Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pretty in Pink

Had a bit of an impulsive falling-down at the liquor store on payday. Went in for a bottle of wine for my book club (We did talk about the book....for about 15 minutes. I seem to recall lighting Sambuca on fire later in the evening, and singing along really loudly - and badly - to Tiffany and the Bangles...good times!)

Anyway. I was buying my bottle of wine, and saw a display for Granville Island's summer ale. I would have bought a 6 right then, but I was loaded down with coffee (JJ Bean is discontinuing my favourite roast e-var, so I sort of cleaned them out of what they had left...). Mr.Q kindly went out and fetched me some of the beer on Saturday, while I nursed a bit of a(n apocalyptic) hangover. 

I may have waited a day or two to actually crack a bottle, but it's So. Good. NOMS!:

And so very, very pretty!

Also, quite tasty: light, and tart. Not sweet at all, but still a clear hint of raspberry at the back of the tongue. Perfectly refreshing for a hot summer day.

If, that is, we ever get a hot summer day! Or even a sort of tepid one.

My pretty beer, in the 5 minutes of sunlight we had on the weekend:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Surreality Check


Sitting in a chair at the salon on Sunday, getting new blue in my hair. Salon is empty, save for me, my hairdresser, and her 2 co-workers. I hadn't realized the hockey game was mid-afternoon, or I might have scheduled my appointment differently. But the customer service there is great: they turned my chair around, got a cart for my hairdresser to work from, moved the monitor on their computer so I could see the screen, and we all watched the game together. While I was getting my hair done. And knitting. And having a passionate conversation about cheese and coffee and chocolate. Talk about extreme multi-tasking!

More bizarre:

"Not watching" Tuesday's game on my laptop, sitting on the bathroom floor (because the Canucks never score when I'm actually watching the game, so I was just listening to it) with a beer in hand, having an online conversation with a friend in her bathroom (because they only score when she's in the can); a friend stuck in her bedroom (because every time she comes out, the other team scores); a friend really not watching (because they lose every time she does); and our lifeline, who seems able to watch the games without consequence. All of us knitting, of course. 

When I asked Mr.Q to bring me another beer, and he realized I was in the bathroom, he was quite...confused. Poor thing. He's a bit of a delicate flower.

Most bizarre:

Being glad I couldn't wear jeans on Thursday, because it meant the Canucks made it to the finals...What have I come to?!

(Most-er bizarre: actually considering not-watching Game 1 next week - a home game - from a downtown pub....)

Not sure what's happening to me, but I think I'm enjoying the ride!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Smells like Team Spirit

It may come as a shock to some of you, Gentle Readers, but I am not the world's biggest hockey fan. "Puck" is a delightful Shakespeare character; "Face Off" is a game show in the Who-vian future; "Icing" is something you put on a cake, or maybe cinnamon buns.

So, when we were told some weeks ago, that we could wear jeans on game days for the play-offs, if we wore a Canucks shirt...I was all over the jeans. But I actually had to go out and buy the shirt. There was some joking about growing a "play-off beard" on my legs, but that was about it. The only reason I paid attention to the schedule & the outcomes of the games was to make sure I had clean jeans to wear at every possible opportunity - and to make sure I got out of downtown as soon as possible on home-game days. And wearing a t-shirt in that pretty blue was no hardship!

But then...something happened. As they won more games, advanced further...more people started coming out of the woodwork in their team colours on game days. It became a conversation staple with my favourite baristas, as the wall behind the espresso bar was slowly covered in photos of the players from the newspapers. People in t-shirts and jerseys making their way through the downtown core started making eye contact with each other - not done! - and even smiling in friendly acknowledgement. Canucks shirts, hats, jerseys, and scarves have slowly overtaken business suits, jackets, skirts and slacks for work attire across the city. It's a pretty interesting phenomenon to watch.

