Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree!

Last summer, my sister Amisha advised me that we needed to cut the spruce tree that was trying to grow its way through the front of our house. In a stroke of brilliance, I decided to wait until December to cut it own. That way, I could get my yard work done and not have to pay for a Christmas tree.

So a few weeks ago I decided it was time to get out and do a little Christmas yard work. I grabbed some mittens and a saw and got down to work. After I sawed/kicked the tree down, our roommate Alanna helped me drag it into the house while our neighbour laughed at us.

It even came pre-decorated with lots of dried leaves, a tin yogurt lid and some construction tape. Ours might not be the most shapely Christmas tree but I think it's gorgeous. Of all the unruly trees I've cut down in our yard, it's by far my favourite. I'll even miss it come January.

Monday, December 17, 2007

When Kyle puts away the groceries

I'm not sure what his logic was here. Maybe alphabetical order - panty liners, pasta...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

TV for blind people

Tonight Kyle's Christmas wish came true... our TV finally broke. A month ago the sound went really strange and he fixed it by rigging something up through the VCR. This evening, our TV has inexplicably started broadcasting voice-over services for the visually impaired. On every station, the same woman's voice describes the action on screen.

"Homer opens the door, crosses the room and looks in Maggie's crib. Homer runs across the hall to Lisa's room."

At first I thought this new "feature" might make TV watching even easier than it already is. You know, sometimes I just can't keep up with the fast-paced action on the screen or don't want to put in the effort of keeping my eyes focused. But instead of improving my television experience, the voice-over lady has ruined it. Having her describe everything happening on screen is incredibly irritating when you're not visually impaired. And because we did nothing to activate the voice over, we are absolutely baffled as to how to turn it off.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The power of the mind

This morning, just after I woke up, I was standing in the bathroom with the door open. All of the sudden I thought, "Hm...maybe I should make a cup of tea."

The thought was weird because I never drink tea in the morning and I was incredibly thirsty for a cold glass of water.

As I shuffled down the hallway, I heard an odd noise. A boiling noise. I walked into the kitchen to see that our insanely crappy electric kettle (which is supposed to shut off automatically) was going full boil. Its white plastic outside was quite hot and feeling a bit soft. Quickly, I came to realize that the kettle had been boiling for over an hour while I slept.

Thanks brain, for alerting me to the possibility of "tea", rather than "kitchen fire".

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Full-on Winter

Last night on the news, the newscasters spent five minutes talking about world events and about 20 talking about the recent change in the weather. That drives me crazy. It reminds me of the Grande Prairie Herald Tribune, which would have one page of Canadian news, another of world events and a whole sports section each day. Of two sections to the paper, one was sports. "What? There was a conflict in Rwanda? Um, I'm not sure about that but I could tell you which of our two high schools had the best curling team."

Anyway, back to winter. To stave off the winter blues, I've decided to write about the things I've been enjoying this fall/winter.

1) Mittens: I just love mittens and my sister Heather has made me two fantastic pairs. Not only are they cute but they also make it so that I don't have to touch doorknobs all winter. My mittens are a fashion-conscious germaphobe's dream!

2)Pomegranates: I am having such a great time eating pomegranates. Kyle thinks that they're too much work but that's part of what I love. Picking out the seeds is like some sort of meditation for me.

3)Puffy birds: I love waking up and looking out our kitchen window to see the round little birds puffing up their feathers to stay warm.

4)Less time for playground zones: We have a playground zone down the street from our house. I don't really mind slowing down during the day but I relish being able to whip through there at 5:30pm. Take that, kids trying to play at the park before supper!

5)Mandarin oranges: Everytime I break the peel of a mandarin orange, the Ghost of Christmas Past bursts out and flies up my nose.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Does not follow directions well

A few weeks ago, Kyle noticed that there are instructions on his underwear tag.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New and Improved Stereotypes

These are taken from

Black people can extinguish a fire just by dissing it.

During the great Chicago fire of 1871, it took nearly 100 men implying the inferno's mother was promiscuous to smother the blaze

Germans can get pregnant from the sound of David Hasselhoff's Voice

And yet they just can't resist his dulcet tones. Which must be why one in three German women are impregnated by him at any given time. (Watch out Kristina)

Indians lose their nipples every full moon...

But on the bright side, when they reappear they smell exactly like fresh-baked sugar cookies.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Repeat, repeat, repeat

Today's soundtrack Weighty Ghost by Wintersleep

Friday, November 9, 2007

Code Yellow!

This afternoon my friend Cherie and I were on our way to the Farmer's market. As we were stopped across from the hospital, I noticed an odd looking guy jaywalking near Cherie's car. He looked sneaky and was walking strangely so I watched him for a minute while we waited for traffic to clear. Suddenly, I realized that he was wearing only wool socks on his feet and was furiously tucking a blue hospital gown into his coat.

An escapee from the hospital!

Cherie pulled out her cell phone and called the hospital switchboard to tell them that a patient was on the lam. We stealthily tried to follow him in Cherie's car but he quickly vanished. Cherie and I drove through my neighbourhood looking down streets and alleys for a while before giving up. We'd totally been out-sneaked. Two hours later we returned from the Farmer's market and the cops were still trolling the area.

When I worked at the hospital, they would call Code Yellow over the intercom when a patient went missing. Upon hearing the call, I was supposed to stop and look around my office to make sure that nobody was hiding behind my filing cabinet or taking refuge under my desk. As we were phoning the switchboard, I could just imagine the code-yellow going out. Maybe I should go check our garage...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What? I didn't like the pair with the Wayans brothers on them

Last weekend my sister Amisha's husband Andy stayed at our house. Somehow, a pair of my underwear left with him, hitching a ride from the dryer to Edmonton inside Andy and Amisha's laundry hamper. Or at least that's what my panty-stealing creep of a brother-in-law would have you believe.

