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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Drooling ahoy!

I get to go to a staff appreciation lunch right away.
The catch is my mouth is still nearly completely frozen from dental work I had done this morning. Eep.
I just hope I don't drool all over myself.

Classy me...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Good grief

Just a wee bit busy around here...sorry to ignore you all.

I've been volunteering at the CFCR pledge drive every evening after work (and on weekends) and as a result I have no free time (except for exciting dentist appointments). When I am home really don't feel like posting, even tho I've had loads of ideas for posts...lots has gone on! Seriously...there's just no time. Sleep and a few minutes with J are what I can squish in in the odd free moments...cuz we have company right now too, so there's so little time for just us.

Yeah. It's like that.

Only a few days and life can resume a semblance of normality. I've actually been getting up 20 minutes early this last while for oatmeal and tea with the cats just to have a few minutes to myself. I think it's gonna stay around...it's really helped me de-stress. I have to start factoring in workouts too, but all in good time my dears. All in good time.

I can't wait for the end of the pledge drive. Then it's just the Breast Cancer Run and I can relax.

Yeesh...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weighty Ghost

I have had this song in my head for days...it suits rainy fall days.
Have a listen and a warm cup of tea...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My nose is still numb...

While ignoring the dentist's drill and listening to the Discovery channel this AM I learned something rather interesting:
Recent brain studies have shown multiple functions for the amygdala - the weird nut shaped tweedles inside both lobes of the back part of your brain. It's been linked to the emotion of fear for a long time now...it's what allows you to (or not to) react to/deal with/feel afraid or control your fear of something. In a favourite show Firefly, the character River Tam had been forced to undergo repeated surgeries to strip her amygdala, so that she felt all her fears all the time and couldn't suppress them, gaining a lot of mental problems as a result...he heh...they weren't just making up mumbo jumbo for good TV - I was impressed that they actually looked that up for the show! It was what kept me on the channel in the first place...to see if they were making all that up or not.
Anyways...back to the matter at hand.
Now they've found the function of the amygdala it is also linked to the concept of personal space...it can greatly affect how you deal with crowds and how much personal space you need to feel comfortable. It can allow you to turn other people around you into objects in order to deal with crowds and not get freaked out by lack of personal space. Odd huh? Seeing as agoraphobia really is a fear of crowds and inability to deal with lack of personal space that ties in very neatly with the whole aspect of dealing with fear. I'm interested to read further work on this. Apparently people with damage or lack of function in this area have too little inhibition - they get right up into people's faces without realising they're intruding on personal space and don't really have healthy fears of things that would keep the usual person a bit safer...it also is involved in long term memory development...perhaps in developing deep fears from childhood?? It can also, when damaged, be involved in agoraphobia. The good news is that it is involved in positive reinforcement/ learning of new things...so perhaps you can deal with fears over time with positive reinforcement.
Interesting...

Almost made it worth sitting through the 2 fillings this morning.

Almost.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Word of the Day

Say it with me:

SPORK!

Tee hee...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A beautiful day, without a cloud

"Some try to paint away
All the colours of the rainbow.
Your smile lights up the way
Wake up, it's a beautiful day..."




Walking and biking to work has given me a great way to reset my morning. Take days like today: where I slept in, burnt part of my breakfast and generally started off on the wrong foot...but then, quick breakfast and I'm out the door, crossing the river and watching the mist on the surface of it. I walk along the riverbank path watching the sun rise over a field of wheat, with each grain head lighting up like a beacon as the light hits it. This morning the orange faded over the field and the clear blue sky brightened up, making the jet streams streak and gleam overhead in a cloudless sky.
As I walk I meet the "regulars"...all the others out on the path every morning with me. I smile and say good morning with genuine good wishes to the man with the happy dog (and of course happy dog), the old Austrian man with the white combover and thick accent, the man I call Pauley (he looks like like Pauley from the Sopranos, track suit and all), and the two older ladies who are often out watching the geese at the weir. Other joggers puff by...and slowly I calm down.
I count pelicans.
I watch gophers and critters scamper about...and suddenly I'm happy...it sneaks up on me and I'm singing along to whatever I'm listening to on my iPod and grinning.

This is my daily reboot.
I will greatly miss it when it gets too cold to do this. It really makes my day start off right...

