Saturday, December 31, 2005

The longest/shortest week I've ever worked

Last week was only 3 days long; well, the work week, anyway. It was lovely to have a week and a half off for Christmas. It meant that I got a day to relax and regroup after my trip home, but it also meant I had more catch-up to deal with when I did get to work. This is something I'd never experienced working in retail; when you come back from vacation, you don't have to do anything but exactly what you were doing before you left.

3 days was not nearly enough to do everything that I wanted to get done. My boss and I had planned on spending the bulk of our time organizing the supply room. Needless to day, none of that got done. Oh well.We'll just have to go back to trying to do it bit by bit while people come in every few minutes and mess it up again. One thing I did finally get around to doing was reorganize my new desk the way I like it. The woman who worked on the front desk with me is moving to Switzerland, so I became the lead Front Desk person. Sure, it sounds like a promotion, but it's really just more work for the same pay. But, I got to move over to her side of the desk, which is about twice as big. Mmmmm, space!

So what is everyone doing for New Year's Eve tonight? I have no idea what Nyron and I are doing. He's not exactly the "plan ahead" type. He'd rather be spontaneous. I'd rather have reservations. We're both rather broke after Christmas, so we'll most likely stay home, order pizza and watch the British countdown on BBC, which I get for the next month for free with my cable package.

I currently have roughly 400 channels. My free preview endes early February, and I don't think I'll bother to renew. There are a few channels We might purchase individually, like the BBC channels and maybe Book TV (it has another month to impress me), but most of the channels are the exact same as the regular 60 that we get. I mean, the exact same! Showing the same shows, sometimes even at the exact same time. Why would I pay an extra 20 bucks for that?

I hear a garage door opening. It's either Nyron or the neighbours (in a townhouse, it can be hard to tell). Hope everyone has a great New Year!

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Monday, December 26, 2005

Certainly a one of a kind Christmas

I went east this past week to spend the holidays with my family in Nova Scotia. Soon after I arrived, my mom told me that their female pomeranian, Belle, was pregnant (courtesy of their male pomeranian, Baux). Using calculations based on the last time my parents saw the two getting busy, my mom figured that the puppies would be born in late January or early February. Belle, of course, was incredibly pampored as is befitting expectant motherhood. We rubbed her belly and could feel the little things moving around inside (almost as cool as when my friend Amy let me feel her stomach when she was pregnant with her son).

On Christmas morning my brother, grandmother and I walked over from my grandmother's house (where my brother lives in the basement and where I stay when I'm in town), next door to my parents' house. They were still in bed when we arrived, so they asked if we would let the dogs out the front door so they could do their business. When we pushed back the gate that keeps them in the kitchen (they're still being trained) Baux went shooting out like a rocket and out the front door. Belle, however, only went as far as the foyer before returning to the kitchen, which was very strange. After doing this a second time, I volunteered to corall her outside. When I went into the kitchen I heard a strange mewing sound and there she was, she was lying on a blanket, curled around three tiny, damp, brown newborn puppies! I'd never seen anything like it. They were tiny, about 4 inches long, their eyes still closed and, although a little nervous at first, Belle took to motherhood right away. She'd already dealt with the placenta and cut their umbilical chords and was cleaning them and letting them feed. By the end of the day, all her nervousness seemed gone and she was in complete control, only acting agitated when one of the male dogs came into the room.

So that is my incredible Christmas story. The puppies are now roughly 6 inches long - they grow so fast! - and momma is still donig well (so I'm told, I've since returned to Toronto). I just wish I could have one of the puppies, but I'm not in a position in my life to take care of dogs, especially poms which are so high-maintanence. I hope everyone had a great Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate (or don't, whatever). I'm off to do some more unpacking; how much stuff do I have, anyway?!

o( )__

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Always make sure you have all your ingredients: A cautionary tale

My friend Kathryn is having a turducken dinner (that's a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey) tonight and she's asked that the side dishes be pot luck. So I offered to make my grandmother's traditional mushroom stuffing - which, to be honest, is about the only holiday side dish I know how to make. It's really simple; just fry chopped onion and sliced mushroom in a pan, add chuncks of white bread (about a loaf), a bit of water to make it moist, lots of sage, a small can of mushrooms and, when I can get away with it, some corn (my dad doesn't like corn, so I'm not allowed to add it when we make it at home). Easy, peasy, lemon squeazy, right? Except that when I went to the neareset grocery store, they didn't have any sage. None. I spent about 5 minutes staring at the spice section willing it to appear, but unfortunately I was reminded once again that my will is not strong enough to change the physical material around me. Not yet, anyway.

So I went home to frop everything off (after having a conversation with the cashier about why I always bring my own shopping bag) and headed back out the door. The solution was to take the street car to the Queensway loop where there is a great big Sobeys. On the way, however, I noticed the Red and White grocery store which is closer, so I make a quick amendment to my plans and got off the streetcar...only to be reminded that some grocery stores are not open at 8:30 at night. A 10 minute wait and back on the street car, where I did get off at the Sobeys.

I got what I came for, as well as stuff to make tacos for dinner, and came home. But oh! Once I got cooking, it was like a ballet. Chopping onions while hadnling two pans at once, stiring one pan with a taco in my hand while pouring a glass of iced tea. Spinning around to avoid the bits of taco meat I spilled on the floor. Glorious. And now I have a huge bowl of stuffing to bring to the party. I just hope I added enough sage.

o( )__

Monday, December 12, 2005

There's no place like home

Sorry. I'm sure you've all been waiting anxiously for an account of my new place and I, the negligent blogger, have been, well, neglegent. So here I am now to fill you all in to the sound of a collective exhale.

We moved in on Thursday. It took us two trips but with the help of one of my uncles we managed to get everything in the house before the snow hit. We put everything in the garage (and there a fair bit of it remains) until we can get everything sorted and in its proper place. It doesn't help that my great-greadmother moved into a home while I was in England and I somehow became currator of most of her stuff. Some of it we're managing to incorporate into the decor, but a lot of it will simply remain in the garage until further notice.

On Friday I had one of the worst days at work I've had yet. The woman who works at the front desk with me was supposed to spend that week training me on the things I hadn't learned yet, which were making the diplomas for the leaving students and getting things ready for the incoming students. So none of that got done and everyone had to pretty much drop what they would otherwise have been doing that day to make diplomas and prepare ninders and nametags. By the end of the day I was exhausted and upset, so much so that I started going home without realizing that Nyron and I had tickets to the Sarah Harmer concert at the Harbourfront Centre that night. Luckily, Nyron called while I was still on the streetcar to ask what time it started and I was able to get off and go back to Union Station before it was too late. We ended up missing the first song, but those things happen. Once we sat down, though, and she started singing I immediately became more relaxed. She's such a great performer. When we got home there was a graduation gift from my parents waiting for me: a new TV with a DVD player and VCR built in. They even sent a TV stand for it that matches perfectly! They'd wanted it to be a surprise, so they sent it to Nyron's house and he set it up while I was at work.

The rest of the week has been spent alternately unpacking and lazing around on the couch. I'm not used to the house yet and something keeps waking me up 2 or 3 times throughout the night. This leaves me exhausted at work and by the time I get home i'm pretty useless. Still, we've managed to get the place starting to look homey. We've set up the library in the front room and the living room has all my DVDs. The kitchen is set up and there's a culinary school down the street where I can finally learn to cook. We even set up this little plastic Christmas tree we found among my great-grandmother's things. We've already exchanged one gift: we agreed to buy each other iPods. Nyron's already put together a playlist for me to listen to on the way to work. Which is where I have to go now.

o( )__