Wednesday, 30 April 2014

#120 This Post for Rent

I've sat in front of my laptop for 2 hours now and I am completely stymied.

My mind is a completely empty vessel.

If I was ever going to meditate, *this* would be *the* moment to do it...

.. but instead there's a chocolate Easter Bunny that is not going to eat itself...

Back tomorrow.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

#119 Office Departure and RepercusShawns

I realize it's not nice to take solace in another person's misery, but sometimes karma is really on target...

I forgot to mention at the end of last week that the dumb-ass General Manager will be leaving (there's a selection of theories: let go, fired, gave notice yadda yadda yadda, ultimately what's important here is she's leaving) ... and with her hopefully a couple of other pieces of deadwood. Said deadwood is already scrambling about the office like chickens with their heads chopped off.

While I won't say I'm glad to see her gone, no, wait, I am; I do wish her well elsewhere... 

As for the deadwood...  many in the office are enjoying the most entertaining activity.  It's interesting, most in the office never gave them much credit, but clearly they *do* have a clue seeing as they realize just how tenuous their positions now are with their sole point of support now departing.

I've never been much for brown-nosers, but it's nice to see that they are the ones scrambling for a change.

Monday, 28 April 2014

#118 Monday RationilazShawn

I can't say I love Mondays, but on those rare occasions when I don't have to get to work, Mondays are the BEST DAYS!!!

Today was one of those days. Even though we still have to leave the cottage AND drive through rush hour traffic; and that was all still better than going to work!

Speaking of rush hour, we drove 120 kms in a little over an hour, then once we hit the bridge to the island we traveled 20 kms in a little over an hour. That's just plain nuts!!!  But still, better than working on Monday.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

#117 Today's EquaShawn

Cottage on the lake   +   (overcast, cold and rain showers)   +   a sick doggie   +   a pull out sofa   +   cable tv   =   the laziest day ever. 

It's 8:30 pm and we're still in our flannels.

But aside from a wee sick doggie with an upset tummy, we wouldn't have changed a thing about today.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

#116 Perfect Cottage RelaxaShawn

Knock wood, (today isn't over yet but) no Septic explosions!

We had a wondrously, amazingly relaxing day.

Slept in, had Fruit Loops for breakfast (a guilty pleasure) and then Marcel made the most delicious lunch for his Mom, Sister and the two of us. It was a belated Easter dinner, so we has a roast Ham, with roasted veg (rainbow carrots, rainbow potatoes and asparagus). It. Was. Delicious!

After that we sat down in the living room and had a belated Birthday cake for his Sister. It was her often requested cake: a Cola Chocolate cake. It's unbelievably good! And this is either the 3rd or 4th time we've made it for her birthday.

There's something to be said for the comfort and familiarity of a the same meals, at the same times of years. With the same people and the fame food.  It might sound lazy, but to me it's in itself a tradition that you develop over time and make your own with those you love. Why else go through with it?

Then this evening, we took it easy and had some pea soup and a sandwich with left-over ham.  It could not have capped off a more perfect, lazy cottage weekend day. 

And we still have a day and a half to go.

Friday, 25 April 2014

#115 Cliche ReviShawn

You know that old saying, "The shit hit the fan"?

Well I think it's time we updated it... 


A little back story first...

As mentioned previously, we are having a little postponed Long Easter Weekend at the BF's family's cottage on the lake... Well it's very much a cottage, with some creature comforts... Cable TV, Heat, Microwave and the requisite indoor plumbing.

The plumbing however is septic and come's with it's own challenges.


We arrived a little after 4pm (thankfully) and when we opened the door, we were greeted by the most powerful musty odour. As we entered a little further we noticed some drying parches on the hall and kitchen floor.  Odd. There was also a thin layer of flake white... and then Marcel opened the door to the bathroom.

Ground Zero.

It seems that with the recent heavy rains and late spring thaw and run-off that the septic system backed up. In a scene reminiscent from a late 80's horror flick the floor, walls and the thone itself was firmly ensconced in a layer of, well... stuff.

Fortunately Marcel's Uncle was here and the two of them, latex gloved took on the challenge of clean-up crew. I was fortunate enough to be left the task of emergency run for cleaning supplies... bleach, paper towel, scented candles and other miscellaneous  odour cancelling items.

Nothing quite says "Welcome to the cottage", like an exploded toilet.

Still, it's good to be here...

