April 30, 2009

Fun With Stats

HAHAHA. Sometimes I get a kick out of the things that pop up in my stat counter.

Did you know that my main source of new readers continues to be people who search for "sexy firefighters"? Just now, someone came to my site via Hicksville, New York. I can't believe that place actually exists! Too funny. Occasionally people want to find a step-by-step guide on how to bathe a bulldog.

Here are some other good ones, complete with answers:

What do you do with kishka?

You eat it and then tell your Bubbi how much you love it.

Beaver burgers!

I don't remember writing about these. Perhaps I was making a dirty joke?

Uranus is dark and icy...

I'm sure you're talking about the planet, sicko.

The fastest way to become a paid songwriter.

Wow, did you ever come to the wrong place. Please refer to all my posts about musically-incurred debt...

Where can I get bumpits?

Just steal one off the head of the most stylish girl in the vicinity! It IS the new Snuggie, after all.

Stat counters are for so much more than tracking stalkers, my dears.


In other news, Morty continues to melt the hearts of Very Tough People.

He always slays bulky construction workers, who look intimidating until he catches their eye, and then it's all "Oh hi my squishy little baby! You want a bum rub? I'm rubbing your buuuuuuuuuummmmm!"

Last night, my BH disappeared for ages with the pup, and I was actually starting to worry about their whereabouts. When they finally came home, my BH told me that a cop car had pulled to the side of the road, lights on, to play with Morty. The tough lady cop also had a bullie, and wanted to give Morty some police-style loving right then and there.

Can't blame her. He's such a charmer. Apparently he took advantage of the situation to relax on the hood of her car.

Morty, that is. My BH is a charmer, but he's not partial to lounging on cop cars in a full spread eagle. Morty has no shame!

Last night I caught another event at the Writers Festival. I'm so glad I made it - I missed the first ten minutes, but snuck in during the applause....

This one featured Garry Thomas Morse, rob mclennan, Adeena Karasick and bill bissett. I was really just going to see rob read, but the whole show was great. Garry had a gorgeous voice, especially when he broke into opera during his poems. Adeena is so witty, and it was fun to hear her twist words around themselves and back again. Bill was one of the quirkiest performers I've seen in a while, probably since the time I saw Kids on TV play. Kids on TV perform in their underwear with knee pads, if I remember correctly... So that's saying something. Nutty, just the way I like 'em.

Some of my favourite local creative types were there. Amanda, John, Charles, Thom, Luna. Sometimes I wonder if I fit in at all with the writing scene folks, since songwriting is another beast all together... But I always feel comfy at those events. Nice people are nice people.

Going home was a bit... Different. The Market was full of assholes. I feel pretty at ease there - it was my neighbourhood for several years. But last night it was loaded with hostile drunks, and I ended up walking all the way home because I didn't want to risk waiting at the bus stop.

When I was booting it down Dalhousie, crossing at a green light, I saw a car coming towards me much faster than it should be. I don't really know where I learned this trait, but I tend to stare down speeding cars. I'm not a timid walker, and if someone is trying to plow me down, I glare at them while I continue strolling (poor Milan has witnessed this several times, and probably thinks I'm bonkers). It might be smarter to jump out of the way, admittedly... But this is something I do without thinking. I guess I pissed this dude off, because he started yelling at me. My music was too loud to catch the diatribe, but I did hear the last line: "AND YOU DRESS LIKE A BOY!" Judging by the way he spat the words out, he figured it would be an insult. Funny, but I was so pleased. I love dressing like a boy.

I walked the rest of the way home without too many problems. Usually people don't bother me much when I'm walking at night - I may be tiny, but I can be incredibly aggressive when someone gets in my face. Also, I made an executive decision when I passed Parliament that I should sing along loudly with my MP3 player until I reached my house.

People don't seem too keen on bothering an angry-looking chick who sings Jamaican dancehall at the top of her lungs.

