Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Some vendors suck

Rant Mode On:
I won't name names yet since I still want the gift to be a surprise, even if it isn't going to make it in time. I ordered Brian's main Christmas gift (and a little present for me) from a fairly well known (in their circles) online vendor. It was a very specific specialty item, and one I was thrilled to find for him. I'm really excited about it. Placed my order on Dec. 12th, and chose the free regular shipping option (5-7 days). It hadn't yet arrived today, so I called the company. Turns out the little thing for me is on back order. And won't be coming in for several months. So they weren't shipping the order yet. When I asked why I hadn't been contacted given that it is the holiday season, I was informed that they would have contacted me next week. NEXT WEEK!! So I go ahead and cancel the item that won't come in for several months. Then I ask about getting the present item shipped out at a faster service as I'm leaving for the Holidays on Friday. They said they'd send it if I paid for the expedited shipping, with no delivery guarantee, and it was going to cost me 3x the cost of the item to get it here (hopefully) by Friday. The sales guy was absolutely not helpful, refused to reduce the shipping charges, and never once apologized for the problems. At the end of the phone call, I reiterated what I wanted done (cancel item X, send item Y regular) and told him that we will never deal with them again, specialists or not. I'll post a link once Brian's opened his "gift" for Christmas. Guess I'll have to just print out a picture and wrap that, and I can't even do that at work as the site sets off our internet filters! I am SO not a happy camper. I actually had something really cool for Brian for once. Do you realize how impossible that is to pull off? And now he's not going to be getting it until sometime in the New Year.
Rant Mode Off
I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog entries...
I have lots of little news type items to post, but I can't do most until after Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Random photos..

Why I have such a hard time losing weight. Brian was bored and poking around in the kitchen. I left him to it, and this is the result. Yum!

This one just goes to show Bonnie that her totally helpless/clueless hairstyle challenged sister can in fact (and VERY occasionally does) use hotrollers...

Afer the rollers come out, ready for my company Christmas party. It's a totally horrible photo, I'm hoping the "official" photographer got at least one good one of me, he certainly seemed to be always catching me in the eye with a flash!

Noah's Sub update photos again, this one after Saturday's stitching...

And after Sunday's...

I probably won't post any further as I'm this close to actually finishing it in time for Christmas so I want the "final look" to be a surprise!
{fingers crossed}

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Cross-stitch photos

Photos of previously completed cross-stitches, since it was nice and bright this morning to take photos without flashes! They're not great, and I'll try to take better in the future, but they'll do for a first run.

This one is Catch the Wind

And this is Celtic Christmas, adapted by me to be done in purples.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Now hiding...

I think my friends here are going to kill me. I said (more than once) that all I wanted for my birthday was snow. Even just a little snow. It can't be my birthday until I've had snow. And that little pretend wink-and-you'll-miss-it bit last week didn't count. So Sunday morning we got snow. Not much, but almost an inch, which is enough to seriously screw up traffic here. We weren't actually here for it, being in Conneticut for the weekend at Anonycon (more on that later), but it counted. I got to see snow where we were too, and the drive back Sunday night was a breeze. We were home in under an hour and a half. I was happy. But here's the part they're going to kill me for. There's another storm coming, this one expected to drop somewhere in the neighbourhood of 7 inches (or more) on us in the next 24 hours, starting tonight. Just in time for my birthday. Whoopee! Now if we could only get the heat working properly in our apartment. We're not freezing, or anything like that, but it does have to get fixed. And we recieved our notice of what our rent increases will be for next year (yeouch) in the mail on Saturday, including the fact that if we're leaving, we have to notify them by not later than Monday. I plan to give them written notice that we plan to stay pending resolution of the heating situation. We'll see. I might have to move into protective custody anyways once my friends dig themselves out of the snow!
Gotta run!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Amazing what a four day weekend can accomplish...

That's a LOT of stitching accomplished in one weekend, four days or no! I might actually have a chance at finishing this in time for Christmas after all. We're heading away next weekend for three days (I can't wait), but I don't think I want to bring it and risk having something happen this close to finished!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


We had snow this morning. Nothing I'd even call a dusting, and it certainly melted as soon as it touched anything, but we had snow!
{giggles maniacally}

And I get out of work for 3pm today!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Stitching Update

I've gotten a lot of stitching done on Noah's Sub the past few weeks and wanted to actually post a photo of it to this blog. I'll be updating it to the xvart website in the near future too... I'm on the LAST PAGE! Wohoo! I've gotten most of the yellow for the sub done, and the periscope. I did one colour of the sky across the top just to make sure it would meet up, and it did. I was very happy about that!

