Sunday, April 29, 2007


It seems that I have a semi-regular reader who's checking me out from Belgium. Bonjour will have to do, my Flemish is a little rusty. ;)

Josh and I were actually in Belgium (as well as Scotland, England, France and the Netherlands) in 2000, well to say we were there is a bit of a exaggeration...we drove through there on a tour bus. We stopped just long enough for the dopey American tourists (no offense) to buy 'genuine' Belgian chocolates. From ALL the available chocolates and exotic choices to be made, they ended up buying Guyian chocolates. Granted, they're good chocolates, but why buy something that you can get back home? To put this into perspective, it's like going to Idaho and picking up a potato. :P

This was the only tour that Josh and I took as part of a group and we ended up giving 'pet names' to different couples; we named this couple Mr. and Mrs. Crabbypants. (What a wonderful title for a children's book!) There was an Aussie couple who wanted to kill Mr. and Mrs. Crabbypants for trying to ruin the tour. We named them Swagman and Waltzing Matilda.

Mr. and Mrs. Crabbypants are the same couple who wanted to stop in Belgium for the sole purpose of it 'being on the tour' and threw a fit when the tour guide said we couldn't stop there because of the blockades and said they would throw a bigger fit when they got back home...and try to get her fired. It's a long, ugly story...but for now that will do. Though I do remember vividly that when we were filling out the feedback sheet on the last day of the tour that they asked for an extra sheet of paper to complain about things. People like that shouldn't be allowed to travel. :P

But I digress, I think Belgium is the most 'exotic' reader so far...though for a while I had someone reading from Estonia and there's someone that pops up every once in a while from Spain. I've also got a friend checking in on me every so often from Japan.

I do have to admit that whenever I see a hit from China it freaks me out a little. Not that I think it's the CCAA checking up on li'l ol' me...but sometimes I wonder.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Josh and I are planning a trip out west later this year to go to Spitgirl's wedding (for those of you that don't know, she runs the "Little Maple Project" in my sidebar, but hasn't had time to do it lately because, well, she's getting married and trying to finish up her Master's).

Anyways, when Josh took me out for lunch today he was talking about our trip and he literally blew me away by suggesting that we fly into California, go to the wedding, visit his family, spend a few free days touring around, and then...spend five days in Vegas.

Vegas, baby!

So right now, it's all in the planning stages, but it looks like we're going to be driving from Cali to Nevada! For those of you that don't know Josh, Vegas is SO not his thing...but he suggested it, and I'm holding him to it. :P

We've got quite the social calendar building over the next few months.

We're also taking a trip out to visit Connie later this year. We're planning on driving down to her place, tour around and then head into Kentucky (I have to keep Josh amused, so we're going to Bowling Green so he can look at the shiny cars at the Corvette plant).

Can you tell I'm excited?!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What the?! ***UPDATE - AGAIN***

I was perusing the rumour site this morning and saw a message about a t-shirt that Urban Outfitters sells.

I don't normally have a visceral reaction to stuff like this, and I have developed a rather thick skin against comments that I'm sure we'll be faced with when "Little Maple" comes home, but I couldn't let this one pass by. I'm sure they thought they were being 'cute' or 'witty' by making the shirt, but I just find it offensive and tacky.

I wrote to Urban Outfitters and lodged a complaint.

I saw your new t-shirt "Adopting is the new black" today and I have to admit I'm appalled by the lack of understanding and sensitivity that this shirt (and by extension your company) conveys.

Adoption is not something that anyone enters into lightly, and it's
not done to be 'fashionable'. The decision to adopt takes a lot of
thought,effort, patience and yes, resources. To undermine that by
a thoughtless t-shirt is offensive to anyone considering adoption,
in the process itself, not to mention adoptees.

I hope you reconsider and pull this highly offensive t-shirt off your

If any of you are so inclined, please feel free to write to them as well and let the company know how offensive that shirt is. Who's with me?

***AWESOME! I just checked the link and in big red print it says 'We regret that this item is not available at this time."

It seems that the entire adoption community banded together on this issue, just as they had before with CNN to correct gross injustices. I love the adoption community, really I do!

Updated again: I just called my local Urban Outfitters and they have the shirt on their shelves and asked if I wanted them to put one on hold. So the shirt has full distribution, but the upside is that they aren't ordering any more as "they had a problem with their vendor".

Updated for the last time...I hope. I just checked statcounter and someone from UO did a blogsearch and visited my site today at 12:30 this afternoon. I don't know why, but it amuses me that they bothered to do a blogsearch and actually visited.***

You like really like me!

Doris nominated me for a "Thinking Blogger" award. I'm touched, really, but do I honestly make you people think? :P

In order to retain my title, I have to pass it along to five here goes. Also, if you're nominated, you each need to nominate five other bloggers...and so on, and so on, and so on...

If you've already been nominated, I apologize, but I can't keep track of all of this.*

Nic definitely deserves one of these suckers. Not only do her posts make me think, but she's also an amazing person.

Mary-Mia writes amazing posts and I *love* looking at all the pictures of her girls (in a non-creepy sounding way).

Cari is an incredible woman who not only writes great posts, but is probably the only person I know with a suckling cat. Go ahead and ask her about that...

Sam's posts are fantastic as well. I love how she writes openly and honestly about the trials and tribulations of her children's lives. It's interesting to see the real side of adoptions ups and downs.

"Wzgirl"** has a great blog as well. I love following along with her blog and the pictures she takes are simply exquisite. (Good luck with the red velvet cake.) :)

*In a way, I don't like doing posts like this as it seems more of a 'popularity contest' than anything else. I do appreciate that I was nominated, but I could have nominated a *TON* more blogs for this. Too bad I was only limited to five. :P

**Yes, I know her real name, but since she only identifies herself on her blog as that, I don't want to say here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Educational classes...for the other half

I think everyone can use a chuckle with the rumours flying around...I saw this and nearly fell apart when I read it. Enjoy!

Fall Classes for Men at The Adult Learning Centre

Registration must be completed by Monday, Oct 30, 2007

NOTE: Due to the complexity and difficulty level of their contents, class sizes will be limited to 8 participants maximum.

