Thursday, November 20, 2014

Don't you wish you could have dinner with us?




Our conversation during dinner last night.

The actual speakers have been left unidentified so that you can appreciate that the weirdness is pretty evenly spread out amongst the three of us.

At Harvey's, a burger joint, having a quick bite before shopping for badly needed winter boots:

"'Hiving' is too a word."

"Well, OK, but not how you're using it. It doesn't mean 'having hives all over your body'. You can't say, 'Crap, I'm hiving today.'"

"Mum, is 'hiving' a word?"

"Yep, but it doesn't mean 'breaking out in hives', you can say something is hived off from something else, and it means 'separated out.'"

"Oh. I thought 'hiving' was a thing." [side-eyes her sister] "Like hearing something out of [breaks out the air quotes] 'the corner of your ear.'"

"'THE CORNER OF YOUR EAR' IS TOTALLY A THING!!! I looked it up on the Urban Dictionary. It's a thing. [calming down and becoming thoughtful] Though I did used to think toothpicks were called 'picksticks' and that's not a thing."

"That kinda makes sense though because mostly you stick them in cakes to see if they're done or to pick up things like cheese squares."

"It's not a cheese square, it's a cube. Three dimensions."

"Square, cube, same thing."

"No. It isn't. A square is two dimensional, a cube is three dimensional. If you ate the cheese, it's 3D. If you draw a square on a piece of paper, then it's in two dimensions --"

"But what about the pencil lead being left on the paper when you draw? It's a couple of atoms thick, so, three dimensional."

[rolls eyes] "Well, technically. [stops to regroup and launch new logic attack] OK, so how about a square drawn on a computer monitor in pixels?"

"Computer monitors are three dimensional."

[sighs] "But the surface of the computer monitor is a plane, so, two dimensional."

"I don't think so."

"Me either, I'm with you." [gestures at sister with a french fry] "I vote that it's still three dimensional."

"You can't vote on that. PHYSICS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY."

"Yes it is."

[dripping sarcasm] "Oh really. I don't care how many people vote, you can't stop gravity and levitate your butt out of that chair."

"Wooooo-ooooo-ooo!" [eerie noise accompanied by butt shimmying up and out of chair]

[explosive laughter]


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

According to Rachel: Dogs and dubious drug references edition

Apparently, today is National Dog Day. I'm assuming that's in the States. But just in case it's also a quasi-holiday here in the Great White North, this is my Rocky:  



A.k.a. Rocket Man, Rockstar, Rocky Raccoon, Little Rock Arkansas, and on occasion, BaRock Obama.


Yes, we're lame like that.


Rocky is a very sweet dog. A Chihuahua-Dachshund cross who acts like he's a Doberman. We love him.

He has some quirks, however. He gets car sick to the point of throwing up, so the vet told us that if we were travelling long distances, we should give him a small dose of children's Benadryl half an hour before we leave to calm him and make him sleep. We visited family in southern Ontario two weeks ago.

Getting ready to leave my sister's place for home:

Me: "Do you have your iPad?"

Rae: "Yes."

Me: "Did you pack your bathing suit?"

Rae: "Yes."

Me: "Did you --"

Rae: "Did you roofie the dog yet?"

Me: ...... "Wait, what?"

One roofied dog.

Friday, June 06, 2014

How the sugar bowl lid got broken. Or, I really ought to just sit down and not move around, like at all.


I don't think it's any secret that I am not the world's most graceful person. 

I am 5'10" with long gangly arms and legs. I also have balance issues that would lead any competent physician to suspect inner ear problems. So. Cut to the chase: Not graceful. Clumsy. Awkward.  I'm hoping to use this to my advantage somehow.


So there I was, clearing up in the kitchen, listening to my latest, most favourite jam on repeat on my iPhone, earbuds in, because I like it loud.  I was dancing up a storm, feeling very sure that this is what I looked like:


In actuality, I probably looked a lot more like this:


Only slightly less hairy.  

