Friday, November 03, 2006

Princess Potato Part Deux

On Halloween, after DH got home from work he brought in the decorations and moved the pumpkins from the lawn to the porch (in the hopes they would not be found and smashed before he could dispose of them). This called for a lot of mucking about in flower beds and dirt piles. As he was making himself a coffee, I saw something fall off his pant leg and crawl across the floor. "What is THAT?!?!" I asked. "Is that a potato bug?". He immediately got a container, and we welcomed home Princess Potato II. This bug is much smaller than the other one was so it will be interesting to watch it grow. Assuming, that is, we don't kill this one. DD was ecstatic to wake up the next morning and find her new friend waiting for her. This bug doesn't seem as thrilled with her (the other one actually seemed to know and like DD, which was odd, because it was a BUG but I digress) but we told her to give the thing time to get used to her. Now I have something very silly to say. I want to preface it by noting that it has been a hard couple of weeks, there are so many things going on, and my moods kind of go in cycles and I recognize that. I also recognize that my sleep also seems to work in cycles and the sleep cycle and the mood cycle are related. We will also submit for review the fact that I am less able to deal with DH's crappola when I am at a certain point in the sleep-mood cycle. Let us just say, there are times when I am more enamored with him and times when....not so much. This morning I had to bring my car in for repairs (it is not good news, but we will discuss that later). Dh is on afternoons, I made arrangements to bring the car in after we bring DD to school. When I told him, his reply was "How are you going to get back home?". While he had the "you are on your own" tone to his voice, I thought maybe he was just asking to be polite or something, and answered "I figured you could follow me". This place is only a few minutes away, but not in a location where I could walk back or anything. He said he was too busy. He had things to do. He had to get his lunch in order then get ready to bring his mother to a funeral. And I am just going to say it, he hurt my feelings. When he brought HIS car in, not only did I have to call and make the arrangments, I ferried him around all day and back and forth and brought his mother to the bank and grocery store and hair appointment because she couldn't even wait one day. When his car was not going to be ready on time, he used mine to get to work. I walked to pick up DD (not a big deal, but still inconvenient) without a second thought. He couldn't even pick me up from the garage. I had to wait for a ride back, and when I got home he was sitting in front of the tv watching his morning shows. I asked what he was doing for his lunch, he said he decided to just get something from one of the machines. I asked what about the funeral. He said he didn't have to get ready until 10:00am. So why then, could he not follow me to the garage and bring me home? Hurt feelings again. So of course I told him he was insenstitive to the feelings of others, and this is a good example. And of course he got defensive and angry and said I was making a big deal out of nothing. My car will be gone at least until Wednesday, and not once did he offer to let me use his car, ask how I will get around, nothing. He grunted and said basically he knew it was not a good idea to bring it in. What was I supposed to do? The transmission wasn't working right, it was dangerous to drive. When will he learn that ignoring a problem is never going to make it go away? And since I am now all pissy about it, I might as well mention that he was supposed to bring my car in while I was gone. And that if he had, all the fluid would NOT have leaked out and the repair would have been less serious. Instead he DROVE the car while I was gone and used up all my gas and burnt out my transmission that we both knew was acting odd. He claims the transmission was fine all week. The mechanic says that he must have really been revving it to make the car move, because the tranny was now bone dry. Once again, however, it is NOT about the car, even though it is about the car. These are the things that DH has so much trouble understanding. The thing about the car and not bringing it in and driving it to the ground then not picking me up is about SO. MUCH. MORE. Sigh. We will talk about it next week in therapy, but for now my feelings are still hurt and I am depressed over a stupid car and my sister who is not happy and my DD who is being picked on at school and my bloodpressure and sugar numbers that are still not responding to meds nor diet and my inbox chock full of requests that are due yesterday. I do believe a nap will be in order later today. So. The transmission. It could either be that it just needs a new seal and new fluid and it will all be okay to the tune of roughly