30.9.10

Aye, Phone

All right. This may come as a surprise to many (if not all) of you, so you may want to sit down.

Are you ready?

Today, I got a cell phone. It's crazy, I know, but I haven't had the need for one in a very long time. So long, in fact, that the idea of being permanently accessible makes me nervous and uncomfortable. Two weekends ago, Marc and I were out doing different things and realized that we had no way to get in contact with each other. After our laughter subsided, we came to the conclusion that I needed to get my a-double-ess in gear and start sussing out some phones. Now, Marc has one from his work, so really, we decided that I needed a phone. 

I did my diligent-forum-website-search, read questions and their answers, reviews from techies, and then looked for the best plan. Due to an extremely helpful worker who broke it all down for me and I ended up with an iPhone. Not the new one, but one of the 3GS's. The monthly bill is super manageable because, despite my limbo-student-status, I still have an active student number and therefore qualified for a sweet plan that is way less than I ever thought it could be. The worker was just hilarious and spent a very long time with me picking out 'the perfect phone number' (at least 5 minutes), setting the whole thing up, throwing in a ballin' protective case for free and I've been playing with it since.

I must say; the iPhone is amazing. I've read other people's blog posts about the amazing-ness that is the iPhone, but I don't really know enough about it to go into details. What I do know, though, is I feel more connected to the world than I did this morning, sans la cell. How strange that I was able to have a quick chat with a friend who lives 1500 kms away, almost instantly via text (the last time I had a cell, texting didn't exist. Yeah, you read that right. Texting did not exist). 

When Facebook first came out, I was sure that I'd never, in one million trillion years, sign up. After a few years though, I found that I was perpetually the last person to find out about everything and.it.sucked. People stopped emailing pictures and would, instead, post them on The Social Network (please be as good as they say. please.please.please) so I never got to see any of them. Finally, I broke down and after setting my security settings to levels that make me almost impossible to find, I've been happily interfacing with (approved) buddies. 

This is how I feel about texting and I'm beyond excited to be a part of my working-outside-the-house-for-money friends coffee/smoke/freakout breaks. The bad news is that it's now 3:35 and I've.done.nothing. I was planning on making a great supper that required a ham to marinate for at least four hours, but that didn't even almost happen. There's a 40 - 60% chance that I'm going to be utterly useless for the next 24 - 48 hours...

Oh.Em.Gee. I just figured out how to write posts via the phone...(if this phone were a real person, I'd be dry-humping its leg...yeah...I said it and I mean it). 

29.9.10

Smelly Surprises

I had a very busy day yesterday, working on a project that I may discuss at a later date (or not...we'll see), so the day just flew by. Before I knew it, it was 5:00 and Marc'd be home from work soon.
I surveyed the fridge/freezer to figure out what we'd eat for supper and settled on a frozen pizza. The boys were restless for their own supper, and I was mid kibble-scoop when I heard my hubby walk in the door. When I turned to say "you're home!" I saw that he was holding a huge bouquet of flowers! I gave him the "are those for me" eyes, complete with an endearing head tilt before he walked over to me and gave me a kiss.
My birthday isn't until the winter, our anniversary's in the summer, he wasn't making up for anything...soooo....

These flowers were for no reason! The best reason of all!! I'm kind of anal when it comes to flowers, as I don't care for roses and prefer all-white arrangements, and Marc did a fantastic job picking them out (as always). Although there was a small lily-petal-snapping-off issue as I transferred the flowers from the paper wrapping to a vase, the rest made it into the round glass tube unscathed. It was a wonderful end to a busy-beaver day and the sweet scent that greeted me this morning was a wonderful start to today.  

Ps. the frozen pizza ended up being dee-lish! 5 cheeses!! We'll be buying that one again, fo sho ($3.65!)

It's (Raining) Misting, Again...Boo.

If you've never visited the majestic East coast of Canada, then you've been missing out. There are one million reasons why it's da bomb. There are also a lot of things here that don't exist elsewhere (that I've found so far, anyway).

Pizza Delight's garlic fingers & donair sauce, which is a pizza crust that's brushed smothered with garlic butter and mozarella cheese, was my first East-side-unique discovery. I know it sounds like regular ole' garlic bread. But.It's.Not. The next step, after grabbing a stick of garlic-finger-goodness (they're cut into sticks, not slices), is to dip the glistening broiled-top delight into a small cup of donair sauce. Now, donair sauce is a tricky thing to explain because it's super strange. When I first moved out East for school (back in the day) I was scared of the donair sauce. It's white colour and melted-icing-texture were a little too strange for me to handle, but after one bite, the sweet & garlic-y sauce changed my life. OK, maybe it didn't change my life, but it sure introduced me to a scrumptious reason to move back.

Wow, this post wasn't supposed to be about garlic fingers, but now that I've re-read that paragraph, I know what I'll be having for lunch...This post is actually to address another East-side-exclusive happening: the rain. Just so we're on the same page, yes, you read that right. There are two types of "rain" here: hard rain & rain. Of course, the weather network isn't aware of the two classifications, so they are useless in helping plan an outfit for the day.

Hard Rain: Droplets that you can see hitting the ground. If one were to fall in your eye, you'd notice. Umbrellas and raincoats are a must, otherwise you'd get soaked. When a dear friend of mine got married a few years ago, there was hard rain during her ceremony. 

Rain: Droplets that you cannot see hitting the ground. You can look straight up in the sky and fear no eye-blurring effects. Raincoats are a must, but umbrellas do nothing because, when you walk outside, it's like walking into a steamy bathroom (minus the heat, of course). There's nothing you can do to combat the rain mist, as it will inevitably melt your make-up off, destroy your hair and force you to clean your glasses about a thousand times or risk running into something (if your perscription is intense, that is). It sucks. 

