O Canada

  • Here are the last five songs that came on the random play of my iPod:
Star Bodies by The New Pornographers
Jhanjra by Kiran Ahluwalia
by Tegan and Sara
by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Wake Up
by Arcade Fire

Four of the five are Canadian artists.
  • In sifting through a huge stack of resumes for a current opening on my team at work, two of my top five candidates are from Canada
  • A family member of mine is dating someone who lives in Canada, which has prompted discussions of visiting and touring Canada
  • The cool girl who pierced my nose recently moved here from Canada. Since she is vegan and therefore shops downstairs, I occasionally run into her and we always joke about the difference in weather.
  • I kept coming across the name of a Canadian author until I finally started reading his books and fell in love with them.
  • A recent project at work has had me frequently conversing with people who work in our Canadian stores.
Texas is very far away from Canada, so that is why I think these seven items (plus more that I'm too lazy to type) must have some kind of meaning. I keep thinking that this must be a sign that I will live in Canada some day, but I hope not because I really don't do well in weather colder than about 55 degrees. On the other hand, my knitting (a rather useless hobby in Texas) might come in handy all of a sudden.

Ok, I don't really believe that it means anything at all, but it still seems like Canada has taken a rather prominent place in my life all of a sudden.


Perils of living with an over-achiever

B ran a half marathon yesterday, and kicked some ass. He will be running the Freescale marathon in a few weeks. He ran a 20 mile race a couple of weeks ago. He only started running about 6 months ago, and only started regularly exercising a year ago. I am continually amazed by his single minded dedication to whatever he is doing. I am the exact opposite. I tend to do everything half-assed. Opposites attract, right? Anyway, while he is out pushing himself to new limits everyday, I have discovered a new way to use up my time:

+ +



Example #86 of why I love being married to an engineer

In the middle of a discussion about what to do with the various bedrooms in our house:
So we need to determine whether the incremental inconvenience of Roy is less than $370 per month.



King Kong Khloe

How cool is this? Youtube.com.



Those crazy Canadians

I just finished A Prayer for Owen Meany. I should have read it earlier, but I'm glad I didn't because not to long ago, I wouldn't have seen all the references and connections to Robertson Davies. If you have read Owen Meany without reading Fifth Business first, you're missing out. In fact, forget the Owen Meany part. If you haven't read Davies, you're missing out, period.

Lady Mondegreen

There was a time that I was disdainful of people who misheard the Jimi Hendrix lyrics as "kiss this guy." Until today, driving and listening to the radio, when I finally realized that Til Tuesday wasn't saying "Keep it down now, this is scary." I think I like my lyrics better.`

That also reminds me of a Sweet Valley High book I read (B is standing over me asking if I'm really going to admit to that - it was in elementary school, dammit!) Anyway, the book said something about how Jessica always wanted to be in the limelight and I spent weeks imagining that the limelight was some kind of green-tinted light that made people's hair look better or something. I finally asked my mom where I could find some limelight so I could see how it worked, and then I felt really let down when she told me what it meant.

So how were you supposed to pronounce "Lila" and "Enid" anyway? I always wondered.


Chuck Norris can't kick my ass

Can someone tell me what is up with this whole Chuck Norris thing? Seriously. It was only funny for about five seconds.


My O'Keefe commute

Sometimes, Austin is like a separate country from the rest of Texas. Sometimes, I go for weeks without seeing a confederate flag, or a belt buckle that is bigger than my head and I even forget I live in Texas. And other times, I glance into my rear-view mirror on my way to work and get the shit scared out of me because I see a giant, grinning cow skull staring back at me. So thanks to the guy who feels it is necessary to attach pieces of dead animals to his jacked up pick-up truck and drive around downtown at 7:30 in the morning. You have made my day a little more surreal.

Also, did you know that you can now buy a pimpin' Caddy pickup truck? What kind of demographic buys these things? And why did I see three of them on my way to work? (None had cow-skulls attached to them)


Have a Bud with the pope

Normal people collect stamps or Disney memorabilia or china. I collect cheap tacky souvenirs. It all started a couple of years ago when I watched our next door neighbors' dogs while they went to Hawaii for a week. They brought me back a plastic pineapple that had removable slices that were coasters. It was spectacularly ugly, but I loved it. I started asking people to get me things like that when they went on trips. My collection includes things like a pig-shaped lighter that says "I heart NY", an M&M ripoff figure from Guatemala, and a Big Ben magnet from London. If I could find it, I know I have a plastic Eiffel tower that lights up. I think it's in the luggage that I still haven't unpacked from my trip to Paris (yes, I know it was over a year ago. Shut up.)