Class 1

How To Fill Up The Ice Cube Trays--Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2

The Toilet Paper Roll--Does It Change Itself?
Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3

Is It Possible To Urinate Using The Technique Of Lifting The Seat and Avoiding The Floor, Walls and Nearby Bathtub?
--Group Practice Session--
Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4

Fundamental Differences Between The Laundry Hamper and The Floor--Pictures and Explanatory Graphics.
Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5

Dinner Dishes--Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Kitchen Sink?
Examples on Video.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning
at 7:00 PM

Class 6

Loss Of Identity--Losing The Remote To Your Significant Other.
Help Line Support and Support Groups.
Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7

Learning How To Find Things--Starting With Looking In The Right Places And Not Turning The House Upside Down While Screaming.
Open Forum.
Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8

Health Watch--Bringing Her Flowers Is Not Harmful To Your Health.
Graphics and Audio Tapes.
Three nights
Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9

Real Men Ask For Directions When Lost--Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10

Is It Genetically Impossible To Sit Quietly While She Parallel Parks?
Driving Simulations.
4 weeks, Saturday's noon , 2 hours.

Class 11

Learning to Live--Basic Differences Between Mother and Wife.
Online Classes and role-playing.
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM , location to be determined

Class 12

How to be the Ideal Shopping Companion
Relaxation Exercises, Meditation and Breathing Techniques.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at
7:00 PM .

Class 13

How to Fight Cerebral Atrophy--Remembering Birthdays, Anniversaries and Other Important Dates and Calling When You're Going To Be Late.
Cerebral Shock Therapy Sessions and Full Lobotomies Offered.
Three nights
Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 14

The Stove/Oven--What It Is and How It Is Used.
Live Demonstration.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, location to be determined.

Upon completion of any of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Is he really ok? (and other ramblings)

I know that the vet said all the tests came back normal and Deuce is fine, but he doesn't seem fine.

He used his litter box overnight for both, but today he didn't want to go into his box until I picked him up and put him in it. Once I did that, he let out a big pee. Since then, he hasn't done anything. He's eating a bit, but he doesn't have his usual voracious appetite. He was a little sluggish during the day, but Josh just played with him and he was chasing his toys. I'm at a loss as to what to do.

If he's fine, then why isn't he using his box? Grah!


So I was looking through Bloglines earlier and noticed that today was Johnny's last post on his blog. If he's reading this, I just want to say thank you for your blog and for helping me along my journey. It's people like him, that give me hope that there really is an "end" to this wild ride we're on.


Speaking of Bloglines, I'm kind of curious about something. I've noticed over the past week or so that the number of visitors to the blog have diminished. Where I'd normally get 50 to 75+ hits a day, I've now gone down to 20 or 30. I gather that people are just reading my posts (assuming that people are reading) through Bloglines and not coming in to the actual blog itself.

Not that there's any requirement or that I'm having a pity party that people aren't visiting, I'm just curious if it's because of Bloglines...or the nicer weather so people are out and about and not reading blogs in general...or if I'm inadvertently pissed off some of you so you don't visit anymore. :P


I know I haven't written the most thought provoking (or interesting) material lately...(again, I'm not fishing for comments or kudos). I'm kind of in a bit of a funk about the next, albeit rumoured, referral batch. The thought that they might not get into November is a bit of a let-down.

I swear I'm going to a huge freaking happy dance whenever they get into 2006, though at this rate, it might be VERY late 2007 before they finish 2005.

The cat came back...

I called the clinic and spoke to the vet this afternoon and he said that Deuce was fine. The urinalysis came back "crystal clear", which probably isn't the best phrase to use when talking about a cat who I thought might have a bladder infection (but turned out that he doesn't have that). I smirked a little on the inside when he said that. He said that the blood work wasn't back yet, but it should be in around 8:00pm.

Josh wanted to go out and get Deuce a new litter box, just in case his problem had anything to do with that. On Friday/Saturday he seemed a little freaked out by the box, so just to eliminate any chances that was the cause (though I don't understand why), we got a new one. We got the "giant" sized one for large kitties.

Anyways, we got home, assembled the box and got a call from the vet. The blood work came back normal as well. So we took Deuce in, subjected him to all these tests and they couldn't find a single thing wrong with him. I really feel badly when that happens, though of course it's better to be safe than sorry.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that he's fine, but I don't understand why he did what he did on Sunday.

When we picked him up he was growling in his cage (he's never been a good patient), though itt probably didn't help that there was a German Shepherd, a dalmatian, three cats and a bunny in the waiting area when we went in to get him. By the time we got him to the car he was mewing.

We brought him home, let him out of his cage and I introduced him to his new litter box. I had to take him over to it three or four times, I didn't want him to have any accidents. We gave him his food and water, and he dug into it like he hadn't eaten in days. About a half hour after that he decided to test drive the new box with a giant pee (yes, you needed to know that), and about an hour or two later, he did the other.

While I'm not complaining that I have a healthy cat, really I'm thrilled...I could have done without the $426.00 bill that came along with that. :P

Hopefully this is the end of this little episode...

(Thank you to everyone for the kind comments, emails and good wishes that I've received over the past day or so, it really means a lot).

Monday, April 23, 2007

Some days I just shouldn't get out of bed...

I called the clinic for an update on Deuce this morning. I was told he's eating (he always eats, but I guess it's still a good sign nevertheless), and he pooped overnight...aren't you glad I told you that?!

Anyways, they were going to examine him, but they won't know anything until about 4:00 or 5:00 this afternoon when his vet comes in and looks at the results of his blood test and urinalysis. She said that he's hanging out at the back of his cage and watching them...he's probably terrified. She then went on to say that by all accounts he appears 'fine'. I asked 'has he passed any urine?' and she said 'no', so I said 'then he's not fine if he hasn't peed in 24 hours.' Grr. I know I complain about the clinic, but really they're very good...just some of their workers are a few crayons short of a full Crayola pack.

Since it's supposed to be a nice day again today (minus the rain we're going to get this afternoon), I decided to head out and go for a walk.

I was walking for about 10 minutes when I saw a boy about 10-12 years old taking his dog out for a walk. The dog was obviously trying to do his 'business' and the boy started really tugging on the chain to the point that the dog was almost being dragged.

