Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ringing in the New Year!

I just realized that FLIB-ur-teejib-it (n.) turned three years old on Dec 27th. My only excuse is that I've been a tad busy. And tired. And overwhelmed.

Highlights of this year:
  • May: Going to Rome/Southern UK (pictures are still not up!)
  • July: Getting knocked up
  • Aug: Finding out I was knocked up
  • Sept: Finally finishing my Evil School
This whole baby thing has really taken over my life. So far, we've managed to mostly re-organize the house, purge I would say about one-sixth of what was originally there and clean out most of the baby's room.

There's still some large furniture in the baby's room that needs to be moved out, and we were prevented mainly from the four large snowfalls we had within a span of two weeks! This is the most snow I've seen ever fall on Lotusland! Nonetheless, it doesn't mean we haven't made great headway in the the baby-front. I've been doing a lot of reading on what the baby needs before I go out and buy things like strollers, car-seats, clothing, baby's development, etc.

We did buy a little bit of stuff: a swaddling blanket, two organic cotton onesies and an organic cotton sleep sack. The biggest purchase so far was the Natural Rubber crib mattress. A regular crib mattress costs anywhere from $80-100. This one was significantly more, but we feel it's worth it. Why a Natural Rubber mattress? I'll be answering that question in a later post, but here's something to get you started.

What to look forward to in 2009:
  • Well, I'm still pregnant, so you'll be hearing a lot about that. A cloth diapering session and prenatal classes are on the calendar
  • I'm giving birth to a baby! Enough said. Being a mother should be interesting....
  • We're slowly greening our house. I was going to start up a separate green blog, but then I got knocked up, and quickly realised that maintaining yet another blog won't be feasible.
  • And other things as they come along...
I am determined to post at least once a week in 2009, even it is only "My baby won't sleep and mummy is sleep-deprived.". But you'll definitely see a bit of a shift with FLIB-ur-teejib-it (n.) next year as I go through my own life changes.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Repeat after me...


So within a week's time, we got about 30cm of snow dumped on us. This is the most snow that I've ever seen fall in Lotusland. Ever.

For those of you who are enamored with snow, you cannot say that love snow only when it's convenient for you. If snow becomes an inconvenience, you still must love it, and can never change your mind about not loving it later on. Or else you become a hypocrite.

I hate snow. Refer to first sentence of this post.

This picture was taken today. The big piles of snow is our front yard, and the trees beyond that is our neighbour's yards. Hubby and my mom spend a fair number of hours this past week just shovelling and shovelling and shovelling and shovelling...

Never mind the stoopid people on the road who are scared, can't drive in the snow, get their cars stuck because they have bald summer tires on or their cars just isn't powerful enough, whatever. People become very selfish when it comes to winter driving around these parts. It's every person, or vehicle, for himself. A passerby told Hubby today that there were actually people down the street from us who were getting into a big fight. While he didn't have full details, we could probably guess that people were getting very frustrated by the snow and not being able to go or get around anyone else.

It will be one of the few Christmases when it's actually a White Christmas, but honestly, white Christmases are so over-rated. Forecast says it should be raining later this weekend. I can't wait for that.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's a BOY!!!.... Maybe....

Okay, I really don't know the sex of the baby, even though we wanted to find out. Alas, we went to the detailed ultrasound a few weeks too early, and the policy of the ultrasound clinic was that they didn't tell, period, until 20 weeks. I was 17.5 weeks at that point. We were a tad disappointed, but had since gotten over it.

Really, the only real reason I wanted to know was so I could focus on choosing one name instead of two. I'm not a fan of choosing a name that you can change from male to female (eg from William to Willamina). I also want a name that was clearly male or clearly female, and not something androgynous, like Jamie. Not that Jamie, William or Willamina are bad names, but they just not my cup of tea. (We have other criteria too, but I won't get into that right now).

So who has been telling me it's a boy? Well, pretty much everyone. This Chinese Birth Chart, also predicts that it's a boy. I'd conceived in July, so you can guess how old I am.

Here are some other predictions, all by people I know. It's a boy because:
  • I'm carrying high (whatever that means, when you pat the top of my belly, that's not baby, that all my organs and guts being pushed aside because the baby is taking up all the space in the rest of my belly. In fact, the baby is sitting fairly low)
  • I'm carrying low
  • If you look at me from behind, I don't look pregnant
  • It kicks a lot (I'm not certain if this kid kicks more than average, this is my first time I'm pregnant, and I think it kicks loads!)
  • I have tons of acne, and in places where I normally never had any. This is my personal favourite prediction. My mother looked at me one day, and declared me to have an ugly face (in Chinese), then proceeded to tell me it was because of my acne. With her years of motherly sage advice, she told me I have acne because I have male hormones running through my body, and If I had a girl, my skin would be clear. (My mother has had only myself and my sister, so of course she would know!) One of my staff also said similar to me. A friend of mine who had a baby this year, had lots of acne, and she ended up with a girl.
I do have some mixed feelings if it is a boy. Growing up, it was just me and my sister. I really don't know what boys do or are interested in: I can't relate. A part of me was hoping to give my kid a copy of Anne of Green Gables: after all, all Canadian girls must read it, it's practically a rite of passage. Boys generally tend to be more of a handful, and generally noisier and less gentle than girls. On the other hand, I hate, hate, hate! with a passion the colour pink, and would simply die if my kid would insist on wearing pink all the time. And boys tend to play the cooler sports and play cars, and not with Barbies.

We'll see in 16.5 more weeks what pops out....

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A quick update on moi

Today I'm 22 weeks (about 5.5 months for those who can't convert quickly). I'm doing well overall. The kid's been kicking up a storm this past week. Hubby finally felt the kid kick the first time last night. Not once, not twice, but several times. The kid has been keeping me from sleeping well, I'm so not used to all that movement in my belly, especially at night when I'm trying to sleep. That I can still sleep on my back helps though.

I'm definitely getting bigger. Both my SI joint hurt now because the weight of the baby against my pelvis, and my feet feel like they're taking a beating. Last weekend, I tried picking up a semi-heavy box, and boy, did my SI joint scream back at me. I guess my hips aren't as wide as I first thought, ha.

In the next few weeks, I will be going in for my glucose test, which diagnoses for Gestational Diabetes. This is one of the things that I'm really worried about. While I feel that I'm a fairly healthy person, I eat pretty well, I exercise about 5 times a week and I try to get as much sleep as possible, I've already started cutting back my sugar intake, which includes pop and juice. I know I can cut back on more, but it's already so frustrating eating already. I've always been a picky eater, but now my food choices are more limited, I feel. Everything's beginning to taste bland, and find that there are times when I don't feel like eating simply because my food choices are getting bland and repetitive. I know that GD isn't selective, and you can do everything right and still get it. And with some (yet again) lifestyle changes, it's possible to keep it under control. It's really something that I'd rather not think about or have to deal with, so hence, this is making me a tad more miserable being pregnant.

We're almost finished cleaning out the baby's room, although you couldn't tell if you saw it, there is a ton of furniture in the room still. My goal is to have this room completely empty before Christmas, save for the baby stuff that's coming in, of course. This weekend, we'll be purchasing a new desk and I'll be moving my office space in with Hubby's. This will be an interesting arrangement, because if there's one thing I've found, Hubby and I don't share office space well.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Star Trek Movie! EEEEEEEE!

I know some of you may have seen this trailer already, but I'm putting it up anyways. I CAN'T WAIT for this movie to come out! I think the cast is terrific, but I have no idea who the Kirk actor is. I've seen Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho and Zoe Saldana before, but never even heard of Chris Pine. Apparently, I don't get out often enough any more.

