Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Oh, it's ON

Ok, I know I'm completely obsessing about this cat that is torturing my home life, but I am not yet able to let it go. I have a cat stalker. The other night I was awoken from a deep sleep. This time, not by the random partying tenants or by the urge to eat some triple creme cheese, but by the most vicious cat fight I have ever heard. And, I went to a girls' camp.

I think a dog was involved too. Perhaps a classic love triangle, or maybe gang warfare, but whatever the motivation, they were going at it. I actually ran out to see the commotion and mostly make sure there wasn't going to be blood on my wicker, but they dashed away.

I was pretty convinced that my cat stalker/uninvited moocher was dead. Or at least badly maimed. Despite all the porch lingering, he must be a house cat because of the collar and I didn't figure a house cat could hold his own. So, imagine my surprise when there he was the next morning, pleased as punch with himself.

Accidentally, I startled him and he jolted away. A few minutes later, I could feel eyes on me and sure enough he was back up there, giving me the total EVIL eye. It may not look like it in this picture, but I was afraid.
Looking closer, his ear looks sorta mangled - he's a fighter. I have my work cut out for me.

Mirrored Apple Tart

I'm continually trucking through Barefoot Contessa's cookbooks and have been able to check off fresh pea soup with mint, dijon vinaigrette salad and French apple tart this week. I have to say that I was very impressed with myself as I compared my creation to the picture Ina created. Not too shabby. However, something happened in the oven and it turned out like apple pizza. Hmmm.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Oh, I don't BELIEVE this!!!

That's two strikes, Cat.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Parkour Perfection

I don't know where this originated or if anyone does it my area, but it is supremely cool. I'm always in awe of these guys.



Close, but no cigar.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Randomness

If one day, decades or centuries from now, historians and sociologists determine that texting was single-handedly responsible for the downfall of modern civilization and the deterioration of interpersonal relationships, I, for one, will not be one bit surprised. I should go on a texting cold turkey detox diet. Should, but probably won't.
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I used my lawn trimmer yesterday for the first time and found out that I now have a complete set of lawn cutting instruments that are way too powerful for me. To use the lawnmower, I have to put all of my back into it and usually end the process sweaty and exhausted. It's a total machine. Efficient and I love that it's gas powered, but I'm pretty sure I should have a mower license to operate it.

Now, I find out that the lawn trimmer is way too fast! I ended up flying soil and wood chips all around as I tried to get the errant weeds. Some hit me in the face and cut up my ankles! Maybe I should use scissors like those fastidious old men you see maintaining their lawns.

I'm now expecting my garden hose to be as strong as those hoses they use to break up riots. Look out, geraniums.
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What is with those people who get into their cars ass first? Usually they're older people, which is fine, but yesterday I saw a guy around my age doing that! And he wasn't fat or anything. Who has time for that or who even thinks to get in that way? I go in feet first and am in second gear before my ass touches upholstery. No time, people!!
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Is there a more beautiful vegetable (or is it a fruit?) than the avocado? It's so impressive. The pit, the consistency, the stunning colour. And I love the trick Barefoot Contessa taught me to remove the pit. The avocado is my new favourite summer treat. And, I've been informed they are "healthy" fat, so I'm good to go! Not that that would have stopped me though. I've been making guac and putting it on BLTs. Delicious. Just look at it - hard not to love. It's like the eggplant, another vegetable I think is stunning. But, disgusting.

WHAT do you think you're doing???


Last night I saw this cat sitting on my front (freshly painted!) porch and tapped on the glass until I startled it and it ran away.

Then this morning, I see him setting up shop on my back porch! On my lone piece of white wicker! And he has a collar! I didn't shoo him away this time, but instead let him sleep, solely to prove to those cat-loving friends of mine, that I have a heart.

But, if he's still around when I come home....he'd better have a prayer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Randomness

Does Kraft Dinner go in the Green Bin or in the plastics Blue Box? No, really, I'd like to know. It's surely not food, but much closer to a low grade plastic product. Delicious, though.
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I've now been living in my house for about 3 months and have just today discovered a new light switch. I didn't know what it did. Just imagine how my life is going to change!
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Similarly, I recently discovered that I have peonies on my property! (I like saying property as it implies impressive grounds that span across the countryside.) The most beautiful and shortlived flower! Of course, I found them well after their peak and then had to trample them to paint my porch. So, that might be the end of them. Sigh. I think I would schedule my wedding to accommodate for peony season. Look how exquisite.

