Monday, December 31, 2007

Year End Round Up

Just like every year on this date, I take a look back at the postings I've made and sum it up for you. Want to play along? Here are the instructions:

Take the first sentence (or 2) from the first post of each month of 2006. That's your year in review.

Yes, I know, we're two days in already, but better late then never with the good wishes to all, no?

My friend Dani

And, goddamnit, it is a revelation, and has transported my understanding of chocolate to a place where I'll never willingly come back from.

Because my car is having more wiper mechanism problems.

I am compiling a list.

One of my dearest, funniest obsessions are robots.

A few months back, I talked about why I blog. Now, I want to know: why do you read me?

Sterling Silver Jess Necklace by Figs & Ginger. Swiss Dot Swing Dress by Alice + Olivia, inner shell silk, outer dress silk/cotton.

I'm just so focused on getting my act together with the up-coming move to Columbus, I feel like that's all I've been doing, and all I've been thinking, and all I've got to tell you. And that's already tired, I'm sure.

From Grateful Plate

Except it's more like furnished corporate apartment, and not hotel, but I am still very happy about it.

That's right, this weekend I finally got my ass down the the BMV, and sat through a written (if written means computer touch-screen) test, wherein I had to answer questions about farm machinery on highways.


Happy New Year, everyone.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Movie Confession

I think Johnny Dangerously is a really, really good movie.


Friday, December 28, 2007

It's an Ice Cream Social

In the New Year, I'm going to be hosting my first ever Columbus get together. I figured that since the furniture is now in my new apartment that I should have people over to come and sit on it. But not in a Happy Days way.

No, this isn't the first time that The Fonz has made an appearance on It's a Monkey. And it probably won't be the last.

But back to the Ice Cream Social That's right, instead of hoisting homemade ice cream on unsuspecting co-workers in the office, I'm having people over with the express purpose of getting their sugar on.

Because ice cream, though easy to make, takes a time - for every batch, you need at least 24 hours for the base to chill (and sometimes more for flavours to infuse) before tossing it in the ice cream maker, I decided to start a couple weeks early and get those suckers out of the way.

Currently sitting in my freezer is a container of Cream Cheese Ice Cream that I turned this morning. Tomorrow will see a completed batch of Roasted Banana Ice Cream made from the base currently sitting in my fridge, chilling like, ah, The Fonz. And tomorrow will be Chocolate Cinnamon Cayenne's turn.

Accompanying the frozen will be a mess of cupcakes that I'll be busting out of the oven the day of the social - a deep, rich chocolate, a lovely vanilla, and, one of my favourites, a chocolate chip cheesecake filling plopped in the middle of a chocolate cake base. I'm also planning on offering a beaten chocolate ganache and a vanilla buttercream as icings.

And because not everyone can deal with all sugar all the time, I'm also putting out a cheeseplate. I'm thinking maybe Manchego, Wensleydale with Cranberry and Saint Andre. And possibly something else. Any requests? Because, apparently, that's all dairy all the time. And, unless anyone has any other suggestions, the cheese will be accompanied by Kashi TLC Party Crackers. Because those crackers? They're a PARTY.

Also, there will be wine - a selection of reds and whites.

Wine and desserts and cheese. Really, what could be better?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

In Which I Almost Puke, Make Out Like a Bandit, and Show You Cheap, But Awesome, Art

1. Almost Puking

On Sunday, I flew on back to Canada for the holidays. Flights between Columbus and Toronto are handled by wee little planes that, when bursting at the seams, seat, perhaps, 40 people. Sunday was a windy, windy day, and for the first time ever, I saw merit in including a barf bag in the backs of airplane seats. There's nothing worse then that heaving stomach and sweaty hot flash that accompanies the urge to puke.

The puke urge, however, was defeated, and shook an angry fist at me while I laughed at its anger as it was banished from my body.

Then I landed in Toronto. There was snow on the ground. That almost made me puke again.


2. Making Out Like a Bandit

My family gets all crazy-like with the gift giving. Crazy-like, I say. Because on top of all of the awesomeness of seeing my parents and my brother, and the thoughtful things they all did for me, I ended up taking home a completely surprise gift.

Ever wanted a GPS that could speak to you in the voice of Mr T?

I did. AND GUESS WHAT I HAVE NOW! And while I still have to get my ass in gear and download Mr T (download Mr T!), I am delighted with the mere prospect.

And because I love my brother, I now planning on sending him on quarterly "buying" visits to LuluLemon. Don't say I never do anything for you, mister.


