April 29, 2010

The Race Is On


Perhaps the only downside to having two bulldogs is the sheer amount of gas those two emit. We're opening the windows like crazy around here, and our incense supply is dwindling. For real. It's starting to get funny.

Our final visit at the house takes place this afternoon. I'm extremely nervous about it. We're taking a contractor with us for some quotes and I'm scared about how much everything will cost me. Luckily, the contractor is a great guy... So hopefully he won't judge me if I cry after he gives me the amount.

There are repairs I can choose not to do, or choose to do myself, so that's what I'll decide after the visit.

We've also signed the lease with the new tenants, so the race is on!

In non-house news, I have two gigs next week, and then I'm playing at the Tulip Festival! I don't think I've ever had a paying gig there. Should be fun. I'll be covered in paint and drywall dust, but so be it.

To end this post on a cheerful note, we just got work that my workplace is cutting jobs. I'm pretty confident that my position is safe, but it sure put a downer on the day. I think my work qualifies as "essential" there, but I guess you never know. Oh well. Can't think about that now. I've got a house to fix.

April 26, 2010

Bulldogs, I love you (part 2)


Frieda is doing well.

Sometimes she falls asleep on Morty's balls.

Sometimes Morty grooms her for hours.

She's also learning to play, bit by bit.

Bulldogs. Is there anything better?

April 24, 2010

For Mumma


The past couple of days have been a bit of a drain on the ol' system.

On Friday, we got a sweet letter from my BH's grandmother. When he was growing up in India, both his parents worked full time, so he was basically raised by her. We stayed with her when we were in Mumbai a few years ago - she was a remarkable lady. Still teaching sewing at 94, feisty, polite, and always thinking of her family. She was also incredibly gracious to me, this strange white girl with tattoos, dangly earrings and bleached hair. She made me feel at home in a city that pretty much scared my pants off.

Anyway. The letter. It had her familiar handwriting on it. We were thrilled to her from her. We pledged to write her back as soon as we could.

Friday night I was at a gay dance party, working the door and getting sloshed off my ass. What else would one do at a gay dance party, I ask you? Exactly. Then my cell rang sometime after midnight, and my BH was calling to say that his grandmother had passed away in her sleep.

I spent the following hour stumbling home, drunk and sad, trying to make condolence calls that didn't give away how much booze I had in my system. I woke up hungover after sleeping only a few hours and dragged my butt to choir practice. We sang spirituals and I cried through them, miraculously without anyone noticing. It was a bad 12 hours for me. It was worse for my BH.

My BH's grandmother, or Mumma, as everyone called her, was very much the neighbourhood's mom. She raised so many kids on her own, whether or not they were blood relatives. Mumma helped put a lot of children through school. She was widowed at a young age, and spent the rest of her life giving back to the families in her community. A chunk of Mumbai is mourning today.

I remember a story she told me once: She and her husband planned a big party to celebrate their wedding anniversary, but he passed away right before the event. She said she didn't want to waste everyone's efforts to put together the party, so she decided to have it anyway. That made me so sad, but she said it very matter-of-factly. Why waste? She was strong, that woman. Seeing her interact with my BH was amazing. There was so much love between them. I feel honoured that I got to meet her... She taught me so much in one small trip.

We can't afford to go to India for the funeral. Her home will probably be sold, and her belongings will be split up among the family members there. It makes me sad for my BH, who may not get to see his childhood home again. I'm thankful that we went to India when we did, but I wish we could be there now.

Now I'm left wondering how to give my BH a great 30th birthday tomorrow with all this sadness floating around. He deserves a great day, you know?

Anyway. It's tough, but I keep reminding myself that she had a wonderful life, and loved us until the end.

April 21, 2010

I Love You, Bulldogs


I mean it.

The countdown is on: less than four weeks until we take possession of the house. CRAZINESS.

I'll be talking about the house casually on this blog, but if you want more details, I've started a new blog that will focus only on the renos, being a landlord, messing up repairs, etc.

