Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mom's home!

My family arrived last night. My brother, mother and grandmother come to visit for my great-grandmother's 95 birthday this weekend. Nanny's staying with a cousin while my mom and Bro are crashing here. I've been looking forward to this trip for a long time, not just because they brought my cat back to me, but also because this is the first time my mom has come to visit me since I moved to Ontario.

Nyron got the weekend off work so that he can do family stuff with us (I love that man!) but he had to go home last night because he is working today. Tim wasn't in the house an hour before he was on the phone to his friend Dylan making plans for the night, so Mom and I ended up alone to entertain ourselves. We decided that the bottle of wine we'd already had upon returning from the airport was just the beginning and walked up to my local Firkin for some more drinks. Hmmm, getting drunk with Mommy! That was never mentioned in any of those "My Day" preschool books I read as a child, for some reason. It's always fun to hang out with my mom. : )

o( )__

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I'm very sore, but at least I got a lot done.

Wow, what a busy day we had yesterday. Nyron hoarded the HMV promo fliers from the Toronto Star so that we each had a "Buy one regular priced DVD get one free" coupon. Off to spurge on expensive DVDs! It's funny how willing one becomes to drop $50 on on DVD when they know that they're getting another expensive one for free. We tried to make it worth it by not getting either of the DVDs at under $30. The salesguy mentioned that people were lined up outside the door at opening and they took all the Criterion boxsets they could. We still managed to do farily well, though. Nyron got a season of Batman:The animated series and the Criterion edition of Kurasawa's Stray Dogs. I got the special edition of The City of Lost Children by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Fushigi Yugi Eikoden which is 4 epilogue-ish episodes to the Fushigi Yugi series. Someday, when I have $300 to spare, I'll buy the series box set.

Afterwards we went to the Books and Coffe bookcrossing meeting. The "official" bookcrossing meeting day is the second Tuesday of every month. I've become the moderater for the Tuesday meetings, but I wanted to attend one of the Saturday ones (moderated by another bookcrossing in the group) to get a feel of how this particular group operates and see if Steve has any advice/suggestions for organizing my own meeting. There were 5 people including Nyron and I. We left behind the books we'd brought and pciked a few for us to read. Then Nyron friend Christa arrived and we left with her so I took a few more to bring to the Tuesday group. That's one of the great things about belonging to more than one group: it's a great way to circulate the books that don't get picked up after a meeting.

With a backpack crammed full of books, Nyron and I played tour guide to his friends Christa and her husband Julian. I love playing tour guide, I often do so for out of town friends whoe come to visit. It was a rather short tour, however, and limited to the waling route between the Future Bakery where the bookcrossing meeting was to Nyron's work. We made sure to go through campus, though, to show off how beautiful it is.

With Nyron safely at his managerial post I went to do some errands. Unfortunately, I chekced my balance and realized how broke I am, so that severely limited what I could get done. I managed to take my cell phone in to get fixed (it heats up when I talk on it or leave it to charge) and mail a book off to a bookcrosser in Texas who requested it from my Availables page before meeting up with Nyron again for dinner. We had some pretty good sushi at this restraunt by his work. I can't remember what it was called. It was good, except the vegetable tempura was a little too crispy.

When we were at HMV earlier we ran into my friend Anna Kay who works there. She told me that her shift ended at 7 and that we should meet up and hang out. she's currently house-sitting for a friend who has one of those really cool "country cottage" style decorating schemes. I just love it there! There are always so many cool things in that space. For example, her kitchen table is the stand for an old Singer pedal sewing machine! To get there, however, we had to walk since Anna Kay didn't have money for the subway (she'd just had to pay her right arm to get her bike fixed). On the way we bought a bottle of Wild Vines Strawberry White Zinfendel to enjoy. It was a nice relaxing evening, just us girls, although the walk there almost killed me. : ) Darlong Anna Kay did everything she could to help, including taking most of the books into the bike basket and carrying the backpack on the bike handle, but on top of all the walking I'd already done that day the damage was already done. My feet still hurt, but that's life.

