Friday, August 28, 2009

Vacation: Pacific salmon vs Atlantic salmon

I had a change of vacation plans about a month ago, and I am not off to Rome this year.

On Sunday, I am heading to Vancouver with my niece for a few days. It should be fun. As long as the weather is good, and the forest fires are far away.

The following week I am heading to Maine with my sister. It should also be fun. As long as the weather is good, and the hurricanes are far away.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Celeb (?) Death News

The writer Dominick Dunne died today.

Call him "Farrah".

Wham bam Ram a dan

Well, kids, here it is Ramadan again!

This is a time for fasting and abstinence, i.e., that is to say, there is to be no moon-June-spooning with Kumar during this holy month. I say to that: Hiss! Thumbs down. I know that the Koran says it is okay to moon-June-spoon after sundown, but that is on the assumption that you will be m-J-s-ing with your lawfully wedded spouse; not with some infidel hussy. So this infidel hussy is out of the picture until late Sept. Boo!

It might not be a bad thing overall because Kumar is a tad of an impatient guy, and just imagining what he must be like when he hasn’t eaten all day…well. All I can say is: Stay home and enjoy the fast, Oscar the Grouch.

It never occurred to me that at some point in my life, I would be affected by Ramadan. But in an effort to make lemonade with this lemon known as more free time, Ramadan shall become synonymous with (guess what?) decluttering!!.

Yes! I have decided that for me this will be the holy month of decluttering. There is a new show on A&E on Monday nights called Hoarders. It’s like they know what I want to watch. The real-life people on this show have hoarding compulsions, and they need professional help. I can’t turn it off. It’s like watching my dark future. Except I can still see all my floors; they are not covered with clothes and garbage. Really. It is unbelievable the level of filth and crap people can live in. Heck, I can even see a few inches of my coffee table. I’m not like them. Yet. And after Ramadan, maybe I’ll see more of my table surfaces? Maybe I’ll see that chair in my bedroom that has been covered with clothes for 6 months? It’s possible.

My fellow citizens

With Ted Kennedy gone, does this make Mayor Quimby the sole surviving member of that generation of the family?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shoo, go away

The black cat wants to live with us. She's driving me crazy. Go away, cutie. She needs a name. An annoying neighbour name: Bentley? Norton? What was Bill Daily's name on the old Bob Newhart show? Howard? Ok, she's Howard.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The new "Get out of jail free" card?

Rumour is that Bernie (The Earl Jones of the USA) Madoff has cancer.

Well, it worked for the Lockerbie guy. Might as well give it a whirl, Bern.

Maybe Davey Hilton can say he has cancer too, since it looks like he's going back in the can. Ah, the Hiltons! I remember years and years ago, I worked with a woman who knew them as children and she would always say what nice boys they were. Didn't matter what they were on trial for (public drunkedness, depanneur hold-ups, jailhouse sodomy) they were still such nice boys. The good ole days.

(Aside to BJB: Never wrote that book "Punch Drunk" did you? Just as well. You would have to publish a new, updated edition every 6 months.)

In Chip News

I bought some new Doritos Collisions this weekend. They are a combo of guacamole and Habanero.

Habanero is, apparently, Spanish for effing hot.

The guacamole ones were very refreshing and tasty, and necessary, given the lip-smackin’ and burnin’ effect of the Habaneros. A guacamole was needed after each Habanero to cut the burn. Guacamole, habanero, guacamole, thing you know the whole bag is gone.

I don’t know if I like these as much as the original Collisions. I will need to try a second bag in order to make an informed decision. Don't want to be too hasty.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Take that, Groundhog!

Here is proof that the groundhogs and skunks didn't eat everything in my garden this summer.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Only in Canada, u say

Funny story in the Globe & Mail:

A news release sent out Monday outlined Prime Minister Stephen Harper's itinerary as he began a five-day Arctic tour. The release repeatedly spelled the capital of Nunavut as Iqualuit - rather than Iqaluit. The extra "u" makes a big difference. "It means people with unwiped bums," said Sandra Inutiq of the office of the Languages Commissioner of Nunavut.

The best thing about this story? The fact that the Inuktitut language has an actual word for "people with unwiped bums". Why doesn't every language have a word for them? Eh?

Election Day in A'stan

I'm reading the BBC reports on the voting in Afghanistan. In some provinces, the turnout by women is very good. Hurray for them. They are brave ladies. I know I would not head out to vote if it meant I risked being shot at. But they are out in high numbers. Better women than I.

Lots of underage voters, apparently. Kids as young as 13 with fake voter cards are getting to vote. These people LOVE democracy. Heh heh.

And the indelible ink washes off. So some people wash the purple off their fingers and go back in and vote again. They really LOVE voting. We should learn from this.

