Thursday, December 2, 2010

I read an article today about a group (the Centre for Inquiry, Canada) that puts up "controversial" posters that question the existence of "God".  Their newest ad says Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence and then goes on to group Allah, Vampires, God, and Wizards together as examples of such "extraordinary" things (and yes, if God is a proper noun, then to me so are Vampires and Wizards, so there).

I think it's totally hilarious.

They say they want to spark discussion and debate, but come on, you just know the religious nuts are going to have a spazz about this. 

It seems that it's perfectly okay for churches and LDS posters to go up and preach religion, but a poster that questions religion?  A poster that groups God with Dragons?  That's gonna rub some people the wrong way (mostly shriveled, lonely people who rarely get rubbed).

I think it would be totally awesome if all the WoW players out there banded together in protest - Dragons, Gnomes, Elves, Witches and Wizards are all under fire here too.  Oh, and they better prepare for the onslaught of Edward-loving Twihards as well, their outrage (question the existence of Vampires will you!) may well cause the end of times as we know it.

For the record, I totally believe in Leprechauns.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Capes I made for my nephews:

and proof that they work:

Monday, November 22, 2010
I am a detail person, but sometimes I see the minutiae and fail to see the big obvious things.  Case in point: my new mittens.
My current "winter" jacket has 3/4 length sleeves, so I needed some gloves that had long(er) cuffs on them to close the gap.  I saw some Fossil mittens, I coveted them, but since they were not on sale I did not buy them.  But then I did (I had a coupon). 
They are the right length and a non-boring colour.  They have a flip top mitten so your fingers can be free or enclosed in warm cuteness.
They have no thumbs.
I did read the the tag that said something like "open thumbs for texting!", but I really didn't pay attention to what exactly that meant.
I bought them. I took the tags off, and the next morning I put them on and went - huh?
The thumb portion comes up mid-thumb, and then your thumbs are free for texting! But this also means your thumbs are free for frostbite! and free to look stupid!
I'm on the bus, and yes having the thumb free is handy for turning pages on my ebook reader, but otherwise I feel like people are staring at my hands thinking WTF is up with her gloves?

So, now I have some cute mittens that are nice and warm, except I will soon be thumbless unless I put another pair of gloves on underneath.
For $40 you'd think you'd get whole mittens.

The mittens

but mine are in a much cuter Viridis colour, and for that I will suffer:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

When does it stop?
It seems ridiculous to me that Air Canada will now have to create a "nut-free" buffer zone around a passenger if they request it. 

I don't even see how this can be enforced, if I paid for a seat and I am unlucky enough to have to sit next to one of these fuckwads who actually had the nerve to pre-warn the airline that they required a buffer zone I'd be pretty annoyed.  What happens if a passenger brings their own food on board (which many do now since it ain't free anymore) and their personal food contains nuts?  Is the stewardess under instruction to rip a peanut butter sandwich away from passengers?

Does anyone wonder why it seems that there has been a ridiculous increase in nut allergies in recent years?  It's practically illegal to let your kid have a peanut butter and jam sandwich at school because it might somehow make its way into the mouth of a kid who is allergic.  When I was a kid we could take whatever food we wanted to school and guess what? No one died, kids weren't keeling over left and right.  It was totally normal to have PB&J in your lunchbox.  We were even allowed to bring juice to school.    

I'm allergic to morons, people who stink and assholes who speak loudly on their cell phones in public places - can I get a buffer zone too?

Post-post - I stumbled upon a school in the US that is nut-free and fish-free, so these kids are just fucked, no PB&J or tuna sandwiches, what has the world come to?
Monday, October 11, 2010

Obsession.  Compulsion. Fixation.

I've realized that over the past year or so, whenever I see a new colour of nail polish that I buy it.  I must have it.  Currently, one of the drawers in my coffee table contains 37 bottles of nail polish.  I'm guessing that's not normal.

Back in July I went to get a mani-pedi before my trip to Vegas, and I noted that I had more colour options at home than the salon had.  Again, I'm guessing that's not normal.

I'm also starting to wonder if changing the colour once a week (or so) and removing the polish, etc. will eventually cause me to have some sort of detrimental disease, that I am a human experiment for the nail polish industry.

Oh well, I like the pretty colours, and it's less expensive and time consuming than keeping up purple or pink or yellow hair on a regular basis.

So for now I will enjoy my Ruby Slippers, Brand New Skates, Under My Trench Coat,  In the Shadows, with Yellow Kitty.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My 39th book this year was I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman.  The book itself is probably not the best I've read of hers, but I was reminded that I love how she strings her words together, I simply enjoy how she writes, regardless of the storyline.  

The afternoon stretched before them, inert yet somehow demanding, like a guest who had shown up with a suitcase full of dirty laundry.
Elizabeth wanted to know what she looked like when no one was looking.

A few lines from the book, there are many more but I'm too lazy to type them out.  I enjoy Lippman's Tess Monaghan PI/mystery series, but her writing style, her piecing together of her prose, shines best in her stand alone fiction. 
Sunday, September 12, 2010

New retro sewing desk (for only $50!) = no more hunching over the coffee table = happy me =  finished curtains and finished quilt top.

I have a few weeks to actually finish the quilt, then I have to get started on a few Christmas projects......
Saturday, September 4, 2010

There's a library across the street from my house, so I finally came to my senses and went in today and got myself a library card.
[Gasp! You don't have a library card!?]

It's probably been about 10 years since I went in to a library or had a card.  I love books, so much in fact, that once I was out of school and employed, I could no longer bear to only "borrow" books, I fell into the habit of buying every book I read, of buying books on random subjects that I might've been mildly interested in.  There's also the fact that the trusty interweb made it big, so when in earlier years I might have gone to the library to research something, nowadays I can just Google it.  Case in point, we own tons of cookbooks, yet when I want a recipe for something specific I usually just find one online, I certainly don't go to the library to look it up. 
So a a test run, I checked out 3 books on quilting (yes, I know, very exciting), the lady advised me that there's a 3 month probation period for new card holders and in that 3 months I can only check out 10 items at a time, once the 3 months is up (assuming I haven't taken off with the 10 items, or racked up thousands of dollars in late fees) I will be allowed to take out up to 50 items at a time.  50 items.  I do not understand how anyone could need to check out 50 items, which are only in your possession for 21 days, all at the same time, but hey, I haven't had a library card in a while, maybe the times have changed.  The librarian also advised me that they subscribe to 3 different quilting magazines (I was unaware that you could even check out magazines), so I guess I really have no excuse to go out and spend money on reference/quilting books or magazines (she says, knowing she ordered 3 used books from a few days ago).  If I find a book I love or can't live without I can go buy it, otherwise the library is now my friend again.  The exception of course, is that I know I cannot "borrow" fiction from the library, fiction is still something I must possess, even if nowadays most if what I buy is in ebook format.