Anyway, Amisha blogged about my underwear, making fun of the fact that they say "Sammy's Snack Shack" on the butt. Sadly, almost all of my underwear have something lame written on the back. I don't buy them because I actually want underwear that says "Twin Kitties", or "Valet Girl - Who me, park? " or "Boy Scout - Scouting for Cute Boys." It's just that the cheesy underpants that Wal Mart markets to 14 year old girls happen to be insanely comfortable.

The last underwear I bought was on clearance. Strangely, most of the ones on sale said "Everyone Loves an Asian Girl" on the butt and had a picture of a Chinese take-out box with chop sticks. Apparently, there isn't a huge market for mildly racist panties at Wal Mart. Despite their obvious flaws, the price tag called out to me - $1.39 (1.39!). In response, I picked up two pairs and tossed them in the cart. I also bought some that say "Everyone loves an Italian girl" with a picture of spaghetti and meatballs. Now I could probably get away with telling people I'm Italian. However, nobody would ever, ever believe that I, a giant, blue-eyed, translucent woman am even remotely Asian.

I bought the underwear thinking the "design" wouldn't matter because nobody would ever see them. However, more than once I have been struck with horror when I suddenly realize that I'm wearing my Asian Girl underwear when changing at the gym. There are only a couple of conclusions a person could draw upon seeing me in them.

a) I'm a creep who is slyly hitting on the Asian ladies at the gym
b) I've beaten up some poor proud Asian girl and stolen her underwear
c) I buy second-hand skivvies
d) I'm mocking any and all Asian people who dare look at my bum
e) I'm just a weirdo who either doesn't care, or has no idea what she's wearing (correct!)

Lesson learned: Sometimes it is just best to let a bargain pass you by.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Real Reason UNICEF Discontinued the Halloween Program

The Wisdom of Children
by Simon Rich

A Day at UNICEF Headquarters, as I Imagined It in Third Grade
(UNICEF sits on a throne. He is wearing a cape and holding a sceptre. A servant enters, on his knees.)
UNICEF: Halloween is fast approaching! Have the third graders been given their little orange boxes?
SERVANT: Yes, your majesty!
UNICEF: Perfect. Did you tell them what the money was for?
SERVANT: No, sir, of course not! We just gave them the boxes and told them to collect for UNICEF. We said it was for “a good cause,” but we didn’t get any more specific than that.
UNICEF: Ha ha ha! Those fools! Soon I will have all the money in the world. For I am UNICEF, evil king of Halloween!
SERVANT: Sir . . . don’t you think you’ve stolen enough from the children? Maybe you should let them keep the money this year.
UNICEF: Never! The children shall toil forever to serve my greed!
(He tears open a little orange box full of coins and rubs them all over his fat stomach.)
UNICEF: Yes! Oh, yes!
SERVANT: Wait! Your majesty! Look at this! Our records indicate that there’s a kid out there—Simon—who’s planning to keep his UNICEF money this year.
UNICEF: What?! But what about my evil plans? I was going to give that money to the Russians so they could build a bomb!
SERVANT: (aside) I guess there’s still one hero left in this world.
UNICEF: No! (He runs out of the castle, sobbing.)
SERVANT: Thank God Simon is keeping his UNICEF money.
SECOND SERVANT: Yes, it’s good that he’s keeping the money.
THIRD SERVANT: I agree. Simon is doing a good thing by keeping the money from the UNICEF box.
SERVANT: Then we’re all in agreement. Simon should keep the money.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

We Cut Down Old Growth Forests for This?

One of the best parts of the day is when the mail comes. It's particularly enjoyable lately because it's Christmas catalogue time. Last year, Kyle bought some fly fishing stuff from a company that sold his information and is responsible for the deluge of crap we receive from October to December.

I secretly love to tell Kyle when a catalogue has come. He rages about wasted paper and swears that he will never buy anything from said fishing company matter how awesome their product is. Even better is when he phones the companies to get off their mailing lists and they refuse to remove his name.

Hands down, the best/worst is America's longest running catalogue - Hammacher Schlemmer (even the name is wasteful. Those crazy Germans with all their consonants!). Need ideas for Christmas gifts? Hammacher Schlemmer has the most ridiculous products you could ever dream of giving that hard-to-buy-for person.

Would you like a jumpless jump rope that allows you to engage in the training regimen enjoyed by Olympic boxers without interrupting the flow of your workout routine by getting the rope caught in your feet?

No? How about the 6-foot tall classic animatronic fortune teller, Zoltar? Only $8,999.99 (plus $500 shipping).

Maybe you'd be interested in a mechanical core muscle trainer for the low low price of $1,499.95. The gentle swaying of the saddle forces the core muscles of the body to expand and contract.

Okay. Perhaps an alarm clock that rolls away and hides when you hit the snooze button would be more to your liking. Wait...that actually is kind of awesome.

Oh evil Hammacher Schlemmer, despite all my mockery you got me... You got me.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Nun Update

I've had a long dry spell when it comes to seeing the neighbourhood nuns... maybe they're getting their groceries delivered.

When I was a kid, we had this wonderful Catholic sister who lived in an apartment building down the street from my house. Her name was Sister Aquinas. She drove a tiny car the colour of an orange tic tac, which she would pull over at a moment's notice to chat with neighbourhood kids and hand out pieces of juicy fruit. She also had a watch with a disciple at every hour.

Today I was looking online and saw a site featuring photographs of an order of French Nuns who run a soup kitchen in Harlem. Some of the women started taking tae kwon do lessons for exercise. Of course, they don't go around drop-kicking New Yorkers but apparently, five-foot tall Sister Mary (pictured above) is pretty awesome. Look at that air and those furious fists! I'll bet the next photograph was of the tae kwon do teacher crumpled against the far wall.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sometimes it's best to buy new

Recently, I was in a used book store where I saw a whole shelf of second-hand Bathroom Readers.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just like me - exquisitely delicate

Yesterday my lovely friend Paige sent me an email telling me about her weekend:

"In our boredom, we stumbled across The Shopping Channel and there was a doll on there that Paul thought looked like you at our wedding. So here you are, in doll form (you're the one in pink, by the way. Not the homely midget girl)."

