Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hot, Hot, Hot

Summer has come early to southwestern Ontario, and with it our annual fun-filled game at the salon, called "Air Conditioner Roulette". To play the game, you have to turn on the air conditioner on the first really hot day of the season, and pray to God that it A) comes on and B) sends out cold air. We have hit the jackpot on both counts for the past few years, but this year we ran out of luck.
Thing 2 and I went to the library on Tuesday evening, and they had the same problem. I guess the first day of 29°C temperatures meant that lots of people turned on their air conditioners to find they had none. No wonder it took our Air Conditioner Jedi Knight three days to get back to us.

Let me tell you, a hair salon gets mighty hot with all the people, the blow driers, the heat lamps and the curling irons and such. Everyone was very good about it, even the client yesterday that I thought might actually melt into a little old lady puddle before my eyes. Only one client complained about the heat in the salon, muttering "this is ridiculous". I'm not sure what part of the situation she thought should be more rational, exactly.

I even ventured to wear a sleeveless top to work today. I hate wearing sleeveless tops, mostly because I think my upper arms look like hams. Also, I am very aware that because I spent all day with my elbows up in the air, I am giving my client a far too intimate view of my armpits. But I knew it was going to be hot in there, and I had a full day booked, so I bit the bullet, wore the sleeveless top and packed some baby powder and deoderant in my purse.

We got through the day, and lo and behold, someone came to fix the air conditioner around noon, and by about 1 o'clock, the temperature was a very respectable 23°C.

I'm hoping next year's version of "Air Conditioner Roulette" will be less exciting.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The World's Happiest Cat

It's May 24th weekend here, the unofficial start to summer. And what a glorious weekend it has been....usually Victoria Day is marked by a cold drizzle and sullen temperatures, but this year it was incredibly beautiful, with warm but not hot weather, sunshine, no humidity and only a bit of rain on Saturday (which is no big deal when you work anyway.)
The Mister's aunt, who had a stroke a month ago, was allowed to go out for the day today and yesterday, and we took her here to our house. She happily sat in the garden, enjoying being outside for the first time in 5 weeks, and chatted to us while we puttered around the garden. We were able to bar-b-que on both nights, and even ate outside. (Last year was a particularly dreary summer, and we only ate out twice the whole season.)
But happiest of all of us, was Toby. Man, did he love it...the weather was warm, all the people were home, there was all kinds of company and no end of small creatures to stalk and terrorize and attempt to murder. If he could have talked, he'd have said "oh, man, just like this....for ever, just. like. this." Here he is just surveying his domain. This is one of his favorite spots, in among the "snow-on-the mountain" (the term that white and green plant is known by if you like it, otherwise called "groutweed" if you don't.) Toby hangs out here a lot, beside the garden hose, waiting for unsuspecting birds and such to venture too close. It works a lot of the time, too. Here is Toby enjoying the catnip we plant for him in the garden. He gets seriously whacked out on this stuff, and has to be forcibly removed from the area when he starts to writhe and moan like he is having a religious experience. We plant it so that he can't get to it unless he's off his leash, he really can't be trusted without supervision. Toby likes to hunker down in the groundcover on the west side of the house. I imagine it's fairly cool under there, but mostly I think he likes it because he LOOKS really cool under there. He spent most of the afternoon snoozing under there, and I'd have joined him if I could have fit.

The rest of the day was completed by not one, but two servings of tuna in the morning (neither Thing 2 or I knew that the other had given him any), a lo-o-o-o-ong stretch in the breezway this afternoon, and some serious purring to express his delight in the most perfect of days.

It should always be thus.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Things I Learned This Week

1. Young teenage boys tend to wear their hair in a very swoopy way that will make you want to throttle the living shit out of them every time they flick their bangs out of their eyes.

2. You learn to manage stress. You have to learn how to do it, it does not come naturally to anyone. Watching someone learn this is kind of painful.

3. An ensemble of flutes, trombones, clarinets, saxaphones and trumpets played by elementary school children sounds like a rampaging herd of bees coming to kill you.

4. Hospitals smell awful.

5. Chocolate ice cream will make you feel better. And a hug. While you eat chocolate ice cream.

6. When someone starts a sentence with "no offence, but..." they are about to offend you.

7. No matter how much weight I gain, my feet never get fat.

8. Having something to look forward to can make all the difference.

9. Cats have some serious impatience issues.

10. I can't remember at time when I wasn't at least a little bit tired.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Teeth of the Lion.