Postscript:  Though I was in a library, I still managed to buy a book - 75 cents for an out of print F. Paul Wilson novel to add to my collection :)
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I loathe it when people use big words in an attempt to make themselves look intelligent while at the same time probably making others feel inadequate or stupid. 

I was scrolling through a blog earlier tonight and the writer used big, ridiculous words at every turn of  phrase.  Many people would not be able to comprehend what the hell she was talking about.  Many people would just skip it altogether thinking it pompous. 

I am not against big words per se, I love words and sometimes a big, over the top word is appropriate; sometimes a big, beautiful word just fits.  I simply feel that in day to day life, conversation, communication, common / simple words are better.  I like plain speak.  I find it preferable to be direct. I find it preferable to know that the person I am talking to knows what the hell I am talking about, and doesn't walk away blank-eyed scratching their head.  I think I tend to show my intelligence through the way I phrase things rather than via the use of redonkulous* words.

I hate it when people say "he was just being facetious", when in fact, they could just say, "he's joking", or "he's just being a jackass".  Facetious is a word I just plain hate.

So just stop it.  When future generations or aliens try to make sense of us and our times I'd like them to be able to make sense of it all, after all someone should. 

*The title of this entry
a foot and a half long, hence inordinately long
relates to the translation of sesquipedalian, which is a stupid long word to describe stupid long words and the people who use them.
ses-kwuh-puh-DAYL-yuhn \  , adjective;
1. Given to or characterized by the use of long words.
2. Long and ponderous; having many syllables.
1. A long word.

**totally in the "dictionary", therefore perfectly acceptable
Monday, August 2, 2010
I decided my hobby, for the time being, shall be quilting.  I can do most of it in front of the TV, so I can continue to fuel my addiction whilst doing something rather than not.
In order to ensure that I actually do this and don't just spend countless hours thinking about maybe doing it, I have gone ahead and ordered fabric with the intention of making a quilt for my brother's upcoming baby. 
I have already spent hours picking fabric from Spoonflower and designing something that will look cool but should not be an overextension of my non-abilities.  I'm hoping this works out, as I love fabric and it will give me an excuse to source cool textiles and do some original design work on the quilts themselves.

When the fabric arrives, I will start on my Monster Tree quilt:

Of course, I have to get one of the 3 sewing machines I currently have in my house working first....
Friday, July 30, 2010

My thoughts, upon flying over Nevada for the first time, my mouth agape.


Flat unending dullness.  It seemed like perhaps the Apocalypse had occurred while we were in the air, and as we got nearer the ground I was seeing the effects of a horrible fire or explosion.

Now I understand the reason behind the craziness of the huge hotels, fake pyramids, Eiffel Towers, circus tents.  If not for Las Vegas, the people of Nevada would likely go insane due to the lack of colour, animation, variance, in their general surroundings.  The madness of the Strip counterbalances the tedium of the desert. 

I am lucky to live in a place that is surrounded by colour year round, that has mountains, lakes, trees, the ocean.  I have seen beauty in the desert of Nevada, in the Australian outback, but nothing compares to the beauty of home.
Thursday, July 29, 2010

So, I just got back from Vegas.
My first time there, just a girls' trip, no husbands or kids.
So, what did we do?
We drove to the indoor gun range and shot us some guns of course.

The Gun Store:
For our customer's health and safety, we provide Lead Free Ammo!

The Ladies Package got us 20 rounds with a Glock 9mm, 10 rounds with either an AR-15 or a Beretta cx4, a t-shirt of our choice, and our bullet-ridden targets.
I shot the Glock first, followed by the Beretta.
I was a little afraid to shoot the Glock, but wanted to try it, to hold it.  So many characters I read and love shoot Glocks.  It was surreal, the bullets are so small, that I thought I was completely missing the target.  When I finished my 20 shots, I put the gun down and said "that didn't seem real".  The gun guy asked what I meant.  I said "It didn't feel real, it felt like I could've been shooting blanks."  He assured me I was shooting real bullets and then reeled in the target, yup, 20 little holes in the target, just not necessarily where I was aiming to hit.
It did not feel real.  It did not feel like what I had just done could've killed someone, or more than one someone.  I could see how kids/youth, whatever you want to call them might not take it seriously.  Aside from my nerves, it did not seem any different than shooting in a video game. 

The Beretta was a bit different, I almost didn't even want to pick it up, and I even thought that if I got through the first few bullets, I might still freak out and not be able to finish.  It was certainly scarier than the Glock, and had a bit more of a punch to it.  It's touching your shoulder and your cheek, so it seems more personal.  But it also has the little red laser aiming dot, so it seems easier.  10/10 bullets hit the target.

Would I ever own a gun?  Not unless we were under siege, or living in a post-apocalyptic world of zombies or Mad Max wannabes.  Would I shoot one again?  Hell yeah, in a safe environment.

Those of you who have children and are interested in showing them how to kill things will be glad to know that the Gun Store has a Kids Package that allows your child to shoot a Ruger Mark III .22 and a
Semi-Auto .22 Rifle with 20 rounds each, they also get a t-shirt or a gift bag!  We asked minimum age requirement for the Kids Package and were told they usually don't allow anyone under 7, but it's based more on size than age, so if you have a large 5 year old.....
Sunday, July 18, 2010

After catching a couple of episodes of Season 2 of Sons of Anarchy, I went out and bought the Season 1 DVD's so I could start from the beginning.  Normally I don't like to go backwards, but in this case I made an exception and am glad I did.

