Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Vegas, baby!

We spent Christmas in Las Vegas this year. My parents went to Hawaii for Christmas, but neglected to invite us along. So rather than sitting at home by ourselves, we decided to go to Vegas instead. I only had one vacation day left, so we just went for a 4-day weekend, taking full advantage of the statutory holidays.

I hadn't realized how long it takes to get there! It was nearly 7 hours to get there (including a stopover in Chicago) and over 7 hours to get home (including a stopover in Dallas). The flights were fairly pain-free aside from the total trip length. Oh, and American doesn't serve food on their flights at all any more, it seems. You could buy a "snack box" if you were starving, but other than that you were out of luck. I was surprised you couldn't buy a meal.

It was my first time in Vegas and I have to say, it wasn't as tacky as I thought it would be. I thought it would be like Niagara Falls, only bigger. It was definitely bigger, but not as tacky. OK, parts of it were definitely tacky, but in an upscale sort of way. In Niagara Falls you kind of feel like you're at a carnival.

The highlight of the trip was the Star Trek Experience. It was more than just a ride. Of course, it also cost an arm and a leg ($38US per person, for a one hour experience!). But it was way cool. They had a museum (or so they called it - it was more of a hallway with displays along the side) with Star Trek memorabilia and props. Some of them were really neat to see. They had them arranged chronologically by when the shows were set - so Zephram Cochrane's outfit was first, followed by stuff from Enterprise, etc. Once you're through the museum, there are 2 different rides you can go on. They're both good. One was obviously a little older than the other, but both were fun and cool. My only complaint was on the one ride they REALLY throw you around in those hard plastic chairs. You weren't allowed to go on that one if you were pregnant, and I could see why!

The Stratosphere tower was also fun. We went up to the top and looked at the views of the city, then went on the "High Roller" which is the highest roller coaster in the world. It is built around the top of the tower. It was fun, even though I was really nervous at first. Kenneth then went on the "X-Scream" which is a ride that dips over the edge of the tower and looks like it's going to let you fall off. I refused to go on that one. I did document his ride with pictures, though. None of them turned out great so I won't bother posting.

We had fun in the casinos. We both lost a little money, but not too much. I was actually ahead at one point, but of course I lost it all back. One morning I was chatting with a bored dealer at the craps table (I was just walking past and he struck up a conversation), and he told me he had one guy who had come in with $500 and parlayed it up to $26,000! I can't imagine. Of course, I would never bet $500 in the first place. Anyways, he then proceeded to lose the entire $26,000. Isn't that awful??

The most freaky thing about Vegas is there are slot machines *everywhere*. In the grocery store. In the gas station stores. At the airport. It's bizarre.

Friday, December 16, 2005



  1. Sub maker
  2. Frozen yogurt store "supervisor"
  3. Computer programmer
  4. Travel agent


  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Pretty Woman
  3. Center Stage
  4. Dirty Dancing


  1. Liverpool, England
  2. London, Ontario
  3. Toronto, Ontario
  4. Maple, Ontario


  1. Lost
  2. Boston Legal
  3. Grey's Anatomy
  4. NCIS


  1. Alaska
  2. England
  3. Jamaica
  4. Alberta


  1. Hotmail
  2. Yahoo Mail
  3. Knittyboard
  4. Talk Healthy


  1. Asparagus
  2. Chocolate
  3. Canneloni in a pink sauce
  4. Pork ribs, nice and saucy


  1. On a beach with a pina colada.
  2. At home, playing Zuma.
  3. At home, shoveling the driveway (OK, let's face it, pretty much anything would be better than here)
  4. At the mall, buying Kenneth a Christmas gift.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hat and Mouse

Get it?

We have a secret Santa sort of thing coming up at work, so I knitted a hat to use for it. We're going to be doing a "white elephant" exchange, which goes like this:

1) Everyone draws numbers to determine the order of gift picking.
2) The first person picks a gift from the pile and unwraps it.
3) The second person can decide to either steal the first person's gift, or pick a gift from the pile. If they steal the first person's gift, the first person picks a new gift from the pile.
4) And so on.

I'm of course secretly hoping that my hat will be super popular and stolen by everyone. I know it won't be, though.

This is my hat. It's just a basic rib hat. I made a small mistake in the ribbing in the red area, but hopefully it's not too noticeable. Can you see it?

When I was done with the hat, I had some yellow yarn left over. I decided to make a cat toy out of it. Without a pattern, I created a little yellow mouse. I didn't bother putting eyes or ears on it, because it's for a cat, and you know they don't care about that sort of thing. I stuffed it with bubble wrap so it makes a sort of fun crinkly sound when you play with it.

Here's Hope, enjoying (OK, that might be a stretch) her new toy.

Friday, December 09, 2005

XBox Bonanza

Kenneth came home from school today, having gone via Blockbuster. He brought home 3 XBox game rentals! I guess I know how we'll be spending our weekend now. Oh, and a Nestle After Eight bar for me. What a sweetie! I wish they hadn't reformulated their bar, though. It was SO much better when it was the Laura Secord Royale bar.

