Wednesday, March 28, 2007


OMG!!!!!! I am SO stoked. I just had confirmation that I've managed to finagle a ticket to see Her Royal Yarn-ness. IN PERSON. AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!! I'm going to have to knit something to wear, now. Eeeek!

I'd better calm down so I don't give myself an aneurysm in the meantime.

(Did I say AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I may need to get out more. Went exploring tonight, found this...some samples:

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Shhh! Be vewy qwiet!

Since it wasn't raining this morning (gasp!) I decided to take a walk down to a park very near our house. VERY near, the western-most part of the park is maybe 300-400 metres from our house....but since the train tracks and port-access road are in between, we have to walk around to the eastern side of the park, about a kilometre. Not a big deal at all, but kind of funny. Here's the house, from the closest point of the park (the flat-roofed one with the tree right in the middle):

It was a bit chillier than I'd expected, but nice and brisk and soooooo goood to be outside and dry, and not wondering if I might sprout gills or webbed feet or find moss on north side. The sky to the south-west (my, we're all about compass points today!):

About par for the course lately: gloomy, grey, heavy clouds. But if you look to the north-east, and stand very, very still, and make no sudden moves or loud noises to frighten it, you might just see this:

Look! BLUE SKY! A little SUNSHINE, even, reflected on the water. Woohoo!

I am WAY too easy to please! My afternoon will be a bit more exciting: meeting the gals for knitting, and grocery shopping. Why is grocery shopping exciting? Well, because Mr.Q has announced that he will be making tacos for dinner tomorrow night. (If you saw the way he used to make grilled cheese sandwiches, his previous culinary best - you would be as impressed as I am.) And I am impressed. I tease him a little, but he's making a herculean effort to learn to cook, and he's doing very well at it.

He comes home tonight - yay! He's been staying at his drummer's place all weekend, since they've been in the studio till about 5 A.M. the last two nights. I saw him for about 3 hours yesterday when I picked him up to go to a wedding reception downtown. We rushed home from the studio, where I had a change of clothes all ready to go for him - we were on a VERY tight schedule - and I was helping him change his socks and pants while he brushed his teeth; putting his wallet and keys into his pockets while he buttoned up his shirt; getting his shoes together while he brushed his hair.

(Before you think that's maybe a little weird: we "met" (the second time, really, but the junior high-school encounters are another story!) doing community theatre together. At one point during a play, I had to help him with a very speedy costume change backstage. So we're old hands at that kind of thing. It was nice to see we hadn't lost our touch. Dad, I hope you're proud!)

Six minutes. We were in and out of the house, washed, brushed and changed, in six minutes. HAH! We're so good. And we even found (free!) parking downtown within a block from the restaurant. HAH again!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday afternoon in pajamas...yummy!

As there is nothing much to discuss besides the weather (Vancouver has "lost" the equivalent of 3 months of sunny weather this winter - so far, 130 hours less than usual - no wonder people are grumpy!) I'll give you 1/2 of a finished pair:

Note the cables - my first (successful) attempt. I have tried them before, and while the actual technique is quite simple, the previous effort was in a context that required actual counting. Apparently I can't do that AND knit at the same time; it was an unmitigated disaster. This, however, didn't require counting - though the thumb was a bit...ummm...interesting!

They are silk/merino. Soft. Warm. A bit darker than shown. The second one is about 3 rows from the start of the thumb. So far, I have remembered to reverse the cables; I hope I haven't jinxed myself by saying so, as I have 2 cable rounds left to do! They will be perfect for spring walks in bulky sweaters. Or playing guitar around a campfire late at night. Or just for discreet yarn-fondling purposes. (I'm not fondling - I'm "wearing"! It's much more socially acceptable than simply taping skeins to my bare skin. People give me, and the resulting lumps under my clothes, VERY strange looks.)

I have learned something Very Important with this project: If I am going to muss with and "adapt" a pattern for a pair of something: I really need to WRITE IT DOWN.