3. Showing You Cheap Art

Well, not cheap, but an inexpensive way to get some art on your walls, sucka.

I adore Trish Grantham's work - really, I do. Read this old post, and you'll see!

Recently, she and her partner formed a company to produce products, in small runs, from excellent artists. The first couple of items on offer are postcards and notecards bearing Grantham's work.

So I gots me a set of postcards. And a frame. And mixed them together and threw it on my wall.

Regard:

Friday, December 21, 2007

Deerhead in a Box

Oh dear, this arrived at my house yesterday!



The best thing about receiving this gift? The fact that my friend Lisa, the brilliant mind behind this lovely thing, purchased it just before I confessed my obsession with faux-mounted deer heads.

!!!

I am still delighted.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Turns to Rain, and Going to the Doctor is Like Shopping

In the shiny, hopeful start of winter in Columbus, a gentle snow might fall. Snow flakes that are huge and light and delicate might fall, languidly from the sky, and they might just pile up on top of each other.

Things look lovely. Columbus residents freak the fuck out and drive like they've been caught out in a flash blizzard. And then the rain starts, and the snow disappears.

I find that turn from snow to rain immensely satisfying. Especially when I hear about the mountain of wet, heavy snow that is currently piling up in Toronto, Chicago and Boston.

Completely unrelated to the weather, I had my first US doctors appointment last week. And I swear, anything that you pay for and lets you leave with samples to try out is shopping, goddamnit!

Oh, my bookcases arrived! Once I put them in place, I remembered that the only books that I had brought with me were my cookbooks, and that my mass o' tomes are currently living in boxes in my brother's basement. Whoops? At least they'll have a place to sit when I do bring them down!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Illness is Antlers

I have problems. My current, most pressing deal is an obsession with faux dead animal heads, all an-antlered-up.

What? you say? I am longing, with all of the passion in my heart, for pieces like these to hang on my walls. And possibly hang things from.


Erich Ginder's Ghost Antler Coat Rack:




Pols Potten's Rack Deer Park:





Big Game's Moose and Deer Heads:




Roost's Carved Wood Trophy Heads:


I sometimes despair that I will never live in a grown-up home, Pee-Wee's Playhouse, yes, all elegant and classic, not so much.

Unrelated, last night I had to talk so loudly at the corporate holiday party I went to that I sounded all Kathleen Turner at the end of the night. And not Ms. Turner when she sounded someone sexy, but Turner as an emphasemea patient.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Hey, There, Pull Up a Chair

Only the bookcases still have to arrive!




Pillow suggestions are needed, so here's a close-up of the fabric:




I broke down and bought a holiday tree. Except it's more rosemary plant then tree, but far too cute to resist.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What Happens When You Order an Ugly But Crazy Warm Pair of Winter Boots?

Ones that are waterproof even? And on crazy sale?

It snows like a son of a bitch the day before they're scheduled to arrive, that's what.



I take the blame for the snow fall.

I take the blame for purchasing super ugly boots. But the Sorels? They will keep feet toasty. And my cute shoes, which will be accompanying me in a cute little bag, will remain water and salt stain free.

I realized that I was an adult when I started the ugly practical shoes and boots on feet when necessary / switched out for cuteness once I arrived at my desk thing started happening in my life. Mortgage, what? Not even close. Shoe swap all the way.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I Gots Me a License, And I'm Not Afraid to Use It!

That's right, this weekend I finally got my ass down the the BMV, and sat through a written (if written means computer touch-screen) test, wherein I had to answer questions about farm machinery on highways.

Then, this morning, I went and passed a maneuverability and road test. Don't I look cute?


Also, ALSO, my parents came down to visit this weekend! It pretty much ruled, as I think they finally believe that I won't be killed to death on the cold streets of Columbus. There was much shopping and walking and, dare I admit, hugging going on. Add on to that a community fun run where I tried to spot Michael Scott while attempting to find a way thought closed downtown streets to my parents hotel, and it was an excellent weekend.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Circuit City, Here's Why I Won't Be Your Customer

Just in case you were wondering. But from my experience with you over the past two weeks, I'm thinking you probably don't care.

See, on November 11, I ordered something from your website. It was an item that was being replaced by a new model, and, as such, was on sale. I was happy. I paid for 3-day shipping. And when November 16 rolled around and my hands were still empty, I went into my account summary and order history on your website to see just what could have happened. And the tracking number associated with my order? Turns out it wasn't valid in the FedEx system. Curious! My next step was to phone your Customer Service line.