I have two fairly high maintenance fur babies who refuse to walk in hard rain but don't notice the mist until we've been out for a while. We go for a morning walk almost every day, but when they see that it's hard raining, they simply turn around and head back to bed. This is not the same with the mist, as they still insist on going... and then start to sketch out when they realize they're wet. By 'sketch out' what I mean is that the boys start darting around the side of the road, looking for cover and refusing to move foreward. They literally sit by the side of my street, shivering and giving me the 'why would you take us out here' eyes. Of course, gone are their memories of whining and scratching at the door despite my warnings about the mist, so I'm forced to either start running to get them going, or pick them up. It's just ridiculous. 

The only other place that I've encountered mist like this was when we visited Niagara Falls, and it was just as sucky then as it is now. 

So I'm just waiting for the show to begin, although I'm standing firm this time. 

We're. Not. Going.
(I can feel my resistance already starting to break down...be strong...be strong).

And She's Back! Yay!

It's been a long time (all right, about a month) since the glorious Ms. Montag has Tweeted something amazing. I woke up this morning to a jam-packed PVR and was getting my cup o' tea ready for the latest baby-momma-drama with the Teen Moms, but first stopped by the Twitter-verse to see what was going on.


My eyes scanned down the Home page and then, just before 7am, I read this: 


I have sun poison from tanning too much!!! I cant keep out of the sun though! AHHH IT ITCHES AND BURNS!!!


Oh Heidi-ho, I missed you! Don't ever take a Tweet-cation again!


ps...maybe you should stay in the shade then?

27.9.10

Diddy'd Be Proud:

Today I voted, so that means I won't die (although Paris pledged that too and didn't vote...hm...). 

I did my dutiful candidate research and looked at what the general party platforms were before I came to my educated decision. Here's what I learned (don't be scared, this isn't political, you can keep reading):

Candidate pictures look like creepy wax figures, which is strange because wax figures can look pretty lifelike. Go figure.
Everybody pretty much says the same thing, but uses different words.
Campaign "slogans" are unintentionally hilarious.

Here's what I've seen in my district, which gave me information about candidates:

One candidate, standing beside her campaign van, which was parked in front of her campaign office, which was on the side of a major road, waving to drivers-by with one hand while holding her campaign poster in the other. So, this showed me that she's a serious over-achiever-A-type who'd probably give Reese Whitherspoon a run for her money in Election. Probably a good option.

In front of another candidate's campaign office, also alongside the same major road, is a life-size cardboard cutout of the candidate waving. It's been up for a long time and I giggle to myself each time I pass it. Then, one day last week, it was raining and when I passed the cut-out it was wearing a see-through rain poncho, complete with hood. So, this showed me that this dude pays attention to the small details. Another good option.

The other two candidates had posters that weren't horrifically embarrassing or unintentionally hilarious and after mulling it over for a few days, today I went out and voted.

As I was filling in the form, because I'm a new voter here, this total jackass came charging in (yes, he really did charge past the first 'welcome' dude). I was the only other voter there, among about 10 workers and he had all of our attention after he screamed (yes, he actually screamed), "Um, can somebody tell me what to do here?!?" Oh yeah. Mr. Important.

As the lovely voting-staff ladies started explaining the process he decides to shout, "Well, can somebody tell me about the candidates? I don't know anything about anyone. I'm just going in there, closing my eyes and puttin' an 'X' where it lands." 

Seriously?
SERIOUSLY??

This is what it's come to? Do you think that's somehow funny (ps. we live in a military-family area)? Even if that's what you're doing (voting randomly) don't tell people that?!? 

What.a.jackass.

After this dazzling democratic display, we all spent a few minutes talking about how inappropriate he was (re: making fun of him) and how it was so important to do your research and make an informed decision. We went back to finish my registration and it turned out that I was at the wrong voting office (re: complete opposite side of town, apparently it matters where you vote...I didn't know that).  

Sooo...after I tumbled off of my high horse, I was struck with the question: Does that mean I'm Mrs. Jackass?  

Bummer.


If you're from Mingle Monday, thanks for stopping by! If not, then click on the link to find some fun new reads. It's too bad that we're not meeting in real life, because I serve wine and cupcakes to company.  Martha's recipes. Yeah, you heard me. Martha. 

25.9.10

Ugh, Wall Street

Man, another brutal movie choice by team Happypants (we have different last names, so we came up with a wicked team name for when we need one - like now!). It was between 'Wall Street' and 'Easy A' and so we read some reviews and picked the thriller-drama. The previews promised intrigue, back-stabbing and manipulative acts that would leave us scratching our heads and saying to each other, 'I didn't see that coming at all!'

WRONG!

We were slightly late getting to the theatre, so the lights had already been dimmed as we tucked ourselves into a back row. Had we been even five minutes earlier, I think we may have changed our choice because, when the lights came on, we saw that we were the youngest people in the half-packed place, by about a thousand years - it was white poufs and senior ticket stubs all-around.

The movie started at a good pace and a lot happened in the first ten minutes. I was feeling happy and confident in our movie choice. We were all, 'this movie's crazy!'

And then.
At minute, 11.
It died.

When I started to get sleepy, which was about halfway through, I turned to Marc and whispered, "Has the movie started yet?"
He laughed and the cranky 'know-it-all' dude behind us wasn't impressed (BTW, this guy was talking the entire time, explaining the stock market to the lady who was sitting next to him. Awesome). 

The movie had serious potential, but it turns out that the previews showed a lot of unrelated (albeit awesome) one-liners that ended up being in l-o-n-g, boring and not engaging scenes (as I found my eyes drawn to a pair of very pretty and sparkly earrings that were catching the light off of a senior woman's ears in front of me - they were just fabulous!).

