Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

Froot Loops or bust!

I am very pre-menstrual right now. Don't worry, I'm not going to take it out on anybody. Unless you're a cow. If you're a cow, I'd start ambling (quickly) in the opposite direction. Since I'm craving beef pretty fiercely right now, and can't guarantee that I'd be able to stop myself taking a big, juicy bite out of your arse. Mmmmm! Run away now, that's a nice cow!

So...why don't I just cook up some beef? Well, we don't usually have much by way of meat on hand here, chez Quimby. And after reading all about factory-farmed beef, well, I won't be eating much of that elsewhere, either, I don't think. Until McDonald's takes to serving free-range Big Macs. (Ha! That'll be the day!)

So...can't cook it up, can't get it out, no beef to be hoo! What to do?

Froot Loops, of course! Those'll do nicely, in a pinch. Mr.Q's on the hunt for Froot Loops, so's I can pretend they're juicy, rare Beef-Loops. Mmmmmm again! The breakfast cereal of redneck champions everywhere.

While I'm waiting, I'll show you his new friend: The Space Banana!

I don't know either, I didn't ask. I'm not sure I want to know. Yes, I've had a lot of coffee today. No, nothing to drink. Why do you ask?

Oooop! He's just come in the door...gotta go rustle me up a bowl and spoon. Where did my cowgirl hat get to....?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I could get used to this!

Another spontaneous date night, this time coffee & a walk on English Bay at dusk - complete with a paddlewheeler being chased by "pirates" in a canoe with an outboard motor. Avast! Unfortunately, my pictures of the pirates didn't turn out...but hopefully these give some indication of why living near the ocean makes up, at least partially, for living away from the Rockies!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Public service announcement...

I have discovered my new summer drink: Raspberry vodka with soda. To be handled with great can't really taste the "vodka" part of the equation. Also, too much Strongbow = Strongbad hangover. FYI.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Well. I had the longest, most painful bus ride home today...what should have been 20 minutes was 45, due to traffic....and what should have been a 10-minute side-trip for coffee beans ended up being closer to a half-hour, thanks to irritating customers ahead of me in line...I refrained from whacking them, sorely tempted as I was. Or poking them with my knitting needles, since I suspected that (however satisfying) it would have made for an even longer delay....So instead of taking 30-40 minutes to get home, it took me an hour and a half. Ask me how thrilled I was. (Or don't, you probably don't want to hear it!)

BUT! I came home to Swap Happiness waiting for yarn! From La Verna, who sent me one of the best swap packages ever. Want to see?

At first, it looks pretty non-descript:

The excitement builds....

It's like my own private Christmas in May!

Holy cow! Look at all the treats! Patterns for the yarn, stitch markers, tea, coffee, candies...I feel so spoiled!

The yarn, since that was the whole point:

My descent down the rabbit hole of knitting lace shawls has been made inevitable...I have coveted some of
this for a long, long time....

Handily, I had just come home from getting myself one of these, since I have all these unwound skeins lying around, begging to be knit:

Mr.Q did an excellent job of being excited for me, however befuddled he may be. Tonight: Knitting and Beer with a bunch of gals, and then some Rock&Roll - Mr.Q's band be playing tonight at the Media Club, and I plan to wear my dancing shoes....Whoopee!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

And how do YOU feel today?

Yes, it's been one of those days....why do you ask? Thank goodness for cheezburgers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Doin' the Doogie Boogie

I was expecting to be a lot more sad today than I am. A year ago today, we lost a very special friend. But the morning outside is too glorious to be gloomy...It's much easier to smile, thinking of his big ol' hairy grin and Bart Simpson boxers. It's strange to think it's been a's hard still to wrap my mind around it. There's a party going on for him "back home" and we can't be there for it. So, Mr.Q and I are trying to honour him in our own way. I'm starting with breaking the rules, and wearing a T-shirt to work today:

Tonight, we're going to go out and have something tasty, in lieu of the potluck we're missing, and tell silly stories about him. In the meantime, I wanted to carry a song with me through the day, to think of him, since music was so integral to who he was, and to what he brought us. I thought long and hard about which song, and finally decided on the perfect one. He sang it often, and it really sums him up:

