Neil Gaiman says:

Neil Gaiman says:
pic by Allan Amato

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Another quiz thingie








Dawn Summers

81% amorality, 63% passion, 90% spirituality, 63% selflessness

Dawn is a person driven by her love for her friends and her desire to make a difference. Perhaps you are, too. You're willing to do whatever is necessary to do what is right for those you care about, and sometimes this can get you in a little bit of trouble.


Most of all, however, you have a heart of gold.


Congratulations!


THE 4-VARIABLE BUFFY PERSONALITY TEST







My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 87% on morality
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 37% on repose
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 87% on spirituality
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 75% on selflessness


Link: The 4-Variable Buffy Personality Test written by donathos on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Eight weeks and counting...!

First: Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad :-D 38 years & still going strong!

Second: Merry Christmas everyone! ;-))

Third: Weigh-In today .. down to -30 lbs.!

And now a visual aid to show what 30 lbs. looks like :-D

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tasty recipe for WW Core folks & others !


Here it is friends, the moment you've been waiting for... An original recipe by me, inspired by my pal Myra W. who suggested that flattening out polenta, cutting it up and frying it makes it taste *less* like goo! Thanks buddy :-)

Polenta Parmesan Pizza

Preparation time: 30 + min
Cooking time: 15 min
Serves: 4 (if they are tiny.)


1 Cup fine cornmeal
3 Cups water (or fat-free broth)

Make polenta (Boil 3 cups water or fat-free broth, add cornmeal in a steady stream, whisking briskly. Let cook covered 5 min., stirring occasionally to get out the lumps. Depending on the cornmeal, it may cook very quickly.)

Spread polenta on a large cookie sheet, (using wax paper to keep it from sticking to your hands) completely smoothing it out, pushing it to the edges. You may have to use 2 sheets of wax paper, as this can get kind’ve sticky! Throw it into the fridge to gel.

1/3 Cup salsa, mixed with 3 Tbsp. ketchup (or ½ Cup pizza sauce) to taste.
1 tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. oregano, ½ tsp. basil, ½ tsp. anis seed, 1/8 tsp. pepper, mixed (or more, to taste)

Pizza toppings (use your own favourites, or the following:)

½ green pepper, sliced thinly
¼ sweet onion (Vidalia, red) sliced thinly
½ pear, sliced thinly
4-6 mushrooms, sliced thinly

Meat topping (use your own, or try the following)
16 Yves Pepperoni tofu slices cut in half,
(or 1 poached chicken breast/ pork tenderloin, sliced thinly, or ½ cup chunk TVP rehydrated & marinated in Tbsp. soy sauce, tsp. garlic powder, ½ Tbsp. oyster sauce.)

4 slices fat-free cheese
(Optional: 3 Tbsp. grated Reggiano parmesan cheese)

Extra virgin olive oil or Canola

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cook the polenta, then spread on the cookie sheet & put into the fridge to gel.

Meanwhile, slice green pepper, onion, pear & mushrooms. Mix the spice & herbs together in a small bowl. Mix the salsa and ketchup in another small bowl.

Cut the gelled polenta into 4 equal pieces. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray, or a bit of olive oil. Fry the polenta until it is crispy on both sides (4 min. or so (or longer!!)) (If you have two skillets, you can fry the polenta in double batches.)

Put the fried polenta pieces on two cookie sheets. Spread each piece with ¼ of the salsa/ketchup mixture (or pizza sauce.) Then, sprinkle each piece with a ¼ of the spice mixture. Divide the “meat” topping among the four pizzas. Next, put on the onions, peppers, pears and mushrooms.

Tear 4 fat-free cheese slices into pieces and arrange over each of the pizzas. Finally, sprinkle each one with optional grated parmesan cheese.

Cook for 15 minutes until cheese has melted and veggies are cooked.

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Chewy Dingo

Nothing to do with chewy dingos.



Just realized it's been a MONTHOLA since my last post. Sorry. Where did that month go? Beats me! Mostly cooking I think. I spend a lot more time cooking now than I have in my life. It's good though; I'm experimenting, making new recipes, adapting ones. The diet (Weight Watchers Core Plan) has taken over my life & brain... and seems to be working. This is cool. Inordinant amount of time in front of the stove is a bit aggravating, but I feel that eventually I will get it all sorted out (like cooking crap ahead & freezing it.)

Recipe books that have helped me since I signed up at WW Nov 4th include: Harrowsmith Cookbooks 1 & 2, The Green Door Restaurant Cookbook, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks At Home, Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favourites & Looney Spoons. The vegetarian books offer great ideas for what to do with kasha, millet, couscous, bulghur, cornmeal and the like. This is great if you're trying to incorporate more whole grains into your life (like I am!)



