Monday, October 27, 2008

File under: Things You Don't Hear Every Day.

Shortly after dinner chez Quimby, the following exchange took place, as Mr. Q was online checking the bus schedule:

Me: "Where are you going? I thought you said you were going to do the dishes."

He: "I'll do them when I get back. I won't be long, I'm just running out to buy a sword."

Me: "Oh. OK then. Have fun, see you when you get home."

I love Halloween. I have to dress up for work, and I'm trying to decide between a ban-sidhe (more work, creepier, very thematically-appropriate for the Celtic New Year) or a black cat (less work, less creepy, also appropriate for the day. Though I'd prolly resemble a fat lazy housecat, more than a witch's familiar)

If I'd thought of it in time, I'd have collected a bunch of paper bags, made a dress, and gone as The Paper Bag Princess. Somewhere I'm going to have to start keeping track of all these great Halloween ideas. Harumph.

I'm stalling on marking. Progress Reports (glorified report cards) due this week, and I'm ready to be done with the marking thing. Also, with Mondays. Somebody put it perfectly yesterday: There are far too many Mondays in a week. (Though actually mine was OK!)

Waiting outside a Starbucks yesterday for a friend who was stuck in traffic (the only coffee shop around, for the record, it's not like I go there on purpose) I was knitting away, and a tourist marched up to me, obvious purpose in her stride. It was a little disconcerting, but I had pointy sticks in hand, so I figured I was safe.

"You're knitting!" she exclaimed.

"Yes, yes I am."

"What are you making?"

"A hat."

"What are you using?"

"Malabrigo....?" (I was unsure if she'd have any idea what I was talking about.)

"I'm a yarn store owner from New York. Here's my card."

(ummmmm.....cashmere and silk....I did NOT need to look at her website! Fortunately she doesn't do mail order!) She was looking for the nearest LYS, saw me knitting, and figured I could point her in the right direction. We had a lovely little chat before I sent her up Main Street.

I heart Knitters.

(Her husband was awfully nice, too.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I am totally stalling. I have an old friend from high school in town. We're meeting at a pub downtown in a couple of hours - prolly haven't seen each other in 5 years, and I'm really looking forward to catching up. Except that I don't want to leave the house, or even my PJs. Mr.Q has kindly gone to get groceries himself, giving me a little more time before I have to be functional. And instead of having a shower, or folding laundry, or working on my Italian homework - all of which need doing - I am downloading photos from the last week. Want to see?

First flaming Sambuca ever, on my birthday - I'd wanted something else, with mango liqueur and rum, but the waiter wouldn't let me. He said it was a bad idea with all the masala spices in my meal, and I should have this instead, it would clear my palate. "But I don't like Sambuca!" I said. He and Mr.Q both just gave me a look. I caved. I was glad. It was really good! I'm going to have to start lighting all my drinks on fire.

Out and about yesterday afternoon...I love the colours here this time of year:

And this just made me want to kick up the leaves and make them crunch:

Laying low last night with some DVDs, the cats were even cuter than usual:

A note about the green towel - gawd, I'm just looking at those pictures again, and thinking I shouldn't post them, given the hideously mish-mashed colour scheme in that corner! The green towel is the biggest we have, it's a lot easier to wash the cat hair off of that on a regular basis, than the futon cover. Obviously, our "colour scheme" is less along the lines of carefully-chosen complementary tones, and more like "what's on hand just now without having to do more laundry that isn't already covered in a furry layer of cat hair."

And speaking of laundry (how's that for a graceful segue to an exit?) I have to go switch another load over, and then really start getting organized.

Is it already Monday again tomorrow? Wah!

Friday, October 24, 2008

People are fracked.

So I was going to post about the flaming drink I had on my birthday, and new yarn, and the fall colours, and the new baby I got to smell today...but on my way to Blogger, I stopped by Frank's blog. And. Oh. My. Fucking. Gawd. I can't believe what some people get up to in their free time.

(Or, maybe not so free. Whaddya wanna bet these guys get paid for this shite? And it's interesting that the signatories are all guys.)