Listen up, brothers and sisters
Come hear my desperate tale
I speak of our friends of nature
Trapped in the dirt like a jail
Vegetables live in oppression
Served on our tables each night
This killing of veggies is madness
I say we take up the fight

Salads are only for murderers
Cole slaw's a fascist regime
Don't think that they don't have feelings
Just 'cause a radish can't scream

I've heard the screams of the vegetables,
Watching their skins being peeled
Grated and steamed with no mercy
How do you think that feels?
Carrot juice constitutes murder
Greenhouses prisons for slaves
It's time to stop all this gardening
Let's call a spade a spade

I saw a man eating celery
So I beat him black and blue
If he ever touches a sprout again
I'll bite him clean in two
I'm a political prisoner
Trapped in a windowless cage
'Cause I stopped the slaughter of turnips
By killing five men in a rage

I told the judge when he sentenced me
"This is my finest hour
I'll kill those farmers again
Just to save one more cauliflower"
How low as people do we dare to stoop
Making young broccolis bleed in the soup
Untie your beans, uncage your tomatoes
Set potted plants free, don't mash that potato,

Ah I've heard the screams of the vegetables
Watching their skins being peeled
Grated and steamed with no mercy
How do you think that feels
Carrot juice constitutes murder
Greenhouses prisons for slaves

It's time to stop all this gardening
Let's call a spade a spade it's a spade it's a spade it's a spade....

(courtesy of The Arrogant Worms)

Missing you, Dooger!

Monday, May 14, 2007


My Blue Moon yarn came today...hooray! I'm not even going to try to post a pic, my camera won't come close to doing the colours justice. It'll just motivate me to knit it up quick, so I can post photos of the finished socks!

Sometimes Mondays are good.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Channelling Laura Ingalls Wilder

It's a grey, icky kind of day today - mocking me, I suppose, for being all "summer is coming, yay!" last week. That'll learn me. Sometimes, when the weather's like this, there's only one real cure: fresh bread. So I set out to bake some. 2 loaves, coz really, why go to all that work for just one?

And fresh bread really needs soup to go with it, right? A big vat of it, coz really, why go to all that trouble for just one meal? Needs leftovers, it does!

Then I remembered that I really wanted to bake banana muffins for lunches this week. And while I was at it anyway, I might as well make a double batch, to put some in the freezer.

And since I was spending all afternoon in the kitchen at this point, I might as well use up some of those strawberries, and maybe try my hand at getting pie pastry right for once, and make a treat for dessert (crostatas, little tiny individual rustic-looking pie-things.) And while I was at it, I might as well make enough for us to take some for lunch tomorrow. And some extra pie pastry, for the freezer....

The pile of baked goods currently occupying our limited countertop is, well, overwhelming. Tasty, but overwhelming. (The soup, potato-asparagus, seasoned with dill and served garnished with grated cheddar and a dollop of sour cream, and a side of still-warm, butter-melting-on-it bread...was pretty damned tasty, if I do say so myself!)

My hope is that this somehow makes up for the lack of sweeping done this week. (Oh, and the fact that I fell asleep at 8:30 on our "date" night last night...which Mr.Q then spent reading alone on the couch. Oops!)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Stuff, and a little ranting, and a lot of rambling....and I haven't even had anything to drink!

I posted awhile ago about our household's efforts to be a little greener...I figured it was about time for an update. I was just doing the dishes, and realized, a bit surprised, that just about all of our cleaning products have now been switched over to natural (or at least earth-friendly) products. It just kind of happened on its own. And it was more painless than I'd anticipated. The organic contents of our cupboards and fridge are not-so-slowly overtaking the non-organic. I'm starting to read labels out of habit, to choose the product from the geographically-closer source. Showers are shorter, we're using less water to wash dishes, and we're getting better about planning our shopping/errands to minimize driving.