Saturday's weigh in was 26.5 lbs. I got my 25 lbs. fridge magnet, with applause, and supportive cheers from the group. Yay Sue! I'm barely 12 lbs. away from my 10% goal, which'll probably happen in the new year sometime. The program is going well. It puts me in mind of two credos: "You can't possibly fail if you don't quit." (Of course, in some cases it means just ramming your head against a wall multiple times.) But in my case, I hope that it means perseverance will eventually win out. The second line was from wayy back at an OA meeting: "Keep coming back, it works if you work it."

Working it means drinking LOTS of water. Lots. Like... eventually you will find a little well-worn path leading from your office to the bathroom & back. Wheee! I drink an average of 2 L of H20 a day (that's about 64 oz.!)

Working it means.. hitting the Gym! Sue has been hitting it.. thanks to support from friends who've been coming with & encouraging me. The buddy system works! What else? Really *thinking* about food when you prepare, sit down and eat & finish. Consider the meal, be mindful while you eat. It's important to enjoy the textures & flavours and to take the time to just be there for it. It's the opposite mindset of a bingeing compulsive over-eater & it's taking a lot of time to relearn the whole thing.

Working it on Core means stopping when you've had enough. This is novel. Up until recently, I had no clue when I'd "had enough." I didn't have any signals telling me anything until I just plumb couldn't eat anymore. So.. slowly we learn to listen to the body and go; hey.. maybe I could stop now and that would be ok..!

What else? Making healthy choices MOST of the time. I don't say "all of the time" cause you'd have to be gunning for Saint-hood to pull it off. Most of time is, well, every day at work someone offers me cookies, or candy, or chocolate. Saying "no" 90% of the time means you aren't getting 90% of those empty calories. Yes, I would love a shortbread made of pure butter. But it's not worth it to me. The 10% I say "yes" to is when it *is* worth it; it is something I really want, and will truly enjoy.

Working it means kicking the sh*t out of Guilt. I don't feel guilty if I've had a bad day. I don't feel guilty if I miss the gym. I feel proud that I'm doing this, and I'm committed to being in it for a damned long run. If the wheels occasionally fall off, it isn't the end of the world.. it's just the end of that day. And, as we all know.. tomorrow is another day.



That being said, getting a 2nd-hand weight set was a good idea, so I could work out at home if I missed getting to the gym at work!

Doing this thang has required strength and will-power that I didn't know I had; didn't realize existed in me. I keep wondering when it's going to fail me, when I'm going to throw the hands in the air and say "I give up". But I'm still here. Still trying and haven't stopped... 7 weeks later.

YAY! Thanks to everyone who is helping me: Family, Friends, & my Gym & WW Buddies. You gals (& guys) are the ones who make it keep on keeping on. Without you I would be back to my old crappy habits, and I would be enjoying a one-way ticket to gallbladder failure, probably heart-failure and diabetes. So THANK YOU.

For fun, I have some images to show my progress....!
A few weeks ago, when I'd lost 14 lbs., I put this collage together:



For a comparison, the folowing items weigh approximately 25 lbs!



Stay tooned for more!
Cheers
Suzanne.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Watching and Weighting



I started putting together this post last week.. and got busy! Which I think is normal for most folks. But, I have a wee bit of time, so here goes! After being diagnosed with gallstones in September, my diet changed radically. No longer able to indulge in my love of onions, or to work on achieving connoisseur-hood in the realm of chicken-wing sampling, the diet shift had unexpected results: I dropped a couple of pounds. Cool!

I thought I'd run (so to speak) with it and joined Weight Watchers (again!) with my buddy Myra W. from work who also wanted to tackle the challenge. Now, losing weight isn't easy and I have attempted it many times. I am also diagnosed with PCOS which means my hormones are out of whack :-P So it makes it triply hard! What fun.

Anyway, since I hit puberty (around 11 or so) I put on weight like it was going out of style. Wait a minute, it IS! Darn, should've been born in an earlier century I suppose. At the age of 12 I tipped the scales at around 147 lbs. or so. Ironically, this is the goal weight that I'm shooting for (using the Body Mass Index & my height and age.) {Calculate your own BMI here!}

Here I am around age 15 , weighing between 155-165 lbs I'd guess. Just an idea of what can change in you given 20+ years! Anyway, numbers aside, I'm going to be occasionally posting & charting my weight changes here for y'all to enjoy.

Right now, I weigh about the same as this lovely computer/ office desk!



I'm following the WW "Core" Plan which involves eating healthy foods from a particular list, balancing carbs, protein, veggies & fruit and trying to avoid fats (duh :-) So far it's going ok. The hardest thing is to keep a good variety of grains happening along with the veggies and protein. So far I've had kasha, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and oats. Yum!