I ran over to him and said 'you know, your dog is just trying to poop, don't do that.' He said 'oh, I didn't see, I'm sorry.' I said 'you were pulling on the leash with both hands, don't you think he was trying to do *something*?' He again said sorry, and I said 'don't apologize to me, apologize to your dog. If I see you do that to your dog again, I'll tell your parents.'

(I have no idea where the kid lives, but that threat put enough fear into him that he bent down, pet his dog and walked away.)

Sunday, April 22, 2007


We got up this morning and headed to the accountant to get our taxes done. Ugh.

We came home and found out that Deuce is sick. He was very vocal the last couple of days and he decided to let us know that he's sick in a manner that I won't explain on the blog. We made an appointment for 4:40 this afternoon and waited for the time to pass. I really wanted to take him in early and they could treat him, but that was the earliest appointment available. Ugh.

To take our minds off of that, we went for a walk, but were only out for half an hour since it was blazing hot out. Ugh.

4:40 rolled around, and suffice it to say that he's staying overnight at the clinic. They did an exam, took blood and a urine sample and apparently he's "fine", but that doesn't explain the present that we came home to. We should get all the results sometime tomorrow, but I think he's got whatever it was he had back in October. Ugh.

I decided I wanted to get an iced cappucino from Tim Horton's and I threw it in the freezer when I got home...and I forgot about it until now. Ugh.

While it was slowly solidifying in the freezer, we went for another walk and were gone for an hour. (Yay, but) ugh.

I miss Deuce. Ugh. :(

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Now that's what I call exercise...

Once again, the weather was beyond beautiful today, so Josh and I went for a long walk. Not just long...but crazyass long. We didn't really intend on being gone for more than about half an hour, but we started talking about the adoption and other things, and we kind of lost track of time.

We got back to the apartment 1.5 hours later.

Afterwards, we went to the grocery store to stock up on more fish and veggies. Since I started this diet, I've become a salmon fiend. I think I had salmon at least half a dozen times this past week. Basically I make a few fillets and then have half a piece for lunch and the other half for dinner with a bunch of veggies.

Before the diet, I wasn't exactly a friend of fruits and veggies...I kind of avoided them like the plague. Now I find that I'm easily getting 5-6 servings a day, plus at least 2 litres of water as well (sometimes I get as much as 3 litres). Yes, I know I should have been doing this all along, but I just didn't.

Friday, April 20, 2007

...and yet another

Take a moment and read this, this and for more information this. (If you haven't already done so, sign up for the alerts, you'll get an email anytime any product has been recalled, not just pet food...)

When will it end? There's now a suspicion that it may have been intentional. I just wish they'd get to the bottom of it already. The longer this takes, the higher a chance that one of Deuce's (or any of your furbabies) foods could be added. *sigh*

Putting my detective hat on...

Since the weather was utterly gorgeous today, I decided to test out my new sneakers and went for a 40 minute walk. I passed by the house that had the garage sale last night and I swear they're starting to multiply. This time, they didn't just have the one toilet seat from last night...there were two more. If they were rabbits, I'd be really scared at this point.

I was tempted to whip out my cell phone and take a picture, but two guys who had an astounding resemblance to Lurch were standing on the porch...and I was a bit afraid of them. :P

By the way, Kathy, I told my mom about your comment and she thought it was hilarious. She said that if I would have given it to the bride, she would have said 'Thank you! How did you know our colour scheme?!' ;)

On the way back from my walk, I stopped in the grocery store and stocked up on tons of fruits and veg...woo. I think I'm going to update my weight loss on here every Thursday...assuming I remember.

When I walked in the apartment I found a package with my name and address on it ..and my return address as well. Sneaky, sneaky! I got this 'secret' package from 'someone'. I always love a good mystery, and I've already solved it. I won't say who it's from here, but thank you!

Inside the package was a very nice picture tree (I'm not sure what the exact name of it would be, so picture tree will do). Hanging on one of the 'branches' of the picture tree was a very nice quote...

...words and pictures can work together
to communicate more powerfully than either alone.

- William Albert Allard

Capture all the moments!

NOW I've seen everything...

About a week or two ago I decided to start a diet...again. So far I've lost a little over 5 pounds and I want to lose another 10, and now with the warmer weather coming, I want to start going for walks.

After work this evening, Josh and I went to the mall and I got two pairs of running shoes (Athlete's World was having a BOGO* sale which I couldn't pass up), so I got one pair of Nike and another pair of Reebok...woo. I needed a new pair of shoes anyways since the treads on my old ones were wearing down. I kind of wonder if that's what led to my ankle pain (which still hurts by the way).

Anyways, after dinner, I felt like going for a walk, so Josh and I walked for about 40 minutes. Now I've seen many things in my life, but this just took the proverbial cake...

Someone was having a garage sale, which isn't unusual, amongst the crap he had on his lawn sat a toilet seat. Yes, a toilet seat. Let me say that again...someone was selling a toilet seat...USED. It was just lying on his grass, open and exposed for the world to see.

I wonder if he offers 'test drives'...

*Buy one, get the other half price.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Anything for a buck...

This morning I was looking through my Gmail (you know the evil email-reading robot crawl at the top) and a headline caught my eye. In the light of such a horrendous tragedy, I cannot even fathom the mindset behind this, other than to say it was obviously influenced by greed. Any money that's made from the sale of such "great domain names for development" should be donated to any fund that may be set up for the students, their parents, etc. To make a buck off of this is just downright wrong. At least one of the people who was interviewed for that article said it was just pure greed that led him to put that domain name up for sale. Personally, I'd add stupidity to that.

I've been emailing a few people about the massacre and the 24 hour news stations response to it. With such an awful story, I have to admit that I was interested in it...just from the perspective of how unbelievable it is. I literally felt sick to my stomach when I turned on CNN last night (yes, I should know by now not to get my 'news' from there...but I still go).

Not only were there reporters standing next to the students during the candlelight vigil, but they also had a non-stop feed of sticking microphones in the faces of grieving students. Granted, CNN isn't the only offender in doing this, they're just the best at being offensive.

If that wasn't bad enough, they had a preview for Larry King, who of course was going to continue to talk about the story and bring out guests to talk about it. I *think* he was going to have some students from Virginia Tech as well as Columbine. Why won't anyone let these kids (and they ARE kids) grieve? Leave them alone.

