Monday, July 31, 2006

I Am Calling You Out!

I know, I'm so rude with the calling out of the lurkers, but I know I've got me some readers that I didn't know before starting this here blog, and I'd love to hear a little bit about you. I gots to know! Because I am nosey. And, as I mentioned before, rude.

Give it up, people!

And yes, I am completely expecting to receive no response to my plea and will sit here with egg on my face. But I am ever hopeful. Because I am not so much fond of the eggs. Unlike the pug to your left, who seems to love the eggs far too much.


I am loathe to talk too much about this under the suspicion that talking about it will make things go horribly wrong, but there is a new project manager on my bathroom renovation case, and I am hopeful. Hopeful, I say.

I have also been so focused on the project that I have no good stories to tell you today. But I'm working on it.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Slap a Coat of Paint on It!

So I just did. On the walls in my bathroom, I mean. Switching out the light fixture tomorrow, and moving all my independent shelves and art back in too.

And then the wait for all the stuff I have no control over, she begins.

PS: I got paint in me hair. And on every square centimeter of exposed skin too. I am thanking my own cleverness for buying disposable drop cloths, I am.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I Don't Even WANT To Get Into It Today

But let me just say this: the project manager on my renovation? Apparently has no idea what a project is. Or how it should be managed.

I will just make myself focus on the fact that I get to prime and paint and install lighting today, and expel all the frustration into something constructive.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I Just Peed in my New Toilet

Aren't you happy you decided to access this blog today?

Really, though, aside from the vanity top / sink installation and mirror framing, the reno company's part of the new bathroom is done. But no pictures until it's all complete!

I swear, however, that these cabinets are going to be the death of me. I sat down on the toilet and glanced over at the cabinet side that is alongside my toilet. And what did I see? Bare wood. Apparently, either the reno company failed to tell them that that side of the cabinet would be facing the world, or they decided to ignore that. And by the time I saw that, my reno company had closed for the evening. One more thing for the project manager to add to the list of things that need to be done. Oh, also, they sent too short screws for the drawer and door pulls.

Cabinets of death, they are.

To be done:

  • Install vanity top (reno company)
  • Install sink and faucet (reno company)
  • Install drawer and door pulls (reno company)
  • Stain unstained cabinet side (reno company)
  • Paint walls (me)
  • Install new light (me)
Guess who's going to get their shit done first?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Renovation Trauma Continues

Last night, at 9PM, I recieved a call from Kwami, the installer that the company doing my bathroom renovation had contracted to do the work.

Apparently, yesterday afternoon, as he was leaving my place after grouting the shower and laying the floor tiles, he misstepped on the staircase and injured his foot. And hadn't realized how hurt he was until last night. He said he was going to go to the doctor this morning, and see if he could come in to complete the job afterwards. I asked him if he had talked to the project manager, and he said that he would do so in the morning.

Of course, being a micromanager, the first thing I do this morning, when the company opens for business, is call the project manager myself, who, rationally, tells me that he won't be able to do anything until Kwami calls him and updates him on his condition.

That being said, the project manager just called me to let me know that Kwami won't be showing up at my house today, as he has to have x-rays done. But that he is pretty sure that he'll be able to return to the job tomorrow.

I. Hate. This.

I feel bad for Kwami, but, really? I just want it all to be done.

Stupidity about the vanity top (see yesterday) aside, here's what was supposed to be done today, now tomorrow, to finish up most of the job:

  • Caulk shower / tub
  • Install shower system
  • Grout floor
  • Install baseboards
  • Install toilet
  • Install threshold cover
  • Install cabinet
  • Template cabinet top
Gah. GAH.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Of Course, Things Were Going Too Smoothly

I was talking to my renovation project manager today, and, of course, there are issues with my bathroom. Although the cabinets arrived today, and will be installed tomorrow, they still have to template the top, send that information to the cabinet maker, and have the top cut out. And the cabinet maker is closed for the week. And the top? Could take 5 days. So, no vanity top, and no sink for a while. Gar. Also, the wood that the cabinet maker was supposed to send along to frame my mirror? Didn't arrive with the cabinet. And, again, the cabinet maker? On vacation.

