Saturday, June 30, 2007

This little girl has been hanging around my place.

Don't even bother giving me advice. I know about cats and strays. But I have been feeding her.

(Did you notice how I didn't say "stray cats"? Cats and strays are what I do well.)

I had a pretty social week full of weird little events -- and I never even talked about most of it. And who cares, other than me, what I have done and seen the
past few days? It has just been pretty interesting all around.

In other news, is it wrong for me to like Keith Urban music?

I hope he is cute, I've no idea. I like his voice. Let me see... hmmm. Yes, he is cute. Damnation. Suddenly, country music is looking pretty good.

In other news, there is nothing else to see here except maybe Flight of the Conchords. Look it up, you lazy so-and-sos. I don't know why I always feel obligated to find the links for you. Right now, I am tired and just thinking about Tuesday when I have to call Bell to try and sort out all that bullshit is making me want to cry.

Seriously? I have been wanting to let loose for about the past half-hour. I really, really wish I had someone to cry on right about now.

Well, tomorrow's another day.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Brit TeeVee

I'm a bit late in laying claim to a new favourite British sketch comedy show. I have at least 2 friends who've mentioned it before. But I have been watching assiduously for several weeks.

I actually stay up 'til midnight to catch Little Britain on weeknights (and Sunday mornings, if I recall correctly). I think the show is in season three (or perhaps just finishing up 3, not sure.)

I call this the British equivalent of Kids in the Hall. I hope you agree. It is fucking hilarious.

It is generally followed on BBC-K by another sketch series, Swinging.
This comedy sketch show celebrates sex and relationships in all their many forms via a cast of regular returning characters including middle class swingers, ignorant sex counsellors, psychotic boyfriends, embarrassing parents and many more.
The ignorant sex cousellor who cannot bring himself to say the word "sex" had me and the Teen giggling. "Well... you know."

And then there's the Young Ones, which I have only seen once but love already after a single episode.

I am so happy to find new comedy in the barren land allegedly forged by Comedy Central. BBC rocks.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

New shoes

I won a pair of sandals yesterday! This picture doesn't do them justice -- the straps across the front of the foot are sparkly. The heel is an interesting shape, too.

Family members will see them up close live in person next weekend when I'm in the Toronto area for a very important birthday party!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Go vote!

Fellow blogger Christine would like to win a soda maker in a contest over here. Take just one minute of your time and go vote for her. Hell, I barely know her and I've voted three times (you can vote once per day).

If you wanted to win something, and it was just a matter of getting a few more complete strangers to vote for you, wouldn't you be happy they took the time? So go ahead.

Plumbing in working order

At-freaking-last, my toilet runs quietly. It only took 66 days and six people hemming and hawing over it, but it's fixed. It used to merely run and gurgle all the time, which was bad enough - especially at night - but after the last "repair" by the landlord, it started making the pipes (and the walls) vibrate with a very tuneful groaning engine noise. I kept having to pluck the top off the tank and either raise or nudge the ball into a different position. Like, six-eight times a day. Or depending on how often we flushed.

Yesterday, heartily sick of it, I cornered the landlady (her husband is away on a fishing trip). She promised to send a plumber, and indeed one did arrive around dinnertime.

Long story short, he fixed it.

Then I pointed out the capricious kitchen faucet, which leaks randomly all over the kitchen counters. (At least the counters are always clean.) He removed the faucet, examined it, and said the O-ring was quite the wrong size.

"The landlord is a nice guy, but..." he said.
"Cheap?" I offered.
"Yep. He just does a patch job on things and hopes they'll work."

So now we have blessed silence from the bathroom. If only I could get my fridge to cease shuddering violently whenever it stops.

Speaking of bodily functions, I have vowed, for the final time, to never eat McDonald's again. I thought I'd learned my lesson after that stomach flu/food poisoning thing a few weeks ago, but last Monday I was feeling lazy and didn't want to cook. So the Teen and I got some food at Mickey D's, which is approximately a two-minute walk from my door.

As I ate, I thought, "This really isn't very good."
Later in the evening, I thought, "Hey! Did we eat dinner at all tonight? Oh! Right. McDonald's."
A few minutes before bed, whilst in the bathroom: "Gah. That really wasn't very good."
Next morning, in the bathroom: "Gah."


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Down to the wire

Because I'm almost broke (only until Tuesday, I hope), I can't do a real grocery order, so I'm just using everything in the freezer. We're almost down to nothing. I seem to be making good meals out of odds and ends and leftover sauces that've been in the freezer for a month or more.

But we're definitely running low now. As I told the Teen, we'll probably be eating popcorn and chick peas in a day or two.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

It's Father's Day

Kiss a Father today.

Even if he doesn't look like a young Pacino. Even if he wears a clerical collar.

