Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Just for you, Kathy...

After I posted briefly on Sunday about having sushi for dinner, Kathy got all excited and posted a bunch of questions. So I decided to torture her here and post a picture of sushi and answer her questions here. :P

1. What kind of sushi did you get? Pretty much the picture above is what we got. Six pieces of salmon sushi and six pieces of California roll. Definitely drool-worthy.

2. What's your favorite? Salmon sushi by far. I'm not really into tuna, though Josh loves it. His favourite is the spicy tuna handroll. There's a place near us that does a kickass salmon sushi pizza (crispy baked rice, cut into little triangles, with salmon sushi on top). I swear the last time I had it I think I saw Jimi Hendrix. :)

3. Did you get Miso soup? Nope, no Miso soup. It was take-out sushi so they only had the boxes.

The prices aren't crazy expensive either, for the 12 pieces it came to $10.95 (which isn't bad for kosher sushi--and they do party trays!) Not that certain sushi isn't kosher (or close enough) anyways, but we picked it up from a kosher bakery. Yes, that sounds weird I know, but the bakery is split in two...one side is the bakery, the other is the sushi take-out place. :P

Actually last year Josh and I took a 'how to make sushi' class held by our Rabbi at his house. So now Josh makes sushi at home a couple times a month. :)

(Are you drooling yet, Kathy?)

Monday, October 30, 2006


Ok, so the picture isn't exactly politically correct, so sue me...

I was *supposed* to go to the gym today, but I skipped it. I seem to have wrenched a muscle in my back and it's rather painful, it's probably from all the bloody repetitions on that back extender machine...

Anyways, the pain is right between my right shoulder blade and my spine and it travels down my right arm. Pretty much any movement makes it hurt. I took a couple Robaxacets and I'm about to go flop on the bed in a medicated slumber. :)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lazy Sunday

What a boring Sunday...

1. I did a few loads of laundry. What fun...

2. I got a little anal with cleaning and cleaned the tiles in the shower...with a toothbrush. I was really *that* bored, but they're now sparkling clean! Does scrubbing tiles count as exercise? If not, it should...

3. Josh and I went out and got sushi for dinner. YUM!

4. Then we went to Chapters to pick up a copy of Wicked since we're seeing the play in a little over a month. I figure I should know the basic premise of the show before seeing it. All I know is that it's the prequel to Wizard of Oz, but not much more than that.

5. I've been bitching lately about how much I hate IE, so Josh downloaded Firefox for me and now I'm sitting down and trying to figure out the ever-so-subtle differences between the two.

Blah blah blah...I think I need some excitement or something.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Late Friday night I got a nasty migraine but decided not to take anything for it and just kind of ignore it. I went to sleep and it was still there this morning. Since I had to go to the gym, as I'm on an every other day rotation, I bucked up, got dressed and headed out. I figured that going to the gym wasn't going to kill me, so I went.

Actually it seemed to improve things! I thought the thump-thump-thump of the treadmill would make my head pound more but it didn't. By the end of the workout the migraine was gone!

Anyways, I did:

30 minutes on the treadmill
60 tricep extensions with 30 pounds
90 abdominal crunches with 30 pounds
90 pullovers with 45 pounds
140 back extensions with 70 pounds
60 repetitions with 30 pounds on the biangular lat row

After that, the day was pretty much spent running errands.

Check out the new addition to the header! Heather added my LID to the header, so you'll have to look at the site, so for some of you that means not through bloglines, but actually visit it. :) How cute is that?

My brother, aka 'ugly', showed me a site tonight and I thought I'd share it with you all. Try to figure out the different movies. It takes a bit of thought, but the cool thing is, all the pictures are created out of office supplies, or things commonly found in an office. I haven't started answering them, so don't ask me for hints, I can't help ya. ;)

Friday, October 27, 2006


Well this is driving me nuts, so I thought I'd share. Padded cells are available, and straightjackets are in the corner, dive in...

Ramblings and rumblings

Yesterday Josh got an email at work about the company's 'year end' party. We're going to go see WICKED for a matinee performance and then on to dinner. I've wanted to see it for a while and now we're going on December 3rd!

It kicks the hell out of last year's party, or so I'm told, I didn't go to it because I was in Vegas with my mom. :P Anyways, I'm SO looking forward to it.

Oh, and the answer to 'how old was the woman'...she's going to be 74 in December. So Sam wins that one, which is just eerie that she nailed it. Actually I'm not sure which is scarier, the fact that Sam got it, or the fact that a 74 year old woman would wear such a get-up... :P

The blogroll is now updated to reflect everyone's LIDs chronologically. The ones at the bottom of the lists are there because I don't know their LID. If you're one of them, or if you know their LID, leave me a comment.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the gym I go...

I went to the gym again after work. I find that I'm really getting into the habit now, not only because I'm actually enjoying it, but because I'm blogging about it and it sort of "forces" me to continue every other day. Anyways, today I increased a couple of things slightly:

30 minutes on the treadmill
60 tricep extensions with 30 pounds
60 abdominal crunches with 30 pounds
60 pullovers with 30 pounds
140 back extensions with 70 pounds
60 repetitions with 30 pounds on the biangular lat row

When I was doing the tricep extensions I heard something that sounded like it was tearing, there was mild discomfort, but I'm not really sure what it was. Oh well, if it's anything I'll know about it in the morning. I've noticed that it doesn't seem like I'm losing any weight since I started working out, I'm probably gaining muscle instead.

After the workout, Josh and I went to get sushi for dinner. He didn't join me for the workout, he seems to have pulled a muscle in his back and he's walking like a septuagenarian. If you're old enough, think of "The Old Man" that Tim Conway did on The Carol Burnett Show. (I tried to find a picture, but gave up). :P

Tomorrow I'll be tweaking the blog to reflect the way the vote went (ie., the blogroll will be chronological). If anyone knows the LIDs for the ones that are missing, please comment below. I'll also give the answer to how old the woman was from the previous post. :P

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Crispy, crunchy crazy...