Amidst the blood, guns, sex, and drugs is heart.  These people are into some pretty bad shit, but the viewer roots for them, because we can see the club truly cares for one another, and for those around them and will go to any lengths to protect them and theirs. 

The dialogue doesn't give me the same thrill as that in Justified, but the acting is probably the best that's been on TV in a long time.  It is a rare show that has 3 strong powerful leads surrounded by equally powerful supporting actors, and they all make it look effortless.  They all bring a truth to the heart of it all.  Seeing these tough bikers break down tears your heart out.  For me, it also reminds me of my childhood and my dad's friends.  I see the truth, I know that these tough people, who many might fear purely based on leather and tattoos, can be more of a family than blood relatives, that they take brotherhood seriously, that family means something.

I am reminded of the jeans and leather and tears at my father's funeral.  I am reminded that perhaps I am lucky, to have been raised to not judge a book by its cover, to have seen that these scary bikers are people with families and friends, and that there's nothing wrong with wearing jeans and a leather vest rather than a suit and tie every day.  I know I'd rather wear jeans than skirts and blouses and goddamn high heels.
Thursday, July 8, 2010

It seems there is a shift in the wind, something coming, on the horizon (little people converging marching toward us, over the mountain).  Friends are talking about having kids, trying to have kids, babies, babies, babies.  I know my mind has certainly shifted from where it was 3 years ago.  I still see both perspectives, on one hand I see the world is not a nice place, I see technology, the school system, the class system, and how it is different than when we were kids, how it seems like society is a festering wound that children grow up in.  They are defenseless, and so many of them out there right now are such spoiled assholes.  Part of me, the part that devours post-apocalyptic fiction, sees the end of the world, and thinks what's the point, really?

But then, then I see my nephews, or my friends' kids, and they do something good, or say something sweet; and yeah, they probably cry at some point too, but so far, they are all so good, with their different backgrounds and different parents, so far, none of them is a totally spoiled asshole. 
And that must mean, that if you are good and loving parent(s), and surround your kids with good and loving, and laughing people, and expose them to things other than TV and video games, it must mean that even in this festering society, we will be able to bring good people into this world.  It must mean that good people like us and our friends should bring good people into this world, otherwise there will be no one to counteract the upcoming assholes. 
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Okay, he's not a sheriff, he's a US Marshal, but you get my drift.
I just finished watching the Season Finale of Justified.  
Here is a TV show with fantastic dialogue that is not dumbed down.  Here is a hero who is not hard on the eyes, who is not perfect, and who uses actual grown-up words and dialogue.
You gonna bob and weave out of the path of a bullet? Cause that I'd like to see.
Timothy Olyphant (Raylan Givens in the show,  and who for me, was previously pretty much the dude from Scream 2) is made for this role and pulls it off perfectly.  The smart dialogue rolls off his tongue, often while he has a look of amused disbelief on his face. 

The show takes place in Kentucky and the characters ooze with, not southern charm, but with a southern ease and (I don't think it's charming to answer the door with some sort of gun in your hand, and characters on this show seem to make a point of doing so).  Lots of crazy shit happens in season 1, but the pace of the show is a nice southern calmness regardless of what's happening (shoot-outs, kidnapping, explosions, mass murder), and it's refreshing to not have to endure a frenetic MTV sensory overload. 

I am a TV addict and I watch lots of stupid shows purely for entertainment, sometimes due to the charm of an actor (Castle anyone?), but even with some of the good shows I watch, it's rare to get good, believable, intelligent dialogue.  I crave it.  Justified has it.
Now I have to site back and wait for season 2.

Raylan: I can only imagine how hard it has been for you to get where you are in the Marshal service
Rachel: Because I'm black or because I'm a woman?
Raylan: Because you're an idiot. 
Raylan: Why can't you bail him out?
Helen: Those are the first words out of your mouth?
Raylan: I'm sorry, I'll start again. I see you're still smoking
Art Mullen: Just what part of being under investigation confuses you, Raylan?
Raylan: So many things confuse me, Art.
Art Mullen: Do you think we're going to banter here? Cause we're not.
Raylan: I figure everyone is entitled to their hobbies and I'm entitled to think those people are creepy.

So yesterday, when I heard Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail followed by 90 days in rehab I laughed.  What does she expect?  If you act like a crack-whore, you get treated like a crack-whore.  If she wasn't famous she would have already been sentenced to some time behind bars.  Finally she is being treated just like any other person would be, given the circumstances.

That was yesterday.  That was before the media zoomed in on her nail polish to show the "fuck u" on her middle finger.  Now they are saying that this fuck you is likely to get her thrown in jail for contempt of court.
I'm sorry judicial system but you can't have it both ways.  She's either treated like a regular person or a celebrity.  If she's treated like a regular person, then the "fuck u" doesn't exist because there would not have been a paparazzi there to zoom in on her fingers and tattle tale to the media and report back to the judge.  Unless the judge has some sort of super vision, there's no way she saw this on her nails.
So, treat her like a regular joe, give her the original sentence and pretend the finger nail fiasco didn't happen, because if she were just some regular crack whore, there's no way anyone would have given her nail polish a second look.
Sunday, July 4, 2010

I am bored bored.
I need a hobby and I can't think of anything.
By hobby, I mean something that I find somewhat enjoyable, but not completely unproductive, since unproductivity is currently my past-time. 

