Friday, January 30, 2009

Thank You Rachel!!!

Because Rachel posted this meme from Thursday Thunks and I'm too lazy to actually work on a couple of drafts i have here, and this'll be easy and... and nothing actually.

So here's the meme, please feel free to poach for an easy post. I'd love to see your answers.

1. Have you ever felt alone, but yet there are people around you?

All the time. I tend to be a rather solitary person, and even in a group of close friends I regularly feel somewhat removed, as if I can't quite figure out how to fit in. Which is ok, since I tend to sit back and observe a lot.

2. Do you have any video game consoles? Which ones?

What's a video game console? OK, I know that, I'm not that disconnected, but no, and I don't really see the point when I can go online and play Tetris. When I'm feeling particularly adventurous I play Collapse. Yeah, I'm old, I'm set in my ways and I'm one of those people who like to play mindless games. I don't really want to get super involved in a video game.

3. Do you freak out at food warnings/outbreaks, such as the recent peanut butter salmonella scare?

No. There's salmonella in peanut butter? Heh. Honestly I just eat what I want and I don't figure I'm taking my life into my hands every time I take a bite of something. Nowdays, every little thing gets so damn much publicity that everyone is afraid of everything all the time. We want to be safe from everything. A kid falls off a jungle jim and breaks a leg, every jungle jim in the world needs padding underneath, just in case. Life isn't like that, life isn't safe. Life will kill you eventually, so whatever. A little danger adds a bit of spice.

4. What color/pattern is your beds' comforter/bedspread?

It's black. And it has two lime green shapes of people sleeping. The pillow shams are printed with the type of design you get off an ence... those brain tests which my own brain refuses to remember the name of today (I'm sure XUP will be able to tell me the word, she's all omniscient and shit). Wait... here it is... Thank you Ikea.

5. How many windows do you have in your house?

One in the living room, one in the front room - plus a patio door to the balcony (does that count as a window?), one in the bedroom, one in the dining room and one in the kitchen.

6. Name six things that are in your bathroom.

Antibiotics for my sinus infection, pills and pumps for my asthma, a wierd ass thing for flushing my sinuses (yeah that's what I was doing yesterday, accumulating a shopping list of prescriptions from my doctor - let's say that's one thing: Meds - and who the fuck develops asthma in their 40s? How stupid is that?), a clawfoot tub, lipstick (I love me my lipstick), towels, a Keith Haring shower curtain, a blow dryer. All in all a very oridinary bathroom.

7. How big is your garage? Should it be bigger?

I live in a third floor apartment. Garages aren't part of my horizons. But apparently all garages should be bigger because most of those I've seen don't even have space for the car. What's with that?

8. Got your taxes done yet?

I'm in Canada. I have till April.

9. Think of a mental disorder..... why did you think of that particular one?

Does menopause count? It turns me into a psychotic bitch, so it should!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Indisputable Mathematical Logic

I'm sure lots of you have seen this before, but it's just too funny (and easy). I had to post it. The choice was between the joke and a lame meme.

Remember, this is a strictly mathematical viewpoint. It goes like this:

What Makes 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 103%? What makes up 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:


is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%


11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%


1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%


2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.

1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that while Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, its the Bullshit and Ass kissing that will put you over the top.



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Of birds and feeding frenzies

Late Sunday morning at the cottage. Time to top up the feeders for the week. Not that that will help, cause by this time Tuesday, there will be no seed to be found. To eat like a bird is to eat non stop until there is nothing left. And share with whatever squirrel decides it's his god given right to eat that seed.

I top the feeders. Stand back and let them come. Because right now is their time. I interrupted the frenzy to add to the manna. I love the sounds. The flutter of their wings. The screeching of the Jays, the twittering of the Siskins and Redpolls - who for some reason this year are sticking together. Something I've never seen, those two living together. Will we have Sispolls this spring?

A Downy Woodpecker and Blue Jay attack the suet block

And the Pine Grosbeaks just sit there and look lovely.

I can't help but feel bad that I won't be there until next Friday night to feed them. And I can't help but wonder that such tiny creatures, often not weighing more than a few ounces can actually survive this weather. Nights at 30 below that would kill us in short order seem to be nothing to them.

As a parting shot, take a really bad, out of focus picture of a Pine Siskin, fiddle with it a bit and voilà, the belligerent bird out of hell.

Friday, January 23, 2009

That's all

Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.
- Robertson Davies

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Things I hate being told about winter

At least you have a cottage. Winter is so much better in the country.
No, winter is just as cold, if not colder in the country; there might be less slush but there are tons more snow to shovel and otherwise deal with.

