Monday, February 27, 2006

Friday Night Date

After what seemed a long week, I met up with this guy for coffee on Friday night. He was 15 minutes late thanks to an accident on Décarie, so I won't hold it against him. Other than that he was pleasant, polite and presentable (the three p's).

The problem: we just didn't click. It kinda seemed like both of us would've rather been at home alone. So whatever, I didn't dig him, he didn't dig me. No biggie.

I was also supposed to meet someone on Sunday afternoon but it occurred to me late Friday afternoon that he still hadn't provided me with a picture or a local phone number to contact him. I wasn't comfortable with that so I sent an email telling him that I'd be able to check my email for only a few more hours and if he wanted to meet to please send a picture before 5pm. 5 o'clock came and went and no picture arrived. I sent another email telling him I was cancelling the date and wished him good luck in his search. It is now Monday and I can safely say I did the right thing. My mailbox is still empty - no apology for not getting back to me, no excuse, no nothing. Altogether a little suspicious. Good riddance, I say.

There will be no more date analysis for the next while. I'm going to take a little break from the online dating scene. My profiles have either been deleted or hidden from the dating sites. May go back after tax season, may not. Gonna wait and see.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Another Date, Another Tip for Guys and Someone Made Muffins

I have quite the busy social calendar coming up in the next few days. Last night I had another first date with some virtual stranger. And it will end at the first date. Why, you might ask? I'll tell you.

Because hanging out with some psycho Moses look-a-like and his cats is just not for me. If someone out there is into that kinda thing, get in touch and I'll be happy to hook you up. I'm all for vegetarians/vegans and being active politically, but hold the phone - this guy was extreme. Obviously extremely intelligent had worked as a civil engineer and is now working as an electrical engineer, he is getting ready to quit his "day job" and take up painting full time, but lacking in some social skills. I had my reservations prior to meeting him mostly because the picture he sent didn't seem to reflect his age (46). I was right in my reservations, because when I met him I found a guy 10-15 years older than his picture. I lasted an hour (how polite is that?) and then ran for the bus, after declining the kind offer to drive me home (yeah, right!!!).

Another "Tip for Guys": the next person who sends me an out of date picture is going to find himself in the following situation. You show up to the appointed place, I see you, discover you are significantly older than your picture and leave before even introducing myself. Suivant ... next!

Anyway, within seconds of opening my front door, I got a phone call from my brother Eric. He asked me to guess what he was doing, or rather, what he had just finished doing. I hadn't a clue so he told me. HE MADE BLUEBERRY BRAN MUFFINS.!!! (Apologies for the caps, but I just had to.) My brother went out to the store, bought everything he needed (that must've the entire contents of the recipe plus muffin tin and maybe a few other things, I don't know) and then made muffins. He told me he even had to ask a woman in the store where he could find vegetable oil. How funny is that?! Wooooo ... I had such a good laugh! I'm waiting for him to tell all on his blog soon. So check there for the nitty gritty.

Which reminds me, there are now only 9 muffins left and I've promised Eric I'll keep one for him (so we can compare) - who wants the other 8?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

That shut them up!

Many of you know that I have some noisy neighbours. In particular, the guy whose kitchen backs onto my bedroom, tends to be quite a racket maker early in the morning.

This morning I had been awake since 5am listening to the snowplows barrel along the sidewalks but was just resting in bed, quietly listening to the radio when at 5:45am (15 minutes before I have to get up), my noisy neighbour started dragging his chair across the tile floor (for the 1,000,000,000 ... time). Before I could sigh or swear, I leapt up and pounded my fist really hard, three times, on the wall.

Amazingly, I didn't hear another peep from that side after that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Come and get 'em!

Some time ago, my brother Eric asked me if I had any recipes for Blueberry Bran Muffins. I didn't but did a quick search on a couple of websites and came up with two recipes for him. I emailed them to him and printed off copies for myself as well. Several weeks later I asked him if he had tried either of the recipes yet. He hadn't and it seems he had several reasons not to. Top most being he doesn't even own a muffin tin to bake them in, let alone have all the ingredients on hand in his pantry. Last night was kind of quiet so I decided to try one of the recipes out. Super easy, fast and! good!!! Originally I had planned to only taste test one muffin, but they were too good and I ended up eating two. Sorry, Eric, looks like you'll only get 10 muffins. And that's only if you stop by to pick them up soon. They may get eaten.

For those of you that are interested, the recipe for Blueberry Bran Muffins is here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

More Tips for Guys

These will take a little more explaining.