Today, I'm not going anywhere! I'm going to sit on the couch and watch DVDs all day!

o( )__

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Impromtu job interview

This morning I received a call asking me if I had a few minutes for a phone interview. Don't worry, it was all legit; it was for a job I actually applied for. It was just a little strange to be one minute sitting watching tv, the next answering questions about my job experience. But I kept my cool and hopefully I'll get a call-back (I feel like an actress!) to come in for an interview.

I got asked the two questions I hate to get at interviews: What makes you stand out among the other applicants and, How much do you want this position to pay you. I hate those questions. I can't very well say "nothing makes me stand out" but I ├žan never think of anything to say, so I usually give some trite answer about my relevant experience or positive attitude or something like that. As for the wage question, how the hell am I supposed to know what they're willing to pay me? Especially since the last admin position I've worked was for my parents and I wasn't exactly getting minimum wage since it was just for spending money.

Oh well. I hope I get this job. It's for an IT company that does web design and customer support. It would be a great way to learn a bit about web design.

o( )__

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Madness and Mayhem: the midnight selling of Harry Potter 6

Actually, it wasn't all that chaotic, just packed. There were a number of people dressed up, which is to be expected. The security was really tight. On top of the store's own security there were two uniformed police officers. When the box was mistakenly brought down an hour early (not to be opened, mind you, just to have it ready) it caused enough of an issue for "They" to demand it to be returned to the storeroom until 5 minutes to midnight. A little anal if you ask me, but then, those are the rules.

At midnight the box, a huge single cardboard container covered in black plastic to conceal it's true identity that had to be transported on a skip, was opened to a jubilant count-down and news coverage. My very own darling Nyron got to be the one to lift off the lid and therefore may be on the news tonight (CTV, I think). By this time the line, which started along the front windows of the store, had winded a serpentine path around the giftware and into magazines, back out along the travel section and actually intercepted its own beginning and then passed it. People had to be let through 5 at a time until the end of the line moved forward enough to stop blocking the path. As the people came through they were handed their books directly out of the giant crate.

The only customer altercation experienced on the sales floor (although there were apparently a few upstairs where the preorders were being distributed), was by a man who took great personal offense that the two policemen were allowed to queue jump to get their books. He said, "just because they're civil servants doesn't mean they should get to jump the line. I have been here since 11". Of course, the cops had been there working security for much longer than that and they didn't get to sit at the Starbucks and have coffee. But what it really comes down to is - Come on! It's just a book! Yes, it is an highly anticipated, overly securitied book with the largest first edition print run of any book in publishing history (so I've heard), but it's still just a book. If the guys who've been working to keep you safe from the highly excitable populace around you want to buy their own copies of the books, it's not big deal! Get a life! He actually argued his point for a full 5 minutes before Nyron was finally able to induce him to move along so that the rest of the people who had been there since 11 could move forward.

We also had to explain, with decreasing patience, to the people just "hanging out" or browsing for other books that they had to leave. The whole staying open until 1am thing is strictly for Harry Potter only. No, you can't buy one of the 5 dollar bargain books. No, you can't use the washroom. And no, you especially can't stand in the middle of the store getting in everyone's way while you do so. Buy Harry Potter, or get out.

Since Nyron and I were handing out books to people in line, we got the pick of the whole crate for ourselves, so we put aside some that were unscathed by their incarceration in a cramped cardboard box (which took a crippling toll on some dust jackets) and went up to buy them on Nyron's discount when the chaos had calmed down. I stayed up until 2am reading before succumbing to sleep, only to be awaken this morning by the very loud construction machines next door at 8am. Last year I read the 5th book in 12 1/2 straight hours with hardly a break. This year, I think I'll let it last a bit longer.

o( )__

A night for geekin' out!