What CNN has done (and will continue to do until the next tragedy) is no better nor worse than what people are trying to do on Ebay. I almost long for the 24 hour news coverage of Anna Nicole Smith...well, no not really, but this is just a bit too much to take.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I may be cheap, but I'm not easy...

...or at least an easy 'mark' for Josh's crazy cousins I sent back the unvitation (it's not really an invitation when it's worded like that).

If you remember the post, you probably shouldn't be surprised by my response of "No, I will not be attending". The thought of being there, having the 'privilege' of paying for it, and probably being treated like crap to boot...just didn't sit well with me. I didn't add anything for the bride-to-be either. I also told my mother-in-law that if she's sending anything to her, to not include my name anywhere on it. Some of you may think that that's wrong, but if you knew the bride, she's just as nutty as her sister. Actually that whole side of the family is, but that's a story for another day.

When we talked about it on Saturday night, Heather suggested that I send it back with an option to pay by Mastercard/Visa/American Express. I thought of one better...paying via PayPal, but I didn't have the guts to add that in. ;)

Sunday, April 15, 2007


About a month or so ago, I got an email from Heather saying that she and John were coming up for a visit, so I jumped at the chance to go and meet them. I emailed some of our mutual bloggy buddies to join us, but some couldn' it ended up being Heather and John, Michelle and Mark, and Dolores and Shawn. We finally agreed on a place to go, so I called up Canyon Creek and made a reservation.

I was talking to a manager and made the reservation for eight people and I asked for a round table (so we don't have to yell to be heard). He asked me 'are you having a meeting?' so I said 'yes, kind of' and he said 'well we don't have a round table, but I'll see what I can do'. (I had visions of a man coming to the table with a saw and cutting the corners off it. :P)

To make a long story short, I got a call on Thursday night from someone else at the restaurant to confirm our reservations and she said 'and by the way, I just wanted to let you know that we've set you up with a private dining room'.


So we all met up last night (I've met Michelle and Mark and Dolores and Shawn before), but last night was the first time we met Heather and John...and it was like we'd known each other for years. We really hit it off!

When they said 'private dining room', they weren't kidding. When we sat down, someone said 'so, did anyone bring the minutes of the last meeting?' (we had to make it sound at least a little legitimate that we were actually using the room for a meeting). I think if we have another get together like this, I wouldn't hesitate to use Canyon Creek again...

I don't think we ordered our food for about an hour and a half (it was like the first time I met Nic and Tim...we just sat and talked...and talked...and talked). I also had to show them the invitation which, can only fully be appreciated once you see it in print. It was priceless seeing the guys reactions which were a combination of shock and awe, as they had no prior knowledge of it. We also had a discussion about who has the 'crazier' relatives...and I'm not sure who won that debate.

We finally got around to ordering appetizers and it's funny what people hear. When the waiter was asking if we wanted any, I swear I thought he said 'with a group this size, they're free.', so I thought 'hey great, let's get a couple!' It was only after he left to go back into the kitchen that someone said 'no, what he said was...with a group this size, get three.' Oops.

Since it was Heather and John's first time in T.O. (and only second time being north of the border), we decided to indulge and order a bottle of wine from the Niagara region. Josh is a bit of an oenophile, so he did the ordering for us.

I cannot confirm or deny if we partook in more libations over the course of the night...

We got our appetizers and we continued talking...and talking...and talking...and we decided to exchange gifts. Unfortunately, Michelle realized when they were halfway to the restaurant that her gift for Heather was sitting at the front door to her house. Oops.

Dolores and Shawn got me a very nice bead necklace and bracelet, and Heather and John got us a coffee mug with a picture of our header from our blog and a shovel keychain (so we can dig our very own hole to China). ;)

I loved how creative she was in her presents. I'm sure that my 'regular' readers already know that we're not getting anything for "Little Maple" until we get her referral, and it amazes me how considerate people are in their choices of gifts. Not that we expect anything from anyone when we meet them, but it's always nice to see how thoughtful everyone is.
This is a better view of the pressies. (Yes, Josh got on a chair to get that picture...what he won't do for you people...) Click on the pictures to get a better view of them.

We got to the restaurant at 7:00pm and didn't leave until 12:15am. We literally closed the place, we were the only table still occupied when we left (aside from some people sitting in the bar).

When we were saying our goodbyes, I said to Heather 'it's great to see you again' and had to backtrack and say 'it was great to MEET you.' After the wonderful evening I had with them (and everyone), it really felt like we had all known each other forever.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bye bye Miss American pie...

We decided to get a pie this month instead of our 'traditional' cake to mark (yet another) LIDiversary. Yes, it's our seventh today.

Josh called me today at noon and told me he was coming home for lunch, so I asked him to pick up a cake on the way home. He asked what kind, and I said 'something fruity', preferrably an apple crumble cake.

He went into a local bakery and asked for a fruity cake or pie and the lady behind the counter said 'Oh, let me see what I have' and pointed at a cake that said 'Happy birthday Ali' on it. Umm, birthday cake isn't quite an apple pie or cake, now is it?

He looked blankly at the lady behind the counter and said 'well, this cake was obviously made for someone...' and she said 'yes, but we can scrape off the lettering' (which is SO not the point). Stunned, Josh looked at her and said 'well what about this person who actually ordered it?' The saleslady said 'well they have until 4:00 this afternoon to pick it up.' Josh, again stared at her and said 'but it's only noon.'

Disgusted by this kind of behaviour, he walked out and headed to another bakery and got the apple pie pictured above. He came home and we did our cake lighting and cake tasting picture taking...

Memo to me: Never turn your back on a hungry cat...

Don't worry, Deuce didn't get to it...but he came VERY close.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Badges and icons and widgets, oh my! ***UPDATE***

So, I found out about a site called my blog log (which you can find at the bottom of my right hand sidebar). What it does, is it shows you who's visiting your site according to the icon that they've chosen. So even if people don't leave comment-y goodness on your blog, you still know who's there. It also allows you to have 'communities' for people to leave you personal messages.

