Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Insomnia? Not quite

We interrupt your regularly-scheduled sleep for this emergency announcement. This is not a warning. We repeat, this is not a warning.

The gray beastie got out of the chair. He got peckish. Also, he got smart. Instead of sitting in the kitchen or hallway announcing his victory, he came into the bedroom with a mouse hanging out of his mouth. And once he was sure I was awake, he took it under the bed.

Thank FSM, Mr.Q (whose cat this is!) has just this minute walked in the door. It's midnight. I am not inclined to praise the mighty hunter's skills. I am tired. I want to be sleeping. I am, however, very grateful that the latest report from the trenches is that the mouse is still alive, hiding under the bookshelf. Rather than staining the carpet. The other cats, of course, are most helpfully curious.

We are not amused.

Thank you all for listening. Back to your regularly-scheduled beddy-bye time. I hope to follow soon.

A room of my own

See this chair, currently occupied by the gray beastie?

That's the only space I've had to sit & relax for the last week and a half, aside from the corner of the kitchen table that wasn't piled with boxes of stuff.

Ask me just how crazy I've been going. (Ask Mr.Q just how crazy I've been driving him!)

Happily, the carpet-layers came today. The ozone layer wasn't enough protection to ensure they laid it well, exactly, but there's a carpet in my Magic Room again, and that's good enough for me!

Mr.Q spent his free time this evening moving all my stuff in from the garage. I've spent most of the last 2 hours putting things into some semblance of order. It's still bloody chaos in here (why does unpacking take so much longer?), but at least I have a corner of my own again:

I 'spect it will take me awhile yet to be moved all the way back in. I'm trying to be disciplined and do a lot of sorting/recycling/tossing in the thrift store pile as I go. I'm done for I'm going to re-appropriate my chair from the cat, make some tea, and go sit & stare at the walls before bed.

I am sooooo glad I've got my room back! The other bit of joy in it is that, as I get it set up again, we'll get the rest of the living room, kitchen & bedroom back, too. What a deal!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

An all-Canadian weekend

We went to Gibsons for the weekend. Mr.Q's folk-rock band had a pair of gigs at Marcia's Entertainment Restaurant, and I thought I'd tag along. Seeing as there would be a lot of home-cooking, naps, and a hot tub there. No arm-twisting for me!

We hit the ferry over Friday afternoon, and I had myself a traditional Canadian treat. My tasty Nanaimo bar:

Mmmmm! Not quite as tasty as the prosciutto-wrapped goat cheese with roasted garlic that I had at Marcia's that night...but a lot cheaper! The bathrooms on the ferries, however, can't hold a candle to the ladies' room at Marcia's. I covet the chair:

Saturday, Mr.Q engaged in a variety of manly pursuits:

(Chopping wood - how very Canadian!)

I also got to try the archery...very fun. Very. Though I don't look nearly as sexy as Mr.Q in the doing. Swoon!

An afternoon walk down to the wharf was edifying:

And Saturday evening...late, late, at the end of the night, I made an earth-shattering discovery:

Hands down, the best beer I've ever had.

Sunday was a delicious cycle of nap-eat-read-doze-repeat. We took Mr.Q's bandmate out to Molly's Reach for a birthday lunch. Like a git, I didn't take any photos...but here's one from our trip out there last fall - and the weather was about the same!

That's about as Candian as you can get, short of playing lacrosse against a moose while eating maple syrup in a blizzard.

(Me, I'll take the salmon burger any day.)

Back to "real" life...sigh! But it's not so bad. The new carpet should be installed & the Magic Room back together by the end of the week at the latest. Also, we're hammering out an escape plan from That Job. And in the meantime, I've got a morning class with a particulary great dynamic, so the actual classroom work is a lot of fun.

They've started doing the wave when I announce a grammar exercise. I didn't know that much sarcasm could be expressed through gesture, but they do it exceptionally well. It keeps everybody laughing. And on last week's test, a common "r-l" spelling mix-up led to this vocab definition:

Ozone layer: The layer that protects the earth from bad lays.