I think I might take my BH on a hot date to the fest tonight. My Bubbi turns 90 (nine zero! amazing!) this weekend, and we've been tasked with a lot of the baking and cooking. Might as well have a night out before we lock down in the kitchen.

Since telling you that all is well, my washing machine bit the dust whilst being full of clothes and gross water. I seem to be ankle deep in gross water these days.

So now I have a broken washing machine (which sits next to my broken dryer), I have several loads of dirty clothes, and I am unable to really inspect the problem because HEY! It's full of water.

Did I mention the part about the water being gross?

There's no sink in the basement, so how I'll get the water out is beyond me. It looks like I will be filling up my bucket repeatedly and trucking the mess upstairs. My BH is out for the evening, lucky duck.

I have no money, so god knows how I'll replace that washer.

On a more pleasant note, the gig in Almonte was wonderful. The old town hall is a really great venue, and the acoustics are lovely. I opened for Steve Dawson (formerly of Zubot and Dawson) and that dude could play. So could his charming bandmates. I was especially impressed with the drummer, who was so damn good I would have paid just to watch him practice.

After sound check, my BH and I took our little rental car for a spin around the town. In the ten minutes we were gone, a storm hit, and tore the scaffolding and siding off the town hall and onto the spot where we were parked moments earlier.

Am I ever glad we were too lazy to walk.

Anyways. I'm feeling a bit bummed about the washer and a bit stressed about money (I also just signed up for pet insurance, ouch ouch ouch), but fuck it. I'm going to go make myself a nice dinner and check out the writers festival. Because the weather? It is the thing dreams are made of.

Cheers, my puppies.

April 23, 2009



You know what is really excellent about not having a mortgage?

When your bathroom ceiling starts to rain brown water, you don't have to pay for it yourself.

Motherfucker, this has been a gross evening.



I've been yawning all day, which makes my eyes water, which makes me look like I'm about to cry. I think it's freaking people out. Other than being sleepy, I'm really quite cheerful.

As I type, my BH is writing his last exam of the school year. It's possible that I am more excited about it than he is, but then again, he's pretty excited.

His experience in going back to school has made me completely change my mind about the possibility of doing a Masters.

I was considering it for a while, probably to study history some more, since nobody can get their fill of history classes in four short years... But watching my BH made me wonder if I was glossing over my memory of poverty / stress / sleeplessness / torture as being a fun few years of learning. Yes, I had a good time in school. But I was pushing myself through so that I could have even more fun doing interesting jobs. Jobs that would pay me money instead of robbing me of my life savings. Then I realized that the kind of job I would probably get with a Masters is exactly the kind of job I'm doing now.

Cold water on my plans, indeed.

I do plan to take more history courses, but I think they'll be on my schedule and at my discretion. I'll take them to have fun. Not to have a heart attack.

I'm thinking of covering this song for my gig Saturday. I know how to play it, but the lyrics are a problem for me. How can I put this... The lyrics... They don't really make sense. So they are hard to remember. I'm trying - I'd like to do it for sure. It's just that "lapping lakes like leary loons" is a mouthful.

The Bluesfest lineup is out, and it's maddeningly good. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the fest. The upside will always be the lineup: SO GOOD. Every year I figure it can't get better, and then it does. The downsides are numerous. The crowds. The litter. The food. The creepy dudes. The fucking COST of the thing. The fact that Kid Rock once played there. But that lineup...

I really can't afford to go. Really. But my BH and I are both lusting after half the bands on the roster, and there's no way I'm missing out on some of those acts. So we're going to look into volunteering, selling our kidneys, or going into more debt. It'll be like Hot Date Night every night, except we'll be at Lebreton all drunk on the beers!

Funny, but I was booked to play the festival last summer, and some major scheduling problems changed the plans. I kinda want them to book me this time just so I can drool over The National. Or Matisyahu. Or Neko Case! Or Iron and Wine. Or...

You get the picture.

April 21, 2009

No Average Jo


You may have heard that Jo, my lovely neighbour, is moving.