Other than that, not a lot to tell. We hosted gaming on Saturday, as usual and on Sunday went out to see the new Harry Potter movie with Jen, Joe and John. It was fun. Brian's in the middle of trying to organize an insane amount of gaming over the upcoming 4 day Thanksgiving weekend. We have players coming from two different states, and one from England. Hi Hayden! We miss you! The Y is going well, I'm branching out into more different types of exercise, and the results are really starting to show. I'm down almost 20lbs since the middle of August! Wohoo!

Gotta run since I'm at work. The image upload to the blogs doesn't work from my mac (atleast not that I've figured out, I haven't tried too hard) so I post the photos from work which is all PC's.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Can you see the difference?

Wednesday November 16th, 2005

I can't see the difference...
Thursday November 17th, 2005

Yep, Percy's been shaved again! I'd feel bad, but if he's willing to lie there for the groomer, for all intents and purposes saying "Go for it!", my allergies will thank him!
(Note: Both photos were taken from about the same distance away, and with the same lack of zoom. He really is that much smaller without his fur!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Reasons why I love him

Because my husband will run me a hot bath after my workout at the Y, then spend the time I'm soaking in the tub playing my character in a video game so I can have some money...(less than 500,000 to go for invincibility!) And being the dyslexic videogamer I am, I *need* the invincibility. I wonder how I managed to inherit that from Neil?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Things I love about

Living close to work...

Going home for lunch, having lunch ready when I walk in the door and getting a break and a rest.

Oh, and playing Lego Star Wars. That game should be banned for the addictive crack it is! We only picked it up yesterday, and Brian's through the first movie already.
Thanks Joe!

At last!

Finally, today, November 14th, I have harvested the first edible tomato from my garden. Did I mention my tomatos sucked this year? There are a couple of others ripening now, but we're getting really close to a frost at night, so I don't know if they'll make it. Next year I'm going back to cherry tomatos!
Have a great day!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Oh, and I forgot...

I finally got the photos from our vacation posted. Click on the title to get there. They are currently unsorted, unlabelled and unculled, but they're finally up!

Another Update!

I'm going to try to do more spurr of the moment shorter blog posts for a while and see how it works out. I keep thinking of/coming across things to put up here, but never seem to have the time to type out everything I want to say. So, I give you the less edited, less coherent, more frequent blog!
Well, we're in immigration paperwork hell right now, but it'll all come out in the wash. We have to get a ton of paperwork completed, need several documents from Canada, and need to find a "Civil Surgeon" to do our medical checks. Then we submit and wait for our interview, where we get interviewed (duh!), photographed and fingerprinted. Then we're allowed to stay! Until we find the surgeon, we won't know how much the testing will cost, but it shouldn't be too bad (fingers crossed).
We're in medical billing hell right now too. Brian had to go for some (expensive) tests. We checked with the lab that they take our insurance. They do. The lab gets a preapproval from our insurance to do the testing. No problem. He has the tests. No problems (on the tests either, so that's good news!). Now, weeks later, our insurance company is trying to claim that the lab is out of network (doesn't accept the insurance) and saying we're going to have to pay $675 of the bill. This sucks. It doesn't help that the only lady in the billing department doesn't seem to speak clearly understandable english. Fluent spanish, but that doesn't help me! I'm about ready to read them both the riot act. But it'll get sorted out.
Gaming is busy as always. We ended up hosting over 20 hours of gaming last weekend though, so Brian's in a bit of trouble over that. I really don't mind one day a week (Saturday), and enjoy when I get to actually play. But two long days is beyond pushing it. Sundays are supposed to be NO GAMING days. {shrug} But what's done is done, and the players had a fun, if overly challenging time.
Since I didn't get to do much else last weekend, I got lots of stitching done. There's an update at And I got more done last night (the five smallest birds), so I'm getting really close to being on the last page. I can't wait to work on something for me for a change. I was bad and bought Dracolair's Phoenix (as I think I mentioned before). I've been good and not worked on it since the day I bought it though as I'm trying very hard to get Noah's Sub finished by Christmas. The chart for the Phoenix sucks (since you asked Joanna) because the 1/4 stitches are done by showing 4 reduced symbols in each stitch box and are hard to read. They're also so small that if I try to blow it up with a photocopier, all I get are vaguely symbol like smears. So I keep having to refer back to the original. Defeating the purpose of having a photocopy! The backstiting isn't shown on the main chart, but instead on the back of the chart page over a very light copy of the pattern. There are parts where it's really hard to tell where the stiches actually go. And the print on the chart itself isn't clearly printed, so it's all slightly smudgy.
That's all for now, I should get back to work. There's lots more news, but it'll have to wait.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Too Hyper for Words

I just had a call from our HR department, who are truly clueless about the importance of immigration documents. I royally reamed her out in fact after the last time I had to deal with her and she actually said "But what's the big deal?". But all might now be forgiven.

Next week we file for Permanent Residency!