Some of you know that I work for my FIL as a medical secretary in a psychiatric office. I don't usually talk about work, but today I had a couple of doozies. One of the nuttier patients called up, now I'm not one to demean or talk badly about people with 'issues', but this one definitely deserves to be discussed.

So this patient called up and asked for an appointment with the doctor and this is the gist of the conversation (for privacy sake I'll refer to him as "Crispy, crunchy crazy" or CCC for short.

CCC: I used to be a patient of the doctor's but I haven't seen him in five years, can I have an appointment?

ME: Well since you haven't seen him in the past year you need a referral note from your doctor.

CCC: Well I'm a patient, I want an appointment!

ME: You need a referral note from your doctor, sir.

CCC: Do you know this for sure or are you guessing?

ME: No, these are the rules from OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan-all Ontario residents are covered by OHIP and get 'free' health care)

CCC: Well I'm going to call OHIP and ask about this because you don't know what you're talking about!

ME: Ok, you're free to do that.

CCC: What if I pay cash?

ME: That doesn't matter, if you're covered by OHIP, you still need a note. You can go to a walk-in clinic if you don't have a family doctor.

CCC: You're bugging me. Everyone bugs me. Now you're bugging me too. You're a fat f*cking wh*re!

ME: *click*

I *was* tempted to say "well sir, actually I've lost 10 pounds, so I'm not fat." (but then that would just make me a f*cking wh*re, so I decided not to say anything). :P

As if that wasn't enough for one day...

In walked our 4:30 appointment. She was wearing thigh high leather boots, a leather vest and a Motorhead (heavy metal band) purse. Any guesses on how old she was? Post your guesses below...

By the way, the final tally is in as far as how I should arrange my blogroll. *drumroll please*

At an overwhelming 16-3 the vote was in favour of doing my blogroll chronologically!

Don't cry for me, Argentina...

We interrupt this blog for a full-blown rant...

Ok, so now Madonna is blaming the media about all the negative attention she's getting for her adoption and that it's going to 'dissuade' people from adopting from Africa.

I guess she's just pushing it out of her mind that she basically 'jumped the queue' in adopting this little boy by not paying attention to their rules (ie., living in the country for 18 months). The least she could do is respect the country where she's adopting from and pay heed to the rules. If she didn't want to live there or deal with the rules, they are there for a reason, then she should have chosen another country.

Also I find it interesting that now the father is quoted in Time Magazine as saying that he's for the adoption. Just yesterday or the day before, he was saying that he didn't understand what adoption meant and believed that David would come back to him after being educated and raised with Madonna. After reading both articles, it seems that the birth father is still confused about what adoption really means. He says he understands but at times he talks about how his son is going to come back to him.

Anyways, back to Madonna, if she didn't want media attention, she didn't have to make a point of announcing what she was doing. Personally I don't remember a big fufura when Angelina Jolie adopted Zahara or Maddox.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Exercise and a side of fries

I went to the gym after work today, but had to workout less than I would have liked to since I was heading out to dinner with my mom afterwards.

Since I wasn't able to do the full 30 minutes on the treadmill, I decided to increase some of the weight on the other machines. Instead of 30 pounds on the pullover machine, I increased it to 45 pounds and instead of 50 pounds on the back extension machine, I did 60 pounds.

15 minutes on the treadmill
48 abdominal crunches with 24 pounds
90 pullovers with 45 pounds
120 back extensions with 60 pounds
48 repetitions on the biangular lat row with 24 pounds

I guess it's better that I got *some* exercise than doing nothing.

I *tried* to be good at Swiss Chalet, really I did, but I mean, look at the pictures...it's just TOO good. I ended up having a quarter chicken, SALAD, and a side of fries.

I guess the exercise will counterbalance the fries. Right? RIGHT?! Oh well, tomorrow's a new day, and I'll go back to the gym on Thursday. :P

This one's for you, 'ugly'

Now before you all get offended and think I'm calling you all ugly, that's my 'nickname' for my brother who reads my blog. :P

I'm stumped, I got 42/50 of them so far and I can't figure out the rest of these. Since he kicks butt on random horror trivia, I figure he can ace this...or can he?

Can any of you?

By the way, there's only one more day left in the poll on the right side of the screen. Unless there's a big contingent of voters that suddenly decide on 'alphabetical', then it looks like 'chronological' is the way it's going to go. ;)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lights, lamb, and liquor

I went back to the gym today and increased the workout a little. I found out the name of that machine from Friday, apparently it's called a biangular lat row, but whatever it is it gives me a good workout. The only downside is that my right shoulder hurts like a mo-fo. ;)

The rest of the day was spent cleaning the apartment because Josh and I had my mom and a friend of hers over for dinner. They both came over with bamboo plants! Finally, something that my black thumb can't kill...or can it?

Josh made a kickass lamb stew which was a bit of a challenge because since last night the power kept going off. In the middle of the night I kept hearing this loud chirp. Our smoke detectors are hard-wired in the apartment so everytime the power goes off, they chirp.

But I digress, Josh was busy in the kitchen (where all men SHOULD be :P) boiling the lamb then all of a sudden the power went off. We were faced with a dilemna, do we wait and hope that the power goes back on or do we pack up all our stuff and head over to my mom's to cook?

We called the super and he said that Toronto Hydro said that the power would be off until 8:00 tonight. Eek! I called my mom to say that we were on our way over and just as I was about to hang up, the power suddenly came back on! Weird. We ended up staying put and surprisingly the power stayed on all evening.

The stew turned out amazingly good and we cracked open the Cat Pee wine, and to our amazement it was a *VERY* drinkable wine. (So Kathy go and get a bottle, you won't be sorry). My mom even had a sip, I mean come on, how can you not try it? ;) We also picked up a bottle of Vanilla Vine wine, which was really good as well. You can't beat wine with the subtle taste of vanilla...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

With a name like this, it has to be good...