one week's pay. Or it could be that it is completely burned out and needs replacement to the tune of 3500.00 that I do not have. The car itself is only worth about 2 grand as a trade in or write off. Paying more than that to fix the transmission seems a waste. But I don't know that I can get a good quality car with low miles and good mileage and no rust for that same cost, which I still do not have. It's one of life's little quandries. The car is "worth" more than it is "worth". Either way, the soonest I get the car back is Wednesday. DH has already told me I am on my own for the errands and events planned this weekend because "he has other plans". Sometimes I wonder why people get married at all. Spouses are such jerks. It's times like this when I feel likea eating mashed potatoes or ravioli from the can until I puke.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A rose - or nugget - by any other name

First off I have an announcement. The "no name" nuggets mentioned in another blog actually have a name. "Veggie Patch" brand simlulated chicken nuggets. They smell like chicken nuggets, they taste like chicken nuggets, they look like chicken nuggets. Considering they aren't really chicken nuggets, all that is pretty good. The container had a yellow label and I had it confused with something else I bought in a similar container that was no-name and hasn't been tried yet. Just coming clean with the details, man. I made them again last night. DD ate four, which is a lot considering she ate more than a cup of rice-a-roni with it and was pretty stuffed full of candy before dinner even started. After halloween I don't limit her candy consumption. She isn't a huge candy eater, meaning she will open a package and taste it, but rarely finishes it. Two licks of a sucker, one or two jelly beans, a sour patch kid or two. The rest gets tossed. This year she has probably eaten more of her candy than ever before, but still hasn't eaten too much. She likes the cheesies and chips though, and will eat those until somebody stops her. Those are up on the fridge. The rest of her haul is in a bowl on the coffee table and she rummages at will. Last night she ate more than she normally would, and I told her I would not stop her but if she eats too much candy she will not feel well. She didn't quite get a stomach ache, but she asked me to move the candy bowl someplace else LOL. This morning she told DH that she didn't feel well because mommy let her eat too much candy, ROFL. I said she needs to learn to make her OWN choices sometimes. She suggested it might be best to forego the sweet snack in her lunch bag and have an apple with cheese cubes instead. Smart girl. My sister is going through a difficult time. Her dog was sick. She would crash and have seizures in the middle of the night and it was getting more and more frequent. Then she started having the seizures during the day. The dog was eating a LOT (french fries, ice cream, yogurt, corn syrup, sugar water - they needed to make sure she got enough fat and carbs during the day so she wouldn't deplete her stores at night but it wasn't working anyway) but still lost more than half of her body weight. The vet said the test to see if she had a tumour on her pancreas was very expensive, might not be accurate, and there is no treatment anyhow. His advice was to take her home and homefully she would pass away one night or while they were at work. It was very hard on my sister, never knowing if she was coming home to a dead poodle. The last straw was two nights of waking to find the entire king size bed completely covered in black diarrhea, and a dog having seizures almost hourly. They brought her in to have her put down. The vet saw my sister (completely hysterical and unable to stand on her own), my niece (also hysterical but able to stand) and my brother (sobbing like he was being killed) and back pedalled. He cried, and said "Let us try to tube feed her. Maybe there is something we can do". Why didn't he offer that EARLIER? Why all of a sudden is it okay to spend a paycheck on the dog when before he all but refused to even look at her? He is a good vet, don't get me wrong. But he is young, and inexperienced. When faced with a sobbing family he panicked and tried to offer false hope. By this time the dog had been seizing for more than an hour straight, and really, she couldn't even lift her head once it stopped. Her eyes were blank, her face was contorted. This dog was gone, anybody could see that. My sister said NO. Just put her down, we can't live like this anymore. And she has been torturing herself since then. Why didn't she pay the money for the tests. Maybe she should have let him tube feed her. Maybe...maybe...maybe. She isn't sleeping, and she is binge eating. Her husband is not speaking to her (she wants another dog, he said he would leave if she got one. Sound familiar?). To top it all of she had to leave for the week-end for a seminar, with