Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An Evenng with Mr. & Ms. Jazz - a food centric post

Apropos of nothing, the other evening for dinner we had pan fried steelhead trout with salad - and of course I totally forgot to take a pic - but believe me when I say it was delicious. OK, so maybe it's not apropos of nothing, it's apropos of saying, damn, I love eating.

After dinner, in keeping with the title of this post, we decided to make a recipe we saw on Food TV on Chef at Home with Michael Smith . It's a slow cooker recipe - but seeing as it's still quite chilly in Montreal, it's not much of a stretch to be eating "winter" food. Though really, how is slow cooker food winter food exclusively? Meh, I'm not even going to ponder that.

Of course this always works best in an ugly 1970s crockpot from
General Electric no less.

Now, the dish. Chicken thighs slow cooked with sherry and onions. And yes, wonder of wonders you are getting a recipe from Jazz. Mark your calendars peeps, this most probably a one-time occurrence...



Lots of onions, sliced (you need lots cause onions are pretty much your liquid - 90% water and all that). Dump half of them in the bottom of your slow cooker.

Add Codplay's cooking song:

Ok, actually it's Viva la Vida, but damned if cooking and dancing to this... well it totally rocks.

So, you put on the song. And dance while chopping onions. The dancing part is important cause it kills the tears. A caveat - be careful while chopping and dancing and drinking wine. Surprisingly I didn't cut a single part of me off, not even a little bit! Be very impressed with your dexterity if you manage this, if not, haul out the band-aids.
Naw, no dancing-while-chopping-onions-and-drinking-wine pics - I have my pride

Then. OK, where were we? Oh yeah, you dump (or delicately place, according to your style of cooking) lots of onions in the bottom of the crock pot. While you are chopping the onions (which actually should be done before you put them in the pot, yes?), your Mr. Jazz equivalent is grilling up the chicken with LOTS of garlic and olive oil and butter in a pan (and damned if the house doesn't smell freaking edible, rather than newly painted all of a sudden). Please note: if you don't have a cooking partner, you might have to slightly stagger these two steps. Or not. The whole multi-tasking thing while cooking, not so much for me - unless it's chopping onions while drinking wine and dancing. Obviously.

Once the meat is grilled, you dump it on top of the onions with Dijon mustard - however much you like and thyme (though we didn't have any so we put herbes de provence - just put whatever the hell you want already), salt (if you remember - we didn't) and pepper - fresh ground if at all possible please.

Add sherry ( probably Vermouth would do, or even wine or chicken broth, or orange juice - it'd be good with OJ... well, you get the idea), however much seems right, and cover with more onions.

Looks sort of boring doesn't it?

A few more swallows of good wine with more Coldplay. Some wiping down of counters and washing of dishes and you're done.

The next morning, put set the ugly 70s crockpot to low and pootle off to work.

Come evening, this is what you'll have.

Actually, it looks sort of awful doesn't it?
How come things always look scrumptious on cooking shows?

And this is what Michael Smith will have (with the real recipe here):

Serve with a side of pasta tossed in sundried tomato pesto, and voila...

And of course, the requisite glass of wine. See the stem of the glass right there?

And don't forget to watch the Pens eliminate Carolina if you're into that type of thing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another prank gone wrong...

Mr. Jazz sent me Richard Martineau's *, column (which you can see here in French). My mind is in total boggledom right now, and I'll have to try to search out the article in La Presse (the other Montreal paper) which he's quoting 'cause seriously, Whoa!

And so, for your edification here is the background to the story and the gist of the article:

One evening, earlier this month a 67 year old Vietnamese lady was waiting for the bus after her dance class. Three teenagers accosted her to steal her handbag. She held on, was pushed and shoved, punched in the face, fell, hit her head and died in hospital a couple of days later.

The kids were arrested.

Now is when it gets surreal.

In the La Presse article, there are the following remarks by the aggressors' friends:

- These are good guys, it's just a prank that went wrong. (JUST?!?)

