Sunday, December 16, 2007

in the spirit

I'm usually quite the procrastinator when it comes to Christmas: the baking, the decorating, the shopping, the wrapping... This year, however, I've improved ever so slightly. I did my baking last week and my shopping is 75% done and I've still got a week to spare! This is HUGE for me.

I took advantage of today's snow storm to catch up with all the Xmas keeners out there. Since J and I got the tree and put it up (sort of) yesterday, I put up the lights and decorated this afternoon while listening to Xmas music (loving the digital cable music channels). I also wrapped all the gifts I've bought so far.

Then, I documented all of my handiwork with the following photographs:

This is my bling-ed out wreath (as my Dad calls it) that currently resides on my front door. I like it a lot and I still can't believe I got something so stylish and modern at Canadian Tire. Wonders never cease!

I have a fondness for star shaped ornaments, it seems. I've bought no less than three new star ornaments this season, which, combined with the others I've gotten/been given over the years is substantial. Maybe this shall be my new tree theme from here on in...

I bought a pair of these stockings at Chapters a couple years ago for me and W. They were pretty plain, however, so I channelled my inner Martha and came up with the idea that W and I should sew our initials on the front. Turned out pretty well, I think. Part of me is kicking myself for not taking W's with me when I left so I could still have the pair. It would've been short work with a stitch ripper to remove his initial and replace it with another when the vacancy is filled. Har! What I like most about this stocking is that it can fit quite a bit: Santa's not going to be impressed when he comes to fill my stocking!

This is probably my favourite decoration. Not that you can tell from the artsy close up, but it's a Christmas tree made out of wire and beads that I got last year from W's dad. I like that it's modern and unique. And it's got sparkles. The fifi-princess-prissy-girly-girl inside me likes sparkles.
No, your eyes do not deceive you: the tree IS in fact leaning a little left of centre. I'm not quite sure whether it's the tree, the stand or the fact that the floors in the house are nowhere near level, but no amount of adjusting, shimming and counter-balancing was able to remedy the situation. No matter. It's nothing that some twine and a couple of screws in the adjacent wall can't (and did) fix. Ha!
- - -
I think I've been a pretty good girl this year, so I'm hoping that maybe some of my Christmas wishes will come true. However, I'm still gonna leave Santa some extra special cookies... just in case!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

a girl and her dog

Until a couple years ago, I had always considered myself to be a cat person. Not to say that I don't like dogs, because I do - I know and like many dogs - I just never considered having one of my own. Growing up, we only ever had cats as pets (and fish, but do they really count? Sorry, Squishie!)

First, there was Jason, the best cat EVER. We got along wonderfully, despite me being an annoying little kid and all. Then came Tilly, who was old and crochety with a horrible case of halitosis, but loveable nonetheless.

The day that I moved into my very first apartment, I marched straight (more like took a bus, then a subway, then a streetcar) to the Humane Society and brought home Mischa, my very first pet all my own. Mischa is a bit neurotic and quirky, but she's mine and I love her dearly. Our life together has been a difficult one: there have been many periods of time when we haven't lived together (due to feline-hating roommates, other pets in the mix - Mischa DOES NOT play well with others, etc.) Currently, she lives a life of luxury and leisure at the Retirement Palace with the other retirees (a.k.a. my parents). I would love nothing more than to have her live out the rest of her pampered existence with me, but she is so happy where she is and I couldn't bear to uproot her again (not to mention that I think it would break my dad's heart - he's smitten with my girl, despite protesting that the opposite is true.)

Then, about two years back, W and I began toying with the idea of getting a dog. Apparently, it's what new couples do when they want to figure out whether their relationship is strong enough to withstand the test of bringing future children into the mix (ours wasn't, but I digress.) I was sort of neutral about the idea, but W wanted a dog very much, and being a pet lover, I agreed.

So, I embarked on the tedious venture of researching the subject, as I like to at least have a vague idea of what kind of trouble I'm getting myself into. We were in agreement that we wanted a big dog because we wanted to be able to go on long walks and hikes and neither of us were particularly keen on the typically yappy small breeds. We also wanted a mutt or a rescue. I was very interested in some sort of shepherd mix. I've always like shepherds - German Shepherds, particularly. I'm not sure why - perhaps it harkens back to watching The Littlest Hobo as a child on TVO.

We also agreed on a name: Finnegan (or Finn for short). I had my heart set on naming him after the mute dog puppet on Mr. Dressup, one of my favourite childhood tv shows. Being a surfing fanatic, W agreed to the name because of its reference to surfboard/shark fins. Didn't matter to me, as long as I got my way! And I did.

And so the search began. One day, a colleague of mine gave me a lead on a litter of Lab/Shepherd pups that were in need of homes. I contacted the family and W and I made the trek out to their home to see the new arrivals. There were eleven of them and they were all adorable, but Finn stood out from all the rest, in my mind. W had his heart set on another pup, but after much conversation, some pouting and a good night's sleep, I got my way. Again.

I officially moved in with W the day we brought Finn home for good. In retrospect, it probably wasn't the most brilliant idea I've ever had. Having a puppy is very similar to having a newborn in many ways: there's the lack of sleep, the stress, the worrying, the crying (but that was mostly me). Then there's the housetraining, crate training, puppy proofing, puppy school and the constant vigilance required at all times. And the expense, oh, the expense! Finn may have been free to a good home, but that was the first and last bargain we saw!

