Monthly Archives: May 2006

Tragedy!
It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to Jenge and I. We’ve been inconsolable for hours. We still can’t believe it. How could this happen? Why would this happen to us? We’re good people (mostly).
Sniff.
Today we say goodbye to the coffee maker.
The coffee maker has dutifully done it’s job well for two and a half years, but no one could live up to the kind of pressure we put on it.
Now, it won’t even turn on. We stood in front of it for an hour this morning. Turning it on, waiting. Nothing. Turn it off. Turn it on. Wait. Nothing. Turn it off. Once, in a fit of panic I hit the button 30 or so times, but still, silence. No bubble bubble. No hiss hiss. No pop pop. Just the smell of freshly ground coffee that was not going to brew!
I called Paul at Starbucks warranty service (who was quite helpful and nice). Surely there must be something I can do! He’s so young! So shiny! So needed!
Nope. After explaining my problem, Paul said I could try to take it to a small appliance repair shop but it would likely cost as much to fix as to buy a new one.
SOB!
But Paul did know how to fix my espresso machine (a ray of hope!). Unfortunately, I will have to call him back once I find a Phillips head screwdriver and a 3/64” Allen wrench.
So sad! So unecessary! And Jenge and I are trying so hard to save money right now! What will we do? Where will we go?? How will we get up tomorrow morning without the promise of our sweet, glorious brew!
God only knows, mes amis. God only knows!
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You’ve Got Personality, Baby!

So today I took one of those personality tests (click here to take it yourself). I’m always really entertained by these things. Afterward, I did a little research on my personality type. INFJ, that’s me. According to this test, I am very rare (some might say ‘Odd’ but I prefer the term rare!)

Now, I read this profile and thought, omg, that’s me! My best friend agreed, but I do wonder how much of it is like horoscopes. You can always find someway it applies to you.

On another website that had well known INFJ’s, Ghandi and Jesus were listed.

Wow. I was under the impression that we had no writings of Jesus. I guess he didn’t have time to write his life’s story, but he took a little time out to take the personality test and hide it in a safe place for future generations.

Honestly! Jesus??!!?? You don’t know what he would have answered! Some of these questions wouldn’t have even been applicable in those times! (See question #37. – You feel involved while watching TV soaps. Yes or No? I’m pretty sure he was too busy to keep up on Days of our Zion).

But if you’re curious and looking for something to kill time, I highly reccommend it!

Lawn Mowing Bandits Strike Again!!

Dad’s not 18 anymore. Of course, if you try to tell him that, he’ll give you a dismissive ‘dad face’ and then pretend he can’t hear you. While he is partially deaf in both ears, I find it hard to believe he can still hear what Steven Segal is saying on the Spike Weekend movie, yet can’t hear Jenge and I when we tell him he shouldn’t mow the lawn without us.

Last week, Jenge was over at the ‘rents, and Dad said he was gonna mow the next day. Jenge said, nah, don’t bother, I’ll do it right now. Dad protested, it’s too hot right now. I’m going to do it tomorrow morning when it’s cool. Jenge replied, why don’t I just do it now? I’m here. I’ll mow. It’ll take me 2 minutes. Dad was adament. Now you may wonder why Jenge just didn’t overpower him and mow, but Dad is not someone you openly defy. And we were raised to respect our parents. So, Jenge told him she would be over tomorrow morning and help him. To which she received a non-descript shrug.

We found on the next morning that he waited for her to leave and mowed it himself!! Curses! Sneaky Greek Man! Foiled Again!

But this week, we had a plan. We were not going to take no for an answer! We were over for BBQ last night and he said he was going to mow once he got back from Ann’s (our older sister) tomorrow. He is helping Ann’s husband build a deck and so we knew he was going to be too tired to mow the lawn.

We called Ann as soon as we got home. Told her to call us when he got there in the morning.

10 am this morning, we call Ann (we hadn’t heard from her yet). Dad had landed! He was at her place and getting ready to go to Home Depot with her husband.

We dashed in the car and raced over there. We broke in (okay – we still have keys so we didn’t actually break in, we let ourselves in) and we mowed! Front and Back! We did a B & M – Break and Mow. We bagged the grass and then cleaned up. Whole thing took less than 40 minutes (we’re young, but not very good at mowing – starting the ‘One-Pull-Mower’ generally takes about 20 pulls, several kicks and curses and then finally a disgusted snort and then it will start).