Problem 1: Your customer service line is only manned between 9 AM - 7PM, Monday - Friday. Because, apparently, even though I used your website to order and pay for a product, the Internet, and the demands for 24 hour support, doesn't exist in your world!

The CSR I spoke to, while pleasant, directed me to call FedEx. And then call back to tell you what they had to say.

Problem 2: What? Seriously now.

So I called FedEx. Who reiterated the fact that the tracking number you gave me wasn't valid in their system. And that my address wasn't even a destination for any package that they currently had possession of.

Excellent.

So I call you Customer Support line. And while I'm issued a case number, I'm then told that Circuit City policies prevent anyone from doing anything about my undelivered, paid for product for 2 business days. And that I would have to call back to follow up. And that Circuit City has reserved the right to not actually do anything at all about the matter - issuing a replacement, or a refund - for 15 business days after that.

Problem 3: Circuit City policies? Chap my ass like nothing else. Also, again with the business days.

Problem 4: I'm doing way too much work here for something that is obviously not of my control, and has nothing to do with my part of the transaction.

On November 20 - don't forget that weekends don't count as business days! - I call back. And am told that I'd have to talk to Customer Service at head office. When I'm transfered over, the CSR I talk to tells me that a member of the Special Team (Special!) would have to investigate the case, and that they would call me within 48 - 72 BUSINESS HOURS. And hey, US Thanksgiving is on Nov 22! And guess who does business on Thanksgiving day. No one, that's who.

Problem 5: What about my part of the transaction is there to investigate? I am at a complete loss.

48 business hours passes, and I hear from no one, so I call head office Customer Support, again, on November 23.

Guess what? I've been assigned a case worker! Who will contact me within 24-72 business hours.

I swear to God, I feel the urge to punch throats.

Apparently, my case worker holds office hours on Saturday, because late afternoon of November 24, I receive a phone call.

Guess what, now! No, seriously, guess.

The item I bought? NOW OUT OF STOCK, and, remember, as it's being phased out by the manufacturer, won't ever, ever be in stock again. And my refund? Will be issued in 5 - 7 business days. BUSINESS DAYS.

Blood boiling. And a "Jesus Fucking Christ" may have popped out of my mouth.

Problem 6: Customer Service didn't even offer to send me the replacement model at a discount.

My solution? Jump in the car, drive to Best Buy, and purchase the new, replacement model. Which, at this point in time, I feel I should have done in the first place. Because the possibility of saving $100 pales in comparison to the hoops you made me jump through due to utter incompetence on your part.

And that is why I will never give you any of my money again.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

PS: For My American Friends

As excellent as the new season of Project Runway USA is, you HAVE to get on the Project Runway Canada train, via YouTube. Because that? That is really, really good shit. The show itself is better then some seasons of PRUSA, and the contestant blogging? Oh, dear, so excellent.




I wish for Carlie and Lucian to design my entire wardrobe. And to have a lifestyle in which to wear such beautiful things.

Let Us Talk of Savvy Circle

I like things. That ain't no surprise, right? I'm now living in a country with a really great e-commerce landscape. Oh, heavenly - there's nothing better then not having to deal with the craziness that is physical shopping areas during the holiday season.

Now, while I have no objection to paying full price on items that I want, I'm still a fan of that thing called "the sale". And now there's a website that will keep track of things that I'd like to buy, once they go on sale, so I don't have to remember to come back and look at a a certain item on a certain website just to see if, possibly, the price has dropped.

SavvyCircle.com
is such an excellent idea, I wish it had been mine. You register at the site, download their plugin to your browser, and when you look around on any of the sites that they support and see something you'd like to keep track of, you click the little SavvyCircle button that now lives at the top of your browser. That items is then placed on your personal shopping list at SavvyCircle, and the instant it goes on sale, you receive an email telling you just that.

And that's how I ended up ordering these two dresses from Anthropologie, both priced at 50% their original price.

The Cut Rush Dress, by Velvet




And the Busy Day Dress by Splendid

An interesting note: US Debit Cards are backed by credit card companies! And you can use them just like credit cards, in person and on websites that offer online shopping. Cash is still directly debited from your account, but for someone starting out in a new country, where a credit rating is completely non-existent, and getting a credit card can be a many month process, this is a revelation and a godsend. Because in Canada, debit cards are bank-supported only, and you can't really shop online with those suckers.