My knitting served me very well at the bar last night. Some very drunk and silly-but-harmless man was being the teensiest bit bothersome. I gently but firmly told him that perhaps he should consider behaving, as I had my knitting in my purse, and in his drunken state, he was really no match for my Ninja Knitting Skills. He was very, very confused by this. It was very funny. (And yes, he left me alone after that!) I also got a funny reaction out of his friend later...I had come back from an arduous trek to the washrooms (think: salmon-spawning). My friend asked me how the journey was. I said: "Fine, since I have big lungs and a big ass."

Buddy at the next table spun around so fast I thought he was going to get whiplash. "WHAT did you just say? You have big lungs and WHAT?"

"I said, I have big lungs and a big ass. So I can ask you very loudly to please excuse me, and if you don't move, I can knock you out of my way."

"So, you can yell really loud? I can yell really loud."

"No," I corrected him. "I can project very well. There's a difference. I don't go home with a sore throat after."

He was very, very confused by this, and rather impressed. He wanted a demonstration. I declined. They were a very well-behaved table for the rest of the evening. It was a good night!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Down came the rain...

Seeing as it's too rainy to walk far if I don't need to (heavy rainfall warning in effect, etc etc) and I'm still in my PJs anyway...have been spending the morning looking for blog posts about an event last night in NYC where I wasn't but if I had a passport, I would have been...


I slept for NINE GLORIOUS HOURS last night. I was interrupted only briefly, while hiding my head under the pillow so Mr.Q could turn on the light to find his clothes:

I could have slept even longer, but then I would have deprived myself of the pleasure of a nap later on. Mr.Q is in the studio all weekend, so I's flying solo, and I think I'm going to spend the next three days in self-indulgent-pampering mode. There will be, I think, a trip to the library, and then much time at home in pajamas, sipping coffee laced (liberally!) with Bailey's. There may possibly be Greek food, or a jaunt up Commercial Drive (for more coffee) depending on how waterproof I feel. There will be knitting, and maybe some baking, and did I mention the naps?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What's wrong with this picture? (Or, why I might have to give up wearing deodorant if I don't get some effing sleep!)

I am tired. TIRED. I have not had an uninterrupted night's sleep in a week. Between cats and Mr.Q's rock&roll fantasy (and the crazy hours that come with it) and sirens and trains and cargo cranes and the landlord calling LATE last night from Whistler (could I go check on the pump in the drainage trench he's dug in the back yard trying to get this flooded-basement-which-happens-to-be-our-apartment-problem under control?) and so on....I haven't had the greatest sleep the last week.

I am tired enough that when I went for coffee this morning at work, I announced (jokingly, I thought) that I should go get caffeine before I "ate somebody's head"...apparently I sounded a little more serious than I thought. (I also may have said "fuck" in front of a student....ooops!)

To top it all off, I wore a black T-shirt today. Which turned out to be a bad idea. Can you guess why?

Here's another hint:

Yes, I had to wear it like that all day. Because wearing it inside out looked moderately better than turning it right-side-out and going around with big ol' chalky-looking pit-stick stains around my dainty under-arms.

(Ask me how freaking brilliant I felt.....!)

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Bouzouki's other knee

Mr. Q made dinner tonight! Which is a rather unusual event here at Chez Quimby, so it was quite a treat. Also, it tasted very good. And I managed to stay out of the kitchen for most of it, thereby reducing the stress factor for both of us. I believe a chicken casserole of some kind is on the menu for Thursday, or so he said. And he's expressed an interest in making tacos next week.

I want to know just WHAT the aliens did to my husband, and who is this replacement in my house, and can I keep him? I promise to feed and walk him...

Monday having been blessedly uneventful, and there being banana muffins to bake and laundry to fold (and a band staying here again tomorrow night but with more than the 2 hours notice given last week!) I'll distract you from my lack of interesting content with pictures:

A catpile (I don't dare use the more odious term "dog" pile, whatever the resemblance!)

