October 31, 2008



Verdict on cooking black beans myself: not so exciting. I didn't really notice any difference in taste either, but maybe my beans were old. Sigh. I had such high hopes. At least now I have a freezer bag full of beans for future consumption. We had black bean tacos last night, obvs. With homemade tomatillo salsa!

Speaking of beans...

I took my dear friend Kate out for dinner the other night when she flew through town for a visit. I suggested one of my fave Chinese restaurants, because I knew she'd love the food. She bravely ordered a sweet bean drink while I ordered my lychee standby. Her drink came, and I swear to god, it was just whole kidney beans in sweet coconut milk. That's it! We looked at it for a while, a little confused, and both tried some.

It was... Beany.

I started calling the drink "breakfast" and we giggled through dinner. The other customers were probably wondering why I kept pointing at Kate accusingly, shouting "drink your breakfast!"

Okay, no more bean blogging for a while.

So it seems to be Halloween. I have not dressed up, nor have I made Morty's armoured bear costume yet. SAD. I used to be the Halloween queen. I even dressed up as a box of french fries one year! What happened to me? How did I get so apathetic? I feel like I will get my second wind in a couple of years and I'll return to my former Halloween glory. We'll see.

My BH and I are spending Halloween with our buddy Mark out in les burbs. I suspect that they will play Rock Band while I polish off the alcohol. And the chocolate.

Hey, this could be fun!

I have a very, very long wish list on Amazon.

It's really the perfect retail situation for me: I can take months, nay, YEARS picking out books and making sure I want them before ordering. This way I rarely get something I don't love. This is also good seeing as how I need to follow a budget and can no longer impulse book shop (a dangerous hobby for those of us who love cookbooks).

I bring this up because I have been looking for a specific book, and it's been particularly hard to find. It's called A Family Christmas by Reader's Digest, and it's no longer in print. It was the designated family Christmas book every year when I was a kid, but we got it out from the library and never had our own copy. I finally tracked it down (minus one copy getting lost in the mail and a subsequent refund)and I'm counting the days until it arrives. It's just the greatest book. Ever. I'll be gushing about it more when it arrives.

Those of you living in Ottawa are probably aware that it snowed like a motherfucker last night. Guess who has never seen snow? My little bundle of Morty, that's who. I took my chubby dog for a walk last night during the blizzard portion of the storm, and I totally predicted his reaction. He took one look at the whipping flakes and the howling wind, and slowly started backing up (this is the dog who refuses to poo in the rain). I lured him off the front step with some treats, and he reluctantly peed and ran inside.

This morning, the reaction was quite different. Morty voluntarily wandered onto the sidewalk, sniffed the snow, took a lick, and was in HEAVEN. He looked up at me and I swear he was thinking, "Are you fucking kidding me? This shit is edible? WHY DIDN"T YOU SAY SO??" He proceeded to run around like a maniac trying to eat all the snow on the street. It was brilliant.

I'm not as upset about the snow as I expected to be, probably because I have a few new hats, mitts and scarves that I'm excited to wear. It's all about the gear, I think. And yup, I'm wearing long johns today. Sexy times have begun! Making out is like peeling ten bananas from here on in.

Tonight I'm cooking my first batch of dried black beans. I know this isn't rocket science, but I'm still looking forward to it. Apparently they taste better than the canned stuff. While this isn't surprising, it wouldn't have occurred to me unless I had read it.

For those of you who didn't wake up to snow this morning: enjoy it while you can, because IT'S COMING TO GET YOU!

October 28, 2008

Only Because Gabriel Asked


Six things, from Gabriel, but not exactly following the rules.

1. I love the smell of cologne so much that I have followed complete strangers around just so I could enjoy the air. (Seriously. I've done that.)

2. Papaya makes me want to hurl. I can't explain it. No other fruit makes me react that way.

3. I tend not to buy clothes made of synthetic material because they give me the creepies. Acrylic means instant goosebumps.

4. Until two weeks ago, I hadn't drank coffee for about ten years. Now I drink it on weekends. It's delicious, especially since it doesn't give me an allergic reaction anymore. That used to really spoil the experience...

5. I've been using the same cinnamon roll recipe since I was in grade five, and it's still the best.

6. I dream of working from home.

Now, here's the part where I break the rules. I'm not going to tag anyone outright. I've noticed a few memes going around lately, and I don't want to meme you out! Still, I love reading random things about people, so feel free to post your own list if you're down.

I have a question. What's the best way to remove a piece of microscopic glass from your finger? A piece so small that you can't see it and you only know it's there because of the pain it causes? Would you soak it in a bath and hope it falls out? I've tried tweezers and needles to no avail.

