Monday, February 27, 2006

Tax time!

Yesterday evening, my mom in law asked me to bring her my tax stuff so she could do my taxes (the mom in law is truly the best mom in law in all the history of moms in law). When I gathered everything together I realized I never recieved a tax return from the Federal government.

I truly believe they have it in for me. Half the time I never get my tax return, I fall off the electoral lists... What have I DONE to these people? I pay my taxes, I vote at every election, I'm more or less the model citizen. Ok, I'm a Quebecer, but hell, I'm not a separatist. Why oh why do they hate me so?


Last weekend at the cottage, we got onto the subject of the weather with a couple of friends. Now, this happens all the time and we got to wondering: Why are we so damned preoccupied with the weather in Quebec? The weather that was, the weather that is, the weather that will be. Radio stations (in the morning at any rate) have weather updates every five minutes (!!). We are fucking obsessed with the weather. I've never noticed this particular fetish anywhere else. Not in France or Belgium, not in Vietnam or Nepal, not in Tucson or California. Granted, the weather here is maybe somewhat more extreme, but still, it's not as if we weren't equipped to deal with it. Or maybe people elsewhere are just as obsessed, but are able to shut up about it.
So, did I tell you, it's beautiful out today, and it was 18 below (that's 0 for you non metric types) with a windchill of -30 this morning.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Just dropping in to say...

Penelope Dullaghan (the mind behind Illustration Friday) recently posted the results of The Best Advice I Ever Got project. If you like illustration at all, check it out.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Life is good

I did a collage last weekend that was, surprisingly enough, about 65% of what I had imagined. Which for me is pretty damn good, since only 35% got lost in translation from my head to the actual "making of". And I really quite like it.

And the weather is good, the birds seem to be back in force this week, there is much twittering and singing and all around good cheer it seems in the avian world. Can't wait to get up to the cottage this week and feed my birdies.

I feel like spring was actually in the air today. One of those fantastic February days that make you believe it'll all actually end - until, 24 hours later you're back in deep freeze. Today would be a wonderful day to go to a park and play with a dog, if I had one. Bluepoppy, can I borrow Henry and Ollie?

I'm so incredibly up today that even proofreading Excel tables can't get me down. I imagine I'll be crashing soon, but what the hell, right now life is good people.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Oh, the irony

This morning I arrived at work and went to the cafeteria to get a muffin. A double chocolate muffin fresh from the oven.

Did I take the stairs up the three stories to my office? Nope, 'course not. I took the elevator, went to my desk, got the book I'm reading out of my bag.

Oh, the irony of reading Morgan Spurlock's "Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America" while eating a huge double chocolate muffin (insert heavy sigh and rolling of eyes here).

The book is sobering though. When over 50% of a country's population is overweight - and for the record, Canada is just as bad as the States - there's a huge (pardon the pun) problem. We are literally eating ourselves to death. And all this started really happening in the 70s. Before that, obesity was nowhere near the epidemic it is now. Yes, I know, I should have the statistics on hand, but I don't just now, I'll try to be good and dig them up.

It's sobering, it's frightening and yet, I'm eating that chocolate muffin. I really need to get my shit together.

Have you ever had a dream so real that you could swear it actually happened?
Last night I got up for a trip to the loo (which I'm sure happened, since I always get up to pee in the dead of night, what's up with that. I can go hours without peeing during the day, but I'll go a couple of times during the night. Freak). Then I went into the living room to check the time (why there?), I sat down, turned on the TV and started watching part of a movie. Then I figured I should get back to bed, so I set the video to record. This morning I woke up and went to the living room to see exactly what had been recorded during the night. Nothing. It was all a dream but it was so damn vivid, so real that was sure I had recorded that movie.
Is there a point to this story? Nope. Is there any reason you should be interested? Nope. Is there any reason I should put this here? Nope.
There are days when I can't help but wonder why I blog.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sex in the City

Ladies and gentlemen, drumroll please....

Last night I watched the first three episodes of Sex in the City on DVD. Which means that I am no longer the only "Sex" virgin in the known universe. I've lost my cherry and am now in the know. Sweet.


Another first last night. For the first time ever, really I flirted with insomnia. Not good. It major sucked, especially since I'm the type who goes to bed and is dead to the world for hours within about 20 minutes. Not last night. Last night I lay there, staring at the ceiling, listening to my sweetie sleep (might I add, envious as all get out, I felt like waking him just because). Laying there, frustration building, which probably fed the insomnia, which simply made me all the more frustrated and, well, you get the picture.