It's a bit depressing, to be honest. She's a great gal and it's been fabulous living next to her. Since last summer, we've exchanged baked goods, shoe advice, furniture, alcohol... And Morty has gifted her at lest one hallway poo out of the goodness of his heart. Or bum.


My BH and I just stopped by to say hello, and my god is it ever weird to see the place all packed up! I know she's going to have a blast living at the House of Science, but dude, Sesame Street will just not be the same. And Morty will miss Shy Dog something fierce, especially now that he's figured out that she's only interested in friendship and not bulldoggie-style loving.

I don't know the folks moving in, and I can only hope they are a fraction as awesome as Jo. They'll have pretty sexy shoes to fill.

We'll miss you! Sharing a creepy basement with strangers won't be nearly as much fun.

I'm puttering away at spring things.

Gardening is on my mind, which is hilarious, because I have no yard or garden. Well, I guess I have a teeny garden out front, but the neighbourhood dogs (including Morty) like to relieve themselves there and ewwww, I say no to lettuce laced with pee. So, I've got no yard, and I can't keep plants alive to save my life. Still. GARDENING. I've made a note to buy some planters and stuff them full of veggies to see what happens. They should fit well in our sunny nook and it's probably worth trying, at least. Especially when there is a possibility of fresh lettuce.

Speaking of veggies, I am collecting recipes for asparagus. I already have so many, but last summer we got local asparagus in our food box every week for months. I'd like to be better prepared this time. It would be a shame to start hating on fresh asparagus just because I've cooked it in everything under the sun.

I finally, FINALLY mailed my long-overdue birthday package. Immediately afterwards, I glanced at my birthday calender and noticed that I have about five birthdays sneaking up on me in the next two weeks, including that of The Colombian. I'd better got on that now... I don't want to be mailing those cards in a month. One day, I dream of being a little more organized about stuff like this. That day will come. I know it.

My BH's last birthday gift arrived in the mail yesterday, so I'm set to spoil him this weekend.* All that fancy gifting should make up for the fact that I'm dragging him out to Almonte when we should be partying. Okay, not "dragging" per se, but I do feel badly for having a gig on his birthday. At the same time, I'm excited for the show!

Other spring things? Appointments, appointments, and booking another haircut. Not that my hair has grown much in the past two months, but I'd be down with another colour change. I'm a manic hair changer. It's a good thing I grew out of my fluorescent dye phase, or there would be a lot more terrifying hair around here. I have a thing for colour, after all. Remember the kitchen cabinets?

*Luckily, this particular package didn't announce to the world what it contained. Because you know what's not fun? Having your BH sign for his own birthday present, pay the COD charge, and read the package content list to see what the heck he was paying for. SURPRISE, HONEY.

I gave myself a very simple task a couple of weeks ago: mail two books to two of my friends. One was just a cheer-up present. One was a birthday gift.


I finally handed one of the books to my friend in person last night, unwrapped and most certainly not mailed. The cheer-up part worked though, because we consumed martinis and manhattans while we flipped through the pages.

The other book I forgot, yet again, at my house... Even though it is fully packaged all ready to be popped in the mail. I really enjoy sending things in the post, but christ I am bad at it. I've written myself a reminder on my arm in marker so I don't forget again.

Last night we got our regular Life Organic order, and there were local sunchokes* in the box! I had never cooked with them before, so I did a bit of research and fried them in garlic and butter and before throwing them into a yummy pasta. Sunchokes are like a cross between a potato and a water chestnut, and they are delicious. I'm so excited for the asparagus to start rolling in. The thought of having local spring and summer veggies around is making me giddy.

I'm playing a gig in a week and I have no idea how to plan it. It's in Almonte, so there's the car problem. And I haven't played a show in a while, so I'll need to figure out a set list. And damnit, I need some new songs! I'll have my work cut out for me this week.

In other news, check out these awesome fainting goats.

*Also known as Jerusalem artichokes, but there aren't artichokes and they aren't from Jerusalem. So. Yeah. It doesn't make much sense.

My parents bought me a pass to the writers festival as an early birthday gift.

