Sept. 2002 Archives

Sunday, September 29, 2002
One more thing
AND we turned on the furnace. Who ordered this weather? It’s those damned ski people, isn’t it? Hmph.
Weekend Retrospective
This has been one of those great weekends – the kind in which you accomplish a lot, but still feel like you’ve had a relaxing couple of days.
On Friday, Jeannine and I spent another hour in the basement, then I rushed off to the Alexis Nihon mall to meet Garran and, more importantly, his Jeep. We loaded up the kids’ new train table and brought it home. After we unloaded the table into the basement, Garran went off to more glamorous things, and Andrew came home for lunch. We loaded up the car with about six boxes of dishes culled from the basement clean-up operation, and then Jeannine and I dropped Andrew off at work. We proceeded to Village des Valeurs, dropped off the dishes, and found a great new raincoat (20$) for Jeannine, and yet another leather jacket for me (8$).
Then we took a break at Rockaberry’s, where we had fabulous pie and a cup of coffee. We strolled through a bed store looking for bunk bed inspirations, and at some point we picked Andrew up, dropped him off at the car rental lot, and hit the stores once again.
Andrew, by the way, was renting a car to take himself and a few other members of the Montreal Scrabble Club to a tourney in TO. He gets back tonight.
Yesterday, we did some general tidying, and Dina and Steve came by for a visit in the afternoon, with presents for Colin. After supper, Jeannine went into hyper-Grandma mode and looked after bathtime and bedtime while I had grown-up time (kind of) at Terence and Irene’s for Geek Night – recommendations include Greg the Bunny and SeaLab 2021.
Today started with Kathryn and Zip coming by with Zip’s very manly pick-up to make one trip to the wood dump in NDG, followed by loading the truck with all the wainscotting that used to be in the kitchen, as well as most of the spare shutters and windows that have been languishing in the basement for more than eight years. My imaginative sister plans to make said shutters and windows into her kitchen cabinets. The wainscotting is destined for their bathroom.
Other weekend activities included filling up three garbage bags with clothes for Village des Valeurs, tons of laundry, various cleaning projects, and lots of snuggly coffee-sipping and paper-reading in the comfort of my own bed, sans children, thanks to the World’s Best Mother-in-Law.
And yet I still have time to blog it all!
Thursday, September 26, 2002
Construction zone
I’ll be playing with the template occasionally – one thing I plan to create is a separate page for the photos, to save time and space on the main page.
Many apologies for any temporary inconveniences during this construction period.
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Many thanks
Colin thoroughly enjoyed his birthday.
Thanks to all who called and e-mailed, and a special thanks to Grandma, who supplied the cake.
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
And where were you five years ago today?
Today’s the big day – Colin is FIVE years old!
Saturday, September 21, 2002
Little Radio Receivers in my Brain
I’ve had Sinatra’s I Get a Kick Out of You going through my head all morning. All things considered, this is not a bad thing. I had a narrow escape the other day, when a certain very tall friend-in-law mentioned She’s Havin’ My Baby, no doubt the most nefarious song of all time. A former flame and I used to play a dangerous game in which we innocently hummed the tune to a song in an effort to inflict upon the other the torment of hearing an endless loop of something dreadful…
Girls’ Night
I got a last-minute invitation to join Dina for a girls’ night at Jen’s place, with Jen’s two sisters and Fanny. The theme: a Pride and Prejudice marathon, in which we watched the entire miniseries. Five hours of Colin Firth scowling and occasionally getting wet. *Sigh*
Many, many thanks to Jen for the hospitality!
Also, many, many apologies to Fanny, since she was right and I was wrong: Mr. Darcy’s first name is, indeed, Fitzwilliam.
Friday, September 20, 2002
As you may have noted, commenting is now an option (thanks to Bill and her astounding brain). So please feel free to let me know what you think. As I said to Mr. Big, just because you’re wrong doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be heard.
Billding my Blog
A gazillion thanks to my mentor, the bountiful Bill, who supplied me not only with invaluable help with blog maintenance, but also vodka. If other instructors did this kind of thing, I would be much more inclined to continue my studies.
Okay, I Lied
I am actually inclined to continue my studies. After much discussion with my better half, the decision has been made – I will pursue my Ph.D (last seen entering a Walmart in Idaho, wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap. If you have seen my Ph.D. please send any info to the hotline ASAP).
I have emailed the Universite de Montreal to set up a meeting with someone to discuss what I want to do; I’ve also contacted one of my favourite profs from Concordia, to see if he can give me any direction. I want to focus on 18th and 19th century women authors (i.e., Austen, Eliot, Gaskell, the Brontes, etc.) in a historical context. Beyond that I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing.
Plus ca change…
I’ve also planted the seed with my Softitler supervisor that I would be interested in negotiating a permanent part-time gig, which would be ideal in conjunction with studying. Something like 25-30 hours a week. Barring that, the freelance deal is pretty sweet, and we can survive on the reduced income for the three or fours years of the degree.
So there!

