Monday, October 31, 2005

NaNoWriMo begins!

Well, it's 1:22 am Halifax time and I have just completed my first sitting for the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I came down to the lobby and asked to use the computer at midnight, and it was off to the races. Current word count: 1750 of 50,000. I outlined, thank Petrie, or I would have spent all night sitting here staring at a blank screen. Thinking about just hooking a solid caffeine drip to my vein and rolling around a little bag full of espresso with me everywhere I go.

Halifax is BEAUTIFUL! I took the ferry across from Dartmouth to Halifax on Saturday (my only day off so far) and spent 4 hours wandering around the docks. Found this incredible place called Rum Runners - the story is fascinating! I love waking up each morning, opening the blinds in my hotel room and seeing the ocean. However, there is an island, which I'm apparently not allowed to go to, called George's Island. All the old cannons from the war are still there, and since, I'm not allowed to go, I just HAVE TO. So, I spent a bit of that 4 hours wandering around the harbourfront, talking to seataxi guys and local fishermen, trying to negotiate a ride over. Since the season is winding down apparently most people have packed it in for the year, but one guy told me to come earlier next weekend (I didn't get up until 1 pm on Saturday....) and he would give me a ride over. Woohoo!

That's it for me tonight - I'm totally knackered and must be down to meet the Frenchmen at 8:17 am sharp! No, really. 8:17 am.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Juler comme un canard... or something

I'm loving this mobile blog thing! I'm currently in a car, in Dartmouth, being driven, by a Frenchman to Lower Sackville where we're working. It has been quite an adventure since we flew into Halifax from Montreal on Saturday, including such debacles as sleeping on a hide-a-bed in a conference room (Sunday), getting caught in post-hurricane Wilma, phase one (Sunday) and arriving at work yesteday to find no one else there (they scheduled us for 8 am, but no one else comes in until 11). Today's adventure (so far) has been in the guise of breakfast with co-workers from Montreal. Anyone familiar with the home of the Habs knows Montreal drivers are insane, and these guys are no exception.
Green means pound on the gas pedal and cut someone off. Red means stomp on the brake and curse en Francais. Today's driver (yes, I've had many more than one...) is not used to stopping for pedestrians, and has almost run down two, one in full military uniform. Great folks though, and I'm brushing up on my French. It's rainy and cold today and I am juler comme un canard, but everywhere I look, I see ocean. This weekend, if post-Wilma doesn't carry me out to sea, I may go explore the harbour. That is, IF I make it to work. Right now, as it stands, je ne sais pas.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Tag, I'm it...

Okay, I was tagged by Michelle, however my sentence is not nearly as cool as hers, but very Canadian. Here's the rules:

1. Delve into your blog archives.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions. Ponder it for meaning, subtext or hidden agendas.
5. Tag five people to do the show.

Okay, I haven't been blogging that long, so my most recent blog was the one I had to go with, and I wrote it on my Palm Treo when I was supposed to be paying attention in class. Here it is... the grand 5th sentence:

"Get this!"

See, Michelle! It is lame! Okay, I'm going to attempt to un-lame-ify it here.

When I wrote it, I was mentioning that Tim Hortons here in Quebec has breakfast. But I think the reason I wrote it as a demand rather than a "Hey, did you know..." sort of thing is because I often feel as though when I'm talking, people don't listen, and more often than not, I'm interupted. It's not such a bad thing, because I'm not a stunning linguist - I'm a writer, not a speaker. But I think when I do speak, I have to do it quickly and forcefully, both to command attention and prevent being interupted (I'm also told I speak very quickly, presumably for the same reason...) and since I blog like I'm having a conversation where everyone is mute (secretly delightful...) I create short, choppy sentences to *hopefully* keep the listener (reader)'s attention.

How's that for pondering meaning and subtext? hehe...

Okay, TAG!
Voodoo's Room
Devon Ellington
Colin Galbraith
and since I don't know many others who blog, I'm also going to tag readers:
Ajay and...
Heather Hughes
to pick either a reply to one of my previous blogs, chose a sentence and do the same, or write the first sentence that comes to mind, and ponder for meaning and subtext!