- The medias say she was savagely beaten, that's not true, they shook her up a little, but they didn't want to kill her.

- The old lady resisted giving up her bag. If she had given it up she wouldn't be dead. (No shit Sherlock!)

What the holy fuck!! She should've given up her bag if she wanted to live? As Martineau says in his column, sorry kids, but a prank is sending 15 pizzas to your neighbor's house, not mugging old ladies to steal their bags. That's not a prank. It's illegal. There's a fine line of nuance here you seem to have missed.


But it gets better:

A psychologist was interviewed and he said that impulsiveness in male teenagers was at an all time high because of the high levels of testosterone in their bodies, poor dears, and it could simply be a maturation incident gone wrong (sorry about the shoddy translation, but you get the idea - they're acting out due to the testosterone - oh and the booze probably, seems they were drunk these 15 and 16 year olds - and oops, sorry we killed the old lady. We didn't mean to though, had she just given up her purse we might not have had to punch her in the face like we did).


The mind boggles. What the hell is wrong with this society that such explanations excusing their behaviour are given? How can we just dismiss this kind of thing? Funny, all the men in my life were brimful of testosterone at one point and they didn't go out and beat up old ladies.

They didn't do it on purpose? Well hell, give 'em a slap on the wrist and send them on their merry way.

To the credit of the legal system, they have been charged with second degree murder. But they will get off with that slap on the wrist; they're juveniles after all. Course, in Quebec, even if they weren't they wouldn't get much of anything.

And no, I'm not getting all Stephen Harper on you - he wants all juveniles charged as adults for serious crimes, up to and including the death penalty probably... I'm not saying they should be put away for life (which here rarely means more than 10 years in any event) and I'm sure they didn't do it on purpose - people rarely do go out and decide, "Hey, I'm gonna kill someone tonight".

But there should be consequences. Serious consequences. Sorry people, but it's not all about raging hormones and giving up your bag to muggers if you want to live through the evening.

It just isn't.

'Course, if the raging hormones argument wins the day, I know several people in dire need of beating up. Menopause, raging hormones... hell I'd be off the hook in no time.

* a columnist with the Journal de Montréal, and all around bitcher, screamer and denouncer - half the time I think he's an idiot, the other half I'm in total agreement with what he writes.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday evening, 7:59

Sitting on the balcony. It's beautiful, the air redolent with the scent of lilac...

Coldplay somewhere in the background. Birds chirping (unfortunately, no swallows or nighthawks yet, but that should be coming soon).

The scent of the kafta burgers Mr. Jazz is cooking mingling with the lilac...

I could die this instant and I would die perfectly happy.

Ok, so it's way past 7:59 - since I couldn't download the pictures, my camera battery having chosen that particular moment to die on me - but the spirit is still there...

Post Secret, which I was looking at just before I started this post...

The chair where Mr. Jazz was sitting just before he went in to make dinner.
How great is it that he does the food stuff?

Looking towards the west.

My foot and its stubby middle toe. In a sandal. A. Sandal. On. The. Balcony... I'm wearing sandals!!! Outside!!!

The tree right in front of our balcony.

The street. Through the balcony bars.

The front of the bars. Who knew it looked so good. It should be on our side.
Who the hell can see this from the street side. We're three storeys up for God sake.


Friday, May 22, 2009

How do YOU define stupid

My top picks today:

- On the radio this morning: Some guy will get a life sentence for murder - so 10 years minimum, more if the judge decides so. How is 10 years a life sentence unless you're 95?

- The baby food diet. Replacing regular meals with baby food. It's all the rage in Hollywood. Um, how about eat better and exercise more? And accept that wearing a size 10 or 12 in no way, shape or form mean you're fat!!!