You can also add a badge to your blog to find out what people are searching for in order to find it. It's really pretty neat, if not a bit creepy. ;)

I just started there yesterday, but so far I like it.

If you sign up, you get a three day free trial account for "my blog log pro", after that, you're switched to the "normal" (and free) account. So you should try's a good thing. ;)

***So, when I was trying to add the code to my blog I hit a little snag at first so I ended up emailing customer service. Anyways, soon after I pressed 'send' on the email, I figured out what I had done wrong. (You see, I'm kind of anal about matching up the colours on the blog, and I figured out that I had erased a little something I shouldn't have when I was tweaking it).

I did, however, get a personal email from Robyn at mybloglog (Yahoo) who said that everything looked good on her end and wanted to make sure that the problem was solved. She also sent me a screen shot of how it looked to her and she left a comment on the blog. So strike this up as #2 on the companies that actually care about their users...SNAP was the other. :)***

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chutzpah 101 ***UPDATE***

Chutzpah as defined by gives the best description of what this is. I'm in utter shock and well, basically appalled by an invitation I received today.

I've been invited to a surprise bridal shower (don't worry, the bride doesn't know about the blog, so I'm not giving away her surprise). In and of itself that's nice and that's where the story SHOULD begin and end, but noooo that would be too easy (and nothing is ever easy).

So inside the invitation was a photocopied piece of paper where you have to fill in your name. Apparently they couldn't have done a mail merge and put people's names on give it a bit more of a personal panache (yes, I'm being sarcastic).

Below that there are three boxes:

1. I will be attending. Enclosed is my cheque made out to (name omitted to protect the guilty) in the amount of $40.00 to cover all costs associated with (event) including taxes and gratuities.

2. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend and would like to contribute $_____ to her money envelope from the group.

3. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend.

Now there are several things here that annoy me.

1. If you can't afford to throw a bridal shower for someone (and in this case it's for this person's sister), then don't throw it. To add to that, you certainly don't ask your guests to cover the costs of the event. That's almost beyond chutzpah and leads right into jaw-dropping...or at least that's the way I see it.

2. To ask for money from people who won't be attending the event is also a bit galling, but not nearly as much as the above.

3. If you don't contribute it makes you look really cheap.

Below that it says "No gifts please. If you desire, at the (event), you may place a little "something" in our group money envelope which will be given to (bride).

Now, this also irks me because not only do you have to pay to cover the sister's costs for the event, but you also have to give cash to the bride. Granted, all newlyweds need money to start off, but to ask for that is chutzpahdic.

When I had my bridal shower, if people wanted to get me something, they would ask where we were registered. That, I would think, would be the 'norm'...but to ask for cash to pay for the event AND cash for the bride is simply beyond the pale.

The gift, whether the guest wants to give cash or a tangible item, should be up to the guest not the host.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, she also misspelled my name...grrr.

Thoughts? I'm interested in what your take is on all of this...

***First of all, thanks for reinforcing what my take was on all of this...and not thinking I'm the crazy one in all of this. ;)

I also got a fair amount of comments on Maya's Mom (the site I mentioned last week where I've also uploaded my blog).

Now for the piece de resistance (which I intentionally left out until I got comments about the situation)...the invitation came from mishpachah, though we're not close...obviously, (and she still can't *@&$#^! spelling my name). So yes, add all the pieces together and it leaves a VERY sour taste in my mouth.

Now, as it's a family function, I'm kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place about going. Technically I should go, but I don't want to...unless, of course, I luck out and I get 24 hour Typhoid fever. :) Based on how I feel about the situation as a whole though, I'm really leaning towards not going and not sending a gift.

If this person was SO strapped for cash (which she isn't), she should have asked other family members to help her pay for it (ie., her brothers, her mom, etc)...not the guests.

It is certainly more common, having more than one person as a host/hostess of the event, rather that the way this fiasco was set up.***

Monday, April 09, 2007

Shameless self-promotion

With another day off work, I decided to wander for a little while from blog to blog...and checked out blogs I haven't seen before. Well, one of the blogs had a link to this! As it's been a while since I last whined for a nomination for any kind of award...consider this fair warning. ;)

I came close in the Share the Love Blog Awards, but close doesn't count. :P

So feel free to nominate AND vote the @%^* out of me or the bunny gets it! That's a fair deal, right?

We all need a little break from thinking about the 2 day referral batch anyways. If I'm nominated, I promise not to do anything to deserve

Sunday, April 08, 2007

When I picked my jaw off the floor... (Posted by Josh)

I read this article (please read it before continuing) and the image to the left popped into my head. The ever rocket-powered Road Runner often ruins "Super Genius" Wile E. Coyote's well-laid plans. My well-laid plan was to have a leisurely breakfast then read the Friday edition of the Toronto Star today. Why read the Friday paper on Sunday? Friday and Saturday I was occupied with preparing for last night's "Lady Bug Picnic". My goal here was to read the Comics and GTA sections as I have given up reading the front-page news and its parade of stories covering crime, economic collapse and global intrigue.

On the front page of the "GTA" (Greater Toronto Area) section is an article titled "Racial Slur on sofa label stuns family". This is unusual content for the GTA section. At this time of year, I was expecting articles about Passover or Easter. Interestingly enough, members of the Persian (Iranian) and Sikh communities celebrate their respective New Years on or near Passover. It's springtime and everyone finds a reason to celebrate or mark time with family. It's all related to the lunar calendar.

Regarding the article, all I can say is wow! I have never seen a label on furniture that stated the colour as shown in the picture. I've seen brown shown in catalogues as brown (light, dark, etc.), chocolate, cocoa, arabica (a.k.a. coffee), chestnut, even burnt honey (golden brown) and loam (greyish brown). I find it hard to believe that the manufacturer could not find any other word to describe the customer's brown couch. It's obvious the distributor and the retailer never found the time to change the labels themselves or request a label change from the manufacturer. Was this a combination of laziness and apathy on the part of the distributor and retailer? Imagine the howls of protest if a major retailer labelled their stock in a similar manner. Who would shop in these stores?...Noooobody!