You'd like winter if you played winter sports
How exactly does that follow? To paraphrase a article I read a while ago, that's like telling someone who hates the heat to lie in the full sunshine for a couple of hours. You sat that to people who think summer is too hot and they'll look at you like your insane. Thinking winter sports will make me like winter is just as insane. Climbing onto two sticks and throwing myself off the side of a mountain might be ok in summer if it were feasible. But doing so when it's -10 and the windchill brings it to -30 and if you fall you end up with snow down your butt... meh, not so much somehow.

But winter is so pretty and white and pristine!
Granted, winter is white. It's also grey skies and brown dead looking trees. It's colourless. It's blah. It's endless darkness and not enough daylight.

It makes you appreciate summer.
No. It really doesn't. I have no need to freeze off my extremities in order to appreciate warmth. No need at all.

It means the holiday season is imminent
Just at the beginning, the rest of winter is so much longer than the hols. And honestly, other than the week off, I can survive quite nicely without Holiday Hysteria.

The kids are in school
Don't have any, never wanted any, will never have any. Moot point.

It enhances your wardrobe - you can have much more clothes. More shopping!
I could just as easily shop for more warm weather clothes. As if I need cold to shop. Anyone who thinks like that is a shopping lightweight. Pffft.

You can eat foods like stews and raclette and cheese fondue that you just don't want to eat when it's hot.
OK, this one I'll grant. but I'd also have no problem eating these things when it gets coolish (let's say under 20)

And I'll grant that reading a good book in front of the fire while drinking a glass of wine or a cup of tea is very very nice. And watching the antics of 20 birds at the feeders at the same time is lots of fun too.

But somehow, those things really don't make up for all the rest.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

He's Gone!

He's gone he's gone he's gone he's gone he's gone!!!!!

To all my American friends I can only say:

Thank You Thank You THANK YOU!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Thing About Mental Pause

Warning: This post contains information that might not be suitable for impressionable minds. Reader discretion is advised.

Ya know how they say getting older is nice and other such crap?

I am here to tell you: Bullshit.

Ok, I admit it's not all bad; at least I no longer turn into a raving lunatic once a month.

Instead I turn into a raving lunatic 5 times a day. PMS? Pffft piece of cake, this is full time. One minute you're fine the next... raving lunatic is just too nice a description. God people get annoying when you hit this age. Personally, I think they should all be shot. At the very least.

Have you heard the joke? Why did the menopausal woman cross the road? To kill the chicken. That sums it up pretty well actually.

Of course you have the ubiquitous hot flash. Take a match and light a bonfire. On the inside. I gotta tell you, my first one took me by surprise. Burning up. From the inside out. It's... well actually it's just freaking bizarre. Perhaps a touch better than feeling like ripping someone's face off just because they're standing there in front of you, but not by much. It's actually extremely disconcerting to feel you absolutely must strip off all your clothes in the middle of the office. Most of us, luckily manage to hold off. Naked menopausal women are not something you want to see running around the office. Because afterward... well, just so you know: We'd have to kill you. Slowly. Just for the fun of it.

You'd think hot flashes would be a great thing during the winter, keeping you all toasty and warm. No such luck. They never strike when you're standing on a street corner freezing your ass off waiting for the bus. Nooooo that would be too easy by far. They always strike at the most inappropriate times: meetings, sex - and seriously, I hope you're not doing those two at the same time. If so, you're a way better multi-tasker than I.

Then there's the anxiety. A diffuse anxiety that sticks around for an hour or two for no other reason than it can. You have absolutely no reason to feel anxious of course. Your life it totally under control - as much as it can be when you want to kill every third person you see on the street. So why the anxiety? Because it adds just that little je ne sais quoi to the hot flash you're experiencing.

Then there's the fun fun world of formication. No. Not Fornication. FOR-MI-CATION. That bug you can feel crawling up your leg. It's there. You know it's there, and yet it's not. Insanity? Perhaps. The itchiness that scratching until you bruise won't get rid of, the nasty sensation of not fitting into your skin anymore. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "my skin was crawling".

That body you've been comfortably (let's just leave body image issues aside for now, we really don't need that thrown into the mix) living in for the past 45 years? It's gone. It's been taken over by aliens. Menopause is better than a Stephen King novel. By far.

The keys, the names, the phone numbers that just disappear from your brain. Of course, this only happens because my brain? It's too full of important information to keep track of trivial things like where I left the car, who I'm meeting for dinner, my husband's name and that pesky three digit emergency number.

Who needs this information? Besides, have you any idea how much exercise you can get wandering around a mall parking lot desperately searching for the car???

It's actually a good thing I have no cell phone. It would probably disappear on such a regular basis that it would be totally useless anyway. Course, when I did have it around, I could always call hubby to ask him what his name is... and mine while I'm at it.

