Thursday, July 26, 2007

summer in the city

1. Ye gods it is too hot. Our office has these big beautiful windows that refuse to open, so the effect is a lot like a hothouse. The cats are melting into sad puddles of furry goo (at least Parallax is; Tonks puts in an appearance every two days or so, but it's usually at night when the heat is less), and walking between work and home is an exercise in trying not to die of heat stroke by dodging into the shade at every opportunity to breathe.

2. What have I been up to this week? Work, and not much else. Eight hour days after a four day weekend are just sort of draining, and the heat makes it worse. So does the pain in my jaw, which still hasn't gone away.
Aside from fanning myself and drinking lemonade, I've been watching Sean immerse himself in a number of new hobbies. We had Danielle over on Tuesday night, and she expressed an interest in finding a starter violin, so Sean traded his for a little guitar of hers (indefinite loan kind of trade) and has been noodling about with the guitar ever since. He's also beating his head against HTML and CSS designing web sites, and scooting off to aikido classes. It makes for a lonely sort of existence, and most of our conversations are about interesting blocks and counters, or else the finer points of HTML tags. To be fair, he also straightened up the house to "mostly livable" status while I was at work yesterday, so this weekend I can finish putting things away and maybe get back to some of my own hobbies.

3. Things are going well at work - we were up to thirty-nine tentatively this morning, but lost one for unknown reasons, so we're down to thirty-eight. It's not bad, though; last year we had something like forty-seven in the end (though for some reason I thought it was more like forty-three) and there are an awful lot of craftspeople who wait until the bitter end to sign up.

4. This weekend: cleaning, and maybe sewing.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

life post-potter

1. Well, Michelle, Scott and Angus are all finished the book too now, so I've gotten most of the OMG!!s out of my system. It was fast paced, but good, and the only times it really went where I would have preferred it didn't, it was erring on the side of cheez (the epilogue is kind of fanficky). Goodbye Potterverse, at least until I read you again. Possibly tomorrow.
Really, our prayers should be with the people at Mugglenet and various other fan and fic sites, who now have nothing but movies to look forward to (and the remaining books are so busy that they're going to have to make a real hash of the plot to even begin to fit things in).

2. Having finished the book by 3:30 yesterday, I went back and reread the last couple hundred pages for good measure before handing it off to Michelle. I was feeling sort of let down in the same way that I did when I saw the end of Return of the King - no more to look forward to. Luckily, Julia called and we discussed the state of Potter briefly, then we decided to drive to New Minas to catch the late show of the Order of the Phoenix, which buoyed my spirits considerably. Evenings with Julia are fun, and the movie was pretty good, though they had to cut out far too much for my liking.
Things that were genius:
  • the kittens
  • the mistletoe
  • Ginny's dirty looks
  • Tonks' wardrobe
  • Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange)
  • Kreacher
  • the Dementor attack
  • the dream sequences were adequately creepy
  • the Trelawney and Snape audit montage
  • Crookshanks, both that he's not a cat and that he ate an ear. Go Crookshanks!
Things that made me frown:
  • Harry looks kind of whiny being upset over one line, as one detention. Over and over for a week was a lot more striking.
  • Grawp seemed awfully cuddly
  • very little about the DA and the resistance
  • very little of the Department of Mysteries or Grimmauld Place as locations
  • very little in the way of dialogue, aside from what was painfully necessary
I hope they split the next couple movies into two each. There's just too much.

3. So today I woke up with a very sore jaw. It's been stiff for a couple of days, but today it was much worse, limiting my ability to chew, and spreading to my neck and eyes. I hope I'm not coming down with something picturesque like mumps.

4. Tomorrow I'm heading back to Freddy with my parents, with a new chair, lots of clean laundry, a freshly painted lamp, a vacuum to replace the one that Nick totalled, and a few things for the house, particularly the kitchen. I'm looking forward to finally finishing putting my house in order, and settling down to get lots of work done on the Fredericton show at work. I'm also hoping to have Danielle over for supper on Tuesday - it's been too long.