I feel the best comparison for what Wall Street was, is "Enough" with J Lo. 
- Too much back story that's not necessary. 
- Irritating dialogue that even the best actor cannot compete against (although Shia was pretty good)
- Too many changes of location that are unnecessary and confusing
- A leading lady that just cries for the whole movie and doesn't really have a role aside from being present in certain scenes (I can't remember if J Lo was a weeper in Enough...)
- A plot build up that's supposed to end in an epic and awe-inspiring way, but ends up falling flat
- OK concept (I guess) but worst.delivery.ever
- Enraging (not en-gaging, but rage-filling) endings that make.so.sense.

I'm not sure that we'll head out to the movies again soon as it's been bad movie after bad movie, and wasting $3.50 on a rental is way better than $23.00 for tickets. All we want is to be whisked away into a new and enchanting (and sometimes funny) world. Is that too much to ask? Why isn't this happening? Where have all the good flicks gone? They should change "Hollywood" to "Hollywon't" because they just can't seem to get it together. 

Here's a hint: When I'd rather watch Law & Order reruns than the newest blockbuster, there's a problem.

Thankfully, we'd PVR'd the first episode of The Office and (despite the strange opening *cringe) it was hilarious, engaging, and if Michael Scott were a real person and in my living room, I would have hugged him until his head (figuratively) popped off.

Dear Wall Street 2: You owe me $23 and two hours of my life. Oh - and some Junior Mints (you know, to make it up to me). 

24.9.10

Jersey Creek

As I've just been sucked into the world of Pauly D and The Snook for the last 47-ish minutes (PVR'd, so no commercials *fist pump), I couldn't help but have a small moment of reflection as I finished my morning gi-nor-mous cup o'tea (for reals, it's the biggest mug ever).

We didn't have a lot of TV in my childhood, but when I was in high school, things changed and I became a loyal fan of Dawson's Creek. My friends and I would sit around the living room, screaming at each other during commercial breaks about how the show must have somehow been following us around with hidden cameras and microphones because it was so our lives that were unfolding on the little screen. Haters of the show critiqued the over-articulated dialogue and somewhat awkward physical chemistry, but I still find myself watching it when I find a repeat and it's easy to lose myself in the Dawson-Joey-Pacey (mmm...Pacey) drama.

So here's the question: do people feel that way about The Jersey Shore? It's all over the place, so it has to be resonating with somebody, but I don't think it's for the same reasons.

I know that one was a scripted drama while the other is a (scripted?) reality show, but they both appeal(ed) to the same demographic of teens/younger adults (although teens/younger adults of the 90s vs. teens of the 10s). Has the world changed or has the entertainment industry? Is it a chicken/egg Situation?

Where Dawson's Creek had dialogue like this (thank you, IMBD):

Pacey: Your sincerity is so appealingly sexy.
Andie: And your sexiness is so appealingly sincere.

The Jersey Shore has lines like (thank you, www.jerseyshorequotes.com):

Vinny: You look hot...you just took my breath away.
Snooki: You tryin' to smush right now?
Snooki: Wanna f*ck?
Vinny: Sure.

Has the innocence left the building? Is it a generational-thing? Am I getting 'old' because it's getting 'too loud?'

It seems like entertainment has taken an abrupt left turn into anything-goes-ville. Don't get me wrong, I love watching The Shore and am really looking forward to the fight between Angelina & The Snook, but as I write the words, I'm surprised how comfortable I am in publicly sharing how much I enjoy the world of self-proclaimed-guidos. Even with the horrific-ly bad mute-button-pushing moments of Joey Potter singing (ugh, *cringe) while on the Creek, there was still a level of mystique and cuteness that put a smile on my face in a nostalgic way. The Shore - not so much.

What would happen if you took the two and combined them?
Joey + a little Sammi Sweetheart = A heroine who actually has a backbone.
Pacey + GTL = Even hotter side-love-interest for female leads (minus the juice, obviously)
Dawson + Vinny = Cute guy bff who actually has the ability to pick up some ladies.

Do you see what's happening here?!? This is TV gold!

Somebody - write this, immediately!! 


It'll be AMAZING!

23.9.10

I Ain't No Little Red Riding Hood

There have been two strange and unexplained things that have happened in the last few months regarding our garbage. Earlier in the summer, we woke up to find our substantial garbage box tipped over on its side. We had been warned not to leave garbage in an accessible place because of raccoons, so we diligently locked it up to avoid having a gross mess to clean up. There were no marks of any kind on the tipped-on-its-side box and the lock didn't look like it had been tampered with. It's really heavy, even with nothing in it, so although we didn't know what it was, we knew that whatever pushed it over wasn't a raccoons (briefly, we considered a pack of smarter-than-the-average-raccoon, but then dismissed the idea). We were freaked out by it enough to move the garbage/recycling to our shed for storage (since recycling only happens once a month here; it really piles up).

Two days ago, Marc woke up to go to work and the doors to our shed were wide open. The recycling was still sitting in its blue boxes, but the garbage bags were gone. Like disappeared. No trace of garbage anywhere.

Side Story: Just this past weekend, my bank called me because somebody cloned my card and withdrew a bunch of cash (total.bummer). The amount stolen was underneath the bank's 'serious issue' amount, so I'm guaranteed to get it back, even if they don't find the clone-r. Thank goodness.

Due to my recent experience with fraud - I lost my mind, when Marc called me later in the morning to tell me why there was a large piece of conduit shoved between the shed's door handles. There were no claw marks - no marks of any kind really, but the doors were both flapping open at 6am. I searched around our property and found no evidence of an animal and quickly became convinced that the thief had somehow gotten our address and stolen our garbage so they could steal the rest of my entire identity. Marc didn't seem too worried about it, as I ranted on and on about how I need to cancel every card that I have and start from scratch, but his calmness did little to ease my frantic-pacing-nail-biting(theoretically, I love my nails too much to actually gnaw on them) state.

When Marc came home from work, he took the dogs for a more extensive search of the property, and about half an hour later, returned with news that he'd found one of the bags. It wasn't torn to shreds, but was way back in the forest. Weird, right?