- Listen. And this applies to any situation, not just dating and relationships. When someone is telling you a story, if you're listening you can ask pertinent questions. If you're not listening and ask a question that indicates you were not listening - guess what? You look like an idiot! It will also indicate to the speaker that you are not interested in what that person has to say. This is rude.

- If the woman you are 'dating' (and I use the term loosely here just to cover all bases) asks about your friends and family, this is a good indication that she wants to know more about you. What type of relationships you have with people close to you, that kind of thing. So kindly remember that she will appreciate more than a 2 or 3 word sentence in response. Later, this will provide each of you with the opportunity to increase your knowledge and perhaps like or dislike of each other. It can help in making these kinds of decisions. Also, when things have gone sour don't accuse her then of not being interested in you and your friends and family.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Whiteouts and Blackouts

Canadians are fond of saying they're pretty tough cookies when it comes to dealing with extreme weather, particularly in winter. Montrealers, I’m inclined to believe, feel they are tougher than the rest of Canadians. Montreal can have some pretty extreme weather. Yesterday was a prime example. When I left for work in the morning, it was relatively mild (-5°C) and I knew that the temperature was expected to fall throughout the day. What I didn’t know was that there were several weather warnings in effect. These warnings consisted of a freezing rain warning, a wind warning and a flash freeze warning.

Working downtown in an area surrounded by skyscrapers, the buildings create a wind tunnel, and if you’ve never had the pleasurable experience of the joys of a wind tunnel, feel free to ask what it’s like to have freezing rain and high winds pummel you as you attempt to cross the corner of University and René-Lévesque. Suffice it to say that it’s just not worth putting any effort into your hair. Got it? So – there I am, up at my desk on the 25th floor, looking west toward the Sun Life building, safe and dry. Several hours later though I wasn’t feeling quite so safe anymore. The wind had picked up and according to Environment Canada the wind was gusting up to 110km/h at times. Never having lived through a full blown hurricane, I had no idea what such high winds were like (even with the whole wind tunnel thing). But what I can tell you is this - when winds of 110km/h smack into the face of a 40 story building and I’m more than halfway to the top, the windows shake, creak and the building moves. It doesn’t move enough so that you can actually see it moving, nor do doors open or pictures fall off the walls (but I’ll get to that in a minute). What happens is that suddenly you get that seasick feeling. (And no, it wasn’t because I was a little hungover – honest!) By the end of the day, the unpredictable shifting and movement had me feeling pretty ill. I was lucky though. Some of my colleagues had been at meetings at 1000 de la Gauchetière and came back to tell us that building management had closed the floors located above the 40th floor because, get this, doors and drawers were opening and closing by themselves and pictures were falling off the walls because of the movement of the building!!! People felt so unsafe that they were actually leaving work to go home. Nobody where I work did that as far as I know. We did also hear about a 60-car pile up on the 40 and closing of a section of the Met due to flying glass!

In this morning’s Gazette there was an interesting article about the weather, the accidents, etc. As it turns out, due to whiteout conditions there was a 70-car pile up on Highway 40 near Lavaltrie, 50km northeast of Montreal; a freight train derailed going from the South Shore into Montreal (by the Mercier bridge) which tied up the commuter train going to Delson/Candiac; the temperature dropped by 16C in 5 hours; thousands of homes and businesses were without power for a good part of the day and evening; while the City of Montreal road crews did spread salt and gravel on sidewalks and roads, the heavy rains washed most of it away (good picture in the Gazette of people hanging on to poles for dear life); high winds stripped the brick off the side of a school in Chateauguay. Apparently yesterday was the worst day for weather-related electricity interruptions since the 1998 Ice Storm.

Today’s weather is better but not by much. The wind has thankfully died down but not enough, it’s a balmy -29C with the wind-chill factor. It was dreadful walking to the grocery store this morning and just as bad waiting for the bus this afternoon.

Completely unrelated, but interesting to me, I noticed early last week that as soon as I ended things with Guy #3 I was suddenly able to sit down and read again. Today has been no exception. Made a quick trip to the library this afternoon and borrowed Elizabeth George’s latest With No One As Witness. Since arriving home just after 3pm, I have already read half the book. Going to put it down now and save the rest for tomorrow.

Feels good to be back to normal.

Sleep update

I got my oral appliance back on Wednesday and did try to sleep with it in that night. But it seems it will take some getting used to again because that night I only slept with in it my mouth for 3 ½ hours. I woke up at 2:30am (thanks to drunken man raging on the street corner) and after spending an hour trying to get back to sleep, decided to just take it out and consider it a fair try. After that I did get another 2 hours of sleep before waking again and just getting out of bed.