The first six months with Finn was nothing short of hell. His being ridiculously cute was sometimes the only thing that saved him from a one way ticket to the pound. However, with time, he mellowed out, and life with him became almost normal (with the odd hellish moment here and there, just to keep us on our toes!)

Though W and I were not able to make things work between us, we agreed that Finn belonged to both of us and would be shared thusly. It was only fair to Finn that he remain with W where he has a big backyard and endless trails to explore. I knew I would likely end up in an apartment in a urban setting, so it hardly made sense for me to take him.

Since my move, I've spent a handful of times with Finn. It's been very bittersweet for me, but the pleasure still far outweighs the pain. I had him for the weekend back in November and I loved every minute of it. See, Finn has always seen W as the alpha dog, despite me being the nurturer, disciplinarian and main caregiver, so it was nice to have him all to myself without having to compete for his attention/affection. I'm not sure how much longer I can realistically keep Finn in my life, but until that day comes, I'm going to relish every moment.

This is typical Finn. He's so serious. All. The. Time. It's a little disconcerting sometimes because he always seems so unimpressed with everything. He's definitely an old soul - you can see it in his eyes. He doesn't have one of those perpetually smiley faces that dogs tend to have. He barely ever wags his tail. He rarely barks or makes other dog-like noises. He doesn't like to cuddle. When I ask for a kiss, he looks at me with great disdain before turning his head away, nose tilted slightly upwards as if he just caught a whiff of a slightly unpleasant odour. Sometimes, on a good day, if all the stars and planets are aligned, he'll kiss me, but it's never with any enthusiasm. It's almost like he wants to say, "There. OK? You got your kiss. Now, get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich!" I'm starting to see a pattern here: he's very much like every boy I've even been mad about. Ha!

Despite his grave demeanor, Finn IS a happy dog. He is spoiled rotten regularly by both W and I. He rules the couch and is often allowed to sneak up on my bed for a good night's sleep (this is the only time he'll willingly let me cuddle with him - just like his human counterparts, this boy like to spoon!) He gets lots of exercise, rides in the car, cottage/camping trips, socialization with other dogs and treats galore (cucumber is his favourite).

Every once in a while he does something (like nose my camera while I'm trying to take a close up of him) that reminds me that he really IS a dog and not a broody, sullen little person dressed in dog's clothing. Then there's the carnage and destruction that he's left in his wake, as evidenced by a couple of maimed cell phones and remote controls, and the ginormous hole chewed out of the crotch of my favourite yoga pants.

His energy knows no bounds: we could hike for hours, playing hide and seek all the while and at the end he'd still be just as eager to do it all over again. He loves playing frisbee, and isn't the least bit hurt when I tire of the game because he can throw and catch his own frisbee all by himself (I think he justs lets me play to humour me.)

Now that he's pretty much left the puppy stage behind, I find I'm enjoying our time together so much more. He's mellowed ever so slightly and he's a far sight more trustworthy than he once was. He and I can be in separate rooms or areas of the house for hours and I know when I return, everything will be as it was left. On a recent weekend visit, Finn was in J's room checking things out when, out of curiosity, he nosed J's Darth Vader snow globe that was perched (precariously, admittedly) on the window sill and it fell to the floor and promptly shattered. If ever I thought an animal could emote mortification, Finn had succeeded. You could just tell that he felt horrible about it: his tail was tucked between his legs and he slunk over to me, giving a grieving J wide berth. It was actually a pretty funny sight, but I felt horrible for him all at the same time. (Don't worry, Finny, mama replaced J's snowglobe as a Christmas gift especially from you!)

I never realized how much (more) I could love a pet until Finn came into my life. I mean, I've always loved my cats, but dog love is just so... different.

I really miss Finn - much more than I thought I would. I know he's much better off where he is because of my living situation/lifestyle in general, but it's small consolation. I also know that I'm glossing over a lot of the less-than-appealing realities of dog ownership in favour of wistful reminiscing.

It helps that I have unrestricted access to Finn, but I wonder at the point of it all. Is keeping my foot in the door just prolonging the inevitable? I know in my heart that I'm going to have to eventually let go completely and move on. I guess it's just that much harder for me because it seems that I've done a hell of a lot of losing and letting go of precious things in the last few years. Such is life, I suppose.

One day, I'll be ready to say goodbye and it'll be OK. But Finn will always be my boy. And I will always be his mom. I hope he knows how much I love him... even if he doesn't like it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

four years

I was hoping today would sneak by unnoticed by me and melt away into the blur that has been the last litle while.

It didn't.

I noticed.

I'm not sure yet whether this is a good or bad thing. So, for now, until I decide definitively, it just is. Four years to the day. Has it really been that long? It has, hasn't it? I've now been out as long as I ever was in. What does this mean? Do I get to start fresh tomorrow? At zero? Clean slate?

Who's counting?

Only me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

finding emo

So, my dear friend Miss J got tickets to see Fall Out Boy & Plain White T's for her birthday and was kind enough to ask me to accompany her. I was flattered and happy for the invitation, and thankful that the invite was not to accompany her to see Bon Jovi the following evening! (As most people who know me know that I loathe JBJ with the very essence of my being.)

Despite not really knowing much about either FOB or PWT except for a song or two, I did know that they represent all that is "emo". What exactly it is that constitutes a band/person being emo or not seems highly debatable. I don't really think anyone is sure. Ambiguity IS emo, apparently...