- The media acting all huffy because "suddenly" everyone wakes up and figures out that all the money the Quebec Caisse de Dépôt (the people who invest our money to be used for provincial pension plans and the like) lost in the commercial paper debacle will have to be replaced. By whom? Well, us taxpayers of course in the form of rising pay deductions etc. How stupid do you have to be to not have figured this out when the story came out? Of course the taxpayer is gonna pay. We have limitless amounts of money don't we? We're the well from which all things come, the well that will, it seems never run dry. So don't fucking act like you didn't know this would happen. Oh and once the deficit is filled, do you think we're stupid enough to believe that deductions will go back down? Um. No.

- Finger Plates

- George Bush (ok, it was too easy, but waddaya gonna do)

OH! and an addition Mr. Jazz reminded me of:

- Bureaucrats who rename things so as not to hurt people's feelings - the dreaded PC Brigade. We all know of the "visually challenged" for blind series. In Quebec they just changed the name of exams (as in school, y'all remember those?). Now students no longer have exams, they have "Situations d'apprentissage et d'évaluation", i.e. Learning and evaluation situations... excuse me while I beat my head against the wall. But that's not all!

- Teachers can no longer fail students who need to be failed - because it'll traumatize the poor dearies I suppose. So what happens with these "evaluation situations"? They're basically fixed everyone passes and they mean strictly nothing anymore. And we're surprised that people have no basic knowlege of anything anymore. Excuse me while I beat my head against the wall some more. I'm thinking BB really needs to do a post on the walking talking idiocy that is the Quebec Ministry of Education. Of course, how can I be surprised. These are the people who abolished grading with numbers - because the children might feel bad with too low a number - now everything is is letters, 'cause damned if an E doesn't feel better than a 50%. Or something.

So, how do you define stupid

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Things I'm wondering about today

What happened to the swine flu pandemic?

Why do so many old rich people have Mercedes' and all the younger rich people have Beemers?

What it the point of passing me in a blind curve going up a hill when once we're both over the mountain you're just two cars ahead of me? Are you trying to make the point that your big honking SUV should not have to drive behind my puny Toyota? Fucking moron.

When will it be warm enough in the morning that I can go out in a skirt and sandals and most of all bare legs?

What is the point?

As an add on: Mr. Jazz just sent me this link to My favourite ice cream evah is sitting there on the top of the page. I'm feeling just a bit nauseous all of a sudden. I'll get over it though seeing as I have pint of Cherry Garcia in the freezer. Of course, sweet dessert is good - but the beverages list is scary. Another thing I'm wondering: why do I love sugar so?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fer Chrissake!

The latest in Quebec Politics:

The Quebec government wants to get a law passed whereby tobacco companies will be obliged to help fund treatment for people with smoking related illnesses.

Now, I'm not a smoker myself and honestly, I can't conceive why people would start smoking, seeing everything we know about it's effects on a human body.

And sure, I'm not thrilled my tax dollars are being used to pay to treat lung cancer in smokers, but I'm not thrilled at a lot of ways my tax dollars are being spent. And god knows, I'll need treatment eventually for something or other so it's all good.


But I really don't think that making the tobacco companies pay is the way to go. I think it takes all responsibility away from those who started smoking in the first place and who certainly cannot argue these days that they didn't know what they were getting into.

Blow in her face and she'll follow you anywhere? What the fuck??

If tobacco companies are made to pay for the damage their product wreaks, does that mean the smokers themselves should pay for their treatments also? I'd think not, isn't that why they pay taxes? And isn't that why the tobacco companies pay taxes?


If you start this, then what? Should car manufacturers pay for treatment of people injured in car accidents?

Should companies who make alcohol be liable for the cirrhosis and other alcohol related problems?

Should the Quebec government be liable for the problems caused by gambling? Oh yeah, probably not, since the gambling industry (lotteries, casinos etc.) are government owned here. So obviously that's different.

What is it with no one taking responsibility for their actions today?

You damn well have to know that if you start smoking your risk of lung cancer (among other ailments) skyrockets.

If, however, you decided to smoke and take your chances, I don't think tobacco companies should be liable for the damage.

