Monday, December 31, 2007

Not enough time in the day

There is a detailed, second by second account of Christmas in the works. Unfortunately, I have not had the luxury of lying around on the living room floor stuffing myself with chocolates, conjuring fun blog sentence structuring, as I have been indulging in that fun activity called, "work". I had Christmas Day and Boxing Day off, but it was back to the grindstone on the 27th. Nevertheless, I managed to pack a veritable medley of fun activities into those two days which I will elaborate on over the course of the coming week. Tomorrow evening Ian and I are going to a New Year's Part being hosted by some friends. I am very excited... almost Christmas Eve levels of excitement.

Also, I have become far far too domesticated. This evening I purposely went to the drug store to stock up on Christmas cards for NEXT CHRISTMAS BECAUSE THEY WERE ON SALE! I used to make fun people who did that kind of thing, now, I think such advanced planning is genius.

Speaking of genius, Ian is watching a show on TV called Jesus Camp. It brings a whole new level of 'shocking' to TV. It is horrific to think this sort of conduct is permitted in modern America.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

So last weekend I was Christmas shopping at a local mall. I flitted from store to store offloading all that unnecessary cash in my account to money grabbing retailers having a merry ol' time. My merry feeling was a little bruised by the lack of Christmas cheer displayed by store staff. Here, in mucho liberal Canada, it is frowned upon for people to wish strangers a "Merry Christmas"for fear of offending non Christians. Store staff are expected not to say anything but if they must it can only be along the lines of "Happy Holidays. Give me a break. This is PC thinking taken that one step too far. So what if non Christians don't like it- they still indulge in the commercialism of Christmas, don't they? They still take 'Christmas' vacation, don't they? It angers me that the powers that be succumbed to the whims of some non Christians simply to appease ludicrous mob mentality. I could go on and on about this one, but for the sake of my blood pressure I shall close the lid on this one and yell Merry Christmas at whomever I wish.

Pah.

Ian and I had our Christmas date last night. We went to a little bistro in the town run by a Frenchman from Nice and his Quebec City wife. What a phenomenal gastronomic experience it was. I was very surprised at how tasty rabbit liver mousse and bison were. We were provided with a delightful 2003 French red that was the perfect perfect match for our main course ( Bison for Ian and Angus Striploin pour moi). The owners are wonderful and very quirky with that wonderful expressive body language only the French possess. Each utterance from la femme was melded with dramatic hand movements, exaggerated head bobbing and that particular 'bof' sound the French people have perfected. What a perfect start to the Christmas season. ( Note I typed Christmas and not any of that pc mumbo jumbo).

Sadly Ian and I have to work tomorrow, but hopefully for only a few hours and then it is back home and over to the Kings to indulge in some Christmas cheer. I am very excited for gifts, time off work and food. I expect I will be found passed out in a pile of turkey, rum balls and gift wrap. Turkey OD is a serious condition.

I saw a ridiculous sign at one of the local gyms yesterday. This particular place has one of those old style cinema signs ( the ones with removable letters in black with a a white background). The person in charge of advertising was evidently sick the day punctuation was being done in class. The sign read

"Give the gift of health free spa"

Methinks there should have been a member of the puncutation family resident between the words health and free. Still it made me laugh.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Storm Day

Today we had the first snow storm of the season and I must say it was quite spectacular.... what with watching it from the comfort of my nice warm living room. I have charted the day's events below. Prepare for a thrilling read....

So below we see the tree that I spent the first half of the morning admiring, (the second half of my morning was spent deciding between thickening and moisturizing shampoo.. for those of you that care, I went with moisturizing and I do regret my decision). Note all the gifts under tree. All wrapped with love by me. Ian has an aversion to wrapping gifts, but not to opening them. I posted a picture with the top of the tree missing. I did have many other pictures with tree top evident but who knew "Del" areally did mean Delete.

When the stresses of tree gazing and decision making started to take their toll I chose to gaze at the antique decorations we have on the tree. The bauble below, is very beautiful and came from East Germany.. that should give an indication as to how old it is.


After such an historical bauble I felt I needed some comedic relief in my day and had a little giggle at the decoration that Ian made when he was in Grade One. Aww. Admire this one as quickly as you can, as when Ian discovers I posted this on the world wide web, I imagine he will have a little petition drafted demanding its removal.

And then the storm came. I had an invigorating hour watching the snow plough guys.


Once the snow was scrapped I ventured outside to see the damage. This pictures demonstrates just how much snow fell. The path leads from the car park to the back door of the apartment block. Impressive levels of snow. What, ho, old chap.




This is a pristine, untouched blanket of snow which was destroyed by me moments after taking this picture. There is nothing as satisfying as breaking fresh snow with a body jump.

My boot print- if you look closely at the snow it looks like snow is quite the glitter fan what with all the sparkles. Of course there is a scientific explanation for the whole thing. My memory fails me at the moment, however.


The storm brought with it snow, in the common sense of the word, and 'blowing snow'. I like the patterns left by the wind whipping up the flakes... sort of a snowy attempt at Saharan winds.


Yeah, I know, wow. Best part? I jumped into all of it afterwards. Point of note..snow LOOKS soft. It is anything but.

I did of course pause to admire the beauty of a silent night.



And then the snow came back and Bambi got lost.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Game on

On Sunday Ian and I went to a Toronto Raptors game ( of the basketball variety). To be honest I wasn't all that excited at the prospect of watching ten guys throw a ball around a sprung floor for a few hours so I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself on my feet, cheering and screaming for the Raptors. I also watched a living sporting legend take to the court in the form of the Houston Rocket's Yao Ming. Is that guy ever tall- all 7' 6" of him. However, due to his height, he looks rather clumsy loping from one basket to the other. The most entertaining aspect of the whole evening came in the form of a man dressed in a costume. Let me explain- most, if not all, basketball teams in the NBA have a team mascot, and for the Raptors it is a guy dressed in a red Raptor suit. However, this mascot has taken the costume one step further by now sporting an inflatable costume complete with giant head and little arms making him look like a Lilliputian with an unusually oversized 'tete'. There are numerous videos on You Tube of this little critter doing his dance moves, tumbles and comedic acts. They are hilarious! He comes on court during breaks in play and half time. Sporting events in North America are very very different to those in Europe. They are considered a huge day out for friends and family and while crowd participation is encouraged, the crowd isn't as frantic as at a Premier League football game. Instead during half time people are asked to come from their seats to court to take part in games with an emphasis placed on children participating. The whole ambiance of the game is intended to make the game as comfortable as possible. There are ushers to guide you to your seats, soft seats to sit on, numerous food vendors and if you are lucky to sit in the good seats (as Ian and I once did), a menu is provided for you to select your goodies and an assigned usher brings them to you! Also, music is constantly playing so I get to sing along! The people sitting beside us must have been very happy to hear me warble out the lyrics of Kanye West's, "Stronger". A world apart from the plastic seats of GAA games. Anyhoo, the Raptors won the game and no one was quite as content as me. I may have become a fan and have become a little more receptive to Ian watching every single one of their games on TV... in case you hadn't realised, I happen to be dating a die hard Raptors fan. While the basketball was enormous fun my one goal for the coming year is to finally see the Toronto Maple Leaf's play on ice. Getting one of these hockey tickets is akin to winning one of Willy Wonka's limited chocolate factory tours- basically impossible. However, I am undeterred in my quest.


