Monday, November 30, 2009

Blog conundrum

As I sit here thinking about the blog, I am struck by how to move forward with this.

You see, I don't write about work.  Period.  I keep this as anonymous as I can.  Both of these are somewhat limiting, but manageable.

Now I am basically engulfed in the house reno details, and when I sit down to write I am not sure what to do to not bore folks nie unto death.

By the same token, while I am trotting out clichés, I do want some record of what the heck we are going through, and that is part of the reason that I blog, I would not want to create a 'style' or 'brand' to the blog, cause that's not why I'm at this.  Part of it is for me, to figure out what the heck is going on.

So, what to write about....the endless debate about numbers and the house, which is probably where this is going to go, and today's period of regret that we got ourselves into this....the Catalan teacher who corrected my daughter's name IN RED to add accents to it.  I am sorry but where the freaking frog arse holes do you get off correcting someones name??????

Words may well be said on that one.

Or I could describe the walk I took with the dog today, which was chilly enough that I wrapped my scarf around my head like a wayward and aged hippy with a head cold cause I HATE getting cold wind in my ears.  Though the walk was utterly lovely.

I can't talk about anything that happened at work today.....cause I just don't.  But I will say that some of it was very very funny.

I can say that I am in the middle of designing a new course that I am enjoying doing it enormously.  Cross your fingers for me that I get lots of students.

I could talk about the book I am reading, which I picked up because I used an Economist review of it in a class, and it was well enough written that I wanted to read the is a trilogy by Stieg Larsson...I am reading the second book, the Girl Who Played with Fire...and it is good.  Eldest MAY NOT read it, and thankfully doesn't want to.  So far, so good, though I don't usually like crime fiction all that much.

I could talk about going to the bank and talking to the manager about numbers, and whether these are wildly unreasonable.  He could only say so much as he doesn't know what we are getting done, but he said they seemed high...and that people do get mortgages with these kinds of numbers....

I could also mention that a friend's husband, who is in the construction industry, told us that the architects take a commission from the trades who work on their jobs.

I believe that is more commonly called a kick-back, no?  I give you a job, so.....

What to post about?

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Crunched numbers all day.

Went round them and up one side of them and down the other.

Looked at them sideways and turned them inside out.

Still look stupid high.

Re-evaluated exactly what it is we want to do and what we need to do for now, and we will take it from there.

Thought in circles all day.

Time to think another way.

And to get started on thinking about XMAS!!! WOOOT!

Gonna start making lists....LOVE this part.



Saturday, November 28, 2009


Had a visit with the architect and his buddy.  They showed us the latest version of the plans, which were at least mostly correct.  This is a Good Thing.

He also had a breakdown of the numbers for the work.

Aside from the fact that they are higher than the cost of the house, and that the carpenter alone is making more than the annual gross income of many people is interesting.

So you know, we are putting in new drains and gas, new water pipes and electricity, a massively renovated roof, three (very small) bathrooms, converting a crap room out back to a dining room, and putting in a place for the washing machine.  We also have to replace the front door...not a small undertaking as it is big enough to pull a horse and carriage through.

The price seems high.

They had the work broken down by zones and by trade.

I am breaking it down again by what we get for the buck...for instance the bathroom downstairs should cost us - approximately - 2,500 Euros, while our bathroom will be - approximately - 5,700 and the kid's 7,300.  This is by their numbers.

They want 10,000 EUROS to paint the house!!! WHAT!!!!!


It's 15,750 for the roof and that is a MASSIVE job....UMMMMMmmmmmm, me thinks not.

It should be an interesting process from here on in.

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go.....

at least I'm not paying private school fees.....

Evidence of how much Eldest was paying attention in school!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

If you want to get involved...

I am going to be teaching a course, not on English Literature, but for non-native English speakers who want to maintain their (high) level.  We will be reading two novels, neither of which I have yet read either...The Bluest Eyes, by Toni Morrison and Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson.

