November 30, 2010

@#$$*(@)#

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So!

This past week has been stressful, for lack of a better word. My life seems to have morphed into a scattered collection of bills, receipts, post-it notes, To Do lists, grocery lists, Christmas lists..... GAH.

Even writing about it is stressful.

I've also given up on the grant I was applying for. No time to make it good, and damned if it wasn't giving me anxiety attacks. Next time, perhaps.

To compensate, I've been taking pictures of the dogs, planning Christmas meals, and vacuuming the carpet. Repeatedly. I don't know why, but it helps.

I'm sure I can push aside all that badness and focus on a few good things.

My BH is well into his third week of the new job, and he's become a fountain of information. I think that happens when you start in a brand new field.... Your brain gets filled up with interesting (and occasionally mundane) stuff. It's great to see him doing such a good job, although having him as a househusband was pretty rad. Heh.

We've been buying stollen, my favourite Christmas cake with marzipan filling, because it's finally in the stores again. Stollen and clementines. That makes up about 80% of my diet these days. I'm not complaining.

We're going to Toronto this weekend! I've got a gig at the Free Times Cafe, and we're going to eat at our very favourite dosa restaurant in Little India. Try as we may, we can't find a decent dosa in Ottawa. I'm still haunted by the amazing dosas we ate in India.... *drool* In case you aren't familiar with dosa, there's a little bit of eye candy here.

I've ordered most of my Christmas presents. As a rule, I try to have all my shopping done before December hits, but this year will be different. I need to go easy on myself. Having the gifts mostly bought isn't so bad.

What else.... Well, this doesn't fall into "good" or "bad," but I've developed a weird compulsion to put spice on EVERYTHING. It started in the summer with a particularly yummy hot sauce, and now I go through chili peppers like a mad woman. I've started to look at food with disdain if it's not piping hot. What is the deal with my taste buds? They've gone wacky!

Okay puppies, that's all I've got. Hopefully I'll be able to post something before I leave for the T Dot.

November 26, 2010

First Snow!

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video

Two bulldogs, fresh snow, and a bit of butt sniffing. What more could you want on a Friday?

Funny night.


I've reorganized the spice drawer, which has left me smelling like paprika and mustard seed.

Frida's in a kissy mood, and she's giving me little licks on my nose.

I'm struggling to get a grant application in even though I really have no time.

Work is busy! Why now??

I've got about half my Christmas gifts under control. The other half? Not so much.

I'm prepping to play a Toronto gig that I'm very damn excited about.

My BH has an erratic work schedule, but dudes, at least he's got work.

On my To Do list, I actually have a bullet that says, "Do not cry over bills."

Part of my roof kinda blew off, but it's all good. Or at least, it will be good once we climb up there and nail the fucker back on. Courage!

I've re-started French lessons at work. You know what I hate? Subjonctif. Why does French have to be so complicated?*


That's it with me. What's new with you?


*My French teacher said that the millions of tenses and complexities that exist within the language originally evolved as a way to differentiate between high class and low class speakers. Yeah? Well I REJECT YOUR CLASSIST VERBS, FRENCH.

November 20, 2010

Maskmakers

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Since I'm too sleepy to write a cohesive post, here's a picture of Milan taking pictures of a mask. Don't get too attached to the couch... It's on its way out! The replacement was purchased today.



The mask was made by my mom. Did I ever tell you about the maskmakers in my family? A story for another time, perhaps. But it's a good one.



Thanks Milan!

November 19, 2010

Fixer-Upper

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We've had some bad luck with our furniture since the big move.

For the first while, it was all buried under boxes. I remember the feeling of being unable to walk a straight line to the double bed, and stepping over saws to make breakfast. I'm glad those days are gone.

When we did get unpacked, I noticed that a lot of what we had didn't work that well in the space. Our couch was a broken loveseat, too small to fit a visitor or two, and too rickety to use properly anyway. Our bed had always been too small for us, but it was especially obvious now. I woke up every morning with half my body off the mattress, hands clinging to the sheets. Falling out of bed is particularly dangerous when you're surrounded by drying paint, nails, and splintered wood.