a coworker that she doesn't really know and is stand-offish in the office. She cried through most of the workshops, and I can't imagine being in a strange city alone was very good for her. I KNOW for a fact she made the right decision. There was nothing anybody could do for that dog. A three pound dog that loses weight on almost 3000 calories a day???? Tube feeding wasn't going to do anything but prolong the agony and maybe give her MORE brain damage from seizures. I was in Chicago when they did it, and I feel guilty that I wasn't here for her. I hate when she sounds so DOWN, you know? Sigh. DD is having some troubles in school as well. A new girl in her class has been bothering her. According to the teacher, DD did everything she was supposed to do and did not provoke any of it, but this girl torments her and teases her mercilessly. Teases her about her name, the dogs name. Made fun of her halloween costume ("I was humiliated". What six year old uses that word?!?!). Pulled her hair and pinched her back hard enough to leave a bruise. To top it all off, I sent a blank invitation to DD's party because we knew a new girl was starting. So basically we have invited the child that is tormenting ours to the party. Her teacher was meeting with the other parents last night, and I hope beyond hope everything will be cleared up. I made sure the school understood that we will not tolerate even one more instance, or DD will be pulled out. This isn't the first "goings on" at this school we haven't liked, but it will be the last. I am still not able to upload the pictures of Ruby. I will keep trying, but now I can't upload ANY pictures and I am too tired to try again. I hate repetition.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ricken Fricken computers

I am about to have a freaking stroke. Or possibly an aneurysm. I am an IT professional. I have built and rebuilt computers. I have designed and implemented networks. I have disconnected and installed and expanded and upgraded and uninstalled and reformated and administered remotely and more. Why can I not get a file from one computer on to another sitting about four feet away?!?!?!? It is quite a simple task, so it seems. We have two digital cameras. One is older and I use it mainly for this blog, or to take picturs to play with. I have a card reader that plugs into a USB port that fits that card. Our other camera is better, and takes a different kind of card. Our new computer has a reader that takes that kind of card, but I haven't found an external reader that does the same yet. If I take a picture on our "good" camera, there is no way for me to get it HERE. This computer has no floppy drive and the CD drive does not work, but I can access my upload site from here with no problems and blogger works well. The other computer can read the card, but for some reason my upload site does not accept it (even though it is configured correctly with passwords and accounts and uses the same upload software), and it gives blogger the hiccups. I can burn my stuff to a CD, but my other computer can't read them anyway. While they are networked together, they are running different operating systems and one has a special firewall to use a VPN that I cannot get around with the other. On days like today when all I want to do is post some cute halloween pics, I end up getting all stressed out and upset and potty mouthed. Ruby has abandoned me for the couch, she hates bad language. FINALLY after emailing from one place to another, one program to another, a lot of swearing and feeling like I need a martini, we have PICTURES. This is my darling daughter. She is a fairy princess, but looks like she has been through the wringer. She would not let me do her hair. She did not want makeup on. I tried to get a full length picture but it would have been easier to get film of a yeti eating taco bell. This is our yard. The pictures I took after dark did not turn out. **Interjection ** Okay, my "let's piss off Dances" mojo seems to be in effect and I can't upload the pictures of Ruby. I have been trying all day to no avail, and frankly, I am tired of playing this game. It took no less than four hours to get the photos above posted where they are. I am ending this blog early before my language gets even worse. I'll post the pictures of Princess Ruby as soon as the blog gods deem it possible.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Enter the veggie ball

