Saturday, April 29, 2006

Done!

Phew - just finished doing my tax returns. What a relief to know I'm getting a fairly sweet refund from both governments. All I have to do is bring in my property taxes, update the forms, print everything off and send them in. That I can do in less than 15 minutes on Monday. It's good to have this lingering anxiety lifted.

Other things to remember

Here's a list of a couple of other things I need to remember in the evenings as I get ready to sleep.

- Keep to sleep time and wake time (especially Monday to Friday). Allow myself some extra time on weekends.

- No scary tv programmes or movies. (Managed to scare myself silly twice this week because of this ...)

- Keep alcohol to a minimum. Not like I drink much anyway, but I find that when I have had a few drinks I sleep even less than usual and very poorly. Will try for 2 drinks a night, if I do go out.

- Buy and install some kind of security for the window I like to keep open at home. In the past, during warmer weather, I've kept the window open over night. This has probably not helped my anxiety, whether I choose to recognize it or not.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Starting Over

In an effort to get back on track with my sleeping, I have managed to make a few changes to my habits.

Step 1: Two nights ago I moved my alarm clock across the room and turned the volume up on the radio so that when the alarm goes off at 6am, I am forced to get out of bed to turn it off. Once I'm up, I'm up - so that's good.

Step 2: No more reading in bed. I know I've gone through this before, but I got a little off track recently. First it was just 10 minutes of reading in bed, then 20 and before I knew it I was up to an hour of reading in bed again ... I restarted this two nights ago.

Step 3: Exercise. Over the last couple of weeks I've slacked off a bit and have noticed the difference in my sleep pattern. For the last 2 days I've forced myself to exercise when I get up. I am also planning to up the post-work exercise, but for this week and next week that'll take a back seat while I finish up a big project at work. I'm putting it in writing now - come May 8th I will add either a walk home from work and/or exercise when I get home.

Step 4: My last and final attempt to sleep with the oral appliance. I'm taking a break from it right now because I've had a lot of jaw pain and problems closing my jaw. Maybe I should set myself a goal to try again by May 8th.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Any day now

Any day now you'll be reading about me in The Gazette. Any day now I'll be arrested for disturbing my neighbour. Any day now while I'm getting arrested maybe I'll ask the cops to arrest my neighbour for disturbing me. I mean, he started it!

For over 2 years now I have been listening to my neighbour scrape his chair across his kitchen tile floor 5 days a week, somewhere betwen 5:30-6:30am, making noise like a bull elephant that shakes my floor, my wall and wakes me up every time. For the first 2 years I simply let it go. Ignored it and tried (in vain) to go back to sleep. In the last 6 months I've been a little more aggressive. I've taken to banging on the wall with my fist. That seemed to work from time to time, but I was starting to have some pain in my hand from all the banging. So now I've moved up to the baseball bat. That worked well at first. He'd scrape his chair, I'd get up and bang the baseball bat on the wall. Instant silence. Next day we'd start all over again. And the next. And the next... Recently though, my neighbour has started to get a little pissed off with all my banging (doesn't he wonder why I'm banging?!?!) so he scrapes his chair continually while I'm banging the bat on the wall. Lucky for me I'm angrier than he is, because I can keep up with the banging longer than he can scrape his chair across the floor.

Round 1 to me.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Foodie, Food Snob, Foodanista - Which One Are You?

Recently read an article in Ottawa Magazine that I picked up a while back. The article, The Road to Foodieville, by Chris Knight, brought up some important questions for me. How would I classify myself in the food world - as a Foodie, a Food Snob or a Foodanista?

Before reading the article, I would have considered myself a bit of a Foodie and also a bit of a Food Snob. But now I know better.

Let's discuss the differences (I'm cribbing from Chris Knight's article). A Food Snob would never deign to partake of 30-cent wing night, whereas a Foodie knows where the best chip trucks are. A Food Snob will pay a small fortune for a side of double-smoked yak scrotum so as to impress dinner guests; a Foodie will put immeasurable passion and enthusiasm into cooking an honest meal to please friends. A Foodanista is someone who considers where one dines to be a measure of social status. Foodanistas go to a place because other Foodanistas hang out there trying to be cool, drinking overprices faux martinis while looking at faux wall treatments.