At least my life is surprising me in new and mysterious ways every day. And I have to admit it's great to have a period that's two months late. And at the end of it? I'll never have to Have A Happy Period** again!

Of course, men have it tough too. What do they get to deal with at this age? A new sports car.

Is it just me or is that totally unfair?

** Dear People at Always: Which moron thought up that particular slogan? There is no woman, anywhere in the world who has "a happy period". Get a new ad campaign going, please. And fire the stupid git who thought this one up. Or I'll have to kill you. Like that chicken across the road.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's just wrong...


When you have a cold, and it's beginning to wind down and you catch another, nastier, one on top of the first.

When your nose and upper lip are so chapped from blowing your nose they actually crack and bleed.

When you figure you should just stay in bed and sleep but you know that there are a couple of rush jobs awaiting you at work that need to be done. Yesterday.

When you get up in the morning and it's -22 (-8F) and the windchill brings it down to about -30 (-22F)** and the weather guy says it's just going to get worse - with maximums of -24 in the next few days. I don't even want to convert that....

When you 're having a pity party and you forgot to invite anyone to commiserate.

God I annoy myself sometimes.

** How does that work? In Celsius there are only 8 degrees difference, in Fahrenheit there are 14. One of the great mysteries of our time. I do know the only place the two cross is at -40.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Obligatory Picture Post

Our first full day in Vegas was spent outside of Vegas, at Red Rock Canyon. Like everything out there in the desert, it was beautiful....

and a touch chilly....

Possibly the only neon Motel 6 sign in the known universe. Only in Vegas.

And of course the obligatory Vegas by night pic - this one's for you Geewits.

Joshua Tree kicks major ass. I could've spent weeks there.

Of course it's not all Joshua Trees (which aren't trees at all actually, they're a variety of Yucca).

There's Ocotillo, which isn't a cactus, but a decidious bush that gets leaves whenever there's enough water. Otherwise it stays dormant. Nothing is what it seems in the desert.

And Cholla, the famed Teddy Bear cactus, 'cause it's so cuddly, dontcha know. It sorta is though isn't it? Except when you brush against it the puffs "jump" onto you and the spines are nasty and painful to extract because they're barbed... Yup. Nothing is what it seems.

Have you hugged a cholla today?

Skull rock.

More rocks

Old machinery from Lost Horse mine. Legend has it that the guy who found this gold mine was looking for his horse. The place is a couple of miles from the beginning of the trail. Guy shoulda maybe tethered his horse better?? Between the 1890s and 1930 it produced something like 9000 ounces of gold. I have no idea whether that's good or not...

And, surprise, yet more rocks. Can you tell I have a thing for rocks?à

The panoramic Palm Springs Aerial Tram takes you to the top of San Jacinto mountain where, surpise! it's winter!!! Well actually it's more like Quebec in mid-april, but it'll do for the Californians who flock there with their children so they can have the experience of snow over Christmas, sleds and all. Me? Meh, been there, done that, read the book, seen the movie, bought the tshirt and use it now as a rag. The huge pines were pretty damn cool though.

A glass scuplture in the permanent collection of the Palm Springs museum. Cool as anything. I want this.

and a detail of the sculpture.

Bernard, one of the numerous tikis at our hotel in Palm Springs.

San Clemente, last day and Pete the pelican who would sit on the pier and wait for a fish to go by, dive off, eat his fish and fly back to his perch. He was one serious dude. And wet. He was wet.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The New Year's Meme

Again, I'm going for the easy. 2009 is starting out as lazy as 2008 ended. I saw this meme at Ian's blog and it seems to be going around, much like the 99 meme I have sitting in my drafts.

So, the year in review - meme style.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

I've become a psychotic basket case. The menopause? It is here baby! and that ain't good.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Yes I did. I resolved not to make resolutions since I never manage to keep 'em. This Last year was the exception to the rule. This year will probably be also.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

God yes! They're having 'em like bunnies these days. I have no idea what they put into the Montreal water!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes again. Too many.

5. What countries did you visit?

Australia and parts of the US. We travel so much less since we've had the cottage.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

In the immortal words of George Costanza's dad Frank: Serenity now!

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 4 for obvious reasons.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Staying vaguely sane and not dumping my job.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Hmmm... I can't think of any spectacular failure this year. Nothing stands out particularly, maybe because I try not to dwell on those things.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Well I always suffer some injury or other. I'm forever slicing off bits and pieces of finger and I usually have at least 10-15 mystery bruises. I have no idea where I pick 'em up.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Her plates read: VLD 666 aka Very Lively Demon aka our red Matrix

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Mr. Jazz. He puts up with me and loves me despite it all.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Politicians. No getting around it. It's always them. The people we most love to hate. Sometimes I think we're not fair to them, hell I wouldn't take their job.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Taxes, and I'm highly annoyed at how it's being spent. Politicians again! I'd say poor them, but I hit my quota of sympathy for them in the last answer.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going back to Australia and the US election. It was the first time in my life I got really excited about an election and it wasn't even in my country. Sad isn't it?