To clarify:

This blog: life, music, food, home stuff, bulldogs.
That blog: HOUSE

Now, onto music. I mentioned that I had a couple of gigs in May, and you kind readers expressed interest in them. Here are the sexy details, if you wish to attend. Consider this an open invite - I love it when bloggy friends come out to shows!

May 4
NAC Fourth Stage, maybe 8pm?
Playing with Ian Tamblyn and Lief Vollebekk. This is part of the Bluebird North tour that I love so much.
Tickets are $15, which might be steep if it wasn't at the fabulous NAC. Lord, I love playing here.
You can get tickets at the NAC box office, and come to think of it, I think you can order them somewhere online too....
This gig will pamper you. Cushy seats and cafe-style setup.

May 8
Cajun Attic, new location at 349 Dalhousie in the Market
9pm... cover.... I don't know the cover. Not a lot.
I'm playing with my buddies East of Gatineau. They are loads of fun. Bluegrassy.
I'll be playing my set with my dearest cousin Brian.
This is a good gig to get drunk at (but aren't they all?).

Anyways, you're all invited. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions.

Update on the girl dog:

We are going to formally adopt her.
We are renaming her Frieda.
She is allergic to a variety of things, possibly including grass.
She snores louder than Morty and my BH combined.

Other than the dogs, gigs and house, my BH is turning 30 this weekend.


I've dated this charming man for ten years now, and I can say that he's only gotten more awesome. More birthday details coming up.... I can't give you too many in case he decides to read this post before the big day.

That's all for now, folks!

April 16, 2010

Better, Better


Guess what happened, internet? The dogs don't completely detest each other anymore!


I KNOW. The cute is hard to manage. Maybe this means we can keep her.

Otherwise, things are still stressful, but I'm managing. We're trying to book our closing visit for the house, which is proving to be more dramatic than I expected. We're also designing a closet for our bedroom, shopping for flooring, job hunting for my BH, training the wee doggie, packing, purging extra furniture.... It's enough to make my hands shake.

I expect it will be all worth it when we have a wicked house to live in, hey?

In case any of you are curious, we're going with fairly dark wood floors. They are engineered wood, which means a layer of real hardwood on top, with a plywood base that clicks together like a puzzle piece. It's pretty eco-friendly (uses a lot of recycled wood) and there's a local supplier who will make it to order. Another benefit is that we can install it ourselves, since it requires no nails or glue. Just brains. We're going with a dark grey maple. It's going to be sexy, as much as a floor can be sexy.

In music news, I'm playing a gig with this guy in a few weeks. He's pretty famous in the folk world. I don't know why they asked me to play, but I know a great opportunity when I see one.

April 14, 2010

Like a Girl's


Thank you for letting me dump my stress on you, internets.

I think it culminated a couple of nights ago when I was tired and feeling bummed about the foster Frenchie. She and Morty were still not getting along, which meant we couldn't really keep her, which made me so very sad. I picked her up and wandered around the kitchen with her and whispered in her ear: "Why can't you just pretend to like my doggie? Please? Just play with him a bit and stop batting him in the face..." and then I cried all over her little head and that was that. She snorted happily into my neck.

She's still at our house... They occasionally show signs that they don't mind each other, so we're just taking it day by day. They snuggle each other at night, which makes me very confused. Why would you spoon at night and snarl during the day? Oh doggies. I don't understand your sweet doggy brains.

Some good news about the hard drive.... Most of our older pictures made it. Chunks of 2009 and 2010 are gone, but our India trip is intact. I'm thrilled. And broke. We'll be backing up the survivors with multiple drives. If any of you out there are relying on one hard drive at the moment, get another one! Avoid the trauma, my dears.

I was looking through my planner earlier, and would you believe, we take possession of the house in five short weeks. I have So. Much. To. Do. Luckily, most of it is fun stuff, like shopping for ceiling fans and buying sledgehammers and staple guns. I'm going to have a painting / flooring party a few days after we take over. Hopefully my friends are willing to trade some labour for beer and food and great music.

I wrote my first post over at the home reno blog. I'll share the link here shortly - it's still not totally done over there.