A hard day's night....

And for Rabbitch, a shot of the Blanket Of Doom - you see why Bagheera needed to save me from it. Whew!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Olfactory Orgasms

On my way home today, I enjoyed the sight of the cherry blossoms coming into full bloom. It's Cherry Blossom Festival time here, thanks to the significant Japanese influence (hooray!) and the trees are truly lovely. Though it does make me think of someone dumping a huge vat of Pink Elephant Popcorn from the sky, and the kernels getting stuck in all the branches....nonetheless, I love this season. It's beautiful, and it just smells good. Walking down the street under the canopy of cherries, the delicate scent of the blossoms is the perfect antidote to the rain.

(This isn't actually in my neighbourhood, but it looks pretty close. It's not a real picture of my neighbourhood, because A) I didn't have my camera with me; and B) this looks much nicer than cherry trees sodden in the frigging interminable rain. No, I'm not bitter about the weather; why do you ask?)

Anyway, between the ocean smells and the green smells and now the cherry's like an instant multiple orgasm for the nose. What fun!

(Did I mention the freakin' RAIN?!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Well....the weekend resolution lasted exactly as long as the weekend did! Oh well. I'll keep trying. I have managed to get myself organized at work everyday, early enough that I can sit for 10 or 15 minutes before class, sip some tea, and gab with the other teachers. I find it's a lot easier to focus (and not confuse people!) in the classroom if I've had a few minutes to just relax first.

It was gorgeous out today, and I packed my camera to take some photos...and left it in my pack at school over lunch. Poop! I walked down to Canada Place at lunch and sat in the sunshine for a bit. The Celtic Festival is going on this week, and there were some dancers and musicians playing in the plaza. It was lively and energizing and I didn't even get pooped on by a seagull!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Re-quest for S-L-O-W

So of course, after posting the other day about how quickly my days seem to be cannon-balling by me - I had to try to do something about it. (It's true, what "they" say about putting something out there on a blog - once it's public domain, there's a lot more motivation to actually DO something about it! Look for a post soon about how I'd love to be rich and tall(er)!)

I know myself well enough to know that attempting a complete life overhaul would be exhausting and pointless, since I'd give it up in about 3 hours. 4, if I was lucky. So - baby steps. Like knitting a sock - enjoy the process, and just look at one bit at a time. MUCH more manageable that way! And a lot less intimidating.

My goal for the weekend has been to stop multi-tasking while I'm eating and drinking. That's all. No checking email or making shopping lists while I eat breakfast, no sipping coffee or tea while I get dressed or do chores - or even knit. When it's time to eat, or have another cup of tea, I have to STOP, sit down, and do nothing else (except maybe listen to the CD in the stereo - another way of slowing down, anyway! Egad, but I love the new Paul Simon album!)

The first couple of times it was really hard. I was so fidgety, list-making in my mind at top speed. The hardest one was actually when we went out yesterday morning. We were going to Coquitlam to hit Value Village (and a yarn store...!) and we decided to stop for coffee on the way. Usually, I would bring our coffee mugs, and we would get it to go and drink it on the way out. Once I have my mind made up to do something, I just want to DO it. Not stop-start-stop-start!

But yesterday, we went inside and sat down and drank our coffees out of real mugs and watched the activity inside the cafe. It nearly drove me nuts...we could be halfway there by now! Somebody might be buying my yarn! Ack! So when I actually managed to SIT for 20 minutes without losing my mind, it felt like rather an accomplishment! And the yarn I didn't know I wanted but that I loved instantly was still there when we got to the shop.

By the end of the day, the stop-and-sit was lovely. It felt decadent and luxurious to take a quarter-hour out of doing housework and just sit. We had real conversations that were about more than "what do you want to do for dinner?" and "whose turn is it to clean the litterbox?" At the end of the evening, Mr.Q read to me while I knitted. He used to read to me a lot...but with the busification of life, that hasn't happened in a long time. It was really, really good. (The book was an autobiography of Lemmy from Motorhead which I was NOT expecting to enjoy - but it was actually quite funny.)