Music to walk to work to: Orb - The Dream

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happiest Dog Ever

On my nice sunrisey full walk to work this AM I got to meet the happiest dog ever. His owner was running along and the dog kept running around him, dashing off, darting back, hopping after gophers, running up to me and hopping away, and running up to his owner here and there for a pat on the head or a "good dog".
It is true...you can learn a lot a bout a person by looking at their dog. Happy people = happy dog. Fit person = fit dog. These 2 were both. :)
It's good to be out for a bit in the mornings...the weather is still holding - it's been unseasonably warm lately and it's nice to get our little bit of summer. Better late than ever. I'll be helping run the CFCR pledge drive the next few weeks. Come on down and pledge to community radio. We're volunteer powered and donation driven...we offer programming in over 20 languages and play all genres of music. We have no agenda, other than playing home grown radio for the masses. We could use your help....:)

Off to the lab. Have a good day!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Open Letter to Microsoft

Dear sir/madam,

I just had Office 2007 installed on my work computer and I feel I must contact you to describe my consumer experience in 7 succinct words: What an utterly useless piece of sh*t.

You've made arbitrary, ridiculous and confusing menu alterations, created unhelpful menus and extended what were previously simple and logical processes. It's going to take me a whole day to get the menus set up and figure out where all the things got moved to that I use all the time. Where're the customizable toolbars? How do I find my statistical analysis and graphing options? I don't need pictures...I'm not 5...or mentally handicapped. Just give me a scalable functional program.

It's bad enough I HAVE to use your products and have to constantly upgrade to keep up with the times and software apps in this modern age. Could you at least make the software even slightly usable straight out of the box? I'm supposed to be the computer whiz around here and I'm having difficulty. Whatever posessed you to think these revisions were a good idea?

You sirs...you are wankers. Of the highest order.

Thanks for the headache,
Geo

Any rainbow I'll save for you, any colour that you like...all for you...

How's that for an obscure lyric reference? 10 points and a cookie if you know where it's from...

Colour Meme:

What's the first color you see in the morning?
The lime green of our bedroom walls and the white canopy draped over the posts.

What color are your eyes?
Hazel. Sometimes green, sometimes brown…depends on what I wear and my mood. Mood ring eyes

What color do you wear the most?
Hmmm…probably brown. Comfy and warm…

What color do you never wear?
I'm not a big fan of pastels. Blech. Pink is eternally cursed and white is a bad one too…it doesn’t stay white when I wear it...

What color do you wear when you want to feel sexy?
red or burgundy

What color gets you the most compliments?
red or burgundy…:)

What color is your lipstick?
Madam I do not know what you mean. What is this lip stick you speak of?

What color was your living room growing up?
cream with coffee coloured trim (my Mum’s words).

What color was your room growing up?
Grey wallpaper with black and white and burgundy splashes all over it.

What color are your sheets? Usually a sage green

What color was your favorite crayon as a child? orange!

What color is your car? screaming yellow.

What color was your prom dress?
No prom, but I suppose grad will do - it was a cream colour silk poof thing with little flowers all over the fabric. *cough* And yes I sewed it myself…hideous. Don't make a tomboy wear a dress, it will only end badly.To this day I am still annoyed I was not allowed to wear a tuxedo with skirt...

What's your favourite gemstone? Moonstone

What is your favorite flower? orchids are nice, and orange gerbers too- unusual shapes and bright colours

What color makes you happiest? Yellow…and bright lime green

What color depresses you? dark blue and grey

What colour calms you? deep purple


And then (cuz my coffee break is still not over...)
Ye Olde What Ye Are At Meme:
I haven't done this since (gasp) May...

Current clothes: Jeans, Kid Koala concert shirt, black jacket with rainbow sleeve stripes, running shoes, black specs and running shoes.

Current mood: Tired, but very happy as the weekend is here...

Current music: The new Moby album, and the Franz Ferdinand dub remix album of their Tonight album, Blood.

Current annoyance: Just how overall "rushed" and cluttered I feel right now...like I could jump right out of my own skin. It's been a busy fun summer, but I'm struggling at slowing down a bit...and just trying life out as is for a while. I'm looking froward to a weekend of relaxing...

Current thing: decluttering and renovations. Feels good. There's lots to do, as our house currently is in mid process so it looks worse rather than better...but I must remember in the end it will be infinitely better...if only in being able to find what I need instantly without a rousing hour long game of "find the thing"...

