mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
Most of what's going on is not super interesting to the outside viewer, alas. I applied for the rental house I wanted on Friday, and I'm supposed to hear back by close of business today. It turns out that my medium credit rating is a cause for concern to prospective landlords. I mean, it's an okay rating, but due to a fuck-up over four years ago there's a thing on it that's keeping it "artificially" low (another three years to go before that black mark disappears, alas), so the manager I spoke to said he had some reservations. I tap-danced my way out of it, and the fact that I've been employed by the government for over nine years helped a lot. All that's left is for them to call my references, which, of course, includes my current landlady. YAY. I hope she doesn't fuck things up for me. Close of business (or COB, which always, always makes me snigger) is in six hours or so, maybe seven, depending on when their day ends, so everyone keep your fingers crossed.

More landlady shenanigans ensued while I was chasing all over town trying to get my application approved. I got a text message from her while I was out, saying that the reno guys were going to remove the wall between the downstairs storage space and my part of the house, and was I home so they could show me? Needless to say, my blood pressure rose about a million points, because there's nothing I'd like more than to have an entire wall missing in my house. It would mean that anyone with a key to the side door of the house would have unlimited access to my living space. Reassuring, right?

I took a detour out of my day to come home, and spoke with the reno guy. It turns out he had told my landlady that he didn't want to take out the wall and leave my living space wide open without alerting me first, as a common courtesy. If it hadn't been for him having a conscience, I wouldn't have known until I came home one day to find my wall missing. He also proposed installing a lock on a door at the bottom of my stairs (the storage space is about two feet beyond the door, behind the wall in question), so that I'd have at least something of an illusion of control. I mean, the door is made of glass, so it wouldn't afford me true privacy or safety, but anyone in that space would have to at least expend effort to get into my house. So yay for reno guys with scruples! If all goes according to plan, the lock will go on today, and the wall will come down sometime this week (although I don't know exactly when, maybe Wednesday). So at least that's resolved, for now. I even got my landlady to agree, via text message, to return my post-dated cheques to me, so that's a small victory too.

I played 7 Days to Die with my friend V. on Friday evening, and went to bed WAY too late. I knew I had to get up early the next morning for a 06:00 Skype date with my parents, after which I was meant to drive to Montreal for [livejournal.com profile] le_maistre_e 's birthday Dim Sum party. Still, because V.'s computer has been on the fritz for nearly a month, I rationalized to myself that I'd go to bed early Saturday night and make up for it then. Remember this bit, because it will come back later.

Saturday was my mother's birthday, and the Skype call was fun, if maybe a bit shorter than usual. They were expecting my aunt to come to lunch, so I actually got to see her briefly before we hung up, which was nice. She had cancer last year, and had to undergo chemo for a while. She was looking quite good, as it turns out (my mother was convinced that she'd have lost all her hair and look like a skeleton, in spite of evidence to the contrary), if a little fragile. As far as I know she's in remission now, which is good news all around.

I hopped in the car and drove to Montreal, which as usual went well until I got into the city proper, at which point the construction nightmare resumed, and I found myself threading my way through detour after detour until I got to Chinatown. The restaurant itself was on a one-way street that, unbeknownst to me, had been blocked at the end. Why unbeknownst to me? Because there was no sign saying it had been blocked off! So I had to do a U-turn and go back the wrong way up a one-lane one-way street until I managed to find an alleyway I could use to get out of there. Good times. I do not miss Montreal and its shitty traffic and its shitty street signs, let me tell you. I miss my friends and family, but I've become spoiled in Ottawa, where getting around with your car is not a logistical nightmare on the best of days.

The birthday Dim Sum was a lot of fun, as was the outing afterward for bubble tea and cheese cake. I geeked out with friends, caught up with people I hadn't seen in weeks and months, and it was all over far too soon. I did leave on time, though, and managed to get back to Ottawa without mishap. Since it was still relatively early (18:00 or so), I took a couple of hours to run some errands. I was out of milk, and I needed to pull together supplies for First Day School on Sunday (I was meant to lead again, and the first Sunday of the month is always potluck, as I think I've mentioned before).

That's when things went south. I was a little surprised when I got home that Sergent didn't immediately get up to greet me, but when I looked over he was lying quietly on his bed, so I assumed he was just continuing his nap. That was quickly put to the lie less than an hour later when I heard the unmistakable sound of nails scrabbling against the floor. When I went over to check what was happening, I found him unable to get up under his own power. Even with me helping him, he couldn't stand for long, poor puppy. I ran for my coat and boots, and then spent nearly 20 minutes maneuvering the poor dog to the car. He weighs 90 pounds these days (he always gains a bit of weight in the winter), and that's about 10 pounds more than I can deadlift, unfortunately. I just can't pick him up and carry him (I'll have to start going to the gym again or something). Luckily with some coaxing and support from me, he was able to limp to the car. I could see then that it was his front left leg that was giving him trouble, and not just weakness in his hindquarters. I was able to lift him into the backseat, and drove him to the nearest emergency vet (which, luckily, is about five minutes from my house), where the vet tech and the assistant got a stretcher for him and carried him inside.

Once there he was sort of able to stand for a little bit, long enough for them to weigh him (which is why I know exactly how much he weighs right now) and for him to then poop all over their floor (oops). An examination revealed him to have a fever on top of the mystery leg injury. So $900 later we had bloodworm and an x-ray done, all of which led the vet to the inevitable conclusion of "We're not really sure." Nice to know that Sergent's streak of mystery ailments continues unbroken. :P They pumped him full of hydropmorphone in order to perform the x-rays, and he spent the rest of the night stoned out of his gourd. It was actually pretty funny, amidst the rest of the shit show that was that whole night. We spent nearly an hour in a nice quiet room with a leather sofa while he recovered a bit (he lay on the sofa, lucky dog, but also had diarrhea all over it, which was maybe less ideal), and after two and a half hours total spent at the vet's they loaded him back into the car, and I drove him home.