Also, I would kill to find out who made the decision to build the Anthro site in Flash. Because sharing pictures of what you've bought by image linking? IMPOSSIBLE. And like any good member of an Online Social Community, I'm all about the sharing. Which, in turn, will generally drive traffic back to the place where I purchase things. I'm just saying, Team Anthro.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Alright, Pictures, Finally

I'm still waiting on the armchair and bookshelves to arrive, but the couch is here, and I couldn't resist putting up the art!

Here's one side of my living room:




And the other:




See those two little pieces beside the door? I got those today at Tiny Canary, an indie design market going on in-town this weekend. They're by Mark Traughber, who's work I've been wanting to snap up for a while. I was stoked when I read that he'd be in town! I feel like I'll need to buy one of his bigger pieces in the near future, because check out how awesome these are! Art Crush to the Extreme.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Reality Crotchular Post

The Reality (TV): for the first time ever, tonight, I will be watching Project Runway at the same time as my US friends! ALL HAIL LIVING IN THE USA.

The Reality (life): my parents are coming to visit at the end of the month, and I've asked them to bring sad things like All Bran Bran Flakes, and jars of my favourite jam with them. Because the things here taste completely different, and I am all about satisfying my taste buds. PS: I'm looking forward to seeing them, foodstuffs or not.

The Crotchular: or lack thereof. I found a solution that will let me wear dresses in the winter that doesn't involve tights with crotchular areas that live around the knees! Years ago, I figured out that if I needed to wear hosery, the only way I could do it was to wear thigh-highs. And you know what? I recently found a place called Sock Dreams that sells thigh-high tights! So I bought a couple pairs, and they're truly, truly excellent.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

OH MAN. All of a Sudden, I am 16 Again.

Yesterday morning, I went to the BMV to register my car, get plates and get my ass an Ohio driver's license.

Prior to even crossing the border, I had emailed the BMV to find out what I'd need to do to, well, do all of the above. I showed up, all my documents in hand. I had a title created and registered my car. I got new license plates. And I was blindsided when I was told that I would have to (a) sit a written test, and (b) take part in a road test, in order to get a license.

Written test. Road test. Hahaha - ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Gar.

Now, none of the three people that I talked to at the BMV mentioned any kind of testing whatsoever. Hence the suprise. And hence the need to study Ohio driving laws. And hence the banging of my head against my desk.

To alleviate the frustration, I went furniture shopping this morning.

This couch will arrive at my place this week:




Dove-gray microsuede!

This armchair and two bookcases had to be special ordered.





The armchair is going to be upholstered in a great dark-background circular patterned covering that will tie in the gray with the current white couch that I have in my place. The bookcases are black stained wood, to go with the rest of my wood pieces. Unfortunately, they'll take 6-8 weeks to arrive, but will be work the wait, I think.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The People. They Choose. And Then Watch. And, Wait, What?

Really, though, the People's Choice Awards have announced the nominees for their January 2008 show, and they're asking you (yes, you) to vote. And when you do, if you register with the site, the widgets will rain upon you! Voting without registering is fine and dandy too, but the widgets? They will not be yours.

That is, if the site gets the widgets to render properly on-page. But I'll leave 'em up and see what happens.

Check it:

People's Choice Awards
Go to PCAVote.com


People's Choice Awards
Go to PCAVote.com


People's Choice Awards
Go to PCAVote.com


People's Choice Awards
Go to PCAVote.com



Also, I know, moving = pictures, and I promise, once things are put away from the piles they're currently living in around the apartment. And more furniture is purchase and brought in.

The end.

Monday, November 05, 2007

My Name is Melissa Grant

Well, no, it's not, but that's what my new car insurance company wanted everyone to believe before I caught it and had them change it.

Or, perhaps it is, and I have a secret, Sydney Bristow-like life. Over which I will have to track down and do away with all of you who just read about it. Sorry about that.

Confidential to Collin: Boston with no side-trip? You stink. Also, there's a other side of the camera reality show from ANTM's producers that started here on Sunday called The Shot. Suck on that!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

An End to Hotel Living!

Except it's more like furnished corporate apartment, and not hotel, but I am still very happy about it.

Looks like my things will arrive from Canada this week! And I get to move into my new place! And use exclamation points with wild abandon!

Seriously, though, the thought of sleeping in my own bed is making me flap my arms like a goon. Add to that having all of my kitchen machines back in my possession, and a DVR hooked up to digital cable service, and my head begins to nearly spin with glee.

Which is a good thing, as heading down to the DMV once I'm in possession of a permanent address is the next thing on the schedule.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Oh Santa Barbara, How I Miss You



Although all 7 minutes are completely worth watching, the money shot of Mary being killed by the giant letter C on top of the Capwell Hotel comes along at the 6:40 mark.

