Monday, October 31, 2005


I'm not really into Halloween myself, but I do like the kind of people who go all out for it. If you're gonna do it, you should do it right. Here are a few photographs from my day.

Spy made chocolate coffins and a kitty litter cake for the office. We were mostly impressed, but strangely not very hungry. Usually if someone brings in a cake, we pounce on it and devour it within minutes. We just couldn't muster any appetite for this one.

Around the corner from my place, there's an artist who goes all out decorating her house for Halloween. I took this picture of her place tonight. Spooky, eh?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Swingin' from the treetops

Today was not the perfect knitting day, it was the perfect day for a visit to the Aerial Park at Lafleche Caves. My friend Ken and I drove up there first thing in the morning, and from 9:00 till noon we were swingin' from the treetops.

The Aerial Park is this crazy obstacle course / playground up in the top of the forest. You use clips and a harness to keep you from plunging to your death as you navigate rope nets, suspended footbridges, wooden aerial tunnels, swinging stirrups, swaying tightropes, tarzan ziplines, a flying skateboard, and more.

There are four courses, each more challenging than the last. The final course is more thrilling than difficult, because you get to zip across the lake twice.

There's always some poor wimpy soul gets paralyzed with fear and cries until the guide rescues them. I thank god it's not me - I would have to disown any friend who witnessed me in such a pathetic state, lol. Besides, if I were to dissolve into tears, most of my friends would laugh till they fell out of the tree.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Early morning excitement on Somerset Street

So this morning as I was walking to work I arrived at a burning rooming house at the same time as the firefighters. The man who walks the dog who carries the muffin bag home from the muffin store was there before me, because he was the one who called 9-1-1.

I just happened to have my camera with me, because it's my new resolution to always carry it, just in case I see something blog-worthy. So I took a few pix. I clearly need some improvement in this kind of photography...I was trying to be inconspicuous and stay out of the way, but the result is mediocre photographs. Still, I thought it was cool how the reflective material glowed in the photos.

I think I like this one best, of some of the rooming house tenants. Rich people would probably have been more distraught than these guys. I guess the only advantage of poverty is you don't have much to lose. The man who called 9-1-1 told me he watched as twelve people exited the smoking building. It's interesting to see what people take with them when their home is on fire. These guys took a dog and a guitar....anything else was pocket-sized.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Boudoir Girl

My boudoir doll, Eliza, agreed to model Jonas' strawberry hat, which is very nearly complete. I just have to weave in the ends, then it's done! It's adorable. Maybe I'll whip up another one for Jonas' big brother Gavin.

Eliza is one of eight boudoir dolls living in my living room, by the way. I found her in Prince Edward Island a few years ago. She originally belonged to a flapper way back in the 1930s.

Mike's hat

Mike's hat is coming along...slowly. Between the twisted rib stitch and what now seems like very slender yarn (Paton's Decor), this hat seems to be taking forever. I started on Sunday October 23. Okay, it's only 3 days, it just feels longer. His birthday was yesterday, so it's late.'s awfully nice...and he does hate the cold, so I think he'll like it. It would be awesome if I were to finish it before he goes back to the Philipines, where he has no use for a hat.

43 days of toil and sweat

My goal is to exercise for 43 consecutive days. I’m up to 11 days now…most days the gym for either weights or cardio, but today I was out on the streets running. I’ve stopped trying to talk myself out of it each day; now I just get home from work, change, and head for the gym so I can get it over with.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

More clapotis colour anguish

Mystical Creations has the most exquisitely coloured yarns. I yearn for clapotises (clapotti?) in several of their 76 shades of blue (I threw in a red for good measure. Feel free to chime in and vote for one. I'd also welcome input from anybody who has ever made a clapotis using mystical creations yarn. Were you happy with your choice?

Turquoise Nights
Class Act

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Is my blog a virgin?

Is there any way to tell if anybody has ever read your blog?

Anyway. I quit smoking a year ago today. Yay for me. I'm genuinely happy I got free of smoking - the expense, the risk, the cloud, the stigma - but still, I kinda wish I could celebrate with a good smoke.

I never realized how much smoking was incapacitating me until I stopped. All those years I thought I just didn't like physical exertion.