Things that don't count:
  • Reading - I already do that for at least 1.5 hours a day on my commute, more if the book I'm reading is really good, or I'm really bored
  • Baking - I'm good at it but I'm already fat and my husband, though he likes my baking, isn't super keen on sweets,  I'm not good enough at it to sell my wares
  • Watching tv or movies - I do this entirely too much already, and really, should this be considered a hobby or just laziness?
  • Home renos/interior design - something I do on and off on a fairly regular basis.  If I had minions and millions, my house would be in constant design mode, alas I do not have minions or millions, and the projects I have on the go are work, not hobby.
Things that could be possibilities but I have discounted for one reason or another:
  • Sewing - My talent seems to be only curtains, tablecloths and placemats (read: nice tidy square items), at various points in my life I have tried and failed at clothing or other non-square items.  I would love to be able to sew because I love fabric, sometimes I obsess over fabric, but how many curtains does one house need?
  • Crochet - tried this last year and failed miserably, I made exactly 1 "bookmark"
  • Knitting - see crochet failure above
  • Pottery - tried in my youth, I am not good
  • Drawing and/or painting - tried in my youth, even then anything I produced looked like the work of a 3 year old, I am certain I have not magically gotten better with old age
  • Furniture design - if I could draw, I would draw furniture, alas, I cannot.  Also, my designs would be sad, lonely and unproduced since I certainly cannot make furniture.
  • Jewelry design - see above.
  • Writing (meaning fiction), I used to write, I used to be kind of good.  It seems I have no muse, or my muse gets caught up in my day to day mind/life and cannot break free.  It's like I grew up and life became real and I can't make shit up anymore.  Oh to be Peter Pan.
  • Family Tree - Been there done that.  I did ours earlier this year and went as far as I could with the information available to me.  So, now all that's left is for babies to be born or people to die.
  • Scrapbooking - my husband did some years ago and was far better than me, so I gave away most of my materials.  Though paper has been an obsession of mine from time to time.  I could do electronic scrapbooking and get Apple to print stuff for me.....
  • Quilting - no idea how to do this, nor does my mom, though it would tie in nicely with my obsession with fabric (where are the minions when I need them?)
Things I am good at or like, but can't seem to think of how to apply towards a hobby:
  • Specifics
  • Databases
  • Mining information
  • Working with deadlines
  • Books
  • Dogs
  • Telling others what to do / teaching others
  • Theatre
  • Earth-friendly products
  • Spending money
  • Zombies, werewolves, vampires
Things I hate or am very bad at:
  • Spending loads of time outside
  • Cleaning
  • Meeting new people / making friends
  • Small talk
  • I do not have steady hands / my hands are not very dexterous
  • Keeping my facial expressions in check when morons speak
  • Organizing (I organize in the electronic world, but feel no need to organize actual stuff, I thrive in my organized chaos, those piles on my desk mean something to me)
  • Working without deadlines, if there is no deadline for something, I tend to start and never finish, either because I discovered my suckery or just got lazy
...and after all of the above, I still have not ideas, no resolution.  It kind of makes me wish there was a government mandate or a gold star program that would force me to just pick something already.
Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Canadian is sort of like an American, but without the gun.  -Anonymous

Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world.  -Winston Churchill

Canadians were the first anti-Americans, and the best. Canadian anti-Americanism, just as the country's French-English duality, has for two centuries been the central buttress of our national identity.  -Jack Granetstein

I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.  -John Diefenbaker From the Canadian Bill of Rights, July 1, 1960

In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect.  -Bill Clinton

There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its virile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people.  -Winston Churchill

Vive la Canada. This country is not for sale.  -Don Sweet

We'll explain the appeal of curling to you if you explain the appeal of the National Rifle Association to us.  -Andy Barrie

When I'm in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like.  -Jane Fonda

With or without the Royals, we are not Americans. Nor are we British. Or French. Or Void. We are something else. And the sooner we define this, the better.  -Will Ferguson

There are those who say that Canadian English is a combination of British and American English. Those who say so are just a bunch of cultural wimps. Canada has its own culture and is not a sub-culture of the U.K. or the U.S. Maybe it's one of them that is the sub-culture and is using a combination of Canadian and the other's spelling, eh? The paper clip, the zipper, standard time, time zones, and United Nations peacekeepers are all Canadian innovations. There are even some Canadian words and phrases which are neither British nor American, but uniquely Canadian-Dave VE7CNV's Truly Canadian Dictionary of Canadian Spelling

Some Canadian words/term that I did not know were either completely or mainly Canadian:
  • Homo Milk 
  • runners
  • housecoat
  • deke
  • eavestrough
  • gaburator
  • parkade
  • tea towel
  • washroom
  • 4-piece bath
  • butter tart
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
So I'm going to Vegas in a few weeks.
So it will be hot.
So I bought a swimsuit today.
I haven't bought a bathing suit in probably 3 years, and even that one I think I've worn about twice.

This would be for several reasons:
a) I am not a sun-worshipper, in I am extreme in my avoidance of the sun and the heat - perhaps in direct sunlight I sparkle like a vampire, perhaps because my skin has not seen direct sunlight in years, perhaps because not only do I burn but I also am lucky enough that I am allergic and the sun gives me a rash.
b) I do not have a swimming pool, nor does anyone I know.
c) Even the very new, very large rec centre across the street from me does not have a pool.
d) I do not want to offend or cause blindness.

That being said, knowing that most of my time in Vegas will be (hopefully) in air-conditioned environs, and knowing that the friend I am going with is a sun-worshipper, and I do love the water, I know realistically we will spend some time poolside.  Hence the new swimsuit.

It wasn't as painful as it could have been, I think I may even have bought a smaller size than my last.  I went for the look rather than the function.  I think in it I am more Marilyn Monroe than big fat monster, so that's good.
So long as I can get down to the pool and not run back up to the room to get a long-sleeved hoodie..........
Retro Chic Bandeau w/Ruched Overlay

(and no, that sure as hell is NOT a picture of me, but at least it's not a size 2 in the photo...)
Monday, June 28, 2010

Since I am a dork and I catalogue, track and rate every book I read but tend not to write reviews, I have added a books page that pulls data from my LibraryThing account and shows what I am currently reading as well as the last 10 books I've read what I rated them as. 