I have to award a great big round of applause to those running the Distillery District in Toronto. As the name suggests it was once a haven for liquor production but now houses art galleries, select bars and a yummy chocolatier. During the festive season the bars host many corporate Christmas events, so during the run up to the season the District is providing free rides home after a night of celebratory drinking. I am so happy to hear that someone has taken this step and is providing an alternative to drink driving. It is only taking effect on certain dates but, no matter what, it is a very positive step and something I highly commend.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Marks and Spencer, come back to Canada. All is forgiven. What is Christmas without your overpriced finger foods that are to die for and bottled mulled wine.

Come back... I am begging.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.

Christmas shopping is GO! However, Ian and I have encountered a little problem- we are magpies in human form. Every single store we go to we are instantly drawn to the Christmas decoration section. It's unbelievable. We have absolutely no self control whatsoever. Like two high stoners we clutch each sparkly bauble oohing and aahing, covering ourselves in tinsel and turning on ALL the singing Christmas toys and hosting our own caroling event in Aisle 26 of Canadian Tire. I give store staff one more weekend before they start pining our pictures at checkouts reading "Beware- Christmas Toy Abusers".

Wal-Mart has gone 24 hour. It's great. The aisles are deserted. We went there on Saturday night at 11pm and were able to turn on all the toys with buttons saying "Try Me".. well ok, then.
Winter... brr.

So here are a few pictures to prove how delightful Canada is in Winter. These were taken after a few hours of snow, a night of freezing rain, a freeze, a little more snow and then a giant dump of snow. It looks very very pretty, but dear Lord in Heaven, it is hell to walk on. Hence the giant black boots. They are my snow boots and the most cherished item I will possess this Winter. No one is coming between me and them. I went for a trample in the snow to test how waterproof they are, and the verdict is "Success". I would take a few more pictures but the locals are giving me weird looks as it is. Obviously they haven't met someone that is in complete and utter awe of snow. Once the snow plough guy and his salting mate get here I'll get a few pictures of them. It's fun watching them plough the drive like possessed demons, oblivious to the giant kerb they are about to run into and watch their little heads wobble like Bobble Head Men on impact. It doesn't deter them.. it's as if the kerb is a mountain they have to scale.

The photos I have provided aren't very clear... it's frickin' freezing outside. Be grateful for what I managed to achieve.


Below is the view from the balcony


And another..can you see the reindeer on the 'lawn'?!

Mighty Boots.

Purty.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I can we can safely assume that Winter has arrived here in Canada. Last Thursday I got to partake in the joy of standing on a commuter train platform in minus seven Celsius complete with freezing rain. Now, I like the cold, I really do- it gives one that "refreshed" sensation after mere seconds, but this was like nothing I had ever experienced. The problem may have been more to do with the fact that the train was 40 minutes late and that minus seven started to feel more like minus death, that the freezing rain was harshly exfoliating my face and that my hands would have successfully frozen a packet of peas in minutes with my feet providing back up. That said, I love it. Dreams of Winter get me through summer. I think summer is some sort of a trial for the afterlife along of the lines of "Can you take the heat?". Well, I can't, so, based on my theory, I cannot take the heat, therefore I cannot 'take' hell, leading me to assume I get first dibs at the pearly gates. Once inside the gates, it is white and fluffy much like snow which indicates I would be quite at home there. It's pretty obvious really.

This is the most disgusting thing I have come across in recent times. I cannot think of anything less appealing to the taste buds or more likely to induce a cardiac arrest after a few shovels. Plus it has corn. That's what parents should threaten their kids with if they don't eat their greens- corn... and from a tin, as that is the vile stuff.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Atchoo

I think I may be getting a little sniffle. My head and nose hurt and my eyes are starting to stream. This is bad news for Ian. I am a terrible patient. My idea of being a patient involves me lying on the sofa watching some trash TV, ringing my little ceramic bell to summon Ian for yet another demand while getting a sugary high off "Lemsip". I am rarely sick... as in I tend to only suffer at the claws of a virus maybe once a year, but that once off event makes up for all the other times I could have been sick. I doubt I will be forced to miss work simply due to the fact that afternoon TV is rubbish and I have watched all the DVD's we own.

Today I had a meeting near a large shopping mall in Toronto- the Yorkdale Mall
Now, don't get me wrong, it's a great mall- lots of stores, variety and comfortable surroundings. (Let's just forget for a moment that me and one of the girls from work got lost going to the meeting... NOTHING to do with us staring in all the store windows and missing our location... no. Not that it was essential for us to walk through the mall). However, after my meeting I decided to have a browse around some of the stores. Note browse. I did not get to do much browsing as I was faced with some of the most annoying floor staff of all time. The first store I went to I was greeted with "Welcome to xxxxx. We have a special on .xxx. Get xxx for xxx dollars". I chose to ignore the cretin yelling in my direction. Not to be deterred the cretin actually came after to me to repeat the above blurb. There are times when I wish I had laser eyes. I could rid the world of such ridiculous drains on our global energy- it takes a lot of hamsters to get the wheel of stupidity going. In the next store some bimbo stalked me around the store. I finally asked HER if I could help her. In the third store, the assistant was walking so close to me that when I turned around I actually smacked into her. In the Body Shop, the tip of my shoe wasn't even over the threshold before i got "Welcome to the Body Shop, today we have a special on blah blah blah". The rest of my shoe never made it into the store. Whatever happened to the simple act of just wandering around stores, looking at things you can't afford, spraying yourself with every perfume in the store or just trying things on for the hell of it? Such is the drive to sell, profit and outdo competitors, that store workers are now akin to the hated door-to-door salesman. They are pushy, intrusive and obnoxious, but dare to make them work for their commission and you are met with the real person. There have been times here when I have been in a changing room and need another size. I have asked the person that trailed me for 15 minutes to get me an alternative size and I have been met with the look a precocious child gives its weary mother when told to behave. However, forget their recent bad media run of late, "The Gap" gets a a gold star for its store staff- professional, unobtrusive, friendly and "line intelligent" ( as in they know what is hanging where and what it is supposed to look like on you).

I do miss the Irish approach to selling anything in a store. Ignore, ignore, ignore.

Although there is one GLARING difference between stores here and Ireland. Irish stores have a security guard at their doors. All of them regardless of size. Here, nothing. The malls have their own security teams, but the stores don't. Guaranteed the cousins will be over within the week of some five finger discounts..


I jest I jest. About my cousins. Not the security guard. Although security guard should be taken with a pinch of salt. It's not like these guys could ever stop a break in. They'd probably break out in a hive attack under any form of pressure.

And to think Christmas shopping is a weekend or two away! I shall be going armed with my best snotty face.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lady, comin' through.

This morning I was walking from the subway to the escalator at my stop. There are always throngs of people at this particular location due to large numbers of schools and offices in the area. There are always a few 'louts' present, dressed in school uniform, with no intention of actually making it to class. Anyway, as usual, there was the everyday jostling of people rushing to be first up the escalator. I, without any knowledge, walked between two school boys, no more than 13 years of age. I apolgised to the kid I bumped into to which he retorted, "Hey f*** you, lady". He got a dig of my oversized bag and a filthy look and I may have placed a curse upon him. It just warms the cockles of my heart knowing this is what Canada is nuturing to be its future.

However, it was very nice to come home from work on Tuesday evening to see that our apartment building has been decorated with lights, Christmas tree and candy can wrapping around the street lights. It is very pretty. It has now fueled Ian to get lights on our balcony. Some of you have heard tales of Ian's love of overdecorating ( read- extreme tinsel adoration), so I intriuged as to how he is going about Operation Christmas Balcony. It's going to turn into all out apartment lighting warfare.