We've still got lots of room to improve, of course. I was a little slack with take-out coffee last week; but I did rinse out the cups after, and put them in the recycling. We could be more efficient with laundry. And we're still not great with turning out the lights. But we're working on it.

And I have little moments where I get to feel the teensiest bit smug about it last week, when a student who wasn't in any of my classes popped into my classroom, cuz she knew there was a recycling box there. Ha!

Mr.Q's been pretty agreeable with the whole process. But I'm afraid he's about to be subjected to another level of soul-searching affecting the fridge and our shopping habits. I had a book I'd ordered come into the library today...Which I am so excited to read!

A lot of people know Barbara Kingsolver as a fiction writer (and a fine one; Prodigal Summer is one of my favourite books ever!) But her non-fiction and essays are less well-known. Her new book is non-fiction, and I'm about 20 pages in, about re-discovering our connection to (and dependence on!) our food sources, and I'm loving it:

Thing is, I can't read her writing without wanting to DO something. So I 'spect we'll be back at the East Van Farmers' Market when it opens in a couple of weeks. Paying ludicrous prices for produce, and trying not to whack the yuppies upside the head with my rhubarb. All in the name of shopping locally and supporting my friendly neighbourhood farms.

(Note to said yuppies: Yes, farmers' markets are "cool" and "trendy" - but some of us are actually grocery shopping here, could you confine the window shopping to Gastown or Granville Island, or at least keep it away from the tomatoes, for F&*#K's sake? Pretty please?)

The trick will be getting home with the bags and baskets on transit. Because it would really be ridiculous, if we're trying to be eco(veggie)wienies, to drive our gas-guzzling beast there. (The price of gas notwithstanding. As it stands, we'll soon have to have children just to be able to provide the gas companies with our first-born, in order to pay for the gas.)

For all the frustration I feel with the market, I also have rather a lot of sentimental attachment to it. I used to go every Saturday, when it was it its first year, and I was in university. It was a scraggly handful of tables under the SkyTrain track in the parking lot of the local community center. It's grown to a huge affair at Trout Lake Park. One of the first vendors sold amazing spelt breads...she's since opened a successful storefront on Commercial Drive. I remember having some great conversations with her, and I'm always happy when nice, deserving people are successful doing what they love.

Also, the market was where I first learned to love tomatoes. I used to hate tomatoes (having grown up with their distant, waxy Safeway cousins). An evil, evil man was handing out samples of his sun-warmed Golden Boys, picked fresh that morning. "Have some!" he coaxed. "But I don't like tomatoes," I said. "You haven't tried mine!" he replied. I didn't want to be rude, so I tried the proffered piece.

I bought about 5 pounds of the damned things. I ate them all in a week. My pH balance (or something) got all screwed up, and I broke out in horrible cold sores all over my lower lip and chin. I had to sing at a friend's wedding like that. There was a very, very cute (single!) guest at the wedding. He was very nice, but of course he couldn't help staring at my chin. I was mortified. Needless to say, I never did get to smooch him.

Damn tomatoes. Evil, evil tomato man!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Flying Penguins

Well, Tuesday afternoon was a lovely, blustery, bright pre-summer kind of afternoon. I figured it was about time we took that penguin kite out for a test-fly. It's probably been about 20 years since I've flown a kite, and it turns out that it's even easier than riding a bike. Less painful when it takes a nose-dive, too!

Yay for spontaneous date nights...especially when kite-flying is followed up with Indian food! I 'spect we'll be doing more of this as the nights get warmer. There was a pretty cool stunt-kite at the park, too, that looked intriguing....

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Ack! Blarg! Gulp!

I've been meaning to order some pretty sock yarn from Blue Moon for awhile now, and they just re-stocked the colourway I wanted in medium-weight. So I was thinking I'd wait till next payday, so I could pay for it directly instead of putting it on the credit card.

Then yesterday I found out that postage rates in the States are going up significantly...which could mean paying double (or more) what the current shipping costs are. So. I want this yarn badly, and I would prefer to pay less for shipping than the cost of the yarn, so....