Games we rented:
  • Call of Duty 2 - A war game. It doesn't look like my cup of tea.
  • Gun - A western adventure game, I think. I haven't seen it yet.
  • Project Gotham Racing 3 - A driving game. We have PGR2 and it's pretty fun, so hopefully this one will be fun as well. I haven't actually seen it yet either.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Veggie Soup Goodness

Mmm. Today for some reason I had a huge craving for vegetable soup. We didn't have anything in the house, so I got out my trusty crockpot. I've never actually made soup in it before, but I didn't let that stop me. I threw in:

onion soup mix (the box was still taped shut from when we moved 4 years ago!)
2 carrots on the edge of going bad
frozen corn, beans, and broccoli
canned tuna & black beans
2 bay leaves for good measure
enough water that it looked "soupy"

How's that for winging it? I just had two bowls of it, and it's pretty good! The onion soup mix made it a bit salty for my liking, but it's not over the top.

I need to do that more often - just whip something up. Too often I feel constrained by the boundaries of recipes. I should remember that I have the power!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Seven Things

EDog said I have to do this, so here goes:

Seven things to do before I die:
  1. Go on a world cruise.
  2. Hire a maid.
  3. Get clematis to actually grow on my arbour.
  4. Scuba dive with whale sharks.
  5. Write my will.
  6. Own a doggie of my very own.
  7. Retire.
Seven things I cannot do:
  1. Crochet.
  2. Jump off high things.
  3. Make a fist properly.
  4. Believe in God.
  5. Tell the quality of diamonds (or care, for that matter).
  6. Draw things that look decent.
  7. Stop eating chocolate (not that I'd try!).
Seven things that attract me to my best friend:
  1. He's nice.
  2. He's big.
  3. He's Swedish.
  4. He takes care of me.
  5. He has nice legs.
  6. He has the cutest face.
  7. He has nice glasses.
Seven things I say most often:
  1. Hi
  2. Whatever
  3. Like
  4. Are you the biggest one?
  5. My name is Fosco, I am so macho.
  6. I love you.
  7. Hello, Susan speaking.
Seven books (or series) I love:
  1. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
  2. Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein (TANSTAAFL!)
  3. Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
  4. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by I forgot who wrote this one
  6. The Kite Runner, ditto
  7. The Caves of Steel, The Robots of Dawn, & Robots & Empire (the Lije Bailey and R. Daneel Olivaw books), by Isaac Asimov
Seven movies I watch over and over again (or would watch over and over if I had the time):
  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Pretty Woman
  3. Romancing the Stone
  4. Bridget Jones' Diary
  5. Back to the Future
  6. Dirty Dancing
  7. Strictly Ballroom

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Yarn Sale Goodies

I went to the Kertzer warehouse sale a couple of weekends ago. Till now I've been too lazy to post what I got, but I'm on a blogging streak today, so here it is.

The whole shebang (except for 2 hanks of brown 100% wool I used for the hat/scarf set, seen in the previous post):
All that was only $110 Canadian! Looking at it now makes me tempted to go back and get more - the sale is on till Dec 9, and maybe they've got more stock...

Anyways, here's closeups of each yarn:

Stylecraft Safari (10 balls):

Alafoss Lopi (10 balls) - I think this one is my favorite. I'm in love with the colour:Wendy Pampas mega chunky (10 balls):

I decided to stop being lazy

Well, sort of. I spent the entire morning playing online poker, reading forums, and updating my blog template. And I got off my lazy butt and photographed the finished objects and yarn I was talking about in my last entry.

Let's start off with some pictures of Fosco with his injured foot:

The bandage (see the cute little hearts they put on for him?):

The whole cat (note our house is protected by ADT *and* a fierce guard-cat):

And now for the knitting related content. Here's the hat/scarf set I made for Kenneth's grandma. It's the "Check 'n Garter Stitch Set" from Patons "Cool Weather Accessories" book. I wasn't sure the brown/blue would be a good combination, but it worked. My only real complaint with how these turned out is that my blue yarn was a slightly different gauge than the brown, so the blue stripes are a slightly different width than the brown. This was my first experience with mosaic knitting, and I think I like it! I don't really like that there's a right side and wrong side to the scarf - I feel like scarves should be double-sided. But that's a minor quibble.

I think I should stop here since this post is already pretty long. I'll post about my yarn sale buys another time.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Finally Friday

Supposedly, you can find the names of 75 bands in this picture. I could find nine. I'm not so good at the music quizzes.

We had a telemarketer call us tonight asking if we want to subscribe to the Saturday Star. I found this to be odd, because we already subscribe to it, and have for several years. They must have outsourced their telemarketing and not given the telemarketers their customer database.

I want to get a digital camera that connects wirelessly to your PC. I want to post some pictures of things I knitted, and yarn I bought, but am too lazy to go through all the steps.

1) pose things nicely for picture
2) take picture
3) find cable
4) upload pictures to PC
5) post pictures to website

I know, I'm ultra-lazy. But at least I updated my "last read" and "last heard" sections of my template!

Oh, and the reason for the title of this post is that yesterday, when I woke up, I was completely convinced for about 5 minutes that it was Friday. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed when I realized it was only Thursday. But today, it is *actually* Friday. Hope is celebrating by galloping through the living room for no apparent reason. Ah, the life of a cat.

Monday, November 28, 2005

XBox 360 Convert

I wasn't that excited when my husband started ranting and raving months ago about the new XBox 360. I've played the XBox, and it's fun, but I never got entranced by it like he did. He signed up literally months in advance for an XBox pre-order, and got his new XBox 360 the first day they shipped.

And I was like, "That's nice honey". It looked nice and all, sitting there in its cabinet. Much sleeker and prettier than the klunky old XBox. And so it stayed for a few days. Until one day, I don't even remember how it happened... Kenneth showed me this game called Hexic. And I played it, and it was fun. And addictive. And then he downloaded another game called Zuma. It was even *more* fun. And even more addictive. And then I got bored with both of those and decided to give "Perfect Dark Zero" a try. It's a first-person shooter, action game. You have to run around on missions and kill bad guys. I normally don't like that kind of game so much. It was fun too! Oh, and he gave me my own XBox Live identity, so I can have my own friends list, and my own username and avatar and stuff. I think I'm officially hooked.

