Monday, November 21, 2005

The Tildster

So everything is gone from the rental place, and the carpets are being cleaned. Our (soon-to-be-ex) landlord was in the place recently to clean the carpets and subsequently phoned Biscotti and left a message. When we had moved into the rental place in June they had just bought the place, and promptly handed the keys over to us. So her message went like this: "You wouldn't believe it. The previous owners must have had a cat because as we were cleaning the carpets we discovered cat hair everywhere!" Whew, close call.

Tildy has been having skin problems lately, so we took her to the vet. We had thought that she might need to be shaved in the process, and guess what? She did!

Some before-and-after pics for ya:

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Blueberry Muffin Saga

It has always been easy to buy a blueberry muffin. Until yesterday.

Biscotti and I were at Rona on Grandview Highway, browsing the Christmas sections, looking at the LED lights and artificial trees. Empty handed, we walked towards the exit, stopping at the in-store Robin's Donuts. My eyes immediately spotted a tray of delicious looking blueberry muffins. (I love blueberry muffins so the phrase delicious looking is redundant.) Biscotti ordered a maple walnut donut and I ordered a blueberry muffin. As the worker went to get Biscotti's donut, she pulled out the wrong tray. No, these ones here, Biscotti pointed out. I didn't think to watch as she walked to the other side to get my blueberry muffin as it would take a lot of work to get that wrong. The two bags were put on the counter, we paid with a plethora of coins, and continued our exit route.

After a few steps I opened my paper bag, looked inside, and stopped suddenly. What's wrong, Biscotti asked. She gave me the wrong one, this muffin is brown. I pull it out to make sure it's not just the brown bag making it look brown. It had blueberries, but it was bran. I hadn't asked for a blueberry bran muffin, I had asked for a blueberry muffin. Blueberry bran muffins are neither delicious nor delicious looking. Walking back the few steps, I saw for the first time that there were only three trays of muffins. Side by side were a tray of blueberry bran muffins and a tray of blueberry oat bran muffins; above these were the regular blueberry muffins that I wanted and had thought that I had ordered. After waiting behind the slowest orderer ever, we give the worker back the bag and tell her we asked for the regular blueberry muffin. She looks down at the small collection of muffins and says, oh, sorry. She then grabs a new bag and proceeds to pull out the tray that has the blueberry bran muffins. NO, Biscotti and I say simultaneously. Biscotti steps up to the glass. THESE ONES, she says as she points to the tray above, THE REGULAR ONES. Worker replies, oh, sorry. Pulls out the correct tray and we finally get the correct muffin.

It would've been so frustrating if it hadn't been so comical. I feel sorry for people who are that incompetent at a very basic job.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I don't like it when people say 'oh it's so gross and miserable out today' when it's simply raining. Why not embrace the rain? Here on the west coast of Canada, it rains a lot. It doesn't snow a lot, in Vancouver at least, so when it's not sunny, there's a very good chance it's cloudy and/or raining, and throughout the year it's usually a 50/50 split between sun and rain. This is very unscientific, but probably not far from accurate.

The TV weatherpeople get right into it. 'Ooooh, it's looking pretty brutal out there. If you can avoid going out, do it. It's only suitable for ducks out there right now. Just a horrible horrible day today.' This leads sheep, I mean people, to walk around cursing the rain. Why not enjoy the rain? For half the year it's going to rain and that's not going to stop. Why be in a bad mood for half the year?

It's only rain! Enjoy it! Dance in it! Look up and feel the raindrops landing on your face!

n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise. (added to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary in August 2004)

It's a fascinating exercise in fate, karma, or whatever you want to call the chain of events that can occur between two or more lives and one piece of literature. Oh, and it's absolutely free and absolutely private, too.

---> all of the above is from the BookCrossing homepage

So, it is not actually a support group for book addicts. It is a website for book lovers, or even book likers, or even just people who have heard of books. Even those of you haven't heard of books can probably find something enjoyable out of it.

The main purpose of BookCrossing is to track your books. You register your books, you marked them up with their BCIDs (BookCrossing IDs), and you release them 'into the wild'. The idea is that the books you've read aren't doing anyone any good by sitting on your shelves collecting dust. By releasing them onto a park bench, or at a gas pump, or anywhere where someone might pick it up, it may find a new reader. The beauty of it is that with the book marked with its BCID, the finder can go to the website and make a journal entry on the book, thereby logging its journey. And you get an email the instant that happens.