Last night I managed to sleep the full night with the appliance. Turned the light off at 11:30pm, probably fell asleep in less than 15 minutes and slept straight through the night (not even a middle of the night pee break) until 7:00am. I felt refreshed and ready for the day when I got up. I didn’t have that "Oh … I need to turn over and sleep for another couple of hours" feeling. Pretty sweet!

Finally, as promised some time ago, I’ve posted a couple of pictures of the oral appliance itself and of me wearing it on my flickr page.

Also on flickr, in my Flora & Fauna set, I’ve posted some pictures of the beautiful amaryllis Sina gave me for Christmas. I followed the instructions and it has grown into 4 incredible huge, beautiful and rich coloured flowers. Thank you, Sina!

Friday, February 17, 2006

The World's Shortest Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, a girl asked a guy, "Will you marry me?"

The guy said, "No", and the girl lived happily ever after and went shopping, dancing, drank martinis, always had a clean house, never had to cook, and farted whenever she wanted.

The End

Thanks to Sina for this gem!

Dishes in the sink

Had a little 5 à 7 (ok, so maybe it was more like a 7 à 12) last night for my friend Sina who has left the corporate world to embark on a new career as a massage therapist. It was a small gathering, only Super C, Sina and myself.

I made a variety of small nibbly food: lemon garlic humus, pita chips, cut veggies with french onion dip, crab crescent rolls, shrimp stuffed mushrooms, homefries and a pear/blackberry clafouti for dessert.

Us girls had a good ol' natter, discussed life, love and work, had some great laughs and generally just enjoyed being in the company of other fabulous women. Thanks for coming ladies, I had a great time!

Of course, with all the cooking there were dishes that had to be done and although I did do the dishes, our tea cups and saucers, plus a few plastic containers (emptied when I gave the girls some leftovers to take home) remained in the sink. Wait, it gets worse - these dishes stayed in the sink overnight! It's shocking, I know. But look how far I've come! I didn't even unload the dishwasher last night. In fact, it is now Friday morning and the dishwasher is still full of clean dishes and the sink still has dirty dishes in it. How's that for loosening up?! Pretty impressive, I think.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

More Tips for Guys

- Women, no matter how independent and modern they may be, like to be asked out. We also like to be wined and dined on a Saturday night. Yes, it's true.

- On the rare occasion that you do call her, if she doesn't answer, please leave a message. If you don't, she won't know you called.

Next one is a big one.

- Don't lie. About your height, your age, how long you've been single, etc. The truth will eventually come out and however small and insignificant you think those little white lies may have been at the beginning, they will turn into big stinking lies eventually. I promise.

- If you have a cell phone and a local home phone, please give out both numbers without reservation. If you don't you will be looked upon suspiciously and considered to be hiding something or someone.

More tips soon.

Finished a book

Finally finished reading How Green Was My Valley.

Feel like I've been reading it for three months, which is about the same time I dated Guy #3. Isn't it interesting that as soon as I ended things with him I was able to pick this book up again and finish it off in a couple of days?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dr. Phil's Love Smart

I'm not a big primetime tv watcher, but last night I happened to be flipping through channels when I came across Dr. Phil's Love Smart show. It was just at the point when the good Dr. has this guy, Rob, who has been dating multiple women, confront 3 of the women he has been dating.

Holy crap - in about 15 seconds I was sitting there speechless. The words coming out of Rob's mouth were very nearly word-for-word the ones that came out of Guy #3's mouth only 24 hours earlier. Where do they learn this shit? Is there some kind of class that guys take to learn the language of being this kind of player?

After watching the rest of that sequence, I turned it off (not so interested in seeing the Paula Abdul part) and started to think. And I thought a lot. For a couple of hours. I've learned a good lesson. I will elaborate more on that when I can get my thoughts in order. For now though, it's enough for me to know the lesson learned and move on.

Here's to moving on.

Tips for Guys

In an effort to educate the sometimes idiotic men I have come to know, below are a few tips that men may find useful in dealing with women:

- If you are only interested in 'dating' women and not in having a long-term relationship, please remove your profile from the 'relationship' section of whatever online dating service you're using.

- Please do not depend on email as your preferred method of communication.

- If the woman you are dating takes the time to make you a mixed tape/cd (whatever the technology of the moment), take the time to listen to it and thank her for her efforts. It can also be a topic of conversation when you next meet.