My only hope is that the joy will wear off. I'm sure it will, eventually. I mean, I haven't played the Sims for months now. If the Sims can wear off, surely the XBox 360 can wear off too.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Wow, long time no post

Obviously I'm a horrible blogger. It's been nearly a month since I last updated.

So, highlights of the last month:

1. Trip to Phoenix
My friend Moira and I spent almost a week in Phoenix, Arizona, in mid-November. Let me tell you, mid-November is a fantastic time to go there. The weather was beautiful. The city is really nice. It feels very open, and there was minimal traffic. We did get caught in traffic on the highway a couple of times, but it was nothing compared to Toronto traffic. In Toronto, if you get off the highway to avoid the traffic, it's even worse on the side streets. But in Phoenix it was clear sailing on the side streets. I brought "the lady" with me. She's my portable GPS device. We call her "the lady" because the voice that speaks to tell you when to turn is female. The lady was a great help getting around.
We did tons of shopping, and both spent probably way too much money. My vice was yarn - I went nuts at a yarn store and spent a fortune. Hers was hair ornaments. She spent about as much on hair ornaments as I did on yarn. Hehe.
We also saw the zoo and botanical gardens, and went to the Heard Museum, which is all about the native Americans. Another highlight was the Spanish Market at the museum, which is an arts & crafts show held once a year (just happened to be the weekend we were there!). Oh, and of course IHOP is always a highlight of a trip to the US with Moira. :)

2. Yarn Warehouse Sale
I saw on my knitting mailing list that Kertzer was having a warehouse sale in my neck of the woods. It was actually walking distance from the dealership where I get my car maintained. So while my car was getting its oil changed, Kenneth and I trudged over to the warehouse sale. I got about 3 sweaters plus 1 scarf's worth of yarn (32 balls altogether) for about $100. I spent more than that on the one sweaters' worth I bought in Phoenix! Now I'm all stocked up.

3. Fosco's injury
My cat, Fosco, somehow managed to injure one of his hind feet (when we went to the vet, I called it his back foot and she corrected me - "hind"). I don't know how he did it, but one of his toenails was completely ripped off, and the other one was pointing at a 90 degree angle to where it was supposed to be. The vet had to give him a local anaesthetic and then rip off the nail. Then they bandaged up his foot in a cute blue bandage. I'll post a picture later if I remember. He gets the bandage off today. He's on antibiotics for a few more days, to prevent it from getting infected.

4. Winter Wonderland
We got our first real snow of the season last night! It snowed about 5 cm, I think. I got my exercise for today by shoveling the driveway before work this morning. The drive in wasn't too bad. All is well. I know come March I'll be whining about the snow, but right now it doesn't seem too annoying at all. In fact, I kinda like it.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Rules

Last night Kenneth and I were lying in bed, chatting before sleeping. For some reason, I said to him, "There is only one rule around here.". He said, "what's that?". I said, "Don't leave me".

"Oh, is that the only rule? In that case, I'll go find a mistress tomorrow!"
"OK, don't sleep around with other people is the 2nd rule."
"Oh, so there's more than one rule now?!"
"And don't beat up the cats."
"I would never!"
"And don't pee on the carpet."

OK, so there is more than one rule.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Blogger Poker Tournament

On Sunday afternoon, I played in the Blogger Poker tournament at PokerStars. I've only been playing poker online for maybe a month or so. I didn't expect to do very well. But I got super lucky and at one point I was in second place out of over 1200 people! There were 1400-ish entrants overall, but by the time I hit it big, the field was down to 1200. Unfortunately, I then managed to piss away all my winnings by making foolish bets, thinking "Oh, I can afford it!". Yeah. I couldn't. I came in about 325th, I think, out of 1400 people, which is still pretty darn good for a newbie!

Interestingly enough, it was Wil Wheaton who got me started playing at PokerStars. Not personally, of course. But he kept blabbering on about it in his blog, and after a while, I thought what the heck, I'll download it and play the free games. And then after a few free games, I thought, what the heck, I'll deposit $50 and play for money. Heh. So anyways, at one point, Wil himself ended up sitting at my table! That was my brush with fame. And I outlasted him, which I thought was pretty cool, since he's been playing poker way longer than I have.

I was sooo hoping to win an XBox 360 for my DH, since he's rabid to get one as soon as they come out. But I would've had to come in like 8th-15th or something to win one. When you come in 325th, they don't give you a prize. ;)

I don't have any really interesting hand recaps, except for one. I had basically nothing - an ace and something else I can't even remember. A jack, maybe. Anyways, the flop came out (the cards in the middle of the table that everyone shares) and they were all really low. The guy sitting beside me was betting a LOT. But he had previously shown his cards many times when he had basically nothing, so I figured he was bluffing. I kept calling him. Eventually all 5 cards were on the table and they were all low (like 7 or less), but nothing matched what I had in my hand. So my official poker hand was an Ace High, which is basically one of the worst hands you can have. He bet an amount that was equal to all the money I had left. I called, meaning I was all in. If I lost, I'd be out of the tournament. Well, I guess you can see what's coming here. He WAS bluffing. He had a 10 high! So I won a huge pot. It was very exciting. I was yelling and screaming like I'd just won the lottery.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Random Thoughts

Gas was at 89 cents on my way to work this morning! And to think I filled up at 91 because I figured that was as low as it was going to go. I was tempted to take a picture and post it. Isn't that pathetic?