We got a new TV this week. We are quite the happy campers. It's fandiddlyiastic.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Winter

It's so depressing. The stupid clocks went back on hour. I am now getting home in the dark. Pitch black. Only headlights to guide the way. Cold. Rain. Sleet. Snow. And I don't have my Winter coat yet.

That said I am delighted that the heat of summer is gone. I hope it gets lost on its return journey next May.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Summary of past few weeks events

  • The 'rents (to quote the 12 year old gangs of children that gather on the subway day in day out to spend Daddy's money in the Gap) came to visit
  • Took the brother to Niagara where the volumes of 19 year old Americans in bars baffled me. How desperate are they for a beer that they drive across the border every Saturday and then stumble back across it the next day. Welcome Adolescent Americans.
  • Managed to fit in the Falls- wow. Nice to see them in plus 18 degrees as opposed to minus 18. Took the Maid of the Mist. That wiped all cobwebs off me. The water proof clothing provided ( read; ginormous plastic bag) was rather ineffective in the gale force winds resulting in me getting a free shower from the Falls. I should have brought my Herbal Essences with me. I was, however, quite the happy camper when one of the gazillion seagulls didn't poop on me
  • Parents toured around Toronto and then motored on up to the Nation's Capital... Ottawa, people! I believe they enjoyed themselves there, and really, who wouldn't.
  • Had a fantastic meal at a restaurant called .... neh I can't remember what it was called. King Street West, Toronto if you are in the area. Look for the dark, velvetesque joint. Super food and wonderful, incredible non annoying service from staff. None of that "Hi my name is Kyle and I'm super and really want to serve you and today's special is something the chef plucked from yesterday's garbage can". Instead it was professional and subtle.
  • I carved my very first pumpkin with Ian's family. Ian and his Dad created artistic wonders. Mine looks like a simple first grader was let loose with a blunt knife and told to create something that resembled, ( in that odd Picasso fashion) a quirky face. Carving pumpkins is a rather messy endeavour. I am still finding seeds in the carpet.
  • Seeing as it was Halloween, costumes were the talk of the town. Canadians are quite passionate about dressing up and put quite the hefty effort into them. None of that buying a witches hat from Pound City ( which is more than likely highly flammable, but, you rest in hope that the fake hair attached to said hat will tame the flames). One of Sarah's friends decided to go as a penis and she decided to construct the appendage in our kitchen. I have not seen photographic proof of the end result but there was a lampshade, a lot of flesh coloured spray paint and countless black wigs involved. I know there were many wigs due to the volumes of black fake hair I keep finding in the kitchen. I am intrigued as to how hair ended up IN the microwave.
  • I decided to go as a Deviled Egg. Anyone from Europe should not even bother reading this paragraph as they won't know what I am talking about. However, props to Mr. King for spray painting my sheet yellow and red and zero props to the wagon in Zellers who tried to charge me $35 for a single white sheet. That is one person off my Christmas list- the cashier, that is, not Mr. King.
  • Ian decided to secure his Dork status by partaking in a basketball fantasy league over the weekend. This was not just any league. It was a super league. People travelled from Ottawa and other far flung hamlets to take part in their draft that was held in downtown Toronto. The event was complete with bingo drum, laptops, deal room, enough beer to guarantee they all made ridiculous picks, and just a hint of paranoia- enough to make them all doubt themselves, doubt their draft opponents, doubt their players abilities but leaving them in no doubt that they were verging on nerd status.
  • Work is going well. I am being awarded more responsibility- expect to hear about a seismic crash in the Canadian banking industry in the coming weeks.
  • My commutes have been uneventful. That, or I am becoming immune to the pushing, shoving and stomping. Although, if I take a moment to reflect, I am the one inflicting bruises and broken limbs these days. I was quite proud of myself today. I stepped off the subway at 5.11 pm and managed to sprint through the thousands of people to make it onto the 5.13 train. Eileen fights back.
  • To pass the time on the train I am reading lots of books. I lie. I am not reading lots of books. I am carrying lots of reading material but I am indulging in far too much people STARING. Not gazing, staring. The same people get on the same carriage and sit on the same seats every day. I make up background bios about all of them ( its a BORING JOURNEY) to while the minutes away. I had one guy pegged as a vodka swilling, crazed, demented, Russian spy. I was disgusted when he answered his Blackberry in Italian. That squashed that story. I was also wrong about the woman I thought was one of those high powered man eating terrifying fabulously well dressed lawyers. She is in fact a nurses assistant. With really amazing clothes.
  • For those of you that know me, you will know that I have a very short fuse and tend to explode emotionally over the tiniest of incidents- take for example Ian and his insistence on creating a sock grotto on the bedroom floor. If my blood pressure is high, it is because of those blasted socks. Anyway, I went for lunch with one of the girls from work. She is an increible nice sweet girl with lots of positive things to say about everyone. While we were eating we got to talking about people and their emotions. She turned to me and said, "I could never imagine you being angry with anyone ever. You are always so nice to everyone". This PROVES I am schizophrenic.
  • For the Europeans reading I will offer a little insight into how popular trick-or-treating is here. In the lead up to Halloween night all I saw were people going to stores to stock up on bags and bags and bags of "candy" and chocolate and then rearranging said bags into smaller bags to give to the little beggars, I mean, kiddies knocking on their front door. So much for throwing a few raisins at the tots in the hope they might run away without egging your front door. One of the regulars on the GO train told me that his son came home with a pillowcase FULL of goodies. So impressed was the Dad with his son's loot that he whipped out the weigh scales. The pillowcase came in at a whopping 12 pounds. That is just plain ridiculous! I assume this is the time of year when dentists start sharpening their tooth picks and powering up the drills.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dance

This blew my mind away. An amazing piece of choreography.
Eh....

So I was making an observation about the weather this week. I turned to Ian and said, "It's a nice day, eh?"

I think I am adjusting to Canadian life quite well.

Amazing day though. It looks like it's snowing red and yellow leaves. The wind is whipping the leaves from the enormous tree over the apartment building and gusting them over the lawns. THe squirrels are in their elements.

We are going to Niagara this evening with my brother. We will stay there overnight taking in the cheese of the town. Tomorrow it's off to the Falls. My brother had a tendency as a child to fall into swimming pools with all his clothes on. A little clumsy. The Falls are on a slightly grander scale so I am hoping, against all odds, that he will remain on terra firma. My lifesaving skills aren't up to waterfall/swirling mass of water standard.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gramaticul errurs

I ought to apologise for the complete lack of care being show to grammar, spelling and general content of my recent posts.


I am suffering from blog apathy.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Weather

I am going through a little dose of 'weather shock'. On Monday the temperature was at a mean 31 Celsius. Today, Wednesday, it dropped to 13! I am 100% unprepared for this. So in the space of two to three days I have gone from shorts and a t-shirt to boots, tights and the whole winter woolly ensemble. Perhaps, not winter woolly, but something that will will stop the knife like wind from giving me a facial. That said I am very happy it has started to cool down. Humidity and high pressure are two things in life I am ill-equipped to contend with. My body structure indicates that I was built for cold weather. So imagine what Maebh was forced to listen to every time we went on a holiday to a hot humid destination. Yup, me droning like a hornet about how hot I was and then getting in a sulk with her when she would make me turn the air con off as she had lost the feeling in her legs an hour earlier.

