Wednesday, January 25, 2006

O Winter, dost turn thy face away?

I miss winter. I miss the white fluffy, I miss the ice crystals floating in the air, I miss the chickadees chirping cozily to themselves as they hunt for food among my spruce tree branches. I miss the hare footprints on my lawn. I miss the blinding-sun-on-snow-bright-even-sunglasses-make-me-squint days. I even miss shovelling the walk. This has been a non-winter so far. We've only had one mildly coldish snap. It was too short, and snowless. *sigh*. I probably sound odd to almost everyone else, who seem to start pining for hot tropical locations the minute October arrives and don't stop till June ends. Well, call me an oddity. I LIKE winter and I miss it.

After all, I live in Calgary for a reason: we get winter. Lots of it, tempered by warm windy chinooks that make it all the more exciting when the next wave of coldness inexorably rolls in. I LIKE the fact that all the bugs die, that people have to be hardy souls to live here, that foreign-born plants get confused and die in our chinooks, that my nose bleeds because the air is so dry. I like bundling up and feeling toasty warm while my eyelashes freeze together and I lose all feeling in my cheeks. I like the little warm, wet patch from my breath on the scarf wrapped around my face. I even like the hat head I get from my parka. All because it means WINTER is really here, and all warm-weather loving wusses can just suck it up!!

This year has been useless. Have I mentioned it's been too warm? too bloody warm. No snow. no freezing. no nothing. I barely even need a coat to go outside. What if this climate change thing means NO WINTER??? I'll have to move north, I guess, though I think I'd miss the sun and be driven to drink like pretty much everyone else up there. Perhaps it's time to do a Snow-Goddess placating dance.

O Mighty One,
take pity
on your poor adoring
supplicant. Send snow!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

nasal vagaries

My nose is on a rampage. It may be due to pregnancy but I secretly suspect it just got tired of identifying smells, day after day, and has decided to be a little more creative. Take, for example, my disturbing conversation with my nose earlier today:

I was going up the escalator at lunch and was about three steps down from the woman in front of me. She had on the accepted Corporate Slave uniform, carried the standard issue purse and seemed quite innocuous. Unfortunately, three steps was just the right distance, altitude-wise, to place her bum at the same level as my nose. Weren't we just about a third up when this...SMELL... came wafting through the air.

Z: What nonsense. (delicately waves hand in front of face) it's just the smell of cooking from the deli.
Nose: I KNOW a FART when I smell one, and that there is a FART!!!
Z: If it was one, we would have left it behind by now.
Nose: NO, this is a FOLLOWING FART!! It's stuck to you now, you're Soooo Dead. Just wait till you get into the office!
Z: Stop it. you're being an idiot.

At this point I realized that my Nose had developed Attitude. As we disembarked from the escalator I also noticed the woman was carrying take-out food, and connected the dots. The smell was actually... Broccoli. Yes, broccoli, cooked in a particular way with particular sauce (I suspect it was beef and broccoli from the chinese place) - apparently, to belligerent noses, can smell like ... well, you get the drift.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Evil Contractor woes

I realize I have a sadly entrenched conviction that home fixit contractors are Not To Be Trusted. Willy nilly, I've lumped all of them into one big glob of devious, greedy, blood-sucking (or rather money-sucking) sub-humanity. All this despite the fact that most of them are quite pleasant in person, and appear anxious to help me.

I'm a sucker for the clean cut, earnest-faced conviction expressed by the salesman (they're always men, for some reason - let's not get into analysing why ;) - that I really MUST have my entire furnace replaced to fix the wierd blip on my thermostat. So I dish out the bazillions of dollars and then feel either faintly aggrieved or righteously indignant that I have once again been taken to the cleaners. So to speak.

Part of the problem is that I don't usually know what the problem is. So I have people come in, they tell me things and I believe them. Sort of. I somehow convince myself they must know what they're talking about and why would they lie to little old moi? I think that's where all the trouble starts.

I'm not skeptical enough. Even when they express doubt about their opinion, I try to convince them they're right. Like "oh, I'm sure YOU should know, you do this every day" - gag. Just shoot me now.

I need an agent. Someone who will say "my client is interested in replacing her old toilet. We have initiated a competitive bid process and you are invited to participate as a contender. All contracts will be signed in blood (namely, yours), and if you fail to show up on time or complete on time you will be charged at the rate of $100 per hour. Punishment for shoddy work will be extracted in pounds of flesh." (accompanied to fist thumping against palm, or maybe some knuckle-cracking). My agent would be called Luigi and would be an ex-navy seal or maybe a professional assassin ... slap, slap slap - that's the sound of my hand trying to wake me up.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Party Slug Strikes Again

I had a rather quiet New Year's Eve this year - albeit not intentionally. I went to a fondue party which could have been a great time had I been in the right mood - as in, social, not hibernatory. I went early, given my predilection for snoozing off in the middle of sentences after about 10:00 or so, reprise the doormouse in Alice. I had great hopes of pacing myself so I could stay awake till midnight.

The fondue food was great, so I stuffed myself silly for an hour or so and then thought I'd better stop before I had violent rejections from the stomach department. Not that it helped. There's not a lot of room in my stomach anymore so I was feeling pretty miserable but not yet throwy-uppy.

The music was really good, the host had put together an energetic, fun party playlist, but it was too loud for my ears and Baby started jumping around like a jellybean with the rock beat. He was not happy.

Most of the guests were standing in the kitchen, and standing is not my forte these days - after about 1/2 an hour I feel like my torso will fall off my legs. Oddly, I haven't heard any other pregnant women complaining about this. Is it only me that's so wimpy? My hip joints started hurting quite a bit so I went to the living room to sit down, but unfortunately the stereo was blasting in there. After about an hour of relative misery, my two brain cells finally connected and I realized I had to leave.

I went home, snuggled in bed (upright, to minimize the heaving stomach) and fell asleep! I think I'm going to have a Winter Blues party later this/next month just to keep up my spirits. Maybe once the furniture arrives and the basement is done...