We just thank the gods that we left Montreal early in the afternoon, so that we arrived while there was still daylight and did not arrive in the dark, to the crime scene. 

And one can take rather guaranteed solace that things can only improve... (fingers crossed)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

#114 Over ReacShawns

Why are people so surprised when you do something nice for them?

Two nights ago as I exited Papineau Metro I noticed a person attempting to enter the station. She  was walking with walking aids, I guess she has CP or something similar. As heavy as the doors are to the metro station there was no way she was getting in by herself.  So I walked to the side she was trying to come in and smiled through the window and open the door for her. You could tell she was appreciative, but at the same time I think she was a little surprised I did this (as I was already near the doors of another exit.)  I just smiled and wished her a good evening.

Tonight coming home I was on the Green Line and seated in one of the seats that are priority for the elderly, pregnant or those with reduced mobility.  I'll sit in the seats if it's quiet and not busy, but I'll gladly give my eat up for anyone listed...

Well about 3 stops in an older woman entered so I gave her my seat.  She looked like I had 3 heads. She seemed hesitant to sit down. Why? No idea. At each stop she checked with me if I was getting off the metro car. Why? No idea. When I did exit the car, she did as well. As I was walking up the stairs she touched my arm and thanked me again.  I said, "It's really not necessary, but you are welcome."

When did basic manners and common decency become so rare as to elicit such reactions? Sad. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

#113 Follicle DeforestaShawn

Hair today, gone tomorrow.

... or more accurately, hair today, gone this evening.

It's been about 3 months since my last haircut. To say I was overdue is an understatement. 

Of course I couldn't just get the regular cut, I insisted that he shave short both sides and leave the length on top, tapered to the back. 

The double undercut now means I have to put gunk, or "Product" in my hair, everyday!  Which meant I had to BUT said product... I remember now why I don't normally bother with that stuff... it's bloody expensive. In fact, the Hair wax was $3 more than my hair cut!!!  It's almost as if i got my hair cut at the farmer's market!  lol
...but I likes the cut, and  the boyfriend likes it, so that's all that matters.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

#112 Early Mental VacaShawn

It’s only Tuesday, but I’ve already checked out for this coming weekend.

We’re headed to the Eastern Townships for a late Easter Long Weekend.  We’ll be shipping off early Friday afternoon and heading back into the city on Monday afternoon.

I always look forward to our weekend trips to Marcel’s Family’s cottage on the lake (Lac Massawippi) and we haven’t been down since Thanksgiving weekend so we’re long overdue for a visit.

Mentally, we’ve already packed, loaded up the car, driven down the highway, un-packed the car, opened a couple of beer and are in super, slo-mo lazy cottage mode.

Wanna bet Wednesday and Thursday also move in super, slo-mo lazy cottage mode. 

Monday, 21 April 2014

#111 Monday Morning Police IntervenShawns

I was awoken early this morning (3:20am) to what I thought was some random police show the TV.  But both the TV in the living room and the bedroom were off. There was no radio on... what was I hearing? Was I having a dream that did not want to release me? Was I hallucinating?  No...

...what woke me up was a Police intervention a block away from the condo, and some asshat being arrested at gun-point. There were 3 or 4 cop cars and someone was shouting orders (via megaphone) to said asshat. 

Very annoying that it was so loud, but fortunately I was able to watch everything go down, from the comfort of my bed... I didn't even have to raise my head off the pillows.

Took me about 30 minutes to get back to sleep and even then it was rather restless.

Jump ahead 4.5 hours and I'm now in the very, very slowly moving Metro. Not bad enough that the Buses and Metro are running on Holiday Schedule - but an "Emergency Intervention" shut down the Green line of the Metro (between Berri and Angrignon), directly cutting me off, en route to the office.  I was lucky to switch at Berri and get back on track, but the delays continued.

As the Metro passed the Lionel-Groulx Metro station there was plenty of that yellow "DO NOT CROSS - POLICE" tape  and a good 20+ police and metro security on the green line side of the platform, along with a train 1/2 out of the station.

So already a little sleep deprived, and with the added delays in the metro, my 50 minute morning commute because a very unpleasant 95 minute commute.

Of course we all know the reason why this happened. One cannot simply enjoy a long weekend without something to balance it out on Monday Morning.

Fingers crossed that the commute home is a little less 'exciting'...

Sunday, 20 April 2014

#110 IlluminaShawn

God said, "Let there be Light."