So THEN, he was asking guys from work (locals, who have much more extensive nature experience) about what could break into our shed without leaving a mark, and they said it was probably a "little Black Bear" and there "wasn't anything to worry about."

LITTLE BLACK BEAR?!?

NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT?!?

(clearly, these dudes don't know me. At all.)

I stood there, in our kitchen with my mouth wide open when Marc laid "the info" on me. I am not equipped to deal with this much nature. We are way out of our element here.

Bunnies. OK.

Foxes. All right.

"Little" Black Bears? No. 

Also - just how small is a "little" black bear? Is their Momma nearby, who's much larger and potentially angry? Is the "little" bear going to grow up to be a big bear? WILL IT KEEP COMING BACK?!? I'm no Little Red Riding Hood. Nope - not even close.

The surprising end to the potential-bear-invasion was a phone number that we could call, free of charge, which would send some dudes out with a live-trap to catch the tiny giant and re-release it....{insert stunned face, swiftly followed by hysterical laughter}

Who you gonna call? Bear Busters!!

Oh, NB. I heart you.

22.9.10

I was Tagged, Now I'm It

All right, So the lovely Jaclyn has tagged me in a 'get to know you' series. Here are my answers to her questions.

If you could go back to school, without money being a factor in your decision, what would you study.
I would love to go to some fancy-pants pastry school in Paris. I have done no research on the subject, but would assume that there'd be a myriad of places that I could attend. Being able to make my own Pain au chocolat would be the greatest.thing.ever.

Cats or dogs?
2 dogs: Pepi and The Pickle. Don't get me wrong, I love cats too, but my lungs hate them.

How many pairs of shoes do you own, and which ones are your absolute favourite? (note, the slight Canadian-spelling change)
Um, a lot. I suffered from impractical shoe purchases for a long time, pre-recessionista status and have many, many pairs that have seen little time outside my house. Last summer though, I found an a.ma.zing pair of purple sequined ballet flats - on sale - and they became my staple shoe for the summer. THEN, I found them even more on sale at the end of that summer and bought another pair that I saved for this summer (they're all sequins and don't wear well - at all).

What's in your purse, right now?
I actually just switched bags this morning because it's the first day of Fall and I like to shake it up, so that forced me to go through everything and de-clutter. So now, there's my wallet, pack of gum, eye drops, a notepad titled: Great Ideas and a cigar-holder-turned-tampon-holder (which is pink and has rhinestones on it. True story).

Be honest: How many times a day do you check Facebook?
If you'd asked me this 2 weeks ago, my answer would have been a million; I started to play 2 of those addictive games at the same time and got totally consumed. After a brief addiction, I held an intervention for myself, deleted the applications and reclaimed my life.

What's the farthest place you've travelled outside of your hometown, and why?
France - all over. It was the summer after my 1st year of graduate school and I was losing my mind. Luckily, I found it in the south of France and made it back with enough residual relaxation to write my thesis.

If you had to limit your beauty routine down to only 2 things, what would you keep?
My Clairsonic brush and Philosophy cleanser. My skin wouldn't know what to do without it.

What is your favourite quote?
I don't have a fav, but love anything from Pineapple Express and the Jersey Shore. Oh, and The Office.

All right. So the deal is I'm supposed to come up with new questions and then tag people. That's not going to happen as it's too much pressure! TOO MUCH! So, instead, I will offer the one question that I find to be quite revealing about how a person views themselves and if I want to be friends with them, or date them (pre-Marc of course).

The Question: If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?

Me? I would love to be Rainbow Bright and hang out with the sprites. And that pony. That flies and runs on rainbows. Throwing colour around the world. Ballin'!

Feel free to post your answers below.

21.9.10

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

Well, it's a good thing that the hubby and I don't drop acid or eat magic mushrooms because if we did, we probably would have totally freaked out last night when we were watching The Craziness of Dr. Parnassus.

It was a hot mess of dialogue, storyline holes and sketched-out scenery that made for a pot full of unexplainable movie weirdness. I quite liked the female lead until she (at SIXTEEN) started making out with a grown man.

Ew. Gross.

Not even in the imaginary world of Doctor Parnassus can I escape the entertainment world's icky ways of having very young women (children, really) get down with grown men that are quickly-approaching their retirement. Ick.

The overall concept wasn't anything new, and although I believe it aimed to be inquisitive and thought-provoking, the actual result was irritating and question-provoking (because the end made.no.sense and I was left with many questions). The best part was when Johnny Depp appeared, but his presence was short-lived as he was gone five minutes later. It should be renamed: The Imaginarium of Doctor Suckypants.

We really have to start picking better movies to watch. The last few have been bruh-tal.


20.9.10

Dear New Shower Head:

Where have you been, all of my life?

This morning, I'd almost forgotten that we'd switched the original rainshower head yesterday, and was deee-lighted to feel a stream of pressure hit my back as I stepped inside the plexiglass-ed 'cubicle.' It's not quite 'rip your nipples off' pressure (which I've had only one experience with, in my university residence) but at least the shampoo in my hair can now quickly be washed away instead of trickling down onto my face, leading to the inevitable eye-sting-where-the-bleep-is-the-towel fit that has become a usual in my morning routine.

We've been spoiled in the past, as our former house had a double head shower. Yes, you heard me. It was a large fully-tiled, complete with bench, double-headed shower that sort of acted like a black hole as you'd find yourself completely unaware of the time as soon as you stepped through the door. Needless to say, when we arrived in our new (way-awesome-r but seriously smaller) house, we were slightly disappointed with the corner unit shower that had a single (and lonely) rain-shower-wannabe head (my mother had an actual rain-head shower that was da bomb...this one wasn't the same...at all).