If you would like to read either or both of those books and could then send me a review/article/essay/write up or would like to post on either or both of them, I would love it and if you didn't mind, would use it in the course could be given, or not, as you wish...JG?  CS?  Beth????  Anyone????????



I have also come up with an utterly evil exercise for the students...homolinguistic translation....where they have to take a poem and translate it, English to English, word by word....changing possibly altering the register- formality or tone or should listen to this though, and maybe this is amazing sounding....not useful for English students...wait through the lead in, it's well worth it!  If you want to see the main site where I found this, you could do worse than going here.  This is bpnicol, a Canadian poet really playing with the it!

I've been doing a ton or research for this and can I just say that the internet is an outrageously fantastic and fascinating place.  Honestly, the stuff you can find...nobel lectures, audio readings or poetry....books, reviews, courses on nearly anything...a pretty amazing place.

I do suppose I am preaching to the choir, no?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

update, food and books....not a bad combo.

Youngest much happier today, let's hope it holds......

I bought avocados at the market today.  Made guacamole of course, though it isn't the same with lemon juice, I like it a whole lot better with lime....still...what is it about guac that is just so terrifically yummy.....

Chuck the dog yawns when he is feeling stressed, or rather a strong emotion that he cannot express, such as disappointment when he realises we are not going to the mountains, or we are coming home after a shorter than hoped for that why we yawn too?  I know, I know, he's a dog and we aren't...then again, we are all mammals, no?

I am trying to get some books that eldest will really like in Spanish....and I think I am onto some with Carlos Ruiz Zaphon....she had to read one for school, and loved it.  I have to say that the Generalitat here can REALLY pick good books, she is reading the neatest stuff.....not like I remember, though she did have to read the Petit Prince...I have to confess to hating that book, but maybe if I hadn't been forced to read it in High School......Eldest said it wasn't THAT bad....then again, she says that Salman Rushdie is her favourite author, so she is not exactly your typical younger reader.....I'm going to have to work to keep up with her, I'm reading Terry Pratchet right now, which is a good fun romp...not sure it's in Rushdie's league though.

We are going to be making the students read some books, these are not set by the Generalitat, but rather by a different large organising body, who shall remain unnamed....they are dreary...Jurassic Park for crying out loud, and Through the Glass Of Mice and Men, not so bad, and I haven't read it yet...though Steinbeck is not noted for his humourous and light-hearted romps, it is on the 'should be read' list, no?  The final book is The Woman in White...which I've never heard of, and which sounds DREADFUL...but maybe it isn't...I just did some internet work...still sounds dreadful, dreadful and dated.  Good lord, where do they find this stuff?  It's a crime novel....sounds terrible...too bad they didn't chose the one written by Jostein Gaarder, of Sophie's World him or hate him, it might have been more interesting.

Why is this suddenly double spacing.  Gosh, I still don't like reading assigned texts...blech.

I do love avocados though.  Mmmmmm.  And the Georgian hot sauce/paste that a student brought me of those long slow burns.  Mmmmmm.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Would that be the definition of a fun-over?

Return home, day 1, youngest is in full on panic mode about school.  Things have been getting worse and worse and worse since September and I have had three meetings with the teacher now, with no improvement and something has got to change before the kid snaps.

Holy geez is she ever stressed.  I am not sure I have been that stressed.

You know that feeling when all you really want to do is rip someone's head off and p*ss down the holes in their neck?


My boss came in like that today...holy jeez...R.A.N.T.I.N.G!!!!  It was actually kind of amusing, probably partially because I didn't understand every last word of it and also because I knew it wasn't aimed at me....

She was laughing about it herself.....later.

I went into this meeting today with the teacher after managing youngest's complete HYSTERICS at incredibly frustrated it is difficult to explain....I also knew that I was going to cry.  You see, all that emotion that I really want to expend by breaking large heavy things and flinging them around viciously has to come out somewhere.  As a well brought up woman, I rarely attack animate or inanimate objects...instead I find myself crying sometimes.  Kinda hate that....then again, I probably won't get ulcers, or go to jail.  Both good I guess.