Finally! After almost 6 years of hassles etc., the end is in sight.
I'm too hyper to work right now. But I'll be here for atleast another 6 hours. But I don't care!

Off to do kartwheels in her mind

Monday, October 03, 2005

Continuing the update

In the rest of August we mostly stayed home and worked on the apartment and my garden. The peas this year were glorious, but the tomatoes were a complete bust. Or so we thought. Brian tells me there are several baby tomatoes growing right now, so we might get one or two before frost kills them. Brian is the one to check them as the rest of my plants have completely taken over the deck, and I love it. My impatients are over 2 feet tall and a glorious riot of colour. I just can’t reach to step over them in their planters into the tiny walkway he left to get to the tomatoes. I tried a new flower this year called 4 O’Clocks, and they’re really just starting to get to their full glory. Lots of small flowers on trailing vines that open in the afternoon. I’ve got to plant more of them next year. When Derick stepped onto the deck for a smoke the other Saturday, he asked “When did you move to a jungle? And where am I supposed to stand?” To which I cheekily replied “Just quit smoking and it won’t be a problem!” There is actually some space for the BBQ, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to use it every week.
Over Labour Day weekend we didn’t do much special, just relaxed with friends (and gamed of course). Harry lent us the Firefly DVD’s, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I finally got a bunch more stitching done on Noah’s Sub and will try to post an updated photo. I’m well into the animals on the top of the Sub right now, and it’s going quicker than I expected. If work doesn’t keep crashing in on “me time”, I could (at a stretch) possibly have it done in time for Christmas. Wohoo!
Later in September we went to Jersey for the day to go to a Ren Faire that we go to every year, and this time we took Jen and Joe with us. We made a stop on the way there at my old LNS (Local Needlework Store) since there aren’t any on the island/in NYC so Jen hasn’t ever seen one. I think she might have been a little overwhealmed. I gave in and bought Dracolair’s Phoenix, which has been calling me for months. I might have to make a deal with myself that for every 5 hrs I work on Noah’s Sub I can have one hour on Phoenix. I’m doing it on a different fabric (a mottled yellow) and am loving it. I don’t know why this design calls to me so strongly, it just does. But because of the fabric, it’s not washable, so I’ll have to be careful with it. And the chart sucks. Massively. And it’s all blended threads. But I love the design. I just don’t think I’d ever do another one by the same designer.
We also got to see Janel at the Faire, so that was awesome. I owe her a phone call ... And the jousting was as fantastic as always. It’s the real reason we go to this faire. The faire itself is very small, it’s an annual fundraiser for the local Lions club, but they have acutal competitive Jousting. Not staged, not scripted, not planned, actual try-to-knock-each-other-off-the-horse jousting! And the main team is from Guelph. Who knew? But we do make it a point to go see them every year. And this year it was the only Faire we made it to. We went to dinner at Mastori’s afterwards, so Brian was thrilled. I was fairly good with what I ordered/ate there. For once. For those of you reading who haven’t been to Mastori’s, it's a diner where the menu has over 300 choices, and you get enough food to feed an army. Of starving soldiers after a 2 week forced march on no food. With leftovers. And it’s sooo good. And the desserts! Oh my the desserts! I ordered one (Chocolate Mousse Cake, heavenly!), had some with dinner that night, and the next, and the next, and Brian had a serving too. I wouldn’t pay the tolls to go to Jersey just to go to Mastori’s, but if we're in Jersey, we’re going to Mastori’s. Brian wouldn’t let us not!
My weight loss plan is coming, I’m down to only 54 lbs to go. As you can tell, this is a long term plan. Very long term. But I’m down 10 lbs since the middle of August, so it is working. It’s just hard. And knowing that I was going to start a proper program after we came back from vacation meant I sabotaged myself while we were away. I won’t be doing that again. So now it’s lots of being very picky on what I eat, and going to the Y as often as I can. I’ve really found that if I can plan my workout times around there being something of interest on the TV (we have individual TV’s at the treadmills/bikes/stairmasters), I do work out much longer. So now I’m trying to pick times when there are hour-long shows on to go workout. I’m loving the cross-country mode on the treadmill as it changes things up every couple of minutes. But 10% incline is steep! I use my iPod on the rowing machine (no TV), and it works well for that, since I’m nowhere near getting up to an hour on it. But I have made it to 20 minutes! I just have to make sure I do it first, and that I have really upbeat music on the iPod. I love just getting into the rhythm with it and just zoning out. My torso on the other hand...
We went and saw Serenity on Friday night with a bunch of the guys and had a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but won't post spoilers here for those who read who haven't seen it. All I will say is: River+Reavers=Dervish Dance. Good thing Summer Glau is a classically trained Ballerina.
We still haven’t heard from the family members mentioned in the last post, so no big announcement here. I’m starting to get a little hurt that they haven’t tried to get in touch with us to tell us, but it’s their lives and their choice. We got burned pretty badly once by calling to congratulate them on news that had been shared with us by another family member, and have no intention of that happening again. C’est la vie.
No big plans for October (so far). There was a Con in Toronto that we considered going to, but it just isn't worth the money. It would have been a lot of fun though! Mostly I just want to try to take time to relax and spend time with Brian. My work life is so hectic right now that I'm not much use or company by the time I get home. And night-owl me is now starting at 7am. Ugh! Then Saturdays are gamedays, which I love, but are not exactly just relaxing doing nothing and spending time together. So Sundays have become "Us Days". Just the two of us, relaxing and doing what we want. And I'm liking that. I'm still working on the apartment, but I finally got those horrid shelves out of the living room, so I'm feeling much better about it. Next up is painting!