But work continues on here, and, so far, is going very well. I am trying not to start to thing that everything else will fall apart too. But of course I am. And it makes me sleep horribly, it does.

In other news, my car? She is paid off and completely mine now! And my dealership? Just called to see if I was interested in trading it in. Not likely. I reckon I shall drive it for at least a few more years until I really need to buy a new car.

That is all.

The end.

Friday, July 21, 2006

And We Have Tiles

In the shower, at least.

Floor tiles and grouting to happen on Monday, caulking of the shower, and installation of the shower system, toilet and vanity, hopefully on Tuesday. And then it's up to me to change out the lighting and paint (I am a cheap bastard.)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Yesterday, My Bathroom Disappeared

And this is what I was left with:

Today, I have a new sub-floor, tub and sheetrock in the shower.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Susur, Friend, Cocktail Dress. Dude.

Last night, Kate and I had dinner at Susur.

I wore a cocktail dress. Which you really can't see in this picture.

But trust me, it was a dress that made the woman taking my money at the parking lot say, "What a beautiful dress!" and a yahoo honk at me and scream "GORGEOUS!" while walking to the restuarant. I wish I could wear that dress every day - not because of the dirty old man shouting, but because it makes me feel freaking pretty.

Anyway, this was my third experience at Susur, and I have to say it wasn't the best. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that it was the first night of a new menu, but things seemed a little off. It was still a lovely, delicious meal, but it didn't knock the socks off my ass like previous meals.

Our server was lovely, but had a thick french accent, and neither of us could understand half of what he was saying, so descriptions are a little sketchy. I had the vegetarian 5 course tasting menu, Kate had the meaty 6 course - we shared the desert course, as you'll see below.

Amouse Bouche

From the left - Pineapple, tomato and some kind of reduction; zuchinni, carrot and some kind of reduction; tofu and some kind of gelle reduction

First Course

Squash filled with dal curry topped with baby carrots, asparagus, peas and toasted almonds, with two types of sauces made from heirloom tomatos, a cherry tomato, pineapple and some other kind of reduction

Second Course

Gnocchi in a tart tomato cheese sauce with cherry tomatos, peas and parmageno. Sorry the photo is so washed out! I just wanted to dig in and forgot to fiddle around with the exposure.

Third Course

Artichoke filled with spinach and ricotta, top with toasted almonds, flanked by cooked pears on top of an apple foam (Kate also had this as one of her courses - I'm hoping she got a shot that isn't so washed out)

Fourth Course

From the top, clockwise: two slices of heirloom tomato sandwiching a ricota mixture, heirloom tomato gazpacho, heirloom tomatos on a thin cheese wafer, balsamic vinegar gelle, roased vidalia onion

Fifth Course - two angles

Top level: kiwi sorbet on meringe, another citrus sorbet toppped with meringue on a thin biscuit, cocoa tulle filled with chocolate mousse and topped with raspberries, tart topped with chocolate ganache and sugared cranberries, tart with pistachio cream topped with mango slices

Second level: warm chocolate cake with a peanut, peanut butter and pear centre, black tea creme brule topped with blueberries, coconut cake and banana reduction, summer berry gelle, and a chocolate cherry tart with vanilla ice cream

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Long Time. No Excuse.

Well, except that there've been things going on in the past week that've made my pretty little head spin...not limited to Kate & Rose pulling up stakes and getting my place ready for the bathroom renovation that's starting NEXT WEEK.

Holy crap.

And since you all know my fondness for change, all I've been able to do in reaction is think and think and think and start to plan and lay out a new routine. Oh, routine, how you make me feel safe and warm with your snuggly soft arms wrapped around my shoulders.

Anyway, back to the excellent inane: I am delighted by the following:

  • The Office webisodes. New webisodes posted every Thursday!
  • NBC picking up the first two episodes of Project Runway Season Three, and airing them tomorrow and next Monday. I can only hope that ratings will be crazy insane and they'll pick up the whole season, because who knows when The Life Network will be airing them up here. Not me, who emailed the network a week and a half ago and am still waiting to hear back from them.
  • Well, NBC as a whole, I guess. They've been incredibly pro-active about making use of the web as a tool, and I love them for it. From The Book of Daniel to posting scenes from SNL (hello, Chronicles of Narnia and the Natalie Portman hardcore rap, though the interface makes you work for it - click on Web Favourites on the bottom right of the page) that kids were watching on You Tube, to this stuff up above? Brilliant. Other networks have a lot to learn.
That is all.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Oh, the French.