I was a little afraid to open up the attachment. But when I did, I was surprised to see that Paul was right. The doll kind of does look like I did at their wedding. Brown flippy hair, pink strapless dress, and skin the colour of Elmer's Glue.

Sweet! Now I know exactly what to get Paige and Paul for their anniversary. Not only is it a gift they'll treasure for a lifetime but it can also be purchased in just three easy payments.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It ain't easy being greazy

Kyle comes home for lunch. I am typing away at the computer, still in my pajamas.

Kyle: You showered and put on dirty clothes?
Me: No...
Kyle: But your hair is wet
Me: No it's not
Kyle: Oh ... Sorry


Monday, September 17, 2007

They are as dangerous as they are delicious

Today was filling day. My dentist was fantastic and I was very cool and collected. I think it's because of the stress-reducing fish tank that my dentist uses to create a calming atmosphere. Maybe the fish absorb patients' anxiety, in which case, one of them will probably be belly-up by tomorrow morning.

As I was paying my bill and talking to the receptionist, I tried to put on some lip gloss. But because my mouth was frozen, my top lip disappeared mid-application and I shmeared it all over my front teeth. That was awkward.

And now just for fun...a lobster knife fight. Poor guy on the left. His knife is backwards.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Shameless plug!

I just got back from the library where I picked up a book I have been waiting on for weeks. I am so excited about this book that I can barely contain myself! The author provides information about environmentally friendly products and services in Canada. While some of the contents are a bit frightening, I felt hopeful after reading some her practical solutions and tips. For those of us who can't spend tons of money, it's nice to know that IKEA has a good reputation for using less toxic materials. For example, unlike many manufacturers, IKEA doesn't bind the pressed wood used to make cribs, beds, and shelves with formaldehyde (a cancer-causing chemical).

I also bought a new mop today. Kyle thinks our current mop is "creepy and dirty" just because a moth flew out of it and it's tangled with a multicoloured tapestry of hair...

The mop I chose is made by Method, a company that I absolutely adore. Not only are their products naturally-derived, they also smell fantastic and look great...which caters nicely to my weakness for good packaging. We use tons of their stuff - from body wash to leather cleaner.

Move over Kyle. Tonight your spot in our bed will be occupied by our new mop and my library book.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What time is it?

I really like going to medical appointments and talking about my health. So much so that I'm afraid that my doctor will sense my weird enthusiasm and think I have Munchhausen syndrome. Dental appointments, I love a bit less. Actually a lot less. But I have this strange pride about my teeth and want to show up with the cleanest, whitest, most cavity-free teeth my dentist has ever had the privilege to examine. But despite my faithful brushing and flossing, that does not seem to be my dental destiny.

At my last dental cleaning, I was flinching a bit while the hygienist scraped off hunks of my gums. Noticing my discomfort she looked at me without a trace of compassion and said, "It hurts, hey? Well that's because you have gingivitis."
Gingivitis? Nooooo!

I laid in the chair, blinded with shame. I felt like someone had caught me eating my boogers. Or that my dentist and his staff were discussing the secret joy I took from reading Hollywood gossip in the waiting room.

Anyway, this time the dentist was dictating to his assistant and said "staining minimal" yes!, tartar minimal, yes! , and that my gums were looking very healthy. YES!!

I was feeling very proud of having aced my dental report card until he looked at my x-rays and told me I have four cavities - one that needs filling and three that we should "keep an eye on". Booo. That requires needles, drooling, and that weird burny tooth smell. There's also the potential for me to get so tense that tears well up in (and spill out of) my eyes while they're working on me. That's much more embarassing than gingivitis.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Amnesty International - "Signature"

I almost lose it at the last part with the child soldiers. This brilliant ad convinced me to finally write a letter for amnesty international. But then I lost the letter and I think it probably ended up in the recycling pile.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Blogging isn't the only thing that isn't getting done around here

Kyle and I have an understanding about certain tasks that need to be done around the house. For example, because putting sheets on the bed makes me want to poke my eyes out, Kyle has agreed to do that job. And I put the clean dishes away to spare Kyle the frustration of handling the dishes that he swears must have been loaded into the dishwasher by a blind monkey.
But organizing and dropping off the recycling is something that we both hate equally and nobody is willing to take one for the team when it comes to this household task. Consequently, a massive pile of junk piles up until we can no longer close the pantry door and our food becomes nearly inaccessible. Any time we want some mini wheats or Kahlua (or both), we have to take the risk of being swept across the kitchen floor in an avalanche of refuse. We've learned to remain calm, swim with the flow of recyclables and try to grab onto the fridge door handle if we can.
Even though we do have a serious recycling problem, our habit of letting the stuff accumulate did save me from some marital strife last March when we were doing our taxes. After having searched the house high and low for an important letter from my bank, I came to the agonizing conclusion that I had to dig through our mountain of recycling. It was no small task but thankfully, just as Kyle was preparing to give me a flying head-butt, I produced the tax form from the bottom of one of the bins. Hooray! It took me ages to shove everything back into the pantry but we did get our taxes in on time.

Who knows what treasures are hidden down there this time?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Me: "Oh Chaz, come here. You're so cute. Let's snuggle."
I lay down on the floor beside the dog and start scratching his head.
Kyle: "You want to snuggle with that grubber?"
Chaz looks at me blankly, gets up, and walks away, leaving me alone on the cold floor.
Kyle: "I was talking to the dog."

I get off the floor and chase Kyle down the hall.

Friday, August 3, 2007


Tuesday night, Kyle and I are out for a late walk in our neighbourhood. On our way home, I hear a cat meowing and call it over so that I can pet it.