Any more than Absolut or Seagrams should be held responsible for the damage alcohol wreaks.

People are responsible for their decisions, and if there's a cost to society, so be it. There's always a cost regardless.

Short of outlawing cigarettes (and any other substance or activity that's harmful) there isn't a whole lot to be done. And we all know how well the outlawing of this stuff goes. Remember the prohibition? Anyone who wanted to drink could get around the rules really easily. Drugs? Naw, nobody takes any illegal drugs - and they're about impossible to get. Sheesh.

It just doesn't work that way.

And to the government, who obviously knows this, and is using this ridiculous law to gain popularity points - Please. Just shut the hell up and go away.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Weekend Meme...

1. Where did you take your profile picture?

Darlings, it was taken by that oh so popular Vogue photographer way back... Wotsisname, Richard Avedon...

Look at me, such elegance, such style

2.What exactly are you wearing right now?

My usual loverly green skin and tophat. My trusty walking stick is at my side (Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gaaaal).

3.What is your current problem?

Keeping my skin damp in this dry dry office.

4. What makes you happy most?

A nice pond full of juicy bugs to eat, and should that not read "most happy"?

5. What’s the name of the song that you’re listening to?

Hello My Baby - (1899) Words by Joseph E. Howard - Music by Ida Emerson

6. Any celeb you would marry?

Kermit maybe, but he's so damn full of himself sometimes. Not easy being green indeed. Pffft. Lightweight. And all this "Kermit the Frog reporting from Snow White's castle" stuff. He was never a journalist. You know they wrote all his questions for him beforehand; he never did an interview by himself in his life! And Miss Piggy? That was all for show. Marketing. She was actually having this torrid affair with Krusty the Klown of Simpsons fame. The thing they had going?!?! It was intense. Kermit was way too stick in the mud for Miss P.

Oops, sorta lost track there... So marriage to a celebrity? No. Marriage to celebrities is highly overrated. Believe me we're just as pathetic and screwed up as the rest of you. Maybe more.

7. Name someone with the same birthday as you?

I am unique. No one has the same anything as I.

8. Ever sang in front of a large audience?

Naw, when that guy in the documentary tried to make money off me by having me sing for an audience I just sat there and made him look like an utter fool. Singing frog indeed! Exploitation it was. Had he given me a fair share of the take, we could've made a deal. But noooooooo, it was all for him, me I just got a dryed out fly once in a while. I showed him!

9. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?

I've been compared to Kermit (him again!!!), but what the hell do they know, he's a guy fer chrissake! And my cousin Juliette, the model for Arrogant Frog. Yes, that's Juliette, my Parisian cousin. She has a great place just by the Seine. She likes the masculine look now and then. The contrast with her femininity... Whoa. You should see her in stilettos and a tight dress. Her legs go on forever!

10. Do you still watch kiddie movies or kiddie TV shows?

I watch my film now and again, the single most popular Loony Toon evah (and only documentary, as mentioned in Q8): One Froggy Evening. Personally I don't think it's kiddie fare.

11. Do you speak any languages?

What a stupid question.You're just asking that because I'm a frog, eh? Doesn't everyone speak some sort of language? Obviously, as I type, you see I speak English, as well as French and Ribbit. With a smattering of Spanish and a touch of German and a smidge of Russian. Sort of .

12. Has anyone you’ve been really close with passed away?

My life is a horror story in that regard. For instance evil children forced my cousin Vinnie to smoke until he exploded. Poor Vinnie, they should've forced scotch down his throat instead. They wouldn't even have had to force him. He was quite a drinker but he never got the hang of smoking.

And my cousin Frank? Squashed flat by a car. That's happened to lots of us in the family. And they have the gall to use his picture as a stock photo!!! No respect. We get no respect!!!

Frank after the accident

Frank just before the accident. He was a looker he was

13.Do you ever watch MTV?

MTV, Schmemtv. Booooooooooooooring.

14.What’s something that really annoys you?