Tonight at midnight the security will be relieved. The chains will be cut and the boxes opened to reveal their highly anticipated contents. I am, of course, talking about the midnight launch of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince! Nyron's been working at the Star Treck event that his Chapters has sent books too, but he's going strait from there to pick me up and take me to his store to be there for the launch and, naturally, buy our own copy. Each. I don't share. : )

In other lit-geek news, Nyron has bought the knit dolls of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect made as part of the marketing for the movie. That's a triple dose of geekiness for me: literature, film and knitting. I just about lost it when I saw that knitting scene they did for that movie. Oh, to have been working art department that day!...*drool*

Ahem, ok, I'm back to earth now.

So here are the dolls:



Arthur Dent. In his house coat.















Ford Prefect. With a towel. Love the attention to detail!

















o( )__

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Let the rain come down!

It's rained! Thank god! Something to break the heat, if only for a little while.

o( )__

Why do my parents think I'm a mind-reader?

When I arrived back home from England I wasn't told that my house was still being sold, I had to find out from a Real Estate agent knocking on my door. Now, a discussion with my mom after another rogue agent has shown my house had lead to me finally being informed that the listing is only temporary and will be up soon. Why wasn't i told this before? When asked, my mother responded with: you didn't ask. That's almost funny.

So now it seems that my position isn't as transient as I believed, which I have to admit is a good thing. I can actually unpack and settle in. I don't have to feel like I could have to move at any moment. I don't have to feel so free-floating. Of course, now I'll be expected to have this place looking nice for when family visits. But at least I'll feel secure enough to buy a new sewing table.

o( )__

The Making of Jurasic Park: The Musical

Scott's play is fantastic! It's a three-man play and the actors all play various roles. The set design is very sparse, but don't let that fool you; the play itself is full of humour. In fact, it's hilarious. It's set up to mimik a Making Of documentary with great use of spotlighting for the individual interviews and fuller lighting for the rehersal scenes and sneak preview. The whole production is put together very well considering a cast of three and crew of one.

The best part is that it's still playing! Go see it! Seriously, I mean it. It's great.

It's playing today at 4:00
Tomorrow at 7:00
And Saturday at 2:15 all at the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Ave. The Fringe Festival website has a map to the theatre.

o( )__

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Lethargy of the Toronto summer

I feel so listless lately. I can't settle my focus on anything, even tv requires too much mental commitment for me right now. I have so much stuff to do, yet I can never find anything to occupy me.

I blame the heat. As you can tell by my Weater Pixie it's ungodly hot! 34C and that's not including the humidity which usually, like a movie camera, adds 5 or 10 degrees. And no amount of verticle stripes will help. It's even too hot to sleep the last two nights with the only ac in my house the 5 year old oscillating fan propped up on an end table in my bedroom. It's actually hotter inside my house than outside. Sitting on the couch causes me to work up a sweat.

OK, I should stop complaining. I think maybe I'll go to the park across the street. They have a swingset there and swings have a decidedly calming effect on me. And tonight Nyron and I are making homemade fish and chips and then going to see our friend's Fringe show: The Making of Jurasic Park: The Musical. I'm very excited.

o( )__

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Kitty foster home

A woman on freecycle sent out a request for cat stuff. It seems that she and her boyfriend have decided to become foster cat parents. They are going to house cats (along with keeping their own) so that they don't have to live in horrid little cages while awaiting adoption.

I think this is such a wonderful idea and curse the various circumstances that keep me from following her lead. I'm not so much worried about Spirit - she's become quite used to other cats coming in and out of her life - but I can't very well start taking in foster cats when I don't know how much longer I'll be living here. WhenI mentioned it to Nyron as a possiblilty for when we're more settled he says he doesn't want me to become a crazy cat lady. Silly Nyron. Cat lady's are only "crazy cat lady's" when they live alone. clearly we'd be the "crazy cat couple". : )

I've decided that since I can't foster cats myself I'm going to help out this crazy cat couple. In a book in the Pets section of the bookstore where I used to work I once saw a project for turning odd socks into pet beds by filling them with fibrefill and sewing them together in a circle. I have quite a few odd socks lying around, so I think I'll give it a shot. If it works I may send out an APB for odd socks.

o( )__

Thursday, July 07, 2005

How long does it take to build a bloody house?!