Method to My Madness?

I spent the better part of today “cleaning” the guest room in preparation for the arrival of my mother-in-law. Those familiar with my house will know that I have a lot of books (understatement of the year nominee), and that many of said books are housed in the guest room.
You see, I have always wanted a Woody Allenesque room in the house, with many, many shelves teeming with many, many books. So one whole wall of the guest room is bookshelves, and there’s a medium-sized Ikea bookcase in there as well.
So I decided to rearrange my library…
Since the better part of my reading takes place in bed, I thought it would make sense to shelve all of my unread books in the guest room for easy access. The bottom shelf in unread nonfiction, and the next two shelves are unread fiction. I have a lot of reading to do!
Anyway, right now the room looks slightly messier than before I started cleaning. This is saying a lot, considering that with our recent renovations, the guest room became a temporary storage facility, not only for our odds and ends from other rooms, but also for the thick layer of dust created by the floor guys. On the other hand, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (I can also see the closet, which is perhaps more relevant).
I have scheduled a blog tutorial tomorrow with the incomparable Bill, so I hope to have a comment feature, among many other bells and whistles, very soon. In the meantime, if you have a comment that can’t wait, please feel free to send me e-mail.

He ain’t pretty, he’s my PM

L. Ian McDonald trashed the Prime Minister today regarding Chretien’s remarks before the UN and in various other venues. Chretien said, in reference to 9-11, that poverty in the rest of the world breeds contempt for the richer nations. McDonald and other critics have been blasting him for this, claiming that he’s blaming the victims.
What these critics are overlooking is the fact that Chretien is right. Granted, Bin Laden and many members of his organization and others like it are at least comfortable, if not wealthy. But it’s not that simple. I’ve heard reports that while Palestinians in the West Bank have to ration their water, their Jewish neighbors in the Israeli settlements are obliviously washing their cars, filling their swimming pools and watering their lawns. The average Palestinian is not Bin Laden-wealthy, and aside from having to live in poverty, suffers the indignity of watching the neighbors live high on the hog (kosher restrictions notwithstanding). To make matters worse, Israel is consistently portrayed better than Palestine in the Western media. No wonder extremist factions thrive!
My almost-five-year-old son, Colin, has a habit of not listening to my husband and me. Very frequently, we find ourselves screaming at him. Then he gets upset because we’re yelling. The point is, if he listened the first time (or the second or third, for that matter), we wouldn’t have to resort to screaming. Perhaps if more efforts were made to understand the situation in the Chretien context, fewer counter-efforts would be required.

What a summer

Okay, aside from the being unemployed part…
Andrew and I went to the Supertramp concert at the Molson Centre last night. It was a great show! For years I’ve heard Montreal DJs talk about how our hip, with-it city was the first place to really embrace Supertramp, and for years I’ve thought this was essentially patting ourselves on the back. But John Helliwell made a point of saying how much the group loves Montreal, and how over the years we’ve always been a great place to play, and that we really were the first place to “get” their music.
What an incredibly talented group! Helliwell plays three different saxes, as well as an assortment of wind instruments, Rick Davies is, as always, an amazing pianist, and Mark Hart, who has replaced Roger Hodgson, is a good singer, great keyboardist, and fantastic songwriter. Bob Siebenberg, the original drummer, is still banging away – and now his son, Jesse, is also doing percussion. Imagine growing up surrounded by these guys, and then, while your childhood friends are starting their careers in business or whatever, you go into the family business of being a rock musician!
Earlier this summer we saw Santana, and in January we’re off to see the Stones. And I thought I was born too late to see these bands!
Nonetheless, the highlight of my summer has to be:
Two weekends ago, while staying at the family cottage in Long Sault, near Cornwall, Ontario, I stopped in at the LCBO (Ontario’s version of the SAQ, colloquially known as the beer store). I picked up a couple of imported beers for Andrew and a pack of four El Quila. Got to the cash, and the cashier asked me for I.D.!!!! I got carded! I guess I can put off the face lift for a couple of years.
As a friend said, after that, who needs the booze?