Palm Posting

Salut, tout le monde! Je suis en La Belle Province, en Montreal! The sun finally made an appearance yesterday to show the beautiful city and - Hurrah! the Tim Hortons across the street. Thanks to Mom's sneakily-packed gift certificates, my stomach is full with an XL double double and an everything bagel with herb garlic cream cheese. Get this! Tim Hortons has breakfast - toast & jam and toast & beans!

Today per diem should arrive so I'm going to buy some shoes (hurrah!) and a sweet winter jacket. Tomorrow I fly off to Halifax, where I'm staying on the ocean. I'm loving this Palm - yes, I'm typing on it right now, so if this works, this thing is incredible! Hung out with Linde and Scott last night between phone calls home. This week I had one challenge this week getting the Mending Resolute issues out, but otherwise it's been smooth sailing! have a great weekend, everyone, and si tu sais beaucoup des mots mal en Francais, post them in comments below, S.V.P hehe! I'm eager to know more...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Superhero name

Your Superhero Profile

Your Superhero Name is The Arch Shield
Your Superpower is Cursing
Your Weakness is Stuttering
Your Weapon is Your Particle Torpedoes
Your Mode of Transportation is Flying Saucer
Well, it's right about my superpower! I'm swearing like a sailor these days! If you get your superhero name, copy it and post it in the comments below!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Flames vs Dallas

Well, the Flames lost last night in the home opener, but it ain't so bad for a couple of reasons. First, it didn't go to a shoot out. They lost good and proper in the 4th minute of OT, the way God and Lord Stanley intended. I say take the time spent on the shoot out, and put it to another five or ten minutes of 4 on 4! But hey, really... who's gonna listen to this little girl in Canada who's 6th in her pool. The second reason is because Modano got me a bunch of points, to make sure I wasn't in DEAD LAST in the pool. I'm only behind my sister's boyfriend by 8 points, and if Sakic would score a few and little Matty Stajan get some assists, I'll be past him in no time! Yeah, that's right! I said it!

I was really surprised in the difference between the headlines of The Sun and The Herald when Himself and I went out this morning to get breakfast from The Great Canadian Bagel on the corner. The Herald's headline read "Flames' overtime loss can't dampen fans' spirit" whereas The Sun, in traditional pessimistic form, read, "Party Crashers! Visiting Stars spoil banner night." 'nuff said.

In fish tank news, the sole survivor of the tank conditioning, a small yet determined feeder fish I liked to call "Squiggy" (but only in my head) has disappeared. Investigators assume Squiggy has endured the same fate of some of his earlier tank mates, namely, falling to the filter's entrancing buzzing and getting sucked into a carbon-based grave.

Now all that's left in my 25 gallon fish tank is one seriously pissed of plecostomus - after all, no other fish means no algae, which means no food. Okay, he's not a real plecostomus, more like a Siamese algae eater, which is funny, because now my only two fish are Bruce Lee, the Siamese Fighting Fish, and Pissy Placo, the Siamese algae eater. I bet if I put them in the tank together, in a few short hours they would have invaded Laos and hatched a plot to kill the bastard who changed Siam's name to Thailand!

Squiggy liked to put his face in the top right corner of the tank and sleep. He also liked playing in the filter bubbles, and in his spare time enjoyed swimming through the plastic sunken ship and making faces at the Moai in the tank. Donations in Squiggy's memory can be made here.

Why is it every time I pick up a copy of Dose the front page is dedicated to debunking outlanding claims about the bird flu?! I guess an obsession has hatched! WAHAHA! HAHAHA! I'll be here all night, remember to tip your waitress and try the chicken! HAHAHA ouch! That tomato hit me in the eye!

Monday, October 10, 2005

The heartwarming and the headwarming

Saturday was 20x the points day at Shoppers. I counted down to the day - this wasn't just any 20x the points day - it was THE day. I was only 3800 points away from my $75 shopping spree, and this points day would put me over.

I had one item in mind - I've been visiting for the last six months: Eternity Summer, and if I could put a little sample smell in this blog so when you click, it blows out the scent, I would. You would love it as much as I do.

Points were scarce this summer, however, and I simply couldn't justify buying an $89 bottle of perfume when there were so many other things needed. But if I got it for $14, that's much different.