So, J and I arrive at the venue to find that we're at least twice the age of most of the concert goers. It was a little disconcerting to realise that I could be the mother (albeit teenaged) of most of the kids there. Everyone there was dressed the part (except us, of course): tight pants, skater-type sneakers, expertly coiffed shaggy hair, etc. I have to say, kids these days have a heck of a lot more creativity and courage when it comes to fashion than when I was their age. I was in awe of some of the girls and their rockin hairstyles and outfits. While J contemplated getting a "short-long" shag like the young girl sitting in front of us, I was daydreaming about getting my nose pierced. Heck, I still might. Nostalgia, anyone?

I bought J a birthday beer out on the concourse and we made our way to the arena door only to find that alcohol was not allowed into the venue - all ages show. Of course.

We quickly guzzled our beers and made it to our seats in time to see half the first opening band's set. Still not sure who they were. It was just a lot of loud guitars and the lead "singer" screaming incoherently into the mike while running around the stage with his hair in his face. Utterly forgettable.

Next up - Plain White T's. I was pleasantly surprised. Outside of their mainstream hit, "Hey There Delilah", I didn't know much about them, but they had quite a few catchy songs and some nice ballads, too. (Don't tell anyone, but I even went home that night and downloaded their last couple albums to have another listen.)

After a lengthy intermission, Fall Out Boy took the stage and they sure rocked it. The staging and pyrotechnics were awesome and the band was on their game. I have to say, Patrick Stump has an amazing voice. Once again, I was surprised to realise that I knew quite a few of their songs and LIKED them, too!

Here's some shots from the concert. I did have a video clip of PWT's "Hey There Delilah", but I encountered so many technical difficulties trying to upload the damn thing that I decided to nix the idea before I totally lost my mind.

OK, is this guy emo? Because he looks like he could be Bon Jovi's guitarist. Granted, there are some emo elements present: the hat, the vest, the tight pants. But what's with the deep v-neck shirt? He's got better cleavage than I do! And the pendant necklace?
A little too "Livin' on a Prayer", no? However, those pipes... YUM!
(Actually, his pipes are the only reason I included this pic.)

PWT's frontman, Tom Higgenson (and his unfortunate nose),
singing swoon-worthy hit "Hey There Delilah".

FOB's Mr. Wentz in all his emo glory. The hair, those lips... le sigh.
I never thought I'd admit this, but Pete Wentz is mighty dreamy!

Why does this shot make me think of Extreme's "More Than Words"?

Lookit all the purdy confetti!
All in all, I had a great time and I'm really thankful to J for taking me. I may be a little old for emo, but I don't care. It's catchy and it's fun to rock out to in your car when you're stuck in traffic on your morning commute to work.
What? Who said that? ;)

Friday, October 26, 2007

tastes like burning

Today, I learned first hand the dangers of ironing in the nude.

When doing such an activity, say, while in a hurry because you're already late due to your alarm that didn't go off (or, rather, it did, but you couldn't hear it because your cell phone was set to silent mode), it's best to stand a safe distance away from the ironing board. For, if you lean against said board while concentrating intently on the task at hand, your nakedness may come into contact with the iron and you, too, could sport an angry red line across your lower abdomen, just above your "lady garden".

So, unless you're into human branding or prone to freak ironing accidents as I seem to be (ask me about the time I burnt my scalp with a clothing iron), please avoid this painful and painfully embarrassing outcome by wearing clothing whilst ironing, or at least seriously consider, as I am, taking all your clothing to the drycleaners for pressing forevermore.

Let's leave such things to the professionals, shall we?

Friday, October 12, 2007

all in the family

I was bored one day at work, so I decided to fart around on Google and look up names of people I know to see what comes up. The resulting... er... results were pretty much "meh". Apparently, I don't know anyone who leads an excitingly clandestine existence. Then, I decided that googling images of people I know might render more interesting discoveries. Jackpot! So, I decided to put together a "family album" according to Google...

I'd like to introduce to you my "family":

My Dad - Kevin
My dad, Kevin, started his career "balling" for Winona State University (that's in Minnesota, for those of you not up on your American universities). After that, he moved to coaching at Catlin Gabel, where he spent the next four years and currently officiates basketball games for Universal Whistles LLC. In his eight years as a referee, my dad has officiated an impressive 4500+ games. And true to Universal Whistles LLC's motto, my dad is more than just an official, he's a craftsman!

My Mum

My mum, Lynn, is a champion lawn bowler and a member of Bowls Canada Boulingrin. Not only was she on the Canadian national team from 2002-04, she has also been nominated "Senior Athlete of the Year" (twice!) and has enjoyed many first place standings throughout her 13 year career. She taught me everything I know about bowling but, sadly, I did not inherit hers, nor my dad's athletic prowess.

My Sister

I couldn't find much bio information about my sister aside from the fact that she's the CFO of Flying Dog Ales - a Denver, Colorado-based brewery. Explains a lot. I guess I should count myself pretty lucky that I have a lifetime supply of free beer, though.

(Truth be told, most of the "Kelly M*s" that came up in my Google search were male, and as much as my sister and I might've had some gender confusion back in the day when we had ridiculously short hair and my mother dressed us like boys, we've recovered sufficiently and I thought it too cruel to go back there for fear my sis might relapse.)

