Monday, July 31, 2006

Absence Makes His Heart Grow Fonder

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This past weekend was the first weekend my Hubbs and I had spent apart since our wedding day. In fact, it was the first time we had spent *any* night apart since last July.

Anyway, he had been looking forward to the weekend for months. To him, it was a chance to get some time away from his oft-nagging wifey; it was also a chance to play some male-bonding poker and do some work and regain some independence and space. I, on the other hand, was totally anxious about being away from my wonderful man for what seemed like such a long time.

When the time came for me to leave, Hubbs nearly pushed me out the door! He had stuff to do in prep for his poker night, and I was getting in his way. I, however, nearly had to fight back tears as I gave him that final hug good-bye.

When I got to my destination and started having great conversations with the girls, thoughts of my Hubbs were pushed to the side and the weekend flew by. I had a great time, and though I missed him lots and called him a few times, I was happy for the time we spent apart.

Hubbs, on the other hand, found it just a tad lonely in our home once the poker night was over and he was all by himself. According to him, he missed me a lot and regretted being so overly excited about being away from me. He spent the rest of the weekend playing video games and reading and thinking about me. =)

While I was a little sad to see the weekend end when I arrived home, Hubbs was thrilled about my return. In fact, he had gone out and bought me some flowers, and had also printed off a sweet "Welcome Home" sign for me. He vowed never to wish for us to have separate "vacations" again, and gave me one of the nicest and biggest hugs I've had in a long time.



Moral of the story? Absence *does* make the heart grow fonder. At least, in this case. And though we both found ourselves having opposite reactions to what we had anticipated for the weekend, it was a good reminder to us both that sometimes a bit of time apart can really be a good thing.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Baby Got Book

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No, that's not a typo. Someone named Dan Smith did up a video spoof called Baby Got Book, which is pretty hilarious, especially for all of my evangelical friends out there who have a good working knowledge of the Scriptures. You can watch it by clicking here.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More Self-Portraiture

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I'm not sure why I always end up on Hubbs' right. I think it must have to do with my deaf right ear.

Our attempt at toothing it, a la the Goofies. I guess we're just not as skilled at showing all our teeth.

However, we can still make stupid faces.


Crown Me with Many Crowns

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As some of you know, I am getting a new crown over my front tooth. My old tooth was becoming unsightly and discolored, having been done over a decade and a half ago. Anyway, I was supposed to get a new crown last week. Unfortunately, the dude who was creating my all-porcelain crown got the staining shade wrong, and when the crown was put in, my tooth had a distinctly blue hue to it. Brings a new meaning to the term "bluetooth," non?

Anyway, I am supposed to return to the dentist's chair on Friday, at which time I will supposedly get my new, shade-appropriate crown. I am very skeptical, however, that he will have the staining right from the get-go, and anticipate that I will be waiting for another hour-and-a-half for him to restain the crown to match my teeth. My mouth grows impatient, as do I. Grrrr.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Freudian Slip Gone Awry!

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YIKE! I remember reading about how Lot "pitched his tents" in Genesis, but nowhere does it mention him doing what THIS guy said he did! There is no redemption from a crowd of young people after a fiasco like this. Poor guy!

(Link courtesy of D'arcy Lussier).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Not For Old Ladies Anymore!

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I used to think that Naturalizer only sold shoes for old ladies - you know, comfortable and costly and ugly as sin. That was before I bought these there, at the W.E.M. location:
Stylish, non? And on sale. And I also got a $10 Off coupon for my next purchase (sale or regular priced merchandise, no minimum amount necessary). And these shoes come in narrow, regular fit, or wide! And they're leather! And they're really comfortable (I wore them around the home all morning to test them out)!

Naturalizer, I am a believer now! My loyalties to Aldo are gone anyway, especially after that insole fiasco with Hubbs' shoes. So, long live Naturalizer's line of stylish, comfy, and affordable shoes! I will be back! =)



Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The New & Improved Gray's Matter

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Yes, folks, my Hubbs has revamped the look-and-feel of his blog, Gray's Matter. Its cleaner, simpler design and more user-friendly interface are among the new features of this updated version, and it's definitely worth checking out (and so is he!). =D


Monday, July 17, 2006

Stinky Pants - A Mystery Solved?