The house next door to me has been under construction for over 2 years. 2 summers ago they tore the existing house down and poured the foundation. Last summer they worked on the house and were still working on it when I left for England. It never occured to me that they'd still be working on it when I cam back, but they are. That 3 summers in a row that I've been woken up at 7:30 in the morning by powertools on the other side of my bedroom wall. When will it end?

To put in puspective just how slow this is, a lot down the street from me which was completely vacant and untouched since its previous occupants (a convenience store and a pub) were domolished has now become a dozen finished townhouses, a dozen almost finished townhouses, and 2 or 3 dozen townhouses in various stages of completion. I miss waking up to sounds other than buzz saws.

o( )__

Monday, July 04, 2005

Shakespeare and Stratford

No, I didn't spend the weekend with the great bard. For those of you who don't live in Canada, it may surprise you to learn that we have a town in Southern Ontario called Stratford. Next to Stratford, is the town of Shakespeare. Why do I care? Because every year, Stratford puts on a theatre festival called, with typical Canadian originality, The Stratford Festival. It is also where Nyron and I make our annual (2 hour) pilgrimage for some fine theatre. This year it was for Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods and Noel Coward's Fallen Angels. Into the Woods I really enjoyed. The set was imaginative and there was a great use of light, colour and video projection. The play itself held its own and, of course, Sondheim is a great composer and lyricist. I would recommend it to anyone. Fallen angels didn't impress me as much. The humour was there, but there wasn't much else to speak for it.

Shakespeare is a very small town and the only reason one wouldn't just drive through on their way to the Stratford Festival is because it has some great little antique shops and other such quaint temptations. One particular stop we wanted to make was the Antique Warehouse which we had missed last year because of it's 6:oo close time. It was most definitely worth the wait. The place is a huge labyrinthine collaboration of shelves and display cases holding copious amounts of miscellany. Heaven. I walked away with a really cute S&P shaker set of little mice popping out of melons and 10 vintage Nursery Rhyme Wade figures. Nyron was probably the big winner here, as he bought (discovered by me!) a signed hardcover first edition of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.

Culture and consumerism was had by all. : )

o( )__

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Happy Canada Day!/Bonne Fete du Canada!

What a lovely Canada Day. It was actually less scorchingly hot than usual which was very considerate of the weather because that meant that my friends and I could fly a kite at the park without melting into little puddles on the grass.

After the outdoor merriness we went back to Kathryn's for a nutrituous lunch of KFC and the plans of a bbq later that night. Dave and Emerson had things to do before then, so Kathryn and I were left to our own devices: those devices being to pop popcorn and watch 28 Days Later, which I didn't find scary at all but still rather enjoyed. At this point, the boys all started calling to say that they couldn't come for the bbq, so it was just the two of us drinking sangrias until our respective boyfriends arrived.

Here's how MY boyfriend arrived. When he got to Kathryn's he called me on my cell phone to say he was just outside so I went to go open the door for him. But the doorstep was empty. I ventured out onto the driveway and finally the sidewalk, trying to figure out where he was. It was pitch black out, with only a few suburban streetlamps to show me the way. After a few minutes of asking him where he was, Nyron ran at me from the side of the house. He was wearing dark coloured clothes and has black hair and brown skin, so he just looked like a blur - just how the Infected people look in the movie. No one has ever made me scream that loudly and that genuinely since I was a little girl. I will get him back for that someday.

I hope everyone else had as fun a Canada Day as I did. And if you're not Canadian, too bad you missed it. : )

o( )__