Last night I realized I was in over my head when I:
  •  knew where to find a live webcast of the game
  • could accurately estimate which period they'd be in when I went to the site
  •  knew what time the game started
  •  watched a whole period without diverting my attention elsewhere
  •  couldn't knit during the tense moments
  •  cheered out loud at more than one goal
  • convinced Mr.Q that it might actually be fun to go watch a game at our local sports pub one night next week 
I think I've been replaced by a pod person! Send help! 

(But...not till after the play-offs?)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lost in Translation

An interesting day at work yesterday. Fun, as a sunny Friday often is, and I've got really great students in all of my classes - none of them are divas or princesses, they like each other, and they work well together. It doesn't happen all the time, at least not in every class at the same time, so I try to appreciate it when it does! Not minding if I make an ass of myself in front of them probably helps. Yesterday I played Patio Lanterns for one class, and then taught them the "traditional Canadian high school dance"  - that awkward side to side shuffle, with maybe a little bit of hand-flailing...They were singing along by the end of the class. So. Fun!

Last class of the day is shorter on Fridays, just an hour. We usually have a pronunciation lesson, but before we started, one of the guys wanted to ask me a question. He had a notebook with a list of idioms and slang he'd heard, to ask about later. So we spent about 20 minutes talking about that, with other students piping up with their own queries. A good class discussion, really.

Right up to the part where someone asked me: "Teacher, can you use the word cock in a sentence for me?"

Me: O.o

Me: Umm.

Me: {stunned silence}

Me: Umm. Where did you hear that? Can you give me some context?

Student: I heard it on a TV show. The police arrested some guy for dealing cock.

Me: {whew!} You mean cocaine! Yes, yes I can use that in a sentence for you. But first, we should really talk about the pronunciation of that vowel sound! 

So we get that sorted, and he pipes up again: "Teacher, what's a dowsh bag?"

Me: Could you repeat that, please?

Student: A dowsh bag.

Me: Could you spell it for me, or tell me where you heard it?

Student: D-O-U-C-H-E-B-A-G

Me {bang head on wall}

So we got that sorted, too, and then I put an end to question period. I was too afraid of what they'd throw at me next! We worked on pronunciation for the rest of the class. Then I got to have a walk in the sun, a drink with some co-workers, and two of us went for poutine afterward. I had the bacon poutine. So very, very wrong. And so right!  But I'll be eating celery all weekend to compensate...Holy rich cheese-curds-and-gravy noms, Batman!

Because yesterday it felt like it might be summer, someday, and because this song makes me think of summer, here's a little Kim Mitchell for your Saturday:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Came across this today:

Read the comments. Seriously. AWESOME. SAUCE.

May the force be with you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bah. (Actual Knitting Content!)

Rivendell socks: 1, MrsQ: 0

So far, anyway. Actually, the problem isn't the socks; the pattern is quite enchanting, and as there's a video link for the tricksy cluster stitches, it's smoother sailing than I'd anticipated.

The yarn, on the other hand, is Not Playing Well With Others

It's lovely yarn: Unique Sheep's Gradience Yarn in Silverlode (about 7 rows down, on the right-hand side) - most appropriate, I thought! And it's also quite pleasant to work with. Only, it's not "grading" as well as I'd hoped, and so the transition from silver-blue to blue-silver has a definite clunky stripe aspect to it. Not the elegant, elvish look I was hoping for!

Bah. I would just eliminate the lightest colour altogether, if I had another 50 yards of yarn, since, in the mini test sock I knit, the other 3 skeins blended together wonderfully.  As it stands, though, I'm 99.97% sure I'd run out of yarn, and end up with silver toes. Also not the look I'm hoping for!

I haven't given up yet. I've got one idea that just might to frog & cast on again. Wish a Quimby luck, would you?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Domestic Goddess in Residence

Whelp, I guess I missed posting yesterday, which means that the whole post-a-day-in-May thing took a hit, but c'est la vie! I was busy, what can I say? Mr.Q decided he needed to mop the floors, which meant he needed me out of his way. Since the weather was far too gross for me to leave the house (or even my pajamas), I got "sent to my room" for the afternoon. This was no hardship: I had the laptop, to catch up on some Dr.Who and CSI. I had coffee (with a liberal splash of Baileys). I had lots of knitting (surprise surprise). I was almost sad when the floors were done and I was "allowed" to re-emerge! 