Side note: What's with all the corner bathroom fixtures? The room is square, so why is everything a triangle? I am the shortest in my family at a teeny 5' 8" (ha.ha) which means that I have gangly arms and legs so the triangle-shaped shower doesn't work for me. At. all. I'm either hitting the door open with my elbows as I'm trying to wash, leaving a puddle of water on the floor; trying to balance on one leg while shoving the other against the wall corner so that I can actually shave it; and the greatest (note the sarcasm) thing of all, which is having my elbow knock against the tap that makes the water either ice cold or boiling hot.

Make it a square, people. 90-degree angles rule, anything else is for suckers. It makes it better for the user and for the general design of the room. Trust me.

OK, back to my 'Ode de Douche.'

We love you (although I didn't actually see Marc this morning, I am positive that he was l-o-v-i-n' it as well). Thank you for being so easy to install and not leaky. Although we still miss the surround-shower, this new head is a remarkable improvement over the poopy other one.

Welcome to the family!

18.9.10

International Weekend

Every few months, Marc and I will grab our passports, exchange some cash and head for the Woodstock Border Crossing. There is only one rule: only buy what we can't get at home. Then, we get to play International (insert day we go, so today it's 'Saturday')!

It takes us less than an hour to get to the Wal-Mart in Houlton, Maine, but today we decided to drive a little longer and go to the Wal-Mart Superstore in Presque Isle. Along the way, we were surprised by the many, many (many, many, many) decrepit buildings that were everywhere. It seemed like every other building was leaning-to-the-left-is-the-roof-supposed-to-slope-like-and that description could be applied to barns, houses, stores, old car dealerships and restaurants that sat in shambles along the countryside. It really added to one of our favourite car games: 'Haunted Fo Sho,' where try to be the first person to point at a place that is obviously haunted and yell 'Haunted Fo Sho!' (it's fun; trust me). The game became slightly redundant by the the end, but was entertaining enough for the ride there.

After our Super Wal-Mart experience (which, as it turns out, isn't all that super) we headed back towards Houlton and I put in the advanced request that I wanted to stop at "Saturn" to see what the deal was with all of these strange planets-on-metal-posts things that randomly appeared in the tiny towns that lined US Route 1. Saturn appeared after a little while and there was a little space where we were able to park the car. Saturn was made of pieces of metal and looked to be about 12 feet off of the ground. There was a faded-out plaque, but we could read enough of it to learn that they were, in fact, planets and had been placed on a modified scale to be exactly the length of the Solar System. They started in Houlton and went up to Presque Isle. It was 40 miles long (scale 1:93,000,000, to be exact) and claimed to be "the largest three-dimensional scale model of the Solar System in the world."

Hello, Aroostook Country? Random called, and they want their Solar System back.

How did that happen?
Who's idea was that?
Was someone just flipping through The Guinness Book and said, 'YES! Longest solar system! We can so beat that. This'll really put us on the map!'

I'm fairly sure it didn't become the raging tourist attraction they'd hoped for, but it made for a cool photo op, and now, an interesting story.

In shopping news, I got some awesome new graphic tees (my fave has Snoopy at the bottom of a tree that's filled with little Woodstocks and reads: Me and my shorties. a.ma.zing) and we discovered Oreo cookies that are double stuffed and have one side of chocolate cookie and one side of vanilla. For an indecisive snacker like myself, it makes me feel like I'm eating two different cookies at the same time and it's awesome! Marc's favourite International Purchases include Pretzel M&M's and S'more cereal (yet to be reviewed).

Man, we're such jetsetters; we went to the States AND Saturn. Paris, eat your heart out.

16.9.10

Hubby Hangman


I just love decorating and finding new ways to make our home feel welcoming and super awesome.

There's a small powder room by our front door, so we thought that it'd be a perfect place to create a really fun room because that's the bathroom that guests use. After debating on colours, I was trolling online for ideas and stumbled upon chalkboard paint and it was like the clouds parted and the angels started to sing. It was perfect!

When we went to see what kind of chalboard paint we could get at The Home Depot and the dude working the paint counter hooked us up. Big time. He was super blasee about the whole thing and didn't really understand, or acknowledge, our excitement. Here's what happened:



Us: "We'd like some chalkboard paint."


Dude: "Sounds good, follow me. Say, have you heard about the magnetic primer?"


Insert long confused pause here.


Us: "Mag-ne-tic primer?"


Dude: "Yeah, it turns whatever you paint, into a magnet. So if you put it on first, you'll have a magnetic chalkboard."


Us: "What?! That's AMAZING! Anything you want becomes a magnet?!?"


Dude: "Uh, yeah. Do you want some?"


Us: "Yes."



So that was almost one whole year ago (how time flies!) and along with leaving messages for each other, and counting down days until special events, we've also thrown in a few games. Currently, we've been all about the Hangman and I just solved this puzzle this morning.



Man, I really do have a cute hubby and it was a fantastic addition to my morning (both the message and that I got it; there's nothing worse than murdering your hang(wo)man).



(ps. We live in Hanwell, just to be sure that you get the awesome-ness of the phrase)

Dear Scary Movie Trailers:

Please get out of my life.

From the months of September and October, I live in fear of the terrifying trailers that leave me frantically searching for the remote, or force me to act like a 3-year old (closing my eyes and covering my ears) if I can't find a way to change the channel.

Plot lines about killers; fine.
Kidnapping; sure.
Uber-creepy, pale skinned children who are possessed by evil entities, like that 'Orphan' girl; no thanks!

The most annoying part is that you come on during my funny shows, or in the middle of the day. I have an incredibly overactive imagination which gets me into trouble sometimes and even if I see a terrifying movie-concept in the middle of the afternoon (or, walking past the cover in a movie rental place - yes, it really is that bad and has resulted in me waking Marc up in the middle of the night because I'm convinced that Dr. Giggles is hiding in our basement) the images instantaneously burn into my memory and then I'm stuck living the super-scary story as soon as my eyes close.