We are managing now, (I just finished not one, but two chocolate bars, life always seems a little better then, no?)  I came to the conclusion, none too brilliant but original for here, that part of the problem is that, despite Youngest's flawless Catalan accent and her easy use of all grammatical forms, in fact (holy hell this is a crap sentence.) wait, I'll start again.

I have to restart in Catalan too but I have a better excuse.  Maybe it's the chocolate talking.

OK, I think that part of the problem is that youngest, of the flawless accent and effortless use of complex grammatical structures, in fact does not understand the difference between a subjunctive and an imperative.

Imperative would be something along the lines of *hear a srgt major about now* GIVE ME THE HOMEWORK NOW (WORTHLESS SCUM)!!!!

Subjuctive (in translation as, for all intents and purposes, subjunctive doesn't exist in English),  *imgine the Canadian Ambassador to somewhere dangerous here*  "If you could, it would be great if you could give me the homework when you get a chance."

That entire difference hinges on a few syllables..less in fact, usually one vowel, sometimes two.  It is further complicated by the fact that the negative imperative, such as DON'T YOU DARE!!! uses the subjunctive form...and still sounds like a srgt may imagine that youngest is confused by this....I am.

If you were always hearing example one (the sgnt), and the teacher was in fact always saying example two (Canadian ambassador to Islamabad), you might see how some confusion and stress might emerge.

I think there are more problems than that..but this is a start anyway.

Bless the girl's teacher, he set a meeting for two weeks hence.  We certainly need this resolved.

There is only so much chocolate that is good for a girl, ya know?

Lordy lordy am I ever babbling today.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fu*ck 'em all.

One of these days I am going to find myself in a public place screaming a mixture of Catalan and English obscenities at someone, and it isn't going to be pretty at all.

'Nuff said.

Time for bed.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It was smashing!

I feel almost British when I say that!

I was off at a wedding this weekend, I had to fly out for it, and it was MARVELOUS!!!

Below you can see the ring bearer, who was an absolute delight, though a little freaked out and left early.

It was all a wedding should be, lots of guests, a beautiful ceremony, unbelievably fantastic food,

wonderful to see some of my extended family, everyone had loads of was great....

It was an absolute delight all the way round, chatting, walking the dog, buying books, visiting, eating wonderful food, from the roast dinner on the first night which was amazing, to the fry-up breakfast on the morning of the wedding, to the wedding food itself, which was sublime, to the hot cup of tea I was woken up to this morning....oh my goodness, that was one of the best cups of tea I'd ever had....


There were also some outstandingly delicious cupcakes make by my Aunt, but I was so excited by those that I didn't get a pic...and this was the second round of cheese, I must have been so excited by the first that the picture is all blurred!

My family, I might add, are universally interesting and funny and it was so great to see them again....and frankly to get to know some of them much better.

I came back DRIPPING with books, I must have bought more than 20, and as I went off with only a fairly full normal school size knapsack, it was quite a trick getting them all home, along with the two pairs of tights, three pairs of stockings and five pairs of socks I also picked up.   You see, the airline would only allow ONE bag per person including can tuck a book into a lot of odd places if you have to.  For instance, with a good cuff, they will stay inside a coat sleeve....makes you look a mite oddly muscled, but it all worked out!

Wonderful wonderful weekend, and a big fat THANK YOU too all my family who made it so great.

Fabulous to see you all again!

nice to be back with my family in Spain too....and the weathers just a wee bit better as well.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hi ho, Hi ho, it's off away I go......

Away for the weekend....

Hope you have a great one, I'm gonna try...



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mac! HELP!!!!


Mac users....I cannot believe that TextEdit in Mac is the only word processor...the thing SUCKS!!!

How do you make a document in Mac????

I am going back to the old PC to work because this is so completely unacceptable.

There must be another way.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Two minor new bites before the post begins...