My one beef with this movie is with Paramount. Up until quite recently, I thought that this movie was to be released Christmas 2008, and was all geared up to go and watch opening night. Now I find out it's being released May 8, 2009. I'm going to have a 1-month old baby by then! Boooooo on Paramount! They should have consulted me first!

Chistmas Tree!!

This past Friday, we bought a tree and put it up, and decorated it. It's hard to see but all the ornaments except for the balls and one Christmas angel (that I friend of mine made for me years ago) are all handmade and bought from a Ten Thousand Villages store. This is the first Christmas tree in probably at least 10 years I've put up, and definitely the first since getting married.

I'm quite a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas. As and adult, all I could see were people getting stressed out, people spending way too much on things that other people didn't particularly liked, and a general expectation of people having to buy gifts for others, etc. Generally, this holiday was getting too materialistic and too wasteful for my tastes.

I mean, how many times you were given something, and while you were taught to be gracious and accepting, deep down inside, you didn't like it, it was going to go into a regift pile, put aside to be forgotten, or eventually, just thrown away (and then in my mind, I cringe at the thought of yet another item going into our landfill). I've been through all these things with my gifts, which is why as a general rule I don't give gifts any longer unless it cash or a gift card, or something that's consumable or recyclable.

However, I'd found myself this year reflecting on my stance on Christmas, and thinking to Christmases past when I was a child. Christmas was fun, magical and wonderous. I don't know if it's the preggo hormones in me, but I was becoming somewhat sentimental, and discovered that I wanted to at least recapture that for the kid, and also teach him/her a little of what Christmas is really about. The practical side of me said that since I had pretty much no ornaments, it would be easier for me and more economical if I bought them this year, and re-engage my tree trimming skills now than a year from now when I have figure all this out and keep an eye open for a crawling baby that was going to threaten to tip the tree over.

I also wanted to be more environmentally friendly with the tree, hence we trudged down to our local garden centre and bought a real tree, one that can be recycled. The ornaments that I'd picked from Ten Thousand Villages, I wanted to make certain that they would last us for a while (we also spent wayyyy more than I was intending, oops!, but it's promoting sustainability for others, which is a good thing). It's not very big (it's probaby not quite 6 feet tall), and it partially blocks the view of the TV, but I love my little tree. I'm starting to get excited about Christmas again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I'm 20 weeks today! I have to say that other than the nausea (no actual throwing up thank goodness!) and the SI joint pain, which comes and goes, I've had a relatively smooth pregnancy. Everything looks good so far with bebe, and I haven't had too many other pregnancy symptoms (cross fingers). I still get slightly nauseated in the evenings when I'm tired. I still have some food aversions when I eat (which may be psychological at this point because I was so scare before that some foods would kick the nausea into high gear). But no hemorrhoids (cross fingers), no constipation (cross fingers), and any heartburn I experience is very mild, and typically disappears in an hour or so (cross fingers). I still have upper back pain, but a large part of it I think is because I'm still sitting in front of the computer for many hours of the day, and I can't sleep on my back, so my shoulders are also in the same slumped position as if I was sitting in a chair.

The most uncomfortable thing for me right now is that my belly apparently doesn't like to be confined. Even when wearing my mat pants, which are very comfy, it squeezes my belly just enough so that not only is my belly uncomfortable, but it triggers a weird gagging sensation. If it's not constricting clothing, then it's either the baby shifting or growing that will trigger the gag reflex. I gag several times a day, every day now. Hubby's gotten used to it, but he's still waiting for the day when I actually up-chuck. So not fun.

I'm also starting to feel the baby move. I've probably been able to feel it move for some time. I've been told it's been told that it's either a fluttery feeling or it feels like gas bubbles. The fluttering I've been feeling more of. The gas bubbles, harder to tell, not certain if it's the baby or my body passing gas. Ha. Can't wait for the kid to start kicking me in the ribs.

Anyways, I've started up a baby blog, so if you want to view it, email or message me! I'll post a belly pic up there too!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My new mattress!

This mattress (not the bed frame or the pillows) finally arrived a few weeks ago after waiting almost four weeks for it. Let me tell you that the moment it arrived, my back was in bliss!

I blame the origins of my current SI joint problems on our old, soft, lumpy mattress. I think sleeping on that thing had put my hips out of alignment. And of course, sleeping on a sloping mattress didn't help my sleep at all.

My mid-and lower back pain have pretty much disappeared, thank goodness! My SI joint problems still persist unfortunately, because now I'm about 5 months along in my pregnancy, and I think the baby's sitting on a nerve or something. Sigh.

For those of you who don't recognize the bed, it's a Tempurpedic Rhapsody. It's somewhat more firmer than the Classic bed. It didn't take me very long to get used to it. Hubby took a bit longer, and even though he feels that his sleep isn't any different, we both have noticed that we don't feel the other move any more, and even hubby has noticed that he sleeps a little deeper now.

My only beef right now is that I'm a back sleeper, and I shouldn't be lying on my back for too long. I've been told that the weight of the baby may cut off some of the circulation to my lower body. But I've still found that I wake up on my back, and hubby's found me lying asleep on my back more than once. Old habits die hard! It's too bad I can't enjoy my bed properly for a few month more. Sigh.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pregnancy and Exercise

When I told some people that I fully intend on continuing my regular exercise routine while pregnant (with the blessing of my caregiver of course), they gave me a look of disbelief. I haven't stopped exercising since I had gotten pregnant, and since I didn't even find out that I was pregnant until I was pretty much in my eighth week, I had been exercising for at least half my first trimester.

I'm still doing step class and cardio machines. I'm still doing strength training with machine and free weights. My trainer even has me working out on a Bosu to help me with my balance. I still do core exercises, sit ups, and even Pilate's.

However, the intensity has been brought down quite a bit. For instance, I used to do step class with one riser level under the step. This has been removed because I want to keep my heart rate down. I've also lowered the intensity while I do step. Many of the moves I do in Pilate's have been modified, or eliminated entirely. I'm not trying to increase my strength with the weight training so much so as to just keep what I have now, especially since I've been told I'd need that strength to push the baby out and when I have to lug around a 10lb kid for half the day. And as some have pointed out, the continual exercise is to help me maintain my health and not let it deteriorate. It's not the time for me right now to lose the weight, just to stay healthy.

This article also outlines some benefits and exercising mummy has for the baby. Research has shown that for the babies of moderately exercising mothers:
  • Infants are less cranky and less likely to have colic.
  • Infants have less body fat at birth. Some early research suggests that the benefits of lower body fat may translate into a reduction in the incidence of heart disease and diabetes in adulthood.
  • Children have greater neurodevelopment scores in oral language and motor areas when tested at age five.
Believe it or not, I found exercising helped stave off the nausea, even if was only for an hour or so. I still feel like a lump of lard if I don't regularly exercise. And besides the health benefits to myself and for the baby, I still covet and strive for the bikini body. Hopefully by this time next year....

Sunday, November 09, 2008

My thoughts on being pregnant... so far

For the record, I hate being pregnant.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy about having the kid, it's the whole pregnancy thing that I hate. While I know logically that being pregnant is part of the journey of having the kid, in my mind, they are two completely separate events. I wish babies are like sea monkeys: add some water to the eggs and within a few days, out pops a baby. None of this 9 months of incubation in my belly stuff.

Right now, I'm at 18 weeks 3 days (about 4.5 months), firmly entrenched in the beginning part of my second trimester, and I'm probably the least miserable to date. I normally don't like being uncomfortable, even slightly uncomfortable. Being pregnant has made me very uncomfortable. Not only uncomfortable, but incredibly frustrated.