So, quit it! Especially 'The Devil' movie - elevators are already terrifying enough (getting stuck in such a small space with no hope of escape is a total nightmare situation) without the addition of a Devil-stalking. Then, this morning, at SEVEN AM, I caught a new trailer about another little girl who's being stalked by demons. Perfect.

I love Halloween (costumes are the.best.idea.ever) but hate that such a high dose of psychological terror has to be injected into my daily life in the weeks leading up to the big night. I understand that it's only going to get worse, the closer we get to the end of October, but please, if you don't mind, I'd really appreciate it if you could let me know before one of you are going to play. Maybe with a disclaimer warning, or the screen could flash bright pink or something. Whatever - you guys are the media geniuses; you can work something out where I have time to hit 'mute' or change the channel. Pretty, pretty please?

Oh man, 45 days to go.

Cheers for Chen!

Yay!!

YAY!!

Julie, you looked faboosh last night. FabOOOsh! It was probably the best you've looked all season! The green dress actually formed to your body; it was draped beautifully and hit you nicely at the knee. The shoes weren't completely to my taste, but the swirly gold stilettos worked and so did your accessories (although you could have lost the large bedazzled studs, but whatevs). And the best part?

Your neck matched your face!!! No weird white chalky make-up to be seen! Way to blend, Chen!

I'm so proud of you. Of course, who knows if this short burst of togetherness will last (I suspect it may be a comet kinda thing; burn bright and then out) but I appreciate you bringing your 'A' game (as does the rest of the viewing audience).


15.9.10

Dearest Julie Chen:

Today is Wendesday, September 15th, which means that it's the finale for Big Brother.

Frankly, I've lost interest in the players and don't really care who wins, but since I've watched it all summer, I figure that I'll watch the last episode. Despite my apathy on who will walk away with a bunch of money without really having done anything of significance, I'm still nervous.

Nervous that you'll show up, live, with some hideous excuse for an outfit.

Please re-read the post from last week, regarding your key fashion issues and then double-check your choices for tonight. Do it, Julie.

Do it!

(If you don't (at least moderately) get it together, then you probably won't want to read my critique tomorrow...just sayin').

Hybrid Baking


Yesterday was awesome, as I had lunch with a (now) 25-days-till-due-date friend who I hadn't seen in a while and picked up the last few bits of stuff that I needed to finish (re: start making) my Halloween costume.

Pre-my-current-recessionista status, I would buy a costume every year and hardly cooked. Well...

That.has.changed.

When we got married, we got some majah gift certificates for Williams Sonoma (the greatest kitchen store of all time, especially around The Holidays because they give out samples of their fantastic peppermint bark), so I ended up getting one of those pink Kitchenaid mixers and have really started to put it to good use. Since we've relocated to the East Side, I've been a busy little baker making bread, cookies, and cakes (Marc and I each hold Level 2 Wilton Cake Decorating Certificate...no big deal). The weather here has really started to change and I thought it'd be time to make a pie.

I looked through our cupboards for supplies and flipped through our cookbooks to find an easy recipie and then I found this: Manly Apple Meringue.

Sold.

As you can see from the picture above, it's a hybrid between a traditional apple pie but with a meringue topping.

So, it turns out that peeling apples sucks and I'm not the most talented of pastry chefs. The meringue didn't really turn out how the instructions predicted, but I still baked it and - DAMN - is it gooooood! Marc lost his mind when he came home and saw it cooling on a rack above the oven and virtually turned on his heel to run out to the store for vanilla ice cream.

Turns out the life expectancy of a hybrid piece of pastry in this house is less than 24-hours as there's a single slice left in the white ceramic pie-pan (but writing about it, and seeing the picture may mean it becomes breakfast...mmmm...hybrids).

13.9.10

Red Squirrel Bandit

It was a lovely fall-ish Sunday yesterday so we called a local 9-hole executive course and headed out for a little non-score-keeping golf. There were four of us, as we've learned that if you only have three people, there's a fairly good chance that you'll get stuck with a random (who will encourage their 12-year old daughter to play as well, which means that it takes approximately three days to play each hole...thank goodness for beverage carts) and we were all excited to be out on the course.

As we were paying for our rounds, we met an older couple who wished us a great afternoon and warned us...to watch out for the red squirrels?

We looked at each other, laughed, said "thanks," and giggled about the strange warning as we made our way to the first tee. Eight not-so-great drives later (we each required a re-do) we'd started our way down the fairway towards the hole and just as we arrived at the green, the clouds parted and we were bathed in warm mid-afternoon sunlight. It was just delightful.

We casually took our shots, enjoying the lazy pace that comes from having nobody in front of you and nobody following, and before too long, found ourselves at the fourth hole. The older couple's warning about the red squirrels had faded, so we were surprised when a tiny little guy emerged out of the forest and started to crawl all over one of our bags. We laughed as the tiny woodland creature went around and around, and after we'd all taken our shots, Marc walked over to the bag to scare the squirrel away. Well, I guess that the squirrel was used to being close to people, so Marc approaching him didn't do anything (I immediately thought of the squirrel in The Sword and the Stone, so the squirrel became a dude). Marc then took it to the next level and threw a ball, just to the left of the bag.

In a flash, the squirrel's eyes narrowed with focus and, before we could react, lept off of the bag and made a b-line towards the ball. Without slowing for a second, he somehow managed to pick up the ball with it's front arms and then sprint into the trees.

We laughed, howled even, at the ball-stealing-squirrel-bandit and remarked about how the older couple's warning hadn't included a disclaimer about ball-theft. Still chuckling, we finished the hole and continued on our way. When the red squirrel appeared at the next tee, we laughed a little more, but our jovial spirits were short-lived.