I've cranked my veggie intake with salads, frozen veggies & just noshing on raw unsuspecting carrots :-) Fruits are good too--I mean I've always loved fruits, but now our fridge is bursting with sacks of varied apples, pears, as well as frozen berries in the freezer (that go on my oatmeal in the morning.)

By following this, drinking LOTS of water and enjoying my weekly belly-dancing (lots of laughing, sweating and jiggling cardio--!) I've managed to drop the equivalent of my cat Arlo in weight (about 8 lbs.) Hurray me!



How far do I have to go? Well... To reach my goal from where I am right now, I think it would be reasonable for it to take a little over 2 years. That's healthy, steady, no fad, genuine sane eating. And yeah, there'll be a few beers and the odd splurge in there too! I'm human, eh?

To give you an idea of my goal (and to help me visualize too!), I have a sample of what a pound looks like:

Now, here is a photo-collage of objects that weigh about the same as what I intend to drop.

Pretty scary eh? Anyway, right now I'm all enthusiastic and hepped to go! But there'll be times I'll post when I feel lousy and in the dumps. That's when you get to add comments like GO SUE GO! And YOU CAN DO EET! And STAY AWAY FROM THE DEEP-FRIED ___________ (fill in the blank.) Thanks in advance guys & gals! More news as it occurs!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Legendary



I was deeply saddened by the news that we lost Basil Poledouris--one of my favourite composers. Check out Ain't It Cool and the Basil Poledouris msg board to leave messages if you want to. I'm going to play my Conan sndtrk til the laser chews through the CD. *sniff*

What evocative scores.. I am a veteran Role Player (for those of you with no clue at all, it does not involve leather and whips [unless you're role-playing Lord of the Rings or something!].) I started when I was round 11 with TSR's Dungeons & Dragons with my cousin Todd Burley & pal Frank Hollington and also with my buddies Vicki, Fiona & their older brother Chris (who incidentally killed all of our 1st level characters in our beginning adventure in one fell swoop.)

Undeterred, we went on to play many MANY adventures over the years, in many game systems (Rob introduced us to Palladium), using all kinds of polyhedric dice, occasionally cards, and sometimes miniatures. I even enjoyed a LARP (Live-action rpg) or two as a teen, with my buddies, running around in the woods behind our old place on Carp Rd. They were games fueled by imagination, the cameraderie of fellowship and yeah, cause we got kicked out of the house and told to "go play" ;-)



It was only in my 20's that I discovered you could play music while rpging and it would help create a specific mood & atmosphere. I was in Montreal, visiting my pal Andrew & I got to sit in on an ongoing game for a dude who was sick. I got to play with complete strangers (a first & last experience!) The DM (Dungeon Master) put on Clannad's "Legend" on a turntable, then would send various players off to change records during the game. Great music, including Jethro Tull's "Beast & the Broadsword", some classical, Steeleye Span and back to Clannad, helped to draw the imagination of the 5 of us into perfect unison. It gelled the game & it was a moment I've never forgotten.



I would like to thank Keith S for helping to introduce me to MORE of Basil's music than I could've possibly discovered on my own, and for taking music + role-playing = incredible experience to an entirely new level. A great story-teller, and avid sndtrk fan, he totes his entire collection around compressed electronically on a massive iPod and can drop whatever tune is required into the game at a moment's notice. Thanks dude.

Basil Poledouris' music helped to provide the backdrop to so many games that I can't start listing them here...tempting as it is. Oh ok, I'll indulge. From Blackcomet, Abraxia & Mallory ( "Starship Troopers" sndtrk) to Atalanta the Gladiator & Magna ("Conan the Barbarian"), to Bekka, Angelfire & Bad Penny ("Robocop & Robocop 3"), games sprouted full-formed from Clayton's head & characters exploded like Athena bursting from Zeus to stomp around and keep us in thrall for months at a time. (Sometimes even years.)



He will be greatly missed.
But I know his music will live on to inspire more games, movies, animation and other crazy creative projects. Let's take a short moment to reflect on the fellow who brought us "The Anvil of Crom" and "Klendathu Drop", to name just the top two of my favourite Poledouris tunes. Here's the theme from "Lonesome Dove" too: spectacular!

Cheers,
Suzanne.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Shake it!







What Kind of Belly Dancer are You?




You are a Goddess Belly Dancer. You may also dabble in yoga and aura-reading. Your dance is an expression of the goddess within. Whether you dance to New Age, Celtic or Arabic music, there's sure to be a veil involved. You may share your dance with others, but it's something you do for yourself. Goddess bless you!
Take this quiz!






Saturday, September 30, 2006

Cafe Press for the Poet


Just finished working on setting up a Cafe Press shop for my good pal T. Anders Carson. He is currently running for Council in Bastard & South Burgess County (out near Portland ON) and wanted to get some product put together for it. So please check it out and buy buy buy!