Current desktop picture: J in a canoe at sunset

Current book: In the midst of 2 books: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (love it-the zombies and odd violence make this book so much better...) and The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (Fascinating book...lots of science and facts about our modern diet and our culture and how it is designed to rewire our brains for overeating...and how to circumvent this).

Current song in head: Ooh Yeah by Moby. Don't know why...haven't listened to that album in months. Don't even particularly like the song...just the "yeah" part at the opening keeps looping in my brain for some reason...a bit annoying really. I keft my iPod at home, so I'm tryign to find a CD for the lab to drive it out.

Current DVD in player: Season 1 of Doctor Who...forgot how good that show was.

Current refreshment: Coffee, with cream and sugar. Since it's a coffee break, who am I to argue?

Have a fine day. I'm off to the lab to play with some antibodies. Ta.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Happy kinda crazy

That last post started as a rant, but ended up more of a thought dump.
I just can't figure out how to deal with people when they get like that without feeling bad for them. And yet I wonder...maybe if someone told them off once in a while they'd get it...ah who knows.

At least tonight I get to go see my cute little twin cousins for the first time and eat cake and tea and visit with the family. The other family...without the crazies...well OK there's a few...they're just much more happy about their crazy is all :)

News Flash: I am not a saint

Last night I was confronted with just how simple it is to make yourself miserable. I went over to my brother's place for supper, but seeing as the power had gone out we went out for a bite to eat. His wife and I were going to go to the bellydance open house together after. At 7 the open house started, but we were late (grrr) and got there about 20 minutes after, due to traffic issues from there being no power and quite honestly, their dawdling. She even asked if I really wanted to go, and I was still polite, as it was nice of her to go with me and I was hoping she'd want to join with me, as she needs more physical activity in her life. I said she could drop me off if she wasn't interested...but she decided to come anyways. At the performance there were 30 minutes of the different styles they teach and then you could dance with them a bit for fun and sign up for classes. We missed the first performance and snuck in for the rest...They were very good.

I forget how much better shape I'm in now. As we went in the building door I just bounded up the 2 flights of stairs to the auditorium effortlessly (I was more than kinda excited)...and then sat and waited patiently for my sis in law to puff her way up them...very...slowly...and then slowly...slowly walk to the performance area...slowly. I go up and down 3 flights of stairs about 50 times a day at work...so it doesn't phase me. J's in good shape too, so I forgot to be slower...so I just waited patiently at the top of the stairs by the door...until she sarcastically said "oh go ahead don't worry about me" with a glare, as I waited patiently for her. Becoming more pissy I still waited and smiled. It's not my fault I'm in shape and I had no intention of making her feel bad. I wish I'd gone up slower.

After the performance she said she was content to watch a bit and said she wanted to leave in half an hour...so I danced for a bit and then waited in line for more class info. She stood back in the crowd. I ran into some girls from my old bellydance classes and had a nice talk with them while filling out the info forms in line. I'm not sure where I need to be level wise so I was told to just show up to the intermediate lesson and they'd redirect me to other classes if I needed to be moved up or down. Fair enough. I'm excited to get back at it...I missed it.

Towards the end of this my sis in law was standing by the door glaring at me and making wide overdone gestures with her arms to her watch and then pointing to the door with both arms... then crossing her arms and huffing... and repeating... A girl I was talking to actually looked shocked and said "um...I think you should go now...your friend really wants to leave". And so we did, before the time I was told I had, with me feeling guilty and slightly embarrassed, as she tends to do this a lot. She said her feet hurt from standing so much and she wanted to leave. I wanted to ask her why she just didn't come up and tell me, but I was worried I'd snark it out, so I just grabbed my bag and we left. There were chairs, but I guess sitting down wasn't an option (?)...in the end she didn't sign up for anything, as she said she couldn't take the classes if her feet hurt and she couldn't stand the whole time due to a ligament in her foot that bothers her sometimes...which is true, and it made me sort of sad for her...and that sent the anger away...
I hope I was nothing but polite and respectful, despite how irritated I had gotten at times. I'd been looking forward to this for a long time...it sort of sucked some of the fun from it. I get a lot of joy out of dancing...and through having her in my life I've also learned to let go of a lot of things that interfere with me enjoying myself in public. I find I'm just happier. Why focus on things that make yourself miserable? I can see in her what it can do to yourself to be miserable. I know others don't like being out of their comfort zone. Sometimes I don't either, but I couldn't help feeling annoyed, yet bad for being annoyed.
Which was in itself annoying...
I had a roommate in college for a while who was similar - lots of depression and medical issues...and she didn't just feel sorry for herself she wallowed in her pain. She wrapped it around her like a blanket...got lost in it. It sucked the positivity of you away just to hear her talk about it all...and yet you know that by being there to listen you were helping...sort of. In the end I couldn't help enough and ended up moving out, as her mood was affecting mine. It was poisoning me and I could still be her friend better without it eating at my soul...