So now we're all caught up.
Leave me comments so I know who's actually reading this!

I don't think I like this....

You scored as The Operative. You are dedicated to your job and very good at what you do. You've done some very bad things, but they had to be done. You don't expect to go to heaven, but that is a sacrifice you've made for a better future for all.

The Operative


Zoe Alleyne Washburne


Capt. Mal Reynolds


Kaylee Frye


Hoban 'Wash' Washburne


River Tam


Simon Tam


Inara Serra


Jayne Cobb


Shepherd Derrial Book


Which Serenity character are you?
created with

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Learning and Culture...

I know I promised to finish updating the last few weeks, and that post is coming. I just wanted to do a quick post on something I overheard last night that just about broke my heart. We were wandering in Costco last night through the book section. A little boy (maybe 8-9 years old) runs past me to get at a book.

Kid: “Daddy, daddy, can we buy this?
We just finished the first one at school and it was really good”
Dad: {with a total lack of comprehension in his tone of voice}
“*Why* would I buy you a book?”

I was just floored.
And astounded.
And heartbroken for this little boy, who so obviously wants to read, whose parent doesn’t see the worth in it.
And saddened that to both Brian and I, it was an example of what’s going wrong with American culture today. They can complain all they want about the foreigners coming in to steal all the good jobs, but if they don’t encourage their own children to pursue knowledge, they reap what they sow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Look out!

Okay, okay, okay. I haven’t written in a while and I know people out there are getting anxious ;)
So, what have we been up to? Lots, and at the same time nothing.

Lots of gaming in July, as is normal for us. Finally got the wall beside the table painted, and in a weird twist of fate, the paint matched the existing paint in the apartment. I wanted to go with something bold, but Brian wouldn’t agree, so I settled on an offwhite with slight bright yellow undertones. And it matches perfectly. I didn’t even have to tape in the corner where the walls meet. Strange... Lots of fun BBQ’ing with the guys, hanging out and chatting. And Pin finally made 11th level. Five shots/round, wohoo! And if you don’t have a clue what that means, that’s okay, we can ‘convert’ you too... We went to Conneticut for a weekend con and had a blast (mostly). The con was the inaugural event for the new convention center, which is kind of cool. Except they weren’t quite finished with all the construction. Or the construction dust and debris. My allergies took a pounding for it and made breathing just nasty. But the games made up for it. It’s kind of neat to get to go play in another region and see how things differ there. I had a great time playing “That’s Rhombstaff” with Jay running it. It’s usually super-cool to get to play a mod when the author is running it, and this was an absolute blast. And Jay’s a great DM.

We went to dinner at a friend’s place and got to play with their little daughter Kirsten, who was wonderful. She’s been a wonderfully unusual baby though, not really fussing, hardly ever crying, and sleeping through the night from the second week on. Heaven help them when they want a second child!