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It all started one day when we noticed that a pair of Hubbs' pants started to smell bad *after* we washed them in our washer. I figured maybe the load was too large and the pants just needed to be rewashed, but when I put them through the laundry a second time, they smelled even worse.

The smell can only b
e likened to Chinese shrimp paste (fermented ground shrimp) or stale urine. Nasty.

Anyway, we began noticing that the smell was also getting into the other clothes in the wash, although there always seemed to be one article of clothing that stunk the most. In this case, it happened to be my Hubbs' pants. I knew that the pants didn't smell like that *before* I put them in the wash (I couldn't have missed such a pungent stink), so the odor must have come from having washed them.

Stinky washer = call our building fix-it guy. He came up armed with bleach and vinegar, and dumped a ton of the stuff into the washer, running it through an empty load with hot water.

Meanwhile, I jumped online and started reading up on smelly laundry. Hubbs did the same. After the fix-it guy's bleach-vinegar cycle had finished, we decided to do a vinegar-baking soda cycle (as per many sites online) to give the washer tubs a second thorough cleaning. When that was done, we put a load of laundry in (including the stinky pants).

After the cycle had finished, I lifted the top cover off the machine and stuck my nose inside the washer, inhaling very deeply. The smell was still there. And still strong. Luckily, most of the other clothes didn't get too much of the stink on them, but the pants remained offensive.


What now? I called Mr. Building Guy again. I also bought a new type of laundry detergent to try, as per another suggestion I had read about on the Net. We normally use Tide with Downy, but we figured these were desperate times and we needed desperate measures, so we switched to:


We ran two loads through the wash using this new stuff, and although there were still traces of the stink in the first load, the second load was odor-free (except for the detergent's own baby soft scent).

Does this mean that our Tide with Downy (which we have been using for the past year) causes urine-like smells in our clothes? OR does this mean that we need to alternate between different laundry detergents every few months? `Does this mean we just wasted $15 on a new container of Tide, OR do we still have a washer problem that will randomly rear its ugly head again in a few washes' time?

If any of you are laundry pros or washing machine gurus, I would love an explanation. Until then, expect that our clothes will smell of baby-soft goodness for the next little while.




Another Funny

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Not for the faint of stomach, but Eric of The Great Elsewhere had quite the adventure on July the 4th. You can read about it here.


Sweet Sound Byte!

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"And though I am a committed Christian, I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be you Hindu, Jewish or Muslim. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior." - Steven Colbert, White House Correspondents' Dinner


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Self-Portraiture 1.0

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My little sis and her amour do this all the time, so I thought that Hubbs & I should also start this whole photo-taking thing and turn the camera on ourselves. No occasion. I took this pic just because. =D


Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Best $2.12 I Didn't Spend

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Lately, I have been somewhat fixated on candles. It started a couple of weeks ago when I decided to do the bubble-bath-in-the-candlelight thing, which I had never done before even though I'd heard about how great it was. I lit a bunch of nice, smelly candles, took a bubble bath and read a good book and sipped refreshing chilled water whilst soaking. At one point, my Hubbs peeked his head into the bathroom, saw the cool ambience that the candles created, and was immediately inspired to have us bring candles on our anniversary getaway (which we did).

So began my recent love affair with flame and flicker. And now, I have added to my collection these:



Two beautiful, square glass votive holders with a quilted patterning on its exterior surfaces. From Dollarama. Cost? $1.00 + GST, per holder. When lit, this was the beautiful glow that was created.

The candles themselves are of the pricier brand of Partylite (quality, clean-burning), so the votives have been burning well and cleanly. The scent of Holiday Spices has gradually filled our living room, and the soft glow of the flames has been bringing gentle light to the dark room.