Aaahh..memories.
Shameful..with hot hair

There are times when I really let myself down. This evening after work I was sprawled on the couch watching chewing gum for the eyes on the TV when I decided I needed to get a little more active, what with the office job and all. It is a curse. I have worked out that I am in a sitting position for nigh on 10 hours a day. My fingers are getting a wonderful workout what with all the typing, (and they do look fabulous in that odd yoga muscle way) as is my neck from craning over the cubicle wall trying to see what's happening. That is nothing short of disgraceful- and there is only so much hold-in knickers can do. Those of you that are regular readers will be all too aware of my 2006 goal of Running Around The Lake Faster Than Those Age Sixty And Up. I fear I may have to set myself a similar goal this year. There is Lake Ontario down the road but I would need an entire management team to work out the logistics of that one so instead I have decided to keep up with my walking around Old Whitby and mix it up with a bit of jogging for the laugh. This evening saw my first excursion. While I was stomping around the town scaring children with my red, sweaty face, heavy breathing and complete lack of fashion sense I trundled past the local hair saloooon. Obviously it was a sign so I jogged on in completely incapable of stopping seeing as my muscles were running on autopilot..or were starting to sieze up, one or the other. Anyway as I was thundering in I noticed a sign reading, "2006 Canadian Salon of the Year", (2006 was obviously the year for bettering oneself) and as I came to an abrupt stop at the counter I was almost blinded by the glare from receptionist wan's hair. Never have I seen salon staff with such fabulous, glowing, amazing hair. To hell with print advertising, they should just plant the staff on the street and hand out sunglasses. Seeing as the staff were oh-so-beautiful and the big sign was still saying "2006 Canadian Salon of the Year" I figured I was at the right place. There I stood leaning on the counter like a war veteran would a crutch, sweating over the dry flower arrangement and wheezing out my name. I had almost regained my composure until I saw the price list. There'll be no eating in this house for a few weeks I tell you. Which is good as I need to get to work fast on looking 'fabulous' for my appointment.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Thanksgiving!

I was having far too much fun last night to take many pictures. But I shall post the limited few that I took! Thanksgiving dinner was held at Sarah and Jay's house with assorted family members and friends turning up! We had food, drinks, hockey game games and so much fun,. A pretty impressive and memorable first Thanksgiving.


Cooking Phase 4 , Auxillary Team, Oshawa Division, in action
Over the course of the day we experienced two storms. The second storm was spectacular as lightning shot across the sky for about an hour before a pelting hail storm moved in. Below you can see the size of the hail stones as it rests on one of the girl's hands. Now imagine thousands of those coming at you. Scary, huh?



The feast. I only got around to taking one picture of the food, (and that's not even all of it below), as the raving savages that we are ensured little to no food was left. Some people made absolute pigs of themselves. I shall not point any fingers.


Sienna with her godmother, Jamie


There are times when the love of my life just baffles me and leaves me lost for words. Last night as people fought over white meat, brown meat or legs, Ian was busy rummaging through the innards of the turkey looking for the heart and liver. I was able to distract him for a few seconds to capture the image of his plate. The below can be regarded as his appetizer, a little piece of heaven, even to him. Absolutely revolting to me.



The Thanksgiving Table. I love the scattered leaves.


Grandad Jim with a rather shell shocked looking Sienna.


Jay grappling with the might of the turkey


Me with my first Thanksgiving turkey


Ian working on his Gordon Ramsay impression.


The most unflattering photo of Jamie, me and Shannon. I blame the photographer- no Mario Testino.

Sienna and Jim. Great picture! The defintion of happiness.

Ian made it as far as Jay and Sarah's bed. This photo was taken moments after Ian was almost decapitated after standing too high on the bed resulting in the room fan blades shot over his head. I think it was all the gel in his hair, creating the "brick" effect that saved his life.


Even the poor dog was pooped. Here is Tyson passed out at the bottom of the stairs.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Look!

I finally got to see a real General Store. I had plans to go in and set up a slate but god damn it they were out of business. Paying attention to the name, anyone think that the owners were Irish?!



This is an odd little picture. Ian passes this on his way to work so while zipping by I managed to catch this shot. People are tying shoe wear to the tree without much of an explanation. Odd, yet interesting.
Allo Allo

"The Tudors" was mediocre at best. A rather odd choice in lead casting and a scene or two nicked from "A Man For All Seasons".

Sigh.

However our cable is working like a dream. It is a little slice of heaven to have hundreds of channels at my fingertips. I am rather enamoured with time delay programming. To explain- we pick up the same channels from 150 on but from British Colombia, so seeing as they are a few hours behind us, if I miss a show I can catch it at a later time. This was included in our package deal to prevent Ian and I killing each other. No one comes between me and 'America's Next Top Model' and the same can be said for Ian and his love of sports. Therefore, Domestic War should be at Danger Level-Green for the next few weeks, at least.

Today I was at a conference for work. Forget the conference! It paled in comparison to the food on offer. The event was being held at the Carlu in downtown Toronto. It's a swanky little place so I dressed to the nines and put on my best pouty face with my best killer heels to fit in with all the Marketing gurus. However, once my friend and I saw the food on offer all decorum went out the window as we loaded our plates to such an extent that observers would be forgiven for thinking a famine was fast approaching. Once the conference was done, we just HAD to go shopping. Hey, the conference was done early, we were downtown what else was there to do!? People, I cracked. I am ashamed to say I cracked. I KNOW Ugg boots are not fashionable in Europe anymore, but everyone has them here ( bear in mind North America is at least one season behind Europe fashionably) and they will keep my feet warm during winter and they look lovely under my three quarter length jeans and they aren't real Uggs and I had to buy them a size too big as they are flying out of stores and they only had one size in the colour I wanted and I love them and here they are. And before all the Canadians say something, yes, I know not to wear them in snow.




Ian and I travelled North last weekend to see the turning of the leaves. Magnificent. Sadly our photographic skills are not so magnificent and the resulting pictures fail to display the true beauty of an Ontario Fall. Nevertheless you are getting a look at some of them. You just know that I would be one of those annoying neighbours that would invite the whole street over to see my 'holiday snaps'. 'Here I am by the sun lounger, here I am on the sun lounger, here I am falling off the sun lounger, here is the sun lounger on its own, here I am with the waiter and the sun lounger...'. I really must do something like that soon........ repeats of annoying pictures but each with a humorous anecdote. Anyway, Fall pictures below




While on our Autumnal Tour, we came across a few stud farms. One had this young colt running around like a mad man so I felt compelled to stop and photograph Ian getting his finger eaten by a horse. A beautiful colt. I'd have stolen him if there had been room on the backseat.


We stopped at a farm to buy fresh bumbleberry pie (drool...) and while paying I noticed they had a pumpkin patch!! Even though I knew pumpkins grew in a patch, I had never really put two and two together. I was flabbergasted to see pumpkins growing on the ground. Again, for the North Americans, you would have to walk a long way to see a pumpkin patch in Ireland, so this was quite the eye opening experience. I think Ian feels he is with a child at times, such is my fascination with the simple things in life.

I cannot convey how excited I am to have my very first Thanksgiving this weekend! Hopefully one of the above pumpkins will be in my pie

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"The Tudors" is premiering right now on CTV. I may pee with excitement. I'll be back in an hour

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blug Enteree

I can't think of anything to write about. I believe the professionals have a name for it. The creative writing professionals, not the psychological.