We went on vacation in early August for the first time in 10 years. Yes, you read that right, it was the first time we’ve taken a relaxing trip since our honeymoon. No schedule, no rush, nowhere we had to be. It was awesome! I *won’t* let it be ten more years before we do that again. We got together with Becky and rented a cottage just outside Lake Placid for the week. We did a lot of hiking, some sightseeing, climbed a mountain, and took a fantastic gondola ride. Well, I thought it was fantastic, Becky and Brian would disagree… Thanks for the tip mom! We didn’t end up doing any canoeing, but it was a joint decision not to. We certainly didn’t lack for things to do. We played board games or cards in the evenings, and had a campfire most nights. Turns out I’m not the only pyro in our little family. Brian *LOVES* to build/manage a campfire. I’ll be posting some photos from our trip here when I get a chance. I can’t do them from work, so the link won’t work until I actually get them posted from home... Look for the “Revenge of the Marshmallow Man” ones especially, they were fun! We had gorgeous weather, hot, but not “Ugh, I’m dying” hot. It was hazy a lot of the time, so a lot of the photos we took from the mountains don’t show how stunning the views actually were. And I want to play around with photoshop to ‘stitch together’ a bunch of overlapping panorama ones. With all my spare time that is . I didn’t get any stitching done, but that’s okay with me. When our week was up, we decided we weren’t done yet. I tried to convince Becky to come visit the island for a few days, but she didn’t want to have to handle driving in NYC, and I don’t blame her. It IS an adjustment from Sudbury traffic :). There was a stitching store not far from Syracuse that supposedly had over 15,000 leaflets that sounded really tempting and had been our ‘rainy day plan’. Since we had gorgeous weather all week, we hadn’t gone yet. So we pulled out the map and had a good look. We decided to head from Lake Placid to the store to Syracuse for the night, and head home our separate ways from there. Lunch was a blast with Becky wanting a Triple Chocolate Meltdown, but refusing to order it. On the way there, we passed a sign reading “Canada ”, and it was all I could do not to turn in that direction. But we didn’t have our passports, so c’est la vie. The store itself was an absolute bust. It was in the lady’s basement, horribly moldy/damp, and so cluttered and unorganized with everything in piles on the floor you couldn’t find a thing. Even some of the charts were starting to ‘grow’. I’ll NEVER go back there again. It gave both Becky and I asthma attacks. So we left and made it to Syracuse in the early afternoon. We relaxed, did a little shopping at the gigantic Carosel Center mall, had a great meal at a restaurant there (the name of which I’ve forgotten, darn it!). We’ll deffinately be eating there again when we stay in Syracuse. In the morning we finally had to split up and go our separate ways. Becky surprised us further (and herself too) by making it all the way back to Sudbury in one go. She must have made great time! I could go on and on about the vacation, but I’ll stop here. I’m depressing myself at work.

On to Madison news, since several people have been asking. Things are really up in the air there right now. As of the last I heard, the final test to confirm the CF diagnosis came back negative. So... now they’re trying to figure out what’s going on. Or what she actually has if it isn’t CF. And how to make this wonderful little girl feel better and be healthier! Keep the good thoughts coming folk!

We also have more wonderful family news, but I don’t want to post it here as we don’t officially know it. The couple involved haven’t told us yet, and I don’t want to say anything in a public forum until I know they’re going public. It’s killing me not to call and congratulate them, but this news really needs to come from them. But we’re both thrilled, we just want to get the news ‘officially’ so we can congratulate them and cheer in public! How’s that for cryptic, but not cryptic?

I’d better end this for now as it’s getting to novella length, but I’ll try to update the rest of Aug/Sept. soon. I promise soon!

Live life with joy and abandon.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Time for another update

Well, for those that didn’t click the title link in the previous post, yes, we bought a new car. The blue XVART is gone. (Although the plates are still on the new car…) We’d had so many problems with the Saturn and the extended warranty was just about up, so it was a good time to trade it in when all the old 2005’s were going on sale as the 2006 cars come in. We bought a black Hyundai Elantra hatchback and so far are really happy with it. No problems to date, and I drove it today in pounding rain for the first time, and it handled just fine. We got a good deal on the new car, and are happy with it. Now for the fun part. We’ve got to name it! Leave any suggestions in the comments, please! I really wanted a blue car so I could keep the XVART plates, but it wasn’t meant to be if we wanted the Elantra (and we did). Our choices were black, black or black. Or cranberry if we were willing to pay for over $3000 in options we didn’t want/need… So, black it was. Still fairly basic, the only options we got were the CD player and Cruise Control. With the amount of highway driving we do, CC is a very useful thing. Our old car had 45000 miles in 27 months… and my drive to work for most of that was only 10 miles. It’s all that driving to Canada, I tell ya!

We leave for vacation in just under a month, and I can’t wait. It’ll be the first actual trip we’ve taken since we got married 10 years ago. We’ve done little weekend runs away,but they’re not the same as a real vacation. I talked to the KOA a little while ago, and our “basic cottage with kitchenette” is a little more than that! It’s got a fridge, stove, microwave, toaster and coffee maker. Camping in luxury, this is going to be. Apparently my parents stayed at the same campground last week as part of their trip to Montreal and say it was really nice. I’ll have to get more details soon from them. We’re planning to do a little hiking, a little canoeing, and a whole lot of nothing important! We’ve each got a couple of card games/small board games picked out, and lots of reading material. There’s a nice beach nearby, and evening free concerts in town so it doesn’t seem like we’ll lack for anything to do.

Now for some much more serious news. My sister’s little girl Madison has been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. I don’t have much more info than that right now, but if anyone wants to send any good thoughts that way, I would really appreciate it. Bonnie REALLY doesn’t want anyone calling her, even to offer condolences right now, so PLEASE, respect her request for privacy. I just wanted to send all the good thoughts her way I could right now, even if she doesn’t know. She and Shawn are still determining how they’re going to handle things, and Bonnie’s in a really rough spot right now. If you want to learn more about CF, something I've been trying to do lately, I've included a link in the title of this post to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Please, please, please, respect Bonnie's wishes for privacy, but send all the good thoughts you can.