I've always had my own bodily limitations that I've had to learn how to deal with over time. My entire life has revolved around making myself feel more comfortable so I can do things and function normally. But it's my body, and I've accepted that this is how I am, and have learned to work around its limitations. But as someone has put it, my body is not my own any more. For 9 months, it's the baby's. This is the root of my frustration: I can't treat my body as my own any more, and the uncomfortableness is something that I have to more or less put up with.

For instance, I've dealt with back pain for about 3-4 years now. Typically, after I go see my massage therapist (twice a month) or my chiropractor (at least once a month, sometimes more if I have a problem), I need to take a hot bath afterwords to soak away the soreness. This is the only guaranteed way I can feel better, and that includes getting a good night's sleep. I can't take hot baths right now, it's bad for the baby (and may cause a miscarriage, even in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters). So I have to put up with being sore, cranky, and not getting very restful sleep, which again, isn't good for the baby. It's even worse for me as my nausea still kicks in during the evenings if I'm tired enough.

My first taste of misery is what most people call "morning sickness", which is a total misnomer as my sickness reared it's ugly head late in the afternoon or early evening. Because of this, and from other women experiences, I've relabeled it to "pregnancy sickness". Fortunately for me, because my pregnancy sickness hit me late in the day, I was able to still be semi-functional at work, which made this really easy to hide from pretty much everyone at work. It also allowed me to eat enough during the day so that I wouldn't lose too much weight.

Not so fortunate was the feelings and experience of pregnancy sickness. You know when you have the flu, all you can focus on is how absolutely miserable you feel and that you want to throw up and die all the time? That feeling? Yes, that's what it was like for me from about weeks 7-8 to about week 15-16. There is a slight difference though, I ended up feeling absolutely nauseated and hungry at the same time, which was a bizarre feeling for me, and not one that I wish on any one, yet I know a lot of women can relate. During that time, all I was doing was going to work, maybe going to the gym, trying to eat dinner (and failing miserably), then just going to bed. I was so frustrated because I couldn't get anything done in the evening, and I'm a doer, I don't like not getting things done, I feel like a useless doorknob when that happens. And what I need to do still needs to get done, and I get frustrated.

Another victim of my pregnancy sickness was my poor hubby. I'm married to a really great guy who can pull his weight around the house, and who does pretty much all of the cooking right now. It was super hard for him to try to plan on what to cook for dinner since I was pretty much revolted by any form of animal flesh: beef, pork, fish, chicken, etc. There were days when I wouldn't know if I could eat something or not until it was set down before me. While I realised that it was the smell that was putting me off, I thankfully didn't toss my cookies. However, I would get this weird mental block, and I just "knew" that I couldn't eat it. Period. Didn't even have to try. Or the one time hubby made fish for dinner, and I couldn't even physically walk into kitchen, it revolted me so much. Hubby had to eat the whole dinner by himself. I still can't look at pictures of food or watch the Food Network, that's how much turned off from food I am. While the intensity of my nausea has finally subsided, my aversion to certain food stuff have not. I still have great difficulty eating some things like chicken and lamb, and it's so tough on hubby to try to be even more creative with the daily meals. Poor guy.

Then there's the gagging. I'm finding that when the belly is going through even a slight growth spurt, if there is even a little bit of pressure on my belly (aka pregnancy pants), I don't feel like I can breathe properly and causes a short bout of gagging, which, if you ask hubby, sound like I'm going to throw up. Now I'm not blaming the pregnancy pants, they're actually very comfy, and they are actually not that tight on my body; in fact the band around the belly is still a bit loose. It's just that my body does like any sort of pressure or slight feeling of being constricted by clothing: my belly wants to hang free. I'm finding that I'm gagging a lot and have to pull the band on the pants to have it stop and so that I can breathe semi-properly again. Trust me, neither sensation is comfortable.

Now I know I'm luckier than most who have been in my shoes: I haven't actually once thrown up, I was still able to eat some of the time, and I haven't had any real back pain yet (except for my SI joint, but I still think it's the result of a lumpy mattress and not my pregnancy). So all in all, my pregnancy's been better than most.

But that doesn't mean that I have to like being pregnant, nor enjoy not having much control over my own body any longer. I don't like the changes that my body is going through, and that I would have a different body that I would have to get used to all over again after this pregnancy thing is done and over with. I don't want to buy more clothing because my hips and butt has gotten bigger and my boobs have gone up a cup size. I want to have the bikini body still, and there is the constant resentment that I may never achieve that ideal. I am frustrated that I have to pretty much put my regular exercise routine on hold and alter what I do so it's best for the baby. And I live in constant fear of getting stretch marks. Knowing that it's a genetic thing and pretty much the luck of the draw hasn't stopped me from slathering my belly with rich moisturizer cream.

I don't enjoy being tired all the time. Whomever said that your energy returns during the second trimester lies. My energy hasn't returned to pre-pregnancy levels. I'm just not nauseated as much anymore so that I have enough energy to stay awake longer. I find that I still need to go to bed at an earlier time than normal. I constantly have to watch for signs that I'm not overtaxing myself, because I will pay for it later on, usually in the form of overtiredness, which leads to another bout of evening nausea, which leads to me having to go to bed early, and getting frustrated that I got nothing done again.

So yeah, I hate being pregnant.

(Sorry that this is such a negative rant, but I've been holding in these feelings for about 4 months now, and I had to get them out. Disagree with me if you want, but these are my feelings, and don't bother trying to change my mind, people have already tried. I'm determined to be miserable.)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Great Purge

The Great Purge is something that we do every year. Typically, we look through every single item (and I do mean every single item), that is in our house and garage and make a decision to either keep it, donate it, recycle it, or throw it out.

The Great Purge is normally done once a year, but we haven't done one in about 3-4 years because all my previous free time was devoted to Evil Homework. If you think that The Great Purge is a mere afternoon's worth of work, you are sadly mistaken. The Great Purge take typically four full afternoons. This time around Saturdays in November have been devoted to The Great Purge.

Because we haven't done a proper purge in a few years, we have a lot of things to get rid of. I'm surprised at the amount of stuff we're getting rid of, especially if you've been to our house before, it ain't that big. Plus the fact that we need to make more room for the bebe, we are being less sentimental and more discriminatory when we make our decisions to keep or purge. Hubby's also managed to find a few things that he thought he'd lost or had thrown out.

So far so go, we're more than halfway through our house, although the piles of stuff is making it difficult to shuffle things around. Next week will be the kitchen, downstairs bathroom and the storage area. But the most difficult part (and this tends to be the most difficult part every time we do this) will actually be our two-drawer filing cabinet. There has been a constant debate in this household as to how much paper records to keep. Hubby wants to keep more, I want to keep less. Nonetheless, this particular part of The Great Purge, can cause marital discord if we don't set ground rules up first. And you'd never thought people would fight over a bunch of pieces of paper.

Anyways, wish us luck. I'm really hoping (crossing fingers) that we'd be done by next weekend, but history has shown that this is rarely the case.

(As a Public Service Announcement, I've found out that Future Shop actually take old CDs in for recycling. This is awesome news because when we went through our pile of media CDs (non-music, computer software CDs), we found about 50 or so that we had to throw out. Anything that we can recycle is better than throwing it in the land fill.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The REAL reason why I've gone AWOL

Well, I'm hell bent and determined to start blogging again. But first to catch you guys up on what's been happening in my life for the past few months.