Oh! I read something funny today. One of the guys at work has injured his hamstring. Instead of going to a doctor it was agreed by a unanimous vote ( from a bunch of people that have trouble telling aspirin and gaviscon apart), that the internet would obviously provide all the treatment options he would ever need. It was quickly decided that perhaps the Internet was not the right route to take when we came across a page that directed the injured to avail of painkillers and ice packs and see how they felt after their leg fell off. That, funnily enough, wasn't the disturbing part, instead it was the assumption that the reader was an idiot. The author of the piece decided to list the phonetic pronuniation of the medications, always a help. They read like this-

You may use ibuprofen (i-bew-pro-fin) and acetaminophen (uh-c-tuh-min-o-fin)

The above is helpful. We learn to pronounce the words correctly.

The next one is an insult to anyone with an ounce of literacy-

Your caregiver may want you to go to physical (fiz-ih-kull) therapy

I am very happy to have been made aware of the correct pronunciation of 'physical'. I was absent the day we learned our 'phy-' words in 4th Class...age 10.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Today-

*I spilled coffee over my boss
*Lost my security pass
*Lost some of my subway tokens
*Yelled at people on the subway escalator..they deserved it
*Got home 2 hours late as someone was killed east of Toronto by one of the commuter trains, resulting in my line being shut down, bringing rush hour commuters to their knees. Not the first time this summer. Quite a number of people take the 'leaping in front of a train' option when deciding to end it all.

Delightful.

I should just change the name of this blog to "Eileen's Commuting Adventures"

To make myself feel better I decided to go to McDonalds. I now feel worse. Bleurgh.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Toronto Tightens Trousers....maybe

I am mystified as to how Toronto city is verging on broke. It's the financial capital of Canada. It controls Canada's money. The streets are teeming with merchant bankers. Bay Street is literally made of money. Taxes are high. Housing is expensive. Blowing your nose is probably taxed, yet, the city does not have any money. Various services have been cut, the subway faces line closures and increased prices and there is increasing pressure to increase home and vehicle taxes.

Someone needs to get hold of the city accounting books and have a good read of them. Are they getting 5th Graders to do their accounting? Obviously, not the kids on the show 'Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader?', as they have proven themselves time and time again that they are indeed smarter than the American adult population
.

Thursday, September 06, 2007



So I got the video up after a lifetime of trying and never bothered to comment on it. This is what technology does to me. It takes so long to 'work things out' that I am too bored/tired/apathetic to act on the result when it FINALLY appears. I have been trying to load videos for the last 3 weeks and each time they failed. I understand "videoing" is still at the experimental level with Blogger but they did nothing but tease me for three whole weeks. I even purposely left the house looking for things to record and that was when I discovered there wasn't all that much going on and that there was no way the camera had enough space for me to do the artsy "American Beauty' plastic bag in the air thing. So I captured part of my commuter trip from Toronto to Whitby. Every morning and evening the train runs along the banks and beaches of Lake Ontario and each time it never fails to take my breath away. Early in the morning I watch the sun start to peak over the surface while on the way home the blue of the water seems to stretch forever. On sunny days, the water is a cornflower blue whereas on stormy days it is an angry swirling mass of grey. My moment of Zen is always welcome on my trip home seeing as I usually sharing the carriage with the extras from 'Grease". There are three ladies that take the same train as me each working day and they do not know the meaning of 'inside voices'. They roar at the tops of their voices about how great their kids are. Such oral treats range from, 'I just had to buy this book for little Emily. She's only 1 but has such a grasp of English and loves monkeys and communicates with her big words and hasn't signed in months and might join Mensa and is a genius and is sprinting not walking and will definitely start ballet tomorrow and we will so tell the Bolshoi about her and she will obviously be top of her class and she pooed solids today' to 'Jack learned French in two days'. Well, maybe not quite, but the basic premise of their conversations is to bash the other Mom's kids and operate as one woman advertising billboards for their little darlings. I am quite sure that little Emily and Little Jack are still lying horizontal and a long way from vertical stances. Therefore, I do not care about the antics of their offspring and don't wish to be unwillingly exposed to them. Ah yes, I mentioned that they look like they are all 'Grease' extras. I shall explain. Remember Rizzo? Yeah? Well these three ladies look like they are modeling themselves on her. Same giant hair, same make up, same walk, same voice same everything and it drives me mental. Anyday now I am expecting the three of them to launch into the Grease Megamix.
Quebec!

I indulged in some extreme cottaging this Labour Day weekend. Those of you that know me are only too aware of my penchant for comfortable living. Therefore the notion of camping/ staying in a cottage for a whole weekend without running water is enough to send me running to the Ritz Carlton just to make sure all is right with the world. (Reading back over that sentence would make one think I was dripping Cartier and Gucci whereas I am more commonly draped in Accessorize and H&M). Anyway, the love of my life had signed me up for a weekend of outhouses and lake water and I was none too happy about that situation and regularly vocalised my disdain for such a trip over the course of the week. I think my moaning went along the lines of, "I work my backside off so don't want to waste my weekend off searching for water" and "What do you think I am? A Neanderthal?". All wonderful points, but nothing was deterring Ian. We were going and that was the end of it. The cottage belongs to the parents of a friend of Ian and is located in Quebec. The thought of getting to hear and blabber some French for a few days certainly played an important role in convincing me to go. So, on Friday evening after work, with my work colleagues wishing me God speed, Ian and I took off to Ottawa, full throttle ahead. And then we came to a stop as traffic was so ridiculous. This is something that fascinates me about Canadians. They must be the only people in the world that will willingly sit in their cars for hours and hours on end just to drive from one of the major Canadian cities to the middle of nowhere to spend two days cleaning, painting and restocking their cottage only to get back into their cars and resume the same ridiculous journey home. It's not like their cities are heavily polluted, overcrowded or filthy. It just seems to be the done thing to have a cottage on the side of a lake to visit of a weekend while risking a coronary from going mental with traffic. Each to their own I guess. The Irish either do a summer house on the West coast ( complete with gale force winds that will rip the paint of the front wall for free) or in the South of Spain along with all your neighbours from the estate back home. At least the Irish get to fly....even if it is with Ryanair.

Anyway back to the cottage. Once we got to Ottawa we stayed overnight with Ian's friend and his girlfriend and the next morning set off for Quebec. It was quite exciting to drive to the province and see all signs in French and noticing that driving skills travel well from one continent to another. The French in France appear to have taught the French in Quebec that driving like a madman, shaking your fist, yelling out the window and disregarding every single traffic law ever slapped on paper is the only way to drive. However, we got there alive. Instead of droning on and on and on and... I will post some pictures of the weekend and comment.

GODDAMMIT!! The pictures are REFUSING to appear in chronological order. Stupid technology. I shall persevere.

Below we have the outhouse. The only negative aspect of the loo with the view was the rather disconcerting breeze up my bum each time I sat on it. Still though, how pretty a walk is it to the outhouse. Perfection...of some odd sort.


The interior of aforementioned outhouse complete with double ply toilet paper. Always nice to have a little hint of luxury to distract you from thinking about all the spiders crawling up your bottom.


Ryan was CONVINCED that he had shards of glass stuck between his teeth. However, after careful inspecting by his wife, Helen, it was determined that he had a chipped tooth as a result of drinking his beer from the bottle without using his hands. Deeerrr.



I was in bed when the trolls were brought out. Apparently there was an impromptu photo session. This is the cleanest photo I could find. The other pictures are not suitable for public viewing.