The story doesn't end there, alas. I couldn't get him out of the car at all once we were home. He refused to stand up under his own power, and I couldn't get the proper leverage to lift him out on my own. I wasn't sure if this was the result of the hydromorphone (he was still pretty loopy) or a combination of that and his leg injury. Either way, I could not get him to budge. So, I decided to wait and see if, when the narcotics wore off, he'd be more willing to come with me. Long story short, we slept in the car. Let me tell you, sleeping in your car is overrated. For one, Sergent picked the coldest day of the week to need to spend the night in the car, so I had to run the engine quite a bit to keep us (mostly me, probably) both warm, and I was really worried that someone would come across the still-running car and report me (for what, I don't know, but I was overtired). 

Anyway, morning broke, and Sergent still wouldn't get up, so back we went to the emergency vet. I wrote an email to the First Day School volunteers, and thank goodness they agreed to pinch hit for me, because I was a bit of a wreck by then. The same assistant and a new tech carried Sergent back inside, and we got seen by the day vet. It took all three of them to get him up and moving, but by then he managed to start walking around mostly on his own. I took him out a few feet away for a pee, and the vet gave him some makeshift physiotherapy, after which we went home again. It took me another ten minutes to get him inside, but after I lifted him out of the car he was able to mostly manage the stairs on his own, which I took as an encouraging sign. I gave him his pain meds (Tramadol), and he actually asked to go back outside on his own (poor puppy still had the runs) and managed it on his own reasonably well. Then we both got a much-needed nap.

He's doing okay today. He's obviously not 100%, but he's putting a lot more weight on his leg than before, and I was able to get him to eat a little bit, at least. I think the Tramadol makes him feel nauseated, so his appetite has obviously been affected.

Once my nap was over I ended up spending the rest of the evening bookending my weekend with 7 Days to Die with V. and later my friend M., before passing out in bed at a more reasonable hour than on Friday. So, yes, the moral of that story is: don't go to bed late thinking you'll be able to make up for it the next night, because that guarantees you'll have to spend the night in the car with your sick dog. ;)

I'm scheduled for a Skype call with my parents at noon today. My father sent me a slightly panicky email about my living situation, which tells me he's even more stressed about it than I am. He said he would help me out, but I'm disappointed that the content of his message implied that all of this was actually my fault, that if only I kept the house cleaner or whatever, that I wouldn't be having trouble with my landlady. Why didn't I accept her offer? he wanted to know. Why didn't I get a house cleaner before? Why not agree to pay more money so I could stay on here? His offer to support me boiled down to "I will help you fix your fuck-up," which is not exactly the ringing endorsement I would have liked. It's disheartening to feel that, after all this time, my parents still default to the notion that if something bad has happened, it must be because I made a mess of things, and not because the other party is at fault. I constantly hear about parents these days who refused to believe that their precious darlings could ever do anything wrong, and I confess I'd like it if my parents took that stance more often. :P

In conclusion, I had an interesting weekend. Lots of ups and downs, so it's difficult to say whether it was "bad" or "good." I guess it just was.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (To Be)
Not necessarily in that order. Come to think of it, when all the craziness has died down I may well do a Sergio Leone rewatch. It's been a while since I enjoyed a good Spaghetti Western. :)


Nattering about the week that just went by and the week to come )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (To Be)
Angel. New member of the family:

DAS AUTO.

It's dark blue and has a glass-top roof.
It smiles a lot.

Huge hug with frizzles,
Mim



I will post a proper update later.

For the record, my mother actually speaks German, and is not quoting a VW ad (though I do believe that the car in question might actually be a VW, if memory serves).

This is exciting news, because my parents haven't had a car since the last Brunellemobile died an ignominious death on the side of the road in 2008. Not only that, but I do believe this is the first car my father has ever bought that does not qualify as a clunker. He's always prided himself on getting "inexpensive" cars that ended up costing a fortune in repairs, much to my mother's despair. This time, though, I believe he actually went to a dealership and arranged for a used car that wouldn't fall apart, which is a good thing, given that my parents are getting on a bit.

So, very exciting news for them. :)
mousme: A text icon in black text on yellow that reads The avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote (Avalanche)
I have a long(isn) post that I want to write about willpower (and about how it's a finite resource) and the notion of extended willpower that I discovered thanks to the iProcrastinate podcast.

This is not that post. Today there is no post because the morning was spent running errands and doing chores, the afternoon was spent catching up with friends I literally hadn't seen in years, and the evening was spent with my parents, whom I hadn't seen in nearly a month.

And now it's 22:00 and I have to go to bed.

The post will have to wait.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Random Sentences)
I have decided that in the New Year I'm going to make a point of writing here every day, even if it's just a couple of sentences or something. Until then, I'm going to try to at least post more often, maybe a couple of times a week.

Every time I think of posting here, I worry that I'll never be able to catch up on everything that's been happening that I haven't had time to post about. Then I feel overwhelmed and decide there's no point in even trying, and I creep away from LJ filled with guilt and regret. Wah. :P

So I'm not going to try to catch up. I'm just going to jump in where I am and hope people aren't too confused.

Quick bullet-point summary of significant events of the last year:

April: [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter moved in with Bean. We are all very happy, if adjusting. (:::ETA::: It occurs to me I shouldn't speak for them. I am very happy. I have no idea if they are, but if they aren't they haven't told me.)
June: I applied for a transfer to Ottawa
August: My transfer was accepted, and I was offered a permanent position with the RCMP. Whee!
September: I started work in Ottawa

Because [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter is still in the midst of her studies, and because we didn't want to pull Bean out of his wonderful new preschool, I kept the house in L'Ile Perrot and am renting a tiny (no, really, it's 8' x 11') room in Ottawa at an exorbitant price. I commute back and forth roughly every five to six days. In two years' time we will be selling the house and moving to Ontario permanently.

