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Monday, November 29, 2004
So much for my diagnostic skills. Turns out I've got a touch of pneumonia in the right lung. Well, that explains why my inhalers weren't doing the trick. Welcome back, Zithromax®, you crazy little antibiotic, you. All right. Enough with this tedious lung exposition.
How Apropos: My loffly cousin MaryAnn wrote to tell me that she'd noticed the license plate of my rental car read "686 HAX."
What can you do? I'd reserved a seat in the back row of the airplane for the return flight last night, and requested that they keep the seat next to me free, if possible. WestJet is usually pretty accommodating that way, and they probably don't get many requests for what are the least popular seats in the airplane (no reclining chair back, and across from the biffy). So I boarded, seated myself and stowed the luggage, noticing happily that there was no one sitting beside me. Set foreshadowing phasers to stun, Mr. Sulu!
Before we took off, a man came by and entered the washroom. He came out again and motioned to a flight attendant. "Do you mind if I sit here?" he asked her, pointing to the empty seat beside me. "I kinda' need to be close to the washroom," he said by way of explanation. He looked at me. "Do you mind if I sit here?" Well, what could I say? I wasn't thrilled, but I figured it wasn't a big deal.
"Thanks very much," he said, as he squeezed into the seat beside me. "I'm really sorry to barge into your seat like this."
"It's okay," I said.
"It's just that I think I've got the flu, so I wanted to be next to the bathrooms," he said.
The flight attendant made sure he was comfortable, and brought two extra airsick bags. It turned out that the man was also a WestJet employee, and that the attendant knew his wife. And that he'd been feeling like crap all day, but still decided to fly home so he could recuperate there.
Needless to say, it didn't help me enjoy the flight.
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Lovely relatives, lovely friends, craphole asthma. It's sort of "ruinting" my trip to the Island, as I'm as lethargic I am usually, only this time I'm making horrible, socks-regurgitating noises every few minutes. So charming to have me as a houseguest.
Bored? Buy a bookstore. That seems to be Nik's advice. A lovely little bookstore may be up for sale in Victoria, so Nik (bless her) thinks running a bookstore would be an ideal change of career for me. Assuming complete lack of business experience is no object, that is. If I can get back to Victoria in enough time tomorrow afternoon, I'll try to meet Nik there before my flight. The relatives have mentioned that the owner of the retail complex where the bookstore is located is a classic asshole landlord, jacking the rent every year, and that several of the smaller outlets have undergone frequent turnovers. But we can't let a little thing like that keep us down, now, can we?
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Off to Victoria in a couple, to try and see everyone and thus inconvenience all, but hey! It is our métier! Just be thankful you won't be having me over Christmas, unlike the doomed Lester Polyester and John. It occurred to me that I should be bringing some Christmas presents for the Island kin, but then it occurred to me just as quickly that I can always get them some pinchbeck crapola from Mexico, couldn't I? No house is complete without a peeing muchacho, no? Nothing says Christmas like a t-shirt patterned with sexually deviant frogs, am I right?
In preparation for the trip I dropped the hound off at Bryce and Tabitha's last night, where she wasted no time in trying to boss Theo around. To his credit, Theo waited until the third or fourth snap and then smashed her but good, forcing a yelp and some much-needed reflection that perhaps taking on a dog three times your size is a stupid idea. Of course I awoke bang at six a.m. today, wondering why there wasn't a snout in my face. The cat couldn't believe her luck--an extra hour under the blankets! No dog rudely nosing her awake, wanting to play! Life is good.
Now to finish a few tasks and try to tidy this barf of documents on my desk. Hasta luego.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Lung bong at the ready, I have been staggering around and coughing my way steadily through the past week, which means (a) I am incredibly boring, and (b) see point (a). I've also been suffering from an unprecedented bout of foot-in-mouth disease, which I would dearly love to blame on the decreased levels of oxygen in my brain. After one agonizing clanger on Sunday, I made the decision to impose complete radio silence so as to prevent hurting anyone else's feelings in person, in print, or online.