Those fish who sometimes get to the bugs before I do. Annoying life forms they are. Can't even breathe out of water. Lightweights.

Oh, and people who ask if I'm Kermit. I look nothing like him. He's a guy, I told you that!!! And why does everyone assume that Michigan J. Frog is a guy's name. Really. Oh. The top hat??? People, I'm just an eccentric, that's all.

See? I look nothing like him. He looks like a kid's toy. No class, no style. Hmmph.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Bixi


After the last post I did a bit of research on how the Bixi system is going to work - though I've only been able to access the freaking website once, briefly. Way to go people, you're really gonna sell the service this way.

According to Stationnement Montréal (the organization that manages Montreal's parking - and who the hell knew it was a private company? I sure as hell didn't. What's with that exactly? Subcontracting parking services? They do that? I guess I'm behind the times.), the concept is that the bikes serve as taxis. You pick it up at one place and drop it at your destination (or as close to your destination as the Bixi parking is).

Cost? $78 for a yearly pass (monthly and daily passes exist too), and your first half hour is free, then it costs progressively more as you rack up time. Here is the pricing according to, the official Bixi Montreal site being, as usual, unavailable...

Prices for 2009 are currently set at:
$78 for a yearly pass (online subscription only, approved after confirming $250 credit card fund verification)
$28 for a monthly pass (online subscription only, approved after confirming $250 credit card fund verification)
$5 for a 24-hour day pass (paid at docking station, approved after confirming $250 credit card fund verification)

After paying the basic yearly, monthly or daily fee, the customer is then charged for time usage as follows:

free for the first 30 minutes
$1.50 for the second 30 minutes

$3 for the third 30 minutes (which equals $4.50 for 60 to 90 minutes of use)
$6 for the fourth and subsequent 30 minutes (which equals $10.50 for 90 to 120 minutes of use or more)

Not that expensive all in all...


I'm thinking that most people won't be using the Bixis during the winter - there aren't that many hard core cyclists in Montreal and hardcore bikers own their bikes, so actually it's more like $78 for six months (and for chrissake, just round it up to $80 why dontcha - we know the theory that people will think it's cheap if it costs less than a "0" number, hence the "50 low payments of $49.99". However, despite what y'all think, we're not complete morons) .

Myself, if I have to go a kilometer or two, or even three or five, I'd much rather walk it than spend money on using a bike. Downtown. In traffic.

And if you expect to use it enough to make the $78 + extra fees worthwhile, wouldn't you have your own bike? People who are sold on cycling as a means of transportation have their own. Hell, most people have a bike period. It might not get much (if any) use but it's there. I would be the case in point... Yep. There it stands on its poor flat tires waiting for me to look at it and think, hey, maybe I should actually use this thing. Pining for the open road, it is, waiting for me to bestow a loving glance on it's boring beige frame. Gonna happen? I wouldn't bet my savings on it. But I digress.

As for the usual taxi using population, I don't much see Mr. Businessman in suit and tie hopping onto a Bixi to get to his three martini lunch. Nope. Somehow I'm thinking not.

That leaves what? Tourists? That might work. Though heaven help them cycling in Montreal traffic. It seems we drive like maniacs in Montreal - even the cyclists in the bike lanes drive like maniacs. I don't see it, but I guess a tourist on a bike might, poor thing.


Update on the previous post regarding the astroturfing: Blogger Patrick Dion (French only) was one of those taken for a ride (pardon the pun - I swear it was unintentional).