Josh and I went to the mall today to get some wine for dinner tomorrow night. I passed by a bottle and I *had* to buy it. Not only is the name amusing, but apparently profits are donated to the local OSPCA. You've gotta love that...
Deuce certainly approves. Hopefully the taste surpasses its name...I'll let you all know tomorrow. :)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sausages, pancakes and Jon Stewart...

I was watching The Daily Show and he talked about how Jimmy Dean now has a product of a sausage that's wrapped in a pancake...on a stick. Now granted the one he had on the show was a chocolate pancake, but I couldn't find that picture, so you're stuck with blueberry. :P

Anyways, how can this be good...

for anyone?

Now don't get me wrong, I can understand people eating sausage...or pancake...but both together...on a stick? *cringe*

Are people simply not getting enough fat? starch? sugar? little wooden sticks in their diet? I certainly hope that this product comes with two aluminum paddles and the number to a good cardiologist...

Gym update

My SIL met me at the gym today and we worked out. She got a one week free pass and she's going to see how things work out over the next week. If all goes well, she's thinking of joining, which would be great!

We had an absolute blast. It was amusing, she's a bit shorter than I am so when she used a machine after me, of course it wasn't set to her size, so her feet didn't even reach the foot pads on some of them. :P

Anyways, I increased my workout a little. I think I have it where I want it at:

35 minutes on the treadmill (and I got the pace up to where I was running for a few minutes. I burned 217 calories and did over 2 miles. WOO!)
40 tricep extensions with 20 pounds
50 abdominal crunches with 24 pounds
60 pullovers with 30 pounds
100 back extensions with 50 pounds
48 repetitions using a lateral rowing machine with 24 pounds (I didn't get the name of it but it was fun to use).

The other good thing about losing a bit of weight is that I can now fit into my "skinny" jeans! Now this isn't to say that I'm "skinny", but I've definitely lost one size so far, I'll be ecstatic if I can lose one more. It's amazing what losing 10 measly pounds will do.

The only downside is that I think I might have pulled something in my back. I've got a sharp pain below my shoulder blade, but I'll live. ;)

I'm heading back to the gym on Sunday with my SIL and Josh might join us too!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ooooh poll-y goodness!

Yes, boys and girls, you can vote! I put up a little poll on the sidebar, so please take a look.

I'm indecisive about whether I should post my blogroll alphabetically or change it to chronologically based on LIDs. So help me decide and vote...I'll keep this up about a week or so.

Go Team Salsa!

I can't believe that Mary-Mia and Rod are leaving...tomorrow! I've followed their journey for a while and they have handled the wait and the little disappointments along the way with such grace. I can't wait to see the pictures when they meet Rose and Marie!

Best of luck, you two...now go get your girls!


Well, I hit #3000 this afternoon and the person was from Kentucky. ;) Yes, I really do love statcounter.

Anyways, after work I went to the gym and did another workout:

30 minutes on the treadmill (at a pace of 4 miles per hour)
40 tricep extensions with 20 pounds
48 abdominal crunches with 24 pounds
60 pullovers with 30 pounds
90 back extensions with 45 pounds - that was a little ouchy, but I'll live

Am I a glutton for punishment? :P I figure that for the next little while I'll continue with this kind of workout, it's pretty much 'whole body', unless there's something I'm missing...

I'm taking tomorrow off or working out and going again on Friday with my SIL. That should be fun. I acted all innocent and went up to the counter and asked if I could bring a guest and, not only can I bring a guest, but she can get a 1 week pass which is pretty cool. Otherwise she'd be walking in on Friday and posing as Josh. :P

The little blog that could...

At some point today, probably shortly after I post this, my little blog is going to pass the 3000 hit mark. Yes, that's right, 3000...in under four months!

When I first started out blogging, I never thought that it would amount to much of anything; just my random ramblings as we go through this adoption journey. I figured I might have a few people stumbling upon it now and then, but I never thought I'd have a regular following who actually took an active interest in our adoption journey.

Nor did I think I'd actually end up meeting anyone.

You see, I'm a very shy person in real life and I'm sure that Nicole can attest to that. But over the past few months, I've come out of my shell a little more and, as some of you know, we met last month and we're planning on meeting up again - hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

Too bad Heather doesn't live closer. I'm sure we'd have one helluva good time together, and a few other choice people as well, but I'm not going to turn this into a popularity contest. :P

Anyways, I think I'm digressing from my original point...3000 people! Wow.

Thanks, I think. ;)

By the way, I updated my sidebar to include LIDs, which I said I would do once I have mine. If I missed any of them it's probably because I don't know or couldn't find it. Leave me a comment if I don't have yours listed.

LMP Update

The Little Maple project is updated with the maternal grandparents! I'm still working on family, but after I finish that, I'll move onto other fun stuff, like "stay away from that hot stove!" and other things you tell small children. Okay, maybe not...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Adventures of Madonna and "Adoption Boy" ***Updated

Ok, so this morning I read this article, doesn't it make it sound like her son is now a superhero..."Adoption Boy"? Couldn't they have come up with a better headline? Seriously.

Yes, I know, it can also be seen as he's going to have a 'better' life with her than staying in Malawi. Assuming, of course, that 'better' implies that he won't want for anything. Personally though, I don't take it from that angle. As all of you know, who have read the blog (or have emailed me) for a while, I'm quite opinionated about these kinds of topics...

So the boy was escorted out of the country by four adults. Anyone want to bet that not one of them was Madonna or her husband? If she's so 'gung-ho' on adoption, why couldn't she be there?

I heard that she gave a $3,000,000 donation to the orphanage and about $10,000 to the boy's father; which is probably, and unfortunately, more money than this man knows what to do with. In a poverty-striken country like Malawi, the chances that he would ever see this kind of money in his lifetime are sadly, slim to none.