This afternoon, I walked through a hallway at work that I walk through every day at least twice. Apparently, I never look up. I looked up today and discovered that it has a gorgeous wooden ceiling! Colour me shocked. It pays to look up sometimes, I guess.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A blog game

Google image search on each of the following and post the first result:

The name of the town where you were born - for me this is Liverpool.

The name of the town where you live now - Maple (maybe this guy lives here too!)

Your name

Your grandmother's name (just pick one) - I chose Ruth

Your favorite food - chocolate, LOL... somehow Google sensed my other obsession as well

Your favorite drink - soy chai latte - hmmmmm....

Your favorite song - I chose "Hello City" by BNL. Weird result.

Your favorite smell - Rain.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Finished Cozy

I finally finished Cozy. This is a not-so-flattering picture of it laid out for blocking. Blocking is supposed to make it keep its shape and enhance the look of the lace. Unfortunately, it's made out of acrylic (95%) and polyester (5%) so I don't know if it's even blockable. I'm hoping it is. It's black with a silver sparkle accent thread (it's hard to tell from the picture). In a few days I'll try and post a picture of myself modeling it so you can get the full effect.

And this is a close-up of the lace detail. It's kind of blurry, and this is the wrong side of the fabric. I'm not even really sure why I posted this. Hehe. Kenneth told me I was crazy to do so - maybe that's why I did it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


This weekend was Thanksgiving. It was so nice. We had an awesome turkey dinner which I was largely responsible for (mainly in an effort to avoid doing the dishes after!). Even the gravy seems to have been a success, which is impressive. Of course we forgot the cranberry sauce (it was on the table, but nobody passed it), but that's tradition. As my dad said, "You're bound to forget it, it's just a question of *where* you forget it". The only down side was we were planning to have carrots, but they had gone bad in the fridge, so we had to have peas instead. And when that's the only down side, you know it was a decent meal.

I was feeling under the weather (a cold) so I laid pretty low all weekend aside from cooking the dinner. Lots and lots of TV watching.

I'm feeling weird today. I'm still getting over the cold, so I expected to be feeling tired and blah. But half my face hurts. I suspect it's probably due to stress - I have a tendency to clench my teeth when I'm stressed, and I was stressed yesterday. I need to focus on not clenching them today and see if my face stops hurting. Such a weird thing.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Work irritations

So, at work, I somehow got suckered into working on a business-critical, high-profile (BCHP for short) project. I was working on it this week, when my boss told me to put it aside for the rest of the week in favor of another project which he wants to get done sooner. OK. So then the chick I'm working with on the BCHP project starts IM-ing me this afternoon, pestering me about her project. I tell her I can't work on it this week because I need to work on the other project. She tells me it's business critical and high profile, so I need to write an email explaining all my issues to her boss, so he can "escalate it". So I spent much of this afternoon arguing with her and writing said email - so I've gotten nothing done on either the project my boss wanted me to do OR the BCHP project.

That old saying "a slave with two masters is a free man" certainly doesn't apply here.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Poker Championship

I have registered to play in the
Online Poker Blogger Championship!

This event is powered by PokerStars.

Registration code: 3977947

This seems pretty cool. They're running an online tournament that's free for anyone who's a blogger. Luckily, I'm a blogger. :) I've become mildly addicted to online poker recently so this promotion is like a little Christmas present or something. OK, a very EARLY Christmas present, but still.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Apple is like a drug dealer

A few months ago I got an Ipod Shuffle. I got it for a really good price - about $10(thanks to a discount at Indigo when you sign up for an Audible subscription). Now that I've had it for a while, they come out with the Ipod Nano. It's small, it's cute, it has a screen, and it holds 8x as much as my Shuffle. I really love my Shuffle, but sometimes I sure do wish it had a screen.

Let's face it, the Shuffle is just a gateway drug to bigger more expensive Ipods.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Highlights, knitting, and an interloper

I present, my finished cat bed. The cats, unfortunately, don't seem to like it as much as I do. Bastards.

And here's my finished hat. I tried to take a picture of it on me, but the flash and the mirror were a bad combo. You'll have to settle for this picture of it on my living room floor. Not exactly an action shot, but what can you do?

These are my new highlights. I was a highlight virgin before Saturday. I think I like them! I'm not sure if they've faded, or I've just gotten used to them. When I first got them, I felt like they were too blonde. But now I like them.

And here they are from another angle.

This is the patio in my back yard this morning. Look closely under the right-hand chair. An interloper! Luckily, my 2 cats were too busy sleeping to notice their territory was being invaded.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hairtoy Organizer

My friend wants me to make her a hairtoy organizer for Christmas. It would look something like this:

I figure I can knit it with a lace pattern. I found one, called "Allover Eyelets" that seems like it should fit the bill. Now the trick will be to find a yarn that will hold up to repeated hairtoy abuse.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Lonely No More

I've had "Lonely No More" by Rob Thomas running through my head most of the day. And I don't even like that song, so that makes it even worse.

The coverage of the damage wrought to New Orleans is unbelievable. It's shocking to think that some people's houses may not be out of the water for a month. I feel so bad for those people. And once they get back in, the house is bound to be a write-off. I mean, under water for a month? There's no way you can move back in and expect it to be habitable.