So I finally took the plunge. Bought the veggieballs from Costco - garlic portobello imitation meatballs. Meh. I tried them just reheated in the toaster oven plain, then heated again in BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce certainly helped, and I think if they were simmered in a sauce they would be better. The texture is O.K., but kind of mealy. And the mushroom bits inside are chewy which is bothersome. They are also a bit too salty and have a strong fake garlic taste. I won't throw the rest away, in fact will probably smash them into tomato sauce to eat over whole wheat spaghetti. But I won't be buying any more. The small package of no name chickenless chicken nuggets however, was an unmitigated success. DH and DD devoured four servings worth and were looking for more. I would say that means they were okay. The one I tasted was pretty chicken-nuggety without being overly fake or off-flavoured and baked up fine without being rubbery. I will certainly get the bigger package next time so that I might get to eat one or two LOL. After spending some time reading labels, I have to say I am becoming disappointed with "health food" companies. A few have gone main stream and include trans and hydrogenated fats in their products. Others have started using refined sugars and starches where before there were none. I bought a familiar brand of whole grain tortillas that had been "improved" and had to throw them out. They were so sweet, and the texture was mushy. A quick look at the ingredients list told the tale. Corn syrup was like the third ingredient and two dough conditioners were listed. The delicate, buttery, nutty flavour of whole grains does NOT need to be covered up with sweeteners! Pretty bad when I had to spit the bite I had taken into the garbage can. And what is it with that odd fake garlic flavouring? Does anybody really like that taste and smell? Go ahead and paint fake grill marks on my veggieburger, just keep the liquid garlic seasoning out. Going from health food to junk food in an unexpected plot twist, tonight is Halloween. We did not go all out. I was gone last week, our week-end was very busy. There just wasn't time. Our witches need redressing and reforming. One of them needs a head, which has been carved but did not get painted nor wigged. Frankenstein is slated for a face lift as well, and our wolf man (our halloween pride and joy) fell apart when we put him away last year. I looked everywhere but didn't find a latex wolf face make-up kit. Very few latex kits out this year, just the basic make-up sets with a few sticks, a palette of colours, and some glow in the dark cream. NOT what I was looking for. Our cardboard coffin disintegrated from rain last year, and a set of hands and head that had been with us for six years finally rests in pieces. No way did we have time to fix and replace all that, let alone add new stuff. So this year we got back to basics. Just the tomb stones and 10 pumpkins. It was 13 pumpkins, including a fake one DD decorated and two small pie pumpkins I wanted to carve. But they were so hard, I couldn't even use a dremmel to drill into them! Methinks somebody planted pie pumpkins too close to gourds last year and saved seeds. DD decided not to put out her pumpkin in case it got broken, and those two little pumpkins of steel never got carved. All the seeds got roasted. Regular unsalted (to put out during the winter for birds and what not), regular salted, sugar and cinnamon glazed, and seasoned. I didn't think I would ever say this, but the ones flavoured with Zatarains creole seasoning are so addictive I am eating them by the handful. They totally blow the regular salted ones away. As for the sweet ones? The jury is out. They are "okay". Certainly acceptable. But nothing special, and don't really taste like PUMPKIN seeds. Next time I would add dash of cayenne pepper. Or maybe a touch of five spice powder...something to perk them up a bit. I also found in all cases, roasting for much longer at a lower setting gave better results. DD dressed as a fairy princess, and went trick-or-treating with a friend from school and her family. Ruby was a princess too, but she wasn't allowed to go trick or treating. She didn't mind her dress at all, in fact she seemed to like it. I got it today on way-reduced-fully-marked-down-quick-sale because it was a toddler costume and it was missing the tiara, wand, wings, and tights. Heck, I only needed the dress anyway. It's one thing to put a dress on a dog. Putting tights on one is just wrong and even I have my limits. I am embarassed for Ruby to admit it was a little snug (a quick snip of the elastic on the waistband helped that). And of course I cut off the front of the skirt so she could pee like a lady and not have to hike her skirt up ;). She sat on my lap most of the night, looking quite adorable and sucking up all the attention and kisses and compliments. Once DD was done trick or treating and helped give out candy, the appearance of TWO princesses was too much cuteness to bear, I think. At least judging by the squeals coming from parents at the road. I of course, was a witch. One more year and I think I may have enough milage on that hat to consider it "paid". Then I can buy a new one ;). I am off to have a tea and knit a bit and watch tv. And to try not to think about another handful of pumpkin seeds.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Bonus Blog Two - Certainly not a doctor...