It's full of fraud, but the people seem very proud. I'm guessing Karzai will get back in. Not a great outcome, but what can you do. I think Dr. Abdullah-squared would be worse, and the 3rd candidate, who seems the best choice to me, doesn't have a chance. Kinda like the NDP.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gripe, gripe

I have to gripe about a fellow worker.

We have a policy of doctor-certified sick leave that covers 9 months at full pay and 9 months at half pay. Once all the sick leave is used up it takes a certain number of years of work to build it back up. Or, if you truly cannot work, you have to go on disability, which is paid by our insurance company, not by our employer.

This colleague, who is a whiner hated by almost all, has in the past couple of years used up all her full-pay and half-pay sick days. Nobody knows what is wrong with her, as she refuses to discuss it.

Two weeks ago, we learned that she was back on “extended” sick leave. But this past Monday, she was back at work. The reason? She ran out of doctor-certified sick leave. So what gives? She was too unwell to work until her days ran out? And then suddenly she felt able to work again?

Why is the administration doing nothing? Her boss tried to get rid of her, but you can’t fire someone while they are off sick. And since she is almost never at work, he gave up. Now he is retiring and doesn’t give a damn anymore.

If she doesn’t want to work, and has a doctor willing to certify it, why not go on disability until retirement. I'm sure her doctor will sign off on anything just to get her off his back. Nobody here will mind, and she gets to stay home. Be off with you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The birth announcement

I don't get it. Celine is pregnant for the second time, and yet it appears that nobody in the province of Quebec has been given the day off work.

We don't respect our royalty anymore.

May I rant about old ancient creaky fathers a bit? (Sure I may.) Effing' Rene is 67 years old. He's going to croak before he can even teach his kids how to lose millions in a casino. What kind of father is that?

The real question is: is Celine really pregnant? Or is this another secret surrogate like the first time? Hmmmm? Hmmmm? Where's the Journal de Montreal on this story?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lazy day at work?

This is a weird day. Turns out my boss is not in, and I can't start the work she assigned me on Friday, for silly procedural reasons. So here I am.

And it's too hot to take the afternoon off. I don't really want to be home.

Tra la la. Drumming fingers on desk.

I decluttered my office a bit. If I can't declutter at home, at least I can attempt it at work.

Time to start writing my novel... It was a dark and stormy night...

Sunday, August 16, 2009


What should be a joyous occasion (the return of Mad Men) has turned into a major annoyance. Looks like the only way I'll be able to see it is to download the episodes at $2.50 per.

This is soooo unfair. I hate capitalism.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Endless Feline Summer

In Lesson One of "How to relax in the summertime" Le Grand Orange demonstrated his wedging-myself-next-to-the-lawnmower technique.

Today, he ups the ante, raises the bar, and is just generally bewildering. Because what better place to snooze on one of the hottest afternoons of the year than while squeezed between two garbage cans? And nuzzling a dirty old broom. Full disclosure: the garbage cans are empty so this is not as smelly and moronic as it looks. And his paws appear to be crossed in an aristocratic manner.

Following in the master's footsteps, Mr. D. goes for under-the-old-step-bench, next to the dirty shovel, the weed eater and the rake.

Miss H. proves that she is the brains of this operation by basking in the comfortable shade, with no garbage or tools in sight. I would like to draw a thought bubble over her head. It would say "Boyz is dumb."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Weather

Was just looking at the weather station, my fave.

The forecast for the next five days:

It's like watching a mediocre darts match.

Home again

Yes, I have taken another day off work. I had an excuse: the furnace cleaners were coming today and they didn't leave until 10:30. Well, by that time the work day is shot, right?

I had warned my boss about this possibility, so when I called in, she knew she wouldn't see me today.

Besides, it's hot and sunny and summer is passing quickly. Might as well enjoy it a bit more. It was a mistake not to schedule my summer vacation earlier. September is too late. I am completely out of gas, work-wise. No motivation. I don't give a hoot. I need a longer break, but it's still 2 weeks away.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Americans are baffling

I'll fully admit that I don't understand the American love affair with guns. Why does a person need a dozen weapons in their home? I don't know.

But now they seem to be all going nuts because they don't want the government to cover their health care expenses. It is indeed very puzzling.

Why are they so attached to the "right" to be screwed over by private insurance companies? Do they sincerely believe that some pencil-pusher in a big insurance company has only their best interests at heart?

And do they really believe that pinko socialist regimes like Canada actually have panels that decide that old people are not worth treating and must be left to die? Do they really believe this? If so, how? How can they believe this?

And that guy yesterday in New Hampshire, standing on the church lawn, with his loaded gun? It made me think, once again, that Obama won't live to see the end of his first term.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Back 2 skool

I'm trying to pick a night course for the Fall session. I'm looking at Con U's ContinUing Ed.

I'm leaning towards a written French course 'cause I need to brush up, but maybe one of these new-fangled computer courses should be looked at too. Computers are the future, I hear.

