If I’m being good, I take it black. Otherwise, one sugar.
I stopped at Starbucks for a coffee this morning, and while adding my single packet of sugar to my drink I watched the guy in front of me add at least eight to his. Uh. No thanks.
I have a headache from looking after Claire on my own for three hours while Karin went out to a function. She screamed most of the time. Claire, that is. It was either gas, or it was because I can’t provide fresh milk. Either way, not much I can do to rectify those.
My iPod thinks my brain is 62 years old. I downloaded a new little game for it last weekend that is pretty much a “Brain Age” rip-off. But it’s still fun, though I’m not quite smart enough to impress the animated lady who is narrating the puzzles.
I went for a walk this evening since the weather was finally semi-cooperative. The neighborhood next door, a ten minute walk from our house, has cleared the snow from part of the artificial lake there. This means there is a quaint little skating pond just a short hop, skip, and a jump from our house. If only Claire was older!
The season finale of “Kid Nation” is on tomorrow night. I’m a sucker weird social experimentation disguised as television. Those crazy kids.
I’ve been working on composing a letter to my FEDERAL government representatives to state my case on this new bit of copyright legislation that is coming down the pipe. Unfortunately, I am running up against two road blocks: (a) I can’t help being sarcastic in my drafts, and (b) I’ve become inherently cynical on the state of modern democracy and my own ability to affect it. Too bad.
I’ve been debating over a couple of major purchases. Stashing away my sheckles, I should have either enough for a super-sweet lens for my camera (I’ll save the details for another post) or a new laptop (really eying up a MacBook Pro) — but not both. Luckily the decision is still a few months away.
Christmas shopping this year is largely waiting for the mailman. That’s about all I can say about that. In the meantime, as the holidays approach and I’ve got some time off, I think I’m going to build a gingerbread house. Yeah, it’s totally weird, but it should make for some cute photos with the kid.
One might think that two people (soon to be three, thanks to the upcoming addition of a new baby) can celebrate four years of wedded bliss in peace and quiet. And maybe we will. I figure that it’s anniversary number five (coming this day next year) when we might want to gather more people around to remind ourselves that those six little syllables (“For Better or For Worse”) spoken upon an alter still hold true that much later in the process. After all, they say that if the average marriage makes it past year seven things look good for even more years to follow.
I’m not sure I recall the exact reason we chose August (month eight, by the way) to hold a wedding. Someone told me once that August is prime time for weddings and I would wager it was at least nine or ten times as difficult to find a convenient date and time in that month than in most others. Whatever the reason, it has become “our day”, that symbolic moment in time when things got a little more interesting.
I thought, perhaps, that after eleven years of togetherness — dating for so long, now married — these things wouldn’t matter so much, that all that would really concern us of the past would be the fond memories, the good times packed like a fresh batch of sweet pastries into our minds. A baker’s dozen (that’s thirteen, if I recall) of love muffins, if you will.
As corny as that sounds, if all goes well, just a short decade from now we’re going to hit year fourteen, that point of “double the married average” and hopefully things are still as great and as fun as they are now. Hopefully marriage is not a chore, or a task, or a burden. Hopefully, marriage is still seen as a means to happiness. Hopefully adding more years to the equation, hitting year fifteen and then beyond is only a matter of fact and just another number. And hopefully when the sixteenth of August rolls around each year — like it did again today — it’s just a reason to celebrate and nothing else.
I’ve been flushing the iPod. I’ve downloaded a half-dozen new albums in the past few weeks in an effort to re-energize my listening collection, gradually upgrading from the nineties pop-alt that has been melting my brain as of late. The plan, thus far, has been to surf the archives of iTunes for albums that are quasi-popular, but not too-fleeting fads, then research, and finally: sample. My discoveries (all within the realm of Electronic) to date:
DJ Champion / Chill’Em All – Borderline memorable, and I can’t say I’ve got a favorite from this set yet, but the music is great to write by. From my limited (musically) perspective it seems heavily sampled and quite moby-esque. There is something unique on each track, but at the same time nothing sticks out.
Air / Pocket Symphony – I’ve got the song “Space Maker” stuck in my head, an ethereal blend of odd sounds and chords that brings it all together much like the randomness that it is trying to be. Also, great to write by. Pings and blips.
Imogen Heap / Speak For Yourself – You may have stumbled across “Hide and Seek” but the whole album threads along the same vein, breathy poetry to a cacophony of synthesized beats and random tunes. A bit too wordy to write by, but sweet as a soundtrack for anything else.
I also downloaded a 50-track Electronic sampler from iTunes (fifty songs for ten bucks?) and have been chomping my way through that a few tracks at a time.
I’ve become something of a tea connoisseur, juggling a small collection of loose-leaf blends in the drawer of my desk at work. Forty days without coffee, while not nearly a milestone, is definitely a point of reflection: the steadfast test came this weekend as I brewed a fresh, fragrant pot each morning for company, rich dark blends spreading an inviting aroma throughout the house while I, instead, drank an over-sweet cup of watered-down orange punch.