We emerge triumphant! Dad has yet to go home and see our sneaky handywork. Ha!

Of course, he’ll prolly gripe about the job we did. Once when I was younger he told me a mowed the lawn like a girl. I just stared at him and then said, “This just in – I am a girl!”

But there’s nothing he can do about it now!

Lawn Bandits strike again!!


Moderation is the Mark of Maturity

That was the tag line on a bottle of Hot 100 (cinammon schnapps – 100 proof) that I bought many a year ago. We howled with laughter as we read that on the back of the bottle. But, in an effort to be mature, I placed a piece of masking tape an inch from the top of the bottle and annouced to everyone at the party that I was not going to drink farther than the tape!

Two hours later, I’ve a vague recollecton of stumbling on the beach and falling into the water a bit (we were houseboating) and my ‘mark of control’ (the masking tape) floated away into the Shuswap. I don’t remember much more from that evening, but I am assured by those who were with me that I had a fabulous time.

Last night I had the girls over for girly martini night. Donna and Heidi came over with wine, liquers and food in tow. Now, the last time I had the girls over for drinks (Heidi and Jenn that time) I ended up being the worst party host ever (!) when I proceeded to drink too much and then take a nap on the bathroom floor for 2 hours. Of course, this was after a few drunk phone calls made to other friends (and some wrong numbers – Damn it’s hard to dial when you’re seeing double). But this time, I vowed, this time I was not going to go overboard! I was not going to have to make apology phone calls the morning after! I was not going to make my guests scrounge around in the pantry for snacks!

I was going to be mature about my drinking! After 12 years of drinking to get drunk, I was going to drink to be social, and then cut myself off!

And you know what, it acutally worked! It’s sad when you reach that age when you realize that getting plastered is not the only reason to drink. Remember when you were young and you did the pre-drinking drinking at someone’s house before you went to the bar? You had to get drunk before you went out because a) the whole point of drinking was to get absolutely rocked and B) you were not going to be able to get that drunk paying 5 bucks a drink at your local watering hole, so you had to booze it up for two hours prior and get drunk enough that you only needed to maintain the insanity at the bar.

So last night I made sure that there were snacks aplenty (thanks Donna! You’re party food rocked!) and I made sure that once I got pleasantly buzzed off a martini and a half (they were STRONG BUT GOOD!) I had a couple glasses of water and some munchies. I waited a while in between drinks, and was a good host (I hope!). I even cleaned up before going to bed.

What a difference this morning was from other mornings I’ve had. I’m not hungover, I got a good sleep, the kitchen didn’t scare me when I walked into it and I didn’t have to make a round of apology phone calls while trying to figure out if it was the girls and I who drank all that vodka (Surely not!) or did I knock the bottle over and spill some down the sink? (Oh the lies I tell myself!).

It’s sad but true, moderation is the mark of maturity!


It’s Greek to Me!

My dad is greek. Moved to Canada in 1965 and the rest, as they say, is history. I know a smattering of greek (where’s the bathroom? I want some water. No, I don’t have a husband. . . . ) but I’ve always wanted to learn more. So my sister’s and I have signed up for a Greek course at the University of Calgary in Octobr (first available date). I’m pretty excited! I really worry that without the language I will end up losing touch with my dad’s family, as most of them speak no English, and those that do speak English only speak a little. Once I learn greek, I’ll finally be able to defend myself! What do I mean by that? Well, on my second last trip there, I finally met up with a ‘cousin’ of mine (in Greece anyone who is remotely related to you, or the offspring of a family friend is your cousin) who spoke English. And I asked him where it was that I had agreed to go with my family the next day. All I knew is someone asked me a question. I heard the word ‘go’ and the word ‘tomorrow’ and so I nodded.

Turns out I agreed to pick peaches for the whole day. Luckily my cousin translated for me and I got out of it.

I also get constantly harrassed about when I’m gonna find a husband. Used to be, I was considered an old maid and on the shelf, and had been since I was 20. But Big George (an actual cousin by blood) recently got married to a woman in her mid to late 30’s (Big George is around 50ish I think) and suddenly, there was hope for me apparently! I was no longer on the shelf! I could be dusted off and married! No problem according to them. They have shamelessly being trying to set Jenge up with everyone from the local breadmaker’s son to the tomato stand guy for eons and everytime I go they ask ‘where is your husband?’ When I tell them I don’t have one the get this look on their face. A cross between ‘Unbelievable!’ and ‘That’s so TRAGIC!’ I once tried to explain in my broken greek that I had a job, I had a house, I had a car, I didn’t need a husband. They said ‘What about kids?’ I said I had dogs.