  • Wrote up my report for Evil Homework. This was to be the final piece of my schooling for my bachelor's degree.
  • Handed in report May 1
Second Half May
  • Went on our Southern England-Rome trip. Yes, I still have post up reviews and pictures of the trip. It will happen. Promise.
  • Found out I failed my big project (aka the report, Evil Homework and three years of my life down the drain).
  • Talked with my advisor about my options. Was told that I had to do a rewrite.
Rest of June, July, and most of August
  • Great efforts undertaken to re-write my report.
  • Handed in report near the end of August. I also had a bit of a minor shock when I handed it in, but will not get into the details as everything ended up working out in the end. But still not happy with how it was handled.
Sometime mid-July
  • I got knocked up. Yes, here is the real reason why I took a hiatus from blogging. More to come...
  • I'd actually missed my period near the beginning of August, but I tend to be notoriously late, so didn't think much of it. I was under a certain amount of stress and despondency because of Evil Homework, so thought that was the cause of my period being late.
  • Mid-August, started noticing signs of pregnancy eg I didn't want to eat foods I had no trouble eating before, was tired, feeling sick, my boobs were getting bigger, I peed a lot, etc. I decided not to pee on a stick yet because I knew if I did test positive, I would have immediately stopped focusing on said report, which would not bode well.
  • Late August: I was just finishing my report. Hubby was a trooper and helped me with the final edits, which was awesome, because I by that time was so nauseous and tired that I'd pretty much stopped focusing on it. Finally handed in report.
  • August 27th: Finally peed on a stick. It came out positive right away. The box said I would have to wait up to 2 mins to get a result. I think because I was now about 8 weeks along that my hormone levels were pretty high. And thus, my test show positive the moment it hit the right spot on the test.
  • End of Aug beginning of Sept: Went to Calgary.
  • Finally saw the doctor after coming back from Calgary
  • Sept 6: Went for a dating ultrasound. Radiologist said that I was 9 weeks, 2 days by then. Also went to a wedding that day, and it was a huge challenge to hide the fact that I was pregnant. Nausea was hitting me big time by the time the main course came around.
  • Mid-Sept: received noticed that I'd passed Evil Homework and finally have all my credits for graduation. Yay!
Rest of September - October
  • Other than work and started reading up on baby stuff, mostly slept and felt nauseous. Went to the gym when I could.
  • Nausea mostly disappeared later in October.
So there you have it. What I've been doing for the last 6 months or so. I decided long before we had even started trying that I wanted to go the midwife route. So far, the experience has been okay, but nothing stellar, but that will be a separate blog post. I'm also looking into cloth diapers and yes, I've been exercising pretty much my entire pregnancy. Also will be separate blog posts going forward.

So far, other than the nausea and the tiredness, it hasn't been a very exciting pregnancy, which I suppose is a good thing. I did injure my right SI joint, and while I know this is sometime common in pregnancies, I don't think the main reason why it was injured was because I was pregnant. It has something to do with a soft, lumpy mattress. Again, another future blog post.

I will be starting up a separate blog for the bebe, so all pictures, including ultrasound and belly pics, will be posted there. I had finally scanned my dating ultrasound picture a while ago, but was too ill and too tired to do more than that.

Going forward, my blog will probably be a lot of ranting, random thoughts and information about being pregnant, having a baby, and being a parent. I'm still hoping that my thoughts will be a little more than just that, but I can only focus on so many things right now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

10 Reasons Not to Talk to Irene

A co-worker sent this to me. I found this hilarious as my name is Irene. So here's 10 big reasons why you shouldn't talk to me:

And only because I was really curious, I'd managed to find the film trailer. Looks interesting...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Today is Hubby and my 6th wedding anniversary. Wow!

So we celebrated by going to watch Tropic Thunder last night. It was an okay movie, and although a satire, not as funny as I thought it was going to be. But the two that I thought shone in the movie were Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise. Robert Downey Jr. was very good, as a direct quote from the movie "I'm a dude pretending to be a dude playing another dude!", which is exactly what he did. The picture shows how much you can transform someone when the makeup job is good. It took me a while to figure out that Tom Cruise was in the movie, I thought he did a really good job with his character (the makeup for both actors helped them keep in character), but I didn't recognise him at first. High acolades from me as I'm not a huge Tom Cruise fan. I give the movie 7 out of 10. It could have been higher, but some of the humour was a little too base for me, in particular the scene where Ben Stiler holds up the head. And that's all I'll say.

Tonight we went out for dinner with a bunch of friends at this trendy restaurant on 17th Ave in Calgary call The Living Room. The restaurant was definitely one of the better restaurants I've ever been too, and although it was a bit pricy, it was really good food. I can understand the price because they used high quality ingredients, and more black truffle than I've ever seen in one meal. I'll post up pictures when we download them. But definitely two thumbs up!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

AWOL again

Well, I've gone AWOL again. I really apologise but I felt that I had to ignore some parts of my life for the time being in order to get my Evil Homework done. Evil Homework is done and handed in. While that is a big sigh of relief, I have still yet to pass my project. Apparently, there may be a slight hiccup that may prevent me from passing, but I'm hoping that I will still be able to get the Pass I've been waiting for for three long years and just completely move on with my life.

Coming up soon will be a summary of our London/Rome trip that we took in May, and pictures to follow shortly after that. Plus other things that are happening in my life. More to come this week, I promise!

Saturday, July 05, 2008


This afternoon we went to go see Cirque du Soleil's Corteo. This was by far one of the better tent shows that I've seen. While "O" still remains my favourite out of the five shows I've seen to date, this was really good in it's own right. The acrobatics were certainly different from the other shows I've seen.

My favourite acts where the latter, (shown left), the balloons (that actually is a person attached to the balloons, and not a doll), and the duo acrobatics with the straps. When the woman first came out for the straps act, she had the largest upper arm muscles I have ever seen on a woman, and thought at first that she was on steroids. But as the act progressed, I understood why: she needed tremendous upper body strength, more so then even some of the men in the show. I won't spoil what happened during the act, but it was quite amazing what this duo could do. Those who have seen he show will know what I'm talking of. Awesome show, you definitely should go see it if you have the chance to.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

Hello fellow readers! I really apologise for not keeping a consistent posting schedule. June was a pretty rough month for me. After coming home from our vacation, I was hit with catching up on work, still working on Evil Homework, getting over jet lag, and healing my ankle that I had twisted right in the middle of the vacation. While that was going on, I somehow managed to come down with a medium-grade fever (it went up to 102F at one point), had a trip to the local ER (and never going back if I can help it), all while trying to get back into my regular routine.

Now I more or less feel like I'm back to the regular routine. As already alluded to, I'm still dealing with Evil Homework, and my back is still killing me because of all this sitting in frot of the computer for 12 hours every day. Including weekends. Sigh.

However, I've been making a better effort to not trying not to ignore the rest of my life. I've seen three movies since coming back: Iron Man (for hubby's birthday), The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and KungFu Panda. All very good movies and worth seeing.

Now that we have started the second half of 2008, I am really hoping to get back on the blogging wagon. Some of you had already asked me: WHERE ARE THE VACATION PICTUES?!?! Please note that hubby and I (mostly hubby) had taken over 600 pictures. They are online, but not properly labelled. I esitmate that I'm about 1/8th the way through the process, and considering how busy I am with life, it will take a while. But my goal is to get them completed by end of July. Same with Evil Homework. Wish me luck.

Anyways, have a Happy Canada Day everyone!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

London/Rome Vacation - Part 1 - Itinerary

I really apologise that this post has taken awhile to write. I find that the jet-lag is taking a while to get over. Anyways, here is an itinerary of our trip. My favourite places are marked with a red *

Thur May 15
Fly to London

Friday May 16
Greenwich day trip
O2 - Apparently, this is Europe's largest entertainment centre. We wanted to see this place because we've seen it several times on TV shows and we heard so much about it. The place is huge!