Also, how did she get them to waive the clause in adoption law there that states that the adoptive parent(s) have to live there for a year? My, my, what $3,000,000 won't buy...

Any takers on when her 171H runs out? When did she go for her fingerprinting? Did she take time out of her touring schedule to have a police check? :P

I'm sorry guys, stars who adopt children and don't have to jump through all the hoops that we all have had to, really pisses me off.

Feel free to comment or flame...I can take it. ;)

***In typical CNN fashion, they decided to rewrite the article from this morning which was entitled "Madonna's adoption boy arrives in London", so now the title of my post doesn't make sense anymore. Go figure.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The rabbit died...on paper

Ok, so I ripped the graphic off someone else's blog, so shoot me. :P

We got an email from our agency today (on our 2 month DTC monthaversary) that we have a LID!

Our LID is September 13, so we've officially been logged in for just over a month. I was sure that our dossier got lost in the mail and I've been feeling a little down about it, but no more!

Now on to how I found out...

Josh called me at the office and said "Have you seen the emails today?" to which I had to respond "Well no, not since I got to work". He told me to go check it and call him back. I had an inkling this is what it was, as he doesn't really encourage me to check from work. You see, I have a typewriter at work and I haven't quite figured out how to log on to the internet from it...but I keep trying.

So I had to go downstairs to The UPS Store and use the computer there. I opened it up and did a little non-movement happy dance in my seat, though I'm sure I did wiggle a little.

I was tempted to write a post or send out emails to a few bloggy people (we need a better term than that) who have been supportive through this like Nicole, Heather and Connie and E, just to name a few, but decided to wait and post it tonight. It was amusing because right at that moment, Johnny had written me an email and I almost blurted it out in the email to him, but I held back. I figured I'd get more 'bang for the buck' if you guys just read it here. :P

Anyways, I ran back upstairs called Josh, told my FIL, called my mom, called my MIL, called my brother (who wasn't home but I called him back later), and called my BIL in New York. The response was all positive, but it generally can be summarized as "So what does this mean now?" After explaining it, everyone got really excited!

So one month down and ? to go. Our agency is still sticking with 18 months until referral, so if they're right we have another 17 to go...we'll see.

After work, I was on a bit of an emotional high and I decided to go to the gym. Since losing the 10 pounds, I decided that I was going to start back and try to lose another 10. I'll let you know how that turns out, but so far so good.

I'm a little sore after today's workout, I probably did too much (actually I know I did). I did half an hour on the treadmill and I did two miles, then I used the back extender machine and did 90 reps with 45 pounds, then I used the pullover machine and did 60 reps with 30 pounds. I figure if I don't push myself then I'll never get back into a routine there.

I'll see if I feel the same way tomorrow...

What does this mean for us?

Yes, I know I'm taking the selfish angle on this topic, but what will this mean for us? By "us", I don't mean just Josh and I, but I mean everyone in the IA community.

Now granted, this won't kick in until parents reach the age of 60, so I don't think we have *much* to worry about...yet. However, doling out 1/5th of one's annual income to combat the problem is probably very tempting to the people who live in the very rural areas of China.

I have to wonder about these (very) selfish questions. Will this mean that wait times will get even longer now that there will be less children available for adoption? Most likely it won't affect us this time, but what about when we adopt again?

Oh yeah, and today marks two months since we've been DTC.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

P A R T Y ! (continued)

Josh and I went to the CJAA party this afternoon, we came prepared with our Chinese/Canadian flag pins. At the beginning we felt a little out of place, being the only couple there without a child, but the gang put us at ease. All the families were friendly and said that if we had any questions to feel free to ask.

Famous last words...

We talked to a few of the couples, and a lot of them used the same agency as us, so it was nice to get their perspective on things since they had already been through once or twice. They said that the process, when over there, is very smooth and organized well; that's a relief!

In total 17 families showed up and they were all dressed for the Autumn Moon Festival in their silk outfits. They looked SO precious! Even some of the adults got in on it as well.

There were a lot of activities for the children to get involved with. One of them, which I *loved*, was to build a sukkah out of some food products. The walls were made of graham crackers, the mortar was chocolate frosting and the top was made of pretzel sticks! How ingenious is that? The kids certainly loved it, and some actually made it home. The kids were covered in chocolate which didn't bode well for their silk outfits, but oh well. ;)

They also had an activity to put pre-cut circles (representing the moon) on a black background and then put star stickers around it. It was cute and the kids really got into it. A few of them coloured their moon, they didn't want to just have a white moon which they considered 'boring'.

The third activity was a group activity. All the kids put on different coloured t-shirts; yellow, green or brown and each one represented either the sun, the moon or the earth. The kids then had to 'orbit' around each other. Josh and I didn't get a good look at this activity, there were too many parents in the way taking pictures. I think this one was a bit beyond the children and they just started running all around the room, but they had fun and that's all that matters.

After the activities were done, we went over to a neighbour's house so the kids could see a sukkah. When they were in the sukkah, the neighbour took out a lulav and etrog, explained to the kids what they were and why they are important. One of the smaller children summed it up perfectly when she said "I want to go back in the sukkah" and when her mom asked why, she replied "that's where the good cookies are". (A girl after my own heart!)

An added bonus was that we finally met a couple that we're going to be travelling with. They've decided that they're going to take their daughter with them, she'll probably be close to four when we travel, but she doesn't quite understand what 'getting a little sister' really means. Hopefully she won't have to wait too long. :)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Beat this!

Ok, I think I need a new hobby...

I formally challenge anyone else to post their results on their blog. Come on, people, everyone needs a bit of cat bowling in their life, right?

P A R T Y !

Thanks for the comments on yesterday's post, they helped pull me out of the funk I was feeling. I guess I was just having another pity party. But on to other news, and an actual party!