Either one will be helpful should unemployment be on the horizon (and isn't it always in my lil paranoid world?) So, what should it be? French or computers? But not French computers.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I hate the bank

I’m mad at the bank. And, due to PMS, this is one of those days where I have to exercise the greatest of self-control so that I don’t close my account and move my GICS, etc., in a fit of pique.

I wanted to make a change to a monthly contribution to a mutual fund. I always communicate with the same lady (now known as “the dud”) by email. She said I could send them a fax with the info, since they required a signature, or call them and they would record the conversation. Frankly, I don’t like that second option.

Our dept does not have access to a fax machine. (Why? I don’t know.) So I sent her a letter, containing my signature, as an attachment to an email. She wrote back saying the letter is perfect, so I can now just send it by fax to them. Huh? I told the dud I don’t have a fax, i.e. could she take care of it. She said, you’ll have to call the 1-800 and have them record the conversation.

Is it too much trouble for her to send my letter by fax to the number she provided. It’s right there at her fingertips! Apparently so. Forwarding my letter by fax is too much trouble.

So now I am pissed off. And I’m plotting and scheming how I can get back at the bank for this lazy stupidity of hers.

House Hunting

I’d been feeling kinda depressed about the condition of my house lately, so I decided to go to an Open House yesterday afternoon. It was an upper unit in a 3-storey co-op right off of Sherbrooke in NDG. Nice location. And at $289,000 the price was right.

I was thinking at that price, I could sell mine (which needs work) and maybe move into something that needs less work.

Boy was I wrong.

I love my little house!

It would be great to rent that place, but own it? No thanks. $289,000 and it did not have upgraded electricity, the hardwood floors all needed refinishing and the roof was 24 years old. (Though it didn’t leak at the moment, the co-owner said optimistically.) Old windows, a couple of them cracked. And although it did have a very cute hot tub on the back deck, I counted at least four neighbours who had a clear unobstructed view of that little hot tub. Ideal for an exhibitionist. For me, not so much.

Did I mention it had a “typical” NDG bathroom. Those of you who know, know that I’m talking about THAT tile that is in every bathroom in every apartment you have ever rented if you rented in NDG. And those little octagonal bathroom floor tiles. All original. All in need of replacement.

I repeat, I love my house. Warts and all. Peeling paint and all. Unfinished stinky basement and all. I love my backyard. I love my lawn full of weeds. I am staying put.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Young Girls Today!

Le Grand Orange is being pursued by the most brazen hussy. She's always hanging around our house.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Headline of the Day

"Obese inmate hides gun in his flabs of fat"

Reality keeps getting more and more like the Weekly World News.

Punk Celebrity Death News

Willy DeVille died. Pancreatic cancer is a beeeoitch. The weirdest thing in his obit in the NY Times is the last paragraph. I quote: "Mr. DeVille's first two wives died; he is survived by his third wife..."

He was either the unluckiest guy in the world, or he got away with two murders....intriguing....I wonder if the third wife had second thoughts about marrying him?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Friday Guest Blogger: Mrs. Anon

Mrs. Anon rides the Metro and encounters interesting characters. Take it away...

Had a hilarious encounter yesterday on the metro. First on the green line there was a crazy guy muttering to himself and shaking his head at the lady next to him (as if to say imagine – her, she did that, how awful). It was too funny as she’s trying to ignore him. Then I had to get over to the orange line (to get the kids at villa). The car was pretty empty except for me and this little old white lady with curly grey hair (you know the type) but she’s holding a framed photo of Obama and he’s in a graduation cap (okay this is already quite odd to me) and she’s holding it facing out for everyone to see (you might see people doing this with Jesus but Obama was a new one) so I though she was a bit off. Then this big rapper guy with like 6 gold teeth gets on and sits across from her. Sitting there he finally notices her and the photo and livens up “OBAMA! Now that’s my man!” She says “oh you know him?” and then he can’t really hear what she’s saying so he says “let me sit next to you to chat about the man”….so he scoots over to a seat perpendicular to hers and is leaning in to hear her and he says “man I love that Obama” then she says “Oh you know him? He’s my son you know!” and she nods her head “oh yes my son, I’m ever so proud of him” and that’s when mr. gold tooth and I look at each other raising our eyebrows in wonder both with a look like ohhhhhh – the kinda of look you’d see on candid camera….it’s a shame I had to get off at the next stop, I had to leave the poor guy alone with Mrs. Obama in an empty car…

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Finally, a third Celeb Death

My celebrity triple death list was getting cold. I do realize other people had died over the past couple of weeks, like Merce "Twinkle Toes" Cunningham, one of the guys from Peter & Gordon and (Oh My) Corazon Aquino, but they just didn't fit my list.