This evening, I'm still in my PJs, and haven't left the house all weekend. Perfectly delightful! (In the interest of full disclosure, I did showered this afternoon, and put on clean pajamas after the fact. And regular tooth-brushing has occurred on schedule.) PJs aside, today I have more than made up for yesterday's indolence. I have:

  • baked 2 loaves of bread (half of one has already been devoured, and not by me. I'm looking at you, Q!)
  • made a wicked batch of melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon buns...with caramel gooeyness on the bottom. And I glazed them!
  • sewn 6 headbands, to keep my unruly locks off my face (not sure they all go with the blue hair, though. Hmm. Didn't quite think that through!)
  • made minor alterations to the previously-gappy button bands on 2 blouses, thus shifting them from "winter" wardrobe (as a camisole was needed) to "summer" - just in time for the insanity that is our lack of air conditioning at work.
  • done a load of my laundry, and folded a load of towels
  • done 2 loads of dishes
  • knit 2 inches on a rather complicated sock pattern
  • prepped tomorrow's breakfast and lunch
  • made sure my Canucks tee is on the top of the pile, to wear to work tomorrow.
  • tried out tomorrow's grammar lesson on Mr.Q, and determined that my students could kick his butt. They will be tickled when I tell them so!
Whew! Going to work tomorrow will almost seem like a holiday!

Almost. I'm not totally nuts!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Beautiful Mind

I was sitting on the bus heading home, and so glad it's the weekend...not that my week sucked; quite the opposite, but the first week of the month with loads of new students always takes a lot of energy. (Plus, there was epic cat puking last night. And as I was cleaning it up, an epically stinky litter-box poo. I changed the litter as soon as I finished with the floor...and while I was washing my hands, the cat puked again. While I was cleaning that up, he peed in the fresh litter. Not the most fun evening ever!) So there I was on the bus, tired and ready to be in my pajamas for as much as the weekend as might be humanly possible. My phone rang: Mr.Q getting off work.

Me: "Hey you! How was your day?"

Him: "Butter chicken."

Me: "Whaaaa?"

Him: "Butter. Chicken. I want some."

I knew I married me a smart man. And we make a great team: I called in the order, he picked it up on his way home. 

Now: drinking an Apricot Wheat Ale, with a happy belly and leftover shahi paneer for breakfast tomorrow. I do love the way he thinks!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Approaching the Summit

So...Registration for Sock Summit 2011 has come & done...with far fewer hiccups than last time, thank Bob! I am among the lucky ones who got their wish-list of classes. Though, to be honest, I had such a flexible wish-list that just about any combination would have been successful! Last time, I over-booked myself, and I didn't have a lot of time to see Portland, or energy to hang out with as many people as I would have liked. Mind you, it was still an amazing experience! But I wanted to give myself a bit more breathing room, schedule-wise. 

As it is, I'm still doing something every day. Oddly, only one class (knitting toe-up socks) is actually about knitting. I've got a photography class, an ergonomics class...and, of all things, a math class! So. Busy busy. But it should still leave me lots of time for shopping, visiting, and exploring Portland's many wonders. 

Including, serendipitously, the Oregon Brewfest. Located a mere 10-minute walk from our hotel, and en route from the Convention Center...sweet!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nom Nom Nom Nom, Babies!

Finally - some weather mild enough to sit outside the coffee shop! Met a friend for coffee after work - I haven't seen her since she had her wee lad, 7-weeks-less-a-day ago.  He is, of course, just precious. He was sleeping the whole time, and I have a cold sore, so there were no snorgles.  But he looks like he smells like a Werther's!  We discussed why the urge to eat him was so strong. No answers, but interesting to note that it's a common phenomenon.

(Oh! Also! Sock Summit registration! So. Excited! Will post more tomorrow.)

In the meantime, to prove the ubiquitousness of the nomming-babies urge, here's a song about it:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oh, Canada.

I am disappoint.