- If a woman asks you to participate in an activity, see a movie, join friends for drinks, etc. it would be considered polite to accept at least 1 of every 6 invitations (if not more).

And to end today's lesson:

- If you're 'just not that into her' don't waste her time by dating her for a couple of months.

More tips soon.

Made it

Here we are, Wednesday, Feb. 15. I made it through the dreaded Black Tuesday. It was tough, let me tell you. I was this close to actually leaving work early and going home to hibernate under the comfort of my duvet.

Oh wait ... I did actually leave early.

Anyway, I made it. You can all breathe easy again - I'm back to my 'normal' self.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Black Tuesday

So this year it falls on a Tuesday. I'm beginning to lose faith that I will ever have a good Black Day. Although, I must admit last year's Black Monday was particularly good - I was on my way to Panama, even with the early morning (3am) wake up and full day of travelling.

Nothing like being single on yet another one of these days to really cement my scepticism and cynicism in that thing called love.

Friday, February 10, 2006

French Canadian Mr. Collins

Last night I met this guy at 5:15pm. By 5:45 I was out of there. It didn't go so well.

You may well be asking yourselves why did it go so poorly? Well, I'll be happy to tell you - maybe because this guy was like a French Canadian version of Jane Austen's oh-so-memorable character in Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Collins.

In case you don't know me too well, I can get pretty impatient with the simpering, fawning and idiotic chatter type of person. This was that person. No wonder Elizabeth Bennett couldn't stomach him. Neither could I.


In other man related news, Guy #3 who mysteriously left me hanging for 13 days (yes, I counted) decided to finally email me with his usual "Wassup" blah blah. What the hell is that about? WHAT???

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sleep Update

Yesterday I had a follow-up visit with the orthodontist who fitted me with the dental appliance in December. I had had some problems with it when I first started using it, which is normal, but I did have to stop using it for a little while.

There were however, a few abnormalities with the appliance itself (not me!):
1) One of the wires in the appliance was not put in correctly and needed to be fixed.
2) There was some corrosion in one area and that needed to be dealt with.

Upon speaking with the dentist I found out that some of the pain I had when I was using the appliance every night may have been due to the incorrect position of the wire. Hopefully this will be sorted out once I get it back.

When I do get the appliance back I will start using it for two nights in a row and then take one night off. If my mouth feels good and there is no pain or problems closing my jaw, the following week I will move up to three nights on, one night off, and so on until I'm up to 5 nights a week.

At that point I will go back in for another follow-up visit. It won't just be in 5 weeks though. It's entirely possible that it takes 2 or 3 weeks at each level for me to become accustomed to extra night.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Potentital Ax Murderer

As things with Guy #3 (see post last November) have cooled down considerably, I am once again on the search for a man. January was a complete bust and February isn't looking too good either.

Over the weekend I decided to stop communicating with a potential guy. We had met through Lavalife and despite not really being interested in his profile (or picture - yes, I am apparently that shallow), but feeling I should at least acknowledge him, I responded to his wink. He then emailed me at the site and when I didn't get back to him within a day or two, he emailed asking why I wasn't writing back. I didn't respond to him and thought he might get the hint - but nooooo ... he wrote again repeating his questions. I figured I would take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and gently (yes, I can be gentle) told him that I didn't think we were a match. He wrote back AGAIN trying hard to get me to chat with him, email him, meet him, anything. I decided to ignore him again. This didn't go over too well with him though! By Friday evening I had a pretty nasty email from him, basically telling that I was a tease, leading him on, etc. I deleted it immediately and decided to compose a suitable response. This response I sent out on Monday and the tone, it can be said, was none too gentle this time. I have also blocked him from contacting me and trust this will be the last in the episode.

This whole thing has kind of freaked me out. I'm pretty happy I listened to my instincts and never pursued him any further. The last thing I need in my life is some ax murderer/stalker hounding me.

But it hasn't freaked me out completely. I'm meeting a new guy on Thursday night for coffee. We've been emailing for a few weeks, have talked on the phone a few times and he sounds like a reasonable un-ax murderer type of person. Of course, I could be completely wrong but just in case something happens, will someone please call me at 6pm on Thursday to check up on me?

Winter Blues

Think I might be suffering from the Winter Blues. These last couple of months I haven't been able to read my standard book or two a week. You'll notice from my list on the right that it hasn't been updated in quite some time. It's not that I've forgotten, it's that I'm actually still trying to read these books. Last night I actually managed to read a whole chapter of 'How Green was my Valley'. 'The 7 Habits...' is still sitting there, laughing at me nightly. So much for being effective.