Anyway, the Severely Inked Vegan has been in Europe for the last few weeks with his girlfriend. He got back yesterday and brought me what I think must be the pinnacle of my collection:

Yes, that's what you think it is: a plastic, gold-plated, Pope Benedict bottle opener directly from a Vatican City gift shop. I think I can die happy now.


The one that was necessary

So. Sorry, I know that no one wants to read this, but I feel like I may be saving someone a lot of headache and money in the future by posting this.

William Mear of Mearperfect Installations in Smithville, TX.

Mearperfect is a kind of dumb name anyway. That bothered me from the beginning.

Anyway, here are some of the reasons we fired him:

  • Significant time overruns - some caused by me and B changing things, but many caused by him just not showing up.
  • Caused a grass fire at the back of our house (especially dangerous with the weather conditions lately)
  • Broke a bathtub pipe (I know it was good when he started because our inspector looked at it) and then tried to charge us for 14 hours of plumbing work to fix it
  • Used caulk (!) on my granite tile countertops instead of grout.
  • Refused to do certain things (like install a shower door) after saying he would
  • Coming back afterward and charging us extra for crazy things like having to cut a hole in the countertop for a sink (did he think we weren't going to have one?)
  • Put a large dent in my beautiful new stainless steel refrigerator door
  • Allowed a tile floor to effloresce (?) and then sealed it in, instead of spending five minutes on Google to learn how to fix it

There are more reasons, but I will leave it at that for now. The things he has done correctly, without trying to find shortcuts, are beautiful. I think he is probably very talented. And he did get us a great deal on a bunch of fancy brazilian tigerwood for the floors. However, he's got all kinds of bad karma coming.


Judge Judy! Help!

You know all those horror stories people tell when it comes to having remodeling done in their houses? Well, add me to the list. Our contractor did not show up this Saturday like he was supposed to (I think he was in jail). That turned out to be a good thing, because it gave us the time to research and think about a few things. Tomorrow we will fire him and request that he come pick up his tools in the evening. I am very worried and stressed, but I hope it will all be over with by tomorrow night. When I have a minute, I will post the story up here, along with his name. That way, if a potential client googles him, they will find my story and be warned.


Everything is bigger in TX

Ok, I remembered today.

This morning on my way to work, the billboard at El Arroyo on 5th said "A Trojan can't take our Long Horn."

Hook 'em.


Lunch among the third-graders

Chloe: God wants you to eat healthy food
White Girl: I don't believe in God
Other Girl: *disbelieving* Are you serious?
White Girl: I believe in Ganesh. That's India's god.
Other Girl: Are you Indian?
White Girl: No.
Chloe: Are your ancestors Indian?
White Girl: What does 'ancestors' mean?
Chloe: It means your aunts' sisters.
White Girl: I only have one aunt. She lives in LA.
Other Girl: Well, you'll have to be really good to go to heaven, then.
White Girl: I'm not going to heaven. *thinks for a minute* But I'm going to LA this summer.

Tree-hugger Longhorns

And I always thought we were such an inclusive company...

While not explicitly acknowledged, my company is for the Longhorns. Aggies do not appear to be welcome in the corporate office. Sooners are not spoken of in favorable terms. Today, the elevator was a sea of orange, in honor of the game against the Trojans tonight. I am a Longhorn only by my association with B, and I am completely ignorant of football related matters. I didn't even know there was a game tonight until I was berated for wearing non-supportive clothing. Luckily, I keep an emergency Longhorn baseball hat in my desk drawer. Hook 'em horns, etc.



Last night, I finished cleaning up my apartment, locked the door behind me, and dropped off my keys at the office. I'm usually not sentimental about moving, but this time I was. I lived at that apartment with B for three years. During those three years, I got engaged, got married, graduated from college, got my first professional job, made many new friends, bought my first 'grown-up' furniture, acquired another dog and a couple of scorpions, learned to knit, took my first overseas trip, and enjoyed the first two years of my marriage. That's a lot of important memories. I have countless stories that involve that apartment, including ones about Rupert (see below, re: evil personified), our first encounter with a scorpion (it involved much yelling and jumping on tables and chairs), and the drunk guy who used to live downstairs and blasted Devo and show tunes at 3 am. So, as happy as I am to have this beautiful new house, I'm sad to leave a place with so many memories.

I know its important to look forward, and not backward, so I will quit my whining now and go eat some black-eyed peas. I had a good 2005, and I'm planning on having an even better 2006. Happy new year, everyone!