With some of our savings, we decided to replace a few key pieces, namely the couch and the bed. We bought our glorious king-sized bed and mattress, counting down the weeks until it would be delivered to us. The mattress arrived first, so we set it up on the ground and slept like that for a couple of weeks. When the frame arrived, the factory had made a mistake and sent us faulty legs for the thing. Unwilling to wait another three weeks for the replacement, we propped up our fancy new frame with paving bricks.

Yes. You read correctly. Our stylin' bed frame was held up by bricks. Eventually the legs were installed.

Somewhere in there our fridge died, and we swapped our used stove for another used stove in a better colour. Insert swearing about Craigslist crazies here (kinda makes you hate people, you know?).

Then we ordered the couch, which was cute, on sale, and folded out into a bed. Yes! Score for us! Except that it didn't seem very well made, and we were nervous about how wobbly it was. Sure enough, my darling father-in-law sat on it two days ago and the leg broke right off. Would you like to see how the couch looks now?





Uh huh. We're returning it, getting a full refund, and starting our search all over again.

Despite all my complaining, I'm so happy with our house. It recently came to my attention that EVERYONE thought I was nuts when I said I wanted to buy this place. Maybe I'm blessed with the ability to see how to fix a fixer-upper. Maybe I really am nuts. But dudes, furniture mishaps aside, I'm glad we went though the madness and get to enjoy the results.

November 17, 2010

Smooth

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Last night I spent three hours cleaning my closet. I'm talking ironing, re-folding everything, re-organizing, ditching, and putting away summer things.

In the process, I learned something about myself.

I am hard on my clothes.

There were holes, oil stains, dirt stains, pulls, you name it. Even my nicest stuff was hiding damage of some kind. I took it as a sign that I'm not meant to work in a fancy office forever, but it may also be a sign that I'm a slob. Long live jeans and a tee.

Anyway, now I have a beautifully organized closet, and I can move on to inflict the same treatment on my mini studio. It needs some attention.

I'm trying really hard to be organized about the next six weeks - don't you find that they go by SO QUICKLY?? We'll see if I manage it. Luckily, the craziness will be interrupted by a trip to Toronto! I'll be playing a gig with my beloved Shawna. It's going to be something else.

I have no smooth way to end this post.... So....

Bye!

November 15, 2010

Post-Haste

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My BH started his new job today. I'm still waiting to hear how it went, but dudes, we are officially a two-income household!! Woot! May the debt repayment begin post-haste.

In other news, I cut all my hair off. Probably about six inches gone. I feel so light! Although the longer hair was fun, it's also a lot more work. Let's face it - if I can avoid my brush and my hair dryer every morning, I'll do it. I'd much rather spend my precious morning hour snuggling the dogs.

So... Having a car is quite something. It's only been ours for couple of weeks, but man, it sure is great to be able to make plans without relying on shitty OC Transpo. I used to love taking the bus, but they earned my wrath with the Strike To End All Strikes. Hey, at least that PR fail got me walking to work.

Besides the new job and the car, I've been filling my time with:

- Counting down the minutes until Harry Potter comes to the big screen again.

- Enjoying our new (but very much on sale) couch, which fits two adults and two dogs with lots of room. Luxurious.

- Planning what sorts of tasty lunch foods I can make for my BH. It may sound weird, but I love packing him a lunch. Truth.

- Watching every episode of Vag Magazine, because it's so damn witty.

- Picking out some courses I can take this summer. Hint: they have nothing to do with any of my current jobs, but might involve power tools.

I'm also working on the next album, although mostly in the planning phase.... I'd like to find out which CD manufacturers are the best so that I can price them all out. I've been using the same company for years, and although they have been fine, I want to know what my options are.

But enough about me. How are y'all doing?

November 8, 2010

Onwards and Upwards

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I'm setting some goals for myself, because I love me some goals. I also thrive on having something to work towards, especially if its written down. Seems to be the way I'm wired.

The main thing I'm trying to improve on is my health. Working a job that requires you to sit on your ass all day takes its toll. It's funny, but when I was working in retail, I was in much better shape. Broke and stressed, yes. But being on my feet kept me moving. I was always standing, walking, or running for the bus. It made me unintentionally active.

I can't really pretend that my increasingly squishy "muscles" are hiding because they are shy. I am terribly out of shape, exercise rarely, and eating more takeout than I should for someone with good cooking skills. Mad skills, even.