Friday, June 24, 2005

To Do List

Take Brian for his MRI. Check

Clean Microwave. Check

Pick up book at Borders. Check

Go grocery shopping so we can feed everyone tomorrow. Check

Clean out car. Check

Shop for new work shoes... no-check. No time.

But in my defense, it did take until after 9pm to finish with cleaning out the car, starting at about 5:30...
and if you click on the link in the title you'll see why. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Congratulations John!

My little brother (or not so little brother, he’s over 6 feet tall) graduated from college this week. I’m not precisely sure what his degree is in other than some form of electrical engineering/computer design type stuff, but he’s already got a job and everything. Way to go John!

Our friend Harry also graduated this month from RPI with an engineering degree, so kudos to him as well before I forget. It is that time of year, isn't it?

Now... if only I could get my organic chemistry moving... ugh...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

This weather sucks!

I know, I know, it's kind of pointless to complain about the weather, but Mother Nature just can't make up her mind here. We had a COLD, wet spring with temperatures well below normal. Then, about 10 days ago, we were thrown into a heat-wave. Temperatures jumped 20+ degrees overnight. No-one was prepared, least of all me. And anyone who knows me, knows I don't like the heat. But there we were, stuck going from 60-65 degrees overnight into the upper 80's. Then the 90's. And then yesterday we broke the former record with a recorded temperature somewhere on the Island of 97 degrees. Oh, and did I forget to mention how humid it is here? We *are* stuck on an island in the ocean afterall... The humidex put the "real feel" temperature at around 108. That's just plain wrong in my opinion. Just plain wrong.
And then today, what happened? The smart reader will ask... High of 68. Yep, as per the CBS news tonight, we had a 28 degree drop in our high for the day in my city. And tomorrow? Back into the 80's.

I give up.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Another post? Already?

Ah-ha! A new update in less than a month! Will wonders never cease?

Brian’s brother James, his wife Alison and their 6 month old daughter Natasha came to visit for a week this past month. It was a busy visit, and life is interesting with a 6 month old. We got to look after Natasha while mom and dad went to the U2 concert in the city. She was a perfect angel on the train, even going to sleep for about the last half hour of the ride. Which was wonderful… until she woke up and realized that neither mom nor dad were there. Who are these strange people holding me? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa. But we survived and James and Alison had a great time at the concert. I know James has some photos up on his gallery , so you can check there. I love the one of Natasha in the back of the cab. Her face shows such personality. Brian’s family has been doing a lot of traveling. While James and Alison were here we got an email from Elizabeth and Morley that they’d made it home safely from Florida, and several emails from Brian’s mom who was on a trip to China. Sounds like she had a wonderful time and I’m sure we’ll see the photos next time we’re home.

The only travel plans for us are this August when we’ve rented a cottage in upstate New York (near Lake Placid) for a week. Becky is coming down to join us and I can’t wait. We have nothing specific planned but plan to do some hiking and canoeing and mostly just relaxing. Her life is even more stressful and busy than mine, so we all need it.

We’ve spent a lot of the time since J&A&N's visit recuperating. Between us we’ve had 5 virii and vertigo, so life has been interesting. I’m not allowed to drive on the highway because of the vertigo, so getting to the lab in Inwood (where I’ve been working a lot lately) has involved either a 2 hour train trip each way or Brian driving me. We’ve mostly been splitting it up and I’ll take the train in the morning and Brian’ll come pick me up at the end of the day, but with summer hours, it’s been making for VERY long days. I’m finding it very hard to fit the time in to do any exercise, and with the vertigo, I’m severely restricted in what I’m allowed to do, but I’m making it. Weigh-in is tonight, so we’ll see how I’m doing…

Speaking of summer hours, last Friday (June 3rd) was my first Friday off of the summer and I enjoyed it very much. We didn’t do anything energetic, just chores, necessary shopping and relaxing. We both could use some quiet time, so we’re making sure to take it. On Saturday we hosted gaming (as usual) and my table in the second slot ran long. No surprise as Derick was running the mod with no preparation, but I really realized how drained I am when I was getting tired and cranky and just wanted it to be done by 11pm. That used to be bedtime on a normal night! Now, however, with being on the train at 6:30, bedtime is getting much earlier. When I can. Sunday we took a simple quiet day to spend at home. We watched some DVD’s (thanks Paul, Farscape does rock!), caught up on some recorded TV and just generally lazed around. I did a lot of work on my stitching project (Noah’s sub) and you can see the update here . I don’t expect to have too many days I can simply devote to things like that so I make the most of them when I can. I also got several of my plants out into my ‘garden’ on the balcony. The tomatoes, Four O’Clocks (flowers) and catnip all made it outside into their final planters. My sweet peas have gone nuts! They’re taller than I am and are just starting to flower as of yesterday. I took a photo because I just couldn’t believe how tall they’re getting. For reference, the planters they are in are 2 feet wide… I’m hoping for a bumper crop, few things are as tasty as fresh peas from the garden. The heat yesterday was phenomenal. We’ve had highs in the low-mid 60’s for a couple of weeks now and then yesterday we shot up to 85! Phew! I’d planned to do a lot more in the garden, but it was just too hot in the direct sun and I was worried the plants wouldn’t handle it well, so I waited until twilight. It was still in the mid-high 70’s, but much more bearable. I don’t mind the hot days that much, but only when I’ve had a chance to get acclimated to them. Temperatures jumping 20 degrees make for a grumpy Heather. Thank heavens for air-conditioning!