What am I thinking?
Hitting Starbucks for the first time in forty days, I ordered a venti green tea instead of the usual bold blend, sipping the not-nearly-as-satisfying brew as we wandered around the bookstore and thumbed through things I can’t buy right now because “it’s your birthday soon” or “Christmas is just around the corner” and heck knows that I’ll doubtful be able to find those obscure titles again next time, let alone frantic gift-buyers. (Which of course, brings up the point: for those seeking holiday gift buying advice… never mind the birthday-thing, by the way… (1) games, (2) books, (3) food.)
Ah, but coffee. The struggle continues. And not without purpose or recognized gains. More, later. To be sure.
It’s Friday afternoon and what could be better than sitting in the middle of your own backyard, laptop computer open in front of you, and the first of the second thousand blog posts clean and fresh with unaltered potential barely visible in the glare of the afternoon sun?
Ok, don’t answer that.
Sparkle is chewing something meaty, she’s laying on the hunk of blue carpet edged along the back of the black-dirt property-line.
The nearby construction is still lingering, their Friday still an hour or so away.
The neighbor is sitting amongst her own dirt, perched in a lawnchair and reading something that seems to barely hold her attention.
Karin just came home to, escaped from the office an hour early to burn off some unused overtime on a lazy Friday.
The insects have emerged, the sprouts of wanted and unwanted plants have peeked through the soil, and occasionally a summer bird soars through my unfocused gaze.
Did I mention I’m blogging from my backyard. Finally. How sweet is that?
PS: Check out the new toy I’ve been tinkering with for my Gallery. Ah, the joys of modular internet.
I’ve never actually been, but I picked up a copy of the closest thing to a virtual guided tour last Friday. I was thumbing through the used games at EB downtown in the twenty minutes before my meeting and I stumbled across a very cheap copy of Spiderman 2 for my PS2. Couldn’t resist, of course.
Two days later, I’m dreaming of swinging around a nifty rendition of Manhattan, climbing buildings, rescuing faceless sprites from uncreative crimes. The story is ok, the repetition is annoying, but as far as having a virtual New York to wander at will: very sweet.
It’s raining hard and cold on the streets of the big city. Fat angry drops slap the window panes as though they have something to prove. But the rain is no match for the etched glass, and the cold water just drizzles away, slinking back into the darkness of the street. Roosta Coop is perched for the night, but he isn’t sleeping. He never sleeps. How can a bird get any shut-eye when he’s gotta watch his back all night? One eye on the door, and one wing on the trigger. He takes a slug of something strong, slams it down quick and sets the glass back on the desk before it has time to fog his mind too much. He refills it, but lets it sit as he leans into his perch.
There’s a knock at the door. Bang, bang, bang! Three hard raps in quick succession, and then another. Bang, bang, bang!
“Who’s there?” Coop calls out. It’s too late for this, but then again, strange things don’t wait for daylight. He lifts his pistol towards the shaddow now hovering behind the frosted glass of the door. That slug’s gone right to his head, so he pulls hard and brings his thoughts back into focus, shaking it off.
But the voice doesn’t match the strength of the knocks. Instead some hen with a coo that’s soft-like-silk calls back through the door. “Mr. Roosta Coop? I need to speak with you.”
Coop’s got a soft spot for hens with sweet voices. It’s a weakness. He knows about it. Maybe even resents it. He drops his guard a little. Only a little. “It’s late. Come back tomorrow.” He shouts plainly, and flicks his comb back with his free wing.
“Mr. Coop?” The voice is a little more urgent, pleading. “It’s important, Mr. Coop. I really need speak with you.”
“Peck!” He curses under his breath, and sits up a bit straighter behind his desk. He shuffles the mess of paper a little, trying to clean the place. It doesn’t work. A year ago he would have turned her away without a second thought. But a year ago business was a lot more regular. These days, working as a PPI, Private Poultry Investigator, was not as lavish as he remembered.
“Come in then,” He calls out. “And make it quick.”
Camilla Clucker is barely more than a chick. But there she stands, her feathers dripping from the rain outside.
Camilla Clucker is barely more than a chick. But there she stands, her feathers dripping from the rain outside. Mascara has run in dark black lines down her beak. Coop couldn’t tell if it was from the weather — or if she’d been crying all night. He suspects a little of both. First thing, she introduces herself and shuts the door.
“My name is Camilla,” she is barely whispering. “Camilla Clucker.”
“Well, what is it Camilla? And make it snappy. I’ve got a date with a bottle of cheap gin.”
“I’d…” she stutters. “I’d like to hire you, Mr. Coop.”