Let me see if I can find other kissable dudes in my Pictures file. MMmm yes... and I could keep going. The guy in the yellow shirt? French actor, very funny. The guy with eyeliner needs no intro. The guy at the right is a lot older nowadays... sad how time goes, eh? Look how cute he was.

And lastly, the guy who walks on water?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Confessions of a Matchmaker

I love this show, dudes, this is the BEST reality show. It's on A&E (615).

The host of this show sets people up who seem to have trouble on the dating scene. Best quote this show: "He's hotter than the sun HOT!"

You must check out this program!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

In lieu of posting

Neighbour cat Picou (left) seems to think the peony is about to attack him.

Meanwhile, my Cootie has a puffed-out tail, which denotes nervousness. She's been outside for more years than Picou has toes, so it's not the flower's fault. I think maybe she spotted the landlord.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

We've had so many thunderstorms lately, I keep having to unplug my modem. Thus, not much blogging or anything else, for that matter.

I have been loving the storms, however. I suppose having mountains close by makes for different weather systems than in the city? I'm sure Leigh could tell me. We never got this much good electrical activity and massive, window-rattling thunder where I lived before.

The lamp I bought at W-Mart seems to be defective in design. The base and pole were easy to assemble, but the lampshade has stymied me. It's a fabric shade requiring three metal rods that connect to little metal hooks in order to keep the fabric stiff, rather than floppy. But the rods won't stay put! So my one and only lamp is still sitting, unfinished and unused. Don't you hate it when seemingly simple instructions don't work?!

Revised: Don't you hate it when you don't understand instructions at first, then feel ridiculously pleased when finally get it right? I have a working lamp!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Trapping Pepe

My landlord put a cage outside in an attempt to trap our skunk.

It's kinda cute - there's a very pleasing little plate of fresh vegetables inside it.

But I have to wonder: what happens if Pepe does get trapped inside? How can Mr. Grumpy (the landlord) pick up the cage and transport it (presumably to the wilds nearby) without getting sprayed?

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't go near that cage.

In other motel news, the guy who was doing all the noisy sawing and sanding? We made peace. He's doing work for a non-profit shelter. He's an addictions counsellor.

He's the guy I was thinking of when I wrote my previous post about redemption.

He redeemed himself in my eyes.

My neighbour Sophie, meanwhile, came up to me in a panic yesterday PM saying she had an invasion of ants in her house. Mr. Counsellor and I were in the midst of a conversation and he advised her to wash her floors with bleach. Sophie was so distraught by the influx of insects that I immediately went over to her apartment. She poured whatever bleach she had into a pail of hot water and I scrubbed as much of her kitchen floor (and walls and baseboards) as I could.

She never even said thank you.

Gosh. I really should lower my expectations.

And then, on the other hand, I called my neighbour E., the one who works at the local hotel, to ask her if I could beg a ride home from W-Mart in her car, because I was going to be buying a lamp and wasn't sure if I could carry it home by foot. She said of course! So I bought her a scented candle in a jar as my way of saying thank you -- would have gladly kept the candle myself, but I have enough of them and I figured she would like a little token of appreciation. And she did, although she clucked disapprovingly at me.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Funny how things go.

You start out with expectations based on other peoples' reactions or versions of stories.

And when you find out otherwise, in the best sense, you are pleased yet shamed. Shamed by your cynical view of life, shamed by your shabby expectations of others, pleased by the fact that they surprised you with insight and humanity and unexpected courtesy.

You stop expecting courtesy or even basic decency, after awhile. You listen to gossip and you start to think everyone is base and mean and petty.

Maybe they really are, but sometimes, occasionally, they give you a glimpse of what you wish for and what you always strive to give them. A ray of sun.

I hope you can imagine what I'm talking about. I'm so sick of moaning about how weird people are.

Women in art

You MUST check out this YouTube video. It's a morphing process of famous women in 20th-century art.

Go see and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

And then I was up all night

Oh, bother and damnation!

I ended up being awake almost all night. At 4:55 the birdies started to sing, the sky turned blue. The wheezing neighbour got up and his floor creaked. The youngest neighbour at the motel - the one the old folks call "the baby" -- zipped home in her Mustang.

Since I was up, I downloaded Firefox.

I hear faint cheers from some people. I must see why this is so much better than IE. I will happily switch if I need to. And if you want to buy me a Mac, I won't say no.

Firefox is not the same as IE -- it's faster in some ways, for some sites, but I have to reconfigure or re-download my toolbars.

My keyboard feels sticky. Ew. I will shut down and clean it properly.

I have to meet a few people today, so I wish I could get a couple of hours of sleep now... except now I want bacon & eggs and toast. Yes.

(I didn't give in to that urge. I went to sleep after all.)

Monday, June 4, 2007

I can't sleep because I'm mad

I keep telling myself to let things go, but I can't make that repartee loop in my head shut down.