I thought about all sorts of things, among them altering a book (wonderful examples here, wondering whether I had the gumption to actually do it, what type of book I'd use, themes, and all that. I've developed a fascination lately with collaging and altered books, illustrated journals, people like Lynne Perrella, Sarah Fishburn, Teesha Moore, Beth Cote, and so many others.

It seems though, that every time I try, I have tons of ideas, it's all mapped out in my head, and somehow everything gets lost between my brain and my hands. I seem incapable of keeping the flow, of translating what's in my brain to reality. Somehow it all disappears before hitting the paper...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Confessions of a blog addict

I am obviously a blogophile as can be deduced from the list of blog links to the left.

To prove just how insane I can actually be, today I finished reading Les Cadeaux from the beginning. All. Three. Years. Of. It.

More to the point, I have done that with all the blogs in the link list. It just dawned on me that that is sick. I mean, who the hell does that? Who reads three or four years of a blog? It strikes me as being somewhat strange and creepy.

Stranger and creepier? I check them daily and feel disappointed if there's nothing new. How fucked is that? I feel like some slimy cyber stalker or something. Hello Jazz, those people actually have lives. *shudders*

But I'm not a stalker, really I'm not. I'm actually quite a nice person, ya know? I just like to keep up with "the people who live in my computer" to quote the immortal Wee . Now if only I can get people to believe me.

Off to the cottage tonight for a WHOLE weekend. Because of circumstances, in the past few weeks this hasn't happened much. Besides having the clean up the place really well because it's rented for next weekend, I will be doing nothing. Sitting beside stove tonight, watching the fire, drinking margaritas, maybe watching a movie or King of the Hill, and basically the whole weekend will follow that pattern. The last thing I want is to be productive in any way shape or form. This week has been a killer and next week is gonna be just more of the same. Bleh.
I have come to the conclusion over the past 20 or so years of working that the concept of earning a living is highly overrated. And my job is actually pretty good. I remember once in Cegep (basically last year of high school and first of University elsewhere than in Quebec where we do things differently because, hey, we must! But I digress....) So, in Cegep in some class we had set up a business, based on a real one.

We went to visit a soap company. Or maybe my sister was doing that and I tagged along - digressiona gain. This company made MIR dish soap (cheap crap it was, still is for all I know). Anyway, to this day the image of the assembly line sticks in my head. The woman who was the last in line. Her job was to check that the labels were stuck on right. That's right folks. She checked each bottle off the assembly line to see that the label was stuck. Eight hours a day, five days a week. Year in, year out - though I don't suppose you can do that job for very many years without going quietly, or not so quietly, insane.

So yeah, I've got it good. But I still think working for a living is highly overrated. And I should be allowed not to. So there!


And how is this for bizarre? I have got my big brother blogging, who'd've ever thunk it? Wanna take bets on how long he'll last?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Existential Crises or Navel Gazing?

Do you ever sit there and wonder what the hell happened to your life? How the hell you came to be where you are?

I seem to have strayed so far from the master plan of my 20s. Well, no, not from the master plan, there never really was any. It's more that I'm often floored at how different my life is from what I had envisaged it becoming.

On certain levels it's wonderful, more than I ever dreamed.

On others, I have to wonder what the hell happened.

Meh, get over yourself Jazz. This is all probably just because you're doing the most boring stuff possible at work and are feeling put upon.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

A few Superbowl Statistics

Maybe this is why they call it the "SUPERBOWL"

There are amazing statistics, and then there are Super Bowl statistics-and those are just as amazing. (…)

· Pounds of potato chips consumed on Super Bowl Sunday = 11 million
· Pounds of tortilla chips = 8.2 million
· Pounds of popcorn = 3.8 million
· Average number of people attending a Super Bowl party = 18
· Percentage increase in sales of frozen breaded mushrooms prior to the Super Bowl = 36%
· Percentage increase in sales of frozen shrimp = 29 percent
· Amount of $$ spent on soft drinks at grocery stores during Super Bowl week = $237.2 million
· Calories consumed by the average Super Bowl watcher = 1,200
· Amount of time needed to burn off those 1,200 calories = walking: 4 hrs, running 1 hr 45 min · % increase in sales of proceed-cheese loaves the week before last year's Super Bowl = 30%
· Increase in sales of flavored snack crackers = 68 percent
· Number of pizzas Pizza Hut expects to prepare on Super Bowl Sunday = 2 million
· Top Super Bowl seller at grocery stores = what else? Frozen pizza
· Additional sales of beer = $11.8 million
· Pounds of snack food Americans scarf down on Super Bowl Sunday = 30.4 million, twice the average daily amount