We pause on the sidewalk to hear more meowing and a weird rustling noise. But no cat. Then, all of a sudden, the cat appears and Kyle and I nervously take a step backward. The cat is not walking toward us but dragging herself furiously in our direction with her front paws. Her back legs and tail are motionless, trailing in the dirt behind her. She scooches up to me and starts dragging herself around my legs, meowing and waiting for some love.
"Oh crap. I think this cat has been hit by a car or something."
"What should we do?"
"I don't know. We could take her to an emergency clinic. But I'm afraid to pick her up. I might hurt her."
Meanwhile, the cat is still meowing and trying to get some affection. I nervously lean down to pet her. She definitely doesn't seem in pain and keeps scraping herself along the sidewalk between Kyle and myself. As we look down at her in the dark, we see something smooth discoloured on her back end. Kyle and I both think it must be road rash.
"I could go home and get a box while you wait with the cat."
"Hey! She's wearing a diaper. A little purple plastic cat diaper!"
"Weird...So she's probably okay."
"Yeah, but who would leave her outside if her back legs are paralyzed? She can't run away from anything and would get herself worked in a cat fight. She must have escaped."
It's eleven o'clock. Kyle starts looking toward the nearby houses to see if any have lights on. He notices a woman standing in the window of one, watching us. By this time we've probably been standing around for five minutes discussing what we should do with the cat. Kyle walks up to the house and knocks on the door. I can overhear their conversation from where I stand petting the cat.
Friendly Woman: Oh you scared me!
Kyle: you have a cat that doesn't walk so well?
Woman: Oh yeah. That's Petunia! She's a paraplegic. She's been like that for three years. Most people clue in when they see the diaper.
Kyle: Oh okay. We thought maybe she'd escaped.
Woman: No. She loves to run around outside. She doesn't know she's challenged and she's not in any pain. We built a ramp for her at the back door.
Kyle: Okay. I just thought I'd check.
Meanwhile Petunia is still happily dragging herself in circles on the sidewalk beside me. Shaking our heads and laughing, we head home in the dark with Petunia following us for a few metres before we outpace her.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Whoever Said They Were Gentle Giants?

I was browsing through files on my computer today when I spotted this fantastic image. For a while, Kyle and I made a game of changing each other's backgrounds on the computer (on our PC, as with the bank, Kyle and I have separate accounts). This image of the manatee/Hindenburg disaster is one that I set as Kyle's background, using it to creatively remind him of my love for the sea cow.

One evening after Kyle had sneakily changed my background, I logged onto the computer and let out a huge scream when this guy popped up unexpectedly, filling the whole screen.
He is Li'l Sam, three-time winner of the World's Ugliest Dog competition. No, that isn't a chicken bone he's gnawing on. It is his own foot. Sadly, Li'l Sam died last year but he sure did deserve his title. I can't be certain but I think this picture was taken before he died.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Where Did They Get the Halter Top?

This video is of over 1500 prisoners at a Detention and Rehabilitation Centre in the Philippines practicing "Thriller". The video quality isn't great but the concept is awesome and the dancing - oh so good! Somebody on You Tube has posted a bunch of videos of these guys dancing and marching. Oddly enough, a lot of them are to songs from "Sister Act."

Speaking of Sister Act, Kyle and I saw two of our neighbourhood nuns at Safeway last night. They bought a cantaloupe.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Possibly My Worst Idea Ever

Recently I saw something on TV about how keeping anything plugged into the wall, even when it's not being used, consumes electricity. Consequently, I've been trying to unplug kettles, lamps, the toaster oven, etc. Last week I was ironing some clothes in the basement and noticed how many of our outlets were filled with plugs. In the name of environmentalism, I happily wandered around unplugging everything.

Two days later, we were planning to go to Kyle's parent's for a barbeque. After Kyle went downstairs to get some hamburger from the freezer, I heard him call my name. I went down, thinking that my sister Kristed's lovely dog might have left a dookie in a dark corner of our basement. However, when I got to the bottom of the stairs I saw Kyle standing in a puddle in front of our darkened freezer, looking confused.
"Jamie, something is wrong with the freezer. It's not working"
My stomach dropped between my feet and for a fleeting moment, I considered blaming it on Kristed...or her dog. Anybody...
"Ah... ... I... unplugged it."
Needless to say, Kyle was pretty upset. He grabbed a giant rubber bin and started whipping melting objects out of our freezer. When he asked to be left alone with my puddly disaster, I skulked upstairs and waited quietly.
. ..
Thankfully, our freezer is really new and most of the meat was still half-frozen. Oh man, I can't imagine how much trouble I would have been in if it had sat there for a couple more days. In my defense, the freezer was plugged into an extension cord, and attached to a distant wall. It's not as though I walked behind the freezer and yanked on it.
Kyle did get over his quiet rage after about an hour, although he did threaten to resurrect his blog again. The last time he did that was when I didn't quite kill a fly before putting it in the garbage and it buzzed/dragged itself onto his hand while he was throwing something out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

But You Complete Me


I've been a blog slacker. A new post will be coming very soon.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Polish Festival

On my walk home from school I pass a Polish Orthodox Catholic church. Last week there was a homemade sign out front advertising a Polish Festival with cultural entertainment, food, and merchandise. So this Saturday, I convinced Kyle that we should head on over to the Polish festival for some sweet post-workout perogy action.

I have to say that the sign was a bit misleading and the event was fairly low key. So much so that it was a bit awkward. In the parking lot that served as a venue, there was one table of used books and another displaying ceramic figurines for sale. The entertainment was one guy with an accordion (in defense of the Polish festival, I think there were dancers earlier in the day). Regardless, the food was good and the people were very friendly, so I was content. As I sat eating my delicious perogies and trying to look Polish, I wondered if everyone else at the festival could tell that Kyle and I weren't part of the Polish Posse.

Hands down, the highlight of the Festival was seeing the nuns who live down the street. They were just hanging out in their habits, doing whatever it is that Polish nuns do at festivals. I got super pumped when I saw them and told Kyle for the millionth time about how much I love these old-style nuns who live in our neighbourhood. Whenever I see them, it makes my day.
I especially love it when they mow their lawn in full habit. That reminds me that I haven't happened to see them mowing the lawn yet this year. Maybe I should go on an undercover midnight fertilizing operation to increase my chances...
The image above is from a calendar called "Nuns Having Fun". How great is that? The only calendar I can imagine appreciating more would be Nuns Doing Yard Work.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Oh the Suspense

This morning I was looking at my friend Paul's blog, which I enjoy immensely. On it he had posted this video which has made me laugh all day. I was even giggling to myself about it as I mowed the lawn.