My Brother
Though my whole family seems to have had their share of fame and fortune, it's my brother who really has made a name for himself - on the Great White Way, of all places. According to his bio on, Michael came to New York City in May of 1990, after finishing his BFA in Theater from Carnegie Mellon University (that's in Pittsburgh, kids). His Broadway credits include Rent, The Who's Tommy, Miss Saigon, Hair and The High Rollers Social Pleasure Club. He was a featured vocalist on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" and he also founded the Broadway Gospel Choir in 1994, then founded the Broadway Inspirational Voices in 1999. (And here we thought my brother's infernal singing, dancing and general noisemaking was just ADD!)

And finally, a little about me:


The bio on my website (!) describes me as a California native who attended San Diego State University majoring in Literature and a graduate of Orange Coast College Culinary School. (Love of food and literature- totally bang on so far.) I've worked as a pastry chef in some of the finest restaurants in Orange County, and have traveled extensively discovering fascinating places to eat, drink and sleep. (Well, I DO make a pretty mean lemon meringue pie from scratch. I also like to travel and while I'm travelling I eat, drink and sleep - sometimes in interesting places - like the time I slept wrapped around the bidet in my hotel bathroom... the toilet was taken.) Apparently, I've also written restaurant and hotel reviews for Lemonade Magazine, and I now give private cooking lessons to the chopping-challenged while continuing my search for the best the travel and restaurant industries have to offer. (I'll post my rates for private cooking lessons at a later date. Few people realise the talent and finesse required to pull off the perfect Mr. Noodle!) You can catch my talk show, "Girl About Town" on World Talk Radio, Mondays at 2 pm.

Tee hee!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

at least i'm cute

This morning, while on my way to work, I was stopped at a light. While waiting for the light to change, I looked down and noticed a stray hair on my pants. Now, I don't think I'm unlike pretty much every other female in the world when it comes to finding stray hairs. I believe there to be a general consensus that hairs that are found anywhere other than attached to the head must be apprehended and disposed of immediately. In my situation (sitting in my car), the acceptable mode of disposal means out the window (or moonroof, as I've been known to use when convenient).

So, as I've done a million times before, I plucked the errant hair off my pants and powered down my window. Then I closed the window. On my hand. My hand that was still sticking out of the window. Panicked, I immediately pressed the button to put the window back down. Nothing. However, the window on the passenger side promptly went down. Finding the correct button, I pressed it again, albeit in the wrong direction, and the window increased its chokehold on my trapped wrist. The pain! Finally (third time's a charm!), I pressed the RIGHT button in the RIGHT direction and my hand was loosed. Free at last!

Mortified beyond words and sure that all the drivers in my immediate area had thoroughly enjoyed my little free (read: FREAK) show, I sped away from the light and drove as fast as I could to the safety of my office.

In case you're wondering, I'm OK. Just suffering from a little case of bruised ego. And wrist.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

mmmm... brains!

I'm tired. So very tired. The kind of tired where you feel like you might just throw up, if it weren't for the fact that the very act you're contemplating is just too damned exhausting.

Of course, everyone experiences bouts of crappy sleep from time to time, but for me it's becoming a chronic issue. And I don't like it. Not. One. Bit.

See, for the past four years, I have struggled on and off (but mostly on) with insomnia. And it's not just one night of sleeplessness: it's several nights of little to no sleep at all. And if, by some miracle, I do sleep through the night, I almost always wake up feeling like I never actually rested while I was asleep. Like perhaps I was doing calculus while running a marathon in my dreams. That'd be pretty damn tiring for me, as I can barely add as it is and I've never made it past 5K without practically having to be defibrillated.

And while I do suspect that bad bed karma* might have something to do with my inability to get a good night's rest, I'm really not sure of the cause of this affliction.

I've tried over the counter and prescription sleep aids in the past, but I always woke up with a fuzziness in my brain that persisted throughout the day. And if I've got a choice, I prefer my fuzz all natural, thankyouverymuch.

For someone like myself who needs a lot of sleep, insomnia can be very depressing and sometimes debilitating. However, I have noticed that the quality of my sleep greatly increases the farther I travel away from home. What does this mean? Do I need to move? Maybe I should put in a grant proposal and conduct a long-term study. I could travel all over the world in search of the best sleep ever. Barring that, a sugar daddy would do in a pinch.

Hopefully, the cause of my sleeplessness is situational and thus temporary and that I'm soon able to get back into relatively healthy sleep habits. Until then, I guess I'll just have to muddle along, catching my zzz's wherever I can. But if I do start walking around aimlessly while dragging my leg, or if you notice that while in conversation with me I'm staring intently at the top of your head with an eerily vacant look on my face, you might want to consider slowly backing away, turning, running like hell and locking yourself up somewhere safe.

Just in case.

(*For those not in the know, I purchased my bed with the proceeds from the wedding gifts from my failed marriage that I returned to the store four years after the fact. This has lead me to believe that my sleep troubles stem from the not-so-wholesome way that I came to own my bed, as well as residual bad karma from He Who Shall Not Be Named.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

target practice

I know I've been MIA for a while now and for that, I'm sorry. In keeping with my life's theme, "Turmoil", I've gone and uprooted myself from yet another miserable situation and have fled yet again (with the help of two men and a rented moving stuck) back to my hideout (a.k.a. my parents' house) to re-group.

It's been a rough six weeks and between travelling for work and other commitments, I don't feel as though I've had a moment's peace to think about, well, stuff. My stuff. The stuff that has happened. And keeps happening. To me. What's worse is that this crazy schedule of mine doesn't look like it will be letting up any time soon.