Oh, how I wish I could market that version!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Yin & Yang

Well, the politics at work have just officially been upgraded from "Sucking Arse" to "Blowing Goats" (or, would that be "down"-graded? Given the activities involved.) I'm going to have to give serious thought to my options, as I'm not sure I want to swallow much more. (Pun sort of intended.)

BUT! I'm just about out the door for a weekend on the Sunshine Coast, doing Sweet F**k All...a few knitting projects packed up, new pens for my journal, a Barbara Kingsolver book, swimsuits for late-night hot-tubbing...All the right ingredients for some serious self-indulgence...The sun is out, at least for now, and we get to take a ferry. I love taking the ferry. I even remembered to not only pack the camera - but charge the battery first!

Oh, the cleverness of me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just a spoonful of sugar (cane juice, fermented) helps the medicine go down...

I've been saying for quite awhile now that I needed to get into my Magic Room and do a serious de-cluttering/rearranging. Saying it again and again, but doing SFA about it. But lo! The universe heard me, and provided me with a stellar opportunity.

Friday afternoon, as per his weekly ritual, the landlord's son washed his fancy-pants sportscar. Tossed the hose back into its usual spot, just outside our kitchen window (of a basement suite, remember) and forgot to turn off the water. Sometime between late afternoon and 3:00 AM, the spray nozzle blew off the hose. Sometime after 8:00 AM on Saturday, I went outside to investigate the running water sound.

Sure enough, there was a puddle deep enough to drown a fish all along the wall of the house. Exasperated, we checked the laundry room, where we've had drainage issues before. And, sure enough, the floor was wet. But no major pools of water, like last time, so we informed the landlord that all looked well, no need to worry.

Sunday afternoon, I went into my Magic Room for the first time all weekend. I saw a piece of paper on the floor - chords for a song I was trying to learn, the cats must have knocked it off the desk. I went to pick it up...soaked through. As was the carpet, most of the way back to the wall. Grrr!

Landlord came down, we hauled stuff away from the wet area (I typed "wet spot" first, but you know, my parents read this. And I'm too tired to be witty, anyway.) Much of it went into the living room...grrr again! The carpet was pulled back, and a space heater put on full blast.

Fast forward two days. After work today, I go into the room to get some stuff, and WHEW! Very, very stinky. Mr.Q fetches the landlord, and he agrees: very, very stinky. Must be replaced ASAP. (Also, the futon mattress we had folded up on the floor: Soaked through the bottom. Bye bye futon!)

Of course, Mr.Q has a gig tonight. So yours truly gets to pack up and empty the room all by her lonesome. The landlord was great - ran to the liquor store for boxes, and when I'd packed 'em up and out of the room, he insisted that he move them all out to the garage. I'm not sure whether he was motivated by guilt, or helpfulness, or an old-world notion that women shouldn't do heavy lifting. Possibly all three. I'm not arguing with any of it; it saved me a tweaky back!

We ordered pizza so Mr.Q would have time to help me with some of it (And he did. Have I mentioned that he rocks, and not just literally?) I ordered Coke, too. Sometimes you just have to live on the edge. When supper came, I thought: I wish I had some rum to go with that Coke. But I finished off the last of the Christmas mickey when I had a cold awhile ago. Still, I went to the cupboard to gaze wistfully at the lack of rum - sort of like you do when you open the freezer, and hope that chocolate ice cream or something has mysteriously materialized. It never does, but you can't help looking anyway.

Well, let me tell you, sometimes the universe listens, and provides! Sure enough, there was most of a bottle of rum in the cupboard. I have no idea where it came from, and I don't care. I don't even really like rum & Coke, but sometimes I needs it.

I'm feeling much better now. Even though it's past my bedtime, and I still have to fold a mountain of laundry before I can get into bed (seeing as it's piled on the bed) and do some dishes. (The dishes aren't on the bed. But if I want coffee in the morning, I have to wash the Bodum and some mugs. A desperate situation, that!) And I might have to have just one more wee drop before I hit the hay.