We got an email from a group we belong to, the Canadian Jewish Asian Association (CJAA), and they're having a get together tomorrow! Everyone needs a party, right?

Well this one is a combination of Autumn Moon Festival and Sukkoth. Yes, I know the Moon Festival was a while back, but everyone couldn't get together because of the Jewish holidays.

This is going to be our first foray into meeting other Jewish couples in the area with children from China. An added bonus is that a couple who we will be travelling with (the ones I mentioned in a post a while back) will be there as well. It should be nice finally meeting them, I'm sure we'll have a lot to talk about, and we'll get to meet their daughter!

It should be interesting. I'll let you guys know how it turns out!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Just having one of *those* days...

So this coming Monday we'll hit our 2 month DTC date. Yes, that's right, two months and still no LID. I know there is the occasional person floating around who has waited longer, but right now, I just want *my* LID.

I'm assuming that once the new batch of referrals comes out, then we'll have our LID. We were told by our agency that it could take up to three months to get the LID, but I never thought it actually would for some reason. I guess it's because they've overestimated the timelines all the way along.

Yes, I know once I have the LID it doesn't mean all that much, apart from actually being in CCAA's system and that we have a HUGE wait after that, but I just want to know now. Is that so wrong?


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Migraines, megaphones and mystery

Ok, so I woke up with a horrible migraine in the middle of the night. Yeah, I know, big shocker. Anyways, I didn't bother taking Tylenol, I figured I'd ride it out without taking anything. I guess deep down I must be a glutton for punishment.

This morning I paid for that and I ended up taking four Tylenol 1s. It was either that or take a Fiorinal and then not go into work because I'd be really messed up. I find that the only time I can really take those are when I can have time to sleep them off. Basically the best time is after work or on a weekend, but unfortunately I can't schedule my migraines. ;)

What can only be described as sounding like a german shepherd with a megaphone started barking outside, and keep in mind that I'm on the 18th floor and the windows were shut. When I get migraines my hearing becomes really acute and I swear at times I can hear a flea fart.

Now I'm waiting for the Super to start testing the fire alarms. Yes, I can really pick the days when I get a migraine...

On a side note, I found out that a friend of mine, K, spent a couple hours yesterday reading the blog. It's kind of neat how I figured out that it was her. I noticed that I had a huge number of hits to the blog (I <3 statcounter) and delved into who was looking at the site. A majority of the hits came from a university in Ottawa and I put two and two together. I mean, really, who would be *that* interested in my little blog to read it for hours and look at all the backdated posts? ;)

I also found out this morning that my brother spent a few hours early this morning looking at the blog as well. He doesn't know that I know he read it yet, so hey ugly! ;) I figure it has to be him, who else would google my name, maple and blog and the IP address was his work.

I think I should have been a detective...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Comments, please

If I don't have your blog listed on my sidebar, and you want it there, leave me a comment. Either I haven't gotten around to listing it, or I don't know about you or your blog so introduce yourself. ;)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oh dear lord...

This is amusing even though I am a cat lover. Thanks Atomic Mama for this, it made my day. ;)

What a little entrepreneur...

I wish I had thought of that when I was growing up.

The scary thing is, 'Elizabeth' is probably some 30 year old guy living in his parent's basement.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

I'm going to shake the Canadian lurker tree, if nobody responds then the turkey gets it! (I'm just curious which Canadian lurkers I have; especially if you're with CB.)

Anyways, to celebrate Thanksgiving, I'm going to have Baskin Robbins ice cream. What a great tradition this should be, anyone else care to join in? ;)

Diet? What diet?

Sunday, October 08, 2006


In honour of Connie's Happy Hallo-weenie post, there was one thing I forgot to mention about our trip in Rome.

While out exploring and shopping, I saw a calendar that I considered buying and sending to Nicole, but I wasn't sure if Tim would appreciate it. I can't remember the name of it, but in English it translated to "Famous Penises". The most famous one, of course, was Michelangelo's David and they got stranger from there. I won't elaborate, but one was carried on a cart...it gives 'a la carte' a whole new meaning.

Let your imaginations wander from there.

(I wonder if I'm going to get any strange hits on statcounter from this. I'll keep you posted.)

Trip updates...

are now complete, enjoy gang! It took me a bit less time than I thought it would, but what a pain. ;)

E, thanks for the updates on The Little Maple Project, they are much appreciated.

Little Maple Project Update!

Yes, I know you've been waiting for it, but the next update to the Little Maple Project has been done. My roommates came over to say, "You have a great accent, but what you're doing is really distracting... we're going to close the door."

So, I've recorded: yeh yeh and nai nai (grandparents, father's side), and the father's older brother (buo buo). I've also recorded the first 5 numbers (1-5).

Have fun! I'll record more between homework assignments for my next class, which started this past weekend.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Did I do the right thing?

I was feeling a titch better today and decided I needed to get out. I was getting a bit stir crazy the last few days, having come back from vacation and then being cooped up in the apartment. So, Josh and I went to the mall today to run a few errands.

We passed by PJ's Pet Store and noticed a cage on the floor with kittens in them. I took a look in, being an animal lover and all, and was horrified by what I saw.

What can only be described as a heap of kittens all one on top of the other at the bottom of the cage. There were so many piled in there that I couldn't decide if there were seven or eight, or possibly more in there; the scene looked akin to when you go to a party and people pile coats on a bed.

I walked out and talked to Josh about it. I wanted to do something because I didn't think it was right that they were all left there, huddled at the bottom.

I ended up calling the Toronto Humane Society to complain about it. Unfortunately as this was in Thornhill, it was outside of their jurisdiction, but the woman on the other end of the phone gave me the numbers to Animal Control and the OSPCA.

Animal Control was closed for the weekend, but there was an option to leave a message which would be handled on Tuesday (since it's a long weekend here--Canadian Thanksgiving). I didn't leave a message, but I did end up calling the OSPCA and left a message there and waited for their call.