October 27, 2008



A few things have happened since the conference finished yesterday.

I brushed my hand against a pile of splintered glass and still haven't gotten all the pieces out.

I improvised with slow cooker oatmeal and totally destroyed it. Next time I'll stick to my recipe!

I discovered that I am sensitive to scented laundry soap after I wrapped myself in a fleece blanket and had trouble breathing.

I made mashed potatoes with kale, leeks and roasted garlic. It took all my concentration not to lick the pot.

I watched The Hulk and actually enjoyed it! Maybe because Ed Norton kept whipping his shirt off, maybe not. But I do love him so.

I went to Raw Sugar and bought some vegan peanut butter squares, because they make my mouth happy.

I wrote a song! First one since last winter. Crazy.

And pre-conference, I made tea biscuits and accidentally grabbed the wax paper instead of the parchment paper for baking. The smoke alarm got a great workout.

So. Another OCFF in the bag. This one was probably the best year yet for musical exposure, but also the most stressful year I've had to date. Next year I'm going to take it easy and concentrate on having fun instead of networking like a maniac. It's just better that way. Really. All in all, I played four shows and drank, um, a lot of rum. Luckily my BH came with me and we had lots of fun checking out the scene and walking into doors. Oh wait, that was just him.

Here's hoping I can get back on some sort of normal sleep schedule after nearly seeing the sun rise this weekend. I don't think I've stayed up that late since I was in high school.

October 25, 2008

Conference Weekend


Hi folks!

Sorry for the radio silence... I haven't forgotten about you. I really appreciate all your comments about budgeting. My BH and I are going to record all of our purchases, no matter how small (or large, ahem) and make some changes from there. I'll let you know how it goes! Here's hoping we learn some good budgeting skills in the process.

I'm writing you smack in the middle of the OCFF conference which I have been excited for all year. Last night I was playing at / attending concerts until 4am, and although I'm a bit of a night owl, that was LATE. I'm a night owl with a day job, so I don't often push my limits like that.

As much as this conference can be a wild, crazy, mildly stressful and expensive venture, it's also completely worth it. I'm particularly happy that it's taking place a ten minute walk from my house, instead of a six hour drive to a city I don't especially like. I've already had a bunch of adventures, some of which involving drunken males who were too fucked up to know how to be appropriate, but some involving great musical exposure. Tonight I have two more gigs, for which I am both excited and totally, nauseatingly nervous.

Speaking and drinking and nausea, have you guys ever tried a Dark and Stormy? It's Bermuda rum, ginger beer and lime juice. I drank a pitcher of it last night! It is excellent and I recommend it to all of you. Just don't drink the whole pitcher.

Here are some shots of the pre-concert preparations. I'm considering skipping the workshops today so I'll have energy for the shows tonight. It's already the afternoon, anyway. People at the hotel are probably just waking up.

PS: Oh! And three minutes into the room setup, I mashed my hand behind a wardrobe and bled on the hotel sheets. I sure know how to party! Good thing Shawna travels with a first aid kit...

October 22, 2008

The Dreaded Budget


Owwwww. I just did my first real household budget. Owwwww.

You know, I used to be Miss Efficient. I would plan out every penny coming my way and I would never go over. Granted, that was when I was in university and working retail to make ends meet. I couldn't afford to mess it up. I'm still pretty good at making savings plans and doing basic financial planning, but apparently I have developed a weak spot since I started making office-style money:


I guess I should say that my BH and I share this weak spot together. It's very much a combined (lack of) effort. We both have areas where we completely drain the bank, all the time convinced we are being prudent. Do you know how much we went over our budget for the month of October? DOUBLE. We spent twice what we should.

I honestly thought I had entered something incorrectly when I filled out my little excel chart. I blinked a few times and thought... "We couldn't possibly have spent double, right? I'm seeing things, right?" Ha ha. I wish.

We've both got to get this under control if we ever hope to swim out from under our school and music debt. The next step is making a new budget and sticking with it. I've read that the money envelope system is a good way to stay on track. For example, we would take out our grocery budget in cash at the beginning of the month, put it in an envelope, and only use that money when we need groceries.

If we run out, we've overspent. Sucks for us.

I guess it wouldn't hurt to think of some cheap and easy snack/lunch/dinner ideas. That's one of the areas where we're hurtin'.

Does anyone else have good budgeting tricks? Or maybe has some problems following their own budget? Because, I've gotta say, looking at my expenses over the past month makes me feel like a gigantic ASSHOLE.