I'm just trying to tread water. Fly under the radar. Keep things on the down low. Problem is, people keep finding me, like heat-seeking missiles. Everybody wants something from me. ALL. THE. TIME. Just once, I wish someone would say to me: "What do YOU need? How can I help YOU?" without expecting something in return.

I can't count how many times I've wanted to run screaming from the building, jump off the nearest bridge or seriously hurt the people around me. Most of all, I really just want to tell everyone to FUCK OFF. Well, not everyone, but quite a few people. It's not very classy, but I suspect it would be effective. It takes a lot of energy to pretend you're OK when you're really not, you know. And what gives me the rage is that I'm not being given a chance to take a breath, sort things out and catch up to everyone else.

So, for now, I'm just going to start saying no. I don't care if it's uncharacteristically bitchy, selfish, unhelpful, etc. of me. For now, I'm only going to do what I want. What feels good to me. What serves my needs/purposes. Once I'm feeling more like myself, then I'll get back to regularly scheduled programming. Until then, well, I don't care.

You know, a cosmic remote control with a PAUSE button would really come in handy right about now.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Today is not just any other day. Today is a very special day. Today is Friday. Friday, April 27th. And in honour of this very special day, I thought it was imperative that I blog about it and give it the tribute it so rightly deserves.

Today is Jazz Hands Day.

Happy Jazz Hands Day, everybody!

Don't forget to jazz up someone's day today. Sometimes, jazz hands make all the difference.

Monday, April 23, 2007



On Friday night, one of my girlhood (read: twentysomething) dreams was finally realised when I attended the much-anticipated John Mayer concert.

Thanks to *W's* Amex card and the "Front of the Line" pre-sale, I was able to score some damn good sets - centre section, floor, 22 rows from the front (well, it was probably more like 32 rows from the front when you include the VIP/press section, but what'cha gonna do?) These are probably the best seats I've ever had for any concert I've ever been to, not including Edenfest in '95 when I spent all day slowly making my way through the crowd up to the front row for the headlining act, The Cure. I lasted about 20 minutes into the show before security had to pull me out due to my being practically drawn and quartered by pressure of the crowd behind me. I digress...

Because of these damn good seats, I decided to bet it all on black and smuggle in my snappy new camera to get some good shots of Mr. Pretty Hair. I spent much time strategically packing my bag so that my camera was cleverly concealed for the inevitable stripsearch at the gate, but to my shock and glee I sailed right through security without even a sideways glance. I was free to go buck wild snapping all the pics my little 2 GB memory card could hold! Except for one small glitch. Stupid. People. In. My. Way. Stupid tall-hand-clapping-bopping-jumping-type-people. Why can't people stand completely stock still and out of my viewfinder's range while I'm trying to take a damn picture? Okay, I jest. Mostly.

The audience alone provided quite a bit of entertainment: there was the plumber's butt girl to my right (thanks for searing my retinas), the "Pat" directly in front of me (I'm still not convinced he was a man, as *W* insisted) and the two thirtysomething girls to my left who screamed, cried and high-fived eachother when they correctly identified each song from the first few chords. It was certainly an interesting mix of people. I was also pleasantly surprised at how many males were in attendance, further fueling my argument with a male friend that straight guys do, in fact, like John Mayer.

The concert itself was good, but I didn't go home and have a naughty dream about John Mayer that night, which is the usual result of most close encounters with my crushes. He was definitely in fine form and the concert showcased both his singing and guitar talents masterfully. The big disappointment was the length of the set, which was pitiful. When you spend a certain amount of money to see a show, you expect to get what you pay for. Well, I only got $40 worth out of my $70 ticket. Maybe if he didn't spend so much time with that dip whose name I shall not mention, he'd have a little more energy to put into his concerts. You know, that gig that pays the bills? In his defence, I can only imagine how tiring it must be to carry on a conversation with a bag of rocks.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

mea culpa

I know.

I'm a horrible blogger. A disgrace to the blogging community. A waste of bandwidth. A two-dollar hooker. (Okay, maybe not that last bit, but it's one of my favourite terms EVER, along with "tart" and other such wonderful words and turns of phrase. I shall explore their definitions, context and application in another post. Maybe. If I get around to it.)

It's not that I haven't wanted to post, but it seems that lately my creative juices have all but run dry, with nary a drip to be had. Hopefully, with spring just around the corner, it will bring with it some new inspiration for me, fodder for my blog and not just the aroma of dead worms and dog poo.

I make no promises, but I shall *try* to eek out at least one blog a week, okay? Go easy on me- I bruise like a peach.

Friday, March 30, 2007


I just realized that I'm wearing my underwear inside out.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

la belle province

Tradeshow season is in full bloom and I’m on the second of a string of shows I’ll be attending over the next few months. This time I’m in lovely Charlevoix, Quebec (or Malbaie, depending on who you talk to). This is the last of the “exotic” locations I get to go to, as I think the next show is in Oshawa, the armpit of Ontario. Now that my old boss/drinking buddy is gone, I’m third fiddle for tradeshow picks, so I have to make the most of the ones I get. And with a new addition in our department (my nemesis – we even share the same name), I have to work extra hard to jockey for position and stay in the good graces of the Tradeshow Scheduler.