There are also forums for people to discuss stuff. Stuff such as books.

This is a global site with, at the time of this sentence being written, 419,096 members and 2,533,443 books registered. Both of those numbers have been steadily increasing since April 17 2001, BookCrossing's birthday.

Click here for the BookCrossing website

There, as I am here, I'm jblueafterglow.

Here's a book whose journey I've had a part in: The Dogs of Babel

And here's my favorite catch: 776 Stupidest Things Ever Said

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Halloween at our New Place!

While still renovating our place, we stocked up on candy and chocolate to give to trick-or-treaters. For the first bit, there were no knocks on the door, and Biscotti was getting upset. "Oh great, we've moved into a non-festive neighborhood. I guess we can just be the house that gets really decorated." When the first knock came, she perked up and exclaimed, "really?" After that debut, many more knocks, and bell rings, followed.

Here are pictures I took of Biscotti's magnificent carvings.

And the cute carver herself, warmly welcoming the costumed kids.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Looking for a terrible boyfriend for one week

Today I learned that my umbrella is not meant to be used when it's windy. It's got one broken spoke, and that might have helped it go all pretzelly when I turned this certain corner. This certain corner was apparently the entrance to an invisible wind tunnel. Many times in my life I have watched amused as others wrestle with their upturned umbrellas. What goes around comes around I guess, as everyone else I saw had sturdy umbrellas that were not affected.

That, however, is not why I'm posting. I am looking for a terrible boyfriend for a week. Replace the "I am" with "A girl is" and that previous sentence is a little more accurate. My friend Tias, hopefully out of amusement and not potential interest, emailed me the link to a posting on, which I have copied and pasted below. If you are interested, I can give you the exact link and you can contact her, but I should tell you that it was posted to the Denver craigslist, which may or may not affect your response, high altitude and all.

Here is the post exactly as it appeared:

I am looking for a terrible boyfriend for one week to restore my happiness in being single. Now that school has started again I find myself in classes where 80% of my classmates are either married/engaged/in a relationship. I was content to be single all summer but now that I have been exposed to all these happy people in relationships, I'm starting to wonder if I need one too.

In my head, I know I don't, but let's make this concrete with an experience. This is where you come in. I need you around for one week in the role of a bad boyfriend to renew my glee in being single.

My requirements of you:
-You are attractive. Sorry, but if this is to work out for me, you have to be a pretty boy who is nice to look at but a total dick otherwise.
-Be very needy. Call me several times a day, checking where I am, who I'm with, etc.
-Have poor or no manners. When we go out, I want you to not use your napkin, tip poorly or not at all, never open doors, that sort of thing.
-It would be nice if you have politically conservative leanings so we can get into fun arguments
-Stare at other girls when we're out together. Bonus points for flirting with them.
-Don't listen when I talk, and interrupt me when you can.
-Insist on driving us everywhere, but proceed to get so drunk that I have to drive your car or call a taxi.
-Wear ugly clothes, or at least clothing inappropriate for every occasion.
-Have wildly inaccurate information and unfounded opinions. It is your mission that you are right about everything.
-Steal something of mine. I will set out one designated thing that you must steal from my house. You will steal this and nothing else.
-Don't be too upset when I end things after a week (and part of this deal is that I am the one to break things off). You know what you're getting into and do not form any untoward bond.

After the week is up we can either be friends and laugh about this, or we can pretend that we've never met and ignore each other if we happen to meet in a public place.

What do you get out of it?

At least 5 nights out (you pay your half, sorry. I am not rich). One stolen item (of my choosing). A good story to tell people later. Satisfaction that you are also single. A chance to vent your spleen. A dissatisfying tryst for both of us.

You'd be a fool to pass up this opportunity!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Calvin and Hobbes & Fight Club

If you're a fan of the movie Fight Club (and who isn't?), and if you have read a fair amount of Calvin and Hobbes (and who hasn't?), then you'll probably get a kick out of reading this:
The Return of Hobbes

Also, I did get Biscotti yesterday for the first of the month. I'm the champ for a full month!

I think there was some other small bit of info I wanted to write. Can anyone remember what it was? It might have been that Biscotti carved out several great pumpkins for the trick-or-treaters, and I did my part by taking several great pics of the pumpkins on display on our front steps. The pics will be posted in a day or two.