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Friday, October 29, 2004
Songs I Can No Longer Stand: I have to say, there's nothing inherently wrong with any of these songs. Except that they cause (a) all singers to overemote; (b) seem to pop up at important life events; or (c) get played and played and played until I want to take a Pulaski to the office stereo. The offenders:
  • "Hallelujah," by Leonard Cohen and sung by just about goddamned everybody else.
  • "What a Wonderful World," same as above, except not written or sung by Lenny Cohen.
  • "Tears in Heaven," by Eric Clapton. No comment.
  • "Amazing Grace," unless the singer is Mahalia Jackson, or the song is played by the massed pipes of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.
Off for a mini-roadtrip first thing tomorrow morning, the first one avec le chien idiot. Tonight, however, I'm taking the big bro out for an early birthday dinner. He's also getting a Monty Python's "Flesh Wound" T-shirt, which I thought would come in handy, him being a surgeon and all.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Decided to join the 1990s, and bought a cellphone on the weekend. I feel that I'm not using it enough already, and keep waiting to hear the garishly tinny "1812 Overture" that heralds an incoming call. Sometimes I call myself via land phone just to make sure the silly thing actually rings. It does; it's horrible. However, I used it to phone a new insurance company at noon to see if I could do something about my ridiculously inflated insurance costs from my old brokerage. Even with a spotless record, my insurance costs shot up nearly 50% in the course of six months. This will not do, I said to myself, and went and talked to the gang at ING Insurance. Though a price increase was inevitable, my new insurance rate comes out to only $100 dollars extra a year, not $700. Note to self: Use "This will not do" tone of voice more often.
Today's ever-so-vital tourist phrase: Busco mis maletas. [I am searching for my suitcases.]
Monday, October 25, 2004
Update: All is well with post-op Piper: she came home groggy yesterday evening, peed amazingly (outside, thanks), and slept until 6:50 a.m. today. She's not much interested in her dog food, though still well pleased to share my morning bran muffin. Right now she's conked out in the office, where she'll be convalescing this week. Occasionally she sits up and tries to check out her stitches, probably wondering what the hell happened. Last night, also amazingly, crabby old Martini came over and licked Piper's ears before curling up beside her on the big dog bed. This never happens. Anyway, phew! That's over with, and the mighty varmint is on the mend.
Friday, October 22, 2004
Kiss those annoying little glands goodbye: Sunday morning, bright and early, I'm taking Piper to the neighbourhood vet for "That Operation," i.e., spaying. I've put it off far too long already, but certain signs indicate that my little darling is about to go on the rag, to put it demurely. Signs: she snarls at boys and eats constantly. I haven't caught her watching "Bridget Jones's Diary" and sobbing uncontrollably, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time.
Within 12 hours of posting my news about my Mexican vacation, I received two congratulatory e-mails and two messages and a phone call telling me I was a bitch. But a bitch who's spending the holidays in her cousin's villa in Cabo San Lucas, by God.
Wondering what to give your pro-Dubya pals for Christmas? How about a T-shirt?
So You Want to be a Problem Client? Follow these easy steps: Ask for a specific style of document. Send confirming e-mail that, yes, yes, that IS the style you want. Sign agency's creative brief to that effect. Receive first draft from creative studio. Go completely bugnuts. Do not contact agency, but rather, get inexperienced but eager writer in your organization to rewrite the document. Read the new version and approve every word, but send it off to the agency just so they can "see what we were after." Wonder why you are getting a call from the agency's perplexed account manager, who is wondering why she is receiving a document that bears no resemblance to the original creative brief. State that the agency has misinterpreted the brief. Receive a copy of the creative brief from the account manager. Reply, stating that "it wasn't what you meant." Listen to the account manager remind you about the business reasons for the original style, and that while the revised version is well-meant, it contains numerous grammatical and spelling errors and will not fit into the approved document layout. Cut her off with a crisp, "I don't care." Congratulations! You're the Problem Client for Fall 2004.