I'd say there's a distinct possibility this particular squirrel may have escaped from a nature-run-insane-asylum because it scooted towards us, stopped, and made the.most.disturbing.sound.ever. It was squinting and twitching and sounded like he was about to attack, like a woodchuck that had inhaled a bunch of helium. He stared us down, daring us to do something and then I saw a flash off to the left in my peripheral vision. I turned my head to see another squirrel, also sketched out and staring at us. It didn't take long for us to figure out that the original ball-stealing and potentially rabies-carrying mini-animal had sounded some kind of alarm and called for back-up. Marc's attempt at "scaring" the terror had instead fed his addiction to small white divited balls, and frankly, we were terrified.

For the last couple of holes, we could feel their tiny beaded eyes watching us - waiting for another thieving opportunity, and although we didn't actually "see" them, we knew they were there. We shot a few hooks into the forest and despite the four of us looking, never found them, so we're fairly certain that they've been added to his/their stash.

Nature is funny here, but I often seem to be on the wrong side of the joke. Marc wants to go back soon and try to stalk one so we can get enough balls for next season, but that seems a little crazy.

Oh who am I kidding, we're obviously going to try. Free balls, baby!

12.9.10

Achin' For Some Bacon


Bacon has got to be one of the best bad-for-you meats out there.

Ever.

The saltiness, the crispness, the melt-in-you-mouth-ness are all reason enough to eat the fatty deliciousness, but what takes it to the next level is....

not having to cook it myself!! (YAY!!)

While my lovah-fo-life is singing (rapping) along with some hip hop song in the kitchen, I'm hanging out with two puppies (that have already managed to test my patience, thricely, before 9am...I may have started a tentative "FOR FREE: Two Up-In-Your-Grill Puppies" sign, but we'll see where the day takes us) and the salivating scent of maple-glazed fried-in-a-pan (baking it is so not the same) fattiness is floating around me in seductive wafts. With each new sizzle that I hear, I know that it's getting closer to feeding time and I'm now considering how I can best eat the breakfast treat.

Do I want a sandwich? A diner-style platter? Omelette? There's just so many choices!!

Marc has just put in a request for fried eggs, so it looks like it'll be bacon and egger sandwiches for the both of us (on de-luxe cheese bagels...OK, so we've fallen off of the wagon a little this weekend, but it's been a deserved artery-clogging few days...mmm...clogs...).

YAY for Bacon Sunday!

*Update: Yup, that's the actual sandwich I ate. I'm almost jealous of myself.

*Update #2: I just joined Surreptious Saturdays, hosted by Diary of a Fair Weather Diver & The Intimate Ramblings, so if you're here because of them two ladies, thanks for stopping by!
Also, if someone could tell me how to set up links within a post, I'd greatly appreciate it!

11.9.10

Shameless Friday

Friday afternoon after-work $5 martinis were the start to one heck of a night, last night. A few of us went to a local pub, split some quesadillas, drank some fruity things and ate quite a few maraschino cherries. As we sat in the booth, solving the world's problems over cheesy tortilla-wrapped chicken bits, I looked just past my animal-print loving pal and saw that our favourite cover band from the good ole' university days were playing there that night. Their name is Shameless and they're awesome.

We'd already established that it was quickly becoming the Best Friday Ever, and getting to dance to a lil' Bon Jovi and the ever-classic "Jesse's Girl," took it to another level. My large-scale accessory friend suggested that we pay our cover in advance so that we'd be able to cut in front of the line later. What a brilliant idea! Our server grabbed the stamp and three quick pumps later, we'd gotten free cover and front of the line! Woot Woot!

The night got even better as we cruised back to accessorized-friend's house and started really getting 'er done. Many, many drinks later, we found ourselves at a non-Shameless-playing establishment for a little while and then moseyed on over to dance our pants off (well, I was wearing a dress, but you get the idea).

This is where the.greatest.thing.ever.happened.

It would be probably be the same as seeing a Liger, or a Leprechan (super-random and unlikely to happen twice in a lifetime).

Here's what went down:
Shameless was playing something awesome (I can't remember the actual song, as we'd been drinking for a long time when it happened, but I can be sure that whatever they were playing was great) and this dude who'd been dancing, suddenly stopped and started to get a cranky look on his face. He looked up at the lead singer (who, frankly, has started to age at an alarming rate and should start investing some of the cover profits into laser treatments or at least a semi-regular oxygen facial) pursed his lips, and shook his head. The singer paid no attention him and cranky dude didn't like that either.

So what did he do to express his distaste for whatever song the band had picked to play?

He took out noise-cancelling headphones from his jacket, raised them high over his head like a boxing champ would do with his championship belt, and put them on, while staring the singer down.

My friends and I were frozen in utter fascination as the cranky-now-headphone-wearing dude turned his back to the band and then proceeded to flip the bird, on both hands, to the entire bar. It was one of the funnier things that I've seen and although cranky-finger-waving dude left soon after (some of the larger male patrons made it clear that his opinion wasn't appreciated) his brief freak-out-protest really added to the night.

The rest of the night included fantastic-ly delicious Apple Pie shots, almost walking into a dude fight and giving a random drunk girl a ride home who kept referring to me as her friend "Frank" (after finally asking why I reminded her so much of a guy, she laughed and explained that her friend was a girl that she'd nicknamed Frank, after Frank-the-Tank. My girls thought that was the greatest thing they'd ever heard).

All in all, a fairly awesome Shameless Friday. I loves my ladies!

10.9.10

Julie....*sigh

There are those who respond to positive feedback and others who need constructive criticism to keep them in check. My apologies, Ms. Chen, for I mistakingly believed that (after a little bit of CC) you belonged in the first category. The last two BB eviction nights though, you've snapped back into your hot mess ways, so clearly, I need to break it down for you again.

A purple sack dress with a horrific-ly high empire waist (or not low enough babydoll cut) and some random circular swish on the side is bad. Black and diamond bracelets (on one arm) with a multicoloured ugly charm bracelet (on the other) were bruh-tal accessory choices and I'm at least 70% sure that you were wearing clip on earrings (yikes). The patent leather nude stiletto pumps were another epic miss.