"….because I have no patience" - badda boom! Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I will be here all week. *taking a bow* I don't like waiting. Don't get me wrong, if there is a legitimate reason or a line but the progression is steady I am fine. I can make polite conversation and smile and look at things around me. I do my best shopping in line at stores, because all the cool stuff is on the ends of the aisle you know. And at eye level. Marketing people see me coming and know they have a good thing going. But that is neither here nor there. I have a philosophy about waiting, when it can't be helped. I figure I can stand there and be miserable and hate every minute of it and make it a waste of life. OR. I can smile and chat and read the ads and look at stuff on the ends of aisles and smile at children even though I am a stranger, and in general be pleasant. That is not to say that I will wait pleasantly forever, or that I tolerate delays that I feel to be unnecessary. I have reached across and hit the "hang up" button on many a store phone when the cashier ignored me for the conversation with a friend. Having said that, it does take a relatively long time for me to reach that point. I have less tolerance for people that are late for commitments. I make an effort to be early or on time, and if somebody says they will be here at 7:30, they damn well better be here at 7:30! Not 7:00, not 8:00, anywhere in the window of 7:15-7:30. When I am working with somebody I ask what time they start and adjust my schedule to match. If I can manage to be on time in a strange city with shaky transportation arrangements, they can get there on time too. This week I have been left waiting every single day by the same employee, and at least one other time per day from assorted other people. It is starting to wear thin. Last night we went to see the Blue Man Group. I have always wanted to see them but DH had no interest. I happened to see a brochure. They were here. I was here. There were four of us interested in going. It was like divine intervention. After waiting almost an hour for a certain party to arrive at dinner (which put us behind), the show had already started by the time we got there. We only missed a few minutes, but then we had to wait until a portion of the show where it wouldn't be as intrusive to trot us to our FRONT AND CENTER seats (well, not exactly front because I am not into wearing my entertainment, but close enough, and not exactly center but in the center section). If you have never seen the show, take it from me, do not be late. If you have seen it, you know why and I am not going to spoil it for the others. Just thank goodness there was another couple later than we were - and that is all I am going to say about that. The show itself was WONDERFUL. Definitely worth the money and time and trouble getting there. We missed the beginning so there were some things we didn't know about. I would like to go again some time and BE ON TIME. It made me realize that a) I really do hate when people are late and have lame excuses, even though at the time I was one of them, and b) My relationship with people that are late really suffers. This person's fate is in my hands at this moment, and because he made me wait I am tempted to let the chopping blocks fall where they may. Before you get uppity at that comment, the guy sucks as an employee. Tardiness is just icing on the cupcake. Another example. My oldest sister and her family are routinely late. Not by a bit, by a LOT. We are talking once giving her a start time FOUR HOURS before the party was actually beginning and they were STILL 1/2 hour late. Plus they all had wet hair, rumpled clothes, and looked like they wrapped the present in the car. Want to give Dances a stroke? Be really really really late getting somewhere and look rushed. YOU HAD EXTRA TIME - we are talking four and a half hours extra here people. It has really ruined some holidays for us, because we have a tight visitation schedule, and more than once DH, DD and I have had to leave to go visit his family before my family hasn't even started the meal. All because we were waiting hours for somebody to show up. This morning a colleague (who is also visiting) made arrangements with the employee we shall call "Mr. I will be right there". He wanted to be picked up early and didn't want to wait for pokey old me to eat breakfast and get checked out. Fine by me, he isn't great company anyhow ;). Guess who was still standing in the parking lot waiting when I left? He walked in about an hour later. He was not happy and did not finish what he came for before his flight left. Perhaps people should take more of my advice, is all I have to say. In other news, I think I have decided that I don't SEE enough. DH really isn't into performance art pieces, which is a pity because I think he WOULD have enjoyed the show. More interactive than we uptight Canadians are normally comfortable with to be sure, but very fun (and to the Blue Man that decided I was not participating enough and covered me with a mountain of paper, I just want you to know that I was not being stodgy, just Canadian and next time I will be more aware of suspiciously empty seats in a packed theater). There are so many shows I would love to see, but reluctant to drag DH with me. He doesn't make me go to Iron Maiden concerts either so it is fair. But I think I need to find a "theater" buddy. There have been so many things I wanted to see. STOMP. The Vagina Monologues. Suessical. Riverdance. Life is too short, I am going to start going. Certainly I can use more "art" in my life.

Bonus Blog - It is not polite to stare.