At work today I started off with super high productivity, but by the end of the day, I'd only done 2 of the 5 things I set out to do this morning. And I didn't even goof off too much! How this happened I don't understand. My friend suggested I try some retail therapy tonight to de-stress, but I think I may opt for reality show therapy instead.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Crazy hat time

Last night I started knitting this crazy hat:

So far all I have done is the very first row, so I've got a ways to go yet. I'm on a mission at the moment to rid myself of my huge stash of yarn. I figured this was a good way because it uses 4 different colours, so I don't need to have a huge amount of any of them individually. I *was* going to make socks but I'm missing one of my 5mm double pointed needles! So I went for the hat instead.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Why am I so lazy?

Lately it seems like when I get home from work, I don't want to do anything but lay in a heap and watch TV or play The Sims 2. I have all these plans of things I want to accomplish, but I never actually accomplish any of them.

1. Build a new front page for my forum.
2. Upgrade my forum to the latest phpbb version.
3. Take pictures of my newest knitted objects and post them on my blog.
4. Upload the highlights of my Spain/Portugal/Morocco pictures to the web for friends and family. This one has been on the list since early June!
5. Practice Swedish with my husband.
6. Do chores. Luckily I'm okay at the moment with welching on this one because I have a house husband right now who does 99% of the chores.

My goal for tonight is to go for a walk after dinner, but before collapsing into a heap.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Knitting Victory

Last night, I wanted to knit something. The baby set I was knitting for my friend had come to a standstill, and her kids (twins!) have probably outgrown it by now. The hazards of knitting for children. I had been trying to unravel it in hopes of salvaging the yarn to make a baby blanket or something, but it was nearly impossible to unravel (the yarn is really bumpy and fuzzy and impossible to see how it goes).

So I dragged out the sweater I've had completely knitted for over 2 years, but hadn't finished putting together. Every time I'd tried to do the back seam (it has a seam across the top of the back), it started looking like crap, and I had to rip it out and start over. I got discouraged after like 5 attempts so it had been languishing in my knitting bag for literally 2 years (more or less, anyways). Last night I decided I was putting it together come hell or high water. Nice looking seam? Who cares! So I sewed it up and guess what? It looks okay! And it fits! It's a little short for my liking (think baby doll T-shirt, but made of yarn and with long sleeves). Now I just have to weave the short ends of the yarn in. Let's hope I can get it done in less than 2 years.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

My scalpel is the remote

So, we're sitting here watching 24. I was booting up the computer so I wasn't looking at my husband. Unbeknownst to me, he was sticking out his hand to ask for the remote. By the time I noticed, he was irritated, and he said "Me sticking out my hand like this means I'm asking for my scalpel. My scalpel is the remote.". Men.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

That's sorted, then

First off - where I got the title of this post.

Want to Get Sorted?

I'm a Ravenclaw!

And now for the rest.

Today's my 6th wedding anniversary. Hubby and I are blogging about it simultaneously. Ah, modern romance.

We started the day by exchanging gifts. I got him a gift certificate to MEC, which stands for Mountain Equipment Coop, and as far as I know, is the only place to buy rock climbing gear in Toronto. Also, I got him Jade Empire and the screenplay for Network, which apparently is a classic example of how to write a good screenplay. The Network screenplay was actually part of a compilation so he got 3 screenplays for the price of one. He liked everything. Go me!

In return, I got a $200 gift certificate to a local spa, a box of trail mix, and some Lindt chocolate. I was quite satisfied. :) My only concern is it seems the spa might go bankrupt any day. Hubby said that when he went in to look around, nobody was there, except for the person working there. And 3 weeks later when he went back to buy the gift certificate, the person remembered him, and again, nobody was there. Plus, their flyer claims they have a website, but when you go there they haven't actually put anything up.

After the gifting, we went for breakfast at the Rock n' Roll Diner, a new restaurant in our area. It's pretty cute. It's all done up like a 50's diner and some of the booths even have a TV right in the booth, and you can change the channel and stuff.

Then we went to the Star Trek convention for a while. They had a deal where you could stay for up to 2 hours for $10, so we did that. It was kinda boring, honestly. The art show was interesting but it was fairly small. I would have liked to see someone speak, but none of the guest stars I recognized were speaking while we were there. We did see a fair number of fans dressed up in costume though. One guy was dressed as a hobbit and he looked awesome. We also saw a great Mal, from Firefly/Serenity.

Once we'd had enough geekiness, we headed downtown to MEC, where we spent money with impunity. We each got a climbing harness (I got the Black Diamond Momentum), shoes (Mad Rock Frenzy for me (nice name, eh?)), and a chalk bag and chalk.

Then we had lunch at IKEA (strange choice, I know - we didn't want to buy anything - just went there for lunch) and came home. It was a good day.

I'm hoping we can go rock climbing soon and try out all the new gear. :)

Friday, July 08, 2005

General Update

I'm getting better and more confident at my new job. And am also starting to like it more - probably because I know feel like at least I have a clue what I'm doing. And, we got a new hire in our group, so it's not just me and my boss any more. So work-wise things are looking up.

At home, Kenneth is still being a fabulous house husband. Last night he cooked dinner - chicken dogs for the main course, followed by homemade apple/banana fruit salad with yogurt mixed in - yum! I was impressed. We ate out back on our mini-patio in our Muskoka chairs (Adirondack chairs, for the Americans). It was so nice. Unfortunately, he opened a beer for me, when what I really wanted was red wine, because I opened a bottle a few days ago and it's not getting drunk very fast. But that's OK.