I must say that I really scored this time: I’m staying at the decadent Fairmont Manoir Richelieu, which is nestled into the bay of the St. Laurence? Atlantic? I don’t know – my Grade 5 geography teachings are failing me at the moment. Anyways, it’s absolutely gorgeous here. I’d add a photo if I hadn’t left my camera at home, but after the last ordeal, I was wary about bringing my brand spanking new camera along with me- checked or on my person (I’m still fairly skeptical about those security x-ray machines). I did take a couple of shots with my phone, so if I figure out how to upload them to my PC, I’ll post them. For now, here’s a generic shot I googled (see above because I can't get the freaking formatting to do as it's told). A worthy post is never without one, you know.

I flew into Quebec City on a Dash-8. For anyone who hasn’t had the “pleasure”: it’s usually the smallest commercial aircraft in an airline’s fleet and is predominantly used for short haul, light load flights. Boarding a Dash-8 is very retro, or "Ghetto Glam", as I prefer to call it. Because the plane is short by comparison to others, there aren't any walkways designed to fit up to the door, so passengers have to board by walking outside and climbing a rickety set of stairs. I wish I could say it's as glamourous as this, but it's really not. Some paparazzi might help.
I would say the Dash-8 is the commercial aviation industry’s version of the clown car. For a passenger to fly comfortably on a Dash-8, he or she should measure no more than 4 feet in height and should ideally have neither legs nor luggage, as there’s no room for either. If you are not fortunate enough in any of these respects, I would highly recommend seats 1E and 1F, as they are the only two on the plane with enough room that you don’t have to curl up into the fetal position to fit into them. Conversely, I was seated in row 1A/C: the bank of seats with the least amount of space in the joint. So, while I sat in Locust pose, the flight attendant basked in the chaise lounge across from me, reading a book. (A former flight attendant myself, I could’ve gotten her ass fired for such a blatant breach of flight safety regulations, but that’s another rant all together and, frankly, this post is long enough.)

Another highlight of the Dash-8 is that it’s a propeller plane. Being the lucky soul that I am, my seat was conveniently located parallel to the left propeller and given that this particular aircraft has the insulation of a tin can, I might as well have been sitting IN the propeller's turbine. That flight attendant would've done better to pass out construction-grade protective headphones than Bits n' Bites. I'm sure that trip alone will be responsible for my having to get a Whisper 2000 in order to hear worth a damn come my 40's.
Once I got to Quebec City, I had to rent a car for the two hour trip to the resort. I reserved a compact car, expecting some sort of generic sedan, but I what I got was a sexy black Ford Focus station wagon. Oh well, at least I got some valuable soccer mom practice time in. The weather was great for a drive and the scenery was nothing short of spectacular. I ended up missing my exit and drove another 30 kms before I realised my error, but I was enjoying the drive so much that I didn't mind.

In true Fairmont form, the Manoir Richelieu is decadent in every way, including the prices! I do get a per diem while I'm away, but it's a drop in the bucket at a place like this. I ended up going to McD's for lunch on the first day, just to save some cash. You see, if you're smart, you can actually MAKE money on business trips, or at least save up the $$ alotted for breakfast and lunch and then go buck wild at dinner. For me, I'm happy as long as I don't come out at a loss.
The convention itself has been a bust, but I've managed to enjoy my stay in other ways. Last night I ordered room service, surfed the web and watched TV all in my hotel bathrobe. Of course, my trip wouldn't be complete without a couple of mishaps: the exhibit frame arriving in several pieces (thank God for duct tape!) and the bathtub water tap falling off the wall and injuring my foot (that f*cker was heavy!).

Tonight, I plan to fully enjoy the convention's dinner and show, but I'm going to skip out on the "After Party" (tee hee) for a dip in the outdoor saltwater hot tub and some time in the sauna. Tomorrow, I've got an early morning packing up the exhibit and hightailing it back to Quebec City to catch my flight home. Then, I get to pick up *T* and spend my weekend doing some long-overdue best friend bonding!

Friday, March 2, 2007

snow day

One of the few highlights of winter: The Snow Day. All the better if it falls on a Friday! Even more so if you actually take advantage of it instead of slogging your way through a blizzard of snow, ice and bad drivers to get to work (on time, even) like I did. I'm a model employee, what can I say?

Since I've been robbed of my Snow Day, I've decided to stage a peaceful, one-person protest from my desk in the form of a stoppage of work. Today, I'm going to buck my usual slave-like work ethic and do absolutely nothing that is work-related. OK, so it's not much different from what I do most days.

So, in the middle of my "doing nothing work-related", I came across one of those "getting to know you" quizzes. I don't normally do these because the questions are usually lame and they ellicit equally lame responses that give the subject's readers absolutely no new insight into their life or personality. This one, however, is a little different and has many possibilities for fun, and we all know I'm all about the fun. The directions are simple:

1. Choose a band/artist.

2. Answer ONLY using titles of their songs.

I chose the Dave Matthews Band for the simple reason that they are, in my books, they best artists of ALL TIME.

Here goes:

Are you male or female: Dream Girl

Describe yourself: So Much To Say

How do some people feel about you: Crazy

How do you feel about yourself: Busted Stuff

Describe your ex boyfriend / girlfriend: Fool To Think

Describe current boyfriend / girlfriend: Too Much

Describe where you want to be: Bartender

Describe how you live: You Never Know

Describe how you love: Crash Into Me

What would you ask for if you had just one wish: If I Had It All

Share a few words of Wisdom: Everybody Wake Up

Now say goodbye: Say Goodbye

That was a bit more challenging than I thought. Good times. Good times. So, what to do with the rest of the day's afternoon, hey?