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I recently made the mistake of washing potatoes then putting them back in their bag and then into the dark, cool place they prefer. I thought I was saving time. Instead, I've had to go on a massive hunt to determine what smelled so bad in my kitchen. And then repaint my cupboard. And suffer a call from the upstairs tenants asking if someone died. Lesson learned.
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In my lifelong search for the proper way to keep orchids alive, I tried a new technique. I have an orchid that has gone over to the dark side and as I made breakfast today, I had a thought. So, I went with this thought and poured the bacon grease into the pot. I know what you're thinking, but maybe no one has ever tried it and what if it worked!?! I could be a phaleonopsis superstar, reknowned the world over, and I would get to meet Martha Stewart! Yeah, well it failed. Sorry Martha.
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I have a tiling guy in to do my basement tiles. This is fantastic and one step closer to completing my house, but there is a downside. The floor is now 2" closer to the ceiling. Which means I have to duck an additional 2". I figured this out around midnight last night when I drew blood on my forehead. Excellent.
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With the current Winnie Cooper economic climate, I have to make a choice - get my car detailed (it's disgusting) or get white wicker furniture set for front porch (which I really, really want to complete the whole porch look I'm going for). I've been scouring garage sales, but I think I'll have to buy it new, if I can still find it. As for the detailing, it made me so happy when I got it done once. However, the reason I needed to get it done was not so happy.

I had just bought the car and set out with my friends in tow for a glorious beach day. Dear Draker exited my car and noticed some weird stains on his clothes, but we didn't think much of it. The next day, he was grocery shopping and felt for his wallet in his back pocket. Instead, got a handful of his ass, as his jeans had completely disintigrated.

He also had to stay home from work that day as he was feeling queasy, light-headed and generally unwell. As time went on, we put things together. The culprit: the son of the guy who sold me the car had placed a car battery upside down on the backseat and didn't tell anyone. The battery acid seeped out and into my upholstery. Since it's not something I typically notice or look for when buying a car, I had no idea.

I felt awful for Draker, tried to make amends and got the car seller to pay for my car to be detailed. No more battery acid, but now no one will sit in my backseat. It doesn't help that the seatbelt has been corroded out, so it's probably not a bad idea.

Um, yeah....

Get the Giggles

This is the best - need 30 seconds of laughter? Try this. It made me cry with laughter. This little guy is actually falling over from the sneezes. I can't take it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Grrr.

Ok, I know I've already ranted about this, but it's still super annoying! Has there been a new training mandate at Tim Horton's that insists employees count out each and every one of the Timbits they put in a 20-pack?

It used to be (in the good ole days) that the boxes were jammed full and the staff just stuffed them in by the handful. Now, I walked away, dejected, as I counted out exactly 20. How does it make sense? Fewer Timbits, but more money? I feel like this is a reflection of the downfall of our greater economic situation. Yep, yep, I do.

Sure, eating exactly 20 Timbits still makes me sick, but I should be at least 30% sicker! What does the 16 year old kid care if I get more than 20? Come on!!!

I work in Hamilton now - this is all I've got! It's ALL I've got, people.

Ok, back to work - and sanity.

Love is looking for me

Well, it's official: they know I'm single in the city. Eerily similar to that scene on Sex and the City, I came across a dating service questionnaire and free offer in my mail this week. How do they know? Do they stalk my comings and goings? Does anyone who receives mail with just one name listed automatically get them? Did my parents put them up to this?

It's pretty funny, I guess - yes, I read it, but then shredded it. I'd rather be a lonely cat woman than be a member of The Allied Network. And I hate cats. I did appreciate how I can select a height range that would accommodate even my highest of heels. Also, who is going to select "Some high school" as the preferred education? Where is "Compleatly Iliteret" as an option? And I'm sure I'd really be interested in meeting someone who is into aerobics. Taxidermy, maybe. But not aerobics.