Then, last night, you looked like you were wearing some kind of reject Jr. High prom dress. I'm pretty sure that you're aware that you sit down and stand up during the program, so you need to make sure that your outfit works in both occasions. Strange camp-craft beading that's draped at the waist (where it should be fitted, obviously) is bad. Maybe if they were black beads, they wouldn't have been so bad...no wait...yeah, it still would have been bad. It's difficult to mess up a little black dress, but you made it happen. The shoes were all right, I guess, but you could do better.

There's only 1 episode left, and it's the finale, so I'm guessing that you want to really bring your "A" game. Please, please, please get whoever picked out your outfits a month ago back, asap.

Pay them whatever they want.
Succumb to every demand.
Just throw some money at it and get it done as you clearly can't dress yourself (that or immediately fire whomever replaced the talented stylist because they're essentially stealing your money).

Also, and this may upset you, so please take a deep breath.

Ready?

You're.not.white.

Now, I know that this may come as a shock to you, but the reason I know it's true is because your makeup couldn't match your natural skintone, less. When your face looks white (with rosy undertones) but your neck, arms, legs and other exposed areas appear to be tanned with yellow undertones, that means you're wearing the wrong shade! We see everything in HD programming and it's painfully obvious that you're about 5 shades off. It doesn't matter what race/ethnicity you are, embrace it! I'm fairly certain that you can find makeup out there that looks like you're not wearing any, so go and get some (HINT: it's the opposite of what you're currently using).

Then you have to blend, Chen...BLEND!

Well Julie, one more time to make it good! You can do it! I believe!

I BELIEVE!

(Would it help if I clapped? That's how Tinkerbell got it together...)

9.9.10

Dear Pickle:


You are giving Mommy an ulcer.

Why do you insist on running off into the forest? You are a city/suburb kinda puppy, which means you're no match for the foxes, large birds and other predatory animals that would eat your cute black and tan tiny terrier face. When we moved out here, we told you all about the wonders of nature, and I know that you're into the whole scene now, but you have got to quit taking off! It makes Mommy very frustrated and angry when you make her chase after you because she gets attacked by spiky branches and icky cobwebs (and it sometimes rips her favourite shirts that were one-of-a-kind and therefore irreplaceable). It also makes Mommy look like a crazy (yet well-dressed) stalker, as our forest backs onto other people's backyards and they can see her, clawing and tripping her way onto their property, in search of you. Your father suspects that you are a ringleader in a Little Rascals-like dog crew and that you hold your meetings in a secret forest clubhouse, but if that's the case, just let me know before you go and I won't get so worried (I kid, I kid, you can't talk...yet).

We did the responsible parent thing and installed an electric fence, but you've figured out that if you run really fast, you can get through it. How did you get so smart? You're a 5 lb dog, which means that your brain is teeny, but all of your neurons must be firing because you manage to conjure up escape plans and intricate ways to get toys away from Pepi. Sometimes, I think, "There's no way he can actually be that smart." But then you do something super manipulative that leaves me wondering.

At the risk of sounding like a clearly-favouring parent; why can't you be more like your brother? Pepi's content to snuggle next to me, lick my face, and stay out of the forest.

Also, it'd be nice if you could ease up on your obsession with the green ball because you turn into a total sketch-fest (with the shaking, the whining, the whimpering) and it's getting a little out of control.

For reals, though. The next time you run into that forest, I'm seriously going to lose my mind and will take away every last toy you have.

I'll do it!

I will!

(OK, maybe not, but something else bad'll happen...maybe...oh the tribulations of having a freakishly cute puppy whose brown eyes always get him out of the doghouse, literally).









8.9.10

My Name is Jennie, and I'm a Cereal Addict

It's just a miserable day here, which means that I'm stuck inside with two furry babies that are just wired-for-sound because they refuse to walk in the rain. I made myself some scrambled eggs for breakfast a few hours ago and, just now, decided that I wanted something more. I made my way to our pantry and started rummaging around, which led me to the discovery that I may be in need of an intervention.

There are 4 shelves in our pantry and there's 1 shelf that's dedicated to cereal, which is full, and then I looked down and saw 4 family-sized boxes of cereal underneath the bottom shelf. Just for fun, I thought I'd count them and it turns out that we have...

Fourteen boxes.

It's madness, MADNESS I TELL YOU!

Fun fact, there's only two of us that live here. No children.

Marc and I hold the belief that cereal isn't just for breakfast (it was one of unexpected similarities we found early on in our relationship) and, since moving to the East Side and being close to the border, have made specific trips to the closest American Wal-mart so we can get our hands on the really good stuff that isn't available on Canadian soil. This, combined with back-to-school savings at the local grocery stores, has led us to the current pantry-busting situation.

All that being said, I guess that I have 2 options.

1. Find some kind of Cereal Anonymous meeting to start dealing with my addiction.
2. Go to the store to get more milk.

Obviously, I'm putting on my rain coat as we speak (theoretically that is, through this blog...not the raincoat, but the "speaking"....you know...ok, time to shut up now).

Dear Followers:

Welcome, welcome!

I awoke this rainy, miserable morning to find that I have FIVE followers?!? Although it's still dark in my living room because the sky is totally blacked out with menacing clouds, I'm basking in the warmth of people who care (at least a little).

So thank you, thank you!


(all of this double-speak is making me crave Little Ceasar's Crazy Bread, which is strange, considering it's not even 8am...and sucky because there isn't one here. *sigh*)

*Update: SIX followers!! Thanks Nikki!

**Update: SEVEN?!? Wellshutthefrontdoor! Bonjour, Bellini Bunny.

7.9.10

I Heart Heidi

Her latest Tweet:

Giving my self a soft tissue breast massage. Ladies we have to keep those implants soft.

'Nuf said.

(I'll also be creating her own file here, for those who don't want to Twitter, but want to keep up-to-date with Ms. Montag's thoughts...You're welcome).