Since I'm being such a downer lately, allow me to share a funny moment my BH and I shared last night. We were watching Sabrina, and my BH absent-mindedly started stroking my head.

"You have nice hair," he said, staring off into space. "Like a girl's."

And I laughed so hard I think I scared the dogs.

April 12, 2010



Dudes, I'm stressed out.

My BH accidentally dropped our external hard drive. The one with ALL our photos. The one that we use to keep them safe. Apparently only 60% of the contents made it through.


We're fostering the world's cutest French bulldog. We were hoping she'd make a great buddy for Morty, but they aren't really getting along. Actually, they don't mind each other, but she doesn't seem to know how to play. All Morty ever wants to do is play. So now Morty is miserable. And she's more dominant than he is, so she keeps bossing him around. He thinks he's being replaced.

I hate seeing Morty so sad.

But I don't want to give up on this doggie, since it can take quite a while for dogs to figure each other out.

I want them to be friends.

It's bumming me out.

Then there's the house stuff, which is crazy interesting but FUCK there is so much to do and so much money to spend. I don't have that much money.

(And I'm about to lose $700 of it to have the hard drive info recovered)

Then? My BH and I got lost in the middle of the countryside on a back road in a rental car and the gas light came on. I nearly had a nervous breakdown as we were trying to find our way out of there without having the car die in a ditch. We barely made it.

And? My house is a mess, but no matter how much we clean, it stays messy.

And? Because my landlord walled up our back door and put a duct in the hallway, we are no longer able to get our couch out of the apartment. Sounds like a joke, right? It's not. We're going to have to leave that thing in the apartment when we move.

AND? My dog is sad.

Sorry. I'm a big ball of venty stress right now.

Times like this, I wish I had my own trampoline. I could just jump the tension away.

Hello puppies!

First off, in local blog news, I find this exchange highly entertaining. Mayfair Theatre vs. Preacher. Check it out.

I had a very full weekend... Stomach full, activity full, you name it.

- I had breakfast with some fun people and got served by the same bitchy waitress I always end up with there. She's so bitchy! It boggles my mind. Why does she serve when she hates talking to people? And bringing their food? And getting their bills? WHY?

- We showed the apartment at the new house to some prospective tenants (we don't know if they're taking it yet). We found out that we actually know someone who grew up in our house. Ottawa is so small. The house still looks awesome. I want to live there RIGHT NOW.

- My BH and I went up to Chelsea for a kick-ass dinner with friends. Morty humped their dog in the face about thirty separate times. In front of the children. Morty is such a dirt bag.

- I went to an art show and hung out with my neighbours. I drooled over some of Mae's art, which I found by surprise when I was wandering around the venue. She's good, y'all. Really good.

- My BH and I spent some quality time together, and sorry to cheese out on you, but I think I fell even more in love with him. Did you know we started dating ten years ago this June? Truth.

- I spent time with my folks and my Bubbi. We ate some excellent food. I drank something sparkly.

- I decided to stop putting it off and started planning a shoulder tattoo.

- It was High School Boyfriend's birthday, so a bunch of old friends got together for a beer. I gave HSB a card that made me laugh so hard, tears were streaming down my cheeks. I think maybe he didn't like it as much as I did. I know because he did his lifty eyebrow thing. Oh well. At least there was beer.

- We found out that our good friends are having a baby! A BABY! This is the first baby announcement within our close circle of buddies. I'm so excited for them.

- Our bad neighbours with the bad dogs got worse. They are still off leash. One of the dogs got too close to a little baby, and barked angrily. It also harassed a few more dogs in the area. We all called bylaw. I'm not sure what else we can do.

(Also, can I tell you something about these trashy neighbours? It's really nasty. Don't read on if you can't handle the filth. A few days ago, we drove by their house with a friend of ours on our way to a BBQ, and they appeared to be.... Ugh.... Having sex on their ratty outdoor couch. I'm not a prude, but sweet Jesus, I will never burn that image from my mind).

On that note.... Well.... I've got nothing to make that better. Sorry. Dirty outdoor couch sex is just as gross as it sounds.