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

I can't think or any in particular. Unlike some people I know, I rarely associate songs with events or memories. For me it's mostly smells that bring back associations.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

Pretty much the same, pretty much the same, pretty much the same. I'm very level I am.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Watching the world go by.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Veg in front of the TV

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Away. In the desert where I love to be, with a too short jaunt by the sea, my other love. In a perfrect life I'd have my feet in the ocean and my ass plopped down in the desert.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Every day all over again with Mr. Jazz

22. What was your favorite TV program?

On the English side, it's a toss up between Survivor (sorry BB) and 24 (which I wait to see on DVD though). Low brow I know, but c'mon this is me we're talking about. Would you believe me if I said it was some obscure PBS show? This being said I LOVE the Food Channel shows. But I don't cook. I'm certain the irony is not lost on Mr. Jazz.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Hate? I have no energy to hate people. I have only so much energy and I refuse to waste it that way. There's no point.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read so many books, they eventually all blend together. The English ones that stuck with me the longest are: The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Funny enough, the last two are graphic novels and I rarely read graphic novels.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Porcupine Tree

26. What did you want and get?

The desert at Christmas

27. What did you want and not get?

An end to all that aggravating stupidity

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

The new Coen brothers movie (Burn after reading), though techically I saw it in 2009. In my defense it's a 2008 film.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Nothing that I can particularly remember and young enough that I would remember if I did something spectacular (i.e. 47)

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Seriously, I have no idea. It was a good year all in all.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Bizarre question. KISS - Keep it simple stupid. I try to apply that to as many areas of my life as possible.

32. What kept you sane?

Easy. Mr. Jazz. The cottage. Good friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Meh, none really. I mean, they're nothing special when it comes right down to it are they? They eat, they eliminate (to be polite) and they probably pick their noses in the privacy of their homes when nothing else will do.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I try to steer away from political issues. They depress the hell out of me. However, generally I'd say all the injustice wrought by political agendas. The little guys, the powerless always get bashed. They're the ones who always end up paying.

35. Who did you miss?

My Dad. Always.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Liam. Hands down. He's only a few months old, but I'm in love.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Make sure if you decide not to do it that you won't regret it for the rest of your life.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Happiness ain't at the end of the road
Happiness is the road

Monday, January 05, 2009

Out with the old and in with.... the new?

Here I stand. Poised on the cusp of a brand new year. Full of good intentions and resolutions. OK, already a lie, no resolutions and we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions, so enough said.

I had sort of, in my last waking moments yesterday, decided on a post that would reflect on the past and coming years.

But then.

Then I read several lovely, thoughtful posts like this one from Citizen at A Little Off Kilter, and this one from Susan, at Ilka's Attic, and again from Kimber and all my good intentions, straight off to hell they did go.

So thoughtful schmoughtful. I might not do thoughtful, but I do do snark. Practice makes perfect after all.

Dear People in Vegas**,

This is a breakfast buffet. The operative word being buffet. By definition, it means you can return several times. There is really no reason to pile your plate 6 inches high with everything from oatmeal to tacos. Seriously. It's disgusting. Get your butt off the chair and go back for more however many times you need to. You can consider it exercise.

Grossed outedly,



Dear Mother Nature,

You are indeed a bitch. Yes you are. Don't try to deny it.

Winter weary alreadily,



Dear Person who watered my boss's plant,

I'm sure you were full of good intentions (see above about those and hell and all that). But I had already watered the boss's plant. You're doing so again while the office was closed for vacation and you came in to clean means the plant now looks like a drowned puppy. It also means I look like I've killed the damn thing.

I don't need your help to go around killing plants. I do fine on that by myself. And now the boss's plant is swimming in massive amounts of water.




Dear People who run Vegas,

I find it highly disconcerting as a non gambler to walk up to a slot machine and realize that slot machines no longer have slots to receive my quarters. Nor do the winnings fall into a pan at the bottom.

Now I have to purchase a ticket that I put into the machine and if and when I win something I take the ticket to a window for redemption.

That is wrong! Wrong I tell you. When I go to Vegas, I play a quarter in the slot machines. Put in my quarter, pull down the handle wait for the machine to spit out my meagre winnings.

I can no longer carry out my "gamble a quarter every two years" tradition. This annoys me in some strange way.

Feeling extremely old fashioned by your fault-edly,


** Soon to come, pictures of the trip.... Well, as soon as I get my shit together at any rate.