They are a crazy lot. And I mean the ones in that there France.

Nabazta's blog picked up my blog posting about the wonder that is Nabazta and concocted an excellent and hilarious what-if situation of the romantic persuasation for me. Involving yours truly.

Thank God Rose is an excellent transalor (Babel Fish? Not so much), and was able to give me the lowdown. Between gales of laughter.

Now I REALLY want one!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Squidoo, Squidah. Plus, Sad.

My Squidoo lens, Online Shopping in Canada, has gotten so large that I've revamped the main page and separated out categories into their own lenses, linked from the main page. Please take a look and let me know what you think!


Right, so, sad. Today I learned that a co-worker is leaving the company to take advantage of a kick-ass job opportunity across the country. I'll be losing an incredibly smart and imaginative person to work alongside, but, more importanly, I'll be losing the chance to see a funny friend just about every day. And also, two of my bestest taste-testers and confidence-in-my-crafts boosters.

I'm super-happy for her, but sad for me.

Thank God we're at least going to have a chance to go out and say goodbye.

Monday, July 10, 2006


This was going to be a post about the new Showtime produced show Brotherhood, airing up in here on The Movie Network. That is, until I attempted to access the official website at Showtime and was presented with this message instead:

Sorry. We at Showtime Online express our apologies; however, these pages are intended for access only from within the United States.

The hell? Showtime is plotting against the world! They are keeping secrets! They must be amassing troops on the border. Bastards. The lot of them.

Seriously, though, why would you block access to a website like that? It's not like Showtime has an MTV-Canada type deal going on where CRTC regulations insist that they not air things like music videos in Canada as it goes against their broadcasting charter. It makes no sense, and, seriously, does nothing but make me think they're a bunch of yahoos without a firm grasp at how information lives and grows and becomes the face of a corporation.

PS: I am trying to love Brotherhood because Ethan Embry is in it. Because Mark from Empire Records? He deserves the love.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

I Wish For One Of These...

Say hello to the Nabaztag. Or get me one, get yourself one, and talk to me through it.

It's a freaking bunny, people, and some of you know that means I pretty much need to have it for that reason alone. But it will also:

  • Tell me when you send me email and READ it to me
  • Play MP3s and use them to wake me up when I tell it to
  • Tell me about the weather
  • Move it's EARS when you move the ears on yours! If they're matched, that is
  • Look super-cute on my desk
  • Possibly use it's status as a smart object and take over the world

Friday, July 07, 2006

I Know It Is Summer Because I Made Ice Cream This Morning

In celebration of a corporate holiday - long story, short: head office is in Calgary, where it is Stampede, and the city is off stampeding, so everyone else gets the day off too - I made my first ice cream of the season this morning.

Improving on past attempts, rejigging the recipe and time spent in the machine a wee bit, I made my best version of Cheesecake Ice Cream ever. And yes, co-working readers, I will be bringing it in on Monday.

I wonder if broncos like ice cream?


Also, I need to stop thinking I can guess what the world will do when given a choice. Because my Rock Star: Supernova prediction? NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rock Star: Supernova, You Did Not Disappoint!

Ladies who want to be Janis Joplin, men who just want to be. Excellent. Especially when you realize that a number of the songs sung by Rock Star contestants were tackled by Canadian Idol contestants just last week, where the rock? It does not make itself at home.

Here is my prediction for tonight's show:

Bottom three performers

  • Magni - horrible stage presence. Had a passable singing voice until he started to verge on Icelandic Black Metal shouting. Then he'd remember that he's auditioning for a rock band and would sing a little, and then forget and start shouting for the devil - not at the devil, mind you, which would have been rock, but for and about. I started to wonder when the druids and horned effigies would appear onstage.
  • Zayra - modelesque in stature, stinky with the singing voice. Off-key for most of her song, and lacked any power behind her vocals. Also, I fear she is just too edgy for the Rock Star watching and voting demographic.
  • Chris - oh, man. Worst performance of the night. Possibly because it was so sincere. If anyone wanted to out themselves as a super-limited vocalist, that was the performance to do it with. So maybe he succeeded?