I am a KIPper. Don't look at me like that, it isn't dirty or anything. It means I KNIT IN PUBLIC. Much to the consternation of my family. While most of them think it is kind of cool that I can create things with needles and fiber (and are full of requests for items made from the most difficult patterns known to mankind, with yarn that costs more than my car), they don't much like to be seen with me while I am doing it. My daughter is still too young to have an opinion on this, although she is more amenable to be doing it when the project on the needles is something for her - preferably very pink and very fuzzy. I see people trying to stare without being obvious (give it up, I know what you are doing). Half fascinated and half embarrassed for me. Because only old spinsters knit, right? What kind of nutjob would knit IN FRONT of people? Strangers no less? Why is it more cool to read a newspaper that says nothing or eat food that you don't want while waiting? And I can still have a conversation. I can meet your eyes from time to time too, but as of yet I still need to look down at my hands often. But I can still talk and smile and be involved with you while I play with my "sticks and string". Just a note, if you hear me counting under my breath, the conversation is suspended. Let me finish my whispery numerals uninterrupted, or I might get snippy when I have to recount. And at all costs, avoid saying any numbers while I am doing it or you might get hurt. Other than that, no big deal - and no, you are not "bothering" me by talking to me. This morning I was knitting a sock (toe up pattern with still-ugly-but-in-a-different-way yarn) while waiting for the taxi to bring me to the office. The short rows for the toe were already done, and it's straight knitting in the round for like six more inches so nothing overly complicated and no counting to speak of. Just nice relaxing knitting. And a room full of business people staring. Full of questions they are afraid to voice. Fascinated yet embarrassed, wanting to know what I am making but too shy to ask, perhaps not wanting to be connected to the odd woman in a gigantic knitted coat fiddling with tiny tiny dpns and a bit of colourful something. Feeling generous, I answered an inquisitive look (she thought I didn't see her behind that itinerary) with a cheerful "It's going to be a sock". "Oh!" she exclaimed. "It looks hard to do". Nope. Just takes practice and patience (that is an inside joke, because every knitter I 'know' has absolutely NO patience at all - we just complain bitterly, throw stuff, eat chocolate, and tough it out). We ended up sharing the taxi, and I made her laugh when I said "I like having something to keep me occupied that I can pick up and put down quickly. Plus if anybody bothers me I can give them a poke with a needle". She laughed, but it was one of those nervous giggles that says 'I hope that was a joke and I am not sharing a cab with a homicidal maniac - please don't let them find my dead body at the side of the road with a knitting needle in my eye'. What? It was a long giggle. And no, I did not set her mind at ease. Not knowing if I am going to kill you is one of my better personality traits. I think it makes me interesting. *big grin* Although I do want to say that they would never find a knitting needle in her EYE. No way am I leaving a DPN behind and being left without a full set. That would just be crazy.

Cast your vote!

There are two blogs that I wrote in Chicago but did not have time to post at night. They are no longer timely, although I won't say they were a waste of time. Now, I could post one today and one tomorrow but that would be cheating. So. Now is your chance to vote. If I get at least 10 comments from 10 DIFFERENT people voting that they would like to read these "missing" blogs by tomorrow morning, I will post them. Not in place of blogs for tomorrow and the next day, but rather as totally BONUS BLOGS. Vote now to get more for your money! That is like 40% more Dances - FREE. By the way. Anybody who does the math and says my calculations are wrong (because I suck at math and didn't try very hard to make sure that 40% is correct) - or mentions that ALL my blogs are free.....well......something bad will happen for sure. Got it? If I don't get the 10 votes, they will be lost forever. Or until I am famous and dead and somebody finds them on my hard drive and sells them to the tabloids for an insane amount of money. Votes FOR will be counted, even if they are anonymous but please leave a name or something in your message so I know a lone reader isn't posting over and over again in a desperate attempt to get something for free. Which is very sad anyway, because, like we are not allowed to mention, the blog is free anyhow. Votes AGAINST will also be counted toward that total, because I like to torture those who say they don't like me. EVERYBODY loves me, and you will be no exception to that if it kills me. And I will peck at you and peck at you and work away your resolve until I grow on you, or you lose your will to live. Either way, I will win. I always get what I want. Resistance is futile. So vote now. I'll be watching - and counting!