While I'm excited to go, I also know very little about what to see. My comfort zone is a sprawling music festival - I can navigate my way through the crowds and always find a concert I want to see. I can spend endless hours soaking in live music. I can sneak in just enough alcohol to get myself good and ripped. You music folks - you know what I mean. No doubt I'll be seeing you out and about this summer.

But how do I approach authors? I read plenty, but I'm not familiar with a lot of the writers who are coming to the fest. And which events are good, anyway? Who's going to knock me out? Who's going to make me giggle? Who's going to make me want to throw things? (Actually, after glancing at the schedule, I think I've figured that part out)

I know nothing of this world. I realize that plenty of writers read this blog - please advise! What would you see? I've been to the fest several times, but I was always the hired musician and I stopped into the events on my way to the stage. This time, I need a bit more knowledge going in. Please lend me your brain.


Tuesday night, I went and saw some really bad comedy.

I've been struggling with how to tell you about it, because I have nothing nice to say about the comic who hosted the evening. I've decided not to tell you about it in detail, because frankly, I would get angry pretty fast. Instead, I will offer some advice.

Make up an alias.

No, seriously. If you go see standup comedy and you're not sure about the comic, arrive with a fake name, occupation and relationship status. This will give you a layer of protection from some lame-ass, dick of a comic who makes his living insulting people. And when he says he'd like to see you naked just to get a rise out of you? You can close your eyes and imagine that he's talking to your alias, and your alias is right about to kick his ass into next week.

Feel free to use mine: My name is Susan, I work in high tech, and I'm single. And if the comic is a jerk? I have a black belt in karate.

April 14, 2009

Queen of the Maths


That was one of the best weekends I've had in ages.

It wasn't even that anything particularly incredible happened... It was just day after day of solid fun. There could even be a mathematical equation for this most excellent weekend. Allow me to show you my unparalleled math skills!

Food + Wine x
BH + Morty x
Family + Friends

(+ 3 [or 4?] mango mojitos)
(+ sleeping in)

(- getting kicked in the ribs by a dreaming bulldog)
(- creepy dancing dude at the Standard*)


Am I mathematically inclined or what?

I'm a little nervous about the next month. I think it's going to go by with lightening speed, and I want to savour it. Once summer hits, it's just a huge blur until the harvest. Must. Slow. Down.

Another mathematical certainty: baking bread is the most efficient way to slow down a speedy season. Also the most efficient way to turn everything in your cupboard into some sort of tasty dip to use up the bread.

Just call me Stella, Queen of the Maths.

*Bloggers! Were you at the second Bloggers' Breakfast? The one at the Standard? Did you know that the restaurant sorta morphs into a club during the night hours? Here's a tip, should you go there after 10pm: if you are checking out the DJ's equipment with lusty eyes, do not accidentally catch the gaze of a Random Drunk Dancing Dude. Otherwise, every time you stand up to go to the washroom, said Dude will magically appear in front of you saying something catchy like "Heeeyyyyyyyyyyyy baby!" Men? Don't do this. You will look like a dink. And ladies, just be a little more discreet when drooling over audio gear.

April 11, 2009

Making Me Happy Right Now...


Wine in cartons. And mini wines!

Weather that lets me wear my favourite plaid shirts.

Homemade matso ball soup.

Baking fresh bread!

April 10, 2009

The Past 24 Hours


An amazing Passover meal with Zoom, the GC, my BH and a gang of boys and doggies.

Morty finds a big stick at the park!

My BH and I have a hot breakfast date at Raw Sugar.

Morty inspects Logan's cool cone thingy...

They bond.

And the holiday weekend is off to a great start.

April 9, 2009

Bumpits - You're Welcome


Things are much better... Thanks to you nice folks for understanding what it's like to have a crap day. I know we all get them; they suck SO BADLY, no? Stupid crap days.

Today is actually going swimmingly - minus my Total Kitchen Meltdown last night that will affect Passover dinner in a few hours. I made kishka without the right measurements of stuff (my bad for improvising Bubbi's recipe) and it turned into soup.