This year has also been the year of hospital visits (one each for Bean and [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter, though luckily in both cases it was for stuff that was easily treated with antibiotics), car accidents (one each for me and [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter, though in her case the accident wasn't her fault and in my case it was technically I who hit the other car—no injuries in either case and insurance covered all repairs) computer deaths (only one, but that was enough), and cat-assisted cell phone death.

In short, life right now is insane for me. Whenever I get a chance to be at home I cling there like a limpet because there are so many chores to do that I can never seem to get to the bottom of them all, and because I'm a homebody at heart and I hate having to spend so much time away from my family. I'm reasonably sure they don't enjoy my absences either (though in my more paranoid moments I wonder if they don't heave a sigh of relief when I'm not there screwing up the new routine).

I haven't been writing at all (creative or otherwise), because I'm a) really really busy with mundane things, b) really really exhausted from the new job and the new commute and general stress, c) perennially stressed out about money. All these things basically fuck up the headspace I need to be in in order to settle down and let the muse out to play. I'm hoping to change this in the New Year. I have vague plans that I hope will become more concrete to not only write but also finish my writing projects (something I'm notoriously bad at).

So, yeah, that's me in a nutshell. I'm open to questions if you have any about just what the heck's been going on with me these days. ;)

Happy trails!

Oog...

Aug. 31st, 2008 11:36 am
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Sleeping Dogs)
My aunt is in town, and that means I have to go to a Family Luncheon in NDG rather than stay home and unpack/recover.

In theory I should be leaving in half an hour. Ha! I am not showered, and all my clothes are in boxes. So I'm probably going to be late.

Bah.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (River Laughing)
I have had a really, really good weekend, and the day's not even over yet!

Got up later than I wanted to on Saturday, and had breakfast with the Parental Units after making my way there via BMW (Bus Metro Walk). I walked to the metro as I missed the bus, but it was such a gorgeous day out that it was totally worth the extra 20 minutes it tacked onto my trip (that's walk + extra time waiting for the next metro, as I missed the one I would have taken had I not missed the bus).

I then spent a lot of time waiting for the Maternal Unit to get ready so we could walk downtown together, and I headed with her into The Bay, for my annual I-must-go-in-to-get-this-one-thing foray into the belly of the beast. My mother came with me, and she wanted to stop by the Lancôme booth at the front of the store. I have a special tactic for The Bay, which is a tried and true in-and-out strategy which takes no more than fifteen minutes and uses only the back door, so that I don't have to run the gauntlet of the perfume-sprayers (can we say "instant migraine" boys and girls?). Unfortunately, my mother's detour cost us an extra twenty minutes *and* took us down the dreaded Perfume Alley, which meant that after only 35 minutes I was just about ready to scream and/or kill someone with my bare hands.

Then we stepped outside into the street, and all the random homicidal rage magically vanished. I hate department stores, and The Bay is my own private section of hell.

The most important part of yesterday was when I got myself some Rollerblades. Yay! I am going to take them for a test drive tomorrow, to get used to them, and if I find that it's not too hard to manage (my little test in the store indicates that I will have to work on my balance a bit, but that otherwise it's close to rollerskating), then I will likely be rollerblading to work during the summer. It takes me an hour to walk the distance, so I'm assuming that it will not take more than forty minutes or so on wheels, which is only ten or fifteen minutes for than it takes me to get there by bus.

Anyway, this is the plan. Tomorrow I'm going to make sure that I can travel relatively long distances on the skates without killing myself first. Oh, and before you ask, I did get protective gear to go with it. I am not so much of an idiot that I don't know that I'm going to faceplant a couple of times at least with these things on. I already have a bicycle helmet, so I bought knee and elbow pads, and wrist/palm protectors. They are black and red and look very snazzy.

I joined the Parental Units for dinner, and as the Maternal Unit was a bit wiped out from walking all over downtown for the afternoon, I cooked dinner. I made baked salmon with dill and a bit of olive oil, and improvised a side dish of rice, green beans and zucchini which I first steamed and then sautéed in a pan with a bit of olive oil, rosemary, thyme, and lemon juice. My timing was a bit off, so the side dish turned out a bit on the smushy side, but it was very tasty. When I get my timing right, I suspect it will be a very good side dish.

Came home, passed out in a happy tired stupor, and rejoined the Parental Units for another breakfast this morning. I'm going to be working night shift for the next two weeks, so it's unlikely I'll be seeing much of them during that time.

I spent the afternoon in the garden with [livejournal.com profile] ai731, where we did a metric ton of prep work for this year's vegetables. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and perfect for this: mid-twenties (that's Celsius), bright and sunny but not overwhelmingly hot or humid. I still can't get over the fact that two weeks ago there was still three feet of snow on the ground.

I turned the soil in two of the four raised bins while she raked up the fallen leaves from the neighhbour's tree. We both pulled up a record number of weeds (and OMG the giant centipedes! Not as big as the ones that I saw in Mexico, but for Canada these ones were pretty big!), and she showed me the ins and outs of tools and how to prep a garden. I sprayed the cherry tree with a sulphur-based fungicide, since it appears the tree is prone to some weird fungus in the late summer. Hopefully we've caught it early enough this year that it won't be diseased.

We planted potatoes, onions, garlic and broccoli today. To our surprise, we discovered that last year's carrots wintered over (over-wintered?). I have no idea what carrots are or aren't supposed to do, but [livejournal.com profile] ai731 was apparently expecting them to rot in the ground where she'd left them, and so it was a pleasant surprise to find that they had survived the winter and are apparently still edible.