Simply put, a Foodie is someone who considers cooking fun, who sees food as one of life's great recurring pleasures, as an opportunity to pleasure oneself in public without getting arrested.

I'm a Foodie. Which one are you?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Back to the Kitchen

Over the last couple of months I haven't done very much cooking. I've done the usual dishes that feed me for a week, but haven't done too many new things. It occurs to me that eating the same old things is pretty boring and I like food way to much to let it be boring.

So, with May around the corner I am committing to searching out and making one new dish a week for the next month. To motivate me I may have to make some chocolate chip cookies first.

Recipes will be posted.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Rainy Sunday Afternoon

It's raining. It's Sunday. It's just gone 1pm. I'm catching the next bus home and then I'm having a nap.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I'm such a wimp

After a 3 day work week last week, having to work 4 days this week has me beat. What am I going to do when I have to work 5 days next week???

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter Weekend Highlights

What a weekend! I'm glad I took the time off and I enjoyed every minute (yes, even the many, many minutes with small children around).

Here are some highlights of the weekend: Seeing Cathy, Mike & Serena, hearing Serena say "Geez!" (my humble apologies to Mike - it seems I didn't get any pictures of you), seeing Nick, Sue & Darcy, listening to Darcy chatter away (even though I had no idea what she was saying), watching Darcy sit and read with Grandmaman & Papa, watching Darcy eat, walk, try on shoes, drink from a water bottle (not a child's bottle) and spill the water all down her front, make a scrunchy nose face, play the cornet, make a crazy funny face, hear her laugh on the swings, listen and love it every time she said "Mmm, yummy!" (which she said practically after every bite of food), laugh when she farted on Grandmaman's lap (twice), laugh when she burped, dance around the living room with her in my arms while Papa played Christmas carols on the piano. What else? I could go on and on. It was a great weekend.

Check out the pictures here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sushi & CAA

Had dinner last night with Sina & Cecilia. It was kind of a belated birthday dinner for Cecilia. Sina played hostess to the girls and fed us until we were full to bursting with homemade sushi, cantonese rice and a coconut/red bean paste cake. Mmmm ... it was sooooo good! Thanks again, Sina!

It was a very fun evening. We laughed a lot. And not because alcohol was taken. We didn't have a drop! It all started as Cecilia and I arrived at Sina's. Neither of us could remember which was her house. Cecilia decided we should ring at one house. I wasn't sure it was the right house, but rang the bell anyway. While waiting for someone to answer I peeked in the window and discovered that we were indeed at the wrong house. Luckily no one was home. So we tried the next house. This time we were right as Sina opened the door to us.

Several hours later, in the middle of a conversation about I don't even remember what, Cecilia sits up and starts patting herself down and asking where her keys are. Not in her pockets. Not on the counter. Not on the table. Not on the stairs. Is the car locked? Yes, I do remember hearing the doors lock as she moved away from the car. Thankfully, before complete panic set in, Sina mentioned that she had a CAA membership. She called, explained that the keys were locked in the car, no the car wasn't running. And presto, voilĂ ! in less than an hour there was a CAA truck in front of the house. The ever so charming, cute and young CAA guy, Nicholas, had the car unlocked in less than 5 minutes and gave the three of us plenty to giggle over after he'd gone.

Thanks to Cecilia for two such great laughs in one evening. We won't forget those stories for quite some time!

Extended Long Weekend

Another 24 hours (ok, actually a little less than 24 hours) and I'll be hitting the road for an extended long weekend. I'm taking the day off on Thursday and Monday so that I can join my parents on the trek to Windsor to visit Nick, Sue & Darcy.

Thursday night I'll be staying with Cathy & Mike in Richmond Hill. Cathy and I worked together at Club Med in Huatulco, Mexico. Think that was in 96/97. Since then we've managed to stay in contact and visit each other in Toronto/Montreal occasionally. I even attended her wedding in Jamaica in 2001. That wedding still tops all the weddings I've ever been to (my apologies to friends and family). Anyway, Cathy and Mike had a baby girl, Serena, just over a year ago and this will be my first visit with them since. I'm excited to see Cathy as a Mom now. We've got some catching up to do!