I have a long, storied history of loving so-bad-its-good TV. Eden + Cruz 4Eva.

Maryanne, I love you for sending this to me!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ethiopian Cuisine is So a Go


Last night, my friend Amy and I went to an Ethiopian place called The Blue Nile. It was a first-time-trying food night for both of us, and it freaking ruled.

Similar to Indian, but a hell of a lot more fun - the dishes are served communal-style from a single platter called a mosseb. The mosseb is covered by a large, round sheet of tangy, crepe-like bread called injera, and each item that you ordered is placed on top of that, with a scoop of buttermilk curd placed in the middle as kind of a palate cleanser, to cut through the spiciness. You use the injera, either the one on the mosseb (which is lovely and awesome, and flavoured by the dishes on top) or the one that comes on a separate place, to eat each dish, tearing off a piece to scoop up what you want to eat.

So delicious, I can't wait to go back.

I had the vegetarian combo, which let me sample five different dishes. Excellent. I like trying a mess of things when I try a new type of cuisine. So this is what I tried:

  • Gomen - collard green sauteed with onions and peppers - my favourite thing of all
  • Mesir wat - split lentil cooked with berbere (spicy red pepper sauce) and garlic
  • Tikil gomen - cabbage cooked with onions and peppers - my close second favourite
  • Shiro - spiced and milled chick peas cooked with onions
  • Debinja - eggplant cooked with tomato, onion, perfectly spiced
I wish I had made an effort to try this all before, at the one, lone Ethiopian place in Toronto. And by that, I mean to shame Collin into finally giving in to his friends and going. Because, dude, you will freaking love it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In Which I Get Stuck In An Elevator

So, I have a bit of a pulled muscle in my right foot (and that's all I'm going to say about that, as I have vowed to myself not to injury-blog anymore) and I've been using the office's elevator to get up to my desk on the fourth floor in the mornings. Of course, since it's easier on the foot to walk down four flights, I've still been trampling down the stairs, but going up? Going up is motorized, for the moment.

Well, it was motorized. Until this morning.

Getting to work, I stepped into the elevator with two co-workers. We hit the 3rd and 4th floor buttons. The elevator doors closed. And the elevator promptly took us to the basement.

And wouldn't open its doors.

Pressing other floor buttons did nothing.

Pressing the door open button was ignored.

You know that alarm button? It sounds a bell IN the elevator, and, I fear, no where else.

I spotted the elevator phone box, and we made a call to the elevator company. The man on the other end couldn't tell us when someone would be there to let us out.

I looked at the doors. I thought about all the TV shows and movies I've seen. I thought about the fact that we had come to a landing on the bottom level of the elevator shaft. I said, "I wonder if we can pry open the doors".

I took ahold of one half of the pair, and one of the other women took ahold of the other, and pry it apart we did, allowing us all to tumble into the hallway.

And walk up five flights to begin the work day.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A Furious Update

I am still shaking my fist at Slice. But I am filled with love for a YouTube contributor. Miss Royal T, who previously has contributed non-North American English speaking Top Models for YouTube viewing put out a call for a Project Runway Canada torrent.

Being the good librarian that I am, I found a mess of them and passed them on to her.

And she began posting the series - 1st episode went up this morning - to the site.

I heart Miss Royal T. And I heart Project Runway Canada. Though I do very much hope that Iman starts to loosen up and speak more like a host and less like a stunning, stunning robot.

This is an image that pops up when you Google Iman Robot. How appropriate!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Things in Columbus That I Love

Wandering around the Short North. Wee independent boutiques and galleries and restaurants.

Dragonfly Neo V Cuisine. Vegan cuisine that is the complete opposite of crunchy granola. Excellent. Last night's meal consisted of a miso glazed eggplant amuse, and shared dishes of sundried tomato risotto and matsutake on asparagus and mashed potatoes.

Rosendale's as a place to meet and sip wine. The room has a great feel to it. I wish to one day try their kitchen out.

V Power Yoga is a super fast paced workout, and I love, love, love it. Petro-Canada kids? Excellent, excellent, excellent choice.

On schedule next week: Blue Nile.

Random and odd thing that I very much miss: Pressed cottage cheese. But I found myself a recipe for making farmer's cheese, a close cousin that itself is difficult to find in-store, so once I get into a kitchen of my own, I'll be trying it out and reporting the results. Kitchen experiment!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fury - Slice.ca

One TV thing that I'm very, very, very sad to not be able to see, due to the relocation, is Project Runway Canada.