But today John Hughes died. So that's three. (With Cronkite and McCourt) Hughes did a variation on a Strummer, dropped dead from a heart attack while taking a walk.

I saw Ferris Bueller on t.v. last year and it was a lot funnier than I remembered. I didn't much like it when it came out, but now it seemed quite good.

But my favourite John Hughes movie is Sixteen Candles, if only for the father and the expression "oily bohunk".

In Chip News: I am defeated by modernity

It’s official. I am old, depassé and dumb. I bought a small bag of some new Doritos. I can’t remember the exact name of them. “Hot” something or “chili” something. They tasted like regular BBQ. I ate a few and then noticed a packet inside.

I took out the packet. It looked like some kind of coupon. So I put it aside. Then I ate the rest of the bag of chips.

Only after I had eaten them, did I look back at the packet. D’OH! It is an extra serving of spiciness. You’re supposed to open the packet and sprinkle it on the chips if you want ‘em extra spicy. They really need to put bigger lettering on the package for old folks like me to clue into this new-fangled spiciness business.

So, now I am left with a packet of spice and no chips to put it on. Maybe I can sprinkle it on my Triscuits? Or maybe on corn on the cob? Tis the season.

Stupid, busy work

Work is still busy. Argh.

Why did I expect that it would've calmed down in one day? Argh myself.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Lazy Day

Yesterday, I told my boss I'd take today off work if it was sunny. And hurray it is sunny.

So I am being lazy. Slept in until 8:15. Sat in the backyard with my coffee.

I just need a decompression day away from the office. Mental Health Day!

I'll improve my mental health by working on my tan.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Summer news season

Now that the garbage strike is over in Toronto, a severed foot was found in the garbage in NY State and they think it may have originated in Toronto.

This is silly. Don’t they know that all stray severed Canadian feet end up on the shores of British Columbia?

In other stupid news, there’s that video of the 7-year-old driving his family of five down the country road. Groan. Not so impressive. If I’m going to be impressed by children driving, I want to see one of the little Anonymi navigating Newman Blvd. at rush hour*. Now THAT will be worth posting on YouTube.

*While Mom sips a green beer in the back seat.


It is very busy at work these days and I just snapped (snapped!) at this woman who irritates the hell out of me on a regular basis. She is one of those people who dishes it out, but can't take it.

She seemed quite shocked that I let her have it in a tone that is similar to her own.

I did not, however, go "Full JAW Fan" on her.

This b**** retires at the end of the year, and I'm considering putting up a count-down calendar in my office and crossing off each day with delight and satisfaction...I am not one to wish away the time, but man, will I be happy when this nut job is out of my life.

Celebrity B-Day

The Prez of the USA turns 48 today. hmm. I'm still adjusting to the idea that he is slightly (only slightly!) younger than me. (and Mr. Anonymous, and Ms Mushrooms and Mr Mushrooms)

I wish him the best, in particular that people will stop analysing and/or ridiculing his choice to wear baggy "Mom" jeans. He's middle-aged. It would be silly for the most powerful man in the world to wear tight jeans. You know Sarkozy would do it, but he's an idiot.

At least Obama doesn't have a pot belly. I wish I could say that.

But how can I lose weight when IGA insists on selling Pringles at a 2-for-1 special. That comes to only $1.10 per can. I cannot resist that bargain. Sadly, it means even my "Mom" jeans are getting tight.

Oh, and I decided to buy a case of 12 lime-flavoured Bud Lites. This summer is a dietary write-off.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Chillin' and snoozin'

At midsummer, can anything be more relaxing than wedging oneself between a lawn mower, an emergency kit and a rake? I think not.

Weekend Roundup

It's raining! Quelle surprise! At least yesterday was beautiful.

My new t.v. is installed and running. It was E-Z. Even for a luddite like me. When my sister saw it (they have a 46") she said: it looks like a baby t.v.! She said this in a cute way. Coochie coochie coo. But compared to the 19" I had before, it seems growed-up to me.

It is not connected to the VCR or DVD player yet, however. For now I'm just enjoying the set. And you know what? The picture is totally acceptable in non-HD. I really don't have a problem with it. Last night we watched American History X which is in black and white, and it looked terrific. Perhaps that is the beauty of black-and-white.

(Aside. Speaking of AHX, how come Edward Norton played such a good tough guy and has spent the rest of his career being wimpy? What a waste.)

In other news, of cats and allergies. My nephew was over and he is allergic to cats. As soon as he sat down, he sneezed. So his mom gave him a sudafed and later he had two beers*. When she asked him this morning how he had slept he said: Not too bad, those Bud Lites did the trick.

I'm not a fan of Bud myself but he had the new ones, lime-flavoured, and I'm going to buy some. Yummy! and I don't even need them for medicinal purposes.

(*Not recommended for Mushrooms Jr for at least 9 years.)