I walked back into the store and talked to the person behind the desk and asked why they had so many cats in one cage. She said it was because they all came from one litter and they 'liked' to be together. Josh turned to her and said "would you like to be stuffed in a closet with your entire family?" She claimed there were 'only' six kittens in the cage, which she quickly recanted her statement and said "well there might be a few more."

Anyways, when I got home the OSPCA called me back on my cell and said that they will make a formal complaint on Tuesday as nobody is in the office to deal with it, and they would pay the store a visit as well.

Now my question is, did I do the right thing? What would you do?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Zhong qiu jie kuai le!

Well, they say something about the best of intentions, and I must apologize for not posting during Rhonda's absence. The paper blew up into a 36-page behemoth within a period of weeks, and I slaved hours over it, finally finishing last Friday night at 1:30am. I gave my presentation on Saturday, did some things on Sunday, at which point my body decided it was Far Too Old (tm) to do any late nights any more. That's a note for future reference, because I am sure I will look back and laugh as to my naivite. Anyhow:


Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! The five characters above are the Chinese characters for "Happy" (last two characters - same characters used in "Happy Birthday", "Happy New Year's," "Happy Christmas" - none of this Merry stuff) and literally Mid-Autumn Festival.

(You might need to change your browser settings to "Unicode" or "Chinese Big-5" to read it - the first character is a box with a vertical line through it.)

This festival is the biggest Chinese celebration outside of Chinese New Year's, and isn't really as well-known among those who aren't Chinese.

Of course, Wikipedia has an excellent article about the festival. From an second generation's perspective, the holiday is nothing about the various stories mentioned; it's all about the food.

Moon Cakes (or 月餅 ﹣ yue bing)is the name of the game, plus a feast with family on the eve of the holiday, much like we celebrate New Year's with a party on New Year's Eve. I guess the biggest thing about it is family and celebrating the year as a whole. In my family, it's a little different because it's my dad's birthday - so really we just get together and celebrate my dad's birthday.

Best brands to get: Sheng Kee if you find one in your area, or Sheng Kee brand moon cakes. It's probably a little late for you to get moon cakes now, but you can get the leftovers tomorrow for heavily slashed prices, I'm guessing. Best flavors? I like them all, though the initiates might want to start with the red bean and move on to the more exotic flavors, including lotus seed paste and 3-seed. I prefer not to get the kind with the duck egg yolk, mostly because it's a) to salty and b) too rich, and you guys all know I'm one of those crazy health nuts from California.

Oh yeah, and don't eat a whole one on your own. You'll get sick. :P

So spend this weekend with family, make a huge dinner, and celebrate the year's harvest together - that's what we'll be doing at home!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Disturbing but mildly amusing...

I just went and checked statcounter and found out that I had 91 hits on the site yesterday. That's not the disturbing part. The disturbing part is that statcounter shows how people found the site. A number of 'enlightened' individuals found my site because they were doing a google search for 'anal' and tripped onto my site (yesterday's blog entry title had the word 'anal' in it). Remind me not to post titles like that again. ;)

I guess it wasn't exactly what they were looking for...

The good, the better, the even better than that, and the downright ugly

Josh surprised me last night and tossed all our photos on the puter and cut a CD, so there's going to be picture-y goodness when I get around to uploading it all to photobucket.

Deuce is home from the veterinary hospital! We picked him up last night and he's doing a lot better. It figures that he'd get sick while we were away. There's more on that in my trip posts which I should get around to posting more today.

Good news on the weight loss front, I'm officially now down 10 pounds! Woo! It must have been all that 'wonderful' Scottish cuisine I was consuming for the last 2.5 weeks...Actually I was pretty good on the trip, I watched what I was eating, but still I'm surprised I lost any weight at all. Whenever I go away, I always manage to gain a few pounds. Oh well, I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth (I never really understood that saying...) ;)

Last night I got one of the worst migraines of my life. I'm not sure if it was the weather change or what, but I was writhing most of the night. I took one of my happy pills, but that didn't seem to do much of anything. So I'm sitting here, pretty much exhausted and still migraine-y. The weird thing is, that even though we were in Glasgow and it rained quite a bit, I didn't get any severe migraines there. I can't quite figure that out...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Deuce is home!

I made an appointment for 8:20pm today to pick up Deuce from the vet, then I called Josh at work to ask if we could get him earlier. I was feeling lousy and I wanted my Deuce home!

I tried to move the appointment but they said they were swamped, so I let it be.

We got to the clinic for 8:00 and said that we were there to pick him up. The waiting area was completely empty and a couple of the techs were sitting around talking. Busy indeed!

When 8:20 rolled around, sure enough, one of the techs got off their butts, went downstairs and got Deuce ready to come home. During that time, Josh and I had to talk to a nurse about Deuce's care at home.

They changed his food, because apparently we're evil pet-parents and feed him Whiskas and Sheba (food he likes), and the occasional half can of tuna. (Yes, I know, we should be cast out...)

The food they put him on, which I do have to admit he likes, was sold at the clinic, of course. They showed us how to give him his medication and then a syringe full of water (this is 'old hat' for me, since I used to work at that clinic many moons ago and used to administer meds), but I indulged the nurse and let her explain anyways.

Before they brought Deuce upstairs, we wanted to settle accounts. Josh's father, when he brought Deuce in, put down a substantial deposit and surprisingly there was actually a credit on Deuce's account. This will come in handy as he has to go back in a couple of weeks for his vaccinations.

Then it was time to bring Deuce upstairs. Now, if you remember my old posts explaining what a terror he is, this next part was very shocking.

The tech brought Deuce up in her arms, cradling him.

Josh and I looked at each other and said "that's not our cat". We were convinced that something catastrophic happened to Deuce while we were gone and someone did the old 'switcheroo' and got us a new cat. Deuce simply does not act like that with strangers.