I am curious to know how the retailer promotes his furniture to customers. Consider this retailer's next promotional flyer. "Sale...20% off our full line of couches and easy chairs. Colours available: Smurf Blue, Swedish White..." That's as far as I'll go with the ethnic colour scheme, I think the readers of this blog are mature enough to realise how ugly this can get. I am curious to see the retailer's order book. Did Ms. Moore (the customer) fill out the order book requesting that shade of brown? I doubt it. I suspect that the label is placed on the couch in such a way that the customer is not supposed to see it or the label is removed upon delivery.

The retailer passed the buck to the distributor, who then blamed the factory in China. I appreciate that what upsets people in the West may have little or no impact in certain parts of Asia, but let's keep in mind that there are laws that govern the design and content of labels. The distributor of the furniture is buying this furniture and can influence the label's content. The distributor may be obliged to offer the label in Canada's official languages. As I have said in past submissions, the only way to hurt a retailer who does not listen is to hit them in the wallet.

That is all I have to say. I have to pick my jaw off the floor and get back to my matzah with strawberry jam. Mmm, matzah with jam.

Keep smilin!

I just heard that it's Doris's birthday today! I hope she has a great day, and if you haven't gone to her blog to wish her a happy birthday...go now!

What are you waiting for?

Saturday, April 07, 2007


We finally had our dinner party tonight (that I've been babbling about all week) with Nic and Tim, Dolores and Shawn, Cari, and my mom and her boyfriend were there.

We started off with small talk, because of course this was the first time everyone had met Cari (AKA Sprout), and I think everyone hit it off marvelously, if I do say so myself. We basically had to pry everyone away from their conversations to get to the dinner table. :)

We started with a salad, mushroom blintzes/crepes, and gefilte fish...what would a Passover get-together be without the fish of my people? ;)

After gorging delicately picking at the appetizers, it was time to get our grub on and dig into the matzah lasagna...and it delish! The top was a nice dark golden brown (not burnt...but just right). Josh, being his usual self, cut mondo slabs generous portions for everyone. The flavours melded together so perfectly! We were very happy with the I'm sure everyone at the table was as well.

We then had coffee and dessert and the entire time everyone was talking about work, adoption (trying not to be depressed about the most recent rumoured cutoff), and travel (ie., the right stories to tell at the border) *cough*.

By the end of the evening we had our personal vacuum cleaner (Deuce) come by and get all the crumbs off the table...he's one happy kitty right now. :)

I hope everyone had a great time, I know we certainly did!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Droolworthy matzah lasagna ***UPDATE***

I felt inspired by Johnny's cooking posts, so I decided to post one of my own. For the last week or so I've been mentioning the matzah lasagna that Josh and I make, so we took pictures of the various steps involved in making this from scratch. Yes, from scratch. :)

For those of you that are interested, all the ingredients are kosher for Passover, but it could be made at any time during the year. We occasionally make this for Channukah as well...for no real reason, other than we can. :P

First you'll need ingredients...duh. Since we're having nine people over for tomorrow night's soiree, we went a bit nutty on the amount of items we put in it. You'll need four eggs, salt, pepper, two cans of spinach (add the juice from the can into the mixture...the more moisture in the recipe, the better), and two pounds of pressed cottage cheese 0.5% low fat. (If you make a smaller one, just divide the amounts in half).

You'll also need about four bottles of pasta sauce (the thicker the sauce, the better).

In a small bowl, mix the four eggs with half a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper. Once you're finished that, open the packages of cheese and spinach and combine that in a big bowl, and then put the egg mixture in with the cheese and spinach. (It's a bit difficult to judge exactly how much of the spinach/veggie/cheese mixture you'll need, so you may need a bit more than was posted here.)

While that is settling, chop up your veggies. We used yellow peppers, orange peppers, onions, portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, and two cloves of garlic. Then get a large pan (trust me, you're going to need a large one), add a splash of oil and saute the veggies.

When the veggies are finished sauteing, add them to the cheese/spinach mixture and mix them up well. The better blended the veggies/cheese/spinach is, the better the flavours pop.

Now it's time to start building the lasagna. Spray the bottom of the foil pan with cooking spray. Then cover the bottom of the tray with pasta sauce.

Once that is done, start placing your sheets of matzah. Add your mixture, some grated cheese and then more matzah.

Keep adding sauce as you build the lasagna...

You're not finished yet...

Once you've built it as high as it will go, add more grated cheese to the top and some parmasean to taste. Now it's time for it to go into the oven...Cook it for about 2 hours at 350 degrees.




***The get together is actually Saturday night, but we baked the lasagna today. It's actually only about 75% cooked right now so we don't burn it when it's warmed up tomorrow. The flavours actually blend a lot better when it sits overnight...***

Pet treat recalls...

I ripped these links off of PJM and I hope she doesn't mind. :)

These recalls don't affect us, since we have a cat, but for those of you with dogs, check out this and this.

If you're interested in finding out the latest info on recalls and warnings, please visit here and sign up in the sidebar. (I just did.)

I'll keep you all posted on the latest info.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

New site! Check it out...or not.

For the past few months I've been on a site called Maya's Mom. I held off writing about it, just in case I didn't like it, but it seems pretty good so far.

It's a relatively small community of parents (both adoptive and biological), and it's a great source for new blog addictions reads, group talk, etc. They have a very small section on international adoption, not many people post there, but it's worth looking at. I'm sure a few of you might be interested in the site, so I thought I'd post it here, *ahem* Connie.

You can also upload your entire blog into their site as well. So if you're interested, go ahead and poke around, I'm listed there as LittleMaplesMom. :P

I'm off to go pull the covers over my head and sleep this *&($@# migraine off...stupid weather changes...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Random ramblings

1. So, another month and another trip to the bank. For long time readers of my blog, you know that each month Josh and I collect our loonies and toonies (Canadian $1.00 and $2.00 coins), put them in our jar and take them to the bank.

Though, in honesty, that's a bit of a stretch. It also includes the $100.00 I won in the Heart and Stroke Lottery, the $5.00 I found on the ground, and the $42.00 I earned by doing an experiment. I can't be bothered putting all the links in here, but if you're interested, check out my archives on March 7th and you'll see the reference to the $100.00 and $5.00. I can't remember when I did the experiment, but if you're that curious, go nuts.