Coop takes a long slow breath and looks carefully down his beak at the desperate hen standing in his office. It’s too late for this. It’s always too late, but he hasn’t worked in a month. And she looks as though she might actually be able to pony up a smooth rate. “I don’t work cheap, Ms. Clucker.”
“I… I understand.” She shivers. “But you’re my last hope.”
Coop winces. Somehow it always came down to that.
The joys of the modern age: sitting in your shorts and a tee in a lawnchair in the sun on your driveway with a laptop computer, a three-thousand song digital music collection, and a wireless broadband internet connection. How sweet is that?
I suppose the only things that might make it perfect would be a cold beer. And maybe some soft green grass into which to plant my feet. Instead of a lawn there grows a plethora of tall green weeds with flowers that look remarkably like daisies. Oh, and thistles. There are always thistles.
The condo sales centre across the road and down a bit looks like it’s getting ready to close shoppe for the day. Some dude down the street is sitting in the sun in a black lawnchair on his driveway, too. The dust stirs a little in the gentle breeze: there are no trees, really, to catch it. People are cycling by, random folks on bikes, every couple of minutes until they reach the end of the street where the construction begins; then they either turn back or continue on.
I’m sitting here thinking of all the things I should do more of: walking, biking, taking photos of the local area, writing…
I also need to finish changing over all the addresses I’ve been accumilating since last spring. I’ve been flirting with the address folks at the pitiful rate of just a couple a day and, not without cause, I’m still far from done: surprisingly there emerge plenty with old Burnaby phone numbers or postal codes messed up from Vancouver, yet. Strange: somehow the letters find me.
To date, the neighbors have all said their requisite “hellos”. I wonder if anyone will talk much anymore. No one has yards, and after the initial introduction and scurrying back into the houses there has been very little interaction. Someone needs to host a block party. I’m sure everyone is social — to a point. But in a new neighborhood, everyone is new. You’d think that would mean something.
Did I mention I bought a shovel? It’s a square-styled one with a long handle. It worked well to scrape the layers of glue-like dirt from the sidewalk and into the yard-proper. I also bought a corn-broom. It’s almost worn out from all the dust here. But, my sidewalk is relatively clean now. My thought is to do a few bits a day: it assures the neighbors that we’re not just some sloppy kids who are going to let the place go to crap — and it assures me that I might have something resembling progress as I work toward yard-ness.
There may be hope yet. Who knows.
I think my news years resolution should be to work on my enunciation. Heck, I’m a writer not a speaker — but things being as they are, you know, self-improvement and the drive to better and brighter futures, I think it’s something I should work on.
For example, this morning…
This morning I wandered over to Tim Hortons for a cup of coffee, a semi-regular morning ritual. Sometimes I drink the office brew. Sometimes I brew my own. Occasionally, and mostly rarely, I stop at Starbucks and try one of their blends. But about once or maybe twice a week I cross the road to Timmy’s and get an extra-caffienated cup. This morning was such a morning…. and being as the Tim’s across the way is one of the busiest in Edmonton, regularly lined up out the door, a progressive, no-nonsense ordering system is understood by those who frequent. The line-up moves quickly as one is to step to the next available grumpy old woman working the register, state one’s order, pay, and step to the right to receive the purchased goods. Somewhere in that procedure the order is translated from me to the cashier and the cashier to the pourer, ultimately resulting in a cup of coffee less than thirty seconds after ordering.
I usually take my coffee black with one sugar.
I stepped to the counter this morning, said in (perhaps) a not-so-clear mumble: “Large coffee, one sugar.”
“One forty.” The cashier grumbled and I paid.
But then, as I was dutifully stepping to the right, she turned and said to the pourer (and I heard her clearly and distinctly, though it took a few moments to register) : “Large, four sugars.”
I hestiated. Blinked. Laughed a little private laugh, thinking who the heck would order a coffee with four sugars? And I took the cup and walked away.
Sitting at my desk this morning, one very cold walk later, I sipped the brew. It was a little on the sweet side.
Maybe I need to make the new years resolution to be a little more reactive to my environment. That would help, too.
There is this dreary thick haze hanging over the city lately. It’s like fog, but it seems wetter and more lingering. We found ourselves downtown last night, wandering Robson, tripping in and out of all the stores and shoppes, sneaking by the numerous sushi restaurants wondering when we’d even begin to find the time to try them all. Gyozas, noodles, and raw fish everywhere we looked — except up, as the tops of the buildings were shrouded in the fog creating this lurking mysterious effect of being surrounded by something that was barely even there.
We hit Denman, found a little tea shop that sold extremely generous pieces of cake, and each tried a slice, completely blowing out dessert budget for the next few weeks. There were even leftovers. Lots and lots of leftovers. I’m going to be eating cake all weekend.
Now if only someone hadn’t been loading gravel into the back of a truck right outside our window (it seems) at seven o’clock this morning, I would be in a much better mood. Late night. Early morning. You do the math.