In his (very loosely translated) words:

I had written about the quality of the A vélo citoyens! blog... I was part of the Facebook group and had been made an "officer" of the group because of my praise of the project. I didn't really understand why it was such a big deal. Until I read the following sentence from the interview Patrick Lagace [y'all need to learn French you do!] did with Michel Philibert, director of communications for Stationnement de Montréal: "The virus [?? not sure if that's the term in English, but it's the French one] strategy is part of publicity. It wasn't manipulation. Manipulation is mercantile. Stationnement de Montréal is private but Bixi is a public service. We want it to work"

And then it hit me. Not manipulation? Of course it's manipulation. I was misled, my name was used without my knowledge to popularize a service, and completely for free. I was used for publicity purposes, they used my words without paying me, and without my having any knowledge of what was going on behind the scenes. I was used, duped, because among other things, I have a voice on the Web.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today's Scandal in Montreal

A pro-cycling blog (À vélo citoyens) written by three people who met while bicycling. The three of them blog - and very well too - about the joys of cycling, about what's new, they put up short videos. It's a well thought out blog, regularly updated. One of the good ones.

They open a Facebook page linked to their blog which has over 1000 "friends".

Each of the three has his/her own Facebook page, with - in one case - 1300 "friends" (I really have to put quotes around that - friends? Really? C'mon!)

And then they got a scoop. Montreal was installing Bixi bikes, a system - much like the one in Paris - whereby you can "borrow" a bike at a designated spot and leave it at your destination. It's green, it's great, it's all damn wonderful. Well, Montreal merchants beg to differ, but that's a whole other thing.

The cost: $78 for a yearly pass, though you can get monthly or weekly passes.

It was a scoop indeed.

However (you knew this was coming didn't you?)

It turns out the whole blog/facebook thing was a hoax.

The Bixi (a contraction of bicycle and taxi) system itself is real, and is being inaugurated in Montreal today (unfortunately, they don't seem to have translated the Montreal Bixi webpage yet - but it might just be a temporary glitch).

But it turns out the blog and Facebook pages were set up by Morrow Communications who were mandated by the city of Montreal pump up interest in the whole Bixi thing.

Now, for the "scandal" :

Although Morrow and the city of Montreal say they did nothing wrong, some people (especially those, I suppose, who were fans of the blog) feel they've been cheated, that creating a blog that everyone believes is real in order to sell a concept is simply dishonest (doesn't take much to get people all het up in Montreal as y'all can see).

As I doubt I'll be using the bikes and had never heard of the blog until this morning, I don't much care one way or another.

But what about the ethics of it? Is it, in fact, wrong to do this? Does it make blogs in general less trustworthy? How about the blog in question - it was apparently a very good blog, does the fact that it's marketing change that?

I have no answers - what do you think??

Friday, May 08, 2009

Things I Wonder About

- How can I have broken a fingernail to the point it's bleeding and not even noticed until the blood has dried?

- How much smaller is the apartment than it was in 1912 due to the numerous coats of paint?

- What is the average number of gloves/mittens/scarves lost in Montreal every day in the winter (I just saw a lone mitten hanging off a fence - it's May, what the hell is it doing there polluting my view ?)

- How do the writers of LOST keep track? Seriously, I wonder about this. This series is just so damn convoluted and twisted, how do they keep track of everything?

- Three or four years ago I could read a 600 page book in two days, in between working and other obligations like feeding myself. Now it takes me a week. Either I've slowed down or the world has sped up. I tend to go for the latter option. I refuse to accept age is catching up with me. I'm in denial that way. (sigh)

- Why are survey people not obliged to go by the no call list in Canada? And people selling you subscriptions to newspapers? And why do they not understand when you say you're not interested? What part of NO do they not understand? And why would anyone willingly do such a thankless job? Wouldn't working as a telemarketer be a great punishment for misdemeanors? This being said, I love it when they call to sell me the newspaper and I tell them, "Sorry, d'ya have a braille version? I'm blind." I'm really gonna look like a fool the day one of them says, "Yeah, we do". But most of them just seem to be really embarrassed at having called in the first place. Sometimes I take pity on them and tell them it's ok, not their fault I'm "blind". Mostly not though. Mostly not.