Imagine my delight when I went to the Slice.ca site this morning, following last night's debut of the show, to see that they are going to offer full episodes for viewing on their site!

Imagine my fury when I found out that using a non-Canadian ISP results in this:



Access to information on the web removes geographical boundaries. If there are concerns about legalities or worries about selling the show into other markets, don't offer rich content online. Because this? This makes me angry with the network, makes me turn to user generated video content sites, which does nothing for the channel's business model, and makes me consider if I'd ever have a relationship with the channel should I move back to Canada.

And then I blog about it. And send a complaint directly to the network.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Things Are Starting to Feel More Real

And more permanent. Yesterday, lead around by a relocation specialist, I toured a few apartments. And found myself a place to live.

Being a renter again feels weird. Really, really weird. But it's nice to know that in a month, I'll be in a place of my own choosing. On November 7, I'll be in a place that will give me all this:

  • A 889 square foot, one bedroom apartment
  • A washer and dryer located in suite, as well as all kitchen appliances, including a dishwasher and above range microwave
  • A dressing area and walk-in closet
  • A five minute drive to work from a building located in the Brewery District, just on the edge of downtown.
  • A covered parking space, which is hard to come by in Columbus, strangely enough
  • A common area with a fitness centre that is so well equipped that I don't feel the need to join an outside gym. With a studio for yoga classes. And the ability to book personal trainers who work on contract through the space. And a pool.
  • Located near the biggest Kroger in the downtown area, with a great organic and health food section. I was there this afternoon. And it's bigger even then the supermarkets I'm used to from suburbia.
  • An internal entrance from the building hallway, and an external, private entrance with a stoop!
Oh, November 7, I can't wait for you to arrive. And not just because it means that I get to have my own DVR again. But that makes me happy too.

Work is busy. Busy, and full of meetings, but oh, so good. The people are smart and funny and passionate and inspiring to be around. And I'm very, very glad to be there. The weather has been mid-July amazing, and I am missing the bike that I though I wouldn't need to have with me until the spring of the new year!

Confidential to the Petro-Canada crowd, I'll be making use of your awesome yoga-inspired gift next weekend, once my klutz-ass foot stops with the strained muscle. I seriously, seriously can't wait. Especially to let Julie know of Collin's mad-crush. And Jay, the nano is my lovely best friend.

Happy Thanksgiving, you Canadians, you.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

This One's for Collin

From Grateful Plate

Also, to everyone, sorry for not updating more. Crazy-busy, good-busy, I am. Promise to post more words on the weekend!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

24 Hours in Columbus

Yup, that's how long I've been here. Surprise! No dying on the way here. Which makes me happy. PS: My brother? My current favourite person ever.

This afternoon, I took a little wander around the neighbourhood. Wanna see what outside looks like?

Here's where I'm staying temporarily:


Across this bridge...


Is my office building:

It takes less then a minute to walk from one to the other.

There is such a thing as being too close to work.

However, there's no such thing as being too close to the North Market.


I also wandered into the Short North, and picked up a Chocolate candle from Paul Robinett. But didn't take pictures. Because I become shy with the camera in crowded conditions.

Friday, September 28, 2007

In Which I...

Contemplate being debt-free...

It's liberating, it is. I'm the kind of girl who always, without fail, pays off the complete balance on any bill the day she receives it. I hate being beholden. Last year, I paid my car off. Student loan payments? Over and done with. And yesterday, my condo closed, leaving me without mortgage, and with a fist full of cash that I am trying very, very hard not to spend.

Debt-free = excellent.


Wonder at the lengths parents will go to in order to get back home...

For the past two weeks, my parents have been vacationing in Italy. I got back from the gym this morning to a voicemail from my mom, and an email from my dad. Long story short, their Rome-London flight had been canceled, causing them to miss their London-Toronto jaunt. They were rebooked, but were told that they wouldn't arrive back in Canada until Saturday at 6PM. Which meant that I wouldn't be able to see them before relocating to Columbus.

A couple of hours ago, I was able to talk to my parents on the phone. My mom cried at the Air Canada ticket counter at Heathrow. And Air Canada was able to find them space on a flight coming in at 10:40 PM tonight. My mom is a champion.

I'll get to see my mom and dad, and hug them both goodbye, before I leave the country myself. I wouldn't admit how important that was to me to myself until I heard that they'd be able to make it home today. Because when they told me they'd be coming in before I left? It difficult to hold back the tears of relief. Also, they got me loot in the form of a leather purse. Which is also very, very important.