This has reaffirmed to me how I need to relax right now. I need to be more patient and understanding of other people. I tend to do too much and have such little time for just myself that I find I can covet it and all it brings me...and get rather tetchy when things take away from it. It also was a reminder to me that we need to look after ourselves physically to allow us to enjoy our lives....how you, yes you, need to make an effort to exercise at least a little bit every day. The technical definition of being very out of shape is if you cannot go up 2 flights of stairs without being significantly winded. If you are severely winded by this or cannot stand for short periods without pain, well...you need to do more. Even if all you can do is walk around the block once. DO that. Then in a few weeks try 2 blocks. My sis-in law lives inside 300 odd pounds, has sleep apnea, joint and body pain and it has to be hard to live and move when you have that much holding you down. It would be hard to work at it with that much of a challenge to start with. But...but...I just think...man...how can you just let it go like that? To complain and complain but no change...there's got to be a way to change. The reason I changed my life and health was I realised I couldn't live the way I wanted to anymore. That my body was getting in the way of who I was and could be. It was hard but slowly, I've worked at it. I'm trying to be polite and supportive and encourage her to join things with me and do things so she can be more active and just out and comfortable in public...I'll keep trying. Really I will...and try to not get pissy on the way. My brother is a saint of patience. I often get mad at him for not challenging her to do more...but it's not my place. It's easy to be kind to those we love... My brother can be a saint...it would appear that I am not. I just feel bad about the whole thing...

The image above is of Saint Rafca...a Lebanese woman who had a rediculously hard life, but remained focused on positive things, charity, hope and teaching, even as her body failed her (she was a blind paralytic with a lot of chronic pain near the end of her life). Positive attitude of a kind that frightens me with it's radiance...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1 2 3 4

I do believe I'm revealing how much of a hermit I can be as far as not watching TV or listening to the radio, but I heard this song last week...and I love it...makes me grin and sing along. I just hunted it down to found out who it is...(and discovered how it's been out for ages and was quite popular, oh, 2 years ago...*cough*).
BUT, now I can listen to is whenever I please.

Oh well...better late than ever :)

Good Riddance

My old washer and dryer are gone.
Can I get a Woohoo?
Two poor guys came and took them away last night for someone to use. I felt bad for them - I know how heavy they are (we tried to be nice and carry them out to the yard for them. We only got them up about 4 steps and had to stop...heavy little things). I'm glad they're finally gone though...they've been lurking downstairs for about 6 months now...and now they have a new home. Good riddance to them...I kept saying I'd get rid of them and just never had the time. Thankfully someone can use them. Now our basement is back to normal size! Step 36 in the 80 zillion step plan to organise my home is now done.
Chicka ow.
I'm quite excited as tonight is an open house at the Oriental Dance Arts tribal bellydance school....I hope to take lessons there this fall. It's where my tribal teacher from last year goes and she recommended I go there too. They are having a performance and info session...hoping I can sign up and get started. This year I'm doing less lessons, but longer lessons with a more professional teacher, to try and focus on learning more and still having time in life for other things. I can't wait to get back to the belly dancing again...I missed it. My knee is back to normal (knock on wood) so Thundercats are go for all this.
Kewl.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lost Cause

Feeling more than a bit moogy this morning...this song's been in my head this morning. A bit of my reflection of my mood I suppose...
Hope you all out there have a great day. I'll give myself a kick in the old ass and try to have one too. Deal? Deal.
OK then.


Monday, September 14, 2009

This little light of mine

Yesterday was a gorgeous day - sunny and warm.
J and I spent the day together relaxing and in the afternoon while out on a walk we popped by the library to see a very unusual exhibit: The Maitreya Project Heart Shrine Relic Tour.