(Going totally off-track, I had a friend in college whose room-mate was terrible about washing dishes. So my friend, after several reminders, would pile the dirty dishes in the middle of the room-mate's bed. I don't know how effective it was, but I found the notion entertaining!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bits and bobs

Mr.Q is awesome. I'm going to have to keep him. He got me a consolation prize, to help me feel better about the yuckiness at work (as well as our re-flooded basement apartment).

I was going to mention something else, too, but I can't remember now. Anyway, I have to get back to MSN. I'm online with my baby brother in Kathmandu, and we're having a very deep, bonding conversation about nose-picking.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Voices in My Head

I have little old men singing Ramones songs in my head.

I had an uber-crappy week at work. The kind of crappy that I'm totally not going to tell you about, because 1) you don't want to hear it, trust me; and 2) I could easily get fired for giving any details. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, for a number of reasons, but would seriously hamper my ability to do all those frivolous things like, well, umm, eat. And buy the good toilet paper, not the scratchy stuff. Just those minor things that make life bearable.

Instead, I'm going to share something with you that I discovered while sitting around feeling sorry for myself this morning. Something that made me laugh so hard, a little pee came out.

I can't figure out how to load the video directly, and I don't have time, so here's the link. And here's their official website.

Now I know what I want to be when I grow up!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Quick! Look over there!

I had this whole post done up in my head. It was, of course, brilliantly witty, full of clever insights, and generally indicative of my innate genius. (Or at least, of my ability to use words far too big for me & this humble blog!)

And of course, it's gone. But last time, I had mentioned photos, and now Blogger is being less git-like, so here they are:

My new yarn, called "Sedona," from Enchanted Knoll:

Less green-y than I had expected, but with a blend of 70% merino and 30% silk, I'm hardly going to argue with a minor variation in hue. This may be one of those bra-stuffers: not for knitting or wearing, just for carrying around and fondling.

Also, I finally finished the Horcrux socks. Here they are, tip-toeing through the tulips. Or forget-me-knots, or whatever the heck they are:

And finally, our ever-graceful Bagheera, in one of his favourite spots - right on top of Mr.Q's head. And note that this is not a shot of him (the cat) in transit; on the contrary, he's settled in for a long winter's nap, as it were.

Ridiculously dignified cat - not!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I'll show you my lovestick if you show me...yarn! (not)

Thursday afternoon, after lunch, I'm sitting at my desk, looking through the material for the class just about to start. A student comes up behind me and asks: "Teacher, what's a lovestick?"

Surely, distracted as I am, I didn't hear that correctly. "Pardon me? What's a what?"

"A lovestick"

"Oh, do you mean lovesick?"

"No, a lovestick."

I don't know what to say. I do not want to answer this question, no way, no how. I try to stall.

"Ummmm...I'm not sure, I haven't heard that one before. Where did you come across it?"

"Here," he hands me a piece of paper.


He points to an ad for a Cinco de Mayo dance cruise. "Right here, it says 'free lovestick' but I don't know what that is."

"AH! A GLOWstick!" (gigglesnort...what kind of filthy mind do I have? Don't answer that!)

Meanwhile, I was going to post some pics of cute cats, tasty new yarn, and finished socks, but Blogger's being a git, and won't let me upload. Which is just as well, I should be folding laundry and getting ready to leave, since we have to be out the door in a half-hour, and I'm in PJs (again).

It's a delicious day outside, and all of our plans for chores and to-do lists got tossed right out the window this morning. Instead, we took the bikes up to the coffee shop, and sat in the sun for an hour, watching the neighbourhood go by. When we got back to the house, we stopped outside while we wrestled with a difficult dilemma: Go in, get the chores done; or keep going, down to the park on the waterfront.

Took about 15 seconds to decide. We went to the park. Love the smell of briny air! Definitely worth being in a bit of a rush now.

Happy Caturday!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

One of these things is not like the others...