I would respectfully request to have just a few more hours every day....twenty-four hours is not quite adequate to get everything done. That, or perhaps acquire a superpower whereby I don't need any sleep at all. Wouldn't that be awesome? I'd get so much done if I didn't have to waste 8 hours a day on just lying there, unconcious.
(I hate complaining about being busy; everyone is busy. I don't know a single person who says "you know what I've got way too much of? TIME!" Even my children, who have no housework, no jobs and apparently, no homework, complain that they are busy. My mother has been retired for almost 20 years, and she still doesn't have enough time to do all the things she wants in a day. )
It is busy I have been. I know there are certain times of the year that have more going on than other times....December is busy at work and with Christmas preparations, in September things start up again after the summer, and I will be hella busy and hemmorage money, and in May, the weather gets warm and the garden needs so much done right now and there is no way to put it off or do it later. Which is where we have been for the last week or so.
Every night, after dinner, the Mister and I go outside armed with dangerous-looking, pokey thingys and take on the dandelions. We've got an overabundance of dandelions at the moment, an epidemic of dandelions. If dandelions were valuable, we wouldn't need to buy lottery tickets. And really, the only way to get rid of a dandelion is to pull them out. By hand. One. By. One. (And before you suggest that we spray the snot out of the little yellow buggers, our municipality has banned pesticides for residential use.)

As back-breaking as pulling dandelions can be, there is something very satisfying about snapping off a root at exactly the right angle, or nailing a weed as big as your head. And at least you can see the fruits of your labours as you go.
After we had decimated the dandelion crop here, we cleaned the breezeway and set out all the lawn furniture, another large job that couldn't wait. But the place looks good and we are all ready for the summer. Here is Toby enjoying the results of the humans' efforts. He was sitting on that chair nanoseconds after it was placed in it's spot, like he had been waiting all winter for us to do that. Note the weed-free lawn behind him.
I'm planning on making the next little while not so busy, so that I can enjoy the warm weather out in the breezeway, too.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Amazing Race 16, Episode 10

Disappointed. I really wanted those cowboys to win. But at least Brent and Caite didn't win! I have to hand it to Jordan and Dan, moving up to first class to be off the plane faster was freaking brilliant. If I'd have been there, I'd be mad that I hadn't thought of it first.

Really, your backpack in second place in line means you are second place in line, even though you got there last? Is this the Amazing-6th-Grade-Field-Trip? If you are going to be a dick, that's fine, but own it and deal with the consequences, instead of asking for forgiveness...."hate the play but not the player"? Actually, I hate the player now. Besides, they were all going to be on the same flight; there was no advantage to checking in 10 minutes earlier. I'd be happier about them winning if it hadn't been for that.

I noticed there were no confessional interviews with Brent and Caite through the whole episode. Maybe they really did punch each other's faces in after the race, and weren't fit for television veiwing.
If I'd have been their cab driver, at the first "dumbass" I'd have purposely driven around in circles for hours and pretended I was blind and deaf. They'd still be in my cab today.

Man, Brandy is going to need to get LOTS of therapy after this. She is one angry chick. I can see her in a wheel chair in a nursing home 60 years from now ranting "...and then she U-TURNED US! And we weren't the team to U-Turn AT ALL!!" Maybe she should have been a contestant on "Survivor", that show has all kinds of opportunity for spewing vitrol based on bitterness and betrayal.
BTW, how come the Models hate the Lesbians for that remark about "her tiara", but don't hate Dan and Jordan for telling Brandy and Carol all about Caite's YouTube fame?

That final memory task was lame compared to other final tasks on other races. (Except the "eat the pizza" task in Chicago, that was the lamest.) I'm sorry we didn't get to see Brent and Caite do the memory challenge, it would have given them ample opportunity to show the world that they are intelligent people. Because apparently, they are, but I must have missed that.

How much did I love Cord for messing with Dan during the Star Wars challenge? That was hilarious...."now allamand left!" The best part was how it freaked Dan out completely.

Wouldn't it be awesome to have a "Fan Favorites" Amazing Race? We could have the Cowboys, and Danny and Oswald and Rob and Amber and Kris and John and The Clowns and the Grampa and Grandson from a few seasons would be fabulous, but I wouldn't know who to root for.

