Monthly archive for March 2009

Apparently it was in the corner of the basement

I had a brief flash of inspiration last night as I was lying in bed and came up with a blog topic that was pretty much the best idea ever.  It had everything – laughter, tears, mouth-watering descriptions of chocolate cake – and I’m pretty sure I could have turned it into a novel that would eventually be made into a movie starring Anne Hathaway and Nicolas Cage.  The thing is, though, I didn’t write it down and now I can’t remember.  Instead, I’ll leave you with this:  (more…)

Ghetto lovin’, had me a blast

The other day Mike accused me of having rather unsophisticated taste when it comes to chocolate.  He doesn’t understand how I can love both imported British Dairy Milk (which, as far as I’m concerned, is the chocolate to which all other chocolates should aspire to be) and the foil-wrapped Easter eggs you can get in the bulk section at the grocery store (which our dog apparently also likes, but that’s another, more disgusting story).  I’ve also been accused of being too forthcoming about things I love that by all rights I should be ashamed of.  These things include (but are not limited to) the following:  (more…)

Or maybe Joey Jeremiah from Degrassi

I get really, really frustrated when someone is explaining something to me and I don’t understand.  The longer I don’t understand it, the  more irritable and grumpy I get.  That is a sign of my superior intellect, right?  No?  Alright.  Moving on then.  (On a related note, thanks for all the math homework help, Dad!  And, you know, I’m sorry.)

Mike has an uncanny ability to explain things in a way that make sense.  Actuaries tend to be confusing people and often aren’t the best communicators, so that makes him very well-liked at work.  It is a skill for which I am continually grateful, and I think that it (combined with his infinite patience) has prevented many an argument between the two of us.  He manages to figure out exactly what I’m asking and condense the answer down to something that doesn’t make my brain smoke.  (The fact that I require that is another indication of that superior intellect, right?  No?)

Case in point:  I’ve heard rumblings in the news about Bernie Madoff, but hadn’t really been paying attention.  Today I read a blog entry by a writer I quite enjoy, describing how she had lost 30 years of retirement savings as a result of his Ponzi scheme.  I called Mike into my office, asked him to tell me what the heck a Ponzi scheme is, and avoided minutes (nay, hours!) of mental anguish and Googling when he responded with, “Well, do you remember Jimmy from The O.C.?”

I can’t even wait until I ask him about string theory or inter-cranial neurosurgery and he explains it to me through a comparison to Pacey from Dawson’s Creek.

Breaking news

I have been outside without a jacket FOUR TIMES in the last 24 hours.  Also, it is a slow news day and I have nothing to say.  So, you know, talk amongst yourselves or something.


I have always found abandoned buildings absolutely fascinating.  There is something terribly melancholy about the idea that where there once was life, there isn’t anymore, and that few notice and even fewer care.  I recently stumbled across the Abandoned Places group on Livejournal and have passed perhaps an inordinately large amount of time surfing through their archives, looking at the photos the self-dubbed “urban explorers” have posted of the abandoned places they have encountered while on an exploration.  The images run the gamut of schools, homes, hospitals, asylums, factories, and cemeteries, and they’re all heartbreakingly beautiful in their own way.  Some have been cleared out entirely, some are filled with reminders of the building’s former use, and many are tagged by graffiti artists.  (more…)

Insomnia Schmomnia

It’s been so long since I’ve had a good night’s sleep that I really don’t remember what it’s like.  It’s not really so late right now (it’s only just approaching midnight now as I type this) but the house is dark, quiet, and creepy; I’m tense and wide, wide awake; and I have a memory of 3:45 this morning that is far more distinct than I would like.

I kind of feel like I’m maybe supposed to learn something from these late nights, but I’m really not sure what they teach me, other than new and interesting ways to be grumpy.  As I’ve mentioned before, the “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” desk calendar Mike gave me for Christmas has been alternately inspirational and creepy.  The few clever ones I have saved and taped up on my desk.  One cautions against the cloudy thoughts that result from dwelling on past or future worries, and one says to “simply make the decision to do the best you can in every given situation”.

Every given situation would, then, include late nights and early mornings spent awake against my will.  But how to make the best of this?  Spend the time in quiet reflection?  Bake some cookies?  Write a sonnet?  What would you do, if you found yourself with a few extra hours of wakefulness a few times a week?


I am planning to paint my office sometime in the coming weeks.  I have yet to choose a colour – I can’t decide between blue or aqua or purple – but I am sure that will turn out to be the smallest of the challenges involved with painting this particular room.  I have a large desk that needs to come apart, and various frames littering the walls, and three bookcases that are filled from top to bottom with my favourite books.  I have many, many favourite books, and within those books I tend to have favourite passages, pieces of the book that I can read over and over and each time newly feel the same rush of emotions I felt when I first encountered those paragraphs.  The scene from the end of “Anne of the Island” where Anne is informed that Gilbert is dying and realizes too late (or so she believes) that she is desperately in love with him.  The end of “Love Story” where (spoiler alert!) Jenny dies, and Ollie weeps brokenly in his estranged father’s arms.   When the snow first starts to melt in “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”.  (more…)

Mixed metaphors

I don’t have much work to do today, so when I was creating my to do list this morning, I included two items that relate to a personal writing project I have going, on which my progress has been limited (and crappy).  I didn’t get much sleep last night (featured nightmare: a screaming argument with my mom over my insistence on taking a multi-vitamin) and my mind has been fluttering about all day, resisting every attempt to reign it in.  It’s probably just as well, because I’m pretty sure anything I could churn out at this point wouldn’t be considered an improvement.

Case in point:  I just told someone I had the attention span of a goldfish today.  And then subsequently remembered that it’s the memory of a goldfish that is short, not its attention span, which means my metaphor is both lazy and inaccurate.  Perhaps a comparison to a 4-year-old with a belly full of Red Dye #5 would be more apt?  A teenager with a new cell phone and an unlimited texting package?  A mustachioed philanderer in the throes of a midlife crisis?  Elizabeth Taylor, circa 1950-1996?

These awful metaphors doing anything for anyone?

In like a lion

I think I have mentioned before that when it is sunny out, Daisy wants to Go! Play! Outside! and she wants to do it right now, immediately, and for as long as we both shall live.  Note that her yearning to Go! Play! Outside! has nothing to do with her desire to be walked; each of these needs can be met independently of one another and often are.  Her need to play doesn’t seem to have anything to do with exercise and it basically boils down to an overwhelming desire to go run around the backyard in pursuit of some brightly-coloured toy.  (more…)