2. Our cat, Deuce, killed the vacuum cleaner. Josh was doing some vacuuming this afternoon (I had a migraine and asked him to vacuum the rug while I was taking a shower). :)

Anyways, he plugged it in, turned it on and he heard a loud whirring sound and the machine. just. stopped. dead.

He started taking it apart to find the source of the blockage and pulled out a huge chunk of compacted grey fur. He then took the front off the vacuum and saw that the entire part where a bag SHOULD be was completely covered in grey fur. Apparently, at some point the bag must have slipped and the front part of the vacuum slowly filled with fur until it just went on strike and refused to work anymore.

Of course this would happen just days before we're having some people over for dinner, so we had to run out and get a new vacuum cleaner. I took out my frustrations by taking the vacuum down to the dumpster, lifting it high, and pitching it made a lovely loud CRASH sound as it landed. Great for my frustration, not so great for my migraine.

Anyways, we headed back to Linens 'n' Things to look at the models that they have. We spoke to one girl who was supposed to be 'in charge' of that section of the store. We looked at a couple of models (we were really interested in a Dyson, but balked when we saw the price tag of over $600.00). Josh started asking the girl a couple of questions (like what the difference is between the models and which is best for pet fur). She said she had no idea, so Josh rolled his eyes and asked another individual who was supposedly higher up on the evolutionary chain chain of command. He asked the same questions and the person, again, said he didn't know and that Dyson didn't offer them any information or training on the various models. At this point, we turned tail and left.

I did buy something there, however, and when the cashier rang up the total it came to $86...but when she plugged the number into the Interac machine, it came up as $68...BONUS!

We then headed over to Crappy Canadian Tire to look at their wares. We found one that was really similar to the Dyson vacuum and its main purpose was for pets! We basically jumped on it and hauled it over to the cash register. All tolled it came to $160.00+tax. That's certainly a helluva lot better than $600.00!

3. A little birdy told me that it's Kathy's birthday today! I certainly hope it's happy!

4. American Idol...where do I begin?! I missed Tuesday's show because I was at a seder for Passover and I forgot to tape the show. Oh well, I don't think I missed *TOO* much.

I made a point of watching tonight's show and, is it just me or did it seem like Michael Buble was on something?! It was either that or he was distracted. It looked like he forgot the words to the song and he just seemed...spacey.

I'm kind of bummed that Gina got the boot, she was actually pretty good. Am I surprised that Sanjaya is still in? No. I really think this site is keeping him in the show...not to mention Howard Stern's listeners. C'est la vie.

5. I heard a rumour that the CCAA might not even get through October. Blargh...just blargh.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Oh no she didn't!!

Apparently Angelina Jolie has done it again, or at least is trying to. There are reports that she and Brad are trying to adopt a little girl from Chad.

Ok, it's great that she's adding to her family and giving the girl a home, etc., and so forth, but good Lord this is really annoying me. She *just* finished the adoption of Pax and now she's starting again?!

What about bonding time between her and Pax? Brad and Pax? Brad, Angelina and Pax? The other kids and Pax? (And, let's be honest, the nanny and Pax). To adopt again *so* quickly, in my opinion, is a bit irresponsible of her, Brad and the agency or lawyers that they're using.

I'm not trying to compare her situation to ours of adopting from China, because the systems are vastly different, and to be honest I know (less than) nothing about adoption from Chad. I understand her reason(s) for wanting to do it, I just think it's a bit too soon...

When will it end?!

I was looking at one of my daily reads and saw this and this. Take a moment, go to the last two links and make sure that you aren't feeding your pets these foods...

When I get info about recalls on any other pet foods, I'll post the 'warnings' here. We have to look out for our little furbabies...

By the numbers... ***UPDATE***

So while I wasn't looking, I surpassed my 12,000th hit on the blog...and my 300th post. Woo. I had a ton of hits yesterday because I wrote a little blurb on the RQ site. I find that whenever I write anything there, people come here in droves, which is odd.

But I digress...

Josh and I are having a dinner party this coming weekend with some of our adoption buddies. Woo! We're really looking forward to sitting down in a quiet place and being able to talk about things without a bunch of other people around. Since it's still going to be smack dab in the middle of Passover, we decided that we're going to make a matzah lasagna.

What's a matzah lasagna, you ask? Well instead of using noodles, we'll be using sheets of matzah. (I know, it doesn't sound appetizing, but oh my G-d, you'll see Jimi Hendrix me).

Anyways, we came to the horrible conclusion Sunday, in all our preparation, that we don't have any dairy dishes for Passover. We've always just used paper plates, since we never entertained during the holidays before. (Well, that's not entirely true, we had a Passover Seder nine years ago but we used our Passover meat dishes.)

Since we're going to have about nine people over, the thought of using paper plates...and a saucy, possibly semi-messy dinner, didn't exactly strike my fancy. Not that any of our dinner guests would mind, but when we do a dinner party, we like to pull out all the stops...or try to, and the last thing I want is for someone to wear their dinner...or Deuce to get someone's dinner because their 'fancy shmancy' Chinet plate broke/ripped. ;)

So in a panic, we decided we were going to go out and get new dishes and a tablecloth and a plastic cover for the table. The plastic covers are a worries about spilling...just wipe up the plastic and ta-da you're done. At the time we decided we were going to go to a store, pick up the dishes, go to another store and get a table cloth, and then go elsewhere and get the plastic. It sounds like a lot of work for just a few items, but oh well.

Anyways, as Josh was driving around, I suddenly remembered that we had a new Linens 'N' Things store that just opened. Oh my G-d, I'm in LOVE with this store...seriously, absolutely, undeniably IN LOVE with the store. We got everything there...and then some. The surprising thing is, when they tallied up the bill, Josh was still vertical.

***Ok, D, what's up with the coupons? I need details. ;) I don't think we get those here, but I might be wrong. After all, it was my first time in that store.

I kind of got annoyed when I got home and saw that everything I bought was half price had I ordered it online, but I didn't have the luxury of time to place the order. Oh well.***

Monday, April 02, 2007

It's all about having your head in an oven, isn't it? - posted by Josh

It's that time of year again when my Jewish brothers and sisters clean their houses down to the baseboards in preparation for the Great Pumpkin who rises from the pumpkin patch and gives presents to all the...oops sorry, my mind drifted and I was suddenly in a Peanuts/Charlie Brown cartoon. I am back now.