Apparently, in the Buddhist tradition, their holy leaders are cremated after their deaths. Often in their ashes, there are small pearls and pebbles found - believed to be relics left behind by the leaders to encourage and remind those to come of goodness and kindness. I don't really buy into all of that, but I do like the idea of having physical reminders of the value of kindness and compassion. I like what they represent. These relics were on tour together for people to see for the first time in the history of the world...apparently up until this point they were in pagodas in shrines all over the world (largely India and Tibet) although once China invaded Tibet (yes invaded...that's a topic for another day) and kidnapped the Penchant Lama in the hopes of destroying the strength of the religion there in Tibet and China they destroyed a lot of monasteries and imprisoned a lot of the monks there, so that many of these relics were sold on the black market or hidden to be kept safe. Apparently this is the first time such a large collection has been on display to the general public.

The reason for it is to not only inspire people and raise awareness of the Buddhist tradition in the modern day, but there is a project underway called the Maitreya Heart Shrine, where a group of Buddhists are looking to build a large buddha shaped pagoda building in the heart of one of the worst areas of India. They hope that they can bring peace and prosperity to the area by having the relics there, and also by building a school and a hospital where the poorest of the poor can be educated and receive proper medical care. I'm not sure how I stand on the relics part, but I can get behind that...
We entered the area where the alter was set up and a kind monk gave us a tour. She told us about some of the leaders the artifacts came from and some of the circumstances in which they were found. The relics looked like shiny pearlized pebbles...there was a bit of information by the pebbles as to whom they came from. I admit to not really understanding most of it, and I'm rather skeptical, but in the end I did let the monk bless me. I cannot help but think the focused thoughts of good wishes on my behalf can be anything other than a good thing.

I'm always a bit overwhelmed when I see old old traditions in front of me. Canada is such a young country...we really don't' have any sort of ancient traditions to draw on...sure there is Christianity, but that's not quite the same thing... I try to keep an open mind and and see what I can learn from every belief system, and try and treat others how I would like to be treated. ("Be excellent to each other" and all that sort of thing... ) I try and be involved in local groups that do the same thing...like Station 20 west. Here in town we are working to build a community centre with a good grocery store, medical care, a library, low cost housing and other community building services in the poorest part of the city. When the PC government came in to power a year ago they removed the 8 million of funding promised to make it happen, but the city has banded together to try and still make this happen - because we need this. Whatever I've taken and left from the beliefs of the world, these words have always remained and resonated with with me: "What you have done to the least of these, you have done unto me".

I still believe firmly that if we are to survive as a society we have to work together to make sure that everyone has access to the basics health care, proper food and education...to make sure they understand that yes, they are valued and important and that they can be a part of our city with us. Community and dignity are fading away in the face of consumerism and greed and I think projects like Station 20 west and the Maitreya Project help remind people of their duty to each other.
Yes. duty.
I know we can't solve everything and help everyone...but there are ways every day that we can do things to help people less fortunate than us...hostels for abused women and children, food banks, medical clinics, lunch programs, low cost housing, shelters, rape crisis lines, sponsored activities for kids, community building events...these help us help each other. When we know our neighbors we cannot ignore them.

I guess, in the end, what I got out of yesterday was a potent reminder of how blessed I am. I mean, I have so much...I'm really lucky. I have so much more than what I need. This weekend I tried to do something...I managed to find someone to give my old washer and dryer to - I don't need it, and I'm certainly not going to try and make a profit off of it...I went on freecycle and found a single mom with kids who can use them. It seems right...as this is how a community works. We share. Some day I might need help...I like to hope that someone will return the favour. Call it karma... whatever. It matters to me...
I'm just rambling now, I know. It turns out that it all had a profound effect on me after all. Snuck up on me really...to remind me that I need to remember to look outside of myself and remember the needs of others as well as myself. To find my own little way to shine a light in the dark....

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Squeeeee! Squeeee! For Mobeleeey!

Well then.
I have just purchased tickets to see Moby .

This is most excellent news.

I just found out about the concert a few minutes ago, but thanks to his consideration at coming on a weekend to a city near me and the wonders of the interweb I am pleased to say I can go...I've like Mr Mobley for a long long time, and he's on my list of people I want to see live...he ever so kindly makes all sorts of musics like ambient, rock and electronic...and all in a way I like...so me hee. Play will still be my favourite album of his...but I'm glad he has a new album out as it means I'll get to see him live.

A fine end to a day :)
I leave you with a favourite remix of mine that he did of the James Bond theme...