I wonder how someone managed to record this gopher at the very moment it learned that Dave was driving in the vicinity.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Introducing My New Purple and Green Cankle

Last weekend I was invited to go hiking at Yamnuska with one of my good friends and her husband. We had a fantastic time just being out in the mountains and appreciating the scenery. My favourite part of the hike was when we ran/slid down a giant skree field, which is a long slope of loose gravel. I felt very hardcore.

Unfortunately, I felt much less hardcore when I tripped over a rock in the middle of a flat path about 15 minutes from the parking lot, twisting my ankle. (Hi Mom and Dad. I hurt myself again. Aren't you glad you don't have to pick me up and take me to the hospital anymore?)
My hiking buddies were lovely, lending me their shoulders to lean on and even giving me a piggy back ride when we encountered a particularly steep hill. I have to say that after someone carries my sweaty self on their back down a mountain, we share a very special kind of bond. ,,,,,,,,,,,

My friends lovingly brought me home and supplied me with Advil and a frozen bag of peas. They fussed over me and left only when I promised that Kyle would come home right away. I phoned Kyle at work and requested that he bring me some Indian take-out, which is well-known for its healing properties.

Kyle came home to see his wife laying in front of the TV with a puffy leg, unsuccessfully trying to gnaw the cork out of an unfinished bottle of wine that had been left on the coffee table.
My foot really has not been very sore but it sure does look gross. That's definitely the best kind of injury. I've decided to follow Kyle's lead and take a photo of my wound. Please enjoy Cankle 2007.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

More Cowbell

Everyday on my bus ride home from my practicum, I would pass this sign. It's just down the hill from our house marking a playground zone (for a distant ghost-town of a park that's surrounded by a chain-link fence).

It always made my day to pass this sign. I imagined that some tagging punk had sprayed a little Grim Reaper onto the sign to give extra warning to anyone who might be tempted to speed.

"Hey you, in the pimped-out Tempo with the $4000 stereo. You'd better fear the Reaper... Yeah that's right. It's 30 km/h!"

Sadly, upon closer inspection the black figure looks more like a wizard. And I've seen him spray-painted in much less perilous places onto things like mail boxes and walls. But that's okay. It still makes me happy when I pass it.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

More Meow Mix

Check out this link to see what comes up first if you google
"i want chicken i want liver"

You'll be glad you did.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Oh It Delivers

This evening, I felt particularly happy as I walked across campus. The grounds were a lushy green, the blossoms smelled gorgeous and the temperature was perfect.

Suddenly I became aware that in the midst of great beauty, I was whistling the tune from a 1990s Meow Mix commercial.

I understand myself to be the type of person who always has a song running through her head. But not until this evening did I realize how often I whistle/sing/hum that particular "melody". It's as though the Meow Mix commercial is the theme song of my personal soundtrack.

I sometimes sing it around supper time when Kyle asks me what I want to eat. Tonight after a heartfelt pre-dinner solo, I got specific and requested chicken livers...but instead we had an uninspired meal of asparagus, salad, and honey nut cheerios.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


On Thursday I had my first class of "Chiseled", a weight training class offered through the university. Yes, it's called chiseled...which is what I will be in just six short weeks.

Even though I kept up with the rest of the class, I had to cheat my way through more than a few of the exercises and shook so much that I nearly fell over several times. Meanwhile, fifty-year-old women floated gracefully beside me, effortlessly lifting one another into the air with one arm.

By the end of the class, I was feeling very sweaty and humble despite being more chiseled than I was a mere 50 minutes before. As I bent over to pick up my equipment, I was so tired that I somehow lost control of my jaw. Time slowed as chewing gum fell from my mouth and landed on top of one of the weights. I was too mortified to look around and see if anyone noticed as I peeled my gum from the free weight.
Hopefully nobody was looking but still...why do I have to be the gross kid at Chiseled?

Monday, May 21, 2007

How to Make Coffee that Could be Considered a Crime Against Humanity

Step 1: Start off by purchasing the cheapest coffee you can find. Buy 3 containers of it to "earn" 15 Air miles at Safeway.

Step 2: As you put the coffee into the machine, activate Bleeding Heart. Feel guilty about the fact that this is probably the least fair-trade coffee you could have bought. Contemplate the tiny youthful fingers that spend their days picking low-quality coffee beans rather than holding pencils.

Step 3: Don't measure the amount of tepid tap water you're putting into the machine. Avoid using a proper tablespoon to measure the grinds. Lose track of how many you've put in.

Step 4: Be impatient. Pour the coffee into your cup before it's finished brewing.

Step 5: Consider the black hole you've poured into your cup.

Step 6: After pouring in all of the cream you could find in the fridge, taste your brew. Because it's so horribly strong, pour the coffee with cream back into the coffee pot. Add an unknown quantity of water to the top of the machine.

Step 7: Notice that you put in way too much water. Lift the top of the coffee machine, getting steam burns while rapidly tossing in wildly inappropriate amounts of coffee grinds.

Step 8: Pour coffee with cooked cream back into cup. Taste coffee so strong that it probably could have poured itself for you.

Step 9: Boil water in the kettle. Add hot water to your cup in an attempt to make the coffee less tarry and chewy.
Step 10: Give up on the "brewing" process.

Step 11: Add some milk (as all of the cream is gone) and a boatload of sugar.
Step 12: Drink the coffee. Feel it pummel your digestive system and consider your wicked stomach ache punishment for
a) being a nard who doesn't measure things
b) buying Nabob and assisting "The Man" in his never-ending quest to keep the little guy down

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


I am loving spring, taking joy from fresh blossoms and warmer days. Last week I stopped to look at the new crocuses on the hillside and thought of how this will be the first spring that my Grandma Pope won't be alive to enjoy them. Crocuses always remind me of her.