5. A few recipes I've been looking at:

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Friday, July 20, 2007

paint! money! work! potter!

1. Another internet-less week. My blogging muscles are getting weak and flabby; this situation has got to go.

2. Let's see. In my last entry I was hoping for a busy weekend of unpacking and so on, but it didn't end up happening at all, because Matt came back with Porter and they stayed for the weekend. I didn't end up doing much of any use.
I worked all Monday and Tuesday, and now the NBCC website is mostly bilingual and has a nice gallery of pictures to look at. There are lots of hours of work into things that you can't really see - nice new buttons in both languages and formatting things - but the end result is good.
On Wednesday, Mom came up, and we plotted painting and so forth with Gail and Sean all morning, and then spent the afternoon unpacking books and packing boxes of laundry to bring home this weekend and wash. It was a fairly busy day compared to my usual office days, so I slept like the dead.
On Thursday, I had to go to work and format our quarterly newsletter, which was a bit of a disappointment because no one sent in the reports they were supposed to, but there you go. Sean got called into work (grr) but luckily Sandra decided to come up and help Mom paint, so they had a blast balancing on boxes and ladders and painting. She's written it up with lots of pictures here. At the end of the painting, it looked amazing, and Sean cooked us a big pasta supper.
And today, I got up and packed and Mom picked me up, and we drove and drove home. We talked the whole way, and helped a young mother order at a Wendy's in Truro (her kids were being a bit of a handful so we ordered for her).

3. This weekend is, of course, the big weekend: The Deathly Hallows! I'm home in the Valley for the weekend, and my family has graciously decided to let me have first crack at the book because I read so fast (I may have it done before Michelle gets home from work). I'm also doing a lot of laundry or whatever, but - Book Seven!

4. A random bit of excitement today - I seem to have been awarded another scholarship! So far this year I was awarded $1000 for my Mexico trip, $300 as a Classics prize for good grades, $2000 Millennium Bursary (which comes right off my loan - very good) and now I've gotten an email that I'm getting an $800 scholarship, the Mr. and Mrs Conrad J. Osman Scholarship! Money money money. Good grades are worth it.

5. I'm going to put up a links post pretty soon with all the links I've been piling up, but here are some pictures:The pasta salad I blogged last week... mmm.

The kids' tent at Rothesay, with Silas helping kids make macaroni and clay sculptures, and Chelsea standing back. Chelsea was hired somewhat randomly as a local worker for the festival, but I know her from before - she's one of Neil's very good friends.

Sean and his parents' puppy lucy, who is getting much bigger but also much calmer.

The new painted border, the vast expanse of our wall, and Tonks creeping around sniffing painting tools. Mom never, ever sees her, but she came out after all the painting was done and so I snapped a picture so Mom would believe me that she's still alive. For more pictures of my new walls, check out my mom's blog.

Friday, July 13, 2007


1. Friday! A lovely sunny Friday, at that. Unfortunately, I work 8:30-4:30 as usual, and Sean works 4:00-9ish, so it'll be a lonely sort of day. We're planning to spend large amounts of the next couple days organizing, as the state of the house is starting to erode our minds.

2. While at Sean's parents' house, I learned how to make a simple pasta salad from the Joy of Cooking (I really have to get me a copy of that), and last night I threw together a nice looking version for lunch today (and snacks last night):
  • 8 oz gemelli, boiled in heavily salted water and drained
  • three tablespoons white vinegar
  • three tablespoons organic olive oil
  • one tablespoon dried organic basil (I would have preferred fresh, but they had none and it's far pricier)
  • two miniature seedless cucumbers, sliced
  • half a yellow pepper, cut up appropriately
  • about five or six small heirloom tomatoes, cut up appropriately (they have little variety packs of weirdly coloured tomatoes, including a dark purple-green variety, for quite cheap at the moment)
Combine vinegar, oil, and basil in a large bowl; add pasta and mix thoroughly, and put in the fridge to cool. When room-temperature or colder, stir in veggies. Serves five or six salad-sized portions.
I would like to take a picture, but I fear the rest will be gone before I get home and I have no camera here at the moment.