Anders is one of my oldest and dearest friends. We had similar beginnings (both starting school at Stephen Leacock Public School in French Immersion & on to the Earl of March in Kanata,) though never shared a class!

We have had many adventures together; from following the Grateful Dead in the early 90's to helping him move house several times (and he in turn helping ME) it has been an accumulation of amazing joy, stress, peace and solid friendly experiences. We have seen the mountains of Kentucky, the plains of Texas, while Spare Ass Annie chuckled through the speakers. We've slid into New Mexico in the dark, then out into rainy Southwest evenings, creaming into a tumbleweed we thought was a stray cow!


We passed the Stallion's Gate 5 miles N. of Trinity Site, crossed the Rio Grande and twisted our way up into the mountains looking for Soccoro and the Radio Telescopes. We stayed in Taos and chilled, and then parted ways; I headed North to home and Anders stayed on for a month to write poems at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation.

We've gone to Lilith Fair, eaten greasy breakfast at Rockin' Rodney's (*grin*) and cleaned lead & cement flaking paint-encrusted pantries while rocking to Tom Waits, Lou Reed and Charles Bukowski.


We've scraped, painted, sung, smoked cigars, swum, cursed, shook fists at the sky, relaxed in the glory of sunsets, pines, Zen and shooting stars. We've dragged garbage across country miles, lurched ancient stoves across backyards and driven merrily in the gas fumes of an ancient LTD.

It's been some times, times times! So the least I could do when T. called yesterday to ask for hep was to get some images together for him for the campaign. If you want to, you can check out some streaming poetry from the Canadian/Swede HERE. You can also read a review from Broken Pencil of "The Dawn of Silence", his first chapbook, illustrated by moi, wayy back in 1995.

So, hopefully the stuff will arrive quickly and in one piece, in time to help promote Carson for Council Ward 1!

Now, to sleepy-time.
Goodnight Sugar Monkeys,
Suzanne.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Rattle & hum


(Above, me & my belly-dance teacher Lisa-Marie aka Sha'Vega Malibu, dancing it up at the end of year show in the summer! Whee :-)

Hmm, you know when you look down at your belly and think.. there *should* be abs under there somewhere (ok, everybody except EricB, KeithA & LeahH who all know perfectly well that there are abs down there..) You KNOW you have abs when they hurt! I may be more of a keg than a six-pack, but man-oh-man those babies are aching.

As you can tell, I must have excersized at some point to create the pain. Bellydancing classes started yesterday! Hurray :-) I signed up for Beginner's Class (again.. this time I swear I will practice more and try and remember ALL of my traveling steps. Right now I remember hardly anything..it's annoying :-P) I also signed up for Intermediate Class too, which is a bit daunting, but I do know a few things & it is to be a drilling class where you go over specific moves. Should be a blast!

I'm taking the dancing at Sir Guy Carleton HS near Centrepointe with Sha'Vega Malibu aka Lisa-Marie Serafin, Belly-Dance Diva Extraoridnaire! She is also doing Tarot Interpretation classes too; if anyone's interested... There is still room in the bellydance classes, and at $79 for 10 weeks (ok, it would be 9 if you signed up now :-) it's a deal.

It feels good to be moving around; even though my heel is still giving me some pain (I do believe there is a hidden sliver in there..haven't been able to find it yet.) Not fun :-P The new gang last night was enthusiastic and really into shimmying, trying the traveling steps and having a good time. I didn't recognize anyone except my teacher, but that was fine. They all were quite friendly.

The music kicks butt; the rhythms of the Middle-Eastern dance are infectious.. I found myself doing little hip twirls and figure-eights in-between our shimmies and snake-arms. Yay; it feels good to move about again. For anyone interested in joining up; a lot of the info can be found in my previous entry from the Spring! (Just remember to adjust the time and rate to reflect the fact that it is September/October and not April and that it is now $79 per session :-)

What else?
I think we're getting to the end of our time keying the HRSDC (acronym for "hellish, rotten, stupid, dorky, crap" we have to type!) Yay! I'm glad that it's ending and we're going to be doing a mail-out in the next couple of weeks. That's basically organizing surveys, stuffing envelopes, keeping track of everything and trying not to lose material. At least it will be different & not as mind-numbing.

Although tunes at work have been helping. Everyone trades CDs, listens to MP3 players, the radio or (thanks to JohnG here,) listens to MP3's saved on the computer's hard drive. I borrowed Bob Seger from my buddy MyraW which was awesome and also got to hear some great Johnny Cash, (a new sound for me :-) Some Trance, re-visited the Offspring and of course my old standbys, Colores Andinos and Conan the Barbarian. There's something oddly ironic about keying all this crap while Conan is thundering about in your imagination decapitating snake-priests. Yay!