And then I said, "I guess I'll have to clean the windows, 'cause it's still dark as Hell in here..."

There are few household chores, especially of the "Spring Cleaning" variety, that give me as much satisfaction as cleaning windows.  It's because there is absolutely nothing that is as obvious as a cleaned window. You KNOW when a window has been cleared... there's no gray zone here. (well not if you've cleaned them right) 

Not only is your view of the outside crystal clear, but the entire house looks brighter and lighter. 

And now, our view of the world have just been improved. 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Friday, 18 April 2014

#108 Financial SeperaShawn

Nothing makes me spend money faster than a trip to the Atwater Market. 

It actually even amazes me.

$30 on cut flowers
$35 on a bottle of Birch Syrup (Trust me it's worth it)
$15 on Calissons de fruits 
$35 on 2 bottles of Vinho Verdi and a bottle of Gin
$10 on Sweet Potato Donuts
$12 on some Artisanal Sausage and Choucroute
$23 on Maple Syrup

I really ought not be allowed to go there with my wallet!

Not to mention the Lamb roast and Turkey and Cranberry Pie that Marcel bought... (along with some pussy-willows, and some maple donuts)

We might well be broke now, but we're going to eat like KINGS for the next few days!!!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

#107 Calendar ConfuShawn

Because tomorrow is Good Friday, the office is closed. And, because I'm of a certain age now - 39 (No, YOU shut up!) it means  I've no clue what day it really is...

I woke up Monday realizing this was a four day work week, so naturally in my head it was already Tuesday. And so Tuesday was more like Wednesday, and so on, to where today, Thursday is like Friday. 

Add to this the fact that at work, at the minimum I am actually dealing with orders one day in advance, up to a week or two. Mondays are never Mondays... 

So, this week I've completely buggered myself on what the actual day is. and I'm SO convinced that today is Friday that I completely messed up my schedule for Saturday, because Friday is Saturday, and Saturday is Sunday, but really the schedule I'm working on is the Real Saturday...

Confused?   Then you understand my head space right now...

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

#106 Employment ApplicaShawn #2

Well I was called into my Boss' office this afternoon. 

He wanted to know if I was sill interested in the position.  I wanted to say, "Does a bear shit in the woods", but instead I said, "Yes. Very much so." 

He said he was glad to hear that. 

And while it's not mine yet, it seems they shifted how they will be hiring the secondary position... based on my getting Accounts Receivables.

So, nothing is official yet, but it's looking good.

Keeping fingers crossed!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

#105 Belated Natal CelebraShawn

My office is a funny place. 

In general they like to celebrate all the employee's Birthdays. Not always ON their birthday, or even NEAR, but they do (mostly)  get a cake.

For instance, last year I got my cake at some point in October... My Birthday is March 8th. The two years before that I didn't actually get a cake (I'm not complaining, since those two years I was away the week of my Birthday, but then since they never get them on "the" day, maybe I should. lol) 

This year however, I received  a cake today. I don't know what was more shocking; a group of people magically appearing around my desk singing, or that it was only five and a half weeks after the day. :-)

What I will say is that the cakes this year were incredible (I say cakes because with anywhere from 20 - 30 people in the office, it takes two cakes)   There was a Chocolate Mocha Mousse Cake, and a Lemon Cake. Both were DEELISH. I say 'both' because hell yea, it was MY Birthday. I was gonna try them both!  Wouldn't you? lol

It was a nice distraction from the day that was otherwise craptacular, due to production issues. 

So yea, Happy Belated Birthday, to me!

Monday, 14 April 2014

#104 Adverse Weather - Canine CondiShawns

♪ ♫ Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire! ♫ ♪

We had our first Thunder and Lightning storm of the season last night.  

It came out of nowhere and beside taking Marcel and I off-guard, it really did a number on the smaller of our two dogs.  Santiago is just a wee little Chihuahua, (he only weights about 3 1/2lbs) and is not a fan of loud noises.  Thunder, Fire Works etc. He trembles. His heart-rate sky-rockets and he is incredibly skittish. 