61% voter turnout? Puh. Leeze.

We need some major electoral change in this country. Starting with proportional representation. I really can't understand a) how 39% of votes = a majority government; and b) how people are OKAY with this?! I've heard a few "voice of the people" comments, and I have to say: bullshit. If we were looking at a minority government, with seats apportioned according to actual voter support, I'd totally be OK with that. Not happy, but I could accept it. The situation as it stands blows goats.

Also, last night I dreamed I went all Buffy the Vampire Slayer on some Tory ass.  Only I was too short to really be effective. And their heads were too thick to bash. Depressing. (Though I did land a few good drop kicks!)

In real life, I'll be mailing my MP (who rocks my finest hand-knit socks off) and asking how she intends to approach accountability for Harper...and where she stands on the notion of electoral reform.

I'm gonna need a sturdier (and taller!) soap box...

Monday, May 2, 2011

I've got my Sprite....will I get my Orange Crush?

Election Day. Mr.Q & I have a tradition of meeting up after work & going to the polls together. Felt a little stronger than usual about the whole thing this time around...Of course, there's all the shit going down in Syria & Libya, etc, where people are dying for the right that so many Canadians take for granted. But on a more personal note, I have a lot of Saudi women in my classes at the moment: intelligent, articulate, educated women...who aren't allowed to vote. 

This one's for them.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May day! May day!

I went home for Easter weekend, and was scolded by more than one person for being so lax about posting. When I said "But I have nothing to post about! I haven't really been knitting much, there's nothing exciting going on..." my father very wisely (and stubbornly) pointed out that "nothing exciting" could mean an opportunity to appreciate the every-day that much more. 

(Also, I should note that after a weekend, when I ask my students what they did with their days off, they are not allowed to use the phrases "nothing much" or "nothing special"...I guess "nothing exciting" is rather along the same lines! So I'm not allowed to say it here. I've just banned that vocabulary from my blogging lexicon.)

And, it's not exactly entirely true! There have been many moments worth noting...just a problem getting myself to sit down & actually note them, especially having been out of the habit for so long. So. In order to get back into the habit, I'm calling May a blog-a-day month. I'll have to think of a decadent treat for myself if I succeed. Any suggestions would be welcome! (Other than yarn - been on a yarn diet for just over 4 months now, and don't want to break the momentum!)

Anyhoo. So. April. Not that exciting, but it had its moments! There were a few hours of sunshine in there somewhere, and the daffodils and magnolias and tulips all came out to play. The oregon grape shrub in our neighbour's back driveway bloomed, and the scent is delightful.

Also, we went to a really awesome concert: Robert Plant and his Band of Joy....AWESOME. SAUCE!

Very bad pic, but the mop of hair centre stage is Mr.Plant himself. I make no apologies for my state of mind (and...well...the state of my panties!) watching him perform.

He strode (but didn't strut) onto stage, looked around at his band, kicked the mike stand up & grabbed it mid-air, like he was still in his 20s on a stadium stage.  (Except that we were in a smallish theatre, and he just about took out the players on either side of him!)  The whole evening was fantastic. The band, of course, were all phenomenal players - and aptly named. Plant was coiled up like a little kid on Christmas morning, and he was clearly delighted to be doing this new rootsy-bluegrassy-alt-country thing.  They did do a few Zeppelin tunes, too, with their own flavour, which was cool, and well-done.

But my favourite part was when he would let the other musicians on stage take a song, to showcase their own music. Plant stepped back to a microphone by the drum kit and sang background vocals for them...He was obviously not used to being in that position, and if you knew what to look for, you could see that he was working hard to pay attention and sing his parts well (and probably having a hard time toning down his front-man energy!).  You could also see that he was having a total blast, and that he has a lot of joy in music left in him. He wasn't there as a Legend of Rock, but as someone who loves music, and thinks it's pretty frackin' cool that he gets to do it as a day job. 

And it was pretty frackin' cool that we got to be there to see it!  

So there you have it - an exciting moment in April. Must caffeinate now, and see about getting out to play in the sun!  Happy May Day!