Sat May 17
Leeds Castle* - Kent County - Really cool castle

Sunday May 18
Bath day trip
Monday May 19
- Stratford-Upon-Avon day trip - Where Shakespeare was born, lived and buried (if you are going to visit, I suggest you start at Shakespeare's grave and work your way back to Shakespeare's birthplace). Stratford-Upon-Avon is also a pretty town to hang out
- Warwick Castle * - another really cool castle
- Jack the Ripper London Walk * - I've always wanted to go on this walk. It's also a nice way to learn more about London's social history in during the Victorian era, and presented in a way that you wouldn't normally see in a museum or in a history book.

Tuesday May 20
Fly to Rome - Stansted Airport was very nice. RyanAir is really no frills, but you can't beat the price

Wednesday May 21 (also know as the 24 hours of hell)

Thursday May 22

Friday May 23

Saturday May 24
Via Appia Antica tour - good stretch of road for biking
- Galleria Doria Pamphilj * - lots of interesting artwork collected by the Doria Pamphilj family. The house is really nice too

Sunday May 25
Ostia Antica * - Ruins of what used to be a major port city near Rome. Our guidebook said the tour would take about 2 hours, we were there for 5 hours, the place is massive. We only left because we were getting really hot and sunburnt.

Monday May 26
Tuesday May 27
- Fly back to London
- Wallace Collection * - Lots of cool armour and weaponry
- Watched Indiana Jones movie at the O2

Wednesday May 28
  • Museum in Docklands* - This is a cool place because it shows yet a different perspective of London's history. They also had a Jack the Ripper exhibit. I found it interesting that the opinions of the murders varied somewhat between the exhibit and the London Walk, but still a fascinating look at life in the East End during the Victorian era. The Docklands area is super nice, lots of modern office buildings and flats.
  • Apsley House - the First Duke of Wellington lived here
  • London Ghost Walk
Thursday May 29
Fly back to Vancouver!

Pictures and other comments forthcoming! Dave took over 600 pictures, so it may be a while before you see them.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Back home!

Hubby and I got back home from our vacation yesterday afternoon. We're severely jet-lagged, but we had a fun time. I'll be posting my vacation comments shortly, probably in about 4 parts, including the pictures.

I've spent some of today getting stuff done, and most of today (like about 10 hours worth) catching up on work email. I probably need another couple of hours tomorrow to be really caught up; I need to hit the ground running come Monday when I go back to work.

Although we did have a nice time, there was about a 24 hour period where it was very stressful. In order of appearance, on the first full day in Rome:
  • It was raining very, very hard, and we were outside most of that day. Think of someone pouring water out of a bucket on your head, that was our day (no joke);
  • Hubby had his wallet stolen. We spent a lot of time calling Canada to cancel cards and such. Our cell phone bills will be huge;
  • Someone called me at 2am, on my cell, to tell me that the house alarm on my mom's house was set off, and the alarm company couldn't get a hold of anyone. Lots of panic calls back to North America ensued, again our cell phone bill will be huge. After several calls, I had managed to reach my sister in Seattle. Fortunately, it was a false alarm.
  • I sprained my ankle and shin muscles. Found out today that I wasn't suppose to walk long distances on it. This happened smack in the middle of my vacation, so naturally, I kept walking long distances; it is vacation after all. I won't be going to my step class for a little while.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Off to Europe!!!

Yayay! We're going to Europe! I may post, but it'll be highly doubtful that this will happen. Definitely will when I return end of this month or in early June!

Off to Europe!!!

Yayay! We're going to Europe! I may post, but it'll be highly doubtful that this will happen. Definitely will when I return end of this month or in early June!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

For all the geeks out there

Sadly, I want the projector, and I'm not even a huge Star Wars fan.

So here's the scoop....

Yes, I had promised that I would update my readers as to the status of my school thing once I found out what was going on with it. I've had a very busy and exhausting week, so that was my only excuse, and not a good one at that.

So here's the scoop. I didn't get a pass, but I didn't get a fail either. They (being the committee of people who looks over and grades these reports) didn't feel that there was enough substance in my report to warrant a pass. I had a very long talk with my advisor, and she felt it was partially her fault for trying to push me into finishing too soon. She didn't take into consideration the rest of my life (ie that I work full-time, and that am a manager who needs to work outside of work hours to get things done, and that I have a life outside of all that). To her credit, she was trying to help me finish quickly, there wasn't any malicious intent, just some misjudgment on her part.

So the bottom line is I need to do a major rewrite and add lots more information to the report. She's given me more time, but I really want to get this done by the end of July. She did a lot of brainstorming as to how I could improve my report, so I now have lots of fodder to work with.

In other news: work has been very stressful for me. I had someone leave, and haven't had a chance to replace her properly. The big problem is that this position is needed by a very large project that we are doing at work, and schedules keep slipping, and people keep breathing down my neck to hire someone else. Easier said than done. While that is mostly resolved, it's not completely. Without getting into too many details, there's a lot of pressure of getting this positions filled permanently. Sigh. There are other things going on at work too that is sucking up a lot of my time and attention, so I've been coming home every day last week completely exhausted.

Life: I'm going to Europe in 4 days! These last few days have been very busy with trip planning as well. Even though we've been in London a couple of times already, I'm still amazed at how much stuff there is to do in that city! I did a bit of a search as to what else there is to do and there are a ton of stuff that are not on the top 10 tourist attraction list! What we will be this time around is three out of town trips: Bath, Strafford-Upon-Avon/Warwick Castle and Leeds Castle. As well, we'll be hitting a few of the lesser known sites in London. I'll definitely post a full itinerary and pictures after we come back. But this is why I love London so much, there is always something to do.

Rome was a bit of a challenge to plan out, mostly because I'm not that familiar with it. What I did was print out weekly calendars and listed everything that I wanted to see, and planned out the trip that way. It's a bit of a juggle as there were several things I had to take into consideration, but I won't bore you with the details just yet, they are for a different post. I'll let you know if all my plotting has worked out. Needless to say, we will be doing lots of walking! I really hope that the weather will be good.

We still have some part of the trip that needs planning out (for instance, we still don't have a hotel for the last part of our trip), but things are coming together... I can't wait!

Rest of my life: well, somewhere amongst all the busyness, I need to go to see my chiropractor. Apparently my lower back is slightly out of alignment. My massage therapist caught it last week, but she wasn't able to fix it (the feeling of someone trying to push at your vertebrae is very weird). Part of the problem is that I physically need to be at work to get certain things done, like interviews, so it's been near impossible to go see my chiropractor. I definitely need to see him before I go on my trip, my lower back is warring with my upper back as to which part wants to cause me more pain an misery. Sigh.

Monday, May 05, 2008


So I had handed in my report on May 1. Although I told people that I was done, there is always a risk that I may need to tweak my report or some other such horrors to be had before I actually pass and get my credits.

My adviser had informed me today that she had to talk to me about my report. It's probably nothing more than I need to flesh out a couple parts of my report, but of course, I'm thinking worse case scenario, so I've been stressed all afternoon. I will find out tomorrow what the status is.

On top of all that, there is still trip planning and work is crazy busy. I need to get a certain amount done before I leave. This isn't a good time for my free time to be eaten up (yet again) with school work. Please just let me pass this thing.

Plus, my massage therapist told me today that my lower back is out of alignment. Which means another trip to the chiropractor, and I don't have time as it is. Stupid body, I'm not suppose to age.

It was also bad enough that I got to listen to our neighbour's dumb-ass kids (who are high school aged) get drunk and high on pot. With about 50 of their friends. And no parents. Two nights in a row. In the middle of the night. Two nights of calling the cops, and two nights of no cops showing up.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Going AWOL

(You know, I'd always thought that the term meant that the person went crazy. Not completely off the mark with my life right now).