They put him in his cage and then he started crying and mewing, we both recognized his voice (yes, that probably sounds strange) and let go a sigh of relief.

Just because I'm anal... **(updated)

I'm going to be backdating all my posts about my vacation, so whenever I wake up from a much needed nap I'll start posting...something. I've got posts for each day that we were away. I'm hoping to get all those up by the weekend, but that might be a bit of a longshot. IF I'm successful with that, then Josh and I might start posting our pictures at some point on the weekend as well. We'll see.

I got about 2 hours sleep last night, it's a rather long story, but I ended up getting to sleep around 1:30 this morning (after flying all day), and got woken up somewhere around 3:30ish by a lightning storm. It was pretty damn impressive!

With all the running around in and around Glasgow and Rome...and then back to Glasgow, I managed to get sick (and it wasn't from the cuisine). At least the good part is that I got sick at the *end* of the trip and not near the beginning. I'd be really pissed off if I was sick during our Rome side trip.

Anyways, off I go to sleep for (hopefully) a few hours...

I just uploaded that picture and it's rather disturbing with the title of this post...or is it just me?

**Like I said in a previous post, Josh also wrote in the diary, but he doesn't want a blogger account, so any posts that he makes will have (JC) in the title to keep things 'separate'.**

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

Be afraid, be very afraid...

What a trip! Josh and I bought a diary and did daily entries about the trip so I have a lot of material to post. We wrote 53 pages since we left. What can I say, we're odd. ;) I'm a tad surprised that he got interested in writing about our trip, knowing full well that everyting was going on the blog of bloggy goodness.

Anyways, we got home this evening and I just got back from dinner with my mom.

I can't believe how many emails I have in my inbox! 153! Am I popular or what? :P

I swear that Scottish cuisine is built on a dare. Some of the scarier things we saw were potato jackets (baked potatoes) that were filled with just about anything and everything you can think of. Some of the more gross potato jacket 'highlights' (or lowlights as the case may be):

salad, baked beans, coleslaw, haggis, north atlantic prawns, chicken curry, tuna, macaroni and cheese, BBQ chicken and chedder cheese, all day breakfast (which turned out to be an egg, a slice of back bacon and sausage), chili con carne, tuna and sweetcorn and chicken tikka.

Can we say "EWWWWWWWW"?

As a matter of fact, one of the restaurants we saw that sold potato jackets was called "Hot and Healthy" Fat Jackets. I'm sorry, but what is healthy about that?!

If that wasn't enough, the Brits/Scots are crazy about crisps (potato chips). Just reading the flavours nearly brought me to tears (of laughter). Some of the more memorable ones were:

lamb and mint, flame grilled steak, prawn cocktail, thai sweet chicken, oven roasted chicken with lemon and thyme (yes, that's right, you can't forget the lemon and thyme), thai sweet chili, caramel, BBQ beef, mexican chili, and oriental ribs.

In a word...BLAH!

Oh yes, I can't forget about the chip and butty sandwich, that would be french fries in between two pieces of buttered bread, or the pork and pickle pie...When Josh read that on a menu he started singing in the middle of the restaurant "Pork and pickle pie, pork and pickle pie, I think I'll die if I don't get my pork and pickle pie!"

Over the next few days I'll be posting *a lot* about our trip and the amusing/scary/odd things that happened to us, but right now I'm a titch tired.

Most likely I'll be just adding text posts and then upload the pictures once we get around to it. So stay tuned!

On our way home!

We woke up at 5:30 this morning, did the last bit of our packing and went downstairs for breakfast. The innkeeper was sad and said how much she was going to miss us. We told her that we really enjoyed her company, she really was a sweet lady. We finished breakfast and waited for the cab to arrive. Her dog, Tilly, kept jumping all over me, she must have sensed that something was wrong.

The cab arrived at 7:00 and Josh put the bags in the cab. We said our goodbyes to our innkeeper and she gave us each a kiss; she seemed to be on the verge of tears. I just hope I didn't give her my cold/flu/plague. She sent us off with a care package of a chocolate bar and a block of cheese that Josh made an offhand remark a week ago that he liked it. So she went to Marks and Spencer and got us a block to take home.

We got to the airport at 7:40 with a full three hours to spare. Since our morning so far was uneventful, something was bound to happen. The luggage that I bought prior to our trip, one of the straps broke clean off. Not a catastrophe, just a pain in the ass.

We walked through the terminal and I cam close to buying a beautiful cashmere scarf, but as usual, Josh talked me out of it. I did, however, get my nails down. I'm such a girly-girl. ;)

I killed some time by checking my e-mail, and we *still* don't have our LID! GRRR! The longer this takes, the more I'm convinced that our documentation is lost.

We boarded our flight for London and started our LONG journey home. The flight was uneventful, thankfully, except for the woman sitting next to Josh who started talking to us. She explained how she was going to California to visit her family while her husband was in having surgery in Glasgow. I'll save the gory details, which she freely shared with us, but it's his fourth prostate surgery and repair. Thanks for sharing!

The 'wonderful' meal on the plane was a musli breakfast bar that seemed like it was compressed, blow-fill housing insulation with a touch of honey.

We landed at Heathrow around 11:30 and took our time walking to the connection to the other terminal which was a good thing, we got on a virtually empty bus. BONUS!

We walked around the terminal for a while and I walked into Gucci and nearly bought another wallet, but it was the last one and I didn't want to spend that kind of money for a 'floor model'. Josh turned to me and said "How many wallets do you need?" MEN! They just don't understand, do they girls?

We ended up going for lunch at Garfunkel's and had a nice meal. Anything has to be better than airline food!

Our flight from Heathrow left nearly 30 minutes late but was uneventful. I saw the same movie three times, after that many times watching "The Devil Wears Prada", it kind of loses its punch.