My social goal? To be coupled up just enough so I can get off this dreaded mailing list. What other marital status is there besides Divorced, Separated, Never Married or Widowed? Is that Other category really necessary? What - Engaged? Sexy Spinster? In a Relationship but Unable to Commit?

The fine print states that some conditions may apply. Yeah.

** If you're horribly grotesque, socially awkward, own underwear older than the Internet, enjoy Nicolas Cage, have dirty fingernails, indulge in baby talk, or are actually considering filling out this form, we may not be able to find you love. **

Friday, June 11, 2010

Worst Name for Spa...Ever?


Garage Sale Update: The Bike

Very successful garage sale-ing last weekend. We went to the large one in Caledonia where pretty much the entire town throws things on their front lawns. Tracy and I were both searching (competing?) for a bike. We came across a guy selling 3 bikes - she scooped up the best one ... or so we thought. I settled for paying $5 for a fairly crummy bike, but one that would serve my purposes: using for neighbourhood garage sales and eventually getting stolen.


It was held together with some duct tape and was pretty beat up. Why is it on the ground? Because it doesn't even have a kick stand, that's why. Boo, beater bike.

We threw it in the truck and continued on to pick up a Christmas tree stand, old grandma painting and yet another crystal decanter. Then, like a beacon on the hill, stood another bike. A better bike. The bike I had imagined tooling around on all summer. I got the nice lady down to $12 and threw that into our truck full o' bikes.

Look how much nicer! And it's navy - quickly becoming my favourite colour. After a $50 tune-up and polish, all it needs now is a handlebar basket which will hold baquettes, fresh cut flowers and my dreams to live like I'm in a movie. Yay! And, see how it's standing - that's right, kickstand. So, I sent the first bike out to pasture i.e. left it on Tracy's front lawn.

When we came back to our vehicle, which we thought we had cleverly parked at the supermarket lot, this is what we found.
Looks like the shopkeepers weren't so happy - and they know a thing or two about keeping people off their land up there. It was quite the obstacle course to extricate the truck.

So, for this Saturday, I am still looking for a bookcase, rolling pin, and above all, white wicker furniture set for my front porch. This is my white whale. Sometimes there are sale mirages that reveal Sold signs on them as I get closer and many times I end up offering people to sell the furniture right off their porch. I'm desperate.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Up in the gym, working on my fitness"

I belong to a gym. Yes, it's true. Attempting to combat the negative health consequences of being "skinny fat", I have been trying to go three times a week for about a year now. With a four month hiatus. Twice. Whatever.

The gym I go to is a YWCA near my house because if it isn't extremely convenient I won't go. So, because of this, I don't get to go to one of the flashy, clean, new facilities chock full of hard bodied people to check out. The one benefit of my gym is that usually I am the hard bodied person amidst a sea of elderly people - it's all relative.

The equipment and facilities at my gym are severely lacking and probably pretty dangerous. Everyone fights for the best treadmill of the three and the shoulder press has been broken for 2 weeks. The weights sometimes smell like corn and there is an actual cane leaning up against the wall next to the therabands and other equipment. I have yet to see someone use the cane, but I can definitely picture it. After some workouts, I'm sorta glad it's there...just in case.

Members of my gym range from obese kids to frail grandparents and all of Hamilton's finest in between. I recently watched a guy on the stationary bike pedalling along while he drank his Tim Horton's coffee. Another guy stopped his workout to go outside for a cigarette. Then he came back in and continued. I watched someone pass out on the exercise mat for no less than 15 minutes - not moving. If I wasn't so busy sculpting my ass, I would have stopped to see if he was okay.

Currently, I have a silent one-sided feud with Big Guy who comes in every afternoon when I do. He likes to turn the gym into his own personal circuit, not washing the equipment between each set. So, if I want to use something, I wipe it down while glaring across the room at him the whole time. So far, he hasn't noticed. I am not above pulling a Costanza and telling on him.