- My boss recently got a Blackberry. I was fiddling with it and kept hitting two keys at a time. The keyboard is really tiny on these things. How do those fat businessmen with their sausage thumbs actually manage to type on those? You know the ones. As soon as the plane rolls to a stop they're on their Blackberry typing notes of the inane and time wasting "Oh, I'm getting out of my seat now" variety. As if anyone cares. They're like high school girls when they're on these things. My point, however, is: How do they manage to hit one key at a time? Have their thumbs evolved to have skinny ends that retract when they're not thumbing their Berry? The mind boggles.

And on the stupid front:

- How can the idea behind the new GE front load washer have seemed like a wonderful technological jump forward? They are selling a new washer in which you can put up to six months detergent beforehand. It sits there and dispenses as you do new loads. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but adding detergent to a load of laundry isn't all that time and effort consuming. Of course this way you don't have to worry whether you added enough laundry detergent because the washer calculates that for you. Cause I dunno about y'all folks, but me, I spend sleepless nights worrying whether I put enough detergent in my last load of laundry ( heavy heavy eye rolling here). Course, they are sorta cute with their triangular glass doors. Are people really gonna buy these washers based on the fact they don't have to add detergent every time? Are consumers that dumb? OK, forget I asked... What's next? A washer that will actually sort your clothes for you, iron 'em, fold 'em and put them away? That I might go for.

Meanwhile, in the "I am so ashamed to be Canadian" column :

How can it be that in Canada we have a minister of science and technology who, a couple of months ago refused to answer the question of whether he believed the theory of evolution on the grounds that he's a Christian and you can't question someone about their religion!!!

How can we have a minister of culture who, when quizzed about Canadian culture on a talk show, knew only a couple of answers? Granted this was a Quebec show, so him being Anglo, I suppose he can't be expected to know much about Quebec culture. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that, because I'm nice that way, being Canajun an' all. But! But he hardly did better when quizzed about anglo culture! He did at least know who Rick Mercer was though...

These are the minister of science and technology and the minister of culture of our country!!!

This is the redneck* government who rules us.

Someone give me a rock to hide under please. And send us an Obama clone if it's not too much to ask?

* My sincerest apologies to all rednecks

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Saga Ends Here...

It ends, at least, until next time. The bathroom and toilet still have to be repainted (probably with leftovers...), as do the living room and bedroom. And the rads are still awaiting paint, the dining room fixture has to be changed but mostly, at this point it is done. Thank god. We won't start a house painting business anytime soon - am I losing my mind or have I already mentioned that? Yes, last post, eh? I blame the meno-brain.

Despite Geewits' obvious disbelief, I have in fact downloaded the paint pics to post. Ha! I say. I get around to things in my own sweet time. All right, it takes a helluva lot of sweet time, but it eventually gets done. The apartment? It has been in desperate need of paint for the past five years or so, but had I done it before, the furnace incident would not have been averted, and I still would have had to paint last week.

There is a lesson to be learned here people. Procrastination does have its uses. Yes indeed. I just had to do the job once. Which is much better for my stress levels. And my knees. And, incidentally, my sanity. Above all my sanity.

This was the hallway before:

See? Seven doorways: one you can barely see to the left (bedroom), then a second and a third you can only vaguely see as a darker shadow (both are entrances to the living room) just to the left of the one at the end (#4 - the room to the balcony). Then the one to the right towards the end where you can see the line of the door (the bathroom) , the middle one (toilet) and the one just there to the right with the window (entrance). That is seven. SEVEN!!! I did not lie. It's insane to have that many doors. OK, if they weren't there we'd have serious issues with getting into the rooms, but still, it's hell to paint out.

And yes, it was salmon and turquoise. And it actually looked quite good. Did I tell you we love colour? I might have mentioned our love of intense colour somewhere. There is nary a drop of beige paint in this place. We're incapable of living in beige or pastels. I wanted sophisticated and this is what I ended up choosing:

And the dining room. As I mentioned: intense colour - this one was salmon (lox?) and orange.

...which is explained by the fact that we had had the hallway painted at one point - and then just ran out of steam. Hence no turquoise. See XUP, we do know about painters. That black coffin in the corner by the way, might be ugly but serves a serious and vital purpose: it's the wine cellar.