Sorry, I haven't been posting for a while. It's not like I don't have things to say, I always do. However, I'm up to my neck with:
- Schoolwork - Due April 30th, so it's really the home stretch for me, I need to buckle down, focus and bang out a 100+ page report (plus peripherals) by my deadline. Cross your fingers for me!
- Work-work- I'm about 2-3 weeks behind on some of my email, bad me, and it takes me about an hour just to compose my daily to-do list. Sigh. One day I'll be caught up, just not today.
- The rest of my life.

As much as I would like to blog about my musings, honestly, it sometimes take me a hour or more to properly post something up. I can barely keep up with laundry, dishes and cleaning my toilet as it is (no joke). Never mind the fact that we still have trip planning to do.

You will hear more from me at the beginning of May, promise!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Dear Passport Canada

I will be going on a big European adventure in six weeks time. My passport will be expiring within 6 months by the time I start my grand tour, and thus, being the good citizen that I am, and knowing that it would be easier on me to cross international borders if I had a newly-issued passport rather than an almost expired passport, I am going to renew my passport.

Since January of this year, I have been trying to figure out your extremely complicated, non-explicative, new "simplified" process for renewing my passport. Your rules, I must tell you, are not simple.

First, I am puzzled and dismayed by your new rules for the passport photo. I understand that you need to scan the photo and you need to set it up so that it is easier to scan. However, those rules also ended up making me look like a washed-up bag lady. I also understand that you prefer that people have a neutral expression, in other words, no smiling. In my picture, I look like a pissed-off, washed-up bag lady. I also don't understand how my own dear mother managed to smirk in her photo, and you allowed it through.

Second, your instructions for the Simplified Renewal Form are not explanatory enough. Do I need to have my photo endorsed by a sponsor? Can I use the online form to do the simplified renewal process, or do I still need to bring in my form or mail it to the Passport Office? Do my references need to be passport holders as well?

Third, nowhere on your website did it explain that I could use the online form as part of the simplified renewal process. First of all, your ePass user account creation was horrible. Why would you get people to create a username that they won't remember is beyond me. I think I've already created three different accounts. Next, after somehow going through the entire process of filling in the form online, I had deduced on my own that this wasn't the simplified renewal process. I had just wasted 2 hours of my time. You need to inform people that the online form is the full form. But as it stands, I don't know what time I will save by filling in the online form, I still need to send in the application. I refused to do so as mail has been known to be stolen before, and I am not mailing sensitive information about my identity. My only other option is to stand in a queue, so I might as well just fill the regular form in the first place and saved myself the hassle and frustrations.

Fourth, I went to the closest Passport office, spent $2 on parking, on my day off (which I will waste in a passport lineup, and note, that I needed take this day off because I'm working on a very time-sensitive project), only to be told that they don't process passport applications for people who are travelling within 6 weeks. That would be me. I was also told at that office that I had to go to one of three offices that did process passports immediately for traveling citizens, none which are close, none which are opened on weekends or holidays. However, there is one opened until later in the evening, and that's the one I'll be going to, even if I have to fight traffic and cross a bridge to get there. Because I need to pick it up for fastest receipt, and I really don't have the luxury to take more time off during work hours to fart around in a queue.

So here is my advice on how you can better spend my tax money:
  • Hire a content writer for your website. I always say if someone has to ask a question about it, your communication was not clear enough. Plus, this person should also be able to lay the content out in a more searchable format.
  • Hire a usability or process expert to go through your very poor processes, which includes the really hard to use online form. Sure it may cost a lot at the beginning to set up proper processes, but in the long run, it will save you time, and save my tax money for more important spending.
  • If you are going to turn away passport photos because they do not conform to your guidelines, you should have an on-site service to have the photo retaken, if a sponsor doesn't need to sign the photo (I am assuming this as per my first point above). Trust me, I am willing to pay for less of a hassle.
If you have already implemented the first two points, you are still wasting my money. Fix your problems now.

Weed, a disgruntled citizen who pays way to much taxes into an inefficient system.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!

Yayayayayayayay!!! It's my birthday again!!! Here's what I did to celebrate my birthday:

Went to the Hart House on Friday for dinner. Went out for Chinese food Monday night for dinner with the parents. Saturday, got my annual birthday hairdo. Check out the purpley! This also freaked out my mum, she couldn't understand why I wasted money dyeing my hair purple. I actually came this close to getting hot pink but I a) hate all things pink and refuse to wear that colour (makeup being the sole exception) and b) found the purple to be a little more subtle, but I was able to keep it fun.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Movie Review: Jumper -- Ug

Today, Hubby and I went to see Jumper. I will write about why I went to go see this movie in a separate post. However, I'm not even going to write a proper review of this movie because, quite frankly, this movie stank. Big time. At the time of writing this blog post, Rotten Tomatoes gave it 16%. If you want to read a synopsis, check out Wikipedia.

I know that the main weakness was the script. The premise was interesting, but the execution was lousy. They needed to develop the whole concept of jumping further; instead, we're left to piece together how jumping may work through side comments and events in the movie. Not a bad way of doing things per se, but it lacked any organization and cohesion in the movie, and I was left with more questions and a feeling of dissatisfaction. I would have liked to see a little more of the history of the Palidins more, it would have at least made me understand their motivation better.

I certainly didn't feel any sympathy for the main character in the story, nor did I care either way for the "bad guys". All the relationships between the characters were very poorly scripted out. It's such a shame because there were some great actors, like Jamie Bell, who performed spectacularly in Nicholas Nickleby, and whose acting I really admire.

I'm still sitting on the fence about Hayden Christensen. The only other movie I've seen him in were the Star Wars movies. Hayden, in my opinion, can't act. He delivers his lines with a monotone voice, and always seem like an emotionless block of wood; he is part of the reason why I feel nothing but apathy for the main character. Most of the other actors, as bad as the movie was, at least put in a passable amount of acting. I even felt more for the Young David Rice than the Adult David Rice, because I felt the young actor did a better job than Hayden. I'm hoping that Hayden will improve in his other movies, but frankly, I'm not holding my breath.

I give this 3 out of 10, and it only even deserved such a high rating because, as a friend of mine who saw it said, "The movie was lousy, but the scenery was great!"

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Update on me....

I've been pretty busy. Busy being sick that is. The last few day I've been preoccupied with hacking up a lung. I think that there's a nasty flu bug that's been going around, and it was my turn to get it. I've called in sick two days in a row. It's rare that I even call in sick, never mind two day. And last week, I was also not feeling too swell either, I had to leave work early. I think I've been fighting the flu bug for a while now.

Work. Work is... busy. It's tough being a manager. I don't mind juggling 10 billion things. It's the people factor that I'm scratching my head on. Mainly, those who work under me. Don't get me wrong, for the most part, they do a good job. But there's something... lacking. I don't know if it's me, or the people I work with, if it's my style of management, or their style (or lack of it) of doing the job well, or a combination of everything. The project manager tends to measure how well a project is doing by the "nag factor". I seem to be nagging a lot with okay results, but I feel many times that I'm herding children along. This managing people business is hard. However, I will be getting my raise shortly. My manager actually asked me what I wanted. I had to think about it. (Okay, I did say 1 Billion Dollars, and he laughed and cried at the same time).

School. Less than two months to go. And the less said on that subject, the better. Sigh.

What's been occupying a great deal of my time is planning our trip to Roma! Yay! We almost have everything booked. I'll leave the actual planning of the trip itinerary until after May Day. Since we're also going to be spending a few days in London, I've picked up Frommer's Best Day Trips from London. I really want to go back to Bath, but there's a few other interesting side trips I would like to take as well.