Our house is a very very very fine house

Ah!
Since finishing the painting I've been going outside occasionally to just grin and look at my door...so I thought I'd pop up a photo of it so you all can grin too. Gaze upon the purple :)


I have attacked the yard for the entire afternoon and I've finally just stopped for a bite to eat and some honey brown ale. There's about an hour of weeding left, but I'm creaking and quite stiff after mowing and snipping and trimming and then weeding for many many hours...so I'll leave it for tomorrow. At least now if the neighbors ignore the middle right section of the yard, overall it looks MUCH better. Like people live here and everything! Amazing what removing a garbage bag full of weeds will do...who knew the vines could hide so many weeds? Phew. They're so pretty when they're here...I miss them when the leaves go off in the fall...

And now my good peeps I believe I will amble off to find a decent book or film and creak away the evening with a beer. My J is off doing mobile video all evening, so I am free to watch whatever I please...hmmm...wonder what I'll end up with...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Brain....melting...

The only thing more dull than reading a long detailed scientific article on an obscure topic is to edit, groom and redo the figures for a new one culminating in (whoopee) redoing all the references and style in Harvard style for submission.

How ever will I live with all this excitement.

The wrong George

Sometimes I like how the world is set up - I need a part for my exercise machine - one of the front wheels that looks like a giant rollerblade wheel has come apart most spectacularly and I can't use it until we put a new wheel on it... Soooooo, I call the company that makes it, they look up the part and I arrange to have them directly mail 2 wheels to me for reasonable cost. No prob. Done. In a week I'll have a working elliptical again. There's a little voice in my head that can't help worry if they will send the wrong piece, but I doubt it. There's no other part on the machine that looks even remotely like a giant roller blade wheel, so I'm good I think :).

Then there's the opposite - 3 months ago my new gas stove came. It's lovely and black and will let me proof croissants. I have named it George. It hasn't been installed yet as our kitchen renos haven't happened yet (Dad is busy and can't help us out yet) but the side panels for the stove (it's a slide in model) have still not come yet. Nope. I have a stove with no sides. Silly I know...if I had it already installed I'd be royally pissed off by now. Being a buyer at work for stuff I know how and who to talk to nicely and how to call to get info and get parts and things that are hard to find...but in this case, because it was a very good deal through a friend of the family I can't just call people up and hassle them about parts. Annoying.
Luckily (well OK maybe not) the stove is still uninstalled, so it hasn't become a huge issue yet, but if the side panels still aren't here by the time I install the stove I will be calling people directly and raising holy hell....who sells a stove without a side on it? Seriously...

Ah well...deep breaths...on to things I *can* do something about.

Now that our house painting is done (yay), this weekend I hope to attack our yard...now that the vines have lost their leaves it looks like a sad weed collection. I'll fix that to a certain degree tomorrow :).
Then...a BBQ, and perhaps a beer, before I begin to attack my craft room and office. There is much to do, and staring at it only makes me crosseyed and avoid it. I have windows to make and need my room functional. Plus we have grand plans to set up the elliptical (once it's fixed) down by my room so it's a little workout area out of the way of the living room. Step 82 of a process we are probably at about...oh step...32 of. :)
I keep getting ideas that require the completion of other ideas. It eggs you on to finish them, but man...sure doesn't let you slack off for any length of time. Plus it makes you slightly nutty until it's done...I mean nuttier. Yes. That's it...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Our House

We're done the painting!

Oh.
Yeah!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Whew!

So close...we are nearly nearly done painting. I can hardly believe it.

*grin*

Sunday and monday were hardcore get up early and paint like a nutter days. It nearly rained sunday which would have screwed it all up, but luckily it just spit a bit and stopped, so the painting could keep going. If it weren't for a family supper last night we'd be finished.
As it is, all that is left is a second coat on the little bit of purple on the front of the house, as well as the mailbox and the metal sun that is for the front of the house. About an hour left...not too shabby. I had to laugh as we ordered in chinese on sunday and the guy couldn't find the house at first as we'd taken down the house numbers to paint...heh...oops. We realised we'll have to find some new ones pretty quick. J's brother works with aluminum so we might ask him to cut out some numbers for us at the shop this week. Then we could design them however we'd want...we're thinking big and blocky, kinda like the old space 1999 numbers.