The cosmetics girl has been really great with my montly visits. We've laughed - we've cried (I got my finger stuck in the handle of the plastic bag and it REALLY hurt!)... once I forgot my debit card on the counter and she ran into the parking lot after me to return it. Yes, she's nice and fun, but she's actually, in secret, an angel.

On Saturday, I filled my basket until it was overflowing. Yet, as I stood at the counter, awaiting my turn nto pay, I searched for my beloved scent and could not find it!

Someone once warned me about this - a tall, extremely thin cosmetics chick at a different Shoppers. "You know," she snapped, her perfect make-up sitting so perfectly on her perfect nose, "You should buy it now - it's a limited time scent. It's only around for the summer." I squirmed, trying to get away from her. I'm sure tall thin woman spends $89 just on a tube of lipstick, but me - well, I can't justify that when children are starving in - well, wherever they're starving.

But tall thin woman had been right! I was too late! My perfume was GONE!

The nice cosmetician did not recognize me when I walked in... I got my hair cut this weekend so it's pretty different, and she had not seen my new glasses. Timidly, I placed down my basket, struggling to keep the tissue boxes within the confines of the red plastic, and asked, "is it gone? The Eternity Summer?"

"Yes," the nice cosmetician told me. "They recalled it last month." Then, a look of recognition came over her face and she cried, "I'm so glad you came back! I didn't have your name or anything, but I put one aside for you!"

I wanted to rush around the counter and hug her. Her name, I finally found out, is Lisa, and her shift ended in 20 minutes. Had I come in a little later, I would have missed her, missed my perfume and been Eternally bummed out. When I told Himself it was one of the nicest things anyone had ever done for me, he said, "Wow, people don't do that many nice things for you, eh?" I smacked him in the arm.

So Lisa the cosmetician at Shoppers is my new hero, and I even sprayed a bit of perfume on last night before bed so I could smell it all night and have pleasant dreams. Friends, I am in love. (With the perfume, of course. Oh! And Himself too! Woo, that could have been disasterous.)

There is a secret in our apartment complex - a secret no one talks about, but everyone seems to know. The dryer is broken, and it remains on "dry" forever. Providing no one plugs money into the machine, it continues to dry without stopping. So, for a mere $4.50, I did three loads of laundry last night - but paid a severe price for my dishonesty.

See, without the dryer turning off, someone who, say, forgets they put laundry in the dryer in the first place, the clothes continue to dry. For hours. For four hours.

I gasped when I remembered. What would become of my clothes?

Barbie-sized shirts, let me tell you, and static unlike anything the world has seen. I'm now a human electric current, and I can't get my hair to settle down. That was not my punishment, however. That was just the result of me being stupid, which is nothing new.

I unloaded the extremely-static-y laundry from the dryer, and put it atop one of the washing machines while I re-loaded that same dryer (in order to get the free drying). My mound of electrically-charged clothing toppled over while my back was turned, and my little stripey underwear tumbled to the ground.

Through the inch-wide crack between the washing machine and the wall.

This room is a two-stepping room - it takes two steps to walk through it. So, head on the door knob, I reached between the crack. I could feel the material, but could not pinch it enough to pull my stripey underwear to safety. Just a bit further - a bit more - a bit more - and, I'm stuck.

Yep, stuck with my arm between the wall of the laundry room and a 500 pound washing machine, reaching for a pair of underwear I really should deny owning in the first place, with my head resting on the door knob. If one other person - just ONE in a building full of tennants, also decided it was time to do laundry, that would be the end of me.

For fifteen minutes I crouched there, praying no one opened the door, trying to push the washing machine even just a little so I could retract my arm. Turned out in addition to being a ridiculous idiot, I also have superpowers. After many tries, I was able to rock the washing machine just enough to free my forearm. No one came in, thank God, but the heat in that room was stifling! I needed a shot of whiskey when I returned to the apartment just to clear the dryer fluff from my nose and throat.

But I did, however, return with my stripey underwear.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, Canucks!

Well, it's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and my list of things I'm thankful for begins with the Knefla and Sauerkraut feast Mom made us last night. Knefla is German dish that defies explanation. Just imagine the best thing you've EVER tasted, times that by five hundred, and you've got knefla.