1.  I gave a 2 hour professional development lecture in CATALAN!!! Woot on ME!

2.  The Architect seems to be developing a sixth sense about how long he can leave me stewing before news of the next stages reaches me.  Phoned just before I started writing the e-mail....clever man!

Ok, off we go,

I am not a big fan of that whole Celine Dion/Chere big-voice/bid-drama style of music.

Some of my neighbours are.  Indeed a lot of the Catalans and Spanish are overall.


My personal theory is that it comes from the flamenco tradition.  All that wailing and emoting gets you used to melodrama.

We were in a bar yesterday and a video came on, and it was a - what do you call it, not a duet, but, well.....let's call it a fusion.  It was a flamenco singer and a black American gospel group singing together.
While the idea of flamenco/gospel takes a moment to get used to, there is common ground there where they can work.  The biggest difference for me is the fundamental pessimism and agony of flamenco vs. the basically upbeat nature of much of the gospel repetoire.  I am going to get roasted for that statement, because like most generalisations there is a lot in it that is not accurate, but gospel music seems to me anyway, to aim at being uplifting, while flamenco is wailing about the horrid.

It did work though.  I wish I had gotten the group's name so I could link to it on youtube for you.  It was pretty fantastic, in an odd way.

I do wish the kid downstairs would switch off the Cher though.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Home entertainment

Oooh, I just discovered a great new game.

I had turned out eldest's light, and she was lying peacefully in bed when it occurred to me.

What exactly would happen if I were to open the door to her dark and cozy bedroom and lob in a doggy treat...of course I would have alerted Chuck to said treat before the big toss so he was poised, no, eager for action.

Can I just assure you that it was very entertaining.

So entertaining that I shall be waking her up this way in the morning.

Heh heh heh.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tibi DAAA bo

I have the worst time pronouncing that word correctly.  Tibidabo (which is fun to say till you realise you can't figure out how to say it right) is a theme park in BCN.  If you saw Maria Christina Barcelona, a bit of the film was shot there.

We have never gone, and today just seemed to be the day!

If you're from TO you'll get this.  It is Center Island rather than Canada's Wonderland.

Lovely setting - the views are amazing, lower key, less expensive and more kid friendly.

We cheaped out and didn't go for the 25 Euro ticket that gave us access to a lot of rides the kids would never go on - except maybe the roller coaster that looked great, and even sturdy!


Here's some of what we did!

The view of the city from the cafe at the top which was expensive-ish and mediocre, weirdly didn't serve coffee.  However the sunshine and the view more than made up for any deficiencies.

They had a double decker carousel.  Never seen that before.  Weirdly, this one didn't have music !?!?!?  Still very very lovely.

They have the coolest ride!  It is a model of the 1923 plane that first flew from Madrid to BCN (or vice versa).  You get to ride in it!  It's LOVELY inside and a lot of fun!

Here's the is hung on the end of a permanent crane and goes round and round in circles pulled by it's own prop!

The roller coaster we didn't ride on but we watched it while we were waiting.  There was another ride...a crane, essentially, with a long swinging arm.  They'd load four idiots people into a basket at the outer end of it, raise it up above the horizontal and let it go!  I would pee myself. Sad to say, but there it is.  No thank you!  The roller coaster though?  I could go there.

They had a museum of carnival robots (?) what are these things called.  You know, you put in some money, they move around and something happens.....this lady tells your fortune.

Hollywood would tell me that I should find her creepy, though I honestly didn't.  These two displays below were creepier.

Yeah, you're right, that's a hanging.  The floor drops out from under him and he disappears.  Good and dead.  The one below?  The French guillotine.  The head actually drops off into the bucket below when the blade drops.  I find the priest a touching addition, no?

Finally the view from the top again as the clouds filled in over the day.  We aren't looking over BCN here anymore, rather more'd guess that from the mountains and the lack of Med.

Good fun I have to say, and lovely.  I'd go back again!

Hope you had a great weekend!  Seen any creepy carnival tricks lately?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

House reno photos!