Until next season!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Better Door Than A Window

We got some new windows in our house last month, to replace the original windows which rattled like maracas during a northwest wind, and required brute strength and a good head of steam to open in the humidity. The new windows were expensive, as most home improvements are, and decidedly unsexy; like a new roof (which we got last fall) it's a heap of money that will elicit no groans of envy or gladden your heart or make you sigh with satisfaction. But they needed to be done. (We still have two big windows to do, but that will have to wait until next year, when I can stomach spending thousands of dollars on something that is no fun at all.)

Naturally, after dropping a wad of dough on windows, the Mister decided that new doors was exactly what we needed next! I had no freaking idea that doors were so incredibly extortionate, but I guess they do perform the rather important function of keeping random people out of your house, so maybe they are worth it after all. (Unlike shower curtains. Can someone explain to me why shower curtains cost a bajillion dollars? All they do is keep the water from splashing on the floor; it's not like they have complicated engineering or fine Corinthian leather seats.) I knew you could buy doors, but I had no idea they could run into the thousands of dollars. And plus, you have to buy a handle! I assumed they came with handles, but NO! you have to go out and get one as well. (When we bought our first house, I was gobsmacked that houses did not come with garbage cans, you had to supply those yourself. And we had no mailbox, either, we had to go out and get one of those too. Who knew?)

The Mister thought he could probably install the door himself, to cut down on the costs, uttering the words that chill my very soul: "How hard can it be?"

He started putting in the front door around 11 yesterday morning and finished at around 10 last night. The thing with putting on a front door is that you have to make sure you have all the stuff you need to do it, because it's not like you can run to the store to get anything in the middle of it....because you have no door in the house. This presents a problem until one of your children comes home from school to stay in the doorless house while you run to Home Depot. Also? When a big thunderstorm comes up, it presents a bit of a problem when you have a huge gaping hole in your house and no way to keep the rain out. AND, you can't stop installing a door until the door is all the way in, because if you want to go to bed, you had better be able to close and lock said door.

It was quite an undertaking, but he did it, saving us thousands of dollars, which we may have to now spend on his blood pressure medication. It's a lovely door; it has a window, so we get more light in the front hall, and I can see who's out there before I actually open it.

I think the back door can wait until we get the other windows.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Amazing Race 16, Episode 10

Dear Caite,
I still think you are an idiot.
Mrs. Loudshoes.

She's very bitter about all that YouTube stuff, isn't she? I get that she wants to put it behind her, after all, I thank my lucky stars every day that there were no video cameras or YouTube around when I was 17, I'd have had to slit my wrists by now. But perhaps the best way to put that sort of thing behind you is to not bring it up on national television every ten minutes. Caite needs to realize that the word "smart" is a lot like the word "classy": if you have to tell everyone that you are, you are not.

I wonder what the detectives think of their well-groomed wolf-cubs now? Perhaps if they had U-turned a stronger team, rather than a team they didn't like, the cops would still be in this.
By the way, when I begin my new career as a criminal, I am totally going to start in Rhode Island, because the with those two on my tail, I'm sure to be a wild success. Seriously, two coats randomly hanging in the middle of a freeway MUST mean they contain a clue?? How does that work?

If I had heard that one of the racers had been kicked in the head by a horse, I'm pretty sure my money would not have been on Cord. Brent, maybe, but definitely not Cord.

Who loved the guy with his leg up on the railing, repeating every word Jordan and Dan said? I did! "Bridge?" "Bridge!" "You know where this bridge is??" "Bridge is!!". You can't make that stuff up.

Note to self: When applying to go on the Amazing Race, learn to say "follow", "fast" and "help me now" in every language possible. Also, it does not matter how slowly and loudly you say something in English, someone who does not speak English will still not understand you.

I liked when the Cowboys practically poked Brent in the eye pointing at their bags, but failed to notice Brent sitting right there. That "WTF" look he gave the camera was hilarious.

I have to tell you, I have the world's teensiest bladder and when I have to go to the bathroom, there's very little room for error. If I'd have been Brent, I'd have peed right in her backpack.

Those goggles were delightful. I especially liked Louis in them, he looked like some sort of cartoon character of a cop from the 30's, in a madcap romp through Shanghai.

Favorite Line of the Night: "Pigs are elusive". There's something so simple and wise about that.

I will be mighty pissed if Caite and Brent win this thing...I may have to break up with this show if that happens. I so hope that the final leg takes them to the Iraq....wouldn't that be a great big steaming pile of awesome? Maybe, if those two do come in for the final run up to the finish line, Carol and Brandy could tackle them and beat the snot out of them. That would make all my dreams come true.

Until next week!