I've just gotten my Visa bill for part of our trip purchases for flights and hotels, and yikes! But this will probably be our last kick of Europe for a long while, so might as well spend the money while we can.

Going back to hack up my other lung...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Today I went to this Microsoft bru-ha-ha event. Cheesy marketing, MS propaganda everywhere, but the best part: being in a room with 14,000 other geeks with bad haircuts and questionable fashion sense. Sadly, not unlike the picture posted here.

Well, I was somewhat interested in what they had to say in their new product offerings, and while I picked up on a few interesting points, it on the whole was not too thrilling. Of course I go for the free lunch (it was meh) and the shwag, but they make you sit through most of the session--pounding your every auditory and visual nerve endings with how wonderful Microsoft's products are, and how they can completely change your life around--before they give you your bag of goodies. Sadly, a string of emails about Tiramisu--that was being sent amongst my colleagues through the day--that I was reading on my Crackberry was equally as riveting, if not even more so...

To be fair to them, they are trying to sell a product, and have to do a credible job to suck us in. And because we're an MS shop, we'll be using those products. Eventually.

(BTW, Bill's the guy in the bottom row, far left with the blue shirt. His eyes are really crooked!)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

Someone on my chatboard had posted this site for our amusement. This is the funniest thing ever! The Garfield comic strip, with Garfield take out. Who knew Jon could be so funny!

Garfield Minus Garfield

KOOKY: Mountains!

I thought I'd share this with you. I took this picture on Feb 21st, on my way back to my office from a meeting I had across campus. The gardens in the picture are the Rose Gardens, and while it's difficult to see in the picture, I saw green flowers shooting up in the soil, so Spring is slowly making it's way here.

I actually can see bits of mountains on campus on a good day, and that day it was glorious!

Shamrock Shakes are back!

One of my fondest memories of my childhood is having a McDonald's Shamrock Shake. I loved Shamrock Shakes because they are made with the magic of 1000 leprechauns and kissed with Irish luck.

Just kidding. I think the main reason why I liked the minty goodness was mainly because they were only around for a short time (usually around St. Patrick's Day) and then they would disappear, never to be seen again until the next year. But I think there may be some leprechaun magic blended in as I was drawn to it quite often.

Imagine my surprise then when I found out that they were re-introducing them after not a hair to be seen for so many years. Last Tuesday was the first day of their introduction back in the mortal realm. I, of course, made a beeline to the closest McDonald's at lunch time. Here's what happened:

Me: Walks into the restaurant, and noted that there were no advertisements or pictures of any Shamrock Shakes. Confused, I asked the cashier.

Me: Excuse me, but do you have any shakes?

McD: Yes, we have Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry

Me: Do you have any Shamrock Shakes?

McD: What?

Me: Shamrock Shakes (says this very slowly). You know, the green one.

McD (looking very confused): No. We have Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry only. No green one. (Way to go McDonald's for informing your staff!)

Me (very disappointed and trying to figure out what I wanted to eat): Well, I'll have...

McD (looking at her screen): Wait. Sham-rock Shakes. Yes, I think we have them. (Now turns to her superior, whom looks like a Junior Manager). Hey Junior, do we have the Shamrock Shakes?

Junior: What?

McD: You know, the green one?

Junior (walks over to the area where the shakes are located): No. Wait, yes, we have some left.

Some left? You weren't even suppose to have any before today, so how could you have some left? Anyways, to make a long story short, I don't think they were prepared for the onslaught of Shamrock Shake fans (ie me!). My shake turned out too sweet and too watery, and nothing how I'd expected it to be. It definitely was the first one out of the machine.

Very disappointing.

I, however, was rewarded on Friday. One of my staff happened to make a trip to McDonald's so I asked her to bring me back another Shamrock Shake. After one sip of that baby and I was in minty heaven once again. Yum!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Air Poo

I don't know if this is a hoax or if it's real, but it's an interesting concept nonetheless. The Mac Air won't ever be the same again....

Air Poo

Friday, February 15, 2008

This is wrong in so many ways...

A co-worker sent the linked article below around today. I am flabbergasted. Two things that jumped out after I read it:
  1. The last time I'd checked, exchanging money for sex is considered to be prostitution
  2. Why the heck wasn't the guy wearing a condom? Do people really not care about getting sexually transmitted diseases? Apparently not.
Click here to be just as horrified. Trust me, it gets better...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I've been finding that my taste in music has been tending towards Alternative/Indie/Rock. To this end, I've been listening to a local station that plays more of this genre of music. The one I could find locally is Evolution 107.9, which is actually a student-run radio station. The students are part of the radio & television broadcasting program at a poly-technical school in town. Let me tell you that I don't tune in for the witty banter. However, I've hear some great music, and some great bands, who, for whatever reason, don't get very much, if any, air time on most other local stations.

However, I feel that there is also a lot of good music that comes out from Europe, and after a bit of searching, I found this London station that plays the same genre of music. The interesting thing is since I'm 8 hours behind London, I hear their late afternoon, evening and late night programming. There is one particular late night segment that features interviews with groups or artists who just so happen to be in London. It's really cool because I get to hear music that I wouldn't normally get to hear. Some of these people have such a small following that I'd doubt the music even gets heard outside of the UK.

Anyways, I've recently become a fan of the Arctic Monkeys, a band from the UK. Here they are performing Teddy Pickers:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone! It's the Year of the Rat, and it's my year!

Here's some stuff I found out about Rats, with my comments in italics:

1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

Rat personality traits
People born in the Year of the Rat are one of the most industrious and hardest working in the zodiac. [That's me!]

Forever busy in pursuit of an ambitious personal goal, at times they may become difficult to work with since they are born perfectionists. [Yup, I'm a perfectionist!] Rats must ensure that every "i" is dotted before completing an assigned task. As a result, they are often successful financially, and are good providers for their family and those they cherish most dearly.

Loyal and loving, Rat people inspire loyalty in others who are close to them. They are essentially honest individuals and loath to betray a confidence. However, their quick wit and restlessness [yes and yes!] can sometimes lead to chattiness, and they can often be relied upon at large social gatherings for a good story or a juicy bit of gossip. [I love gossip!]

Their energy levels and expert organizational talents are such that it is a rare thing to see a Rat person sitting idly by with nothing to do. [Yes, I need to be organized, and I hate sitting around doing nothing!]

They may even sometimes be viewed as opportunists who cajole others into helping them accomplish a great ambition. In their careers, Rat people can find much success as business leaders or politicians.

Rats are most compatible with : Dragon, Monkey, Ox

Famous people born in the Year of the Rat : Charlotte Bronte, Truman Capote, Catherine I, Prince Charles, Sasha Cohen, Eminem, Peter the Great, Mata Hari, Scarlett Johansson, Wolfgang Mozart, Plato, William Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, George Washington


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

Book Review: Stardust

After watching the movie Stardust, I was compelled to read the book on which the movie was based on. Neil Gaiman, from the extras that were on the DVD, came up with the premise of the novel one day while travelling in Ireland. He saw a wall with a hole in it, and began thinking what would be on the other side of that wall... and the land of Faerie was born.

I really like Gaiman's style of writing. The narration flows quite easily, and the worlds of Faerie and Wall are developed through his descriptions and dialogue, warmth and humour. It's an easy read, and it reads like a fairy tale. In fact, if you took out the three or so not-so-suitable-for-children references, you definitely can read this to a child, although, it is clearly an adult-fairy tale. I definitely could imagine everything in my mind while reading Gaiman's prose, even if the images rendered were from the movie, for the most part.