We went off, I think much more successfully this time, to look at house reno stuff.  I think I have found what I would like.  Details must of course be finalised.  Thought I'd give a peak of what we have in mind:

This will be for our bathroom floor.

This will be our bathroom is one of those sit on top jobs, that I for one, really like.

This will be the shower floor.  We will have a curtain not a glass door.  Hate those.  We will have to build a bit of a step to keep the water in  The walls will be white tile with a dark green trim, the step will probably be the same green.

This will be the floor in the girl's bathroom.  You have to work with me here a bit and ignore the plain tiles, only the blue ones will be down.  They are a good size, 9 by 9 inches or so...

and this will be their sink.  It too is a sit-on-top-like-a-bowl number, and I sincerely hope it will hide the toothpaste spit marks.  Their bathroom will have a tub with a shower in and a curtain.  The walls will be tiled white with a blue trim the same as the floor.  They want blue paint.  No problemo.  The sink looks nicer in real life than in the photos.

The downstairs bathroom and the rest of the house will have the tile on the right which is the one that most closely mimics what we have already....The one on the left is machine made, the one on the right, hand made.  The price difference isn't that big and we don't need many.

The sink in the downstairs bathroom:

We also have a problem in the main passageway which you can see from the street and, well, everywhere.  We have to tear up a strip through the whole length as the drain runs under there.  The drain, which drains the toilet as well, is a brick runway.  Bricks are porous.  Pause for a moment and consider the smell.


We have to tear it up.  the problem is that the old tiles are old and we are not going to be able to colour match, so instead we are going to use tile work to make it look like it was always there.  A kind of tiled carpet.  Imagine my delight when I found these:

We'll make a pattern with those and it will look like a carpet.

In the dining room at the back, we'll have these on the floor:

Same pattern, deeper tone.  Blue grey colour that I love.

In the kitchen for the doors, we'll probably use these:

and for the back splash I want to see if we can find something that will match the tiles that are in there already.

I didn't have a chance to eat breakfast before we went off, so I was a little hungry when we got back.  We stopped at the corner store and picked up lunch.  I had chicken stuffed with dates and bacon (OMG),  espinacs catalanes, which is spinach with raisins and pine nuts plus veggies that looked pretty average but tasted amazing.  I am not sure what they did.  I'll have to ask.

Then I had a nap.

OMGoodness, life is shaping up pretty nicely today.

and most welcome too.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A remarkably calm rant about the state of our local health care.

Spent most of the day running in slow germy circles getting Eldest checked out at a hospital.  She's had a stomach ache for days, and the anti-biotic she was given wasn't doing anything.  She is doing much better now just so ya know.

There is something inherently dreary about wandering about in hospitals.  You come out feeling so...contaminated.

It was interesting the sheer number of grandmas and grandpas who were at the hospital.  Couples too.  I don't remember having gone to the hospital together on a working day when the kids were young, though maybe memory fails. It is probably a function of driving with a sick baby.  Simply easier if done in tandem.

There were a whole lot of grandmas and grandpas though.  Mom seems to bring a certain amount of moral support with her.  Especially those with young babies.  Never thought of getting my folks to come with me, I must say.

Though now that I think about it, both my Dad and the Man did end up coming with us one time...Youngest was sick, and they returned home with Eldest, who threw the MOST unholy hissy fit when it was time for them to leave.  Went on the entire way home and a good portion of the time once they got there.

Interestingly, at the hospital, a very prominent and excellent one here,  EVERYONE could speak to me in Catalan.  Not like the doctor/quack/dipsh*t I had the misfortune of seeing the other day with eldest.  When I asked if he could please speak Catalan, he said he couldn't and just continued on in Spanish.  Cabron.  (Not polite at all in Catalan).  He did NOT go and get someone to translate, he did not even try.  The women at the front desk did the same.  The village where we live is very very Catalan.  Barcelona is clearly less so.  The hospital is obviously able to pick and chose it's staff much more closely and hospital policy is obviously quite pro-Catalan as most if not all of the signs were in Catalan, and many only in Catalan.