This afternoon there was a big Census meeting for everyone who participated as a NRFU Enumerator in the Jean-Talon Conference Room. I debated about going. I didn't go to the luncheon at OID because I didn't feel like talking about the Census, or my involvement and my experiences. Everyone else had such a great time; I didn't want to be there to kinda drag it down. But, for the afternoon meeting there was supposed to be a big group photo and certificates handed out and such.. so I thought I should go.

It was strange seeing all the faces in the conference room again; the SOD NancyW was right, it all started here, wayyy back in July and here we all were again. We were officially thanked, officially recognized for our contribution (minor though it is!) to Canadian History by our assistance in collecting responses for he last question on the Census forms (YES you all have done your CENSUS, RIGHT??) anyway, if you haven't, take out a form 2A and give it a look. Inside the cover under all your made-up names and such there is a question that asks if you give Statistics Canada permission to release your personal info in 92 years for geneology and historical studies. Cool eh? Yes, that is a NEW question, and apparently the impact on generations will be very exciting.

heh :-)

I still have noticed that most men in Statistics Canada wear shirts that look like graphs. In 90% of the cases I have observed, apart from t-shirts and stuff, this holds true. Check it out :-)

So, I got my certificate & my name was spelled right. We gathered in the Jean-Talon Rotunda and the photographer squeezed like 66+ people into this leetle space, people sat, stood, lounged, knelt on the floor and grinned. I had NW squished against me to the left and my buddy LianneG to the right. Some head honcho was kneeling in front of me. It was kinda neat. We all mugged for the shot & laughed, compared notes and trundled back to the conference room for more chats.

I'm glad I went; it felt good to wrap it all up--the closure that we need when we've gone through an experience (traumatic or not!) Plus I'll be able to look at the certificate years from now and reminisce on my adventures in the wilds of Britannia :-D



So, tomorrow's Friday & ya can't be sad that it's the end of the week. I think Susie & I will go to Thyme & Again and have coffee (tea for me because of ye olde gallstones :-( but I might have half a cookie too! Saturday I want to go to the Forest Fair in Kemptville to see LianneG's photos & the other North Grenville Arts Guild people too! It should be fun; hopefully the weather will be nice.

Sunday, might do a brunch with some buddies at a Japanese place; if we can git organized for it! And of course Clay & I will try and see Mr. Savage. He has promised not to feed me deep fried brain or strong coffee laced with chocolate and whole milk. Well 1 out of 2 ain't bad!

Cheers & hope everyone has a good weekend.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Grinding through the week

Wahull, another Friday, and so sweet it rivals maple syrup :-) My upper teeth on the left side are hurting and it's going right up into my brain like a nail. Wonderful. I get over one pain or cold or what-have-you only to be thrown into another one. As I told MW at work, "I'm falling apart!"

It was a day; we were on HRSDC which are those leetle travel cards you fill out when you come back from a trip abroad. I think I raged about them a few posts ago. The music I've been listening to really makes the work go faster though. Today I listened to Sheryl Crow & Friends (live in NY), The Clash "Combat Rock", Colores Andinos and the soundtrack to "Farewell to the King", courtesy of Doc Savage and Basil Poledouris :-) The day flew by, and I rolled out at 3pm feeling dazed and experiencing nasty eye-strain. Yay! Another debilitating condition :-(

Speaking of conditions; I went to the Doc Wednesday, and as my previous post stated at the end, I have gallstones. Apparently I come by them honestly, as my Mom and her folks all suffered from gallstones. Even my brother mentioned he gets pains in that area. Whee! For educational purposes, here is a picture of the gallbladder (although, it's not MY gallbladder..and usually gallbladders are not a bright blue in colour..)



Pictures of gallstones are too gross to post. Go Google Image them yourselves if you want to see them. Yick.

So, I have to change my diet. No more fatty foods, red meat, dairy or anything remotely tasty like onions. The only things on the list that I think won't be a problem to give up are the banned organ meats: brain, kidney, tongue, sweetmeats (!) and whatever else you boil up to make head cheese. So NO deep-fried brains for me :-P

Other areas on the net have funky home remedies for gallstones and strange diets that include vats of oil to flush you out, or mega amounts of beets. I do like beets. But the idea of chugging vegetable oil is kinda icky. Anyone got any good ideas out there? The consensus at work was to forget the whole "control with the diet" idea and get surgery. My friend MW actually showed me her scars and they looked not too bad. In fact they were barely noticable.

Surgery??? :-O

Well, Enough o' that. After work, I drove to Bells Corners and dropped in on Mike, Shelagh, Bronwyn & Kiara! BABY :-) I got to hold her and everything. And she didn't barf on me (I like my new niece.) I gave her a soft Gund terrapin and a Winnie the Pooh letter "K" & some bday presents for Shel too. Mike put on some classic Sesame St.--lots of great, hypnotic 60's influenced animation *whee*. Took some pictures; hopefully they'll turn out!