In the past he would seek solace in his padded mini man-cave (It’s a foam and fabric dog house with a couple of dog blankies inside that he can burrow into), or he will dig under the covers in bed, or the dog blanket on the sofa.  But, last night he wanted to do was head for the hills, or what to him appears like hills: Marcel and I.  First while on the sofa, he would climb up on our laps, then into our arms, then onto our shoulders… and were he capable I’m sure he’d have climbed to the top of our heads.  This was completely new behavior for him, and we really didn’t know what to think.  We would take him down from his lofty perch because we were afraid what would happen with the next crash of lightning…

Peanut (the larger of the two dogs) jumped at the first crash of lightning, and then harrumphed and went back to sleep. Usually her calmness eases his jitters… but not last night.

And a good hour to ninety minutes after the thunder stopped, he was still on edge, ears at full attention, not allowing himself to curl up on the bed with us as we watched TV. 

They’re calling for more of the same tonight… poor little boog.  We try not to over-react to his reactions, but when you see something so small and so scared, how can you not react and want to do whatever you can to help him.  

Fingers crossed that tonight’s storm is not as intense. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

#103 Sunday laze, pre-spring cleaning haze, 80's ReflecShawn

Another lazy day, chez nous. 

It all started with sleeping in. Then, pancakes for breakfast. After, 3 1/2 hours of listening to 80's music while lounging, and putzing about. All the while the patio door was open with a gentle spring breeze coming in.

I decided to clean up my laptop. Deleted a couple thousand emails, deleted just under 28 GB of old files. All in prep of next weekend and some more actual spring cleaning...

I think I can only deal with one more week of the windows in the stat they are in, but with messy week's worth of weather in the forecast, I'll wait til it passes.  Next Saturday it's gonna look like we have no windows, (they'll be that clean!)  And then it'll be time to swap out our boots for shoes, and parkas for light weight jackets. And so it goes...

And, as it usually goes in Montreal, after 2 weeks of spring like weather, It'll be shorts and flip-flop weather.

And soon I'll be counting down Winter. :-)

Saturday, 12 April 2014

#102 Literary Rest and RelaxaShawn

Two weeks ago we took part in Earth Hour, and read by Candle-light.

Last Saturday, we took an hour out in the evening and read together again.

This Saturday, we've decided to make it a regular thing.

Now, we both read during the week, but a little extra reading never hurt anyone. 

Reading, it does a body (and mind) good.

Friday, 11 April 2014

#101 Necessary RelaxaShawn

Another week has come and gone.

Time to slip into some flannel pants and a t-shirt, open a couple beers, grill a couple of burgers, lean back on the sofa, (with the dogs by our sides), turn on Netflix and just ride the relaxing vibes until it's time to go to bed.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

#100 Employment ApplicaShawn

So I've officially applied for a position at work that becomes available as of January 1st 2015. 

The current Accounts Receivable person is retiring on Dec 31st, and her position needs to be filled by July for training purposes.  

Now, I'm about 65-70% trained in the position as her primary back-up, so it seems to make sense. And given recent events - loss of 4 clients from the region that I'm the Customer Service rep (thanks to lack-luster contract proposals and piss-poor pricing... and the confirmed loss of 3 more next year) it's worth my cementing my position further in the company. 

I'd still retain my current responsibilities, but since they're diminishing due to the aforementioned losses, I'll at least have the time. And again, it's about preservation at work.

So... fingers crossed. 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

#099 Simple Food AppreciaShawn

Sometimes the simplest things are best.

One of our favourites is a mega-delicious masterpiece:

Caramelized Onion, Apple and Blue Cheese Naan Pizzas.

They are almost ready, and the smells wafting through the house are driving me crazy!  My mouth is watering...

There's just a touch of Balsamic Vinegar in the onions, and a light dusting of Thyme. 

Around her, we love our food, we take pleasure in our food and we dive in without hesitation.

*DING*  The over just announced dinner is ready.

Bon Appetit. 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

#098 Electoral SatisfacShawn

Karma is one Sexy Mother!

That's all I've got to say.

The polls closed in Quebec at 8:00 pm.  By 8:20 pm they were calling a Liberal Government, and at 8:40 pm they declared a Majority Liberal Government. 

The Parti Quebecois imploded! Not only did they Not remain in power (they were long expected to win a Majority Government) many of their own, high profile candidates failed to be (re)-elected. Including none other than their Leader.

It was a very satisfying evening I have to say.  I usually only check the news around 10 pm or so, but we were captivated from about 8:15 pm.

Now we can only hope that the Liberals don't cock it up.