This morning I took my coffee (with some Bailey's, for medicinal purposes!) into the Magic Room and sat and sipped and watched and listened to the rain...and before I knew it, I'd been in there for more than half-an-hour! The rain can actually be rather romantic in a Bronte-esque sort of way, if one is in a reasonably balanced state of mind to begin with. This was my view as I sat and vegged:

Of course, I've been taking notes from the experts in the house:

I might have to go practice some more, just to keep my form.

Friday, March 9, 2007

All a-Google over you...

Wow. Technology continues to amaze me. (Yes, Dad, I'm admitting this in public! Aren't you proud that I've finally seen the light?) Mr.Q is currently on the phone with an old friend that he hasn't talked to in a LOOOOONG time. I'm hungry. It's almost 10:00 and we missed dinner coz we went to have a SHORT nap at 5:30...I am SO going to be awake till the middle of the night now!

So. I'm hungry, since we slept through dinnertime. Only one thing will satisfy in this situation: PIZZA. Once upon a time, I would have had to wait till Mr.Q was off the phone, fidgeting and squirming the whole time, probably caving in and making toast, and not having cash on hand to pay anyway, and that would have been that.

But not now! Now I can go on-line, "google" a pizza joint that will deliver to our neighbourhood (who will use MapQuest to find our house), use the cell-phone to call in our order, and use a remote debit machine to pay when it shows up at our door.

How did we manage when all this instant information and communication was not at our fingertips?! I like to tease my students - most of whom are quite a bit younger than I am - about the "Dinosaur Days" before the wide use of the Internet. It's such a useful tool...but I think it also feeds our cultural appetite for instant gratification. But I don't want to start philosophizing at this hour. I have to go check my bank balance on-line and decide which account will cover the pizza when it turns up. While I'm there, I might have to download their tax program. And maybe take some digital photos of the cats...

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Rickin' frackin'

I'm so tired I don't think I can even pretend to be witty and clever. The week has flown by so quickly that I'm a little disoriented...huh? What happened? Was I asleep?

Never mind the the F#%K is it already March 8th? Where is this YEAR going? I get up, get to work on auto-pilot, my day careens by and all my conscious thought is concerned with grammar points and correcting pronunciation (and reminding myself over and over to SPEAK SLOWLY) and doing photocopies and prep and marking and suddenly it's 3:40 and I'm on the bus home again. I fall into bed by 9:00 and start the whole thing over again too-few hours later.

I'm not complaining about my job. I fell into teaching almost by accident...more of a sky-diving lark than a conscious decision - and my sub-conscious definitely knew best in this case. I am incredibly fortunate to have work that I enjoy, that gives me the hours I want for not-too-bad a wage. And I love teaching. I love the interaction, the humming energy of a classroom full of motivated adults with all kinds of interesting life experiences to bring to the table. I love the relative independence with which I work, I love (most days!) the seat-of-the-pants improv and creativity and terrible drawings (mine!) and sound effects and gestures, and the different sounds that students from different cultures make when they "get" something.

It's also bloody exhausting. Especially my last class of the day right now. Great students with great attitudes and senses of humour...but they're tired by 2:30, and having difficulty focusing. So I have to keep the energy up, up, UP!!!! Problem is, not only am I tired by then...but it's a beginning-level class. So I have to keep the energy up in S-L-O-W motion. A challenging juggling act at the best of times! And it leaves me just wiped.

And so my weeks fly by ridiculously quickly. The weekends are gone in a flurry of housework and grocery shopping and trying to have a little R&R with my significant other and maybe keep up with a friend or two. Then it's Monday again, and it starts all over.

This week has been rather decadent, actually. It's almost 10:00 and I'm still up - not even in PJs yet! Mom's been in town, and I've seen her and my sister TWICE in TWO NIGHTS. Oh my goodness! That's life in the fast lane for me.