Argh - really think I'm going to put this down to Winter Blues. Can't wait for spring when I can once again whip through books like there's no tomorrow.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Family Resemblance

Last night we had dinner 'en famille' at my parents house. My mother's sister, Françoise and her husband Eduard, are in town for a week. It is always surprising to me that I see a resemblance between my mother and her siblings. I have noticed it before during past visits and again last summer while visiting Grandmaman in Switzerland, but I guess I made more of a connection to the resemblance last night because Mom was there at the time. It's more than just the eyes and the mouth. Françoise and Mom have the same hand gestures. How can that be a resemblance? It's not like it's a genetic thing. Anyway - it was weird and funny at the same time.

It's been 7 years since we last saw Françoise and Eduard. They still look the same. I especially find that Eduard never seems to age. I need to find a picture of them to scan.

Girls Day

Had a great visit with my friend Vivienne on Saturday. She's got two small children and is finding it difficult to have any significant time to herself. Her partner, Franck, suggested that she take one day a week and just take off for the day. For now she has to take the baby with her as she's still nursing, but decided to take him up on the offer. However, one day a week was too much, so she's compromised with one day a month. For her this seems to be easier for her to manage. Anyway, Viv and I decided that this Saturday would be our girls day (baby girl included).

And what a day it was! Viv dropped in around 10:30 Saturday morning, we had tea and a chat, fed the baby and then went off for lunch. Our original plan to have Thai food at our favourite little hole in the wall got nixed as the place was closed (and I wanted my red curry soooo bad!!!), so we went to Just Noodles instead - a far cry from our first choice, but at least it was piping hot! Then for a round of shopping and groceries and several hours later, back to my place for another pot of tea and baby feeding. It was about 5pm when Viv left to make her way home. I hope she had a good day. I certainly did. Even with the little baby Chiara in tow (she pretty much slept or sat there and smiled the whole day)! We had a good chance to catch up and plenty of laughs as well. It did me a whole whack of good to hear what Viv had to say and I hope being on her own for the day (albeit with baby and me) did her just as much good.

It was fun and I look forward to another Girls Day sometime soon.

PS - Uh, Viv - sorry about the state of my hair. I noticed after you'd left that I hadn't actually brushed it yet that day and I still had it up in a ridiculous bun from having my shower. I must've looked a sight ...

Friday, February 03, 2006

I think I might be weird

I say this because I find it fun to read the dictionary or thesaurus. Sometimes I just like to know the proper meaning of a word or a good synonym.

You're all thinking "what a weirdo". You may not be far wrong.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I wasn't able to do my little cardio Pilates routine this morning (thank you to my boots that are implements of torture and have given me huge blisters on both heels) so I turned the TV to ONE and did Living Yoga with Padma. I prefer not to practice yoga with a TV show due to all the commercial breaks, but I was up and needed to do something. Anyway, today's show concentrated on back strengthening poses, balance postures and brought the focus back to breathing using 'madhuram' (Sanskrit meaning sweet or essential sweetness).

I know for myself in times of stress I have trouble relaxing and therefore breathing, but I have also noticed recently that I am actually taking the 10 or 15 seconds I need to just breathe. Today Padma told her audience to 'breathe and smile' starting from the inside. As you breathe let your belly smile, let your lungs smile, let your back smile and so on. By the end, you are smiling from the inside out. It sounds kinda corny and all 'new age' but, you gotta do what works for you. This morning it worked for me.

It doesn't take long to take 10 seconds to breathe and smile. Padma called it a "10 second yogi break". Who doesn't have 10 seconds in their day to do something as simple as breathe and smile? And who knows, maybe you'll start smiling from the inside out too.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I could get used to this

Last week I posted after having a great night's sleep using my oral appliance. Since then I have been using it every second night with ... get ready for it ... much success!

Following the Sleep Therapy course last fall and being such a good student, I am still tracking my sleep with a log (a diary not a piece of tree) and have noticed that over the last 2 weeks, I am now averaging 7 hours of sleep a night. Ha ha! Yes, 7 whole hours! This is a huge improvement from my 5 1/2 to 6 hours that I was getting 6 months ago - and that was on a good night.

Let me tell you, all this good sleep, and it really is good sleep - I can tell, is something I could get used to. Fast. Pretty soon I'll be all "yeah, I gotta get to bed and get me some sleep".