I wrote down as much of what she told me about gardening in my new notebook, and I'm very much looking forward to managing the garden and seeing what I can come up with when left to my own devices.

Now I am off for one more meal with the Parental Units (the Maternal Unit is making duck tonight!), and tomorrow I have a ton of things to get done before I start my two-week night shift.

See you all on the flip side!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Dream the World)
I am numbering the paragraphs to make it seem as though the disjointedness of this post was intentional:

1- Fell asleep when I got home yesterday. Woke up ten minutes before my alarm this morning. Oops. Guess I needed the sleep. That's one of the good things about being single and having no one dependent on you: you get to make your own sleep schedule without worrying about what effect it'll have on the people around you. Feel like going to sleep at five in the evening? No problem.

2- I have a bunch of things bouncing around in my head. I'm in a poetry mood these days, for one thing. A reading mood, rather than a writing mood. I looked for some volumes by e. e. cummings the other day, but only found a slim volume of "collected works," (i.e. not even his own volumes, but rather someone else's interpretation of how they should be put together) which was going for nearly $30. Gotta say, I wasn't impressed. I fear I may have to resort to Teh Intarwebs for my poetry fix.

3- I seriously, seriously miss the country. I am dying to go back, to get away from the city and the traffic and the pollution and the ick. The fact that the weather is getting nicer every day is only reinforcing this (although it's making being outside increasingly pleasant). Unfortunately, I'm on night shift and working overtime for the next three weeks, and two out of those three weekends are thus a wash.

4- On the plus side, I am seeing my godmother today. One of my two remaining godmothers (I had three, but one passed away back in 2005: it's hard to believe it's been that long), that is. This is the godmother who taught me how to knit, and with whose daughters I grew up, so we're very close even if we don't always see eye-to-eye. I am going to show her my Soopar Seekrit Prodgikt and see what she thinks of it, and then we'll talk about gardening and hooking (rugs) and about her daughters who both live in Europe now. It's been over a year since I last saw her, so we'll have plenty to catch up on.

5- I have been mentally redecorating the downstairs apartment in anticipation of the (still theoretical) day I'm to move in. Never mind that I'm still not sure that I can afford it (I have yet to find out what the actual rent is), and that [livejournal.com profile] ai731 and t! (who is no longer on LJ) have not actually found a new home yet. I am very excited. I assume that I will be able to afford it: it shouldn't be *that* much more than my current place, and my current place is well within my means, and then some. My imagination is a very expensive place, let me tell ya: there is a *lot* of furniture in the new place that I don't currently own, and a whole bunch of projects in the works, all in my mind's workshop.

6- The fax machine at work is of Satan. That is all I have to say on that topic.

7- I love the new dispatch system with much love. However, I have *no* love for the current set-up, which makes me crane my neck at a 45-degree angle the entire time. I now have lots of neck and shoulder pain, in spite of my best efforts to get up and stretch regularly. I have volunteered to be at the Admin position this week, partly because I have to get used to the new way of doing things with the new system, but mostly because the computers in here are not set up in a way designed to cripple me within a few short weeks.

I gotta tell you: ow.

Someone is supposed to come and make the place more livable (I'm not the only one complaining of neck/shoulder/arm pain), but they've been saying that for two weeks and thus far there has been no sign of anyone. I am not optimistic.

8- Along with my yen for a house, I also yearn for a dog. I miss having a doggie, as much as I adore the cats. This, too, will come. Just a few more years.

9- Fitness!Girl has been accepted as a regular member of the RCMP. This is good news for her, and semi-good for me. I get a bunch of her overtime, and we get to be even more short-staffed, but it also increases my chances of getting a permanent posting here. There was a goodbye party for her on Saturday with the old crowd from Boomerang, which was quite fun. I'll miss her, though: it was nice to have someone I knew around here. Mind you, I'm pretty well integrated here now, so I no longer need to have her as a back-up. I'm very happy for her: she worked very very hard for this and she deserves it.


There's more, but I can't think of it right now. I think I'll try to make a point of going out for a while at lunch in order to get some sunshine. It's very dark in here, as there are no windows. Makes for a non-cheery atmosphere.
mousme: A picture of the muppet Forgetful Jones from Sesame Street (Forgetful Jones)
I've been too busy to post. I keep telling myself that I should write posts in here that aren't "here's what I did while I wasn't posting" entries, but I never seem to get around to writing those meaningful, insightful entries. I rather think that I don't have any to write. I've lost the knack of writing analytical text ever since I left university. Besides, I don't know that I'd want to inflict my essay-writing skills on my beleaguered flist, as I seem to recall that I bored myself silly with my own academic writing. I remembered wondering who would ever want to read such dry stuff as I was able to produce. It's not that it wasn't good —it was just really, really dry going.

Anyway, I've had a busy couple of weeks.
I saw an old friend of mine from high school last Saturday, although we didn't have much time to actually catch up as he had to go back to his office right after lunch (he's a lawyer). We did have a nice chat, and wandered through Atwater Market before he had to go, and it was really nice to see him again. Of all my friends in high school (of which there admittedly weren't many), he was the one with whom I got along the best. We're supposed to meet up again at some point in the near future, which ought to be nice. After that I got treated to a lovely private concert in the living room of some family friends, and spent the afternoon and better part of the evening making slightly awkward small talk with three roomfuls of people I didn't know and with whom I had nothing in common. Still, the concert was quite nice. The violinist was a young man, somewhere between nineteen and twenty-one, and he's quite promising. His playing was very adept, although it lacked depth and intonation, but with time I'm guessing he'll turn out quite well.

Sunday was spent hiding from the world recovering from that stupid migraine which started late on Saturday. Annoying in the extreme, as it was a gorgeous day out.