Who will be sent home

  • Zayra. She's too alt-rock for a hard rock band. And Gilby already expressed in the first episode (which I think was only on the web in the US) that he doesn't get her.

I will confess to watching 2.5 hours of Rock Star TV last night, and DVRing the models for viewing today. What has happened to me?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I Am All A-Quiver With Reality TV Anticipation

I think this week, it shall make me explode. The models! Rock Star (sans spectre of death)! Big Brother All Stars! Holy crap.

Also, I may have just grabbed wee bottles of liquid paper in both fist and shook my arms, like they were a-quiver, to demonstrate my anticipation to Kate. Who is currently sitting not four feet away from me. They made for a lovely sound effect, approximating the way my insides feel at the though of what delusional people will do for cash on camera.

That might make me a horrible person. I'm okay with that.

Update: Rock Star: Supernova's first episode is web-only. And not Firefox friendly. So fire up IE and head on over to watch it.

I So Famous

Indeed, indeed. Today's Constant Shopper column in the Toronto Star makes mention of yours truly, and my Online Shopping in Canada Squidoo lens.

That is all.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

How I Know I'm An Adult

Don't get me wrong, my inner 12-year-old boy is still alive and well and kicking up a storm, but he lives deeper inside my head, and shares space with the 32-year-old woman. And a monkey of indeterminate age and sex.

Anyway, I reckon I'm an adult for the following reason: not only do I care about small kitchen appliances, I'm making an effort to replace parental hand-me-downs and less-expensive first apartment gifts with impressive, pretty and HOLY CRAP POWERFUL well known name brand doohickeys.

Today, joining my food processor and ice cream maker in my kitchen starting line-up, is this lovely hand mixing fellow, the Kitchenaid Artisan Series Hand Mixer. Look how sleek and sophisticated he is, with his black tuxedo-like outfit. I think he'll fit right in.

Scouting continues for a new stick blender and coffee grinder. Updates to follow in the coming months.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Revisiting A Band Crush

Do you know what the best thing about the movie The Wedding Crashers is? The delighted flutter I got in my gut when I heard the frenzied guitar opening to the first song played over the closing credits. I may have also clapped my hands together like a 3-year-old when the opening strains of Aside by The Weakerthans began.

I swear, The Weakerthans are everything that I crush on about anything. Beautiful and smart and oddbally sweet.

The first time I heard Left and Leaving, I was struck by how familiar it sounded - not because I had heard anything like it before, but because it sounded like me. Like what I wish the soundtrack of my life would play like. And for that reason alone, it will always sit, highly, on my top ten records of all time. That's right - ALL TIME.

There aren't many bands that can pen a line like "Circumnavigate this body of wonder and uncertainty. Armed with every previous failure, and amateur cartography" and make me sing along and shake my ass like a flat-out goon. And I'm so, so glad that they can. And they do. And I will love them forever for it.

The Weakerthans official site
The Weakerthans MySpace page

Saturday, July 01, 2006

It Was Like That Banana Peel Sight-Gag

But without the tripping. And without the funny. So it was absolutely nothing like that banana peel sight-gag, but it was most definitely the first thing that popped into my head when it happened.

This morning, on the final leg of my bike ride, I was peddling home down a four lane street in the dedicated bicycle lane. A beat-up white jalopy, sunroof open to the lurvley day, sped by me. A split second later, a banana peel, emerging from the sunroof, came sailing through the sky and landed with a banana-peel-like plop right in the path of my front wheel. So I swerve, think about John Cleese pratfalls, and feel the anger start to bubble. Because, (a) litter! And (b) right in my path!

"Jesus FUCK!" and my middle finger got a ferocious workout.

The fuming, she then began, and the peddling, she then became more furious, as I saw the car come to a stop at a set of traffic lights a kilometer in front of me. With visions of fist shaking and accusations of assholery blooming in my head, I managed to cut the distance between us in half before a green light let the car peel away and leave me in the dust.

So I went home. And ate a banana. And threw my peel in the garbage.