Turns out that my protest was not in vain: the Powers That Be, in their infinite graciousness, have allowed us minions to leave work 1.5 hours early due to the deteriorating weather conditions. Of course, it'll take me at least that much time to dig my car out.

Friday, February 23, 2007

i love phlegm

One blissful week of respite after getting over my last cold, I decided to go all out this time and contract the flu. Go big, or go home, I say.

It all started when I woke up last Saturday morning with a painful chest cough. I didn't think much of it at the time because aside from the cough, I was feeling OK and I was determined to make good on my Chinese New Year resolution to get back into the gym, since I missed out on that other one a while back.

I slogged my way through the class, all the while feeling like my feet were encased in cement blocks, but I just chalked that up my currently high level of unfitness. It was only when I got home that it hit me like a truck. A ten tonne, tricked out, Hemi-toting, fully-loaded Mack truck. With flames airbrushed on the cab. I had every symptom a girl with a flu could ask for: fever, chills, sweats, sore joints, sensitive skin, sore throat, burning eyes and a cough that felt like razor blades carving up my lungs. I wanted to die.

It's hard to imagine that something so inocuous-looking could cause so much harm. Granted, Salmonella looks a little suspect, but E. coli is as adorable as they come. Aww, he's even smiling! Had I known that Bed Bugs were so cute, I would've stopped feverishly vacuuming my mattress and changing my sheet ages go! And someone's definitely getting Syphilis for their birthday.

I languished on the couch or in my bed for a total of four days, only rising to make some tea or to use the facilities (and even THAT hurt). In my delerium, I made my way into work on Monday to parade myself around the office, if only to silence the office chatter that would inevitably arise, given that this would prove to be my SECOND *gasp* sick day in as many months. I was promptly shooed home. Hee. I did start back at work on Wednesday, not so much because I was feeling better, but more for my own mental health. Being cooped up at home does a number on one's emotions and I needed a diversion to keep me from jumping off the first bridge I came across.

Last night, during a particularly violent coughing fit, I felt something in my head come loose. Seriously. Or at least that's what it felt like. So, now when I cough, I get this sharp pain behind my left eye and my brain rattles a bit in my head. Must just be a strain, right? How, pray tell, does one strain their brain?! I swear, this kind of stuff only happens to me.

I'm at the point now where my flu has all but subsided, leaving in its' place its' less-debilitating, yet infinitely more annoying inbred cousin, the cold. Aside from the congestion-induced state of euphoria, sniffling, sporadic coughing spells (don't forget the brain rattling), I actually don't feel that bad. In fact, I'm feeling so not-bad that I may even hit the gym tomorrow morning for a Body Combat class. I can already see myself sniffling and hacking away through the class, making a beeline to the communal kleenex box between pauses in choreography. On second thought, maybe I'll just stick a couple of tissues up my nose instead. It's much more efficient and will allow me to get the most out of my workout. So dedicated. An envy for all to behold.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

damn you, murphy!

Today's my birthday. My "Champagne" birthday, to be exact. Yep, I'm 31 on the 31st.

I've been looking forward to this birthday (or at least the novelty of it) for a while. I'm not exactly sure why, as the only thing that that sets this birthday apart from all the others is that one is supposed to drink champagne to mark this once-in-a-lifetime event. I'll even admit to smugly bragging about how lucky I am to be celebrating my champagne birthday so late in the month, since I'm now at an age where I can actually enjoy the implications of the day. Really, don't you kinda feel sorry for anyone born between the 1st and, say, the 15th of the month? I bet not too many were indulging in some birthday bubbly at the ripe old age of four. I digress...

I did indeed get to ring in my 31st birthday with some champagne (Thanks, *W*!), albeit a day early because I would be spending my actual birthday travelling on business. Boo. Add to the mix a lovely birthday cold and you've got the makings of a disaster.

I arrive at the airport this morning with plenty of time to spare. Call me neurotic, but I need to be at the airport and all checked in ridiculously early for fear of missing my flight. That, and I like to poke around the airport stores with a high-priced fancy coffee while I wait to board.

Thanks to all the new-fangled technology, I'd actually checked in online the day before, so I needed only to drop off my luggage. At the counter, the agent informs me that there is a direct flight to Vancouver departing an hour and a half after my scheduled flight and would I like to switch? Mildly annoyed at not having had this option when I initially booked, mourning the loss of a couple extra hours of sleep and not wanting to sit around in the airport lounge any longer than necessary, I decline the offer and keep my original booking.

The first leg of my trip is uneventful. The flight gets in late (surprise, surprise), but still allows me just enough time to catch my connection in Toronto. The flight to Vancouver was long and cramped, but predictable as far as flights go. I de-plane and make my way to the baggage carousel to pick up my bag. My bag that never came. The baggage agent said that the quick connection in Toronto did not allow for my bag to be loaded, but assured me that my luggage would arrive on one of the half-dozen incoming flights and they would arrange to have my bag delivered to the hotel. I'm provided with a tracking reference number to check the status of my bag online and a toll free number to call if I want to check the status old skool. Surprisingly, I managed to take it all in stride. I figure that as long as it shows up some time this afternoon, all is not lost. Besides, the baggage tracking form the airline gave me states that 95% of all lost luggage is returned to its owner within 24 hours. Comforting.