Gotta run,

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Okay, okay, here goes. This is just a really quick summary of what’s been going on.
Recent roundup of activities:

Met with Johanna, her husband, friend and friend’s husband for dinner at I-Con. Johanna is someone I know from an online group for cross-stitchers, and it turns out they’re both involved in the gaming world as well. Had a wonderful dinner and three hours of conversations with friends we’d never met yet. Had a blast! I have a longer post on that somewhere written by hand, but I keep losing it. And see Johanna, an update!

Went home for Mikey’s 30th birthday party. Had a great time. Are confirmed (again) as insane. 1200 miles in a weekend for a party. Got to see a lot of the old gang from highschool. Had some interesting breakfast conversations. Whew! Good luck guys, and just tell them! Saw my parents, brother and sister. Had great Neily-burgers. Couldn’t get a hold of Brian’s parents. Tried calling 5 times over the course of 2 days. Sorry to have missed them but don’t know what else we could have done. And see Mikey, an update! (I sense a theme...)

Went to New Jersey for a gaming con. Had a lot of fun, even if I was sick as a dog. I skipped two of the sessions in favour of sleep at the hotel. Made the right choice. Now have a semi-controlled ear infection, viral skin infection and chest cough from hell. And I HATE lilacs! This week is the worst one of the year for me with allergies.

Considering going to Pennsylvannia this weekend to visit Bob and Sue. KNOW that I am insane. Want to see them anyways. Probably not going to happen, but who knows.

Have brother and sister in law and 6 month old neice arriving in about 10 days (exact time of arrival unknown). Really excited about it. A little scared too, we’ll be looking after Natasha while mom and dad get to go to a grown-up thing. Go to the U2 concert. I hope they have fun. I know I will.

Started back at Weight Watchers. Going well, I lost 5 lbs last week (wohoo!). Look for more posts on weight loss to come. I talked with the Dr. and we’d both like to see me lose some more weight before other things happen. If you click the title of the post (and I've done it right) it should take you to my 'ticker'!

Gotta run, it’s organic chemistry night!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I HATE Long Island Drivers!!!

We got a quick, nasty, fast moving, rain-to-sleet-to-snow storm yesterday afternoon. Thankfully, work let us out a little early at 3:30, but by that time the damage was already done. I live 4.5 miles from work (7km). Because of the gridlock caused by the idiot drivers here, that drive took 95 minutes. Yes, you read that right. That means I made an average speed of less than 3 miles/hour. I seriously could have walked home faster, even with the weather. I will grant that the winds were bad with gusts reported at up to 58 miles/hour. AAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!
Final totals on the storm: 2 inches of snow and less than a tenth of an inch of sleet/ice/rain/other precip...
Total time it took me to clean off my car this morning: 5 minutes.
Total time for the 4.5 mile drive to work: 35 minutes.

What is up with these people?

Sorry, just needed to get that off my chest....

Monday, March 07, 2005

Another Apartment!