Monday was a writing jam with [livejournal.com profile] owldaughter, in which I got more writing done in one morning than I had in the past four weeks combined. I'm finally getting back into my ongoing YA novel, and I'd like to have it finished by the end of the year. I might "cheat" and make finishing it my NaNoWriMo project for this year. Either that or I'll write another horror novel, since they appear to write themselves for me.

I forget what I did on Tuesday, but I do remember that I had to be out of the house stupidly early to do it. That's probably why I don't remember: I was still half-asleep. ;)

I met up with [livejournal.com profile] ai731 on Wednesday morning, and she taught me the mysteries of canning. It's a really fun process, I assume more fun because there were two of us. We went through about three-quarters of the 20lb bag of apples I'd picked, and made apple sauce, apple butter (so very yummmy!) and an apple cake based on her grandmother's recipe, which was so very very delicious that I brought it to work with me so that I wouldn't be tempted to eat the entire thing by myself. I brought half to work, and [livejournal.com profile] ai731 kept the other half, naturally. I had to abandon ship just before the end of the session, as I had to go to work, and I just received the last three jars of apple sauce last night. I am very pleased with how the whole thing turned out.

Thursday was spent driving my mother around so she could get some errands done without spending the whole day doing it. Since she doesn't drive, and generally gets around pretty slowly anyway, it's easier for her if I occasionally spend a morning driving her around, and I don't mind doing it in the slightest. I tend to lose my mind if I spend too much time with my parents, but a couple of times a week is enough for me to keep my sanity.

Friday's Ubisoft lunch got canceled for me due to the (not unexpected) passing of my great-aunt Margot at the age of 93. I have very fond memories of her, and of going to her apartment in the Linton for a New Year's Day luncheon every year until I was about eight or nine. After that she moved to a smaller place (I believe it was a residence for relatively independent retired folk who only needed minimal amounts of help to get through the day), and she became a little too frail to be able to put on the spread she really wanted to. None of her three daughters ever kept up with the tradition, and so I sort of lost track of her for a while. We still saw her at the larger family gatherings, but it wasn't really the same.

The funeral itself was interrupted when my cousin Ophelie (the youngest of all the cousins, and one of the two cousins near my age with whom I actually keep up and get along) suffered some kind of seizure or syncope in the middle of the service. She was sitting right next to my father, and the next thing we knew she had turned a horrid shade of green, her eyes rolled back in her head, and she slumped forward. Luckily my aunt (not Ophelie's mother, but another aunt) is a nurse and took over immediately. I was rather grateful not to have to step in and apply my limited first aid skills to the situation. Someone produced a cell phone (a blackberry, I think) and called 911. I spent most of the time keeping people from crowding around, and reassuring people that no, it wasn't taking as long as they thought for the ambulance to get there. I timed it, see, and it took nine minutes from the moment the call was placed to the time the paramedics got there. In times of crisis, people's perception of how quickly time elapses gets seriously distorted.

My mother spoke to my cousin yesterday, as well as my aunt. Ophelie is doing okay, as it turns out, but she's going to have to see a neurologist, as her symptoms were quite alarming (swelling in the throat, stiffening of the extremities, extremely elevated heartrate, etc.). My mother, in true keeping with her nature, has invited her to dinner next Sunday.

After the funeral I took my mother to Juliette & Chocolat for lunch. Egads, it should be illegal to make chocolate that good. I have rarely had anything quite that sinful. I must go back.

Yesterday I got shanghaied by my parents into helping them shop for appliances. God help me. The less said about that, the better. The day improved immeasurably by the time I got to [livejournal.com profile] luvenditti's for dinner, and had a wonderful time with all my friends, chatting about movies and books and games and food and all the usual things we end up talking about at these events. I borrowed the movie "Clue" and watched it last night: it's a great deal of fun.

All right, the rest of my day beckons. More updates when I have something to say. ;)
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Meer!)
The Plague continues to run rampant through my immune system. It can really go away now. Really. Mind you, it's been less than a week, so perhaps I'm being optimistic. It seems to be getting worse rather than better, sadly. At least I still have my voice, although this morning was a close thing. It's also putting my mood in the toilet.

In random news, I think winter was just having us on. It was two months late in coming, which means it's not really spring right now. What we saw two weeks ago was the January thaw, two months late. :P

Today I am catching up on Skywatch, the new incarnation of Bluebook. Well, I'm not so much catching up as playing "I refuse to get behind this time around." I have two posts out of five written. Next up is Kay, whom I haven't tormented in nearly long enough, then Bradshaw, and then maybe Dervish, if I can remember what the poor guy's personality is like.

Last night's dinner, in spite of my worries, went really well. One of the girls ended up not coming due to some random illness, and so I got to have a chat with the older sister, who is now twenty-three or twenty-four, and is a teacher at LaSalle High School. I hadn't seen her in about a year and a half, and I must say she's matured into quite a lovely young woman: funny and sarcastic and generally quite fun to be around. She's also over the hero-worship phase, which is very much a relief.

Theirs is a loud family, however, and with my quasi-laryngitis last night it was a little hard to make myself heard. However, they carried the conversation quite nicely, and we all had a very good time, I think. I finally managed to extricate myself just before midnight, which made for rather a late night for me. Still, it was nice, and I'm glad I sucked it up and went. :)

Today I have resolved to be at least moderately productive. A micromanagement post is already in the works. I can't believe it's 10:30 already, but I suppose that's what happens when you sleep in until 9:15.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Wheee! (ribbon))
I'm not going to be home tomorrow, so I thought I'd wish everyone on my flist the joy of the season, no matter what you celebrate (or don't celebrate, as the case may be).


The rest of today and tomorrow )

So again, to all my friends, may your days be filled with joy and celebration and good cheer.

Tradition

Dec. 22nd, 2006 10:36 am
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Forest)
My Christmas traditions are ending, one after one, and I'm more than a little sad about it. I've always been a great one for ritual, for tradition, for family, especially at this time of year, but the older I get, the less there seems to be.