Think about how awesome my big brother is...

He just is. You should marry him. That is all.



I tell you my traveling plans...

Car leaves here at 6AM tomorrow morning. Hoping to arrive in Columbus in the early afternoon.

Until then, kids.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Am a Bandit

Or, at least I make out like one.

And by make out, I mean run away from people that I love, gifts from them in hand.

Today was my final day at work. For those that have been wondering, for the past five years, I've had the joy - and I seriously mean that - of working on the E-Business team at Petro-Canada as Senior Coordinator, Interaction Strategy and Design. Yes, it was my plan to have the longest title in the department. It's the little (long?) things, you know?

Thinking back, I really can't believe that it's been five years. Or that I really had the opportunity to work with such amazing, smart and funny people.

I found myself on the verge of blubbering like a two year old a few times today. But, like a Buckingham Palace Guard, I managed to keep my composure. And I wasn't even wearing a silly hat. But it was hard. Very, very hard. At times, I wished I had the silly hat to hide behind.

Guys, I know you're reading this, and I know I've already said it to your faces, but I really do mean it. I'll miss you. You're all talented, beautiful people. And I will hunt you down and kill you all if you don't keep in touch.

Monday, September 24, 2007

TOO MANY DECISIONS

Regarding television shows, of course.

This week is absolutely lousy with the new and returning series. And as I'll be crashing out at my parents' place from Wednesday to Friday, and they have no DVR (NO DVR), I'm actually faced with the decision - even with their satellite provider's time shifting option - of which shows to watch, and which to...to...to...not.

GAH.

And so, I give up on Life so I can see Dirty Sexy Money. I give up on Private Practice so I can watch Bionic Woman. I give up on My Name is Earl and Survivor China so I can watch Ugly Betty. My favourites from seasons past are safe, so far.

This concerns me too much, I know. And the next month should be good for me, I know that too. But I can't wait until I set up my own cable account and get my ass all DVRd-up again.

Confidential to Kate: You must find a way to get me Project Runway Canada!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

In Which I Become all Legal-Like to Work in the USA

Apologies for not paying as much attention as I usually do to you all. And by you all, I mean (a) this here blog that I tend to anthropomorphise, and (b) you lovely people that take the time to read it.

I've been all wrapped up in wrapping up things here, before heading down to the US next week.

One of those things saw me driving to the border to apply for work status this morning. And I'm really glad that I did, before the final crossing that I have planned. I had to wait a good hour before I saw an immigration agent before getting involved in a five minute application / payment / hand-over of TN Status card process.

Had I waited to apply until next Saturday, I couldn't even imagine how anxious that kind of wait would've made me.

Sometimes, there are benefits to being a planner.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Watched a Couch Fly Through the Air

And an armchair. And then another armchair.

When I bought my condo, I stole my parents' old family room set. The only way the overstuffed and unwieldy pieces could make it into my place was by having them hefted over the balcony and through the extra-wide patio door.

One thing that I didn't get around to this year was replacing that couch and those chairs. So, instead of moving them down to Columbus with me, I called up JustJunk.com and had them come in to take care of those suckers.

Reminiscent of MuchMusic's yearly Christmas Tree Toss, those babies flew through the air like nothing I've ever seen before. And the 12-year-old boy that lives inside my brain shouted with glee.

My place looks so empty, and is almost all packed up.

It almost doesn't feel like my home any more.

I guess that's a good thing.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Baby Monkey + Grown Up Pigeon = Sweetest Family Ever



From The Daily Mail:

The abandoned monkey who has found love with a pigeon


They're an odd couple in every sense but a monkey and a pigeon have become inseparable at an animal sanctuary in China.

The 12-week-old macaque - who was abandoned by his mother - was close to death when it was rescued on Neilingding Island, in Goangdong Province.

After being taken to an animal hospital his health began to improve but he seemed spiritless - until he developed a friendship with a white pigeon.

The blossoming relationship helped to revive the macaque who has developed a new lease of life, say staff at the sanctuary.

Now the unlikely duo are never far from each other's side, but they aren't the only ones to strike up an unusual friendship.

Earlier this year a pig adopted a tiger cub and raised him along with her piglets because his mother couldn't feed him.

And in 2005 a baby dear named Mi-Lu befriended lurcher Geoffrey at the Knowsley Animal Park in Merseyside after she was rejected by her mother.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ha and Gah

Ha!