As usual, I've had my eyes peeled for ducklings and goslings on the river near our house. Yesterday while running by the river I spotted the first goslings of spring. They were insanely cute and I wanted to walk down the bank for a closer look. Unfortunately, they were guarded by their freaky, hissing Canadian Goose parents whose beady little eyes are constantly calculating how much force it would take to break my forearm. I can't wait for baby ducks!

Friday, May 4, 2007

30 Days to Decide

Last week I bought a little rug to put on our front step. I got it in the morning and put it out before Kyle came home for lunch. The first thing he said when he walked through the door was: "Yuck! Who gave us that ugly thing at front of the door?"

Like a good man, he quickly back-peddled when I told him that I had in fact made a conscious decision to bring this hideous object into our lives. According to Kyle's second appraisal of the rug, it isn't so bad, especially considering that it's just for people to wipe their feet on. He just hasn't really liked "that colour" since he went through a teal phase grade six. I guess teal is so 1992.

Then our friend Bjorn came over for dinner and I asked him to vote on whether I should return the rug. According to Bjorn, "it looks like something you would throw away after finding it in your grandma's basement." That sparked a bunch more jokes about my other old lady loves such as prune-flavoured yogurt and lentils.

But I still like the rug. And I bought it at Urban Barn, so it must be cool. What do you think? Should it go back from whence it came?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Where Have All the Underwears Gone?

I have a very bad habit of not putting my underwear and socks away after they're washed. Instead, I just bring the hamper into our room and use it like a wonderfully portable sixth drawer. Kyle lives in a constant state of confusion as to which of my clothes are clean and which are dirty.

Recently, I've felt unsettled by the fact that I seem to have much less underwear than I used to. I swear that I could go for at least three weeks without running out of underwear but now, one week after doing laundry, it's slim pickin's in the sixth drawer/hamper. I've searched high and low and can't figure out where they've gone.

I had a friend whose chihuahua used to steal the dirty underwear from her hamper and eat it. But Chaz hasn't been here in a few weeks and I've never found any evidence of munched undies.

And then you always hear about socks vanishing in the dryer but never whole pairs of underwear...

Very strange.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

If I comment on your blog before 5pm, write me a mean message in CAPS

Okay, that's it. No more messing around on the Internet today. Instead, I will endure a mild depression as I rework (for the 12455th time) a paper that I wrote over a year ago and am loving less by the minute.

I'm trying to think of school as my job and so far this week, I'm a terrible employee. Yesterday I did nothing school-related. And today, I showed up to work at 8:45 in my pajamas without my hair brushed and then proceeded to write emails and bother my sisters over facebook for 45 minutes. But now I will be a model employee (aside from the continued wardrobe problems) and get to work.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Life and Times of Creep Toe

A few summers ago, Kyle's toe got stomped by some cleat-wearing guy on an opposing slow pitch team. I think that was the first time Kyle dropped an F-bomb at his Christian slow pitch league.

Anyway, Kyle's toe was hurt pretty bad. It got all puffy and bruised with a sick blood blister. The nail was a real trooper, hanging on for days and days after it blackened. One afternoon, when Kyle wore sandals to take the dog for a walk, Chaz got excited and started jumping around. Somehow, his sharp little nail collided with Creep Toe and the blood blister exploded. Kyle came home looking like something from CSI, with a deflated toe and blood splatter all over him and the dog. Not long after, the nail fell off, the bruises went away, and Creep Toe matured to become a fairly normal looking toe aside from his thick bumpy nail.

Thankfully, we were left with more than just our memories of young Creep Toe. Before the incident with Chaz, Kyle took a whole bunch of pictures of his toe in all it's bruisy glory. As a result of Kyle's quest for the perfect image to capture the nuances of his injury, we have shots of Creep Toe in a variety of locations, angles, and lighting conditions.

Our screen saver is set to scroll through our uploaded photos, which now include about 247 images of Creep Toe. As our computer is visible from the living room, lots of guests have commented on how frequently a photo of Kyle's disgusting toe scrolls by. It's as though Creep Toe is our beloved child and our guests are treated to a slideshow of his greatest moments.

"Oh look! There he is on the bathroom counter. Look at how much he'd grown..."

"And there he is sliding around on the hardwood. How sweet!"

"Ah Creep Toe, just chillin on the front steps with his nail hanging half off."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

On Being a Lazy Turd

On my 25 minute walk to school, I walk up University Drive past the football Stadium where lots of students park their cars. Invariably, there are at least ten students waiting there to catch a bus that will spare them the five minute walk to campus. Typically, I walk past them self-righteously, muttering inwardly about how these lazy turds won't walk the 500m from car to class.

Anyway, this Monday I was rushing to school to meet my friend Sanni. After having already walked 20 minutes, I was passing the stadium when I noticed an approaching bus. Because I was on the verge of being late, I decided to hop on the bus, ride it to the University, and impress Sanni with my timeliness. Two minutes after embarking I rang the bell, approached the bus door, and thanked the driver. He turned to me and said without smiling, "Tomorrow you will walk the whole way to school." It was not a request but a command. Since when do bus drivers order their passengers to walk? I guess he also dislikes lazy turds. And in his world, I was one of them.

I wanted to defend myself and explain my situation. But as usual, I had nothing to say in the moment so I laughed uncomfortably and hopped off the bus. I guess now I'll have more compassion for the lazy turds of my world...but not for grouchy bus drivers.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Chaz: 3... Jamie and Kyle: 0

This morning when Kyle got out of bed he was greeted with a pile of dog puke in the middle of our area rug. And we were just getting used to the pea-green stain left by the larger pile of dog vomit I found on Wednesday.

Our house is entirely floored in hardwood and tile except for the 4X6 area rug in our living room. There are a million places that Chaz could barf without leaving permanent scars. I'm beginning to think that selective puking is his only means of revenge for all the injustice and indignity he suffers at our hands: listening to my songs about how much he stinks, not being allowed to sleep in our bed, insufficient belly rubbing...

And the time before the two carpet puking incidents? He barfed on our bed, soaking through the duvet cover, down duvet, sheets, and matress cover. As I write this he's probably skulking around, trying to figure out how to unzip the garment bag that holds my wedding dress.