The only person we got who couldn't speak Catalan to us automatically and instantly asked for someone to translate (unlike our local *ssh*le), and judging by his name and look (never a good idea, but work with me here) he probably spoke Arabic.  A much needed language within the hospital, so if he can successfully communicate with those patients, I can forgive him his Catalan.  Especially as he immediately got someone who could talk to us.

THAT my friends, is the rudiments of good health care.  Along with soap in the bathrooms, which - I kid you not - my local health center didn't have.  There was a sign outside the room about the importance of hand washing in preventing the spread of H1N1/ GripA; no soap inside.  The bathroom had been just cleaned.

I kid you not.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Found some pics.

Pretty, no?  Saw it last weekend I think, or the one before, it's been languishing in the camera what with all the illness I have been meandering through.

The tile below we are probably going to get for the two upstairs bathroom floors.  They are very small bathrooms, think maybe two square meters of open floor space.  I think I like it, though I'm not totally convinced yet.

This tile, which I really like, is a ridiculously expensive hand made tile.  Debating it for the kids bathroom, remember please that we are looking at MAYBE 2 square meters of floor....

What is really holding me back is that it is slippery, and I just don't want that.

Pretty though.

I find it totally freaky that the mac can lift images off of my phone without the phone's permission.  Weird, no?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chuck that for a waste of time.

I have spent a fair amount of today at a low boil, some of today boiling right over and my trigger has been a little touchy for a while.  I think this has been a part of getting sick -gradually - being sick, and now recovering from being sick.  Either that or the world has just not been set right and it is p*ssing me right d*mn off.

Seems time to check back in on the good stuff.

Good stuff; sometimes hard to remind ourselves.  Right now I have about 5 rants stewing around in my head, but Beth over at Blind as a Bat has a list up of of things she's loving right now.  This will be a useful discipline.  At the moment it is tough to come up with much.  She's got 12 things up, let's see what I manage.

.......truita de patates boss and co-workers family (so predictable it doesn't count)

........swear words so I can use them (in three languages)

........the mountains, sea and sunshine.

........teenage students (some might question that one, but sometimes they are fantastic) bed.  So comfy....

.........Chuck the whining dependent dog.

OH!   This is making me sick.

I just am not feeling like doing this.

Onwards and upwards...I was in the bar across the street yesterday and noticed a man come it, at 5pm.  He bought a pack of smokes, then he ordered an espresso with anise...that would be the alcohol.  He knocked that back...50/50 espresso/liquor...topped off with a smoke.  The perfect recipe for the drive home.

When I asked about this I was told this is actually more normally drunk at breakfast.

Silly me, I thought Wheaties was the breakfast of champions!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tiles and tiles and tiles and tiles.

Went to a household supply place, a very very fancy pants one....

Went with the architect.

My head is a-spinning....

Found some stuff I like a lot, found some that is OK...

The kitchen stuff...


We'll see.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Bagged, worn out, flattened, dead, dying, ground down, exhausted, wiped out, tired, bone tired, worn down to the bone, destroyed, pulverised...

but not short of synonyms.

More tomorrow.

ps.  I am basically well, but the batteries are extremely low on juice.



Sunday, November 8, 2009


I got sick last night, nasty gastro-intestinal stuff.  Poor Chuck, we have an unspoken agreement that he can get up on the furniture to sleep when we aren't there, which includes at night time. If we get up however, he knows he has to get off.

I don't normally get up to pee in the night so he is not used to the sounds I make in the night including my appearance so he was a little disconcerted by my rather precipitous appearance at 2am.  He looked a combination of indignant, surprised and horrified.....

I too was rather horrified, but not by Chuck.

Today has been a wee bit long but I am on the mend, thank goodness.

Nothing like a long hot bath for making the world a better place.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Biiiiiggg hair, big shoulders, racoon eyed make-up.

Just watched Ghostbusters on Youtube with the kids.

OMG the eighties!

Lord help us, glad THAT style went out.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mac! Hear me? My toes are cold.