I have to say, I'm so impressed with the way it turned out. We did good! It looks really good, and we've already gotten random compliments on the purple from people walking by :). Our neighbors were out doing renos too, so we got to chat with them while working...made the time go by faster.
It's odd- we rented 15 feet of scaffolding as J figured it would make it easier for me than teetering on a ladder, but it was so huge, heavy and bulky that in the end only used one layer of it and then teetered all over on the ladders of varying heights as we would have had to take it apart and move it 3 times...WAY too much work. In the end, J was the official "hold the ladder so I don't die" person while I scampered up and down and all over the place and we got it done. I'm so proud of this - it was a lot of work, but we did it. It sure takes a lot out of you to work that hard, but it's very satisfying to look at it and think "Wow. I did that".

Last night I was so tired could have gone to bed right after supper :) Today I'm still tired and a bit stiff, but I'll live I think . I'm taking the afternoon off work to take back the scaffolding and finish the last of the purple painting while it's still nice out. I've come to realise that the weather forecast is utterly meaningless, so I'll just take what I can get and finish up the painting today while the weather holds, as I don't know when I'll get to it otherwise.

The front door is already a fine deep purple.
Yay.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Oh my giddy arms

Well...day one of house painting is over. I am pleased to say I have scraped all the trim and sanded, washed and filled gaps and cracks in the house. I even primed it all. So tomorrow I actually get to paint. The fun part...Cool.

Our house is conveniently facing east. This means I can paint the back of the house until about noon and then switch over to the front after that...avoiding direct sunlight is a good thing. Today was a beautiful day actually - sunny and about 26 degrees. I got started in the morning before it got too hot and then took a french toast break at lunch. I kept at it until supper when we ran to get a pizza and pick up the accent color of paint for the house. Then I did the priming.
I am very pleased by the colour - not only is it called Morpheus (didn't know that until I looked at the chip later) but it's something new. Our house is grey and red and we were going to keep it that way...but then J and I got talking right before we went to get the paint...and decided there was no reason it had to stay that way. So very soon it will be grey and dark purple. This is infinitely cooler than just making it exactly the same as it was before.
PURPLE!
Eccentricity here I come!

:)

I only got a pint of purple paint....at the time I was sure it was enough. Now I'm wondering what I was smoking when I decided that...I'll be pushing it to not need more. The thing is when we got to the till (we were in a rush) the lady said "did you know it is 2 for 1 paint today?" Grrr...no no one (not even the lady who mixed the paint) mentioned it but it was too late to go back. I'm sure I'd have enough paint if I had 2 pints...but now I'm not sure I will...just cuz. It's not a big deal really - more an inconvenience of having to go back, as a pint is only $15 -I'm more annoyed at the lack of mention of it. I wish we'd had time to go back and get another one...oh well. Should have just gotten a gallon. I just hate adding to my 1/3 full paint can collection in the basement...

Now? I'm done for the day (8AM-8PM.Whew!) so I'm relaxing after a nice shower with a rum & coke and all you interweb pixels. My arms ache from all the scraping so I am going to do some stretching and then I do believe I will go put on some music and read a book.
Later taters.

Friday, September 04, 2009

You have to believe in it to make it real

I am often reminded of how our current Canadian government really should not be in power. They've only been able to have minority governments the last few elections because not enough people really want them, but there's no one else they can get behind either as the other parties have gotten new leaders or are trying to build up new platforms and policies. After the headlines yesterday, I'm hoping they just tipped the scales against themselves, although I'm cynical and think a lot of people won't bother to read the news and get the whole story.

If you own a home here in Canada I'm sure you've heard a lot about the one year home reno Tax credit: Spend over $1000 (and up to $15000) on renovating your home and you'll get 10% back as a non-refundable tax credit this tax season as long as you have the receipts to prove it. For people like me who are doing stuff to their house anyways, it's a nice bonus...and we're just doing a small amount of work - there are people going all out and hoping for a nice big tax rebate. It's all part of the economic stimulus package to help fight the recession.

But here's the thing - even though we've all been told to keep our receipts (there are even envelopes at stores like Rona and Home Depot to put them in) I just learned that IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY EXIST YET. Yeah - it is just a bill that will *maybe* be passed in fall session of Parliament. And here's the other shitty thing - it's technically a budget bill, so if the opposition wants to make a vote of non-confidence in the government to call an election (which they plan to and I think should, as Harper and his government are not doing very much) they will have to vote this down to do so. There's no saying they can't pass it if/when they get elected if they beat the current government, but it's turning all of this tax credit business into a sneaky manipulative election ploy. It's taking the average Joe and making them put their homes and $$ ahead of the politics of the country and what is best for all of us. Harper is trying to make the opposition look bad in the eyes of the public and playing manipulative games and creepy politics to keep in power.