So instead of bringing kishka and wine to the host's house this evening, I am bringing wine and wine. I don't really think anyone will mind. The best accompaniment to wine is wine. (This theory works well for other drinks too... Surely I'm not the only one who has ordered two martinis at once just to get the evening going? Please tell me I'm not the only one. Please.)

This weird thing happened last night. My BH became convinced that I loved Indiana Jones and insisted that we watch the most recent version while he baked a cake. I think my brain exploded when Indy crawled into a fridge to avoid a nuclear blast AND SURVIVED. Because he crawled into a fridge. Strange, but I didn't think it was that easy.

I fell asleep, so I didn't see the ending. Should I watch the ending? Please advise.

Also, I have found my next favourite Ridiculous Fashion Invention that is almost as creepy as the infamous Snuggie.

Behold: Bumpits (I am thrilled that this crazy thing is the amalgamation of the words bum and pits, but has nothing to do with either)

Happy Pesach, happy Easter, happy long weekend... I promise not to blog whilst drunk.

April 8, 2009



I am having a particularly awful morning, and so far this is the only thing that's been able to make me smile.

So watch it, should you feel so inclined. Hopefully it will make you smile too. It's infectiously ridiculous.

And let's hope the shitstorm is short-lived, lest I move to Lithuania and join some sort of religious commune.

Moving to Lithuania sometimes sounds more fun than dealing with those really bad days, no?

Lithuania. It's like the new Costa Rica.

My spike in stats tells me that y'all like weird smiley-face pictures. Or perhaps it was the pink shoes that did it. Either way, noted.

When it started pouring yesterday, I wasn't able to get the clothes off the line in time. I left them there, thinking that the rain would have to stop sooner or later. It did stop - and promptly resumed snowing. With some crunchy ice for good measure.


The clothes are still out there, because I am stubborn as shit, especially when it comes to battles I can't win. I guess the weather has bested me this time though, and I'll have to take the clothes down shortly (Confidential to Spring: You are going DOWN).

My taxes are in, and magically I don't owe any money. Next year I probably won't be so lucky, but man am I ever glad I don't need to fork over some cash to Revenue anytime soon. My work T4 is always pretty predictable, but since I also file taxes as a musician, I never know what to expect. The year I recorded the album I was in the red by, oh, a lot of money. This year I almost broke even. Next year? I guess we'll see. I'm not actually expecting to gig excessively this year, so I don't think the cash will be flowing into my pockets. Not terribly surprising.

Today is my BH's last official day of class. We celebrated last night by trying out a local Ethiopian restaurant. The people who run the place are very nice, and the food is okay, but the overall experience was underwhelming. In a way, that works in my favour. It just means I'll have to keep trying out Ethiopian restaurants one by one.... In hopes that I find one nearby that I love.

My Easter plans are still pretty minimal, although I do want to take out one of my closest friends for a nice strong martini. She's had a rough week and could use some alcohol and raunchy conversation to cheer her up (got your back, HH).

April 6, 2009

I Heart Tivoli


Snow. It's snowing.

I knew it would come, so I shouldn't be so surprised, but still. A bit of a downer. Morty chewed up my spring jacket (not his usual behaviour, I assure you... his chew toy was just out of reach), so I'm stuck with my light jean jacket or my winter coat until I get the buttons sewed back on. Charming!

My BH bought me a very very early birthday present, and I can't use it until the big day comes (over a month, soooo much waiting), but I'm thrilled to have one. I wasn't supposed to know, but we were shopping together when he found the exact model he was looking for. So pumped!! Who doesn't love sexy audio gear?

This makes me even more excited for his birthday, which is coming up in a few short weeks. He will be spoiled, I'll say that much.

This weekend is a long one, which takes me by surprise every single time. I know I've mentioned it here before, but having worked in retail for so many years, I never assume that I get a day off just because it's a holiday of sorts. How on earth will I spend my time?