I thought I'd take on one last task before stopping for the night, making dinner, and farting around on the computer: finish drying out the big jars I had washed earlier, and filling them with assorted dry goods from the "pantry" (which I just typed as "panty." Oh dear. I have no idea what kind of Freudian slip that was, but it must mean something. Though I can't say that baking really makes me think of underwear, most days...)

Up till tonight, my "pantry" consisted of a Rubbermaid bin with various bags of sugar, flour, etc. But I'd moved all these jars with me, and after this afternoon's frenzy, I had a shelf to put them on.

So I pulled everything out of the bin, and started pouring things enthusiastically into jars. "Yay!" I said to myself. "This is fun! And look - I get to get rid of all these multiple, half-empty bags of sugar and flour and stuff. Squee!"

Then I realized that something looked funny in the newly-filled jar of flour.


C'mon baby, finish what you started...

Fuelled by some obscure (and usually well-buried) house-keeping instinct, as well as a terrifying image of us in our 90s, being discovered, some time after our demise, buried under ceiling-high stacks of newspapers and old rock'n'roll posters (not to mention all those damned records)...I thought it might be a good idea to spend an hour or so today tackling a pile or two. Maybe just a couple of boxes, on one or two shelves. Nothing much, just take a small bite out of the clutter, let me feel like I'd accomplished something productive, then mosey on down to the library or something.

I am clearly delusional. One box led to another pile, led to another, then dusting needed to be done...and before I knew it, I was knee-high in that extreme chaos that seems to reign between the original mess, and the final result.

(OK, knee-high is maybe understating it, given my stature. Or lack thereof. Quit sniggering, family mine! Make that "knee-high on Mr.Q")

On the good side, I have a huge pile to take to the thrift store this weekend, and new room on my kitchen shelves. Also, Mr.Q is going to go out and get me some reinforcements before he leaves for the evening.

I seem to be in the thrall of some strange nesting instinct lately (no, Mom - and Sarah - I'm not pregnant! Nor are we expecting any new cats.) I think it started with getting the bikes - the first in a long list of "things to get around to one of these days." Seems like that opened the floodgates, and before I knew it, there were new curtains up in the kitchen. Which made such a huge difference in here, that I put up curtains in the Magic Room, too. And started a bag for the thrift store. Then I came home with an accordian file, and started sorting through several scattered baskets of pay slips, old bills, etc.

This morning, we went out for breakfast. While we were out, I figured we should stop by the Canadian Tire & get some drywall plugs, so Mr.Q could fix the knife rack. Might as well get a few more, to put up some other stuff. Maybe pick up another couple of bins for papers....

It sort of avalanched, and I'm going to be sneezing all night from the dust in my nostrils. But as soon as Mr.Q gets back with that wine, and I get the kitchen table cleared off, I'm going to enjoy a well-earned evening of sloth.

(Or, since the sewing machine's already out....)

You see where this could go. If I haven't resurfaced in a few days, please send a search party.

I have found some great treasures, though. Including a letter my baby brother sent me when he was in junior high, or even younger. With some terrible jokes about ghosts telling "people stories" to scare their kids, and something about hockey. I can't wait to show it to him!

When we get the piles sorted out, I will post pics of our new, improved little hobbit hole. In the meantime, victory will soon be mine!

(I hope!)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sox in the City

Since I couldn't make it to Toronto today, for the launch of the Harlot's new book, I decided to take part in the Inexplicable Knitter Behaviour Sock Photo Scavenger Hunt, in the Freestyle, Canada at Large category.

I haven't enjoyed a lunch hour so much in a long time! Some typical scenes of downtown Vancouver, with sock:

Canada Line construction (makes commuting SUCH fun!):

Sinclair Centre (with more construction!)

Harbour Centre, iconic city building, and downtown campus for my alma mater:

Really want to make people do a double take? Set up a sock photo in front of the trendiest cafe in the downtown core, at 8:40 A.M.

And last but not least, the mural on the outside wall of our beloved neighbourhood cafe, The Laughing Bean: