Friday, June 29, 2007

H is for Housework

Since I've been a trifle busy (read: running around madly trying to stay afloat) lately, it was high time I got down to some good old domestic duties. To that end, I spent much of the day engaged in housework types of activities.

I mowed the lawn, albeit half-heartedly and therefore none too well.

I did a few loads of laundry.

I cleaned the bathroom top to bottom, though I really started with the bottom.

I tidied, dusted, and vacuumed the bedroom, putting away a whole-lotta laundry that was just waiting there to be dealt with.

I started working downstairs in the living room, too.

If all goes well, this weekend will see a continuation of home improvements, including the repair of a small hole in the living room ceiling and even painting of the living room! Yahoo!

Of course, after all of that menial housework, I was due for a reward, so I was off to my friend Monica's for a lovely dinner gathering. Among the guests was a professor of mine from back in the day. Amusingly enough, it was well into dinner and into a lengthy conversation about the school, the professors there, and my behavioural ... well ... behaviour when suddenly it clicked that INDEED she HAD been one of my professors. Of course, that came after a number of amusing stories about the ways I'd viewed several professors, so she was likely feeling rather frightened to know what I had thought of her! Luckily, I had only positive memories of being in her class, and was able to honestly confess that I HAD done the readings for her course.

A good time was had by all (as far as I could discern).

G is for Gross

I've been away. Not from home, but from posting. Life = hectic. I apologize and move on. Again. And again and again.

Today I had a rather disgusting experience. Let me set the scene.

I try to be a good citizen and that extends, at times, to picking up errant litter and depositing it in the nearest trash recepticle. (As a tangent to the real story, it amuses me to no end that the garbage cans outside of the local Homesense Store say "Garbage - Trash" on them, as if that somehow makes them bilingual - bilangue. You see, "Garbage" is the way to spell that word both in English and in French, so do we really need "Trash" as a clarifying term or translation? Hmmm.) Yesterday, for example, a newspaper flyer was blowing directly across my path as I walked to the car at Canadian Tire (I was buying a filter for the furnace in case any of you desperately wanted to know) and so I scooped it up and tossed it. I admit, I probably miss infinitely more litter than I scoop, but I try and that's better than not.

Today, however, I had an experience that would make me second-guess my good intentions. I had just parked at the McDonald's (don't judge me, I just said I do what I can and know I have a ways to go) and got out of my car. There were about 20 paper-wrapped straws scattered between my car and the next, so I figured I'd scoop them up and toss them in the garbage to keep them from blowing across the neighbourhood. I bend. I scooped.

And that's when I realized what a mistake it had been.

There was something on the straws.

Something unidentifiable.

Something curiously like mucous.

Like dripping, oozing, transparent, slippery, slick, and altogether unpleasant mucous.

I dropped the straws into the garbage, carefully extracted my key from my pocket (so as to avoid getting the aforementioned mystery substance on my clothes and car) and unlocked the door. I was VERY grateful to have the bottle of hand sanitizer inside the door and I used it liberally. At the first opportunity, I washed and washed and washed my hands until I felt safe, secure, and free again.

I shall never know, for certain, what the substance was. I believe that's for the best. But I must wonder why, when I was simply trying to be a steward of the earth's parking lots, must these things happen to me?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

F is for Fauna, and also for Frustration

This evening I was in my kitchen, putting some rice into the steamer (as I was planning to enjoy steamed rice -- duh -- with Paneer Darbari) and talking on the telephone when I looked out my back door and noticed that there was a visitor in the neighbourhood. Yes, just beyond my driveway was a lovely deer. Yes, a deer in the middle of the city. It wandered around, not terribly interested in the mini-park that exists in the centre of the cul-de-sac back there. A moment later, the neighbours started appearing, cameras in hand ... I didn't have one handy ... and the deer wandered around and into a back yard where it was followed by the budding amateur paparazzi. I know not what happened to it from that point on, but it was an encounter both lovely and disturbing. Lovely because, hey, having a deer in ones backyard is a nice thing to observe, but disturbing because it's a testament to the continuing encroachment of humans on natural habitats. I won't preach beyond that.

Years ago, I almost hit a rather large deer driving downtown here. It jumped over the hood of my car and disappeared down a hill.

Then, later tonight, I was working on paperwork for work tomorrow (I'm away at a meeting) and, upon preparing to e-mail the paperwork in, discovered that my internet was being uncooperative. An hour later, after a lengthy conversation with Customer Service -- yes, the problem appears to have been with my computer -- I'm back online, though not wireless at the moment. Thanks to the lengthy problem-solving session, I now do not have all of my work prepared for the meeting. Too bad, I say, I really need to go to bed. I'll try to whip up some last-minute things before going to the meeting and, beyond that, I'll just have to send things in later, as needed. Heck. It's not my fault. Really!

[An Insert ]

How happy was I with these results?

Your results:
You are Superman


The Flash
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
Green Lantern
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Ahhh. I knew it all along.

Friday, June 01, 2007

E is for Elephants

You know, it's oddly coincidental, but I was on my way to work today,
and I had just turned onto the highway when I saw that unwelcome glow
of red brake lights lined across all three lanes just ahead. I braked
quite heavily (having just gotten my wee vehicle up to highway speeds)
and stopped, creeping ahead from time to time as traffic allowed, until
I could at last see what the hold-up was. At the side of the road was a
convoy of about six vehicles -- trucks pulling livestock trailers. One
of the trailers was listing to the right (having blown a tire or axle ,
presumably). The back doors were dented and open, hanging freely on the
hinges, and there, in the middle of the highway was an elephant. (I
called upon my elementary school knowledge and judged, by its large but
not crazy large ears, that it was likely an Indian elephant). Yes, an
elephant in the road was the reason for my slow and arduous trip to

If any of that were true, it would explain why today's entry is "E is for Elephants".

Do you remember Elmer the Safety
? Oh yes, he's still around today, though his
presence doesn't seem quite as prevalent as he was back in the day.
There's a thrilling history of Elmer in there, though I desperately
wish they'd included pictures of Elmer's numerous incarnations. (The
current one tries a bit too hard to be youthful and fun.)

Keltie's mother is a big fan of elephants, for those of you who may not know. Why not send her something elephantine today?

David Bowie earned rave reviews for his portrayal of John Merrick in style="font-style:italic;">The Elephant Man, proving
himself to be a bonafied actor as well as musician.

Elephants can't jump, making White Men feel like they're in good company.

A favourite joke from Muppets Tonight: What do you get if you cross an elephant with a rhinoceros? Elephino! (Say it out loud!) Love that Pepe!

(Edited to add: Oh dear. Again with the weird spacing thing. My apologies...)