Ever get that? I should have said this, I should have said that... Oh, if I get the chance, I will poke him in the chest with my finger and say this..."

Well, how useless it all is, really. You just feel all riled up and anxious and ready to fight, and dammit, if it were daylight and I were to run into him in the parking lot, I would go right up to his face and confront him.

But it's almost midnight and I'm pissed that he managed to make me so riled that I can't sleep.

I had two-three nice encounters today and two that managed to nullify the good. Which is not right. The good should outweigh the bad, yes?

My landlord is a fuckign wuss (and I misspelled that on purpose). If he can't keep his tenants civil, he shouldn't be renting to them.

I don't want to become a problem, but I am living with a bunch of damned low-rents and they are getting to me.

Oh. Dear.

I hear myself.

Complaining again.

Nuh. Uh. Only when I'm crossed or someone is rude to me.


I had a convo on the phone with the x-rom. Needless to say, she didn't call for no reason at all, just to inquire about my health. She managed to ask if I was able to give her any money towards what I owe her.

My hackles rose and I let a bit loose. I told her not to play the desperado because I'd seen her flaunt her brand-new 47" wall-mounted plasma TV and surround sound system to our other (cranky) roommate and then cry to him, "Oh! I am so broke! Do you have the rent?"

I don't fall for her shite anymore. I told her not to play stupid with me. I said I would be happy paying her $200 a month, just as her other friends are paying off their loans (for the cancelled trip to the DR in February - a total of $7K). And she had the nerve to answer, "Well, I'd prefer that we settle this very quickly."

You didn't catch me on the right day, m'dear. Actually, no day would have been the right one. You get $4700 a month for lying on your back and I earn maybe 1/3 of that.

I barked at her. I said "When it's convenient for me, I will pay you. Not when it's good for you."

How could I not fight back a bit? I've given her $2,600 in the past month. Is that not a sign of good faith?

I said as much, and she agreed and backed up a bit, and although I was a bit conciliatory, my words were pretty much along the lines of "You will wait until I am ready to give you more, you witch."

I didn't actually think "witch." I have a worse epithet for her, and it's not just one word.

Oh I hate this resentment.


It's pissing rain, and this is not making me happy. Even the cats are being smart and not asking to go outside.

I should have planted my daisies yesterday, but I got caught up in my latest book and couldn't tear myself away.

Our skunk reappeared on Saturday night. I had been trying to get two cats indoors as dusk fell, and the naughty kittehs -- no fools, they -- kept scooting away from me. Finally, I enlisted my son's help, as Cootie listens to him more than she does me. Just as he was hoisting her into his arms and turning to come back here, I saw the skunk go bouncing (seriously, it bounced!) from underneath the neighbour's car, at the very spot where my cat and son were, across the parking lot, and behind the shed near the dumpster.

That's two close calls now.

One of us is bound to get sprayed soon.

I think getting sprayed by a skunk in the city would be the ultimate insult.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

All the old guys love me

Is this what I've come to? Men of retirement age the only ones who fawn over me?

Say it ain't so. Tell me that at my age, all I can expect is the stooped, the balding, and the pot-bellied?

I brought some homemade soup to a neighbour who is very sweet, and fairly elderly, and I thought I was just being kind until he grabbed my ass and insisted on kissing me on the mouth. Six times.

Not that I minded quite so much, cuz he's harmless and he's moving out of the motel at the end of this month, but hell! Hell's bells!


Friday, June 1, 2007

Blue moon, skunky nights

From this site.

"Once in a blue moon."

You have probably heard this expression before. It usually means not very often. But, is there really such a thing?

According to David Wilton’s fabulous Word Origins web site, the phrase Blue Moon probably started with an anonymous poem from 1528, Read me and be not wrothe, For I say no things but truth:

"If they say the moon is blue,
"We must believe that it is true."

Calling the moon blue was an obvious absurdity, like saying it was made of green cheese. The phrase, “until a blue moon” developed in the 19th century, meaning never, or at least extremely unlikely.

Whether you use the newer definition or the one from the Maine Farmer’s Almanac, a blue moon, while not common, happens on a regular basis. Either way, they occur approximately 7 times in a 19 year period.

Eh. So it's not that blue or uncommon, but I might say, people who actually pay me back the money they owe? That would pretty much be once in a blue moon.

Enjoy the full blue moon tonight, friends! The cloud cover here prevents me from seeing it. Poop!

Know what I did see tonight, up close, which could be considered unusual?

Pepe LePew! Ooh yeah, baby! Anybody with a working nose would have known right away, but me? Hahaha! I walked up to the dumpster to put some garbage in and guess what scooted away, right under my feet, with a white stripe on its tail the size of a wide paintbrush! Naturally, I was enchanted, and tried to follow it around the corner of the building, then thought twice and realized that was a very, very stupid thing to do.