Oh well. It is part of life's full fucking pageant, eh? Have a grand weekend.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
That clanging noise you hear is from the set of horseshoes up my bum, as just yesterday I successfully booked tickets for a Christmas vacation in Mexico. Feliz-freakin' Navidad! Thanks, beloved cousin Les and her delightful husband, John.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Mad Melvin's 70th birthday was a resounding success. All of his children and grandchildren were there, and my sisters-in-law prepared his favourite foods. I put aside my horror of such things and baked a raisin pie for Dad. His birthday dinner was enjoyably chaotic, as befits a birthday celebration in a house filled with excited children. Dad, being Dad, surprised Lawrence, Colin and I with presents as well. Shockingly generous presents. Dad! He and Lorraine are off on a road trip to Civil War battlegrounds in their new Nissan Maxima, so here's to them, and may they come back filled with cornbread and sweet memories.
Recently doors have have been closing. It is time to recognize that some things have passed their hour and will never be what they once were. Some things never were what I wished them to be, so it's time to face facts and make an end. All of them are painful in varying degrees, even the natural closings. Such as the recent death of the loveable old mare, Breezy, who broke a leg in a freak paddock accident. Heart-breaking especially for Nik and Dani and sad for those of us who got to know the batty old darling. I told Nik truthfully that she gave that horse what no one else was going to give her: an easy last couple of years, a lot of love, and a humane death.
Went to vote in the municipal election today, and if there's any doubt that Calgarians are about the most complacent populace on the planet, the cavernous echoes of the nearly vacant polling station would put it to rest. I thought the returning officer was going to weep with joy at seeing actual ballots being dropped in boxes. I think, as a dedicated voter, I should get a break on my property taxes. That'd get those lame-ass non-voters out and ticking ballots, now, wouldn't it?
Finally: I. Love. Jon Stewart. (Tiresome free registration required, sorry.)
Friday, October 08, 2004
The short straw has been drawn for Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday: Jean's folks get me as a guest. The bad luck spreads from their house to my brother and sister-in-law, who will be putting me up for the night. One of the few perks of being old and single: increased moochability.
Bath Night, by Piper: What's the Warm One doing in the small room? Is that my name? OH! She's lifting me. I do not like this! Escape! I smell water. Oh, I'm in the water. What is Warm One doing? ESCAPE! No, my leg is caught. I am wet. I am very very very very very wet. Warm One, I stare pitifully into your cruel blue eyes--ESCAPE! Damn, she's fast. This stuff smells horrible. Water again! Shake! Warm One yells now. More water. Yay! I'm being lifted out! and SHAKE! I will bite this towel. Now I will run out of the small room and run and run and run and---quick pee in the closet--and run and run and shake and shake and--quick pee in the big room--and run and run and run and--wow, cat food!
Note to dumb, dumb self: Next time? Take dog outside for quick bathroom break before bath. Brush dog before bath. Take dog to pet-washing station where restraints are provided.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Went to my first Blog Meet-up this past Monday, and was surrounded by web developers and programmers. Lovely people, all. I think I'll refer to myself as a "content specialist," as it sounds nicer than "sluggish drone who lives off the nectar of others' labour." No wait, that sounded nicer. "Content specialist" sounds vague enough, though, and I hope it won't trap me in discussions of CSS and Skeezix OS systems and other incomprehensible topics, as I am the Kraft Dinner of this Cordon Bleu group.
Tonight's menu: Potage des Grands Pétards, a.k.a. Bean and Cabbage Soup. Tonight's film: Blazing Saddles, especially the campfire scene.
Monday, October 04, 2004
They smashed up REAL GOOD: Who was that hooting and hollering in the stands at the Demolition Derby in small-town Alberta yesterday? Could it have been that snob of snobs, me? Ay-yup. I resisted riding in the monster truck (a mere $5 fee), but I fell under the spell of seeing old cars ram into each other and kick up huge curtains of dust as they spun around the track. Tyke, driving the Malachi Crunch, certainly seemed to be having a good time. We thought he was out of contention after his first round, but his pit crew sledgehammered the car back into a running state, and he came out loaded for bear in the consolation round. Won just the darlingest little trophy, too. I took loads of pictures when my hands weren't too cold to hold the camera -- we sat in unsheltered stands for close to three hours in near-zero temperatures -- so yes, yes, I will post evidence of my latest cultural foray. Jean and Theresa and I discussed entering a car in next year's derby. Actually, they talked about it and I listened. It seemed like a great idea until we all realized that none of us had any advanced automechanical experience. Turns out there's a bit more to it than just whacking the cars with sledgehammers, as fun as that must be. I wish I knew what happened to the old Dadmobile: that car would have totally snacked on most of the other cars. But no, no, I just had to give it to charity.