I also got to see footage of Kiara RIGHT outta the birth canal. It was amazing; she was all brand new and howling her little lungs out, thrashing her little arms--the nurse was swabbing her down. You could even see the cool umbilical cord. Wow! It hit me right in the chest, I choked up--amazing :-O Whew.

Short post, but my eyes and teeth are killing me--I must medicate & then make some kind've dinner. Hope the weekend is good for everyone--
Cheers,
Suzanne.

PS--Anyone know the significance of the # 5318008 ???
There's a lolly in it for whoever guesses correctly :-D

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Birthday bonanza

Geez, the week's going going and almost gone. Where's it off to in such a hurry? Where'd September go? Whatsis? October fallin' on us already, with that nip of frost in the air and the skirl of orange papery leaves blowing across the cracked pavement.

Last Wednesday, it poured rain, but I didn't mind. I was going to meet LH and Vix at Pub Italia for 5:30pm, so since I knocked off at 3, I had some time to kill. I browsed at Holland Cross, drove to Island Park and got gas at the retro Esso, swung around to the fantastic Ottawa Bagel Shop on Wellington and grabbed some sesame seed bagels YUM, then stopped near the Parkdale Market.

You know how if you try and pack a pile of shit into 1 hour, you can never finish anything and you end up running late?? Well, I kept piling stuff into my free time and because it was pouring rain, nobody was out and about..and consequently, it took no time at all for me to accomplish my stuff. The Parkdale Market was a ghost town. I bought my beets, zucchinni, garlic braid and stuff in about 5 minutes. Headed back to the car and vegged, as my windows steamed up. I listened to "Dark Side of the Moon" on my MP3 player.. yay--I'm moderately technologically catching up!

I waited in the car as the rain pattered, misted and poured on the windshield. Wrote 11 mini pages of a letter. Ruminated over turning 37, then thought "the heck with it" and headed to the Pub! Traffic was annoying because of the rain, but I parked in my usual spot on Norman St. just in front of the Lada dealership. Heehee! I always kid that I park there so I can pass my secret documents to the Russians who work there.. :-D

I got to the Pub and it was packed. A nice waitress (they're 98% nice at Pub Italia) took me DEEP into the back of the place, where I'd never been. I didn't have to wait long for Vix to arrive, a huge yellow bobbling flower under one arm! Yay :-D LH came next and we settled in for brews (LH loves the Trappist Beers, especially the ROCHEFORT “8" (BELGIUM) 9.2% Chestnut coloured, fruity aroma, malt and chocolate finish and the ROCHEFORT “10" (BELGIUM) 11.3% Dark brown in colour with lots of chocolate flavour and aroma) food, chatting and divulging of presents :-) LH gave me a cool Buddha statue & incense and a pile of books with a beautiful oriental card. Along with the flower, Vix gave me a great card that actually had rats on it! She also gave me some home-made plum jam and a dragon visor for my car. Hurrah!



After lasagna, beer, jalapeno poppers and laughter, we broke it up; dropped LH at home and then headed to Kanata to enjoy some maple tea in the livingroom. Vix put Swandive on the stereo and we chilled with the kitties. Hollee.. Arlo has also aged; he's now 16! So, time for the old grey dude to secure his driver's licence, eh?

THEN

I birthdayed on Thursday, attended work and had a big fuss made over me, which was sweet :-) Nhoj got me a very cool dragon for this DragonGrrl's bday and a cool card that *everyone* signed (even some big cheeses in there :-) And lots of cool little cheeses as well. Skywindcat got me a very cool glitter-flower card that stands up by itself. Everyone was super nice and I left work with a light heart.



Drove to the Stitts and hung out with my Mom. She was finishing off the preparation of Thai chicken and salad, as well as topping the home-made cheesecake with peaches! "Millions of peaches...peaches for Sue"! Mike, Shelagh & Bronwyn came out for supper too and we caught up. Bronwyn was so cute and chatty, she's utterly adorable. Clayton appeared, having successfully caught the Goulbourn bus from Bayview. After dinner, I opened prezzies: more cool cards, some moolah, insence holder shaped like a dragon, a Spongebob Pez dispenser, a wicked weird wine holder that looks like a Klingon battle weapon (now I have to get me some wine...) and other goodies.

We didn't stay too long, cause I had to work the next day, but we finished with lots of hugs and mooshy goodbyes (the best kind.)