So I did it. I can't believe I just dropped that much money on yarn! Because I might as well get a few skeins, to make it worth my while. With much pricier shipping, I won't be ordering again for some time!

Hopefully it won't take too long to get here. I'd like to start one particular project to take to Victoria when I go see the Yarn Harlot - I think it would be good mojo. A pair of socks, for me, in memory of my lovely old Puck cat...I miss him oodles, still, and I think the other cats do too. Bagheera, at least. And when I found this colourway, I knew it was just the thing:

Since it's called "Puck's Mischief," it's too perfect. I got some of the "Titania" to go with it; it seemed appropriate!

I have just one concern, and that's that I'll find myself signing up for the Rockin' Sock Club next year...which would mean going to the Camp Cockamamie sock camp. Oh, the tragedy!


(No, there's not that much Bailey's in my coffee...why do you ask?)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Jedi Mind Tricks

One of the swaps I signed up for this month is a blue yarn swap...Blue? Yarn? How could I resist? I didn't even try to put up a fight - I know I'm weak, and some days I love it! I wanted something cool for my partner (and I didn't want to have to deal with the spotty service at most of the local yarn stores) so I put in a call to my pusher.

Who delivers, bless her! Also when she brings me a "hit", she usually digs around in her records to bring something for Mr.Q. The idea is that he'll be so distracted by the pretty, shiny record, he won't notice the new yarn.

Which is a nice theory, but he's suspicious when I happily hand him an unsolicited record, and he's figured it out. Doh! However, this Jedi Mind Trick has had an unexpected result. Last night, he said, and I quote, "I'm not going to deny you yarn. If you really want yarn, buy yarn. Buy a whole dumptruck of yarn!"

(We will gloss over the fact that he had had several beer when he said this.) The question is, should I take him at his word all at once? (Where would I put it all just now?) Or in bits and pieces, so he doesn't know when the dumptruck's empty, and I can keep it coming?

In the meantime, of course, I "accidentally" got a little something for myself, as well as for my swap partner...these pretties will soon be socks for me. As soon as I finish the second of Mr.Q's birthday socks. His feet are bigger than I thought....

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Determination and will-power

I am not getting sick, I am not getting sick, I am not getting sick....

The headache and achey-ness and being so tired...that's just coz I slept funny last night. Yep. That's it.

I am not getting sick, I am not getting sick, I am not getting sick...

Not least because I have nothing planned or written out for tomorrow that would make any sense to a sub. And there's a lot of housework to do tomorrow, because we have a lot of people coming over on Saturday.

(And I want to go play with the kite!)

I am not getting sick, I am not getting sick, I am not getting sick...!

(Why aren't I in bed, then? reason! Certainly not because I'm waiting for my pusher to bring me some yarn. Nope! That's not the reason. La la la la la *stares innocently at the ceiling* la la la la la!)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Stuff and such

It's raining, it's pouring...a good time to think about sunny days, while the water boils for tea. It's actually really wet, and I think I just heard thunder. Which is way cool, since we don't get much of that out here. So. Sunny days. Like on Sunday, when Mr.Q & I took my sister to Granville Island for the afternoon.

We bought a kite (and are just waiting for some drier weather to try it out!) and some really yummy donuts, and some little accessories for my Crocs:

Mr.Q and the Princess Bride tried to pretend they didn't notice the camera, and attempted a "natural, unposed" pose for me (see the penguin kite?):

And we got another Handbag Lesson, this time in the area of Something Stylish Yet Portable For An Afternoon of Outdoor Window Shopping:

(For the record, she insisted I take the photo, to post.)

My water's sure taking a long time to boil....

(Heh. Heh. I guess it would help if I turned the stove on!)

I've had a loverly evening puttering and playing on the computer. I'm in an 80s' mixed-CD swap this month, and I've been having a blast finding old songs for the mix. I'm going to have to trim it down from about 50 songs...and I don't know how I'll let any of them go! Did we really have hair that big? Wear clothes that bright? Oy!

(We won't discuss what it means, that I hear the songs of my just-yesterday-youth on the OLDIES STATION!)

And now I have the hiccups....hmm!