Seeing as we were cooking outside ( of course when I say 'we' you know that doesn't include me... I am to cooking what Posh Spice is to Mensa), and would need to light a fire each night ( dropping temperatures) it was necessary to cut some firewood. The men present had quite the fun time hacking wood to pieces. They all made sterling efforts, even Ryan, who made a swing at a log with the blunt end. The picture below shows Ian prepping for a chop with the cabin in the background. It's not finished yet, hence the lack of siding. It was also amusing to watch them throw the smaller axe at tree trunks, tomahawk style. At least they had fun.......................

Cooking, for the most part, was done outdoors by Marty and Karina. Note me sitting at a safe distance. I can burn food just by looking at it.



Mental picture. Apparently the cobweb effect thingies contain tent caterpillars that soon will plop to earth from the trees and clear Quebec of its vegetation. Aren't they adorable.

If you can get around the image of Marty on a rock with the beer you can see where we went swimming. I have regained feeling in my limbs again. It was ever so cold. I insisted I was fine with roars of, "Shur aren't I Irish! We wash in wathhher like this".


Artsy fartsy fire shot by not so artsy fartsy Ian


Despite all my moaning I had a very enjoyable weekend. It was incredible to sit out in the silence of the day on the wing bench reading my book while simultaneously stuffing my face with junk food making it all the more difficult to remove myself from the swing bench. I even got to grips with the outhouse and the lack of a shower. That said I was rather pleased to have a wash on Monday- the hypothermic conditions of the lake didn't do a lot for me. However, the most fin was had from all of us playing Cranium. If there is one board game to get this year, this is it. It is the best game I have played in years.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I went clothes shopping on Saturday. N.I.G.H.T.M.A.R.E Sometimes I think I really am a man as I detest clothes shopping. How on earth can trying on clothes be considered fun or therapy. You spend half an hour picking out something to try on, another 15 minutes trying to work out your size, give up and bring in all sizes with you only for the Power Hound at the changing room door inform you that you can only bring in 4 items to which you throw an almighty strop, bring in the 4 items, try them on, realise you have vastly underestimated what size you are, force the items on anyway, penguin waddle your way out to the Hound with vast quantities of flesh on show to get the other 4, waddle back in fearing death by lack of oxygen if you don't get the tighties off soon, try on the other 4 and almost drown in the sea of material, consider the fact that no one makes clothes in your size, give up, leave the store, get a coffee and sit staring with hatred at anyone that has correctly fitted clothing on themselves.

However, the Gap came up trumps for me. The changing room goon was rather ungoon like, more gay like and took great joy in dressing me, flitting from changing room to floor in quite the bouncy fashion. I think he was a little disappointed that I only purchased one item. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I only wanted one pair of pants not the entire Fall collection.

I ventured to the swanky Yorkville area of Toronto. The closest I got to Versace jeans was leaving my breath mark on their very clean window. Not anymore it ain't.
Commuter Observations

If you are going to stand on the left side of the subway escalator get the hell out of my way when I come torpedoing behind you trying to catch my train.

If the door says "pull" it is highly unlikely that it will "push".

Please have your subway tokens or passes ready before you reach the machine so I can actually make it to my train some time this decade.

Stop bringing toddlers and push chairs on crammed subways during rush hours. No one appreciates it and you only give yourselves high blood pressure making sure little Jimmy doesn't get the wrong end of a briefcase across the face.

The door that says "Entry" does not become "Exit" simply because you are in a rush.

Coffee guy at the commuter train station- you rock. At 6.30am you always have a smile for me and that I appreciate.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ian's Niece's Christening


Ian's little niece was christened a few weeks ago and here is the photographic evidence. Her squished up little face hides the fact that she is quite the adorable rugrat and enjoys posing for pictures. It was one hell of a hot summer day so Ian was out of his shirt and trousers combo as soon as the pastor ended the prayer marathon. I, however, chose to remain in christening chic.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Urgh

Our apartment building is full of drunk old men. It adds that certain je ne sais quoi to an evening sitting on the balcony hearing the thump thump of drunken stumbles, uncouth belching and inane yelling at the main door security system.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

And..............

And the mail people also returned the geographically challenged package to the wrong address.
Geography Ralph Wiggum Style

So I sent a package to England last week. On the package I addressed it to "England" and on the custom declaration form I wrote "United Kingdom"

The package was returned to me with a note saying that I needed to specify a country in order to facilitate international delivery.

What in the name of all that is good and holy are people taught in schools here. I have repeatedly explained to so called well educated Canadians that I am NOT British or English, that I am in fact Irish with many of them failing to notice the difference. Even more horrifying is that a substantial number are unaware of a sea separating Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Calling Blog Care Services

Were this blog a child it would be extracted from my care by social services on the grounds of abandonment and I would be slapped with jail time, no doubt. However, like the well prepared accused I do have an excuse- Moving. It took a lot out of Ian and I, probably more so me seeing as I would rather give over a limb than actually indulge in the insanity that is shipping ones life from one outpost to another. Nevertheless it has been done- furniture is in place, only a few bits and pieces are lacking and some boxes are still lying unwanted on the floor with ne'er a sign of ever being unpacked. I have, however, discovered that I am residing with Martha Stewart. My wonderful Ian has become chef extraordinaire and is hell bent on creating a 'cosy home' whether I want one or not. There has been talk of wall hangings, accent walls and other such nonsense. I am from the school of simplicity or, or in chic fashion lingo, "minimalism" and so am not too pushed about the placement of various pictures on the walls. The only area of decorating that I will wield my fist of iron in will be that to do with the hanging of my black and white pictures from Vietnam. They shall be placed with the precision of an art gallery wannabe.

Moving might have been a little smoother had the mattress delivery men been able to tell the difference between queen and double. The mattress fits but the box spring might be able to sleep one of Snow White's dwarfs at a push. I have no idea how such people manage to get jobs. Before anyone asks why I didn't complain at the initial moment of delivery I must add that Ian and I were not here and that it was Mrs. King who had the 'joy' of dealing with Canada's Worst Delivery Ma. She questioned the size to which the mattress cretin said "Well I can't do anything about it". It seems we would have to magic up the mattress delivery fairies. Mind you it did feel good yelling down the phone at a store representative. Deeeelightful. I like yelling.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

I have been a busy little bee over the last few days and have failed miserably to get the jumbled events in my head onto ye olde bloge. There are lots of things for me to get around to such as Sienna's christening, mattress shopping, stereotyping, packing, moving, work and so much more. However, lazyitis has gotten the better of me and so I shall put finger to key upon the morrow and give this blog a kickstart.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bleurgh

Eileen is not feeling well. Churning stomach. Nausea. The works. Praying I don't have the nasty stomach flu doing the rounds. I cannot get sick. Tomorrow sees lunch with my team at Milestones.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mr. T


Tim Horton's Coffee

The Canadian eau de vie. A rather cheap lifeline when compared to its competitors.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Kawffee

I noticed today that under the name of my blog there is the suggestion that I can offer invaluable Canadian tips. I haven't yet mastered the art of catching a moose. That is still a work in progress. So part of the tagline is redundant. Possibly false advertising, but when I catch my moose and wow you with my tales of entrapment, then who'll be laughing? Eh?

Instead I shall offer Canadian tip #534.

Canadians cannot function without at least one Tim Hortons a day. It's the other food group. The other white meat. The other giver of life. The other main vein. The preferred alternative to illegal substances. The obliteration of Tim Hortons would bring about the rather prompt fall of Canadian society.