It lasted about 10 minutes. Then I thought, well, the hell with it! We've apologized, we've tried to explain that while our words could definitely be taken the wrong way (and we regret this), there is no way we would deliberately wound someone's sensibilities, and frankly we're a little surprised that people are so ready to believe that we would, i.e., that the person(s) hurt by Sunday's gaffe would think I was so crass a person -- and in conclusion, we intend to barge on through life like a mead-addled Visigoth. But a Visigoth who is happy to apologize when wrong.
Recent firsts: first pedicure, performed by a tiny and terribly shy Punjabi student at the Marvel College of Beauty. She did a miraculous job on my awful, awful feet, each one practically the size of her torso, and gradually chatted more as the pedicure progressed. My feet feel marvelous and look almost human in their vast size 11 way. I'll go back.
First platelet donation in 8 years, and to my surprise, my recent toots of Ventolin and FloVent posed no barrier to donating -- the nurse explained that they have no effect on the platelets, but that whole blood donating was another matter. The nurse then surprised me by saying I'd broken the record for platelet count -- mine was 430, when the average is approx. 250 -- which meant that I also broke the record time for donating, 50 minutes instead of the usual 120. I feel almost ridiculously proud of this.
What a surprise, I cannot find a replacement bowl for my 26-year-old Iona food processor. What a pain in the tuches, too, since there's nothing wrong with the rest of the machine. UPDATE! Then, of course, there is always eBay. Make that one replacement bowl for a 26-year-old Iona food processor, coming right up.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Oh, my shitty, shitty lungs... I douse them regularly with Ventolin® and Flovent®, I stay away from sources of airborne pollutants [excepting dog hair, cat hair and the inevitable dust motes], I get exercise, eat healthily, drink plenty of fluids and increase my sleep, and the wheezy old lunch sacks get worse, not better. So I'm taking them to the doctor today, who I hope will scare them into breathing properly. Because I am tired of barking and running for the bathroom.
Four weeks until I leave for Mexico: let the gloating commence.
Two pitbull terriers killed a German Shepherd earlier this week in Calgary, and their owners went on the TV to say that, well, pitbulls turn out to be aggressive and territorial dogs after all, and they're going to have the dogs put down. The camera widens the shot to include the two male pitbulls, scrota intacta. Hmm. "Neutering" and "pitbulls" still seem to have reverse polarity in this town. Three dogs dead because of two dumb humans. An ongoing shame.
One of Piper's best chums at the daycare is a full-grown female pitbull named "Tank" [short for "Tank Girl"], who squashes her frequently, much to Piper's delight. Tank has completed two obedience courses and is a lovely animal. So again, it isn't the fault of the breed, though you shouldn't be surprised when an animal bred to be strong and aggressive occasionally shows those traits.
I couldn't find the Cranium game, "Balloon Lagoon," anywhere in town, and although I did find it on, they wouldn't ship it to Canada. What to do? Why, head to eBay, of course, and get it there. Brand new. Thank you, e-commerce!
Friday, November 12, 2004
The dumb little dog nearly caught her first coyote yesterday morning, much to her and my amazement. And the coyote's. I'm not so sure I like this living cheek by jowl--or should that be "cheek by howl"--by wilderness, which is really not wilderness, but just a big reclaimed industrial park. Of all the abrupt ends to life that surround us, from big trucks to school buses to speeding idiots, it'll be the height of irony if Piper becomes coyote kibble. At least she wasn't stupid enough to overtake it and force a confrontation. Could be worse. Could be cougars. Because then I'd be the kibble, as Piper barked furiously in the background.
Nice to see you, Danyon, and sorry we couldn't have yakked for longer. You're looking very dapper and urbane in a slightly underfed way. Are there no pyrogy huts in Toronto?
And so, the weekend. Bring on the countryside, and the double-barrelled inhalers (for my stupid slacker lungs).
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
True story: Toward the end of my Grade XII year my dad decided to move from our small northern town to the big city, where he was already spending a considerable amount of time each week. One of my extra-curricular activities was making sure that the house was always in a semi-decent state to welcome real estate agents with their prospective buyers. Knowing me, however, this usually meant a lot of hurried dashes home to cram dishes into the stove, clothing into closets, books under furniture and so forth.