FRIDAY! Everyone at work was in a pretty good mood (no kidding; it's Friday yo.) The day flitted by, accompanied by music. I listened to Tom Waits, Bif Naked, Pink Floyd and the radio. Afterwards... I hooked up with my animation pals at the Prescott (also on Preston) and parked in my usual spot. Mik, his wife Isabelle, Grant, Moira, Shivan, Jane and Craig were there, so it was a swell party. No sign of Terry though! Dude, you missed out on some good beer, convo and presents :-) We also passed Mik's little notebook around and drew caricatures of each other in it, which was fun. It was great getting one of Mik's super hugs in. It had been too long..like, a year??

Suu arrived around 8:30pm and whisked me away to the Market to catch up with the Bi-Grrls. We were supposed to meet at the Honest Lawyer for drinks and pool. It was the oddest feeling; although I'd never been there I got a sweeping sense of deja vu! I then realized that the place had had another incarnation in my youth: Grand Central! Wayyy back in the early 90's I'd seen Spirit of the West there, danced my ass off and got my first real kiss with a girl. Wow :-o Talk about a barrage of memories.

We had fun; I played ultra-lousy pool, but won through absurd luck, since honestly, the game could've gone either way. Although my pal CT and I had an audience, I tried not to let it rattle me and just have fun. I spent a good amount of time chasing the balls all around the table; and discovered that I am in dire need of lessons. JOSHAWA, where are you? I just remembered that the last time I played pool was like 2 years ago in a Legion near Summerside PEI with Troy's sister Judy and her son Josh. He was awesome at giving tips to sink the balls. All the trick and bank shots I try (and sadly fail at) were inspired by him :-)

It was great seeing my gals and catching up on news. It was the first time Suu had been out of the house without her baby since Niamh had arrived on the scene, so she was having a ball. Our waitress was awesome. She was so friendly, very cute and helpful. When we were about to split for cake she looked half-interested in coming with us when I explained that we were heading to the Oh So Good! In retrospect, I should've picked her up some mousse cake or something and given it to her. That would've been swell :-D

Man, this post is taking forever! I think I'll wrap it up and continue tomorrow with more news.

Oh yes.. and for those waiting with bated breath; I have *&%# gallstones :-( There will be an expository on THAT soon..


Cheers & thanks for reading.
Suzanne.

PS--WELCOME to the world: Kiara Lynn Marsden! My new niece arrived safe and sound Sunday, September 17th at 2:04 am, weighing in at 8.6 lbs Hurrayyyy!!! Congratulations to my Bro, Michael and my Sister-In-Law Shelagh. Great job guys!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Feed your head



Yay! Sue wins! I've been playing a Scrabble-like game at home and at work (at lunch occasionally.) It's fun. I don't get to play as often with my Mom, or Fiona or my good buddy Kerry T (now in London!) so, this not too bad version of the game is good for the old brain pan. The only problem is that it has an odd dictionary. I have to ADD words to the dictionary, like: gloam, gib and ret so the computer will know what I'm talking about. Then it'll throw out words like Elvis and Tony. Those words I get to REMOVE from the computer's dictionary. Slowly, I'm making it think more like *me* heehee hee....

Apart from that, I've been hammering keys at work, still at STC, switching between the Dwelling Survey and the interminable ITS cards (travel cards you fill out if you were out of the country.) Someone has to type all that sh*t into a computer, so barring turbulence, dudes can you PRINT a bit more neatly? Thank you :-D

For some reason, this chillier weather (which I love btw, brings out the need to cook. I figure it's the gather-nuts-and -store-for-winter actioned by the hind brain taking over. So far I've made spaghetti sauce, noodles, lasagne (with said sauce), bran muffins and stove-top chili (which even included a sweet potato.) I *hate* sweet potatoes! But, this particular recipe is fabu.. thanks to Vicki for introducing it to me. Anyone else finding the urge to cook, stew, bake, eat and begin hibernation preparations?



Yes, yes-- I know a few people at work will get a guffaw over that picture :-D It's a TUBER!

Tomorrow it will be ONE WHOLE YEAR that I've been employed. OMG can you believe it? I think it has only happened once before, at Dynomight Cartoons a few years ago. But holee.. it's unbelievable. Our little 2 1/2 month contract extended not only for a year, but will stretch all the way to November 2nd. Unreal. So, I'm making my patented Cranberry muffins tomorrow to bring in to celebrate. And, I might also pack some of my bran muffins in as well (in case there are not enough cranberry ones.) I know, muffins aren't the Halleluja Chorus of WOW we've been here a Year celebratory Fare.. but... some of my buddies have only been there 11 months (cuz they got laid off in December of '05 and were recalled in January of '06.) So; maybe we'll have *another* celebration in October. We'll see :-)

Any excuse for a pahhty, eh?