For one, this year, my godparents (I have two sets) won't be having their annual Christmas Eve party/buffet. They haven't hosted it regularly for several years now, although they did have one last year. This was a staple of my childhood, all the way into my early twenties, and I looked forward to it tremendously. It was an excuse to get dressed to the nines, to eat marvelous food, and to spend the evening in the company of some of my family's oldest friends. Now, though, my godparents are older (nearly seventy), and they're just too tired to put on the dog, as it were. So they had a quiet dinner party with some of their adult friends (my parents included), and won't even be in town over Christmas.

Christmas Day is supposed to be spent with my father's family, my mother's family never having wanted to take part (they've all since passed away anyway). I don't especially like most of them, but it's important to me to see them at this time of year, to reconnect with my roots and to see how everyone's doing. Otherwise, the only time I ever see them is at funerals. This year, though, I'll be working.

On Boxing Day, ever since I can remember, we've gone up to the Laurentians to see my other set of godparents. Boxing Day is spent in their country house, sipping kir and exchanging jokes and family anecdotes, and consuming good food, and eventually all the "young" people hurtling outside with toboggans and flying saucers to go sledding down their huge hill. There's a fire with nuts and clementines, where you can sit and get warm, and everyone relaxes and has a good time. This year, my parents are going without me, because I'll be working.


The only two events I'll be able to attend are relatively new in my series of Christmas traditions. One is [livejournal.com profile] karine and [livejournal.com profile] adamofeden's 23rd of December Christmas party, which allows me to see all my friends and get dressed up and have lots of fun. The other is [livejournal.com profile] sandman7's low-key New Year's Eve Party.

I'll be spending most of Christmas Eve with my parents (with a few hours to see [livejournal.com profile] forthright and [livejournal.com profile] curtana) and the part of Christmas Day that doesn't involve work.

I guess I'm just a little sad that so many of the traditions that were important to me aren't going to take place this year.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Television)
Yesterday was pretty gruesome at work. Here's a tip: if you have more than two people in the same office who think they're the centre of the universe, things will NOT run smoothly. The less said about my day at the office, the better. I've already ranted to some very nice and forbearing people about it, so I'll leave it at that.

Went dancing after being away from my club for about a week. Well, I was there on Tuesday, but I skipped last Friday. Had fun. I always do. Very few people, as there was an event somewhere else in town keeping people busy. Did not see the Mahones, as their appearance date is supposedly in August now.

Got to the rehearsal space at 10am (that's early for me on a Saturday) and nailed the intro to "Enter Sandman." [livejournal.com profile] karine and [livejournal.com profile] owldaughter showed up at 11am, and we practiced both the intro to "Enter Sandman" (I showed off my l33t n3w sk1llz) and then beat "J'Veux Pas Vieillir" into bloody submission. Booyah!

I then went through a whole lot of Excedrin Migraine to get rid of the foot-long white-hot needle someone decided to stab into my right eye. I really think it's the smell of hopps that's doing it. I can't think of anything else that might be provoking this.

I decided to reward myself for being awesome by going to see "Pirates of the Caribbean 2," which was a lot of fun, but not nearly as good as the first one. Also, Mild spoiler ) Anyway, I had fun.

Spent some time at Indigo ogling the books, and managed not to get a parking ticket while I was at the movies. This is the problem with parking downtown and going to see a movie. Movies last over two hours, unless they're made by Pixar. Parking meters have a time limit of two hours. So if I'm going to see a movie, my meter will run out about half an hour to an hour before the end of the movie. Meh. However, the parking gods were merciful this time around and I was spared. I am pleased.

The staff at Indigo were completely useless. I asked a likely-looking boy for recommendations for a new mystery writer. Unfortunately, he was going on break and foisted me off onto his complete nitwit of a co-worker. She wandered vaguely around the mystery section and rattled off names at random to me. Every time I pressed her for more details, she would confess to not having read anything by the author she'd just recommended. She eventually sheepishly admitted to not reading mysteries at all, but was recommending stuff based on what she'd heard from other people.

Now, okay. I can understand not being a fan of mystery novels. However, if that's the case, why didn't she say so to begin with? If I'd known, I wouldn't have wasted my time with her. Sheesh. This girl was also none too bright anyway.

Spent the evening with the Parental Units. It was surreal: my father turned on the television (which happens once in a blue moon with him anyway) and discovered "Godzilla vs Mothra: the battle for Earth" playing. He decided to watch. Soon enough, we were all mesmerized by the mind-blowing badness of it all including the singing Japanese pixie twins and the piss-poor special effects of doom. I can't even begin to reproduce my parents' commentary. Even if I could, you probably wouldn't believe me. My mother thought that Mothra was "such a lover! Look, he's just like a teddy bear!" and yet was rooting for Godzilla to win, because he had "such a nice smile."

My father liked the singing Japanese pixie twins (who were, disturbingly enough, kept in a cage by one of the heroes). We were all somewhat perplexed by Mothra at the beginning, but after he spun a giant artificial cocoon the movie... umm, I hesitate to say that it began to make more sense, but at least the creature looked like a moth after that.

It was bizarre, but fun.

The rest of the Satursay-night lineup was pure crap. Why oh why is television so crappy lately?

Okay, bed now.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Gorram)
Pregnant!Manager brought in the DVD of her sonogram today. Now, don't get me wrong, I think it's very nice that she's finally pregnant after trying for goodness knows how long (it's been at least a year, but maybe more). That being said, there are limits. 1) I can't even get that excited about the indistinguishable forms on my friends' sonograms, so forgive me if I'm underwhelmed at the prospect of viewing that of one of my managers'. Seriously. 2) Is there no mystery left in the universe? Geez. I don't need to know that much about the contents of a relative stranger's uterus.