Monday, 7 April 2014

#097 Election Results AnticipaShawn

Well 33 days have come and gone since a Provencal Election was called in Quebec. It's been a long, nasty mud-slinging 33 days. Full of a lot of hot-air and little mention of what Quebec needs... a focus on the Economy, Healthcare, Education and our exponentially crumbling Infrastructure...

I'm fairly confident that the Liberal Party will form the next provincial government. It's just a question of Minority vs Majority. Either way it will be a marked improvement over what we've had for the past 18 months.

We voted tonight. It took only 25 minutes to go to the polling station and return home. Honestly, I think that's the very least a person can do for his fellow countrymen.

Here's to hoping the next four years are an improvement over that last...

(fingers crossed)

Sunday, 6 April 2014

#096 Seasonal ResignaShawn

I'm not admitting defeat, but I am recognizing that it would appear that Winter is not only officially over, but technically as well.

We've been having above zero temperatures now for about a week and tomorrow, it's going up to 14'C or so...

So, while I'm not happy about it, I'll resign myself to the fact that Winter is gone, but also coming again.

In the mean time, we've changed from flannel to regular cotton sheets.

I've not worn my boots since Tuesday.

...and of course we've already began using the barbecue.

Silver linings.

Saturday, 5 April 2014


My voyage down memory lane continues via music from the 80's. Sadly some of it is not as rosy as you'd want.

On Thursday one of the songs that played on my iPhone was "Love Cats" by the Cure. I was immediately transported back to the Fall of 1986. A large group of us were at a house party in Eastern Passage, and of course, Much Music was on the TV. We were all of us Cure fans especially my friend Sonia and her then boyfriend Rene. 

They made an adorable couple. 

When the video for Love Cats came on the TV both Rene and Sonia sang along and pantomimed the movements from the video. It's indelibly marked in my mind. Like so many songs, they bring back very specific memories for me, places, times, but more specifically people; as if my memory has a soundtrack, including theme music for all the people there.

When I logged into Facebook today I read a status update from Sonia that said that Rene had passed away this morning. Sad news indeed. 

I will however remember him as I always have. The free spirit with a gentle soul.

R.I.P. Rene.

Friday, 4 April 2014

#094 Friday CelebraShawn

Raise your hand if you're happy it's Friday.

Honestly, some weeks are longer than others. Some are far more exhausting. And some weeks you just pray for them to die. 

This was all of that.

Stick a fork in me, I am done.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

#093 Grilled PerfecShawn Part Deux

Well last night was such a success that we had another barbecue tonight.  We had hamburgers this time. 

Here's how I can tell you they were good.  I had eaten both of mine when Marcel had just started his second burger.

Now to be fair, as a rule, I'm a fast eater. Typically I want seconds, or really generous first helpings. Now, I'm not thin, but people often comment why I'm not twice my size; and I reply, "I don't chew."

If you're ever in a hurry, take bites, chew once, maybe twice and then swallow.

I think each burger was gone in 12 bites, max.

...and truth be told, I wish there was one more...

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

#092 Grilled PerfecShawn

It might not sound like much for some (depending on where you live), but we just had our first Barbecue of the year. It got up to 7'C today, so why not?! 

It wasn't a thick juicy steak, or kraken sized shrimp; it was hot-dogs. Plain old, ordinary hot-dogs.

...and they were DELICIOUS!

Last summer / fall we used the barbecue, a.k.a. Barbequrella about once or twice a week (wostky weekends) well we just talked and we've decided we want to use it MORE.

BBQed Hot-dogs, Hamburgers, Chicken, Pork Chops, Pork Tenderloins, Steaks, Lobster, Shrimp, Veggies and more...

We just ate and now I'm hungry again!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

#091 DeciShawns DeciShawns

Here's my current daily commute dilemma:

Do I listen to all my amazing freshly downloaded 80's Music?


Do I read the new eBook I downloaded to my Nexus 7?

Typically I will listen to music when reading a book on the metro, as I can control the feel of the background sounds, as opposed to the loud and often obnoxious conversations going on around me in the Metro. But all my new 80'S music is too far disconnected to the new eBook (a re-telling of Robin Hood / Sherwood Forest.)

Sure I have lots of music I could select that would be more in keeping with the book: Enya, Loreena McKennett, Clannad etc 


I cannot decide...

For now I'm listening to music going to work, and reading my book on the trip home. I know it sounds like a perfect solution, but really I'd want to read more AND listen to more 80's music. I might have to get another eBook, something that will match the music... 

Suggestions for a book that will blend with the 80's?