Cute little bugger, though. I want one.

Skunks are members of the weasel family (Mustelidae). There are four species of skunk in North America: striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), hooded skunks (M. macroura), spotted skunks (Spilogale putorius), and scarce hognosed skunks (Conepatus mesoleucus). - from

Skunks are very adaptable and often find food and nesting sites around human habitations. The best protection against them is to modify your habitat to limit resources available to them.

Like Bears! Just like Stephen Colbert's Threat List!

1. Do not feed skunks. They can easily become dependent on human food sources. (That means I want one as a pet. Shut up.)
2. Never leave pet food outside. (Uh oh.)
3. Never discard edible garbage where skunks can get to it. (Dumpster! Not guilty!)
4. Secure garbage containers and eliminate their odors. Use a small amount of ammonia or cayenne pepper in the garbage to discourage scavenging. (Hmm. Might mention this to the landlord.)

Another blogger contest!

Colleen over at Simple Kind of Life has made so much cash blogging for PayPerPost that she's giving stuff away now.

She's started a monthly contest -- the Colleenie Weenie Contest -- and will hold a random draw at the end of each month. This month's top prize is Pirates of the Caribbean on DVD (what, you expected it on beta cassette?), and the booby prize is Cheech & Chong's "Still Smokin."

I want the booby prize! It's been a long time since I saw any C&C and while I never tire of Johnny Depp, I'd prefer to see the old stoners of my youth again.

How can you enter this contest, you ask? Here's the link to her site with full instructions. By commenting on her blog, saying why you want to win, you get one entry into the hat. By blogging about it, as I'm doing here and on Inner Dialogues, I get six entries. When I put this up on MySpace, I'll get two more entries. That's 9 entries for this month alone, if my math is correct, and I can never be sure my math is correct, but whatever.

So go on, enter the Colleenie Weenie Contest for fun and maybe a prize!


Boy, it's nice to start a weekend with a paycheque in the mail -- especially considering how broke I was this week and how stupid I was to lend
K-E-N-T my last $15. He said he was short $6 on the purchase of some plumbing supplies for a customer and all I had was a $20 bill, so I gave him that and asked him to bring me five loonies right away for my laundry, which he did.

He said he'd be back in 2-3 hours with the rest of my money, and that was three days ago.

Reminds me of the time I loaned a "friend" $165, and my bank account got frozen by the government the next morning, leaving me high and dry. And that was three years ago. The friend never paid me back.

Anyhoo, I got money today, and by my calculations I can spend $69.00 every day until my next invoice comes due. Unless someone else pays me first.

No, wait. I have two bills to pay, so I have $63 per day.

I think I can manage.

Yet more motel stories

This one's a little weirder than the rest, and I think parts of it might have to be swallowed with a large grain of salt.

So there's this guy, looks to be somewhere in his late 40s, who lives around back of my building, has been here seven years. I'll call him Nick, cuz that's his name.

He's a talker. One of those types you have to cut short or he'll jaw your ear off all day. Pleasant enough, has 3 cats, probably a lonely heart.

What I've learned: he's of Russian and German descent, studied philosophy and history at McGill University, and has an elderly mother.

I met his mom yesterday as I was heading out to the store to buy milk.

You know those wooden nesting dolls, painted to look like a stout Russian babuschka? His mother totally looks like a Russian babuschka, complete with handkerchief on head. She's so cute! Then, as it turns out, I'd met this woman and her son, last summer, at one of the beaches near rom's house. I remembered that she had told me about her problems sharing a well with seven neighbours and how the neighbours were blaming her for their chronic water shortage because they accused her of doing too much laundry. Well, whatever. They could dig their own wells, you know. Instead of picking on an old lady.

So this babuschka looks to be about 80 and she's all wrapped up in layers of completely mismatched colourful clothes and sitting behind the wheel of her car. We chatted for a bit.

But back to the weird story.

Nick tells me that the landlord has always had a dislike for him, even though he has (he says) been quiet and always paid his rent on time for 7 years. He thinks the landlord is racist, which is entirely possible, since Quebec has a strong historical racist streak in its collective provincial soul. Nick says he and his mother have been the victims of vandalism on this property in the past; once, someone left a dead raccoon on the hood of his car, and another time, someone splashed tar all over his mother's windshield.

THEN! Nick says a girl of 15 was murdered in one of these apartments and her body dumped BY THE LANDLORD in a nearby quarry. He says he saw the landlord carrying the body.

I Googled the girl's name and other details but haven't found anything yet. It would be very easy to ask one of the old-timers here if they'd ever heard anything about this story, though.

And tempering my attitude to it all is Nick's talk about THE JEWISH CONSPIRACY.

When you hear those words? You go uh-oh! It kinda, sorta negates the other half of everything else he says.