And from The :

So who ate all the snacks? Even by their gargantuan standards of over-indulgence, couch potato Americans are preparing to outdo themselves during today's Super Bowl, the sporting highlight of the country's year. They will guzzle their way through truckloads of crisps, peanuts, pretzels, popcorn, nachos, pizza, olives, biscuits, cheese and anything else they can find in the fridge. Britons may drink themselves silly during big games - Americans stuff themselves stupid.
According to research by the US Calorie Control Council, gridiron fans will today eat 11 million pounds of crisps, 8m lbs of tortilla chips, 4m lbs of pretzels and 2.5m lbs of nuts. The average armchair quarterback will consume 1,200 calories, and 50 grams of fat, in a three-hour scoffing binge. The average Eritrean struggles to eat that in a day.

For the whole nation, the consumption is staggering. A total of 156 billion calories will be absorbed by the 130 million people watching the Pittburgh Steelers take on the Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field in Detroit. You could satisfy east Africa's 11 million hungry for about a week with that.

Needless to say, such intakes have a devastating effect on the health of Americans. This is a people born with silver shovels in their mouths, claim the cynics, who argue that authorities will soon have to install speed bumps at all-you-eat-buffets, hand out estimates rather than menus in restaurants, and grease door frames so that people can squeeze through.

Hence the Calorie Control Council has issued special Super Bowl advice for this first time. Try low-fat crisps, it has recommended. Axe the fatty dips with pretzels and have salsa instead. The council is even urging fans to try a pre-tournament workout: running round a stadium track for an hour and a quarter would nicely balance that 1,200 calorie intake. Right.

I can't help but wonder what is WRONG with North America.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Books, repairmen and caricatures...

Bea says that the art of reading is slowly dying, that it’s an intimate ritual, that a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us, that when we read we do it with all our heart and mind, and great readers are becoming more scarce every day.

From: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


We were at the cottage over the weekend, waiting for the phone repair guy to come by on Saturday. Sometime between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm we were told. He came noonish, so that was cool. Still this is the earliest a repairman or delivery person has ever showed up. I’m always hearing stories of people who wait all day for the guy to show up. My question is: since they never ever arrive before noon, who the hell is the person they visit at 8:00 am? Do these elusive clients exist? Is it all a conspiracy to make us believe they actually begin work before noon? Is this maybe the job I’ve been looking for all my life?


I don’t know what to think about the “caricature riots” in the Middle East and Asia. Now, I understand it’s blasphemy to depict the prophet, but isn’t the reaction just a tad overdone? It is blasphemy for Muslims, but does that make it is it blasphemy for non-Muslims too? I hardly see how it can apply if you don’t believe in Islam. Insensitive, sure, but blasphemy? I understand voicing your concern over these drawings, but to burn embassies over it… well, I try to see their point of view, but I’m not quite managing. I suppose some more fanatical elements are using this to inflame public opinion, but are people (and I’m not talking Muslims per se, but rather just people generally) so stupid as to just burn places down because they are told they should? OK, how dumb a question is that. Obviously people are dumb enough. There are examples galore all through human history.

There is no intelligent life on this planet, beam me up Scottie.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A friend of mine is turning 50 this weekend. It got me thinking. I have friends in their 50s and friends in their mid- to late 20s.

I span generations. Because I pretty much refuse to grow up perhaps?


These last couple of weeks have been the total pits. First my cats, then Mr. Jazz's aunt (we spent the weekend at the funeral) and when I got back to work Monday, I found out that my colleague, who was thought to have cancer in a lung, actually has it in both, as well as her liver and bones. It's all getting to be a bit much. Well, one good thing, I got an appointment for my yearly physical - which I haven't bothered with in a few years.


In other news (I've always wanted to patch in that anchor man/woman/person phrase), I have family checking out this blog regularly. My brother, sister, sister-in-law and at least one niece. Feels quite strange. So now, seeing as they're peeking into my life I will feel totally vindicated posting torture stories and such of the things they made me endure as a child. Ha! that'll show them - or more likely humiliate me. But then, I'm used to public humiliation. It's part of being the youngest. Actually, it's part of being the total spaz that I am. Nothing like public humiliation to keep one humble. So for every story of how I was tortured, I will post one of how I humiliated myself. Besides, I can always blame it on them. I am what I am because of the things I endured as a child.