Don’t even get me started on the reaction to that. These are country people. The fact that my dogs live in the house with me and don’t actually ‘work’ for their keep is just as mind blowing as the fact that I am not desperately in need of a husband.

So, it’s off to Greek School. I gotta say, I love to learn languages! I think I might download a ‘How to speak German’ book tape to my ipod!

Until then, Yasou! (greek for goodbye!) By the way, the picture is the view from my Aunt’s house in Greece, where my dad grew up.

Black Thumb

So for two and a half years, I have been planning the landscaping around my house. I have a small garden in the back, begging for foliage. My dad built a fence so the dogs wouldn’t get it, but unfortunately he has yet to install the gate.

The first summer Portia ate $200 worth of plants. This winter she finished off the two that survived the first massacre.

But I planted a big, fat rose bush out front and it was quite promising last fall.

I just got back from outside where I was carefully inspecting my rose bush. Dead. Sniff. Dead, dead, dead. No hope for survival I’m afraid.

I love flowers. I’ve been on vacation to Switzerland, France and Greece and when I go, I take pictures of flowers. Big, swollen blossoms, so feathery and light. Petals like velvet.

But I have a black thumb. Oh, the dissapointment.

But I will sally forth! I will make another trip to the garden store promising myself that this plant will be different! Yes! This one will bloom! Huge, soft blooms that will make me smile whenever I see them!

Dammit! It is going to happen!

Murder! Murder most foul! (well, is there any other kind?)
Okay, so I live with my sister (and no, I didn’t murder her! Although sometimes I think we’ve both had dasterdly thoughts about it!) but the thing is, when you live with your sister, if something scary happens, it’s just the two of you to deal with it.
So Portia and Rocky like to have the freedom to roam about so in the summertime we leave the screen door open so they can come and go as they please (this is also because Portia has learned how to open the screen door and will swipe it off it’s hinges if she finds it closed). But sometimes, due to our ‘open door’ policy we get bugs. Big bugs. Starship Trooper sized bugs.
Yesterday we had a bee and a wasp at the same time and they were HUGE!! Size of my hand! (okay, so I’m exaggerating, but they were the size of nickles, honest!) I was FREAKED OUT! But what can I do? Call for Jenge? Nope, she’s worse than me. So I had to resort to a trick I learned from my mum. Get the vaccuum and suck the freaks up.
But then I don’t want them to fly back out the vaccuum cleaner!! (Shut it! It could TOTALLY happen!) With our old one, this wasn’t a problem. Stuff it with a paper towel and in a few days, ditch the bag. But this new vaccuum is bagless!! So I took the cannister out and tied it in a garbage bag, knowing I’d have to empty it at some point but a girl can only take so much!! Hopefully they would die shortly and all would be well.
And then last evening, all evening long, there was the incessant sound of pissed off buzzing from the bag. It was absolutely nerve-wracking. I couldn’t think of anything else! Bzzz bzzz bzzz. The sound of a bee and a wasp planning my demise! But hey, I didn’t go into their house! Now some my argue that the entire earth is their house, but unless they pay property tax, I disagree.
But now, I am a murderer! Or Murderess as the case may be. I must admit, I do feel kinda guilty. It’s must be a horrible way to die. Trapped in a dark dusty bag, surrounded by dog fur. Shudder! I’ve got guilt! Out damn spot, out! And the kicker is I really need to vaccuum before Heidi shows up for the weekend but I’m too chicken to face the bag and ditch the bodies. I keep thinking I hear the buzzing!
This is exactly why I would make a lousy serial killer!!

Is Life Passing Me By?

So I was a little busy last week with some committments I made and other do das [Hello, lawn mower, nemisis of mine! It was time to dust you off for the summer!]. I find myself wondering in my race to get everything done, is life passing me by? I’m a hermit by nature, preferring to stay in and hang out with myself than go out and be surrounded by people. I like to read, scrapbook and knit. The latest thing I’m trying is running, but these are all solitary things. And there’s my crux. I like to be alone. Now, people who know me generally know me as a chatty cathy, making jokes, telling stories, but I crave alone time like nothing else. But in my quest to find some quiet time for me, am I missing out?