Now, I know I'm not y'all might be asking what this has to do with me...but I can tell you, I am as aware as anybody that what happens below the 49th usually has an impact up here, too. Plus there's that tiny little issue of human rights. (Also, we saw the trailer for Milk on the weekend, which I'm stoked to go see, and that's prolly got me in the mood for a little soapbox action, too.)

The ridiculousity of these threats, made so brazenly, just sickens me.

Though they surprise me not in the least.

There are days that, faced with the suck-wattage of some human beans, I swear I only want to get out of my bed long enough to hide under it, a pile of blankets over my head. I'm sure Singe would bring me something to eat once in awhile.

(Fortunately, the new-baby smell today has inoculated me a little against completely losing faith in humanity. For now.)

Whether or not Mr.Q and I have the wherewithal to donate at this moment remains to be seen. But I can tell you it is a conversation we'll be having when he gets home. Knitting (and fundraising knitters) have shown that a lot of little bits add up right quick. At the very least, I can do this to put it out there for the world to see, or the wee bit of it that might stop by for a visit.

So there you have it. Happy Friday.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Burfi-day to my feets!

It's my birthday today. And I am so glad to finally be as old as I've been thinking I am all year. Confused? Yeah, me too. And I have been since early February. Comes with spending a lot of time with Asian students who celebrate the Lunar New Year. Which is a cool festival, and a really big deal in Vancouver, and I totally enjoy all of the cultural exchange kind of stuff. But this year - the Year of the Rat - is "my" year. Which, in February, led to a lot of people counting off on their fingers and coming up with my age. Only my birthday's nowhere near February, so all year I've had to stop and think and count, and got it wrong as often as not, and have generally been more confused than usual on the issue. Thank goodness that's all over for another 12 years! (When I will be 24. Again.)

Keeping it low-key today...Mr.Q's taking me for Indian food after work, and then I have a knitting meet-up. I'm going to take myself out for a fancy-pants coffee before work, maybe. But...but but but! After putting River Rapids Sock #2 on hold to knit hats for an army...I buckled down and finished 'em off, so's they'd be done in time to wear just for today.

They're not quite as bright as they look here - but they are, in fact, a little shiny:

Hooray for toasty shiny toes!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We will sock you

Forget Greg Kinnear, dudes. Look who I got to hold my sock tonight:

Just in case you need another hint:
(Gosh, that bass player behind him is kind of cute, don't you think?)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Warning: the post you are about to read may contain language. Viewer discretion is advised.


Fuckity fuck fuck.


Well, that was about the most fun I ever had, wasting $300,000,000. Thanks, Stevie. You know, if I wasted that kind of money against my employers' wishes, my ass would be so fired.

A couple notes for you, Mr.Harper, just a couple things to keep in mind:

*You do know, I hope, that the whole "Ordinary Canadians don't care about the arts, so I'm just going to slash arts funding" cost you Quebec. And a majority goverment. (To the Quebecois - merci beaucoup!)

*That whole not keeping election promises thing? Newfoundland is probably not the last province that will shut you out, if you keep that up. (Yay Newfies!)

*Umm....38% of the popular vote is not a "clear mandate to govern." It's a clear message that you had damned well better learn to play well with others, coz I doubt your party is going to accept another minority under you. I mean, if your MPs were actually allowed to have opinions or anything like that. Which they obviously aren't, but, you know, if they were. Hypothetically speaking. But it is obvious that the Canadian people have an opinion on that. And they didn't give you a clear mandate for anything but a short leash, pal.

At least, those of us who chose to exercise our right to express that opinion did, anyway.

People. Come on. Fifty-eight percent voter turnout? Jumpin' jeezus on a pogo stick. That is just fucking pathetic. Use it or lose it.

Fuckity fuck fuck.

Off to face a bunch of overprivileged apathetic gits, who think that "the goverment" should be solely responsible for everything - but without using any of their tax dollars, thankyouverymuch. Heads out of the arses, please, people!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Me, cynical? No way! (OK, Way)

Today, I had an important decision to make: walk down to the polling station before work, get it over with, and give up any chance of a seat on the bus downtown; or take the smelly, crazy, poky bus back to the 'hood after work, vote, and walk 20 minutes home on one of the (probably) last pseudo-sunny days of the year.