Tiring of this, I decided to post a note on the inside of my bedroom door whenever a realtor made an appointment to show the house, so that I would remember to hide the less appealing evidence of habitation before I left for school, instead of blasting home in terror.
One night, though, I fell asleep on the couch downstairs, and forgot all about the realtor visit until I hauled my carcass upstairs to get ready for school. I saw the note, checked my watch, and panicked: I had about 10 minutes before the realtor arrived, and there was a load of laundry dumped on the floor. Solution: kick laundry under bed and straighten duvet. But wait, where are my shoes? Shoes are partially buried under the laundry under bed. Stick feet under bed and cram them into shoes. Tear out of the house and into the car to drive to school. Park and dash across two parking lots into the school, then down a network of corridors to locker.
While at locker, my friend Lynn walks up and starts chatting with me. Suddenly something catches her eye. "Jane, what's hanging out of your shoe?" she says. What, indeed?
A pair of underwear, that's what. Trailed like a despondent banner in front of God and everybody.
That story has become part of my personal legend, a.k.a., "Jane's Life in Vaudeville." So no one who knows me should be surprised to hear that yesterday afternoon I encountered one of my own socks, rolled into a shabby ball, on the sidewalk upon exiting a Starbucks downtown. You see, my jeans get two wearings before they get washed, but I hadn't been so careful to check the legs for previously worn socks yesterday morning. I am pleased to say that embarrassment did not prevent me from grabbing the renegade sock and stuffing it into my pocket, to the extreme amusement of der Kreg, my old friend and lawn-bowler. Well, they were $7 socks, after all.
Monday, November 08, 2004
It's when I sit down to write something new that I realize how hard I find writing to be. It's funny in a way. I mean, I write for a living. Perhaps not every word is a gem, but I have a few standards I strive to maintain, even as the occasional client sweeps my objections aside and blunders on, filled with "utilizes" and "its/it's" errors. So, with my client experience, and with my day-to-day struggles for the perfect headline, writing for pleasure should be...a pleasure, no? And yet here I am, wringing my hands over something that's intended as a Christmas gift. And the voice has already begun to chirp: "You see, Jane, that's why there are things called STORES in the world, so you can BUY presents."
I hate that voice.
For about 5 minutes I was really upset by my first negative feedback on eBay, from the one vendor who tried to fob a fake jewel on me. A vendor who believes that he's not misleading buyers when he represents his merchandise as "genuine," when it is in fact genuinely fake. And then I thought, well, I cost the liar a few bucks in postage when I sent the order back, so bully for me. A person who rips strangers off doesn't like me. I guess I can live with that.
For those who, like me, hated the first "Shrek" movie: See "Shrek 2." It's a movie buff's delight.
For those who, unlike me, are tired of Pixar animation: Get over yourselves, and go see "The Incredibles." It's not perfect, but when you're laughing uproariously or agape in admiration at the animation, you won't care.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
For once, not happy to be right about the election. Oh, well. Now to let a couple of weeks go past before checking any political blogs. Especially the smug bastard right-of-centre blogs.
The road trip on the weekend was lovely indeed, and Wendy's 50th birthday party was a success. I particularly liked the decorations, which featured a long line of black lace lingerie items: everything from thongs to garters to DDDD-cup bras. And the potluck dinner featured two large platters of California rolls (in small-town Creston! imagine!), so Jean and I were well-pleased. On the night of the party I'd locked Piper into her travel crate and provided her with food, water, chew toys and a comfy bed. When we returned home, she'd managed to get out of the cage somehow--it looks like she pushed her muzzle between the metal door and the cage bottom, bent it enough to get her head through, and just kept working away at it until she was out. Good thing she's a long, scrawny drink of toilet bowl water. Anyway, despite the great escape, it was a lovely weekend, exceptional scenery, grand drive, and delightfully welcome bed on Sunday night. I wonder, is there still time to drive out to the Island before Christmas?