We seem to have mended fences with our neighbours. We told them we were going on vacation, and they mowed the lawn for us while we were gone. So I wrote them a thank-you card to thank them. They seemed so happy about it! Next time dh mowed our lawn, he mowed theirs too (they're connected, so it only takes like 5 more minutes to do theirs too). They seemed really happy about that too. Well, there's a tree on our side of the property line. It had these ugly juniper bushes around its base. I'd been thinking of getting rid of them basically since we moved in, but hadn't gotten around to it, because it seemed like a huge job. The neighbour spontaneously volunteered to remove them! And then he planted flowers and put up stone edging around the tree. Our neighbour rocks.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Urban Challenge

This weekend we went to visit friends in Ottawa. The main reason for our visit was because on Sunday, Mike (my best friend's husband) and Mike (his best friend) were running a race called the Urban Challenge. The Urban Challenge is a race where teams of 2 (in our case, Mike & Mike, aka The Moops) compete to be the first to complete 12 checkpoints. There is a clue (often fiendishly difficult) that tells the teams the location of each checkpoint. They need to run to each checkpoint in order, and have their picture taken at the checkpoint. Then they return to home base. My husband and I were part of the internet support team for The Moops. The racers called in (and camera-phone emailed pictures as well) the clues. We used the internet to try and solve them as quickly as possible so we could tell the racers where to go next.

And they won! They came in first, 25 minutes ahead of team #2! We were shocked and amazed (in a good way, of course) that they did so well. And it's all thanks to us! LOL.

Bonus: They won some gift certificates to the Running Room and gave us $50 worth! Woo hoo!

They were also the #1 fundraising team, having raised over $1700 for Big Brothers, Big Sisters. For that, they each won a Motorola V551! Just like my phone, only with 2 extra buttons and the ability to record videos. Not that I was coveting them or anything. ;)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Vacation Recap

It's been 3 weeks since we got back from vacation in Spain (with side trips to Morocco and Portugal), and I've been too lazy to write a recap. Luckily for me, my husband is a blogger too, and he did the work for me.

Recap Part I

Recap Part II

Recap Part III

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Rock Climbing

So, I just took up rock climbing. Despite Kenneth's reluctance, he agreed to take a lesson with me at the indoor climbing gym near us. At the beginning of the lesson he was dying and internally swearing never to do it again. But then he got to climb. And now he's hooked. :)

Rock climbing is interesting. It's not really *strenuous* per se, but by the end of the night we were both pretty sweaty. And today (2 days later) my forearms are in pain. I guess regular weightlifting doesn't really work the forearms. But apparently rock climbing does! As long as I don't end up with veiny forearms like Angelina Jolie I'll be OK with that.

We're going again tonight.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Weekend List of Goals

  • finish unpacking
  • mow back lawn (the neighbours mowed the front for us while we were gone! yay!)
  • weed gardens
  • buy & plant clematis for arbour
  • buy & plant annuals for front walkway garden
  • work out
  • go geocaching
  • go see a movie (either The Longest Yard or Mr. & Mrs. Smith, I think)
  • think about and possibly buy Father's Day gift
  • edit vacation photos and post the best ones on the web
  • plan some meals for next week and buy groceries for them


We just got back from a 2.5 week vacation in sunny Spain. It was great - a perfect combination of relaxation and sightseeing. And the weather was idyllic. It only rained twice while we were there, and neither time was enough to stop us from doing what we wanted to do. I need to edit the gazillions of pictures we took down to a select few, and then I'll post some.

In the meantime, you can see one at my husband's blog. They're two of the young apes of Gibraltar. They're the funniest things - a bunch of wild apes who live up atop the Rock of Gibraltar. But they're completely used to humans and have no fear. In fact, if you even dare to have a plastic bag near them, they'll grab it away from you and take off with it, hoping to find food inside. I had a leftover sandwich in a plastic bag, and when we got off the funicular at the top, there was a sign about the plastic bags. We didn't really take it seriously, but then an ape threatened me, so I bundled it up and put it in my purse. Well, after we'd spent some time there walking around, I decided I wouldn't be wanting that sandwich for myself anyways. So I got the bag out of my purse and started opening it. Kenneth grabbed the bag from me because he thought I was being too loud. Then all of a sudden we had two monkeys running towards us at full speed! He panicked and threw the bag away (which was hilarious at the time, but difficult to reproduce in blog format). The monkeys chased the bag and had no problem opening it and retrieving the sandwich. So cute.

Anyways, when we got back, we had a ton of TV saved up on the PVR. Last night we watched the season finale of NCIS. I was completely blown away by the ending! They killed Kate! It was so unexpected. The whole beauty of that show is the chemistry between the characters, so it was really sad to see her killed off. I hope whoever they replace her with will be able to fill her shoes.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Yoga stuff

On the weekend I splurged a little, and bought myself the Rodney Yee Yoga Deck at Chapters. It's really a nice little set, especially for travelling. It's got 50 cards, with about 45 different poses. There's also an introduction card and some suggested routines. I'm planning to bring it with me on vacation instead of bringing my huge-ass Total Yoga book. The great thing about yoga is you can do it anywhere, and you don't need a lot of equipment. I like having my mat and blocks, but I can do without them almost as well. When we start packing I'll see if I have space for them or if they have to stay home.