Oxygen changed my whole life.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Clapotis eludes me!

I struggle perpetually with the curse of indecisiveness.

Last night I lay awake thinking about the clapotis I am going to knit. For those of you unfamiliar with the infamous clapotis, here is the original clapotis. But there are a thousand others, each different from all the others, because of the infinite fibers available from which to make the clapotis, each gorgeous and special in its own right. For example, Jess has a divine clapotis on Fig & Plum. There has even been poetry devoted to clapotis.

My difficulty lies in choosing the yarn and the colours with which to conjure up my very own, very special, clapotis. I think I will either go with Mystical Creations yarn in a silk merino, or the original clapotis yarn, Lorna's Lace Lion & Lamb in one of these colours.

But I cannot decide among them. They are all so lucious, but it's hard to visualize them as clapotis. I want blue, definitely blue, dominant blue, turquoisey blue, with maybe some greens and a touch of purple, but I don't want purple to dominate. There is too much purple in my life these days, and not enough blue.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

All those photos...

This is crazy. All my photos USED to be in albums, nice and neat and tidy, a row of albums arranged chronologically on the bottom shelf of the bookcase.

Then along came scrapbooking, and I was seized with terror to learn that my non-acid-free albums were destroying my precious photos. I immediately removed all my photos from all my albums and put them in shoeboxes.

Then, with an expenditure of ridiculous amounts of money and time, I scrapbooked about 20 pages (60 photos, out of 2,500) before calculating it would take me roughly forever to scrapbook all my photos.

Now all I want is all my photos nice and neat and tidy in a row of albums, arranged chronologically on the bottom shelf of the bookcase.

Slow progress

You know, until July I was making decent progress towards the goal of running a marathon. I was steadily increasing my weekly mileage, and was running 45 minutes 3 times a week, and 2 hours every Sunday. It was great. But then I started getting this stupid pain in my hip…it wasn’t excruciating or anything, but I was concerned about ignoring it and letting it get worse, so I went to see a physiotherapist.

She’s very sweet and I like her, but man, she’s a taskmaster. Every week she piles on some new exercises I have to incorporate into my hip-strengthening regime. It’s a good thing she hasn’t let me run during the course of treatment, cause who has time to run when they’re doing hip exercises from dawn to dusk every day? I’m gonna have hips of steel by the time Judith is finished with me!

Anyway…she says I can start slowly incorporating some walk/run sessions back into my life, twice a week for now. So, optimistically, I’m hoping to do a half-marathon in May, and a full marathon the following May.

The impractical dream

Who buys a piano when they live in a cramped apartment at the top of 3 flights of stairs with no elevator? Who buys a piano when they have baseboard heaters running the length of most of the walls in their cramped apartment at the top of three flights of stairs? Who buys a piano when they have a pipe that bursts every winter and soaks everything in the living room?
I'd be crazy. Besides, I love my guitar. I don't need no stinkin' piano.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The average idiot on the street

Sad, pathetic, ridiculous, outrageous...but amusing.

Man-on-the-street interviews: Who should we invade next?


Meetings make me feel all eyes get so heavy and I just want to rest them, just for a minute, and next thing you know I'm waking up after a 10-second nap, the first in a cycle of 10-second naps that continue until the meeting ends. It's aggravating, and it doesn't look all that professional either. It even happens when the meeting is interesting.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Deeply disturbing story

Kay’s an 80 year old professional jazz musician, and probably the best person I know. Recently we were sitting at her kitchen table and she told me an interesting but deeply disturbing story. If you don’t like deeply disturbing stories, you might wanna skip this entry.

Kay has lived in her house for 55 years. When the kids left home, she converted part of it into two apartments, and rented them out. She told prospective tenants that these were smoke-free and pet-free apartments. At one point she has a lovely young woman living in the upstairs apartment and a pleasant young tech whiz in the downstairs apartment.

After a few weeks the upstairs tenant muses to Kay that she thinks maybe the downstairs tenant has a cat because she has been hearing odd cat-like noises. Kay asks the young man and he denies having a cat. The young woman, however, continues to suspect there is a cat downstairs, and even suggests that there’s something wrong with the cat because of the strange sounds she is hearing.