3. Not much else to say at the moment, except
  • we have 34 people signed up for Fredericton,
  • I'm wondering when Mom is coming up,
  • and I need more coffee.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

success & jellicles

1. Apologies for the lateness of this reply. If I'm not at work, I basically have no internet still, which is a little annoying for blogging purposes but really annoying for living purposes.

2. Rothesay went so, so well. We had blue skies on Saturday despite all weather reports, and reasonably good weather on Sunday, too (it rained for about five minutes and then cleared up quickly). Attendance was almost double last year, the music, food and children's tent were universally lauded, and people made great sales - better, even, than Fredericton last year. One of our newly juried members actually sold out on Saturday, drove back to Freddy that night for more stock, and then sold all of that on Sunday. Pretty exciting, and definitely rewarding to see a month of planning pay off so well. It was, supposedly, the show that couldn't do well, and I think we sort of blew perceptions about the market for craft in the area right out of the water.
The only real hitch for me, personally, was an accident during setup - a piece of a tent slipped and slid right into my face. Luckily it missed anything important, but I had a really great abrasion in the shape of a square tent pole on my cheek for the whole show.
I took lots of pictures at the show, but they're all on my other computer still, and they're almost all of the children's tent anyway - Kate insists on having happy children on the posters, and the past two festivals have had so few pictures that we've had almost no choice.

3. After the show, I came back to Fredericton (Sean had been there working at Bejewel, but had to go back with his business because we had no extra seats) and slept like the dead. Monday morning was a short encore of driving around in our huge cube van, dropping off rental bits and pieces and stuffing boxes and totes and tents back into storage. Monday afternoon I slept again, and in the evening we threw some things in a bag and caught a bus up to see Sean's parents.
Helen is, of course, a potter, and had a really good show at Rothesay, but is pretty tired from the hectic business of the festival and so we had a pretty quiet time, which is exactly what we needed. We watched the Italian Job and had lots of great food and played with the puppy, who is getting leggy and starting to be a little more calm (I have pictures of her too), and weeded the garden. Originally we had planned to stay until Wednesday evening and get a drive back with Helen for the board meeting, but Sean got called into work, and his friend Matt wanted to get out of St George for a bit, so we came back last night. The boys got over their dismay at the lack of internet by playing networked Neverwinter Nights over the wireless router, and I knit and read and felt almost decompressed enough to come back to work.

4. So here I am at work! We're cleaning up and counting money and preparing for tonight's board meeting, which I imagine will be less stressful than the last one. This week is more of the same; Amy and I are probably going to take a road trip to Moncton soonish to scope out the Beausjour conference area in preparation for the exhibition, which is somehow already less than a month away. Mom is probably going to be up next week for a visit to help us settle in our new place. For the moment, we're organizing as best we can, and Matt is visiting for a couple of days.

5. While at Sean's parents' house, we found a copy of the Edward Gorey "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats", and to my delight I discovered what Tonks is: a Jellicle!

Jellicle Cats come out to-night
Jellicle Cats come one come all:
The Jellicle Moon is shining bright -
Jellicles come to the Jellicle Ball.

Jellicle Cats are black and white,
Jellicle Cats are rather small;
Jellicle Cats are merry and bright,
And pleasant to hear when they caterwaul.
Jellicle Cats have cheerful faces,
Jellicle Cats have bright black eyes;
They like to practise their airs and graces
And wait for the Jellicle Moon to rise.

Jellicle Cats develop slowly,
Jellicle Cats are not too big;
Jellicle Cats are roly-poly,
They know how to dance a gavotte and a jig.
Until the Jellicle Moon appears
They make their toilette and take their repose:
Jellicle Cats wash behind their ears,
Jellicle Cats dry between their toes.

Jellicle Cats are white and black,
Jellicle Cats are of moderate size;
Jellicle Cats jump like a jumping-jack,
Jellicle Cats have moonlit eyes.
They're quiet enough in the morning hours,
They're quiet enough in the afternoon,
Reserving their terpsichorean powers
To dance by the light of the Jellicle Moon.