And Now for Something Completely Different

I've had enough of snow and cold. It's time for Spring and I'm willing it into existence!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday

Typically Good Friday has just been another long-weekend holiday for me but as I lay in bed this morning, I found myself thinking about how I might mark this day and make meaning of it for myself.

Unfortunately, I'll be spending much of the day writing a paper. But sitting at the computer, I've let my mind wander around the idea of the crucifixion, wondering how Good Friday fits into my faith.

A few years ago, I read about a controversial photograph taken by Andreas Serrano. The photograph is called "Piss Christ" and it depicts a crucifix submerged in a jar of the artist's urine. While many touted this piece as important to freedom of expression, others were offended, hurt, and angered by it.

But I am moved by this image. It cuts to the heart of what Christianity and Good Friday are about - an unsanitized God who joins with humanity in our vulnerability to dirtiness, pain, suffering, and abuse. And a God who responds to the ugly parts of humanness with love, compassion, and grace.

In his poem about the piece, Andrew Hudgins describes Piss Christ as depicting:
"the whole irreducible point of the faith,
God thrown in human waste, submerged and shining."

And so I am taking time today to meditate on Jesus ... submerged and shining.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

How to Disgust Me

Ask me to smell your hand after it's been in your ranky old hockey glove for two hours. And then gaze at me innocently, as though you haven't made this request a dozen times over the past five years.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Little Lovelies

Today as my bus was crossing over Crowchild I spotted a gopher and got really excited. I love gophers! I know that they're really "Richardson's Ground Squirrels" but that has too many syllables so I'm going to stick with gopher.

I had never seen a gopher before moving to Calgary, probably because they can't escape the thick cold death that covers Northern Alberta all winter. The first time I ever saw gophers was with Jonathan and Marina Aicken at Fish Creek Park and we fed them pretzel sticks from between our toes.

It's as though Calgary has a million squirmy little pets. Pets that routinely get gassed, shot, and squashed by car tires. Now I understand that they are a pest and I don't really have a problem with people killing them. I know that their holes bust the legs of many innocent cows and elementary school kids. Even though I've rolled my ankles numerous times in gopher holes, I just can't stop loving them. I love their skittishness, their little whistles, the way the kick dirt behind them when they dig holes.
I mean look at him.
No really. Look. And feel the cockles of your heart warming.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Warning to All Who Enter Here

As some of you may know, I'm a bit of a germ freak and there isn't much logic to my fear of contamination. One thing that bothers me the most is touching things on the bus. Stranger still is the fact that I get more weirded out if I touch the bus with my hands (which I wash a lot) than with my fabulous Heather-made mittens (which I never wash and jam into my purse with my gum, cell phone, lunch).

I'm also uncomfortable touching door handles, especially ones in really busy areas or bathrooms. And that brings to my next fear...the crazy revolving door at my practicum. My entrance to the building has three doors. Two ordinary doors possessing germ-town handles on either side of an insanely fast revolving door. I used to love revolving doors as a kid. They made me happy because they conjure up memories of every cheesy movie/episode of "Perfect Strangers" where someone goes around and around in the door, delighting in its endless turning.

But this revolving door is more sinister and self-aware than any of those happy TV-land doors. It lies motionless until it learns of your presence from the sensor attached to it's door frame. Once is senses you and smells your fear from about 3 feet away, the door kicks into high gear. It starts furiously slapping its partitions in the air, warning you to stay away and take your chances on the disease-riddled door handles beside it. But my fear of pooh particles is much greater than my fear of being mercilessly dragged around by a revolving door. So I watch the door as it spins around and I time my steps as I approach, running at just the right pace so that the door can't catch my face or arms between its partition and frame. Once I'm in the door's domain, my heart races and I run furious little steps to avoid being smacked around by the door as it races to catch up with me. And then I speed out of door as soon as there's a space big enough to fit my body through. Victorious and breathless, I pump my fists in the air and skip away.

One morning, I was in the middle of the door, running my tiny fast steps when it almost got me. Instead of speeding up to crush me, it decided to stop moving all together. The jig was up. I should have risked getting hand-herpes from the other doors. I stood there at a loss as to what to do until someone on the the outside took pity on me and tripped the sensor, foiling the evil door. When I got home that evening, I told Kyle about what happened and he asked, "Why didn't you just push on the door and make it turn?"

Strangely, I didn't even think of that. That's the secret of the evil revolving door. It steals your mind...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Oral Hygiene

"Kyle, I hate brushing my teeth. It's so boring."


"Yeah. How much would you be willing to pay to never have to brush or floss your teeth again? And to never worry about tooth decay or going to the dentist."

"Um...I'd say $50, 000."

"Yeah, that sounds about right."

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Since they started advertising "Dodge Ball" on City TV, Kyle has been playing a new game around home. To play this game, all you need is a shopping bag full of wadded up dirty clothes and an easily startled opponent.

When I go into the bathroom, Kyle will hide somewhere and wait for me to come out. When I open the door and walk into the hall he'll sneak-attack me by running out of his hiding spot, whipping the bag of clothes at me, and yelling "Bombardment!" at the top of his lungs. It's only been a couple of days since the game began but I'm starting to get twitchy every time I have to pee.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Things I Have Done Today Other Than Work On My Presentation

- stopped by my friend Ian's office at the University
- went running
- called my grandma
- offered to babysit for a friend
- cleaned the kitchen (sort of)
- watched out the window to see if the mail man was coming
- played a Cat Stevens song on my guitar
- watched someone on youtube play the same song on their guitar
- picked dead leaves from one of my plants (oh black thumb!)

Well at least I haven't stooped so low that I'm watching "The View".