The good news: charting all our household expenses gives me something new and organize-y to obsess over. You know how much I like that.

October 21, 2008

Armoured Bear


Aaah, I am decompressing a bit.

I finally had some time to figure out my messy OCFF schedule, something which had been weighing on my brain for, well, the past couple of months. It looks like I'll be playing several guerilla showcases as well as one official showcase, all starting after midnight this coming weekend. The concerts stop at 4am. Who's gonna be tired? Me!

Other than the craziness of the conference, my thoughts have been preoccupied with.... CHRISTMAS! I know, I know. It's far away, and who wants to think about capitalism's favourite holiday? I do, especially since I'm aiming to cut my costs down this year, and that's going to require some careful planning. I'm also hoping to fill my time with crafts and cooking, something I rarely have time to do during the December rush. I've actually booked off a full week, instead of one measly day, which will probably make all the difference in the world.

I'm especially excited about the holidays because Andi and I have hatched a brilliant plan. No gifts within our group of friends. Instead, we are all getting together for a big loud supper so we can enjoy each other's company. I spend so much money on small things for my buddies that I end up feeling more panicked than anything else. My impending credit card bill takes over my mind and I swear I lose sleep over it. No more! Food, drink, and inappropriate jokes. C'est tout. I'll get crazy drunk and lose my purse, and we'll all go home.

I realise Halloween is coming up in a matter of days, but without the dirty pumpkin carving contest, I feel lost. I don't even know if kids trick or treat in my new area. I think the extent of my Halloweening will be dressing Morty up as an armoured bear.*

Yes, I know, it is going to be awesome. And I promise at least one photo, providing Morty doesn't throw off his costume in a violent bear rage.

*But you need to say it like they do in the movie... With a British accent. "Aaaah-mad beaaaaah."

October 19, 2008



This weekend has been delightful. The weather? Amazing. The food? Awesome. The Morty? Cute!

Except when he woke up this morning and proceeded to crap what seemed to be an entire stick along the length of my hallway. That was not so great. Stumbling outside in frosty weather wearing pajamas with a puppy in mid-poo is embarrassing, but it's especially bad when your neighbour is standing right outside when it happens. The moral of the story? Don't let your dog consume a giant stick, even if he seems to love it at the time. Because the end result is wood chips out the bum.

I'm actually starting to dread my beloved OCFF conference this coming weekend. I haven't had a chance to plan it out like I hoped. Work plus work equals CRAZY TIMES and it's been very far from my brain. Hopefully I can get my shit together so that I can actually enjoy the folky goodness.

In the meantime, I'm off to make pumpkin and squash quesadillas and inspect my hallway for stray wood chips.

Happy beautiful fall.

October 16, 2008

Holy Mother


Okay, I won't lie. Work is kicking my ass right now. Everyone is in a post-election tizzy and my workload had quadruplified. I'm even making up words on a whim.

I will still try to post with some regularity, but holy mother I am drained.

It's probably a good thing, then, that I don't have any gigs booked. Other than a jam-packed weekend at OCFF coming up, I've got nothing on my slate and I'm oddly relieved. Usually a gig-free future makes me nervous, but now? I will take the early nights and the extra time with my sweetheart and my gassy pup. Luckily someone just ordered three whole CDs off my web site, which makes me happeeeee.

Last night I was social. I headed down to New France with Megan and Jo to watch some furious debating. It was furious! And debate-y! Morty came along and behaved like a bit of a jerk until he finally passed out on the floor.

Watching the debate with other people made me realize something: I am an obsessive channel changer. If I don't like what someone is saying (cough cough John McCain) I switch. Commercial? Switch. Long, drawn-out suspense? Switch. I eventually settle back on the original channel, but not before taking a little walk through television land on the way. Because I didn't have this option last night, I spent a lot of time running after Morty and hanging out in the kitchen with the popcorn. It was better than listening to McCain talk about Joe the freaking plumber. I thought Obama had a nice smile, and looked a great deal calmer than twitchy McCain (who, by the way, looked so tense he was blinking with rapid-fire speed... BLINK BLINK BLINK. Why so tense, Johnny?).

The weather is delicious today and I am LOVING fall. A new cafe just opened up around the corner from me and my BH and I are doing to have a romantic coffee date there this weekend. I know it won't be long before things take a turn for the cold, so I'm going to enjoy it while I can. I'd better get out my knitting needles before the snow hits.... My urge to knit is tied predictably to frigid weather.

Just for a laugh, this popped into my head when McCain was going on about his energy plans last night. I had to stifle a giggle.

October 14, 2008

Photo Update!