And now... the colours match the hallway. The radiator behind the table has yet to be painted. We have really great looking rads, so I'm going to paint them out in a metallic - a bronze colour perhaps, or pewter.

And from the other side:

That white melamine 80s monstrosity? Is on its way out, thank you very much. Yes, yes, yesssss!!!

This lovely little piece of detail painting took forever! As I mentioned, character is highly overrated when you're painting... But I love my rosette, even more so now that it's been painted. All in all I'd rather paint it than get rid of it. And the fixture? Also going. It looked great once upon a time when the dining room was grey and red, but its time is passed Amen to that.

The kitchen before:

Those grey lines on the wall? Soot. The grey ceiling? Soot. The colour of the cupboards? Soot; actually they should be pure white...

Yeah, they should be pure white... *sigh*

Now however:

I haven't quite gotten around to washing the cupboard doors, but it looks a helluva lot better!

There's still stuff to do of course. Clean the cupboard doors, decide what will go back up on the walls, and something that gives me immense satisfaction these days, getting rid of accumulated clutter.

I used to move every six months or so, so clutter never became an issue. Now however, after 20+ years in the same apartment we definitely have an accumulation issue. But this too I will control, I will rule the clutter with an iron fist from now on.

Martha Stewart move the hell over.

Ok, you're right, that'll last probably three and a half minutes. But it will be three and a half clutter free minutes.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I was gonna post...

... before and after pics, but um... yeah, I haven't gotten around to downloading them yet, slacker* that I am. I even made sure everything was neat and tidy before taking the pics. But c'mon, how interesting can pics of yellow and green rooms be? Unless you're living in them of course. And the colour is growing on you. Honestly, I'm liking it more and more, everything looks so light! But guess what???? Excitement and awe grip me in any case! Because!


We even have leaves sprouting in the trees. Leaves people!! Those green things that rustle in the wind? We're starting to get them!

It still hovers close to freezing in the mornings but makes it to the mid-sixties in the afternoon. Mid-freaking-sixties, it's positively balmy!

Don't think I can't hear y'all people in the south where this is mid-winter weather, sniggering. I can hear you giggling behind your monitors, but it doesn't bother me because for me this is major.

There was even a day there, while we were painting, of course**, where the temperature hit the 80s - but that was before the leaves. Leaves people!! Green living stuff that I can't kill off. Imagine that!

Every time spring shows up, it's like I've never seen it before.

Today I'm actually wearing a skirt. I haven't gone as far as some who are already in sandals and bare legs - it's not that warm - but I'm wearing a skirt nevertheless. It's a testament to how sick I am of winter that I'm actually wearing that modern female torture instrument, the pantyhose. Yes indeedy. It's a scary thought. But I am just so damn sick of wearing pants all the time that I have stooped this low. It's incredible what I'll endure to honour spring. Like I said, this is major!

Heh, I just realized, a couple of weeks ago I took pics at the cottage as proof that spring was coming. They're still stuck in photo limbo too. Is it too late to post them, spring being here now for real?

How do you people do it who are forever posting pics you take - seriously, it's beyond me.

* In the immortal words of Geewits.

**precluding us from actually seeing the weather in any other way but to glimpse sunshine and blue skies from the middle of the dining room. But all that is behind us now, and you know, in retrospect it wasn't all that bad. I muchly appreciated spending the time with Mr. Jazz. 'Course we would've spent the time together anyway, but this is by far the biggest "work" project we ever tackled together and we came through with flying colours (no pun intended, unless my subconscious mind is taking over again. I will venture however, that neither of us feels like starting a house painting business.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Problems problems problems

Ian's problems, not mine.

Blogger has decided his blog is a spam blog. Go figure. So he moved to Wordpress, as people seem to be wont to do these days...

Anyway, for all those who don't have his new URL, please change your bookmarks - you can reach him now at: And I Still Think So

Go visit him. NOW!!!