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Adventures in Public Transit

Monday afternoon, as my bus stopped to pick someone up at the end of a merge lane on Crowchild (who puts a bus stop in a merge lane?!), the whole bus slammed forward with a lound crunchy bang. Immediately, I knew we'd been rear-ended and so did the bus driver who picked up her radio, began to cry and say "We've been hit! We've been hit!" Strangely, she just sat there crying as the woman who rear-ended us ran up to the bus door. The bus driver just kept weeping and wouldn't open the door so the woman ran around to the bus driver's window and stood on one of Crowchild's six lanes as rush-hour traffic whizzed by her at 80 km/h. The bus driver still didn't get out to look at the back of the bus or to make sure that nobody on the bus was hurt. She wouldn't even open the doors and let the passgengers off to catch the next bus until some guy shouted at her. It was really strange...

And then this morning as I was riding the bus to my practicum, I looked out the window as we drove past downtown and saw a big, gorgeous deer standing serenely in the bushes on a hill above Crowchild. It was one of the most surprising and beautiful things I've seen in this city.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spike in Sales

Although I get some serious enjoyment out of their steeped tea, I'm not really a die-hard Tim Horton's fan. Strangely, roll up the rim (or in my case, gnaw up the rim) has some sort of strange hold on me that leads me to buy drinks I don't really want or need.

For example, yesterday on our ride home from Fernie I decided to buy a medium coffee despite the fact that I wasn't thirsty and the drink would more than likely give me a wicked stomach ache. I even got all creepy about it and decided that this cup "felt lucky". Indeed, my roll up the rim mojo was right on target and I won myself a doughnut. I was insanely pumped even though I haven't really enjoyed donuts since my co-op bakery days. What is it about roll up the rim?

Please play again? Oh you know I can't help myself!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

An Equal and Opposite Reaction

Last week, I had a nightmare in which my sister Heather (the vet) brought us an evil cat to be our pet. In my dream, I had some weird psychic connection with the cat that allowed me to understand its thoughts. I knew exactly what was going to happen a split second before it laid its ears back, hissed, and launched itself off Heather's shoulder onto my face.

I woke up gasping, shook Kyle awake, and told him about my dream. He just put his arm over me and said, "That sounds pretty scary", and went back to sleep. I almost laughed out loud because Kyle is so much more sympathetic when he's half asleep. Now I'm not saying that Kyle is mean when he's fully conscious. He just loves to tease. Had Kyle been awake, he definitely would have used this dream to support his side in our never-ending debate about whether cats should ever be allowed to cross the threshold of our home.

Often when Kyle wakes up in the morning, he is particularly feisty. For example, last Friday I didn't have anywhere to go and intended to sleep in. Kyle, however, had different plans for me. As Kyle got dressed for work he decided to wake me up by whipping me in the face with his socks. I think that on mornings like those, there's something deep in Kyle's subconscious that seeks balance in the universe and has to make up for any excess sweetness that slipped out in the night.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Fruits of E-Stalking

Often while I'm doing homework I get bored and start to google random people that I know. I've googled myself, kids I used to babysit, my grandma...The other day I was googeling my friend Bjorn and this band called "Peter, Bjorn, and John" kept coming up. For the past ten minutes, I've been grooving to this song in the kitchen while making my lunch. Listen for their fun Swedish accents!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Rivers of Rust

This is a photograph taken by Canadian Edward Burtynsky, an artist whose work was featured on "The Hour" last night. This image, "Nickel Tailings," was taken in Sudbury Ontario where iron oxide is flushed into fields as industrial waste.
I am struck by how something so barren and alarming can also be so beautiful.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wicked Stepsister Woes

I find shoe shopping stressful. It's stressful because I have giant feet that become magically disconnected from my brain when I'm trying on shoes. For example, last fall I spent $180 on hiking boots that make my toes fall asleep when I'm SITTING IN CLASS. How did I walk up and down the store's fake rock trail a million times without figuring out that my toes were ramming into the front of the boots? Nice one Jamie.

Yesterday I went shopping for climbing shoes, which you're supposed to buy 1-2 sizes smaller than street shoes. Everytime I try to buy some, I get frustrated and leave the store with nothing. How the heck do I figure out which ugly, too-small, pinchy shoe fits best on my ridiculous foot?
If only Merv's carried climbing shoes, I know the Primeaus could help me figure it out...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Jamie, Meet Your Type A Personality

We had a really busy weekend with lots of awesome food and visits with my sisters and friends we haven't seen in a long time. For your rereading pleasure, I've reposted something that I wrote a while ago and didn't keep up.

Why I Should Never Redo my Undergrad...
Ever since I was 15, I've wanted to be a psychologist. I was pretty casual about this goal until the world shifted one sunny spring day in my second year of university. Feeling inspired after a really interesting lecture, I promised myself that I would do everything I could to get into grad school and become a psychologist. Thus began my descent into madness...

I found professors who would let me work in their labs. I got a job at the hospital as a research assistant. I started studying maniacally, having meltdowns the night before most tests and wailing to Kyle about how I "didn't know anything", which really meant I didn't know everything. Fourth-year was particularly bad as I wrote an honours thesis and started applying to grad school. Some of my friends managed to go through this process with a bit of grace and dignity (Fran). But not me! I became an insomniac with a constant stomach ache, losing sleep before every exam and presentation. I remember sitting in class at the end of fourth year, confessing to my good friend Ian that I had cried into my mini wheats that morning.

Thankfully, I did manage to get into graduate school and the pressure was off. Knowing that I only had to do well enough to finish, I became less ridiculous with each passing day. I can testify that over the past year and a half, there has been very little, if any, weeping into cold cereal.

I was walking to the university today to meet a couple of friends when I was struck by the fact that I felt really happy, joyful in fact. Things have been going particularly well since I began my practicum in September. I love the work and I'm pretty sure that I'll be good at it one day. Of course, it would have been better to get to this place with a little less stress and neuroticism but it's good to be here.

A behind-the-scenes look at Fourth-Year Jamie. It's probably 3pm and I'm still wearing my pajamas, sitting in my own filth at the computer. If you stare for a while, you can almost see my left eye twitching. I'm just about to pounce on my lovely husband and tear his face off for breathing too loudly while I'm styding.

Me and Fran the Evil Genius looking happy, successful, and well-adjusted at convocation.

Background by Jennifer Furlotte / Pixels and IceCream