At Christmastime, the young man announces he is going away for a week, confesses to having a kitten, and asks Kay if she will feed it while he is gone. She agrees to do so, despite not wanting a cat in the house and having no fondness for cats herself. On the first night, her husband enters the apartment to feed the kitten, and then comes back out to fetch Kay.

“There is something wrong with the cat,” he says. They go back in together, and the kitten is crawling pathetically across the floor. Not being cat people, and unsure of how to take care of a sick cat, they fetch the upstairs tenant. She heats some milk for the kitten and tries to feed it. It doesn’t eat. They put it on a soft pad, and cover it with a towel to keep it warm. The next day, when they return, the kitten is dead.

The young man phones to see if his car has been towed from the street, and they tell him no, his car is fine, but sadly his kitten died. He seems neither surprised nor concerned. He returns a week or so later.

Even after the death of the kitten, the upstairs tenant continues to report strange and disturbing cat-like sounds coming from the downstairs apartment. Kay calls the Humane Society regarding the sounds, and they phone the young man, who says he was just giving his cat a flea bath. Satisfied with this explanation, the Humane Society closes the investigation. Eventually, the upstairs tenant moves out because of these ongoing, disturbing sounds.

Meanwhile, as the months go by, several strange occurrences come to Kay’s attention. Her brother-in-law finds a dead cat in the bushes in the front lawn. Her neighbour sees the young man putting a dead animal in the trunk of his car. Kay and her husband repeatedly hear a sound like someone banging on the pipes. Kay calls the police at one point, but nothing comes of it. The final straw is when Kay’s husband sees the young man, through the window of his apartment, running across the room holding a cat by the throat. Kay and her husband evict the young man the next day. When they go in to clean the apartment, they discover incredible quantities of cat fur everywhere, even clogging up the drains.

Some months later, there is a news report about hundreds of cats that have gone missing in the west end of Ottawa over the past year or so. People are beginning to suspect foul play. Kay calls the tv station anonymously and tells them she might be able to shed some light on their cat mystery. She tells them the whole story and gives them the young man’s new address.

The next day the police show up at Kay’s house to inform her they have arrested the young man. They followed him and saw him throwing a dead cat into the ravine behind his workplace. They figured he was responsible for the deaths of over 500 cats, which he had obtained by various means, mostly theft. He had even been running an ad in the paper offering pet-sitting services, and killed the cats he was paid to care for.

This was an intelligent, well-educated young man from a well-off family. His mother was a psychiatric nurse. He was tried and convicted, but Kay believes his family’s money helped him avoid serious punishment. She believes he paid a $20,000 fine to the Humane Society and served time in a psychiatric institution in Calgary. He is now president of a high tech firm in Calgary.


I told you it was disturbing. But a quick Google search reveals it's not that rare.

These things, disturbing as they are, make me feel so sane.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Happy Birthday to me!

Yesterday was my birthday (on a SATURDAY! woohoo) and I had an especially good one. I spent the weekend floating among friends who all wanted to feed me wonderful food, so that made me feel pretty special. Friday night I had a seafood stir-fry and Saturday night I had filet mignon, lobster tail, a baked potato and a veggie medley - followed by a pretty sad-looking but delicious poppy-seed cake with lemon icing. Check out my birthday dinner!

Not only that, but I spent the day totally indulging myself at the annual fabric and yarn flea market and then my favourite yarn store. I bought outrageous amounts of wool. All in all, a most excellent birthday.

P.S. Here's my birthday cake, and no my name isn't Sun.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dog Gone!

He's back home safe and sound now, all waggly-tailed and smiling. Me too.

Lost Dog


I took the day off work today because my dog, Sam, is lost. He's a scruffy old mutt, smart as a whip but old and deaf and frightened of thunderstorms and not good about traffic, and he has been known to bite people who invade his space, especially women and children, so he really oughtn't be wandering the streets on his own. I left him with friends for the long weekend and I went to visit my sister in northern southern Ontario. When I got back I learned that he had vanished from my friend's house in the middle of the night on Saturday. A number of clues point to him being at the Humane Society now, but they don't open till noon.

In the meantime, I sit and wait and contemplate our 13 years together and rue the lack of a truly decent photograph of him. He's a difficult dog to photograph; he seems to blend into every background.