Jellicle Cats are black and white,
Jellicle Cats (as I said) are small;
If it happens to be a stormy night
They will practice a caper or two in the hall.
If it happens the sun is shining bright
You would say they had nothing to do at all:
They are resting and saving themselves to be right
For the Jellicle Moon and the Jellicle Ball.

T. S. elliot

Thursday, July 05, 2007

and now we return you to your regularly scheduled programming

1. Moving, that joyous occasion. I'm writing to you at work, because though we now have power (thanks be) we don't have a connection to Frednet yet. We've been slowly muddling through setting up the apartment, but it's just not going to be home until I take a couple days next week to organize it.
Last week was a blur of finishing up Rothesay things at work and trying to pack at night. When Friday came, we still had some left to do; when Scott and Dad showed up at 9ish, we spent four hours moving about half the stuff over to the new place, which was big and dark, having no power yet. I won't really bore you with a blow by blow of the move, but the low point was definitely the arrival of the Queen of the Night. Ever since she came to view the apartment, she'd been pushing us and Gabriel around, trying to figure out how to get us to move out early and just generally getting far too worked up about her son moving out. Her poor son is a fairly quiet guy - a metalhead, going to the Centre for Arts and Technology downtown to learn the music recording business - and I'm pretty sure if it had just been him there would have been no problem. In any case, she showed up at two on Saturday, hands on hips, dismayed that we were still moving out and claiming that Sean had said we'd be out. I know, and he later confirmed, that he said in no uncertain terms that she could move in Sunday as we had to have Saturday for moving and cleaning, and technically it was still ours until midnight Saturday anyway. There was nothing for it but to tell her too bad and keep moving; I'm not sure what she expected of us.
After a long 24 hours of moving, we finished in eight loads of the magical trailer (everything fits in it perfectly, even the futon frame. Futon frames don't fit anywhere). I can't tell you how utterly up the creek we would have been without Scott and Dad - thanks guys! :)

2. In the new apartment, without light or the ability to cook or refrigerator, we did some unpacking and rearranging over Sunday and Monday, but were limited to daylight hours for the most part - flashlight and candlelight aren't really all that great for unpacking. We passed the evenings playing cards and watching movies on Sean's laptop, charged at Reads.
Canada Day was pretty quiet for us. We stayed in and played Crazy Eights by candlelight. We could have gone out on the fire escape to see the fireworks, I suppose, but someone else had thought of it first: we were playing our first round when we heard a clatter on the roof and two voices laughing. It was already dark, and we couldn't see anything outside, but we yelled hello and heard the clatter stop. Then one voice, drunk and terrified, said "Dude, there is totally a girl looking right at us!" and they scrambled away.
Maybe curtains are in order after all?

3. The cats have dealt relatively well with the move. Parallax is unflappable, and is just as happy to roll around and purr in the new place as the old; Tonks was my real worry, because last time we moved she spent weeks holed up in the closet with her face pushed into the radiator, terrified. This time she had the cat tent instead of the radiator, which was much more comfortable and less pathetic, and to my great relief she woke me up Saturday night by jumping on me to get to the windowsill and then danced around the windowsill, looking out the window excitedly.
It is a bit confusing, though. She hides all day, behind boxes or under the bed, and is quite angry if disturbed (Sean has some really impressive slashes from trying to dislodge her from the bathroom when the repairmen came to fix a couple of things), but comes out after sunset every night to purr and roll and just generally act completely normal. She's a pretty weird cat.

4. Why am I not unpacking this weekend? Why, it's Rothesay! And it's going to rain. Rain. I can't speak of it. All I know is that we are as ready for this thing as we're ever going to be, and the weather just cannot be my fault, no matter what people may say.
Shasta has some rubber boots to lend me, at least.

5. So, next week we'll be getting a booster for the internet and unpacking completely and I'll even take some pictures. There will be pictures of Rothesay, as well. Pray for not rain!