April 5, 2009

Smile, Snowsuit

The burlesque show was amazingly fun. I will never think of dudes in snowsuits the same way again (after all, they may just randomly start stripping off their clothes layer by layer by layer... by layer... by layer.... and then run off stage wearing nothing but an umbrella).

Anyways. This is me, feeling really dang happy with my beer. Thanks Milan for your wild Photoshop abilities.

My promise to take some pictures fell a bit flat after I realized I had no idea where the camera was, and by the time I found it, it was rainy as shit.


Sorry 'bout that.

Last night I went to a party populated by economists, drank a bit, and was quickly reminded why I am a freak of nature and should not be allowed to speak to strangers unless they have been briefed on my tendency to offend people.

But it was fun, all that shooting off at the mouth. Some people at that party may still be under the impression that I deal crack.

Back to the rain. I've realized that having no rain coat and owning rain boots that don't quite fit is, well, stupid. I need to get on that. Wandering the streets of Ottawa in a wet jean jacket gives me the chills, and I'm hard to warm up on a good day.

Now I've got a few loads of laundry to do, some sponge cake to eat, some tea to drink, and perhaps a quick nap before I go have a blast at Get Sprung. I'm thinking of whipping out my strict school teacher outfit for the occasion - the last burlesque show I went to made me wish I had worn something a little more AWESOME.

Kiss kiss. Have a good Saturday.

April 2, 2009

The Scars Remain

I've had a drastic dry spell of photos here on the ol' blog lately. Seeing as how today is the most beautiful spring day we've had yet, I promise to get out and take some shots around the neighbourhood. Or at least around the apartment. It's not like I could ever have too many pictures of Morty's bum (or my BH's, heh, uh... AWKWARD).

So, remember that time I painted my kitchen fluorescent green? Okay, it was more lime in the end, but the scars remain. Although I ended up liking it, I think part of Operation Spring Cleaning should be dedicated to adding a bit more white to the mix. I always assume that when something gets painted, it should just stay that shade forever... But I guess nothing is actually stopping me from lightening things up a bit. I won't destroy the green. I'll just mess with it.

The Colombian has moved to Miami. This is good for more reasons than I can count, but most because a. Miami is easier to get to than Colombia and b. Miami doesn't have dudes with machine guns on every street corner. The Colombian (do I have to change his moniker now?) called me from his new apartment yesterday and may I just say, it was SO NICE to hear his voice again. I usually have to pretend I don't miss him because he only calls in six-month intervals. Our birthdays are both in May, so now I have an excuse to send him a care package.*

I'm going to see a sexy queer burlesque show this weekend and I can't freaking wait. I would see sexy queer burlesque every night if I could. Who says Ottawa's boring?

*Speaking of care packages.... Happy birthday Will !!! Woot!

April 1, 2009


I have a freezer full of super ripe bananas. I've got a few basic recipes for banana bread, but does anyone have a favourite banana recipe they want to share with me? Muffins, breads, cakes; I'm easy. My tummy will thank you.

Operation Spring Cleaning did not go entirely as planned. Oh sure, I got some furniture moved around and did some general tidying, but my BH was busy with school so I had to call in help to do the heavy lifting. Another upside to having such nice neighbours - when you have a rickety bookshelf you need to chuck down a set of basement stairs, just pick up the ol' phone and make a veiled threat. I mean, call in a favour.

I got a membership at Costco last week, which is funny, because as of tomorrow our borrowed car will be heading back to the in-laws (it doesn't actually start anymore, which defeats the purpose of having a car, as you can guess). So I'll be going to Costco to get the one or two things I would actually buy there, and I'll have no way of getting the stuff home. HAHA. Smart thinking, Stella.

Anyways, I'm telling you all this because I find it funny that Costco lets you make a face for your membership card picture. Mine looks like I just ate a lemon. It is 100% awesome. I showed it to the lady at the photo centre and she pretended to be impressed.

I'm thankful that people humour me. Otherwise I'd just be showing all this stuff to my dog, who would probably just rub his ass on my arm and walk away.