music. I'm keeping the ipod for music since that fits nicely in my pocket.

* I finally got the car lock fixed and is it just me or are ALL mechanics hustlers? Here's two examples. Mechanic: Sir your brake plates are very rusted. Me: What you guys installed them 6 months ago. Mechanic: Oh you must have driven quite a bit. Me: No, I hardly used the car ar all, look 4000 kilometers. Mechanic: Oh well then that's why. Me (keeping it in my head) Fucking asshole. Here's another. Mechanic on phone: Sir we can't fix the parking brake unless we change the plates. Me: Well the plates are guaranteed somewhere else so just forget the parking brake for now. Mechanic: Okay. Then when I go to pick it up, lo and behold they found a way to do it anyway. 24 hours later though, my brakes started making a huge noise. Makes me think they put it back together loosely so I'd have to come right back.

* Even if it hasn't been all that cold, in the morning if it's below minus 10C, I put Georgie's mittens on. He doesn't mind. He even lifts his feet one at a time to let me put them on. So cute.

* My mom caught a 286 pound tuna last week! (Not sure if that's the one in the picture, she caught many and they all look the same to me lol)  It's her personal best for tuna. She's still aching for that 300 pounder and 3 people caught 300 pounders on the trip she was on, but not her. Next time maybe.

* Classroom funny. One of my students was doing a presentation about cleaning products and comparing them to recommend the best choice. One of the things she was comparing was how she said, Penis All. I of course stopped her and said, "What?" She repeated, "Penis All." Can you guess the product and the mother tongue? I cried laughing.

* I'm sure there's more, but I've got to go workout and finish my homework. Lots of reading homework. It's kind of dry so I frequently read a whole page but realize I've been daydreaming the whole time and then have to read the dang page again.

Have a great February peeps!