On the purely news front:
  • Went to BCN today on that course. It was deeply interesting.  I spent two hours writing up my notes to bring into work. I had to write so fast, if I didn't do it tonight, I wouldn't understand it tomorrow.
  • Ended up a little late so I had to catch a cab to the place...that was cool
  • Ended up eating breakfast in BCN which was SUPER yummy...warm crusty baguette with a warm truita de patates and tomatoes smeared on the bread with olive oil.  Warm and crunchy and smooth and filling.  Oh my.  That and a coffee with was SWEET!
  • The architect is continuing to be good-so-far, we now have a meeting for next Tue for - get this - 4 hours!!!  We will go over contracts, systems, organisation of the project, and we will take a little road trip to a store in his car to look at and select the installations.  Homework required this weekend.
On to the real blog post.  Well, what constitutes the real post anyway and why is it that I think the news of my day is less important than the inanity below?  Weird blog world values.


It has gotten chillier here.  I am not calling for sympathy or anything because it is a very long way from cold and I will get NO sympathy at all.  That said, at night it is cool in the apartment, and all those lovely cooling giant easily opening windows coupled with the tiled floor (so lovely in summer) make for cold feet when sitting with the lap top at night.

Here is where the mac falls down in relation to the old PC.

You see, the PC runs a little, ah, hot.

We normally keep it on a book so we don't get so sweaty (I dread to think that it may be radiating all over us, I assume not).  It is really just the fan running (I hope), but on a cool - or cold - night my feet stayed warm.  All the blood flowing down there got a little heat treatment for part of the trip and it worked a treat. It isn't even really cold yet and my tootsies are down right chilly.

I wonder if I should contact Mac about the problem.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


NOT in my house, thank GOODNESS!

I was at work yesterday and the classroom stank of teenager and running shoes...we opened a window.  When the teens themselves comment you know it's bad.

One kid in particular was hot and went to sit under the window.

The windows in this room are wood framed and swing inwards.  He made the mistake of brushing his shoulder against the bottom of the frame.  A few minutes later he noticed that he was dirty and there was wood all over him...there was more though...there were bugs all over him.  I brushed some of them off and sent him down to the bathroom to sort himself out....check his hair and all, and spent the rest of the evening going over periodically to squash bewildered termites wandering around on the floor....


At least they aren't in our house.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

action action action....

Architect update:

We have action!!!

The builder may be able to dig up a friend who can work.

We may be able to start some of the work in as little as two weeks!  OMG!!!!

I am all aquiver with excitement at the idea.

Sometimes it pays to be a b*tch very clear about what you expect.

I keep taking the camera to the house in the hopes that there will be something I can take a photo of, but no major change yet.  My vocabulary however is going up by leaps and bounds.


I wish I could quit this afternoon and just go to bed.

Ah well.

What shall I send out today...air kisses????


Imagine me waving, m'kay?


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Good, not good.

Met with the builder and the architect today.  That was good.  The builder has another job and cannot start until at least February, that was not so good.  He can however do some of the investigative work that we are need done tomorrow, which is good.  He was honest enough to tell me he cannot start, which is very good indeed because otherwise he might have taken the job and then screwed us around which would have been very not good.  Sad he can't do the work though.

The architect is communicating much better.  That is good.

I have a lead on several other builders, some recommended by the architect (ummm) and some not.

Progress is in place.  GOOD!

Work today was utterly MAD, and so a number of things got put onto the back burner....which wasn't quite so good...but they will get done.

This is, I think, a downright boring post.

Let's see what I can do.....

1.  I am developing a tetris obsession.  This in not a good thing for anyone except my youngest daughter who is making lots and lots of kinscash and I am playing it on her webkinz account.  

2.  I am feeling rather impatient recently.  I don't think this is good.  Maybe I am not sleeping enough and I am up writing inane blog posts FAR too late at night.

3.  I have not touched a paintbrush in too long, and I don't really know what to do about it.  That is not good.

4.  The toilet is leaking, that is not good at all.

5.  My bright red cowboy boots have developed a hole in the upper.  Not good.  The world's best shoemaker is nearby, EXCELLENT!!!!  