You'll have to imagine the general flailing and tipping too far to one side followed by the over-correction as I attempted to right myself, knocking an empty gym water bottle off the counter with my elbow.  I didn't see where it landed, I have a blind spot around my feet because...boobs. So of course I immediately stepped on the water bottle, which sent me hurtling to the floor. It's a good thing the dog is quick. It's the only thing that saved him from becoming crushed into a small, furry latke stuck to the tile floor. 

I got up slowly, and leaned a bit on the counter near the edge of the sink to push myself upright. My earbud cord snagged on a spatula that was sitting in a pot of water in the sink, lifting it up and dropping it neatly on my toes. The resultant hopping around dislodged the lid of the sugar bowl and, as if in slow motion, accompanied by my "Nooooooooo" it bounced on the tiles and separated into four pieces:



Shopping List

Crazy glue - for sugar bowl lid
Bubble wrap - for all hard surfaces in kitchen
Baby gate - to keep dog/cats out of squash zone
Mirrors and duct tape - for blind spot
Vodka - to help with the 'sitting down not moving around' thing

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Insomnia thoughts, or, I wonder if I'm parking next to a crack house

This is what insomnia looks like:


Well, that's what insomnia looks like in a normal, tidy house with no pets and an attractive woman with normal hair.

This is what insomnia looks like in my house:


I share my bed with a cat, a dog, various dog toys, a book, at least one pair of glasses, and then there's the hair. (THE HAIR. I could write an entire blog post about the hair. But, I digress.) So you'd think that there's a lot that I could occupy myself with when insomnia strikes. Like that glass of wine on the night stand. Turns out, not so much.

On those occasions when I can't sleep, it seems that my neurons are determined to have one of those tequila parties where, when you clean up the next day, you find someone's bra under the kitchen table, miniature marshmallows everywhere, and that someone has drawn a moustache on the cat with a Sharpie. They (the neurons) drunkenly skitter through all the sensory input of the day (and with the internet and Netflix, there's a lot of input) and compose a list of random thoughts with which to torment me.  

Like last night -- here's a running commentary of what was going through my head:

  • At work, I think I'm parking next to a crack house. 
  • Sketchy neighbourhood? Check. Sketchy house? Double-check. Sketchy-looking people coming and going all the time? Check. Check. Check.
  • If it isn't a crack house, what else could it be? 
  • I heard about pizza in Vancouver that's drizzled with marijuana oil. To quote my friend Sasha, "Munchies: the problem and the solution all wrapped up in ooey gooey goodness. Duuude." But, wouldn't this just be a self-perpetuating rollercoaster? Eat the pizza, get the munchies, eat more pizza, get more munchies. I guess as business plans go, you could do worse.
  • Maybe it isn't a crack house. Maybe it's a.....I don't know. Craps game? Bible study? Recurring Pampered Chef party?
  • If I could create one piece of legislation, it would be to institute jail time for not returning your shopping cart to the shopping-cart corral at the grocery store. Criminalize selfish laziness, I always say.
  • Beards without moustaches. I don't get those. I don't get those at all. Seriously, who thinks those look attractive?  I mean unless you're Amish, 

or Captain Ahab,




or Abraham Lincoln.


Why bother? And even he would have looked better if he'd added a moustache. See?


Debonair, right?

  • Do cats have the capacity for sarcasm?
  • Did I close the garage door?
  • Poutine. I want some. But at 2:43 a.m. it's not going to happen. Peanut butter on crackers is a REALLY SUCKY substitute.
  • Wait, I think I fell asleep there for a minute. CRAP, I just thought too loud and woke myself up. 
Eventually, of course, I do fall asleep. Usually about half an hour before the alarm goes off and I have to get up and get ready for work. And parking next to the crack house.


Friday, February 14, 2014

We still miss you, Linda

Yesterday a group of us went out to lunch. La Favorita on Preston Street -- Linda's favourite restaurant.  Pizza was eaten, and wine drunk in her honour. It's been four years since Linda passed away from breast cancer on Valentine's Day 2010, and the annual memorial lunch is a happy time now, rather than sad. We remember her vivaciousness, her energy and good humour. We toasted her memory and kept track of the score of the Canadian Olympic men's hockey team's game against Norway.  Linda would have been cheering along with us.