Gotta love how the heart rate chart is positioned right next to the gun shot hole in the window - "Your heart rate should be the same rate when exercising as when ducking from drivebys for optimal results."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Seen About Town

I see it's that time of year again - the lamest ad campaign has resurfaced. I'm not going to rant about it again. Really.
----------------------------------Came across this one early morning and stopped to think, "I don't recall ever having seen a robin sleeping before." So I took a picture which woke it up - was probably pissed. That's all I got on that.
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There's something really funny to me about seeing big dogs like this. I always picture them saying, "Doh da doh" in that dopey voice that always makes me laugh. They seem so stupid, but still lovable. Sorta like Chris Farley.
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I like seeing instances of nature taking over our city. Or trying to at least.

And then there's our attempts to seem green. Not as effective, but I appreciate the artistic effort, especially at Catherine North.

"Shoulda put a shirt on it"

Ok, Hamilton, please just stop with the shirtlessness. It's gone too far. This is one of the major differences between better cities and Hamilton. Men (mostly) wearing either no shirt or sleeveless tank tops, which is sometimes even worse. Classy cities cover up. I don't care how hot it is or if your body is well-defined, you look like trash. Why don't people err on the side of elegant in this city? Ever?

It doesn't matter if you're jogging, go to a park at least. You're making people uncomfortable with the sweaty greasiness of your pecs. This picture was taken midday downtown as people in suits passed by. It's so obvious this guy wanted everyone to see that he's 50 and has muscles. It's not a good look, dude.

This guy, on the other hand, has nothing to show off and I'm pretty sure he's wearing a bathing suit. This is not acceptable attire!!! I'm so annoyed by people like this, I can't even take it. Have some pride, man. This isn't the American south. I'd put money on him wearing black socks with this ensemble.

You're embarrassing me. You're embarrassing Hamilton.

Monday, June 7, 2010

There's gotta be a pun here somewhere...

After years of hearing the story of the friend of a friend who bought a rhinoceros head and then sold the horns on the black market, I finally saw it! Surely a story like that had to be false, but there, in a Beamsville basement, sat the sad proof.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Weekend-ness

The weekdays have now become just things that stand in between my garage sales each weekend. I'm addicted. Every Saturday, I'm up at the crack of dawn, tooling around with Dru and Jen. This week we hit up Dundas (which, as a side note: Americans who have never heard of this town, pronounce it "Dooon-dis") and I added to my glass collection. Dru also convinced me to buy an old chandelier to fix up for my dining room. I appreciate her faith in my project abilities - let's see how it goes.

I also bought some vintage greeting cards. One with the subtle text, "Let's jump in the sack!" I bought 3 of those - you never know. No, no, I'm just kidding, Mom. I...didn't.

Spent the rest of the day in Toronto with Katy, where *sigh* we saw Sex and The City 2. I'm hanging my head in shame right now. It's like porn, you know it's going to be bad, but you know you're going to watch it anyway. Again, no Mom, I haven't or wouldn't...

It was the worst movie I have ever seen. Yep, I think I can say that truthfully. And I've seen Glitter! And Mr. Wrong with Ellen Degeneres. Or maybe I'm just fired up about it right now and will remember some old Mandy Moore movie I saw and reconsider.

It was insulting that the writers thought we would appreciate this script. Although, all the idiots around us kept laughing - talk about pandering to the lowest common denominator. Even the clothes, which were supposed to carry (should I say Carrie? No, I'll refrain.) us through this dreadful film were completely preposterous, gawdy and over the top.

It's like everything they might have done right in the series was put on overdrive until it became very, very bad. I think I actually slapped my forehead at one point, like that great scene in Annie Hall. See? Annie Hall - even lines like "La di dah" are so much better than an entire monologue by time-ravaged Carrie. And, I'm sorry, but that stupid skirt in the market - are you kidding me?

Running with the whole bad movie thing, I also managed to see Valentine's Day - thank you to Katy for being lovely enough to indulge my optimism that it might not be as bad as she thought it would be, especially since she was right. Iron Man 2 had real potential for best movie of the week, since I loved the first one and fashion my career attitudes on Pepper Potts, however....another disappointment.

Not as smart, sharp, or funny. Motivations didn't make sense, ScarJo was a terrible character - was she meant to be a villian or something?- not enough Pepper time. Putting Samuel L. Jackson in a movie doesn't automatically make it cooler. Even with an eye patch. It's not 1996. I will admit the Mickey Rourke main scene was pretty cool.