The best part of knefla is that Mom usually makes extra, so I get to eat it for a week and a half after. Although I was so stuffed last night I could hardly move, I woke up at 12:30 am craving more.

Not only that, but Mom's also making a turkey tomorrow! Mmmm turkey. How am I so lucky, you ask? Don't know. Maybe the Karma from tipping barristas (and that nice little man at Mr. Sub) is finally coming back to me.

I've realized some problems with the Mending Resolute site. Namely, Firefox presents HTML code rather than the graphics, and I suspect this is happening on Linux systems also. What do I intend to do about this? Damned if I know. But if this happens to you, please email me.

I WILL, however, get the rest of the bugs worked out this weekend. Thanks to those who are thinking about being my guinea pigs for the PayPal link. I appreciate the thought! We (and by we, I mean me) officially launch on October 11th, so those who are thinking about it, please do it now. You'll get the discount off future issues. Plus, I'm offering up Karma also. If you volunteer to subscribe and test out my PayPal link on your computer, you too could get two Thanksgiving dinners! (Americans, you still have time to get Karma Credit for this year's feast!)

I splurged yesterday and bought three CD's. This is UNHEARD of for me, but to my credit, I did even it out with a bit of early Christmas shopping. I bought the OLD Jack Johnson (On and On, playing right now on my computer speakers), the new Foo Fighters (Mom replied, "What's a Foo Fighter? hehe I laughed so hard I almost threw up. She's so cute) and took a chance on a Canadian band from Victoria, called The Armchair Cynics. I'm REALLY enjoying this album - sort of Matt Good meets Nickelback. I highly recommend checking it out - it will be the newest edition to my Linde Riley soundtrack.

Now that everyone who must be informed has been informed, I can tell the rest of the world. I've been chosen to go on a work trip for five weeks. The first week will definitely be in Montreal. From there I will either remain in Montreal, go to St. John, New Brunswick, or Pembrook, Ontario. I'm happy going to any of the three. Here's the challenge: It's NaNo month! So, either I have to find a laptop or a Palm Pilot by next week, or I'll be doing pen-to-paper and typing like mad for the last 10 days of the challenge. Either way, it's going to be great! I'm using the NaNo challenge to complete Mending Resolute - Book 2.

By the way, I'm offering anyone else doing the NaNo a special deal on Mending Resolute - click the NaNo Participants link on the homepage for more info.

All right, I've had it. I can't take it anymore. I'm going to attack that Knefla and eat it for breakfast.

I'm currently reading:
Read it? Comment below!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Birthday Calculator

I just wanted to share this, because I thought it was really cool.

Check out the site at


You entered: 10/22/1979
Your date of conception was on or about 29 January 1979.
You were born on a Mondayunder the astrological sign Libra.
Your Life path number is 4.
The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2444168.5.
The golden number for 1979 is 4.
The epact number for 1979 is 2.
The year 1979 was not a leap year.
As of 10/7/2005 11:30:44 AM CDTYou are 25 years old.
You are 312 months old.
You are 1,354 weeks old.
You are 9,482 days old.
You are 227,579 hours old.
You are 13,654,770 minutes old.
You are 819,286,244 seconds old.

There are 15 days till your next birthday on which your cake will have 26 candles on it.
Those 26 candles produce 26 BTU's,or 6,552 calories of heat (that's only 6.5520 food Calories!) .You can boil 2.97 US ounces of water with that many candles.

In 1979 there were approximately 3.1 million births in the US.In 1979 the US population was approximately 203,302,031 people, 57.4 persons per square mile.In 1979 in the US there were approximately 2,152,662 marriages (10.1%) and 1,036,000 divorces (4.9%)In 1979 in the US there were approximately 1,921,000 deaths (9.5 per 1000)

Your birthstone is Tourmaline The Mystical properties of Tourmaline
Pink Tourmaline promotes female balance and protection. Green Toumaline promotes male balance.Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)
Opal, Jasper

Your birth tree is Maple, Independence of Mind
No ordinary person, full imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-respect, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, many complexes, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.There are 79 days till Christmas 2005!The moon's phase on the day you wereborn was waxing crescent.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Ready to Roll

Sweet! It's 2:26 am and I've just stepped out of a long, hot shower - much deserved after finishing the Mending Resolute website. Okay, okay, it's not FINISHED finished - John and I are still working on the animation - actually, we haven't really started yet, however the majority of it is up. Some of my fonts aren't working, so if all you see is Times New Roman, please keep checking - it's all going to be kick ass soon. If you have a sweet computer like mine, you're probably enjoying these way-cool graphics right now.