Speaking of which.. I VISIBLY AGE this week. I know, I know, it's not that amazing--keying for a year in front of a computer for 8 hours a day will age you of course. Those wrinkles and grey hairs popping out everywhere are no surprise (*GACKKKkk*). But, well, Thursday I officially will be able to quote "Monty Python & The Holy Grail" honestly and say: "I'm thirty-seven ... I'm not old." Thankfully, I'm not called Dennis :-) Now go watch MP&THG in honour of my special day & age thingie. Here's another Dennis sound bite :-D



Anyway, enough of that silliness. The week looks good; getting together for drinks Wed with VS & LH if all goes well. Thursday, off to my folks for Thai Chicken and peach cheesecake...MMMmm! Friday night, the Grrls are whisking me out for drinks and pool! Hurrah. The weekend will be filled with visits with the ex-Aylmerites (now Carleton Place-ites) and Mr. Savage, hopefully!

THEN.

Who knows?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Driving



This is a picture of where I work. When I'm not suffering from mysterious maladies, or wandering Bayshore with a clipboard as a NRFU Enumerator, Tunney's Pasture is my usual demesnes. I snagged this pic from a "John Lennon & Yoko Ono" tour of Ottawa photo thingie circa 1969, so that's why the pic is a bit funny. Weird to think the old Beatle was hoofing it where I work... he was actually visiting the Health Canada building at the time, not Statistics Canada. Anywho, that's the not-so-exciting history of the picture.

So this was my first week back in a long while. Monday, we worked on keying PISA bubble sheets using the Verifier. That was fun, and all too soon, it came to and end, and that was the last of the PISA project (that we've basically been working on since like February!) It was weird finishing it off. BT brought in strawberry short-cake as a celebration on Wednesday to thank us all for a job well done, which was nice.

I have to say that the strawberries involved were delicious. She'd hoofed it up to the Parkdale Market at lunch and had returned with huge baskets of fresh summer berries. MAAN. You could taste the sunshine still vibrating from them, bursting on your tongue with juicy goodness. MMmmm! No wonder Vicki & Carol L. decree that they are their favourite berries :-D [Pic by Glen Gower.]

After we completed PISA, we turned our considerable data-capture talents to keying the Dwelling Survey; which reminds me a bit of the Census, except it is in a bit more detail. It ain't bad keying it, a bit boring (although not as boring as the Terrible TAMs!!) At least you get to type in actual information, instead of just bluntly pounding the "enter" key!

I have amused myself by writing emails at work, catching up with my friends, enjoying good coffee, taking alternate routes to & from home in the Echo (which still needs to get that farty gasket repaired! *sigh*) The fastest & less stressful route home is from Tunney's Pasture to the Ottawa River Pky West, picking up Carling briefly, turning up onto Richmond and hooking to the 417 at Bayshore, then sailing to Moodie Dr., turning West onto Timm and catching Eagleson Rd. at Katimavik where you head South.



Sounds complicated? But consider.. The Ottawa River Pky is beautiful, and although you're only going about 70 kph, you get to see the river (I saw a gang of deer on Monday, browsing.) When you get off the 417 at Moodie and go West on Timm Dr. you're in pastures with trees and wildlife too; very pleasant and soothing for the soul.

Compare that to grinding your car South up Parkdale (which is ALWAYS a mess, even if the construction is finished) finally getting the 417 where it's stop & go (the buses whip past you insolently!) When it finally opens up, you only sail along for a little bit before you hit the Bayshore/Kanata bottleneck.. And I timed it. It took almost the same amount of time to get home--in fact, going Parkdale to the Queensway to Terry Fox and South to my place took an extra 5 minutes. So why bother?

Between working, getting to work, coming home, cooking dinner, taking care of animals and doing all that routine stuff that you have to do, I have been playing "NeverWinter Nights" with Clay on the computer. We picked this game up a few years ago and never got a chance to finish it (or really give it a good "go" for that matter.) It has been sweet getting a chance to play, but fried too. Time goes by so quickly when you're playing; you look up and it's like midnight! Then you crash and get up at 5am to go to work. Duh! Anyway, it is a blast though. It's put out by Bioware which is where my animation buddy Mark How works slavishly making fun games for us to enjoy. Hurray :-D

Got together last night at the Green Door for supper with my friends LH, and my Bi Grrl gang. It was wonderful--I hadn't seen the gals for ages nor been to the Door (in..um..6+ months?) The only sad thing was that they didn't have beets. They had carrots though, and the great Greek salad with the chunks of feta in it. And the triple berry pie. YUM! If you've never been to the Green Door, do yourself a favour and get out there for supper. You'll spend about $20 for a full plate of delicious organic vegetarian fare, and your tummy will thank you. If you have a spare $5, pick up an organic beer too (St. Peter's English Ale)

Well, I must prepare to go and visit Mr. Savage! I must get clean, pack my stuff, feed the cats and tangle with traffic. Whee....!