It’s not like I would want to be out dancing the night away. I don’t sit at home wishing that the phone would ring. Generally when the phone does ring, I’m glad when it turns out to be a telemarketer I can avoid. I’m happiest when I go shopping and no sales people ask to help me. If I could order my coffee by passing a note to the barista, I would. But since I feel the need to be polite, I will smile, start a conversation. I fear that if I didn’t, people would mistake my shyness for rudeness.

But when I hear my friends talk about new stuff they do, or nights out on the town, I wonder, am I in the passenger seat of life? I went to a wedding with my dad on Saturday night [Mum’s out of town so dad needed a date] and I’m always surprised at how different from my dad I am. He’s Mr. Social Butterfly, circling the room, saying hi to people, catching up with other folks I don’t even know. But they all know him. He couldn’t leave until he made one last circle of the room to make sure he didn’t miss anyone. I myself, thought I saw someone I knew but didn’t go over to talk to them: to shy and to afraid they would not remember me. Not so my dad. He sat there the whole night surrounded by his fishing buddies and drumming up conversations with new people.

So I fear that my affinity for being by myself is causing me to miss out on stuff. But at the same time, I’m not sure I’m willing to sacrifice my alone time to get out there. I don’t even think I would enjoy it that much if I did. But how do you know when time alone is too much? Or is it ever? Hmmmmmm

Horsing Around

Ola! Yes I have been neglecting my blog lately, mes amis. It’s not because I don’t love you!

Heidi and I were having a discussion last week about how we are getting set in our ways. The older you get, the less tolerant of certain things you become. Sad but true. For example, Heidi mentioned to me a while ago that she has really come to appreciate a well cooked meal. She’s tired of screwing around with crappy food and when she goes out to eat, she wants well prepared, well presented food. Thankfully, I still have the pallette of a fourteen year old boy and really enjoy my tatertots and McDonald’s! But I digress. . .

One of the things we came to realize is that people who can’t laugh at themselves are duds. Yes, duds. I’ll be the first person to tell you that I am klutzy, funny (funny haha and funny weird) and that I am chock full of quirks. And if I do something stupid (which happens quite frequently) I’ll be the first to tell you so we can all have a laugh about it.

But some people seem to be incapable of laughing at themselves. C’mon! It’s SUCH A DRAG when you take yourself so seriously! It’s hard to sympathize with someone who thinks that they are king rat of the $#!T pile! Lighten up! You’d have gads more fun and be more entertaining if you would realize we’re all in the same boat! We’re tired of craning our necks to have a conversation with you while you are up on that high horse! Get off the horse! Or one of two things will happen:
You will find youself alone. On a high horse. Yes the view is great, but who will you tell?

You will be yanked off said high horse uncermoniously and the fall will be brutal.

I don’t know why some people take themselves so seriously. I’m such a geek that I can’t possibly take myself seriously, plus I’ve found myself in too many akward yet hilarious situations of my own making to not develop a sense of humour about it all. So lighten up! You can do it!

Zip.ca aka: A Shout out to Heidi

So, I’m always beaking off about something and generally there is no cure for my woes. But recently, I was complaining to Heidi about how I go to the Blockbuster and can never find what I’m looking for. Namely, a tv show called ‘Dead Like Me’ on DVD. Sure, my local blockbuster carries every season of CSI and even has Desperate Housewives in already. But I am not one of the unwashed masses. I am more interested in a show that has already ended its run, but from the episodes I’ve seen, it was quirky and humourous. Like me!

So Heidi tells me again about zip.ca. She has mentioned it before but I wasn’t ready to listen. Zip.ca is a website where you can sign up and for a montly fee you can have DVD’s delivered to your door (or mailbox as is the case in new neighboorhoods – See previous rant!). You can keep them as long as you like, and you have MILLIONS of choices. I was able to put tons of stuff on my ZipList (Stuff I want). Being the huge dork I am, I have already added all the episodes of ‘Dead Like Me’ to my list as well as Season 1 of MacGyver (MacGyver! I love it! I had the BIGGEST CRUSH on Richard Dean Anderson! sigh. Be still my 12 year old heart)

So, if you’re sick of being disappointed everytime you go to rent movies, be sad no more! Visit Zip.ca and sign up!