I won't explain the plot, but you can read it on Wikipedia if you're curious. But I have to say that looking for a fallen star (in the form of an adult woman) was certainly a very interesting and fresh premise, and that helped make this story unique. Well unique to me as my exposure to fantasy novels are almost nil. In any case, I don't think I've ever run across a premise like this in either books or film.

There are some similarities and differences between the book and the movie, but I don't know if I really could say if I preferred one over the other. I do feel that both the book and the movie can stand on its own. The movie has a Hollywood bent, and that is very apparent when compared to the book, but both have their own charms. The adventures that Tristan and Yvaine experience in the book were very different, but this allowed for a better and satisfactory plot development and the eventual blossoming of their relationship. Lilim (the witch), doesn't die at the end, but neither can she touch Yvaine's heart, because Yvaine had given it to Tristan by that point; it's no longer Lilim's (or anyone else's) to take as Tristan now owns the heart. Very clever.

I liked Tristan and Yvaine just as much in the book. There were also some characters in the book that didn't show up in the movie, but this is typical of most movie adaptations. And even though some of the character portrayal were different from the movie, I was satisfied with the different fates of the characters. I was sad in the end though, because Tristan, being mortal, does die, and Yvaine, unable to return to the sky, is left all alone. Babylon Candles aren't able to solve Yvaine's dilemma this time around, but I still liked the ending, because life isn't always fair, which makes it believable.

But still, Gaiman has made a fan of me. Two thumbs up!

A little spoof I found, for your entertainment...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

KOOKY: Some excitement today...

Police evacuate UBC building after lockdown

Not certain what happened yet, and although I was concerned for other people's lives -- and fortunately I heard that no one was hurt -- I was dealing with putting out my own fires and was more preoccupied with that.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mansfield Park -- wha?

Hmmm, where to start? I normally try to view adaptations with an objective eye, after all, most film versions are never true copies, just (hopefully) faithful representations. Plus, many times, people have never even read the book, so hopefully there is enough to whet people's appetites and actually induce them to pick up the written original.

I won't even go into what a train wreck this adaptation was, or I'd be going on forever, and I'd rather let other people do the work. You can read a well written opinion here (the title's pretty apt).

Okay, my attempts at finding something positive about this adaptation:
  • Tom is a scoundrel, as he should be
  • Mr. Rushworth is stupid, as he should be
  • The pug was cute
  • Edmund was how I pictured him: a geeky looking clergyman
  • It was nice when they showed the moment when Edmund finally realised that he was in love with Fanny (but the stuff after that was horrid)
Did I say that the pug was cute?

But as I am sadly obsessed, I've already put in an order for my DVD. Sigh. Onwards...

KOOKY: I'm surrounded by a big sea of white...

Snow. That is.

We got about a foot of snow in a 9 hour period. By the time I was suppose to have gotten up and gotten ready for work, the radio was already telling me that two of the nearby public post-secondary institutions have closed because of the snow.

I checked our main website at 6.30 am to see what my fate was. Nothing.

7 am. Nothing.

Finally, just before 8 am, when I was suppose to be at work, the notice showed up: "Everything is opened. You must come to class. You must come to work."

Bah. I was so hoping for a snow day. I even told my underlings about the snow policy, and the years that I've been a student and staff member, this university has been notoriously the last ones to close, if they are benevolent to even do so, and they tend to wait until the last possible moment to tell you so.

I had had a terrible night of insomnia, and really wasn't feeling well, so had already decided to stay at home to work. Fortunate for me that I did. Transit was a nightmarish wreck. And while the streets were probably a little quieter than normal, the conditions at certain points were white-out. So not fun driving conditions.

I am so not looking forward to the drive in tomorrow. I know that my unplowed street will be completely iced over by morning. My only consolation is that someone will be feeding me free food for lunch. Oh wait, it's paid for by taxpayer's money. My tax money. So no free lunch for me. Sigh.

Okay, rant over...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Northanger Abbey

Those of you who know me know that I've got a wee bit of a Jane Austen obsession (of course, if you ask Hubby, he'd probably say it's a little bigger than "wee"). However, most of you probably aren't familiar or even had heard about her other novels. Northanger Abbey happens to be my favourite out of the six full length novels that were published. I love this novel because it's meant to be fun, and a spoof on the Gothic novels that everyone was reading at that time. Jane Austen even mentions a few of the popular titles in the book.

There was a 1986 version, which I have, of course. However, unless you really, really want to watch bad acting and poke your eyes out, I suggest you give that one a skip.

But EEEEEEEEEEEEE! This 2007 version was so very well done! I loved it! I heard years ago that Andrew Davies, who also wrote the screenplay for the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice, had a script written out, but couldn't find anyone to fund the project. So let me tell you that I've been waiting on pins and needles for a very long time.

Things that I loved about this adaptation:
  • JJ Feild as Henry Tilney: Okay, I will admit that I never really understood him as a character, until I saw JJ Feild in this role. I have now fallen in love with Henry Tilney, and have added JJ Feild to my list of Obsure British Actor crushes. But honestly, the man did an excellent job, and now when I read the book, I totally picture him as Henry Tilney.
  • Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland: Again, I couldn't relate to her character, either (funny that I've said that of the two main characters of my favourite Jane Austen book), but I loved her imagination and her innocence, and that really showed in this adaptation. Although I kept staring at Felicity Jones' overbite (very rude of me I know, but I couldn't help it!)
  • Carey Mulligan as Isabella Thorpe: I watched her in Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley version), and thought she was a pretty okay actress in that movie. She has gotten better since because she really blew me away. She is saucy, pretentious and manipulative, but without being over the top, the very epitome of Isabella Thorpe. I felt at times she stole the scene away from Felicity Jones.
  • General Tilney, Captain Tilney, James Morland, The Morland Family, Mr. and Mrs. Allen were all as I had expected and they had done a great job casting the respective roles. Mrs. Allen and General Tilney were my favourites.
  • Scenes where Catherine where fancying herself as a heroine in a Gothic novel. I had a friend tell me that she didn't like them, but I did. I found it particularly funny that Catherine seemed to be enjoying herself a little too much, despite the fact that her life was in great peril.
Things that I'm sitting on the fence about:
  • John Thorpe. William Beck did a creditable job, but John Thorpe is a rattle, and I don't feel that this came through enough. I'm still trying to decide if it's the actor or the script. It may be a bit of both, but nonetheless, he wasn't what I'd quite imagined John Thorpe to be.
  • Eleanor Tilney. Again, I'm not certain if it's the actor or the script. Eleanor Tilney seemed dull and insipid. Even with the scenes where General Tilney wasn't present, I really didn't get a good sense of her character. She had some pretty good lines when she was able to speak her mind in the book, but that all got cut out in the adaptation. Wait, I just did some more reading, and it looks like PBS cut out another important scene. Bah.
  • The naked scenes. There were actually two from what I understand, but sucky PBS cut one of them out. Not that I'm a prude, or that I didn't feel that Jane Austen wouldn't have never written or implied such things if she would have, but I'm not certain that it really fit in with the spirit of the adaptation. The scene with Isabella Thorpe and Captain Tilney is probably the more realistic of the two, but I sort of wonder if Isabella is really that stupid. Still not certain. As for the other scene, I've seen pictures, and am more curious than anything as to how it played out and where in the story they put it. I've also heard that the Region 1 DVD doesn't have the cut out scenes, so I may have to resort to searching YouTube for it. Boooo!
So overall, I give this a 9 out of 10. Loved it, loved it, loved it!

A very good review...

List of what was cut from the Region 1 DVD (boo on whomever decided to do this!)

Some picspam for you to look at. There are some spoilers, but more importantly, the naked scenes are depicted. The poster's comments are also hilarious!