I get to the hotel, check in and set up for the next day's trade show, which takes all of about half an hour. I've got the rest of the day to myself, so I try to beat the jetlag and have a nap, but after lying around unable to sleep I decide that a birthday beer in the hotel bar is a better idea. Now I know why they say you should never drink alone. So. Depressing. Here I was, sitting by myself in a practically empty hotel bar on a Wednesday afternoon drinking a beer on my birthday all the way across the country in the most un-fun part of Vancouver (Richmond, for all you Vancouver-savvy people). Turns out, unbeknownst to me, there was a huge mall spitting distance away that I could've been exploring instead of sitting here. Boo-urns. Think of all of the wonderful items that went un-perused and un-bought!

The afternoon wears on and I check on the status of my lost bag online periodically. Still nothing. I become a little more frantic around 6pm, so I call the baggage claims hotline in hopes that a real live person might be privy to some more details, but alas, no help there, either. In fact, the baggage claims reps I spoke to on two separate occasions made me even more nervous because they seemed to be generally clueless and as it turns out, the call centre is located somewhere in India, which makes me question their abilities altogether. Really, how can you track baggage effectively from the other side of the planet? Damn outsourcing! Well, at least I've got the $50 (USD, no less) that the airline has given me to spend on incidentals: I should have no problem buying enough toiletries and clothing to see me though the trip! Sigh.

It's 10 pm and I'm in full-on panic mode. Still no news about my bag and I'm fully convinced I'm one of the unlucky 5% of poor souls never to be reunited with their precious belongings again. Ever the planner, I start researching my options if my bag is not recovered. There is a claim form that needs to be completed and submitted, along with the receipts for every item claimed on the form. No problem, I have every receipt for every item I've ever purchased neatly filed away specifically for this kind of situation. Come on! Seriously, who does this?! I'm lucky if I have the receipt for something I bought last week, nevermind three years ago, as in the case of my favourite boots currently in luggage limbo along with all of my other favourite, irreplaceable things. Inconsolable and cranky, I went to bed without (birthday) dinner, wondering how I was going to get through the rest of the trip.

The next morning, I wake up in yesterday's clothes to find a message on my phone from the front desk - my luggage had been delivered and was waiting for me! My eternal gratitude to the powers that be for returning to me my meagre, yet prized belongings.


Despite the lost luggage drama, the rest of my trip went surprisingly well: I did not die of boredom at the trade show, I had a wonderfully decadent birthday facial at an Aveda concept spa (compliments of *K* and *S*) and I went for a lovely meal at Steamworks Brewing Company in historic Gastown. The trip home was not so pleasant: an almost missed connection in Calgary, more incompetency on the part of airline and airport staff and an unbearably loud and annoying passenger sitting behind me who rambled incessantly for 4 hours to anyone who'd listen were all highlights of the journey back.

Although my trip somewhat marred my expectations for my champagne birthday, I shall try to let it all go and keep the good stuff (because there was a lot of that, too).

I'll end my epic post with the always-hilarious annual birthday poem my girlfriend *D* composes and sends me every year:

A Birthday Poem for the Beautiful *L*

Another year has passed and you find yourself at 31,
You look in the mirror and notice your face has been wrinkled by the sun.

You remember when skinny jeans were in the first time,
And you realize squeezing into them now would surely be a fashion crime.

You scoff at teenagers and mock their fun,
Then you realize you're old enough that one could be your son.

Happy Birthday sweet *L*, I hope you have a great day,
31 isn't so bad, if you believe what I say!

Thanks, *D*. I love you - you made my day!

Friday, January 5, 2007

maiden voyage

I've been sitting on the fence about the blogging phenomenon for some time. I know a lot of people who blog and I'm a fan of quite a few of them. It's how I keep track of my friends and the goings-on in their lives and, most importantly, how I get my daily infusion of celebrity gossip. Hah.

As enticing as the concept of blogging is, it's also quite intimidating, as it leaves one vulnerable and open to scrutiny by friends, family and strangers alike. Generally speaking, I'm a pretty self-conscious person (although I'm good at keeping that fact on the down low), so the thought of exposing myself in this way petrifies me to no end. What if my blog is not remotely interesting, funny or entertaining enough to be read and enjoyed by anyone other than my parents? (And they don't really count because, as parents, they *have* to like their kids' stuff, just as they liked the matching macaroni necklaces I brought home from Kindergarten.)

Then there's the task of coming up with material for one's blog. This can be a perilous venture, especially if the subject of a particular entry happens to be a member of your readership. All of a sudden, you're faced with a dilemma: "to post, or not to post?" If you go ahead with it, you either have to play nice to keep the peace, or tell it like it is and wait anxiously for the fallout. Gee, sounds like fun. Not that I plan on coming out guns a'blazing or anything, but if I've gotta rant, I'm not going to hold back. Much. (OK. Maybe, I'll tone it down a little, but that's it! It's called writer's integrity, people, and I'm not about to compromise mine for the sake of saving someone from a case of bunched panties.) The key here is just not to give me any fodder, OK?

At the end of the day, I guess blogging is something you do for yourself. A guilty pleasure. A place to chronicle your experiences, interests, random thoughts and pretty much everything else that people are tired of you going on about.

So, I'm not too sure how this blog will evolve, but I hope I manage to entertain you at least some of the time. Or not. Because, really, isn't it all about me?

Here goes nothing...