Oh you can laugh.

But it's true.
The Shame.

This morning I fell asleep on the commuter train. Not just any ol' attempt at sleeping- it was full on snoring and drooling sleeping. Normally, I reserve such a display for the assembled duvet and pillow audience, but not this time. Canadians are such a polite bunch, at least the people sitting around me, that no-one gave me a nudge to wake me up or to shut me up. I cut quite the stylish figure what with my face pressed against the window of the carriage, giving my snores, what I can only imagine to be, a beautiful echoing quality. I awoke with a start when the annoucer yelled, (he must have known I was perfecting my Sleeping Beauty impersonation), over the intercom that we had arrived in Union Station. I shot up in my seat, hair akimbo, make up successfully transferred to window, mouth wide open, with strand of saliva connecting my tongue to said window. And people wonder what Ian sees in me.

My trip home was much more successful. I was aware that I did not stand a chance against the might of sleep so I cleverly set my alarm to ring at 5.25pm, leaving me a full 5 minutes to arrange myself before arrival at Whitby. However, I had forgotten that I had set my alarm to nerve shattering loud so when the offensive little thing went off in my hand, I threw it from my fist in shock right onto the lap of the gentleman sitting opposite me.

My Go Train image is in tatters

Monday, July 16, 2007

It fell off the back of a lorry

Today I acquired "Chanel" sunglasses, (think wearing saucers over your eyes rather than actual glasses) for $13 from a Flea Market. They may or may not be lifted goods. To be honest I would not be surprised if they aren't "Chanel" and more "Channel". I have come across a number of items in the last week that have unknown origins. Take for example the brand name cosmetics I found at a store that suddenly appeared in the mall near work- 70% off without any explanation. Packaging was still intact, cosmetics didn't burn the skin off my face so what was wrong with them? I am on a misson.

Saw Parry Hotter last night. I nearly fell asleep. Nothing really happened. What's with this new broodier Parry? I understand the book is darker and choc full of activity but the movie failed to brew even the smallest hint of interest. Also, the fact that there was so much Coca Cola on the floor from the previous person meant that I had little to no grip on the floor and kept sliding off my seat. In a final act of desperation I used cinema literature to glue my shoes to the floor. That'll learn the cinema staff to keep their auditoriums clean- you try scraping up a combination of the world's sugariest (sp?) drink, paper, cinema tile and a fascinating blend of dirt.

We may be going to see We Will Rock You this coming weekend. And for all the smartasses out there, yes it will have the Best of Queen (minus Mr. Mercury..unless it's been a hoax all these years), raising the roof. I hope I can sing along. I love to sing. Ask Ian. I am never in tune, but imagine all the singing along I could do at a Queen themed musical. It would be neverending.

I was very disappointed not to find any fleas at the Flea Market. Although judging the state of some of the vendors I would imagine the arrival of said fleas to be rather imminent.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Robots in Disguise

I went to see Transformers this week. People, ( by people I mean 30 year old men who played with Transformers when they were 6 and should know a lot better by now), started clapping and cheering when Optimus Prime appeared on screen and could barely contain their squeaks of joy whenever original Transformer power lines were uttered.

That said, it's not half bad.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Toronto, boring?

Eventful day. I saw the burnt out remains of the SUV that tore into a large truck on the 401 Expressway causing all Eastbound lanes to be shut down for a number of hours. I narrowly missed chaos on the subway when someone fell onto the tracks causing the system to be shut down for half an hour. I watched a girl in front of me get mugged at my subway stop and stared in shock as the mugger ran off with her possessions.

Toronto. It's great!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

As heard on the GO Train this morning

A woman describing her first trip to Europe to a friend. Said woman visited London, Paris and Malaga. In a week.

"Well, having seen all of Europe, I have to say I think Paris is Europe's best city"

"Spain is really boring. There is nothing to do there"

"I didn't go to Madrid but I can tell you it is full of drugs and prostitutes. It's really dangerous, don't go there".


Slow News Week

It's been a slow one. I could probably find something to write about, but to be honest each night after work the last thing I want to do is blog. I can't even email... although I do make time to stalk someone on Facebook. However I shall soldier on. Pat on the back what, what.

Canada Day came and went on Sunday. The high point of the day was getting a dose of high powered runs compliments of some dodgy sushi and watching a new episode of "Entourage". I know. Wild. On Saturday we got a beautiful Italian duvet reduced from $400 to $99..bargain. Apparently it is "discontinued". Not for me it ain't. I also stained our coffee table. It is now the hue of Early America. At least according to the tin it is. The clear coat hasn't gone on yet so lord knows what shade of America it will eventually resemble. However, I am pretty proud of my first attempt at home decorating.

Work is work. I am still at the learning stage, which is frustrating as I am keen to get my teeth into a project and get this career moving.

I have become a commuter rat joining in the daily ritual of pushing people out of my way and snorting at those that are incapable of breaking land speed records to catch the subway. I am horrible at 730 am in downtown Toronto. Should you wish to say Hi or hit me back with your briefcase I am the person dodging 'amblers' and snarling at those attempting to overtake me.

It's fun.

The highlight of last week was getting a belt tie for my work security card. It attaches to my belt and can be dragged a full 3 feet from its protective casing before popping back into place. To say it has brought me endless hours of entertainment would be an understatement.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

He ain't heavy. He's Ian.

Ian seeing me with a pen placed in my ponytail-

"I wish I had long hair so I could put pens in there. I could be a pencil case. Could you fit an eraser up there?".

Ambitious.
Front Wheel Cow

Actually when thinking brisket, don't think arse end, think flank area. This is all according to Wikipedia. ............ If you want to trust the people who actualy WROTE AN ENTRY INTO AN ENCYCLOPEDIA ABOUT COW MEAT, be my guest.

Moo.
Early. Bird. Worm. Catch

There have been some questions relating to my sanity over the last few days, possibly prompted by the news that I am out of bed and fully functioning at 530 in the morning. I can assure you my actions are sane and with reason. I have chosen to start work as early as I possibly can so I can get home as early as I possibly can each evening. At the moment I am starting at 8am and finshing up around 4-430 getting me home for 6. Some of you may be aware of the jokes doing the rounds concerning Torontonians and how they complain about neverending commutes. People should not makes jokes. This is a serious and real matter! For those that choose not to live in the heart of Toronto and get their paycheck ripped from their hands each month to pay for adequate housing, the downside is commuting. Luckily Toronto and GTA folk set up a pretty swiffy commuter train that transports a few hundred thousand people a day and a subway system, which like all subway systems in the world, has more nut jobs than I have hairs on my head.

So in conclusion, my sanity is intact, I am getting up out of bed in time, I am really enjoying this job.

More to come on the job front at a later date.

As for brisket. I still have no idea what it is. I presume we have a piece of meat the exact same as brisket , only with a different name, in Europe. Think huge chunk of meat from the arse end of a cow. What is that called?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Lazzzeeeeee

There will be a great, big, long, boring description of my first week at work, what I do, where I do it, how I do it, how it is treating me and how I am treating it. In the coming week. Getting up for work at 530am and getting home for 630pm has been a little bit of a shock to the system so I shall be a little more accustomed to my farmer like early morning rising shocker in the next few days.

This weekend was spent lying on my rear end moaning as I had contracted a little cold. No doubt due to all the air conditioning......... and work.

Today we went to MoSport to watch cars chase each other around a piece of cement. I brought a book. It would have been fun had there not been trees sapping on me. And bugs flying around. And bees.

Barbeque chez King tonight. I must go eat my body weight in salad, dip and brisket. No idea what brisket it. I shall report back on its status.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hurrah!

I am ever so happy. Paul Potts won Britain's Got Talent. I am very pleased for this very unassuming little guy from Wales. Go the Welsh!

It was also a Hurrah! week for me as I finally set up a bank account here, got myself a swanky cell phone and managed to locate a few work clothes that should fit the "respectable" bill. Of course, locating said clothes was not as easy as expected as stores were lacking in my size. I can only presume that it is the popular size. I am convincing myself that is so.

I start work tomorrow. I shall be up and about at 530am. No doubt you can sense the excitement.

Must go back to watching the Much Music Awards, (think MTV Video Awards. In Toronto. Obviously.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Score!

For something crude and rude, yet laugh out loud, may I recommend "Knocked Up"for your viewing pleasure. Hilarious movie, with the odd tender moment.

I think this one tops my 'Best of....Summer 2007' List. Although, it's not that great a feat when you consider the competition.
Sensational.

Every so often you hear something beautiful. This guy, a very humble unassuming individual had the power to make tears run down my face.

Beautiful.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Head High!

Last night Ian and I went for a few drinks with some people from his college course. One guy had his girlfriend with him, both of whom were eager to hear about my experiences in Canada and comparisons with Ireland. The following discussion ensued,

Girl It must be great in bars with your accent!

Me Huh?

Girl Lots of guys must chat you up because of your Irish accent. A friend has arrived from England and everytime we are out with her, guys line up to talk with her and get her number

Me That has never happened to me

Girl Oh..............................

Well, I felt great last night.

Egoboostastic.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Joke

What's Mr. T's favourite yoghurt?


A Petit Filous!



I have not been able to stop laughing! It's comic genius
Stanley Cup!

Over the last few nights I have been watching the ice-hockey playoffs for the Stanley Cup. And I have to say I have really enjoyed watching them. I have only ever glanced at games in the past so know little to nothing about the sport, other than it is very fast, very technical and demands high levels of skill from its players. So, No Hockey Knowledge Me was watching the games between the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks and was intrigued by a Ducks player by the name of Niedermayer. His movement on the ice, his skill in the game and his ability to work his opponents drew my eye. I liked what I saw, and, in particular liked how effortlessly he game skated.

I was rather pleased with my observations when Niedermayer was voted MVP, (Most Valuable Player) and his team won the Stanley Cup. I could be a scout! YAH!

I must dig out the pictures of me and the cup, (or should that read, "the cup and I"?), for memories and what not. Another trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame is due.

P.S. The Stanley Cup is the equivalent of the UEFA/FA Cup in football and the Six Nations in rugby.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Brrr

On Saturday the temperature was 32 celsius with sun. Today it dropped to 8 with rain. Welcome to Canada.

Ian and I went apartment hunting. I was in four layers of clothes and still felt the chill. I am in quite the spot of bother come Winter.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sand

Forgot to mention the anal relationship Ian has with sand.

While walking on a sandy beach at the lake, Ian kept stopping every few paces to SHAKE THE SAND OUT OF HIS SANDALS. Does anyone else find this as hilarious as me?

He was quite the happy camper when he managed to walk from the beach to the cottage without getting any sand in his sandals. The fact that he looked like an arthritic 80 year old trying not to get sand in his sandals was too funny for words.

I imagine he will dump me after reading this post.
Lake Eerie

It would be so much easier to stick up a few photos and comment on them re: the weekend at Lake Eerie, but seeing as I forgot the camera, I no longer have the easy option. Mutter.

So, our weekend was fantastic. I really am getting old. Gone are the days where a weekend involving no sleep, bars, clubs and half the population of a city could entertain me. Now I want a comfortable chair, lights out at a decent hour and three square meals. I got just that for two whole days. Ian and I left chez nous on Friday afternoon with the car packed full of food and underwear. Seeing as I am new to the whole Canada experience, Ian and his parents discussed which expressway to take to the Lake. There are multiple options, the common one being the Road of Terror, aka the 401. However, seeing as it was a Friday afternoon, it was assumed that the 401 would be a nightmare and so it would be prudent to take the Toll 407. So off we went, 407 bound. Turns out we sat on a glorified parking lot for an hour. Traffic around Toronto at any point of any day is completely and utterly insane. So insane, that if there is a single little hiccup at any point on the expressway, all lanes suffer. Ian compares it to the Butterfly Effect. If someone brakes suddenly 20 miles ahead, the effect will vibrate its way back to the last car, increasing strength as it travels. In our case, there was a minor accident on the 407 involving a slight dent to one car from another. Both cars had pulled over to the side, freeing up traffic access, but because humans are nosy, everyone kept tapping their brakes to slow down for a look. The result was traffic slowed to almost a complete standstill adding an extra hour onto our journey. We moaned and complained but we still made sure we got a good gawk at the scene of the accident.

Once at the lake I regained my love of the countryside. Until all the bugs came at me. Seeing as it was dark when we arrived, we had no option other than to sit down and indulge in an Entourage marathon. I aspire to one day be as obnoxious as Ari Gold.

The following day I bossed Ian into making breakfast and afterwards we went for a walk on the beach. It was sunny and 32 degrees and Ian seemed convinced he was immune to skin cancer. He sat out in the sun for three hours and then ambled along the beach for another hour followed by another two hours just sitting on a chair in the sun. My pleas with him to put on some sun block were met with snorts of disgust. Was I not aware that his reddened arms would turn a golden brown? Did I not know that Ian isn't going to succumb to skin cancer?

As you can imagine I got in quite the snot with him. I understand that he naturally tans, but correct me if I am wrong here, but scorching your skin to turn brown makes zero medical sense whatsoever. I was pretty pissed with him for being so irresponsible, but of course, there was no talking to him. Instead I sat in the sun LATHERED in factor 45. I actually glowed with all the block I applied.... of course sand kept sticking to my lathered skin so I had quite the odd look going.

After breakfast we went for a walk on the beach. Never, ever, have I seen so many fish and bird skeletons as I saw on that beach. It was like being on Animal CSI. While ambling Ian found a bone in the sand. I can assure you that Grissom's job is quite safe as neither one of us could determine if it was human or not. We decided to lump it on Ian's Aunt's deck. Maybe she can determine what it is.

That night we continued our Entourage marathon. Aren't box set DVD's the best thing ever?

The next day was, unfortunately, grey, damp and not very sunworthy. Ian and I enjoyed breakfast, stuck our heads outside the door and pulled mine back in pretty quickly what with the dramatic increase in the mosquito population. Bleurgh. Seeing as there wasn't much point in sitting out in the rain, we started to clean the cottage and while doing so turned on the TV. On it was a show called "Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?"The concept of this show is to have adults answer questions relating to school subjects for those in Grade 5 and under with the potential of winning $1,000,000. It sounds very simple, but not so for some of the parents... and if I am being truthful, even myself. Most of the questions are pretty simple, but some can leave you in quite the pickle. Take for example the contestant I saw yesterday. She was asked what country has the largest border with the United States. The woman said Mexico.

Has she ever seen a map of North America? Really? How ditzy do you have to be to get that one wrong. How do you not know about the second largest country in the world to the north of you?

Gah.

Anyhoo, after that Ian and I returned to Toronto. With Ian almost having a child seeing as traffic wan't going to the speed he would have selected. Once home, I scratched all my bug bites and made them worse than they were.