Yes it is that time of year when my Jewish brothers and sisters clean their houses almost as well as they cleaned it for their social worker's home study visit. Shhh. Actually, between you, me and six billion other web viewers, the house was cleaner for the visit by the social worker than when Elijah visited.

With the cleaning and the bank-busting grocery shopping behind us (more on that in the next post), we, according to tradition can relax and recline, as we are now free from our labours.

It's the labours that I want to write about. It seems my brethren have lost their way, or more accurately, they have forgotten that cleaning one's home does not have to be a scene from TV cop show CSI. Every year, our shul publishes its "Passover Guide". All you need to know about Passover but were afraid to ask.

References to toasters, toaster ovens and blenders as options to be koshered are laughable. There are too many moving parts. Put any appliance like this in a tightly sealed plastic bag and store in the recesses of your home so that you are not tempted to make a bread pudding smoothie. If you must have a blender for making gefilte fish or chopped liver, then have a good one in storage that's only used for Passover.

It's the koshering of cutlery, sinks, ovens, dishwashers and pots where the Guide mentioned above takes a weird turn. I dealt with the requirement to use saltwater or boiled water immersions performed over days, blow torches on metal surfaces and self cleaning ovens many years ago. Here is my solution that helps one observe the rules while keeping your spouse smiling over the next eight days.

1. A young exasperated woman was standing in a kosher bakery describing all that she had done to prepare for Passover. My mother, interested in how other women were handling the "Big Clean" listened intensely. The young woman, eager to follow Halacha (Jewish law) and her Rabbi, went as far as to scrub the walls of her house. An elderly woman, herself an Orthodox Rebbetzin (Rabbi's wife) , known for her modern no-nonsense ideas stepped forward upon hearing the young woman's burdens. With regal pertness, the Rebbetzin took the young woman aside and stated "I don't eat off the I don’t scrub them!"

2. Somehow Jews have managed to observe Passover without frost-free refrigerators, self-cleaning ovens, Wedgewood service for sixteen, dishwashers, and a staff to clean their kitchens. Why is it within the last 40 years, we treat preparing for Passover like preparing for a mission aboard the Space Shuttle? Why can't we keep things simple?

3. Do the Poland/Palestine Litmus test. This is a mental check when you are preparing for Passover. Was the activity you are about to perform, done in Poland 100 years ago by your ancestors who did not have today's modern conveniences? Was the activity you are about to engage in done in the desert when the Jews left Egypt? Likely no. Here is a simple example: Using blow torches to clean an oven even after you have cleaned it out with the most caustic of chemicals. Did your great grandpa have a blowtorch? Did he have an oven? Hmm. Another example is the great Cola question. Coke changes their labels to indicate that their regular products are kosher for Passover, their diet products are not because Aspartame is made from a corn-based sugar. Did they have Coke in Poland or the desert thousands of years ago? If the product is not available, then simply buy juice or water. Why tie yourself into knots?

4. As it relates to cutlery, pots and glassware. Buy a second set for Passover and put it away every year. The set will last forever because it's used one week per year. I would never dream of performing a multi-day immersion of anything, cooking supplies are so cheap, you could replace the dishes every year and not feel the pain. Or use paper plates and plastic cutlery and the problem is solved!

I appreciate that rules exist for ritual immersion and "conversion" of cutlery, pots, etc., to Pesach, but the holiday need not be made difficult on purpose. The emphasis should be on remembering the story of Pesach and enjoying it with one's family!

Keeping it simple means having your head in the oven before the holiday, because you must, instead of putting your head in the oven because you want to from the stress.

Referrals are NOT on their way...

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, people, but you heard it here first...or maybe second.

I heard from my agency on Friday and they don't anticipate referrals to arrive until late this week (at the absolute earliest) or sometime next week. I knew this on Friday, but foolishly thought they might be wrong. I need to remember that they're always 99.9999% correct (I have to build in a margin of error). ;)

Feel free to shoot the messenger below...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

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

Josh and I went to the supermarket and did the last bit of grocery shopping for Passover this evening. I was looking at the various brands of juice and this caught my eye...

Of course we had to buy it, wouldn't you?!

He's not 40, it's the 21st anniversary of his 19th birthday...

Well today is my brother's big 4-0 birthday! Yes, for long-time readers, I refer to him as Ugly...I always have, and I always will. I found this picture on a Google search, and it pretty much fits my brother to a T. ;)

Anyways, last night his wife arranged a surprise birthday party for him at the Mandarin restaurant. Since it's his 40th birthday, she invited 40 people who mean a lot to him. He was totally blown away when he turned the corner and saw 5 tables full of people waiting for him. He knew that my mom and I were there because her friend has a personalized license plate, but he had no idea about the rest of them.

Of course, there was also a cake...mmmm cake. It was one of those picture cakes, I don't know if any of you have seen them, but they print a picture on top of the cake in icing. The picture looked like Ugly was around 5 or 6 years old at the time, and the resemblance to his son was incredible.

After dinner a friend of L's (Ugly's wife) got into our car and my brother looked at us quizzically and asked where we were taking her. We told him that she needed a ride somewhere, because her boyfriend had some people downtown. He let that go, thought nothing more of it and we went on our his second surprise party.

Ugly, L, and a couple of friends went back to his place and they started watching the hockey game. L said she wanted to go to a bar, listen to some music and just relax.

He bought it.

Her original plan, if he gave her a hard time was to ask him to name some bars, she would write them down on pieces of paper and stick them in a hat...but she would write down the same name on each piece. :P

They got to the bar, he saw a couple friends standing outside having a cigarette and just thought it was a coinkydink that they were there, or maybe a few people were there for a little party. He walked in and there were about 20-30 more people in there. We had part of the bar sectioned off just for his party. I think he was even more blown away by that...there were people at the party he hadn't seen since high school. Somehow, his wife tracked down his old high school buddies and they were there.

Anyways, it's also my brother-in-law's (D - Josh's brother) birthday today! He turns the big 33. He came into town for Passover, but he leaves on Wednesday. Hopefully we'll see him a few times before he goes back to NYC.