Chatting with LC last night before she caught her plane back to Halifax, I demanded she post more news about her wild adventures in university.

"What about YOU?" she shot back. "I need more pictures of Morty. Think about my needs!"

So tonight, after dog park-ing, supper-ing and vote-ing, I will upload some fresh puppy pictures*, as well as some shots of the copious amounts of food I ate this weekend. I fear I ate the equivalent weight of a small child. Still, it was a lovely Thanksgiving. Nice weather, a phone call from The Colombian, and a crapload of sleep. All a girl needs.

Speaking of the vote... While I am relieved this election is drawing to a close, I know it's possible/probable we will have another one soon. I quite like the idea of minority governments aside from that frequent election problem. Booo. Federal politicians, you bore me. Thank goodness I love my current MP and don't have to think too hard about who I want to vote for. Although it's always a bit surreal when the results come in and we're stuck with a whole new set of ministers...

My project for this week is to assemble my new coat rack** and transform my current coat area into a drying area instead. Unless I magically get together the money to buy a dryer, I need to improve my drying rack situation before it threatens to engulf my entire apartment.

Can I share something with you? I am getting very, VERY excited about some projects that are brewing in my mind. Not that I can go into crazy details, because I don't have any, but here are the words that keep bouncing around in my head (note, they are not all for one project. we're mixing and matching here):

drum sequencing
power tools
shiny new mac
small business

I realize that list may sound a bit random, but someday I will finish my grand plan and share it in its entirety. It's going to be highly attractive.

* Oh! Oh! My mother-in-law bought Morty a shiny purple rain coat and (I'm not kidding here) DOGGY BLING. There is photographic evidence, much to Morty's dismay.
**Yah, I know the site says it's a hat rack, but it's not fooling anybody. Who buys this thing with the sole purpose of hanging their hats? Nobody, that's who.

October 9, 2008

Headache... Meme


J tagged me in a meme and I am happy to oblige!

7 things about me (that you may or may not want to know):

1. I hate having a broken or snagged nail. It has nothing to do with the way it looks... It's the way it feels. Even thinking about it makes me shudder... Yuck. Now I've got goosebumps.

2. I am not squeamish around bugs - my first response to a creepy crawly is usually "cooooool!" (this all disappears if I know they bite, so xnay to wasps and hornets)

3. Although I love to travel, I am a total homebody and start to get homesick after two weeks away. Case in point: every trip I've been on.

4. I can sing in Hebrew and I can even do Israeli folk dancing, although I will only demo this whilst drunk.

5. I met Jerry Garcia shortly before he died.

6. One day, I would really like to go here.

7. I currently have a gigantic pounding headache and I want nothing more than to crawl into bed. Oops... I'm not sure that fits into this meme.

I am now supposed to tag seven more people, but this headache has taken hold of my brain and is smooshing it around in my skull. Ever had that kind of headache? Yeah. It makes me want to kill things.


If you have seven things to share, please feel free to scoop up this meme and do naughty things to it. You have my go-ahead.

If you need me, I'll be napping.

October 8, 2008

New France and a Day Off


It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Way back in July, my BH and I bought our dear friend a subscription to a music magazine. As I was filling out the online order form, I jokingly put in "Sexyface" instead of our friend's real name. We laughed. And then we didn't change it.

Fast forward to yesterday, and our friend never did get his magazine. I had to call the company to sort it out, because they had already charged me for the service they didn't provide. And I had to call from work, because their customer service line was only open during my work hours. So every office somewhat near my desk heard the following one-sided conversation:

"Hi, yes, I ordered a subscription for a friend but it never arrived."

"His last name? It's D____."

"His first name? Can't you just look it up by last name?"

"Fine, it's Sexyface. No, I said Sexyface. Of course that's not his real name! I was just trying to be funny."

"You still can't find it? You want me to what? Oh, Christ. Okay, it's S-E-X-Y-F-A-C-E."

"No? How about I just give you his address...?"

It is now resolved, thank goodness. It's a damn good thing I didn't pick something more offensive, because as many of you know, I often spout these things without thinking.

Tonight my BH and I are going to New France for the first time. Having heard so much about the wild and crazy nights at NF, we are very much looking forward to the outing. Hopefully some of the excitement about ANTM rubs off on us, because we haven't watched television in three months and we are very much out of the loop. I don't think it will be hard. Getting together to watch skinny girls cry sounds awesome to me.

Did you know that it's Thanksgiving this weekend?? Holidays always ALWAYS sneak up on me. I think it comes from working in retail for so long and never getting these days off. I have almost come into work on a holiday at least five times since I started the Office Job. At least I know about this one in advance. As such, I have formulated a plan:

I will eat and drink until my sweetheart has to roll me home (romantic, I know).