In reviewing my catalogue which has data since 1998, it appears as though I hand out 3.5 and 4 stars freely and tend to hold back on 5's, 2's and 1's.  Examples of my ratings, because I know you care:

5 - The Stand, Stephen King (apparently the only book I have given a 5 to)

4.5 - Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole  -The Passage, Justin Cronin  -Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer  -Crosscut, Meg Gardiner

4 - Shades of Grey, Jasper Fforde  -Dante Valentine series, Lilith Saintcrow  -Harper Connelly series, Charlaine Harris  -Kitty Norville series, Carrie Vaughan  -Elvis Cole series, Robert Crais  -Jack Reacher series, Lee Child,  -a whole lotta Stephen King books

3.5 - In Death series, J.D. Robb  -Heartsick, Chelsea Cain  -JPod, Douglas Coupland  -a bunch of Sookie Stackhouse books, Charlaine Harris  -most of Richard Laymon's horror novels

3 - Generation Dead, Daniel Waters  -Under the Dome, Stephen King  -Velocity, Dean Koontz  -Strangers on a Train, Patricia Highsmith

2.5 - Jimi Hendrix Turns 80, Tim Sandlin  -Ash Wednesday, Ethan Hawke

2 - The Ruins, Scott Smith  -Shopgirl, Steve Martin  -The Beach, Alex Garland  -The Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris

1.5 - Hannibal, Thomas Harris  -Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen

1 - Danse Macabre, Laurell K. Hamilton  -Ticktock, Dean Koontz

I notice now that though I've read many classic novels and enjoyed some of them, I've never rated any of them.  I also notice that I obviously rate with my gut and not with any specific criteria held in mind, since I finish a book and rate it before moving on to the next book.  So there, on the day I finished Eclipse I felt it was a 4.5, The Ruins seemed like a 2 and on the day I finished Laurell Hamilton's Danse Macabre it felt like a 1, which means it must have pissed me off.
Friday, June 25, 2010

Ever since I was 12 (?) and read The Stand for the first time I have loved post-apocalyptic fiction.  The world as we know it will end people, it's just a matter of when and how.
Now, I could be a doomsdayer and actually pay attention to the news and the reality of the world and the environment, but that's just so depressing.  The oil spill sucks and is horribly destructive but I put it out of my mind because it makes me so angry to begin with, and then if I hear (blank number) of animals have died, suffocated, coverd in oil, well that will just make me cry.  So, me being me, I ignore it.

Instead the great scribes of our times will tell me how it ends, how I can prepare, how I can survive in the aftermath.  I find this to be much less depressing, and depending on the novel, even exciting.

Stephen King told me to read Justin Cronin's The Passage, so I did (and just in case you're wondering, no I don't hear Uncle Stevie's voice or anything, Stephen King doesn't actually talk to me - sometimes he writes a review, or mentions something worthwhile in his Entertainment Weekly column, okay?).  The Passage is straight-up post-apocalyptic fiction and I devoured it.  I pressed the "next" button on my e-book reader 828 times over 12 days blasting my way through it (list price $32.00, online price $18, ebook price $10 = space on bookshelf zero).  I don't like to get too detailed when writing about books, so I'll say the characters and the circumstances keep the reader guessing and engrossed, and the ending is a King-like ending, meaning it's not really an ending at all, meaning there could be another book or two to follow.  Normally, I would say - hey if there's 2 more books coming, wait on this one and read them all together, but in this case I say don't wait, the book can stand on its own and it's worth it - and it's not really one of those angering cliff hanger type endings where you are totally unsatisfied with the story thus far and just feel ripped off.

So do as Uncle Stevie did and just read the damn book.
4.5 stars
Thursday, June 17, 2010

My high school graduation was 15 years ago today, I'm officially old and there's no going back. 
Looking at some grad photos reminded me how much has changed - we didn't have digital cameras then, so some of the photos are either badly scanned in to the computer, or are just plain bad/out of focus.

I have a horrible memory, aside from basically not remembering any of my childhood, I don't even remember things I did or things that happened 15 years ago.  So here's a recap of 1995 events, some are sad, some are funny, some are just boring (though I omitted most of the boring stuff):

January 1 – The World Trade Organization (WTO) is established to replace the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
January 11 – The WB Television Network is launched.
January 16 – The United Paramount Network (UPN) is launched.
January 29 – Super Bowl XXIX: The San Francisco 49ers become the first National Football League franchise to win 5 Super Bowls, as they defeat the San Diego Chargers at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida.

February 13 – A United Nations tribunal on human rights violations in the Balkans charges 21 Bosnian Serb commanders with genocide and crimes against humanity.
February 23 - I turn 18.

March 1 – Yahoo! is founded in Santa Clara, California.
March 6 – On an episode of The Jenny Jones Show ("Same-Sex Crushes"), Scott Amedure reveals a crush on his heterosexual friend Jonathan Schmitz. Schmitz kills Amedure several days after the show.
March 27 – The 67th Academy Awards, hosted by David Letterman, are held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, with Forrest Gump winning Best Picture.

April 19 – Oklahoma City bombing: 168 people, including 8 Federal Marshals and 19 children, are killed at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Timothy McVeigh and one of his accomplices, Terry Nichols, set off the bomb.

May 11 – More than 170 countries agree to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions.
May 22 - Blossom, TV series ends
May 23 - Full Hose, TV series ends
May 25 – Egan v. Canada: The Supreme Court of Canada rules that discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
May 27 – In Culpeper, Virginia, actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition

June 15 – During his murder trial, O.J. Simpson puts on a pair of gloves that were presumably worn by the person who murdered his ex-wife and her friend Ron Goldman.
June 16 – My friends and I all go see Batman Forever on opening night
June 17 – My high school graduation
June 24 – The New Jersey Devils sweep the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings to win their first Stanley Cup in the lock-out shortened season.

July 4 – Bob Ross, American television painter dies (b. 1942)
July 13 – Dozens of cities, most notably Chicago and Milwaukee, set all-time record high temperatures. Hundreds in these and other cities die as the Chicago Heat Wave of 1995 reaches its peak.

August 9 - Jerry Garcia dies
August 13 – Mickey Mantle, baseball player dies (b. 1931)
August 24 – Microsoft releases Windows 95.

September – The DVD, an optical disc computer storage media format, is announced.
September 19 – Orville Redenbacher, American entrepreneur and businessman dies (b. 1907)

October 3 – O. J. Simpson is found not guilty of double murder for the deaths of former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.  An estimated 150 million people watch as the not guilty verdict is read.
 October 21 – Shannon Hoon, American singer dies (b. 1967)
October 30 – Quebec independentists narrowly lose a referendum for a mandate to negotiate independence from Canada.

November 22 – The first ever full length computer animated feature film "Toy Story" was released by Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures.