6.  Still haven't taken down all the decorations, the joy of not living in the house where you throw the party!  Is that statement good or not good, or sort of a grown-up grey area in between.  Also, do you spell grey as gray or grey?  Also, did you understand that last question/sentence?

7.  We are nearly finished the Halloween candy, which is good, but I miss those little individual Reese's peanut butter cups.  Not so good.  I LOVE those and the kids hate them so I get them ALL!!!!  Anyone want to freeze some for me and I'll have them next summer?  Not quite the same.  

Now I know what to ask for when the next Canadian visitor comes.

Hmmmm, what British candy is really good....I'll be going there soon....that'll be good.

A big wave to you all, 


Monday, November 2, 2009

Going on some trips!!!! Life is good.

Just booked tickets to go to MADRID!!!


I love me some internet ticket gratifyingly FAST!  IMPULUSE....PURCHASE, You're GONE!!!

(gonna see the Guernica, and Goya and Velasquez and el Greco and Ortiz and Van Gogh and Monet and Renoir and Degas and and and and ooooooooo!!!!!!!)  

Gonna go to the Prado, and the Reina Sophia modern art museum maybe, and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza definitely...and we will have to buy lots of icecream to keep youngest happy...but she has GOT to see some of this stuff....they both do....OMGOODNESS!  I am SOOOO overexcited.

Been dying to go...SO sweet.

Still have to book hotels, etc....

but the tickets are bought so we are OFF!

Gonna do me some travelling in the next month...Vic one day soon, I am off to Wales at the end of the month, then Madrid in December, plus we are going to go away for a few days after Xmas.  


and the architect is making suitably submissive comments, phoned AND left a message, plus two emails and set up an appointment for tomorrow morning.  Let's hope it keeps up.

Fingers crossed.

If nothing else, the travels away will give me a break from wanting to.....well, let's not go into what I wanted to do to him for now.

OOOOHH and triple woot, though this one isn't quite as exciting as trips away and subservient architects, but work is sending me into BCN for two mornings this week and next to do some course work....SO excited.  Maybe that sounds sad, but it should be really I am doing prep work for one in house course/workshop we are doing, and presenting the other one.  Gonna have to find time to work that one out, aren't I.

Big fat hope you had a great day...mine was pretty darned good all around.



Sunday, November 1, 2009


We got out of dodge for the day, and man, did I ever need it. Don't get me wrong, love where I live, but it was super sweet to be somewhere else for a bit.  We had gotten a little too shut in.

We went up to to a little town called Calella where there was an exhibit about traditional Catalan fishing - perfect for and Catalonia!

Here's some pics!

First from the museum - I'm not sure how many folks would be interested, this is a hand stitched sail,  we wanted to look at some of the detail work of how they did it....I actually have quite a few photos of these, but I'll only post the one.

Below is actually a photo of a photo, but it is not something I would want to try doing....they did it every day.  The boats are sailed off the beach, which is no small thing to manage in a big boat or a small one, and these suckers are heavy.  There was a movie at the exhibit showing how it is done.  Like the ancient Egyptians, they use a series of wooden skids that they move from the back to the front of the boat as she moves up or down the slope and there were systems for pulling the big boats up, the little boats were pushed or pulled by individuals.  Oooooffff.

Floats for nets, I actually found a float very like that in the Bahamas...they are much treasured by beach you like the cork floats?  Have I mentioned that cork trees grow around here?  Very funky looking plants.

Some seriously heavy short blades to row with....meant for strong short men.

Some of the current fleet in Calella...pretty no?  Please note the Catalan flag flying in the back.

Interesting exhibit, good food in a cafe, pretty(extremely touristy) town), a walk on a beach and lovely boats....

Great day.

Now we are planning a trip to Madrid, a trip to Vic and Xmas.  If we don't book it, we'll never do it.

Hope you all had a great weekend,