October 6, 2008

Time of the Month


Dang... I'm not updating with my usual frequency. Not much is going on, and I don't want to bore you with the tedious "I bought a new toothbrush" and then the "I used my old toothbrush for cleaning" story (even if it's true).

So what am I up to? Big fat nothing. The nights have been chilly, and I bitched about it enough that Megan and Jo kindly told me I could just turn my heat on. Heh. Oops.*

I found my banjo pre-amp stuffed in the back of my mini amplifier. It's been lost since the move this summer and I am relieved that I don't have to buy another one.

We discovered that Morty is a giant chicken shit in the house and a big bully outside of the house. He has also learned how to clean his balls. He discovered this when we had company over.

I read a book on real estate (for women) that was Sexist with a capital S. Did you know that if you have buyer's remorse, it may be because it's your time of the month? Now you know.

Morty and I went for a walk when I was sleepy and I managed to stroll through his poo. Awkward!

That's my week... How are y'all doing?

*Then my BH and I enjoyed Jo's hot buns all night long!

October 3, 2008

Sexy Firemen


You know what's a bad idea? Staying up until 2am on a weeknight. I am fricking wiped. Everything is blurry and my teeth hurt.

Still, the show at the Black Sheep was great. Rozalind had the whole place decorated by the time I got there - we're talking Christmas lights, pretty material and candles. We had improvised jam sessions with glockenspiels, percussive frogs, accordions, banjos and TWO cellos. Indie films played on a screen behind us. It was a unique experience, and totally fun.

As usual, I couldn't tell if the audience found me offensive or funny, but that didn't stop me from yammering on. One dude came up to me at the end of the show and shook my hand so enthusiastically that I thought he crushed my precious fingers. Erin B. and her hubby came all the way out for the show (thanks!!) and I got some quality hang time with Lucy the Pug. All in all, it was a great way to spend a Thursday evening. It just went a little later than I expected.

And then I didn't wake up to my alarm. Panic in the morning! And Morty was sleeping on my head, which made it hard to see the clock. Excuses, excuses.

"Hi, sorry I'm late... I just had a bulldog on my head is all. The drool had crystallized."

Tomorrow is a big day of parties, all of them wicked, which means I need to sleep sleep sleep tonight. And start drinking early tomorrow. So I can be a real jewel by the evening, of course. I picked up a bottle of hard cider at the farmer's market, which I think will do the trick. I'm also looking forward to Sunday because I get to purchase some functional items from Ikea. Nothing gets me going like functional items...

Speaking of functional - did you see? Jo is on Apartment Therapy! I love that site! GO JO!!

I have no exciting way to end this post. I was thinking about mentioning the election again, but I don't want to trigger a collective groan from all you lovely readers. Shall we think about something nicer? I'll throw out a few ideas:



sexy firemen!

sexy firemen knitting giant pumpkins! during an election!

Ack!! It just keeps coming back...

October 1, 2008

Laugh All You Want


So! I'm feeling slightly less angry, which is great, because I'm really snarly when I'm mad.

This evening is all about rehearsing with my buddy Rozalind who I'm playing with tomorrow night at the Black Sheep. We're going to collaborate on each others songs like we did on each others records. Swapping flute and banjo. Mmmmm. She's a big dog lover, so I'm excited for her to get here and meet Morty.

I had hoped to bring Morty to this show (because the Sheep is very friendly to bulldogs), but someone would need to watch him constantly and that's not something I'm willing to burden anyone with. Besides, he's scared of instruments. And we'd be at a music venue. There will be at least two cellos, one banjo, several flutes and two guitars.

I can just imagine the carnage.

Yesterday, as I was jotting down a(nother) list of my life's goals,* I was surprised to see myself write "start playing tennis."

I played tennis when I was in Jew camp as a child. I loved it, but when I left that camp I also left behind the only tennis courts I had easy access to. Sports in general aren't something I get excited about, but I still daydream about being able to play tennis again. I guess that's why it popped up on the list. Maybe I'll start scoping out tennis courts in Centretown. Anyone have suggestions? Anyone a closet tennis player?

Funny random thing: I bumped into a friend on the way home who was asking about Morty. Most people don't know much about the strange quirks of bulldogs, but I couldn't help but giggle when she said, "Do you take him to the dog park? Oh, wait, let me guess. He doesn't like to walk that far."

And you know what? He doesn't.

*Laugh all you want, but I would be wandering around in circles if it weren't for my lists.