  • This morning, I found an email from my current company in my Inbox. It congratulated me on my forthcoming 5 year anniversary, and invited me to select an award of recognition for the time that I've spent at the corporation. My last day there? September 28.
Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
  • I had to pick up a dead bird from the walkway leading up to my front door and throw it (in a plastic bag in a plastic bag) into the trash this afternoon.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I Have How Many Pieces of Crap On My Walls?

I swear to God, it took me more then 3 hours to wrap up and pack the things I had hanging on my walls - some my own art, but mostly things by other people.

3 hours! That's crazy. Especially since there were walls in here that I hadn't hung a single thing on. Okay, not many. But still. I have a problem.

I am going to have to practice much restraint when I arrive in Columbus. Renting = not much of an opportunity to hang a mess of things on the walls.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

In Which I Tell You a Tale of Real Estate

I've been hesitant to say anything for fear of jinxing the deal, but remember when I told you that you should by my condo? Well, you snooze, you loose.

My condo went on the market the evening of August 23. The morning of August 25th saw me weighing two offers, and deciding on one of them. Last week, I received signed waivers that the buyers were able to secure financing, and that the building inspection made them happy enough to not ask for anything to be fixed or funded.

Today? Today, the final condition was met, as their lawyer went over the condo's status certificate with them, and they signed off on the agreement as a whole.

Closing date: September 27
Date on crossing the border to make Columbus my new home: September 29

Sometimes, things really are just meant to be, I think.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I Don't Know What To Tell You

I'm just so focused on getting my act together with the up-coming move to Columbus, I feel like that's all I've been doing, and all I've been thinking, and all I've got to tell you. And that's already tired, I'm sure.

So. Soooooo. Hey there. You're looking good.

Yeah, that's not gonna cut it. So here's a stuffed felt doughnut from Sewdorky instead. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Perfect Couple



Motorcyle Boots at the Beach + Broken Doll Eyes = Tru Luv 4Eva

God, I love The Hills.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Best Thing About Moving Is the Decluttering

For a while, there, I seemed to move every year or so, and it let me really get a handle on all of my stuff. It also helped me deal with my pack-rat tendencies, as seeing things spread out before you that you never had any intention of using again lent to ruthless chucking out and/or foisting on others who were near and dear.

You may already know that I'm a planner. And with a pending move date on the books, and yes, it is a full month away, I've already begun to sort through my things, and start to fill up trashbins and recycling containters in the garbage hut with massive amounts of "what the fuck was I thinking?" objects. Three years in a single place = amass a bunch o' crap. Hopefully, the sorting will be done by this weekend, and the packing can begin.

I think when I settle down again, I'm going to force myself to do a bi-annual purge. It just makes things so much easier in the long run.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Updates Will Be Even More Erratic Then Usual

What with the plans with the move and all. Just a heads-up.

Friday, August 24, 2007

In Which I Spend $0.31

Given my fondness for tracking things (the Dell computer construction process? Genius. Packages of lovely things shipped from there to here? Brilliance. My workouts? A part of my day), I can't believe I haven't purchased a heart rate monitor before yesterday.

Thankfully, a $100 gift card to Sportchek put an end to that. With an in-store 20% discount, total layout for the Polr F4: $0.31. Which, I think, just might be the best $0.31 that I have ever spent.

I've been thinking about wearing it to meetings that I know are going to be difficult. Because I am an ass.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I Have a Great Condo. You Should Buy It.

I know, I've been pretty silent over the last couple of days. That's because I had something brewing that I needed to tell people in my offline world about first, before telling everyone else.

I was offered an excellent job. In Columbus, OH. And I'm taking it. My start date is October 1, and, holy crap, do I have things to do. In fact, I'm just awaiting the arrival of my real estate agent.

So, buy my place, please. It's your duty to make my life easier.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Oh, So Pretty

Everyone likes a pretty picture, right? Well, the kids at Notcot.com have set up reader-contribution based sites based on amazing pictures of cool stuff. Each image links to the webpage where it lives. Check it:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Today Has Been A Good Day

  • Former co-worker(s?) and always friends Kate and Rose are over from the west coast for a few days, and they're slaving away in my workspace.
  • And talking about former co-workers and still friends, June Li from ClickInsight also made sure to show her lovely face in our office space.
  • Current co-worker, currently on maternity leave, Lucy came in for the first time since starting her leave and introduced us to her new little man. He's an adorable flirt already.
  • PUFFERFISH HAS ARRIVED. Ellen from Bonspiel has an amazing talent. Review written and posted to ChickAdvisor.com.