Kind of a no-brainer, when I put it like that. And it was indeed a nice walk home. Mr.Q had gone to vote about a half-hour before I did, and volunteered to run some errands & meet me at the coffee shop so we could walk home together. So. Civic duty done. For what it's worth. Am trying to find somewhere online that will be streaming the results as they come in. Only rarely do I miss having a TV, but tonight is one of those times. (Then again, do I really need to hear the pundits saying the same thing over and over for hours? Maybe not so much!)

I get frustrated with the political apathy I see around me all the time. Especially during an election. I think it bugs me so much - and I take voting so seriously - because the date of the last provincial election was the same date that women in Kuwait won the right to vote. And my goodness, if that doesn't give a gal some perspective, what will?! Anyway. Not going to dwell on it at the moment. We'll see what we wake up to tomorrow.


('ve also got a rant in me about over-privileged idjits with their entitled heads up their arses, but I'm feeling just a leetle too over-heated there! Maybe I'll cool down a bit before wading into that...)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gobble Gobble!

So why, one might ask, would someone go to all the trouble of making all of this...

...for just the two of us? (Dudes, I made the cranberry sauce. I even used real pumpkin for the pie!)

(Though in the interest of full disclosure, I bought frozen pie shells. Even I have my limits. And pie pastry hates me.)

Anyway. Back to the issue at hand. Why would one go through all that effort - not to mention dirty dishes - for 2 people?

This is why:

Toast with chicken and gravy. The ultimate in left-over comfort food. And it's raining today, and I made this for my lunch while cooking up a vat of chicken stock. A holiday Monday just doesn't get much better than that! (Well, in the fall, anyway. I can think of better things to be doing in the summer, involving gin, tonic, and a lake, to start...but for the fall, this will do quite nicely!)

I've also got a couple more wee knitting projects finished up, but no pics for you, sorry to say. My baby sis reminded me that family members young and not-so-young alike visit here on a regular basis, and let's be honest - at this point, the knitting's for Christmas. No point in posting spoilers!

Back to work-a-day life tomorrow. And the election, of course. Is it just me, or does this one seem kind of blase? I could wax all philosophical about it - and just may, tomorrow, if the mood strikes. All the options being as gimpy as they are, though, I don't know that it wouldn't just be a bitch-fest. Which isn't where I want to spend my energy today!

Happy Turkey Day!

(Though really, that would be just as appropriate tomorrow...sigh!)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Long weekend bliss

I remember, a long time ago, having a conversation with a couple people I'd graduated from high school with. We were talking about how weird it was to be all growed up, and to have opinions on things like thread count in sheets, and good kitchen knives, and how it was possible (gasp!) to actually be too tired for sex.

I think I've got another one to add to the list: waking up at 7:30 am on a Saturday now constitutes "sleeping in." Oy! But - it does make for a productive morning, and a good thing, too. We got out the door as early as we could to get the grocery shopping done, in a bid to avoid the Thanksgiving/long weekend rush. Seems like we weren't the only people with that idea; it was crazier than usual at our cramped little neighbourhood grocery. But we escaped relatively unscathed (Oddly, Mr.Q was the one traumatized by the crowds. Usually I'm the one who ends up curled up under the produce bins, breathing into a paper bag...) And now we don't really have to leave the house for the rest of the weekend! Except for a few essentials, like, oh, Baileys and some DVDs. But Mr.Q's out in the 'hood as I type, procuring those last supplies, including a library book that I've been waiting months to come in.

So I think we're going to hole up for the next 2 1/2 days, watch the first season of Lost, knit, read, listen to records, cuddle with the cats, and generally hang out in our PJs. We'll do a mini-Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow - I picked up a free-range chicken at the butcher shop this morning, and may even bake a pumpkin pie to go with it. But with only two of us here, I'm really doing it more for the leftovers & chicken soup. Mmmmm!