On the plus side, I don't have to attend the little show. L has an appointment during her lunch break today, so I have to stay here and bravely man the telephones. Woe and angst. I won't get to see the smudge on the screen that's really a baby if you look very hard.

Again, don't get me wrong: babies are a Good Thing™. Moreso when they happen to other people. I'm always very happy for my friends when they become pregnant and when their babies are safely delivered, and Heaven help me I even enjoy hearing all the cute baby stories for years afterward. I just can't summon the same enthusiasm for a work colleague I barely know, and the woman won't shut up about it for ten seconds. She's five months along and it feels like it's been five years.


On the other end of the spectrum, I got the distinct impression last night that my parents have become the depressing kind of old people who read the obituaries to see which of their friends, family, or acquaintances have died recently. I can't explain how my father knew of the death of a distant relationship otherwise: he said that he saw it in the obits. This means that he was actively reading that section of the paper, something I never knew him to do before.

My parents are officially old.

It's weird, because I can't bring myself to think of them as old. My father is going to be 65 in September, and my mother is somewhere around 63 although she refuses to admit her exact age (don't ask, it's a long story). They don't seem old to me. Middle-aged perhaps. But old to me means my grandparents: the ones I knew either hobbled slowly with the aid of canes, stooped and aged, or else couldn't walk at all under their own power. Their hair was grey and white, their faces impossibly wrinkled, their hands and arms covered in liver spots. They were dignified and remote, and were treated with the utmost respect and not a little awe.

Somehow I can't put my parents in the same category as that. Yet, it occurs to me that my father is now the same age that my grandfather was when I was born, give or take a year or so.

What seemed very old to me a few years ago no longer seems all that far away.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Manly and impulsive)
I'm probably not going to have my license suspended on grounds of being crazy. We'll see how that works out.

Weekend went by really, really quickly. Line dancing on Friday, much fun was had, although I was already pretty tired by then. Got up stupidly early on Saturday and cleaned, picked up [livejournal.com profile] ai731 for band practice. Practice rocked very hard, as usual, although I had to leave half an hour early in order to get stuff done. Did my grocery shopping at Atwater Market in the pouring rain, got soaked, and I think I paid too much for the asparagus. Still, I now have food in the apartment, which I didn't have before.

Guest arrived fifteen minutes early. I have a great track record for always being in the shower when the doorbell rings in the new apartment. Anyway, the guest in question was more than forbearing, and made friends with the FFE's (Feline Forces of Entropy, for those of you who are new to my LJ) while I got myself a little more organised.

Dinner was, well, a little haphazard. I made champignons en crème, which I hadn't made in a while, and my timing was a bit off. My béchamel was ready long before everything else, and I've apparently lost the trick of making good crepes with sarrazin flour (I get the feeling there's more French than English in that last sentence. Oh well.). Luckily I had a backup plan, which was baked potatoes in the oven, over which I poured the cream of mushroom, and that worked fairly well. It's more of a winter meal than a summer one, but the temperature outside was cool enough that we didn't both immediately expire from the heat.

We skipped salad and dessert, but there were some lovely cheeses. A St.-Agur, which is always nice if you like blue cheese, and a Ile-Aux-Grues Riopel, which is a Quebec lait cru and puts most French cheeses of its ilk to shame. Also had a nice little goat cheese seasoned with herbs that was mild and fragrant, but whose name sadly escapes me. Began with a "B."

The FFE's made total and complete idiots of themselves, acted as though no one loved them or took care of them and as though they hadn't been fed in days. Yowled and fawned and generally acted like the complete sucks that they are. Even Smudge eventually found his courage and ventured down from off the top of the bookcase to climb into the first available lap. I've apparently managed to make a semi-sociable animal out of him after all. I was impressed.

Sunday was breakfast with the parental units, and then off to the club for my last Sunday ever of volunteering. Hit the Massive Wall of Tired (TM) around 5pm, and never quite recovered. Didn't help that I haven't had much sleep over the last ten days. Got seriously annoyed when I saw that the two other volunteers basically only left me with Friday nights on which to do my volunteering. Meaning that I wouldn't get to do any dancing for six weeks straight. Let me tell you, that one didn't go over well at all with me. I am no longer being a martyr to the cause, the way I was in August. That time is over. Period. So I threw a rational and reasonably calm hissy fit about it, and pointed it out to the one volunteer who happened to be around. He hemmed and hawed and tried to wriggle out of his responsibilities, and then conceded that he would talk to the other guy (they're both named "R" so that doesn't help. Maybe I'll go with both initials.) and that they'd try to work something out.

So, yay me for standing up for myself. We'll see if that actually comes to anything, or whether I'll have to go to N, the guy in charge of all the volunteers, and get him to fix it. I hope it doesn't come to that.

This week is going to be busy. Tonight is the celebration of my father's birthday (two weeks late, but hey, it's not our fault he was in Europe for his birthday), tomorrow I have dancing (the advanced class), Wednesday is a retirement party for a friend, Thursday is dancing (intermediate class), and Friday I'm volunteering. Saturday there's more band practice, then a date (eek!).

Then, Sunday, blissfully, I get all to myself. There will be sleeping in, yes.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Killy kill!)
Well, the moving is certainly making the week less monotonous. This is a good thing. I'm not as sore as I thought I'd be today after moving all those files. I guess I use those muscles already a fair deal.

The CAM is "working from home" this week, which means my workload and that of L triples in consequence. She's a really nice person, but has no conception of what constitutes a reasonable demand, and what constitutes treating us like her personal assistants, which we aren't. Doesn't help that her instructions are always vague and sometimes contradictory. Add to this several long and complicated (not to mention nigh-incomprehensible) phone calls, and at least half our day is spent on this stuff.