December 25 – Dean Martin, American actor and singer dies (b. 1917)


Billy Madison,
Leaving Las Vegas
Blue in the Face
Mighty Aphrodite
The Bridges of Madison County
The Net
The Quick and the Dead
The Crossing Guard
Dangerous Minds
Dead Man Walking
Strange Days
Tommy Boy
Four Rooms
Twelve Monkeys
Get Shorty
The Usual Suspects
The Ghost in the Shell

Record of the Year “Kiss From a Rose,” Seal
Album of the Year Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette
Song of the Year “Kiss From a Rose,” Seal, songwriter
Best New Artist Hootie and the Blowfish
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male “Kiss From a Rose,” Seal
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female “No More `I Love You's,” Annie Lennox
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance “Duets II,” Frank Sinatra
Best Pop Instrumental Performance “Mariachi Suite,” Los Lobos
Best Pop Album Turbulent Indigo, Joni Mitchell (Reprise)
Best Rock Album Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male “You Don't Know How It Feels,” Tom Petty
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female “You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morissette
Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group WVocal “Run-Around,” Blues Traveler
Best Hard Rock Performance “Spin the Black Circle,” Pearl Jam
Best Metal Performance “Happiness Is Slavery,” Nine Inch Nails
Best Alternative Music Performance MTV Unplugged in New York, Nirvana
Best Rap Album Poverty's Paradise, Naughty by Nature
Best Rap Solo Performance “Gangsta's Paradise,” Coolio

1. The Rainmaker, John Grisham
2. The Lost World, Michael Crichton
3. Five Days in Paris, Danielle Steel
4. The Christmas Box, Richard Paul Evans
5. Lightning, Danielle Steel
6. The Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield
7. Rose Madder, Stephen King
8. Silent Night, Mary Higgins Clark
9. Politically Correct Holiday Stories, James Finn Garner
10. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I realized recently that I have an accidental past time - I collect father figures.

Not in an Electra kind of way.  In a purely innocent, put them on a pedestal, try to get their attention, try to please them kind of way.
I realize I have been doing it for years, long before my father actually died, and I have quite a collection.  Teachers, bosses, co-workers, friends' fathers....

I'm thinking none of them ever had any idea, and wondering if any of them ever thought I was a total psycho. Guessing that, since my father died a veritable stranger to me, I am now destined to continue collecting unsuspecting dads.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Have you ever remembered something good from your childhood and tried to re-live it only to discover it totally sucks now that you're an adult? Like old TV shows, or movies you flick one on and go holy crap this sucks ass!
Your childhood memories are ruined.
You wish you had left well enough alone so you could continue to believe that The Facts of Life was awesome.

For once, something I loved as a kid is the same as it was. 

Map-O-Spread.  Sweet sweet Map-O-Spread.
Smuckers Map-o-Spread Delicious maple flavour spread. Excellent on toast, pancakes, ice cream and cake icing. Do not refrigerate. Made in Quebec.  Just the Best!

I remember as kids, whenever someone was going back east (to Manitoba or Quebec), they would bring back Map-O-Spread for us and it was the best treat ever that never lasted long enough. 
Melting on toast with butter. 
Making bread your best friend.

My brother went to Montreal a few weeks ago, I had a revelation on the way to work and sent him a text while he was on his way to the airport:

Me - Try to pick up some Mapospread :)
Him - I'm going to get a case of it
We were on the same wavelength.

He was only able to find 6 (large) jars of it, not a whole case, and after he lugged them back from rural Quebec, I was the lucky recipient of 1/6 of his haul (he wasn't keeping the rest for himself, he wanted to share the secret with some of his friends).

It was everything I remembered.  It is as good with cream cheese on toast as it is with butter on toast.
Funny thing though, this maple treat, this Quebec delicacy, doesn't have any real maple in it at all (in fact it sort of doesn't have any real ingredients at all).
Still yummy though.
It's nice to see some things never change.
It's the little things that can make me smile.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I was sent an email today that read:

Do you believe that the word God should stay in Canadian culture?

CBC this morning had a poll on this question. They had the highest Number of responses that they have ever had for one of their polls, and the Percentage was the same as this:

86% to keep the words “ God Keep our Land” in the National Anthem
14% against

That is a pretty 'commanding' public response.

I was asked to send this on if I agreed or delete if I didn't ..

Now it is your turn.  It is said that 86% of Canadians believe the word  “God” should stay......

Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a mess about having the word “God” in the anthem

Why is the country catering to this 14%?
If you agree, pass this on , if not, simply delete.
From what I can see, the above isn't even in any way true.  The recent discussion around the Canadian anthem was about making it "gender neutral" to take out the word "sons", and I think the "god" issue came up but wasn't really ever on the table.   I could care less about making the anthem gender neutral, it it really that big a deal? 

Of course I didn't forward the email to anyone, because anyone who knows me will know my answer would of course be to get the "god" out already.  There's no need for it, it would be a simple single word substitute, nothing major, and removing it is less offensive than leaving it in.  But then again, I'm the one who says if I ever had to go to court and they asked me to put my hand on a bible and swear to tell the truth, I'd either do so gladly and then lie my ass off because putting my hand on a bible means nothing to me, or, I'd ask them to substitute the bible for a copy of The Stand because swearing to tell the truth by placing my hand on a Stephen King book would hold greater weight for me than putting my hand on a bible.
Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stephen King told me to watch the Shoedini infomercial, so I did.  Some people do as Oprah says, I do as Uncle Stevie says.
Some commercials make you laugh at their stupidity, this one made me cringe.  The first few seconds sound like Dr. Seuss came back from the grave and busted out some shoe rhymes.  The whole thing is voiced over by Gilbert Gottfried so if I ever actually saw this on TV I would change the channel or mute it for sure.
Apparently bending over to put your shoes on or off can be treacherous and one is much safer to use an implement when performing this dangerous act.  I think if, rather than showing an old man hopping around and a blonde lady unable to get her shoes off by herself, they'd be better off marketing to big fat Americans who actually can't see their feet or bend over anymore, I mean it's a built in market, like shooting fish in a barrel.
Stephen King talks about a being commercial connoisseur in his EW column this week, something I am not.  I PVR everything now so I can fast forward through commercials and American newsbreaks.  If I'm watching something live rendering me unable to fast forward I zone out during commercials and pay zero attention (unless there's a cute dog or unless it was one of the good Canadian ones during he Olympics).
Some people bitch about product placement in TV and movies, I don't understand what the big deal is.  If I am subjected to the good guy drinking a Coke and the bad guy driving a Dodge Ram, what do I care?  At least I didn't have to sit through a 30 second commercial for each item.  I remember as a kid we always thought it was stupid funny when TV characters cracked open a pop that either had a made up name, or in some cases actually just had a sticker obscuring the brand name, because we TV viewers were not allowed to know what kind of pop fake people drank.