A Moment in Time
(originally posted in February 2010)

The Hacienda Hotel, Old Town, San Diego. A warm November night. Two friends and colleagues, their hair still in wind-blown disarray from a shoreline geology field trip of San Diego Bay on a boat, full and happy from margaritas and a wonderful Mexican dinner, are heading to their respective rooms.

So, your talk is right after lunch tomorrow?

Yep. The start of the second technical session.

And you have a Powerpoint presentation?

Nope....  Linda, I *know* this stuff. I can give this talk with just speaker's notes. I don't need a slideshow.

You need a slideshow. Come on, we can make one right now.

[sort of pouting] But I'm tired.

Come on, Alison....I'll bring the laptop out to the table in the courtyard in front of my room and we'll work on it outside. [wheedling] I have a bottle of wine....Let's see if these California reds are anything to write to you about.

'Write home about'.

Merci. 'Write home about'.

[sighing] OK.

Some night-blooming flowers are scenting the air. The fountain on the courtyard wall splashes softly in the background. A lot of laughing accompanies the work on the laptop. The wine is very, very good.

Thanks, Linda. The talk will be better with a slideshow.

No problem.

You know, I could get used to this.

Which, Alison? The working out of doors? Or the wine? [grins]

All of it. Seriously, this is the way to live. Very civilized. Could you imagine doing all our work outside, with a glass of wine? We'd either be super-productive, or very liver-damaged.

[laughing] We couldn't do this in Ottawa though. I don't know if you would get people to participate into meetings outside in November.

Probably not. Here. Fill me up. [giggles] Hey, let me take a photo of this: "Linda, working hard at her laptop."

You are too funny. Wait, let me hold the bottle up. For effect. [grins]



Linda Guay
1963-2010
Tu me manques, mon amie.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Going for it in Sochi

Well the Olympics are here again (yay!) and we are off to a good start, what with sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe winning gold and silver in moguls, and Charles Hamelin earning gold in 1500 metre short-track speed skating.

Not to mention Canadian feel-good stories like the speed skater who gave up his spot in the finals to a team-mate, who went on to win silver; and the cross-country coach who gave a ski to a Russian competitor who had broken his. 

At noon, I'll be at a memorial lunch for my friend Linda, who passed away during the last winter Olympics, and won't be checking in on our boys as they meet Norway in men's hockey, but my heart will be with them.  

This post, from the last Olympics in Vancouver, kind of sums up our feelings towards the Olympics and Olympic hockey in particular.

GO TEAM CANADA!

I'm not sure, I think they might be cheering for Slovakia
(originally posted February 21, 2010)

I wrote this blog last week, long before anyone knew that Canada's men's hockey team would be playing Slovakia in the semifinals. I was just looking for a country whose national colours are sort of similar to Canada's. You know, for comic effect. No one at our house is going to be cheering for Slovakia tonight. Really.

We've been watching a lot of Olympics at chez Party of 3.


It's been amazing. While we are cheering for Canada, of course, we have been blown away by the awe-inspiring performances of the Americans, the Swiss, the Germans, the Norwegians, and the Koreans, to name but a few.

It has been a dream come true to watch the best athletes from all over the world compete and win gold here in Canada.


But fair warning: when it comes to hockey, the women's and the men's, let us make one thing perfectly clear -- it's our game.



GO, CANADA, GO!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Bring on the Santa cats


I'm having a bit of trouble hanging onto the Christmas spirit this year.  I was hoping that cats in Santa hats would do it. So far, so good. Mrs. G. would be proud.

It's been a weird couple of days around here, complete with a home invasion, canine gastrointestinal distress, saw wounds, and possible narcolepsy. Intrigued? I thought you'd be. Pull up your chairs, children, and I'll tell you a story.  Or at least subject you to a disjointed stream-of-consciousness attack.

