April 2006 Archives

That's better.

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Sorry for the inconsistency. I think this look will last for a while. The pink and green was ok, and very spring-like, but it wasn't really me. This I can live with.

On second thought...

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I'm getting tired of the green. Stay tuned.

The aforementioned girls

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group1.jpg
Standing, left to right: Rosie, Lisa, Avi, Jackie and Mariette.
Seated, left to right: Nan, Anne-Marie, Susan (holding Alex), Kate, me (aka the least photogenic person on the planet) and Irene.

Thanks, Kate, for making this happen. A great time was had by all.

Lost weekend

At 7:30 tomorrow morning, Irene will be at the door, ready to wisk me away for the weekend.

Lest you, or more specifically, lest TB jump to the wrong conclusion, allow me to clarify: Irene and I are not running away together. We are running away with a large all-female contingent.

The contingent is large, not the females.

Our mutual friend Kate has arranged the second-annual Girls' Weekend. We're meeting Kate in Dorval early tomorrow, then heading up to Gananoque, which is not far from Kingston, Ontario. There we will hook up with ladies from Ottawa and Toronto, spend an afteroon catching up, eat a fabulous meal in the hotel restaurant, then engage in girl talk til all hours of the morning (or midnight, given that we are all far too old to be up that late). We'll spend the night in a lovely cottage that we'll have all to ourselves, then breakfast together, and hang out until mid-afternoon.

It may not sound like much, but last year was a great weekend, and I'm really looking forward to this one. (Having said that, 7:30 a.m. seems suddenly really early for a Saturday morning. Of course, the departure time was my idea, since it gives us time to hit the Liz Claiborne outlet in Kingston. What the hell was I thinking?)

I've promised Dr. T. that we will, of course, wear short nighties to bed and engage in the occasional pillow-fight. That's what girls do, after all.

Spring cleaning

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It's spring! Time for a new look.

This year, I decided I would use my own images - please let me know how the colours and layout work. I do all of my blogging on my laptop, which means that my display colours are completely unreliable. What I see is not representative - so feedback is welcome!

In case you're reading this in the archives, and the look has since changed, this is the look I'm talking about.

Oh, and another thing

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In the last few days, we have also managed to accumulate a few more CDs for the collection, including:

Worth a look On An Island, David Gilmour. For diehard Gilmour/Floyd fans, this is a good album. Gilmour experiments a little, including a very bluesy sound on one track, but delivers the trademark Gilmour sound - especially on vocals and, of course, guitar. The best track for my taste is the title track, which is the first single. On the other hand, it took a couple of listenings for me to decide I really liked the song; the album as a whole strikes me as a 'grows on you' deal.

One motivating factor is price - we picked it up for $14, which for a new album from a very marketable name is a steal.

One complaint - the packaging. It's pretty, and somewhat innovative, but it does squat to actually protect the CD, it's not likely to stand up well under travel conditions (in the car, in a backpack, etc.) and it doesn't fit well or extract easily from the standard CD rack.

Recommended! Chemical City, Sam Roberts. Aside from the sense of obligation as a Montrealer to support Sam Roberts, I really like the music. The first album, We Were Born in a Flame was great - each track sounds different, the lyrics are good, the music is catchy. Granted, there's nothing terribly alternative going on; the music is all MOR radio accessible. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

The new album starts with a great riff in the lead track, 'The Gate,' and continues on a similarly catchy, fun tone for the rest of the album. In keeping with the philosophy that included lyrics like 's-o-c-i-a-l-i-s-m is here to stay' on the first album, this one includes a track titled 'An American Draft Dodger in Thunder Bay.'

Not as cheap as the Gilmour album, but slightly more practical packaging (what the heck is wrong with the good ol' jewel case, anyway?). Both albums include the lyrics, which I always count as a plus.

Bulletin

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In the absence of actual, substantial, thoughtful reviews, may I offer the following bullet points:

Recommended! Jasper Fforde's The Big Over Easy. Great book, fun to read, accessible, especially if you grew up with traditional English nursery rhymes, even more so if you're into detective fiction.

Worth a look Bill Bryson's Made in America. Follow-up to his history of the English language in the mother country, this one looks at the evolution of American English. A former Brit living in the States, Bryson has personal experience as well as exhaustive research on his side. Gets a little repetitive and cursory at times. Definitely not as fun to read as A Short History of Nearly Everything, but not trash.

Worth a look The IT Crowd. Newish UK sitcom. Geek humour - is there anything better?

Recommended! Schick's Intuition razor. I've already converted Dina and my sister to the cause. No gel! No foam! No ouchies! It's fast, it's painless, it's shower-friendly and entirely manual (no power, therefore no power source required). Buy one and shave, dammit. You look like a gorilla.

Not even at gun point. Maybelline's new Lash Stylist mascara with the comb applicator. It sucks.

A good weekend

Ticket inventory, Friday = 0.

Ticket inventory, Monday = 3

The (new) Cars & Blondie, June 23, for my birthday.
Just for Laughs gala with host John Cleese, July 22, for our anniversary.
Just for Laughs gala with host TBA, July 19, for his birthday.

(According to the Gazette, the TBA host is a "high, high profile Scot." We're thinking Billy Connoly, 'cause, really, who else is there? Sean Connery? Rod Stewart?)

And when I called Mum to talk about the upcoming Easter weekend, she offered to take the boys away on Saturday, as long as we promised to retrieve them on Sunday. A night out! No babysitting fees! Easter geek night, here we come!*

And the weather was lovely, so we walked to Atwater Market, found black onion seeds and fenugreek at the Douceurs du Marche, played at the playground across the street, and walked home.

market.jpg

Yes, good weekend.

*If you're unfamiliar with the concept of geek night, it's exactly what it sounds like. TB hosts, with many yummy treats provided by his better half, and we watch a small sampling of his vast collection of geeky TV and movie fare. Throw in a little booze, a lot of geeks, and an endless stream of witty banter and deconstructive commentary, and you have the picture.

He's already as tall as Capote

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Yesterday, Colin started writing a novel.

He read me the introduction, in which the narrator and his brother, Robert, encounter a half-woman, half-cat creature. He then announced that the book will have about thirteen chapters, with no more than one picture per chapter. Also, he's decided he is going to be an author when he grows up (for those of you just joining us, Colin is 8 years old).

He told me that this ambition is why he loves to read: through reading, he can "learn the rhythm of books."

"The rhythm of books" !!!

Naturally, I have to record these thoughts so they're on record somewhere when biographers are looking for material in a few years.

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