Remember, if you get a headache after watching the Shoedini commercial, you can always buy some Head On (apply directly to forehead!!)
Friday, May 28, 2010
There's always gotta be something to piss me off.

I try to be as green as possible, I carry at least 1 fabric bag around with me on a regular basis in case I stop at the grocery store on the way home.  When we go to the market or butcher we always bring several bags so we don't have to use any from the store.  I get it that some grocery stores charge you 3cents for a plastic bag and some grocery stores now only have annoying handle-less paper bags, no plastic at all (don' they know paper bags + rainy Vancouver don't really work together?).  I like that my Thrifty's gives me 3cents for each bag I bring in and use each time I buy groceries.  I was mildly annoyed when Ikea decided they would not have bags at all, but they advertised it in advance, and so now I try and come prepared, though if I stop there unplanned it can be very annoying to not even be able to pay 3cents for a bloody bag. 

I went to The Bay at lunch today and bought 2 shirts, I thought it was a bit odd when the girl asked if I wanted a bag, as I wasn't carrying any other bags, just my purse.  So I said yes, I need a bag, I mean it's raining outside, and did she expect I was going to walk out with 2 shirts and a receipt in my hand?  I mean, if I already had a bag from another store, I would never take a bag, if the stuff I'm buying fits into the bag I already have I always say no to the plastic bag.  She told me the bag would cost me 5cents.  5 motherfucking cents for a very small plastic bag, not really a bag that can be reused, except maybe for dog crap. 
How many people do you know go into a department store to buy clothes, or makeup, shoes or even a friggin coffee machine and bring their own bags with them?  How many tourists shop in the downtown Bay on a daily basis?  Are they rally going to be carrying bags around with them? The Bay is not a grocery store,  charging 5cents (not 2cents or even 3cents) for a bag at a store like The Bay is basically robbery and a flat out money grab. 
Maybe, instead of inconveniencing customers by having no bags, or pissing us off by robbing us blind if we forgot to bring our own bag, these stores should concentrate on saving the planet by putting a stop to ridiculous packaging practices.  Why is everything wrapped in plastic?  Why are so may things still surrounded by styrofoam? Why are so many things packages in boxes that are twice the size of the product inside?  Why is there still such a thing as disposable razors - or disposable anything?  Less packaging wold mean less garbage and less need for bags overall.
Monday, May 24, 2010

I read a lot, I watch TV a lot, and I go to movies a lot - basically I spend most of my non-work hours living vicariously through the fictional lives of imaginary characters.  I have always been this way, even as a child I would take books to family gatherings or parties and sit in a corner or under a pool table and read.  Recently I added Joe Pike (from Robert Crais' Elvis Cole / Joe Pike series of books) to my list of favourite male characters. In my own crazy world, it would be heaven if Joe Pike and Jack Reacher formed a kickass Justice League with Repairman Jack, Archie Goodwin, and Sam and Dean Winchester.

Suggested entertainment via kick-ass men:

  • Jack Reacher - Lee Child's series, book 14 just came out, I highly recommend all of them, Reacher is pretty much the best series character ever.
  • Joe Pike - sidekick to Elvis Cole in Robert Crais' series (11 books), now has a couple of books of his own.
  • Repairman Jack - F. Paul Wilson's series (14 books).
  • Archie Goodwin - Nero Wolfe's right hand man in the Rex Stout novels, also played to perfection by Timothy Hutton in the A&E TV series.
  • Sam & Dean Winchester - of the Supernatural TV series, the best sibling relationship on TV (seriously), and it certainly doesn't hurt that they're easy on the eyes.
Honourary mentions:
  • Coach Eric Taylor of Friday Night Lights (Eric & Tami's husband-wife relationship is the best on TV)
    Tuesday, May 11, 2010
    Parents of tween girls can rejoice, for they will soon be able to buy their kids some novels written by none other than Tyra Banks.  Soon readers will be able to escape into the Tyra's fantasy world of Modelland - did you get that? Her imagination has no bounds, she took the word model and added the word land and came up with the wholly original name for her series (pronounced “Model Land”) .  And - wait for it - the series centers around "a girl trying to keep up with the beauty game at an elite school for supermodels, or Intoxibellas."  I'm not even going to begin to try to fathom "Intoxibellas", I think the stupidity of the word speaks for itself, but her website says "Intoxibellas are drop-dead beautiful, kick-butt fierce and, yeah, maybe they have some powers too."
    That's right folks your kids will be able to learn the ins and outs of "the beauty game".  
    All I can say is that if "elite" school wants to keep it real, I guess the students will be able to take classes such as Bulimia 101 and Narcissism for Beginners. 
    Sunday, May 9, 2010
    Baby Olive is on the couch, at my feet.  Frantically wagging her tail in her sleep, as if the dream she is having is the best one ever, as if she is the happiest dog in the world.  It makes me smile, to know my dogs are happy, even when they dream.
    Oh, that life were so simple for the rest of us.
    Wednesday, April 21, 2010
    some days,
    some (melancholy) days,
    I like to believe that this life is one of many parallel lives, and in my other parallel lives I am things I am not:

    I am a published writer with 3-4 books under my belt,or
    I am born with red hair to match my freckles,  or
    I am 5'9", or
    I won the lottery, or
    I have travelled to more than 1 other continent, or
    I am a closet drunk, or
    I am still 110 lbs, or
    I am a mad scientist, or
    I am a drummer in a band, or
    I am a librarian, or
    I am a shapeshifter, or
    I am a person who misplaces things, or
    I am kickass with a gun, or
    I am a successful local actress (appearing on Fringe and Supernatural), or
    I am a superhero avenging animal cruelty, or
    I am mother to J.D., Vedder and Delia, or
    I have 2 parents, or
    I am a survivor of the apocalypse, or
    I am not self-conscious, or
    I have horseshoes up my ass, or
    I am not lacking in friends, or
    I am a furniture designer, or
    I own a bookstore, or
    I am a revolutionary, or
    I am rewarded for the work I do, or
    I am unforgettable, or
    I have a PhD, or
    I have some terrible disease, or
    I am carefree, or
    I am tattooed on all 4 limbs, or
    I am all that others think I should be, or
    I am a charming surprise, or
    or any combination of the above.