So here's what's happening: I bought a membership to a city gym, with pool access included. I went for the first time a couple of days ago with my BH, and had the greatest time. No, I'm not being sarcastic.... For once. I had a wicked time. Listening to loud music while sweating away on the elliptical is crazy fun. I have yet to use the pool, but since I enjoy swimming laps, I plan to give it a try sometime soon.

I've also bought.... Get this.... An exercise DVD. This is probably the last thing I would have expected myself to do, but the fact is that I'm a homebody. There will be days when I don't want to go to the gym, and it would be smart to give myself a realistic option for staying in.

As for whether or not I'm going to see results? The holidays are coming and the love of my life makes fudge cake when he's bored. So no, I don't think I'm going to firm up over the next two months. But I do hope that I can build some muscle and get my heart working a bit. Even if I'm licking icing off a beater in the process.

A funny story about the gym, if you'll indulge me:

I got a free orientation with a personal trainer as part of my membership. The trainer was great. Maybe even hilarious. Anyway, she was showing me around the equipment and we arrived at a big machine with a slidey bar and a bunch of scary-looking accessories.

"This is our big slidey machine with accessories!" she said, enthusiastically.

"It looks like an S&M dungeon," I said, right when there was a lull in sound at the gym. Several heads turned.

"Ummm." said the trainer. "People don't usually say that out loud."

And that's my foot-in-mouth story for you today. Onwards and upwards!

November 4, 2010

Fruitcake

I'm officially excited for Christmas. I'm already listening to my favourite Christmas music, planning what cookies to bake, and buying gifts. Do you think that's weird? Given that I'm mostly Jewish?

Anyway.

My choir is also going to be doing carolling (at my insistence, hehe) and that's got me excited too.

My BH, an avid fruitcake fan, is already steeping candied fruit in booze. I don't like fruitcake, but I've learned to stop questioning his devotion. Once, at a wedding, I saw him go from table to table scooping up people's discarded fruitcake favours. He looked like a kid in a candy store, except that the candy was strong-tasting cake that could break your teeth.

Gotta love that that guy.

My studio is all tiled, so now we have to hang a couple of shelves and we're done. I can't wait to start recording - oh man oh man.

You know what else? Thanks to our awesome vet, Frida has a functioning ear canal and is... Get this..... RARELY ITCHY. Can you believe it? When we got her, if she wasn't sleeping, she was scratching until she bled. We are overjoyed that she's feeling better.

Her happiness has also translated into her being more playful with Morty, which for Frida means that she lovingly bats him in the face. Repeatedly. Until he plays with her. Bulldogs!

More soon...

We found a car. As of last night, it's ours. It's a small, used Acura with a million kilometres and old heated seats.

This is my first car - everything else I've driven belonged either to my folks or my BH. Now my BH and I have a car of our own, and honestly? I am still having trouble believing it.

I've gone without a car for a long time. I use Vrtucar and rental services when I'm really in need, but lately that's been happening more and more. Getting myself to concerts with two instruments, a gig bag, my CDs and guitar stand is hellish, and I'm usually rushing in and out of cabs to get there on time. I've lost more capos in the process than I care to admit.

Now with my BH's new job, we didn't have a choice. The bus routes don't run when his shifts start, and it's too far to bike. Not a whole lot of options there.

I've already caught myself making alternate car arrangements in my head when I'm planning out the week. If I need heavy groceries, I make a note to book a Vrtucar on a certain day. Now I can head there direct from my driveway! Amazing. Does anybody else think this is amazing? Maybe it's just me.

This past weekend was mostly filled up with car buying, but I also got some very sad news. Another high school friend of mine died. He had cancer - skin cancer, actually - which spread to his liver.

I went to the wake, but couldn't make it to the funeral. The open casket never ceases to freak me out, and the mood was sombre.

They were playing a slideshow of pictures on the far side of the room, so I wandered over there. The pictures showed my friend smiling and happy, traveling with his friends and his wife.

Then the last picture in the slideshow popped onto the screen. It was my friend, ever the clown and comedian, dressed up as a giant vagina.

Everyone watching erupted into laughter, and really, that's exactly what CJ would have wanted.