In the meantime, the second eggplant is done, and was just about as much fun as the first:

I've also got the first stocking-stuffer done - a hat for my nephew (I owe him one, as apparently the one I made him a couple of winters ago was rather scritchy. That was before I discovered Malabrigo, which I used for this one...mmmmmmmMalabrigo!)

Finally...Singe has been getting in some good practice for the weekend:

(Is it just me, or does he look like he's running on his side?)

And the other beasties have been reminding us who's boss:

Not quite sure how the Mr. got himself out from under that, actually. I suspect the siren call of his preferred beer helped.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Edited to add...Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that I ran into Crochet Guy on the bus the other day. He was sitting next to this woman knitting 2 socks on circular needles. I thought she was the woman I'd met at the yarn sale, who also knits on my bus, so I sat down next to them and we started talking. Rather uncharacteristically bold of me, actually. After a few minutes, though, I realized that she was not who I'd thought - oops! - but she was quite friendly nonetheless. And when I told her my mistake, she knew who I was talking about - and told me about yet another regular knitter on the same bus route, who does hats. Something in angora this week. Seems the #4 is quite the crafty bus! It does make up for some of the "challenges" (to put it mildly) of taking public transit on a regular basis. We should just start holding meetings, maybe giving lessons. Resistance is futile!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hats off

Eggplant hat #2 is stalled at the stem...been busy I have, no time to finish it. In the meantime, though, I got a good chunk of a Malabrigo hat started on Tuesday night, while we waited to get into the Commodore. Fortunately it wasn't raining, just quite chilly.

The show started a lot later than we'd expected, so we were there a lot earlier than we needed to be. Which turned out OK, as we were near the front of the line, and were able to get good seats looking down over the dance floor. We did have to sit through a very unfortunate opening act...whose art-rock wanking off would have been passable on a different bill, but they were a very poor fit for a solo acoustic headliner.

But it was worth sitting through them, too, in the end. Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) didn't come onstage until about 10:00...past my bedtime already! But then this shaggy-haired, bushy-bearded, rumpled guy ambled onto the stage and picked up his guitar. And had all 900+ of us eating out of his hand within 5 minutes.

It was pretty surreal, to be sitting in the balcony looking down at a dance floor packed with hundreds of eager music-lovers...all standing relatively still, enchanted for the entire set. I went from wanting to go home to bed before he even started singing, to Mr.Q having to drag me out before the encore so we had a shot at getting a taxi home. On a school night, even!

And here it is, Friday again already...and a long weekend to boot! Not sure if we'll go to the fuss and bother of making a proper Thanksgiving dinner...but the weather's supposed to be nice, neither of us have any obligations or prior commitments, and the house is reasonably tidy. So we're set for a relaxing weekend, one way or another!

And there are two major elections to consider this weekend. One Very Important Event, which could have a significant impact on our nation's future; and something about a federal something-or-other on Tuesday. Now, be good little Canucks & get out and vote!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On a roll....

Second eggplant hat is well on its way, and I've had a request for a third (for a baby, Sarah). They are too much fun to knit! knitting tonight. Or at least, nothing in dark colours. Mr.Q got me an early birthday present: tickets to see Iron & Wine at the Commodore Ballrooom tonight. Now, the Commodore may be a fantastic venue, but it hasn't been one of my favourites. I prefer small and cozy pubs, or sit-down theatres, rather than a 1000-person mob on a sproingy dance floor. Given that the last show I saw there was about 10 years ago, though (Spirit of the West, which virtually requires drunken rowdiness of the best sing-along kind)...I'm willing to give it another chance.

Plus, I 'spect the crowd tonight will be a much mellower sort. And it's an early show. (Which I am sure is one of the reasons I love folk music...sensible bedtimes!)

(Which is not to say that folk musicians can't ring in the dawn with the best of them...but if one does choose to go to bed at a reasonable hour, the kitchen-table or campfire jams are less likely to keep one awake than, say, a speedmetal party.)