So here's my little rant to you Stephen Harper - Stop screwing around and playing schoolyard games to stay in power. You're the leader of our country. Lead it. How about you look after the country? If you were even slightly good at this we wouldn't be itching to get you out of power and let someone else have a go at it so they could actually DO something.

Boo to you I say. You and your little dog too.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Blowing Smoke...



A friend sent this to me. I find it amusing that right after this, I read the Bag Lady's blog where she wondered where the phrase "under the weather" came from. Inquiring minds want to know :)
Bizarre. I find it amusing to know that there always has been, and likely will be, quacks and odd ideas as well as bizarre treatments thought up by people trying to feel better. After having a lingering cold for 2 weeks, if someone I respected told me that this smoke puffer would help me I do believe I'd almost try it...hell I'm almost considering trying a neti pot, so you know I'm reaching!

I love the origins of old sayings. My brother told me about the origin of "cold enough to freeze the brass balls off a monkey" a while ago. Sometimes the truth is even really logical...and much weirder than what you can imagine :)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Poh Tay Toes

My Mom used to make riced potatoes when I was little - they're my Dad's favourite. They are a bit of a fuss as her wrists are weak, but she would make them as a treat. She wouldn't add any milk or butter to mash them...just as is with a bit of butter.
Oh.
Yum.
I tend to wax on about how I love riced potatoes more often than I thought, apparently, as when my brother was away last weekend he saw a potato ricer in a store and picked me up one.
What a guy. I'm so excited...
You can guess what I'm making for supper tomorrow :)

Soon...meh

I'm psyching myself up for "paint the house weekend". Weather looks nice...I haven't been able to get as much prep as I'd like, but after the Franz Ferdinand concert tomorrow it will be friday PM to prep and then 3 days of painting. I need to rent some scaffolding, but so be it. Hopefully I won't fall off...
But even tho I'd rather be up at the lake with my parents this weekend I want this DONE. Sooooo I will do it. Nothing else for it.
With any luck it will all get finished...then my neighbors will only hate us for the state of our yard and not the state of our house!

Whenever I embark on reno stuff on this level I'm really beginning to appreciate just HOW much my Dad did when I was little. J is not a reno sort of guy - he's the king organiser & electronics whiz. Me? I'm the painty, power tools sort. I love to do this stuff, but for me the planning is the worst...once I begin I usually leap in with both feet and finish it off well. I'm just a bit nervous about being out in the sunshine...the scaffolding for rent has no rails...so no beer for me :). I've tried to do the Tom Sawyer thing, but I'm not willing to guilt anyone into helping me with this...everyone nearby can't paint well, so I'd just end up being frustrated(Me? Perfectionist? *whistle*). I'd love to pay someone to do it...but hahahahahahaaaaa I laugh. You do what ya gotta do.

As a plus though, the ugly "spanish tile" house numbers I loathe so much conveniently broke (he heh oops >:D )when I took them down to scrape and prime.
I'm trying to think of how to do new house numbers...any ideas for new ones?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

This one time, at Ubercamp...

I just had a nice weekend away near Slave Lake - last camping trip of the summer.
The weather was great and the friends were wonderful (as always). I got to visit and catch up with people I haven't seen in ages, and we all had a great time camping together at Ubercamp. I wish it had been longer.
Slave lake is such a massive lake that it is always very humid near there. While it got up to the high 20s during the day it cooled off to ~6 degrees at night. This made for the most amazing layer of foggy mist for about 3m high in all directions...yet you could still see the starry sky and milky way above you...beautiful! We remembered LED rechargable christmas lights this year, so we strung them around so we could find our campsite, even in the mist! It was like wandering about in a zombie film...only without the zombies. I definitely prefer the lack of zombies on a camping trip.

We took monday off to relax and settle back in. That was nice idea...
As an added bonus, today is J's birthday, and the lighting gear I ordered for him arrived in time (muahahah) so he is spending his birthday today playing with his new kit. He took his birthday off so he can stay at home and relax. I'm jealous! I got up and made him breakfast on my way out the door today - blueberry lemon scones... Mmm...

Happy Birthday J. Love you.