So I spent a couple hours last night translating the routines I usually do from the Total Yoga book into the equivalent routines for the yoga deck (i.e. which card numbers in which order will I use). The yoga deck seems a bit more designed for beginners - it didn't have all the advanced poses that my book has. But that's OK - its coolness factor outweighs the fact that it's not as complete.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

House Husband

So my husband is done with school now for the summer. He's officially a house husband. And the house may have never been cleaner! He's a kick-ass house husband. :) He's even had dinner ready when I came home from work several times this week. You gotta like that.

Mind you, there is a downside. He's now a cleaning nazi. I try to be helpful, only to be told that "I'm doing it wrong". LOL. Apparently, I don't even know how to load the dishwasher properly.

It may not last, though. He *may* be getting a full-time job for the summer. I'll have to take it while I can get it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Annoyances and worries

Hope (our black cat) is in the hospital today getting tests done on her heart. Not only is this stressful for her, but it's gonna cost us $700-ish. Sheesh! And she's only 3 years old. I hope it's going to turn out to be nothing serious, but how can it? It's a heart we're talking about here.

In other news, I've been trying to knit this baby set (pants, cardigan, hat, booties) for my friend's babies who were born in February. Well, I royally screwed up one of the cardigans, and I don't know how to proceed with the hat (I don't understand the directions). I'm tempted to give up at this point.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

15% Dixie

15% Yankee

5% Midwestern

5% Upper Midwestern

Friday, April 15, 2005

Spring is here at last

Our crocuses are up and blooming (see picture at top of page), the daffodils are thinking about it, and the tulips are leafing.

At work, I sit in the basement. In the coffee room, there's a window. Through it you can see a "courtyard" that is about 2 feet above the level of our floor. The courtyard is underground too, but doesn't have a roof over it. So we can see the sky (barely) through the window. It's cheering to me to see that the bushes in the courtyard are starting to leaf out, and it looks like there may be a couple of daffodils or something coming up as well.

I like making what I call "Weekend Lists of Goals". If I don't have goals, I wind up playing the Sims or watching TV the whole time. Here's this weekend's list (I'm striking them out as I complete them):
  1. Do taxes
  2. Rake lawn
  3. Go to garden centre and buy aeration sandals
  4. Aerate lawn
  5. Send packages (books to return that I borrowed from people)
  6. Finish knitting the baby set I'm working on
  7. Call my friend
  8. Burn more CDs of my audiobook - I'm fresh out so now I can't listen in the car
  9. Last but not least - go geocaching

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Bistro Italiano

I'm no fan of frozen dinners, normally. But I gotta say, these Stouffer's Bistro Italiano things are really good, and quite filling too. I'm impressed.

I should really do some chores around the house for a change. I've been so lazy lately. I just feel so tired after work all the time.

I learned about gizoogle today and laughed the hardest I've laughed in a long time. Luckily I waited till I was home from work to translate my hubby's blog using it. Or I would have gotten in some big trouble! I laughed so hard I cried.

In unrelated news, we took the cats to the vet on Tuesday and learned that Hope has a grade 3 heart murmur. So she has to get a whole bunch of tests. The reason we even have her is because our old cat died of a heart murmur when he was only 4. I hope she'll be OK.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

My hip hurts

I'm blogging this, because I cancelled my doctor's appointment for this week, and I won't be going to the doctor again until June 22. So hopefully when I do go, I'll be able to look back here and see how long the problem has persisted.

My hip hurts when I stand up after having been sitting or lying down for a period of time. It stops hurting after I've walked for about 30 seconds. It's definitely not that big of a problem. But I want to mention it next time I'm at the doctor in case it's beginnings of something I should be worrying about. Oh, and I should say, I think it's been about a month or so it's been hurting.

Friday, April 08, 2005


I think I'm still recovering from Daylight Savings Time. I know that sounds ridiculous. But I'm really tired!

I'm sitting here craving caffeine, even though it's only 2:30 in the afternoon. And I went for a nice walk at lunch time - meaning I got my quota of natural light for the day. When you sit in the basement with no windows, that's important.

I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


I'm sitting here eating Peanut Smarties instead of real food. I think I'm getting a little high on chocolate.

We're planning a big 2-week-or-so trip to Spain this summer. Hubby's dad has an apartment there, so we'll stay with him for several days, and then go road-tripping around seeing the rest of the country. (OK, not the whole thing, but selected highlights.)

So we're thinking of this as an itinerary (more or less):

Arrive Alicante
Stay with hubby's dad (3-4 days)
Granada (1 day)
Gibraltar (2 days incl Morocco)
Maybe Morocco
Seville (1 day)
Algarve (2 days)
Toledo (1 day)
Madrid (2 days)
Back again

If anyone's been there done that - please let me know if you think this looks doable or if it's too ambitious.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


Today we went geocaching. The first cache was hidden by the Stouffville reservoir. It was a nice walk to find it, and we took some cool pictures (I'd include one here, but I can't figure out how to set up the darn email functionality on my new cellphone!). Then we went for a second one, but couldn't find it. We searched for a good while and finally had to give up. It was even starting to get dark. Anyways, it was good exercise and nice to get out into nature for a change.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Back from the cruise

We got back a week ago, but I've been so swamped I haven't had a chance to update here yet.

The cruise was great, we had a wonderful relaxing time. Pictures are available. For those who've forgotten, we went on the MSC Opera. It was a lovely ship. Very elegant and understated decor. Our cabin was small, but more than adequate. We never felt cramped. The food was delicious. There were no sales-related announcements - only drills, port calls, and debarkation were announced. We loved that about it.