Okay okay, so it’s been a while. What can I say? Well, first off, we’ve moved. The new place is bigger, closer to work and cheaper. Works for me! :) Does that excuse me for taking so long to post again? The best part is that I can come home for lunch again if I want to. I’ve missed that, I got absolutely spoiled with it while we were living in Queens. Brian does love to spoil me shamelessly. And I'm more than happy to accept it and luxuriate in it!
What about the new place you ask? The website for it is up above (click the post title) and you can see sort of what the exteriors are like. We’ve got one of the one bedroom units with the bumped out kitchen alcoves, so I’ve got lots of indoor places for plants. The view from the new place isn’t the nicest, and the area isn’t as nice, but for $250/month less, I can certainly live with it! It’s a small complex, and we like it. The layout works better for us, and especially for gaming. The guys were more than willing to help with moving once we told them they’d have more room for gaming! The bedroom is smaller, but that’s okay, the old one was huge, and I can certainly use the space more efficiently in other areas. The one odd thing is that there is no linen closet. Oh well, we’ve purchased a wardrobe-type unit to go in the bedroom that will work for that. Percy’s well adapted already, he’s used to moving with us. And the patio is HUGE. I can’t wait for BBQ season to start. We’ve had an actual, certifiable winter here this year. There has been snow on the ground continuously for 7 weeks now, and more forecasted for tomorrow.
Oh, and we moved my lab at work the week we moved to the new place. So it’s been moving, moving everywhere. I’m not nearly as thrilled with the lab move, but I don’t get a choice in these things, so I’ll have to make do.
My friend and co-worker Sharon had a happy, healthy big baby girl last Wednesday, so welcome little Stephanie Elise. I’ll post photos once I get a chance to have them at home to post.
Other than getting settled in the new place (an on-going process, I assure you), we’ve not been up to too much. We spent a wonderful, relaxing President’s Day long weekend visiting with friends in Pennsylvannia. It was just what we needed after the hecticness of moving. No particular place we *had* to go, and nothing we *had* to do. We’re trying to decide if we go to Conneticut next weekend for a gaming convention, but I think we’ve pretty much decided against it. It’s just too much money to justify.
Especially when we’re trying to decide on where to go this summer. My hopes for a trip to Hawaii were dashed when work nixed my attendance at the conference I wanted to attend (and nixed it solely based on where it was, even the VP said it was absolutely a great conference I SHOULD attend… just next year when it’s somewhere less exotic… NOT FAIR!) . It would have been nice but there’s no way we’re going all the way out there totally on our own finances. Any suggestions from folks out there on where to go instead, hopefully within a day or so’s drive from here? Keep in mind that it’ll be August, so summer weather and traffic must be remembered.
Oh, and my great boss quit. Can't say much about it right now, but might post more later. Lets just say it's an interesting time for me at work right now.
Happy Birthday to my mom, it was on Saturday. And I didn't even forget!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Finally an update!

Okay, okay, so it’s been a while. I’ve sat down several times to write an update and always get interrupted. Life is crazy right now. We had an awesome trip home at Christmas (more on that later), then came back and had to get set to move in a month. Oh, and my office at work is moving. And we’re still running games twice a week. And I’m sick as a dog. And…and…and… So yes, as usual, life is hectic for us. Christmas was a wonderful trip. We stayed with my sister Bonnie and her (almost) 3 year old daughter, Madison. Madison received a hamster for Christmas from Santa. And was she ever excited. She spent the next 5 minutes bouncing in front of the cage, (ignoring the other million gifts under the tree) asking mom if she could really keep the hamster and if he was all hers. Actually, asking if she could keep the “dustbunny”. Madison’s class has a pet hamster that is named Dustbunny, so that’s what she thinks they should all be called. It was so much fun watching at my parents’ later in the day as she excitedly told everyone about her bestest present, a dustbunny, and mom was going to let her keep it! And then watching peoples’ faces as they tried to figure it out. And helping a little for those who couldn’t. I also got to meet my ‘little’ brother’s new girlfriend. I liked her from what little I saw, and I trust John. Then we drove to Toronto to visit with Brian’s family and meet our new niece (who I am informed was born at 3:29 am, Thank You Very Much :) ). We spent a wonderful afternoon with them and Alison and I had a good talk. Natasha is a wonderful bundle of snuggles. I was lucky enough to get to hold her immediately after a snack and a fresh diaper so she went right to sleep in my arms. It was wonderful. Then we dug the car out and drove back to my parents for a late dinner, which was nice and quiet and calm. We spent Boxing Day visiting with Elizabeth and Morley (Brian’s sister and brother-in-law) and our friends AJ and Carla. And Brian got into the eggnog. Or, more specifically, into the RUM & eggnog. And that night at my sister’s there was an extra 3 year old trying to get ready for bed!

Then we went up to Sudbury for a few days. We stayed at Becky’s new place. How ironic is it that my best friend the teacher had moved into an apartment in a “repurposed” school? The place is great though, and huge. I’m so jealous. A place like that here would run you over $2000/month. We got to see Becky’s family, Tammy, Nick and her parents, Amanda and Trisha, and even got to meet Todd’s new girlfriend Sue. And Tom stayed in Sudbury an extra day so we could see him before he headed back to Ottawa. That was awesome. And Becky pushed Brian into a snowbank, and I got a great reaction shot that I’ll have to post online. It was a busy couple of days, but well worth the extra driving.

I’m going to post this now as I have more packing I have to do tonight. Packing all day at work and then coming home and packing in the evening sucks. I’d really recommend against it!

Oh, and I have a new addiction. A wonderful friend (that’s you Saul!) just provided me with Fraggle Rock on CD. I’m having such fun watching them. It really brings back memories, good memories. And another one (Paul… these names are too similar, my head hurts!!!!) has addicted me to Farscape.