I am incredibly glad for the $2.12 that was so well spent (thanks Mom!), and as I continue to admire the beauty created by these simple votives, I hope you are reminded to find something beautiful and wonderous in the everyday as well.


Who Loves Katamari?

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My husband does. A lot.

We Love Katamari (a version of Katamari Damacy) is a PS2 game that essentially features a little Prince character who, in a bid to impress his father and build a cosmos of planets, takes a katamari ball and rolls it around in various settings. The Prince uses his katamari ball to pick up progressively larger pieces of "stuff" along the way, in an attempt to make the ball as large as possible, or meet a certain size criteria within a specific time limit. When he accomplishes this, his father the King will make the katamari ball into a planet, and will sometimes tell the Prince a story about his childhood. When the Prince has created enough of a cosmos, he will then try to roll up all of his planets to a grand enough size that he can roll up the sun.

So, in essence, the game is about rolling around a ball and picking up junk. My Hubbs is absolutely fascinated with this game, and has even completed every level of it already, in a mere 5 days. He claims that the game is somehow therapeutic and cathartic for him, particularly when he reaches those levels where his katamari can roll up buildings and people and houses and other giant public structures. I, however, fail to see the therapeutic value of the game. The songs are sung in Japanese pop style (which I cannot understand), and the king character babbles on in barely-coherent phrases.

Anyway, I wonder if this game appeals to the rest of the world out there. Is it a guy thing, or just a nerdy hubby thing? We borrowed this game from my bro, so obviously he also enjoys it, although not to the same psychotic extent as my husband ;)




Who loves Katamari? I don't!








Airset

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My Hubbs discovered this nifty little web tool called Airset and I have to tell you, it's awesome! Okay, maybe if you are a techie or you carry a Blackberry, you may not find this amazing at all. However, for me, a newbie on the tech front and a paper-and-pen appointment-keeper, this is new cutting-edge stuff!

Airset is basically an online calendar/address book/blog site/list generator/email program that can be downloaded onto mobile phones or accessed securely from any computer. It allows for multiple users to log into the same calendar, as well as provides for individual calendars, lists, etc. Admittedly, we have only been using the Calendar utility, but already I am loving the convenience of this thing!

If Hubbs has an EDMUG meeting or some geeky nerd event, he just logs in and enters his commitments into the calendar. Then, Airset will send him an email reminding him about his schedule for that date, the day before. If I need to see if we are free to attend a social engagement of some sort, I just have to log in and check to see what that date already holds. It's fabulous for helping us keep things sorted out, especially on crazy weeks when my parents visit or we want to schedule dinner with the Vinnys, or vacation with the in-laws.

Airset is free, and easy to set up and use. The application is relatively new and in constant state of improvement, so I am optimistic that only bigger and better things will come from the makers of this calendar utility in the future. Check it out, and let me know what you think!



Friday, July 14, 2006

Food Glorious Food

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My parents are in town. This means we will be dining out virtually *all* the time for the next 7 days. And not at Subway for their 6" subs that are 6 grams of fat or less. And not for salad (or "rabbit food" as my dad so fondly calls it), either. Oh no. We're talking dim sum, banquet-style multi-course Chinese dinners and rich fattening snacks in between.

You see, my parents love to eat. To them, the idea of "vacation" is strongly and closely associated with the ideas of "eating" and "not exercising." This would be great if I was, you know, a genetically-blessed skinny creature with a bottomless pit for a digestive tract. However, such is not the case, so yours truly will likely be found in the gym on most days when she is able to slip away from the commitments her parents have slotted her into. And for the next 8 weeks following this food-filled fest, I'll still be in the gym trying to ellipt off those yucky pounds.

I assure you I exaggerate not. The schedule for the next 7 days are as follows:

Friday lunch w/the parents
Friday dinner with the family
Saturday dim sum with the family
Sunday dim sum with the family
Monday dinner with the parents and in-laws
Tuesday dinner with the parents
Wednesday BBQ dinner with the family

And this pared down schedule assumes that I have enough chutzpah to say NO to my parents' inevitable invitations for Sunday dinner, and lunch on Mon/Tues/Wed./Thurs. Which I will need to develop, because my waistline cannot afford another expansion.