    These are of course, not all things I have wished or do wish to achieve, or aim to become, they are simply daydreams of a parallel life that isn't, but somewhere could be.
    Tuesday, April 13, 2010
    ...or use someone else's imagination.
    Last week I stumbled upon, a website where users can get fabric created using their own original designs, or search through the talent of other users and order their designs.  
    Since I cannot draw and have never mastered Photoshop, I ordered some samples so I can choose what fabric I want to place an order for:

    I love fabric and I love the idea of getting near one of a kind fabric and then creating drapes, pillows, etc. from it to personalize my home.  Some of the fabric designers also have links to sites like Etsy where they sell items they've made with their fabric.
    Sunday, April 11, 2010
    The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test came up in conversation at work last week, many people had taken the test in college or during an exercise at work, I had not.  Last night I started off with taking a couple of the free tests, and got consistent results which I found to be very interesting, so I moved up to a more formal (pay, but not hundreds of dollars or anything) test.  A report of the results was emailed to me this morning.  I am an INTJ (Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging ), also known as a Mastermind.
    Just saying I'm a Mastermind makes me grin, because of course it makes me think I am, or have the potential to be, an evil supervillain or something.  Reading the report and looking into INTJ, it seems pretty spot on to me.  Some points:

    • INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sak
    • When it comes to their own areas of expertise -- and INTJs can have several -- they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don't know. 
    • INTJs live in the world of ideas and strategic planning. They value intelligence, knowledge, and competence, and typically have high standards in these regards, which they continuously strive to fulfill. To a somewhat lesser extent, they have similar expectations of others. 
    • many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.
    •  INTJs spend a lot of time inside their own minds, and may have little interest in the other people's thoughts or feelings. 
    • Other people may have a difficult time understanding an INTJ. They may see them as aloof and reserved. Indeed, the INTJ is not overly demonstrative of their affections, and is likely to not give as much praise or positive support as others may need or desire. That doesn't mean that he or she doesn't truly have affection or regard for others, they simply do not typically feel the need to express it.  
    • Masterminds are rare, comprising no more than, say, one percent of the population, and they are rarely encountered outside their office, factory, school, or laboratory. Although they are highly capable leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead. 
    • Masterminds do not feel bound by established rules and procedures, and traditional authority does not impress them, nor do slogans or catchwords. Only ideas that make sense to them are adopted; those that don't, aren't, no matter who thought of them.   
    If you know me, all of the above applies, whether good or bad.

    Interestingly enough, on the list of fictional INTJ's:  Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs) and Professor Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes' nemesis), though so are Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), Gandalf the Grey (J. R. R. Tolkein's Middle Earth books), and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Hamlet).
    Monday, April 5, 2010
    Just because Apple tells you to read books on the iPad, does not mean it has to be so. 
    iPad reading = eye strain.  I would never sit down and read a book on a computer screen, I stare at a computer screen 10 hours a day at work already.  eBook readers with eInk technology are a far different experience, an experience that is far closer to that of reading an actual book than that of reading on a computer screen.
    I love my Sony eBook reader, and though there are now a few prettier ones out there with eInk technology (Nook, Kindle, Kobo) I will stick with Sony for now. It uses the ePub file format so is now compatible with many ebook stores and if I ever do switch to a competitor's reader, my books will transfer over.  My Sony Reader Pocket Edition fits in my jacket pocket, my purse etc., takes up less room than a paperback and is easier on the wrists to read in bed or on transit (no more carrying around 1000 page hardcover for weeks!).
    People have complained that you can't read eInk in the dark - didn't their mothers tell them reading in the dark is bad for their eyes?  Turn on a lamp!  You wouldn't sit in a dim room, crack open a paperback and then say "aww man, it's too dark in here, guess I can't read".
    Don't get me wrong, I love books, I collect books, but the convenience of being able to carry my eReader at all times with multiple books at my fingertips has won me over.  Yes, I will still buy the 1000 page Stephen King book for my bookshelf, but chances are that I also have the ebook.
    Friday, April 2, 2010
    Ahh, the long weekend...and, it's pouring rain outside.  Not that that's much of a surprise, I would guess if I bothered to look up statistics on Good Friday weather in the Lower Mainland it would probably say that it rains 95% of the time.  Some would say the rain is tears for Jesus.  I would not be one of those some.

    Working in a non-government related job means that what was once a 4 day long weekend is now just 3 days, but I've taken the Monday off anyhow to make it 4 again, it just seems right.  4 day weekend, and no there are no travel plans, we learned our lesson on that one years ago.  Family dinner tonight at mom's, since we did Christmas dinner at our place.  Nope, no major plans, I took the extra day off so that I could (go to the spa? get my hair done? go shopping?)...paint the guestroom.
    In my house, I am the one that does the painting, tiling, laying of floors, picture hanging, etc.  My husband is the one that does the cooking, and most of the cleaning.  Garden and plants - I kill them generally because I forget they even exist and leave them to fend for themselves, he does not.  I am the one that works 10 hour days, meaning away from home for 12 hours a day.  I am the one that does our finances, pays the bills, does our taxes.  My husband generally has no idea how much money we have in the bank, and if you asked him how much money we made last year it is highly unlikely that he would know. 
    Is this weird?  I don't think so. I don't think it makes me less feminine or him less masculine.
    I think it is just balance, and our balance just happens to be opposite of what most would perceive to be the standard.

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    I am an INTJ, also known as a Mastermind.
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