(And a night out whose dress code practically requires jeans and hand-knit socks is definitely something to look forward to, on any occasion!)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I am the eggplant, koo koo katchoo

Well, I think the Malabrigo sock yarn is doing the trick. Knitting is my friend again. I can't wait to wear these socks. And I don't think I've ever had a pair knit up so quickly for me, either. Yum! There's also been some baby knitting on the back burner that I finally got going on today. Two first babies - one, born about 6 weeks ago, the daughter of an old friend from university & his wife. And one of Mr.Q's bandmates just had a boy (or, well, his wife did) a few days ago. So today before our bi-weekly Ravelry get-together, I went to the yarn store & picked out the yarn for both. Mission Falls superwash merino...lovely to knit up.

And super-duper speedy. (Excuse the crappy photo, I think our camera is on crack.) Egg(plant) Head Hat #1 (for the newborn):

And while I'm at it, a Malabrigo teaser:

Did I mention that I luuurrrve this yarn?

(Ummm...what does it mean when, not having been into the yarn store for a mere two weeks, a staff member mentions that "it's been such a long time" since she's seen me?)

(How's about we just keep that between us, m'kay, and not mention it to Mr.Q. Though he's not likely to notice - he finally got himself a turntable that works properly, and we have been listening to Todd Rundgren in all his incarnations, all weekend.)

(There was also a little falling-down at the organic food store, which had Green & Black's on sale...oops!)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Teeny-Tiny Self-Pity Party

I had to go back to the dentist this morning for two more fillings (I do brush my teeth regularly, really I do!) The shot for the bottom one didn't quite take, so I got another. Yay me. Plus, there was the one on the top. By the time I got home, the right side of my face was numb from below my chin, all the way up past my eyebrow. Even my ear. It was very, very weird. But I only bit my tongue once, and not badly. I think the Bailey's in the coffee I had when I got home really helped.

Then, when the freezing wore off, I realized that the bottom filling was too high, so I had to go back this afternoon to get it ground down. Good times. Though it was all much less awful than I'd anticipated. Plus, the dentist has a TV in the ceiling, with earphones, and I eagerly embraced the distraction.

However - word to the wise - the Comedy Network is not the best viewing choice while in the dentist's chair. Especially not Rick Mercer doing stand-up!

(Side note: if anybody out there can link me to a clip of Greg Kinnear's interview on Conan O'Brien this week, I'd love you forever! The NBC site "isn't available in my area." Grrr!)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Weird & Wonderful

The weird: I actually signed up for a hockey pool at work. Which is kind of hilarious, actually, since I watch a hockey game about....oh....twice every four years. When the Canadian teams (Women's, then Men's, by preference) are about to kick some gold medal butt at the Winter Olympics. But otherwise? Seriously, the way I do not care about hockey could one day lead to my Canadian citizenship being revoked.

So it's pretty funny that I got into this hockey pool. And just plain freaky that I actually stayed after work for an hour for the draft. What the hell do I know about hockey? Not a thing! But hey, I had first draft pick...wasn't going to let that pass me by! I'm getting a huge kick already, out of my team facing off against the Ice Warriors and the Crimson Canadians....ladies and gents, meet the Yarn Pirates. In pink helmets.

The wonderful (or at least, the pretty cool): I had a voicemail waiting on my cell when I finished class today. A rather sexy phone voice saying that he had got the wrong number, but couldn't hang up without telling me how cheerful my voice sounded, and he hoped I'd have a nice day too. Not in a creepy, sleazy kind of way, either - just cool, random friendliness.

I totally saved the message.

Also, I picked up the new Yarn Harlot book after work. And some fresh spaghetti and tomato-basil-parmesan sauce from Granville Island for dinner, since I was down there anyway. (A note to local knitters: Blackberry Books on Granville Island will happily special-order her book for you, if it's out of might take a bit longer than walking into Chapters, but you get way better service, and the satisfaction of supporting a local, independent bookstore. Plus it's right around the corner, literally, from the new Maiwa craft store with all the yarn. Ahem.)

So. I think it will be a night for pajamas and curling up with a new book. Even though it's technically Friday, it's kind of got that furry Sunday kind of feeling to it.