Things we liked:
- No announcements. It was very peaceful. You didn't feel like they were trying to milk you.
- Food was great. We enjoyed just about everything we ate.
- The entertainment was amazing. The gala show on Thursday night was the best show we've seen on a cruise.
- St Croix was a wonderful port of call. We absolutely loved it.
- "No tipping required" policy. No automatic gratuities were charged, and we weren't even given envelopes and suggested tipping amounts. It was very low pressure.

Our only complaints were:
- The itinerary could have been better. Arriving in San Juan at 7pm was a disappointment because most attractions were closed. I've heard the rain forest in Puerto Rico is well worth seeing, but of course you can't do that at night.
- The buffet restaurant was closed on the last night and the only notice of it was a small line in the program, under the opening hours of restaurants section. After the first few days you get into a routine and don't bother to look at that section too closely. So we were quite disappointed when we wandered up for dinner and found it closed. We'd missed our time in the regular dining room so had to order room service.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Vacation countdown has begun

At this time, 5 days from now, I'll be on a cruise ship! Nahhh, I'm not excited at all. :)

Unfortunately before that happens, I need to do the laundry and pack. That's the part I hate.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Ignorant people bug me

I don't usually rant, but this article in the Vaughan Citizen (my local freebie paper) requires it. Go read it right now - then read the rest of my post.

How can he say that the money spent on Y2K was worthless?? The reason "nothing happened" was BECAUSE the money was spent to fix the problems! Plus, it wasn't only Microsoft programmers who screwed up, it was most programmers in the world. (Note: I have no affiliation with Microsoft.) My husband likened this to him saying "Why did I pay those guys good money to replace the brakes in my car last week? I used them today and they worked FINE. What a waste of money!".

And then he goes on to base part of his premise on a work of fiction by Michael Crichton. I'm sorry, but no matter how much research Michael Crichton did for his book, that doesn't mean that he only included true facts! It's a work of fiction, intended to shock his audience.

Now, I'm not going to say whether or not the Kyoto accord was really necessary, because I'm no environmental scientist. But I don't see how cutting back on emissions can be a bad thing for the world. Even if the greenhouse effect isn't really caused by emissions, at least it will make the air more breathable for asthmatics and everyone else.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

More movie stuff

Rogers Video has a "Top 100 Rentals of 2004" list up on their website. I've seen 57 of them. According to them, that's "Impressive.... very impressive". :)

Here are the ones in the list that I still at least slightly want to see (and haven't already seen):

22 - Starsky & Hutch - only kind of, I fear it won't be very good
38 - Under the Tuscan Sun - ditto
44 - Napoleon Dynamite - this, I really want to see
50 - 21 Grams - I've wanted to see this one since last year's Oscars.
52 - Kill Bill Vol. 2 - I didn't really like the first one, but I heard the second one is better.
61 - Girl Next Door, The - This looks funny.
71 - Bad Santa - I heard this was a laugh riot.
74 - Super Size Me - Should be interesting.
89 - Ladykillers, The - Eh, not sure about this one - but I'll give it a look.
90 - Honey - Guilty pleasure ;)
98 - Garden State - I really want to see this.

Friday, January 28, 2005

You are Kaylee, the ship's mechanic. You are cute
as a button, chipper, cheerful and optimistic,
though you panic in a fight. Engines make you
hot and you prefer having sex next to a big,
humming thing.

Which Firefly character are you?

The Oscar Nominations are Out!

So, I'm going to list the movies I want to see:
  5. RAY
  10. KINSEY

That should cover the major categories. We'll need to become quite the movie-goers for the next month.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Cruisin, Baby, Yeah!

I found out today I got a travel agent rate on an MSC cruise for hubby's spring break! That's gonna save us a ton of money. I'm really looking forward to it! In the past I've only ever gone on Carnival, which was great, but it'll be nice to try something different. Of course hubby is grumpy because there are 2 formal nights, but that's to be expected.

Hopefully we can go scuba diving at two out of four ports. I'm vaguely wondering whether we could do a night dive at San Juan, because I've never been to either St. Thomas or St. Croix, and I wouldn't mind getting a chance to see those ports rather than spending the whole time on a dive boat and underwater. I've never been to San Juan either, but we arrive there in the evening, so I dunno.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Devil Bushes

The Bushes flash the devil (or Texas) symbol in Norway, causing confusion amongst the locals. I decided to take it a little further with this photoshop job:

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I'm falling apart

My hand hurts (for no apparent reason - arthritis??), I'm tired, my head is all fuzzy-feeling, and I just want to take a nap. Apparently, today is not my day.

I really want to make plans for our Florida vacation next month - but also really want to wait and see if we can get a last-minute cruise deal. We need to find a hotel we can book but cancel with no penalty. I found a couple of nice-looking options - but they don't seem like the kind of places that would have no penalty for cancellations.

Why can't I just win the lottery and live a life of leisure and luxury?

Monday, January 17, 2005

Golden Globe winners!

OK, so the Golden Globes were last night. I was going to pare down my list of "movies to see" based on the winners - because a win at the Globes usually signifies at least a nomination at the Oscars. However, the Oscar nominations come out next Tuesday, so really, that doesn't leave a lot of time for viewing between now and then, especially since my father-in-law is coming for a week's visit starting on Wednesday!

So I will leave my list untouched, but update it with movies I've seen:

The Aviator - we *tried* to see this on Saturday, but the movie theatre had a power outage!
Closer - Saw this one January 8 with my mom. It was all right. I'll be disappointed if it wins any awards, though.
Finding Neverland
Hotel Rwanda
Million Dollar Baby
Phantom of the Opera