Still, every morning when I write the date on the whiteboard in my classroom, I feel a little twinge of quiet almost-angst. Where is my time going? Does it count as "enjoying my work" if it's such a headlong rush that I feel carried away like a twig in a game of Pooh Sticks during spring run-off? By the end of the day, I have already forgotten most of what happened in the previous 6 hours.

I need to be less like the stick, and more like Pooh. And yes, I've read the Tao of Pooh. Several times. What I need is to find ways to incorporate that slower sense of Paying Attention into my life. To be more mindful and present. So the days can be savoured rather than gulped with barely a breath in between.

This is too much to consider and solve tonight. I'll make sure I spend some quiet-time-with-self this weekend. In the meantime, I think I'll go make a cup of chamomile tea and sit and ponder the walls. And maybe watch the cats sleep.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


One of Mr.Q's good friends got married yesterday at a rather posh spot in Point Grey - a bit swankier than one might expect for a bunch of rock'n'rollers. There was some angst about what to wear - which shoes were comfortable enough, yet suitable? The long skirt or the shorter one? Light top or dark? Ack! And some de-cat-hairing (of the long skirt, with the darker top) with a hastily-purchased lint-roller, beside the van before we went in. (I doubt that sort of thing is often seen in Point Grey - hah!)

The setting was beautiful, but a bit intimidating at first. Fortunately, the couple's 1 1/2-year-old daughter (and her yellow balloon) kept things real and light-hearted and funny. Especially during the ceremony and the speeches. It's hard to be all formal and stodgy when a cute little girl is trying to catch her balloon and laughing maniacally. The finger-foods were tasty, the beer organic, the company entertaining. (And I had a new sock to start, when it got to be a little much! Yes, I brought my knitting. If I was a smoker, nobody would think twice about my pack of cigarettes. So there.) And the after-party, featuring some mighty fine rock&roll at the Railway Club, was a blast. I don't know why Mr.Q thinks I don't like rock music. I do. A lot. As long as it's GOOD. None of this stuff that sounds like weasels being tortured with out-of-tune guitars.

After the events of the last week - hell, the last year! - a celebration of something new and bright and wonderful was long overdue.

Today, Mr.Q's picking up some extra time at work, so I have a Sunday afternoon to myself. Mmmmm! Some letters to write, and some grocery-shopping to do. I think I'll combine them and settle in to write at the coffee shop. The sun is threatening to come out. Or, it was 10 minutes ago. That could easily change! But I hope not. (pleasepleasepleaseplease!)

Since he's working a Sunday, I thought I'd make him his favourite pasta for dinner. Bouzouki-knees Pasta. (Zucchini. Don't ask me how he heard "bouzouki knees." Then again, he's a musician, and obsessed.) I think we'll keep the new name, though! In the meantime:



This was my first experiment with felting, and I'm rather pleased with the result. Mr.Q is totally fascinated by the process, and refers to it as "dreadlocking the knitting." He wants to know if everything I knit can be felted. Fortunately, our washing machine has only cold water hooked up to it, so any "experiments" he might attempt on his own will be unsuccessful. Otherwise I would have to hide all the scarves and my new socks.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

"DeFeet of Cuteness"

So...I have a tendency to read a number of knitting blogs, mostly so I don't feel quite so strange and alone in my obsession...also, I find them entertaining, well-written, and often instructional, whether in knitting or in life. Not that there's always a difference! One of the ones I've stumbled across and read regularly is the adventures of JenLa. Who are having a dealie where people can post pics of their adorable pets' adorable feet. And really, who am I to pass up an opportunity to follow my masters...I mean cats...around with a camera? In order of age (and 2 of each, coz I just couldn't decide!):




Aren't they just the sweetest little feets you ever did see?

(I just wish I could figure out how to get them side by side, instead of all in a row! Help!)