So I bid you farewell (for the next few days, anyhow), and ask that you say a little prayer for the overfed (me and my family). May God grant us self-control and/or a good case of stomach flu to ward off our appetites. ;)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

disappointment / regret

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silent ache

crushing weight upon my chest

breath is shallow

forced

churning stomach

churning thoughts

racing in cyclical what ifs

head pounds

like a tightly clenched fist

can't let it go

but can't bring it back

regret

i should have

but i didn’t

i shouldn’t have

but i did

damn you

damn me

lost opportunity

impossible to restore

try to move on

but the bitterness

lingers

Saturday, July 08, 2006

One Year!

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Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Hubbs & my wedding. We will be off
celebrating, so I thought I'd post this early and take you on a very brief photojourney through our year:




Happy first anniversary to us!



Superstarjo's Random Summer Annoyances

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I thought her list was pretty interesting (although I'm not so sure I agree with #1), so I am sharing it with you for some light entertainment.

Some other things that I find annoying about summer include:

* mosquitoes

* sticky sunscreen that reeks of artificial coconut

* foot tan lines

* Crocs in wild colours that don't match people's outfits

* poorly groomed women's toes

* being stuck inside when the weather is gorgeous outside

What are some of your summer peeves?



Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Shame on Us!

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Yesterday, while I was walking downtown, I nearly collided with a woman who was coming towards me. She was walking quickly, and suddenly sped up even more while veering to her right, putting her directly in my path. I had to swerve to my right to avoid her, and as I did so, I looked to see what she was veering away from.

It was a man.

In fact, it was an Our Voice street vendor**. He was sitting, head hung low, eyes closed, and cross-legged in the shade in front of Starbucks, wearing a rather thick jacket on this very warm day. He had placed a coffee mug in front of him to hold any donations that he might receive for the Our Voice in his hands.

I wonder if he saw that woman avoid him. I wonder if he cared. I know I did. I thought, "Shame on that woman for being so rude! This is a human being!" Then I felt ashamed. I remembered all of the times that I also passed by the Our Voice vendors, too busy to stop and buy a copy of their paper, or too ready to make an excuse as to why I couldn't buy one that day. I remembered all of the times that I avoided eye contact with these folks so that I could walk on by without feeling like a total heel.

Well, I didn't walk on by this day. I dug into my Lululemon bag, grabbed my wallet, and rummaged for some change. All I had was a paltry $1.05. Embarrassed by the meagre amount that I had to give, I hesitated slightly before bending down low to meet this fellow at eye level. I dropped the change into his cup, and said to him, "May I have a copy of that?," pointing to the Our Voice in his hand. He looked up and opened his eyes, and he smiled at me with his stained and crooked teeth. Nodding slightly, he handed me the paper and said, "Thank you. God bless you!"

I straightened up and began to walk away, my new purchase in hand and me feeling momentarily self-satisfied at my grand gesture of kindness. Then I felt ashamed once more, knowing that I was actually no different (and no better) than that woman, and if it hadn't been for her rude and abrupt behaviour, I probably would not have stopped for him either. I wondered if I would stop the next time I saw an Our Voice vendor. I wondered if my choice to give the next time would be based on the abundance of blessing in my life, or on a sense of guilt and obligation? In the end, do I really have a heart for the needy and the lost, or am I just appeasing my own conscience when I buy a paper? What should motivate me to buy these inner-city publications?

I looked at the Our Voice in my hands and found an answer to my own question. The topic of this issue? People are worth it.


**Our Voice vendors are individuals who actually purchase these publications from the Bissell Center, and who sell them for a small profit to try to become more self-reliant, as well as raise awareness about poverty issues. The vendors usually pay $0.50 - $0.60 per paper, and the average donation ranges from $1.00 - $2.00.