PayPal is up and running on the site also.

I think.

Anyone feel like being a guinea pig? (Not literally, silly, just to test out the payment procedure! Geeze, I wouldn't actually turn you into some hairy rodent...)

Okay, let me sweeten the pot! Since the actual subscriptions won't begin until Monday, October 17th, the first 5 people to subscribe (thereby letting me know if it works) will receive their next subscription free. ie: If you chose 10 issues for $4.95 (CAD, of course) you'll get the next ten for nothing.

If you go for 20 issues for $8.95, you'll receive your next twenty for nothing. And on and on. You get the drift. So go now! It's Click the clock (with the scrolling "click above to visit Resolute" underneath), check out the first issue, and at the bottom is a "Get Resolute" link. After that, it's all pretty self-explanatory.

Yes, you may actually run into problems. No really, I haven't tried it out yet. Ideally, you should be sent to PayPal after filling in your information. Now I will sit here, twiddling my thumbs until someone tries it out. And I'm seriously tired. I may pass out here, waiting, but that's what being a writer is all about - passing out on your keyboard, right? Although usually me passing out on the keyboard involves a little more wine than consumed post-blog this evening, but that's another story for another blog. Or you can just read the very first blog, and it will all make sense.

Anyhow, today the NaNo site resumed! (Just to fill non-NaNoers in, we impatient writers crashed the site on October 1st because we all pounced at once, anticipating new t-shirt designs...) So I'm all signed up, and I'm dedicating my NaNo challenge this year to - what else? Mending Resolute. Himself insists he's going to do it this year, but I think he's full of @$%#.

Yeah, that's right, I said that!

I would also like to take a moment to thank Jenn Rausch. She is my friend, and, ironically, the very same person who cut me off in traffic today as I innocently drove from serving meals at the homeless shelter to the home of the 103-year-old armless woman I feed lunch to each day. I almost rear-ended her, but fortunately my cat-like reflexes prevented disaster! I'm thinking about taking another route from now on so Jenn Rausch doesn't try to run me off the road again. Although we are even now. A few months ago, the question in the Dose forum asked which superheroes were Calgarian's favourites. Between Himself, Mom and Jenn Raush, Linde Riley was the most talked about person in that forum! Jenn had numerous personalities that night, the best being Hugh G. Recshion.

Should have warned you this was not going to be a PG-13 blog, but life with Jenn Rausch is never PG-13, I assure you.

So, go to the Mending Resolute site and get free issues!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Hockey Pool

Yesterday we did the draft for the hockey pool. Although everyone here was making fun of my picks, I think my team is going to get me the money. And if not, there's always the prize for coming in dead last. Heh heh. Actually, I could win it. But no! I have faith! Here's my line up, complete with pics for Michelle!


and finally....

Little Matty Stajan. He's so cute! Okay, I know he might not be scoring the most goals this year, but I have faith in him. Plus, it gives me yet another excuse to cheer for him.

The preparations for my new Mending Resolute endeavour are going well. Thank lulala that Formsite and Paypal have hooked up. The Paypal stuff was fairly easy, but I was really having trouble adding the cells where people enter their information. So, I logged onto Formsite just to get some ideas and low and behold! They are going to save my bum. So, we (and by we, I mean me) are launching October 11th at the latest. I am taking pre-subscriptions at the moment, so if you have intentions of subscribing, either send me an email or pop by the First Issue Free page to find out how to get some freebies when we (Again, by "we", I mean me) launch.

I just watched a documentary about a woman who had a 160 pound tumor. Woah. I don't think I'll be eating for a while, but what an incredible story.

That's it - nothing else interesting happening, and I won't bore you with the details of how I went to M&M today and found out I'm half-way to getting a free turkey this Christmas.