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


*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.


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.

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.