I am not amused, and neither is L, who has to deal with all her emails. I'm so glad I don't have email here yet. You have no idea how much aggravation I'm being spared. L has already received several warnings about her mailbox being too full.

It feels like it should be Friday. On the plus side, the weather has cooled considerably, for which I am eternally grateful. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll stay this way, or, even better, get cooler. I very rarely bitch about the weather in winter, but hoo boy am I not a fan of Montreal summers. Yes, it's very pretty, but at any temperature over 20 degrees Celsius I start to melt in very unattractive ways (sort of like the Wicked Witch of the West, except without the dying part).

Anyway, I'm back on board with Bluebook, where the Unholy Trinity +1 (with extra bonuses against twinks, munchkins, metagamers and whiners) is in full swing. There's going to be more dinosaurs, hijacking of teams, and a guest appearance by the Ancient and Nameless One himself. I am very excited.

Having dinner with the Parental Units tonight, who've invited an old friend, Xtine, whom I haven't seen in about a month, and before that hadn't seen in over a year. It'll be nice to keep in more regular contact with her after this, if either one of us manages to remember to send an email every now and again. I haven't been able to convert her to LJ yet, but maybe with a little more persuasion I can bring her over to the Dark Side.

I still have loads of work to get done. I have boardsheets to process, new files to make, and I have to label all the new filing cabinets. Then I'll probably try to get a head start on moving stuff from my current desk to my nice new shiny permanent desk. I even have a proper BNC nameplate, even though I'm technically not an employee of the Bank. I feel all official now. ;) I only wish I had the paycheque, the vacation time and the benefits to match the nameplate.

Right. Back to work.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Meer!)
So my uncle C. is getting married at the age of 50. Well, he'll be fifty-one when he actually ties the knot, but that's close enough, I suppose. I can't call him the black sheep of the family, because my father's family seems to consist entirely of sheep who desperately want to be black. They're like a swirling vortex of dysfunction. Anyway, I always assumed he would stay a bachelor forever, since "commitment" is a four-letter word to him, but he's finally found himself a girl to whom he's ready to commit, it would seem. I don't especially like her, but if she floats his boat, then more power to them both. It'll be a little weird to have an aunt who's almost exactly my age (she's a bit over two years older than me), but since I only see my uncle maybe once a year, I can't see how that could ever be a big problem.

Most of the family never made it to the barbecue yesterday (it was put off by a day due to rain) which was too bad. This meant a lot to Uncle C., and I think he was disappointed that the family put in such a poor showing. My family and my Uncle V.'s family were there, and the rest was all my future aunt's family and their friends from work. I rediscovered that I have nothing in common with any of them, and that small talk is excruciating when the other person stops talking after two sentences. I'm no good at small talk to begin with, so I depend on small verbal cues from the other person in order to keep going. (e.g. "You watch horror movies? How interesting! I have a friend who's into that as well. What movies have you watched recently?")

I finally got into a conversation with my cousin's new boyfriend, who's a very nice guy. He's an actuary (is that even a word in English?), so he tends to be very literal-minded and not all that prone to flights of fancy. Still, he was the one person there who seemed to want to string more than two sentences together, and then we started talking theatre and the history of Montreal, and it was all good.

The wedding is set for next autumn. I'll be interested to see if they can last out the year. Lord knows, Uncle C. isn't known for his staying power.

In other news, I managed to get a slight tan while I was there, even though I wasn't trying for one. Better than looking like a ghost with a sleeping disorder, that's for sure.

Saturday was spent doing quiet things, and at the end of the day I joined [livejournal.com profile] luvenditti for dinner and a movie. Dinner was rushed, due to time constraints and a waitress who didn't understand the concept of "We have to leave very soon!" but the movie was fun. We met up with [livejournal.com profile] sandman7 to watch it, as I understand he's a big fan of the filmmaker in question.

As for me, I had never heard of this poor fellow before. Or, if I had, it was in a different context and I never put two and two together. I was simply going to see a movie based on a book that I really, really liked, which was Howl's Movingf Castle. I have since decided that I should see this fellow's other movies, since I rather liked the artwork and, while I kept twitching about the changes to the story, I liked some of the interpretive twists in the film.

I hold to my theory that no movie is ever as good as the book, and this was no exception to the rule.Spoilers! )
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Replete)
Just FYI, I have been drafted into a barbecue at my uncle's country place on Saturday, so once again I will be unable to attend brunch.

Now, I hear no one turned up last week. Or very close to no one. I realize that this is All. About. Me. and everything, but come on, folks! The institution of brunch is meant to survive regardless of my presence! While it's nice to know that I am able to attract people on the sheer basis of my mind-bending charisma, it would be nice to know that all of you can still get together without me on Saturday mornings. ;)

Brunch is on, therefore! I just won't be there this week. Expect me back next Saturday. :)

10:30 am at the Eggspectations in the AMC Forum.

Spam!

Jun. 13th, 2005 12:41 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Purse)
I almost forgot! My parents got a new television. It has a flat screen and a DVD player, and you can ACTUALLY SEE THE COLOURS! Wheee!

Apparently the crisis came about when my parents tried to watch "Batman" as it was running on Space the other night. The scene went something like this.

My Mother: *stares intently at screen*

My Father: *comes into the room* "What are you watching?"

My Mother: "This movie about a man who fights crime with all these incredible gadgets!"

My Father: "What's it called?"

My Mother: "I don't know. It's just on. But he has this car! It's fabulous! You should watch. You'd enjoy it. It's just like a comic book!"

Luckily, my father eventually recognizes the Batman logo, or something, and clues into what she's watching. He sits down to watch.

My Father: "So what part are we looking at now?"

My Mother: *squints at the indistinguishable grey forms on the screen* "I think that's the city..."

Both: "..."

My Father: "That's it. We're getting a new television."




So, bonus for me, because I'm the one who watches it most when I go there. :)

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