Then on Friday we'll head out and make the rest of the trip to Windsor. I can't wait to see Darcy (or Darby as she is known to some of my friends, due to my excitement when she was born, I misspelled her name in an email ...). After reading Nick & Sue's blogs for updates on my niece it should be fun to see her in action!

Of course, "fun" is what I say now. By the time we head back on Monday I'm pretty sure my tolerance and patience for 'small child fun' will be spent and I'll be happy to return to my quiet little condo.

Updates next week and probably lots of pictures on flickr too.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Rules For The Behaviour Of All Those Entering These Doors

My thanks to Catherine the Great for drawing up the following code of behaviour. I will be making up my own rules soon.

RULES FOR THE BEHAVIOUR OF ALL THOSE ENTERING THESE DOORS

1. All ranks shall be left outside the doors, similarly hats, and particularly swords.

2. Orders of precedence and haughtiness, and anything of such like which might result from them, shall be left at the doors.

3. Be merry, but neither spoil nor break anything, nor indeed gnaw at anything.

4. Be seated, stand or walk as it best pleases you, regardless of others.

5. Speak with moderation and not too loudly, so that others present have not an earache or headache.

6. Argue without anger or passion.

7. Do not sigh or yawn, neither bore nor fatigue others.

8. Agree to partake of any innocent entertainment suggested by others.

9. Eat well of good things, but drink with moderation so that each should be able always to find his legs on leaving these doors.

10. All disputes must stay behind closed doors; and what goes in one ear should go out the other before departing through the doors.

If any shall infringe the above, on the evidence of two witnesses, for any crime each guilty party shall drink a glass of cold water, ladies not excepted, and read a page from the Telemachida out loud.

Who infringes three points on one evening shall be sentenced to learn three lines from the Telemachida by heart.

If any shall infringe the tenth point, he shall no longer be permitted entry.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

News from Swiss Miss

My bestestclosest friend moved last week. I hadn't heard from her since last Wednesday. For us, that's a l-o-n-g time. So I called her this afternoon to find out what was going on, how the move went and all that blah-blah.

She's fine. The move went well. The kids are enjoying the new house. The husband is already starting to take down walls. The cable guy is coming on Monday (April 10) to connect them to the internet. Finally! Apparently the previous owner either didn't have internet access, or used dial up because the only connection in the office was for phone. Man - the wait was killing me, so I called. We had a good chat, a few giggles and I feel much better. I guess you could say I had my bestestclosestfriend "fix".

You can all go back to your regularly scheduled lives now.

Latest Reads

You may or may not have noticed that my "Off the Shelf" link is empty again. I'm trying to keep it up to date, I really am. But I've just been reading a little faster than I can update recently.

Monday night I went to the library after work and borrowed two books. Read one Monday night (forgot to update my links on Tuesday). Read the second book last night and have just updated the links in my "Back on the Shelf" section. So now I need to get back to the library.

Won't get there tonight though. I'm heading to the museum with Super C and possibly/hopefully AngryGnome. We're celebrating Super C's birthday (it was Monday, the 3rd). Going to have a look at the Catherine The Great - Art for the Empire exhibition and then have dinner at our favourite Thai restaurant. Am drooling over my red curry already ...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Can't Sleep, Can't Eat

Sleeping is one of the most frustrating things in my life right now.

Recently I thought the whole sleeping thing was getting better. That's when I was sleeping 2 nights with my appliance in, and having 1 night off. Once I moved it up to 3 nights on, 1 night off I started having problems with my jaw again. So I slept without it until my jaw went back to normal. It's nearly a week now and only this morning can I say my mouth, jaw and teeth feel normal. But in this week my sleep has gotten progressively worse. Last night was a bad one - went to sleep around 1am so when the alarm went off at 6am I had no desire to get out of bed. Ended up hitting the snooze button every 9 minutes until 7:45 and then managed to get up. Ugh. Feel rotten.

I know I've done everything wrong for my sleeping lately. I've been having naps, I've been reading in bed, I've been drinking (tea, water) after 7pm, staying in bed when I'm not sleeping, not keeping to my sleep schedule, not keeping to my wake schedule. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Now I have to start all over again from the beginning.