Friday evening we had a home invasion. Canadian-style. I was in my bedroom on the computer, Leah was in her room, and Rae was watching TV in the living room.  I heard the front door open and close, and the dog going ballistic.  I figured Rae had either gone out to the car for something, or a friend had dropped over.  I called out, "Rae, who's at the door" and Rae showed up in my room, all confused, and told me there was a stranger in the house.  I jumped up, not even bothering with the three-hole punch for a defensive weapon, and rushed to the front door where a guy in his early twenties was standing in the entryway taking off his boots.  (This reassured me immensely. I was sure that if he was breaking in on the false assumption that we had scads of drugs or money lying around, then he probably wouldn't be overly fastidious about making boot marks on the rug.)  I picked up Rocky, who was still barking his head off, and said to the guy, "Hi?"  He smiled at me and said, "Is Ryan here?" I answered, "No, no one named Ryan lives here." 
"Oh. I was supposed to meet Ryan here to help him move." 
"You've got the wrong address."
"I'm so sorry. My bad. Let me get my boots back on and leave you guys alone. That sure is a good watch dog you have there."
"Yes, he's very vicious and he bites." (That was a lie, but I figured it was ok in the circumstances.  I mean, in Florida I would have been within my rights to shoot him. Lying doesn't seem all that bad in comparison.)
"Sorry again. Have a nice night."
"You too. I hope you find Ryan."
And then I locked the front door, which is something I don't usually do until bedtime. 

Saturday I had planned on getting a tree and decorating the house.  A good plan, but one that was not destined to happen. Because I hadn't made arrangements to get my snow tires put on, oh in late October like smart people do,  I was left with plan B which was going to Canadian Tire and waiting in line with all the other idiots people who had put off putting their snow tires on, as the mechanics change tires on a  first come, first served basis. I came prepared with a book, because I knew that I'd be waiting a while.  It was warm in the waiting room, and the recliner chairs were very comfy.  Despite the suspenseful book, my eyes were very heavy. I didn't sleep long though. I managed to snore loudly enough to wake myself up.  The other customers were polite enough to pretend that they hadn't been laughing at me, but I know they totally were.  

Later that evening we went out to pick up a tree. Much to Leah's disgust, we didn't trek out to a tree farm, the one with the real reindeer and the camp fire around which you can sit and drink hot chocolate and eat hot dogs.  But the farm has to put the cost of reindeer upkeep and hot chocolate supplies into the price of its trees, and I'm not subsidizing anyone else but me (and the LCBO) this year. So, we drove to Loblaws and scored a nice Fraser fir. Sunday morning I got the tree stand up from the basement and got the saw out to make a nice clean cut at the bottom of the Christmas tree trunk. It took about ten minutes and I only sawed my hand open once. And it barely needed a band-aid, let alone stitches. New record. 

We had to run off before decorating the tree as we had our annual Christmas cookie decorating and dinner date at my cousin's. It was fun as usual. Knowing that the dog would be lonely while we were gone, I pulled a marrow bone out of the freezer and gave it to him to gnaw on.  (This may seem apropos of nothing, but it comes in later in the story.)  

Monday morning. Five-thirty. The alarm goes off and I reluctantly get out of bed. I had only taken a few steps in my bare feet on the hardwood floor, when I started sliding, windmilling my arms and one leg as I hydroplaned across the floor, my foot in a cold, wet, pile of dog vomit.  Apparently the marrow from inside the bone had not agreed with Rocky. At all. It did wake me up in a hurry though.

It's hard to feel Christmassy when your day starts with stepping in dog sick, and then hitting all the red lights on the way to work, and then finding no coffee in the lunch room when you arrive at work.

Fortunately, what's stopping me from being curled in a fetal position at the computer, throwing back the cheap Argentinian shiraz and watching Once Upon a Time fan video mashups set to sad Coldplay songs on Youtube, is the fact that there's a lot to look forward to: watching the girls open their presents, Christmas dinner with my friend Julie and her family, the Boxing Day trip to Windsor to be with family and friends for a whole week. I feel the Christmas spirit starting to come back.

Bring on the Santa cats.