We zoomed through customs upon arriving at Pearson and got a limo no problem. We got to Sheppard and Allen Road and all of a sudden we heard a loud boom. As Josh always says, 'it's never an easy route from point A to point B'. After our long day, our limo got a flat tire! That's right, 10 minutes from home, and we were stuck on the road. Cars were passing all around us, quite quickly I might add, and we were just sitting there twiddling our thumbs.

The limo driver called dispatch to try to get another limo to pick us up, but he had no luck. He was given the number for a taxi company to come and pick us up, but he didn't want to call. I had had enough, I was tired, pissy and wanted to go home, so I got out of the limo and hailed a cab.

The limo driver, none too happy with me, grudgingly took our bags out of his trunk and turned to Josh and said "just pay me whatever you feel like for the ride". Josh, being cheeky, opened his wallet and handed him a $5.00 bill. The driver DID say whatever we felt like...

I told Josh to hand him $20.00 which the limo driver got all pissy about and started making comments. I was tempted to grab the $20.00 back, but I just wanted to leave. The cab driver put the bags in his trunk and we headed home. Thank g-d!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Yom Kippur (JC)

Woke up early, got dressed and went to shul with Uncle Ian.

Shul was really boring because they don't sing the songs they sing back home and lack unity in the Machzor used. So if your bar mitzvah is between 1945-1975, you have one book, everyone after that uses another. I read from a book that was carbon dated at 80+ years as it made reference to KING GEORGE and QUEEN MARY.

I was able to last between 10:00am and 3:00pm but by that time I was fading and heard the same prayers for the third time.

It is typical for families to leave the Yiskor service to go home and feed the kids while the parents continue to fast.

The idea is that one can take a nap or a modest walk to pass the time and be distracted from the hunger. The last two hours before the fast is over, it is typical to return to shul to hear the final blast of the shofar, thus ending the fast.

Ian had asked me what they do back home, I described the sleep portion of the fast. He suggested I sleep in his car?!? I declined and took the train back to the B&B where I collapsed for two hours.

We were picked up at the B&B by my Aunt Claire. She was in shul briefly but while sitting there she looked like a cat that swallowed a sour mouse. I am told she avoids shul religiously. ;)

At Claire's I did my best to make polite conversation until Ian and Joe arrived. Rhonda was no help, she sat on the couch reading the newspaper. Thanks dear.

Breaking the fast was at my uncle's friend's house (the same friend from the chinese restaurant post). Relationship TBD.

The food was yummy and all of my favourites, but the meat meal with the mountain of butter, jam and bread was used to wash down the chopped liver. What our audience doesn't know is that mixing meat and dairy is naughty. Even among modestly observant Jews, bread and butter with an obvious meat meal is not done and is gross. Milk with coffee is not as big a deal, I think it has to do with proximity.

Watching them spread butter on bread with chopped liver was gross. Oh, did I mention the bugs?

Rhonda showed me the bug that was doing the breastroke on her saucer, with rest of the Olympic team warming up in the sugar bowl. This unfortunately was noticed after we had two cups of tea. Is it any wonder that Rhonda was sick?

Our hostess, realizing that we had an early flight, stopped all conversation and threw us out. Thank g-d!

Uncle Ian is a heartless eating machine!

At the end of the evening we said our goodbyes to Ian. We shook hands. Ian reserved kissing Rhonda as his face was sticky from jam; which he stated explicitly. The fam was the chopped liver chaser. AHHH!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Kol Nidre

Josh and I decided to have a nice, quiet day in Busby (where the B&B is) and took our time getting up. We had breakfast at 10:00am because Uncle Ian was going to pick us up at 3:30 to go out for dinner. This way, having a late breakfast eliminated the need to get lunch.

The innkeeper made us a hearty breakfast of fishcakes which were great! We got a bit antsy after breakfast and decided to explore the bustling metropolis of Busby (not). Pretty much everything was closed because it was Sunday. The stores that were not closed, were shuttered, as Busby is undergoing a bit of an economic downturn. We walked a few blocks and decided to head back and relax for a few hours before going out for dinner.

I hadn't been feeling great the last few days and it finally culminated in a cold/stomach bug, so I actually ended up sleeping for a few hours.

Uncle Ian showed up at the B&B spot on 3:30, and he was more than ready to head to dinner. He drove us into Glasgow and we arrived at the restaurant for 4:00.

We each had the same thing; a 12oz steak. Probably not the best idea to eat that with being under the weather, but our options were limited at this restaurant. Nevertheless, the food was quite good, but the service was slow, which Ian kept mentioning. Sorry, but they don't slay the beast at the table, Uncle Ian!

Since the intention was that we were all going to fast for the holiday, we all decided to have dessert too. Josh had a sorbet, I had a chocolate fudge cake, and Uncle Ian had the Knickerbocker glory. Thankfully I found a link to what it looks like because I really can't remember since he pretty much inhaled it. He must have thoroughly enjoyed it because as soon as he scraped the last bit out with his spoon, he lifted the glass to his lips, tilted the glass back to slurp the last drops out. It was akin to watching someone get the last drop of Dom Perignon out of their champagne flute, but not quite as classy. ;)

We got the bill and headed to synagogue. To say that the service was long would be an understatement. It lasted nearly three full hours, there was far too much 'oy oy oying'. During the service my stomach bug acted up and I will save the details, but it was NOT pleasant. I excused myself and went to the washroom. I was in there so long that a woman started flicking the lights. I started to feel like I was at intermission of a play and the curtain was about to go up.

When services were over we went back to the B&B and got ready for bed.

There was a knock at our bedroom door and the innkeeper came in. She told us she had counted the money and noticed that we gave her 500 pounds, when her fee was actually 450. She tried handing us back 100 pounds as we had overpaid and she would rather take a loss than us overpaying. We insisted on her keeping the money and this went back and forth for a while, but we were very firm about tipping her. She was very appreciative and thanked us sincerely for it.